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to hold, and to embrace him, are going to become a prey to worms? And if that life which thou wert enjoying before thy Redeemer appeared, is going to be rent from thee, because he is already come?
Ah! iny brethren, how widely different are the ideas which this holy man of God entertained! Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. Wherefore now? Because now I know, from the accomplishment of thy promises, what was before a matter of presumption only, namely, that my soul is not a mere modification of matter, and a result of the arrangement, and of the harmony of my organs: because I am now convinced, that this soul of mine, on being separated from the body, shall not become a forlorn wanderer in a strange and solitary land : because now I no longer entertain
any doubt respecting my own immortality, and because I hold in my arms him who has purchased it, and who bestows it upon me: because to see Jesus Christ, and to die, is the highest blessedness that can be conferred on a mortal creature.
Permit me, my beloved brethren, to repeat my words, and with them to finish this discourse: To see Jesus Christ, and to die, is the highest blessedness that can be conferred on à mortal creature. Enjoy, my friends, enjoy the felicity which the Saviour bestows upon you, during the course of a transitory life: gratify, as you this day turn a wondering eye to the inanger in which this divine Saviour lies, and as you celebrate the memory of his incarnation, gratify the taste
you have for the great and the marvellous : and cry out with an enraptured apostle ; Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest in the flesh, 1 Tim. iii. 16. Gratify, as in the rctirement of the closet you devote yourselves to the study of the doctrine of this Jesus, gratify the desire you feel to learn and to know: draw constant supplies of light and truth from those treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col. ii. 3. which he opens to you in his gospel. Gratify, as you receive, next Lord's-day, the effusions of his love, gratify the propensity which naturally disposes you to love him. Let every power of the soul expand on hearing the tender expressions which he addresses to you in the sacrament of the supper: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, Matt. xi. 28. Behold I stand at the door and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me, Rev, iii. 20.
But after all, it is not during the course of a transitory life, at least it is not while you consider death as still remote, that you are capable of knowing the pleasure there is in being a Christian. No, it is neither in the retireinent of the closet, nor seated at the table of the Lord; it is not in your solemn feasts, that you are capable of relishing the sweetness which is to be found in beholding Jesus Christ, in embracing him, in believing on him: it is in the last moments of life; it is when stretched on a death-bed. Till then, your passions will sometimes call it in question, whether the man of the world do not actually enjoy inore happiness than the Christian; whether the commerce of society, whether spectacles, play, the splendour of a court, do not confer more real pleasure than that which flows from communion with Jesus Christ.
But when you shall find yourselves, like Simeon, in a state of universal dereliction ; but when you shall behold nothing around you save unavailing solicitudes, save ineffectual medicines, save fruitless tears, then you will know what the religion of Jesus Christ is; then, my brethren, you will taste the delight of being a Christian; then you will feel all the powerful attraction of that peace which is mentioned in the text: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.
May these ideas of the Christian religion attach us inviolably unto it. Let us, with Simeon, embrace the Saviour of the world ; let us, with the wise men of the East, present unto him our gold, and frankincense, and myrrh : or rather, let us present unto him hearts penetrated with admiration, with gratitude, with love. Yes, divine Infant, desire of all nations, glory of Israel, Saviour of mankind; divine Infant, whom so many oracles have predicted, whom so many prophets have announced, whom so many types have represented, and whose radiant day so inany kings and prophets were desirous to behold: my faith pierces through all those veils which overspread and conceal thee: I behold, in the person of a creature feeble and humbled, my God, and my Redeemer: I contemplate thee not only as born a few days ago at Bethlehem of Judah, but subsisting before the mountains were brought forth, before the earth was formed, even from everlasting to everlasting, Psalm xc. 2. I behold thee not only lying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, but I behold thee seated on a throne of glory, highly exalted, having a name that is above every name, adored by angels and seraphims, encircled with rays of divinity.
Every power of my understanding shall henceforth be devoted to the knowledge of thee: it shall be my constant endeavour to please thee, my supreme delight to possess thee; and it shall be my noblest ambition to prostrate myself one day before thy throne, and to sing with the innumerable multitudes of the redeemed of, every nation, and people, and tongue : Unto him who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, be honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever. Amen.
CHRIST'S VALEDICTORY ADDRESS TO HIS DISCIPLES.
John xiv, xv. xvi.
* Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, be
lieve also in me, &c.
TE begin, this morning, with explaining to you
the texts which refer to our blessed Saviour's passion. If the knowledge of the Christian be all reducible to this, to know Jesus Christ, and him crucified, i Cor. ij. 2. it is impossible to fix your eyes too frequently on the mysteries of the cross, Very few discourses, accordingly, are addressed to you, in which these great objects are not brought forward to view. Nay more ; it is the pleasure of this church, that, at certain stated seasons, the doctrine of the cross, to the exclusion of every other, should be the subject of our preaching : that all the circumstances attending it should be detailed, and every view of it displayed. But whatever powers may be applied to the execution of this work, it cannot possibly be accomplished within the space of a few weeks. We have especially had'to lament that our Saviour's last address to his disciples should be omitted. I mean the discourse which he addressed to them, a little while before he retired into the garden of Gethsemane, and which St. John has preserved to us in the xiv. xv. and xvi. chapters of his gospel. This part of the history of the passion is, unquestionally, one of the most tender and most interesting. We propose to make it pass
• Those who wish to derive benefit from the following discourse, must previously peruse, with attention, the ziv. xv. and avi, chapters of Joha's gospel.
in review before you this day, as far as the bounds prescribed to us will permit.
Were it proper to make the place where I stand a vehicle for communications of this kind, I am ready ingeniously to acknowledge, that a particular circumstance determined my choice on this occasion. A few days only have elapsed since I was called to be witness of the dying agonies of a valuable minister *, whom Providence has just removed from the superintendance of a neighbouring church. God was pleased to visit him for some months past, it we may presume to speak so, with a temptation more than is common to man, 1 Cor. x. 13. but he granted hiin a fortitude more than human to support it. I was filled with astonishment at the vio. lence of his sufferings; and still more at the patience with which he endured them: I could not help expressing a wish to know what particular article of religion had contributed the inost to produce in him that prodigy of resolution : Have you ever paid a closer attention, my dear brother, said he to me, to the last address of Jesus Christ to his disciples ? My God, exclaimed he, what charity! what tenderness ! but above all, what an inexhaustible source of consolation in the extremity of distress! His words filled me with astonishi, ment: my thoughts were immediately turned toward you, my dearly beloved brethren ; and I said within myself, I must furnish my hearers with this powerful defence against suffering and death. I enter this day on the execution of my design. Condescend to concur with me in it. Come and meditate on the last expressions which fell from the lips of a dying Saviour : let us penetrate into the very centre of that heart which the sacred flame of charity animated.
I must proceed on the supposition that your minds are impressed with the subject of the three chapters of which I ain going to attempt an analysis. The great object which our Lord proposes to himself, in this address, is to fortify his disciples against the temptations to which they were about to be exposed. And, in order to reduce our reflections to distinct classes, Jesus Christ means to fortify his disciples :
1. Against the offence of his cross.
II. Against the persecution which his doctrine was going to excite.
Mr. Begnon, pastor of the church at Leyden.