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Love to Christ.

Love to Christ.

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Published by glennpease

John xxi. 17. lovest thou me ?

John xxi. 17. lovest thou me ?

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 25, 2014
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LOVE TO CHRIST. BY E. PORTER. John xxi. 17. lovest thou me ? MANY there are, even in christian lands, who discard Christianity ; many rest in a cold assent to its doctrines, while they believe and know nothing of the heaven- born principle of vital religion in the soul. Like the poor brutes around them, they eatamd drink and sleep, breathe and walk ; while the in-terests of another life are thought, exclusively, to con-cern * the weak, the sickly, the aged and the dying.' The hearts of others are so entirely occupied with business or amusements, that they remain strangers to their bible, to their Saviour, to themselves; stran-gers indeed to every thing which it is the great purpose of life to learn. Multitudes, in these awful circum-stances, live with as much apparent tranquility as though they were perfectly assured, that Christianity is a fiction and eternity a dream.
My brethren, are we immortal creatures ? Shall these souls of ours survive the changes of time, and exist in glory or despair, when the petty interests of this mutable and perishing world shall have passed into oblivion ? What subject can better deserve our attention than a careful inquiry into our own mpral state and prospects for an endless hereafter ? What 24 194 A SERMON BY question can more solemnly address our interests or feelings, tHan that of the Divine Saviour, in its appro-priate application to each heart, ' Lovest thou me 1^ In comparison with an inquiry, involving consequen-ces of such infinite moment, all others are ' less than nothing.' Who can leave this point undecided, and rest easy ? Who can decide it against himself, and feel safe ? Earthly thrones and empires are trifies of a moment, when laid in the balance against the joys or sufterings of eternity.
At the last interview Christ had with his disciples^ before his ascension, the question which I have cho-sen for a text, was addressed to Simon Peter. Thrice had he denied his Master at the high-priest's palace ;. and now thrice was he put upon the trial of his since-rity by this pointed interrogatory. Though Peter, as a christian minister, was required to give evidence of his love peculiar to^his office, by feeding Christ's sheep and lambs, the subject is not necessarily limit-ed to any class of christians or men. Let us sup-pose then, the divine Jesus to stand in the midst of us, and address us individually with this solemn, searching question, 'Lovest thou me?' Who of us could, understandingly, make the appeal to his omniscience, ' Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest tliat I love thee.' To settle this point, to the satisfaction of an enlightened conscience, requires that we carefully examine the nature and fruits of love to Christ. Let it be remarked then in general, that love to Christ, is something above the instinct of natural gra-titude,

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