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probably, than the truth, in any case of this nature. Would not the salvation of this individual more than balance all the evils, which you apprehend from the Enthusiasm in question ? This single man will escape from more evils, as may be shown with mathematical certainty, if the Scriptures are the Word of God, than have been suffered by the whole human race since the world began ; and will enjoy more happiness, than has fallen to the lot of all the generations of men on this side of the grave. Would not the arrival even of this one man in the regions of immortality be a source of everlasting joy to the Church of the First-born? Who, unless animated with the spirit of a fiend, can fail to welcome the conversion, from which such glorious consequences will spring, with the most ardent feelings of gratulation !
Suppose your opposition should be successful. Suppose your arguments, your ridicule, or your influence, should discourage even one awakened, anxious man from pursuing the salvation of his soul. With what emotions will he regard you on his dying bed! With what feelings will he remember you amid the endless sufferings of perdition! What appearance must you make to the eye, what character must you sustain in the heart, of the religious parent, who beholds you labouring to destroy, who sees that you have finally destroyed, his beloved child; bave cut off his hopes of life, and shut him out of heaven. Angels, if sorrow could find an entrance into their unspotted minds, would weep over this terrible catastrophe ; and sackcloth shroud the world of immortal glory.
4thly. These observations teach us, that we are bound faithfully to labour, and fervently to pray, for the Universal Revival of Religion.
To do good is the only proper business of man: and there is no man, who is unable to do good. The good, here proposed, is the greatest which ever has been, or ever will be, done; in its nature exalted; in its duration boundless; in its consequences transporting. It demands, therefore, every wish, and every effort. To accomplish it is the first dictate of virtue ; the business of angels; the employment of God himself. The man, who engages in this employment, although born of dust, and allied to
worms, is styled by the Scriptures a fellow-worker with God. How poor and pitiful, compared with this, is the office of kings, and the splendour of beroes.
In this employment every man can engage. Among the numerous modes, in which it can be usefully pursued, there is ample opportunity for the useful application of every mind, the exertion of every talent, and the employment of every possession. To him, who possesses the disposition of the Gospel, these assertions will require no proof. He, who cannot contribute, can labour: he, who cannot labour, can contribute : he, who can do neither, can pray; and can present before the eyes of his fellowmen the beauty, power, and persuasiveness, of an evangelical example. How few are there, who cannot do all these things! Advice, admonition, reproof, encouragement, and comfort, may every where be administered; and administered with a'success and profit, which no mind can foresee, no tongue describe, and no numbers estimate.
Can we want motives to this employment? My brethren look into your own hearts, and hopes, and fears, and joys, and sorrows: and you will find them. Do you hope to be saved ? Do you fear to be lost? At what price do you estimate this salvation? What would be a compensation for your final ruin? Have you calculated, can you calculate, the number and value of the mines, the crowns, the worlds, the systems, which might become a proper exchange for the soul? Of exactly the same value is every soul, which will be either saved, or lost.
Cast your eyes upon your families. You will there find these motives multiplied. Do you value the salvation of your Children? Do you ardently wish, when you appear at the last tribunal, to be able to say, “ Lo here are we, and the children whom thou hast given us?” Do you form desires, which no language can express, of meeting your sons and daughters at the gate of heaven, and welcoming with transport their arrival in the regions of immortal life? Do you hope, with feelings unutterable, to mingle in that happy world hearts, and raptures, and praises, with your beloved offspring ? If the universe were offered to you as a compensation for the loss of endless life to them, and as the price of their perdition ; would you not regard the offer with a disdain,
and the author of it with a detestation, which language could not utter? Remember, that other children are equalıy dear to their parents; that their souls are equally precious; that their salvation is equally inestimable; and that their destruction will be equally dreadful. Whose children are you willing to see sent down to the world of woe?
Look to the apostles. Mark the toil, the self-denial, the suffering, which they underwent; the cheerfulness and perseverance, with which they sustained these evils. Who, among the vast family of Adam, ever laboured and suffered like them? For what did they labour and sufler? By the side of these disinterested and glorious men, serenely and cheerfully encountering toil, danger, persecution and death, to form disciples for Christ, and fill heaven with inhabitants, how do statesmen, kings, and conquerors, shrink, and wither, and fade from our sight.
Look to the Cross. Behold the Son of God nailed to the accursed tree, pouring out his blood, and giving up the ghost, that men might be saved! Shall Christ die, and will you refuse to labour, that your fellow-men may live forever!
Awake, then, to righteousness; to your obvious, unceasing, and most important duty. God has given you all that you are, and all that you possess.
Your possessions are his : you are his. “ All souls are mine. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Render therefore to God the things that are God's. Cheerfully as well as faithfully, perseveringly as well as patiently, devote your time, your talents, your property, and your efforts, to this divine purpose. Let no difficulty discourage, no opposition slacken, no passion hinder, and no obstacle prevent, your exertions. Extend them through life; and say from the heart, day by day, “ If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."
But it is not sufficient, that you labour. If you would find success, you must pray also. No good descends from heaven to this world, except as an answer to prayer. " Ask, and ye shall receive,” " is the great law, according to which all blessings are given. Pray always with all prayer, and supplication of the Spirit, there.
fore, for the restoration of mankind to the favour, and the service, of God. For this glorious end let the secret aspirations of the closet rise unceasingly to the throne of mercy. These let the morning and evening oblation of the household accompany, every day, to the presence of God; and call down the life-giving influence of the Spirit of Grace upon this world of death and ruin. Finally, for the same delightful end let the sweet incense of the sanctuary ascend in one vast cloud to heaven, from sabbath to sabbath, as the united and acceptable offering of all, who love the Lord Jesus Christ, to Him, who has not said to the house of Jacob, “Seek ye my face in vain.” Thus shall the millions of your fellow-men, ransome of the Lord, return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy und gladness; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
CHRIST LOVES HIS CHILDREN UNTO THE END.
JOHN xii. 1.
Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved
them unto the end.
The period, with which this chapter commences, is placed by judicious commentators immediately before the last passover, at which our Saviour was present. The declaration, made in the text, is intended, as I apprehend, to refer to all the events, and to all the discourses, contained in the subsequent parts of the book. By most of them it is directly illustrated ; and by the whole, taken together, it is placed in the strongest light conceivable.
Having loved,” that is, having once begun to love: indicating, that placing his affection was decisive with regard to its continuance; and that it was insusceptible of decay, or termination.
" His own, which were in the world.” This phraseology teaches us, that they were his property, chosen for himself, and destined to his use and service. All things are his : for they were made by him, and for him. But these were his in a peculiar manner; and are, here, intentionally distinguished, as standing in a nearer relation to him than any thing el-e which this world contains. His property in them is peculiar, both in kind and degree; and his interest in them of a superior nature.
At the same time they were still in the world ; and were not numbered with those, who, being his own also, had ascended to heaven. The objects of his love, here specified, were not " the