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corrupt world.

the freshness of their innocence, and by living unsoiled and pure in the midst of an evil and

Of the difficulty of this latter point I have spoken. I have said, we seldom see

I such a goodly sight as that of youth preserved blameless and harmless up to manhood.

But let no one think it an impossibility. Let no child amongst us-- whose years forbid the thought of any great sin- let no such child be taught to suppose that it may not, under God's guiding, keep its innocence. Rather let it be encouraged, by every possible means, in the endeavour; let it be told — let me tell it now that the true way to happiness lies in being good: let it be told, that to keep innocency and to do things that are right will assuredly bring peace at the last. Yes, and peace also here. Let not the young for a moment doubt, but that godliness has the promise of this life as well as of the next. Let them be assured that their life -- their life in this worldwill fall easier to them; that they will have less care, less sorrow, less rebuke of conscience, more of the sunshine of a calm heart, in proportion as they keep their feet from transgressing any of God's commandments. There is much that might be added

dded upon the means to be employed for securing to the young this happy condition of innocence. I will only

add, that in their endeavours to do good, and to keep good, they are sure of the mightiest support of all—the grace of God—the strengthening of their spirit by His Spirit.

For who may claim more surely than such as these, the fulfilment of His promise ?-“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed ; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

They that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” (Isa. xli.)

Yes, my younger brethren, to you is this promise made. God will help you! God will uphold you! God will be on your side in your struggle to keep yourselves pure! “They that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." See, then, that you look to Him for your refuge. Begin no day's work without your seeking God in prayer. Go not forth without first putting up this petition—“O hold thou up my goings in Thy way,

that my footsteps slip not. Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the dominion over me. Make me to go in the path of

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Thy commandments, for therein is my desire.” And at night, be your business, or toil, or fatigue what it may, never lie down to rest before begging the same gracious Lord to forgive the errors and misdoings of the day, and determining, if He spare you, to try and serve Him better on the morrow.

So shall you be kept undefiled and innocent from any great offence; so shall you go from strength to strength, with grace increasing as your years increase; till you be ready for your perfect deliverance; till again in your death be fulfilled the word spoken of the Lord by the prophet, “ Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

SERMON III.

THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES.

St. LUKE, xii. 1.

“ Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is

hypocrisy."

THERE was no class of men amongst the multitude who came to hear Him, about whom our Lord has spoken so strongly and so severely, as the Pharisees. In dealing with others, even with those who, in the eyes of the world, were furthest gone astray-with the publican, with the harlot, with the sinner–Jesus ever mingled kindness in His rebuke. To these He showed the merciful side of his Divine character. He taught them as they had never been taught before, and sought to win them back from their evil ways, by testifying to them of the love of God; by revealing God to them as their Father; by declaring that there was more joy in the presence of His holy angels over one sinner that repented, than over ninety and nine just persons who needed, as they thought, no repent

ance.

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But when He came to speak about the Pharisees, His whole tone and teaching were changed. He does not say to them, “Come unto me and I will give you rest;" He does not talk to them about the love of God; but he says, “ Woe unto you, Pharisees !” “ye blind guides!” “ye fools and blind!” “ye hypocrites !” “ye serpents !” “ye generation of vipers !”

Such language, coming from such lips, is very remarkable. It surely would not have been used had it not been needed. If a gentler dealing would have served to move the hearts of those proud, self-righteous Pharisees, we may surely think it would have been pursued. Such severe handling was the exception, not the rule of our Lord. For the most part he fulfilled the idea which the prophet had conceived of Him- as of one who “ should not strive nor cry;" “whose voice should not be heard,” loud, in anger, “in the streets,” who “would not break even a bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax.”

Why, then, you will ask, did He depart from His usual plan? Why, in speaking of the Pharisees, did He “cry” so loudly and so vehemently against them? Why did He apply such harsh epithets? Why did he describe them in such sharp and cutting words?

For this reason, brethren: because the Pharisees

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