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casion, the people gladly received his SERM.
XVI. " word and were baptized, and the same
day there were added unto them about « three thousand souls." This was a large portion of first fruits, a great earnest of that spiritual harvest which the apostles had begun to reap, of which the first fruits of the productions of the earth, offered at this very time by the Jews, were a representation. Nor was the utility of the gift, conferred on the apostles, less conspicuous afterwards; the thing, indeed, speaks for itself. The last orders of Jesus Christ were—“ Go ye and teach all nations, bap
tizing them in the name of the Father, " and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,
teaching them to observe all things what“ soever I have commanded you.” How were these orders to be fulfilled without a previous knowledge of the tongues of the nations whom these missionaries were to address and how slow, very slow, must VOL. I.
SERM. have been the progress of the gospel if
they had been left to acquire these tongues by the usual methods. On the contrary, with this assistance, its progress was rapid beyond imagination; within the period of forty years, from the death of Christ, it had been preached and had obtained some footing in every considerable country of the then known world.
Let us, then, now, and at all times, entertain the highest gratitude towards God, for this stupendous instance of his desire that all nations and kindreds should come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved ; let us resolve to make the most we are able of this benevolent distribution of divine truth; let us pray to God that as his Holy Spirit at the first opening of Christianity gave such extraordinary power to the apostles for our conversion, so he may continue the same blessed work by taking up his abode with each and all of
us, by illuminating our understandings and SERM. purifying our hearts, that we may have a true perception of every thing which it concerns us to know, and may resolutely and uninterruptedly continue in the practice of it.
Then Jesus said unto his disciples, If any
man will come after me, let him deny bimself, and take up bis cross and follow me.
XVII. ministry, having nearly perfected the work which he was sent upon earth to perform, he thought it necessary to give his disciples some account of the sufferings and death which he was about to undergo.Having done that, having told them what