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supplies their temporal and spiritual wants with unceasing care. The Psalmist says, in reference to His benevolent, active, and ever-watchful providence, " Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." His hand is almighty, and with ease He can satisfy the wants of all His dependant creatures. He is our Redeemer. He died for His flock, to free His sheep from captivity, to purchase heaven, to open a way to the better land. He is a great Redeemer. Such is the good Shepherd. The Scriptures set Him forth to encourage our hope in Him.
Let us notice the wonderful care which this glorious Shepherd takes of all His sheep. This is seen in the pasture which He has provided for them. He has provided suitable instruction, a perfect atonement, all the means necessary to fit them for heaven. The doctrines, precepts, and promises of the Gospel are the pasture He has provided for His flock. This is abundant, near, and free. The soul feeds upon this green pasture by faith, meditation, and prayer. What the pasture is to a flock of sheep, that revealed truth is to the pious soul. This nourishes the spiritual life, and causes it to grow in vigour, maturity, and meetness for heaven. The Scriptures are a permanent, striking, encouraging proof of Divine care, the interest God takes in our welfare, the greatness of His love towards us. The sheep should be often found feeding on this pasture, like the Psalmist who said, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Here was evidence of the sincerity, warmth, and constancy of His love.
His care is seen in the life He has given to all His sheep. They must have a spiritual life before they can feed on the provisions of His love. They are by nature dead, but His care quickens them, causes them to awake from their long sleep, changes their moral condition. He gives them His Spirit to enlighten their eyes, renew their affections, and dispose them to seek God. He gives the life of faith, love, and hope. He disposes the soul to repent of sin, to receive Christ, and to sue for mercy. This spiritual life He gives to vast numbers, and it is the germ of life eternal. "I am come," says the good Shepherd, "that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly." How momentous the object of His visit to our world. His care secures the protection of all His sheep. He keeps them in the fold, keeps them near to Himself, keeps them from falling away from His religion. He restrains their enemies, strengthens the inner man, encourages hope, draws out the holy
longings of the soul, keeps us until His coming.
There are various ways in which this favoured flock should
RELIGION OF INESTIMABLE WORTH.
I MEAN not to undervalue the in-
still, when weighed in the balance
to the unsubstantial vanities of a perishing world, and "the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season?" If you will-" my soul shall weep for you in secret places." And, oh, disdain not the pity. Smile not at the well-meant expostulation. Stifle not the secret conviction of your own bosoms, which I well know is in harmony with the statements of the writer. Religion is not beneath you. It is not beneath the highest in station, and the most exalted in intellect. It is "a reasonable service" in the most elevated of human beings. It confers an infinitely higher dignity on royalty, than royalty can confer on the most abject mendicant. It is the very glory of the seraphs that surround the eternal throne. And, both on account of its relation to the infinite God as its object, and to your eternal existence as the scene of its final results, its interests are, in no loose, and vague, and general sense, but in the strictest acceptation of the term, of infinite moment. They are such as to throw all things else into shade, to stamp them with comparative worthlessness,-to make them, "when laid in the balance, altogether lighter than vanity." If religion have in it any reality, it must have in it inestimable worth. It is everything, or it is nothing! R. W.
by which you regulate your worldly concerns. Say, whether of the two is the weightier; which entitled to the preference? If men would but act, in regard to the interests of their souls and of eternity, on the principles of earthly prudence-proportioning the solicitude, the eagerness, the vigilance, and the effort, to the relative magnitude of the interests at stake, and of the benefits they seek to acquire-what a change should we see in the aspect of this busy world! When the objects weighed against each other are things temporal and things eternal, I need not say on which side your judgment and conscience must determine the question of precedency. In the mind of no one who reads this (if it be in a sound state) can there be one moment's hesitation. And will you, then, my dear friends-will you, especially, my dear young friends-suffer yourselves to be laughed out of your surest and deepest convictions? Will you allow yourselves to be befooled, and cheated out of the realities of eternity? When the wisdom of God has given a decision, will you be shamed by human scorn, or misled and deluded by human folly? When the authority of God has given a command, will you give way, with ruinous infatuation, either to the frown or to the enticements of human influence? When the love of God has given an invitation, will you persist in shutting your ear to the voice of infinite mercy? When God offers You HIMSELF, in all the fulness of His immeasurable grace, to be your portion and your joy for an endless existence, will you deliberately reject the offer, and give the preference
THE RIGHTEOUS ONE. No similar circumstances, in the fearful combination of sufferings, ever occurred to any righteous man. But Jesus was not only a righteous man;-He was "THE Righteous One," "THE Just One!" It was,
then, to show in the suffering person
Jews, by whom, in a certain sense,
Animal victims could not propitiate; they were but types of the allatoning Lamb, the sufficient sacrifice, the bleeding victim, whose blood was the propitiation for the sins of our fallen race, in accordance with the purposes of Jehovah's love. He was delivered by the Jews, delivered by Himself; but eminently He was delivered by the Father, of whom it is recorded, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." "Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." While the death of Christ magnifies the law and its sanctions, and affords a just view of the infinite heinousness of sin, it is the most significant display of the Divine mercy. How awful Justice appears, executing the ministry of vengeance at the cross! How yet more awful Love, suffering in her own person, though innocent, for the benefit of the guilty! "God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all." Could any other method have been devised, satisfactory at once to the demands of justice and the designs of mercy, it would have been adopted. But there was no other method: so that "there is no other name given under heaven, whereby we must be saved.” "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." J. F. MAN NOT RESTRICTED TO THE PRESENT.
A BRUTE lives only in the present; and whatever portion of memory, or mode of thought, it may be contended that mere animals have, there is no evidence that they ever spon
taneously exercise either, or possess the faculty of self-reflection in any degree. They look downward and onward, but never behind, or above, or within. Man as a spirit is perfectly distinct from man as an animal; so that, having a double part to bear through life-to act and to reflect on his actions-in the latter character he becomes as genuine a spectator of himself, as any by-stander would be who overlooked him day and night, and saw into the recesses of his soul. It is true that this perpetual witness of our thoughts and their issues is frequently deceived, but it is because he delights to deceive himself, since it is no more necessary for him to see anything that comes under his own inspection in a false light, than it is for one neighbour to see another with two noses on his face, or two faces to his head. But if a man will squint when he looks at his fellowcreatures, he may; then, of course, they will appear as ludicrously distorted as he makes them; and if a man will squint, with a very contrary effect, when he looks at himself with the introverted eye of the mind, he may please his foolish imagination, by appearing as wise, as good, and as great as-he is not.
But the intellectual man, by the power of self-scrutiny, is not only as insulated a spectator through life of his own purposes and deeds, as either a recording or an accusing angel could be; but when he chooses to be honest, he is as truly disinterested and impartial an evidence as justice herself requires, in testifying concerning them at the bar of conscience. On the return of every