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those who were under his authority:
" I say to one Go, and he goeth ; and to another, Come, and he cometh ; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.” So must we act in whatever Christ may appoint. It is vain to call him, Lord, Lord; to give him titles of respect, and profess subjection to him, if we do not the things which he commands. To choose our work, to do one part, and leave the rest undone, is rather following our own inclination, than doing the will of our Master But Christ not only expects us to obey him for some days, or some years: he requires that we should be servants for life, like the Hebrew do. mestic, whose ear was bored, and who was bound to serve his Master for ever. “ Yes, gracious Lord, with all my soul I agree to this also. What wilt thou have me to do? Thy service is perfect freedom. 0 how I love thy law ! it is my meditation all the day. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, or the honey-comb. It is, therefore, with the greatest readiness and pleasure, that I here solemnly engage, through thy grace assisting me, to be steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
But I promised to tell you also, what you may expect from Christ, for none ever served him for nought. In general, I might say, that you will receive every thing which a prudent and generous Master will bestow upon a faithful and willing servant. But more particularly, you may expect assistance and protection in your work. He is not like task-masters, who require brick without straw. No; Christ's yoke
is easy, and his burden light; or if at any time it seem heavy, and you go and mention it to him, he gives you a promise that his grace shall be sufficient for you, and his strength be made perfect in weak
Then the difficulty which you complained of presently passes away ; your work goes on pleasantly, and you cry out with surprise, “ I can do all things, through Christ, who strengtheneth me.” When the seventy disciples returned from their progress, he asked them ; “When I sent you forth without scrip or purse,
lacked ye any thing?" and they said, “ No. thing.” Be assured that he will take the same care
He will keep a watchful eye upon you, to see that you want nothing which is needful for your support; and to grant you relief in every distress. But you may expect also a glorious reward when your labour is ended. It is an honour indeed, that Christ will own you for servants, and accept your feeble endeavours. But though your works of faith, and labours of love, be very imperfect, they will not be forgotten, but meet with a gracious reward. I will not attempt to tell you what this will be : but there is enough to animate your most vigorous powers, and encourage and exceed your most elevated hopes, in that single promise, “ If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be. If any man serve me, him will my Father honour."
Now, Christians, if the Lord have owned you for his servants, I believe that you would not be free again for the world. Let it appear, then, that you are pleased with your condition, by hating every false way, and walking in all his ordinances and command
ments blameless. While others are serving various sins, let it be seen that one is your Master, even Christ; and that you are his servants ; not merely by profession, but by your attachment to his person, your conformity to his pattern, and your increasing zeal for his glory. Remember, that it is but little service you can render him at best, and that your time of labour will shortly be ended; for rest from your labours, and your works shall follow you. Then you shall be welcomed into heaven, with that gracious, glorious declaration, which the most eminent and laborious Christian cannot hear without astonishment and rapture; “Well done, good and faithful servant! Thou hast been faithful ever a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
A MEDITATION ON
REV. 11. 4.
Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee.
.." AGAINST me! dearest Saviour; somewhat against me! I hope not. I would not for the world knowingly offend thee. I cannot bear that frown; and especially at this time, when I had promised my. self so inuch pleasure from this long expected interview. When I fondly hoped that I should have heard nothing from thee but good and comfortable words, thou meetest me with charges and accusations; and I almost fear to know what they are. But I would rather hear them now than hereafter: for, perhaps, when the wound is opened, thine eye may affect thy heart; thou mayest pity the infirmities of thy poor servant, and mercifully condescend to heal them.”
Those who consult a physician for a weak and distempered body, think that they can never be particular enough in describing the nature, the cause, and the progress, of their disorder, and the minutest symptom which they can recollect. Let us now be equally explicit with our Divine Physician: Let us open our whole hearts to him; and beseech him to probe them deeper than we ourselves have the skill or the courage to do, and to tell us freely whatever
he finds amiss in our temper and conduct. We may be sure that he will do it with tenderness: and if it be necessary that he should make our hearts bleed, he will kindly give us relief. Now then, gracious Lord, what is it which thou hast against us? We are conscious of many things amiss ; but we wish to hear from thine own mouth, what it is that at this time is particularly displeasing to thee.
“ Unto the angel of this church write these things, saith he which holdeth the seven stars in his right hand; who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: I know thy works, and have been often well pleased with thy humble and holy obedience : nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee. I remember when nothing could divert thee from following hard after me. Then, though sinners enticed, though the world flattered or frowned, if I invited thee to attend on my ordinances, thou wouldst readily leave them all, and prefer an hour with me to an age spent in any other pursuit. But now I seldom hear from theė, and see but little of thee; and when I do, it is more in a way of ceremony, than with that freedom of friendship which passed between us formerly. It is but little that thou canst bear for me, ot from me. A slight disappointment sours thy spirits ; and makes thee speak or think hardly of me.”
0, my soul, is not this too true ?
says, " Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee; because thou art careful and troubled about many things. Thy fears are greater than thy faith. Though thou mightest be sure, that he who feeds sparrows and ravens, will not suffer his children