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to put an end to the influence of the selfish, disturbing, earthly passions, and to instal principle and truth in their place, we must not be strangers nor infrequent pilgrims in thought to the Cross, from which we are taught, as with the dying words of a “greater than a prophet," how we ought to deny and forget ourselves, and to love one another, The Cross of Jesus! it is the star of the world, — ňot destined to disappear like that material, moving orb, which illustrated his birth, but fixed and changeless like the eternal sun. Let us stand under it and look up with rev. erence and faith. The Cross of Jesus ! let the thought of it come to us like the visits of a guardian angel whenever in our trials and sorrows we are unsubmissive to the will of Heaven, and soothe us to resignation and trust. The Cross of Jesus ! let the remembrance of it rise
up buke us whenever we become careless of the claims of that great law of love which was established on an eternal foundation, when he “ died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” The Cross of Jesus! let it appear before us, as another conscience, whenever we are found straying from the path of innocence and virtue, neglecting duty, giving countenance to impiety or settling down in sin, and recall us to him “ who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to himself a peculiar people zealous of good works."
Yes! reader ! one thing is needful. Many things are pleasant, many things desirable, many things useful, many things important, but one thing is needful : that is, a heart right in the sight of God and at peace with man,that is, faith in Jesus our Saviour,—that is, religion. Without it we are " troubled about many things.” There are grieis to be borne without comforts, joys to pass away without hope, passions to be restrained without strength, existence to be endured without purpose. Without it a little excitement, a few years of activity, transitory pleasures, an earthly soul, a painful death, a sinner's doom, are our all. But with it, sorrow comes to bless, immortal hope lights up the future, the soul's energies are the soul's servants, and life is a pleasant pilgrimage to a pleasant home. With it, there is joy unspeakable, there is elevation of spirit, years of benevolent action, a glorious passing-away to heaven and bliss that never ends. Without religion, man is the powerless victim of the storms of life, or the deluded devotee of its hurtful pleasures. With religion, man is the heir of eternity, the brother of angels, the friend of Jesus, the child of God. I speak no fable. Ye who will not have Christ to rule over you, I speak no fable. Sophistry will not always choke the voice of conscience. The voice of boisterous mirth, the calls of business, the health and merriment of youth, the iron nerves, the bold heart, the reckless temper, cannot last forever; the hour cometh to all of you, when the folly, the madness of your sin and indifference, shall be made manifest ; when the mortal relations of the spirit shall be broken up; when the eye of God, with the searching brightness of the meridian sun, shall look into every soul: then, no ridicule will be heard, no money will bribe, no courage endure, but you shall feel, shall confess, shall proclaim as a warning to others, one thing is needful. Oh! choose that good part which shall not be taken away.
This is a solemn truth, yet who believes it? Does that young man believe it, who violates the holy sabbath, who spends his nights in the streets in revelry, or in search of vain amusements, who opens not his bible, who breathes not one prayer, and who scoffs at holy things ? Does that young woman believe it, whilst pleasure and gaiety, dress and flattery, are her deities? Does that merchant believe it, whilst the “ cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches," are choking the word of God within him? Reader! do you, does any body believe it, whilst earth and earthly things are so engrossing; whilst there is so much bitterness and so little love ; so much vain talk and so little prayer; so much thought of self and so little care for others; so much sin and so little holiness ; in fine, whilst the gospel of Christ, the