blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, to have been taken up into glory, and therefore to attribute essential sin to the flesh, would be, to be guilty of the blasphemy of attributing sin essentially to the blessed Saviour. “ Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” “Be not” he adds in the 33rd verse,

“Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners." False spirituality therefore is another of those leavening principles, of the evil of which we are forewarned, that it will eat as a gangrene, to the destruction of the corruptive part of the kingdom of heaven. Closely connected with that false spirituality, the scriptures also present to us, the form of Godliness without its power, as being another thing that is to prevail to the destruction of the condition of the kingdon of heaven. The apostle tells us in the 3rd chapter of the 2nd epistle to Timothy, verses 1 to 5 “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Now from this last verse we learn, that the persons spoken of here were not apparently irreligious men, that is, they professed to be good men, and they had that mark upon them, they had the “form of godliness" but they had not its power; and further we are told, that “of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with


divers lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Oh, what a mark of those that have a form of godliness and deny its power. They have not the same opinion for any length of time : of one speculative opinion to-day, attached to another party tomorrow, adopting a third the next, and never coming to a settled knowledge of the truth, although they are ever learning. They are not persons uninterested in religious questions, but they are uninterested in questions of true holiness. They can dispute very much about the form of godliness, how much grace may be given in baptism, or how little may be given in baptism, whether we have Christ at the Lord's table, or only the Holy Spirit at the Lord's table, whether we have an apostolic succession or whether we have not, whether the church be an infallible church, or whether it be one that may lead us astray. Interested in dark questions they are, yet they have nothing but the form of godliness, for they are not occupied with that better thing that will keep them from evil doing. They may have all these questions earnestly debated amongst them, yet fall into this destructive error that men should be lovers of their ownselves. The power of the christian religion is to make us lovers of our neighbours; the power of formal godliness is to make men lovers of their own selves, covetous because their hearts are set upon the world, boasters, because they know not that they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked — proud, because they have not learned of Him who was meek and lowly in heart-blasphemers, that is not blasphemers of God but evil speakers of others -disobedient to parents-unthankful and unholy. Forgetting that religion is not something separate from our nature, but something that purifies our nature, they are with

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out natural affection. Forgetting that he that is to stand upon God's holy hill is he that sweareth to his own heart and changeth not, they are truce-breakers. Forgetful that we should not speak evil of another upon insufficient evidence, they are false accusers. They are unable to restrain themselves, they are fierce, or as the word more properly means, ungentle, not lovers of them that are good, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. We may sum up therefore this evil, of the form of religion without its power, we may sum it up in the separating of religion from our natural condition; in separating the power of religion from the mere looking at it as a speculative truth. In close connection with this, we have false teachers. The apostle Peter in the 2nd chapter of the 2nd epistle, directs us to look back to the history of Israel, if we would learn the prospects of the Christian church, he tells us there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, “who privily should bring in damnable heresies,

, even denying the Lord that bought them.” And these false teachers were to have many who would follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth should be evil spoken of. The prophet of old had to say “Mine heart is broken because of the prophets,” and another could not find one to stand with him as a brother, but was compelled to exclaim, “I only am left! They have thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword.” Here we have the Spirit of God warning us that the same thing was to overspread Christendom, there were to be false prophets with their abominable doctrines. And indeed we have had it most fearfully fulfilled in the kingdom of heaven. Who have been the great corrupters of Christian truth? The anointed priests of

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the apostolic succession, those who could prove that they were in the church, and show their ordination, these have been the great upholders, the great teachers of error, the great corrupters of the souls of men, as we find in the 12th chapter of the Book of Revelation, it is foretold that the “sting of Satan's poison ” was to “draw down the third part of the stars of heaven,” that is the ministers of the Gospel, and to cast them to the earth. Therefore the apostle Paul taught by the same Spirit as was St. Peter, says in the 13th verse of the 3rd chapter of the 2nd epistle to Timothy, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

Another form of this same corrupt leaven will be seen in the rejection of the true teachers by men heaping up to themselves false teachers. The Apostle in the 4th chapter and the 3rd verse of this same epistle goes on to say, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

There are two other evil principles which are foretold as being to work like leaven until the whole mass should be corrupted, the one the love of money, the other the love of the world. In the 6th chapter of the First Epistle to Timothy, at the 9th and three following verses, the apostle says, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some

oveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” Let us go through the various parts of the Church of Christ, let us ask ourselves how many are there to be found who are not wishing to be rich ? How many are there whom we could in the judgment of charity free from the love of money? How many are there who do not worship that golden image which the God of this world has set up? How many are there who shake their hands from holding of bribes ? How many are there in whose hands are not found the wages of the oppressed hireling? How many are there who are not desirous of laying out their money to the best advantage, even though they get things at such a price as will not remunerate their neighbours ? forgetting the old proverb of our common humanity, “Live and let live ?” How many are there who can free themselves from the necessity of this admonition, " the love of money is the root of all evil ?”

In the second chapter of the First Epistle of St. John we have this doctrine extended from the mere love of money to the love of the world itself. St. John says in the 15th, 16th and 17th verses, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." It is the supremacy of love, of which the Scripture here speaks. Have any of us ever felt a supreme love for another individual? Have we ever felt the omnipresence of that love, how it subordinates to it every other thing? Then we have felt that which the

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