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greatest part of mankind are his servants; and, what is a proof of their infatuation, they pride themselves in their slavery, glory in their chains, and are indefatigable to promote the interest of their master. The enemies of God, in general, occupy the most conspicuous stations in the world ; while the humble Christian, like a pearl in a dunghill, is neglected, and his lustre and value are hardly perceived, except by the all-penetrating eye of Jehovah. Is it not lamentable, that he should have so small a share

among those who owe their existence, and the continuance and comfort of their being, to his will? and still more lamentable, that there should be so few of the Lord's people among those who consider or call themselves Christians? For all are not Israel that are of Israel. When we have separated all who know not God, and, obey not the gospel of Christ, shall we not find the number considerably lessened? Is it any disgrace, then, to be the Lord's portion ? Or is it any disadvantage to be religious, that you are so reluctant to be of that character ! . 0

ye sons of men, how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing ?”

Secondly, how solicitous should we be, to know whether we be the Lord's portion or not!

Either we belong to the Lord, or to the Devil: There is no other alternative. We

We are either among the followers of Christ, to whom all things shall work together for good; or we are among his enemies, whom he reserves for the day of final vengeance. Is it of no consequence, then, to know which of these is our character! His favour is life, and his displeasure more bitter than death: and shall we not inquire, and with some solicitude too, which of these we are

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to expect? Is it difficult to know, or does it require much time and tedious examination, to prove, whose portion we are? Have no transactions passed between God and our souls, from which we may infer his regard? Is the difference between the garden of the Lord, and the wild uncultivated desert, so small, that they cannot be distinguished ? Do we produce no. thing but briars and thorns? Have we no fruits of righteousness, to prove that we are ingrafted into the vine ? Are our love, our joy, our peace, our hope, and holiness, so very imperfect and wavering, that we cannot tell whether they be real or imaginary? Can we be easy, then, in such a state of dreadful uncertainty ? Can we be indifferent whether the Lord smile on us, and bless us with that favour which he bears to his people; or whether he frown upon us, and turn away from our prayers, laugh at our calamities, and punish us with everlasting destruction ? If, upon serious inquiry, it appear, that we are not the Lord's portion, if we fear that we are the objects of his wrath and curse, let us humble ourselves ; let us cry mightily to God; let us take to ourselves words, and say, “ Hast thou not a blessing for me also, O our father?" and who can tell, but he will turn away his fierce anger, that we perish not!

If we have a well-founded hope that we are the Lord's, and have received any particular proof of his love,

Thirdly, “Let us walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called.” Has he raised us from our low estate, when we were allied to worms and corruption, and viler than the beasts that perish! Has he pitied and pardoned us, and exalted us, to the unexpected honour of a near relation to himself? let us be careful to act consistently with it. Let there be nos thing mean and worldly in our tempers or conduct. Let us be followers of God, as dear children ; and cherish an ambition to be perfect, as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. Let us look and live above the world, and maintain a superiority to all its threat, enings or vain allurements.

But who would imagine, by the groveling, worldly disposition of many professors, --- I may say real Christians too,-who would think that they were related to God? Has the Lord chosen us for his portion? Has he for no other reason, but because he would separate us from the rest of the world, and bless us withi distinguishing marks of his favour, digged a trench, and made a wall round about us, and secured us against the inroads of the beasts of the forest! Has he given his angels charge over us, and engaged, and promised that no evil shall come near us, and that he will withhold no good thing from us, and shallwe not be easy, contented, and thankful! It is unnas tural, and highly unworthy our profession and pri, vileges, to indulge a fearful, fretful temper, to tremble at every rising wind, and start at the shaking of every leaf, as if destruction were near and inevitable. No prudent man would waste his portion, or expose his inheritance to be plundered; and will the Lord be less mindful of his people, or less concerned for the safety and prosperity of his heritage! We may be confident of this very thing, how contradictory soever appearances may be, that no steps will be taken, no measure will be pursued, which will be finally injurious. Let us, therefore, under the greatest trials, preserve our souls in patience, and go on cheerfully and resolutely in the path of duty, though it be steep, and rough, and dangerous. Let us hold on our way, secure of present succours, and final success, If the Lord “ rejoice over us, to do us good,” if he will own us at last as his friends before men and angels, let us not be solicitous about the favour or good esteem of our fellow mortals. If he be not ashamed to be called our God, let us not be ashamed to avow ourselves to be his people. Let us rather glory in the name; and esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.

Since he has expectations from his portion, let us be particularly solicitous to know what the Lord our God requires of us; and in what way we may best glorify our heavenly Father, and improve the blessings that we enjoy to the greatest advantage. O what matter for humiliation is there, that we have walked no more worthily of God; and what reason have we all to cry, “ Guilty, guilty!" In what a dreadful condition should we be, if it were not for that gracious Redeemer whose blood cleanses from all sin! What should we do, if it were not for that blessed book, so full of consolation, and that abounds with passages so suitable to the guilty and distressed! Read the following words in the prophecy of Micah; and if

you have a lively sense of the evil of your sins, you cannot but read them with pleasure: “Who is a God like unto thee that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage! He retaineth not his anger for ever, be. cause be delighteth in merey. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us, he will subdue our iniquities; and thou will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

Finally, let us rejoice in the prospect of that glorious period, when the Lord will fully possess his portion, and we shall fully possess ours.

The present is a state, not of enjoyment, but improvement. We are called the Lord's portion ; but how small an income of praise, love, and obedience, does he receive! How often are we called off from our duty! How ready are we to run at the first invitation of the world, or the flesh, or the devil; and how long are we frequently absent! Our absence is, perhaps, so long that we forgot God! and we make it necessary for him to send one of his messengers, and a severe one too, to drive us back to the path from which we had wandered. How few and faint are our discoveries of the favour of God! What straits and difficulties, what fears and dangers, frequently occur! We often complain, and we have reason to complain, of little grace, weak faith, and languid desires. But let us not despond: Let us encourage ourselves with the assurance, that all his promises will be certainly and fully accomplished. Let us be thankful, if so much be allowed us out of the inheritance as will bear our charges to heaven ; where we shall inherit all things, and forget our difficulties and remember our poverty no more. At present Christians are like princes in disguise, travelling in a foreign country. Strangers who know them not, look only to their outward appearance, and think them poor and miserable. But their happiness lies in things unseen. They are heirs of that land which is now afar off. Sometimes, with Moses, they are allowed

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