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almost giddy with the wondrous'elevation. We hardly venture to guess at the dignity and blessedness implied in these words. But we know that they must mean something strangely kind and condescending from Christ towards his servants; and we must be content to remain ignorant, till possession and experience give a full explanation.
But you are not to wait for all your reward till that period ; for so says your gracious Master, in the concluding clause of the text; "s if any man serve me, him will my Father honour."
The post itself is honourable. To be a servant of Christ; to be an ambassador from the King of Kings ; to be employed in delivering messages of peace and goodwill from God to men, and in presenting their humble petitions to the throne of grace ; to be intrusted with feeding the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood, and which therefore we may be sure he highly values, and dearly loves ; this is a mark of high distinction. He will, besides, honour you in the eyes of the world : he will give you reputation in the place where you live: he will constrain those who have little religion themselves, to respect you, for your holiness and humility : an honour to which they, who vainly affect popularity, seldom attain. They may be admired for their brilliant talents ; they may be followed a while, for their fine language, and graceful delivery, or for their sprightly and entertaining conversation ; but there is nothing of that inward veneration and respect, which a holy, humble, plain-dealing minister of Christ extorts, even from those whose prejudices will scarcely Buffer them to come and hear him preach. God may honour you, as his instrument in bringing many sons to glory. If he have designs of mercy towards any of the poor, perishing sinners of this congregation, he will, I hope, honour you as the means of their conversion. If he would comfort any that are mourning in Zion, he will honour you as the messenger of those glad tidings; and so in all other cases, whatever the Spirit hath to say to this church, he will honour you as the instrument of con. veying the message. But the greatest honour of all will be, when you shall be dismissed from your stewardship; not turned out for any real or supposed breach of trust ; not charged with any want of fidelity to Christ, or of compassion to souls ; but when after a long course of faithful and successful service you shall be permitted to resign your employment, and rest from your labours; when, having given up your account, and the Judge, upon examination, having pronounced it satisfactory, you shall be bidden to enter into the joy of your Lord: then, my dear Sir, then glory will begin! Then honours, celestial honours, will be heaped upon you, with a profusion that mortality could not have supported. Methinks the
up their heads, the everlasting doors fly open, and you enter into heaven, as the recovered cripple went into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God! Methinks I see the people of your charge,(those of them I mean who were first awakened, or afterwards confirmed and comforted, under your ministry,) methinks I see them flocking about you to congratulate you on your appointment to a seat of such distinguished lustre, in that region where those that are wise shall shine as the light, and those
that turn many to righteousness, as the stars, for ever and ever. Methinks I see Peter, and Paul, and all the most eminent and successful preachers of ancient and modern times, flocking about you, to congratulate you on God's having counted you faithful, putting you into the ministry, and crowning your labours with such abundant success. Methinks I see an innumerable company of angels congratulating you on the distinguished privilege you enjoyed, in being a steward of those mysteries which they desired to contemplate. Methinks I see the Lord Jesús himself, coming forward to meet you, with a rapture-giving smile; and presenting you to God, the judge of all, with these words : “ This is the man that so boldly confessed me. This is the man that was not ashamed of me, and of my words, when I was despised and rejected of so many. This is the man that fed my sheep of yonder fold, with so much understanding ; and has brought so many of his congregation with him to heaven. Father, I will that a seat be prepared for him near to
I can look no longer !—There is more behind. O my highly-favoured Brother, the best is yet behind. But heaven must tell you what it is; for eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of any mortal to conceive, what shall be done to the man whom God delighteth to honour!
PREACHED AT AN ORDINATION.
What a multitude is here assembled to see an Ordination! Many of you were, perhaps never, present at such a solemnity before; and I should be very sorry, if, when the assembly breaks up, you should go away with visible disappointment, and say “ Is that all ?”_Why, “what came ye out for to see?” Did you expect to see a number of Apostles met together, to lay their hands upon the head of a young minister, and communicate to him some miraculous powers ? Alas! we have them not ourselves. If we had, you should not take all this trouble for nothing. If we had, you should have something by which to remember an ordination as long as you live. If the Holy Ghost were at our command, most gladly would we lay our hands upon you all : and this assembly should be like that mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles ; " While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” But what we cannot command, we may humbly and earnestly supplicate. Shall I then beg the favour of you to join with me in this short ejaculation to the God of all grace?
“ O God the Lord, to whom belong the issues from death, pour out thy Spirit upon all in this assembly; and command on every one of us a blessing out of Zion, even life for evermore. Amen.”
Forgive me this wrong. But I was unwilling that you should suppose that the minister to be ordained was the only person concerned in these solemnities. You are all concerned ; and now that we may hope Heaven's treasury is open, and spiritual blessings are *distributed with a liberality (I had almost said with a profuseness) peculiar to the Father of mercies, I would have every one of you apply for a share ; and crowding round the mercy-seat, importunately cry, “ Hast thou but one blessing my Father? Bless me, even me also, O my Father.” And if you should succeed, if you should all, or any, of you succeed, it will be a glorious proof of the truth and propriety of that observation of the Apostle, which I have chosen for the foundation of the following discourse, 2 Cor. 4.7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels ; that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
We have this treasure in earthen vessels. Blessed be God that we have it in any! Let us be permitted to keep this treasure, and we shall better bear the loss of every thing besides. What had the world been without this blessed revelation? What had its inhabitants been, but wanderers in search of treasure which they never could have found, if God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, had not shined into our hearts, to give us the light of the knowleilge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.
The Apostles were the first to whom this precious trust was committed; and glorious were the effects