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check the exertions of any one who is seeking to serve God from any motive which Scripture holds out. In truth, we often do find that the fear of the Lord," which is “ the beginning of wisdom,” leads to the love of Him, which is the perfection of it. If our love to God were perfectly pure, and abiding,-fear would be at an end, for “ perfect love casteth out fear.” In this state we believe the “ redeemed" will be hereafter,--and they should therefore be seeking to make approaches to it here. Now this does not require any neglect of the proper business of life; but it requires that such business should be conducted upon Christian principles, and regulated by Christian moderation. The earthly happiness of a man who believes that God is his master, will be greatly increased by his constant attendance to the rules by which God requires him to live.
But though a man's feelings are not to be taken as a measure of his spiritual state,—yet, as the Gospel contains not only “ rules” to guide us, but also “ promises” of consolation to cheer us, we may reasonably look for such consolation when we are seeking to serve the Lord :--and these consolations may be expected to arise from the consideration of the Gospel of Christ as a scheme full of mercy for the purpose of procuring the everlasting salvation of man. This is seen in nearly every argument used in the New Testament to lead us to the love and service of God, and sets our obedience in its true light, a willing service, a service of gratitude for mercies received.
The law of God was given for man's guidance; but the law requires perfect obedience: no man hath wholly kept that law-kept it in thought, word, and deed. If man had been innocent, like our first parents before the fall, he might have dwelt for ever in Paradise in the presence of God, and he would have delighted in the service of God. But man does not now, by nature, delight in the service of God. But if all men have- sinned against the law, who shall be saved ? When a man
Remarks on the Letters, 8c. 225 once, in earnest, asks this question, then will he rejoice in knowing that there is an answer to it in the Gospel. There is full and free pardon wrought out for every offender, who comes to Christ in true repentance, and seeks to rest his hopes of salvation on His merits. We must therefore understand what is the object of the Law, and what that of the Gospel.
Now here, perhaps, an antinomian will take his stand, and say, “ Then I need not endeavour to keep the Law, because I have found pardon in the Gospel." The Scriptures, on the contrary, hold a totally different language, - saying, “Thy sins are forgiven thee,"“ go and sin no more.” They lead us to contemplate the mercy of God and the sufferings of Christ as motives for the profoundest thankfulness,--teaching us that “we are bought with a price,"—and that from this consideration we are to be servants of Christ, and that we are to serve him from a sense of mercies received, “ to love him because he first loved us." Now, as in heaven there will be the presence of God, and of his saints and angels,—to be happy amongst these we surely ought to seek to acquire such dispositions as may make us suitable companions for them. The more, therefore, of this “ meetness" there be, the more exalted may we hope that our happiness will be hereafter. This state of preparation it should be a Christian's desire to aim at; and the Scriptures teach us to seek the constant aid of God's Holy Spirit to bring us to this state of preparation; and we are taught in our Catechism, that it is the Spirit which does prepare the Christian for glory_" which sanctifies him, and all the elect people of God." This aid of the Spirit is promised to every one who earnestly seeks it. Every approach to godliness,-every increase of desire to serve God, is the gift of that Spirit. However gradual the work may be, still the work is his; and every advance in the right way will be an encouragement to proceed. The work of pardon is complete through Christ our Redeemer ; but the work of the
Spirit is progressive--it should be going on, and ina creasing within us, during the whole course of our journey from the trials of this world, to the everlasting happiness of the next.
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THE STAGE COACH COMPANION. Not very long ago, the stage coach in which I was travelling stopped to take up a passenger who was going to B- , a large manufacturing town, about twelve miles before us. Our new companion appeared to belong to the middle rank of life; he was a quiet, easy, cheerful looking person, and had a sort of prosperous look about him, as if he was doing well in the world, and was well satisfied with his condition. He was quite ready to enter into conversation, and in deed seemed disposed to begin it. Politics make a good introduction; and, as the “ Reform Bill” is the great subject of the present day, he began by saying that the town in which he lived, and where he was born, would, if the bill should pass, send members to parliament. I suppose, said I, the people are much pleased with the thoughts of it. “ Yes," he replied; de but I tell them that reform will do them no good unless they reform themselves. They think that many of the taxes will be taken off; but I tell them that the expenses of the country must be paid, and that their troubles do not come upon them from the government, but from themselves :-why, Sir, there is hardly a workman in that great town that might not live in every comfort if he pleased ;--but when they have brought themselves to distress by their own folly, then they murmur and grumble against the government.". I
I said, “ I think your town is very quiet at present.” **or. ' ." yes,” said he, “ they have plenty of work now,
The Stage Coach Companion. 227 enough on their hands to last them for two years, and so they don't much disturb themselves about politics at this time ; but, when trade gets slack again, then they'll rail as if this was the fault of the government.”
“ But,” said I, “ they should lay by something now, against the time when trade takes a bad turn, for no government can help such changes.”
" Why, Sir, that's what I tell them :—but these people will spend what they earn as fast as they get it, and then they wonder that they are in trouble. I say to some of them, you talk of taxes; why, you tax yourselves,--you drink twice as much as you need do ; take that expense off, and you will be a rich man : government can never help you, I am sure of that.", ; 2" But surely,” said I, “ all the workmen are not so foolish.”
" The greater part of them are,” said he.“ Some few of them do save money; and see the difference, I was one of these workmen, Sir, myself, and I took care of my money when I got it; I spent none at the alehouse, or the gin-shop; I threw none of it away foolishly, and I was, in time, able to get into business for myself: and now, Sir, I live in as comfortable a house as any man need have, and I have all that I want. Look, Sir, at these good houses on the roadside, now we are coming near to B- Why, I remember the time when Mr. G. that lives there, was a workman here in this town: and see, Sir, what an estate he bought. Why, there is the great Mr. B. that has the fine white house and plantations; and I remember him coming to this town with nothing to depend on but his industry and care: and I remem ber Mr. C.'s father being a poor apprentice to a work, ing man, and he now has a house and a park.”. Wings 046 But,” said I, “we must not expect every indus. trious man to be able to raise himself to such a station as Mr. B. or Mr. C. or Mr. G.”
"No, Sir," said my companion," neither is it desirable ; but almost all might be in a state of comfort, if they added care, and thought, and prudence, and soberness, to their industry. And it is certainly a very curious fact, that nearly all the gentlemen that live in the good houses about us have been in business in this town, and that they have been, in their youth, quiet, sober, industrious people ; whilst those who are poor, even in their old age, are those who have taken no pains to keep themselves out of difficulties by good management, but have always had a disposition to throw the blame of bad times on their masters, or on the government, or any where else, but on themselves. I always found, Sir, that if I was disposed to be careful and industrious, there was always an opportunity of doing well in this country, whoever was the minister:-and that if I had been idle, and extravagant, and thoughtless, I never could have done well under any government. I never plagued myself about politics, Sir ;--but still I am not against reform :whatever is wrong I should like to see set right; but I wish every working man in England to feel, what I have experienced myself, that his prosperity depends much more upon himself than upon the government; and if he expects that any government can make an idle fellow prosperous, or a drunkard rich, he is altogether mistaken.”
I said that his remarks had much truth in them, but · that there were some men who, with all their exertions,
and with all their care, were still not prosperous; that it was nevertheless our duty to be diligent in business, and certainly that it was a great crime to waste our substance among profligate companions, where nothing but profane and loose conversation was heard ;-that God would not bless this; that His blessing was the first thing needful, and that he might afflict those with adversity whom prosperity might tempt to be worldlyminded, and to act as if this world were their all.
My companion nodded assent to this, but it seemed a language which was somewhat new to him, and I had begun to suspect that a worldly spirit was upper