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little more slumber, a little more folding of the hands to sleep.”
Others will not afford the time. They will attend his worship on the Lord's-day because they are forbidden to labour, and time hangs heavy on their hands; but on week-days, let there be never so many lectures, their places are always empty :
They have a trade to mind; they have a family to provide for; and though it be but for a little while, they may get a great deal: or who knows how much they may lose by being out of the way? an hour in their work is more to them than the best Sermon in the world.'
And there are many who refuse to 'part with some favourite iniquity for Christ. They will consent to part with a great deal ;--they will engage never more to be guilty of any act of intemperance, uncleanness, or injustice ;—but to sell all that they have : to deny themselves, and take up their cross— it is a hard saying: I pray thee have me excused.' How justly might Christ upbraid them, as he did some of old : “ So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver : and the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter : a goodly price that I was prized at by them !” (Zech. xi. 12.) If he that loveth son or daughter more than Christ is not worthy of him, what can they expect, but present contempt and final rejection, who love their ease and their corruptions better?
2. What reason have we all to be humbled, that our preference of Christ and his love has been ing more visible and uniform ! " It was 'a complaint made long ago,
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their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." (Phil. ii. 21.) And there is little reason to think that the world is mended-at least, we, from whom it might be expected, have little to boast of. Christ will not endure a rival: he will have “all the heart, and all the, soul, and all the mind, and all the strength,” or he will accept of nothing.
" Lovest thou me more than these ?” is a question he puts to every one that offers to become his disciple. Our love should be not only sincere in kind, but superlative in degree: what cause have we then for shame and humiliatio:), that the love of Christ has no more the pre-eminence in our hearts and lives ; that, when all ought to stoop to him, he should be so.often put off with the world's leavings ! He requires all, he deserves all, and we have many times covenanted to give him all; why should we therefore withhold from him what is so indisputably his due ?
Consider, Christians, how he preferred you above all. He preferred you before the fallen angels : though they were beings of a higher order than you, though they had been honoured with a seat in heaven, though they were once part of the celestial choir who serve him day and night in his temple, yet he chose to save you rather than them ; .“ for he took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of A braham.” He left them “ reserved in chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day,” that he might. come to proclaim “peace on earth, and good-will towards men.” And is there nothing due for this?
Further: He preferred you before multitudes of the same nature. It was a great question which one of the disciples put; “ Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to ụs, and not unto the world?".
(John xiv. 22.) How indeed !-and why?". all we, like sheep, had gone astray ;" “ all flesh had corrupted their ways;" all were involved in the common guilt; all lay under the common curse ; all were sentenced to the common destruction : and when sovereign Grace singled out some, and set a mark upon them, that the destroying angel might pass them over, why were you among the happy few ? Others might have been taken and you left; but he preferred you above millions who had as much to recommend them to this favourable distinction as you. And is there nothing due for this?
Further still: He preferred you before the mani. festation of his glory as God. “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The “ glory which he had before the world began” was beyond all imagination ; and he might have kept it for ever; he might to this day have continued the object of angelic admiration and praise, without a moment's intermission : but he preferred you above it. Love to you induced him to lay aside his divine glory, and leave the bosom of his Father for a stable and a manger ! to leave fulness of joy and perfect pleasure, to become “ a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief!" -to leave the acclamations of angels, for the reproaches and slanders of men !-to leave the dignity belonging to him as the Son of God, for the disgraceful form of a servant! It was his preference of you that brought him down to earth. And is this also to be slighted ? : Once more, then : He preferred you before his precious life as man. After he had made his appearance in our in hospitable world, and the kings
of the earth had set themselves, and the rulers were taking counsel together, against the Lord's Anointed, he could easily have escaped their füry. He did so, when he knew that his hour was not come'; and he might have done it again. He shewed what he could do, when they came to apprehend him: he could have looked them all dead in an instant beyond recovery. And even after they had fastened him to the cross, he could-more easily than Samson brake the cords with which the Philistines had bound him he could have loosened the nails from his hands and feet; or he could have prayed the Father, and legions of angels would have flown to his rescue.-But he preferred you above deliverance. He knew it was more expedient for you that he should die; because “ without shedding of blood” there could be “no remission :" and therefore, though the cup was bitter, and the near approach of his sufferings threw him into an agony, in which he sweat, as it were great drops of blood, and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful and sore amazed--yet he would not give over the generous undertaking. “Having loved his own, he would love them unto the end :" and gave the most indisputable proof of his preference of you, by showing you that “his love was stronger than death."
Thus, Christians, has he preferred you above all : above fallen angels, above multitudes of your
fellow-men and fellow-sinners, above the manifestation of his glory as God, and above his precious life as man. Aud will not this love constrain you ? It must---it does !---Your hearts begin to burn; your love begins to flame; your indignation against the
world, the flesh, and all those lusts which have been too successful rivals of Christ in your affections, begins to kindle! Seize the favourable moment; and, while your souls are glowing with divine love and zeal, let us hasten to an ordinance where we shall see Jesus Christ evidently set forth as crucified before our eyes. And while we are refreshing our memories with the surprising expressions of his love to us, let us be eager to give some new proof of our love to him; and convince all the world, that we love not in word only, but in deed and in truth.