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member to have heard, but lately, at a public meeting in the country, a gentleman make an observation on this subject. “I have many children said he, but I would rather that they should go into the world without wealth, without acquirements, with accomplishments, than that they should be ignorant of this one thing, the value of the soul.”
This was a Christian parent's wish; he would rather have his child see his own corruption, and pray for God's grace, than possess all other things beside—no display of talent or attraction, or manner, nothing that could promise rank or wealth, could stand in competition with their praying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Should not then the hand of those that know the gospel's inestimable value find this to do? to make it recommendable to their children, their friends, their connexions, to expound it to the whole world—to send the light of the truth of the gospel to every land. This our hands should do this we should do with all our might. There is no time to be lost, because no time is to be accounted certain, however, many presume on the future and neglect the present-thus we miscalculate. Now alone is the accepted time; now only is the day to seek the salvation either of others or of ourselves-to bring the saving health of God's grace not only before our friends and relations, but before all nations. For all nations, equally with all individuals, stand in need of it, and God who in his wisdom and his
mercy found the only remedy, has in his expansive benevolence destined that the whole earth should be filled with his glory.
I feel it unnecessary to remind you, that an interesting portion of our life has just endedanother year has begun-look back-have we lived as accountable and immortal creatures ? Have we been seeking pardon from God, and perfection in holiness ? if not, it has been passed to little purpose—the year has been a blank at least-no, it has all its guilt and criminality marked in the book of God. Have we been concerned about our own souls and those of others? If not, let us now “seek the Lord while he may be found;" let us now seek to “ make our calling and election sure;” and may that gracious Spirit,“from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed,” impress with saving efficacy on our minds, the words of the text—" Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might;—for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the gravewhither thou goest.
Romans i. 17.
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Taat faith is the rock upon which Christ hath built his Church ; that it is the principle upon which man is to rest his hope of salvation, we all profess to believe.
It is not, therefore, necessary, that I should occupy your time by enumerating the various proofs which serve to shew, that the doctrine of our Church in this respect, as in all others, coincides with the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures. It will be, I trust, more serviceable to us all to consider attentively what that faith is upon which so great things rest; and what propriety there is in so highly estimating its importance. The first we can, of course, learn only by an humble examination of the Scriptures; and the second we may be assisted in comprehending by a consideration of our nature and condition,
“ Faith is,” as the Apostle declares, substance,” or rather the substantializer, “ of things hoped for, the evidence,” (or that which produces a conviction) “of things not seen. To dilate a little—the sublime brevity of the definition, we may say, that faith is that principle within us, by which the hopes and evidences which would otherwise be vague and shadowy, become permanent and substantial.
Upon the word which is translated in our Bibles,
les,“ substance," I have one remark to make before I proceed. According to the philosophy of the ancients, “every body” consisted of what they termed a substance and its accidents. By “ accidents,” they understood those qualities which are cognizable by our senses, and by “substance,” that unknown principle in which the accidents inhered. For instance, when they examined any “body," they were competent by their senses to perceive a certain form, and colour, and weight, and various other qualities, and these they termed “accidents,” not imagining that they constituted the “ body,” but that they were properties belonging to it. Beside these, they concluded that there was some existence which their senses were incapable of discerning, and which had the power to keep together the various
properties which they noticed, giving them, as it