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5. Further : take this direction, which is good in every case, Pray without ceasing,” and watch thereunto with all perseverance." Pray for grace to keep you contented in
station, and satisfied with that special employment which Providence has assigned to you. whatsoever
have to do therein, ye may do it heartily, and therefore diligently, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord
shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ.” * Never suffer yourselves to dream that you can be more honourably or more suitably occupied in any other work than in your own. Covet not change of condition, but ask God to prosper your handiwork in that place in which
find yourselves, and examine yourselves from day to day with special reference to this special calling.
Finally : do not reject your own mercies. Almighty God, in his great grace and wisdom, has made that provision for our well-being which would amply suffice, if we did but make good use of it.
- The sabbath was made for man;" + -remember to keep it holy. Rest convenient and sufficient you might thus have, all of you ; and waiting upon the Lord, you would renew your strength. The body would be spared, and the best rest for the soul is by withdrawal of its * Col. iii. 24.
† Mark ii. 27.
thoughts from things on earth, to fix them on God and Christ, and things in heaven. The sabbath is the poor man's portion especially, and every man's in proportion to the toils which he has to endure. Learn, I beseech you, to know what is for your own good. I show you the foundation of a cheerful and happy week. I tell you how to obtain the promise of the life which now is, and at the same time to secure that of the lit which is to come.
“ If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord ; and I will cause thee to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of thy father : for the mouth of the Lord hath
spoken it.” *
* Isa. lviii. 13, 14.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WORDS.
Matt. xii. 36, 37.
“ But I say unto you, That every idle word
that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Words, it is very truly said, are actions. But though they constitute a mode of action, in which we are engaged almost perpetually, we have usually but very inadequate apprehensions of their importance. Great is their influence, and very serious are the consequences which they draw after them both to ourselves and others, and yet they are uttered commonly with the utmost carelessness, and are forgotten by us oftentimes, as soon as they have passed our lips. that every
It would be well, however, as I shall hope to show, if they were thought of more. And if any. thing might bring us to this, such a passage of scripture as I have just read might very well be expected to do it.
Without further preface, therefore, I will set my text before you; and I entreat your very earnest attention whilst, by God's help, I endeavour to discourse
I. First, of the doctrine which it delivers.
III. Lastly, of the means through which that duty may be discharged.
I. And first respecting the doctrine which the text delivers.
“I say unto you, , idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment; for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
1. There is a judgment to come, to every living soul; and this judgment is to be final. The decree then to pass upon every man shall be irreversible. The condemned, whosoever they may be, shall never recover from the consequences of the award which shall be made against them; nor the justified, whosoever they may be, fall from that estate of happiness which they shall obtain through grace.
2. The words of the text, we shall do well to observe next, are from the mouth of the Judge
himself: “I say unto you,”-the Lord Jesus Christ unto whom the judgment is committed, who is in person to sit upon the tribunal, who must best know what are to be his own rules of proceeding, and what he will make the subject of inquiry, and whose declaration, therefore, must in all reason demand our most serious attention ;-He himself tells us what he will then do.
3. He will call every man to account, be says, “ for every idle word.” Account will be taken, indeed, of every word good or bad. For in the next clause he says generally, “ by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words condemned;" but every idle word is, in the first place, emphatically particularized, both to conclude more forcibly against wilfully wicked words, and also to put us duly on our guard, and make us take notice that those words are not excepted, or to go unquestioned, which we, in our ignorance and presumption, might deem likely to be excepted. He does not say every deliberate word only, or every speech made with malice aforethought, or actual design of mischief, but all useless and vain words also; whatsoever hath come from us in most haste, and with least serious purpose
of any sort, and least consideration, at the time, of what might be its character, effect, or tendency. Words of this sort we have been