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have endeavoured to serve him with fidelity from their early youth? Let them go on their way rejoicing. Let nothing seduce them from the paths of that heavenly wisdom, which they know from happy experience to be full of pleasantness and peace. Are there any, who, having lost many of their first years in vain amusements, corroding cares, or vicious gratifications, began at a later period to serve God in truth and sincerity; who have entered, at the sixth or in the ninth hour, into the vineyard of their heavenly Master ? Let them by future industry compensate for past neglect. Let them endeavour, by increasing diligence, to redeem the time that has been mispent. And then, they may rest assured, that the labourer will not be disappointed of his hire: whatsoever is right, they also will receive in the hour of general retribution.

We serve a gracious Master. He giveth liberally to every man, and upbraideth not. Let us learn,

4thly. From the passage of Scripture now under consideration, to ascribe the reward that will hereafter be given to God's dutiful people, to his mere bounty and unmerited loving-kindness. The wages of sin is death; but eternal life is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is lawful for him to do what he will with his own--to offer the perfect felicity of heaven upon any terms that may seem best to his infinite wisdom: highly, then, does it concern us, to inquire diligently what his will is, respecting this momentous subject. This is sufficiently revealed to mankind, in the Scriptures of everlasting truth. Here we are taught; that by wilful disobedience, man was precluded from the benefit of God's promise, and forfeited his title to life and immortality : that the compassionate Parent of the universe was graciously pleased to enter into a covenant of mercy with his fallen creatures, through the mediation of a Redeemer: that er man might have been justly abandoned to the effects of his own perverseness—to sin and to consequent misery; he is now wonderfully restored to the capacity of obtaining eternal salvation: that the appointed means of accomplishing this great end are repentance for our guilt and depravity, hearty faith in the merits of our Redeemer, and a sincere desire to be obedient to all his laws prescribed in the blessed Gospel. These are the instituted terms of attaining to immortal life and joy; and, in every view of the subject, it must be acknowledged that the Lord is good. It was goodness alone that devised a method of restoration to the divine favour. It is mere goodness that induces him to bestow the least reward

upon our most perfect services, who, after we have done all

, are to him unprofitable servants. For ever blessed be his abundant grace and mercy, that our everlasting salvation is not now suspended upon the condition of entire obedience to the divine law; for, upon these terms, in the present degenerate state of our nature, were God to be extreme in marking what we do amiss, who could stand justified before him? The economy of redemption by Jesus Christ is a dispensation of mercy provided, not for perfect creatures, but expressly calculated for the relief of penitent sinners. In this situation, let us labour in the vineyard of our Master; let us be as industrious, as careful to maintain good works, as if the happiness of heaven were to be merited by our own exertions : but, when we come to receive our reward, our language will be "Not unto us, O Lord; not unto us; but unto thy name as“ cribe all the praise !” And to produce this disposition of mind, it may be remarked,

In the last place, that the day is far spent: with every one of us the hour of retribution is at hand: are we ready to meet our Master, cheered with an humble reliance on his promise, with a steady expectation of approaching bliss? If the time past of our life has been wasted in unprofitable indolence, or what is worse, in active wickedness; let us remain no longer idle, as to the most important business which im. mortal creatures were sent here to perform; but let us listen to the invitations of the great Householder of the whole family in heaven and earth, and cordially engage in his service. Why should we stand all the day idle? It cannot be said, that no man is willing to hire us. The Son of God persuades, exhorts, commands us to abound in works of righteousness, under the comfortable assurance of an ample recompense for all our labours--by patient continuance in well-doing, we may obtain glory, and honour, and immortality. After a few fleeting years, of what avail will be all the heaps of vanity which the children of this world are now gathering round them? How will the workers of wickedness, the proud infidel, the impious scoffer; the stupid sensualist, then lament their folly, for remaining amidst the thorns and briars of the wilderness; when they might have been engaged in the dignified employment of serving the most bountiful Master; when they might have regaled themselves, even here, with the pleasant fruits of his vineyard; and have been entitled hereafter to a joy unspeakable and full of

glory?

To conclude: the Church of Christ, the spiritual Zion; opens wide her gates, day and night, to afford a happy asylum to distressed mortals. Let this be our place of refuge, in the midst of a wicked and miserable world. Associated with the blessed company of all faithful people, let us humbly beseech our heavenly Father, so to assist us with his grace, that it may be our chief delight to continue in that holy fellowship, and our great concern to do all such good works as he has prepared for us to walk in. Thus shall we be protected by infinite mercy and resistless the happy family that was admitted into the ark, we shall escape that vengeance of the Almighty, which will be poured upon incorrigible sinners: we shall pass in safety through the waves of this troublesome world; and, being steadfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in charity, come finally to the land of everlasting life.

power. Like SERMON XXXII.

On the Parable of the Sower.

MATTHEW xiji. 18.

Hear ye, therefore, the parable of the sower.

THE Evangelist informs us, in this chapter, that great multitudes were gathered unto Jesus to hear his divine word, and that he spake many things unto them in parables. In one of his figurative discourses delivered to the people, on this occasion, he represents his heavenly doctrines—the reception which they met with and the effects which they produced in the world, under the image of a sower going forth to scatter the grain over the face of the ground; some of which was entirely lost, and some yielded a plentiful increase. The good seed fell by the way-side, and was devoured by the fowls of the air; or in stony places, where it soon sprang up, and as soon withered under the scorching heat of the sun; or among thorns, which springing up with it, immediately choked it. And some fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit with various degrees of fertility.

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