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tives mighty like these, you are urged to ease the burdens of the ministry, to render the service pleasant and efficient by your sympathies, your counsels, and your prayers. It is sweet to know that we have sometimes the entire confidence as well as the prayers of those whom it is our work to build up in the faith and purity of the gospel. It cheers the solitude of many a midnight hour, that we are preparing a repast for the disciples of the Lord Jesus, who, when they have fed upon the word, will pray for him who published it. May every such prayer for us be answered, and then returned into
your own bosoms, and when the lips are cold and the tongue silent that address you, and the sanctuary where you worship has crumbled, and other generations fill the places we occupy, may we be together about the throne, to sing and say, "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory." Amen and amen.
Finally, it is a crime of no small magnitude to treat with neglect or contempt a ministry formed after the pattern of the text. The embassy that God commissions deserves regard. “He that receiveth you, receiveth me." If ministers are faithful, it is not at the option of their people, whether they shall receive or reject their message, and treat kindly, or otherwise, those who hold the high commission of ambassadors of Jesus Christ. To their own Master they are accountable for every
doctrine they advance, every duty they urge, and the proper application of every promise they repeat; and you too are obligated to insert that doctrine, if true into your creed, to practice that duty, and apply legitimately that promise. If they deliver the true gospel, and you reject it, it proves to you a savour of death unto death. Even cold indifference is criminal toward that ministry which has immediate connexion with your salvation, and the eternal life of your offspring. God will punish those who treat rudely his ministers. We could point you to the places where sterility and death have reigned for half a century, when the hand had been raised against one whom God sent to them with the news of pardon. The law in Israel, « Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” has been renewed in other terms under the gospel. Blessed God, let no child of mine ever hurt or offend thy ministers.
THE WEALTHY CHRISTIAN READY TO CONTRIBUTF.
1 Timothy vi. 17-19. Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth ús richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate ; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
The Bible admirably adapts its instructions to every character and condition in human life, from the greatest monarch to the meanest slave. And this fact is an evidence that the Scriptures are from God. They teach with an authority that men uninspired would not have been likely to assume. There is no crouching, no sycophancy, no flattery. Duty is taught to every man in the same style, with the same plainness, and the same assurance. What was said of our Lord, that he taught as one having authority, is true of the whole Bible.
In the text Paul is directing Timothy what he must say to the rich. They may not be high-minded. God distinguishes one man from another. 66 In thine hand it is to make great.” They may not trust in their riches, for they are uncertain, and may take to themselves wings and fly away. They must trust alone in God, the living God, who giveth them richly all things to enjoy. God suffers them to enjoy their wealth, but he also com. mands them to communicate enjoyment. They are to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. They must not even wait to be urged to this duty, but hold themselves in the attitude of hand
ing out to others what God has put into their posses sion.
Thus they lay up in store for themselves a good foundation, a treasure upon which they may draw at any future period of want. Hence to be liberal renders them ultimately the more wealthy, and what is more important, enables them to lay hold on eternal life. Thus their duty and their interest are united, and are equally plain. To do good with their wealth is an important means of bringing them to heaven. It is that test of piety which God will demand of the rich. Hence said our Lord, “How hardly do they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God.” We cannot then be kind to this large and respectable class of men, unless we urge them to liberality, as an indispensable test of their hope. They have some liberty of choice as to the objects they will the most liberally patronize, but may not choose whether they will or will not be ready to communieate; for if they will not, they can have no evidence that they shall lay hold on eternal life.
In proceeding, I shall present an object, which seems to me to stand among the first, and urge its claims upon a single class of the wealthy. Let me say, that it is the duty of professors of religion who have wealth to consecrate their property to the spread of the gospel.
Ye disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, your Saviour has set up a church in this world, has promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her, and that she shall one day, embrace all nations; and calls upon you to consecrate your property to the diffusion of that gospel by which he brings men into covenant with him and makes them happy. Will you hear me, while I offer five arguments. to. induce you to obey him in this
reasonable requisition. I will enter upon the point without detaining you a moment, and when I have done, you must act as
proper. I assert, in the
I. Place, That "the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof," and hence that he has a right to make this draft upon you. If I fail in establishing this point, you may lay down the book, and not read another line.
You acknowledge God as the creator of all things. Here I found his claim ; it is prior to all others. He who built all worlds, and peopled them, and gave that people all their good things, may make a demand upon them to any amount within their power, with the certainty that it cannot be protested. “His are all the beasts of the forest, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." The same is true of your silver, your merchandize, your children, your servants, and all that you have. If not, then name the good thing that you can be sure will be yours to-morrow. Begin, if you please, at the bottom of the catalogue of your comforts, and ascend, through the whole series, to the wife of your bosom, your health, and your life, and tell me which of the whole will be yours to-morrow. Dare you name nothing? Then whosesoever they are, they surely are not yours, For he who has nothing that he can hold a day, has nothing but what is borrowed. And if the good things you possess are not yours, they are the Lord's, or whose are they?
And what was the Lord's at the first, because he made it, he has carefully watched over and preserved. Not merely could we have had nothing, if God had not made it, but we could have kept nothing, if God had not preserved it. There is no kind of independence