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of his dissertation, enters a youth of quality (one of the bucks of that age), named Polemon, just come from a debauch,“ high-flown with insolence and wine," and wearing (as the custom then was, on festive occasions) a chaplet of flowers on his head. He no sooner caught the eye of Xenocrates, than the latter immediately turned his discourse to morals; and reasoned with such dignity, propriety, and force, that the young nobleman began to look serious; and seriousness settled him into a fixed attention. As the philosopher proceeded, Polemon felt the risings of remorse ; and ere the dissertation was concluded, he was struck with shame and horror at the conscious review of his past conduct. He slid the chaplet from his head, muffled his face in his robe, resolved on a change of manners, and actually became, from that day forward, a pattern of wisdom and virtue. In process of time, he even rose into a philosopher, of no small distinction; and at last succeeded Xenocrates in the care of his pupils. If the remonstrances of an heathen moralist could have such effect on the heart and life of a professed libertine; how much more will the influence of the holy Spirit teach true believers to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, justly, and religiously in the present world!

4. A sight of Christ will conduce to make our affections heavenly and spiritual. We shall, particularly, resemble Christ in his passive resignation to the will and providence of God *. Accomplish in

* “ When the treaty of marriage was on foot between the then prince of Wales (afterwards Charles I.) and the Infanta of Spain, the earl of Bristol, our ambassador at the court of Madrid, was so greatly perplexed, on account of the treaties not going on to his mind, that he lost several night's sleep. A gentleman of his bed-chamber observing his uneasiness, addressed him thus: My lord, you are exceedingly anxious and restless. I beseech you to consider that the world was well governed, for more than 5000 years, before you were born; and it will be as well governed when you are dead. I pray you then, be not troubled at any thing ; but refer the issue to God.

me, on me, and by me, all the pleasure of thy goodness; will be our heart's desire and prayer, in proportion as we have seen and believed in him, who came down from heaven not to do his own will, but the will of him who sent him.-The most remarkable and astonishing instance of human resignation, I ever remember to have met with, is to be found in the conduct of the exemplary archbishop Fenelon. When his illustrious and hopeful pupil (the duke of Burgundy, if I mistake not) lay dead in his coffin, and the nobles of his court, in all the pomp of silent sadness, stood weeping round, the archbishop came into the apartment; and, having fixed his eyes for some time, on the corpse; broke out at length, in terms to this effect: “ There lies my beloved prince, for whom my affection was equal to the tenderest regard of the tenderest parent. Nor was my affection lost: he loved me in return, with the ardour of a son. There he lies; and all my worldly happiness lies dead with him. But, if the turning of a straw would call him back to life; I would not, for ten thousand worlds, be the turner of that straw, in opposition to the will of God."

5. If we have had a spiritual view of Christ, we shall love and study his holy word. Christ crucified is the central point, wherein the lines of both Testaments coincide. They testify of me, said the Son of God. They testify the greatness of his person, the greatness of his love, and the unspeakable greatness of his condescending humility: they bear witness to the glory of his covenant, the necessity and perfection of his righteousness, the merit of his propitiation, and the prevalency of his intercession; the efficacy of his grace and the freeness of his salvation. And yet, though the scriptures were dictated by his Spirit, and hold

- The earl was struck with the propriety of this seasonable expostulation, and set his heart at rest.

Our way to tranquillity, is, to do likewise: to trace up things to their source, Divine Providence; and there to leave them." Dr. Arrowsmith's Chain of Princ. 470.

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the lamp to knowledge and happiness, how many cast the precious charter behind their backs, or even trample it under their feet! “ though,” as one expresses it, “ God himself has vouchsafed to commence author, how few will so much as give his works the reading !”—The renowned Scipio Africanus hardly ever had Xenophon's writings out of his hand. Alexander the Great made Homer's poems his constant companion. St. Chrysostom was so fond of Aristophanes' Comedies, that he even laid them under his pillow when he slept. Our matchless Alfred constantly carried Boëthius de Consol. Phil. in a fold of his robe. Tamerlane (if I rightly remember) always carried about with him the History of Cyrus. Bishop Jewel could recite all Horace: and bishop Sanderson, all Tully's Offices. The Italians are said to be such admirers of Tasso, that the very peasants sing him by heart, as they pursue their country labours. The famous Leibnitz could repeat, even in extreme old age, the greatest part of Virgil : and one of the late popes is said to have learned English, purely for the sake of reading the Spectator in its original language. How warmly does Horace recommend the study of the Greek writers to the Roman youth! Nocturnâ versate manu, versate diurna.--How then, ought Christians to study the book of God! Beza, at upwards of eighty years of age, could repeat the whole of St. Paul's Epistles, in the original Greek, and all the Psalms in Hebrew ; and, more lately, the learned Witsius, even at a very advanced period of life, could recite almost any passage of scripture, in its proper Hebrew or Greek, together with the context, and criticisms of the best commentators. How will such persons rise in judgment against the negligent professors, the many superficial divines, and the flimsy infidels of the present day! Time has been, when the word of the Lord was precious in this land : so precious, that (in the reign of Henry VIII. if I mistake not) an



honest farmer once gave a cart-load of hay for one leaf of St. James' epistle in English. Now indeed, through the goodness of God, the manna of his word lies in abundance round our tents. But what is the consequence? Most of us are for reading any book, except that which can make us wise to salvation. We disrelish even the bread of life: I almost said, we spurn it away with our feet. Hence our spiritual declensions. Hence the Arminianism, the Socinianism, the Deism, and every other pernicious ism of the age. As many of our young clergymen, it is to be feared, subscribe articles and homilies they have never read; so myriads of the laity profess to believe the inspired volume, which they seldom or never open. Hence they themselves lie open to admit the first errors that offer, and to be run away with by any immorality that most easily besets them. The Bible is God's epistle to mankind : and what greater affront can be shown even to an earthly friend, than to throw by his letters unopened and unread ?

-May we not address the generality of Christians so called, in the words of Mr. Boston ? “ The dust on one hand, or the finery on the other, about your Bibles, is a witness now, and will at the last day, be a witness of the enmity of your hearts against Christ as a prophet *."

6. A true sight of Christ will inspire and expand our hearts with genuine benevolence, and make us the well-wishers of all mankind. God, the Great Sovereign who giveth no account to any, of his matters, may set what limits he pleases to the communications of his grace, as we see he does to the bounties of his providence. But we, as social beings, are under a moral obligation, as we have opportunity to do good unto all men. Christian benevolence may be resembled to the shining of the sun; which magnificent luminary sheds its warmth at large, and rises with general healing in its wings, so that nothing is entirely hid from the heat thereof: yet there are some climates, where its beams operate more strongly, than in others. In like manner, our good will should be universal ; though its highest actings ought to terminate on the household of faith. God himself deigns to set us the example. He is providentially loving unto every man, and his mercies in a way of temporal bounty, are more or less over all his works: yet his choicest favours terminate on his own elect, whom he loved from everlasting, and in whom is all his delight.

* Four-fold State, p. 82.

7. Lastly, Let those whose hearts have been opened, and the eyes of whose faith have been enlightened by grace, to see the loveliness * and the preciousness † of Christ; let such rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Yet a little while, and, to adopt the excellent language of our church, “ we who know him now by faith, shall have the full fruition of his glorious godhead.” After a few more rising and setting suns, a few more sermons, and a few more prayers, a few more conflicts and a few more comforts, we shall be with him whom our souls love, and who loves our souls. Now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet fully appear what we shall be, how great our bliss, nor how bright our glory: but this we know, and this is knowledge enough at present, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

* Cant. v. 16.

+ 1 Pet. ii. 7.

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