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S E R M ON
JOHN IV. 84-36.
JESUS SAITH UNTO THEM, MY MEAT IS TO DO THE WILL OF HIM
THAT SENT ME, AND TO FINISH HIS WORK. 8AY NOT YE, , THERE ARE YET FOUR MONTHS, AND THEN COMETH HARVEST? BEHOLD, I SAY UNTO YOU, LIIT UP YOUR EYES, AND LOOK ON THE FIELDS, FOR THEY ARE WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST. AND HE THAT REAPETH RECEIVETH WAGES, AND GATHERETH FRUIT UNTO LIFE ETERNAL ; THAT BOTH HE THAT SOWETH, AND HE THAT REAPETH, MAY REJOICE TOGETHER,
ANOTHER revolution of time has brought us, my Brethren, to the great annual assembling of many Tribes of the Lord to the Metropolis, to hold solemn Meetings on the great subjects of Human Woe and Christian Beneficence. Guided by evangelic truth, they come to hear again of the miseries of our fallen race through sin, and of the progress of the Word of God for their redemption, in all the world—to humble themselves before Him, for our common rebellions and manifold provocations-to magnify his Name together, and the Name of his Holy Child Jesus—and to stir up one another to more enlarged efforts for the proclaiming of that Name for salvation unto all the ends of the earth.
The objects presented to us are among the most awful and affecting that can be presented to the mind—the purpose, among the greatest and best
that can be conceived. Leading us back to the Rock from which we all were hewn, to the Pit from whence we were digged (Isaiah li. I), they appeal to all the sympathies of our common nature, to all the energies of redeemed souls. They are the common interest, and demand the concurrence, of all the ransomed of the Lord: and pleasant, doubtless, in His sight are the highways of our land, as, at this season, they bear hither, from day to day, the successions of His faithful servants, eager to make new offerings of faith and love in the several Societies with which they are connected. May great grace be upon them all! Especially may the prayers and praises which we have now offered, be accepted of our Heavenly Father in the Name of his Son Jesus Christ! And may the Holy Spirit be yet more sensibly with us, purify our minds, help our infirmities, and teach our hearts, as now we proceed to the Word of Exhortation, (Acts xiii. 15), in the same Divine Presence and Adorable Name !
In meditating on the most suitable passage of Scripture from which to address you, the words of the text so impressed my mind, from the views of Divine Benevolence and Missionary Instruction and Encouragement which they contain, that, familiar as they are, and short, it seems, as is the time since they were in part submitted .to you on a former Anniversary, I could not scruple to adopt them. On an occasion like this, it were vain to affect novelty; and worse than vain to affect the applause of men. On such an occasion, above all others, it behoves us to watch and pray, that we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord. Be His
t from appeal nature,
Tants, in the ected.
in the Holy
OUT ts, as trion, and
Name exalted among us, and it is well--God, even our own God, will give us his blessing. Whose words they were, you see; and the occasion of them you, doubtless, well remember. They were the words of Jesus himself, on beholding the Samaritans flocking to him, on the report of the woman with whom he had been conversing at the well of Sychar, that he was certainly a great prophet-He told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?-He was the Christ! He had told her so: and does not the spirit of the compassionate Messiah breathe, as in his whole discourse with her, so particularly in that portion which has been read to you? He had arrived at the well, exhausted with fatigue, and hunger, and thirst. Resting himself on the side of the well while his Disciples were gone away to buy food, this woman came to draw water. He solicits of her a little water to drink, and she objects to him the enmity of the Jews toward the Samaritans. Thus unkindly repulsed, he takes occasion from it to apprise her of her own greater necessities -her spiritual necessities—which could be relieved only by that Heavenly Gift of which water was the known emblem, and which he himself had to bestow; and, to make her sensible of it, he proceeds, in answer to some other remarks, to shew her, that, though in appearance a mere man and a stranger, he was thoroughly acquainted with the impurities of her heart and life. (vv. 10-18.) Awed by the discovery, she endeavours to evade the conviction by a question concerning the Temple; and he replies to her by a solemn admonition of the spiritual nature of God, and the spiritual service which alone He could accept. (vv. 19—24.) She adverts to the