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Go, brethren,--not as to a task, to this mission of mercy, but as to an occupation the most profitable, the most honourable you can follow. Go, remembering Him Who calls you to it—the Blessed Saviour Himself, and His example—Who went about, all His short earthly time, doing good, and healing such as had need of healing. Go and prove that you have fellowship with Christ by walking in Christ's steps.—The disciple is not above his master ; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master!
FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
GOING AWAY FROM CHRIST.
St. MATTHEW XIX. 22.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful : for
he had great possessions.
Few incidents in the Gospel are more touching or more instructive than the one which is brought before us in these words—a young man going away from Christ in sorrow! His indeed is a history for our learning-the history of a soul that missed salvation, when already far advanced in the way to be saved ! Not of a soul that, in its pride and independence, stood apart from Christwould not come unto Him for life—but of a soul that yearned after the Saviour, came to Him and sought His guidance, felt His power and wisdom, and yet was separated from Him! would not be saved on the terms He was willing to save, and so was lost !-lost as a ship is sometimes lost, when the port is in view, shattered on a rock at the harbour's mouth, which, if it could have escaped and floated over, no other obstacle had intervened to keep it from the haven where it would be !
Surely such a history deserves our deepest attention. Let us read it together, brethren, and take to ourselves its warning. We find it written in the three out of the four Gospels: the account which follows is from St. Mark-And when Jesus was gone forth into the way, there came one running and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?
Observe how desirous this young man-a ruler he is called by St. Luke-was to be instructed in the truthhe came to Jesus running—he did not want urging by his friends to go-he did not go because others had gone first, but he went to Him of his own accord, and wil. lingly–he came running, and having come, he kneeled to Him, and addressed Him by the title of Good Master, and put to Him this gravest of all questions What shall I do to inherit eternal life?
It is the question of questions still—How shall I run so as to attain-what shall I do to reach the desired goal—what shall I do that, this life ended, I may secure the promise made to me in my Baptism, of the kingdom of heaven and everlasting life?
That, I say, is the great question still. Let us notice what help we have to an answer in our Lord's reply to this young man-Jesus said unto him, Thou knowest the commandments-Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother-all commandments of the Second Table—all bearing upon the duty we owe to our neighbour.
The young man answered—too boastfully, but still with a degree of truth—for he evidently had sought to
walk in God's commandments, and had tried to keep a conscience void of offence-Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Then—we are told—Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest : go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.
It was a critical moment in that young man's history. We wait with anxiety for his answer.
We look to see him close with the Saviour's proposal.---We hope to hear from him some words of hearty acceptance—but, alas ! he is dumb. More was asked of him than he could give -had it been a lesser thing, he would have done it-but even in declining he is sad— When the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions !
The Lord saw the struggle in his heart. He saw his face grow clouded, as the parting with his wealth was made the condition of his eternal happiness. He saw how the love of money prevailed with him over every other consideration, even over his desire, late so keen, of inheriting eternal life-He marked him as, with slow and sorrowful mien, he went out of His presence—and looking round on those who still continued with Him, His disciplesmen who had left all to follow Him-He said-How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the king
dom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God!
Even with this modification of His words--His disciples were still in amazement—they said among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, with men it is impossible ; but not with God ; for with God all things are possible !
We have now to consider the application of this history to ourselves.
And first, there is the lesson which the latter part of the passage contains for those who have abundance of this world's goods.
There perhaps never was made so plain, as our Lord makes it here, that sore evil, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt! The one hindrance to this young man's joining Christ and being saved by Christ, was his money—he had great possessions! He was not a man whose wealth had tempted him to vice, or to self-indulgence. The fact that our Lord loved him, his eagerness too in coming to Christ, would shew that he had good qualities in him-was not without religion-not without a wish to serve God. And yet amiable as he was, orderly in his life, and anxious about the life to come, he was unable to enter into God's kingdom. He could not lay aside his wealth, and become poor, no, though it were in order to his being exceeding rich !
Surely such an example must carry with it a grave warning. Surely not only they who are already rich, but they who are struggling to become rich, will do well to have before their eyes the figure of this young ruler,