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which he acts, must there be also confusion and inconsistency in his practice ?We know, my brethren, that the very contrary is the case.- We know that this man alone will be uniform and consistent in his course, while he who proceeds upon any other principles—much more simple as he may suppose them in the actions of to-morrow will contradict what he has done to-day.

We have to work out— not reason out our salvation :-and he who refuses to practise his duty until he fully understands the theory of it, will continue debating and demurring until the day of judgment comes with fearful explanation of his doubts.--Should a man refuse to eat bread (if I may be allowed a familiar illustration) until it were clearly explained to him in what manner bread can become flesh and blood, so as to conduce to the nourishment and increase of our bodieshe would starve before he ate his next meal.--Why, then, should he be more fastidious about receiving the bread of life ?- It will be time enough to doubt and hesitate when he finds it unwholesome.— It will be time enough to take offence at the difficulties of the Gospel when we find some practical inconsistencies existing in it.—But who has ever complained of these ?—Who that has been willing to take the Gospel for his guidehas failed to find it “ a lantern unto his feet, and a light unto his paths ?" I-Without doubt many difficulties and perplexities hang about Christianity.—The believer's course is beset by thorns and brambles on the right hand, and on the left.—But only those who wander feel them—for to him who is content to abide in the straight path, God has made plain the way.—The Bible was given us that we might act—not speculate--and its cry to those who open it is, “ Do God's will, and you shall understand his doctrine.”

And looking round about upon them all, he said, “ Stretch forth thy hand.” Some such invitation is now once more addressed to us all : and the eye of the

up

same Lord is upon us.—He has permitted one more summons to be sounded in

your ears, my brethren, and he is watching to mark its effect. It is his word which has been spoken—"Stretch forth thy hand -exert the powers that are in you-dried

and withered as you may feel them to be—and as they certainly are, till quickened by my grace—yet strive to exert them for the purpose of coming unto me your Saviour-and I will stretch forth that hand whose touch has raised the dead, and ye shall be enabled to arise, and follow me in the way.”

Do not hesitate, my brethren, do not begin to cavil, and ask “Why am I commanded to walk, who am told that I have not strength to stand upright.” But look at once to him who calls you, and obey. Form a resolution at this moment to serve God to the utmost of your power.-Follow that resolution instantly with a prayer, that He who puts into our hearts good desires, would enable you to bring this one to good effect. And be assured that you will find all your members whole

will fail in your

all your faculties alive and active. Nor is there any fear that you course, so long as you rely upon the same arm to support you in it. Peter when walk, ing on the waters to meet his Lord-seeing the waves boisterous was afraid—and therefore he began to sink. But why should he have feared ?-When he descended the sides of the ship and trod out upon the billows, the first step that he took overcame a physical impossibilityand the same power which had enabled him to do that, would have supported him in safety throughout. —And so it is with us, my brethren—If we have obeyed God's commandments at all, we have done that which our own natural strength could not accomplish.—How we have done it, we shall never be able to explain with any distinctness—.But neither is the explanation demanded of us.—We may be certain that he who has begun a good work in us, will continue it,-if we continue to pray " that he would prevent us in all our doings with his most gracious favour, and further us with his continual help

240 THE CHRISTIAN PARADOX EXEMPLIFIED.

that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in him, we may glorify His holy name—so as finally by his mercy to obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord ?."

i Coll. in Commun. Service.

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