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4. Consider the methods and arguments which I have * made use of to induce men to believe in me, and become my disciples.'

Have I'tberein shown any improper regard to my own honour and interest in this world? Have I made use of any specious and artful methods to increase the number of my followers? Have I invited any into my service by promises or intimations of worldly ease and grandeur ? Have you

at any time observed me to encourage the hopes of any ad- . vantages, but such as flow from true religion, real virtue and righteousness, and from the favour, approbation, and blessing of God in this world, and another? Have I not often, and openly declared : “ He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me?" Matt. x. 38. And, “ Whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple ?” Luke xiv. 33. When some have expressed a ready disposition to bear me company, and join themselves to my train, have I not immediately told them, without reserve or disguise, how slight the accommodations are with which I am provided ? and that the Son of man has not here one quiet and settled habitation of his own? When the rich man, who was also a ruler, came to me, saying, “ Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?” Luke xviii. 18, did I pitch upon some easy precept, the better to bring in such an one, either for my own, or your present advantage ? did I not remind him of the commandments of God? And when he answered, that he had kept them, did I not say unto him : “ Go, and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me ?” Whereupon he went away sorrowful.

This my plainness and openness in treating men, may fully satisfy you of my integrity, and that I act sincerely, when I assure you, that there is another world beside the present. 5. Recollect, what has been my behaviour toward per

of influence and authority in the world.' Have

you observed me to seek my own, or your honour and interest, by gratifying and pleasing men in power ? No, you know very well, that I have openly denounced the displeasure of God against the scribes and pharisees, upon account of their doctrine and conduct, derogatory to the honour of God, and the interest of religion. Insomuch that even the worst, and most inveterate of my enemies have atforded me the character of an impartial teacher of truth,



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without undue respects to the persons of any men, Matt. xxi. 16.

6. • Especially you may perceive by my behaviour toward yourselves, whether I am sincere, and may be relied • upon, in what I now say.'

When I called you to attend me, I did not invite and draw you by worldly offers. You are sensible, that when you obeyed my call," " you left all and followed me,” Matt.

" xix. 27 Mark x. 28.

; The doctrine of the cross, the practice of self-denial, I have inculcated upon all, especially upon you. I have indeed declared to you, that "the labourer is worthy of his hire,” Luke x. 7; and that in discharging your ottice you will meet with kind and courteous entertainment froin worthy persons. But I have as plainly told you, others will treat you with a spirit of the bitterest enmity and displeasure: that they will persecute you from city to city," and that “ you will be brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake:" directing you however “ to possess your souls in patience,” Luke xxi. 19, and assuring you, that “ he who endureth to the end shall be saved," Matt. x. 22.

I have likewise intimated to you, that you cannot expect better treatment than I have had, if you keep close to my doctrine and example, as you ought: for “ the disciple is not above his master: nor the servant above bis lord,” Matt. x. 28.

“ And because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world,” many therein, “ will hate you,” John xv. 19.

You must likewise be sensible, that as I have with much care and tenderness cherished and encouraged every good principle; so I have also freely warned and admonished you, as there has been occasion. I I have plainly told you, that you are happy, and my dis

, ciples indeed, if you do the things that I have commanded: and that not calling me Lord, Lord; nor even working miracles in my name, but only doing “ the will of my Father which is in heaven," will entitle you to the rewards of the kingdom which I have so often spoken of: and that all others will be rejected by me at the last, though they had been familiar friends and acquaintance," and had eaten and drunk in my presence,” Luke xii. 26.

Whatever has been amiss in you I have reproved and condemned, even the weakness of your faith, and the slowness of your understandings, owing to prevailing prejudices : and especially all faulty conduct, proceeding from a worldly frame and too strong affection for earthly things.

When I spake to you of my future sufferings, and thereupon Peter, who before had made a very agreeable confession of my being the Christ, the Son of God, began to remonstrate, saying, “ Be it far from thee, Lord, this shall not be unto thee,” Matt. xvi. 22, did I not turn me about, and, in the presence of you all, say unto him: “ Get thee behind me, Satan, thou art an offence to me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men ?” ver. 23.

And when you had a strife one with another, who should be the greatest in the kingdom of the Messiah : supposing it to have in it places of honour and preferment, such as it really has not : did I not say unto you: “ Unless ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven ?” Matt. xviii. 1-3.

Do you not remember likewise what I said to the two sons of Zebedee, when their mother came to me with that petition, that “ they might sit, the one on the right hand, and the other on the left, in my kingdom ?” Matt. xx. 20–24.

And have I not told you, that whereas in the kingdoms of this world they who are great exercise dominion and authority : “ so it shall not be with you, but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister: and who ever will be chief among you, let him be your servant ?” Matt, xx. 25, 27.

Thus I have treated you from the beginning to this time. I have encouraged you to follow me, and to continue faithful to me, with the hazard of all things: and have directed you not to seek great things for yourselves here by any means, but riches and honour in the kingdom of heaven. And when I now speak to you of another world, and mansions therein, can any of you doubt the truth of what I say? How strange an idea must you then have of me! how injurious! But far be such a supposition as this. You are well satisfied of my sincerity: you have had full proof of that, and of my knowledge of all things: you must therefore be fully persuaded, that there are, as I say unto you, “ mansions in my Father's house" for myself, and for you, and for all whom you, in the service to which you have been called and appointed, shall be able to bring to true virtue and goodness.

7. • The relation we stand in to each other may assure 'you of my sincerity, and that I am to be relied upon in what I now say.'

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Do men use to impose upon and deceive, and that in matters of importance, those whom they love, and by whom they are esteemed and beloved ? [ chose you out of the whole number of my disciples, to be usually with me: and I have taught you in public and in private: I have answered your questions, and removed your scruples: I have treated you as my friends: " for all things that I have heard of my

Father I have made known unto you," John xv. 15. And is my affection changed, that I should not “ love

you to the end” of my life? ch. xii. 1.

“ You” too “ have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God,” John xvi. 17. You have made a very acceptable profession of faith in me, and respect for me. When “ many went back, and walked no more with me, John vi. 66, 67, you would not forsake me, though I left you to your own choice, to abide with me, or

go away:” and hitherto 66

ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations,” Luke xxii. 28, and have shared in the reproach and obloquy cast upon me; whereby, as you cannot but know, you have not a little endeared yourselves to me: and now by your grief for my departure, in the manner I have spoken of, (though that grief be not duly regulated,) you have evidently shown an esteem and value for me, and a concern for my honour: and can it be thought, that I should intend to delude you? Is it not much more reasonable to conclude, that the reality is fully answerable to the expressions made use of by me?

8. Once more, · the circumstances we are in may assure * you of my being sincere in what I say.'

Dying men have seldom any inclination to deceit and fallacy. The near prospect of death puts an end to such artifices, though they had been practised before. Moreover the cheerfulness, with which I speak of dying, and such a death as I have in view, may assure you, I am well satisfied about the consequences of it, as to myself. And " if I live, ye shall live also,” John xiv. 19. If you love one another, as I have loved you, and perform all other things which I have recommended to you, our interests are the same. You are not now to go with me, nor to follow me immediately: but you

shall follow me some time hence. Let not then any afflictive circumstances in this world deject your spirits, or cause you to abandon a just and wellgrounded expectation. My departure is only like that of one who goes before, to prepare for the rest of the company. And hereafter, if need be, I will come forth, and conduct you into the mansions which I now speak to you of.



So did our Lord comfort and encourage his disciples.

Ul. Having spoken to the two points in the text, I shall now add some remarks and inferences.

1. - We may hence conclude, that it is of great importance ' to maintain the hope and expectation of another life.”

Our Lord was pleased to enforce the conviction and persuasion of a future state upon the minds of his disciples, by the consideration of his own integrity, of which there were so many proofs, and which was absolutely unquestionable.

His apostles afterwards show a like earnest concern to keep up in the minds of christians a firm persuasion and lively hope of another life after this: "Wherefore,” says St. Peter, “ gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope unto the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ," 1 Pet. i. 13. In like manner the apostle to the Hebrews : “ Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward: for ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise : for yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry," Heb. x. 35, 36. And it is with warmth that St. Paul expresseth hiniself to the Corinthians: “ Now, if Christ be preached, that he rose from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead ?

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners, I Cor. xv, 12, 33. Never let us hearken to such suggestions ; for they discourage all generous actions. This lite, at its best estate, is then, indeed, altogether vanity: yea this whole system of things, and all the designs of Providence, would then be mean and inconsiderable, and below the great characters of Creator and Governor of the world.

2. • We hence learn how life and immortality may be said * to be brought to light in the gospel.'

Allowing, that a future state of recompense or immortal life, may be surely deduced from reason, and argued from divers parts of the Old Testament, it may be justly said to be brought to light through the gospel; it having there received a great deal of additional evidence. Here we have the solemn and express declaration and promise of one teaching in the name of God, and proving his mission by miracles : and the expectation is confirmed by every part of bis doctrine, by the precepts and rules of life delivered by him, by the whole of his behaviour in this world, toward those who were dear to him, and toward others, by his unparalleled disinterestedness, by his zeal for the glory of God and the welfare of men, and by every virtue of his most ex


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