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calm ; faith, patience, hope, charity, though the heavens and the earth are shaken around us. For we have received a kingdom which cannot be moved, and in the King thereof we have the most perfect trust: for us he stooped to earth, was born, and died on cross : and can we not trust him ? Let him do what he will ; let him teach us what he will : let him lead us whither he will. Wherever he leads, we shall find pasture. Wherever he leads, must be the way of truth, and we will follow, and say, as Socrates of old used to say, Let us follow the Logos boldly, whithersoever it leadeth. If Socrates had courage to say it, how much more should we, who know what he, good man, knew not, that the Logos is not a mere argument, train of thought, necessity of logic, but a personperfect God and perfect man, even Jesus Christ, “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,' who promised of old, and therefore promises to us, and our children after us, to lead those who trust him into all truth.
THE BATTLE OF LIFE.
GALATIANS v. 16, 17.
I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the
lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
A GREAT poet speaks of Happiness, our
being's end and aim ;' and he has been reproved for so doing. Men have said, and wisely, the end and aim of our being is not happiness, but goodness. If goodness comes first, then happiness may come after. But if not, something better than happiness may come, even blessedness.
This it is, I believe, which our Lord may have meant when he said, “He that saveth his life, or soul' (for the two words in Scrip
ture mean exactly the same thing) shall lose 'it. And he that loseth his life, shall save it.
For what is a man profited if he gain the 'whole world, and lose his own life?'
How is this? It is a hard saying. Difficult to believe, on account of the natural selfishness which lies deep in all of us. Difficult even to understand in these days, when religion itself is selfish, and men learn more and more to think that the end and aim of religion is not to make them good while they live, but merely to save their souls after they die.
But whether it be hard to understand or not, we must understand it, if we would be good men. And how to understand it, the Epistle for this day will teach us.
"Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. The Spirit, which is the Spirit of God within our hearts and conscience, says-Be good. The flesh, the animal, savage nature, which we all have in common with the dumb animals, says — Be happy. Please yourself. Do what you like. Eat and drink, for to-morrow you die.
But, happily for us, the Spirit lusts against the flesh. It draws us the opposite way. It lifts us up instead of dragging us down. It has nobler aims, higher longings. It, as St. Paul puts it, will not let us do the things that we would. It will not let us do just what we like, and please ourselves. It often makes us unhappy just when we try to be happy. It shames us and cries in our hearts—You were not meant merely to please yourselves, and be as the beasts which perish.
But how few listen to that voice of God's Spirit within their hearts, though it be just the noblest thing of which they will ever be aware on earth !
How few listen to it, till the lusts of the flesh are worn out, and have worn them out likewise, and made them reap the fruit which they have sowed—sowing to the selfish flesh, and of the selfish flesh reaping corruption.
The young man says—I will be happy and do what I like; and runs after what he calls pleasure. The middle-aged man, grown more prudent, says-I will be happy yet, and runs after money, comfort, fame, and power. But what do they gain? “The works of the flesh,' the fruit of this selfish lusting after mere earthly happiness, ‘are manifest, which are these :'—not merely that open vice and immorality into which the young man falls when he craves after mere animal pleasure, but ‘hatred, 'variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, 'heresies '-i.e. factions in Church or State'envyings, murders, and such like.'
Thus men put themselves under the law. Not under Moses' law, of course, but under some law or other.
For why has law been invented? Why is it needed, with all its expense ? Law is meant to prevent, if possible, men harming each other by their own selfishness, by those lusts of the flesh which tempt every man to seek his own happiness, careless of his neighbour's happiness, interest, morals; by all the passions which make men their own tormentors, and which make the history of every nation too often a history of crime, and folly, and faction, and war, sad and shameful to read; all those