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"carnal, and walk as men? Do we redeem the time " because the days are evil? Does no communication "proceed out of our mouth, but such as is good to the use "of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers? "Shall vain words never have an end?-A word fitly "spoken, how good is it; it is like apples of gold in "pictures of silver."

Secondly, observe how improper it is for a follower of the Lord Jesus to be sensual and selfish. Mary who hears his word, pleases him better than Martha, who prepares his meal: yea, Martha even grieves him by her assiduity to entertain him: he would rather feed than be fed. He pleased not himself. He shunned every kind of self-indulgence. He "came not to be "ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life "a ransom for many." And calling ourselves by his name, are we fanciful? Are we finical? Are we fond of giving trouble? Are we slaves to our appetites, and desirous of dainty meat? "He that saith he abideth " in him, ought himself also to walk even as he walked. "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with "the affections and lusts."

Especially should ministers be like-minded with their Lord and Master. They often at least occasion excess, and draw upon themselves reflection.The preparations made to receive them would imply a fondness for extravagance, variety, delicacy.

Let them attest their innocency. Let them shew their people that there is something they value more than good cheer, and that they seek not their's but them. And if they do not refuse to visit where they are thus exposed and insulted, let them, by their words and actions, discountenance parade and excess. Are circumstances of this kind beneath our attention? Is it not one of the lessons which the passage before us is designed to teach? When our Saviour sent forth his apostles, did not his admonitions turn principally upon this subject? For things in themselves of unequal importance with others, become weighty by their connections,

VOL. 11.

their influence, their indications. A feather, or a straw may serve to discover the direction of the wind, as well as a tree. What a fatal secret does that preacher betray, who shews that he minds earthly things!

Thirdly, we see what diversities there are in the followers of our Lord. Even the good ground brought forth in various proportion-thirty-sixty-an hundred fold. What a difference was there between the faith of the Centurion, and of Thomas. Abraham and Lot were both righteous, but how imperfect does the nephew appear, compared with the uncle.

The very

Many things diversify the degree, and the exercises of religion. Thus, the stations in which providence places good men, differ: one shall be favorable to devotion, another shall afford less leisure, and create more distraction. Constitutional complexion also has its influence. Thus some christians are more inclined to contemplation, and the shades; others are formed for the active virtues. The difficulties which chill the timid, serve only to rouse and animate the bold, and courageous. Religion, like water, partakes a little of the nature of the soil over which it runs. same truth was revealed both to Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel: viz. the succession of the four monarchies. Nebuchadnezzar was a king and a conqueror; and admired things in proportion to their worldly grandeur : accordingly he viewed these empires as an image whose brightness was excellent, the head of which was fine gold, and the subordinate parts of inferior metal. Daniel was a man of peace and of wisdom and to him they appeared as four great beasts, coming up out of the sea, diverse from each other, the first a lion with wings, the second a bear with three ribs in its mouth, the third a leopard with four wings of a fowl, and four heads, and the fourth dreadful and terrible, with iron teeth. Take an illustration from it. Imagine four persons one phlegmatic, another choleric, a third sanguine, and the fourth melancholic-drop religious truth into each of these and do you suppose that it will not

receive a tinge from each peculiar temperament? In all these cases, something of the original character will remain. And I always view it as a considerable evidence of sincerity, when religion, if I may use the expression, acts naturally-it shews that people are off their guard-that they have not a particular part given them to act. For were this the case, they would resemble one another much more nearly; and a dull, constrained uniformity would prevail. Thus it is with pretenders. If a man of humor profess religion without possessing it, he will keep a check upon himself, and by means of this appear grave and formal: but if he be really a partaker of religion, we should expect that his natural character would commonly shew itself, even in his duties: it would indeed be regulated, but not destroyed; the water would flow in new and proper channels, but not be frozen into ice.

Fourthly, we may meet with hindrances in religion, from those who should be our assistants. Such are friends and relations. A wife should cherish good impressions, fan the flame of devotion, and be a helper to her husband, in spiritual, as well as in temporal concerns but she may prove a seducer: she may lead him into vanity, and the dissipations of the world. Michael ridicules the holy joy of David. A brother may discourage a brother. A sister may reproach and repel a sister. Our foes may be those of our own house


Yea, even by religious friends and relations we may sometimes be injured. Instead of making straight paths for our feet, they may throw stumbling blocks in our way. They may press hard sayings, before the mind is prepared to receive them. They may discourage us by their expressions of assurance and ecstacy. They may be wanting in sympathy. They may censure and condemn our actions, from ignorance of our circumstances and motives.

Fifthly, how anxious soever we may be about many things, one thing alone really deserves our attention:→→

one thing is needful.-It is hearing the Saviour's words, it is an attention to the soul, it is-religion. What! is nothing else necessary?—Yes; many things ;-but compared with this, they are less than nothing and vanity. Other things are accidentally needful....this is essentially so. Other things are occasionally needful.... this is invariably so. Other things are needful in particular respects....this is universally so....needful for prosperity and adversity; needful for the body and the soul; needful for time and eternity. Some things are needful for some individuals, but not for others: but this is needful for all, needful for kings and subjects; needful for rich and poor; needful for old and young.

If, indeed, we judge of it by the people of the world, we shall not think so when we look around us. The many seem to be prizing and pursuing every thing in preference to this: instead of viewing it as essential to man, they seem only to regard it as a circumstance of his being and his welfare, which may safely be dispensed with. But let us take the testimony of God. What saith the scripture? "Wisdom is the principal "thing therefore get wisdom: and with all thy get"ting get understanding. Let us hear the conclusion "of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his com"mandments; for this is the whole duty of man." Yes, says the Saviour, one thing is needful. Hence we find David and Paul reducing every concern into one. ONE "thing have I desired of the Lord, that "will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of "the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beau"ty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. This "ONE thing I do, forgetting those things which are be"hind, and reaching forth unto those things which are "before."


Finally, it is worthy of our remark, that real godliness is not only a necessary, but a durable acquisition. Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be "taken away from her." Permanency adds bliss to bliss. Some things are not worth preservation; but an

invaluable treasure, a thing absolutely needful, will awaken all our concern, and we shall be anxious, not - only to possess it, but also to retain it.

And what a difference is there in this view, between religion, and other advantages. Nothing that we here possess can be called our own. What we acquire with so much difficulty, it is impossible to secure. If we choose honors, riches, pleasures, friendships, they will be sure to fail us, and to fail us often when we most need their aid. But the blessings we derive from godliness, are our own for ever. They are not liable to those numberless accidents which so easily deprive us of earthly possessions. No violence, no fraud, can rob us of them: our joy no man taketh from us: our treasure, moth and rust cannot corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. Even the desolations of death which strip us of every thing else, cannot touch the believers's portion: he can carry all his goods along with him into another world, where they will be for ever increasing. It is "an inheritance incorruptible and un"defiled, that fadeth not away. What fruit had ye "then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? "for the end of those things is death; but now being "made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye "have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlast"ing life."

Surely religion is wisdom-and wisdom is justified of all her children.

This review should therefore more than satisfy those, who, like Mary, have chosen this good part. Your choice will bear re-consideration. The more you examine it, the more worthy of all your regard will it appear. Be not ashamed to own it. Let religion be your boast, as well as your comfort. What is there to excite a blush? What in importance and continuance are the pursuits and acquisitions of the most admired of your fellow creatures, compared with your's?

It should also influence those who have not made it. And O! that I could induce you to decide, and to de

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