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death, that Christ, through redeeming love, may bring us by penitence and faith to life and importality.

Let no chilling indifference, therefore, no spe. cious sophistry, no example, however prevalent induce us to profane, or disregard the Christian sabbath. It is a day by divine consecration holy unto the Lord; but it must ever be borne in mind, that it is a diligent performance of its various obligations which can alone make it to us a day of holiness. We may turn it into a day of vanity, a day of indolence, a day of unprofitable amusement, a day of vicious indulgence. The misemployment of it is a wilful and wicked rejection of a boon which heaven has in mercy granted for the furtherance of our eternal interests. It therefore depends upon ourselves, whether it will only be instrumental in increasing our condemnation, or be the means of advancing our proficiency in that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. Of such importance it is to remember the sabbath day to keep it holy; for the only way in which it can be promotive of the soul's advantage is, by discharging the duties belonging to its sanctification.

The fulfilment of these obligations in a world abounding with temptations to sin, demands much steady resolution, much patient perseverance; but it is encouraging to be assured that victory


will be crowned with an abundant recompence. In the Christian life difficulties must be encountered; but he who, undaunted by a few failures, stedfastly aims at the prize of his high calling in Christ, will ultimately triumph; he will go on from step to step, from gradation to gradation, till he will find in spiritual things an overflowing fountain of enjoyment. The duties of the Lord's day, at first attended with distaste, perhaps with pain, will in process of time become easy, will at length be performed with complacency, and at last be regarded as the source of the most pure and exalted delights. Much will be effected by the power of habit, and still more by the special blessing of God, which is ever present to those who conscientiously endeavour to walk in the fear of the Lord blameless. The influence of the Holy Spirit will be shed abroad in the hearts of such as strive, with sincere and faithful efforts, to hallow the sabbath day. The Almighty giveth the Holy Ghost to them that obey him", and, as the Spirit helpeth our infirmities', it bringeth forth the fruits of love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance".

Assisted by the power from on high, believers are girded with strength to press forward in the paths of righteousness, which, by the

* Acts v. 32.

! Rom. viii. 26.

m Gal. v, 22.

transfusion of a purer spirit, become the paths of happiness, so that they rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory”.

Here, then, is a test by which we may ascertain our progress in a religious life. The sanctification of the sabbath is indispensable to them who shall be meet for the holiness of heaven. But the performance of the duties proper for that purpose will be vain, if it springs from a listless, tired, and reluctant mind. The obedience which the Deity requires is the obedience of a cheerful and willing heart. We must “call the sabbath a delight;" we must love it, and all its holy occupations; we must hail with inward joy its return as the renewal of those devout feelings and sacred employments, which, while they inspire the holiest raptures, lift the soul by divine assistance above earthly pollutions, and bring it nearer to its God. By this spiritual consecration alone of our hearts and minds can we be fitted, through the merits of a Saviour, for an everlasting sabbath in the society of glorified spirits, who, with the pure transports of unutterable joy, shall hymn the Triune God for ever and ever!

n 1 Pet. i. 8.


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