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But is there any practical advantage, it may be asked, in drawing this distinction between the heart and the conduct? There is a great practical advantage, otherwise I should by no means have taken so much pains to exhibit it; for although the intellectual effort which is necessary on the part of the reader in going into such a discussion is of great advantage, I should not have entered upon it with that object alone. I design to introduce nothing into this book but what will be of practical utility.

It is then practically important that we should all understand, not only that our conduct, by which I mean our acts, whether internal or external, is wrong; but also that we have within us evil hearts, inclining us to go astray, and that this evil heart itself is distinct from the going astray which results from it. A clear conception of this is the only safeguard against that self-sufficiency which is destructive of all religious progress. "The heart," says the Scripture, "is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked!" The power which created it alone can change its tendencies, so as to make it as easy and as natural for us to do right as it is now to do wrong. To this power we must look. We must look to God, too, with a feeling of distrust of ourselves, and a conviction that help can come only from him. "Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Yes, free as man is, and fully and entirely accountable as he is for all his conduct, there is a sense in which he is a miserable slave to sin, in wretched bondage to a tyrant, from whose chains no struggles of his own will ever set him free. When he realizes this, and feels humbled and powerless, and utterly dependant upon divine grace, then God is ready to come into his soul to purify and to save him.

Such considerations as these, and many others which might be introduced if necessary, plainly show that man's moral feelings are far less under his direct control than his intellectual or his bodily powers. He may try to lift a weight,-he may try to run, to think, or to understand,—and he will probably succeed; but it is hard to love or to hate, by merely trying. But after stating this, and illustrating this principle, there is one sentence which I ought to write in capitals, and express with the strongest emphasis in my power. The heart is not independent of our control to such

a degree as to free us from moral obligation and accountability. We are most unquestionably free in the exercise of every good and of every evil feeling of the heart, and we are plainly accountable for them most fully, though we may not have exerted a direct determination or volition to bring them into being.

But it is not my intention here to go metaphysically into the incomprehensible subject of the nature of moral agency. My design is only to show to Christians, that the feelings of penitence for sin, and ardent love to the Saviour, are not feelings which they are to bring to their hearts by struggling directly to introduce them. You cannot be penitent by simply trying to be penitent. You cannot hate sin, or love God more sincerely than you do, by simply trying to feel thus. The heart is to be moulded and guided in other ways.

Some of these ways, by which the heart is to be led more and more to God, I shall describe.

1. By acquiring true knowledge. If you are a Christian at all, your piety will be increased and strengthened by bringing often before your mind those truths which show the necessity of piety. Instead of struggling directly to bring penitence to your heart, by an effort of the will,spend a part of your little season of retirement in reflecting on the consequences of sin. Look around you, and see how many families it has made miserable,-how many hearts it has desolated. Think of the power it has had in ruining the world in which we live, and how dreadful would be its ravages if God should permit it to have its way among all his creatures. Reflect how it has destroyed your own peace of mind, injured your usefulness, brought a stain upon the Christian name. Reflect upon such subjects as these, so as to increase the vividness of your knowledge,-and though you make no effort to feel penitence,—even if you do not think of penitence at all, it will rise in your heart if there is any grace there. You cannot look upon the consequences of sin without repenting that you have ever assisted to procure them. Peter did not repent of his treachery by trying to feel sorry. The Lord turned and looked upon Peter. That look brought with it recollections. He saw clearly his relation to his Saviour, and the ingratitude of his denial.

It is so with all the other emotions of piety. You will not succeed in loving God supremely, by simply making the

effort to do so. Look at his goodness and mercy to you. See it in the thousand forms in which it shines upon you: Do not dwell upon it in generals, but come to minute particulars, and whether old or young, and whatever may be the circumstances of your lives, reflect carefully upon God's kind dealings with you. Are you a mother?-As you hold your infant upon your knee, or observe its playful brothers and sisters in health and happiness around you, consider a moment by whose goodness they were given to you, and by whose mercy they are daily spared. Are you a child?-Look upon the comforts and privileges, and the sources of happiness which God has given you,—and while you view them, remember that every week there are multitudes of children around you suffering from cold, from hunger, from neglect, or who are summoned to an early grave. I have stood at the bedside of a child who was, a fortnight before, in her class at the Sabbath school, and seen her sink from day to day under the grasp of sickness and pain, until her reason failed, and her strength was gone, and at last she slumbered in death. A few days after she was deposited, in the depth of winter, in her cold grave. Blustering storms and wintry tempests do not indeed disturb the repose of the tomb; but when you are sitting in health and happiness at your own cheerful fireside, and hear the howling winds which sweep around you, or in a more genial season feel the warm breath of spring upon your healthful cheek, can you think of the thousands of cases like the one I have alluded to, and not feel grateful to your kind Protector? If your heart is not entirely unrenewed, (and I am speaking now to Christians,) these affections will be warmly awakened while you reflect upon God's goodness, and thus learn how much you are indebted to him.

It is thus with other feelings; they are to come to the heart, not by the direct effort to bring them there, but by bringing to view the truths which are calculated to awaken them. If your heart is right towards God in any degree, the presentation of these truths will awaken penitence and love; and the more knowledge we acquire in regard to our relations to our Maker, and his dealings with us, the more rapid will be our growth in grace.

2. The second means of growing in grace is Christian action. Faith will not only show itself by works, but works

will increase faith. Let a man make an effort to relieve a sufferer, and he becomes more and more interested for him. He first sends him a little food, or a little fire, when he is sick, and he finds that this does good. It relieves the pressure, and brings cheering and encouragement to the family, before just ready to despair. The benefactor then, becoming more interested in the case, sends a physician, and when the patient is cured, he procures business for him, and goes on from step to step, until perhaps at last he feels a greater interest in that one case than in all the suffering poor of the town beside. It all began by his simply sending a little wood, which was perhaps almost accidental, or at least prompted by a very benevolent feeling. This feeling has however increased to a strong and steady principle; and to what is its increase owing ?-simply to his benevolent effort. I have already once or twice alluded to the benevolent Howard, who went through Europe visiting the prisons, that he might learn the condition of their unhappy tenants, and relieve their cruel sufferings. And how was it that he became so much interested in prisoners? It devolved upon him, in the discharge of some public duty in his own county in England, to do something for the relief of prisoners there; and the moment he began to do something for the prisoners, that moment he began to love them; and the more he did for them, the more strongly he was attached to their cause.

The Apostle Paul is one of the most striking examples of the power of Christian effort to promote Christian love. He gave himself wholly to his work, and the consequence was, he became completely identified with it. He loved it better than he did life, and the strongest expressions of attachment to the Saviour which the Bible contains are to be found in the language he uses when he was drawing towards the close of his labours upon earth.

If we then would grow in attachment to our Saviour, we must do something for him. But notice, it is not the mere external act which will promote your growth in piety, -the act must be performed, in some degree at least, from Christian principle. You can all put this method immediately to the test. Think of something which you can do, by doing which you will be co-operating with God. The design of God is to relieve suffering, and promote happiness, wherever there is opportunity. And as sin is the greatest

obstacle in the way, he directs his first and chief efforts to the removal of sin. Now, endeavour to find something which you can do, by which sin can be removed, or suffering alleviated, and go forth to the work, feeling that you are cooperating with your Saviour in his great and benevolent plans. Perhaps you will find an opportunity in your own family, or perhaps in your neighbourhood; but wherever it is done, if you go forth to the duty under the influence of attachment to the Saviour, and love to men, these feelings will certainly be increased by the effort. You will feel, while you do it, that you are a co-worker with God,-that you are as it were making common cause with Him, and the bonds by which you were before only loosely bound to him are strengthened.

Go forward then efficiently in doing good; set your hearts upon it. If you feel that you have but little love to God, bring that little into exercise, and it will grow.

3. The last of the means of growing in grace which I shall now mention, is a humble sense of dependence on the influences of the Holy Spirit, and sincere prayer for those influences. I freely acknowledge the difficulty which this subject presents. If we attempt to form any theory by which we can clearly comprehend how accountability can rest upon a soul which is still dependent upon a higher power for all that is good, we shall only plunge ourselves in endless perplexity. We know that we are accountable for all our feelings as well as for our words and deeds, and at the same time we know that those feelings within us which reason and conscience condemn, will come, unless the Holy Spirit saves us from being their prey. How emphatically does the language of Paul describe this our melancholy subjection to this law of sin :

"For I know that in me, (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not. For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God, after the inward man. But I another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which


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