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expectation, in the use and improvement of the talents received; of which we are not Lords, but stewards.
It is God that intrufteth us with all the advantages we enjoy, and we hold them in a dependance upon him. Our reason, our time, our health and strength, our external accommodations, and the helps we have for our souls under the means of grace, are intirely in his power ; which we are to own with an humility that becomes stewards.
2. What cause of serious concern have all that live under the gespei, left, as stewards of the manifold grace of God, they should receive it in vain, and have their future condemnation
aggravated by their present advantages, as neglected, or abused ?
3. Will the time of our stewardship have an end? What a regard does this challenge to it ? What a value should we put upon it, as a season in which we are to act for eternity; and at the close of which we are to go out of our stewardship into endless joy, or misery?
4. The believer has no reason to faint under the difficulties of his stewardship ; seeing it will have an end, a most desirable one: and, neither the services, nor sufferings of the present time, are worthy to be compared to the glory to be revealed.
5. When our stewardship ends must an account be given up? It is hence evident, that the soul survives the body, and is capable of acting, and of being dealt with in a way of wrath, or mer
cy, according to the state in which it goes away: and hereupon,
6. How great and important a thing is it to die ; it being to go in spirit to appear before God, and give an account of all that we have done in the body, and to be dealt with accordingly? How light soever the generality make of this, To die to such a purpose as this, is most awful in itself, and ought to be so to us. With what seriousness should we put the question, How are we prepared for such a change, and what is consequent upon it? What reason have the most to lament, that they have made no better preparation hitherto ; and with what seriousness should we now begin?
And, in order to Thew you, how to do this, I will conclude with two or three directions for your assistance.
(1.) Call yourselves to an account as to the state you are in, and the part you have acted: you are to come to a reckoning with God.
(2.) Let an interest in Christ be secured now, as ever you would hope to find mercy in the great day of accounts.
There is no having our per, fons accepted, all objections against us silenced and thrown out, but as found in him, clothed with his righteousness. To them that are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation : but there is nothing but condemnation to all besides.
3. Beg of God the wisdom and faithfulvess necessary to discharge your Newardship well : you have need of both.
(1.) Of wisdom to know the value of the talents you are intrusted with, the will of your
great Lord concerning their improvement, the manner in which you are to employ them, and how much depends upon your employing them aright.
(2.) You have need of faithfulness; that so you may act becoming your character, and may use the talents wherewith you are intrusted, as under the eye of God, whose stewards you are, with a sincere desire to please him now, and with an holy concern to find mercy from him another day.
(4.) Live in a serious belief, that the day of your stewardship’s ending, and the account to be given, is approaching: that it cannot be
many years, and that it may be within a few days, that your
souls and accounts shall both be called for. And as the time is short, hear and pray, and walk and act as persons waiting for your Lord. Blefied is that servant who when his Lord cometh, shall be found thus doing, and in this way receives the summons that will e're long be given to every one of us, Give an account of tly stewardship.
SER MON XV.
LUKE XXII. 15.
And he said unto them, With desire !
have desired to eat this pallover with you before I suffer.
HESE are the words of our Redeemer
when drawing near the close of his life, and having his death in view, which we are now going to remember at his table.
It was in the night in which he was betrayed that Christ thus spake : letting us know hereby, how he stood affected to his approaching dissolution, and to what was to go before it, and lead it on.
At the seventh verse, we read that the day of unleavened bread came, when the passover must be killed. And, verse 8. He sent Peter and John, faying, Go and prepare us the passiver, that we
And upon their enquiring, Where he would have the preparation made? He bids them, upon their entrance into the city, to follow a man they should meet bearing a pitcher of water, into the boule where be entered in, and deliver this mes
fage from him to the good man of the house, The Mafter faith unto thee, where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the pasover with my disciples? verses 10, 11. And as a proof of his omniscience and power, he tells them of the man's ready compliance with his desire. Hence observe, when Christ has a passover to eat, he will not want an heart, nor a convenient place for his own, and his friends reception, verse 12. And ke shall Shew you a large upper room furnished : there make ready.
Peter and Fohn went and found the guide and house, and room, as be, their Lord, had said unto them; for they that go upon Christ's word and errand, need not fear a disappointment. Here, according to the order given them, they made ready the pasover, verse 14. And when the hour was come, be sat dozen, and the twelve apostles with him; to whom he thus speaks, as in the words of the text, With desire have 1 desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.
In the words we have visibly two parts. I. The well-pleasedness with which Christ spake
of the last pafsover he was to eat with his difciples upon the earth, and the special welcome he gives to it; With defire have I desired to eat
this passover with you. II. The prospect he had of his suffering and
death, which were to follow his eating this passover, and his hearty willingness to meet and go through them ; With desire have 1 defired to eat this passover with you before I fuffer, i. e, after which I shall eat no more, but be, myself, soon after crucified and Nain.