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of others. Let us do what we will, or think as. we please, my brethren, the best of us cannot acquit ourselves of sin : for “ if we say
that we have no sin, we deceive our. " selves, and the truth is not in us ;" 6 if “ we say that we have not sinned, we make " God a liar, and his word is not in us.' The leaven of the fall worketh in every human being; and, however good in appearance, or really christian-like, the conduct may be, there is still something in the heart's core, that must ever remind us we are fallen creatures. So true is this, indeed, that the best of men, both of ancient and modern times, have confessed it to be the case; and the more they have improved in godliness, the more sensible have they become of their infirmities and unworthiness. " If I justify myself, says the holy and patient Job, “ mouth shall condemn me; if I say I am 6 perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. 6 Behold, I am vile! what shall I answer ? “ How many are mine iniquities and my " sins? Make me to know my transgres“ sions !"_" My sin is ever before me, says David, after he was regenerated by the grace of God; “ mine iniquities are gone •
over my head; they are like a sore bur
then, too heavy for me to bear:' and the meek, humble, and pious Daniel gives this
(6 mine own
description of the state of his own heart, and the hearts of his people: “O my God, I “ am ashamed, and blush to lift up my face “ unto thee, my God! for our iniquity is increased over our head, and our trespass grown up unto the heaven.
Our trans“gressions are multiplied before thee ; and “our sins testify against us; for our trans“gressions are with us; and as for our in“ quities, we know them.” Feelings and confessions such as these, my friends, must, in truth, always be experienced and acknowledged by every really good man; because, when he compares the holy and perfect law of God, (which admits of no sin, in thought, word, or deed,) with his own heart and conduct; with the many improper wishes, inclinations, and desires, which he must occasionally feel, though he do not indulge them; with the many harsh or unjustifiable expressions, which he now and then inconsiderately uses; with the many accidental (if not intentional) errors, more or less criminal, which he commits : when, I say, he thus puts his duty as a christian into one scale, and his frailties, difficulties, and lapses, into the other, he will forcibly feel, that however he may be thought of by man, he is deeply guilty before God; and that if it were not for the merits and atonement of his Saviour, who died to wash away the sins of the penitent, he would not be able to stand" in the day of judgment. Such a man as this, too, will carefully refrain from accusing his fellow-creature of the lesser faults which he may be guilty of, because his humility will tell him, that he has still greater ones of his own. He will not censure others, but en. deavour to improve himself. He will not be foolishly or wickedly anxious to pull the mote out of his neighbour's eye; but will seek for the grace of God, by piety and prayer, that he may be enabled to “cast out as the beam that is in his own eye."
(For the Fifth Sunday after Trinity.]
And Simon answering, said unto him, Master,
we hav; toiled all the night, and have taken nothing. Nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net.
N the gospel for the day, we have an
account of the circumstances which attended the calling of Peter, and James, and John, to be disciples of our blessed Lori). They were men of a humble situation in life, supporting themselves by the trade of fishing; but of honest, simple, and good hearts, such as, when enlightened by the grace of GOD, would be well qualified to teach the word of God in sincerity and truth. CHRIST, who knew what was in man, seeing them fit for the important purpose for which he designed them, went on board one of their
ships, with an intention, before he called them, of working a surprising miracle in their sight, which, being connected with their calling of fishermen, would be likely to make the deeper impression on them. As soon, therefore, as the ship had reached a deep place, he desired them to let down their nets for a draught; to which Simon Peter replied in the words of the text; “ Master, we have toiled all the night, and “ have taken nothing, nevertheless, at thy " word, I will let down the net." He ac- . cordingly did this, and enclosed an astonishing number of fishes; a circumstance which so strongly convinced him, and James, and John, of the divine character of Jesus, (of whom they had, probably, heard much before this event,) that they immediately “ forsook all, and followed him.”
My business at present, however, is more particularly with the words of the text; or the answer of Peter, when CHRIST commands him to let down the net. to speak the language of disappointment; as if he had said, " our labours already have “ been great, and have met with no success:
why then should we repeat them? “ We have spared no pains in our coilsome “ employment; but no blessing has followed
We are, therefore, hopeless of get