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for this world's sojourners, a vast supply of all that conduces to comfort and delight; and for sinful creatures has furnished all the glorious blessings of the everlasting Gospel; we ask not only for a spirit of dependence, obedience, contentment, and resignation, but also of
5. Gratitude, which is our fifth particular. The unholy, the proud, the disobedient, the discontented, the rebellious murmurers and complainers, are also ungrateful and unthankful. The mind that is convinced of its own demerits, will, in the midst of the most afflictive circumstances, see abundant reason for gratitude, to God. Humility and thankfulness, pride and ingratitude, go together. Blessed are the poor in spirit and the grateful; but the proud and thankless sinner God knoweth afar off. You perceive, my young friends, that most of these inferences, which I draw from our condition on earth, being that of strangers and sojourners, refer to the duties which are exercised in the mind or heart; for unless our hearts be right with God, we are altogether wrong. The Lord looks directly at the heart. If in the heart there be a humble sense of our dependence on Him; awe and reverence, and devout admiration and contentment, and resignation and gratitude, for all that He is to us, and has done for us, as our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, happy are we! Then will our actions and external behaviour be in obedience to his holy, and righteous, and merciful commandments.
6. And, we mention, as a sixth inference, that we sojourners on earth ought to enter cheerfully and zealously into a co-operation with the declared intentions or designs of our great Lord, both with regard to ourselves, and to our fellow inhabitants of the world. He is the great Benefactor of all; and it has pleased him to constitute some persons a sort of stewards in the great family. The possession of justly acquired power or affluence, or superior talents, is given for the good of the whole company of sojourners, and not for the sake only of the individual possessors. To do good and to communicate, is a precept binding on all, to the extent of their means; and of course it applies both to body and to mind, to the whole man;
self: took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. He cheerfully gave himself a sacrifice for us. He was made a curse for us, that he might redeem us from the curse of the law. He bore for us what was equivalent to everlasting perdition.
I have not mentioned that he revealed to men fully the law of God-that he brought life and immortality to light; for my mind was led away to the great work of making atonement for our trangressions. For what would it have availed to have made known to us the law of God, if it only showed to us more clearly our crimes and our guilt? What would the knowledge of immortality have availed, if we were to have been immortally miserable? But Jesus died that we might live. And what are his relations to us? He is our Surety; he is our Shepherd to feed us, and to lead and guide us; he is our elder Brother; by faith in him, we are received into the family of God: Yea, we are bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh.
And what is his fulness? His fulness is inexhaustible. In him there is a fulness of power, of wisdom, of goodness, of grace, but I enumerate them not; the Book of Inspiration has said more than the mind of man can conceive of his fulness; for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Wherefore consider, my Christian brother, the relations in which Jesus stands to thy soul. Who he is, what he has done, and the fulness that is treasured up in him. I say, consider it, and believe it, and say if there be reason for your heart to be troubled.
Is there not in the faith of Jesus enough to raise our minds far above, as far as the heavens are above the earth, and to make us move as undisturbed as the celestial orbs amidst all the convulsions that rend the solid world. Let us pass on to the
Second thought that is suggested for our consolations. Our Saviour says, In my Father's house are many mansions. I wish you, my brethren, to realize what Is your state whilst in this world, viz. That of strangers and pil
government, and would have men live as atheists in the world.
O ye Christians-ye loyal subjects of Zion's King-ye true worshippers of the God of the Bible; who is the great Lord of our present, and of our eternal residence— and who declared it to be his will, that Christ's gospel should be proclaimed and taught to every creature-be it your study to co-operate in this divinely benevolent work! And among other motives, the
Second division of our discourse, which is, that
II. Man's sojourn on earth shall inevitably terminate, furnishes not the least. Man is here a stranger, a sojourner, a guest, a traveller, a pilgrim. The Christian pilgrim is going indeed to a holy-place, but not on earth. Here he abides not. This description of the life of man implies another state of existence; the belief of which, as you are well aware, is not peculiar to Christianity, or to revealed religion. The belief of a separate state of existence, different from our earthly one, is found not only among the Mohammedans, who may have derived it from the Christian religion; but it is also found among the savage tribes of America, and the old civilized nations of Asia. There are, however, in different countries, individuals and sects who deny it. There is nothing about it in the books left to the eastern world by the Chinese moralist Confucius; and many of his followers deny it. But, on the other hand, a great majority of the Chinese not only believe that we human beings shall exist after our bodies die, but also that we existed in another state before we were born into this world; and on their supposition we are, in a very striking manner, only "strangers and sojourners," on earth. There is, perhaps, no absurdity in this notion; but we can only say, it wants evidence, and God's inspired servants, who wrote our Holy Scriptures, have not taught it in the Bible. We therefore reject it, as we do every other theory or supposition, which, however plausible, has no proof. But the glimmerings and antici
pations of the human mind, in reference to a future state, are abundantly confirmed and put beyond all doubt by the revelation of Him who came down from heaven, to give his life for the redemption of the world;-He has brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel. Some persons have said that the Jews did not look for a future state; and an English Bishop of the last century, (Warburton), wrote a book, on the supposition that the Jews did not expect an hereafter. But the ancient Patriarchs, and king David, when they confessed that they were "strangers and sojourners" on earth; "declare plainly," as St. Paul observes, in his letter to the Hebrews, that they looked for another country; and truly, if their minds referred, when they made such a declaration, to the country from which they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned; but now they desire a "better country,"-" that is a heavenly." If St. Paul understood the old Testament, it is manifest the Bishop was wrong.
Since, then, mankind generally, in all ages and in all nations, in the old world of Asia, and the new world of America, have believed in a future state, and the same is confirmed by the sacred writings of the Jews and of the Christians, is it wise, my young friends, to let the bold assertions of here and there a profligate infidel, or an irreligious cold-hearted sceptic, have any weight on your
A very few deny an hereafter; many wish there were and still more live as if there were none: and even those who are " looking" for a future state, alas! too frequently seem to forget that their sojourn here shall inevitably soon terminate. This appears, even among the most devout Christians, by their being too much distressed about the ills and discomforts of their present abode, and from an undue anxiety to secure earthly comforts. And of this inconsistency the aged, who have nearly finished their course, are often more guilty than the young. This state of mind is full of distrust in the gracious Lord and Master, who has in times past provided for them: it meets, indeed, with some excuse in the prevailing vice of selfish mortals
feel, I trust, though you cannot explain, his happy influences; but still you look forward, and hasten to the coming of the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. When he will come he has not told us; but he says, " Lo! I come quickly." -He will come at the hour of our death, previous to which the time may be but very short. I do not mention five, or ten, or twenty years, which will most assuredly bring many of us to death and to the house appointed for all living;-but I mention a hundred years, which will bring us all to death, and introduce us to our Lord.
But we stop not here: direct your prospect onward still to the great and notable day of the Lord, when he shall come in flaming fire in his glory-in the glory of the Father and all the holy angels with him; and by his allcreating voice, that spoke the universe into existence, shall rouse thy dust from the slumbers of death, and transform thy body; and in the audience of an assembled world shall bid thee welcome to his Father's house, and to those mansions which were prepared for thee from the foundation of the world.
But are we sure that Jesus will come again? where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers slept, all things continued as they were. My young brother, suffer not Satan to whisper into thine ear such an insinuation. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Know ye not that a thousand years are with the Lord as one day, and one day is as a thousand years? You have seen the promises of Jesus fulfilled in other instances, and these furnish a rational evidence that this also shall be fulfilled in its time. But what shall succeed my Lord's coming? shall I see him whom my soul loveth for a short time, and again be separated from him? No;he will receive us to himself, that where he is, there we may be also; we shall be ever with the Lord. And this is the
Fifth and last source of consolation offered in our