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"the lasting hills, and for the precious things of "the earth, and fulness thereof."* And thus, in his own peculiar garden-the Church, which he has chosen and redeemed for himself, he works by the kindly influences of the Holy Ghost, by the en dowments of ministers, and by the institution of sabbaths and ordinances. Some of these means are used to prepare the earth, others to sow the land, and others are yet in reserve to reap the fields, when the character is matured as a shock of corn in its season, fully ripe. Have ministers been instruments of good to your souls? Prize them you may, but the praise is the exclusive property and revenue of God. "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, "but ministers by whem ye believed, even as the "Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apol"los watered; but God gave the increase. So "then, neither is he that planteth any thing, nei"ther he that watereth; but God that giveth the "increase. Now he that planteth and he that wa“tereth are one; and every man shall receive his "own reward, according to his own labor. For "we are laborers together with God: ye are "God's husbandry; ye are God's building."†
2. Is it not a painful consideration, that the promised benediction of heaven shall prove to some
* Deuteronomy, xxxiii. 13-16, +1 Cor, iii. 59.
the heaviest calamity? The sweet influences of the skies and seasons occasion the weeds to spring in land untilled. The long-suffering of God, his providential liberality, and indeed the rich means grace, produce in some minds the most disgusting weeds. "Or despisest thou the riches of his "goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering; "not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth "thee to repentance? but, after thy hardness and
impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath "against the day of wrath and revelation of the " righteous judgment of God."* The solitary talent confided to the unprofitable servant, was the cause of his offence and his condemnation. The apology he made for his neglect, was false in the very face of nature, and the experience of ages.
This is the condemnation: "light has come into "the world, but men love darkness rather than "light." The seasons which cherish the corn of the laborious farmer, occasion the disgrace of the careless and indolent.
Finally. The springing of the corn is frequently employed as an emblem of the resurrection of the body; the subject may therefore profitably lead our thoughts to that great day of decision-delight
* Romans, ii. 4, 5.
or despair. To all it is the period when their eternal destiny shall be publicly decided to the believer in Jesus, it is the day of complete redemption; and to the unholy and impenitent, the commencement of misery which is everlasting.
Look forward then to that auspicious moment with devotional transport, ye believers in Jesus. Though dead, you shall live; together with his dead body, and in virtue of his vicarious decease, you shall arise. "Awake and sing, ye that dwell " in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, " and the earth shall cast out her dead."*
And there is mercy for you, who have hitherto 'rejected the Redeemer. The summer is not yet over; the harvest, though near, is not yet begun; and still there is hope. Break then from your unhallowed slumbers; provide your meat in this summer of your opportunity; and if you will not hear, my soul shall weep in secret places for your folly. You would not plough when it was urged upon you in the coming harvest you will beg-beg in the bitterness of your want, and have nothing. "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have "stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; "but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and
* Isaiah, xxvi. 19.
"would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at
your calamity; I will mock when your fear "cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, "and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; "when distress and anguish cometh upon you: "then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall "not find me."*
So shall thy poverty come as one that travaileth, and thy want as an armed man.
* Proverbs, i. 24-28.
PROVERES, xxiv. 30, 31, 32.
I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone-wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well; I looked upon it, and received instruction.
AND surely such an afflicting and disgraceful sight is calculated to afford much instruction! It arrests the notice of every passing traveller, occasions the most painful emotions of spirit; neither can they which go by, indulge their benevolent feelings and express their accustomed wish, saying "The blessing of the Lord be upon you, we bless you in the name of the Lord; for the grass of "the field is withered before it groweth up, so