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members of his kingdom here, to fit us for his presence in the kingdom of glory. Had he no sins to repent of? Had he, indeed, kept the whole law? If his outward actions had been thus correct, had his thoughts been always pure? In the long retrospect of the past, was there nothing done which ought to have been undone? nothing undone which God commanded to be done? Did he dread no secret or unobserved sins, which man forgets as soon as committed, but which are written in God's book? Of all this there is nothing. Or had he no spiritual enemies to fear? Were there no temptations to which he felt liable? Was there no assistance of God which he needed? no further progress which he desired?
Again there was nothing, nothing ! nought but the cold confession, 66 God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are.”
He stands a guilty creature before his Judge, and boasts his innocence: he stands sick and diseased before his Physician, and boasts his health: he stands before a merciful Father, ready to forgive, and will not ask forgiveness ! The selfrighteous cannot repent as sinful man ought: he cannot embrace God's mercy as he ought: he cannot love him as redeemed man should endeavour to love him: cannot pray for future aid; cannot really wish for advances in holiness. Repentance, the means of pardon, love of God, spiritual assistance in weakness, are all at once cut off from him: and in whatever degree any of us approach to his character, as long as we remain so, they are cut off from us.
66 I thank thee that I am not as other men are.” Now, what should have been his feelings, and what should be ours, when we hear or read as in this sinful world we must-of the grievous sins of
others ? The first is that of sorrow; that one for whom Christ died, a member of the body of Christ, should thus have fallen. “ If one member suffers,” says St. Paul, “all the members suffer with it,”(1 Cor. xii. 26): “for we,” he says again, “ being many, are
one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”—(Rom. xii. 5.) Were it our friend, or our brother, or sister, or son, should we thank God that we were not as they ? Should we not rather, while we prayed for them, humble ourselves before God?" should we not feel ashamed that one of our family had thus sinned ? Should we blazon it abroad, or talk of it to others, or exult over him? Before God we are all brethren-brethren by creation, brethren much more by redemption: we all form one family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed: and as we should mourn and feel shame ourselves for one of our family who went astray, so ought we also for one of the great family, for whom Christ shed his blood.
One of the most pious, and the greatest of the ancient Christians, said, that the sins of others always made him the more humble, because he found in himself a disposition to the like things.' We have cause of shame, indeed, if we look into our own hearts, and search whether there be not in us any thing of the same evil disposition, which in our brother broke out into sin. 66 Thou art inexcusable, Oman,” says St. Paul, “ whosoever thou art, that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself.”—(Rom. ii. 1.) Thou, then, who judgest another, judgest thou not thyself? Thou dost not, as the heathen, take other gods beside the Lord : well—but can you say that you “ love the Lord thy God with all thy