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the Apostle's mind to a compliance with the requisition. It is He also who “ worketh all” that is necessary to salvation “in all" who are saved.
“ The calling of our Lord Jesus Christ,” referred to in the collect, is mentioned in Matt. iv. 19; a passage which is annexed to it as the Gospel for the day. “ Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw “ two brethren, Simon called Peter and Andrew “ his brother, casting a net into the sea, (for they " were fishers). And he saith unto them follow me; " and I will make you fishers of men. And they “ straightway left their nets and followed Him." Should it be asked, what was implied in the requisition made to Andrew and his brother? The history supplies the answer. Christ demanded a dereliction of every thing for His sake and the Gospel's : an entire submission to His authority as the Prophet, Priest, and King of His church, was comprehended in the call. And the subsequent experience of the Apostle proved that nothing less than this was intended; for after having been trained under the discipline of the cross, and made every previous sacrifice, he was at length required, and through grace enabled, joyfully to yield up the last token of grateful obedience, even life itself, in the cause of his Divine Master.
The same definition may be given of the general call which is addressed by the Gospel to sinners of every age and clime. It is necessary that the disciples of Christ should sit down and count the cost before they profess themselves to be His genuine followers. For He hath declared, and the declaration forms one of the immutable laws of His kingdom, that “ Whosoever will come after “ Him must deny himself, and take up his cross, 6 and follow Him:" and that whosoever will save “ his life, shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose
or his life for His sake and the Gospel's, the same
shall save it.” (Mark viii. 34, 35.) The validity and importance of this part of the statute-book of heaven are confirmed by its frequent repetition; forit is elsewhere enacted by thesupreme authority of the King of kings, that he who " loveth father or “ mother more than Christ is not worthy of Him;
and that he who loveth son or daughter more " than Him is not worthy of Him:" nay, in words still more emphatical it is decided, that
if any man come to Christ, and” comparatively « hạte not his father and mother, and wife and " children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and “ his own life also, he cannot be His disciple: “ and that whosoever he be that forsaketh not all “that he hath, he cannot be His disciple.” If it should be said that these statutes were adapted to the first æra of Christianity, and that they are now become obsolete and no longer in force; it. may be asked, By what authority have they been abrogated? No addition has been made to the statute-book since the decease of the Apostles, during whose administration we know that they remained in full force. And no authority but that of the great Lawgiver can have abrogated or superceded them. Nominal Christians who have the form without the power of Godliness, may try to persuade themselves that modern Christianity is essentially different from its model in the New Testament. But they will find to their confusion, when the King shall revisit His church, that these requisitions were intended for every age and for every circumstance in which the fol lowers of Christ might be placed. The actual abandonment of worldly friendships and possessions, of liberty and life, may not now be called for ;
but such an indifference to all these things as would produce, were the external circumstances of the church to be altered, the same conduct which the primitive Christians pursued, is now essential to discipleship. A change has arisen in the adventitious appendants to Christianity; but no change can arise in the nature of the thing itself or its effects on the human soul. It invariably converts the hearts of its disciples from the world to God.
The obedience which St. Andrew paid to the call of Jesus was prompt and immediate. Like his fellow Apostle St. Paul, he “ conferred not “ with fresh and blood." But appreciating duly its Divine authority, the danger of a refusal to comply with it, and the advantages which would result from obedience to it, he " readily
obeyed the calling" of his Lord. He did not
linger," like Lot-when required to quit his possessions in Sodom ; much less did he look back from behind him like the worldly-minded wife of that patriarch, regretting afterwards the sacrifices he had made. But without hesitation or delay he left all to follow Christ.
It may be said that St Andrew had little to forsake in obedience to the call of Jesus, and that therefore his conduct afforded a very small proof of a self-denying faith. But the force of this remark, which is calculated to derogate from the power of Divine grace and to lessen the reputation of the Apostle's faith, will be weakened, or even annihilated, when it is considered that what he left for Christ's sake was his all. He had a character among his compeers, which he abandoned to reproach; and though his worldly substance was not large, yet his boat and his nets constituted his living; they afforded him the means of a comfortable support, equal in its extent to the expectations which his birth, parentage and education had led him to form. In forsaking these therefore he forsook what was equivalent to a throne and a sceptre. Faith does not sit down to a sum in arithmetic, with a view to ascertain by a nice calculation the value of the sacrifices it makes; but it sets “ the unsearchable riches of “ Christ” against all the world, be it more or less of its favours which we possess; and perceiving at once that not the shadow of a comparison can be made between all the world and the pearl of great price, its decision is prompt and final. Thus, “ By faith Moses when he was come to “ years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's “ daughter, chusing rather to suffer affliction with “ the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures “ of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of “Christ greater riches than the treasures of
Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompence “ of the reward.” Thus also St. Paul, than whom no man ever forsook more for Christ's sake, through the energy of the same Divine principle of faith was enabled to “ count all things loss and
dung for the excellency of the knowledge of " Christ Jesus his Lord," and for His Honour to “ suffer the loss of all things.” The instances of Moses and St. Paul seem to be, in their external circumstances, more brilliant exemplifications of the genuine spirit of Christianity; but St. Andrew also abandoned his all, and a greater sacrifice he could not make.
The agency by which our Apostle was enabled to act thus, is specified in the collect, lest honour should be given where none is due. “God gave him such grace, that he readily obeyed
“ the calling of His Son Jesus Christ.” This is the main-spring that produces and accounts for all the movements of the devoted heart. Independent of this consideration, St. Andrew's conduct is so contrary to the principles of nature, to the dictates of carnal reason, and to the maxims of worldly policy, that it is utterly ænigmatical. There was nothing in the external circumstances or appearances of the Nazarene to sanction His pretensions, or to give weight to His requisitions. He did not flatter His followers by any promises of worldly aggrandizement; but faithfully apprized them that nothing was to be expected in His service but mortification, sufferings, disgrace and death. But show, it may be asked, did Divine influence operate on the Apostle's heart? It enlightened his understanding; it produced a new tendency in the activity of his will; it gave a new bias to the current of all his affections; it made him “a new creature.' And thus it acts in all cases. It does not force its recipients to move in opposition to inclination; but, by an intirely new aspect given to the objects with which the mind is conversant, the judgment which was before erroneous is rectified, and the heart concurs in its decisions. Those who become Christ's disciples are “ made willing in the day of His
power” to leave all and follow Him.
It must be very gratifying to all the orthodox members of our church to observe what anxiety she manifests in all her forms to give the glory to God which is due unto His name, and that is ALL glory and honour and praise. Her correspondence with Scripture in this respect is beautifully exact, and a prominent feature of her character. For conversion, in its rise, progress, and accomplishment, is every where throughout the Bible