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the son of her womb? Yea, she may forget, yet will I not forget thee!' How full and inexpressible the meaning of this unequalled passage! The love of a mother, which is stronger than death, may fail, yet more deep and permanent is the love of God. Can human language portray in more affecting words the benevolence of our heavenly Father, than those in which the scriptures have set it forth? If such then be the character of the law-giver what must be that of the law? But further. Let us examine the disposition of that exalted messenger, who took this law of love from the throne of the Eternal, and brought it down to earth. How mild, how affectionate! Look at him as he weeps at the grave of his friend, with the sorrowful sisters. See him mourning over ungrateful Jerusalem. Behold him sitting at supper in close communion with his simple followers, while the head of the beloved disciple is reclining upon his bosom. Listen to him as he prays for his enemies during those last dreadful sufferings which they are inflicting upon him. Hear him commending his mother to the disciple, in these memorable words, 'behold thy mother ;'-' behold thy son.' And here let us ask, why it was, that, with such undoubting confidence, Jesus committed his parent to the care of his follower? Why was he the beloved disciple? Because his master had looked into his heart, and found there the deep fountain of pure and gentle love; a love which corresponded with his own. Again. What are the terms of the very law itself, which he gave us, and, in many ways, so beautifully illustrated? We
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find them in those divine precepts, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' 'Love your enemies.' By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.'
We have but glanced at the character of God; we have but briefly noticed the disposition and teaching of Jesus. Enough, however, has been said to illustrate the position, that the law of love constitutes our religion. We hardly need refer to the epistolary writings. The same truth is every thing with the learned Paul, and the ardent Peter. Where then ought to lie the shame and reproach of that hatred, that spirit of exclusiveness, and that passion for ecclesiastical power, with which infidelity has so often seen fit to taunt the christian professor? The true answer is obvious; not with Christianity, but with the abusers of it. The reproach cannot be fastened on the religion itself, for that, so far from countenancing, condemns the evils complained of, while it breathes throughout the spirit of forbearance, deference, and love. This spirit is as pure and beneficent, as that of God and Heaven. Exclusiveness, with its associated evils, must stand apart from it, working out its own earthly designs, and ultimately, its own destruction. In its violence it would think to drown the voice of our heavenly Father, who is constantly caring for all his children; but above its clamor and the noise of its warring, sounds a clear though still small voice'-' Little children, love one another;' and this will, some day, prevail. God's word shall not return to him void. K. X. C.
WHAT WAS THE CHIEF END OF OUR SAVIOUR'S DIVINE MISSION?
Most of the answers that have been given to this question involve the false principle that there was some external obstacle in the way of human salvation, which our Lord was sent to remove. Now all such answers as imply this, all that refer to the guilt and penalty of a remote ancestor, to the machinations of a personal devil, to the nature of divine justice, divine wrath, divine law, and the like; all, in a word, that recognise any extrinsic difficulty, anything out of man himself, to prevent his acceptance with God, we deem incorrect. The truth is, there is not, and there never has been, any obstacle in the way of our salvation, but the evil within us, to wit, sin. Accordingly, the chief end of Christ's mission was to deliver us from this, and to induce us to substitute holiness in its place. He came to save us, not by canceling the effects of Adam's transgression, nor by purchasing our release from any outward foe, but by showing us how to save ourselves in abstaining from vice and practising virtue. He came to make us do our own duty, not to perform that duty for us; to induce us to obey the law, not to answer the claims of that law himself; to prompt us to personal obedience, not to put his obedience in the room of our own; to quench the fire of bad passion burning within ourselves, not that of God's anger; to enthrone the principles of justice in human breasts, not to satisfy the divine justice;
to win us to our heavenly Father, who is, and always was, ready to pardon the returning sinner, not to alter the mind of Deity, by paying him an equivalent for man's transgression. He came, in fine, to destroy the kingdom of hell within us, and to establish there the kingdom of heaven, by giving us a religion replete with directions, motives, and all needed assistances, whereby we might subdue the power of sin, eradicate false sentiments, be filled with the love of God, of man, and of duty, and thus be put in the way of working out our eternal salvation.
OBEDIENCE THE TEST OF DISCIPLESHIP.
JESUS Christ appeared on earth as a preacher of truth and righteousness. He professed to be the Messiah, predicted by the Hebrew prophets, and expected by the Jewish nation. In proof of his divine mission, he lived a sinless life; proclaimed the everlasting gospel; foretold future events; wrought the most stupendous miracles; and was declared to be the son of God by a voice from heaven. Multitudes were attracted by the spotless purity, the interesting instructions, the sublime eloquence, and the mighty works of this heavenly messenger. Many of the listening crowd were convinced of the divinity of his mission. They attentively heard his inspired communications. They
joyfully embraced his merciful offers of salvation. They openly professed themselves his disciples. And they convincingly proved the sincerity of their profession, by their willing, habitual obedience to his authority. Others of the multitude attended upon his preaching with equal punctuality. They admitted the truths of his doctrines. They professed to believe in his Messiahship. They unhesitatingly called him Lord and Master. But they gave no proper evidence of their discipleship. They performed not the duties which he commanded. They forsook not the sins which he condemned. Their practice was at variance with their profession. This glaring inconsistency our Saviour keenly rebuked in these words; Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Is not this rebuke equally applicable to some persons of the present period? Are there not many who call themselves Christians, and still live in the habitual neglect of the divine commands?
Is there not one class who may justly be denominated worldly Christians? Christians whose ruling passion is temporal aggrandizement; who seek primarily the promotion of their temporal interests, and act prevailingly from temporal motives? If so, they do not conform to the principles of Christ Jesus. For he did not command his disciples to love themselves supremely, and this world as themselves. He did not direct them to seek first the kingdom of earth, with its pleasures and riches and honors. Neither did he encourage such conduct by his example. He did not seek his