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ed, and received to eternal joy. In the glorious mansions above we shall soon be reunited to him; and find him wiser, better, more lovely, and more happy, than our minds have conceived, or our wishes desired. We shall be reunited to him ; but we shall be separated no more. The affection, wounded here, shall be healed beyond the grave. The hope, cherished here, shall there be lost in enjoyment, which flows forever at the right hand of God.”
3dly. These observations forcibly urge you to be followers of God, as dear children.
It cannot, I trust it will not, be questioned by you, that to the glorious Being, who in all these things has acted the parent towards you, you are under the most delightful, as well as the most absolute, obligations to render every service in your power.
To follow any being is, as you well know, a voluntary act. The duty, here enjoined by the word, includes both Obedience and Imitation : kinds of conduct intimately connected in their nature, and inseparable in practice. Be it, then, the first object of your remembrance, that God has formed you to become members of the divine family, which I have described; and in all the endearing ways, which I have mentioned, has provided you with the best means, and presented you the strongest motives, for realizing this noble destination. He has taken you out of the mass, even of your own countrymen; has led
from the outer to the inner court of his temple ; brought you to the door of the holy place; and admitted you to the foot of the mercy-seat. There he has invited you to ask and to receive, to seek and to find. He has proffered to you the atonement of his Son; the sanctification of his Spirit; the forgiveness of your sins; an eternal union to his family; and an eternal interest in his unchangeable love. These are the richest blessings even in his gift: blessings, greater than any tongue can express, or any mind, but His, conceive.
He has required you, by his commands, to assume the character of holiness, of evangelical virtue ; and of this divine attribute has placed before your eyes, both in his Word and in his providence, his own infinitely glorious example. This character, the supreme ornament of moral existence; the supreme beauty of mind; the only real loveliness, the only real excellence, of an Intelligent being; is itself the first of blessings, and the foundation
of all other blessings. As its proper reward, he has annexed to it glory, honour, and immortality, in the future world. Of him, who has done all these things, I beseech you to become followers, dear children.
To this end, you must not be merely decent, learned, polished, obliging, respected, and beloved, in the present life. You must become holy; evangelical believers ; evangelical penitents ; followers of the Lamb; trusting in his righteousness for salvation ; and consecrating yourselves humbly and farthfully to the service of God. The Bible must be the rule of all your conduct; the Author and Finisher of your faith, your divine pattern; the glory of Jehovah, your end; and heaven your final home.
The only employment of God is to do good. Let this be your only employment also. I urge you not to the vulgar, coarse beneficence of gross, worldly minds; employed supremely to display their wealth, flatter their pride, and pamper their desire of reputation. I urge you to the sound uprightness, the unwarping sincerity, the warm, ever-active kindness of the Gospel; of a mind, purified by the grace of God, following him as an affectionate child, esteeming it more blessed to give than to receive ; and finding an exalted reward in the happiness of others, and a sublime enjoyment in making them happy.
The human soul was originally stamped with the image of God; a resemblance of the Uncreated Mind, inexpressibly beautiful and lovely, and illumined with the sunshine of heaven. How melancholy, dark, and loathsome, was the impression which succeeded it: the figure sin; the inscription beneath it death. Let it be your intense labour to efface, and your daily supplication, that God would enable you to efface, this impression of turpitude and deformity, and to resume that image of glory and beauty, which you have lost; a resemblance to your Maker, which will be known on earth, and acknowledged hereafter in heaven.
You are now going abroad into a world of danger and sin. Temptations will arrest you; wealth will invite, power will captivate, splendour will dazzle, and pleasure will enchant you. By enemies you will be assaulted, circumvented, and ensnared. Friends may endanger you still more by a pleasing, but seductive, correspondence ; and by an alluring, but mischievous, example.
You will be strongly solicited, both within and without, to settle down in a cold, heartless, self-deceiving decency of life ; and will easily cheat yourselves into a belief, that this is Religion. You will easily persuade yourselves, that God will regard you with mercy; because you are not so guilty as others; and will naturally believe, that the character, with which you are so well pleased, will not be displeasing to Him. Fly this precipice : at the foot of it lies perdition.
But while you resolve to be yourselves followers of God, as dear children, and to lay up, not dross, but Gold seven times purified, as your treasure in the heavens; resolve, also, to promote, as much as in you lies, the same happy character in your fellowmen. Their souls, like yours, are immortal; and of a price, for which nothing can be weighed. In the cloudy sky, which at the present time envelopes this unhappy world, there is one bright opening; through which the sunbeams play with inexpressible beauty. The eye of hope fastens upon this little spot of glory; and foresees with transport the speedy dispersion of the gloom, and the approaching arrival of a Millennial day. Religion in many nations is cheerfully lifting up her head; and sees, with smiles of gratulation, her day of redemption drawing nigh. The prayers of all her children are now ascending on every wind of heaven, to supplicate the hastening of this divine consummation. Wise men, not only from the East, but also from the West, from the North, and from the South, are now presenting their treasures, as well as their adorations, at the feet of the Son of God. They are sending his word, in every language, to all the nations and kindreds of men. Faithful ministers run to and fro through the benighted corners of the world, and proclaim to the startled inhabitants, “ Behold we bring you glad tidings of great joy: for unto you is born a Saviour in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord.” The synagogue, the mosque, and the Pagoda, already begin to echo the angelic song, “ Glory to God in the highest ; peace on earth; and good will towards men.”
This divine Spirit, this breath from heaven, has breathed upon your own land. The dead here awake. Skeletons here are clothed with flesh; stand upon their feet, as a great army; and inhale immortal life. Catch this divine influence yourselves ;
and let its glorious efficacy be conspicuous in every part of your conduct. Unite your hearts and hands, with those of all good men in spreading Religion at home and abroad ; in enlarging the borders of the divine kingdom ; in multiplying salvation; and in increasing the number of the first born.
You have long, and often, assembled in this house for the worship of God. You are now assembled in it for the last time. When this week is ended, you will meet together no more, on this side of the grave. But you will again be gathered before the last tribunal. How glorious, how transporting, will-it then be to hear you all, with one united voice, say, “ Lord, thou deliveredst unto us five talents : behold we have gained beside them five talents more ;” and to hear him reply, “ Well done, good and faithful servants ! ye have been faithful over a few things: I will make you rulers over many things : enter ye into the joy of your Lord.”
PREACHED TO THE CANDIDATES FOR THE BACCALAUREATE
Genesis xxviji. 20-22.
And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will
keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and
raiment to put on; So that I come again to my Father's house in peace : then shall JEHO
and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
The story, of which these words are a part, is, in substance, the following.
Isaac, improperly attached to his eldest son Esau, because he ate of the venison, which he provided for him by hunting, directed him to go out into the field, and take venison, and make for him savoury meat, such as he loved; that he might eat, and bless him, before he himself should die.
The blessing, which Isaac proposed to confer upon Esau, was the peculiar blessing, originally given by God to Abraham, and afterwards to Isaac himself. This blessing Rebekah knew was designed by the Au. thor of it for Jacob : and she also knew, that in intending to confer it upon Esau Isaac was influenced, solely, by his doting