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them, discover him to be their Lord--to the present day Joseph often knows his brethren, whilst they know him not. And then afterwards they say-did not our hearts burn within us ? True, they did. But why did not we value the blessing while we enjoyed it ? Why did we not say, as the words of wisdom dropped from his mouth, it is the Lord ?
Again, a review of past favours greatly supports the mind under present bereavements.
When we seem forsaken-when our affections towards Christ appear but cold, oh! what a privilege it is to be enabled to revert to a period when our hearts did burn within us, while he talked with us by the way.
This thought cheers the drooping spirits, and raises the fainting head; it excites our hope too, that he will be with us again, and hold converse with us, even till the hour of death-yea, it makes us argue, that if the Lord had intended to de.. stroy us,
he would not have made our hearts burn within us by his divine communications.
It is the duty and interest of us all earnestly to pray for the society and conversation of Christ.
The blessing itself is so desirable, for it is to have the honour of dwelling and walking with Christ and the sensations which he, by his discourse, excites in the mind, are so pleasing, and delightful, that we ought earnestly to beseech him to tarry with us if he is an instructer and companion, how short will the distance to heaven áppear, and how light and momentary the trials of the way–Lastly,
If those who travel with the Saviour, are thus blessed, how miserable are they who are altogether alienated from him.
Sinners, you never yet enjoyed the society of Christ, nor do you wish it. You are loading him with reproaches, and will have none of his counsel, and he will never say of you “they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy;" the fever of lust, and the torment of envy shall be your curse, while you live in the pains of hell, your portion after death, when you will burn in the fire that never can be quenched, and the smoke of your torments shall ascend up forever and ever." Oh! may we, instead of this awful doom, be honoured and glorified with his constant presence in a better world so shall the phosen of Nazareth be praised and adored by us forever and ever,
FAREWELL SERMON AT HOXTON.
Acts xx. 24. • But none of these things move me,
neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.'
This is not the language of stoical apathy; the man who uttered these words, my hearers, was a man possessed of the keenest sensibility-a man of real, honest, and exquisite feeling in his heart, cold indifference, and unfeeling stubbornness, had no placé ;-nor do the words express philosophical he, roism; a foolish bravado; for our apostle derives his support from sources far different from these : he was animated by principles ; he was delighted with prospects which the natural man never possesses ; the power of which principles, and the view of which prospects, produce an effect which is mighty beyond all conception. The passage I have read you, introduces to our view Paul the preacher at the time of his departure from his friends, when his mind was led to expect, and prepared to meet, bonds and afflictions in every place; and the words of the text do most strikingly shew us the way in which the principles of the gospel discover themselves, and prove their power to strengthen and support. Viewing this passage as not unsuitable to the present opportunity, I shall exhibit it to your view, as shewing 48
that the principles of the gospel of Christ display their power and virtue
I. In rendering us insensible to the power of affliction—"none of these things move me.”
II. In raising us superior to the love of life66 neither count I my life dear unto me, so that I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus.” Let us behold here the glorious gospel of the blessed God. the religion of Christ displays its potent influence its mighty efficacy
1. In rendering us insensible to the power of afftiction. Its supports enabled the holy zealous apostle to say of painful separation-of the labours of the ministry,--and of the large measure of persecution which in that age of the church every where attended the preachers of the gospel, “ none of these things move me.” Paul had, however, without doubt, the feelings of humanity; and, as I have already intimated, these things would affect his soul as a man, and occasionally overwhelm his spirits ; but when he felt the happy influence of the gospel in all its power, he triumphed over these difficulties; he heroically conquered himself; subdued his own feelings, and appeared a ready, a joyful martyr for Christ. Thus did Paul, yet did not he, but the grace of God which was in him. These trials, then, these difficulties, which to many would be insurmountable, did not 6 move”, him; that is, the anticipation of them, the endurance of them, did not so move him as to damp his ardour-as to discourage his soul, or as to make him wish to exchange with the world. Observe, they did not so move him
As to damp his ardour. These trials and apparent obstacles to the success of his work, and to his own happiness in it, did not make him less anxiously desirous of doing good in the world, did not at all diminish the fervent wishes of his soul to be the means of conducting many sons unto glory. Notwithstanding these difficulties, he was still a steadfast, unmou
able, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as he knew that his labour was not in vain in the Lord.” And as he had this ministry, as he had received merey, so he fainted not; hence he could say to others--no man should be moved by these afflictions, for yourselves know that we were appointed thereunto. He remembered the long cloud of witnesses, who through much tribulation had entered the kingdom, and he determined to imitate their example; he did more, he considered Jesus, who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself; and this prevented him from being weary, or from fainting in his mind : he looked unto Jesus the author and finisher of bis faith, and by that means obtained encouragement to proceed, and grace sufficient for him. Oh! never let the servants of the most high God relax in their endeavours to do good, or grow cold in their desires after the immortal welfare of mankind because some difficul. ties await them: of these difficulties they ought to say none of these things move me." Nor did these trials so affect the apostle
As to discourage his soul; that is, to make him sbrink at the thought of enduring them—to make him afraid to meet them-no--for, supported by the consolations of the gospel, he could welcome reproaches, pain and death; yea, rejoice and be exceeding glad that he was coupted worthy to suffer for the sake of the Lord Jesus. 6 What mean ye,' says he elsewhere, what mean ye to weep and to break mine heart, for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.' Divine grace so supported him, that though he was troubled on every side, he was not distressed ; though perplexed, he was not in despair ; though persecuted, he was not forsaken ; though cast down, he was not destroyed. I suffer, says he, these things, nevertheless I am not sham
• for I know whom I have believed, and an persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, until that day.' Thus he could endure, and the Saviour enabled him to suffer as well as to preach for him, and none of these things moved hiin.
Finally, they did not so move him as to make hin wish to exchange with the world.
Because he thus reckoned, that the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that should be revealed in us. He saw that our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory! He looked not at the things which are seen, which are temporal, but at the things which are not seen, which are eternal. There was
a pleasure even connected with the sufferings whieh far excelled the joy of world. lings; bence he says I am filled with comfort ; I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For the Lord stood by laim and strengthened him; yea, the Lord delivered him from every evil work, and preserved him to his heavenly kingdom. The apostle, taught by the Spirit of God, loved even the difficulties of his Master's service far better than the ease and the pleasures of the world. Oh! that like him, we may wisely count the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of this world-prefer even the worst, the most painful circumstances in the cause of the Saviour, to the most fascinating pleasures of the world to the enjoyments which the men
who know not God, reckon most valuable and most dear; thus shall we shew that we are willing to be any thing that the Saviour chooses, so that he may be glorified: thus shall we shew that we speak the feelings of our hearts, when we say of the diffieulties of our work . none of these things move me.' Thus was the apostle enabled to enjoy strong consolations in the midst of trials. Thus did Immanuel's grace quicken him to diligence and fortify his mind against the numerous ills that flesh is beir to. Oh! that the Spirit of glory and of God would rest on