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ful and joyous, must be evangelical ; it must be, both as regards substance and motive, such as God requires in His word. Several things may prompt men to endeavour to walk in the way of His precepts. Custom may prompt them. They have been trained from their earliest days to show a considerable amount of respect for the things which are just, true, lovely, and of good report. Conscience may prompt them. That inward monitor, when allowed to speak, never fails to plead the cause of Him who implanted it as his vicegerent in the human breast. A legal spirit may prompt them. By doing certain things they expect to secure eternal life, or they have a vague hope that they will at least contribute in some measure to its attainment. But in none of these cases will the will of God be done with delight. Such obedience will be either formal on the one hand, or a wearisomne and heartless task on the other. It is only as we comply with the divine precepts upon gospel
principles, that we shall find wisdom's ways to be those of pleasantness, and realize that in keeping of then there is great reward.
Reader! endeavour to cultivate such a spirit. Aspire after the mind of the Psalmnist, who declared, "I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” Thus only canst thou be regarded as belonging to the household of faith, and be spiritually related to Him who is the first-born among many brethren. "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Such alone are recognized by Him now, and none else will He acknowledge in the great day of His appearing.
“For one is your Master, even Christ; and
all ye are brethren.”—Matt. xxiii. 8.
The children of men, Brotherhood
however divided by lan
guage, social position, or of
mental endowments, form Brliroers. vast brotherhood. All are the workmanship of the same divine hand; all have emanated from the same original stock ; and all are partakers of the same common nature, with its diversified wants, feelings, sympathies, and aspirations.
When our country was agitated on the subject of slavery, a medal was struck on which a negro was represented with his chains around him, and with clasped hands, and imploring looks, he inquires “Am I not a man, and a brother ?” The manner in which we responded to that touching appeal, shewed that we recognized the claim in both of its branches. We acknowledg
ed him first as a man, and then we held out the right hand of fellowship to him as
a brother also. A brother deeply degraded, it is true, but still a brother. Although often treated like a brute, the tyrant's lash having made deep its furrows upon his lacerated frame, until the blood flowed in copious currents—yet still a brother. And not these sable bondsmen alone, but every kindred and tribe. God hath made of one blood all nations of men that dwell on the face of the earth, and towards all should the throbbings of tender compassion and generous philanthropy be felt.
But while the whole human family should be thus viewed as brethren, there is a class, separated from the rest, who are so in a sense far higher and holier, namely, the household of faith. Tó the former we are bound by natural, to the latter by spiritual ties; and while we should love all with the love of benevolence and good will, towards those with whom we are united in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, our love should be that of complacency and delight—a love resembling our heavenly Father's who taketh pleasure in His saints, and who rejoices over them with joy and singing
It is recorded of the early disciples of Christ that “they remembered his words." Well would it be for those who now bear His name ever to keep this saying in mind,—“And all ye are brethren." Differ concerning "the mint, and anise, and cumin,” we may; but surely any trifling diversities of judgment in reference to such points, which have little or no relation to 56 the weightier matters of the law,” should not be permitted to cool our affection, or operate as a barrier to united efforts in opposing the great enemy, and advancing the kingdom of our common Lord.
“Let our only rivalry,” to quote the striking language of a living writer, “ bo the holy one of who shall do most and succeed best in converting the