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knows how selfish we may be in it; but when we are led to with those that mourn, and rejoice with those that do rejoice;" to be thankful for that dear brother, to be urgent with God on his behalf; to look on that dear sister, and be deeply humbled before God on her account-when our hearts are drawn forth thus in the exercise of grace for them, I would say, there is something unselfish in it; and there is no greater proof on earth that we are children of God than when we are so favoured of God. I might say, why do ye wonder at it? I love my child, I love myself; therefore pray for my child, and therefore I pray for myself? What wonder is there then? what is so near as myself? But these are comparative strangers, no one knows them; yet they are believing children of God, and I am urgent that they should " grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the blessed Saviour." It is one of the greatest exhibitions of a work of grace in the soul of a man.
Oh! how awful is the thought, that there may be many of those who hear me, that never yet have prayed for themselves! Oh! how solemn the thought, that they have never yet uttered one fervent prayer for themselves! My dear brother, my dear sister, the longer I live the less I think of what man thinks; but oh! to think of what an accursed evil sin is! To see it going on destroying millions and millions, and millions! To see the progress that oftentimes takes place in this Chapel or in that Church, where the Gospel is preached -the hardening process! I look at you, ye are not the same men ye were; no wonder; ye have heard of Christ, but ye have neglected the Word of eternal life; and now, God says, "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you." Oh! wondrous and awful consequence of living one day more in a prayerless state! How it ought to abase you, when you think how often you have sat in your seats, and abase me, when I think how often I have stood in this pulpit, and have little felt as we ought to feel for poor impenitent sinners! Oh! to have the heart touched for their sakes! Is it true, that every man that is without Christ is lost? Is it true, that " without holiness no man shall ever see God?" Is it true, that "except a man be born again, he never shall see the kingdom of God?" And these are not
"born again!" and as 1 look at them, I see them careless and insensible! Oh! how little we feel for them, compared with what we ought to feel! Oh! beloved, it were great grace in you and in me, if we were led this day to be abased before God for our want of prayer for them!
And, I would say, we ought to love for those that differ from us.
be abased that we feel no more You and I differ, conscientiously
differ, from the system of an established Church; and it causes us much pain, because there are so many dear personal friends,-men that one would look up to, men in whom one sees much of Christ, men that one would venerate: indeed it costs us much. But here is a dear brother preaching here, and a dear brother preaching there-did you ever pray for them? I dare to say, that ninety-nine out of a hundred have never prayed for them. Why do I speak a harsh word here? Because I find the materials of it in my own soul. We are so backward to pray for others that differ from us, and so back ward to feel what we ought to feel for them; yet they love Christ, and hate sin, and love and fear God.
One word more I have contended that we ought to pray for all the saints of God (we ought, indeed!); but there are some that we ought especially to pray for; there are some, that are brought especially near to us. We may see that in the case of our blessed Lord; He loved John; he was the beloved disciple. And it is so with you and with me. This joint of my finger touches the next joint more closely than it affects the joints farthest from it; and if it be injured, the next joint will necessarily feel more for it, too, than the farthest joint so God has brought some near to us; domestically or providentially, He has brought some near to us. Now if He has thus brought some near to us, it is that we may be urgent for a blessing upon each other; and especially for those who are in trouble, who are now passing through deep trials. Are there none in this congregation, that it strikes you are walking afar off from God? You do not think they are walking near to God; you do not think they are walking watchfully; you do not think they are walking prayerfully ; you fear the world has crept in, the creature has crept in; you fear they are going back-then make them more immediately the subject of prayer before God.
And I would say, there is the need that I have to be constantly in your prayers. Pray for me, and for my brethren that preach the Gospel even that we may be filled with the Spirit, and with the love of souls; that our hearts may be touched as with a coal from off the altar; and that we may be filled with the love of Christ.
May the Lord grant us His blessing, for Christ's sake!
BY THE REV. J. H. EVANS, M.A.
PREACHED AT JOHN STREET CHAPEL, KING'S ROAD, BEDFORD row, ON SUNDAY MORNING, JULY 27, 1845..
"Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen."-Ephesians vi. 24.
PAUL was an extraordinary instance of the grace of God, a close follower of Christ, a faithful servant of his great Master. He presents to us a union of opposites: he was bold, intrepid, fearless of all consequences, as it regarded his own comfort and exposure to imprisonment and death; and yet, gentle, tender, affectionate, compassionate, full of love. It was, however, "by the grace of God he was what he was ;" as he tells us with such peculiarity of urgency, lest we should not understand him. "Not I," he says; these are short words, and you and I are learning out the mystery of them; "not I, but the grace of God which was with me:" "not I, but Christ, liveth in me:" "by the grace of God I am what I am."
He sends this close, searching, affectionate, tender, sympathising letter to the saints of God at Ephesus; and yet he was by no means satisfied with doing so; he sends Tychicus to them; according to those tender expressions-the index of a tender heart-"Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister." He sends him to them, not precisely for the same object as he sends him to the Church at Colosse, as you observe in the fourth chapter of Colossians and the seventh verse- "All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord; whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate." This is not mentioned in this epistle to VOL. XI.-No. 399.-August 21, 1845.
the Ephesians; but the object for which he sent him to Ephesus was to comfort them, and that they might know how things went with him. "Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs”—what I do, how I act, how the Lord supports me, how happy I am in His love, how He furthers the ministry, and what bright and beamy prospects cheer my spirit: " and that He might comfort your hearts." Thus he assured them of his love to them, and testified that he was quite confident of their love to him. What a delicacy! But we must have the same grace that the apostle Paul had, to make us equally tender with him.
He then gives them his parting prayer-his parting bendiction"Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." And then, as he prayed for them— (it is always the case with prayer, that the more we pray for the saints, the more large our hearts become)-he widened, and prayed that grace might not only be with them, but "with all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity."
These were among the last words of the apostle Paul. There is something very touching in last words. If these were my last words, it would touch you. He had told them before, that they should " see his face no more." Observe in the twentieth chapter of Acts, and the twenty-eighth verse, he sent for the elders-the overseers-the bishops-at Ephesus, and said unto them, "Feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." But observe in the thirty-eighth verse-" Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more." He had prepared them never to expect to see his face any more. But they did not know that they were never to hear from him any more. Yet it was really so. It was the last communication he had with them. There is something touching in last looks and last words. Some of you have seen the last look and listened to the last words of some dying friend-some dying mother or father. Did ye not feel it to be solemn? Were you never to hear their voice or see them any more, and you unconcerned? It is solemn; may God give you to feel it! You that have parents, whose voice ye hear and whose face ye see, re
member ye will soon see their faces no more; and their warnings shall soon come to an end for ever. Happy and wise is the man that lays these things to heart, as in the sight of a holy God.
There are two points to which I shall call your attention, and my own attention. May the Holy Spirit lay them deeply on our hearts. First of all, that the true test of discipleship is, that a man loves Christ in sincerity; and then, secondly, the benediction pronounced upon such: "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity."
I. Saints are not remarkable for their numbers. In our Lord's day, in His parable of the sower, He speaks of one out of four of those that heard the Gospel. Is there a larger proportion now, do you think? Solemn question! You may never have put it to yourselves hitherto; but the time cometh when you will.
They are not remarkable for any outward distinction. I do not, by any means, think that the description given in the first epistle to the Corinthians, the first chapter, and the twenty-sixth verse, refers to the ministerial calling; but rather I take the usual interpretation of the passage; for I think we never should have read the words, "Ye see your calling," if it had been so. "Ye see your calling, brethren;" then there is a description of the generality of those who were called "how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not❞—that ye esteem as nothing-" to bring to nought things that are❞—that ye esteem as everything-" that no flesh should glory in His presence;" and then it goes on to show that it is not ministerially to be looked at: "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption : that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
The Church of God is not remarkable for outward distinction.
The mark of discipleship is not to be traced merely to a new reed. The promise of the covenant is not a new head, hut “ a new