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bably even the people in general were more than ever disposed to "think that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." And the scene on the mountain on the preceding day had very much strengthened such expectations in the minds of some of his disciples. But he took occasion to rectify their apprehensions with regard to the future transactions and real nature of that kingdom of God, the approaching establishment of which had again been evidenced by the recent miracle. "While they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, Let these sayings sink down into your ears; for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men." They understood him not, and they feared to ask an explanation. Yet so fully occupied were their minds with anticipations respecting" the dominion, and glory, and kingdom, which were to be given to the Son of man," that they "debated among themselves which of them should be the greatest" in those days of approaching exaltation. When Jesus inculcated humility, as the qualification of those who would either be great in the kingdom of heaven, or could even enter therein, one of those disciples, who had desired that he and his brother should "sit on his right hand and on his left in his kingdom," made a remarkable protestation of his zeal in his Master's cause. "Master, said he, we saw

one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us." This drew from our Lord many remarks, both immediately in answer to the statement of John, and also of general concern. We have time only to notice that, which is more immediately connected with our present subject, and which we proposed to compare with the observation that occurs in the discourse from whence our text is taken. "Jesus said, Forbid him not; for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, He shall not lose his reward.”

Our Lord's remarks, on this occasion also, are sufficiently explained by the circumstances to which they refer. When he observed, that " whosoever was not with him was against him," he was addressing those, who not only did not actually join the company of his constant followers, who not only had need that he should help their imperfect belief, but who actually disbelieved, and maliciously cavilled against that which was sufficient for their conviction. They persevered in blaspheming the Son of man; and he judged it necessary to caution them respecting the danger of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. But he,

whom John had ventured to forbid, had even such a favourable opinion of Jesus, as openly to shew a respect for him, by "casting out demons in his name;" and, for ought John knew, might be a decided believer. But such a one would at least not be disposed, even from inconsiderateness, much less in malice, to speak evil of the Son of man; but rather would he be inclined to believe that "the kingdom of God had come," and that Jesus was the Christ. And if every kindness done even to themselves, in the name of their Master, and because they were Christ's, would not lose its reward, it was both unnecessary, and inexpedient, to forbid such a one to shew his confidence in the power, and his respect for the character of their Master, even though he did not follow him with them. It would therefore become them to regulate their own behaviour to others by the maxim, that "he is on their part, who is not against them;" and to leave it to every one's conscience to consider for himself that individual responsibility which was declared in the words, "He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad."

"To our own Master we stand, or fall." From his omniscience neither our external conduct, nor our secret principles, can be concealed. A day will come "when God will make up his jewels, and spare them that have feared him, and that have

thought on his name; when we shall discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not." That Jesus, whose authority we have been maintaining, the object of whose kingdom we have been explaining by his own words and works, and who will hereafter appear as our Judge, has himself declared," Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Now if even a participation of the miraculous powers and gifts of the primitive ages was not, of itself, a decisive proof that men were truly Christ's, so as to be "confessed by him when he shall come in the glory of his Father," what jealousy should we, of these latter days, exercise over ourselves! We have seen that he came to establish the kingdom of God upon the ruins of that of Satan. We have seen that in this warfare none can be neuter. We know that the kingdom of God is " righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;" and that those "are of their father the devil, who do the lusts of their father." If then you would rightly judge of your own situation in this matter; if you desire to ascertain whether you have been "delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the

kingdom of God's dear Son," you perceive the sufficient, and the only, test which you are to apply. It is also fully explained in the words of the beloved Apostle. "Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.-In this the children of Go are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother"."

But at the same time that our subject calls upon us to warn and to direct you, it also enables us to console and to encourage you. The kingdom of God has been established, and it will never be destroyed. But it was established by the Son of man, who came "not to destroy men's lives, but to save them." He "gave his own life a ransom for many," "that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them, who, through fear of death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage." We may, therefore, be assured, that God hath made us "more than conquerors, through him that loved us;" that Jesus has " spoiled principalities and

a 1 John iii. 7-10.

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