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But self-denial will not only thus bring down heaven to you for a time it will carry you up to heaven for

Let us revert to the fifth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, and consider well the promises there made to those holy and happy tempers peculiar to Christianity, the essence of all which is self-denial; and let us observe the manner in which the reward is adapted and appropriated to each several temper.

“ Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the “ kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn; “ for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek; “ for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they " which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; “ for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful; “ for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure “in heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the

peace-makers; for they shall be called the children " of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted “ for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of “ heaven. Blessed are ye

Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, " and persecute you, and shall say all manner of "evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, “and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in “heaven."

The Saviour's promise is sufficient-But would you hear the testimony of one who viewed its accomplishment? You shall hear it

“ I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, "and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, “and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes,

and palms in their hands, and cried with a loud

“voice, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon “the throne, and unto the Lamb: blessing and “ glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, “and power, and might, be unto our God, for ever 66 and ever.

And one of the elders answered, say“ing unto me, What are these which are arrayed in " white robes, and whence came they? And I said

unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto

me, These are they which came out of great tri“ bulation, and have washed their robes, and made “them white, in the blood of the Lamb.”—These “ are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, “ the merciful, the pure in heart, the peace-makers, “ the afflicted, and the persecuted.”-- These are they, who, in the days of their flesh,

" denied " themselves, took up their cross daily and followed “ Jesus” in the way that leadeth unto life; that way on which “ the Lord hath promised his blessing, “even life for evermore."




LUKE, IX, 23.

If any man will come after me, let him take up his

Gross daily, and follow me.

That instrument on which, among the Romans, malefactors were condemned to suffer an ignominious and painful death, became a sign or symbol of all that is afflicting and tormenting, vexatious or disagreeable, whether to the body or the mind of man. The utmost torture and anguish were expressed by the noun cruciatus, the infliction of them by the verb crucio.

As the punishment alluded to was not in use among the Jews, they must have borrowed the expressions from the Romany ; unless, as some learned men think, they had been received before from the Persians, who, it is said, were accustomed to fix criminals to some kind of cross. Such application of the word is common, I believe, to most of the modern languages of Europe. In our own, we denote all events adverse and unpleasing by the general term of crosses.

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Since the time when the Son of God, by suffering on the cross, for the sins of the world, exalted it to a dignity above the thrones and diadems of princes, on which it was soon portrayed as their greatest ornament and highest glory, the word became one of mighty import in the Christian system, of which the doctrine, discipline, and duties, all range under its banner.

When our Lord pronounced the passage selected for my text, he, no doubt, intended to signify by what death he himself should die ; and withal to intimate, that, besides the manifold persecutions his apostles were to undergo for his sake, some of them should even literally be conformed to him in the manner of their leaving the world; which accordingly came to pass. It seems impossible to reflect upon this wonderful and characteristic circumstance respecting the ever-blessed Founder of our religion, as Grotius has well observed, without supposing that Plato must have been under a degree of divine impulse, when he closed the account of his righteous man who should appear at some future day, upon the earth, by predicting, that, “after having suffered all other

ills, he should at length be fixed to a cross.

To understand the phrase of taking up and bearing the cross, it must be recollected, that, upon the infliction of this punishment, the criminal was obliged to take up the cross, and bear it, on his shoulders, to the place of execution.

Our Lord's declaration shall be considered, in the following discourse, as general, and made to all his disciples. We shall state the grounds on which the

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duty is founded; and point out the manner in which it may

be best performed. It may appear difficult, at first sight, to comprehend the goodness of God in afflicting us, or commanding us to afflict ourselves. Could not be render us holy, without rendering us miserable, by way of preparative? Doubtless, he could have done it; and he could have produced all men, as he created the first man, at their full growth ; but his wisdom has seen it fit, that we should pass through the pains and hazards of infancy and youtlı, in the latter instance, and, in the former, that through tribulation and affliction we would enter into his heavenly kingdom. It is his will; and therefore, though no reasons could be assigned, silence and submission would best become us.-But there are many.

For it is obvious to remark, in the first place, that Christianity did not bring afflictions into the world with it; it found them already there. The world is full of them. The misery of man is a theme on which philosophers and historians, orators and poets, have expatiated from age to age ; nor is it yet by any means exhausted. The wealthy and the great, the men of business and the men of pleasure, have discovered no method of exemption. In every profession, every station, nay, in every individual, there is a something, which, at all times, damps all enjoyments, and imbitters the cup of life. Men are disquieted either by the tempers of others, or their own; by their sins, or by their follies ; by sickness of body, or

; sorrow of heart. Many, instead of becoming better by their sufferings, are made worse; they murmur,

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