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God." Art thou a master, and hast authority over others, consider the burden which this lays upon you; you have a double stewardship entrusted to you; you will have to answer at the dreadful day of judgment, not only for yourselves, but in many points for the lives and characters of those who are dependent upon you. Remember then the Apostle's counsel—“ Give unto them what is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."
In short, be our station here what it may, be it our office to minister, or to be ministered unto,—to serve or to rule. We shall be best brought by God's blessing, to fulfil its duties faithfully, by ever bearing uppermost in our thoughts that strict and solemn reckoning, that we must all render of ourselves to God. May He grant us grace to do this: may He, by His Spirit, graft into our hearts a lasting impression of our Christian responsibility and may the same blessed Spirit which teaches us our obligation, show us how to meet it; may He guide our steps aright amidst the dangers and temptations by which we are hourly beset, so that, in the end, when called to answer at the bar of our Lord, we may not be confounded, but may give our account "with joy and not with grief;" the account of a life, passed-I do not say without sin or without reproach-but of a life spent, as far as human infirmity will admit, in striving to do our Master's
service, in striving to walk, as He walked, "by whom we have received the atonement;" in meekness, in temperance, in brotherly kindness, in patient continuance in well doing, by faith and not by sight, in favour both with God and man.
Little Hadham, April 25, 1847.
ON THE RIGHT HEARING OF THE WORD.
ACTS xxviii. 24.-" And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not."
SUCH is the remark made by St. Luke in the last chapter of his Acts of the Apostles, upon the effect of St. Paul's preaching during his sojourn at Rome. It is a remark which occurring in the course of the narrative, might not at first sight attract any particular attention, nor seem to suggest any particular instruction. But on considering it, I think it will be found serviceable for such a purpose: capable of yielding (as indeed may be said of almost every sentence in the New Testament) matter profitable for our meditation, and adapted for our advancement in true religion.
Let me, then, my brethren, ask your tion while I endeavour to draw out and set before you, for your after reflection, and individual application, the lesson which, if I mistake not, is conveyed to us in this short verse by St. Luke, "And some believed the things which were spoken and some believed not."
And first, of the circumstances which occasioned this remark. They are related in the last chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. We there read, that when St. Paul-that persecuted but undaunted servant, and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ-had, as a last resource under the persevering enmity to which he was exposed in Judea, asserted his privilege of Roman citizenship, and appealed to the hearing of Augustus, and in consequence had been sent from Cesarea, where he had been long "in bonds," to the imperial city, his first step, on arriving at Rome, was to call together the chief of the Jews, and to explain to them, in his open and truthful manner, the real cause of his appearance there. And when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans: who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, be
cause there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Cæsar; not that I had aught to accuse my nation of. For this cause therefore, have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you; because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."
To this declaration of his innocence, the Jews replied in a tone of fairness and consideration, which contrasts agreeably with the bigoted demeanour of their country men towards St. Paul, and his associates on many well-known occasions mentioned in the Acts. "We neither received letters out of Judea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came, shewed, or spake any harm of thee. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against." In compliance with their desire, a day was appointed, and many of the Jews met together at the lodging of the apostle; (for though awaiting his trial, St. Paul was not now a prisoner, but allowed to live in his own hired house with a soldier that guarded him,) and there availing himself of the opportunity thus afforded him to fulfil the mission with which his heart was full," he expounded and testified" to the assembly