Billeder på siden

not taught in their youth to control their humours, than with those who really correct them afterwards. There are many who when they are grown up, or when they come to be old, accuse their friends of having been too indulgent and too tender to give them during the course of their education the needful checks or advice. There are many also who blame themselves for not having duly heeded the timely admonitions which they received. But such accusations, whether of others or of themselves, answer not any good purpose whatever, so long as they fail of producing real amendment. I hope that none of you who are listening to me will in your after years have to reproach either your instructors or yourselves with the like faults; but that you will earnestly seek both now to obtain, and as long as you live to preserve, the ornament of "a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

What an encouragement is suggested to us by these words! and with what eagerness ought we to strive after this treasure! we, who receive so much at the hands of God,

and can make to him so small a return! How happy, how thankful we should be to possess any thing that can be of price, that is of value, in the sight of the great and beneficent God! And yet, this thing of price, this meek and quiet spirit, which is of value in the sight of God, we ourselves value so little, that we often suffer the most frivolous trifles to rob us of it.

Learn to view these things in their true light. You will then see that not all the gratifications which pride, or vanity, or which any worldly gain can procure for you, are in the least to be compared with the peace, the enjoyment, the ornament, of a quiet spirit. This is an ornament, moreover, which cannot be taken away from those who possess it in a truly Christian humility, and who have purchased it by Christian forbearance.

To obtain this great possession we must both be ourselves diligent in seeking it, and we must also entreat of God by earnest prayer that he will bestow it on us for God, though he expects us to work, also requires of us that we ask his aid. He will

not hear our prayers for aid, unless we also exert ourselves. This his joint agency with us is one of the ways in which it is our Creator's purpose to draw us to himself, by making us feel our dependence upon him.

Let us then, my dear children, join together in hearty prayer. My prayer for you is, that, through the grace of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, you may grow up with " the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price." Join you also in prayer for me, that it may please God to bless my humble endeavours to show you the paths of peace and the way of righteousness, and that while I attempt to teach these things to you, I may not myself become a cast-away.



"With all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love."-Ephesians iv. 2.


AMONG the rules and principles for the regulation of the temper, I do not think that there is any verse in the Bible which I can place before you more usefully than the verse which I have now chosen for my text. entreat you to give your full attention to its meaning. You will then find that it prescribes a certain remedy for the evils of an ungoverned spirit. All who strive after lowliness and meekness will cease to be proud and exacting. They will leave off the thinking only of themselves, and will learn to consider the feelings and wishes of others. They who are "long-suffering, and forbearing one another in love," cannot be proud, or selfish, or quarrelsome.

Persons, on the contrary, of an ungoverned temper act in direct variance from this rule. Their pride is always on the watch to seize occasions of displeasure: they have little patience with, or forbearance for, the faults of others they feel for nobody but themselves. They are ready to be angry with every one, and they find most people ready to be angry with them. A cross word gives occasion for a cross reply. This again draws forth still more angry retorts; and thus a spirit of animosity and bitterness is often roused which spreads through a whole family or society, in the same manner in which a single spark will sometimes give rise to a wide conflagra


But what you ought to do is the exact contrary to all this. On the first appearance of any offence against you, you may, nine times out of ten, suppose, and suppose with truth, that it is merely appearance, and that there is not any real cause of offence at all. But even if there be, and if it be necessary or wise for you to pay any attention to it, what you should then do is to examine calmly into


« ForrigeFortsæt »