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of realities, in comparison with which, all that is esteemed great on earth is as nothing-and realities, moreover, for the enjoyment of which, the discipline supplied by your present care and labour, is meant to be preparatory.
What a new character is given to the scene of your efforts, the moment these are viewed as intended to try and mature those principles and affections, which raise the soul into a state of meetness for the exalted occupation of the skies! In the view of the Almighty, there is an intimate connexion between the daily routine of believers on earth, and the pursuits which will engage them for ever in heaven. Your present circumstances are all adjusted, so as to determine whether you will trust in God, be cheerful in the duties he assigns you, honest in the midst of temptation, mainly concerned about the heavenly treasure while obliged to labour for the earthly; whether you will learn humility from chastisement, sympathy from suffering, firmness from endurance,in short, to see whether you will grow in that habit of mind, which constitutes the only wealth that men take with them when they die, the only treasure that will be rescued from the conflagration of the last day. Thus the mind is the building, and the world and its multiplied affairs are the mere scaffolding, which, under God, are to serve in raising the spiritual edifice to its appointed altitude and completeness. When the noise of every earthly movement shall long have passed away,
these moral effects shall only become more visible; and the humblest effort in relation to them, will perhaps be found to have shed a truly ennobling influence over many an immortal destiny. Judge not, therefore, of your present doings from day to day, by what they may be in themselves, but rather by the impression they may make on your spirit in regard to God, and thus on its state through an endless duration. All the incidents and resolutions of time, are, in this manner, full of results to be developed in eternity; and though salvation be not on account of any works of righteousness that we have done, there is an intimate moral connexion between every passing hour of the present, and the wonderful disclosures reserved to the future. Let us not be weary, therefore, in well doing, knowing that in due time we shall reap, if we faint not; the meanest ascending, ere long, to a place with those who hold the office of kings and priests, in the palaces and temples of the world above us.
THE CHRISTIAN WARFARE, AS CONNECTED WITH
Is but a loan to be repaid with use,
CHRISTIANS frequently lose much themselves, and fail in the ability that might render them serviceable to their brethren, by supposing that what is addressed to persons in the peculiarities of whose character or circumstances they do not happen to participate, can be in no way conducive to their own improvement or happiness. What is said with a view to the guidance or encouragement of the afflicted, will, perhaps, be listened to by many who have no immediate affliction to deplore. But all such persons have had their seasons of suffering; and are moreover aware, that such seasons may soon return. Men, also, who are beyond doubt sincere believers, may attend with interest to what is urged on the unconverted: they remember, it
may be, when such appeals were made to themselves, and find it profitable to hear the things which first constrained them to forsake the paths of the destroyer, brought again to their remembrance. But when the character or condition of the parties thus approached is not our own, nor considered at all likely to become such, how prone are we to neglect the subject altogether. What, it may be secretly asked, have the habitually cheerful to do in regard to matters selected with a special reference to the gloomy and desponding? What have the poor to do with counsels designed mainly for the rich; or the rich with such as apply peculiarly to the poor? Why should the educated be troubled about the precise habit of thinking and feeling in the case of the ignorant and the vulgar? or, why should this latter class be urged to reflect on the peculiar conflicts of duty and religion in the case of the intelligent and aspiring?
We answer, that all these classes should think 'much of the character and situation of each other, and for many reasons. Unless this be done, they will fail to perceive their mutual obligations; and their judgment of each other will, of necessity, be greatly deficient both as to truth and charity. Whence the want of sympathy, and, too frequently, the want of duty, observable among them?-principally from the want of an effort to understand and feel the difference of the circumstances in which they are respectively placed. The cheerful and the desponding, the rich and the poor, the
untaught and the instructed, do not sufficiently endeavour to place themselves in circumstances the opposite of their own. Hence more is expected than wisdom would have promised; and disappointment and wrath follow. On the other hand, less is done by these expectants than ought to have been done, and the good name of Christianity suffers.
As we have intimated, it is from the same cause that Christians so often fail in the ability and the disposition to speak a word in season; they have not sufficiently studied the case of their brethren and among the evil effects of this negligence is a readiness to indulge in grievous words which stir up strife, instead of choosing the soft answer which turneth away wrath.
Reason must tell us, that next in importance to the thoughtfulness which has respect to the character of God, is that which is directed toward human nature, considered in the varieties of its present state. Men have prosecuted the most laborious investigations with a view to ascertain the laws of the material universe; and they have done well. But the laws of the mind bring us into nearer connexion with the Infinite Mind. What is the interest felt in the varieties which mark the surface or the productions of the earth, compared with that which should be felt in looking on the different races of mankind, subject to all the influences which have so long served to spread an almost endless diversity over them? To