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hovah, and his independence on creatures, in the affairs of his church, as well as in the world. The work of our dear friend was done, or the Lord would not have permitted the grave to open so soon for his reception. By this providence we learn the importance of a religious education. The instructions received when young, seemed, by the divine blessing; to be the foundation of that exemplary and useful life of our deceased friend. By his removal, God speaks to ministers; especially to those who are young. It says, ' Work while it is called "Today; make full proof of your ministry; be faithful unto death. Who can tell how soon he may be called to give an account of his stewardship?
"Let all learn from this Memoir the power of real religion. This changed the heart, regulated the conduct, guided the steps, and fired the breast of our dear friend ; yes, this cheered the dark chamber of Affliction, and opened to his view the unutterable joys of the heavenly world, which enabled him to say, ' For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!
AN ADDRESS TO BELIEVERS.
Including an Illustration of Phil. ii. 16, 17,
It is generally admitted by critics, that these words should be translated imperatively, ' Shine ye as lights in the worldi, holding forth the word of life;' and that the original contains an allusion to light - houses, placed on a dangerous coast, to guide in safety those ships which may be passing by in a dark and storiny night* If this criticism. be just, the. allusion is beautiful, and the passage peculiarly instructive. If volumes were written to explain and enforce Christian conduct, it could not be more effectually done than by a serious consideration of this interesting passage. Here, then, I would briefly shew what kind of religion that is which answers to the description before us.
1. It we would shine as lights in the world, our religion must be visible. A light-house is always placed on some commanding eminence, from whence it may be seen and the reflectors, from which the light is thrown, are at the top of the building. If, therefore, we comply with this exhortation, our religion inust be visible. I am not here giving the signal of advance to the Pharisee and the hypocrite, who have no religion but
* l'ide Doddridge in loc..
friends at none are bers of the sweet 1. retire,
what is seen;- nothe only influence of their light is like that of the marshy vapour, to beguile and to destroy: I am addressing those whose hearts God has changed by his grace; but who are too timid, in the face of the world, to avow the change; -- who are endeavouring, if possible, to steal secretly to Heaven. We are not so uncharitable as to suppose that none are the friends of Christ but those who sit down with us at his table; that none are members of the invisible church but those who are members of the visible church: - no; among the crowd who, when the sweet Reinem brance of redeeming love is about to be exhibited, retire, as if they had no interest, no hope in Christ, there may be many a child of God turning his back upon his Father's Table, and acting as if he wished to forget Emmanuel. Are there not many who, while God is pushing forward to public notice another trophy of his grace, are, through the influence of a sinful fear and shame, endeavouring to keep it a secret ? They love spiritual conversation, but are too timid to support it; they love the society of the righteous, but are afraid or ashamed to be seen with them ; they yearn for the salvation of their relatives, but are backward to seek it, lest it should discover the state of their own minds. Thus they are maintaining a constant struggle with God to hide that sacred fame, which ought to blaze before others. Is this
shining as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life?" Surely not. To comply with this exhortation, there must be a decision of character, - a public avowal of faith in Christ. What! and can you bear the thought of being ranked among the enemies of God? If you were, by any article of your dress, or any part of your manners, mistaken for a robber, a traitor, or a murderer, would you be content to lie under the liateful imputation? Would you take no pains to wipe off the disgraceful stain from your character ? Surely you would. Can you then be happy while you are inistaken for a stranger or an enemy to God? Recollect, the grace of God was given you, not merely to save your own soul, but to be instrumental in saving others. If you are ashamed or afraid to stand forward and declare what God has done for your soul, how can you read without terror Matt. x. 32-40?
2. That our religion may answer this exhortation, it is 11cm cessary that it be exemplary and eminent. Whether the allusion to a light-house be just or not, this quality of holiness is indispensable ; for nothing can shine which has not a brilliancy superior to that of the objects which surround it. If your public profession consists in nothing but abstaining from acts of immorality, it will never shine; for many of those, wliose awful darkness it is your duty to enlighten, have as much religion as this. You are called 'to a decided separation from the world, to a peculiar elevation of moral sentiment, --to
blaze, the meridda must that religi mot only have
an eminent degree of spirituality of mind and conversation, - to a remarkable purity and benevolence of heart. The path of a Christian is not compared to the faint twinklings of the inidnight star, nor to the pale beams of the moon; but to the dazzling blaze, the meridian splendor of the great orb of day. Of what an elevated kind must that religion be, which comes up to such a description as this! We must not only have faith, but strong faith; not a spark, but a fame of holy love; not a drop, but rivers of repentance. Like Barnabas, we must be "-full of the Holy Ghost ;' like the believing Corinthians, we must be full of all goodness;' like Dorcas, full of good works. We must use all diligence; and add to our faith vire. tue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. "These things must be in us, and abound. The fruits of the Spirit * ought to hang upon our conduct, like fruit on every bough. Our conduct must not be such as to leave others at a loss whether we are Christians or not; - our characters must not be problematical:-no; our piety must be unquestionable, self-evident, like the sun in the firmament, It must be heard dropping from the tongue, it must be seen reigning in the life!
3. Our religion to shine, must be displayed in the practice of those duties which are rare and uncommon; such as were re- ; flected with splendor from the conduct of Christ, when he dwelt among us, full of grace and truth! Too many forget that one of the peculiar glories of the Christian dispensation, is the perfect example of its Author. Oh, did we more steadily contemplate the Sun of Righteousness, as he shone, during his incarnation, upon this benighted world, we should, in our humble measure, shine more like him, -- the Light of the world. Perhaps, we are all deficient in this part of our duty; and, amidst the grandeur of his doctrines, lose sight too much of the beauty of his example, forgetting that the latter was designed to enforce the former. Ob, did our hearts feel his expansive, sacred benevolence, leading us to make any sacrifice, endure any privation, use any exertion, bear any fatigue, to do good to the bodies and souls of men, - how would our conduct shine in this selfish world! Philanthropy and benevolence are always admired, even where they are not imitated ; . and is there one trait of our Redeemer's conduct more conspicuous than this? Is it not the very genius of his gospel ? Does not Christianity remind us that God has made of one flesh all men that dwell upon the face of the earth? Does she not often carry us on her wings to an eminence, whence we may view the temporal and spiritual wants of mankind, and then drop us among these very miseries, to do all we can to alleviate them? Here, Christians, you may, you ought, to shine.. Let
* Gal. v. 22.
the world see that your chief desire to obtain wealth, is to en· able you to do good. A selfish, contracted believer, is Chris
tianity in eclipse; or a light-house, whose reflectors' are rusted, and whose laips are nearly extinguished. Particularly avoid a worldly, money-loving temper. On no rocks, in the dangerous sea of human life, have there been more awful wrecks than on these! And will you, instead of warning men off from such a coast, drive on the fatal shore, and allure them to. fol. low you? I do not wish you to relax the bounds of industrx: I plead not for indolence. God forbid! - for Christianity brands with an eternal stigma the man who neglects to provide for his houschøld. Industry is part of religion : but, at the same time, a Christian sliould always take care to prove, that he is not seeking wealth merely to be wealthy. It should be manifest that the world is his servant, not his master; that he does not regard it as the chicf object of his pursuit, nor the chief source of his happiness; that when he has wealth, he is always willing with chcerfulness to part with it at the call of God, of Religion, and of Humanity...
Meekness and forgiveness of injuries are also duties whichi are rare, and in which Christians have an opportunity of shining as lights in the world. To love our enemies, to bless those that curse us, to return good for evil, is the niost ele vated spot to which Christian morality can carry us: a spot in which, when a Christian has attained to it as the dwellingplace of his soul, he is regarded with admiration and esteem; and it is no apology for the want of this temper, that we are naturally irascible; for then there is a louder call to seek this forgiving disposition, as there is, in such a case, a finer opportunity for the triuitph of religion over the native corruptions bf our hearts. A constait attention to these duties would en
able us to shine as lights in the world.' . 4. If we would comply with this 'exhortation, we must be
careful to maintain Christian integrity, especially in those parts of our conduct which fall under the cognizance of irrelia gious persons. In the present state of the world, it is impossible to avoid intercourse with those who know nothing of true godliness. Before these, we must ever be scrupulously holy and exact in all our conduct. As a Christian, you judge of morality by religion ; - the men of the world judge of your religion by your morality. To this point i wish particularly to draw the attention of the Christian world. My remarks may seem trivial to some; but they will be found by every attentive mind to be of considerable importance. In all your deaings with the world, let there be a dignified generosity. Avoid every thing that has the serblance of meanness. Multitudes, who are altogether destitute of religious principle, are pat
- terns, in this respect, to many religious persons. - Such people may see no harm in swearing, drunkenness, or other vices,
while, at the same time, they abhor meanness and shabbiness 1, of conduct. Where can a man's religion be, when he can act in such a way towards an unrenewed person, as he must be ^ convinced will subject, not only himself, but all other professors of holiness, to reproach and contempt? Where can the
influence of his principles be gone, when a Christian, for the · sake of a few shillings, will set the swearer's tongue loose for
hours, and loose upon religion too? In all disputes with irre·ligious people, we ought to endure wrong, rather than, by
too tenaciously insisting upon our rights, excite prejudice against the gospel. Where the heart is full of enmity against God, it is astonishing what little things will fan the spark into a flame of rage. Such persons are always glad of an oppor
tunity to speak ill of a religion which they hate, and which : they make responsible for all that is done amiss by its profes.. sors. Avoid contracting unnecessary debts. The cause of Christ bleeds and groans with the wounds which have been given it by the bankruptcy of professed Christians, who have ruined themselves and others by their own negligence or ex
travagance. It is not for the honour of religion that a Chris. tian should be long in debt, and give a tradesman as much
trouble in collecting his money as overbalances the profits of his goods. All low cunning, or shufting in trade, is peculiarly i dishonourable to the Christian character., A sinplicity, trans
parency, generosity of conduct in all our dealings, particularly adorns religion. Here I must mention the necessity of being just and equitable in the distribution of property, by our last will and testament. Through an error here, perhaps an unin- tentional one, many a man has endured in his character much posthumous reproach, who passed through life with the greatest honour; and thus his name has rotted in his grave,
In all relative and social duties, the most vigilant attention to - perform what is expected from us, should be paid. An ungodly - obserwer of our conduct, who can charge us, truly, with the · neglect of our dutics, as a servant or master, a husband or wife, a parent or child, at once calls in question the reality of our religion, or charges our misconduct upon religion itself. · Surrounding spectators may not be able to see the religion of
the heart, or of the closet ; but they can observe the life : they · can tell if we are pious tradesinen, pious servants, pious mas- ters, pious husbands and wives, pious fathers and children. - Attending conscientiously to these things, you will shine as :lights in the world. The importance of complying with this
exhortation I shall reserve as the subject of another paper.