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eye traces them all;—are they inclined to rise to things above, or to be engrossed with the trifles of earth;— are they disposed to grasp at things which are true, or to luxuriate in listless indolence amid visions and fancies as wild and as empty as dreams.—What evidence do I perceive of a progress in character,—of an advancement in holiness of heart and of life, -of an increasing preparation for the solemn hour when my state of moral discipline shall close for ever. What reason have I to believe that I am at peace with God, and what are my hopes for a life which is to come. What fruit am I bringing forth to the glory of God, what conformity am I acquiring to the example of Jesus. Am I living to myself, or am I living to God; am I living for time, or am I living for eternity:
Let such questions as these be firmly and distinctly proposed, and let them be firmly and distinctly answered. From the moment that such an exercise becomes the calm and established habit of the mind, a new train of views and feelings will arise, to which it was formerly a stranger, and with a sense of astonishment that they were so little felt before. The disclosure, indeed, will be fraught with matter for deep humility and self-condemnation; but this is the healthy attitude of a soul as it seeks to return to God. A new existence now opens before its reviving powers, as it learns to rise above the influence of objects of sense,
as it learns habitually to feel the presence and the perfections of God,—and to value the rich provisions of his word, and the mighty power of prayer. At each step which it takes in this new life, indeed, it feels more deeply its want of a righteousness which is not in itself, and its need of a power which is not in man, to carry forward the great work of preparing the immortal being for a life that is to come. But the mind thus aroused to a sense of its moral necessities is met by the wondrous adaptations of the gospel of peace, and a voice from heaven hails the awakening spirit with the tidings of redemption.,
CONTEST AND THE ARMOUR.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood: but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,-against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness :— And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:- Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked:—And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:—Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance.”—EPHESIANS vi. 10–18.
The striking and comprehensive exhortation, contained in this passage, stands in a connection which gives it intense and peculiar interest. In the early part of the epistle, the inspired writer had laid before his Ephesian converts, a brief but luminous view of the