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they judge of them by the principles Now, it must not be concealed, that they adopt, and the decision should be there are many perhaps in your country, as in the case before us in the text, as well as in my own, who have been that “they have been with Jesus." with Jesus in one of these senses, and
Now, my object, my dear brethren, not in the other. The world may take in taking this subject, is to assist to- | knowledge of them that they have been wards that high and holy character of with him at his table, but cannot take Christian conduct which will adorn the knowledge of them that they have been profession which we have been making with him in the sense of possessing in this place, or in former days, so his Spirit.
But yet the world doth that none of us may be afraid of this suppose, and most correctly, that all public observation. And it will not who have been with Jesus at his table be considered presuming, in him who will have his spirit and imitate his exnow addresses you, to make remarks ample. We say the ungodly know not which might seem to imply that in his what religion is from experience, yet opinion, the standard of religion is low we must also say, that there is a genein this church and congregation ; for ral sentiment not far wrong as to what were you to form that estimate of his a public profession of the religion of impressions it would be erroneous, but Christ requires of its professor. And his wish is to put you in remembrance the world when that religion is once of those things, you already know, be professed, looks on afterwards to see cause, however high and holy may be whether it be sustained or put. The your Christian walk, it may be yet still world, our acquaintances, our ungodly more elevated, more full-there is room friends know when we come out and to grow.
join ourselves in communion with That the disciples had been with God's people, they remember it, Jesus was the decision that in this case and they expect that we, in the street, was come to : that is, they recollected in the room of business, in the public that they were the same men who had assembly, in all companies, will re. formerly been with or followed Christ. member it too, and act accordingly. You may apply the words to ourselves; They take knowledge of us that we and suppose the world to have looked
were with Jesus in the sense of having on when we took our place at the table professed his name, and they also canof the Lord Jesus, and recollected that not but take knowledge of us in the on such a day, and in such a place, we sense of observing whether we possess had encircled that sacramental table. his spirit. Our ungodly friends expect, In a devotional sense, it means, that that open vice and sin in its shameful wherever there is a marked, radical forms is altogether laid aside; but change of character, wrought in the they also expect that sin in all its hid. heart by the Holy Spirit and manifested den forms we are seeking to mortify. in the life, then we say, that individual I have no doubt that the general has been with Jesus; and whenever impression on the part of the world is, afterwards this individual manifests that Christians are labouring to put off peculiarly the spirit of Christ, seems the old man and put on the new man, to walk in his steps and to be continu because they see it in the Bible conally under the impression that God tinually enjoined on us; that we are seeth him, and that he is walking with continually following after holiness, and God, then we say that he has been labouring to put on the Lord Jesus. An with Jesus, in that sense of the expres-open violation of any of the commands of sion.
God they cannot tolerate in a Christian
for a moment. There are also certain difference of station, difference of rank, duties which the world expects every difference of taste, yet if the heart be Christian to perform; in other words all right, all extremes will be seen and there is a character peculiar to him avoided, and therefore dress and stile who professes to belong to Christ, and of living which some have thought it takes a place among his people in the right to lay down, are perhaps inexpechurch, which all such persons are ex- | dient and uncalled for. pected to possess, and the world looks on Shall I say again, that the manners to see whether they possess it or not. of a Christian are expected to besomeThey take knowledge of them to see if what peculiar ? The Apostle Peter exthey have been with Jesus in the sense horts Christians not only to live as of following him.
brethren and to be pitiful, but to be Shall I say, now in particular, that courteous. He would have us polite, the world observes the dress and stile he frowns on vulgarity and rudeness, of living among Christians! Some, and every thing which interferes with indeed, do observe it much, and some the comfort of society. He discoundo expect that there will be something tenances and condemns haughtiness of peculiar in this particular ; and yet manner and supercilious carriage, and there need be no rules laid down, for if assuming an overbearing tone in our the heart be right this matter may be intercourse with others. And the left to individual regulation. Extrava- world, as it knows that Jesus Christ gance the world condemns in a Chris- was said to be meek and lowly in heart, tian, especially when the crumbs that expects that they who have been with fall from the rich man's table might Jesus will have much of that spirit; gladden the heart of many poor around and therefore, whilst they themselves him, and the refuse of his wardrobe may cherish what they consider a might be so exceedingly acceptable, so spirit of magnanimity and courage, great a relief to some poor creature at which is only another name for pride, his gate. It was no recommendation they expect that in Christians there to Dives that he fared sumptuously and will be a manifest humility and holy had his clothing of fine linen, when meekness of spirit. there lay a poor Lazarus before his There is, besides, a sobriety and eyes; and, brethren, it will be po plea- seriousness and sedateness of manner, sant reflection to any man in the hour which the world expects Christians to of his dissolution, in the moment of exhibit. The man who has felt deeply judgment, to look back nd recollect the evil of his own sins, who has that he wasted upon dress and equi- formed any thing like an accurate estipage and useless entertainments, that mate of the value of the soul, of the which might have made many a shortness of time, and the solemnities widow's heart sing for joy, which of the coming judgment is expected to might have sent a Bible to him that preserve a gravity and sedateness of had none, or might have assisted to manner. It is not gloom and morosesend a missionary to save the souls of ness and affected sanctimoniousness, the perishing heathen. That it gra- these are all disgusting, and have in tified our vanity, that it kept us in them nothing of religion, but sobriety company and countenance with the and seriousness the world does expect fashionable world, will not, in the day of Christians. Deacons of old were of trial, be considered a sufficient rea- required to be grave, likewise their son for its indulgence. But, brethren, wives were to be grave; it was proper although much must be allowed for and befitting themselves and becoming
their character ; it was that which the purpose of hearing them converse on principles which they professed to che- these subjects; and, my brethren, they rish would natually create. And besides, often wonder why they are disappointed. the master they professed to have been Let your speech be always with grace, with was serious, though he was not seasoned with salt, that ye may know morose, he was never seen to laugh ; how ye ought to answer every man, and they who have felt the realities of the that it may minister grace to those world to come, are supposed to act hearers who would not like to be ques. and speak under the influence of those tioned by us, but who are so serious invisible realities. And when they see often, that they would like to hear our you humble and serious, and watchful conversation. Let your conversation, and temperate and self-denying, they then, be seasoned with salt; and as take knowledge of you that you have this preserving substance pervades and been with Jesus ; and when they see permeates the whole of the animal you evidently possessed of a careless matter on which it is cast, so should and trifling spirit, foolish, light, and the conversation of a Christian be vain, they may be pleased with your seasoned with piety. His topics can . good humour, but they are never edi- not be, and ought not to be, always defied with your religion.
cidedly and directly religious, but his Again, the conversation of a Chris. conversation ought to be always seatian is expected to be exemplary; soned with it. He should be so at al) cursing, and bitterness, and clamour, home on this subject as that it will and evil speaking, we know, we are enter into all the topics on which he commanded to put away. Let nothing converses; and the world expects that of it come near you. Filthiness, ob our conversation should be on this scene language, foolish, and scurrilous, peculiar—that we should not enter and vulgar conversation and jesting, or with the same zest into those topics that in which impure allusions are art- which it is their delight to speak of; fully concealed and conveyed under and when we come down to them in chaste words, all this is horrid in a order to make our religion more agreeChristian, hateful in any man; and able, we only render it the more desthe world expects that Christians shall picable. have nothing to do with it. The world Again, let me say that the people of expects that the conversation of a Chris God are not expected by the world to tian will not only have nothing of this be so much interested and led away by positively and glaringly inconsistent what the world calls great. It is supand unholy character in it, but that it posed that we have seen the vanity of will be marked with spirituality and all things under the sun; that we have piety. They who see us at the table felt how it is all vanity and vexation of of the Lord do suppose that our hearts spirit; and that, for this reason, we are full of the principles and feelings have turned from it unto God. They which are connected with the death of suppose that if we seek high things, the Lord Jesus; and that out of the they are heavenly things, things above; abundance of the heart the mouth will that our affections are centered upon a speak. The world does suppose that world unseen-upon things that are Christians are fond of talking on the eternal, and not temporal like the obsubject of religion, that they make it jects of sense; and, therefore, when a their favourite theme; and serious and Christian seems to be greedy of praise, enquiring persons frequently seek the is hunting for a name, is anxious for society of the people of God for the the favour of the great, is courting po.
pularity on every side, the world looks mire the consistency of that man's on with astonishment and wonder at Christian profession. his inconsistency.
The world expects, again, that Again, let me say that the world Christians will have nothing to do expects from Christians a noble dis
with what are called fashionable dain of the riches and wealth of amusements, because the world supthis life. They suppose that a man poses that we have seen the vanity of who is seen at the altar worshipping all such things. Our ungodly acGod is no longer a worshipper of quaintances, when they see us come Mammon, that he has given up his out and take a seat at the table of the old idol, and that now he has turned Lord, suppose we have found in the from idols unto God. The world con- truths of the Bible, and the duties that siders that we, as professing Chris-Christ prescribes, sufficient and soul. tians, are anxious now to be rich in satisfying enjoyment—that we faith, to be rich in good works, to be turn our backs on the world, and enrich towards God, to have treasure in tertain no longer a relish for the heaven, durable riches and righteous. | amusements of former days; yet if we
It supposes that our hearts do possess that relish, brethren, the are fixed on these things, that to lay world expects, for consistency's sake, up that kind of treasure is what we that we should have nothing more to are solicitous about; and it does not do with its amusements. The most expect us any longer to manifest the irreligious man in the world does know same greediness of gain which they and feel that the spirit of the ballcan tolerate in themselves. It expects room, and theatre, and card-table, and that Christians will be industrious, such like, and the spirit of the Lord and frugal, and economical ; that we are not the same spirit, and they do should labour in order to be able to expect that he who goes to the one will owe no man any thing, and besides not go to the other—the ungodly exthat to give something to him that pect this. Observe, I am not speaking needeth ; but it does not expect Chris- of what Christ expects, or what Christ tians to act under the sentiment that commands in his word, but just what gain is godliness, and it wonders the ungodly world is expecting at our when it sees them manifesting the hands. They may, indeed, wonder same anxiety after riches, and the that the individual before me, young, same closeness in dealing; and, alas, wealthy, highly gifted, fairly formed, it sometimes sees what is extortion, with all the graces of mind and person it perceives usury and over-reaching to recommend him or her in the fashionin a bargain, and it wonders when able world, should have forsaken those it sees it. That man who is thus amusements; but yet, when you have intently fixed on making worldly ac- professed to forsake those amusements, quisition, determined to add house to the world expects that you will act house, and to increase his gains, who consistently. They may invite you to shows in his daily carriage that he is their places of amusement, but while it determined to be rich may succeed, may be their wish, they are sensible it and the world may respect him for his is not your duty to comply; and if you money, but it never will respect him yield to their solicitations, they may for his piety. And if he thus does | indeed be pleased with the pliant nawell for himself, it may indeed praise ture of your religion, but they all the him, but it never is edified by his re- while secretly wonder at your inconligion, nor do its votaries ever ad- sistency.
The world expects that the people the religion of the man who is consisof God will be deeply interested in the tent. When a professor of the religion prosperity of the church-that they of Christ, that grand and holy system, will be ingenious in devising plans of is seen to let down the dignity of his action, and that they will be self-deny. Christian character, when he is seen ing and liberal in order to put those to conform to company, to enter into plans in operation for the purpose of the spirit and the pursuits of the un. converting and saving men. The world godly around him, they are sure to resupposes that Christians feel them- member, that upon such a time he was selves identified with Christ and his at the table of the Lord; and they are cause—that the interests of his church sure to wonder why he went there. and their interests are one and the Some are silent, they do not know what same—that they furnish to him and to it means, they cannot account for it; them just the same motive to action others blaspheme, and openly declare —that they ought not to feel disposed that religion is a fable, and that all to sit down and enquire what propor- profession of religion is hypocrisy. tion of their goods they should give, but My dear brethren, may you and may that if they have not given all, the ques. I be able so to live that we may feel tion rather is, what proportion they at liberty to invite rather than to shun shall take. The world expects that the observation of the world; and as we should act according to this high Addison formerly could invite a young and holy profession; for whatever we man to come to his bedside and notice suppose about religion, it is supposed how a Christian could die, so may we by the ungodly to involve most impor- be enabled to live, that we be able to tant duties and sacrifices, and the invite the eye of public observation world looks on to see whether we have that it may notice how Christians may made these sacrifices and performed live; and then, when the church shall these duties; and when a Christian be raised from the dust, and put on her professor seems to be tardy, indolent, beautiful garments, she will be terrible or absolutely idle in the service of the to her enemies, religion will advance, Lord Jesus Christ, is employed about and thus a genuine revival of religion the affairs of this life just as before, is will be every where seen and felt and going on in the same path, is appa- enjoyed. rently under the influence of the same Suffer me to make a few remarks spirit as he used to be, they suppose in conclusion. Let me in the first that he is either an hypocrite or that place ask, if the world expects so there is no truth in religion.
much from us, what does Jesus Christ In one word, to bring these remarks himself expect? The world looks on to a conclusion, the world expects of and expects that not only in great all who have been at the table of the matters, but in small, not only in our Lord a consistent course of conduct general conduct and in our conversaafterwards. There is a beauty in con. tion, but even in our manner, and in sistency of character which the irre- our dress, and in our stile of living we ligious can perceive, although they shall be particularly guarded, and may not be able to perceive a beauty watchful, and circumspect, and the in religion itself. There is a beauty world expects all this on the principle in a man acting up to his own prin- merely of the propriety and fitness of ciples and professions which any man things, they expect this because they excan perceive; and the world admires that pect a man to act up to his profession, consistency, although they may reject to act according to the principles