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Having a connection with the doctrines and practice of Holiness.

[These Maxims, and also some of the chapters in the preceding part of the Work, have already appeared in the guide to Christian Perfection.]

Think much and pray much and let your words be few, and uttered with seriousness and deliberation, as in God's presence. And yet regard may be had to times and seasons. We may innocently act the child with children, which in the presence of grown persons would have the appearance of thoughtlessness and levity. And may perhaps at times express our gratitude to God and our holy joys, with an increased degree of freedom and vivacity, especially in the company of those who bear the same image, and who know what it is to rejoice in the Holy Ghost.

Be silent when blamed and reproached unjustly, and under such circumstances that the reproachful and injurious person will be likely, from the influence of his own reflections, to discover his error and wrong speedily. Listen not to the suggestions of nature, which would prompt a hasty reply; but receive the injurious treatment with humility and calmness; and He, in whose name you thus suffer, will reward you with inward consolation, while He sends the sharp arrow of conviction into the heart of your adversary.

In whatever you are called upon to do, endeavor to maintain a calm, collected, and prayerful state of mind. Self-recollection is of great importance. "It is good for a man to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." He, who is in what may be called a spiritual hurry, or rather who runs without having evidence of being spiritually sent, makes haste to no purpose.

Seek holiness rather than consolation. Not that consolation is to be despised, or thought lightly of; but solid and permanent consolation is the result rather than the forerunner of holiness: therefore he, who seeks consolation as a distinct and independent object, will miss it. Seek and possess holiness, and consolation, (not perhaps often in the form of ecstatic and rapturous joys, but rather of solid and delightful peace,) will follow as assuredly, as warmth follows the dispensation of the rays of the sun. HE WHO IS HOLY MUST BE HAPPY.

Be not disheartened because the eye of the world is constantly and earnestly fixed upon you, to detect your errors and to rejoice in your halting. But rather regard this state of things, trying as it may be, as one of the safeguards, which a kind Father has placed around you to keep alive in your own bosoms an antagonist spirit of watchfulness, and to prevent those very mistakes and transgressions, which your enemies eagerly anticipate.

Do not think it strange, when troubles and persecutions come upon you. Rather receive them quietly and thankfully, as coming from a Father's hand. Yea, happy are ye, if, in the exercise of faith, you can look above the earthly instrumentality, above the selfishness and malice of men, to him who has permitted them for your good. Thus persecuted they the Savior and the prophets.

"Be ye angry and sin not." The life of our Savior, as well as the precepts of the apostles, clearly teaches us, that there may be occasions, on which we may have feelings of displeasure, and even of anger, without sin. Sin does not necessarily attach to anger, considered in its nature, but in its degree. Nevertheless, anger seldom exists in fact, without becoming in its measurement inordinate and excessive. Hence it is important to watch against it, lest we be led into transgression.' Make it a rule, therefore, never to give any outward expressions to angry feelings, (a course which will operate as a powerful check upon their excessive action,) until you have made them the subject of reflection and prayer. And thus you may hope to be kept.

True peace of mind does not depend, as some seem to suppose, on the external incidents of riches and poverty, of health and sickness, of friendship and enmities. It has no necessary dependence upon society or seclusion; upon dwelling in cities or in the desert; upon the possession of temporal power, or a condition of temporal insignificance and weakness. "The kingdom of God is within you." Let the heart be right, let it be fully united with the will of God, and we shall be entirely contented with those circumstances, in which Providence has seen fit to place us, however unpropitious they may be in a worldly point of view. He, who gains the victory over himself, gains the victory over all his enemies.

Some persons think of obedience as if it were nothing else, and could be nothing else, than servitude. And it must be admitted, that
constrained obedience is so. He, who obeys by compulsion and not freely, wears a chain upon his spirit, which continually frets and torments, while it confines him. But this is not Christian obedience. To obey with the whole heart, in other words to obey as Christ would have us, is essentially the same as to be perfectly resigned to the will of God; having no will but His. And he must have strange notions of the interior and purified life, who supposes, that the obedience, which revolves constantly and joyfully within the limits of the Divine Will, partakes of the nature of servitude. On the contrary, true obedience, that which has its seat in the affections, and which flows out like the gushing of water, may be said, in a very important sense, to possess not only the nature, but the very essence of freedom.

A sanctified state of heart does not require to be sustained by any mere forms of bodily excitation. It gets above the dominion, at least in a very considerable degree, of the nerves and the senses. It seeks an atmosphere of calmness, of thought, of holy meditation.

Our spiritual strength will be nearly in proportion to the absence of self-dependence and self-confidence. When we are weak in ourselves, we shall not fail, if we apply to the right source for help, to be found strong in the Lord. Madame Guyon, speaking of certain temptations to which she had been exposed, says, "I then comprehended what power a soul has, which is entirely annihilated." This is strong language; but when it is properly understood, it conveys important truth. When we sink in ourselves, we rise in God. When we have no strength in ourselves, we have divine power in Him, who can subdue all his adversaries. "The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."

In proportion as the heart becomes sanctified, there is a diminished tendency to enthusiasm and fanaticism, And this is undoubtedly one of the leading tests of sanctification. One of the marks of an enthusiastic and fanatical state of mind, is a fiery and unrestrained impetuosity of feeling; a rushing on, sometimes very blindly, as if the world were in danger, or as if the great Creator were not at the helm. It is not only feeling without a good degree of judgment, but, what is the corrupting and fatal trait, it is feeling without a due degree of confidence in God. True holiness reflects the image of God in this respect as well as in others, that it is calm, thoughtful, deliberate, immutable. And how can it be otherwise, since, rejecting its own wisdom and strength, it incorporates into itself the wisdom and strength of the Almighty.

The hidden life, which God imparts to his accepted people, may flourish in solitudes and deserts; far from the societies of men and the din and disturbance of cities. From the cave of the hermit, from the cell of the solitary recluse, the fervent prayer has often arisen, which has been acceptable in the sight of God. But it would be a strange and fatal misconception, that religion, even in its most pure and triumphant exaltations, can flourish no where else. The home of holiness is in the heart, irrespective of outward situations and alliances; and therefore we may expect to find it, if there are hearts adapted to its reception and growth, in the haunts of business as well as in the silence of retirement; in the palaces of Rome, as well as in the deserts of the Thebais. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that we cannot be holy except on the condition of a situation and circumstances in life such as shall suit ourselves. It is one of the first principles of holiness to leave our times and our places, our going out and our coming in, our wasted and our goodly heritage entirely with the Lord. Here,O Lord, hast thou placed us, and we will glorify thee here.

In the agitations of the present life, beset and perplexed as we are with troubles, how natural it is to seek earnestly some place of rest. And hence it is that we so often reveal our cares and perplexities to our fellow-men, and seek comfort and support from that source. But the sanctified soul, having experienced the uncertainties of all human aids, turns instinctively to the great God. And hiding itself in the presence and protection of the divine existence, it reposes there, as in a strong tower which no enemies can conquer, and as on an everlasting rock which no floods can wash away. It knows the instructive import of that sublime exclamation of the Psalmist, (Ps. lxii. 5.) "My soul, wait thou ONLY upon God; for my expectation is from him."

Speak not often of your own actions, nor even, when it can be properly avoided, make allusion to yourself, as an agent in transactions which are calculated to attract notice. We do not suppose, as some may be inclined to do, that frequent speaking of our actions is necessarily a proof, although it may furnish a presumption, of inordinate self-love or vanity; but it cannot be denied that by such a course, we expose ourselves to temptations and dangers in that direction. It is much safer, and is certainly much more profitable, to speak of what has been done for us and wrought in us,— to speak, for instance, of ourselves as the recipients of the goodness of God, than to speak of what we have ourselves done. But even here, also, although it may often be an imperative duty, there is need of deliberation and caution.

There are many persons, who would willingly be Christians, and eminent Christians too, if Christianity were limited to great occasions. For such occasions they call forth whatever pious and devotional resources they have, or seem to have, and not only place them in the best light, but inspire them, for the time being, with the greatest possible efficiency. But on smaller occasions, in the every day occurrences and events of life, the religious principle is in a state of dormancy; giving no signs of effective vitality and movement. The life of such persons is not like that of the sun, equable, constant, diffusive, and beneficent, though attracting but little notice; but like the eruptive and glaring blaze of volcanoes, which comes forth at remote periods, in company with great thunderings and shakings of the earth; and yet the heart of the people is not made glad by it. Such religion is vain; and its possessors know not what manner of spirit they are of.

Out of death springs life. We must die naturally, in order that we may live spiritually. The beautiful flowers spring up from dead seeds; and from the death of those evil principles, that spread so diffusively and darkly over the natural heart, springs up the beauty of a new life, the quiet but ravishing bloom of Holiness.

A strong faith has the power to make a virtual and present reality of those things which are in fact future. Be it so that we have not the thing itself in the literal sense of the term; that we have not heaven; that we have not the visible presence of Christ; that we have not those things, whatsoever they may be, which constitute the glory and blessedness of the future world. But it is certain that in the Bible we have the promise of them; we have the title deed, the bond, the mortgage, most solemnly made out and delivered to us. All these things are, therefore, ours, if we fully believe in the promise; and they can all be made, in the exercise of entire faith, a virtual and present reality. A man reckons his notes, bonds, and bills, which are the certificates and confirmations of absent possessions, as so much property, as actual money, although it is only virtually and by faith realized to be such. He counts himself as truly and really owning the property, in amount and kind, which the face of his papers, of his notes and bonds, represents. And yet he has nothing in hand but his papers, and his faith in the individuals, who have signed them. How much more then should we have faith in our title deeds, in our bonds and testaments, which are written in the blood of the Son of God, are confirmed by the oath of the Father, and are witnessed by the Holy Ghost! And how much more should we, having such deeds and bonds, and such immutable confirmations of them, count God ours, and Christ and the Holy Spirit ours, and eternal glory ours!

It is an excellent saying of the celebrated Fenelon, "It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect." It would be well for those, who aim at Christian perfection, to remember this. Surrounded by those who constantly exhibit defects of character and conduct, if we yield to a complaining and impatient spirit, we shall mar our own peace, without having the satisfaction of benefitting others. When the mind is in a right position, absorbed in God and truly dead to the world, it will not be troubled by these things. Or if it be otherwise, and we are in fact afflicted, it will be for others and not for ourselves; and we shall be more disposed to pity than to complain.

Prayer without faith is vain. A pious English writer, one who lived as far back as the days of the Puritans, and who uses various homely but instructive illustrations after the manner of those times, calls prayer the "BUCKET of the soul, by which it draws water out of the wells of salvation. But without Faith, you may let down this bucket again and again, and never bring up one drop of solid comfort." [Symond's Sight and Faith printed in 1651.] It is Faith, which fills the bucket. And accordingly, if our faith be weak, we shall find but poor and famishing returns. A full bucket depends on the condition of a strong faith.

One of the most important requisites of a holy life is PATIENCE. And by this, we do not mean merely a meek and quiet temper, when one is personally assaulted and injured; but a like meekness and quietness of temper in relation to the moral and religious progress of the world. We may be deeply afflicted in view of the desolations of Zion; but let us ever remember and rejoice, that the cause of truth and holiness is lodged safely in the hands of God. With him a thousand years are as one day. And in the darkest moments, when Satan seems to be let loose with ten-fold fury, let us thank God and take courage, because the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.

It may sometimes be practically important to make a distinction between a renunciation of the world and a renunciation of ourselves. A man may in a certain sense, and to a certain extent, renounce the world, and yet may find himself greatly disappointed in his anticipations of spiritual improvement and benefit. He has indeed renounced the world, as it presents itself to us in its externalities; he has renounced its outward attractions; its perverted and idle shows. He may have carried his renouncement so far as to seclude himself entirely from society, and to spend his days in some solitary desert. But it avails nothing, or almost nothing, because there is not at the same time an internal renunciation; a crucifixion and renunciation of self. A mere crucifixion of the outward world will still leave a vitality and luxuriance of the selfish principle; but a crucifixion of self necessarily involves the crucifixion, in the scripture sense, of every thing else.

It is one among the pious and valuable maxims, which are ascribed. to Francis de Sales; "A judicious silence is always better than truth spoken without charity." The very undertaking to instruct or censure others, implies an assumption of intellectual or moral superiority. It cannot be expected, therefore, that the attempt will be well received, unless it is tempered with a heavenly spirit. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not CHARITY, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."

We may be deprived of outward consolations and still have consolations of heart. But this is not all. We may be deprived in the sovereignty of God, and for wise purposes, of inward consolations also; and may be left for a time in a state of mental barrenness and desolation. And yet faith, precious faith, discouraging as this state of things may seem, may still remain; and not feebly merely, but in the strength and fulness of its exercise. It is still our delightful privilege to say of God, that He is
our God, our Father, our Friend and Portion. "Blessed is the man, that trusteth in the Lord."

No man ever arrived at Christian perfection, no man ever can arrive at that ennobling state, who walks by sight rather than by faith, of whom it cannot be said, as of the father of the faithful, " he went out,
not knowing whither he went." Perhaps we may say, it is the highest attainment of the soul, (certainly it is the foundation of the highest or perfect state in all other Christian attainments,) that of entire and unwavering confidence in God. O, God, we are thine; forever thine. We will not let Thee go, until Thou bless us. And when Thou dost bless us, still we will not let Thee go. For without Thee, even blessing would be turned into cursing. — Therefore will we ever trust in Thee.

Always make it a rule to do every thing, which it is proper and a duty to do, in the best manner and to the best of your ability. An imperfect execution of a thing, where we might have done better, is not only unprofitable, but it is a
vicious execution; or in other words, is morally wrong. He, who aims at perfection in great things, but is willing to be imperfect in little things, will find himself essentially an imperfect man. The perfection of the greater will be no compensation, and no excuse for the imperfection of the less. Such a person wants the essential principle of universal obedience. Consider well, therefore, what God in his Providence would have you perform; and if you feel the spirit of those directions, which require us to do all things as unto God rather than unto men, you will not do them with a false heart or a feeble hand. And thus in small things, as well as in great, in those which are unseen as well as in those which attract notice, it shall be said. of you, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

A fixed, inflexible will is a great assistance in a holy life. Satan will suggest a thousand reasons, why we should yield a little to the temptations by which we are surrounded; but let us ever stand fast in our purpose. A good degree of decision and tenacity of purpose is of great importance in the ordinary affairs of life. How much more so in the things of religion! He, who is easily shaken, will find the way of holiness difficult; perhaps impracticable. A double-minded man, he, who has no fixedness of purpose, no energy of will, is "unstable in all his ways." Ye, who walk in the narrow way, let your resolution be unalterable. Think of the blessed Savior. "My God, my God, why hast
Thou forsaken me?" Though he was momentarily forsaken, at least so far as to be left to anguish inconceivable and unutterable, his heart nevertheless was fixed, and he could still say, "My God, my God."

We may pray with the intellect, without praying with the heart; but we cannot pray with the heart without praying with the intellect. Such are the laws of the mind, that there can be no such thing as praying without a knowledge of the thing we pray for. Let the heart be full, wholly given up to the pursuit of the object; but let your perception of the object be distinct and clear. This will be found honorable to God and beneficial to the soul.

Many persons think they are seeking holiness, when they are in fact seeking the "loaves and fishes." To be holy is to be like Christ, who, as the Captain of our salvation, was made perfect
through suffering. We must be willing to bear the Cross, if we would wear the crown. In seeking holiness, therefore, let us think little of joy, but much of purity; little of ourselves, but much of God; little of our own wills, but much of the Divine will. We will choose the deepest poverty and affliction with the will of God, rather than all earthly goods and prosperities without it. It is God we seek, and not happiness. If we have God, He will not fail to take care of us. If we abide in Him, even a residence in hell could not harm us. "As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God."

Thou hast contended with Satan, and hast been successful. Thou hast fought with him and he has fled from thee. But, O, remember his artifices. Do not indulge the belief that his nature is changed. True, indeed, he is now very complacent, and is, perhaps, singing thee some siren song; but he was never more a devil than he is now. He now assaults thee,
by not assaulting thee, and knows that he shall conquer, when THOU FALLEST ASLEEP.

The value of a thing is known by what it takes to pre­serve it, as well as by what it originally cost. Men may steal your diamonds, who would not trouble things of less worth. The cost of holiness was the blood of the Son of God; and greatly does he mistake, who supposes it can be preserved by anything short of ETERNAL VIGILANCE.

If earthly plants are permitted to spring up in the heart, how is it possible that the tree of holiness should flourish? With the ground already occupied with earthly products, the roots of sanctification, deprived of the nourishment, which should sustain them, necessarily wither and die. There is not nutriment enough to sustain both. Hence it is that our Savior, in his divine wisdom, tells us of those who are choked with the riches, and cares, and pleasures of this life, "and BRING NO FRUIT TO PERFECTION."

The power of Satan is great. And it is his appropriate business continually to assault the saints of God. If, then, in some unhappy and evil moment, (by thine own fault be it remembered,) he gains an advantage, lament over it deeply, but do not be discouraged. Remember if the great enemy gets from thee thy
resolution, thy fixed purpose, he gets all. To be defeated is not to be wholly destroyed. But on the contrary, he, and he only, hath victory written upon his forehead, who, in the moment of his severest overthrow, hath still the heart to say, "with the Lord helping me, I WILL TRY AGAIN."

It seems to have been the doctrine of some advocates of Christian perfection, especially some pious Catholics of former times, that the various propensities and affections and particularly the bodily appetites, ought to be entirely eradicated. But this doctrine, when carried to its full extent, is one of the artifices of Satan, by which the cause of holiness has been greatly injured. It is more difficult to regulate the natural principles, than to destroy them; and there is no doubt that the more difficult duty in this case, is the scriptural one. We are not required to eradicate our natural propensities and affections, but to
purify them. We are not required to cease to be men, but merely to become holy men.

It is of the nature of holiness to unite with whatever is like itself. It flies on eagle's wings to meet its own image. Accordingly the soul, so long as it is stained with sin, has an affinity with what is sinful. But when it is purified from iniquity, it ascends boldly upward and rests, by the impulse of its own being, in the bosom of its God. The element of separation is taken away; and a union, strong as the universe and lasting as eternity, necessarily takes place.
"He, that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit." — 1 Cor. vi. 17.

It is sometimes the case, that those, who are seeking sanctification, anticipate results which are more accordant with human wisdom, than with the ways of divine Providence. They say, "make me clean, and I shall have UNDERSTANDING. Sanctify me, and I shall be made STRONG. Such anticipations, which show that the heart is not yet delivered from its worldliness, are not confirmed, in the sense in which they now exist in the mind, by their subsequent experience. When sanctified, as they are thoroughly emptied of self, they have neither wisdom nor strength of their own. They know not what to do, nor how to do it. They abhor the idea of placing confidence in themselves, and find they must apply to the Savior for every thing. They derive all from him. In the language of scripture, he is made to them "wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; that, according as it is written, HE THAT GLORIETH LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD.

It is a melancholy fact, that the religion of many persons is not constantly operative, but it is manifested periodically, or at some particular times. It is assumed, for instance, on the Sabbath, but is laid aside on the shelf during the week days. But true holiness, be it remembered, is not a thing to be worn for occasions; to be put off or put on, with an easy accommodation to circumstances or to one's private convenience. It takes too deep root in the heart to be so easily disposed of as such a course would imply. It is meat, with which we are fed; clothing, with which we are clothed; the interior and permanent principle of life, which animates and sustains the whole man.

The remark is somewhere made, and very correctly, that
"it is a great loss to lose an affliction." Certain it is, that afflictions have great power in purifying the mind. And if it be true that mental purification, in other words, holiness, is a result of all others the most desirable, we may properly attach a great value to whatever tends to this result. Prosperities flatter us with the hope that our rest is here; but afflictions lead our thoughts to an other and better land. "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth; and scourgeth every son that he receiveth."

It is a striking remark, ascribed to St. Augustine, that
prayer is the measure of love. A remark which implies, that those, who love much, will pray much: and that those, who pray much, will love much. This remark is not more scripturally than philosophically true. It is the nature of love to lead the person who exercises this passion, as it were, out of himself. His heart is continually attracted towards the beloved object. He naturally and necessarily exercises, in connection with the object of love, the communion of the affections. And this, it will be readily seen, viz. the communion of the affections, is the essential characteristic; and perhaps it may be said, the essence and sum of prayer. In acceptable prayer the soul goes forth to God in various acts of adoration, supplication, and thanksgiving; all of which imply feelings of trust and confidence, and particularly love to him, who is the object of prayer. Accordingly he, who loves much, cannot help praying much. And on the other hand, when the streams of holy communion with God fail in any considerable degree, it is a sure sign that there is a shallowness and drought in that fountain of love, from which they have their source.

The divine life, which in every stage of its existence depends upon the presence of the Spirit of God, places a high estimate on mental tranquillity. It is no new thing to remark that the Holy Spirit has no congeniality with, and no pleasure in the soul, where strife and clamor have taken possession. If, therefore, we would have the Holy Spirit with us always, we must avoid and flee, with all the intensity of our being, all inordinate coveting, all envying, malice, and evil speaking, all impatience, jealousy, and anger. Of such a heart, and such only, which is calm as well as pure, partaking something of the self-collected and sublime tranquillity of the divine mind, can it be said, in the truest and highest sense, that it is a TEMPLE FITTED FOR THE INDWELLING oF THE HOLY GHOST.

Where there is true Christian perfection, there is always great humility; a Christian grace which it is difficult to define, but which implies at least a quiet and subdued, a meek and forbearing spirit. Whatever may be our supposed gifts and graces, whatever may be our internal pleasures and raptures, they are far from furnishing evidence of completeness of Christian character without humility. It is this grace, which perhaps more than any other, imparts a beauty and attractiveness to the religious life; and which, while it is blessed with the favor and approbation of God, has the additional efficacy of disarming, in a considerable degree, even the hostility of unholy men. It has the appearance of a contradiction in terms, but is nevertheless true, that he, who walks in humility, walks in power.

It is, perhaps, a common idea, that humility implies weakness; and that lowliness of spirit is the same thing with spiritual imbecility. But this certainly is not a correct view. Christian humility, it is true, has nothing in itself; but it has much in God. In a word, it is the renunciation of our own wisdom, that we may receive wisdom from above; the negation and banishment of our own strength, that we may possess divine strength; the rejection of our own righteousness, that we may receive the righteousness of Christ. How, then, can it possibly be weak and imbecile, while it merely casts off the broken shield of earth, that it may put on the bright panoply of heaven?

In vain does the man attempt to see, whose sight is obscured by the cataract, or by some other equally ruinous disease. Nor is he less blind, over whose spiritual eye sin has drawn its opaque scales and films. Hence it is said in scripture, "The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." But break off and purge away the spiritual cataract, and the power of vision will return. In proportion as the eye of the soul is purified from the perplexity of earthly corruptions, does Christ become the true light of the mind; and the beauty of the divine character begins from that moment to unveil itself in all its wonderful perfection. "BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD."

Pray earnestly for sanctification. Let this be the desire of your heart from morning till evening, and from evening till morning. On this subject keep the soul resolutely fixed. Take no denial. Refuse to be comforted, till you are blessed. But, nevertheless, be careful, that you impose no conditions upon God. Say not, thou must do it in this way or in that. Remember, He is a sovereign; and that you are nothing. Sometimes He comes and turns out the evil legions of the heart with observation and with a triumphant shout. But not unfrequently He is mighty in his silence, and smites and destroys his enemies by an agency so mysterious and secret, that it seems to be alike unseen and unheard.

When on a certain occasion the pious Fenelon, after having experienced much trouble and persecution from his opposers, was advised by some one to take greater precautions against the artifices and evil designs of men, he made answer in the true spirit of a Christian, MORIAMUR IN SIMPLICIATE NOSTRA,
"let us die in our simplicity." He, that is wholly in Christ, has a oneness and purity of purpose, altogether inconsistent with those tricks and subterfuges, which are so common among men. He walks in broad day. He goes forth in the light of conscious honesty. He is willing, that men and angels should read the very bottom of his heart. He has but one rule. His language is in the ordinary affairs of life, as well as in the duties of religion, "My Father, what wilt thou have me to do?" — This is christian simplicity; and happy, thrice happy is he, who possesses it.

If we wish to rise high in God, we must be willing to sink low in ourselves. It may seem like a contradiction in terms, but it is nevertheless true, that there is no elevation in true religion higher than that of profound humility. He, that would be the greatest, must become the least. He who is equal with God condescended to become man. And it was the beloved Son of the Most High, that washed the feet of the disciples.

It is not by the mere number of our words and actions, that we can most effectually serve the cause of God and glorify his name. It is the temper, in which they are done, rather than the mere multiplication of them, which gives them power. It was the remark of a good man, who had much experience as a minister of the gospel, that "
we mar the work of God by doing it in our own spirit."

Many persons seem to be more solicitous for
strong emotions than for right emotions. It would perhaps be a fair representation of their state to say the burden of their prayer is, that their souls might be like "the char­iots of Amminadib," or that, like Paul, they may be caught up into the third heavens. They seem desirous, perhaps almost unconsciously to themselves, to experience or to do some great as well as some good thing. Would it not be better for them in a more chastened and humble temper of mind, to make it the burden and emphasis of their supplication, that they may be meek, forbearing, and forgiving; that they may have a willingness to wash the disciples' feet, and have great love even for their enemies; in a word, that they may bear the image of Christ, who came not, with observation, but was "meek and lowly of heart?"

It is quite possible for a man to possess evidence of sanctification, who is temporarily destitute of joyful and rapturous emotions. But it is not possible for a man to possess such evidence, who is destitute of a living, operative, and effective conscience. On no part of our nature does sanctification work greater effects than on the conscience. It may be said to give to it an intensity and multiplicity of existence; so that like the flaming sword of the cherubims, it turns every way and guards the tree of life.

The man, who is troubled at great sins, particularly such as involve a degree of notoriety, but finds himself slightly affected and troubled in the commission of small or hidden ones, has but little claim to the grace of sanctification. One of the surest marks of sanctification is an increased sensitiveness to sin in all its degrees. The slightest sin is a source of unspeakable misery to the sanctified heart; and gives the soul no rest, till it is washed out in overflowing tears of penitence.

In a state of mere justification, it is often and perhaps generally the case, that it requires a great mental effort to turn our thoughts and affections from worldly objects, and to fix them strongly and firmly upon God. In a state of sanctification, it is the reverse of this. To a holy heart the difficult and painful effort is to turn away its thoughts and affections from the supreme object of its love and to fix them, even when duty authorizes it, upon objects of an inferior nature.

Persons sometimes miss of the blessing of sanctification by aiming at it, not being aware of the artifices of the adversary, in what may perhaps be called an unsanctified manner. We are not to desire sanctification, which is probably the case with some, merely because it is an elevated and. honorable state of soul, and in point of rank far above any other mortal condition, but because it is the only true and worthy consummation of our moral and religious existence, and especially because it is the will of our heavenly Father.

All persons, it is probable, are willing to be justified, because all are willing to be saved. But all are not willing to be sanctified, because all are not willing to renounce the pleasures of the world.

A spirit of entire obedience is one of the important characteristics of a sanctified state. Not obedience merely, but
entire obedience. He, who obeys in some things, but is fretful and rebellious in others, has not the reality; and it can hardly be said, that he has even the appearance of holiness.

He, that is united to God, loves solitude. But it is solitude in the relative rather than the absolute sense. True, he is secluded from men; but while he is shut out from the world, he is shut up in God; and in the absence of human society, has the far better society of the
Infinite Mind.

"Little love, little trust," says Archbishop Leighton. The converse of this is equally true. If there be but little trust, there will be but little love. If we believe the words of our heavenly Father with the whole heart, it will be certain that we shall love him with the whole heart.

Sanctification consists in LOVE rather than in KNOWLEDGE. Nevertheless, it is a great and delightful truth, that those, who love much, shall know much. They shall be led to the very heights of knowledge. Love shall bring light. The great God himself will be their teacher.

How pleasant, how delightful is a holy imagination! It instinctively refuses and throws away every thing that can defile. It is a sort of inner sanctuary; or perhaps we may call it the bridal chamber of the soul, fitted up and adorned with every thing pure in earth and beautitul in heaven. And God himself is the bright light thereof.

"Let not your heart be troubled." And in regard to those, who indulge the hope that they are sanctified in Christ Jesus, we may well inquire, why should their heart be troubled; Have they not a great protector? Must not the archers first hit Him, whom thy soul loveth, before they can hit thee? "What can harm thee," says archbishop Leighton, who spoke on these things from the fulness of his own pious spirit, "when all must first touch God, within whom thou hast enclosed thyself?"

It is a great art in the Christian life to LEARN TO BE SILENT. Under oppositions, rebukes, injuries, STILL BE SILENT. It is better to say nothing, than to say it in an excited or an angry manner, even if the occasion should seem to justify a degree of anger. By remaining silent, the mind is enabled to collect itself, and to call upon God in secret aspirations of prayer. And thus you will speak to the honor of your holy profession, as well as to the good of those who have injured you,
When you speak from God.

It is important to make a distinction between sorrow and impatience. We may feel sorrow without sin; but we can never feel impatience without sin. Impatience always involves a want of submission; and he, who is wanting in submission, even in the smallest degree, is not perfect before God.

We may lay it down as a principle in the religious life, that every thing is wrong, in regard to which we cannot ask the divine direction and blessing. When we sin, we wish, like our first parents, to hide ourselves from Him whom we have offended. But it is the nature of a pure heart, always to seek God. Its language is, in all the occurrences and duties of life, "My Father, what wilt
thou have me to do'f"

A Christian is prospectively a citizen of heaven; but actually, and at the present time, he is a citizen of the world. Remember this, and do not think so much of what is to be, as to forget what is. We have a great work in the present life, and in the precise situation where God has placed us. Angels glorify God in heaven; men must glorify him on the earth.

Many profess religion; many, we may charitably hope, possess religion; but few, very few, if we may judge from appearances, are aiming with all their powers at perfection in religion. Nevertheless, it is only upon this last class, that the Savior looks with unmingled approbation. In regard to all those, who aim at any thing short of bearing his full image, it may be said with truth, that he is wounded in the house of his friends.

If we would walk perfectly before God, we must endeavor to do common things, such as are of every day's occurrence, and of but small account in the eyes of the world, in a perfect manner. Some persons are so mentally constituted, that they could more easily undergo the sufferings of martyrdom, than properly regulate and control their feelings in their families during twenty-four hours. How dreadful is that delusion, which excuses itself in its imperfections, because, in the providence of God, it is not permitted to do or to suffer some great thing. Happy is he who can do God's will in the solitary place, and who can win the crown without going to the stake.

It is a most dangerous mistake to suppose that we can compensate, by exterior acts, however important they may be, for a want of interior devotion. Men may even minister at the altar, with all the outward eloquence of a Massillon, and yet with hearts full of unbelief. A want of a right or perfect state of the outward action may expose us to the condemnation of men; but an imperfection of the inward or spiritual action exposes us to the condemnation of God. If we can please both God and men, it is well; but above all things, let us not fail to please God, who, in opposition to the course which men usually take, regards the inward principle much more than the mere outward development of it.

If we fail on suitable occasions to declare what God has done for our souls, we shall be likely to offend our heavenly Father. But on the other hand, if we make such declarations; Satan will be likely to be present and tempt us to spiritual pride. Happy is the man, who can relate and extol God's gracious dealings with him with such meekness and humility, as to furnish no entrance to evil.

It will help us to ascertain whether we are truly humble, if we inquire whether we are free from the opposites of humility. The opposites of an humble state of mind, (or at least those things which sustain a divergent and antagonist relation,) are impatience, uneasiness, a feeling that something and perhaps much depends on ourselves, undue sensitiveness to the praise and reproofs of men, and censoriousness. No man should account himself truly humbled, who is the subject of these unhappy states of mind.

It is a great practical principle in the religious life, that
a state of suffering furnishes the test of love. When God is pleased to bestow his favors upon us, when his blessings are repeated every hour, how can we tell whether we love him for what he is, or for what he gives? But when in seasons of deep and varied afflictions, our heart still clings to him as our only hope and only joy, we may well say, "Thou knowest all things. Thou knowest that I love thee."

In believing in the possibility of present sanctification, and in combining with this belief the determination to attain to it, we realize in ourselves the possession of that shield of faith mentioned in the Scriptures, by means of which we are enabled to quench the fiery darts of the adversary. On the contrary, in rejecting this belief, and in acting in accordance with this rejection, we throw away our shield; and it is no more than reasonable to expect that we shall be pierced through and through with the enemy's weapons.

As a general thing it may be expected that all Christians will find themselves able to bear the GREAT CROSSES of life, because they come with observation; they attract notice by their very magnitude; and, by putting the soul on its guard, give it strength to meet them. But happy, thrice happy is he, who can bear the LITTLE CROSSES, which ever lie in wait, and which attack us secretly and without giving warning, like a thief In the night.

We are told in the Scriptures that all things are the Christian's. Heaven, Christ, God, things present and things to come,
all are his. But the possession in the present life is of a two-fold nature — sometimes by present Enjoyment and sometimes by faith. More commonly, and undoubtedly for wise reasons, the possession is by faith. But in the view of Him, whose life is hid with Christ, the possession is not on that account any the less sure.

In endeavoring to estimate the genuineness of our religious experiences, we should ever keep in mind that all those experiences, which are wrought by the Spirit of God, and are genuine in their character, tend decidedly and uniformly to personal HUMILITY. "Blessed are the pure in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." How can it be otherwise? The tendency of all true religion is to make God every thing, and ourselves comparatively nothing; to sink the creature, while it elevates and enthrones the Creator in the centre of the heart. "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

The height and sum of religion is to bear the image of Christ. But can those flatter themselves that they bear the Savior's image, who are overcome and are rendered impatient by every trifling incident of an adverse nature? Oh, remember that the life of Christ was from beginning to end a life of trouble. He was often misunderstood and ill treated by all classes; he was persecuted by the Pharisees; sold by the traitor whom he had chosen as one of his disciples; reviled by the thief on the cross; put to death. But he was far more desirous of the salvation and good of his enemies, than he was of personal exemption from their persecutions. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

There are various views of Christian perfection, which, on being analyzed, amount to the same thing; and when properly understood, may be regarded as all equally correct. The author of the Imitation of Christ, says it consists in man's offering up himself "with his whole heart to the will of God; never seeking his own will either in small or great respects, either in time or eternity; but with an equal mind weighing all things in the balance of the sanctuary;
and receiving both prosperity and adversity with continual thanksgiving."

Men bestow honor one upon another. Sometimes they build up, sometimes they pull down. But human opinions cannot alter the reality of things, by making it greater or less than it is. Every man is truly such and such only, AS HE IS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.

Some persons seem to be able to trust God in every thing, excepting in one particular, viz. those cases, where they think themselves called upon to resent and punish the injuries they may have received. But what is the language of Scripture! "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. It is said of Christ himself, Matt. xii. 19,

When I witness the erroneous estimate, which men often place on certain kinds of human knowledge, I am reminded of one of the remarkable sayings, which abound in the practical writings of St. Augustine, "Unhappy is he, who knows every thing else, and does not know God. Happy is he who knows God, though he should be ignorant of every thing else."

There are two classes of Christians; those who live chiefly by emotion, and those who live chiefly by faith. The first class, those who, live chiefly by emotion, remind one of ships, that move by the outward impulse of winds operating upon sails. They are often at a dead calm, often out of their course, and sometimes driven back. And it is only when the winds are fair and powerful that they move onward with rapidity. The other class, those who live chiefly by faith, remind one of the magnificent steamers which cross the Atlantic, which are moved by an interior and permanent principle, and which, setting at defiance all ordinary obstacles, advance steadily and swiftly to their destination, through calm and storm, through cloud and sunshine.

There are some heathen philosophers, such as Socrates, Cicero, and Seneca, that occasionally announce moral and religious truths of great value. Truths, which are susceptible of an interpretation, that will bring them into close harmony with the practical doctrines of Christianity. "The fewer things a man wants," said Socrates on a certain occasion, "the nearer he is to God."

A parent, who loves an obedient and affectionate child, will sometimes give him a picture book, a musical instrument, or some other thing, as a token of his confidence and love. But if the parent should find the child so much taken up with the picture book as to forget the parental commands, and to be getting into ways of disobedience, he will take it away. And thus God sometimes imparts especial spiritual consolations to his children; but if he finds them, as he sometimes does, more taken up with the joys he gives than they are with himself and his commands, he will remove them. And he does it in great mercy. It is certainly better to lose the gift, than to be deprived of the Giver; to lose our consolations than to lose our God.