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presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his
1. All authority has been committed unto Jesus ; and we are commanded, under penalty of everlasting misery, to submit to his government, and take him as our king. But, alas! how many, whose conduct cries, “ We will not have him to reign over us!": How
many, who neglect his laws, and bow not to his sceptre! In the final day he shall be glorified as your king ; then he shall be exhibited as your sovereign. “ We shall all stand,” says the apostle, “ before the judgment-seat of Christ; for it is written, every knee shall bow to me.” Though you now treat him as though he were possessed of no dignity, you shall then confess his awful majesty. Though the works of his hands, calling you to adore your Maker, are now unheeded; yet the ruins of the world shall then declare to you his power, and the eternal night resting on the globe, shall have a voice that will reach your heart. Though you will not bow to him, when from the tombs opening around you, he teaches you the vanity of earthly things, and the necessity of securing his protection, yet you shall feel this necessity when the tomb of the whole world shall address you; when, with respect to the earth itself, “ the place which now knows it, shall know it no more.” Though you now refuse to listen to the voice of his mercy, yet you shall then be constrained to tremble at the voice of his indignation. Though you now refuse to acknowledge him; then, if you can, refuse to confess him to be the great God. Though you now hope for impunity from the number who, like you, disregard him, yet with what awful despair will these hopes be succeeded, when you shall see all the impenitent, pale and shuddering,
before the throne of his glory, and appearing weak and powerless before the Infinite, the Almighty ! Great Redeemer! how will thy power be glorified in that day, when all human might shall wither! when sinners shall be crushed by that sceptre to which they now refuse to yield! when the idols which they substitute in thy place, and to which they give the throne of their hearts, shall be consumed, and the everlasting destinies of all decided by thee!
2. Will not his faithfulness and truth be glorified when he shall fulfil, not only every promise made to his children, but also every threatening to his enemies : when they shall find that every tittle of his declarations is everlasting truth, and shall be accomplished, though the heavens and the earth have passed away? that those awful denunciations, at which perhaps they mocked; that damnation, which perhaps they profanely imprecated upon themselves or others, are strictly awarded, according to the decisions of the gospel ? Ah! then be unbelieving; then sit in the seat of the scorner; then expect salvation, in opposition to the declarations of your Judge; then laugh at the threatenings of Jesus, and suppose that he will falsify his holy word, rather than condemn you—if you can.
3. How will the holiness of Jesus then be glorified ? It will shine not only in the purity of heaven, and of those happy souls who shall be admitted into his joy; not only in his own person and that of the angelical attendants who shall accompany him to judgment: it shall also blaze in the flames of the abyss! it shall be displayed in the tremendous sentence pronounced upon the unbelieving ! it shall be attested by that cry which shall be extorted from the agonized con
sciences of the ungodly themselves, “ Who can stand before this holy Lord God ?”
4. How will the omniscience of Jesus then be glorifiedj! Though your crimes are hidden in darkness; though you say with those wicked men of old, “ God doth not see, neither doth the Most High consider;" though you deceive yourselves or deceive others; yet then it will be seen that a true estimate of your character was formed by Him who cannot be deceived; that he saw every criminal desire and passion ; that he recorded every iniquity; that he read the bottom of your soul!
Yes, my brethren, the Saviour will then be glorified, even in the ungodly. If his grace be now refused, it will then be avenged; if the glories of his person be now contemned, they shall then dazzle and confound the ungodly; if his children now be despised, they shall then be beheld with envy,
EXAMPLE OF CHRIST.
JOHN xiii. 15.
I have given you an example.
Among those rules for his daily conduct, which the pious, though visionary Lavater, suspended in his study, and seriously read every night and morning, the following is far from being the least important : “ I will not do nor design any thing which I would omit, if Jesus Christ were standing visibly before me, or which I suppose he would not perform, if he were in my situation. I will, with the assistance of God, accustom myself to do every thing in the name of Jesus Christ; and as his disciple, to sigh every hour to God for the blessing of the Holy Ghost, and be always disposed to prayer.” Happy the believer
. who acts in this manner! He performs his duty, and he secures his felicity; he takes Christ as his model, and enjoys that peace which must always · result from a compliance with his commands.
This interesting subject : the imitation of Jesus, I have chosen as the ground of our present meditation. We are naturally led to it by the text, which, though
primarily referring to one single affection, the humility of the heart, as expressed in a particular action, yet contains 'a general maxim, suited to all periods of the Christian life.
That it is our duty to imitate the example of the Redeemer, is easily proved.
1. For what reason was the history of his life written ? Not that it might gratify an idle curiosity; not that it might amuse us by its wonderful events, and produce a barren admiration; not that it might afford scenes on which we might carelessly gaze, and subjects on which we might coldly converse.
Ah no! for far more important designs were the sacred evangelists inspired. They recorded the actions and the words of Jesus, that a living, lustrous, obligatory rule of conduct ; that a visible commentary on God's law might be presented for our imitation; that a light, unerring as the pillar of fire and cloud that led the Israelites, might be given to us to conduct us through this wilderness to the promised land, the Jerusalem that is on high. Let us not, by neglecting this example, frustrate, as far as in us lies, these gracious designs of our heavenly Father.
2. In your scriptures you are constantly and unequivocally commanded to imitate the Redeemer. “Learn of me,” is the injunction of the Saviour himself; and he declares that it is the universal duty of his disciples, “ If any man serve me, let him follow me.” “ Let the same mind be in you which was in Christ," is the admonition of Paul, (Phil. ii. 5.) 6 He that saith he abideth in Christ, ought himself also so to walk as Christ also walked," is the declaration of John, (1 John ii. 6.) The scriptures not only teach us in general terms the necessity of cultivating a resemblance to our Redeemer, and assure us that with