תמונות בעמוד

as thou wouldest not wish then to be forgotten by him. Fix thy thoughts on him, as the Conqueror of death, the Destroyer of the grave, the Lord of eter. nity; and, as it has been thy principal study to be like him in his life, let it be thy closing ambition “to be made conformable to him in his death.” The remembrance of Jesus is a sovereign charm for chasing away those alarming visions which are apt to gather around a dying bed; and the persuasion) of his love has often, in a great measure, superseded the agonies of dissolving nature.

Need I add, Christian ! remember Christ through. out eternity. The advice were a needless one. His glories shine so bright in that blessed world, that they necessarily fix the attention, and excite the admiration of its happy inhabitants. Fairest, where all are fair-most glorious, where all are glorious, he is the centre to which the thoughts and affections of the an. gels, and of the spirits of just men made perfect, constantly tend. The diadems purchased by his blood are cast at his feet, and his labours, and sorrows, and triumphs, are the exhaustless subjects to which the redeemed tune their golden harps, and with which they accent their triumphant songs.

II. As the remembrance of Christ ought not merely to be an occasional exercise, but a habitual employment with you; so faith and love, and penitence and joy, ought not merely to be transient sentiments and emotions, but permanent and operative principles; not exerting themselves only when called forth by the solemnities of a religious ordinance, but influ.. encing the general tenor of your thoughts and feel. ings, your language and conduct.

It is not enough that you have observed the Lord's supper in faith ; it is necessary that “the life which

you live in the flesh be by the faith of the Son of God, who loved you, and gave himself for you.”. No duty can be acceptably performed, no affliction acceptably sustained, without faith : “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Weak in yourselves, you derive your strength entirely from another; and faith is the means by which these supplies are obtained: • By faith you stand ;” by unbelief


fall. Endeavour, then, amid all the vicissitudes of life, to retain an implicit belief of the divine testimony-an unshaken confidence in the divine promise—a stedfast reliance on the divine Saviour.

Let it be your frequent and fervent prayer, “Lord, increase our faith ;" and prove the sincerity of your prayer, by a careful use of the means by which faith is produced and strengthened in the soul. If you abound in the exercise of this grace, no duty will be difficultno affliction severe-no enemy formidable: “I can do all things,” said a very humble man, but a very strong believer, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me;" and if by faith ye “look” steadily,

not at the things which are seen and temporal, but at the things which are unseen and eternal, your light afflictions, which are but for a moment, will work out for you a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory."

Let love to the Saviour also be one of the animating principles of your general conduct: “A friend loveth at all times.". The man who never thinks affectionately of the Lord Jesus, except when the Lord's supper, as it were, forces the recollection of his dying love on him, deceives himself, if he considers himself as a lover of the Saviour. Wherever the love of Christ really exists, it will manifest itself not merely in an occasional observation of the Lord's supper, but in a conscientious regard to all his commandments. Let the love of Christi

then, exert a constraining influence over the whole of our thoughts and feelings, and sweetly oblige us “to live not to ourselves, but to him who died for us, and who rose again." Let his “ love, shed abroad in our hearts by faith, through the Holy Spirit given to us," stimulate us to exertions to promote the advancement of his honour, the.extension of his kingdom, the down. fal of his enemies, and the happiness of his people.

Live habitually under the influence of reverence for the Saviour. At all times, and in all places, stand in awe of the omnipresent God our Saviour. Content not yourselves with an awful sense of his greatness, still less with mere external devotion, when engaged in the peculiar services of religion ; but, remembering that he exists throughout all space and duration, reverence him at all times and in all places, and manifest the sincerity of your fear, by a careful obedience to all his commandments : “He is thy Lord, and worship thou


Penitence is another temper of mind which not merely should be exercised when you receive the Lord's supper, but should influence the whole of

beha. viour. Melancholy and godly sorrow are two very different things. Religion forbids the one and enjoins the other. Let no day pass without a penitent. confession of the sin of your nature and of your life before your God--without reviewing your daily imperfections and transgressions,--and without humbly supplicating pardon through the atonement and intercession of Jesus : “He who thus goes forth bearing precious seed weeping, will doubtless return rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him *." The confidence which may become one who never offended, does not sit well on a pardoned


* Psal. cxxvi. 6.

rebel, though restored to the favour of his prince, and raised to the highest honours he has in his gift. He must never forget that he was a rebel, and that he owes his life to the royal clemency; and this recollection must mark his behaviour.

In fine, let Christian joy be the habitual temper of your mind : " Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and again I say Rejoice. Rejoice evermore. Be joyful in tribulation,” and triumph in death. You have abundant ground of rational satisfaction and holy joy. To be habitually gloomy, is ingratitude to your Benefactor: It is an implied declaration, that, after all he has done for you, he has not done enough to make you happy. The apparent unhappiness of some good men has done incalculable mischief to the cause of religion; and, on the other hand, nothing tends more directly to recommend Christianity to all, but especially the young, than the proving by our conduct that we feel Christ's yoke to be “easy, and his burden to be light; that wisdom's ways, are pleasantness, and that all her paths are peace +."

Is it your desire, then, Christian brethren, thus habitually to remember Christ in faith, and love, and reverence, and penitence, and joy ? Then, in the first place, study deeply the character and history of Jesus, as detailed by the evangelical historians;, and, in the second place, as these holy tempers are by no means the natural growth of the human heart, be fre. quent and fervent in your applications to the throne of grace, for that Holy Spirit whom God has promised to all who ask him, and who is the sole source of all moral good in created natures. According to our

* Psal. xxxii. 11; 1 Thess. v. 16; Rom. v. 3. + Matt. xi, 30; Prov. iij. 17.


usual practice, we direct your attention, before cona cluding, to an inspired aecount of your duties as Christians. Read with me Col. iii. iv. 1-6.

“ Now may the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen *."

Heb. xiii. 20, 21.

« הקודםהמשך »