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great, but now his wants are greater; for he in vain calls for a drop of water to cool his burning tongue ; no servant attends his cry; he has lost earthly riches, he has gained a state of destitution; he employed his wealth in procuring a hell of torment !

If, reader, you are rich, the consideration of this subject should make you wise. Learn, then, that there are two kinds of treasure which we may possess that require not barns to house them ; the first is the grace of faith, by which the soul is justified and accepted; the second is, the treasure of good works, by which God is glorified and mankind benefited. But, possessing these treasures, do not suppose that you have any claim upon God for salvation ; for good works you cannot perform unless you possess genuine faith, and faith you cannot exercise by any effort of your own-Eph. ii. 8: “For by grace are ye saved, through faith ; and that not of yourselves : it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The only way that is left open for a sinner is prayer; prayer that God would give you faith-faith to receive Jesus Christ into your heart; if every sinner were to put up a prayer to this effect-prayer from the heart, mark that! it must come from the heart—then, I engage to

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every one shall be saved; for there is no limitation. In that case, what a triumphant consideration bursts upon our imaginations ; all saved! Oh, happy thought; all crowned with glory, all admitted to the eternal enjoyment of the presence of God!

This subject speaks a caution both to rich and poor; it says, be jealous over yourselves with a godly jealousy ; pause in the path you are treading; stop to examine whether or not you are in the right road for heaven.

As long as a traveller thinks he is in the right road he will go on; but when he suspects he is wrong,

he will pause to consider or to inquire, and as soon as he discovers that he is out of his way, he will turn back.

Let me beseech you, reader, whether rich or poor, young or old, think not that you have goods laid up for many years ; think not that you have health, and constitutional strength to hold out, and to defy the attack of death ; think not that it is time enough for you to put up prayer for the salvation of your soul; when, for ought thou knowest, “ this night thy soul shall be required of thee.”

Fear not that the thoughts of death, and a preparation for eternity will damp your mirth. What if they should ? A wise man would be willing to exchange a short-lived mirth for an enduring pleasure. We have seen what a rich fool would do : “ The fool's mirth is like the crackling of thorns under a pot;” it makes a blaze, and is presently over ; but the pleasures of a prospect of heaven light up a serene and unruffled joy upon the countenance of the believer, that neither the afflictions of life, the efforts of the ungodly, nor the malice of devils, can extinguish.

I would not that the conclusion of this parable should be applied to any one who reads it; lay not yourself open to the comparison which is made with all who are like this rich fool. Equally foolish and unwise is he who layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.

85

THE CHURCH A NURSERY.

While occupying myself on one occasion in my garden, I observed the sap flowing from a sycamore tree which had been pruned late in the spring of the year; the circumstance brought to my recollection a verse of the Psalmist, “ The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted.” There was nothing forced in the application of the words “ the trees of the Lord are full of sap.” My thoughts began immediately to run into a different channel from that in which they had been previously occupied, and I considered it to be a desirable thing to have the memory well stored with texts of scripture, as perhaps there are no circumstances in which we can be placed, no occurrence in life, however trivial, but may be made subservient to our spiritual advantage by bringing to our recollection a portion of God's word to guide our meditations, and give a spiritual turn to our thoughts.

A Christian who habitually accustoms himself to turn sensible objects to spiritual advantage, may not inaptly compared to Midas, who, in fabulous history, was said to turn all he touched to gold.

All the trees of the forest are the Lord's, yet the Psalmist seems to designate the noblest, and the most valuable of trees as “ the trees of the Lord ;" he chooses the cedars of Lebanon, which grow larger than any other, the wood of which is more valuable than any other; and on these considerations they are more worthy than any other of being specifically denominated the trees of the Lord.” A celebrated naturalist says of the cedar that it is the most elegant and odoriferous of the species ; it is reputed to be almost incorruptible, and its bitter taste effectually preserves it from worms that generally prey upon wood. He remarks, that when he visited Mount Libanus, there were some cedars of a prodigious bulk; he found the trunk of one to measure thirty-six feet, six inches, in girth.

By the trees of the Lord may be understood those which grow and thrive without the art and industry of man; but, by the care of God's providence, they are watered by his rain, nourished and matured by his sun; and while this, perhaps, was the literal meaning of the Psalmist, we may, by an easy transition, apply the words to the plants of grace, and the garden of the Lord, which is his church on earth, in which they are preserved.

“ We are a garden walled around,
Chosen, and made peculiar ground;
A little spot, enclosed by grace,

Out of the world's wide wilderness." As a garden is taken from common or waste ground to be appropriated to a particular use, so the church of Christ is chosen and separated from the world for a particular end. As in a garden is cultivated whatever is useful for domestic purposes, whatever is beautiful to the eye, agreeable to the taste, or delightful to the smell, so in the garden of the church is to be found all the graces of the Spirit; some abounding in one member, some in another ; but as in a garden there is always much dressing and weeding to be done, so in the hearts of believers, Christ has always work to perform, that these plants of grace may grow and thrive.

As a domesticated or family man takes delight in his garden, so does Christ in his church ; which is represented as giving an invitation to the Saviour to come unto her: “ Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” Many passages might be cited to shew the delight the Lord takes in his church, which is also compared to a vineyard, and which he has promised to protect from the assaults of all enemies.

The members of Christ's body are trees of the Lord. It need hardly be remarked, that in the church of Christ there are some hypocrites, whom it may not be easy for men to discover as such, because of the difficulty of becoming acquainted with their motives of action. Hypocrites who have gained a standing in the garden of the Lord cannot be called trees of the Lord ; but they may be compared to a bramble bush, or any other rank weed. A good tree is known by its fruit. Hypocrites are those who have the form of godliness, but who deny its power :“ they say and do not.” They make great pretensions to holiness, that they may sin with greater security.

Dead trees in the spring of the year shew no signs of life; they remain uninfluenced by the rain of heaven, or the revivifying beams of the sun; they are only fit to be hewn down and cast into the fire. Good trees shew signs of life; they are not impenetrable to the heat of the sun and the moisture of the clouds; they bud, and put forth leaves, and, as the season advances, become covered with rich and luxuriant foliage; they blossom, and bear fruit; they give proof that they are

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