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true light now shineth. Through Christ's com. ing, iniquity has been lefsened, even among un believers; for the real Christans, though few, have held up to view the nature of true good ness, and even bad men have, in some measures been constrained to imitate them; they have al: so grown more ashamed than they otherwise would have been of their vices.
But who can calculate the blessing which Christianity hath been to thousands of true believers ? How many lives have been made holy here on earth; how many hearts have been cheered and comforted by it; how many deaths, which would otherwise have been most gloomy, have been rendered joyful and triumphant; and above all, how many immortal souls have been saved, and made happy to all eternity, through faith in this blessed Redeemer! “ My sheep,' says Christ, “ hear my voice, and they follow me, and I give unto my sheep eternal life ; and they shall never perish, neither shall any.pluck them out of my hands."-"I go to prepare a place for them, that where I am they may be also.”
And now, reader, what are your thoughts on the subject of our Saviour's appearance on this earth of ours ? If you are a true Christian, your language will be such as the following: “It is through the coming of Christ into the world, that I have learned to know myself, and to know the God who made me. I am by nature blind and ignorant; I am also sinful and un
done; I am utterly without hope, except through the mercy
Saviour; and even though I have been born in a Christian land, I can trace back, in my recollection, many proofs of this my natural ignorance, and corruption, and hardness of heart. I was once like a sheep going astray, but I am now returned to the shepherd of my foul. I followed the bent of my own foolish will, but the grace of God in Jesus Christ hath changed my sinful heart; the knowledge of my corruption has humbled me; the thought of my Saviour's dying for me has stirred up divine gratitude within me, and that acquaintance with bis gospel which I have gained, hath changed my whole views of life. Christ's character delights me; I read the history of his humble birth, his painful death, and his glorious resurrection, as it is recorded in scripture, with hope and joy, and with holy confidence and trust. How shall I sufficiently bless God for Jesus Christ! Whatever change has been wrought in me, I trace to Christ's coming into the world. If Christ had never come, how corrupt should I at this moment have been, how blind, how dark, how ignorant, how different from what, through the grace of God, I now am! How miserable, in comparison of my present happiness! I am engaged, indeed, in a sharp conflict with my fins; but through my Saviour's help, I hope to gain ground against them. I have occasionally, doubts and fears, but, in general, I feel confident that the promises of God are sure and cer
tain in Christ Jesus; for I know in whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that foul which I have committed to him till the great day."
A CHRISTMAS HYMN.
JOY to the world, the Lord is come,
Let earth receive her king;
And heav'n and nature fing.
Let men their songs employ,
Repeat the sounding joy.
Nor thorns infest the ground;
Far as the curse is found.
Our father ate forbidden fruit,
And from his glory fell,
To death, and near to hell.
To take our flesh and blood,
To make our peace with God,
He honor'd all his Father's laws,
Which we have disobey'd ; He bore our fins upon the cross,
And our full ransom paid.
Behold him rais'd on high:
Transgressors, doom'd to die.
And with a sovereign voice
I then with joy appear
Sing his redeeming grace,
ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE. PAUL
was one of the chief aposles. The greater part of the episles of the New Testament were written by him, and it is therefore well worth the while of every Christian, to beftow some pains in considering both his character and his wonderful history.
In order, properly, to introduce the present subject of Paul's Conversion, it is neceflary first to say something of the ancient prophecies concerning Christ, by which means we shall shew the good reason which Paul had for believing in him at the time when he appeared.
The Old Testament prophecies of our Saviour are many; for his appearance on earth was an event of vast importance; and it is no wonder, therefore, that early notice of it was given in the sacred writings. In the beginning of the world, when our firit parents had finned, the fentence of death immediately passed upon them, but no sooner was this curse pronounced, than the mercilul promise was also given, that “ the feed of ihe woman should bruise the serpent's head;" a promise which related to Christ, though as yet dark and mysterious, and which was in