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Page 611

as a revealed covenant of life it was imposed

on Adam as the representative of his race, and

made them dependent for good or evil on his

conduct as their federal head. — J . Bitchanaji,

D.D. {condensed).

8 Man's attitude towards the holy angels

of God.

(i) Should be that of loving reverence, but

not homage.

[12753] The good Lord forgive me, for that,

amongst my other offences, I have suffered my-

self so much to forget as His Divine presence,

so the presence of the holy angels. It is, I con-

fess, my great sin that I have filled mine eyes

with other objects ; I have been slack in return-

ing praises to my God for the continual assist-

ance of those blessed and beneficent spirits

which have ever graciously attended me, without

intermission, from the first hour of my concep-

tion to this present moment ; neither shall ever,

I hope, absent themselves from my tutelage and

protection till they shall have presented to my

poor soul her final glory. Oh, that the dust and

clay were so worked out of my eyes that I

might behold, together with the presence, the

numbers, the beauties, and the e.xcellences of

those my ever-present guardians 1 — Bp. Hall,

1574-1656.

[12754] We must learn this duty not to grieve

these good spirits. As it is wondrous humility

that they will stoop to be servants to us that are

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lots for His garments, he has stolen from the

wardrobe of Christianity the only drapery which

saves his doctrine from indecency. What he

teaches as a substitute for the gospel is taught

by the gospel itself in the only form in which it

can ever be worthy of a moment's consideration.

If he would worship an ideal liumii>tity he must

take Christ as the object of worship ; if lie

would find comfort in the idea of an immortality

of perpetuated influence he must associate it

with a personal immortality as well ; if he would

see a typical illustration of true " altruism " he

must believe in the self-sacrificing act of our

Lord's atonement. But infidelity must go for-

ward or go back. It must go back to Christ or

on to despair. And when a man has discarded

the eternal hope in Christ it is not strange

that he should ask if life is worth living. Paul

said long ago if in this life alone we have hope

in Christ we are of all men most miserable.

When a man has no hope of reward and no

fear of penalty in a future life it is not strange

that he should see in the limb of a tree or the

water of a neiL;hboiiring stream the way to

speedy peace. It is the loud voice of Chris-

tianity alone that can say with effect, " Do

thyself no harm." Christ or Pessimism ; the

gospel of hope or the gospel of despair ;

salvation or suicide — these are the alternatives

placed before us in sharp antithesis by the course

of current thought. �ever was there more

significance in the Saviour's searching question,

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