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prays that his "

grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works."

I have been led to make these reflections, my brethren, by a passage in the second lesson, which exhibits a physical difficulty somewhat analogous to that contained in the moral question. looking round about upon them all—he said, Stretch forth thy hand."—Now to whom was this command addressed !Why, to one who was physically incapable of obeying it-to one whose limb was withered or dried up. And yet he did obey-he did stretch forth this dead limb, and it was restored whole as the other.--Again, at the pool of Bethesda, Christ said, “Take up thy bed, and walk ?." And to whom?- To one who had been lying on the brink of the pool year after year, because he had not even sufficient strength when the waters were troubled, just to cast himself in.

· Coll. for 17th Sunday after Trinity.

? John v. 8.

And yet he did arise, and took up his bed, and departed unto his house. How then was this ?-Simply because he who gave the command, gave also the power to obey it.

Here therefore comes the question, and the difficulty.

Were these men, after all, merely and entirely passive instruments in the hands of Christ and are we to carry the same analogy into morals, and say that the hearts of men are in the hands of God, as clay in the hands of the potter, shapeless till he mould them, and then assuming once and for ever, that form which he wills them to bear !No--but we assert that Christ was the sole restorer of these helpless cripples--and yet that they themselves were not quite passive.-We hold that the sovereignty of God over the will and affections of man, is as complete and absolute as over the rest of the universe, and yet in some way or other it is so exercised, as to leave him free will enough to constitute him a morally accountable being.

With regard to the two miracles of healing, the matter is sufficiently clear.No doubt the sufferers co-operated with Christ by a belief in his power to heal them, and by a consequent inclination to obey his command. This kind of faith in him, you will remember, my brethren, was generally required by our Lord, in persons who came to be relieved by him.

-“ Believest thou that I can do this?" was the question commonly put-and then “ according to their faith?” it was done unto them. When the commands “Stretch forth thine hand”—“Take up thy bed, and walk,” were given, had the persons addressed begun to reason about the matter and said, “This man is mocking me. How am I able to stretch forth my hand, it is withered up ;-How can I take up my bed, who have not strength to stand ;" --their infirmities no doubt would have remained upon them, because of their unbelief. But they had the will, the disposition to obey—and to that was immediately added the power.

· Matt. ix. 28, 29.

And up to a certain point this may serve to illustrate the moral question. Our God, we know, is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. There exists not in the breast of any one among us, even a desire to please him, but it is observed by him immediatelyand like the lenient father in the parable, he goes forth to meet us, and offers us grace to carry our godly resolutions into effect. Thus far the parallel holds good, but no farther. The Christian moralist goes on to say, that even for this desire to please God-even for this inclination to exert his palsied faculties in the service for which they were granted--the service of his Maker-he is indebted, not to his own heart, but to the Spirit of grace working within him. ture plainly teaches that “every good and perfect gift cometh from above." And what says our Church? Hear our tenth article." The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his

1 James i. 17.

The Scripown natural strength and good works to faith, and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ, preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will." And after this can we assert that man is so far a free agent as to be fairly considered an accountable being—and to be judged according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good--or whether they be evil ?-Yes, we do--because the Scriptures assert it also :and we believe that God will be found true, though every man be made a liar that God will be wise, though in order to establish his wisdom, all the wisdom of the world must be acknowledged to be foolishness.

But how do we reconcile the manifest self-contradiction of the two propositions ? How is it that we make God the author of all that is good in man-and yet talk of punishing him for the evil, and rewarding him for the good, as if both the

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