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think to do us mischief. Let us bave the message ready, we are doing a great work and cannot come down. If they have anything to say—any proposals to make, let them come up to us. We have taken our place on the walls of Zion for life, and our next remove is to be up still higher to the Jerusalem above, where we may rest from our labors.

3. In the light of this subject, the claims of that association, by whose appointment I speak, are clearly manifest. All men are liable to fall in the midst of their days, and leave their families to be provided for, by others. None more liable, to say the least, than the ministers of Cbrist. The burdens and trials of their office, many cannot and do not long sustain. They sink beneath them into an early grave. “The fathers, where are they?" Gone, most of them to their account-entered into rest. Žion's strong rods, also, how often are they broken and withered! and their memory hallowed and perpetuated by the works that follow them, and the bereaved families that linger sadly among us! Consult we the nature of our work, then, or the records of the Church

we are impressed with the liability of our brethren to fall inidway in their career, and leave their sorrowing wives and children to our kindly sympathy, counsel and aid. I say aid, for, if the watchman may not come down from his work, to labor for his own support, he cannot make much provision for the future support of his family. Ordinarily, he must be himself poor, while making many rich. If he have the true spirit of his office, he will patiently submit to it. His Master was poor before him. He had not where to lay his head, and the disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as bis Lord. On his own account, therefore, he cheerfully consents to endure hardship, live and die poor.

But to think of leaving the objects of his warmest affection, in this cold world, portionless, is no ordinary trial. Were it not that he can point his brethren to them, as Jesus did the beloved disciple to his lonely mother in the hour of his dissolution, his agony would be insupportable. Behold, then, brethren, these sisters in the Lord--these former partners of the toils and sorrows of our departed brethren. Once, they were their companions in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. They helped to bear their burdens, conquer their difficulties, foster their faith and keep them from fainting, while they lived. They stood by them in the last conflict, went with thein down to the brink of Jordan, and never left them till they had passed beyond the ininistries of mortals, and bad angels for their attendants. Let us esteem them very highly in love for their works' sake, and labor to lighten their burdens, cheer their loneliness and cause their hearts to sing for joy. They are commended to your warmest sympathies and prayers.

The nature of our calling, fathers and brethren, is apparent. It is high, arduous, hopeful. We are pressed with difficulties on one hand, sustained by hopes on the other, and cheered on by the recompense of reward. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed-perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed. Let us stand continually in our watch-tower, in the daytime, and in our ward whole nights, with a vigilant eye upon the enemy, the gospel trumpet in our hand, ready at the first signal of danger, to set it to our mouth, and blow an alarm in God's holy mountain. Our position is a responsible and trying one. But we are not to stand here longwe shall soon be summoned away. A few more days of painful watchings and fastings, and we stand at Christ's judgment seat, our toils and conflicts over, and the results of our ministry to be weighed and adjudged for eternity. O, what shall be the decision of that eventful day concerning us? llaving been sted fast to the end, shall it be said to us, “well done, good and faithful servants -enter into the joy of your Lord?” Ilaving turned many to righteousness shall we shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars for ever and ever? God grant that this may be our favored lot. Then sball we forget in the glory which shall be Tevealed in us, the fiery trials through which we are now passing. " Then shall he that now goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.”

SERMON CCCCVI.

BY REV. ELIPHA WHITE, D.D.
PASTOR OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, JOHN'S ISLAND, S. C.

GROWTH IN KNOWLEDGE AND GRACE.

"Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ." - PETER iii c. 18 v.

KNOWLEDGE and grace are progressive. Like nature, society, and intellect, they advance towards ideal perfection found only in God. Nature originated in the incoherent materials of wild chaos, without form and void; and through successive periods undefined advanced to its present state. Society had its infancy and youth, and is now advancing to a state of manhood more perfect. And intellect, though more rapid in its progress, and certain in its attainments, has not reached human perfectibility: All these are in a state of progressive improvement. So will knowledge and grace continue to advance while we know only in part, and cease to be perfect as our Father in heaven.

The all-wise Creator bas not raised bis rational creatures to an equal elevation with himself, and placed them on the lofty summit of perfection. Nor may they reach this in their onward progress of knowledge and grace. Though they should become perfect in holiness, and know as they are known; yet being finite they cannot reach perfection infinite. There will ever remain a state of perfection unattained by men. Endless progression, then, may be, and doubtless is the law of their being. Their mental powers and moral susceptibilities will continue to expand with growing knowledge and grace.

Such is the principle recognized and inculcated in the text"Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ." This injunction is general in its nature, and unlimited in duration. All who acknowledge Christ to be their Lord and Saviour are to grow in grace and knowledge without any assigned limitation perpetually. Here is a divine recognition of the principle of progressive improvement-ceaseless progression towards ideal perfection. This should wake up the slumbering energies of the soul, and bring into requisition allits powers; as we contemplate the means, nature, and evidence of growth in knowledge and grace.

1. The means of growth in knowledge and grace. Like those employed in the attainment of other objects, these are various and from different sources. And though they range a wider field than the common means of grace, it is one in which the more enlightened find “green pastures and still waters ” that facilitate their progress.

Among these means are those that give an insight to the physical world-its formation, laws, and component parts-embracing natural history, philosophy, and the sciences.

Natural history furnishes an outline of the earth, as it came from the forming hand of the Almighty, who said, “Let there be light and there was light—who commanded and it stood fast;” and of its changes and present appearance, as affected by his curse after the fall of man, and the warning elements in volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes,and storms. It also furnishes a history of animated nature in its various ranks of being, and different stages of improvement. And while ranging over this field of nature, and studying its history, the mind is expanded and knowledge increased.

Natural philosophy develops the laws of nature, the course of changes in the material world; and the properties of matter, solid bodies, air and light. It also makes us familiar with the laws of motion, the mechanical powers, the angle of vision, the reflection and refraction of rays of light, and the colors of the rainbow. And thus it unfolds the mysteries of nature; till nature's open volume is read in every object around, and God is discovered to be the Sovereign of all. And while we contemplate the scene the soul rises to its just dimensions and in silent wonder, adores the God of nature.

The natural sciences analyze material substances and classify animate nature, till the several parts of each are made familiar. Chemistry reduces bodies to their original elements, making known their component parts, and showing their affinities

. Geology informs us how these elementary substances combined in organized bodies to construct this globe for a stage of action. Mineralogy describes the peculiar properties and appropriate uses of the different minerals designed for the benefit of earth's inbabitants. Zoology classifies, and teaches the various habits of animals, which bring the irrational under the controling influence of him, whom God placed over the rest. Ornithology treats of the various species of birds and their peculiarities, as they warble the praises of their Creator. While Astronomy traces the heavenly bodies in their various, vet harmonious courses of concentric circles, first around the sun of their own systems; then the centre of the more extended astral system; and finally the common centre of a universe of worlds and systems. Thus science throws open the avenue of nature and grants the mind free access to all her movements. And as it wanders over this vast field of nature, the soul rises to her etherial destiny, and feels an affinity to the master spirit of the created universe. Nor will she, in the rapture of feeling, and hallowed aspiring, fail to acknowledge him, "God over all.” And thus her progress in knowledge and grace is facilitated by physical ineans that combine all nature in one perfect whole, through which she looks up to dature's God.

Unlike these, intellectual means, also promote her growth in knowledge and grace. Disclaiming all acquaintance with the essence of mind and conforming ourselves to its operation merely, intellectual Philosophy becomes a faithful source of improvement. The operations of mind, no less than the properties of matter are objects of rational investigation. And though the science of Me. taphysics has been much abused and is generally denounced as a relic of the schoolmen; yet kept within its own appropriate sphere and based on the principles of induction, it is a delightful and important study. Through this medium-mental sciencewe discover the true sources of knowledge. Nor may they be understood without it--without an acquaintance with metaphysics —that, which carries us beyond the physical world, material objects, and makes us familiar with mind,and mental operations. This only prepares us to understand that we perceive objects through the senses; reflect on what we are conscious of—and believe the testimony of others— from which we discover that the only true sources of knowledge are the senses, consciousness and testimony. A discovery that necessarily develops the intellectual powers of perception, memory, abstraction, imagination, reason and judgment. Powers capable of improvement, and indefinite expansionthat reach away beyond surrounding objects, material substances, and nature’s scenery to the lostier contemplation of immaterial and

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spiritual objects that are eternal. And amidst these the mind feels its superiority to perishable beings and breathes out a holy aspiration after immortality. Nor will it come down from its aspirings, and be satisfied with the beggarly elements of the world. It must be on the wing, amidst etherial spirits, bearing away to the throne of God. And as it catches a glimpse, in its upward flight, of his transcendent worth, it is in rapture, and urges forward with renewed energy to reach eternal glory. Nor will it tire in its course, or cease its progress in knowledge and grace, while intellect lasts and immortality endures.

Again, moral means, differing from physical and intellectual, are not less efficient in their influence on our growth in knowledge and grace. Bearing upon the relations and responsibilities, of accountable beings, they necessarily bring into requisition the moral energies of the soul. And these being susceptible of improvement, we have recourse to the science of moral philosophy, that treats of the moral feelings, will, conscience, and relations of

And here learning their nature, and the province of each, our responsibilities are seen and acknowledged. Our desires and affections, with a strong attachment to ourselves, assume a moral character, that affords delight or occasions sorrow. Our will also being free in the choice of objects of affection, excite anxiety and needs control. And our conscience, sitting in judgment on these objects, and the desire to obtain them, becomes the moral regulator of the whole machinery of moral action : and, duly enlightened, never fails to decide correctly on the merits of every object of regard and the course pursued to obtain it—which gives its decisions an important influence in every moral movement. And being acquainted with our relations to God and one another, the obligations to both are most plain and binding. And these make us feel the responsibility of acknowledging them in deeds of obedience and acts of good-will. Such an investigation of our moral being, the laws of moral agency, and moral accountability, is a rich source of improvement. It carries us over the whole range of moral existence in ourselves, superior intelligences, and God-unfolds the laws of each and those that bind the whole together in one harmonious moral government. Nor is there ought in the range of physicalor intellectual attainments of equal moment. It is our moral relations, responsibilities and actions, that constitute moral character, on which are suspended the destinies of eternity. And each advance in moral science promotes our growth in knowledge and grace that qualifies us for the more ennobling objects and employments of glorified beings-to range over the whole extent of God's moral kingdom, and associate with angels and the Eternal.

Further, religious means, differing from all these, serve to advance our growth in knowledge and grace. They develop the strength of attachment to truth and things divine-particnlarly Christ and his doctrines. It is the heart or affections with which

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