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His self-denial, too, every day becomes easier to the Christian. That sneer which once kindled the glow of resentment on his cheek he learns to bear with a meek and a quiet spirit, while he pities the prejudice from which it sprung. That reluctance to disclose his principles before the world, which once made him almost ashamed of his Saviour, has given place to a manly yet modest avowal of them. The world, to which, like others, he once clung with so fond a grasp, has lost much of its charms: and he cheerfully abandons it when he reflects what a better portion he has beyond the skies. Thus the yoke of Christ is not only easier than that of the world, even under circumstances the most unfavourable, so to speak, for the Christian; but this very yoke becomes easier and easier to be borne, so as to be at last not the mark of toil and servitude, but the badge of peace and triumph. May it always, my brethren, prove such to each one of us ! May the Spirit of grace incline us cheerfully to sustain it in this life! And may the same Spirit, through the merits and intercession of Jesus Christ, conduct us all at length to that world of entire rest where no more sacrifices will be required of us, where no more self-denial will be necessary, but where every want of the soul will be supplied and all its wishes gratified !


MATTHEW xi. 30.

For my yoke is easy,


burden is light.


The life of a real Christian is one of continual self-denial. He has to carry on an incessant and difficult contest within his own breast; to subdue

: the native propensities of his heart ; to struggle against the force of habit ; to bring all the

powers of his body and all the affections of his soul into subjection to the precepts of the Gospel ; to resist the allurements of temptation ; to withstand the seductions of pleasure, of riches, and of honour to watch against the wiles of Satan ; to meet, if need be, with an undaunted heroism, ridicule and reproach, infamy and death ; in fine, always to prove himself a faithful soldier of the Cross, and not to quit the field of danger, and sometimes of blood, till he come off a triumphant conqueror, through the strength of the great Captain of his salvation. How, then, demands the world, can the yoke of Christ be easy, and his burden light? Does it cost nothing to engage in so hard a service ? Is it to find ease that you call upon us to rush into such an unprovoked and useless contest ? Is it wise to abandon our present pursuits and pleasures for so distant a good, and for one which demands so many sacrifices? Why not enjoy life while it lasts ? Why sadden the few days we have to spend in this world with gloomy thoughts about the future? Why check, by the mournful restraints of Religion, the flow of delight with which we are surrounded, and which bears us so gently down the stream of life ? When the storm arrives, of which we now see no prospect, we will prepare for it. When our bark launches upon that vast ocean of eternity which we believe to be far distant, we hope to be ready to encounter all its dangers. At present, we enjoy too much the cheerfulness of our sunshine, to suffer shadows of superstitious melancholy to be thrown across our path. The cup of delight which we drink is so pleasant, that we cannot permit Conscience to mingle in it her wormwood and gall.

Such, my hearers, is the language of the world when it is called upon to bear the yoke of Jesus Christ; to submit to those wholesome restraints which he imposes upon us, not only as the test of our fidelity, but as the truest sources of our real comfort in this life, and our happiness in the future. But this language of the world is false in its principles, and ruinous in its consequences. It is founded on erroneous views of what the world promises, and what the Gospel requires ; and therefore it is false in its principles. If listened to, it will afford

no substantial benefit in this life, and it must lead to a dreadful result in the future; and therefore it is ruinous in its consequences.

I attempted, in some measure, while discoursing from the words of my text, the last Sabbath, to illustrate these truths, and to shew that, on two acknowledged principles of common sense, the yoke of Christ is indeed easy, when compared with that of the world. These principles are recognized and adopted, by every man of ordinary reflection, in the daily concerns of life ; and to depart from them would be considered as downright presumption and folly. They are the following: That no prudent man, who consults his own happiness, is ever so much engrossed with present objects as to be regardless of the future; and that great sacrifices ought to be made for the attainment of any valuable distant good. In applying these principles, I endeavoured to prove, that the comparison between the Christian and the man of the world is altogether in favour of the former, although he should be called to endure the greatest privations and misfortunes of life, while the latter is in possession of all its earthly pleasures. For although the worldling may revel in delight, having his most sanguine prospects realized, and his most unbounded wishes gratified; yet the constant conviction that the grave must put an end to all this gladness, and that there may be such an hereafter as the Gospel unfolds to us, in which an eternal distinction will be made between those who receive Christ as their Saviour, and those who do not : I say, these saddening thoughts, which nothing but absolute stupidity can banish from the mind, will often intrude themselves, and spoil, as with the touch of death, the dearest delights of the man of this world. His enjoyments, too, even when he can lull all forebodings about the future, are not of the most noble kind They relate to the gratifications of sense, to the acquisition of wealth, to the possession of glory, to the pursuits of literature, to the pleasures of taste ; and sometimes, for

; I would not disguise the truth, to the alleviation of wretchedness, and the diffusion of knowledge and comfort among his fellow-men. But observe, my brethren, all these objects, in themselves considered, relate only to this life : they extend not beyond the grave. And is the immaterial, the immortal spirit, which animates these frail bodies of ourswhich is continually dissatisfied with the present, and always engaged about the future—which is ever following the beck of Hope toward some distant good ;-is it to find its most exalted happiness in any thing beneath the sun ? Is it to take a part in the fleeting concerns of this life, except as a mere pilgrim who is on his march to a better country ? Is it not to have its views enlarged, and its plans ennobled, and its affections elevated, and its hopes brightened, by connecting all that is here below with all that is beyond the skies ? Ought it not to be thus mindful of its eternal destiny, and to walk the rounds of life, as some heaven-descended mes


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