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er? If in the secret chamber his mild persuasions or terri: ble warnings greeted you, would you transgress with the boldness and security of concealment? If a sudden glory shone around you at the midnight hour, would you feel determined as though wraped up in the mantle of the night! Were you to discern his hand writing bitter things against you, on that wall were he now writing, or at any moment when you are outraging his law or his gospel, were you to see his hand inscribing “Mene, mene, tekel upharsin,” who would not tremble? who would not desist? who would not humble them before that awful hand? Christians! he saw you yesterday; Mortals! he sees you every day; when you trample on his law, when you give audience to the tempter, when you adventure in
form on secret faults or on presumptuous sins. In the secret chamber he saw your crimes, he is a present witness. Dark night þid nothing from him, “the darkness and the light are both alike to him.” In his bible you hear his voice, the mildest persuasions and warnings the most terrible. On its pages he has inscribed the destiny of the transgressor, Mene, mene tekel upharsinAbuser of those blessings which bountiful providence has subjected to thy control! he has numbered, he has numbered thy dominion over his creatures, and now he is about to bring it to an end. Vain mortal who hast set thyself against the supremacy of heaven! "thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting." O you who trusted in darkness or in secrecy, like Babylon's proud monarch in high walls and brazen gates, upharsin, upharsin, has been written on your destiny; your protections have been prostrated, your strong bands have been sundered, your strength, your influence, is about to be divided among those who may more honestly and more worthily employ it.
Christian! O Christian! will you subject yourself to this?
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have
kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of rejoicing, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing
2. Tim. iy. 7, 8, We have often admired the noble simplicity of the les son which the Saviour, in a single sentence, conveyed to his disciples, upon their return from a mission among the villages of Judea. They had been sent forth with a direction to proclaim to all Israel that the kingdom of God was come: and, in order to secure the greater attention to that message, the power of working miracles had been liberally dispensed to them. We are not informed what reception was given to their great message; but in the exhibition of their credentials they were abundantly successful. However coldly the multitudes may have listened to the injunction, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand !" they gave large tribute of attention to the persons of these wonder working messengers of God.
The disciples themselves appear to have been elated with the possession of such powers; and returning to the Saviour, they cried out with eager joy, “Lord even the devils are subject to us through thy name.” But he manifested no feeling responsive to their gladness. “Rejoice not” he replied—"in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” How singular, and yet how just, was the answer of Jesus Christ! The honors of a prophet or of a minister of God are at best of a doubtful character. Balaam, and perhaps others of the old testament prophets, who had "heard the words of God, and seen the vision of the Almighty,” nevertheless perished in their sins: and we have the Saviour's own word for it, that, of new testament ministers, “many," in addition to the false-hearted Iscariot, shall be compelled to depart with the workers of iniquity, though they "have prophesied in his name, and cast' out devils, and in his name done many wonderful works.”
Behold, then, says the Redeemer, a far higher ground of triumph! behold an occasion of far more heart-felt joy than that Satan, at your bidding, should fall like lightning from heaven! Faithful disciples, your names are written in the book of life: it is yours to rejoice in that humble, common hope which has cheered the hearts of myriads, who never in their lives, by any word of wisdom, or by any work of power, attracted the attention or homage of the crowd. And-let all people hear it! unobtrusive as are the trophies of a victory over sin, vulgar as is the privilege of calling heaven our home, humble as are the pretensions of “a sinner saved by grace;" yet to the eye that measures all things by the standard of eternity, these ordinary distinctions assume a proud pre-eminence over those far more splendid feats—dore though they be for the cause of Jesus Christ—which fill the world with wong der, and set all hell aghast. I know, my dear brethren, that there are none of you
who will think of questioning the soundness of an opinion pronounced by Jesus Christ. But I also know that there is a very wide difference between that species of assent which a serupulous regard for authorities extorts, and that strong conviction which is brought directly home to "the business and bosom," by a full and feeling apprehension of the facts. Our pre-possessions are naturally on the opposite side of this question. Reason as we may, "the pomp of circumstance” throws a delusive splendour around men and things; and with both sage and simpleton
"A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn.” The apostolic office seals, in our opinion, the preten. sions of its holders to more than common excellence, 'Happy men, we cry, 'who wrought signs and wonders in the name of Jesus! and happiest of all the generations of mankind, that which was so favored as to hear apostles preach!
To-day we would convince you of your mistake about this matter. We would shew you that an humble and sincere profession of our common christianity was the sole foundation of their lasting fame; and that the consolations which brightened their last hours of life, were precisely of the kind which the gospel unfolds to all who shall embrace it, to the end of time.
The occasion of our meeting is peculiarly favorable for such an undertaking. We commemorate the departure to her eternal home, of one of your own number, well known to all of you; and by many whom I address very tenderly beloved. She "loved the appearing” of our Lord Jesus Christ: and now, in the place of departed spirits, she awaits the coming of that glorious day in which Saul of Tarsus and Margaretta Fletcher shall together re.