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reasonable distances from each other ; hence, it would appear, that they were laboring at all points at the same time. The church has assuredly done right, in not confining her efforts to any one particular partof the world, and in carrying the cross to every clime, she is obeying the command and fulfilling the purpose of Heaven.
And I beg you further to notice, that in order to carry out their designs, it was necessary that some should be servants to others, and so also must it be in the church, the master if needful “must be servant to all”. Let us, my brethren, cultivate more than ever this delightful Christian temper, and think it an honor to wait upon the Lord's servants, and one another, for the master's sake. Let us agree further, to seek by all possible means, a more general visible union of cooperation in the glorious work in which all sections of the professing church profess to be engaged. Let our daily prayer and daily effort be " that all may become one."
Let us each esteem it an honor (not to look on, for that is a disgrace ;) to be employed in the Saviour's service, though it be to occupy that which in our view, may be the least honorable part in his vineyard. If one be our master, even Christ, and if we be brethren, then let us have minds to work, and to work until our work is finished, and to do too not what we shall choose, but what the Lord shall bid us ; and I imagine he never gives us to do that for which we are not qualified. Let us aim at being able to say as did Jesus at the close of the journey of life, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Let us work in the spheres in which his providence has placed us, and labor
hard to hasten the arrival of that day, when the top stone of the spiritual temple shall be brought forth amidst the shoutings and greetings of angels, and of saints crying, “ Grace, grace, unto it.”
Remember, Christian, that the Jews were soldiers as well as workmen ; we, too, must fight as well as work, for we have our foes many, from within and without; forget not, however, that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual -mighty through God, to the pulling down the strong holds of Satan. We must, in a word, labor and pray, preach and practice, and all will be well. We had intended to have directed your thoughts to some of the motives set before us in the gospel, to induce us to labor more diligently in the Saviour's cause. But it remains, that we make reference,
IV. In the last place, to the success of which their labor was productive.
They “had a mind to work," and they did work, nor ceased they from their toil until it was completed. The natural consequence of the fact is implied in the text, but the verity itself, is stated in the sixth chapter of this book. An evidence of their diligence, and the number engaged in the work, is found in the fact, that, in fifty-two days it was completed. It is supposed, that the wall was just three miles in circumference, and of considerable height.
There is another fact recorded in the sixteenth verse of the sixth chapter worthy of our consideration. It reads, “And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” The fact that the work was so soon accomplished, proves the truth of good old Matthew Henry's saying, “ that many hands make light work ;' it certainly did in the case before us. Let this then encourage us in whatever we undertake, whether it may have reference to the public good in a temporal point of view, or to the glory of God in the redemption of a perishing world. I beg your notice to another fact recorded in the connexion of the text, and it is this, that honorable mention is made of the DAUGHTERS of a distinguished citizen, who were also employed in a way worthy of themselves in forwarding the good work. But Nehemiah is by no means, the only inspired writer who records the valuable services rendered to the cause of God by pious females-by no means; even a Paul could not forget to speak of “ those women who had labored with him in the gospel," and whose services were, I doubt not, both efficient and useful. Only let the female piety and energy of our churches and congregations, be brought more than ever to bear on the destinies of a fallen world, and much greater success than now would characterize our efforts, to bring back that world to its only God and Saviour. Surely, it becomes us to be animated with the prospect of success in whatever we are engaged, provided the end contemplated, be approved of God, and be sought out in the use of right means. Only let us have minds to work, let our souls be thrown into it, and as certain it is that success will attend our efforts as that God is faithful to his promise.
town, and by no means the least important, whether we speak of influence or numbers, let us brethren, live up to our privileges-let us act the Christian citizen-and be devoted to God in our several spheres, and the results will be those for which we pray, and which Heaven approves. The field is before us—it is an open field, there is room for all; yea, for more than all, who are at present to be found as faithful laborers in it. It becomes us not to be slothful, but diligent, and I would again add, that we have not time to be idle. Of us may it be said by generations to come, “ For the people had a mind to work."
Let our energies and resources be well directed, accompanied with unceasing prayer to God, and its influence will tell upon the moral and spiritual condition of the town and neighborhood, nor would it end here but extend to other churches and localities, and thus be the means in some humble measure of blessing the entire world. What we want to see is the entire machinery of the militant church, well arranged, in good order, and put into active operation, and all that would be needed would be the promised and propelling influences of the Holy Spirit, and then would hasten on the day when a ransomed world would be familiar with the anthems of the blessed above.
My hearers, have you minds to work ? and have you nothing to do? Come with us, and we will find you employment such as angels would delight to perform! Can you preach the gospel to the poor? Can you visit, pray with, and minister to the necessities of the afflicted and dying ? Can you instruct the young, the hopes both of the church and the world ? Can you swell the tide of charity by your grateful munificence ? Be as
sured, that, such are greatly needed amongst us; and if you have the “minds to work," then all things are ready, and in the name of Jesus and of a dying world, I call upon you to give yourselves to his service.
Allow me in conclusion, affectionately and faithfully to ask you two questions.
1. Are there any present who are engaged in the Lord's service, but whose hearts are not in it? Oh if there be, of this I feel assured, that you find it drudgery indeed, and the reason is, that you cannot serve two masters --Oh see to it, that you love the master you profess to serve.
2. Are there any present who have no disposition to labor for the Lord Jesus Christ? Permit me, my fellow-sinner, to remind you that those who are not for Christ are against him, and though you shall continue his enemy, his work shall go on, and how fearful will it be, should you die, as you have lived, worse than idlers in the midst of a dying world.
Be persuaded this morning, to cast in your lot with the Israel of God, and seek instantly the mercy and the grace which alone can pardon and save your immortal soul. Make from this hour, Christ crucified, the theme of your song and the glory of your future days; seek to be found with those who draw not back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul : for this, it becomes us, who profess to be Christians, both to labor and pray. That to us the Lord may give “minds to work" and strength to perform it, is the prayer of my heart for you all. Amen and Amen.