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It apears from John i. 42. (Section 1x.) that our Saviour had already conversed with Simon and Andrew, and conferred upon the former the name of Cephas, or Peter, signifying “a rock.” He now summons them to quit their employments and follow him. The instruments of God in diffusing Christianity were humble men, and among them the distinguished apostle whose call is here recorded, pursued an unpretending occupation for his support. Yet was he chosen, while the proud, the wealthy, and the educated were passed by; and for what? For his sincerity, his boldness, the warmth of his affections, the faithfulness of his heart. These were treasures which the brightest acquirements of his nation's sages could not equal. Let the humble Christian strive after these treasures. Let him not envy the pageantry of kings, the fame of conquerors; for men, whose glory is more lasting than that of princes, were clothed in no costly robes, but those of justice and piety. And let not the child of fortune and cultivation look down with scorn on those whose station is inferior to his own; for they who taught the gospel to mankind, rose from obscurity; and never, in the exercise of their holy functions, wasted a thought of envy on the splendours of earth. Those splendours were too low and transient to be compared with the inheritance they looked for, incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away.
The wind was hushed on Galilee,
As near its waveless flood,
An humble fisher stood.
A voice was heard; as on the lake
Is heard the whispering breeze;
The grandeur of the seas.
Years passed away ;-the humble man
Who stood unheeding there,
The fisher's tranquil care.
Him, palaces of eastern pride
Now hailed, an honoured guest;
He spoke of heavenly rest.
He bore, through perils far and near
His Saviour's holy name:
To indolence or shame.
That Saviour's presence cheered his breast
Through every varied scene :
In martyrdom serene.
Lord! while thy holy servant’s lot
In various scenes we view,
Which bore him stedfast through.
SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
MATT. v. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain ; and when he was set, his disciples came unto him : and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit ; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shal?
be comforted. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness ; for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart ; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. . Ye are the salt of the earth : but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth, light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful.” It is not thus, we may suppose, that the world in general judge, for it is not on the principles thus expressed that they act. Yet are the words of our Saviour confirmed by daily experience. Who, even in this life, are happy, if not the peaceful? Is violence of passion a blessing to him who indulges it? Far otherwise. We cannot conceive of a state
of mind more heavenly, than to be at peace with all the world, with conscience, and with God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers ;" for a holier, loftier pleasure does not exist than that of doing good; and if peace be happiness, and its opposite be misery, how godlike is the enjoyment of that man who restores to his brethren that best of blessings!
“Blessed are the pure in heart;" those who obey the law of God, not from fear, but from the absence of any desire beyond the bounds which that law has established; they whose virtue flows in natural and quiet beauty, from the unsullied fountain of an innocent mind.
Blessed are even the mourners and the persecuted; if their strength is in God. They may lose every other support, but they possess the love of their Father, and the hope of heaven. As other consolations fail, these grow brighter : till at length the event of death itself is met with tranquillity or even rapture, and conducts them to their full blessedness above.
· Blest are the meek,' he said
Whose doctrine is divine;
And bright in heaven will shine.
While here on earth they stay,
Calm peace with them shall dwell ;
Beyond what tongue can tell.
The God of peace is theirs ;
They own his gracious sway ;
His sovereign laws obey.
No angry passions move,
No envy fires the breast;
Bids every trouble rest.
Oh gracious Father, grant
That we this influence feel,
Subjected to thy will.
CONCLUSION OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
MATT. VII. 1. AND 21. Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye ; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shal enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesiec in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And thei will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depar from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore, whosoev.