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to its laws. These laws are contained in the sacred volume; the best comment upon which is the practice of the primitive Christians. In all important cases they are clear and easy; and if there be some points not so easily to be comprehended, we must be content to act, as we do in the management of our temporal concerns; that is, to seek information from those who have had better opportunities than ourselves of acquiring knowledge. This holy city came down from heaIt was instituted by God himself. It is not, like all human institutions, subjected to the will of man, to be altered and modified as his caprice or his presumption may direct. It ought to be now what it was from the beginning: there is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one hope of our calling. The kingdom of the Redeemer is not of this world: it is not of earthly origin; it interferes not with secular affairs; it is not supported by the weapons of a worldly warfare; it exercises dominion not over the bodies, but over the souls and consciences of men; its grand motives to obedience are of a spiritual and not a temporal nature; its principal rewards and its severest punishments are future and eternal. Let us submit with reverence to the authority which has been established by Christ and his apostles in his holy Church; let us reject all novel and strange opinions which are contrary to that faith which was originally delivered to the saints; let us avoid all factious combinations of men which tend to subvert that peace and order, on which the prosperity of the holy city so essentially depends; in a word, with respect to our religious concerns, let us consult the revealed will of God, and in every instance yield to this a ready and implicit obedience.

4thly. We are ever to remember, that this spiritual city of which we possess the glorious immunities, is denominated holy; prepared with all Christian virtues, as a bride adorned for her husband. The new Jerusalem came down from God, and its inhabitants are to be qualified in this life for a glorious ascension into the more immediate presence of the great Lord of all. All its institutions are expressly designed to separate us from sinners, and make us holy and harmless in all manner of conversation. Whatever, therefore, our religious employment may be; whether we listen to God's word, or celebrate his sacraments; whether we be engaged in prayer or in praise; let every service tend to a more complete sanctification of our polluted nature, in soul, body, and spirit. Let holiness unto the Lord be our badge of distinction; let it declare to all the world, that we are his people; let it shine like the star over the babe of Bethlehem, and signify that Jesus is here; that God himself is with us; that he is our God. And, let it be remarked, in the last place,

That this consideration should lead us to walk circumspectly and with holy reverence before him. If the tabernacle of God be with men; if he dwell with us, and we be his people, let us fear to offend him; let us steadfastly rely on his merciful protection in every time of danger and trial; let us patiently follow whithersoever his word and providence direct our way, as the Israelites in the wilderness pursued their journey according to the guidance of their Almighty Protector, who went before them in a cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. Whether our journey through life be long or short; whether it be pleasant or painful; of this we may rest assured, that if we prove not disVOL. II 44

obedient and refractory, he will conduct us to the land of everlasting rest and felicity.

How happy is the condition of that people who thus. have the Lord for their God; of whom it may be said, in the language of the text, that in every stage of their earthly pilgrimage, "God himself is with them, and is "their God!" In every difficulty, to him they apply for direction; in all trials and dangers, to him they fly for consolation and support; trusting in the Lord Jehovah for ever, they have an everlasting strength; in trouble, they recollect that he chastiseth those whom he loveth; in sickness, they are preserved from the temptations of the enemy, they are blessed with patience under their affliction, and are comforted with a sense of the divine goodness; and when they pass through the valley of the shadow of death, God is still with them; he sustains them in the last trying moments; he gives them here that peace which passeth all understanding; and at last receives them into his glory.

Let us, then, be duly sensible of these exalted privileges. Let us make this good and powerful Being our Friend and our Guide, by entering into the courts of the new Jerusalem with thanksgiving and praise; by holding fast the profession of our faith without wavering; by walking worthy of the holy vocation wherewith we are called; by maintaining peace and love with all men; and by living continually before God in pious fear, and humble obedience to his laws. Great peace and tranquillity will those persons have, who thus love and fear God. Nothing will so far offend them, as to destroy their comfort, or turn them from the performance of their duty in this life; and nothing shall deprive them of that exceeding great

reward which is laid up for them in the mansions of glory. That all who now hear me, may be found, at last, in this happy number, God of his infinite mercy grant, through the merits and mediation of the same compassionate Redeemer; to, whom be all praise, honour, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard.

MATTHEW xx. 8.

So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

IN the parable, of which these words are a part, the

Church of God is represented by our blessed Lord under the emblem of a vineyard, and particular believers under that of labourers who are engaged, at different times, by the lord of the vineyard, to perform certain services for a stipulated reward. It is said, "The "kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an "householder, which went out early in the morning to "hire labourers into his vineyard." For the same purpose, at different periods in the course of the day, he goes out; and even at the eleventh hour, or at five o'clock in the afternoon, when he found some standing idle, he saith unto them," Go ye also into the vineyard; " and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive." When the evening was come, and the labours of the day were completed, the labourers are called to receive their wages. As we are too apt to overrate our own ser

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