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own lot hereafter ! Am I safe myself, and amongst the number of those who allow themselves in no wilful sin, but serve God in simplicity and sincerity of heart, so that I may have humble hope of being accepted by him?
A solicitude of this kind also, if serious and in earnest, will in proportion excite your benevolent concern and endeavours for others, that they may not depart out of this life under the loss of God's favour, the saddest state of all others.
For the rest, we should not give way to gloomy perplexing fears concerning their future condition, we should be content to leave his creatures in the hands and disposal of their all-merciful Creator.
This only remembering, that wickedness, unrepented of and unforsaken here, will never go unpunished; that injured truth, violated honesty and integrity will have their rights allowed sooner or later ; and that misery will certainly attend the evil man, whilst he continues evil and unchanged.
Thanks be to God for the admonitions of his holy word! To him be the glory for ever!
O God, blessed for ever, who dwellest in the light which no one can approach unto : whom no man hath seen, nor can see : but who hast graciously condescended to reveal unto us the whole council of thy will for our everlasting salvation, by our Lord Jesus Christ!
We return thee thanks and praise, O Father and righteous governor of the world, that in the wisdom of thy providence thou hast so ordered this thy last dispensation of mercy to mankind, that the hearts of thy creatures are tried by their reception of thy holy Gospel, and it is gladly received and followed by virtuous and well-disposed minds, whilst it is despised and rejected by men whose hearts are far from thee, and whom therefore in thy just judgement thou leavest to the darkness of their own minds.
Let this be a lesson to us, that it is no lightindifferent thing how we regard thy sacred truth; that we may receive it in the love of it, and become sanctified by it, lest thou withdraw from us the light, of which we are unworthy.
And preserve us, O Lord, from being offended at thy Gospel or ashamed of it, because
it contradicts our evil practices, or because it is despised, as was its divine author, by the men of this world.
Finally, O thou most holy, assist us by thy good spirit, in the great work of virtue and holiness that thou hast given us to finish; that it may become our pleasure and delight, above all worldly joys, to improve therein : so that when the evening of our short day of life approaches, and thou callest upon thy servants for the improvement of their talents, with which thou hast intrusted them, our sincere and honest labours in thy service, however imperfect, may be accepted by thee; and not of debt, but of thine infinite unmerited mercy and goodness alone, we may be admitted to the joys of thy presence, and to wear the unfading crown of righteousness, which Jesus our Lord, by thine appointment, will bestow on all thy faithful servants.
Now unto thee, O Father, who art the only living and true God, be glory for ever!
The Lord bless us, &c.
John vi. 43, 44.
Jesus therefore answered, and said unto them;
Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.
The history of our Lord's public life, of which these words make a part, is well known.
A great number of his countrymen had followed him from place to place, the greater part not for the benefit of hearing his heavenly discourses, but on account of his having recently fed some thousands of them by a miracle in a desert place, and prompted by lazy ambitious desires of living in ease and indulgence under one that had such a mighty power from God, and whom they thence took to be Messiah their king, at that time to be sent to them, and vainly imagined that it was to be a powerful worldly kingdom for the Jews that he was to establish.
To deliver himself from the company of such men, if he could not bring some of them to a better mind, he first rebuked them openly for their mean unworthy motives 'in coming after him; and when upon this, being chagrined and disappointed in their expectations, they set themselves to cavil with him and disparage him as not being so great a prophet as he pretended to be, and far inferior to Moses he
goes on to assert his superior character and authority from God. But to put them off and divert them the more from their thoughts of making him a king, which we are told they entertained, and to let them see that there were none of those worldly advantages that they looked for to be received from him, he avoids raising their expectations by saying, in direct words, that he was the Messiah, their great expected prophet, yet asserts it in figurative language, easy to be comprehended by them, borrowed from the miracle he had lately wrought before them, calling both himself and his doctrine bread that came down from heaven; to signify thereby that what he taught them was by an express commission and authority from God. For however we for want of consideration are apt to. mistake such lan