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DISCOURSE

XIII.

CHARITY TO THE BRETHREN OF CHRIST.

MATT. XXV.

40.

And the King Mall answer and say unto them,

Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye bave done it unto me.

YE

XIII.

ET once again, by the favour of DISC.

the Almighty, we have lived to see the return of this holy season; again we are assembled in the house of God, to turn our thoughts towards the second Advent of our Lord. The church by her services on this day directs us to do so, and we will obey her. In the portion of Scripture selected for the Gospel, his appearance and

the

Disc. the forerunners of it are marked out for XIII.

our contemplation; signs above, and terrors beneath: the earth distressed and perplexed, the powers of heaven shaken, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming, the trumpet sounds through all the regions of

« Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment:" the everlasting doors are unfolded: the King of glory, triumphant Meffiah, Lord of men and angels, appears

in the resplendent robes of celestial majesty : the armies in heaven follow him, in procefsion, down to this lower world: the throne is set; the books are opened: the dead are judged ; and that sentence is passed, from which there lies no appeal.

the grave,

Is all this true? Most assuredly it is. No person who hears me at this moment dares even to think it is not. A monitor within bears a faithful testimony to what F fay, and will not suffer infidelity or doubt to intrude.

And

XIII.

And are we--you and I - concerned in Disc. it all ? As certainly as we are now met together in this place: no man or woman who ever has been, or ever will be born, can claim exemption -- “ We must all ap

pear before the judgment-seat of Christ.”

Some little degree of curiosity I should therefore hope may have been excited, to enquire into the grounds upon which will be passed an irreversible sentence either to everlasting happiness, or everlasting misery: for there is no middle condition ; of one or the other we must inevitably partake. The Scripture, from whence my text is taken, will afford us considerable affiftance in the enquiry, and enable us to form some sort of opinion beforehand, where our lot is likely

to fall.

Our Lord, according to St. Matthew's account, being at the eve of his sufferings, the history of which commences at the next (the xxvith) chapter, closes his divine instructions to his disciples with a

represen

XIII.

DISC. representation of his future proceedings on

the

great and awful day. " When the son of man,” says he, “ shall come in his glory, " and all the holy angels with him, then shall “ he fit upon the throne of his glory; and be• fore him shall be gathered all natians; and “ he shall separate them one from another, “ as a shepherd (in the evening) divideth “his sheep from the goats. And he shall “ set the sheep on his right hand, but the

goats on the left.” To the former he first addresses that inexpressibly sweet invitation, mercy to the last rejoicing against judgment, and delighting to give the inheritance which it had spared no pains to purchase

« Come,

ye
blefled of

my

Fa“ ther, inherit the kingdom prepared for

you from the foundation of the world.” Now be pleased to observe the reason upon which this invitation is founded.

6. For," faith Christ, “ I was an hungred, 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
“ fick, and ye visited me; I was in prison,

was

XIII.

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" and ye came unto me.” The righteous, DİSC.
very few of whom, out of the innumerable
multitudes that are to be then assembled,
ever saw their Lord in the days of his
humiliation, wondering what this should
mean, reply, with all the submiffive earneft-
ness of affection, “Lord, when saw we thee
“ an hungry, and fed thee; or thirsty, and
gave

thee drink; or relieved thee in any
“ of the other circumstances of which thou
“ art pleased thus to speak ?” The words
of the text contain his most gracious
answer “ Verily, I say unto you, inas-
“ much as ye have done it unto the least of
“ these my brethren, ye have done it unto

66 me.”

Let us consider the works to be done, the principle on which they are to be done, and the acceptance they will be sure to find.

1

I. The works to be done - “ Inasmuch " as ye have done it.” By a Christian there is always something to be done. It was never intended that he, of all men, should

be

VOL. III.

T

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