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MY YOKE IS EASY

MY YOKE IS EASY

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY WILLIAM VAN MILDERT, D. D.

PREACHER OF LINCOLN S INN,

NOW BISHOP OF DURHAM. 1831.


MATTHEW xi. 30.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
BY WILLIAM VAN MILDERT, D. D.

PREACHER OF LINCOLN S INN,

NOW BISHOP OF DURHAM. 1831.


MATTHEW xi. 30.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 04, 2014
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MY YOKE IS EASYBY WILLIAM VA MILDERT, D. D. PREACHER OF LICOL S I, OW BISHOP OF DURHAM. 1831. MATTHEW xi. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. IT is hardly possible to reflect upon the cer tainty that we are hereafter to be called to give account of our present conduct, with out being continually anxious to assure our selves that we are in a state of safety, with re spect to the judgment we must then undergo. Whether we look to the promises or to the threatenings of the Gospel, whether we con template our own insufficiency and imper fection or the infinite perfections of the Al mighty, solicitude on such a subject is un avoidable, whenever we suffer these consider ations to make their due impression upon our minds. It is the desire to set the mind at ease up on this subject, that has probably led persons of different tempers and dispositions to form various and sometimes contradictory opin ions respecting the measure and extent of A a 4 360 SERMO XVIII.
 
their Christian duty ; that some, through ex cessive dread of falling short of what is re quired of them, represent Christianity as a harsh and rigorous service ; whilst others would fain persuade themselves that it re quires nothing of considerable difficulty, no thing that calls for strenuous exertion or for restraint upon their natural inclinations. Thus may extremes be produced, destructive either of that sober and tranquil state of mind which is intended for our present comfort and support, or of that caution and vigilance which are necessary in every stage of our progress to preserve us from falling. Christianity itself, however, ought not to be made responsible for these inconsistencies : and it is of importance to vindicate it against any misrepresentations, intentional or uninten tional, to which it may thus be rendered liable. For as the one of these extremes tends to encourage men in a careless and libertine practice, so the other affords to unbelievers, and to the thoughtless part of mankind, a pretence for rendering it odious or contempt ible in the general estimation. Whereas the Gospel itself gives countenance to neither of these parties. It is not so lax and accom modating in its nature, as to adapt itself to our corrupt inclinations ; nor is it so irrecon- SERMO XVIII. 361 cilable with those affections and desires which belong to us as human beings, as to be  justly deemed an unreasonable service.
 
To this view of the subject we are led by our Lord s declaration in the text. Having adverted to the obstinacy and impenitency of certain cities in Judaea, where his doctrine had been rejected notwithstanding the mighty works he had performed, he invites his hearers in the following affectionate and impressive terms : " Come unto me, all ye that labour " and are heavy laden, and I will give you " rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn " of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart ; " and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For " my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Here it is to be observed, that our Lord appears to speak of His yoke and burden as distinguished from some other yoke and bur den to which his hearers were already sub  ject. The persons whom he then addressed being principally Jews, the expressions may undoubtedly be understood to intimate, that the Gospel was intended to release them from the burden of the Mosaic Law, and to substitute a more easy ritual for their obser vance. But they are capable also of a more extended application ; an application which will include all who may be said to " labour," 362 SERMO XVIII. and to be " heavy laden ;" that is, all who feel the burden of their sins, all who are conscious of their infirmities, all who, though desirous faithfully to discharge their duty to God and man, are convinced how impossible it is to de liver themselves from that bondage of corrup tion under which every man labours during his continuance in this earthly state. They

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