us also ; that all our duties may be so discharge ed, and all our trials so endured, as that the power of the gospel may be evinced, and the supporting grace of the great Head of the Church abundantly magnified. And what can so teach us to endure trials as the religion of Christ ? What supports have infidels, mere moralists, and speculative philosophers, like those which may be derived from the fulness of our Lord Jesus Christ? Theirs are refuges of lies, ours a never failing foundation. • Their rock is not as our rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.' The gospel of Christ presents the only sovereign balm for human wo; it supplies as with real, and with sure support; it emboldens us to say, in the face of difficulties, dangers, and death, · None of these things move me.' The gospel, however, does not merely display its power in rendering us insensible to the power of affliction, but

(11) In raising us superior to the love of life.

For, adds the apostle, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my course with joy.' Skin for skin, yea all that a man hath, will he give for his life. The preservation of life is the first law of nature. That man is unworthy the character of a rational being,' who intentionally shortens, or daringly terminates his own life. And yet here a man comes forward and says, "neither count I my life dear unto myself?_and he is taught to form this estimation of life too, by the gospel of Jesus! How is this? The apostle did not choose strangling rather than life; but the case may be stated thus. The gospel taught him the right use of life, and made him earnestly to desire to fulfil it: the gospel taught him as a minister, that life was only valoable to him so far as he accomplished its purposes the joyful completion of his Christian race, the honourable close of his ministerial exertions. Further than this, life was not dear to him, or highly prized by him, for he was wil.


ling to be absent from the body, and to be pres. ent with the Lord. His earnest expectation and his bope was, that in nothing he should be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now Christ should be magnified in his body, whether it were by life or by death.' Yea,' says he, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.'. Oh! what a noble principle is this that renders a man willing to suffer and to die for Christ, ófor herein perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us; and we ought also to lay down our lives for the brethren.' And now it is said of the apostle, and all who like him triumphed over Satan, they were faithful unto death. They overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, for they loved not their lives unto death. But I digress from the subject. Observe, then, that the gospel raised the mind of Paul superior to the love of life, as it shewed him that it was only useful for two purposes : (1) That he might joyfully complete his Christian So he says, that I may finish


course with joy.' The course to which he alludes is the Christian race, which he had some time before undertaken in divine strength. God had called him so to run, that he might obtain, and hence he laid aside every weight, and the sin which so easily beset him, and ran with patience the race set before him, looking unto Jesus.' He set out with a full determination never to grow weary, or to decline his eager pursuit after glory, honour and immortality. Hitherto he had pursued it with alacrity; he did not count himself to have apprehended; but this one thing he did, forgetting those things which were behind, and reaching forth unto those things which were before, he pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Personal religion had flourished in his soul, and he had not left the path marked out for him, by the great Forerunner, to be led aside either to the right hand or to the left, and now


he wished to finish it with joy, and that man fin ishes his course with joy when he expresses gratitude for any ardour he has discovered in it, and when he has a full view of the crown of glory, and prospect of eternal rest. To finish our course with joy, we must express our gratitude for the assistance grace has offered us in it. [When a Christian can say, through the good hand of my God upon me, the care of his love, and the animation of his grace, I have finished my course.'] Oh! what pleasure it must afford a believer who eompletes his race on earth, to look back upon the path he has trod, and to remember even the trials he endured, and to bless God that he was enabled to persevere to the end. The Christian race cannot be joyfully completed without a bright prospeet of eternal glory and a splendid crown. The man finished this race with joy who could say, * henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me in that day.' Let others run to obtain a corruptible crown, we do it for an ipcorruptible. And oh! that when we finish our course it may be with this firm persuasion, that we shall enter into the joy of our Lord, where toil and fatigue will be known no more. For this

purpose life is of use, as it conducts us to the end of the Christian race. But the apostle views himself not only as a Christian but as a minister of the New Testament, and therefore he views life as desirable

(2) That he might honourably elose his ministeriał 'exertions. That I may finish, says he, my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus. Here you behold the author of the gifts and the graces of ministers the Lord Jesus.' The Lord had said of Paul, . he is. a chosen vessel unto me to hear my name into the Gentiles.' And he had received his ministry of the Lord Jesus. The subjeets of his ministry came from him, for he taught him to preach human depravity-the atonement of Christ, and the inence of the Spirit, and to be witness unto all, for Jesus, of what he had seen and heard. His call to the ministry was from the Lord Jesus. He told him to publish the gospel, and immediately he conferred not with flesh and blood. He was an apostle not of man, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father.

His qualifications for the ministry came froin the Lord Jesus he gave him a freedom of speech-he made him apt to teach he furnished him with wisdom and knowledgehe made him a minister that needed not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

His sur cess in the ministry was from the Lord Jesus he made him fruitful, and he made him useful he opened the hearts of his hearers--he attended his message with the power of his Spirit--he gave testimony to the word of his grace. Thus he assisted him in his work--owned him as an honoured servant, nor suffered him to labour in vain, or spend his strength for nought. Now, he wishes to elose this ministry with joy. He does not want to leave it--to quit it for worldly ease ; but to go on in it to the end of his life. He does not wish to grow weary in well doing; but to persevere to the last; and thus finishing his work, he would do it with joy, as he would review instances of usefulness, and behold the grace of the Lord of the harvest, in raising up more labourers to enter into his vineyard. A minister closes his work with joy, when he reviews instances of usefulness, when he knows that there are many whom he may view as his joy and crown of rejoicing—that he shall have to say of a goodly number, here am I, Father, and the children which thou hast given me. Thus our Lord rejoiced at the close of his labours, saying, 'I have given them thy word-I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.'

So also does the good minister finish his course with joy, when he beholds other labourers crowped with

success in the vineyard--when he dies with the full confidence that Zion's glory increases, and that the work of the Lord is promoted. He rejoices that others shall enter into his labours, and that by their exertions, the Saviour will be honoured when he is cold in dust. Thus he rejoices, that instead of the fathers, he raises up the children, and that the Saviour's name shall be known to all generations. Happy man ; like Simeon, thou shalt depart in peace-like hin, thou shalt have the Saviour enclosed in thine arms, and eternal glory full in thy view.

Let those of us who are aged in the ministry imitate the apostle's example.

Students be diligenthonour Christ, and the Holy Spirit-aim sincerely to do good—be not afraid of diffieulties-let us go on, &c. &c.

In so doing, we shall both save ourselves and those that hear us. Amen.

No. V.



. And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house.' So said the patriarch Jacob on a memorable occasion, and so may we say, assembled as we are to lay the foundation-stone of an edifice to God. We have found out a place for the Lord—an habitation for the nighty God of Jacob: beholding this spot of ground on this interesting morning, a thousand delightful sensations pervade our souls, and we are ready to anticipate the presence of the Great Eternal in this place, for is not this the hill which God hath chosen to dwell in it forever ? Let as please ourselves with believing, that here holy incense shall ascend to God that from this place the voice of prayer and praise shall rise tuneful to the

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