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I more particularly address those Younger Christians, who tell me that they faint in endeavouring to combat sensible evils with spiritual reflections :-that to bear up against and work through their difficulties merely by faith in a promise, is the greatest difficulty of all: and readily do we grant, that believing, which some think so very easy, is found by the real believer to be his hardest work.
But, first, CONSIDER THE NATURE OF YOUR PRESENT
We walk by faith, and not by sight.' Observe the footsteps of the flock.' How did Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Hannah, and the rest of that cloud of witnesses' mentioned in Hebrews xi, make their way? Was it by faith, or sight? They advanced only on the ground of divine assurances; "and they were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims upon carth.'
Do not, therefore, allow yourself even to wish for the by-path, which needs no faith, and presents no trials. Let it be enough for us, that we are passing through a dispensation to glory, through which our Master himself once passed, and through which all his Disciples follow him. It is experiment: it is exercise: it is education : which, though at the time not joyous but grievous, yet worketh the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby.
When we object to his methods of advancement, we resemble our children, who would be learned, but would not go to school; or, when they go, would endure nothing there. We know how to answer them : let us learn thus to answer ourselves.
“ Teach me,” said a king once to a mathematician, “ that art of yours which I so much admire. I would fain be a geometrician, but cannot think of passing through the ordinary paths of the science.”__ Your majesty must be told," replied he, “that there is no
OF YOUR MASTER.
ROYAL way to geometry.” Apply this to religion, and you will find but one consecrated, beaten track to glory, in which the scholar knows by BELIEVING, ascends by humiliation, and conquers by suffering.
Let me next remind you, to studY THE TEMPER
If you would not stumble in his path, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.' As his death is the only atonement for our sins, and his Spirit the only life of our souls; so his lowly mind, his meek and suffering spirit, is alone adapted to the heavenward path. Hear his words : If any man will come after let him deny himself, and take up
his cross daily and follow me.—Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.' “Learn of me," as if he had said, “ who when I'was reviled, reviled not again : when I suffered, I threatened not, but committed' myself to him that judgeth righteously.""
Our enemies oppress and vex us; but, well would it be, if, while we took up the burthen, we could, like Hannah, leave them to bear all the guilt. Let others try to lower standards and alter measures in Christianity, in order to cover their defects : let us keep the great pattern ever in sight, however we may come short of it.
Hannah is an instructive way-mark to believing women, under family trials. The woman, who can thus meet injuries and reproaches, while she trusts in God at all times, and pours out her heart before him,' has already obtained the victory over her worst enemy-SELF; and, like Hannah, shall soon see the rest silent in darkness, for by strength shall no man prevail.?
Lastly, EXPECT GREAT THINGS, BUT EXPECT THEM
There is a time,' says the wise man,
every purpose under heaven.-Light is sown for the righte
ous, but appears not till its season. Think it not strange that the God of Order has appointed his best blessings to descend, when we are best prepared to receive them. In what a trying process did the faithful Hannah meet them! and, let me ask, are we so purified by our fire that we should expect them immediately? We wait a little, and think it long. We limit the
, Holy One of Israel,' in the prosecution of an eternal purpose; and say, “Let him hasten his work that we may see it:' forgetting that we are here but ephemera, insects of a day; while, with him, "a thousand years are but as one day.'
‘But, blessed are all they who wait for him:' who, like Hannah, follow him in the progress, and depend upon him for the issue. • Who is among you, that walketh in darkness,' yet thus stayeth upon his God?' He will shortly enable you also to add, “O my Lord, I am the man who have passed through many a dark night and thorny path ; a solitary weeping pilgrim. I am that woman who stood here praying : nature fainted, but underneath me were his everlasting arms : light was sowing for me while I sat in darkness, and arose in progress beyond my expectation.—I also am a witness, that the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth from generation to generation."
PARENTS OF THE CHILDREN
THE SCHOOLS INSTITUTED AT ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL,
TO WHICH ARE SUBJOINED
TIIE REGULATIONS OF THE SAID SCHOOLS.