ページの画像
PDF
ePub

rious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself."

Why, then, Christians, should you be afraid to die ? Your spirits shall ascend immediately to the bosom of Jesus, and your bodies sleep in peace till the morning of the resurrection. Nor let the anticipation of the exanimating sickness and the intense pain which frequently precede dissolution, nor of the unknown agonies of the last conflict, alarm your minds. All is in his hands, who is infinitely wise, and powerful, and kind. Jesus can make, and often has “made a dying bed feel soft as downy pillows are.” “As your day is, 80 shall your strength be.” “When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, ye shall fear no evil, for God your Saviour will be with you: His rod and staff will comfort you." “ He that testifieth these things 'saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen : Even so come, Lord Jesus. The

of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen *."

grace

* When the Service of Communicating is concluded, a Psalm or Hymn, in imitation of our Saviour, Mark xiv. 26. such as Ps. lxxii. 17-19; Ps. lxxx. 17-19; Ps. cxix. 5–8. is sung : after which, the Minister having resumed his place in the Pulpit, delivers the Concluding Exhortation, specimens of which will be found in the next Section.

SECTION IV.

CONCLUDING EXHORTATIONS.

EXHORTATION I.

HABITUAL REMEMBRANCE OF CHRIST

RECOMMENDED.

CHRISTIAN BRETHREN! the peculiar solemnities of this day's worship are now closed. With much external decency and apparent devotion, and, I trust, also in the exercise of faith, and love, and reverence, and penitence, and joy, you have eaten bread and drunk wine, in commemoration of the Saviour's dying love. Before we separate, allow me to press on your attention these two most important practical truths—that remembrance of Christ should not be merely an occasional exercise, but a habitual employment; and that faith, and love, and reverence, and penitence, and joy, should not be mere transient sentiments and feelings, but abiding and operative principles.

I..“ Whatsoever ye do, whether in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him." “ Bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifest in your body *."

Remember Christ when you are called to the dis.. charge of duty. Without this every duty will be diffi. cult; with it every duty will be comparatively easy. When you feel your own weakness, and are in danger of abandoning your duty in despair, remember him in whom “it pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell,” that “out of that fulness his people might receive, and grace for grace." Trusting in his promise, that “his

grace

shall be sufficient for you," you shall be able to do all things through him strengthening you."

When a sense of the many imperfections and improprieties which attend your best services, excites in you a fear, that, instead of meeting with reward, they will draw down on you punishment, remember him, on the ground of whose all-perfect righteousness you are made accepted of God, on the ground of whose all-prevalent intercessions your prayers and services rise with ac. ceptance before him.

Remember. Christ, and you will never want an example to imitate: you will be furnished with a com. plete practical directory in the plainest and most interesting form. Would you wish to know how you should think, feel, and act ? Remember how Jesus thought, and felt, and acted, and, as “ he has set you an example, follow his steps."

Remember Christ, and you will never want motives to urge you to the discharge of duty : Habitually remember that he loved you, and gave himself for you'; and surely you must be sweetly constrained “to live not to yourselves, but to Him who died for you, and who rose again.” It is because we are so forgetful

* Col. iii. 17; 2 Cor. iv. 10.

of Christ, that we are so remiss in the practice of Christian virtue. How could we be weary in well. doing, if we always bore in mind the unwearying assiduity of our Lord and Saviour? How could we be neglectful of, or languid in, devotional duties, if we habitually recollected him, “who, in the days of his flesh, offered up supplications, with strong crying and tears, and was heard in that he feared ?" How could we be “angry at our brother without cause,” when we thought of him who died for his enemies? How could we refuse relief to a distressed Christian, when we remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, “ It is more blessed to give than to receive. Inasmuch as ye do it to the least of these my brethren, ye do it unto me;" or thought of “the grace of the Lord Jesus, who though he was rich became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich * ?"

It is equally necessary and advantageous for you, Christians, to remember Christ in the day of trial as in the day of exertion. The remembrance of him is equally calculated to enable us to suffer, as to do the will of God. Remember Christ, and you will both to wonder at and lament your afflictions. He was a sufferer; and “is it not enough that the disciple is as his Master, and the servant as his Lord ?” suffered for you, leaving you an example that ye should follow his steps." Is it strange, that a crucified Sa. viour should require his disciples to take up their cross and to follow him ?

Remember Christ, and in all your afflictions you will have a living directory how to conduct yourselves under the mighty hand of God. O strive to copy out in your temper; the fair exemplar he has set, of firm

cease

[ocr errors]

* Acts xx. 35; Matt. xxv, 40; 2 Cor. viii. 9.

faith, humble resignation, invincible fortitude, and unwearied patience.

Remember Christ, and you will find abundant consolation and good hope amid all the afflictions with which you may be visited. His sufferings extracted the wormwood and gall of the divine curse out of yours, and the tender sympathy acquired by these sufferings, opens up an exhaustless source of consola. tion and of joy: "In all things he was tempted like as you are, yet without sin.” Are you exposed to the “ fiery darts of the wicked one?" Remember that he sustained the attack of the whole host of darkness, and came off more than a conqueror. Are you despised and maltreated by an ungodly world? Remember « that the world hated him before it hated you; and be of good cheer, for Jesus has overcome the world." Are you oppressed with poverty? Remember him who was so poor as not to have where to lay his head, and cheerfully bear an evil which the Son of God has sanctified and sweetened by enduring. Are you reproached ? Remember him whose heart was broken by reproach, and, like him, quietly « commit your cause to Him who judgeth righteously.” Are you weeping over the closing grave, or, still bitterer affliction! over the faithless unkindness of a much-beloved friend ? Remember him, « from whom lover and acquaintance were far removed, and his friend into darkness ;" and cling “close and closer” to that friend who sticketh closer than a brother.

There is an hour awaiting thee, Christian, dark with “the shadow of death,” covered with clouds, and full of terror—the hour in which thy spirit, separated from its mortal companion, must shoot the untried gulf of eternity,-in which recollection of the Saviour is peculiarly important to thy safety and thy peace: In that hour, Christian, forget not thy Lord,

« 前へ次へ »