Page images
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

and all these Things shall be added unto you. Upon whose Authority likewise St. Paul tells us, that Godliness has the Promise of the Life that now is, and of that which is to come. Nay, farther, there is


Reason to think, that God often blesses the honest Endeavours of the Virtuous in this World: But then there is no Appearance that the Rules of Justice are at all concerned in such Dispensations; for the Righteous often suffer, nay, under the Gospel they are called to suffer; for which Reason the Invitation to us is, To take up our Cross, and follow Cbrift, But, to come to the point of Rewards and Punishments, the Parable of the Tares in the thirteenth of St. Matthew is decisive. The Meaning of which Parable our Saviour has expounded: It represents to us the State of the World, in which the Good and Bad flourish together; and though Men ceafe not to call upon God for a Distinction to be made between them, yet He, who seeth not as Man sees, has otherwise determined. In this World he permits them to flourish and live together ; but the Time is coming, that great Harvest of the World is approaching, when a full Distinction shall be made; when


[ocr errors]

the Wicked shall be cast into a Furnace of Fire, and the Righteous Thine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father.

Thus, you see, Reason, Experience, and Scripture, all consenting to teach us not to look for the Reward of our Labour in this World, but to wait with Patience God's appointed Time, when the Great Judge of the World will do righteoufly, and recompense to every Man the Things which he has done.

Let us look back then to the Text; and take from thence the proper Exhortation arié sing from this Conclusion : Since we plainly fee, that this World is no Place of Rewards and Punishments, let us not be fo foolish as to look for our Reward here, and be discouraged if we receive it not. If we raise in ourselves such idle Expectations, and imagine that to be good is a certain Way to be rich, great, or prosperous, we lay a Foundation for great Disappointments, and shall be in danger of growing fick of our Work, when our Hopes forsake us. look to the appointed Time of Reward, and give ourselves up contentedly to the Providence of God in this World, and to that Lot,


But if we

be it what it will, which he has provided for us, our Hopes will never fail; we shall be stedfast and unmoveable, knowing that our Labour, however difficult here; shall not be in vain in the Lord: For in due Seafon we Jhall reap, if we faint not.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



MATTHÉW xiii. 29. Bút he said, Nay; left, while ye gather up the

Tares; ye root up also the Wheat with them. MASTERÖ understand the Text we must

look back as far as the twentyT

fourth Verse of this Chapter,

where our Saviour puts forth a Ya $*

Parable, comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to a Man who fowed good Seed in his Field; but while Men slept, his Enemy came and lowed Tares among the Wheat. When they both sprung up and appeared in the Field, the Servants, under a Surprize at the Disappointment, report it to their Master; 02


« PreviousContinue »