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edifice, raising story on story, adding wing to wing. Some build simply with reference to present convenience. They consult their own immediate ease and comfort. They just strive to provide for themselves a comfortable habitation, which will last out their continuance in this world. Others build more wisely. The future is to them vastly more important than the present. They seek to provide for themselves a habitation that faileth not. While some are saying, "I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruit and my goods;” others are laying up for themselves in store a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. You are now about to set to work afresh. How will you build this year ? -for the present world alone? or also, and chiefly, for the next?
These are most important questions. They are founded upon the knowledge which we have of man and of his destiny, of time and of the life to come, derived from the word of God. You are an accountable being. You are gifted with intelligence, reason, and conscience. You have a double. nature—a body and a soul - both the wondrous work of God, and mysteriously related to each other, but the latter infinitely exceeding the former in value and importance. You have a double life-a life connected with the world here, and a life to come connected with the world yonder. Hence the unutterable importance of the inquiries we have proposed. What will you, this year, write in life's book? Whither will you, this year, sail in life's bark? For what purpose will you, this year, make addition to life's building ?
This year may prove one of great difficulty and trial; you may be placed in circumstances which will greatly perplex you. Emergencies may arise in reference to yourselves, or your families, or your affairs, which may leave you full of doubt and hesitation as to what you should do. You may reach a difficult passage in life's book; what to think, to say, to do, you may be unable to tell. But One stands by who is infinitely wise; who is excellent in counsel and knowledge; who is acquainted with all the exigencies of every man's life; whose eye is ever upon us; who speaks not only to the ear, but to the heart; who guides not only the hand, but the will ; who gives light in darkness, and mysteriously directs man's thoughts and purposes. This year may prove one of temptation and sorrow; the soul may be dreadfully endangered; you may be lured on to spots where the water is calm and shining, but beneath there may be rocks, whose sharp-jutting points will assuredly strike and pierce your vessel, if you go there. Or storms may arise ; afflictions may come ; losses, bereavements, sickness, calúmny, the strife of tongues, may make the day dark
A NEW YEAR.
But with these possibilities before you, there is One at hand who will be your pilot, if you will accept him as such, and put in his hands the helm, and leave him to guide you. He will steer you out of the way of rocks, and shoals, and quicksands, or bring you safely through them all, and throw over you his Divine shadow by day and by night.
This year may be your last. Another first of January you may never see ; another Christmas festivity you may never celebrate ; another pleasant home-gathering at that cheerful season you may never witness. Next year, at this time, you may be where multitudes are now, who twelve months ago began afresh building for this world, adding house to house, and field to field, and have now, nothing left but the narrow grave. But One there is who will show you how you are to build, so that the building shall not fail you, even though you die.
Christ, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person ; the image of the invisible Gcd; the blessed Son, through whom the Father speaks to men; he through whom God redeems the world ; through whom he saves the soul of the believer; through whom he governs the universe; who is Head over all things to the church; who gives the spirit of wisdom, and affords protection, and imparts eternal life to his peoplehe will teach you how to write on the new page, where to sail on the new voyage, and what to erect for the new building.
Begin the year with Christ. Have faith in Christ; look to Christ, as the Saviour and Lord of the soul, as able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. Depend on Christ for mercy and acceptance. Trust to Christ for wisdom. Seek of Christ his own purifying Spirit. Live day by day consciously in the presence of Christ. Make him your righteousness and rest, your guardian and guide, your portion and pattern.
On looking back upon life's book, how many pages are there full of vanity, foolishness, and sin! You have been writing down things for many years, which you would be afraid to read at the last day—which sadly trouble you now, as memory turns over the pages of the past. Do you tremble as you think of their being written down in the books to be opened when the “great white throne” shall be set? Christ can efface the writing, so that though your sins be sought for, they shall not be found :
There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus ;" “ Being justified by faith, we have peace with God," Rom. viii. 1; v. 1.--As you review past voyages, they fill you with sorrow and shame, while you think of their having been employed in seeking the things of this world, instead of going after what would have yielded a revenue of honour to Him to whom the human soul, and the infinite future, and all time and thought, all you have and are, belong. Do you fear the Divine displeasure ? Christ will plead with God on your behalf: “He ever liveth to make intercession for us," Heb. vii. 25. As you survey the work you have been doing so long, you see that it has not been meant for eternity, but for time; not for the soul, but for the body; not for God, but for self. Him who gave you the materials wherewith to build, and showed you in his word how you ought to build, you have irreverently neglected. His authority you have set at nought; his rules you have violated. Does this excite compunction, and arouse a dread lest the Great Master should say, “ Thou wicked servant !” Christ is the Mediator between God and man: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them,” 2 Cor. v. 19.
In anticipating the future, it is plain from past experience, and from what you learn in the Scriptures, that you cannot write in the book, nor sail in the bark, nor erect the building as you ought, without Divine teaching, wisdom, and grace; without an inward change; without Divine illumination, renewal, and holiness : “ Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” You need the renewal of the Spirit day by day. Spiritual life is the endowment needled ; understanding, reason, conscience, will not suffice; and spiritual life must come from the Father of spirits, and the God of grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. He who gave life at first must quicken us to newness of life. He who renews in us natural strength from day to day, must also continuously renew in us spiritual strength. Not from a force existing within us, as some would teach, are we to look for the change needed by the soul. They suppose that what man needs is, to have the power and beauty within his soul already, brought out and perfected. Development is all they think of: the Bible teaches us another doctrine. It shows that what man needs is, to have a new life imparted to him, which at present he has not. Regeneration, Christ insists upon : “ Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” John iii. 5, 6. “ According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," Titus iii. 5.
And now go thy way, reader; and may this year's page be written in sentences such as shall give thee joy to read in thy death hour, by the light of eternity.—May this year's expedition over time's uncertain sea be crowned by the in-gathering of much precious knowledge, wisdom, grace, and holiness : a freightage thou shalt carry with delight into the harbour of eternity.-May this year's work be not that which shall be burned with fire, but that which shall be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
e our Lord. Pirits, and tied spiritu
THE ANCHOR OF THE SOUL. It is a noble sight when a gallant ship, with swelling sails and pennant streaming in the breeze, glides out of port, and when amidst the cheers of her crew, re-echoed from the shore, she speeds away on her voyage; her build strong, her shape beautiful, her captain skilful, and everything indicating that in due time she will return in safety, laden with the rich products of far distant climes. But the vessel has not been long at sea, before a storm comes on. It is midnight; she is scudding under bare poles before the tempest; when suddenly is heard the cry of alarm, “ Breakers ahead!” A lee-shore, with dangerous shoals and rocks, is at hand, and in a few minutes the beautiful ship must be dashed to pieces. What is to be done? Hark! amidst and above the roar of winds and waves is heard the calm, clear voice of the brave captain—"Let go the anchor !” And from the bows the anchor drops into the boiling surge, and plunging many a fathom down, it grapples with the sandy bottom. Instantly the vessel is arrested in her onward course, she swings round, and soon all fears for her safety pass away. A joyful hope now cheers every heart that when the storm abates and the morning dawns, the anchor shall be weighed, and the vessel pursue her voyage towards the desired port.
When an inspired apostle speaks of the hope of true believers
and holy one who is bor brate, Lord of and the dhe proudu
in Christ, he calls it the “ ANCHOR OF THE Soul," Heb. vi. 19, by which Hope and Anchor is meant Jesus himself. Just as the anchor saves the vessel from destruction when exposed to the furious storm, so does the Divine Anchor save all “ who have ffed for refuge to lay hold upon” it, from eternal ruin. But many persons fatally mistake the nature of the hope upon which they are resting as their anchor.
There are very few indeed of those who are in a state of alienation from God, who do not cherish a hope that they shall obtain everlasting life. But, alas ! their hope is as a reed " whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it,” Isa. xxxvi. 6; for we are assured that “when a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish," Prov. xi. 7; and “ all the proud-and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble : and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch," Mal, iv. 1. Thus there are many persons who are living in constant rebellion against a just and holy God, despising his word, his sabbath, his sanctuary, and his people; and instead of walking in his ways, are taken captive of the devil at his will; and every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts is only evil continually, Gen. vi. 5; and yet, when some alarming occurrence-such as a dangerous illness, or the sudden death of an acquaintance, terrifies their consciences for a moment and troubles them they hush every fear with the hope that when a dying hour comes they shall seek and find mercy. This to multitudes has proved a "refuge of lies." Men generally, die as they live. And if any man abuse the doctrine of Divine mercy as a license to continue in sin, what can he expect but that while a false hope is whispering peace and safety, sudden destruction should come upon him, and that he should not escape ? 1 Thess. v. 3. · Others, again, are so blind to the nature of sin as the abominable thing which God hates, that, under the influence of their own deceitful hearts, they imagine that God cannot so strongly disapprove of the indulgence of appetites which he has implanted, and will never punish what they call their little failings with eternal woe. They thus insult God by supposing that he is sucḥ a one as themselves, and they make him a liar, since he has expressly declared that “the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God," Psa. ix. 17; and that | if men will not pluck out the right eye, and cut off the right | hand--that is, deny themselves to all unlawful and intemperate | gratifications, they must be "cast into hell, into the fire that
never shall be quenched; where their worin dieth bot, and the fire is not quenched," Mark ix. 45, 46. If any reader of this tract is making a profession of godliness, and yet has only a mere