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" Thine expectation shall not be cut off." — Proverbs, xxiii. 18. It is more than probable, that there may be some penitent and contrite spirit in this liouse of prayer this afternoon, for whom the text is intended, who may have come out to the sanctuary, Sunday after Sunday, month after month, and, it may be, year after year, hoping that there is some blessing in reserve for them, on the look-out for sometliing to satisfy, wondering what the text would be, and what the sermon would be about, and yet to this hour, perhaps, unable to grasp any solid comfort. There may be also here the real believer in Clirist — one who has been taught of God, one who has been led to see that his whole dependance must be in the atonement and righteousness of Christ, and who is yet in bondage, and, though entitled to all the privileges of the son's dispensation, is yet living and feeling as if he were under the sei-vant's dispensation, tied and bound to the law, rather than walking in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. " Ye are no longer servants but sons ;" but ye are not living up to your privileges ; you have no assurance perhaps, nothing of the joy in believing which you see others possess. ow to each of these individuals, or class of individuals, if there should be more than one — to each the text gives you a promise, of which you cannot doubt the faithfulness: "Thine expectation shall not be cut off." You may perhaps be ready to put the question to the minister. When will this expectation be realized? But it is a question which he cannot answer ; he cannot give you any information of the time ; all he can certify you of is the fact, that it " shall not be cut off." It may not perhaps be realized this afternoon : many of the children of God have to wait long on the Lord. The text is intended to give courage ; and all the frequent exhortations you find as to the duty of M^aiting, seem to intimate that this waiting is a familiar part of that process, by which the sinner finds his way out of darkness into marvellous light, and out of doubt and dismay into the full assurance of faith. Therefore you are not to expect from me to tell you the time when this shall be realized; all you have to expect from me is an assurance, founded on the Word of God, that "your expectation shall not be cut off." Let me point out three things that appear to be suggested to our consideraation by the few words that I have read to you. First, let me sliew you what is the expectation of the real Christian: then let me shew you, in the next place, the assurance which is given to him : and, in the third place, the triumphant issue of this expectation ; " Thine expectation shall not be cut off." * For the Bentinck Chapel Day Schools.
476 THE EXPECTATIO OF THE CHRISTIA . ow let us, in the first place, inquire, what is the Expectation op the Christian. The Psalmist will tell us what it is in Psalm Ixii. : " My soul, wait thou only upon God ; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock anil my salvation." If then, my dear bretliren, your expectation ever has been from the preacher, or the place, or the sermon, or the book, apart from God, it shall be cut off: if our expectations in religion are to be realized, they must every one of them centre in God. Let me remark to you, then, that the real Christian is in expectation of three thino's. He is in expectation, first, of the enjoyment which true believers have : he is in expectation, secondly, of the rich treasures which true believers possess : and he is in expectation, thirdly, of the free, the full, and the eternal salvation to which true believers are entitled. These are the three sources of his expectation ; let us just glance at these. He is, in the first place, in expectation of the enjoyment ivhich true believers possess. And these arise out of a sense of forgiveness, a humble assurance that God has blotted out their sins, and sees them righteous in the merits of his Son ; aye, and sees them as righteous as he sees his Son. In the hearing of some of you, that may seem to be a strange and strong remark ; but I beseech you to consider it, and examine whether it be a true or a false one. If I stand in the presence of God in my own righteousness, I am not as innocent and righteous as his Son; but if I stand (and every believer must stand) in the righteousness of his Son, I see not how God can look on me otherwise than as righteous as his Son, because there is nothing in me but in his Son. If he looks at me in myself, he sees nothing but pollution, and guilt, and misery ; but when he looks at me, 1 cast aside all my self-righteousness, and by faith I put on the garment of salvation, that rich mantle of righteousness which my Lord wrought out for me; and I sit down fearlessly in that marriage supper of the Lamb: God never can say to me, "Friend, how camest thou in hither?" He sees me in his only beloved Son, and he accepts me in the Beloved, not in myself. This then is the nature of the blessing and privileges wliich believers enjoy. Then they have also not only this freedom of pardon and this justifying righteousness, but they have adoption privileges. I need not tell you what they are. We are not naturally children of God, we are children of wrath: but we become his children by a second birth : a spiritual birth, passing upon our characters, nuikes us children of God. lliis second birth admits us into his family ; not merely into his house, and not merely as servants and domestics, but as sons. We have liberty of access to the table of the Master ; we are fed with the finest of the wheat flour ; we sit down with him, we are fed from his hands ; we have liberty of access at all times to the presence chamber of our Father who is in heaven. 'J'licse are the enjoyments that the believing, penitent, humble soul is in expectcition of.
In addition to this they enjoy also strength for holy ohidience. Then they also have comfort in death ; I do not sny joy in death : altliough some believers have joy in death ; but I do say tlLit all l)erievers have comfort in death, though they may not have joy: for tliis may be, as you know, yoii that have followed to the grave many a beloved friend or relation, you know that there may be in the very nature of their disorder, much to prevent that buoyancy of mind which is the necessary attendant on joy. But peace shall be their portion- "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace'''-calm repose on tiie bosom of his Redeemer.
TH/ EXPECTATIO OF THE CHRISTIA . 477 Then he has also glory in eternity. Tliey wlio are made " free from sin have their fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." ow, dear brethren, is any part of this your expectation? Have you been led at any time in the course of your personal history, to feel that you are yourselves nothing, but Christ must be all? And are you expecting full justification, adoption, and all the spiritual blessings entirely from God on account of your spiritual relationship to Christ ? Then "your expectation shall not be cut off." We remark again, that there is included also in this expectation, the treasures ofichich believers are in possession. They are "rich in faith, and are heirs of the kingdom." Every child is an heir. Here is the advantage of spiritual things over things that are temporal. In temporal matters it is only the eldest born of a family that takes the inheritance; but in the family of the Lord God Almighty every child is an heir. It is not the child of such an age, or the child of such an attainment : but " if children," is the beautiful declaration of the Apostle, " if children, then heirs," (aye, the poorest child in the house, the youngest child, is an heir) ; " heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." Well, then, if Christ is entitled (and he is entitled) to all that his Father can bestow, if I am a joint-heir I am entitled to it also : " For if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." Among the riches which believers possess, are the riches of humility. They are rich in holiness ; they are rich in love ; they are rich in grace, and they will, in due time, be rich in glory. othing, in short, will satisfy the expectation of the believer, but all the riches in glory by Christ Jesus ; and if he be an heir of God, he shall be entitled, and shall inherit, all the riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Then the third thing included in the believer's expectation, is a full, free, eternal salvation, devised by God the Father, accomplished by God the Son, and applied by God the Holy Spirit. ow, brethren, is this your expectation ?
Are you humbly and earnestly expecting the privileges which believers possess? Are you looking for the treasures to M'hich they are entitled? And are you, above all, fixing your hopes and wishes on that full and eternal salvation which is in Christ ? in order to that, I must beg you to ask yourselves a previous question — Have you felt your need of such a salvation? For if I am addressing any individual Mho has not felt himself poor, it is quite in vain for me to direct him to treasures, where there are riches in glory by Christ Jesus. If I am addressing any individual who is blind, and Mho is not conscious of his blindness, it is in vain for me to direct him to Him who only can restore the blind eyes. And it is in vain for any individual to say, that he is depending on the salvation that is in Christ, if he has not first seen and felt his own danger, ruin, and M'cakness. What M'ould you think of me, in looking over any given landscape, if, at the time that I was looking at that landscape, itMas overspread by a thick haziness, through M'hich I could not at all see any objects — what would you think of me, if, when it was physically impossible to see the objects that Mere near, I should yet point out to you, and tell you, I could very distinctly see the cottages and the spires in the distance? Why you would say, " It is impossible for you to see things at a distance, for you cannot see those that are near." Well, noM', my dear brethren, so it is precisely in the divine truths that are spread before us in the Bible: in that M'ide and beauteous moral panorama of glorious discoveries spread before us in the Bible, there are tM-o grand leading objects
478 THE EXPECTATIO OP THE CHRISTIA . upon which to pomi our attention ; and these are, man's nothingness, and the Saviooir's fulness. ow, if a man tells me he sees that which is distant, and does not see that which is near, what should I think of him ? What should vou think of me if I were to tell you so / I need not use much argument to shew you, tliat that which is in my character, that that which is in me, is nearer to me than that which is in God. Then, if I do not see that vile, wretched object that is in myself, if tliere is such a mist over my eyes, such a bandage fastened thereon, that I cannot see myself, it is in vain to say 1 see my Redeemer. I must see the object that is near, before I can see object at a distance. I must first, in plain terms, have a full and overwhelming sense of uiy own indigence and nothingness in salvation, before I can ever see the Redeemer's fulness, and apply to him to give me grace out of that fulness which is treasured up in him for all his ransomed children. Then, in order to satisfy yourself whether you have the salvation that is in Christ, M hether you see the object that is in the distance, you must first ask, do you see the objects that are near? Have you seen your own poverty? If not, you will never see the riches that are in Christ. Have you seen your own ignorance? Have you seen your own pollution? If not, you will never see the
righteousness and sanctification that are in Christ. You must first go down (I know it is an unpleasant task) and you must probe into the wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores of your own heart, before you will ever value that great Physician, who knows only the mode and the remedy suited to your peculiar moral disease. Let me shew, in the second place, the Assurance : " Thine expectation sfiall 7iot be cut off." " Oh," say you, " I should like to know the reason of that assurance. I have been looking for pardon and forgiveness, for acceptance, and for all the blessings in Christ ; and I am now very anxious to know how the minister will establish his second point." I will give you three reasons for your assurance : the first is, that an earnest is given to you : the second is, that all the persons of the Deity are not only pledged to you, but to one another, that your expectation shall not be cut off: and you have, in the third place, the positive promise of God, that your expectation shall not be cut off. First, let me shew you, that your expectation shall not be cut off, because the earnest is given into your heart. " How do I know that?" say you. I know indeed, tliere are many of the Lord's family, in whom a good work is really begun, who hardly know that it is begun ; they are ignorant, and they are weak; in fact, they arc what the Apostle beautifully styles them — " babes in Christ." They know nothing yet as they ought to know. evertheless, my brother, though thy spiritual vision may at the present hour be so indistinct, that vou can only " see men Jis trees walking," in religion, nevertheless, if thine expectation of pardon, adoption, and justification, be in Christ alone — if you have, in no point, any dependance on yourself — then you have the earnest, the firsi -fruits of the Spirit, and your expectation shall not be cut off. For these feelings are not the produce of your own mind ; you have not given birth to these feelings ; they grew not iu nature's garden : these feelings of selfabhorrence, and desire of the Saviour, are the work of the Spirit. And let me say to any here this afternoon, who may be sometimes in doubt as to whetlier their nainet are written in the Book of Life, that we are alwavs in the
THE EXPECTATIO OP THE CHRISTIA . 479 wrong when we begin with the Father's decree ; we should begin witli the Spirit, and argue up from the fruit to the tree, and thus reason — " If I have within my heart any one good desire, it is the work of the Spirit :" because your minister read in tlie second collect this afternoon, " Almighty God, the author of all holy desires :" but I have no holy desires that God is not the author of; if I had, I should be my own Saviour ; but I am vile, utterly helpless, in the sight of God. I have not a holy desire, nor have you a holy desire, my dear brethren. Salvation (I must hold it in this pulpit, and in other pulpits,) from
first to last, is of God, and God only. If, in any one case, salvation were of the creature, the creature would have whereof to glory: but no flesh shall glory in his presence. It takes its rise in the love of God, its accomplishment in the blood of the Son of God, and its application by the influence of God's Holy Spirit. And then, the mode by which I come to a satisfactory conclusion, as to your state in the sight of God, is simply this : If the Holy Spirit has produced in your heart these feelings of self-abhorrence and love to the Saviour, then the Redeemer died for you ; and if the Redeemer died for you, then you were given by the Father to the Redeemer from all eternity. The whole Trinitv then, is engaged and pledged to the assurance that your expectation shall not be cut off". The argument appears to me to be most comforting to the Christian mind ; if I have any good thought, I know that I am not the author of that thought; it is the work of the Spirit of God. If it is the work of the Spirit, the Spirit has taken of Christ, and given to me ; and Christ has redeemed me from all eternity, because God gave me to him from all eternity. This then, is the first grand assurance which you may have, you doubting, contrite desponding soul, that the work of your religion shall not be cut off", nor sha'i your expectation be frustrated ; because you have the earnest in your heart, that the work which the Holy Spirit has begun shall be carried on. Then what is the impression which this love should have on your hearts ? Obviouslv this — " What shall I render unto the Lord, for creating this expectation in me? It is not the growth of my own mind. Oh, I will surrender body, soul, all that I have, and all that I am ; nothing is too much to ofl'er for such loving-kindness and tender mercy." But, then, this assurance is strengthened, not only by the fact of your naving the earnest of the Spirit in your heart, but you must feel that your assurance is strengthened, that your expectation shall not be cut off', when you know that all the persons of the Deity are pledged to each other, as well as to you, that it shall not be cut off'. I think it is a higher view of salvation, and it certainly is a very comforting one, that it is not so much a negociation between God and your souls, as between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They have not only pledged themselves to you, that your expectation shall not be cut off, but they have pledged themselves one to the other, that your expectation shall not be cut off; What should I show you was the compact, the solemn agreement, if I could draw you back through the ages of eternity pastt " I will give them into thy hands," says the Father : " I will redeem those whom thou hast given me," says the Son : " I will make them my temple," says the Spirit. Here is the compact mutually entered into between them; not between you and God only, but between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit : and each glorious person has his own glorious work, his own glorious oflice, in the economy of redemption. Perfect Deity must fail, the arm of Omnipotence must grow powerless, before the expectation of one believer shall
480 THE EXPECTATIO OP THE CHRISTIA .
be cut off. If one sheep were to be missing from the fuht, if one child were to be missing from the Father's table, if one gem were to drop from the Redeemer's crown, then the Father must have repented that he had ever loved mankina ; or the Son must have written a bill of divorcement, which separates the believer from himself; (and " Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement? I hate putting away," saith the Lord :) or the Spirit, after having agreed to make that one believer his temple, sliall alter, or that " stronger than he" shall come upon him and overcome him. ow, brethren, look to your ground of assurance, and say whether it is stronger or weaker in the Lord. The whole Trinity is engaged — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — that your expectation shall not be cut off. Shall it in one case happen, that God the Father shaii repent, or that God the Son shall write a bill of divorcement, or that God the Holy Spirit, having given into your hearts a copy of the title deeds, should take it away, and say, " I was wrong ; I made a mistake?" Oh, brethren, think you that the matters of heaven are so wretchedly managed as this ? Does the HolySpirit ever give a title deed, that is not enrolled in the Lamb's Book of Life from eternity ? This may be the manner of man ; but it is not the way of God. Religion in my heart is created in my own power, or created by the Spirit of God. If it be by my own power, it may he one thing to-day, and another thing to-morrow ; 1 may be a Christian to-day, and I may be a Mohammedan tomorrow : but if religion be " the life of God in the soul of man," then it becomes incumbent upon those who deny the final perseverance of the saints, to declare how an infinite being can ever desert the work to which be has once put his hand. You have, then, all the assurance which tlie persons and work of the glorious Trinity can give you, that your expectation shall not be cut off. " Ah, but," you will say, " the minister has mentioned nothing of trials, nothing of bereavements, nothing of indwelling-sin, nothing of the last conflict, nothing about that fearful moment, when I am to dip my feet into the cold and black M'aters of death." I liave said nothing about them ; for I think the assurances I have given, are proof against all fears that may arise from any considerations of indwelling-sin, or sickness, or trial. Let these tribulations overwhelm you as they may, they never can reach the inner man, the seat of the soul ; and amidst them all, you may assure yourselves, that your expectation shall not be cut off. But although these are very strong grounds, yet there is, if possible, a stronger remaining, and that is, the positive dtclarations of Gods ff'ord. ow look at it as regards indwelling-sin, what is the promise of God respecting that? " Sin shall not have dominion over you:" " I will subdue your iniquity." Then your expectation shall not be cut off. What is it with regard to Satan ? "God shall bruise Satan :" not God may do it, if you are peculiarly solicitous to ask him — but, " God shall bruise Satan" under your feet shortly. Then how is it with regard to the world, which reviles and pereecutesyou, and says all manner of evil against you,
falsely? The world shall be overcome, and " no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue" (surely that will include all evil speaking against you) "every tongue that is raised against you in judgment thou shalt condemn." Then, I say to you, coupling these various considerations, have you not tlie very strongest assurance which earth and heaven can give, that your expectation shall not be cut off?
THE EXPECTATIO OF THE CHRISTIA . 481 Glance with nie now, in the tliird place, at the triumphant Issue of THI E Expectation. "For surely there is «?» e^irf,- and thine expectation shall not be cut off." Oh, look to the end, the end of conflict, the end of doubt, the end of dismay, the end of danger, the end of ordinances, the end of sermons, the end of preachers, the end of all the means by which we can see only through a glass darkly, and the end of pray«r : but with the end of prayer shall be the beginning of praises that shall never have an end. Oh, sure am I in speaking for myself, and for you, if one may speak for all, that we do not live enough in expectation of our end. I would humbly desire to preach every sermon, to read every chapter, to offer up every prayer, and to live every hour in expectation of ray end. For what will the end be ? What is the consummation of our expectation ? What will it be to the believer, when his end arrives and his expectation is not only not cut off, but is answered to the very full ? I cannot tell vou what it will be ; eye hath not seen it, ear hath not heard it, neither hath the heart of man conceived it : but this we can say, that our expectation shall be realized, that the Spirit's work of sanctification shall be done, that our sanctification shall be completed, that our sin shall be done away, that our graces shall be perfected, that all tears shall be wiped from all eyes, that you shall see God as he is (and therefore shall-be like him); and shall expatiate without a frailty and without a flaw, for ever, in the service of your God. This is the end of your expectation. ow, brethren, let us take this standing in some degree ; let us put the earth under our feet ; that is, let us trample the earth under our feet ; let our hands put away and keep down all things that offend ; let us have our eyes fixed on the mansion, and the robe, and the palm, and the crown ; let us have our hearts panting for the pure and holy atmosphere of the heavenly world ; and our whole soul going forth in ardent longings after God, who only is the strength of our heart nd our portion for ever: then, when our expectation is realized-— -' Hien shall we see, and taste, and know, A U we desire or wish below ; And every power find sweet employ, , ^ In that eternal world of joy.**
And now I own, I do not like to look at the shadow of this beautiful picture. It was once said by a minister to one, somewhat younger in the vineyard of the Lord than himself; " Let all your sermons terminate either in heaven or in hell." I am not quite sure that I like the recommendation. Certain it is, that I would infinitely rather let my sermons always end in heaven : I would delight to lead the believing family of the Lord from earth to heaven, from sorrow to joy, from the place of trial to the place of comfort. evertheless, we must tell, not only the truth, but the whole truth ; and if we dwell at all upon the promises, we must now and then (we are bound by our fidelity) touch unon the threateninge of the Gospel. Then 1 would say, and say with all affection, and with all earnestness, that if there be in this sanctuary this afternoon, but one individual who is in expectation of getting to heaven by his own doings, apart from the doings and the deservings of the Redeemer, his expectation must be cut off; it never can be realized. You never can build with safety for eternity upon any other foundation than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ the Lord ; no man can come to the Father but by him. But then, here is a delightful assurance that we are voi» ». 2 I
'IHE EXPECTATIO OP THE CHRISTIA . to hold out to you, tliat "him that cometh unto him he will in nowise cast out." Why then may not you hope, that your expectation shall not be cut off? ow it is time that I shew you that I have not forgotten (for I have not yet mentioned) the case of those dear children in whose belialf I more especially appear before you this afternoon, who are in the daily schools in immediate connexion with your own chapel. I will at once own to you, brethren, that I have unfeigned pleasure in preaching for those schools, for two reasons. The first arises out oi this paternal care which the present ttiinistcr exercises towards the lambs of his flock. I rejoice to hear, that the order and discipline of these schools have never been surpassed since they were schools, and every means appear to be used in brin^^ing up these children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. ow this is a most prominent point in our recommendation of the schools to your support ; for especially are we anxious that religious instruction, and acquaintance with the fundamental trutlis of the Bible shall be mingled witli every system of education, in every individual instance, whether for the poor or for the rich. We have been for a thousand years a Christian nation; a people who in God's cause have mustered strong in the field of battle wiien reli«^ion was at stake. We some years ago wrested the sceptre out of the hands of those who would compel us to take the precious trutlis of God's Holy Word just as the lips of the priesthood chose to propound them, and would hold us in despotism and superstition ; and therefore as we have now a Christian framework of society, and a Christian statute book, we must have Christian education
also ; or our children will fight against their fathers' works, and will root out the vine and the fig-tree under which they sat. And there is another reason why we can never become the advocates of any system of instruction which leaves out re.io'ious information and truth : because every system (such is our firm belieO which leaves out religion, however it may provide for the life that now is, will only leave your children unprovided for the life tliat is to come. In the schools I am now recommending, I have reason to believe that such especial care is taken, that the fundamental principles of our holy religion, the chief truths, shall not only be taught to their memories, but impressed upon their hearts by God the Holy Spirit. Man can do one ; he can write the truth on the memory: but it is the Spirit alone that can write the truth on the heart And I have reason to know, that there are truths and principles inculcated in these schools Mhich will guide the child with safety along the dangerous paths of life, and that impressions are made, which shall not, by God's blessing be worn out, but shall grow up into the conviction, that to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the first duty of man. To those then, if such be present in this congregation. Mho would check the religious instruction of the children of the poor, and wlio think, tliat if a poor child be taught any thing it is all over with him for being a useful member of society, I would say, let him be denied instruction in every branch of useful knowledge; let him be kept from coming in contact with any book or tract that may improve his mind, let the door of knowledge be firmly barred against him; and what will be the consequence? Why, then lie will only have more time to waste on sleep and indolence; more time to let his mind grow cankered and corrupted with the rust of ignorance; more time to spend in tlie public-house; nore time to break his wife's heart, and let his children grow up in ruin and immorality ; more time to hasten on his own ruin, and the ruin of all who arc related to him, or connected with him. But if, on the other hand, you consent
THE EXPECTATIO OF THE CHKI3TIA . 483 to teach him tlie arts of reading and writing, and ti>e first simple rules of arithmetic, and then supply him with some useful tracts, some manuals of piety, some books of sound information, you will enable him to relieve his leisure hours in an innocent manner at least, if not a profitable one. You will see he can find enough entertainment at home, with his wife and children, without being obliged to seek it abroad ; and the calm delight and satisfaction which books afiord, will put him in a frame of mind to enjoy the exquisite happiness which is inseparable from the cultivation of parental tenderness. And as he will be more respected in the (yes of his family, than that poor dull, and stunted creature who can teach them nothing, he will be induced to attend to every thing which can preserve, and avoid every thing which can impair, that respect. Then I say, you have no need to be afraid ; let instruction have full scope among your people: it will have full scope whether you like it or not ; when the vessel's sails are
set, some wind will carry it forward. All I would venture to suggest is this ; let those whose rank, and influence, and experience, entitle them to be at the helm of the vessel, take it, and all will be well. I have not undertaken to trace out all the good which these schools have been the means of producing to the children who have been successively educated in them, but I am strongly inclined to believe, from all I have heard respecting them, that if you, the subscribers, were able to follow the many hundred children who have been instructed here, into maturer life, you would find them, in a great majority of cases, permanently retaining that love of improvement, and too much in the habit of usefully improving their minds to sink into that wretched inanity which yet pervades the untaught multitudes ai-ound us. In urging you, then, to continue the support granted to these schools, I would not undertake to promise you that every child herein instructed is thus benefitted by your instruction •, that is not a question for me. Do not understand us to say, that in no instance your expectation shall not be cut off. I do not say so ; I do not venture to predict (I have not the power) that you shall see in every individual child, the fruit of your labour. Some of the good seed will fall on the way side, some on the stony ground, and some on the thorny soil ; but some shall unquestionably fall on the good ground, and bring forth fruit, in some thirty fold, in some sixty fold, and in some an hundred fold. Then 1 would say to those who have the active management of these schools, " In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening* withhold not thine hand ; for thou knowest not whetlier shall prosper, either this or that child, or whether they both shall be alike good." But this is but one reason ; bear with me while 1 mention to you the other which gives me infinite pleasure in preaching for these schools. I have adverted to the character of the minister who is over these schools now : but, brethren, when were these schools begun ? Are they the growth of yesterday ? o ; so far otherwise, that there are few now present, except it may be the more aged, in this house of prayer, who can remember the year when these schools were first established, thirty-six years ago, when the late beloved minister of this chapel, Basil Woodd, opened and established these schools. And are there none now who can remember that most excellent, and humble, and amiable man ? Are there not many who sat for years — I know there are some who grew up under his shadow, and who sat for years under his faithful and aflfectionate ministration. I need not remind you how dear to his heart was the Scriptural instruction of the children of his flock. Oh ! let not then (I ask it of you as a favour 2I2
.^;^ THE EXPKCTATIO OF THK CHRISTIA .
to his memory) — let not his expectation be cut off. Let liis blessed spirit, -f indeed it is conversant with things terrene, see that the people amongst whom he ministered, are still cherishing the schools which he established, and are continuing that education which he commenced. If, then, thou hast much, give plenteously ; if thou hast little, do all thy dilio-ence, and give gladly. Ah, then, but you will say, there is no end to these appeals ; and no sooner is one charity sermon over, than there is another announced. Well, now, do you wish it to be otherwise? Do you wish your honoured minister to roll back the religion of your country? Oh, no, you will say. Whilst we have time, let us do good to all men ; God only knows how long we shall have time: this may be the last society we shall have to give to. Let us not forget to do good to all men, and especially to them of the household of faith. I pray that God will dispose you to give, and crown you in your families with his blessing : yea, I commend you to God, and the word of his grace. I pray that his fatherly care may ever be over you, and his fatherly presence ever be with you, and your minister — this alone shall bless and sweeten all your comforts — and his grace sanctify all your trials ; that the joy of the Lord may be continually your strength, and that God, even your God, may graciously give you his blessing. Yea, I pray that goodness and mercy may follow you all the days of your lifcj and number eacn one of you with his saintfc, in glory everlasting
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