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hath not enabled you to perform, nor will he disproportion his rewards to your labours. If humble the talents of nature or of grace given you, sedulously improve them, and you shall not go without your reward. If more distinguished your natural endowments or spiritual gifts, greater will be your responsibility, more will be required of you; and greater also will be your reward. Your Lord will come and reckon with you. Hide not, then, your talent in the earth; sink not into sloth and negligence in your spiritual concerns; receive not the grace of God in vain; neglect not the business of your salvation. Remember, O remember the doom of the unprofitable servant-outer darkness, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, for ever-for ever. Diligently, then, improve the talents committed to you ; devote every endowment of nature,

, every acquirement of industry, every blessing of Providence, every spiritual gift, to the glory of God, to the good of mankind, to the salvation of your own soul. Your labour in the Lord shall not be in vain. In the day when he comes to reckon with his servants, he will cover with the robe of his righteousness the infirmities which you have sought to overcome, the sins which you have humbly confessed : he will bring forth to the plaudits of men and angels, your humble piety, your exertions for his glory, your deeds of beneficence, your patience, your adversity, your zealous discharge of duty, neither seduced by the applauses of the world, nor shaken by its censures: to the plaudits of men and angels he will unite his own—" Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of

your Lord.”

SERMON XXXVIII.

THE TEN LEPERS.

LUKE xvi. 17, 18.

Were there not ten cleansed ? but where are the nine? There

are not returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

Never surely did a personage appear on the earth with such claims to the admiration, love, and gratitude of mankind, as the blessed Redeemer of the world. Uniting in his adorable person the glories of the Divinity with the perfection of human virtue; the Creator and Lord of the universe, and at the same time the bountiful Benefactor and compassionate Saviour of the human race; the brightness of the Father's glory. and the express image of his person, and at the same time condescending to assume a human body, that in it he might bear our sins and carry our sorrows; there are no emotions of admiration, gratitude, and love, of which the human heart is susceptible, that should not have been rendered to him; and yet he was despised and rejected by those on whom he conferred the greatest blessings—was constantly assailed by tbat ingratitude, which at length, under its overwhelming load, crushed him, an innocent victim, on the

cross.

Of this lamentable truth, the history of the ten lepers that were cleansed is one of the many proofs with which the suffering life of the Saviour abounds. These persons were afflicted with a malady of the most loathsome and disgusting description. The leprosy was, in its own nature, a dreadful disease, and it was made more so by the institutions of the Jewish law. This law, designed, as a school-master, to bring men to Christ, typified, by its various institutions and ceremonies, that spiritual redemption which was finally to be wrought for men by the glorious Messiah, the desire of all nations and the hope of his people Israel. As the leprosy was a powerful, insidious, and loathsome disorder, that tainted the very sources of life, and corrupted the whole body, it was therefore considered by this law as typical of sin, that direful malady of the soul which corrupts all her powers and taints the principles of spiritual life. To denote, therefore, the great evil of sin, together with its fatal consequences, they who were afflicted with the leprosy -the impressive and highly appropriate type of the corrupting malady of the soul-were cut off from all intercourse with the rest of the Jews, were separated from a participation in their religious ordinances, and were shunned, as objects vile and disgusting. The numerous sacrifices that were to be made, and the purifications which the leper was to undergo, on his leprosy being healed, before he could be received again into civil and religious communion, were highly significant emblems of that one great sacrifice which Christ was to make for sin, and of the spiritual purification which the sinner must undergo before he could be restored to the favour of God.

With this direful disorder were those ten persons afflicted, who, in the bitterness of grief, and in all the earnest fervour of supplication, standing afar Vol. III.

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off, lonely and shunned—being separated, on account of their leprosy, from all intercourse with others—“ lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” The cry of supplication was never addressed to Jesus in vain ; the diseased and the miserable always found in him an almighty Friend, desirous and able to succour and to save. When, therefore, he saw the lepers, “ he said unto them, Go show yourselves to the priests.” The priests, according to the Jewish law, were to judge when the leprosy was healed, and

re to appoint the necessary sacrifices and purifications. The direction of our Saviour, therefore, that they should go and show themselves unto the priests, was to them, in fact, a pledge that they should be healed from their leprosy. “And it aocordingly came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed.” What should have been their emotions and their conduct on thus finding themselves unexpectedly relieved from this loathsome and dreadful malady? Should not the tribute of lively thanks have been immediately paid to their gracious and almighty Deliverer? Alas! there was only one of the ten, and he not a Jew, who valued himself on his religious character and privileges, but a Samaritan-belonging to a people among whom a temple was established distinct from the temple at Jerusalem-and who was therefore considered by the Jews as an outcast from their church and nation-only “one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God ;” overwhelmed with the emotions of gratitude and affection, “ he fell down on his face at the feet of his almighty Deliverer, giving him thanks.” Struck with the grateful affection of this

poor Samaritan, and indignant at the insensibility and ingratitude of the proud and self-conceited Jews, who went on their way without expressing any sentiment of gratitude for their deliverance, Jesus sorrowfully and expressively exclaimed“ Were there not ten cleansed ? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger."

This history, my brethren, forcibly suggests to us the guilt of the sin of ingratitude to God. While therefore we feel the sentiments of lively indignation rise in our bosoms at the view of the insensibility and ingratitude which the nine lepers who were cleansed displayed under the signal mercy which they received, it may be productive of salutary improvement, and it is certainly incumbent upon us diligently and seriously to inquire whether we are not justly chargeable with the same base sin of ingratitude to God-whether we do not merit the indignant reproaches which every feeling and ingenuous mind is disposed to cast on the lepers who were healed, on the insensible and ungrateful objects of the Saviour's mercy.

Let us consider the many obligations, and review the many mercies and favours that call for gratitude to God, and see whether we are absolved from the guilt of violating this duty.

We have received from that Almighty Jehovah who created us after his own image, a rational and immortal nature, endued with powers_vigorous and exalted, capable of ranging, with inextinguishable ardour, through the works of the Creator-of exploring, with keen and vigorous research, the hidden recesses of truth and above all, of receiving the knowledge of the existence, and the attributes,

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