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but the most wonderful and astonishing. Nor is it surprising to find that, on the day of Pentecost, the devout strangers at Jerusalem, assembled out of every nation under heaven, on hearing the apostles "speak in their own tongues the wonderful works of God," should have been struck with inexpressible amazement. Compare with this miraculous gift the power supposed by some in our days to be of the same order, the power of uttering sounds which no man understands, and which no man can prove to be a language, or to have any signification; and you will feel shocked and horrified that the one should ever have been thought to resemble the other. The capacity of speaking a language which has never been learned is a gift stamped evidently with a miraculous impress, and no man in his senses can fail to discern it. To utter sounds which are altogether unintelligible is as obviously within the natural powers not only of men, but of children and idiots, and of many of the irrational animals; and were it not that the very claim to miraculous gifts is fitted to overawe the mind, those who were imposed on by such pretensions would seem more fit to be inmates of bedlam than members of a christian church.

I shall add only a single remark in reference to the modern pretenders to the gift of tongues. It is this: That even if it were conceded that there was a gift the same as that conferred in the apostolic age, the manner in which they exercise it would involve a gross and palpable violation of an apostolic injunction; for, as might have been expected in a society in which "all things were to be done for the use of edifying," those who had the power of speaking in an unknown tongue are peremptorily enjoined to keep silence if there is no interpreter.

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On the whole, then, let us rejoice that the miracles of scripture are so unequivocal and undoubted-not to be confounded either with the tricks of the impostor or the fooleries of the fanatic. "What is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord." Let us rejoice that the evidences of our holy religion form an impregnable bulwark, so that the more carefully we inspect them, the more will we discern clearly their strength and splendour. Let us rest assured, that if ever miraculous gifts and operations are restored, they will so far resemble those which accompanied the introduction of christianity, as to bear the evident seal of heaven-as to indicate distinctly "the finger of God." Meanwhile, to that word which has been triumphantly demonstrated to be the word of God, let "us take heed as to a light shining in a dark place, till the day dawn and the day-star arise in our hearts." Let us select it as "a lamp to our feet and a light to our path." Let us be continually consulting it with a devout and docile spirit and thus we shall be preserved effectually from all serious errors both in opinion and conduct. "Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not."

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My friends, were an individual to appear among us possessed of miraculous powers, we should all regard him with sentiments of admiration, perhaps of envy. And if you yourselves possessed such powers; could speak with tongues which you had never learned; if, with a word, you could heal diseases the most obstinate, or control the elements of nature,-you would probably regard yourselves as the special favourites of heaven, elevated far above all the philosophers and orators, the heroes and statesmen of the earth. Like Simon Magus, some of you, to obtain such powers,

would probably be willing to give silver and gold. Let me remind you, my friends, that these powers, splendid and astonishing as they seem, useful in some respects as they might prove, are comparatively worthless. They are only like wealth, or strength, or beauty, or intellectual powers and acquirements; they have no necessary connexion with moral qualities, or personal holiness; and consequently they have no necessary connexion with salvation. Let me show you, then, "a more excellent way." Sincere love to God and man is far better than the power to speak with tongues or to heal diseases; and he who is destitute of that love, whatever other gifts or attainments he may possess, is nothing in the divine estimation. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

The miraculous gifts of the Spirit are not now to be expected; but in his more valuable, his sanctifying operations, he is to continue with the church alway, even to the end of the world. Let me remind you, my friends, that "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;" and that "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Let me entreat you, then, to seek his gracious principles and attainments, which are intrinsically far superior to miraculous gifts, which are the sure tokens of accept


ance with God, and the infallible prognostics of eternal glory. Seek that "faith which substantiates things hoped for, and convinces of things not seen ;" and which is the instrument of justification, of sanctification, and of religious comfort and joy. Seek that hope which enters into the place within the vail,-which is the sure and stedfast anchor of the soul, amid the agitations and tempests of time; and which is purifying as well as gladdening in its operations. Seek, above all, that love which is more comprehensive and valuable than even faith and hope,-which tends more than they do to assimilate men to God,-which is the end of the commandment, and the sum of the law, and which will subsist in undecaying strength and beauty when faith has given place to perception, and hope to enjoyment. Finally, abound in all the "fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against which there is no law." "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."



1 CORINTHIANS XV. 57.-But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Or the multifarious sorrows which embitter human life, few are more severe than those occasioned by the bereavements of death. When one whom nature or friendship had endeared to our affections is removed from the land of the living, the wound which his death inflicts on the heart, is felt as the partial extinction of our own life; and the stroke that severs us, seems to effect the disruption of all those ties which connect us with the present world. The sun may shine as radiantly as before; the earth may again smile under the genial influences of heaven; nature may pursue her wonted course, and the affairs of the world proceed as formerly; but of what avail is all that to us? We can no longer share our joys with those who have hitherto given relish to our pleasures, and interest to our pursuits. Our earthly hopes are withered; our purposes are blasted, because the path of our future life seems to lead through a bleak and desolate wilderness.

If such be the agonising emotions which the death of a much loved relative will excite even in our breasts, how peculiarly dreadful would be such a calamity to a person unacquainted with revealed religion? It would

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