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are unprofitable servants. We have no good deeds to boast of, but many sins of which we ought to be ashamed; and the reason is, because selfish principles defile our best actions, so that while the Holy Spirit works by us, we must be constrained to say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be the praise.” Yet, it is not unlawful to have respect to the recompense of reward, which is of such a nature that it will fill a holy soul with the most ravishing delight, and cause him to esteem all he suffers for the sake of Christ and his members, as light and momentary afflictions, in comparison of the eternal weight of glory, which is promised him hereafter. That which constitutes the chief joy of the Saints in Glory, must be, I conceive, their complete conquest over sin, and a full restoration to the image of God, which has been lost by the fall. Every one, who has known any thing of the Redemption of Jesus Christ, and has had the love of God shed abroad in his heart, will long that his love may be perfected, and carefully walk in all the Commandments of the Lord, that he may not fail of enjoying that Divine Vision, which is promised to the pure in heart.
But, it is proper to observe, that the most holy Christians will always be noticed as the
most humble. All they can do for Christ is so little, in comparison of what he has done for them, that they never presume to speak of the merit even of their most laborious performances. Of this our Saviour takes particular notice in his description of that awful day, when God shall render unto every man according to his works. “When the Son of Man “ shall come in his glory, and all the Holy “ Angels with him, then shall he sit upon the
Throne of his Glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separ“ ate them one from another, as a Shepherd “ divideth his sheep from the goats, and he * shall set the sheep on his right hand, and - the goats on his left; then shall the King say “ to them on his right hand : Come ye blessed “ of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared 5 for you from the foundation of the World; “ for I was an hungered, and ye gave me “ meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; “ I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, “ and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye “ visited me; I was in prison, and ye came “ unto me. Then shall the righteous answer “ him saying, Lord, when saw we thee an “ hungered, and fed thee, or thirsty, and gave “ thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, “ and took thee in, or naked, and clothed " thee? or, When saw we thee sick, or in pri
“son, and came unto thee?“And the King “ shall answer and say unto them: Inasmuch " as ye have done it unto one of the least of “ these my Brethren, ye have done it unto “ Me."* Then follows the awful doom of those, who, for neglecting these things, are appointed to have their portion with Satan and his Angels in the unquenchable flames of Hell. Surely, these words of our Saviour should be seriously meditated upon by every one, who bears the name of a Christian, lest, in that day, when God shall bring all things into judgment, he shall be found to have taken up a mere profession, a dead faith, unproductive of works, and be driven with the hypocrites from the presence of God into that place of torment, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Let then every man carefully examine his conduct, and, if he presume to expect mercy, let him give all diligence to “add to" his “faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For, if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”+ * Matt. xxv. 31-45.
+ I Pet, i. 5.-8.