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great commandment.”. And he who hegins by breaking this, though he may pay a seeming respect to the rest, proves himself destitute of the very first principles of true holiness. He should remember that God judges nut by the outward appearance of our conduct, but by the motives that influence us in it. And there is a morality which has no better motives than most of our sins ; a belief of its present expediency : a morality which does not look for its laws and encouragements, above, or beyond the present world; “which is of the earth, earthy.' We find no promises in the gospel to those who are contented with this sort of morality; and we are persuaded that it will not stand the test of the christian's trial.

FOR THE CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE.

PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE RENDERED MORE INTELLIGIBLE

BY A NEW PUNCTUATION.

That several instances occur in our printed copies of the Bible, where the text is obscure, in consequence of incorrect punctuation, might be easily shewn. I quote, as examples, a few verses, wbicb, as they are commonly read, lose much of their pertinency; but receive a new meaning by being marked and read as interrogatories.

Genesis iv. 23, 24. Have I slain a man to my wounding? a young man to my hurt?

Matth. xxvi. 45, and Matth. xiv. 41. Do you sleep on now, and take your rest?

Matth. xxvii. 42. He saved others; cannot he save himself?

Mark vii. 9. Do ye well to reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition ?

Luke vi. 9. Then Jesus said onto them, I would ask you, What is it lawful to do on the Sabbath-days? Good, or ill? To save, or to destroy?

Luke xvii. 18. Are there none found who returned to give glory to God, except this stranger?

Luke xix. 22. Thou knewest that I was an austere man?

Jobn v. 37, 38. Did ye never hear his voice, or see his form? or have ye forgotien his declaration, that ye believe not him whom he hath seni?

John vii. 28. Do ye know me, and know whence I am ?

John xi. 49, 50. Are ye so entirely ignorant? Do ye not consider, that it is expedient that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not?

New Series-vol, I. 15

John xi. 56. What think ye? Will he not come to the feast?

John xii. 27. What shall I say? Father save me from this hour? But for this cause I came to this hour.

John xii. 15. And they said unto her, art thou mad?

Heb. xii 5. Have ye forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as children ?

James iv. 5. Do ye think that the scripture speaketh in vain ? Doth the spirit that dwelleth in us excite to envy?

IS RELIGIOUS FAITH A REASONABLE PRINCIPLE OF ACTION!

“ We walk by faith, and not by sight.”. So said the great apostle of our religion. The principle has indeed been abused by the misrepresentations of the ignorant, and by the overheated zeal of enthusiasts. It has been ridiculed by the doubting; and by unbelievers of revelation, has been represented as a principle of action unworthy of thinking and of reasoning men. But cast your eye over your own ordinary transactions, and examine but for a moment ihe conduct of men in the most coinion concerns of life, and you will see that this principle, however abused and despised in the affairs of religion, as certainly guides the unbeliever as the christian; and that, without faith in a thousand circumstances and events, of which we can. not have the certainty of knowledge, it would be as impossible to live in the world, as it is impossible for us to please God, without faith in the promises and prospects of the gospel.

It may be proper to remark, that faith respects not only every thing past, of which we have not had the evidence of our senses, but in every action to which we are excited by a regard to the future, that we may strictly and properly be said to act by faith. Observe then how constant, and how extensive is its influence. You retire at night that you may sleep, and with confidence that you will see the coming day. Yet what is this but the confidence of faith. You cannot know that you will sleep to night, because you slept the last night. You cannot know that you will see the light of 10-morrow, because you saw the light of this morning. But on the evidence of your past experience, you believe, and trust. You provide for your future wants; and you take your food, that you may be nourished and strengthened by it. But you cannot know that this food, instead of nourishing and strengthening you, will not be the cause of disease and of death. That it has hitherto nourished you, is but an argument from experience, on which you build your faith that it will continue to nourish you. For the removal of any pain or disease, do you take the advice and follow the directions of a physician? Here you exercise faith in his skill; and both he and you exercise it also in the efficacy of the remedies he prescribes. You go out to your accustomed labours. And what is the principle which excites you to this exertion; which gives life and vigour to your efforts? Is it not the faith that you will receive the reward of your toils? The husbandman waitelh for the precious fruits of the earth, and hath long patience for them, till be receive the former and the latter rain. Are you induced, by the advice or the assurance of another, to an experiment, from which you hope for, or are confident of, a better reward of your labours? The end of your faith is still the same,-the reward you anticipate; but the ground of it becomes the experience and the testimony of him, whose advice and practice you have followed. Having committed any task to another, and being told that it is performed, do you pursue your plans with the same assurance, as if you had seen that the work was accomplished ? It is the assurance of faith, which rests perhaps only on your general confidence in the veracity of him whom you have employed. You believe, when your are told that one of your neighbours, whom you saw yesterday in health, is to day stretched on the bed of sickness; or that some distant part of the world has been shaken by earthquakes, or destroyed by fire. In fine, in all our conversation, when we neither discern nor suspect a motive to deceive us, nor perceive any absurdity or contradictiop in the relation, we readily yield our fuith, and are actuated by our belief. The convictions of faith become as strong as those of sense; and we as truly act by faith when we eat, when we labour, and when we confide in the skill or the veracity of each other, as when, believing the promises of God, we give all diligence to make our calling and our election sure.

But let us extend our views of the operation of this great principle; and trace to their sources some of the actions, or courses of actions in men, of which we may form a judgment not less correct than themselves.

Have you seen the richly freighted vessel, returning to repay the enterprise of her owners? She has been under other skies; in other climes; among other people. She has exchanged the produce of her own soil for that of other regions. They who entrusted their fortunes to the expedition, are now recompensed for their confidence. But follow back the steps of this enterprise, and observe how few of them were guided by actual knowledge. Had be who was most interested in it never seen

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the country, to which he sent his property? Then he knew of its existence only from the testimony of others; and however ample may have been this testimony, it could have produced only faith. He believed the existence of the country that had been described 10 bin. He believed what he had read or heard of its inhabitants, its productions, and its wants. Led on by this faith, he entrusted his property to the ocean, notwithstanding the uncertainty of winds and waves. He confided in men who might die ; or who might be treacherous, as others had been. But it was the strong belief that they would live, that they would be honest, and ihat the vessel which bore bis properly would escape storins and shipwreck, as others had escaped them, which animaled his hopes of her return, and made him sanguine in his calculations.' Seest thou then how faith wrought with his works; and that, but for his faith, he would never have undertaken the enterprise, whose rewards have so greatly enriched him?

Observe a man, the object of whose supreme desire is the glory of a great and distinguished name. Ile has regard to it in every plan he forms; in every course he pursues. It is almost constantly in his thoughts.' It engages his strongest and best affections. He considers the time, and strengib, and talents as comparatively lost, which have not been employed in its service.' He not only gives bis days and nights io ioil, and anxiety, and suffering, for the accomplishment of his puro pose : not only denies himself innumerable gratifications, which are every day offered to his understanding and his senses; but he exposes himself to every danger; he is every moment ready to meet death, and perhaps actually falls a victim of death, in the great cause to which he has devoted every faculty of his soul. But does he not as truly act by faith, as he does, who, in a course of religion and virtue, is seeking the honour that comes from God only? Is he not equally a martyr to his faith, as he is, who submits to death, or incurs the penalty of death, rather than give up his principles as a christian, or renounce his faith in the gospel of Christ? He believes, but he cannot know that he will obtain the glory that he seeks. And such are all the actions that have regard to the ends of human ambition,

Deprive man of faith in the ordinary course of circumstances and of events, and what would be the consequences ? Or suppose any one resolved never to act, but where he had the certainty of knowledge to guide him. He would not labour; for he cannot know that he will be rewarded. Or if his family have not the means of support for another day, he will use po

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exertions to obtain them; for he cannot know that either he or they will live till 10-morrow. Or if hungry himself, he will not eat; for it is impossible to be certain that the first food he takes to sustain him, will not be the cause of his death. But I need not pursue the supposition. Its absurdity is apparent. It is glaring. We could no more live without faith in the testimony of others, or of our own observation and experience, than we could live without our senses, or without air. An unbeliever of revelation therefore lives by faith in the ordinary cir. cumstances and events of life, as much as the most zealous dis. ciple of Jesus ; and be who scoffs at faith as a principle of religion, is as much actuated by it in his own daily business and pleasures, as is the most pious in his endeavours to live as the grace of God teaches; or as the dying christian, who rejoices in the anticipated happiness of heaven.

From this view of faith we infer, first, that it is a principle of our nature, equally as hope, or fear, or desire. It is as much a principle of our nature, that we sbould believe upon sufficient testimony, and conform our conduct to our belief, as that we should like, and dislike; or, as that we should seek what we love, and avoid that by which we feel aversion. And we should act not less inconsistent with our nature, if we should refuse ever again to be actuated by faitb, than if we were resolved benceforth to deny ourselves both food and sleep, and not to trust even for a moment to the evidence of our senses.

Second, In requiring us to walk by faith in his moral government, God demands of us no more than he does in his common providence. And in requiring us to seek the rewards and happiness of heaven, by that faith in Christ and in the instructions of bis gospel, which will engage in its service our entire wills and our best affections, he demands no more than we cheerfully do every day, to obtain the riches and the pleasures of the world. It is an appointment of the providence of God, that we should believe the labour of spring and summer, to be necessary for the security of a harvest in the autumn. It is an appointment of the moral government of God, that we should believe in the necessity of a life of religious and moral obedience-a character and life conformed to his revealed will,-in order to his final approbation of us, and our eternal happiness. Admit the doctrine, that God is a moral Governor, and there is far more evidence of an inseparable connexion be. tween our hearts and babits and character here, and our condition hereafter-between our present moral state and our future happiness, -than between our best directed labours, and the

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