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Noah. To this patriarch God made a second revelation of his will, and added both to those laws and promises which had before been given to Adam at the fall.

“ Again he went out about the sixth and " ninth hour, and did likewise." The third and fourth revelations of God's will were made to Moses and the prophets. To the former good and great man “God " talked face to face;" gave him a written law, to be observed by all mankind; and a law of works or ceremonies, which the Jews were to fulfil during the continuance of their church, in order to keep them a distinct people, until that Messiah, the Christ, or anointed of the LORD, should appear; who would break down the partition between Jew and Gentile ; establish a general church of the faithful of all nations and all ages ; make an atonement for the sins of the whole world ; and“ gather together Jew " and Gentile, Greek and barbarian, bond “and free, into one fold, under one shep"herd, Jesus Christ the Lord.” To the prophets, from Samuel to Malachi, God made a still clearer revelation of his holy will; confirmed his commandments by new san&tions ; strengthened the moral law; and gave more distinct promises of the Messiah, or Saviour, his office, life, sufferings, death,

resurrection, glory, and dominion, than had been hitherto afforded to mankind; and shewed, beyond a doubt, that it was his generous intention to save all mankind as well as the Jews, and to cast them off for a time, for their wicked rejection of the Saviour and his faith,

" And about the eleventh hour he went " out and found others standing idle, and 66 saith unto them, Why štand ye here all 6 the day idle? They say unto him, Be

cause no man hath hired us. He saith “ unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, 6 and whatsoever is right, that shall ye “ receive." The last revelation, and the only one which will now be made, of God's will to mankind, was the coming of J sus Christ into the world. Before his advent, a great part of mankind were entirely “idle" " as to the work of salvation. They had no master to whom they could go for employment; they were plunged either in brutish ignorance or gross idolatry, being altogether " without God in the world;” or worshipping“ stocks and stones," instead of their Maker. They had no rule of conduct to make them good in this life, and no promises from heaven to assure them of a happy immortality, after it was over. In the midst of these clouds and thick darkness, “ the day-spring from on high appeared," « the Sun of Righteousness rose with “ healing on his wings.” Christ came, and preached holiness and peace to the nations; he brought life and immortality to light by the gospel

. He gave mankind a clear view of heaven and hell, and shewed to them how they might reach the one by the path of repentance, faith, and obedience; and how they would certainly fall into the other by unbelief and wickedness. “ What“ soever is right,” said he, “ that shall "ye receive;" to them, “who, by patient “ continuance in well-doing, would seek for “ glory, and honour, and immortality,

eternal life: but unto them that would be so contentious, and would not obey the truth, “ but obey unrighteousness,-indignation “ and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon

every soul of man that should do evil.

“ So when even was come, the lord of “the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call “the labourers, and give them their hire,

beginging from the last unto the first. “ And when they came that were hired “about the eleventh hour, they received “every man a penny." The hour of death, my friends, is the time appointed by our Master who is in heaven, for every one of us to receive our wages, according to what



we have done in the body, whether it be “good, or whether it be bad." The price will not be proportioned to the length of time which we have worked, but according to the manner in which we have done our 'business. Whether we have worked with zeal and sincerity, and applied properly the talents which have been committed to our charge. You know that in worldly matters a man may be called early in the morning to his labours, and yet, by indolence in performing them, by wasting his time in other matters, by not having his heart, in short, in his business, may not fulfil his day's work half so compleatly as another labourer, who active, diligent, and true to his master) will perform it in a very few hours. Exactly thus it is in religion ; a man may have professed himself to be a christian, and a member of the church to which you belong, from early infancy; he may through its ordinances, been baptized, confirmed, received the sacrament, and attended his place of worship with much regularity; and yet, having done all this as a matter of course, of education, or of habit, and not having had his heart in the business; having not loved God with all his soulgi nor served his Saviour with his heart as well as his lips; he may

have less of the favour of God, than

have gone

that man, who shall be roused to a sense of religion late in life, but shall endeavour to make some amends for his past“ idleness," by deep sorrow, and repentance for his former sins; by a sincere faith in his Saviour; and a steady endeavour to keep his holy law, and to shew forth the sincerity of his faith by a constant course of “good works," and doing his duty faithfully to God and man.

« But when the first came, they supposed " that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. “ And when they had received it, they mur“ mured against the good man of the house, “ saying, These last have wrought but one “ hour, and thou hast made them equal “ unto us, which have borne the burden “ and heat of the day. But he answered “ one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee “no wrong: didst not thou agree with me “ for a penny? Take that thine is, and go " thy way; I will give unto this last even

as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to 6 do what I will with mine own? is thine « eye evil, because I am good ?” Spiritual pride, my friends, is a siņ too.common among christians, but it is so hateful in the sight of God, that we cannot too carefully avoid it. I doubt not, most of us flatter ourselves that we perform our duty better

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