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النشر الإلكتروني

SERMON XL.

EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST.

ON THE BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED FROM A

FREQUENT MEDITATION ON DEATH.

Give an account of thy stewardship, for now

thou canst be steward no longer. (Luke, xvi. 2.

The Gospel which you have heard is fruitful in instruction, and is well calculated to draw the affections of the believing Christian from the things of this world, to the joys, the interests, the glories of eternity, and at the same time to free him from the deplorable servitude of sin, the source of every real calamity, both here and hereafter.

Amongst other subjects is presented to our meditation the conduct of an unjust steward, who, by a cautious, though criminal prudence, provided against the day of calamity. The goods of the earth, as they are called, are indeed employed more frequently and more industriously to the purpose of establishing terrestrial, than eternal prosperity. We are all stewards of the supreme Lord of all things, and we are

no more.

We are each of us entrusted with the administration of his property, in the different situations of life in which he has pleased to place us; each has his respective duties to fulfil, and each is provided with proportionate means and abilities. Nor is it to be imagined that our conduct escapes his notice, and that nothing of any importance beyond the present shifting scene of life depends upon it. Oh! it is when the shew of this too delusive world has passed away that another world will open to our astonished view—another, and a far more important world, and according to our behaviour in this present state of existence, shall our doom of everlasting happiness or misery be decided for ever. It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, judgement. (Heb. ix. 27.) In the end of a man is the disclosing of his works. (Eccles. xi. 29.) God shall judge both the just and the wicked. (ib. iii. 7.) and all things that are done God will bring into judgement (ib. xii. 14.) Both in the beginning and end of the ecclesiastical year, the church calls to our remembrance the great and general judgement of the world, and frequently proposes to our consideration the end

of man, that we may not forget the momentous concerns of futurity, in the subordinate pretensions of present existence; but may ever direct our views and exertions towards that life which will never have an end--a life of eternal bliss or interminable wretchedness. I mean to induce you to a frequent meditation upon this subject, which is often banished from men's minds, as too terrible and discouraging to be dwelt on, by shewing you that it is a subject of meditation, most beneficial in its effects, and then I shall briefly point out to you the means by which you may prepare yourselves against that day, when it shall be said to each of yougive an account,&c.

The meditation upon the account which we shall have one day to give to God, of the manner in which we have spent our lives, must necessarily fill the soul with dread, when it is considered that by sin we have offended a God, who abhors iniquity, and if unrepented of, will punish it with strict justice. Brought to the bar of God's justice, without friend or assistance, the poor soul will be placed before the sovereign judge; and oh! what hidden sins will be then disclosed !-what multitudes of crimes, which had been committed and long forgotten, will be recalled to recollection !-what treasures of iniquity shall then come to light! Sin will then be seen in its true colours : the veil shall be crowned in heaven, who conquereth here on earth; and that the rewards of the victorious are immense and incomprehensible, the sight of God's stupendous majesty, and the secure possession of him for ever and ever.

SERMON XL.

EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST.

ON THE BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED FROM A

FREQUENT MEDITATION ON DEATH.

Give an account of thy stewardship, for now

thou canst be steward no longer. (Luke, xvi. 2.

The Gospel which you have heard is fruitful in instruction, and is well calculated to draw the affections of the believing Christian from the things of this world, to the joys, the interests, the glories of eternity, and at the same time to free him from the deplorable servitude of sin, the source of every real calamity, both here and hereafter.

Amongst other subjects is presented to our meditation the conduct of an unjust steward, who, by a cautious, though criminal prudence, provided against the day of calamity. The goods of the earth, as they are called, are indeed employed more frequently and more industri

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