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dispositions of the soul which no powers of language are capable of expressing. The apostles tenderly loved their master. Though the history of their life had not conveyed to us this idea of them; though the gospel had not traced, for our information, certain particular traits of their affection; had nothing been mentioned of the tenderness of the disciple whom Jesus loved, nothing of the vehemence of St. Peter, always ready to kindle into a flame when the glory and the life of his master were concerned, the very nature of the thing would be sufficient to give us the assurance of it. Who could have known Jesus Christ without loving him?

Is it possible to conceive the idea of a character more amiable? Have you found in the history of those excellent ones, who were the delight of mankind; or even in the productions of those who have communicated to us imaginary ideas of excellency and perfection, have you found in these higher instances of delicacy, of magnanimity, of cordial affection? If it be impossible for you to apply your thoughts to this great object without being transported, what must have been the feelings of the disciples? Continual hearers of the gracious words which fell from the lips of the blessed Jesus, the constant witnesses of his virtues, the spectators of his wonderful works, admitted to the most intimate familiarity with him, and honoured with the most unbounded confidence, what must have been the love to him which inflamed their hearts? Now this is the gracious Master, this the delicious intercourse, this the tender-hearted friend whom they are going to lose.

participated in their sorrow. As the loss, which they were about to sustain, was the deepest wound in their soul, he pours into it the most powerful balm of divine consolation. And here, my dearly beloved brethren, here it is that I stand in need of, not all the attention of your intellectual powers, but of all the sensibility of which your heart is susceptible, that while you partake in the sorrow of the apostles, you may likewise partake with them in the consolation which their Lord and ours was pleased to administer.

I shall sometimes turn aside from those holy men, my dear hearers, to address myself to you, and to supply you with abundant consolation, under the most oppressive ills which you may be called to endure on the earth; I mean under the loss of those who were most dear to you in life. I could wish to convince you, that the Christian religion is "profitable for all things:" that it will serve us as a bulwark and a refuge in our greatest sorrows, if we have but the wisdom to resort to it. Only take care to apply, every one to his own particular situation, the truth which I am going to propose to you. Derive your consolations from the same sources which Jesus Christ opened to his disciples, and to a participation of which we now, after his example, cordially invite you: prayer, the mission of the Comforter, the place to which your Redeemer is gone, the foretastes of the glory which he is there preparing for you, his spiritual presence in the midst of you, and the certainty and nearness of his return.

1. In all your distresses have recourse to prayer. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father, in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name: ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full," chap. xvi. 23, 24. This ought to be adopted as a new form of prayer in the Christian world. Scarcely do we find any trace of it in the devotions of the faith

introduce the names of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; but nowhere, except in the prophecy of Daniel, do we find a prayer put up in the name of the Messiah. This at least is the sense which may be assigned to those words of that prophet: "Now, therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplication, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary, that is desolate, for the Lord's sake," Dan. ix. 17.

What charm can the world possess after we have had the infelicity of surviving certain persons who were dear to us? No, neither the mourning of Joseph, when he accompanied with tears to "the threshing floor of Atad" the coffin of Jacob his father, Gen. i. 10; no, nor the loud lamentation of David, when he ex-ful of ancient times. They indeed sometimes claimed, in an agony of wo, "O my son Absalom; my son, my son Absalom, would God I had died for thee: O Absalom, my son, my son!" 2 Sam. xviii. 33; no, nor the anguish of Rachel "weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted because they are not," Matt. ii. 18. No, nothing is capable of conveying an idea of the condition to which the disciples were going to be reduced on beholding their Master expire. One must have survived Jesus Christ in order to be sensible what it is to survive Jesus Christ. This fatal stroke was to become to them an inexhaustible fountain of tears. This death appeared to them the utter annihilation of all things: it seemed as if the whole universe were dying together with him. "Now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? but because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your hearts," chap. xvi. 5, 6. "A little while and ye shall not see me,' ver. 16. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful," ver. 20.

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There can be no room to doubt that Jesus Christ, who himself loves with so much delicacy of affection, and who was animated with such a predilection in behalf of his disciples, tenderly

But this unexampled form, or of which there is at most so few examples in the ancient church, was to be henceforward adopted by all Christians: it is the first source of consolation which Christ opened to his disciples, and it is likewise the first which we, after him, would propose to you. Perhaps there may be many among us to whom Jesus might still say, as formerly to his disciples, "hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name." To pray, and to pray in the name of Christ, is the Christian's grand resource. Resort to it in all your tribulations. Have you reason to apprehend that some stroke from the hand of God is going to fall heavy upon you? Do you believe yourself on the eve of hearing some melancholy tidings? Are you called to undergo some painful and dangerous operation on your person? And, to say every thing in one word, are you threatened

Again, "he shall reprove them of righteousness, because I go to my Father," ver. 10, that is, the miraculous gifts communicated to the first heralds of the gospel should demonstrate, in a sensible manner, that Jesus Christ was in heaven, and should, from that very circumstance, evince that he was perfectly righteous, although he had been condemned as an impostor, seeing God had thus exalted him to the highest pinnacle of glory.

with the loss of the most valuable, the most | and should render those persons inexcusable generous, the most tender friend that Heaven who presumed to call it in question. could bestow? Have recourse to prayer: God still subsists when all things else have become Idead to thee. God continues to hear thee, when death has reduced to a state of insensibility all that was dear to thee. Retire to thy closet; prostrate thyself at the footstool of the throne of the Father of mercies. Pour out your heart into his bosom: say to him, "O Lord, my strength, teach my hands to war, and my fingers to fight," Ps. cxliv. 1. Lord, take pity on thy creature; Lord, proportion my trials to the strength thou shalt be pleased to administer to sustain them; "O my God, hear the prayer of thy servant; cause thy face to shine upon me, for the Lord's sake," Dan. ix. 17. This exercise, my friend, will render thee invulnerable: this exercise will communicate strength on which thou mayest, with confidence, rely, far beyond what thou durst have expected: it will place thee under the shadow of the Almighty, and will establish thee "as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever," Ps. CXXV. 1.

Once more, "he shall reprove them of judg ment, because the prince of this world is judg ed," ver. 11; in other words, that the triumphs which the Christian religion was about to obtain, through the miraculous endowments of its ministers, were to be an awful forerunner of the judgments which should overtake those who persisted in their unbelief. All this is peculiar to the apostles; all this relates to the circumstances of the primitive church.

ture, and to rule the elements; but he will exalt us to a glorious superiority over flesh and blood; he will support us under every pressure of calamity, and make us more than conquerors" over every foe.


But this promise, my beloved brethren, has a reference to us also; and let it be our support in the midst of tribulation. Jesus Christ has pro2. In all your distresses call to remembrance mised to us also, the Comforter. His Spirit is the promise of the Comforter, which Jesus within us: "Greater is he that is in us, than he Christ gave to his disciples: "I will pray the that is in the world," 1 John iv. 4. Let us Father, and he shall give you another Com- yield ourselves to the guidance of this Spirit: forter; that he may abide with you for ever," he will not grant us to exercise authority over chap. xiv. 16. This promise contained some-insensible beings, to control the powers of nathing peculiar, relatively to the apostles, and to the then state of the infant church. It denoted the economy of miracles, which was not to commence till Jesus Christ had reascended into heaven; and this is precisely the meaning of these words: "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you," chap. xvi. 7; it is likewise the meaning to be assigned to that passage, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father," chap. xiv. By the works which the apostles were to do, we are to understand miracles. Those works were to be greater than the works of Jesus Christ, with respect to their duration, and with respect to the number of witnesses in whose presence they were to be performed.

This is, farther, the idea which we are to affix to those other words of our Saviour: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth," chap. xvi. 12, 13. This refers to those extraordinary gifts which the Holy Spirit was to pour down upon the apostles, the aid of inspiration, and the grace of infallibility, which were going to be communicated to them. It is likewise of these peculiar circumstances, that we must explain the effects which Jesus Christ ascribes to that Spirit whom he promises to send to his disciples: "And when he the Comforter is come, he will reprove the world of sin, because they believe not on me," chap. xvi. 8, 9; or, as it might have been translated, "he shall convince them of their criminality in refusing to believe on me:" in other words, that the mission of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus Christ had promised to his disciples, should be a new proof of the divinity of his own mission, VOL. II.-20

3. In all your distresses, call to remembrance the place to which Jesus Christ is gone. "If ye love me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father," chap. xiv. 28. It is the desire of Jesus Christ, that his disciples, on being separated from him, should not confine their thoughts to their own interest merely. It is his wish, that the glory to which he was about to be exalted, should sweeten to them the bitterness of separation. Jesus Christ teaches us how to love. We frequently imagine, that we are inspired with love to a person excruciated with agonizing pains, whereas it is only selflove in disguise. When death has removed a person, who was justly dear to us, we dwell only on the loss which we have sustained, but make no account of what our friend has gained. Whence proceed those tears which stream from your eyes? Whence these sighs and sobbings? What dreadful event can thus have rent your heart, and excited those piercing shrieks which rend the air? You have just beheld one who was the object of your tenderest affection depart out of this valley of tears; he has breathed out his soul into the hands of his Creator, and the blessed "angels, who rejoice over a sinner that repenteth," Luke xv. 10, experience new transports of delight, when a believer who had been combating under the banner of the cross of Christ, comes to be admitted to a participation in his triumph: and can you consider this as a ground of affliction to you? Do you call this love? No, you know not how to love.

Ah! if the departed could see what is passing below the sun! if the supreme order of the Al

mighty would permit those who are in heaven to maintain a communication with their surviving friends on the earth! the person, whose loss you so bitterly deplore, would reproach you with that excess of grief. He would address you in the words of the Saviour to his disciples: "If you loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father, for the Father is greater than I." Would you tear me from the bosom of that Father? Would you recall me to this scene of tribulation and distress? Do you wish to see me again struggling with the calamities which are inseparable from the life of wretched mortals?

But there is something farther which challenges our attention. All that our blessed Lord has done for himself, has an intimate relation to us. All the glory which rests on our illustrious head extends its influence to each of its members. All the parts of the economy into which he has entered for our salvation, have a direct reference to our salvation. "He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification: He is even at the right hand of God, where he also maketh intercession for us," Rom. iv. 25; viii. 34. In all your distresses, reflect not only on the place to which Christ is gone, but likewise on what he has thither gone to do, on your behalf. "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you," chap. xiv. 2. God no longer dwells in "light which no man can approach unto," 1 Tim. vi. 16. Direct your eyes to heaven. There are no longer "cherubim, and a flaming sword," Gen. iii. 24, to obstruct your passage. "Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know:". . . . "Jesus Christ is the way, and the truth, and the life," chap. xiv. 4. 6. Keep but yourselves closely united to the Redeemer in the hour of tribulation; place continually before your eyes this model of patient suffering, and he will himself conduct you to those mansions of glory.


I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give
I unto you," chap. xiv. 7. 9. 27.

My soul, if these are mere empty ideas with respect to thee, to thyself alone is the evil to be imputed. Thou hast corrupted thy taste: thou art plunging thyself in the world; distracting thyself' with its projects: eagerly hunting after its pleasures: thou art suffering thyself to be fascinated with its charms: thou art devoting no portion of thy immortal capacity to the perception of that delight which the regenerated man enjoys, when he can say to himself, "I know the Father;" he is such as I know the Son to be, full of love, full of charity, full of goodness and long-suffering. Jesus Christ has left me his peace;" I bear within me the testimony of "a conscience void of offence:" I give myself up to the joy of reflecting that my salvation is secure." Thou renderest thyself insensible to these sublime attractions: and then, when the world betrays thee; when thy "gods are taken away from thee," Judg. xviii. 24; when thou art bent on every side with a "great sight of affliction," thou findest thyself destitute of every resource. Reform thy depraved taste. Call down paradise to reside within thee; anticipate that glorious period, when thou "shalt see God as he is," 1 John iii. 2. Call to remembrance these words of thy Saviour: "From henceforth ye know the father, and have seen him: he that hath seen me hath seen the father: peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."'

5. There is a fifth source of consolation

"If a

which Jesus Christ disclosed to his disciples, and which we, after him, disclose unto you: it is the assurance of his spiritual presence, and of the presence of his heavenly Father in the midst of you. "I will not leave you comfortless," or, as it might have been rendered, I I will not leave you orphans. . . man love me, he will keep my words; and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him:" chap. xiv. 18. 23. In all your distresses call to remembrance that God is with you of a truth. With what fortitude did this reflection inspire those holy men whom the Scriptures have proposed to us as models!

4. But an impenetrable veil conceals from our eyes those mansions in our Father's house: but there is an infinite distance between this little corner of the world, into which God has been pleased to send us, as into a state of exile, and the place which Christ is preparing for us. God is still, with respect to us, 'a strong God, who hideth himself," Isa. xlv. 15. Well, you must learn to look through that veil. With what fortitude was Moses animated by You must learn to fill up the mighty void it! "Wherein shall it be known here," said which is between heaven and earth, and to see of old time that eminent servant of God, "that this God who still conceals himself from our I and thy people have found grace in thy eyes. "Faith is the substance of things hoped sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? for, and the evidence of things not seen," So shall we be separated, I and thy people, Heb. xi. 1. The Christian is instructed to from all the people that are upon the face of unite the present to futurity. The Christian is the earth:" Ex. xxiii. 16. With what fortiinstructed to anticipate periods the most re- tude did it animate the prophet, when he said, mote. The Christian is a man already "quick-"When my father and my mother forsake me, ened together with Christ; already glorified; already seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus," Eph. ii. 5. How so? By the foretastes of those blessings which are the object of his expectations. This is the fourth source of the consolation which our Lord opens to his disciples, and which we, after him, open to you. "From henceforth ye know the father, and have seen him: he that hath seen me hath seen the Father: peace I leave with you; my peace


then the Lord will take me up!" Ps. xxxvii. 10.
With what fortitude did it inspire Jesus Christ
himself, under that universal desertion which
he experienced at the hour of death?
hold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that
ye shall be scattered every man to his own,
and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not
alone, because the Father is with me," chap.
xvi. 32.

Let us never lose sight of God in the day of

adversity. Let us ever dwell with complacen- of the fulness of joy. Till that blessed period, cy and joy on that expression of the Redeemer, church of Jesus Christ, "thou afflicted, tossed "I will not leave you orphans." Let us ap- with tempest, and not comforted," Isa. liv. 2, ply to ourselves what God said of his ancient a fearful night must involve thee in thick darkpeople: "Surely they are my people, children ness. Till that blessed period, weep; weep, that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In dejected Christian, disciple of the crucified Jeall their affliction he was afflicted, and the an- sus, weep and lament, and let "the world regel of his presence saved them," Isa. Ixiii. 8, 9; joice because ye are sorrowful," but ere long, and let us exult in the fulness of a Christian" your sorrow shall be turned into joy.... confidence: "I have set the Lord always be- I will see you again, and your heart shall refore me: because he is at my right hand, I joice, and your joy no man taketh from you." shall not be moved," Ps. xvi. 8.

6. Finally, the last source of consolation which Jesus Christ disclosed to his disciples, and which we, after his example, would disclose unto you, is the nearness of his return: "Ye now have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you," chap. xvi. 22. In all your distresses call to remembrance, that if Jesus Christ be not now sensibly present in the midst of you, the time is at hand when he will certainly be so. Call to remembrance what the angels said unto the apostles, when lost in astonishment at beholding a cloud receive him out of their sight; "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven," Acts i. 11. Call to remembrance that Jesus Christ will quickly reappear; Yet a little while, and he who shall come, will come, and will not tarry," Heb. x. 37.


No, this economy is not made for eternity. The world is waxing old; our years are hastening to fill up their measure: we are advancing with rapid strides towards the tomb. The decorations of the universe are speedily to be changed with respect to us. The universe itself is about to undergo a real change. The state of the world, that now is, presents a state of violence, which cannot be of long duration. The last trumpet must ere long utter its voice: yet a little while, and those thunders must be heard which shall shake the pillars of the earth: "arise ye dead," and leave your tombs. Yet a little while, and we shall see again those whose death hath cost us so many tears, and we shall be reunited to them. Yet a little while, and "the sign of the Son of man shall appear in heaven," Matt. xxiv. 30. Yet a little while, and this Son of man shall himself appear in his own, and in his "Father's glory, with all his holy angels."

Ah! my brethren, till that blessed period arrive, we dare not promise you the possession

What powers of thought are equal to a happy termination of this subject of meditation! What pencil is capable of depicting the joys of the sons of God, in that eventful day, in which they shall behold again, in which they shall embrace, a father, a friend, a child, from whom death had once separated them! Let imagination soar to the highest object which the mind is capable of contemplating. Let nothing divide the love which we entirely owe to our adorable Redeemer, or damp the delight which we derive from the exalted hope of seeing him return to us in the clouds of heaven, with his "angels that excel in strength."

Who is capable of representing the transport which the return of this Jesus shall kindle in the bosoms of the faithful! There he is, that Jesus in whom we believed: this is he, that Jesus whom we loved, and to whom we were "faithful even unto death." Come, Redeemer of our souls, come and wipe away the tears which thy departure drew from our eyes: come, and compensate to us the heaviness of so long a separation from thee; come and receive the effusions of our gratitude and joy: suffer us, suffer us to yield to the transports of that love which absorbs every faculty, which constrains us, which exalts us to seraphic ardour.

This is the last source of consolation which Jesus Christ disclosed to his disciples; this is that consolation which flows out in copious streams towards you, Christian, confounded, overwhelmed with wave upon wave, in all thy fears, thy sorrows, thy sufferings. O religion of the blessed Jesus, how powerful are thy attractions! What charms dost thou possess for a wretched creature who feels the whole earth a cheerless void: let this religion, my beloved brethren, be the object of our most ardent affection. Let us go on unto perfection: let us transmit it to our children, as the good liest portion, as the fairest inheritance: let us live with Jesus Christ: let us die with Jesus Christ. May God grant us this supreme felicity. To him be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.



JOHN xvii.

hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thoa hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

THE words of dying persons usually sink deep into the listening ear, and touch the inmost soul. Ah! why are not the impressions which they produce as lasting as they are lively! The words of a dying pastor, more especially, seem calculated to produce an extraordinary effect.

At these last solemn moments of life, every motive of self-interest, or of vain-glory, by which he might have been actuated through the course of his ministry, vanishes away. Then it is that a faithful minister derives from the bosom of that religion which he has taught to others, the means of fortifying himself against the idea of a futurity all gloom, if a man has mere human reason for his only guide, but all light and joy to him who follows the spirit of revelation. Then it is that he feels a more particular concern and tenderness for the church, and that now, himself lifted up, he would draw all men after him.

When it is a pastor of the ordinary rate that

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known, that all things, whatsoever thou hast given me, are of thee: For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have re-expires, no other consequence can be deduced ceived them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them my word: and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world

from his perseverance to the last but this, that he had preached what he believed to be the truth, not what was so in fact. And it is possible he may deceive himself when he is dying, as he pretended not to infallibility while he lived. But the death of those extraordinary men, who have established, by their testimony, the facts on which all religion rests, is the touchstone of the doctrines which they taught. As it was impossible they should have been deceived in the points which they attest, there can remain no other suspicion to affect their testimony, but this, that it was their intention to impose upon others: and this suspicion falls to the ground, when we behold them, without deviation, persisting to the end in the faith which they professed, attesting it by new appeals to heaven, calling God to witness their sincerity, and their innocence.

All these different considerations unite in the person of Jesus Christ: all these motives to attention, and in an order infinitely superior, fix our meditation on the words which have been read. Come and behold the sentiments of your Saviour unfolded, without disguise: come and behold the most lofty display of the human soul that ever was exhibited: come and behold whether he, for one moment, doubted, whether he shrunk back: above all, come and behold the charity by which he was animated. Charity formed the plan of the sacrifice which he should offer, and charity is hastening to accomplish it.

Every thought of this dying Jesus is employed on his disciples: is employed about you, my beloved brethren. "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me. I pray for them. I pray for those whom thou hast given me: keep them through thine own name. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word."

Such are the objects, my friends, which I would this day present to your contemplation. I put aside all the theological controversies which have taken their rise from the passage

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