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ruption, to become languid and inactive, unless Divine grace keep them in exercise. We pray therefore, “ that we may have grace and power “ faithfully to fulfil” our duty as we are enabled to “perceive and know” it.

Our church supposes all her members to be conscious that “ without Christ they can do “ nothing;” and that,' “ as the branch cannot “ bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, " no more can they except they abide in Christ, so as to derive continual supplies of “grace and

“power” from Him. They are not only conscious of ignorance, but, when that is removed, of perfect imbecility. Though they know their disease, they cannot cure it. Like shipwrecked mariners, while they perceive their danger and the rock of safety, they are too weak to avoid the one by laying hold of the other, and when they have laid hold of it, to retain their grasp. Is this the conviction of our souls? Without it a recital of our collect is an act of hypocrisy and a solemn mockery of God.

The manner in which duty is required to be performed, is described by an adverb which is calculated to add energy to our prayers for Divine “grace and power,

power.” To “ fulfil” our duty which we owe to God, as His creatures, and as redeemed sinners, Oh, how arduous a task ! To “fulfil” it “ faithfully,”-Oh, who is suf”

” ficient for this? To observe with fidelity our baptismal vow; to maintain our allegiance and loyalty in opposition to continual temptations from the devil, the world, and the flesh; to adhere to duty firmly without levity or wavering, sincerely and honestly, without fraud or hypocrisy,—Know,” Reader,

“ Know,” Reader, “ that thou art not

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“ able to do these things of thyself, nor to " walk in the commandments of God and to

serve Him, without His special grace, which " thou must learn at all times to call for by dili

gent prayer."

The channel through which our prayer must at all times ascend to the mercy-seat, and through which all this grace must descend to us, is Jesus Christ our Lord.” His name enlivens hope and encourages confidence.

For “it pleases the Fa“ther that in Him should all fulness dwell;" and that " out of His fulness all we should receive, “ and grace for grace.

” Let not an essay on the important subject of Christian duty be charged with legality. There are many professors who will hear and read of nothing but evangelical privileges, while, alas ! they remain strangers to their nature ; for the path of humble obedience is the privileged path, in which only comfort is attainable. Such professors are like those infatuated persons, who habituate themselves to the use of spirituous cordials, which excite a temporary but false energy in the powers of nature, but leave them, so soon as their influence evaporates, a prey to depression and languor. So also it is with the forementioned professors. Their souls are in an unhealthy state. Under a sermon from a favourite preacher, their minds are in high vigour and full of animation. But follow them to their closets, and you will find them dejected; follow them into the world, and you will find them destitute of activity in their holy calling. Privilege and duty must not be disjoined: for duty is privilege; God's commandments being not only “ holy and just,” but also

good,” calculated to promote human happiness

by the obedience they demand. While exhortations to duty abound in Scripture, and while petitions for "grace and power faithfully to fulfil "the same" remain in our liturgy; the censure of the antinomian will be, Telum imbelle sine ictu, a pointless arrow that can do no mischief.

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THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY.

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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HIS collect contains-a preface-and a petition. The former is an act of adoration, which recites two of the Divine perfections, and ascribes to God universal dominion. It will be perceived, as we proceed in its elucidation, that it is admirably adapted to the petition, to which it is prefixed.

We ascribe Omnipotence to God in the preface of this collect, because He alone who stilleth the waves of the sea-who, in the person of the Divine Jesus, when a great tempest arose and excited the fears and endangered the lives of His disciples, rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, "Peace! "be still!" and the wind ceased and there was a great calm-he only can tranquillize the troubled bosom of an awakened sinner. Ministers may indeed preach of peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord; they may describe the ground on which it is built, as a sure foundation; they may explain the manner, in which the enjoyment of it is to be obtained; they may prescribe the terms of mutual pacification; and their testimony may be confirmed by Christian friends, who may form

a great cloud of witnesses to the truth of the statement which is given. But it is God the Holy Ghost alone, who can "grant us peace." For the production of faith, whereby only peace can be derived to the heart, is expressly attributed by St. Paul to the "exceeding greatness of the 66 power of God, according to the working of His "mighty power which He wrought in Christ "when He raised Him from the dead." Faith, the mean of peace, is considered indeed by those who are unacquainted with its nature, to be an act of human reason, to which man is fully competent by the mere exertion of his innate abilities. But of such it may be truly said, that "they know not "the Scriptures nor the power of God." They forget who is declared to be "the Author and "Finisher of faith." They mistake the mere assent of the understanding to the external evidences of Scripture for that fiducial tendency of the heart which is the principle of justification to the fallen soul of man, and the vital spark of holiness therein. They are unacquainted with the evil and demerit of sin, and are strangers to the torments of an enlivened conscience; and therefore easily persuade themselves that they are true believers while they remain totally ignorant of Christ and of salvation.

The conscious and penitent reader will perceive the wisdom of addressing our prayer to "Almighty God," when we implore peace. For he will feel the propriety of Elihu's exclamations: "When he giveth quietness, who then can make "trouble? and when He hideth His face, who then " can behold Him? whether it be done against a "nation or against a man only." He knows, in consequence of frequent abortive experiments which he has made, that "faith is not of ourselves, but the gift of God."

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