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ever, look upon his reward as certainbecause he knew that though his Lord would never fail him, he might be wanting to himself." Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended-but this one thing I do-forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus '."
And cannot we be "thus minded ?"Cannot we be followers of him in this respect also?-By the assistance of the Holy Spirit, perhaps we have turned in sincerity and truth to him "who came into the world to save sinners","—with a firm conviction that of those who thus turn to him, he will cast none out-and the consequences of our repentance probably have been quietness and peacebecause for the past we have obtained reconciliation.-But we need not suppose that this gives us security for the future. -We need not count that we have
1 1 Phil. iii. 13, 14.
21 Tim. i. 15.
already attained—that our crown is assigned to us so immutably and irreversibly, that we may speak confidently of it. We need not look upon ourselves as competitors no longer, but rather as spectators of the race, who are authorized to remit all exertion ourselvesand to sit as judges on the efforts and progress of others.-We may reject all such vain imaginations-such proud swelling thoughts as these, and imitate the humble diligence, and vigilant self-government of Paul.-" Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall1."Yes!-let him take good heed-for there lies a stumbling-block in his way, which it will require all his caution to avoid.That stumbling-block is pride.-Pride of a nature as offensive to God-as destructive of the true Christian character, as any that swells the heart of the most carnal worldling.-The doctrine of assurance may be a popular one to teachas it undoubtedly is one flattering to the
11 Cor. x. 12.
vanity and indolence of those who receive it but is it one which St. Paul would countenance ?-My brethren, the Epistle from which the text is taken, was addressed to Christians, of whose progress and attainments the Apostle entertained so high an opinion, that from first to last, it contains no word of reproof or complaint,-throughout it is encouraging and congratulatory.-Yet it is to those approved disciples that the memorable sentence is written-" Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling '.'
In his diffidence, therefore, and selfdistrust, as one other point within our reach, let us be followers of St. Paul, and of those who walk so as they have him for an example;—and while we are endeavouring to graft these, as well as his many other eminent virtues into our own lives, let us act in all things like men whose thoughts and conversation are in heaven-and who are expecting from
1 Phil. ii. 12.
thence the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. -The hour of his appearance knoweth no man. When he does come, may he find us all diligent and active in the works of our calling-may he find us with our loins girded up, and our lamps burning, like faithful servants, who watch, that when their Lord knocketh they may open unto him.
THE FORM AND POWER OF GODLINESS.
2 TIMOTHY iii. 5.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.
THERE are few subjects more frequently pressed upon the attention of Christian congregations, than that which is sug gested by the words I have now read to you. In the writings of the Apostles it holds a prominent place, and down to the present moment, the cry of God's ministers has ever been, "Rend your hearts, and not your garments;”—“ Turn unto the Lord your God,"-not by any specious assumption of outward decency,