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Lift up your
taught us, we are in heart and mind to ascend,
with Christian alacrity that heavenward path which your Saviour has trod! Let others, if such be their ambition, set their affections on things below; but you have a nobler calling and a brighter hope; and the man whose treasure is in heaven, will have his heart there also.
2. How little is the mere man of the world capable of appreciating the internal state and feelings of the Christian.
Suppose the apostles, on their return from Bethany to Jerusalem, to have been met by some of their unbelieving countrymen, in what light would these disciples of a crucified Master have appeared ? Some probably would have treated them with insult, as fanatics: and some with compassion, as the unhappy dupes of a daring imposture: but all would have considered them as among the most abject and most miserable of mankind; as men whose expectations had been utterly disappointed, and whose hopes were blasted for ever. Yet were these persons, although apparently desolate, rejoicing with unutterable joy. And how often is the same remark applicable to the faithfnl follower of Christ, in every age! How often, when all outward circumstances are against him, does he possess that peace which the world cannot give, and exult in that joy with which a stranger intermeddleth not ! *
* Collect for Ascension Day.
3. What comfort and encouragement may we derive from this subject in prosecuting our Christian
Are you conscious, my brethren, of many deviations from the path of holy obedience; and convinced that if God should be extreme to mark what is done amiss, you would be unable to stand before Him? Your Saviour is. seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and hence If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the rightcous.f How powerful and persuasive is that intercession, we may learn in some measure from the prayer which He offered for His disciples, and not for them only, but for all who should believe through their word; a prayer which breathes, throughout, the most tender affection for His people: I pray not for the world; but for them which thou hast given me ;
* Prov. xiv. 10.
+ 1 John ii. 1.
ment to the apostles? And is it the habit of His faithful servants to be looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ, the great God, and our Saviour ? * May we, my brethren, in the contemplation of these things, like them, also be looking for, and hasting unto the coming f of that day; and finally, with them, be welcomed to the presence, and enter into the joy of the Lord.
* Titus ii. 13.
+ 2 Pet. iii. 12.
REJOICING IN THE SABBATH.
Psalm xcii. 1,
“ It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to
sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High: to shew forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night."
THERE are few things by which men of real religion are more distinguished from the men of the world, than by the disposition with which they enter upon the service of God, and the enjoyment and delight which it affords them. The day of holy rest may generally be expected to find a welcome from all classes of society; and many who are but partially influenced by the spirit of religion, will on that day turn with willing feet to the courts of the Lord. But it is one thing to bend the knee, and another to offer the worship which is in spirit and in truth; the language of devotion'it is utter: the test of the faithful worshipper is the
unto His name; whatever be the immediate
occasion of our gratitude, there is, in the very relation which we bear to Almighty God, and in the perfections which belong to Him, a claim for the worship of every intelligent creature. If to Him belong the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty, and all that is in the heaven and in the earth; and if He is exalted as head above all ;* what is the sentiment which the consideration of these things is suited to awaken, but that which was expressed with such solemnity by the king of Israel, Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name?+ The very thought, that a Being of such majesty condescends to reveal Himself as our God; that we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand, I should of itself suffice to call forth expressions of grateful adoration, from all who are acquainted with His name. We are accordingly taught by our church, to join in a general ascription of praise to the Almighty, under the title of God and Lord; whom all the earth doth worship; to whom all
1 Chron. xxix. 11.
+ 1 Chron. xxix. 13. Psalm xcv. 7.