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into the least encouragement of indolence and negligence, in the great labour of salvation. Man must do his part. God, the giver of all good, blesseth the earth, and his clouds drop fatness, but man must break and cleanse the soil : GOD furnishes the seed, but man must scatter it in the ground. So neither must he neglect spiritual labour. He must not suffer the good seed of the Gospel to fail for want of vigilance and exertion : he must not allow the thorns,—the riches and cares of this world,—to choke the rising blade: and, when the season of harvest arrives, he must bring the sickle, and store the ripened produce in his granary. Thus he fulfils the task assigned him; but throughout the whole of the operation, he looks and refers to that bounteous hand, which both “ administers seed to the sower, and multiplies the seed sown.”
The life of the Christian, like the life of the peasant, is a state of perpetual engagement and constant assiduity. The mind, as the field, if it remain uncultivated and left to a state of nature, will produce nothing but weeds and thistles. “ The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold,”—and what is the consequence? “ Therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing."
As we must labour for “the meat that perisheth," so, though the Son of man giveth, we must labour for “ the meat that endureth unto ever
Though “God worketh in us both to will and to do,” He commands us to “work out our own salvation.” Our Saviour enjoins us to be alert and urgent—“ Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” His apostle warns us,—“ Be sober, be vigilant,”—“always abounding in the work of the Lord,” as knowing “ that our labour will not be in vain.”—Nor shall the toil of the diligent labourer in the Lord's
productive vineyard ever fail of its due return. The clouds may lower; the storm may sweep his welltilled fields, and retard the ripening ear: he may bow to the blasts of adversity, and suffer from the folly and injustice of mankind: but, though he may awhile “go on his way weeping,” if he bear forth good seed, he shall doubtless “ again with joy, and bring his sheaves with him.”
Brethren, ye are God's husbandry." He hath furnished you with strength and implements for the task,—“ stand not all the day idle-go into the vineyard,”—and “ be not weary in well doing;" for, when the Lord shall come to reckon with his servants, “ whatsoever is right, that
shall ye receive.” Nay, far beyond what is barely right,—whatsoever infinite bounty can bestow, “ even the joy of his Lord," shall be the recompense of the “good and faithful servant.” As you are sure that the bare grain you drop into the furrow, will strike root, and rise, and ripen into bread, so be equally confident that the immortal seed of the Gospel, if not corrupted by folly and vice, will expand and be transmuted into “ that bread of life," of which “whoso eateth shall live for ever."
Young man ! " in the morning sow thy seed," —and thou, man of years! “in the evening, withhold not thine hand." Thine allotted part, - what thou hast to do, do quickly. Say not, at any period of life, there is yet time,—“there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest; --behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal.”—“Of that day and that hour," when the expectant“ angel, sitting on the white cloud," shall receive the final, decisive command,—“ Thrust in thy sickle and reap---for the time is come for thee to reapfor the harvest of the earth is ripe,—“ of that
tremendous day-knoweth no man;" but every man knoweth, that his only seed-time,- his season of preparation,- is passing rapidly away. The great Lord of all, who hath sent forth us, his labourers, into this field of the world, and commanded us to “ occupy till he come,” is already on his way. “ His fan is in his hand; and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
GOD DISPLAYED BY HIS WORKS OF NATURE.
John, CHAP. XIV. VER. 8.
“Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it
This brief dialogue between our Saviour and two of his apostles has often struck me as worthy of particular observation and inquiry. At first sight, it may seem to favour the ancient and absurd heresy of Sabellius, who affirmed, not I think without blasphemy, that the SUPREME FATHER Himself came down from heaven, assumed the human form of Jesus, and suffered death upon the cross for the sins of his creatures. So fond and impious a notion, as contrary to revelation as to reason, can surely require no refutation ; and the meaning of the passage before us appears clear and unequivocal on a review of the