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ments are becoming or otherwise to a professing Christian. It is wrong for a disciple of Christ to be in any scene, to engage in any undertaking, to participate in any amusement, in reference to which it would be inconsistent to ask for a Divine blessing. Hallow your ordinary occupations, sanctify your ordinary pursuits, enhance your joys, lighten the load of your daily anxieties, by making each and all of them the subject of prayer. Thus shall you find that you will grow in grace--you will attain more and more of the celestial character—you will rise to a loftier moral elevation, you will breathe a purer atmosphere, and reflect a brighter lustre—you will exhibit to others more of the fruit of the Spirit ; till, at length, grace itself shall expand into glory, and the life of prayer terminate in the eternity of praise.

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I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made

diligent search.

In pursuing our consideration of the various means of grace, the subject which comes before us this morning is that of religious meditation and self-examination. The two topics are closely connected together ; they form separate parts of one and the same process, whereby grace is, ordinarily speaking, improved and strengthened. Many of the remarks which have been already made in reference to the other means of grace, apply

with equal propriety to this. Neither the ministry of the word, nor the study of Scripture, nor the exercise of prayer, are to be considered as having any absolute property to communicate grace; they are wholly inefficient by themselves, except as the Spirit is pleased to make them effectual. They are the mere channels or instruments through which God generally vouchsafes spiritual profit. The same remark applies to the topic now to be considered. We can neither meditate aright upon divine things, nor yet scrutinise our own state with advantage, except by the help which comes from above, and in the light of that Divine Spirit whose province it is to illumine and to sanctify the soul.

Recognising, then, the never-to-be-forgotten truth of our entire dependence upon the aid of the Holy Spirit, let us proceed to examine how it is that the habit of meditation upon divine truth, and of diligent examination of our heart and ways, become instrumental

to the noblest of all attainments — namely, growth in grace, or a closer assimilation to the character of Christ.

The value of any habit may be often best perceived by considering the result which must follow from its neglect or omission. And the excellence of religious meditation may be tested by considering the evils which result wheresoever this practice is not followed. Is it, then, any exaggerated statement if we affirm, that the overwhelming mass of irreligion and crime by which the world is overspread, proceeds in great measure from the want of consideration ? That, provided men would pause and reflect — if, in other words, they would bring themselves to the task of solemn meditation, the unconverted would be alarmed, the careless be roused to some feeling of religious concern, the overflowings of iniquity would be stayed, and the impious would be arrested in their career of guilt and rebellion ?


It is because men do not consider, therefore they hurry on to the vortex of perdition. It is the absence of reflection which suffers them to continue unconcerned ; even the impenitent and unconverted, could they be brought to meditate upon what they in reality are — upon their actual position before God—whither they are hastening-towards what alternative, and to what portion, the result would


in an immediate cry of earnestness, What must I do to be saved?"

This observation is confirmed by recollecting that in almost every instance of conversion to God, one grand and effectual mean to this result has been, meditation. The sinner has been roused to reflect ; through some providential dispensation he has been forced to consider : consideration has served, by God's blessing, to expose to him his real danger. He has been led to perceive the fearful precipice upon which he has been hitherto standing ; meditation has

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