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from reconciling his reverence and his joy, his conscience and his affections. Our life-long study and care must be to bring our nature, by God's leading, into harmony with His will, that fear may not cast out joy, and that our joy may be in the Lord.

They who think only of God's holiness and man's sinfulness would pass the Lord's Day as a day of penitence and humiliation. Yet surely to think thus is

only a part of the truth. For is not the Lord's Day a day of gladness? Is not Christ risen from the dead? Is not the blood of our atonement sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat? And are we not reconciled to our heavenly Father? "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Therefore, we should keep the Lord's Day as a feast, with joy and gladness, as being a birthday, which we share with all who are born again in Christ. If we can rejoice, consistently with the character of holiness which belongs to the day, let us rejoice.

In all that we do on Sunday, the two great events of our redemption and our creation should be in our sight. Keeping these before us, we may lawfully, I believe, use such variety in our employment and conversation as human nature needs. To give attention to the sick and needy is a Sabbath occupation sanctioned by our Blessed Lord's example. Part of Sunday may well be spent in visiting infirm or aged acquaintance, and any of the poor whom you are able to

befriend. Reading admits of almost

endless variety. There are also

I have already mentioned some kinds. lives of Christian men and women, and Christian tales and allegories, for those whose minds are not ripe for much reading of sermons or devotional books. Christian poetry is a rich store of refreshment for the Lord's Day. But reading is not the only resource, especially for the young. In other ways, besides, the Lord's Day may be hallowed by God's Holy Spirit. Music is an instrument of man's thought, like speech. It is good or evil, as speech is good or evil, according as it redounds to the dominion of Satan, or to the glory of God. God's rest is indeed broken by idle songs, or by sacred songs which are sung in heartless hypocrisy; but psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, sung from the heart, are well-pleasing to Him upon His throne. Nor are they to be condemned rashly as Sabbath-breakers, who ramble in the country upon a Sunday evening in summer. According to their thoughts and deeds and conversation, are they to be accounted guilty or innocent. The fields have a godly lesson to teach us, if we will receive it: the same as that of the 104th Psalm: "O Lord, how manifold are Thy works in wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy riches." Whatever in creation serves to direct our minds to our Creator, fulfils the original purpose of the Sabbath.

In these and other things, as in reading and talking, it is the thought of the heart which distinguishes holy and unholy. Keep your mind fixed on your Creator

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and your Redeemer, and the form of employment which helps you best to do this, is the best for you; though as Christians you have to beware lest you make others weak. Take care first, that what you do is not against your own conscience, otherwise it is sin; and be careful also that it be harmless as an example to your neighbours. "Let not your good be evil spoken of." Moreover, be equally careful lest you beguile yourselves with the shallow deceit that God's rest is kept by languid idleness. A vacant mind may turn the Lord's Day into a day of Satan. Little does it avail to be strict in Sunday reading, for those who, when they tire of reading, will converse of nothing holy or pure, but of their neighbour's shortcomings and misdeeds, imagining all words that may do hurt. If you would have the observance of holy days and the reading of holy books. to profit you, you must seek the Spirit of Christ. Sabbaths and books have no power in themselves: they are but means of grace, and their virtue fails if they be not used with faith and charity.

Charity especially is needed in the matter of observing the Lord's Day. The hearts of men differ, and that which raises the thoughts of one to God, will only distract the thoughts of another. Men's opportunities also differ. For an idle man to compare his Sabbath with that of a working man, is as though the rich Pharisees had thought that by giving a mite, like the widow, they should earn the widow's praise. Yet, let not your charity turn to indifference. One truth stands fast above all opinions

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on this subject. The Lord's Day is to be kept holy. Sanctified from the creation of the world, doubly sanctified by the resurrection of Christ, the Sabbath may not be violated for mere entertainment or convenience. They are enemies, though they think to be friends of the poor, whoever would take away from this day its holiness. Our hope as Christians is that the rest of the week may be raised to the standard of Sunday. God forbid that Sunday should be lowered to the rest of the week! May our Sundays, passed in holiness as "a shadow of things to come," so leaven the remainder of our days, that they may prepare us for the eternal Sabbath, which shall commence when the whole work of God is finished.

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SERMON II.

LABOUR.

SEXAGESIMA, 1860.

GENESIS, iii. 19.

In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread, till thou return again to the ground.

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WE read last Sunday in the 1st chapter of the book of Genesis that "God created man in His own image.' Only two chapters more and we are told how the first man Adam lost the image in which he was created. He fell by disobedience, and the curse of sin fell through him upon us all. The revelation of Scripture sweeps away the vain fiction in which men have delighted themselves, of a golden age of happiness and virtue. No time from the first till now ever realised that idea of a golden age. To the future, not to the past, we must look for the fulfilment of every such hope as that of an empire of joy and peace on earth. It is before us, not behind us. The true golden age is no other than that

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