tion was to be made to divine juftice, by the fufferings of a divine perfon, remained a hidden myftery, till explained by the event. This was neceffary. Had the enemy been able to penetrate the defign, these things would not have been done. Satan would not have inftigated, nor his adherents crucified the Lord of glory.

THE powers of darknefs were laboring to fubvert and deftroy; they vainly thought to defeat the purposes of grace; but were made inftrumental in their accomplishment. "The wife were taken in their own craftiness; the purposes of the froward carried headlong; but the divine purpofes flood, and God performed all his pleafure! Oh, the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out !"

II. ANOTHER thing which our fubject fuggefts to our confideration, is the way of God with man. God hath provided a favior, and offered falvation -he hath pointed out the way of duty, and commanded us to walk in it-allured us thereto by promises, and barred up the way to deftruction by threatenings. Those who enjoy the gofpel, have life and death fet before them. But no constraint is laid upon them-they choofe for themfelves, and the confequences follow.

THOUGH the beft fervices of fallen man are imperfect, and mercy offered in Chrift his only hope, he hath reafon to expect faving mercy while feeking it in the way of duty, and only while thus feeking. When we "keep confciences void of offence,

toward God and men, then are we fatisfied from ourselves," and expect the approbation of our judge. When we at differently, we are condemned of ourselves, and tremble to approach the enlightened tribunal.

THESE views are natural-they are written on the heart, or confcience, by the creator's band, and indicate what we may reasonably expect from him who knows our hearts-from him who is moral governor of all worlds.

As we know ourselves to be free agents, and as we poffefs only delegated powers, we are certainly accountable for the use which we make of those powers. The duties which rife out of fuch a fitua tion, and the confequences which will follow, according to the manner in which we act our parts, need not to be pointed out-they lie open to every eye.

III. WHEN WE confider the ftruggle in Pilate's breast, between sense of duty, and a desire to please the world, and how it terminated, we see the danger of wanting fixed principles of rectitude-of not being determined, at all events, to do right, whatever may be the confequences.

PILATE's duty was plain. He knew his dutyfelt his obligation to do it, and wifhed to do it, that he might feel eafy, and not be concerned for confequences. But he had formerly facrificed confcience, to appetite, paffion, or selfishness, and it was known. This expofed him to temptation again to do wrong. He who had violated conscience to gain worldly ends, might do it again.

Pilate had expofed himself by paft conduct-could not justify his paft administration-his enemies might report him to Cæfar-he could not answer for himself before Cæfar; but if he would again violate confcience, oblige the Jews, in a matter they had much at heart, he hoped their friendship -that they would spread a veil over his past conduct, and report in his favor at Rome.

SUCH was the fituation into which he had brought himself by wilful deviations from dutythence temptations to farther and greater deviations-temptations not easily overcome--temptations by which he was overcome, and feduced to the most horrid wickedness--crucifying the Lord of glory!

THOSE Who would maintain their integrity, and ftand in the evil day, muft refolve to do right; to obey the dictates of conscience; they must beware the beginnings of fin; hold no parley with the enemy; never hesitate, whether it is not beft, in any cafe to yield to temptation; nor make attempts to please those who wish them, and dare to importune them to counteract the light of their own minds-" trimming their way to feek love."

To enter on such a courfe, is to go on forbidden ground. It is to pafs the bounds, and go into the way of feduction. "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away."*

* Proverbs iv. 14,


WHAT the poet obferves, refpecting one species of temptation, holds, in degree, of every other. "In fpite of all the virtue we can boast, "The person who deliberates is loft."-Young.

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JOHN XXI. 15, 16, 17.

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. saith unto him, Feed my sheep. saith unto him the third time, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he said to him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowelt all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

THIS was the third time that Jefus fhewed himself to his disciples after he was risen from the dead." But it was not the last time. "" He often fhewed himself alive after his paffion, being feen of them for forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Once he appeared to a Chriftian affembly-" was feen by above five hundred brethren" at the fame time. When he had given to his difciples thofe infalli

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