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thee from above.”—John xix. 11. “ Wherefore when He cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”—Heb. x. 5–7. And where this passage occurs in the Psalms, it is added, “I delight to do thy will, o my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”Ps. xl. 8. “ I have power (said Christ) to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again. No man taketh it from me, but J lay it down of myself.”
In His humanity (as a man) Christ suffered for man, but how did He prove His divinity (that He was God)?
By raising His body from the grave. Jesus told the Jews that He would “ destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body.”—John ii. 19% 21. «
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” -Rom. vi. 9.
Is not Christ's resurrection a most important article of our faith ? Yes. St. Paul says
6. If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised
Christ: whom he raised not up, if so
be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised : and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept."-1 Cor. xv. 14–20.
Will one of you repeat the 4th Article ?
“ Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all men at the last day."
We have seen the blessings which belong to the sheep of Christ's fold-security, freedom, and support even in the darkest seasons. But surely these considerations should urge us to strict examination into our lives and tempers, in order that we may discover whether there be in us the marks of having been with Jesus.-Acts iv. 13. Or if not, we must make haste and delay not “to return unto the shepherd and bishop of our souls.”—1 Pet. ii. 25. And then, with composure and certainty of a safe deliverance, shall we " walk through the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil,” Ps. xxiii. 4; for it is not "the sting of death,” (1 Cor. xv. 56,) only the shadow; and therefore it can no more hurt the soul, than the shadow of a sword wound the body over which it is cast. But let me ask you what is the ground of a believer's peace and confidence at the hour of death?
“ Thou, O! my heavenly Father, art with me.” He remembers the gracious promise “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”—Heb. xiii. 5.
Yes. It is Christ's presence with the “rod” of His power, and the staff” of His promises which gives "quietness and assurance.”—Isa. xxxii. 17. For what child would hesitate to venture into the dark if his father were with him ? Only he would keep close to his protector—and so must the dying christian, and then he may exclaim, with holy triumph, “ Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."-1 Cor. xv. 57. “ Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”--Ps. cxlvi. 5.
Will you now close your books and repeat the hymn ?
Israel's Shepherd ! guide me, feed me,
Through my pilgrimage below;
Where Thy flocks rejoicing gu.
Guard, and keep me in Thy way;
Never from Thy presence stray.
In the shedding of Thy blood,
Lord ! 'we have of ev'ry good!
O my soul! no longer harden'd,
Live to this world as before,
“Go in peace, but sin no more.”
MATT. xxv. 14-30.
Though you are young, I do not doubt that you have often been surprised in observing, how unequally the gifts of Providence are distributed amongst men ; while some possess abundance of earthly blessings, others are poor and have few advantages : but, though unassisted reason may find it difficult to reconcile this with the justice and goodness of a gracious God, His word dis. pels the mystery, throwing down, as it does, all high imaginations and vain conceits, and shewing us that these distinctions impose greater responsibilities upon the possessor of them, for which he will have to give a strict account to his heavenly Master. This parable describes the conduct of a man on the eve of a journey ; but let me enquire of you
further comment, how did he dispose of his goods before he commenced it ?
He called his servants around him, and committed to one five talents, to another two, and to another one.
Why was this difference made; were they not all bound to his service, and therefore equally to be trusted ?
Yes. But he seems to have considered their respective characters, for we read, that every man had according to his several ability ; therefore, it is natural to suppose, he wisely entrusted to each that portion which his capacity was fitted to improve ?
After his affairs were settled, he left those servants: it remains now that we follow them, and see how they employed the money.
Two were diligent and faithful, for they immediately applied themselves to business, thinking in what manner they might increase what had been entrusted to them; they, therefore, went and traded with the money.
You name only two who were active, what was the third doing, had he not one talent also ?
Yes. But he did ill; for he went and buried it in the earth.
Do you blame him for acting thus, he neither stole nor misemployed it?
No. But he did no good with it, either to himself or others, and that could not have been his Lord's intention.
After a long absence the master returned, and each of his servants was required to account for his money. How was their conduct regarded by him ?
When the two first brought double the sum that had been lent to them, they were commended as good and faithful servants—and likewise