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directing Timothy to "charge them that are rich in this world, that they be rich in good works."

By good works is ineant works of goodness, goodness being the root from which they spring. Work is not at any time the mere execution of a task, or even the mechanical performance of a duty. This is rather labour only, or, still worse, drudgery. There must be mind, will, purpose, feeling in it, or it cannot be work ; and there must be some principle of goodness in these, or the work cannot be good. It is not sufficient that some useful purpose be served by it. This may be by accident, or at least by that relation of events to each other which is irrespective of the motive of him who, nevertheless, helps to bring them about. Still less is it sufficient that the outward form be such as goodness usually takes. This may be from a variety of inferior causes, the best of which can hardly be denominated good. Unless there is the spirit of goodness in the act, the act itself is not good. No work can possess what the worker does not put into it.

Good works, then, in the sense now intended, are good dispositions made visible, holy affections translated into holy habits. They are(to use the figure of our Lord) good things which a good man bringeth forth out of the good treasure of his heart. They differ from other works, to which the same quality is sometimes attributed, in this, that they are not done from caprice, or custom, or pride, or momentary impulse, or under the pressure of particular occasions merely. They come directly and freely from the heart, as light emanates from the sun, as water wells up in the fountain, as fruit grows on the tree. They are, in truth, the very things which exist in the heart, and differ only in the form of their existence. So the raindrops in the shower are one with the vapour which condenses in the cloud.

We have spoken of graces as the fruit of the Spirit. Now these graces become virtues exhibited in the life. One of these is love, of which both God and man are the objects, and this expresses itself in every way by which the one can be honoured and enjoyed, and the other enlightened and saved. Another is joy, and this, though an eminently inward and spiritual affection, yet shines through the soul with a kindly radiance upon the whole character and behaviour, giving to religion a beauty and power of attraction which others observing find it not easy to resist. A third is peace, or, more properly, that peaceful disposition of mind which naturally grows out of peace, and this leads an individual to avoid questions that gender strifes, and to live peaceably with all men. A fourth is gentleness, and a fifth, goodness ; and these operate, the one to give sweetness to the speech and grace to the manner, and the other to elevate a formal courtesy to active benignity, and to make a winning address the servant of a generous heart. A sixth is faith, or rather, as the word

in this connection probably means, fidelity, and this makes a man honourable and true in his relations to others, without meanness and without fickleness in his dealings, steadfast as a friend, and upright as a master or a servant. A seventh is meekness, with which longsuffering also may be joined, and this shows itself in resignation under affliction, in patience under provocation and wrong, in a calm and even perseverance in well-doing, when blessings freely offered are spurned, and good disinterestedly done is evil spoken of. The last in the grand catalogue of the apostle is temperance, which, if not absolutely the greatest, is yet the fitting completion and glorious crown of the whole. And this, consisting in that noble self-restraint and self-command which comes from the union of the individual will with the will of God through the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit, manifests itself, not alone in the correction and control of some particular appetite or passion, which by indulgence has acquired a corrupting and dangerous ascendency, but in the habitual government and wise and watchful discipline of all the affections and natural desires of the soul, allowing to each its legitimate exercise and fair measure of gratification, though always with due regard to the claims and interests of those that are higher than itself, and in subordinating the whole to that one supreme purpose of man's present existence, which includes and consecrates every other purpose-the preparation for an immortal life in heaven.

What is thus said, however, must not be pressed too far. It is not meant that these virtues have no existence of any kind, except as they are developed out of that change in man which takes place at his conversion. Many works there are to which we never hesitate to apply the term “good,” which, nevertheless, are done by those who make no pretensions whatever to having been born again : and these not seldom are the outgrowth of qualities which bear a close resemblance to the characteristic graces of the Spirit. We meet now and then with individuals of such natural sweetness and benignity of disposition, that they gain upon our hearts at once, and we are fain to speak of them as “almost too good for this world.” Virtues of a certain kind spring up in them as wild flowers spring up in the field, requiring nothing but the common air and sunshine. We meet, too, with others of such instinctive perception of what is just and good, and of such cordial approval and practical embodiment of these qualities in their general conduct, that little seems to be wanting to make them“ perfect and complete in all the will of God." Two such came before our Lord in the course of his public ministry. One of these was so beautiful and attractive in spirit, that “Jesus, beholding him, loved him.” The other was so pure in moral judgment, and so manifestly upright and true in motive and in act, that “ Jesus said unto him, Thou art not

far from the kingdom of God.” In both cases the commendation was very high ; but in neither was it wholly unmixed. To the young man whom he loved, Jesus said, “One thing thou lackest;" and this lack, we may be sure, was not trivial, but essential. In the commendation bestowed on the other there was a virtual declaration of a similar deficiency. For to be near the kingdom of God is not to be in it; however near, it is still to be outside. Only a single step may be required to cross the threshold, but this step not taken, the exclusion is complete, and may be final.

And thus it ever is. One thing is always lacking to men who simply work out their own nature. They cannot rise above their own level, and this level never brings them into contact with God. Their actions cannot have in them what their nature does not itself possess, and as there is nothing Divine in the one, so there can be nothing Divine in the other. That is a poor morality at best which takes no thought of God, which derives no sanction from his authority, and is inspired by no wish to please him. “Ye did it not to me” will at the last discredit much for which credit is now taken, and, indeed, freely given. And yet no higher morality is possible, until a higher principle, as that from which it shall spring, is introduced into the soul. The will of God must be enthroned upon the will of man, and this must be accepted as constantly regulative and supreme. The love of God must be shed abroad in the heart by the gift of the Holy Ghost, and this must be felt as the universally constraining motive. Hence the need of that great spiritual change by which we become “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." By no other means can the essential principle of a true Christian morality root itself within us. The wild olive-tree must obtain, by grafting, the nature of the good olive-tree. The new birth is the beginning of a new life, and the essence of this life is love to God. Whatever is done from this motive partakes of its character. As the motive connects itself with God, so also does the work. The one has a more than human origin, and the other has, therefore, a more than human perfection. What men ordinarily call virtue becomes by transmutation “ holiness to the Lord.” And this is the “gold tried in the fire,” which the Saviour counsels us to buy of him, that we may be rich.

Thirdly, the riches of faith and good works are followed by the greater riches of eternal glory in heaven. And yet greater, not as being something different, but as being the same things under higher conditions, and in much vaster measure. Nothing better than these riches is possible to man, and what he wants chiefly even now is greater facilities for their acquirement. These heaven will furnish, and to an extent of which at present we can form no con

ception. In this view it is that the words of the apostle, though not spoken directly with reference to the future life, have yet a deep and true meaning : “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Were it not so, heaven would not long to any of us be the place of blessedness to which our faith and hope now look eagerly forward. The splendours of a magnificent palace, however vast and varied its treasures, would, after the first surprise and the subsequent enravishment, be little else than the mockery of the soul's most essential wants, and of all its nobler aspirations and desires.

The sensuous delights of an Arcadian paradise, with its green pastures, and still waters, and minstrelsy of many harpers, would in time be sure to pall upon the taste, and to exhaust utterly the ability to enjoy them. No combination or variety of material things, however precious, and whether as answering to Nature or to Art, could enrapture the senses for ever; and if they could, they would fail to meet what are now, and must therefore be in eternity, the chief and greatest necessities of the soul. “I shall behold Thy face in righteousness : I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness," this was the assured hope and anticipated felicity of the royal Psalmist : and this, in actual possession and perpetual increase, whatever else may be auxiliary to it, will be, as it must be, the true and perfect blessedness of "the saints in light.” To dwell in the immediate presence of God, with, as resulting from this privilege, a conscious and never-ceasing approach to him in those attributes which coustitute the ineffable glory of his character—what can be heaven, if this is not? There may be much of material beauty and sublimity, in presence of which what is now thought beautiful and sublime will shrink and pale away; there may be much of song and chorus, by voice and instrument, in comparison with which the most dulcet strains now heard will have scarcely any sweetness at all; there may be much of congenial intercourse spent in delicious reminiscence, and free exchange of thought and sentiment on the highest subjects of human inquiry ; but the value of these, as means of positive enjoyment, will and must depend, first, on the possession in some degree of those moral and spiritual qualities in which the image of God essentially consists, and then, further, on their tendency to develop and carry forward those qualities to a still greater and ever-increasing perfection. This is to “ bear the image of the heavenly," and where this is borne heaven is not far distant.

The treasure in heaven, which neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and which thieves cannot break through and steal, is thus spiritual treasure. It is, in fact, the treasure, acquired here, perpetuated and perfected hereafter, and at the same time possessed under much higher conditions for its enjoyment than are possible

in the present state. To acquire it on earth is to lay it up in heaven, and only as it is bad in the one place can it be had in the other. This is a solemn consideration for us all, and it is of infinite moment that we ponder it well. The riches which the Gospel promises finally to bestow, it bestows finally, not as a gift, but as an inheritance, and the inheritance is by that very birth into a higher life, of which we have spoken as the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit. The divinely instituted order is—birth, sonship, heirship, ultimate and eternal possession. And hence it comes to be true, and the truth should be fixed in our memories as “a nail fastened in a sure place,” that “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Here, then, are " the true riches," riches of which the merchandize is better than the merchandize of silver, and the gain thereof than the gain of fine gold. If riches, as commonly understood, are personal possessions, these are strictly and eminently so, and are distinguished from all other possessions in this—that they are more excellent in their nature, and more lasting in their duration. They are not the accidents of outward circumstances, but the elements of individual character; and are, therefore, with a man always, in sickness and in health, at home and abroad, in every variety of fortune and throughout every period of life : nor can he lose or be deprived of them by anything short of that which is virtually and eternally the loss of himself.

Or if riches be considered rather in the light of enjoyment than of property--if that be deemed wealth, which, while supplying ordinary necessities, is the means to the most gratifying pleasuresthen to nothing can the term be more truly applied than to the blessings of the Gospel made our own by actual experience. Earthly possessions may be had, and little happiness be had with them. Their power to bless is, at most, extremely limited, while up to the full measure of that limit is also their power to curse. Did satisfaction spring necessarily out of them, then he to whom so large a share was given, and who made the fullest experiment of their capability, would not have had to confess, in sad and bitter disappointment, that these, too, were vanity. Instead of satisfaction, indeed, there is often little else resulting from them than feverish anxiety and fretting discontent, and there must always be these, or still greater evils, where the wealth is not subordinated to some higher good than itself. But “the insearchable riches of Christ” are in themselves an inexhaustible store of holy and ever-increasing delights. It belongs to their very nature to give happiness, as truly and essentially as it belongs to a sunbeam to give light. The one cannot be where the other is not. Compare the experience of the favoured King of Israel, after he had gone the whole round of human pleasures, with that of the pious widow, eating her solitary crust, and breathing out her thankful joy in the exclamation, “All this, and Christ

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