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acknowledgment of it be as the putting on of a
crown of glory ?”—Probably the extent of our success will, in the presence of the Lord Jesus, appear far greater than what we now venture to imagine. It may occur, while in the earthly sphere of our labours, that the bow being drawn at a venture, none observe where the arrow strikes, and that change, distance, death, prevent the discovery; and it may be, therefore, at the period of consummation, that multitudes, of whom we never heard, will then step forth and claim us as the instruments of mercy to their souls, from whom came the word that brought them to salvation, and thus produce delightful surprise, and furnish an unexpected augmentation to the felicities of the day! Who would not aspire to the happiness of being able .now to point out many, to whom the address may be directed—“ Ye are our glory and joy?”
It will be a further cause for such joy, that the salvation of others will add new and permanent value to ministerial reward. The philanthropic pleasure resulting from the knowledge of having been the means of communicating happiness, and the public acknowledgment of faithfulness and success, to which we have already adverted, will themselves greatly and durably augment the recompence of eternity. The heavenly intercourse of glorified ministers with their glorified spiritual children, must also afford them continued and exalted delight,-as in some mea;
sure may be conceived even now. Nor is it improper to believe, further,—while fully conscious that all future blessedness is entirely of grace,—that lives of active devotedness and extended usefulness on earth, will invest with peculiar honours, and will confer crowns of surpassing brilliancy. We would not appear to speculate on the nature of the coming reward, and we tremble lest imagination should assume an unauthorized and unhallowed licence; but the anticipation of an elevation for such, beyond ordinary felicities, is one which, from many implications of Christian testimony, may justly be admitted and cherished, and we remember it is expressly written—“ They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever!”
-And now, reviewing the position which, from the subject discussed, it is seen we hold as ministers of the truth, relative to those who are brought to believe in Jesus,—what reasons do we perceive for gratitude to the goodness of Him who has thus distinguished us ! Do we not find overpowering arguments to render us constantly devoted to his cause? O, let all who are engaged in the preaching of the gospel, endeavour to live with the coming of the Lord constantly in view, and aspire to have a larger measure of its attendant“ glory and joy.” Let them encourage and obey their mighty excitements to diligence,
perseverance, and prayer. Let them be resolute and uncompromising, like the apostle whose high vocation they profess, in “ warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that they may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus !” Yea—be this their grand object, bearing down and prostrating all counteracting motives and propensities, and attracting and preserving the exercise of commanding energy, until they die in the Lord, and so rest from their labours.
Ye who believe! we congratulate you on the sublime prospect of standing complete before the presence of the Lord Jesus. Over some among you, we may, perhaps, without presumption, be allowed to congratulate ourselves, assured that the best Christian relationship is established between us, and that we may follow, to the full import, this animating language“What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming ? For ye are our glory and joy !”
Ye, who are yet unbelieving and endangered! of your appearance before the Judge, in your state of unconverted depravity, we shudder to think. The day which to others is full of joy, to you lowers with despair. We know, that while the Lord Jesus “ shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day,” he shall also be “ revealed
in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” O, consider that to that vengeance you are now exposed, and that, if you repent not, by it you will be overwhelmed, -separated from the redeemed, and separated from heaven, to be the companions of fiends and lost spirits in torments for ever! While you behold the contrast between your prospect-só gloomy and terrible, and the prospect of the saints—so brilliant and delightful, -say, does no agitation quicken in your bosom, and do you feel no stirrings of desire to be united with them in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, that you may participate in their eternal honour ? Earnest beyond the power of utterance, is our longing for you, that the blessings of salvation may be extended to you also, and that you may be to us a crown. If you
will but make the Cross the object of your confidence, and if
will but count all things loss that you may win Christ, and be found in him,—then the great question will be decided ; then shall we all be
baptized into one body;" and the shout of the archangel will be the signal for our reunion before the throne, and our common entrance into the everlasting joy of our Lord.—Happy, happy meeting! Grant, thou God of grace, that not one may be excluded from it, and to Thee shall be the praise !
PSALM LXXII. 19.*
And let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and
That we may be qualified for the performance of the duties which are connected with our present sphere of existence, it is important, with frequency and earnestness, to contemplate subjects pertaining to the interests of our fellow
This exercise we have to follow not merely for designs of information,—to increase our stores of knowledge, or to digest the systems of philosophical theory and speculation ; but to prevent the growth of that selfishness in which we are so prone to indulge, to promote the strength and refinement of the sympathies which bind us to our species, and to ascertain how our influence may be employed most availably for general amelioration and happiness. The cultivation of such purposes is necessary to the fulfilment of the relationships in which we stand; and he who neglects them, sins against the grand principle of moral legislation, promulged for the government of our race.
Preached in London, before the Wesleyan Missionary Society,