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you cannot live always on earth. You must die and you know not how soon. You must therefore come and be taught how you are to live with God, when you die. Besides, you often see your friends, your relations, and your children die, and when you lose them, you cannot belp feeling the loss, and shedding many a bitter tear. How will it comfort you, when I tell you, that they who die in Christ, that is, who die Christians, will go to Christ: and that when it comes to your turn to die, you also will go to Christ, and be with your friends, your relations, and your children, in a world better far than this; a world, where sin and sorrow are never seen; a world, where good Christians die no more, but, as Jesus Christ tells us, are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
In time I hope to see you all made Christians, that is christened, and then living
like Christians. But before that can be done, you have a great deal to learn, and a great deal to do: and therefore you must lose no opportunity of coming here every Wednesday evening. If you can do so, and are willing, come also on Sundays, either in the morning or in the afternoon: for the church is open at both times: or both in the morning and in the afternoon.
And now, my friends and hearers, no good is ever done by us, in us, or for us, without God's help and assistance; and therefore I beg you to fall on your knees, and join me in your heart, while I pray to God to hear and bless us for Jesus Christ's sake.
St. MATTHEW iii. 1, 2. In those days came John the Baptist,
preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
WHEN you were here last I told you, that our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was sent from heaven into this world, about eighteen hundred years ago, that he taught men all that they were to do, and all that they were to believe, that he died to save us, and that he rose from the grave and went up to heaven, to shew us, that if we believe in him, we too should rise from our graves and live with him for ever in heaven. All this you must believe: if you do not believe it, you will not be Christians : if you do not believe it, he, our great Lord and Master, will not own you for his servants, he will not take care, that you obey his commands in this life, nor will he raise you to a state of happiness with him after your deaths. I told you too, that after God sent this his own blessed Son, Jesus Christ into the world, he commanded all men every where to repent, to be sorry for the past, and to come to Jesus Christ, to trust in him and to obey him. All this you must remember: you must think about this whenever you have time, for this is almost the first thing you have to learn. You see, then, that God desires us to repent, calls upon us to do so, because he knows that we cannot be saved, unless we repent, and resolve to lead new lives, because he knows, that when we are sorry for all we have done wrong, we shall immediately flie to Christ, through whom alone, and for whose sake God has promised to forgive ús.
Before Jesus Christ descended from heaven, and was seen as a man in the world, (having been born of a pure virgin through the power of the Almighty) there appeared in the land of Judea, where our Saviour lived, and taught, à most holy, righteous, and excellent man, called John. He was named the Baptist, because he baptized, or as we call it, christened people to prepare them to become Christians. He was a few months older than our Lord himself. It was said of this man, John, by an angel from heaven, that many should rejoice at his birth, that he should be great in the sight of the Lord, (what a character of a mortal man, my hearers) that he should turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; in short, and bere was his great basiness, his most anxious employment, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, to prepare them to hear and obey the blessed Saviour of the world, and to become Christians. And how