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masters, and a performance of whatever they do, however irksome or servile, from a principle of love to God and conformity to his will.
Now was all this required of the poor slaves at Colosse, and shall we hope to excuse ourselves from this injunction ;-we who enjoy so many privileges ; we who breathe the air of freedom, who taste the comforts of domestic and social life, who have access to a thousand sources of enjoyment, and of intellectual and religious improvement ? Alas ! such is the depravity of man, if God load him with kindness, he becomes the more ungrateful, and complains of that as a hard service which requires of him to act from a principle of love and obedience to his greatest Benefactor. But this service is not a hard one. My brethren, let us appeal to our own consciences. Which is the hardest service ? to serve God or Mammon ?-to do whatever we do, as unto men; to act from a regard to the shortlived influence of our fellow-men upon our safety or happiness; to seek the gratification of low and sensual appetites, the acquisition of perishable riches, or the enjoyment of a reputation which in a few years will sleep with our dust in the tomb ?-or to live as becomes rational and immortal beings; to love and serve in all our conduct that infinite Spirit who sheds down, even in this world, upon the meek and lowly followers of his Son, a peace which passeth understanding, and who opens to their view beyond the grave the prospect of perfect and unfa
ding bliss ? I repeat it; let conscience answer whether it is indeed a hard service to do all things heartily as to the Lord.
In the second place, The subject holds forth an awful admonition to such as hope finally to be accepted of God, because they have in this life never swerved from the strictest principles of an honest and decent morality. How many, it is to be feared, go down to the grave relying on this broken reed for support! If such be the case of any of you, my hearers, I pray you, compare your motives of conduct with the command of the text : “ Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” The nature and extent of this precept has been explained, and its authority and reasonableness established. It has been given us as a rule of conduct by that holy and dread Being, at whose bar we must all one day appear, to render an account of the deeds done in the body. Have we complied, do we comply, with its reasonable injunctions ? If not, where shall we look for safety ? To what covert shall we resort from the storm of Divine Justice, in that day of awful retribution, when “ the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat," when " the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him ; when he shall sit on the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all'nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd' divideth his sheep from the goats ?” What,
then, will be our condition ; what will be our plea, when the books are opened, and judgment passed upon all according to their works ? Shall we dare to plead a strict obedience to that Law of God, which commands us, in the words of the text, “ to do whatsoever we do heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men?” Or shall we not have to confess, that much of our conduct, perhaps in some instances all, has proceeded from a selfish and sinful regard to the mere favour of man? Where, then, will be the refuge of the mere moralist; of him who has neglected to love and serve his God: of him who, trusting in his own righteousness, has depised that Saviour whose blood alone can redeem us from the curse of the law, and deliver us from a doom only as horrible as the guilt of those who deserve it?
Finally, Forget not, my Christian brethren, the slaves of Colosse, nor the precept given them by the Apostle. Compare your condition with theirs, and let every principle of gratitude awaken your love and obedience to God. You are not called to endure the trials and sufferings which every where awaited the primitive disciples of Christ. Many a thorn which made them bleed and suffer is removed from your path toward heaven. 66 I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. , And be ye not conformed to this world, but
be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” . And remember, for your consolation and encouragement, that “ of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
JOHN v. 39.
Search the Scriptures ; for in them ye
have eternal life : and they are they which testify of me.
This command was originally given to the Jews by our Saviour. His object was to convince thein that he was the true Messiah, by an appeal to their own sacred writings. And had this stubborn and unbelieving people obeyed this injunction in its true import; had they read with candour what was written in their Scriptures respecting Christ; had they, in doing this, felt the spirit of their monarch David, when he prayed, “ Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law," then would many have been ready to say, with Philip, “ We have found him of whom Moses, in the law, and the prophets did write; Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph.” Then would many
have resorted unto him as the true Messiah, and believed on him to the saving of their souls. But, alas ! " that people's heart was waxen gross, and their eyes they had closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and