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of false associations. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter) but, when the Master comes, he will say, (and it is enough if he says it,) Well done, thou good and faithful servant ! thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. To set forth the special honour which Christ will put upon those servants who wait for his second coming, he employs, in the 37th and 44th verses, allusions to those ancient customs, where the master, at certain festivals, attended upon the servants, and afforded peculiar tokens of his respect and confidence to the faithful individuals among them. It is as if he had said, in other words, Blessed are they which are called to the marriag'e-supper of the Lamb. Where there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him: they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads. There shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither the light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.
. BLESSED is such a servant, also, in THE TESTIMONY OF THE HOUSEHOLD, over which his Lord had placed him as a Steward.
Speak, ye, who have been the seals of his ministry--begotten again to a lively hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! Can ye refrain from pronouncing him blessed, who was the happy instrument of making you feel your ruin and your relief? Will not
of have been warned, instructed, encouraged, and tenderly conducted as by, a nursing father-meet him in the great day with heart-felt gratitude? You feel what you owe to his labours; and what a peculiar act of grace it was that placed you where the bread of life was dispensed in season, with integrity, wisdom, and affection. It matters not what others thought of your privileges ; but it is impossible for you to think of them, and not to say, Blessed is that servant.
BLESSED is that servant, likewise, in THE TESTIMONY OF HIS OWN CONSCIENCE.
I remember, on hearing a pious minister, under depression, express some doubts of his own conversion, Mr. Newton replied, “ Whatever I may doubt on other points, I cannot doubt whether there has been a certain gracious transaction between God and my soul. I cannot doubt whenever I look at my former and my present objects, whether I ought not to cry, What hath God wrought!” It was not the peculiar privilege of St. Paul, to say, I have fought the good fight : I have finished my course: I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of rightcousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: for, observe the words following,
where he adds, not to me ONLY, but unto all them that love his appearing. Such a witness will not detract from the glory of God: he rather magnifies the power of his grace: he stands, like Legion, as a monument of it: and he will cry, after his boldest efforts to display it, Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
In the testimony of his own conscience, therefore, Blessed is that servant.
One cannot help here contrasting the real state of such a servant with his reception among men. A real Christian, and much more a Christian Minister, is a character utterly unknown in the world. He reminds us of that scripture, He, that is spiritual, judgeth (or discerneth*) all things, yet he himself is judged (or discerned) of no man: that is, he knows them, but they do not know him.
It is, therefore, no matter of surprise, with the real servant of God, if he be scouted as a fanatic, by the profane; if he be scorned, by the proud; if his character be misunderstood by the ignorant; or if his doctrine be wilfully misrepresented, by the malicious. All this he is taught to expect; and all this, and much more than this, he is willing patiently to bear. For, as that faithful witness in heaven, the moon, appears steadily to pursue its course among opposing clouds, cheering the pilgrim through the horrors of the night, while owls hoot and dogs bark at its splendour; so the faithful witness on earth above mentioned, while
avan givel, discerneth.
hé illuminates his particular station, -hailed by the children of light, but neglected, if not hated, by others,—will recollect how his master was received, and that he testified, This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds
· Consider such a Minister coming to bring men from their state of apostacy back to God. If we regard the standard of truth on this point, and see the end of men, we shall learn, that many of them that sleep in the dust shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. But, where are their instructors ? and what is said of them? It is added, and they, that be wise (or instructors, as the word signifies,) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament ; and they, that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.
One cannot help viewing with grief the reception which such an Instructor' meets with, when placed in the centre of a great city. In such a station he may present (as your late Instructor did) the inestimable treasure of the Gospel, not only on the Sunday, but in the course of the week. What then did you see? The Merchant rushes to the Exchange, heedless of his privilege: some friend points to the church as he passes, but he replies, “ I have no time now: I pray thee have me excused." The Banker, engrossed with the gold that perisheth, forgets that gold tried in the fire which would make him really rich; and he also prays to be excused. The Stock-broker hastens to his one object, and inquires of the first, man he meets, “ How are things now?” Would to God he knew! Would to God he had asked your
late Minister as to the real state of things! things that infinitely more belong to his peace, than those which he seeks. , The lady drives hastily by the church to purchase a toy, totally unmindful of that pearl of great price now, offered to her without money. In the mean time we are deafened with the clamour. Commerce, with its ten thousand voices, seems to cry aloud, " Money, is the one thing needful.”. Crowds passing to the Temple of Mammon, are ready to trample you under foot, as you endeavour to approach the Temple of God.
Besotted men! To pursue business, is your duty; but to pursue that only, is your
crime. What! has Wisdom so long cried aloud among you for this ? Has she uttered her voice in the chief place of concourse, that scorners should still delight in their scorning, and fools hate know, ledge? —What shall it profit you, cries her preacher, if ye gain the whole world, and at length lose your own souls? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Some, with a death-like apathy, pass the church, and say, He seems ą good man: others say, Nay, but he deceiveth the