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heathen that spiritual treasure of which she has herself been made partaker. Sons of the living God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven,-if these are indeed the titles which belong to Christians upon earth,—then let them not fear, and let them not refuse, to regard themselves as already appointed to the office of angels and ministers of grace in the dispensation of the gospel.—And great is the privilege which is thus waiting your acceptance. It is the will of God to bless men in making them dispensers of blessings to their fellows. “ The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” (Prov. xi. 25.) This law holds good, perhaps especially, in spiritual things. And if you wish that the dew of God's blessing should descend richly upon your own souls, and upon your portion of the church, forget not that you are called to impart to others those spiritual blessings which you already have received. Deal out that word which is the fragrance of life to souls that are languishing around you;
yourselves, to be refreshed by the balm which you distribute. Let
your own church shine forth in the darkness, and kindle others by her
light; and so may she hope to walk in increasing brightness, and herself to be illumined by the radiance that shall burst forth all around her.
Help forward, then, the cause of missions, as a cause which God himself has entrusted to your
He will be ready to meet you on your errand, and to crown you with a blessing. All your efforts without Him must be useless; but faith and prayer
engage Him on your side. Let us labour faithfully, and with humble dependence on divine grace, in this part of our Christian vocation, as well as in all others. And let us, moreover, continually pray, that when the earth shall at length have been filled with the glory of the Lord,—and when myriads shall have assembled to behold“ the King in his beauty” in the eternal world,--we may ourselves be admitted to that blissful presence, and may rejoice, with our brethren, before the throne of God and of the Lamb
THE PROOF OF CHRISTIAN FAITHFULNESS.
ST. LUKE xix. 12, 13.
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
The parable which these words introduce presents a striking view of the mediatorial kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and describes to us, moreover, the duty and prospects of his disciples. Let us, at this time, confine our attention to the two verses which have just been read; and let us bear a prayer on our hearts that the great Head of the church would vouchsafe to us that assistance of his Spirit whereby we may be enabled to turn to good account this valuable gift,—even the opportunity of meditating upon his most holy word.
It was the custom of princes who were appointed to the government of kingdoms within the limits of the Roman empire, to repair to the capital in order to be duly invested with their dignity. Herod, for instance, and his successors, visited Rome for this purpose. And it is probably with allusion to this custom that our Lord represents his own departure to heaven, where he was to be invested with the mediatorial government of all things, under the similitude of a nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. Now, it is well for us to remember that what is thus set forth in figurative language has really taken place;—that all things are put under our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that He is appointed head over all things to his church. We are all at this moment subject to the power and providence of that holy Being who has ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and received gifts for men. How high, my Christian brethren, is the dominion of Him who is the head of all principality and power, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him; and how utterly impossible that a mere finite creature can thus fill the place of God over all! How merciful, at the same time, is this glorious dispensation whereby a partaker of our own nature has been exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high, so that there we have one who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ! Surely, if it be possible for a fallen descendant of Adam to be saved, it must be by his acceptance of the mercy, and by his submission to the authority, of Him who, to this end, “ both died and rose and revived that he
be the Lord both of the dead and living.” May we have grace to submit ourselves unreservedly, in body and soul, to his righteous dominion !
It is to one branch of our Lord's government in particular that our thoughts are now to be directed ;-namely, to that exercise of his providence whereby he dispenses to every member of his church, individually, some gift, to be employed to his glory, and as a proof of his servant's faithful
“ He called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”
I. Here then we observe, in the first place, that all our possessions or abilities are gifts entrusted to us by our Lord, whereby we may glorify the giver, and prove ourselves faithful. This is true of our possessions as well temporal as spiritual. We view them in a wrong light if we regard them as