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And, my young friends, let me tell you, The Lord hath need of you ; for you may do much service to his cause. You think, that he needs your fathers, your grandfires, and other elderly people ; for their advice and example will have great influence in supporting his religion ; and if they should defert his cause, it would soon fink in the world, and the next generation would come forward indifferent to it, and unacquainted with it. But, my friends, you by your good exam. ple and pious conversation may have as much influence among your youthful associates, as the aged can have, and perhaps more. Besides ; you thould consider, that your fathers will soon be gone ; and if there should be no young Christians to succeed them, where will be Christ's church then ? The church, like the human race, must be continued by succession, for it consists of mortals. If none of you will join yourselves to it, it must cease when your fathers are dead. Come, then, give yourselves to the Lord, and declare yourselves for him, encourage your fellow youths to embrace and obey his religion. How much good may thus be done? Think not yourselves useless and insignificant beings. You are important in your place, and the Lord hath need of
you. He never is better pleased, than when he sees the young engaged in his cause, and hears them sing, Hosanna to the son of David. Out of their mouths he ordains praise.
Christ expects of his fervants a ready compliance with his commands, and a cheerful resignation of every thing, which he needs from them. When he sent his disciples to procure him a beast, on which he might make his entrance into Jerufalem, he fignified, that nothing more would be necessary, than to say, “ The Lord hath need of
him.” And so it was. On this information, the owner straitway let him go.
We should willingly serve the Lord with all our ability, and all our substance ; for all that we are, and all that we have belong to him. When David had made a liberal offering for the honour of God's worship, he said, “ of thine own have we given thee : All this store that we have prepared cometh of thine hand : it is all thine own." “ Who," says the apostle, “ hath first given to the Lord ? And it shall be recompensed to him again. For of him, and through him, and to him are all things.” “Know ye not,” says he, “ that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own ? For ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body,andin your spirit, which are his.''
If all our abilities are endowments from his creating power, and all our goods are the gifts of his bountiful providence, and all our graces are the fruits of his fanctifying spirit, then we are to employ them all in the promotion of his cause, and to the honour of his name. “ By the grace of God,” says saint Paul, “ I am what I am, and his grace bestowed on me was not in vain ; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God, which was with me."
We are to do all for Christ that he needs from us; for he has done, and still is doing all for us, that we need from him. He has not been backward to promote our interest; we should not be reluctant to honour his name. He has given himself a ransom for us ; in due time, when we were without strength, he died for us, he has sent his gospel to us for our instruction ; he has opened a way for our access to the throne of God; he makes interceflion for us, when we come to God in his name ; he has procured the grace of the divine Vol. V.
fpirit, which, on our humble application, he will vouchsafe for our seasonable help. And ought we not to give ourselves to him ; to employ our time and strength, all the powers of our body, and faculties of our mind, all our fubftance, every thing that we have, in his service, and to his glory? Can we ever do enough for him, who has done and suffered fo much for us? 6 The love of Christ constraineth us," says the apostle, “becaufe we thus judge, that if one dicd for all, then were all dead : and that he died for all, that we who live should not henceforth live to ourselves, but to him who died, and rose again.”
We are to render to Christ what he needs, because we thus co-operate with him in the most friendly and benevolent design. The work which he is pursuing is of the greatest utility to us and our race. The religion which he has taught, will, so far as it prevails, banish vice and misery, and introduce virtue and happiness. There is in it nothing unkind, malevolent or unsocial, but every thing good, beneficent and useful. It relieves the forrows, and heightens the enjoyments of this world where we now dwell; and it prevents mifery and fecures happiness in that world to which we are going. What Christ requires of us is, that we obey the rules, and accept the blessings of this religion for ourselves ; and that we support the credit, and afsift the influence of it a. mong others-In a word, that we feek to be happy, and study to make others fo. What can we do better? If we ought to serve our generation, then let us serve our divine Lord in every thing which he needs from us; for all that he requires has some respect to this benevolent end, the general good. We fhould
cheerfully give to him whatever he has need of, for thus we shall derive greater benefit from it, than by any other application which we can make of it.
If we cultivate the religion of Christ in our own hearts, we shall enjoy the peace and hope which spring from it here, and be entitled to the happi. ness, which is the reward of it hereafter. If we promote this religion among others, we shall experience the satistaction of dwelling in the midst of just and good men-kind and friendly neighbours. If we train up our children in the knowl. edge and practice of this religion, we shall have the joy of seeing them wise, virtuous and useful on earth, and the superior joy of believing, that they are entitled to a rich inheritance in heaven.
Every thing which we do for our Lord, will return to us bringing a reward with it.
When we give to Christ what he has need of, we are sure it is well bestowed. Our charities to men are sometimes misapplied. But our services for Christ are not only well accepted by his goodness, but well directed by his wisdom. He will smile on our labours in his cause, and make them, in some way or other, subfervient to his glory and our felicity. “Be ye therefore stedfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; for as much as ye know, that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance ; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” This we ought to regard as a sufficient motive to cheerful diligence in the work appointed us, that we serve the Lord Chrift. “With good will do service as to the Lord, knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, for with him there is no respect of persons. His word is fure, his promise faithful, his reward glorious. None who serve him, will labour in vain.
The Gate of Heaven strait, and many shut out of it.
LUKE xiii. 24.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to en
ter in, and shall not be able.
S our Lord passed through several cities and villages of Judea, on his journey to Jerusalem, teaching by the way, there attended him a considerable number of people, who, fome for one reason, and some for another, gathered around him to hear his discourses. Somewhere in his journey, a person came to him with this question, “ Lord, are there few that be saved ?" From the question and our Lord's answer it seems, that the man was a Jew, tinctured with the common national prejudice, that the Jews, by their covenantrelation to God, were entitled to falvation ; but the gentiles, being strangers to the covenant and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, would be rejected. Often, no doubt, had he heard this doctrine asserted among his countrymen ; and he wished to know Chrift's opinion upon it. As the question related to the prevailing sentiment of the day, Christ directed his answer to the body of the people who attended him. He first rebuked this