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canker which has smitten one leaf, spread over the whole plant! “Happy is the man that feareth alway.”
Humility will shew that you have been with Jesus. It has been often asserted that the idea of communion with the Deity, tends to puff men up with pride; but the vision of the Saviour's glory, must produce an af. fecting impression of our own vileness; and the recep tion of his favours will make us feel more strongly how unworthy we are.
Does Jesus visit a heart so corrupte ed, and shall that heart be haughty? When we behold good men meek and lowly in circumstances where others would be haughty and insolent; when we see them rejoicing in the attainments of others, although they throw theirs into the shade ; when their deporta ment in prosperity proves that they speak the truth, when they say, “ I am not worthy of the least of thy mercies ;” and when their behaviour in adversity shews that they feel the necessity of God's chastening rod, and welcome it as a blessing, we feel that they have learned from the presence and the example of Jesus, to walk humbly with their God. 66 Be clothed with hu. mility."
Kindness and charity result from fellowship with the Saviour. The scenes which are then reviewed, and the blessings which are bestowed, excite the liveliest impressions of his love to men; and the heart, affected with his grace, must melt in compassion and charity, and the various efforts of beneficence required by the miseries of our fellow-creatures, appear a reason. able and delightful service. When we see a good man visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, proteeting the helpless and the oppressed, enlightening the ignorant, and comforting the mourner ; we are convinced that his is a heart which the love of Christ hath touched. I call on you, Christians, to do good and to
communicate, and let the devotions of this scene be followed by your alms. The hour will come when the pursuits of ambition will be deplored, and when the gains of avarice will be felt as a load on the heart; but your works of love, which have been a blessing to others, will awaken sweet reflections in your own souls. . I shall only add, that by boldness in the cause of Jesus it will be manifest that you have been with him. Such is the impression which is produced of his excellence; and so generous and stedfast was his love, that
feel that to desert him would be the greatest baseness and folly, and that you are bound to employ every talent which you possess for his glory. You have marked the interest which Jesus takes in his cause, and his power to support it, and must be sensible that the opposition of its enemies is but the puny effort of impotent malignity. You have heard him express his approbation of the zeal you may have already shewn, and seen him pointing to the rewards prepared for the faithful on high, and such circumstances as these will surely make you valiant for the truth, and induce you to hold fast the profession of your faith without wavering.
Consider how honourable it is to the Saviour when his spirit is seen operating in his followers, and if these qualities be so amiable in his disciples, what must they be in their great original ! If the mild lustre produced by the moon walking in her brightness on the calm surface of the ocean raises our admiration of the splen. dour of the planet which God hath appointed to rule the night; if we trace with delight the features and virtues of excellent parents in their children, the graces of his followers should remind us of him whose image they bear, and call forth our homage to him who is the brightness of the Father's glory. And it will be most honourable to yourselves to be thus characterized
as the disciples and companions of him who is the Holy One. Beware of bringing the least stain on your high vocation, and let your light so shine before men, that others, seeing your good works, may glorify your Father who is in heaven.” And rejoice in hope of that state where you shall be for ever with the Lord, and. where perfect communion shall produce a perfect re« semblance betwixt you, and where you shall be like him, for you shall see him as he is. With such a hope, how pleasant is the way of holiness, and how bright is the vale of death!
JOHN VII. 37.
“ In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink."
OUR Lord improved, with admirable propriety, the various objects and occurrences which presented them selves before him, for the purposes of religious and moral instruction. His mind was constantly intent on the great objects of his mission, and his wisdom led him to discern the most favourable seasons, and to choose the est methods for the advancement of these. There have been some who, from a zeal neis ther guided by delicacy nor prudence, have introdu. ced serious topics after incidents by no means adapted to prepare the mind to receive them with advantage.
Dislike or laughter have thus been excited at truthis which, if brought forward with more propriety, might have charmed the careless, and silenced the scornful. Nor is the mischief confined to the moment; for whenever the scene is recollected, piety appears in a most degrading association, and the heart turns away from it in disgust. But in our Saviour's history grace and truth are beautifully combined, and the lessons of religion were always exhibited where they were likely to be most clearly understood, and most readily received.
On the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the high priest went in solemn procession to the pool of Siloam, drew from it some water in a golden vessel, and returning to the temple poured it out before the Lord. It was at the close of this ceremony when the worshippers had been praying for the latter rain, and some of them had been imploring the Most High to bestow the spirit and the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom, that Jesus invited them to come and share of the riches of his grace.
The last day of the feast of tabernacles was called the great day of it, not on account of the sacrifice of fered on it; for while several bullocks were to be slain on the other days, the law required on the eighth and last no more than one; but the learned have told us that it was a tradition among the Jews, that while other nations had an interest in the other oblations, this one offering was restricted to Israel. On this day they viewed themselves admitted to intimate fellow. ship with God, as distinguished by him as his peculiar people ; and they supposed that, like an earthly prince who delights far more in a small collation with his chief favourite, that they may have an opportunity of some familiar converse, than in a vast promiscuous entertainment, God felt special complacency in this intere course with them, and bestowed in it his most valuable blessings. These ideas of God's peculiar interest in them, produced a rapturous joy which they were ac. customed to express in all the outward tokens of tric umphant exultation, and thus did this day come to be regarded as the happiest and best part of the festival. From such vain and bigoted conceits our Lord calls them to the spirit of goodness, and to the fellowship of the gospel.
Though we cannot use these words as an invitation to the communion table, they suggest many meditations which may be useful to Christians in the Lord's supper ; and we, on good grounds, consider the commemoration of Christ's death as the most important service of the present solemnity. It is for this that other acts of worship are preparatory; and it is in this ordinance that the noblest actings of grace are exhibits ed, and our friendship with Christ is most delightfully sealed.
But who are the persons whom our Lord invites to partake of the blessings of his grace? They are such as thirst for happiness. This is the object of universal desire and pursuit, for wherever we cast our eyes, we see proofs of the existence and operation of this princia ple, and find reason to lament its improper direction. Some seek it in the acquisition of wealth, others in the career of ambition; some in the indulgence of appetite, and others in curious inquiries, or in vain speculation. Men thus low in their views, and thus carnal in their taste, have no relish for the blessings, and no capacity for the exercises of religion, and are regardless of these amidst their eager solicitude for earthly things. But though the object of ardent pursuit should be attained, the heart is still unsatisfied, and, after a sad series of disappointed hopes, it sinks under the consciousness