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ple; some more by their personal intreaties ; and all may do much by their prayers. This variety of aspect under which we see the followers of Christ in the present life, is connected with an equal diversity of circumstances in the trials which constitute, in each, his cross. The christian cottager, who is spending life in the vale of obscurity, who is employed in buffeting the storms of adversity, who is known to scarcely a solitary being in the world, who is cheered by the visits merely of the passing christian stranger, has a cross to bear, chiefly in cultivating the graces of his own heart—in keeping alive the flame of love to God the Saviour, amid the cares and perplexities that overcloud his humble days. The christian scholar, who is pursuing with ardour his inquiries into the wisdom and power and goodness manifest in the works of God; who is qualifying himself to act with increased wisdom and energy and influence, in future years, in the cause of Zion; who is surrounded by companions in the hey-day of youthful passions, and ardent in the same literary pursuits; has a cross to bear, chiefly in resisting surrounding temptations—in keeping alive his love to the Saviour, and acting openly as a champion for his kingdom, against the influence, chilling to piety, that meets him in the warm worldly feelings, that are continually soliciting his sympathies. The christian missionary, who has carried the light of the gospel into heathen lands; who is waving the banner of Jesus, in triumph, before the pagodas of idolatry; who is labouring, with success, to demolish the iron sway of Satan, the god of this world, by aiming his weapons at the very seat of his kingdom, has his cross to bear, chiefly, like the apostolic missionary Paul, in wrestling against principalities and against powers—in keeping alive and active his love to the Saviour, against the opposition that meets him from the grand

adversary, animating and guiding the embattled hosts that are “led captive at his will.” Though the cross which the worthy follower of Christ must expect to meet, is so different in its circumstances, in different individuals, yet it arises, in all cases, from essentially the same sources. All have been involved in a common apostacy, and are experiencing a common redemption; all have one master, Christ Jesus; all have drunk into one spirit of love; all are labouring to promote one “kingdom of righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” The common sources of trial to all christians, and which must lead every one, who would be a worthy follower of Christ, whatever be his situation in life, to expect the cross, are three. He must expect it from himself. His own heart imposes on him the heaviest cross. The best disciples of Christ, are not thoroughly sanctified, in the present life. They carry about with them, bodies of infirmity, that are assailable by temptation, and souls which have many taints upon them of their original corruption.— Though sin, in them, has received its mortal wound, and the extremities of the body are dead, yet the action of life still remains at the heart. Never shall they cease therefore to expect crosses from within, from their own pride, or sloth, or worldliness, or lust; never, while engaged in faithfully adhering to the commands of their Lord, until they be clothed upon with their house from heaven. A worthy attachment to Christ will present them with many crosses in surmounting their sloth, in subduing their pride, in mortifying the deeds of the body, in raising their affections above the world, and to heavenly objects. They who would be the worthy followers of Christ, must expect the cross from their fellow men. “Man is the greatest foe of man.” “Beware of men,” said Christ to his

disciples, on the very occasion on which he gave this direction to them to take up the cross. The world will not sympathize with christians, in those affections which they have received from their heavenly birth, nor take any solid satissaction, or active co-operation in that conduct of theirs, which proceeds from those affections. If they faithfully follow their Lord, in setting before their fellow men the holy and inflexible demands of the gospel, and seriously entreat them to turn from their worldly vanities unto the living God, their counsels are often unheeded; opposition in many instances is their reward. The world is ever ready to hedge up the path of fidelity to the Saviour with thorns. At one time, it brings forward its temptations, and solicits the imperfect christian to indulgences unbecoming his character and prospects, as a follower of Jesus; at another, it arrays all the terrours of its satire, and malice, and frowns against the few testimonies he gives of faithful adherence to his Lord. While living in a world of such beings, who are opposed to the laws of God, and the salvation of the gospel, the worthy followers of Christ must expect to meet a heavy cross. They must expect it again from Satan. The proud philosophy that would vainly deny the existence of such a being, can bring no objection to the simple fact stated in the scriptures, that there are intelligent beings in the universe, far superior in their capacities to man, and that some of these are malicious beings. Such is the plain statement of revelation, concerning Satan and his fellow rebellious angels. He is represented as a real, subtle, and powerful foe to the best interest of man; who remits not his exertions to ruin their souls. He commenced his work of ruin in Eden, and brought a world in captivity to his will : and the greatest work of Christ consists in destroying the works of the devil. “Be vigilant,” says Peter to his fellow christians, “because your adversary, the devil,

as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour.” While such a foe is permitted to make his assaults on the christian in the present world; a foe, so subtle, so malicious, having so many instruments at command ; can he ever expect to be freed, during his earthly pilgrimage, from the cross 2 They who would be followers worthy of Christ, must not only expect the cross, but II. They Must BEAR THE CRoss. The following reasons may shew, that if the followers of Christ, would act worthily of the obligations and encouragements which he has set before them, they must bear the cross. 1. They must bear it, because it is appointed by Christ. Christ, who has all power in heaven and on earth, could doubtless sanctify his people wholly, at first, and remove them, at once, beyond the reach of opposition from their own hearts, their fellowmen, or devils. He has, however, seen it best, to order his kingdom of grace otherwise; and to leave his imperfectly sanctified followers to continue in the world, for years after their conversion, struggling with their cross. He then is not worthy of such a leader and of his favour, who is unwilling to submit to his wise appointments. 2. The cross must be borne in the cause of Christ, because it affords the christian opportunity to testify his gratitude to Christ. ‘Have I been redeemed from everlasting miseries, by the blood of Jesus Christ P. Have I been called by him to the privilege of surveying an eternal residence in the holy joys of the divine kingdom, as my future inheritance?’ Questions like these, come home to the feelings of every sincere follower of Christ, and make a loud appeal to his gratitude. “Oh then, he exclaims, “my great aim henceforth, shall be to testify my love to him, by keeping his cominandments. I will improve every faculty I have, and seize upon every occasion offered me in his providence, to testify my love. I can bear the cross for his sake; for it will be but a feeble expression of love to him, for his to me. I will sit meekly at his feet, to learn of him my duty; and if he impose upon me some heavy burden, I will look up to the much heavier one he bore for me, and bear it, out of love.” 3. The cross is to be borne by the worthy follower of Christ, because it contributes to the growth of his graces. The holy intention of the Saviour in its appointment, is, that it might yield in his followers, “the eaceable fruits of righteousness.” #. Apostles give this testimony respecting the design of the cross. “Ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” “We glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” Very easily may the connection be seen, between doing and suffering the will of God, under the burden of the cross, and an inerease of love, fidelity, zeal, and humility in the cause of God. He who shrinks from the cross imposed upon him in the cause of Christ, must find his love wax cold; his zeal abate; his fidelity marred; and all the graces of his heart withering in death. He cannot be a disciple worthy of Christ then who will not take up his cross, and voluntarily promote the growth of those graces which the Saviour has implanted in him by the Holy Spirit. 4. The worthy followers of Christ must bear the cross, because they have encouragement of support under it from his grace. “My grace is sufficient for thee,” is a promise which abundantly provides for the good of every disciple, under all his trials. The fact that Christ beholds each of his followers under every cross they

bear, with tender love and pity, and with designs of everlasting good, is enough to reconcile them to a patient endurance of the conflict. To be viewed with gracious approbation by so high and holy and excellent a being as Christ Jesus, is full of sweetest consolation to the soul: and a sense of his grace is most affectingly imparted to his followers, when they are in circumstances most to need it. They can go forward relying securely on that supporting grace in all trials. For he is faithful to his promises, that he will never leave nor forsake his people; that he will be with them when they pass through the flames and the waters of tribulation. All his people who have trod their way triumphantly under the burden of the cross to the world of glory, can testify, that a sweet sense of his grace was in parted to them in the needful hour. and filled their souls with such heavenly delights as made their light af. flictions fade into utter insignificance. Martyrs have triumphed so in the flames. The obscurest believers have triumphed so, under the various crosses that have come upon them in mortifying their sins and labouring for the kingdom of Christ. He then who shrinks back from the cross unwilling to bear it, while accompanied with such rich consolations from the grace of Christ, is not a worthy disciple. He is not fit to be reckoned a follower of so gracious a leader. 5. The cross is to be borne by the worthy follower of Christ, because it has a compensation in the greatness of the cause. The object which the worthy disciple of Jesus is aiming to promote in the present life, is essentially the same as that which was pursued by his great leader and pattern. In assuming the character of a follower of Jesus, he has adopted it as the chief purpose of his life and the highest object of his ambition, to promote the glory of God the Saviour, and the immortal welfare of men. Zion, as the kingdom in which the brightest glories of Jehovah are manifest and the highest felicity of

heart.

men is attained; Zion, as the kingdom which his great master Christ Jesus lived and toiled and bled to establish, and has called his followers to co-operate with him in enlarging; Tion, is that which, above all objects of his pursuit, lies the nearest his For this kingdom he prays; for this kingdom he labours; and for this kingdom will he not take up the cross P Has he not fixed his heart on an object sufficiently high and endearing, to induce him cheerfully to bear the cross P What if, in seeking the welfare of Zion, he must struggle against his own sloth and timidity and worldliness and pride? What if he must encounter the lukewarmness, or the sneers, or the frowns, or the cruelties of his fellowmen P What if he must fight his way through against Satan, the God of this world, in rescuing men from his iron bondage of ignorance and sin P May he but witness the accusing conscience pacified, the tear of misery wiped away, the smile of celestial hope lighted up, in one of the humblest of his fellow mortals; may he but see by his efforts Zion accelerating in the least degree, her progress and eventual triumphs in the earth; may he but bring this and that and the other immortal being to the bar of Christ at the last day, washed from sin in his blood, to be eternal gems in his diadem of glory; and, though he bear the cross for it, he will envy no orator his fame, no chieftain his prowess, no statesman his renown, no monarch his throne. Shall they who seek these worldly objects esteem no sacrifices too great to endure, for the meager pleasure they bestow P And shall the christian shrink back from a cross, less grievous in itself than theirs, when he is seeking an object of endless value? He then is not a follower worthy of Christ, who thinks more of the cross than the kingdom. 6. The worthy follower of Christ must bear the cross he meets in duty, because it is of very short duration. Though while it lasts, it can be patiently endured as flowing from the

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so to-day. The very endurance of it, has removed that which made it a cross. By taking up the cross then and bearing it patiently, his load becomes lighter as he advances in life, and the period of his eternal release, draws near. ‘A few more days,’ may he say in the midst of his afflictions, ‘and God my Saviour will take me to his everlasting rest. His hand of infinite kindness shall wipe away these my tears, and place me by his side, in the Heavenly Zion. O, shall I think it too much to bear these light afflictions in his cause, which are but for a moment, and which are leading me to the joys of his presence P and so soon too? Another day, and my conflict with sin may have ended in endless triumph; and shall I not then bear it manfully to-day? Another year, it may be; and shall I not bear it the present P A few years at most it will be; and shall I not bear it cheerfully my few remaining days P’ These considerations, then, shew us, that they who would follow the Lord Jesus, with a fidelity becoming his cause, must expect the cross, and must patiently bear the cross. An application of this subject might profitably be made to the young convert, who has just turned his face Zion-ward and chosen Christ for his leader, with ardent purposes of stedfastly cleaving to his Lord; or to the tried christian, who is combating, in the midst of his active course, the hosts of his spiritual enemies, with self as a good soldier of Christ Jesus; or to the unworthy disciple who, in the hour of conflict shrinks back in dismay and throws aside his cross, and forsakes his leader.

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The application, however, shall

now be confined to a few of the latter unworthy class. 1. The censure of shrinking from the cross, then, falls upon the worldly follower of Christ. There are those who openly espouse his cause and enrol their names on the list of his followers who are excited to do it blindly, indeed, it may be from a prudential regard to their worldly interests.They do it at a season when, or in a place where, the whole world appear to be going after Jesus; and there is great popularity attached to a profession of his faith. They expect to advance themselves to a respectable standing in society, to gain the greater confidence of their fellow men, and to render their circumstances in the present life more desirable. Like those who, when Christ was on the earth, followed him because they did eat of the loaves and were filled, they are actuated by merely mercenary views. I ask then respecting every such follower of Christ, where is his cross? Has he, while engaged with his whole heart and soul in seeking the wealth, or the pleasures, or the offices of the world, has he consented to be crucified unto the world, out of the love he bears to the name of Jesus. Must not the Lord Jesus while he looks through the ranks of his followers and sees one so mercenary, exclaim, why have you not taken up the cross in following me? Why have you not fixed your views on a kingdom not of this world as I have done P and consented to be made of no reputation among men, if you might but be exalted in that kingdom P You are not worthy of me. You are not worthy of a place in my affections, or among my followers or in my kingdom. 2. The censure of shrinking from the cross falls, again, upon the sloth

ed his name, with the followers of the Lamb. He did not expect, perhaps, at the outset of his course, that the Redeemer had much for him to do in the world. Though he saw around him, many active champions for the cause and kingdom of the Saviour, he did not think that the Saviour would call especially for his services. He thought he saw an excellence in the character of the saviour, a purity in his precepts, a preciousness in his salvation, a happiness in his kingdom, that attracted his love. To dwell forever in that kingdom was his most ardent wish. He felt happy in seeing others labor for that kingdom; and while he read the promises of the gospel concerning the certain continuance and enlargement of it, he felt easy in the security that there always would be others who would be engaged in such labors. He finds however, since he gave his name to Christ as a follower, that others have welcomed him to the kingdom, because they expected to find in him a labourer; and that Christ wishes no followers, but such as, like him, esteem it their meat to do the will of their heavenly Father and devote themselves continually to doing good. Now he has a conflict with sloth.Oh, he never calculated on taking up this cross, and now he shrinks from it. Unworthy disciple ! How unlike his indefatigable master, Jesus ! How unworthy the name and the favour of such a leader' 3. The censure of shrinking from the cross, falls again, on the desponding follower of Christ. He loved the kingdom of Jesus; he desired the glory of his Saviour; he desired redemption from sin, when he gave his name to Christ as a follower. His hopes perhaps were ardent that he should do much to advance the glory of Christ, and extend his kingdom, and maintain his own graces in lively exercise. He designed to do far more, than older and more moderate christians were doing. He could be warm in reproving their coldness in a cause

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