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from the presence of the Lord ? So uniformly does the “primal blessing" which God pronounced on the Sabbath ever accompany its proper observance, although it is not poured out in pentecostal fulness. On the other hand, is it not ever more or less true, that Sabbath profanation is not only a decisive proof of worthlessness and wickedness, but a prolific cause of wretchedness and woe? So invariably does the curse of God, more or less, follow the transgression of the law of the Sabbath. Have not the greatest criminals acknowledged this on the scaffold ? In this spirit, how beautifully and voluminously did a good and great man, of enlarged Christian experience and worldly knowledge, long since declare,

“ A Sabbath well spent brings a week of content,

And health for the toils of to-morrow;
But a Sabbath profan'd, whate'er may be gain'd,

Is the certain forerunner of sorrow."

In each of these respects, this is true, in a national as well as in a personal sense. For, while the holy observance of the Sabbath is one of the surest bulwarks of national strength, and one of the truest sources of national prosperity, the neglect of the Sabbath is the cause of the greatest national weakness, and the occasion of the deepest national misery. Agreeably

with this, when God said of the house of Israel of old, “my Sabbaths they greatly polluted,” he adds, by way of judicial punishment, “then, I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.”

In like manner, what Nehemiah said in his day is ever applicable to every kind of Sabbath profanation, whether great or small, “ what evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city ? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel, by profaning the Sabbath day ?” In short, how strikingly does the history of nations show that just as the Sabbath is well or ill kept by the majority of the people, so is their career either prosperous or adverse, progressive or retrogressive? What a clear demonstration have we of this in the moral and physical state of the continental nations of Europe, where the Sabbath is generally the chief day of amusement-a holiday in the worst sense of the terin? And yet, is it not surprising that it should be "proposed to introduce among ourselves the laxity of continental habits relative to the Sabbath,” by opening places of amusement and recreation blended with secular instruction; and that this should be mooted, “at the very time when

efforts are being made, on different parts of the continent, to remedy by greater stringency the monstrous evils of Sabbath desecration ?

Whether, then, we look at these reasons, singly or collectively, personally or nationally, should not professing believers, as inhabitants of a professedly Christian country like ours, but particularly as members of the Church, “not be conformed to this world” in any of its manifold forms of Sabbath profanation? In this, as in other respects, should there not exist the widest difference, apparently and really, between them and the men of the world? With you, my dear readers, who profess to be Christ's, is it so in this sense? If not, you can neither be called true practical non-conformists to the world, nor true Christians.

CHAPTER XI.

NON-CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD

AS TO THE MEANS OF GRACE.

“ If under means of grace,

No fruits of grace appear,
It is a dreadful case:

Though God may long forbear,
At length he'll strike the threaten'd blow,
And lay the barren fig tree low."

ALL true Christians must, likewise, “not be conformed to this world” in the neglect of the means of grace.

The carnal mind is “enmity" not only “to God," but to "the things of God;" not only to those things which are directly, but to those which are indirectly, connected with salvation; or not only to the blessings of salvation, but to the means by which these blessings are partaken of, partially at first, and progressively afterwards. These means, as is known to all, are just the means of grace of divine appointment ;—such as the reading of the word in our dwellings, and in the house of God; prayer in the closet and in the family, and also in private and in public; fellowship meetings for religious

purposes, and, otherwise, the communion of saints; as well as the preaching of the word in the church, and the dispensation of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. To one and all of these, there naturally exists in the human heart a greater or less degree of hostility; or when such a feeling is not naturally experienced, that arises not from any true natural love to these things in themselves, but from some other cause of a carnal or worldly kind. However, great as this enmity or hostility naturally is, it is slain, through the word and by the almighty power of the Holy Spirit, in all who are made“ new creatures in Christ Jesus."

And, although it does not altogether cease to exist so long as they are in the body, still, from time to time, it is more and more subdued; and that, just in proportion as these means are diligently attended to. In this way, increasing love to God and to the things of God is cherished, and a growing likeness to the divine image is attained, and a greater meetness for heaven. Yet, instead of being prized and improved as they should be, how much, in too many instances, are these means neglected, if not despised, by professing believers, as well as by others?

For example, does not the word of God, with which we are graciously favoured, contain a revelation of the divine will suited to our necessities

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