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Alas how mean does it appear in the disciples and servants of the Saviour to say, when His cause, the propagation of the blessed Gospel for the salvation of immortal souls, requires their absence from home, I cannot quit my houses or my lands, or my father or mother, or my brother or my sister, or my wife or my children. Does not such conduct shew more love to these than love to Christ? Our Society does not now require everlasting separation from kindred; and therefore, those who may and should, but will not go, are left without excuse.
I shall now close with one idea, on which I feel still more confident, viz. that it is the duty of every disciple of Jesus to subordinate his personal and his domestic affairs to the cause of God his Saviour; for as the knowledge of Christ is of supreme value and importance to himself, so the communication of that knowledge to the whole of mankind is an object, which with him ought to rank higher than
other. We are convinced this will really be the case with him who, in the language of our text, counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.
But, my Brethren, can we say that in this Christian land, this supreme regard to Christian knowledge is the prevailing feeling of the disciples, even those of them who are accounted most sincere. We fear not, Oh, how active and zealous and laborious are we for the
of indi. vidual and family aggrandizement! How much trust in our own exertions; how little faith in the Divine promises ! Laying up treasures on earth, providing a competence for old age, accumulating fortunes for our children-for these things the different classes of men in our nation, the literary, the mercantile, the civilians, the clergy, are all anxiously labouring. I decry not industry, but I do decry the making of these things) our supreme object : I do decry placing these things higher in our estimation, and nearer to our hearts, than the things which concern Messiah's reign, and a world's salvation. The precept which commands us to seek first the kingdom of God, and promises that all other necessary things shall be added to us, is applicable here as well as in our individual case. There is a
want of consistency between our principles and our practices; for that which we say we deem supremely excellent, infinitely important, and indispensably necessary to human happiness and salvation, we do less, than for many of those objects, which we confess to be very secondary to the knowledge of Christ.
Still, although I do not think that in the Missionary doctrine, or the Missionary practice we have attained, either are already perfect ; I do with you, my Christian friends, rejoice in what the Lord hath wrought ;-that he has, in these last days stirred up the hearts of His people to this great argument, and has made the feeble band of modern missionaries not altogether useless. But oh, how much yet remains to be effected! The empire of ignorance still how wide! the night of error in many regions of the globe, yet how dark! It is because so much remains to be done, that I have this day spoken, as if nothing had been achieved. I would not that my discourse tended to discourage; or should seemingly approach to querulous ingratitude. But in this cause, my brethren, look not at the things that are behind, but at those things which are before; that ye may press cnwards, and ever keep the eye of faith, steadily fixed, “looking to Jesus.” My fellow sinners-Remember Jesus; learn of him, and speak of him ;—for yourselves attain the knowledge of Christ, and diffuse the knowledge of Him in every direction—in your families, around you in your own neighbourhoods, and let the circle of your united efforts widen and widen till they reach the most distant circumference of the habitable globe. Begin with the knowledge of Christ, and end with the knowledge of Christ. Christ is man's best Friend. He is head over all things to the Church. He is the Dispenser of every blessing, temporal, and spiritual ; and all we possess, should be devoted to the service, or sacrificed to the cause, of Jesus Christ. Yea, doubtless, we should count all things but loss, however, in other respects gainful, that would impede our efforts to promote the universal dissemination of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. The longest life thus spent in any part
of God's world, will not only afford satisfaction in our dying moments; but will, I believe, be matter of joy in Heaven,
en we shall see Christ, and know Him as he is.
The following Paragraph was written at the Rev. Row
land Hill's house on the morning of the service, but not pronounced from the Pulpit.
But, О ye servants of Jesus ! if the reverse of this be your conduct; if attachment to houses and lands, and home and kindred; or the fear of man, or the love of ease, keep us back from the Saviour's work, where labourers are most required; will it not fill us with shame, even if we should be, through infinite mercy, admitted to the realms of bliss ? We thank God that he has poured out, in this our day, a spirit of mutual love, and an ardent desire to diffuse the knowledge of Christ to the ends of the earth. But we long to see a still higher degree of affection, and reciprocal confidence, and brotherly love, existing between the evangelists abroad and the churches at home. We think the churches should thrust forth to the most arduous duties some of the men whom they most esteem and love ; and not by a spirit of selfishness, hinder the Gospel of Christ. The churches should, I conceive, call men to their Lord's work among the heathen; and so dissipate the doubts of those who cannot see their way clear, and put to shame those who desire an excuse. : On the collective feeling and opinion of the churches, much depends, in this great work. They must make sacrifices as well as individuals. And when this shall be the case, when all hearts and all hands join in the use of appointed means, a blessing from on high, the Holy Spirit, will be poured out, and the knowledge of Christ fill every region of the habitable globe.
DELIVERED AT THE REV. JOS. FLETCHER'S CHAPEL, STEPNEY,
WATCHFULNESS DURING THE LORD'S
MARK, XIII. 35.
“ Watch, therefore, for ye know not when the master of the house
cometh ;" or, according to St. Matthew, “what hour your Lord doth come.”
Thx kingdom of heaven, or the administration of Divine Providence, under the Christian dispensation, is compared by our Saviour to the state of a household whose master is absent, having gone a long journey from home. The members of a household, or family, under such circumstances, are very liable to become remiss in the performance of their several and respective duties, and even to fall into gross irregularities. Those who have been left with a deputed authority, as stewards or overseers, often neglect their duty; and then children and servants avail themselves of this, to neglect what is incumbent on them ; or, it may be, that the superiors mal-treat and oppress the inferior branches of the family. It is, however, supposed in the parable, that the master of the house may return suddenly, and unexpectedly; and on this supposition,
should he find his household in disorder, he would certainly punish those who had abused his confidence, and violated their acknowledged duty; or the specific commands which he had, at his departure, given them. Under such circumstances, the best advice that could be given to a family, would be that which is contained in the words of our text, Watch; be careful and attentive to your proper work, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
It is generally thought that our Lord, in the discourse addressed to his disciples, in connexion with the sentence which I have read, referred to four events : to the destruction of Jerusalem ; to the termination of the then existing state of the Jewish church; to the death of individual men, and to the final judgment of all mankind. Indeed, its application to the general judgment, could be no otherwise appropriate, than by considering the death of each individual as introducing him to that state of existence in which he shall be judged. I will not this day refer to the awful calamities which befel the Jews, when Jerusalem was overthrown by the conquering Romans, in which trans, actions an immense number of human beings perished; but shall direct my discourse to two general topics : first, Man's relative situation; and, secondly, Man's obligation to watchfulness; and whilst discoursing on these two leading ideas, I shall consider man both as a creature and a Christian.
I. Man is not his own maker, nor was the world he inhabits produced by his power; his being is derived, the supply of his wants is from another, and therefore man is not his own master; he may not do what he pleases, either with himself or with what he possesses. Man owes his existence, and the sustentation of his being, to a supreme Lord, who is the great and glorious Creator of the uni
To him man owes life, and breath, and every good. If a fellow-creature, who affords any one the means of daily support, is entitled, by general consent, to a certain portion of service, to be performed with perfect good faith and good will, how much more ought man to acknowledge that the great Creator and Lord of the universe is entitled