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In the life of not a few, the duties, the cares, the trials that are man's daily portion on earth, are the drag-weight that keeps them from rising to higher and nobler thoughts. Yet it need not be thus. Every day the earth revolves upon its axis, and yet, at the same time, it is being carried along in its immense circuit around the sun. Even so may it be, that a man daily performing his round of duties, and patiently meeting the trials that befall him, may yet by grace be moving onward along his heavenly course. Common life may be the discipline by which he may learn to rise above the world. It may be the battlefield, on which he may fight the good fight of faith. Nothing less than this is true religion.
The religion that is from above, is not wearing a garb of piety on the Sabbath, to be cast aside with the Sunday clothing. It is not saying, “Lord ! Lord !” whilst a man walks in his own way, and disregards the commands of the Master: rather is it Christ reigning within, and His will followed in the temptations that every day come upon us.
It is Christian principle so rooted within, that it issues day by day in Christian practice.
It has been compared to the blood in our system, which is not confined to one or two grand arteries, but warms, and vitalizes, and moves the whole man. It pours the tide of life through a thousand vessels, some of them almost too minute to be seen.
So pure religion is the moving principle of the new man. It is not confined to special places or seasons, but will ever diffuse itself through all the thousand little actions that are every day performed.
To this subject the following pages are devoted. It is of primary importance that a subject so intimately connected with the interests of the Church of Christ should not be neglected. It has been alleged that those who proclaim most fully the doctrines of grace, are not sufficiently
alive to the necessity of enforcing practical godliness. This complaint, whether it be true or otherwise, may do good. Let it lead Christian ministers more forcibly and more in detail, to press home practical duties upon the consciences of their hearers. Let it also lead Christian people more carefully and diligently to perform them. Let such duties, however, be placed on their right footing. They are not to be legal strivings to obtain justification, but the necessary fruits of living faith abiding in the heart.
To enter upon the duties of life aright, it is therefore essential to begin well, and to examine the foundation upon which they rest. The true foundation is the FREE FORGIVENESS OF THE SINNER THROUGH CHRIST.
Here is the starting point of a happy useful
If a man set out upon a distant journey, how can he do so with any comfort whilst he is laden with a burden beyond his strength ?
If a tradesman be responsible for long arrears of debt, how can he with any reasonable hope of success, enter upon a new business?
In like manner, unless the weight of sin be removed, it is impossible cheerfully to run the