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their hopes and all their joys. Christ was the object of all their desires: to him they looked as their Redeemer, their Saviour, their intercessor, their High Priest and Advocate, their model and example, the Author and Giver of all their good things. Let their example lead us to inquire whether we are actuated by a similar regard for Jesus Christ; whether our thoughts, like theirs, are continually fixed on our Lord and Sarjour; whether we long to be with him, esteeming ourselves dead to this world in order that our life may be more conformed to the happiness which he enjoys, and which he communicates to his faithful disciples now with him in glory.
And let us also frequently ponder on the excellency of those things which are above as compared with the things wbich are on earth. There, where our blessed Saviour dwells, every thing is pure and perfect; there, no stain of sin or deflement is found: here every thing is corrupt; marred, and defaced, and spoiled, and polluted by sin. Every thing above is durable and eiernal: every thing below is transitory and fading. Every thing above carries with it the full blessing of Almighty God: every thing below withers beneath the influence of his just and holy indignation Every thing above satisfies the soul; for the desires are forned to the place and the place to the desires, and both are adapted to the enjoyment of the highest and purest happiness: every thing below is in its own nature uncertain, disappoints our expectations, and deludes our hopes. Every thing above breathes the air of eternal bliss; for every possible cause of unhappiness is studiously excluded by Almighty Power and Wisdom: every thing below tends to unhappines; for our joys are imperfect, our comforts are uncertain, we ourselves are decaying, and all around us proclaims, Seek not your happiness in this uncertain state.
Influenced by such considerations, let us endeavour, my brethren, to elevate and exalt our souls to nobler pursuits and loftier prospects than these transitory
scenes afford. We are immortal creatures, born for eternity, redeemed by Christ from sin that we may dwell in an eternal and endless world, and therefore we should cherish the sentiments natural to the citizens of that glorious and eternal state. Oh! if we value Christ as our Saviour, and prize that blessed immortality which he offers, let us prove our regard for it by often meditating upon its joys, by comparing its nature and happiness with those things which are continually passing before us, by exalting our views and animating our Christian hopes. O let us not feel, and think, and live, and act as if the Saviour of the world had never come down from heaven to save us; as if we never had heard the glad tidings of great joy, of Christ, or of heaven; as if this world were the only world: as if this short, and poor and transitory life were the sum of our existence! O let us not so degrade ourselves, and so debase the Lord who has bought us, and so trample on the glorious hopes he has set before us! Lift up your hearts then. Let the recollection of the ascension of your Saviour cause your hearts to ascend also. Rise to the blissful place where he now lives. Contemplate him standing at the right hand of God, interceding for his people, and preparing for them mansions of glory; and let your spirit join with the spirits of all the redeemed in hailing the day of his triumph, when he shall come to summon his people to his kingdom; and let your hearts say, with them, Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.
ON INTERCESSION FOR OTHERS.
1 Timothy ii. 1. I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications,
prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.
AMONG the many proofs of Christianity, some are abstruse, and cannot be understood without a considerable share of learning; others are plainer, and intelligible to the most illiterate. My text naturally suggests one of these. It is very obvious that there must be a certain degree of resemblance between every work and the author who has composed it: it must bear some image of his mind and character. Now read the Gospel of Christ; consider the spirit which pervades it, and the principles it inculcates; and say whose image it bears. Is it like the work of the great Father of mankind? Does it bear the stamp of that gracious Being who reigns in light and happiness ineffable among the blessed spirits of heaven, diffusing there universal peace, and harmony, and joy? The work of such a Being cannot be of a doubtful character: it must exhibit a certain lustre of purity and glow of love, and must manisest the true method of enjoying the highest happiness. Try the Gospel by this test, and say, is it not the work of God?
I seruple not to assert, that the words of my text alone prove it to be so. Behold in them the feelings of a man who had imbibed the spirit of the Gospel. It found bim injurious, revengeful, breathing out threatening and slaughter against his fellow-creatures—now he utters nothing but the purest and most ardent love for every child of Adam. For those whom he had not seen in the flesh he pours out his whole soul before God in earnest supplication for their happiness: “I would that ye knew what great conflict I had for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their bearts might be comforted.” The Jews, his inveterate persecutors, he loved with a like ardour: -Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer for Israel is, that they might be saved........ I would even wish myself accursed from Christ for their sake.” What, but the Spirit of God, could have produced such a spirit, and such solicitude for the happiness of strangers and of enemies, in the heart of man, naturally so interested and selfish?
I am led by these words to consider the great Christian duty of praying for others. Perhaps there is none more neglected, with so little consciousness of sin in the omission of it. Yet that it is positively enjoined on Christians is apparent, not from the text merely, but froin many other passages of Scripture. for another,” saith St. James, "hat ye may be healed." It is enforced by the example of the most eminent saints. Thus Abraham interceded with God for Sodom; and He said, in answer to his prayer, “I will not destroy it for ten's sake.” Moses, the illustrious type of the great Intercessor, prayed for the people: and we learn that God would have destroyed the Israelites, had not Moses his chosen stood in the gap: “I prayed,” saith he, "unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, de