Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

The Christian must serve God with the faculties of the whole Man.

themselves, they will be admitted to the marriage supper ; while you so long invited from the pleasant places of his kingdom, because in the fondness of present enjoyment you will have neglected to provide the wedding garment, and to prepare yourselves for the entertainment, will be shut out, to take your everlasting portion with the spirits of darkness.

SERMON VIII.

SERMON VIII.

The Duties and Graces of the Christian Woman.

Preached in Advent in the Year 1818, after the Death of Queen

Charlotte.

Luke 10. 41, 42.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art cureful and troubled about many things ; but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, whick shall not be taken away from her.

THE occasion of the affectionate admoni

tion which you have just heard, was this. Our blessed Lord some time in the course of his preaching and ministry, it is supposed on his way to celebrate the feast of dedication at Jerusalem, stopped within a short distance of that city, in the village of Bethany, at the house of Martha and Mary, whose brother La

zarus

The Duties and Graces of the Christian Woman.

zarus He raised from the dead. As these were two very religious women, and disciples of our Lord ; they were anxious to shew Him every token of reverence and regard. Martha, who probably at all times was the superintendant of their domestick affairs, was sedulously occupied in providing a rich and liberal entertainment, such as she conceived to be worthy of their holy visitant.

But Mary, more desirous to learn the doctrine that He taught, and to hear from Him the words of life, left her, sister in the midst of her cares, and like a true disciple placed herself at the feet of her Master, to listen to his discourse. Vexed at being left alone in the household of fices, and at the neglect of matters, which she deemed so important, Martha went to our Lord, and remonstrated upon the conduct of her sister. Lord, dost thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her, therefore, that she help me. To this the words in

my text are the answer.

This simple and apparently insignificant occurrence is related only by St. Luke, immediately after the beautiful and instructive pa.

ráble

The Duties and Graces of the Christian Woman.

rable of the Good Samaritan. But, since it does not appear to have immediately followed the delivery of that parable, nor to have any particular connection with any other transaction recorded in the history of our Lord; it seems rather to be introduced by the Evangelist, as a purely instructive incident conveying a lesson of Christian duty. In this light, my brethren, I intend to set it before you, in the discourse which I have now to deliver.

1 propose first to consider it generally, as it is at all times a subject of holy meditation, and a lesson of Christian conduct.

Secondly, as it may be referred to the ecclesiastical season, in which we are now assembled, and to the occasion, on which we see around us the emblems of mourning.

Every part of our Lord's conduct is a proper subject of devout meditation. But, where He is represented in scenes and circumstances, in which men are almost daily engaged, we are particularly interested to meditate upon his sayings and demeanour, that we may with

humility

The Duties and Graces of the Christian Woman.

humility copy his example, and emulate those who enjoyed his favour, or gained his appro bation.

In the sacred narrative now before us, we have first to observe that, although our Lord accepts the cares and assiduities of Martha, as proceeding from a good heart, and as wellmeant tokens of respect towards Him; yet He prefers the part chosen by Mary. His words are clearly an admonition that, however useful and praiseworthy was the careful diligence of Martha ; yet it was not to supersede another part of duty, which is here designated the one thing needful. And it should be noted, the Greek word, here used to express the cares of Martha, is the same that is used in another part of the Gospel, where we are directed to tuke no thought for the morrow. It signifies care in a great degree, an over-anxious concern, that harrasses and divides the mind. Hence it may be inferred that the care of Martha, to provide for the reception of our Lord, was, not only more than He required, but more than can be generally necessary for the purposes of social or hospitable entertainment;

that

« IndietroContinua »