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incorrect conversation; and it will give its color to all other topics of conversation which are permitted to arisc. This last is an important evidence of a religious mind, and one which you may frequently observe. The man whose heart is filled with Divine things, will speak naturally and without hesitation of the events of this life, of the changes and the politics of nations, of the improvements of science, or of the beauties of nature; but all these topics will as naturally take a color from his bigher and bolier views. All these topics will be trcated by bim as matters entirely subservient to the will of the infinitely good God, and as flowing forth from the gracious appointment of the God of redemption. All will be repeatedly referred to him, as under his immediate control, for the accomplishment of his own gracious purposes; and in fact, it would be diflicult to enter upon a lengthencd conversation with such an individual upon any subject, without discovering that he was a man of piety, a believer in revelation, an humble and contrite penitent, a faithful worshiper of the crucified and risen Redeemer, and a pilgrim bastening towards that good land, wirich the Lord hath promiscd to them that love him.

We may now, therefore, perceive distinctly, the point at which we should aim. It is not incumbent on us to endeavor to speak of the things which we do not feel; for in that case it is to be feared that the same fountain would soon send forth both sweet waters and bitter. But we should give orselves diligently, humbly, hcartily, to the consideration of the work of grace, and the everlasting love of God in his Son Jesus Christ. We should cndeavor to obtain proper and becoming vicws of God's unspeakable mcrcy in the forgiveness of sin, and to get the heart filled with his love, and with the glorious hope of being with him for ever; and then, when this is the case, religious conversation, that great desideratum among rcal Christians, would become our native language, and our familiar theme.

There are, however, one or two varieties of habit, in respect to religious conversation, which may bc, perhaps, profitably noticed, in order to guard us against error, that would be injurious to ourselves and to the cause we advocate.

There is the forced and artificial imitation of this speaking from the abundance of the heart. And by this is not meant, intentional hypocrisy-the making a bold religious appearance as

a cloke for another and probably a nefarious object; but merely that there are those who either from ignorant sincerity, or wrong cducation, or false taste, talk on sacred things beyond the rcal feeling of the heart. This is a habit occasionally found among good men, but it is in no respect desirable. It cannot lead to good, for it is beginning at the wrong end. The Psalmist says, “0 Lord, open thou my mouth and my lips shall show forth thy praise.” And again; “ While I was thus musing, the fire kindled, and at the last 1 spake with my tongue:” or again, - I believe, and therefore have I spoken.” In all these cases, the work upon the hicart reached a certain point, and then it issued at the lips; but to speak when we do not feel, seems scarcely a desirable means of learning to feel, nor a wisc means of endeavoring to obtain the good which such conversation professes to have already realized.

But there is an opposite evil. There are those who fect the power of the truth, and yet remain in a great degree silent.Many different motives may produce this same effect. Such persons are not quite clear, perhaps, upon the duty of free and friendly communication between Christians; or they may suspect their own sincerity in rcligion; or they are afraid of again declining at some future time, and injuring the cause of religion by their inconsistency; or they discover so much of the impurity of their own motives, that they question them cven in this, and shrink from the sin of presumption, ostentation, or hypocrisy. And certainly all these points descrve mature consideration. But they do not present one conclusive reason against speaking with each other to the full amount of our real and sincere experience, on topics on which we have obtained, or on which we want infor. mation, or on scriptural truths which we know and feel, or which we wish to feel more deeply. Any Christian man who chooses to inspect his own motives lionestly as in the sight of God, may arrive at a fair view of his intentions and wishes, and ascertain how far he is sincere, and how far he inay speak safely. And it be hooves each one, therefore, to do this, and not to sit down satisfied to be a mute in the family of God, while the record of his duty tells him, that "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth spcaketh," and that “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things.” There is one other peculiarity to notice, and it is one to be

VOL. II.-SO

much commended. It is the honest, simple, and conscientious endeavor, to raise the tone of conversation, with a view to mutual improvement. This is a widely different thing from religious exhibition. It has in it nothing of pomp or of exuberance, nothing of the assumption of unfelt sentiment, nothing of the wish to court attention, or lo get a name, or to serve a purpose.

It arises very much from the fecling that Divinc things are of all others most worthy to be spoken of, and from a sense of the danger there is, that such weak and fallible creatures, and liable so casily to be led astray, may from a variety of concurrent causes waste those opportunities which might be spent with mutual profit. When any one froin such motives, makes an effort to elevate the tone of thought and conversation in the religious circle, he consers an essential benefit, and frequently, however trilling it may appear, performs an act of no small heroism, for which he deserves well of his Christian brethren.

Let us, then, my Christian brethren, bear this in mind. Time is short, and the pageant of this world is passing away. In a very little time, these lipe shall be silent in death, and never again till the morning of the resurrection speak the Saviour's praise. 11, then, our hearts are alive unto God, and to the riches of his grace, let us see that “the word of Christ dwell richly in us in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another;" let us " speak as the oracles of God;" + let our conversation be such as becometh the Gospel of Christ, with all low liness and mcekness, in honor preferring one another.” Let us pray for grace to steer wisely between the various difficulties which present themselves; neither assuming a prominency which does not become us, and a fervor that we do not feel; nor shrinking and remaining silent from false modesty, or the dread of reproach. But let it be our business by prayer and supplication at the throne of grace, to cherish the lovely and the delicate grace of simplicity, that artlessness and opeu unreservedness of soul, which shrinks not from inspection, because there is nothing to fear, and fears not, because there is nothing to betray; and which carries the individual who possesses it, through all the round of duty, without the wretched irritating consciousness, that other eyes are on him, and other minds forming an estimate of his worth. We may be thoroughly aware how difficult this grace is to attain, and how unlike it is to fallen human nature; but it is attainable; and it is essential to perfection. We shall never be fit for heaven till we have it. The reverse of it springs from pride; and when pride and self-sufficiency are cut down and withered, then humility and simplicity shall spring, and blossom, and bear fruit.

One truth connected with this subject should be allowed to dwell forcibly upon the mind, as of real importance, that such is the close and intimate connection between the hcart and the lip, that if you tind your conversation generally free from the peculiarities of Christian feeling and principle, and if you detect within, a reizoing aversion or reluctance to the introduction of a better subject; if you shrink into yourself, as sacred things are introduced, and rise to liberty again when the tons of conversation dcclincs; then be assured that the abundance of your heart is other than what it should be. There is soinething seriously wrong, and to a heart in that state, beaven would not be counted a delight or a blessing.

And if it be so with many who Icad a decent and respectable life, what shall be said of those whose conversation is avowedly and unhesitatingly sensual, carthly, and vain; who roll sio under their tongue as a sweet morsel; who never speak of God with reverence, or of heaven as if they believed its existence; but who live engrossed with this present world, and speak proud, and vain, and covetous, and impure, and angry things? “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” What must that heart be? But go a step farther even than this: "For every idle,” that is, scless, “word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof at the day of judgment.” Oh! let cvery thoughtless sinner lay that to heart; for that day is nigh, even at the doors. It were sad indeed, for a man to be condemned out of his own mouth, and to pronounce bis own doom on this side of the grave, by the wretched and contemptible triflings of each successive hour.

SERMON LII.

THE EXCELLENCY AND GLORY OF THE GOSPEL.

By the late Rev. CHARLES SIMEON, M. A.,

Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

EPIESLANS, iii. 18, 19. Be able to comprehend, with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and

depth, and height: and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

From no part of Holy Writ do we obtain a decper insight into the great mysteries of the Gospel, than from the prayers of the Apostle Paul. lle there embodied, as it were, all bis views of Divine truth, and poured forth his soul to God in terms altogether out of the reach of an uninspired mind; in terms so vast, so grand, so comprehensive, that, with the utmost stretch of our imagination, we find it cxceedingly difficult to grasp the thoughts contained in them. I will not detain

you
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comment on this prayer, because the subject wbich I bave to bring before you is of itself sufficient to occupy all the time that can reasonably be devoted to one discourse. I have omitted the former part of this prayer, because it is the latter part alone that is applicable to the subject before us, or proper to be brought forward as introductory to this dis

But to that part I would wish to draw your more particular attention, because, in praying for the Ephesians, that they might “ be able to comprehend, with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ, which passcth knowledge, and coinprehending it, be filled with

course.

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