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he adds, "put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Or, as he says in another place, “ye are all the children of light and the children of the day; we are not of the night nor of darkness: Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober, for they that sleep sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breast-plate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation."* If, therefore, we would have the approaching day come as a blessing to us and not as a curse, let us prepare to meet it as we ought. Let us arm ourselves with armour suited to the occasion against the enemies of our souls. Let us ask repeatedly the question, “Watchman, what of the night, Watchman, what of the night?”+-What is our spiritual condition now? have we made in our mortal course? How far have we prepared ourselves to meet the dawn? Let us do nothing, say nothing, think notbing that we should be ashamed to own in the sight of heaven, and in the face of day. And let us be active, vigilant, and awake,-knowing that we have a mighty task before us to perform,-knowing that if we secure not now an interest in our * 1 Thess. V. 5,
+ Isaiah xxi. 11.
God, he will be to us a God of vengeance rather than of
And, lastly, let it be remembered that, though the atmosphere of human life-even to the best of men-be overcast with many clouds, though even a Paul could say, “we see now through a glass darkly,” yet to the true, and humble, and devoted Christian there is a light arising in darkness, a keen foretaste and anticipation of the coming day. He whose hope is rightly set on Christ, wanders not forsaken through the dreary wilderness of life. Already “the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Already to him “the Sun of Righteousness hath arisen with healing on his wings.” The day has not fully dawned ;-but he anticipates its coming, he sees it afar off— by that Christian hope which is indeed “an anchor of the soul both sure and stedfast,' by that Christian faith which gives him even now “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The day has not fully dawned ;—but, like one that riseth early, vigilant and watchful while others still are sleeping, he has caught some glimpses of the beams of the morning struggling over the distant hills; he hath watched its rising, and is prepared to meet it, while upon the careless slumberer it
Be it ours,
comes with sudden surprise! Be it ours, therefore, oh! be it ours thus to awake betimes and to prepare for the approaching day.
now in the time when Christ came to visit us with great humility,” to remember that he is coming soon to visit us “ with glory and with power. Let us awake from slumber, and, with heart and soul dedicated to God, set earnestly about the business, the great business of life that is before us. And then, though a judicial and impenetrable darkness overwhelm the rest of mankind, yet, as it was with the Israelites in Goshen, there will be light in the Christian's dwelling-a light which shall ever guide his steps and cheer his heart in this life-a light which shall expand into inconceivable and eternal glory in the life to come!
THE REALITY OF OUR CHRISTIAN HOPES AND PROSPECTS,
1 John i. Ist and part of 3rd verse. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life ;—that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.
In these words, and those which follow, the apostle laboured to overthrow a strange and fantastic doctrine which certain visionaries of his time had devised respecting the person and character of Christ; and in accomplishing this purpose, the object which he particularly aimed at in the text, was to show the prodigious power of those evidences, brought home as they were to their
very senses, their touch, their sight, their hearing-by which the disciples knew the reality, not only of the existence of their Lord, but of all the promises also and truths of his gospel. The same consideration requires frequently to be brought before the notice of Christians of every age. The spirit of religion, which refers to the future and the invisible world, has often fearful struggles to maintain with the seductions of the present, and the things of sense. Many deluded beings, indeed, there have been who, in the abject degradation of vice, or in subservience to a cold philosophy which would materialize, as it were, all the best aspirations of the heart, have been even content to confine the whole of their prospects and their hopes to the dark and contracted sphere to which the mere operations of sense belong. But even the best of Christians,– not for want of evidence on God's part, but from infirmity on his own,-requires often to be reminded how entirely and intrinsically real are the treasures and the satisfactions of the gospel. That, though the things of this world may often, for a while, rivet themselves with a firmer and keener impressiveness on his mind, or play round the heart with a more vivid and present fascination, yet that the things of the spiritual world are not less essentially substantial, but rather infinitely