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"what is man that thou art mindful of him, or the
son of man that thou visitest him?" See him that has all power in heaven and in earth, the King of kings and Lord of Lords, stooping from his glorious majesty, looking to him that is poor, searching for his connections who dwell in houses of clay, and desirous of publishing the relation. See him "stretching forth "his hand towards his disciples," and saying "Be"hold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever "shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, "the same is my brother and sister, and mother."
The Second remark leads us to contemplate the indemnities and advantages of religion. It is readily ac knowledged, that in following the Son of God, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross; a succession of painful services will be required of us; various sacrifices are indispensable. "But verily there is a "reward for the righteous." Godliness is profitable "unto all things, having promise of the life that now "is, and of that which is to come."" Then Peter "said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And "He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or breth❝ren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this 66 present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." It is no easy thing to pursue the will of God inflexibly to the end; the performance of it in many cases will deprive us of friends, create us enemies, and draw upon us reproach. But it will never suffer us to repent of our engagement; it requires of us nothing mean; it withholds from us nothing glori
ous. Is divine audience a priviledge? This is connected with obedience. "God heareth not sinners; but "if a man be a worshipper of God and doth his will, "him he heareth." Is an assurance of immortality a privilege? This is connected with obedience. "The "world passeth away and the lusts thereof, but he that "doeth the will of God abideth for ever." Is a union with the family of Jesus Christ a privilege? This is connected with obedience.. "Behold my moth"er and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the "will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
The Third remark leads us to observe the holiness of the Gospel. Of this we are perpetually reminded. It is insured by its promises as well as by its commands, by its privileges as well as by its duties. Its blessings however free, are only to be enjoyed in a course of obedience. The family of Jesus is like heaven; "the unrighteous" are excluded. "This is the law of
"the house; upon the top of the mountain the whole "limit thereof round about shall be most holy. "hold this is the law of the house." When he was upon earth he did not seek to establish an indiscrimi nate empire, or to draw a large heterogeneous mass after him; his fan was in his hand; by the application of various tests he selected those who followed him from principle and inclination, and drove back the cowardly, the mercenary, the false-hearted. What! can the brethren of Jesus Christ be earthly, sensual, devilish?" He that is joined to the Lord is of one "spirit." And "If any man have not the Spirit of "Christ, he is none of his." And therefore they who
discharge you from obedience, and promise you security, belie every word of the Bible, and oppose the very design of religion, which is by sanctification to assim ilate man to the image of God. If therefore you val ue the connection, and are desirous of entering this family, remember there is only one way of access to it. Do not imagine you can alude the determinationof our Saviour, and enjoy the privilege without the character of his disciples. But if this be the only way of admission, it stands open to all. Did your alliance depend upon genius, literature, affluence, or office, many of you must despair. But his family is not of this world. From the hope of the Gospel none are excluded, but those who wickedly exclude themselves. "Therefore as He who hath called you is holy, so be
ye holy in all manner of conversation:" and pray with David, "Teach me to do thy will, for thou art "my God; thy Spirit is good; lead me into the "land of uprightness," and then you may be assured of your inclusion, whatever be your talents, whatever be your circumstances. For WHO SUEVER shall do the "will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is “my brother, and sister and mother."
The Fourth reflection leads us to enforce upon Christians the duty derived from their alliance. Remember that you are "no more strangers and for
eigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of } "THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD." Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called. Demean yourselves as the relations of the Lord of life and glory. Let brotherly love continue. Let there be no strife be tween you and your fellow Christians, for you are
brethren. Do not envy the world, it is a reproach to your family; you are placed in a higher order than they; you have better titles, honours, riches, pleas ures. Rejoice and glory in the connection; under a sense of your unworthiness, let the thought of it revive you; under the reproach of the world, let the thought of it animate you; let them villify, let them cast out your name as evil; He is yours and you are his, and you are precious in his sight. And, finally, let it reconcile you to death: cherish the pleasing, the familiar notion of it, which the words of your Lord supply. It is only GOING HOME, and, Home
"Is the loved retreat of peace and plenty;
Such is an earthly residence. What is heaven? What will our Father's house be, where all the dear mem. bers of the family will be assembled together? Why you wish to be detained from HOME? How unnatural to long to be always strangers and pilgrims upon earth! How unaccountable is the aversion you express to a messenger, which comes only "to gather you "unto your own people!" If persons loved not to travel, surely one thing would reconcile them to it, the prospect of HOME; especially if their dearest friend was gone before, and had promised to be there to receive him. And if the thought of leaving some few behind pained them, they would be relieved from much of the distress, if they knew that these friends would soon, very soon follow, and that probably they
may pass upon the road the vehicle destined to bring them. Christians! what you have found most like home below has been the sanctuary. There you held communion with your heavenly Father, and embraced your friends and companions in his presence, and for "their sakes" you said, " Peace be within thee." There you longed to appear, and you found it good to be there. But as the blessedness was imperfect, so it was transient. You blended with few, and soon separated to mix with others very differently minded. But when you ascend and enter your Father's house above, you will never more go out; you will join the general assembly, and "be for ever with the Lord." "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."