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To offer, in conclusion, any additional application of the parable may appear unnecessary, when the spirit in which we have endeavoured to conduct the whole discourse is duly considered. Principles have been repeated, adapted for salutary improvement on the part of those whose prosperity has been guarded by their possession of divine grace; and surely, on the other hand, they who have been guilty of sacrificing only on the altar of covetousness, or unholy pleasure, heedless of their stewardship and end, have listened to directions, to obey which would save them from guilt and perdition. That such must soon leave what they now hold in so eager a grasp; that they must render an account of all to the Judge of the quick and dead; and that if, before his tribunal, they are charged with impenitent abuse, they must encounter his fierce indignation-an indignation no soul can bear;these are truths expounded, and again affirmed, and these, who will venture to despise? Arise, ye wealthy and prosperous! and seek the security religion alone can bestow. The emphatic instructions of the apostle to Timothy, comprise injunctions to which nothing can be added : conform yourselves to them. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy ; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves
a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
Let all persons moderate affection and anxiety towards whatever pertains to “ the fashion of this world;" and let them cultivate pre-eminent diligence after the attainment of that higher “ substance,” which communicates true dignity to its inheritors, and which never can be disturbed or destroyed. “ Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” Happy indeed are they who are “ rich in faith,” and “ heirs of the kingdom prepared by God for them that love him!” Happy are they, in life with all its afflictions, in death with all its conflicts, in judgment with all its terrors, in eternity with all its destinies! Knowing that in comparison with their privileges, the summit of worldly grandeur is meanness, and the combined treasures of the globe are as nothing, fervently do I ask on your behalf, “ the true riches :"
He who is the sovereign Source of good bestow them, that you may be saved !
*1 Tim. vi. 17–19.
JOHN XI. 27, 28.
Now is my soul troubled ; and what shall I say? Father, save
me from this hour? but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
“ WITHOUT controversy great is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." The subjects comprehended in this enumeration, merit the profound study, and should excite the highest emotions, of all intelligent beings. Inspired patriarchs and prophets of old diligently employed their light, to explore these wonders of redemption; apostles and evangelists contemplated them with earnestness and rapture; and the principalities and powers of higher regions are represented as aspiring, here to exercise their exalted faculties —“which things the angels desire to look into.”
How strange it is, that so large a portion of men, to whom the revelation of the mystery of Christ has come, pass it by as if it scarcely deserved the regard or feeling of a moment! They by whom it is professedly believed, as the foundation of immortal hope, do not often render what is due to the majesty of its claims. They allow themselves to be distracted and drawn aside by other and far meaner objects; and to the grand scheme of mediation they afford only transient and occasional glances, the results of which are but trifling and insignificant. On others, religion has no influence whatever; they have the understanding darkened, and are affected with the blindness of the heart; the miracles of divine mercy receive absolute and utter neglect; and the blessings of incarnate love are as though they had never been disclosed at all. Thus do the very beings on whose behalf the grace was manifested, in countless instances dismiss a series of operations which occupied the Infinite Mind from eternity, and constitutes the source of joy in the heavenly world for ever!
Wherever an adequate attention is excited to the subjects connected with the humiliation and glory of the Lord Jesus, signal benefits must arise. O that men would be ambitious to participate in “ the unsearchable riches of Christ;" and to “ comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fulness of God! Canour nature be admitted to a higher dig
nity?-It is to promote an end so glorious, that we this day select for exposition, a record which necessarily conducts us to the scenes where that love was engaged in performing its master achievements. 6. The cross of Christ” is now to be lifted up, and you are to meditate on the mighty theme of its agonies and its triumphs. May he who died and rose again send forth the Spirit of his grace, that the preaching of that cross may be “ the power of God!”
The text contains the words of the Son of man, uttered in the presence of his disciples, when his residence among them was fast approaching its close; and it records also a remarkable reply from his Father, spoken with an audible voice so as to be recognized by the surrounding multitude, and intended eminently to illustrate and confirm his purposes and his claims. In viewing the whole passage, which is, in every respect, one of the most interesting in sacred writ, you
I. THE REDEEMER CONTEMPLATED AN IM
There was a time to which he made a definitive and pointed reference—“ this hour.” To the same period he had previously alluded while delivering the discourse of which the text forms a part; it was a period of unutterable importance to the interests of mankind.