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in your gloomy doubts and fears were it is made a day of bodily labour you directed to a Saviour ? When were where the shop is opened—where you relieved from the terrors of the law the ledger is consulted—where the by the grace of the Gospel? When principle of money-getting is employwas the first bursting asunder of the ing any of its means for the increase chains so that you walked in liberty of our worldly state-or where even When was the oil and the wine of the the sustenance of the body is to be good Samaritan poured in into your toiled for in those hours which are wounds? Was it not on the Lord's day? emphatically the Lord's. There is a When did the promises of the Gospel striking instance of the strictness of open before you in all their sweetness Jewish sabbatical observance in the and power? Was it not at the hand of words about my text, where you will see some Christian minister upon the upon the gathering of a smallroundthing LORD's day? When was your com- (I quote from Scripture) which lay as munion with God the most abstracted small as the hoar frost upon
the from the world, at its greatest and ground—the bread which the Lord had highest? Was it not on the Lord's given Israel to eat—when they swerved day? When was it that your blessed from the directions of Moses, and dressRedeemer revealed himself most to ed it on the sabbath, the nutriment you, as not unto the world, and the was turned, as it were, into poison, Holy Ghost seemed to shadow you bred worms and stank; whereas, when with his larger influences ? Was it not, they dressed it on the sixth day it reI will ask you, when you drew near mained over the sabbath fresh and good. the table and partook, in faith and in So jealous was the Lord of the depenitence and in prayer, of the broken votion of the sabbath day then—and bread and of the sacred wine in re- can he be less so now? The question membrance of the death and of the addresses your reason. passion of Christ upon the LORD's Again, this day is not kept as a sahday. Yes, I am sure, that many here, bath unto the LORD, where you pursue (Oh, would to God there were many your own notions of ease and of pleamore !) I am sure that many here, sure instead of yielding yourselves unwill confess, that they have been most reservedly to God's service—where elevated in religious exercises-that the doors of his temple are left standthey have enjoyed their richest of con- ing open, and you are wanderers solations—that they have been less of in the fields or indulging yourselves, the earth, earthy, and more of heaven, perhaps, in the latter part of the day, heavenly, upon the LORD's day. I say, during the afternoon service, indulgthat the testimony, the witness is in ing yourselves in the chair of slothful your own hearts as to the peculiar ease at-home, or extending unnecesmanifestation of the grace of God upon sarily, some of you, the pleasures of this day. I have thus, very feebly the table. And you who absent touched on some of the more promi. yourselves from our afternoon service, I nent reasons for keeping this day as have often thought, that if during those a sabbath to the LORD, I must leave sacred hours your houses were unroofed it to your own meditations to supply or your apartments made of glass, and others.
you could be seen of man, as you are THIRDLY, AND
BRIEFLY, seen of God, what a melancholy pic
ture would be presented of the incon. SABBATH UNTO THE LORD? It is not sistency of your conduct with the kept as a sabbath to the LORD where prayers that you had prayed, and the
WHERE IS THIS DAY NOT KEPT AS A
vows that you had uttered in the of God and of his Christ; I say, that morning service. It is my duty to bring these things, among many others that these things home to you; but I must might be mentioned, make me pause leave them to a more powerful preacher with fear and with trembling amid the than myself, and that preacher is con- awful sweep of the retributive justice science-how speaks conscience now? of God.
But turning from you for a moment But for a moment I would turn to to the nation. I have an awful forboding the violations of the sabbath in this of the divine judgments that follow district. These are many and they national sins. I remember the con- are flagrant. We have more newsvenduct of God of old in this matter, and ders than ever-and while I know no there can be no doubt but that his man from the pulpit, but speak genermoral government is upon one and the ally, I would ask, are there not some same law. I know not of any curse here present who give during this day a upon the land that seems to me so far greater attention to the records of big and so ready to burst as the politics and of accident than they do to curse upon the national neglect of their Bibles; who shut their prayer the sabbath. The poor and the rich books—who have shut them this mornare alike involved here. It is to ing service-to go home and cut the me an awful thing as a Christian mi.
neswpapers, which are now lying wet nister, labouring in the vineyard of upon their tables ? Again, it has fallen Christ, it is an awful thing to reflect under my notice, the half closed shops that upon this holy day, some forty which are so inviting to the young and thousand of newspapers are sending the thoughtless; in our neighbourhood, their baleful and their demoralizing and within a quarter of a mile from principles through the land—and that this church, there has been to-day, the vehicles of profit and of plea- and there is every Sunday, there has sure, the stages and the steam-boats been a perfect fair held, a thronged are increased within a few years an fair, all trades being carried on with hundred fold—and that shops, parti- the utmost impunity; and though we cularly in the suburbs of London, are bring the matter before the magistrates, opened with a more shameful effrontery yet after crossing us witb vexatious than ever-and that the labouring proceedings, they at last pay the classes in a great degree waste the fine and laugh in the magistrate's face. day in laziness at-home, or spend their I say, I know this to be a fact, and I time, in far greater numbers, at the have made several humble efforts to retavern and the tea-gardens—and that move the evil, but I have hitherto many of the rich devote a part of been unable, and I do, therefore, earthe day to the returning of calls, to the nestly call upon some of you to come receiving of visits, and to an unueces- forward and assist me, and I invite sary employment of cattle and en- such as are able to meet me at the gagement of servants, to the frivolities Commissioners' rooms on Tuesday of conversation and the vanities of dress, evening next, that we may devise some and to the public promenade closing plan to check the torrent that is flowthe evening with wine and music. And ing in amongst us. Other parishes that neglected by magistrates and rulers have been doing much in this way, there are meetings held, and places and it were a shame in me as a Chrisopened for the utterance of the most tian minister desiring the spiritual im. profane mockeries of the revealed provement of this neighbourhood, that word, of the most awful blasphemies I should remain idle. I trust, therefore, that this appeal to your assistance will, that while God of his infinite grace asbe met, and that you will come for- sists him in keeping it as a sabbath to ward and make my wishes effectual. the Lord, he may use all laudable and
I add no more but an earnest call Christian means to excite others to upon you, that each man betake him- its like observance-to the blessing of self to prayer, for a more unreserved the community, to the increase of the dedication of himself to the general church of Christ, and to the glory of and peculiar duties of this day, and God.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. J. A. JAMES,
Matt. xxv. 34.-" Then shall the King say unto them on his right-hand, come ye
blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
In the preceding chapter our Lord had, bar all that have ever lived on the forewarned his disciples of the coming face of the earth—a scene of unimadestruction of Jerusalem; then, after gined importance, and most august sothe manner of the antient prophets he lemnity! The books shall be opened, rises from a subject of a temporal na
the book of God's rememberance, the ture, and of passing interest, to one of book of conscience, and the book of a more general bearing, and of more Scripture, and we shall be tried out of transcendent importance, and employs the books. Witnesses shall be adthe description, which he gave of the duced, character shall be substantiated, vengeance that was to come upon the a separation shall be made between the devoted city, as a type of the still righteous and the wicked, and the greater terrors which are to be mani- final sentence of all men shall be profested at the last day.
nounced. Let me to-night direct your There can be no doubt that the text attention to the sentence that shall be and context refer to that day. “ God pronounced upon the righteous as it hath appointed a day in which he will stands recorded in the language of the judge the world in righteousness by text. In the First place I shall consider that man whom he hath ordained,” the reference which in that day shall " and we must all appear before the be made to the conductof the righteous, judgment seat of Christ, that every one and by which they shall then be may receive according to the things proved before the universe to have done in the body, whether they be rightly sustained the professions which good or bad.” The trumpet shall they made. Secondly, I shall direct sound, the dead shall be raised, the your attention to their station, and living shall be changed. The Son of Thirdly, to the sentence itself. God will come not as he came at first, FIRST, LET US CONSIDER THE REthe babe of Bethlehem, the man of FERENCE THAT WILL BE MADE TO THE sorrows and acquainted with grief, but CONDUCT OF THE RIGHTEOUS by which he shall appear as the great God and they shall be proved to have sustained our Saviour, and convene before his the professions which they have made
_" For I was an hungered,” says or multiply personal accommodations Christ, “and ye gave me meat, thirsty for him—but we have his people here and ye gave me drink, naked and ye-his poor are among us, and his sick clothed me, sick and in prison and ye members, who claim the exercise of came unto me.” Never was passage our sympathy. Now, said Christ, If of Holy Scripture more abused, be- you love me manifest your kindness to cause never was any one by many these. This is the meaning of the more misunderstood than this. It has passage, and this will be the test of been perverted into a fountain of all character at the last day-whether or kinds of error, it has been made the not we have loved Christ supremely, basis of false appeals to human and un- and have been actuated in all we did sanctified benevolence-blind leaders by this sacred, powerful, and sweet of the blind, have told their hearers, principle. The righteous, at the day and fancied that they have found of judgment, then, will be proved to warrant for their assertions in these be what they professed to be, by their words—that charity was the key which conduct towards the people of Christ; could alone open for them the king- and this will substantiate their claim dom of heaven.
as the friends and followers and lovers My brethren, if you will look into of the Saviour. the passage, you will perceive that it We go on to consider THEIR is not to the charity of a carnal un
In that day of decision, they sanctified breast, that our Saviour re- are represented as placed upon fers; it is not to the alms and deeds of right hand” of God. This does not, the world. It is to the hallowed be- of course, my hearers, as you must be nevolence, it is to Christian benefi- aware, refer to mere locality; it is of cence, that we are here directed; and little consequence, literally speaking, the grand principle that is contained whether at that day we stand on the in the words is supreme love to Jesus right hand or the left hand of Christ. Christ himself. The conduct here re- The language is figurative. You know ferred to is a right behaviour towards that the right hand, among men, is the righteous themselves, because they accounted the place of honour. An belong to Christ and bear his image. individual who makes a feast would Our Lord is represented as saying, place the most distinguished of his “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the guests at his right hand. This would least of these, because they are my be the mark by which he would be brethren—done it for my sake-ye pointed out to the company as the have done it unto me." So that the most illustrious individual at the table; test of character, at the last day, will and therefore, by the right hand of be, not simply charity to mankind at God, or the right hand of Christ, we large, but love to Christ; and that are to understand the place of honourlove itself is to be attested by our con- the place of distinction.
It is a figuduct towards those who are Christ's. rative mode of expression, to intimate If we love Christ we love his people that Christ will bestow all possible -we shall love every thing that is his. marks of honour and distinction upon He himself is no longer, personally, his people at the last day. While the upon earth-we can no longer shew wicked are sent to the left-while they acts of kindness to him—the opportu- are treated with contempt, the rightenity for this is past. Men can no longer ous shall be advanced to high honour receive him into their habitation, and and glory. spread the table or couch before him, But we come to THE SENTENCE.
And here, in the first place, I shall with honour before the assembled consider the Order of it. It must Universe. strike you that the righteous receive
And there is another thing that may their sentence first. The King will ad- be dwelt upon in reference to the order dress those on the right hand before of the sentence. It comes first to he speaks to them on his left : He will them, that their enemies, and slanderbless before He curses. As if, my ers, and persecutors, may be the specfriends, it were more accordant with tators of the honour which the King the benevolence of his nature, to bless delighted to put upon them. Aye, than to curse—as if to give emphasis and methinks that neither the thunder to the sentiment we so often repeat, of the archangel's trumpet, nor the dis“Mercy is his delight, while judgment solution of nature, nor the great white is his strange work.” Before he takes throne, nor him that sitteth upon it, up the vials of his wrath to pour their before whose voice the heavens and contents on the devoted and guilty the earth flee away and find no place, heads of the wicked, he will pour will be so appalling to the persecutors blessings on the heads of the righteous and enemies of the righteous in the before he sends the wicked to hell, he will last day as the elevation of the objects welcome the righteous to heaven, an of their scorn and contumely and idea pregnant with instruction for us cruelty. How will they be mortified now. Oh, how willing is the Saviour to and surprised to see them covered with receive and bless all that come to him ! so much glory, raised to such an Even his very manner of blessing the elevation, addressed with such lanrighteous at the last day, though he guage of distinction, and blessed with will then have no blessings for the such marks of endearment. They once wicked, seems to teach us now, how treated them as the filth and offscouring willing he is to receive and bless all of all things, whom it was almost fair, that truly come to him for salvation. if not honourable, to persecute with You will mark, that the Saviour seems, ridicule, if not with rage, but then as it were, in haste to bless his people, they shall stand the spectators of the he will not keep them waiting in sus- honour which their God delighteth to pense. This is absolutely necessary put upon them; and in listening to for the full consummation of their fe- i language like this addressed to them; licity. Were a judge upon the bench, • Come ye blessed of my Father,” their placed in circumstances in which it rage, their envy, their malice, will be was his delightful duty to pronounce a such, that their hell will commence, sentence of honourable acquittal on even while hearing the sentence of some friends of his own, would he not heaven that will be pronounced on select them first? Would he not pro- those, whom in the days of their hunounce blessings upon them, ere he miliation they thought themselves jusdischarged the duty of his office, in tified in treating with oppression, and condemning those who are guilty ? cruelty, and death. Would he not pronounce the sentence Having considered the order of the of life, felicity, and honor, before that sentence, let us now advert to Him by of condemnation and misery? Thus whom it shall be pronounced. “ Then does the Saviour act. He calls forth shall the King say unto them on his his friends, first that he may pour right hand, come ye blessed of my comfort into their souls, and, with Father.” The King-even Jesus their such words as I have read to you, fill Saviour. Now, my brethren, he speaks them with felicity and endow them to us, and he speaks words of bless