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intrusted, and which we are expected to improve to the glory of God, the salvation of our souls, and the benefit of others. Is it our conscientious endeavour so to improve them ?
I have thus endeavoured to direct your thoughts to those heads of self-examination, which are most naturally suggested by the story of Joseph the son of Jacob. From those “ fruits of the Spirit,” which we have seen manifested in his conduct, we reasonably infer that he was “ a man in whom was the Spirit of God:” and when we perceive the same fruits manifested in our own conduct, we may reasonably trust that the same Spirit is in us. It is hardly necessary to remark, that it has not been my intention to bring forward all those fruits, which the scriptures ascribe to the Holy Spirit ; but those, to which the subject before us has more immediately directed my thoughts, as being most signally evidenced in the character of this virtuous Patriarch. Thus much however may perhaps safely be affirmed; that where these fruits of the Spirit are produced, the others will be found also : and that where these fruits are not produced, whatever spiritual gifts and graces a man may pretend to enjoy, still the Spirit of God is not in him.
PRIDE A WORLDLY QUALITY: IRRELIGIOUS AND
1 John ii. 16. - The pride of life is not of the Father, but is
of the world. THAT the maxims of the world are often at variance with those of Christianity, is a truth, which needs not excite our astonishment. A renunciation of the pomps and vanity of the world is one of the terms, on which we are admitted into the Christian Church: “ not to be conformed to the world” is one of the rules, by which we are to be regulated in our Christian course : and we are frequently admonished by the word of truth, that the world is one of the
most dangerous enemies, against which we have to struggle in our progress towards Christian perfection. It is of course to be expected, that whilst its practices contribute to vitiate our hearts, our understandings also should be liable to be dazzled and deluded by its maxims.
I am led to these remarks by reflecting on the difference, which prevails between the ordinary language of the world and the representations of Christianity, on the subject suggested by the words of the Apostle.
The mind of the child is soon impressed with the necessity of entertaining, what is called by a strange inconsistency and perversion of language, “ a proper pride.” As young persons make their entrance into life, they are instructed to “ take pride” in distinguishing themselves, and surpassing their fellows. The force of early instruction and of general example cooperates with the propensities of a vicious nature, prone to weakness and vanity; till as we grow up, we make no scruple of pro