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is his life, his strength, his joy, his everlasting blessedness. All other things are now become worthless and without price. All his being is occupied with this glorious portion, and not one faculty of the soul wanders unsatisfied for want of an object great and good enough to fill it.
In these several ways, in life and after death, in time and in eternity, is the Lord the inheritance of the true believer an inheritance, my Christian friends, secured to the meanest of us all, to the poorest, the most lowly, and the most ignorant among us, by a more binding instrument than earthly charter; more boundless than the ocean, and brighter than the patrimony of kings: an inheritance which we possess now, but of which the full use is reserved to another life; which is already in our hands, and awarded by the supreme judicature, but which will shew forth all its splendour and all its excellence only at that moment when we are most capable of enjoying it.
There are some remarks grounded on the foregoing inquiry, which before I conclude I would, with the grace of God, leave to the solemn consideration of all who hear me this day. Let us then bear in mind,
First, That whether we have made the Lord our inheritance must be the criterion of our hopes. He is the portion of every real Christian, of every one who has an interest in the mercies of a covenant God. To have no part in him is to be an outcast from the promises, to live with the divine wrath upon our heads. This, then, is a question which we may urge upon you without any charge of enthusiasm, whether you have secured the Lord for your inheritance. Have you chosen him in preference to the charms of a vain and deceitful world? Have you found this life a scene of preparation for that which is to come? Do you know anything of the peace God, which passeth understanding? Are you personally interested in the work of Christ, as your Redeemer from the penalties of the law and the power of sin-in the work of his Spirit as the sanctifier of your heart and your affections? Have you appropriated this by a living faith? Has he become your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification and redemption? These are questions which must be answered, and answered in the affirmative, or else we are still in our sins to us a Saviour has been preached in vain.
Secondly, Let us also seriously inquire, what will be the state of
those in the next world who have not made the Lord their inheritance? Can their souls be conceived in any way capable of participating in heavenly joy? Is there anything in the circumstances or employments of redeemed spirits which can fill up the measure of their cup, and make them perfectly and for ever blessed? Eternity is to be spent in the presence of the Lord Jehovah, and from that fact the joy of heaven is derived; every part of its anticipated blessedness is rested on that single circumstance. Will the sensualist, the ungodly, or any one of those who have laid up their treasure upon earth, or any one who, in habits and pursuits, in desires and affections, is essentially worldly, and of the things of this world, find a heaven in this? Will those who are alienated from the life of God here, rejoice in it hereafter? Shall those who are averse to spiritual things now, find their joys made infinite by their full effulgence? No! tell their expectant spirits that they are to dwell for ever in the unveiled presence of the Almighty, that they are to be employed for ever in the utterance of those praises to which here their lips were strangers, that the eye of God is to be fixed for ever on those hearts whose sins have never been repented of nor washed away, and you have said enough-it would be a very hell to them in heaven. We cannot believe that the mere act of dying will effect any change in the habits and inclinations, the affections and desires of the soul. We know of no purgatorial fires by which the spirit may be cleansed, and prepared for the association of angels and the Mediator of the new covenant. Allowing that God could so far forget his purity, his faithfulness, and all the essential attributes of his character, as to admit to his society and his blissful habitation those who would have none of him on earth, and what have you done? Have you provided for them any probable means of enjoyment, or anything to allay and sooth the stings and anguish of remorse? Do you not, even on this supposition, consign them to a miserable eternity?
Let me then beseech you, by the mercies of God, and all that yourselves hold most dear, to make the Lord your own now, and enter upon the everlasting possession. It is true there are many things exclusively belonging to this world eminently calculated to arrest and engage the inclinations and affections of the soul. But exactly in proportion as you surrender yourselves to these, exactly in proportion as you are absorbed in them, do you renounce the Lord as your inheritance. And then, when you have made for
feiture of all the promises of the Gospel, and all the riches of God's eternal kingdom, for the pleasures or the interests of this little scene; then, when you have bartered away the richest and the fairest inheritance that was ever offered to the acceptance of an immortal spirit, to follow the imaginations of your own hearts; what remains but the bitterness of regret, and to find too late that you have taken to yourselves lamentations, and mourning, and woe? O! may God, of his great mercy, grant that such may never be the portion assigned to us by the irrevocable sentence of the Judge. Amen.
THE MINISTER'S FAREWELL ENTREATY.
REV. T. MORTIMER, B.D.
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love: endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”—EPHESIANS, iv. 1—6.
ST. PAUL was a wise master-builder; he built for eternity: he took care to lay the doctrine of the cross as the great foundation stone; and having laid it, he built upon it, and he built a superstructure which shall outlive time-spiritual temples, living temples, holy, consecrated to God.
We have now, through the goodness of our God upon us, been spared to preach among you the word of life for nearly fifteen years. Well can I call to mind the feelings with which I preached my first sermon as your lecturer: they were feelings of fear rather than of hope there were many, many fears; but I trust, there were many, many prayers and having obtained help of God, we continue until now. Some, who then were active and useful, are sleeping in the vaults beneath us, or in the graves around us. Fifteen years make a great change among all classes; they make a great change in you, and they make a great change in me. But our God remains the same, eternally the same-the hope, the refuge of his people, even to the end of the world. I have often had occasion, when standing here as one of your parochial clergy-I have often had occasion to speak boldly, to denounce vice, to threaten the sinner, to tell the guilty of his doom, and to speak without fear in the face of any living being, in the discharge of my duty. But I now speak with authority among you no more; I this day lay down office among you: I speak no longer, I say, with authority, in denouncing the sinner; I have done with that; but I may speak with entreaty, for the comfort and edification of the church; I may entreat you in the language of the apostle, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
To these words, then, we direct your attention. Let me consider, first, the Christian's calling; let me consider, secondly, the unity of the Christian church; let me consider, thirdly, the entreaty of the Christian minister.
We are, first, to consider, THE HOPE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. "One hope of your calling :" what is that? Does it relate to any thing on earth? I think not: I think it relates to a larger assembly than this; I think it relates to a better meeting in a better world; I think it regards the assembly in that "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." From the moment of our conversion to God by the power of the Holy Ghost, we long to get prepared for that house which is in heaven; we long to get a meetness for, and, at last, an abundant entrance ministered unto us into, the joy of our Lord.
What has been our grand object in preaching to you? It has been to try to win you to heaven. We have often spoken very plain things; we have often spoken things at which a vain and wicked world thought proper to sneer. We never cared for that: through the grace of God enabling us, we have endeavoured to speak the truth; and, as far as we knew it, the whole truth; and, as God Almighty helped us, nothing but the truth. Ah! we did not come among you—God is witness-panting, desiring to be enriched by you: but we came among you very earnestly desiring to do you good; very earnestly desiring that whensoever we shall be called to give up our stewardship, it might be with joy, and not with sorrow. Ah, brethren! this was our prayer, and, I trust, with some it will be answered: I trust there are those who connect with these sacred walls every thing that is dear, every thing that is hallowed, every thing that is blessed. Here your Saviour met with you; here he spoke to you, first a word of warning, bidding you flee from the wrath to come; and then a word of mercy, when he said, "Him that cometh unto me I will in nowise cast out;" and then a word of encouragement to the weary pilgrim, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." And you shall have it by and bye. Yet a little longer struggling in a world with sin, yet a little conflict with the grand enemy of God and man, both without and