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and seasons which the Father has reserved in his own power, let us apply with vigour and zeal to that business which he has assigned us; labouring to the utmost to promote his gospel, and, by a diligent improvement of our time and opportunities, to prepare for his final appearance, when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with more public splendour than he returned thither, and shall come in the glory of his Father, and his own glory, with a majestic pomp which every eye shall see, and with the sound of a trumpet, which even all the nations of the dead shall hear.

SECTION XII.

MARK XVI. 20. JOHN XX. 30, 31; xxI. 25.

AND many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I [John] suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Let us thankfully own his gracious presence with his disciples, whom he left behind him; and with admiring gratitude reflect upon the happy consequences of that presence, in the establishment of the gospel in the world, and the transmission of it even unto us, in so remote an age and country.

Let us especially praise him for these sacred records which contain such an authentic and exact account of those important facts in which we are all so nearly concerned; rècords incomparably more valuable than the writings of our private estates, or the charters of our public liberties. Let us earnestly pray that their great design may be answered in us; and make it our importunate request to Him who is the giver of all grace, that through the operations of that Holy Spirit, without the influence of which even scripture itself, with all our advantages for understanding and improving it, will be but a sealed book, or a dead letter, our faith may be nourished and confirmed by every portion of it which we read; and that our hearts may be so delivered into the mould of his word,

414

HARMONY OF THE FOUR GOSPELS.

that believing on Christ, under all the characters he bears, we may have life through his name; and may at length receive the end of our faith, in the complete salvation of our souls, through him, to whom with the Father, and the eternal Spirit, be undivided honours, and everlasting praises. Amen and Amen!

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