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justice to the Christian's cause. I have supposed it possible for the man of the world to enjoy this life to the full, and I have spoken of the disciple of Christ, as one, like his Divine Master, “ despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief ;" as having every earthly comfort shorn from his side, and nothing left him but trust in God, the approbation of his own conscience, that internal peace which cometh down from the Şource of all good, and that hope of heaven which is as an anchor to his soul both sure and stedfast. I might have drawn a very different picture, and a far juster one. The man of the world might have been represented as pursuing shadows which elude his grasp, as catching at splendid bubbles which immediately melt in air. Something might have been said of the wearisomeness wbich soon intrudes itself at the board of festivity ; of the disgust which often enters the haunts of pleasure ; of the satiety which is the inseparable companion of sensuality; of the toil and anxiety, the jealousies and envyings, the disappointments and defeats of ambition ; of the emptiness of honour, and of the cares of wealth. On the other hand, the Christian might have been described as not called to suffer the same wretchedness as did the primitive disciple of Christ. It might have been shewn, that bound as he is, not to shrink from any evil which men may inflict upon hirn, on account of the cause which he has espoused-nor to refuse making any sacrifice of earthly good for the sake of that Saviour
in whom he trusts—still he is permitted (so much gentler are the dispensations of God toward his church than they have formerly been) to use this world if he do not abuse it, and even to possess its wealth and its honours, if he do but devote them to the service of God.
And is it not reasonable, then, my brethren, to put confidence in the words of Jesus Christ, when he invites us to come unto him that we may find rest unto our souls ? Shall we not consent to bear his yoke without murmuring, when he so truly assures us that it is easy and his burden light? Surely, the requisitions of the Gospel, the duties and the trials of a Christian, are not well understood, or they would not so often be rejected. It is admitted by all, that unalloyed happiness is not the lot of man. Every eje is directed to something future: every heart beats with the hope of what it may yet enjoy. The world is tried by its thousand votaries, in their thousand different paths, and all confess that it continues to impose upon them. In the mean while, life is wasting away ; the roses are withering with which the man of pleasure has loved to crown himself; the honours are fading which have blushed in such thick abundance upon the son of ambition ; the gold is soon to be scattered, he knows not where, that now fill the coffers of the rich man. Even the charms of philosophy and literature fade from the eye which has long feasted upon them. The dearest of all earthly good social and domestic
love-must soon have its golden cord broken; bosom friends must be torn asunder and family circles destroyed; and man, stripped of all which can now afford him any delight, must-inevitably must, in a few fleeting years-descend to the tomb. Is this world, then, worth possessing, without some hope of a future ? And what hope of a future can we have except that which is founded on the revelation God has given us in the Gospel of his Son ? And when this Gospel invites us to a Saviour, whose yoke, even in this life, is comparatively easy and his burden light, how much is it the part of wisdom to bear this yoke! Sacrifices, indeed, the Christian must make, and some of these sacrifices will cost him much. He must offer continually the sacrifice of a broken heart and of a contrite spirit at the remembrance of his sins. And this yoke at first is galling to his pride. He must sacrifice all reliance upon his own merits for acceptance with God. He must hope, by faith alone in Jesus Christ, to secure the pardon of his guilt, the renovation of his heart, and a preparation for heaven. And this yoke presses hard upon his self-righteouspess. But soon these very sacrifices become delightful.. Humility and Meekness and Faith, which at first, when seen through the mists of prejudice, appeared so hideous and disgusting, are found upon a nearer approach to be the daughters of Peace, and to shed around the head of him whom they attend a heaven-born calm and a serene dignity of which the sons of Pride know nothing,
His self-denial, too, every day becomes easier to the Christian. That sneer which once kindled the glow of resentment on his cheek he learns to bear with a meek and a quiet spirit, while he pities the prejudice from which it sprung. That reluctance to disclose his principles before the world, which once made him almost ashamed of his Saviour, has given place to a manly yet modest avowal of them. The world, to which, like others, he once clung with so fond a grasp, has lost much of its charms: and he cheerfully abandons it when he reflects what a better portion he has beyond the skies. Thus the yoke of Christ is not only easier than that of the world, even under circumstances the most unfavourable, so to speak, for the Christian; but this
but this very yoke becomes easier and easier to be borne, so as to be at last not the mark of toil and servitude, but the badge of peace and triumph. May it always, my brethren, prove such to each one of us ! May the Spirit of grace incline us cheerfully to sustain it in this life! And may the same Spirit, through the merits and intercession of Jesus Christ, conduct us all at length to that world of entire rest where no more sacrifices will be required of us, where no more self-denial will be necessary, but where every want of the soul will be supplied and all its wishes gratified !
MATTHEW xi. 30.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The life of a real Christian is one of continual self-denial. He has to carry on an incessant and difficult contest within his own breast ; to subdue the native propensities of his heart ; to struggle against the force of habit ; to bring all the powers of his body and all the affections of his soul into subjection to the precepts of the Gospel ; to resist the allurements of temptation ; to withstand the seductions of pleasure, of riches, and of honour; to watch against the wiles of Satan ; to meet, if need be, with an undaunted heroism, ridicule and reproach, infamy and death ; in fine, always to prove himself a faithful soldier of the Cross, and not to quit the field of danger, and sometimes of blood, till he come off a triumphant conqueror, through the strength of the great Captain of his salvation. How, then, demands the world, can the yoke of Christ be easy, and his burden light? Does it cost nothing to engage in so hard a service ? Is it to find ease that you call upon us to rush