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you perceive, my friends, that the word of God plainly and fully recognizes your station in society, and lays down the rule for your conduct, while it manifests towards your interests the most benevolent regards. In the word of God you meet with special sympathy; it demands of your masters and employers, on your behalf, an upright dealing, and a treatment, not merely humane, but kind and benevolent. It requires them to render you " that which is just and equal;" and stops not there: it tells the master,
“ thou shalt not rule over thy hired servant with rigour, but shalt fear thy God;" “ forbearing threatening.” But while it thus provides for your temporal interests, it insists on your faithfully discharging every duty to your masters, and that for the glory of Christ; and points you to your final reward from him with whom there is no respect of persons. Remember then that you are bound by the law of the gospel, and by that law you must be judged. If found unfaithful in the service of a fellow-creature, you will be condemned as unfaithful to your master in heaven; as having despised his law and
dishonoured his name. The servant, as well as the master, that doeth wrong, “shall re. ceive according to the wrong which he hath done.” But if, in the spirit of the gospel which you profess, you strive “to adorn the doctrine of God, our Saviour, in all things," acquitting yourselves of your duties “heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men, ye
shall receive of the Lord the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Be assured that in the day of retribution you will not be overlooked. The distinctions of mightiness and meanness among men, are not acknowledged of God. The great will not be accepted for his greatness, nor will the poor be neglected because of his obscurity. Let this motive stimulate you to all christian obedience; let the remembrance of it console you under every trial you may
be called to endure: and for your farther encouragement I recommend to you, and leave with you
the admonition of the apostle Peter : “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward: for this is thank-worthy, if a man
for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully : for what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently ? but if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable to God. For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” pattern and mine ; let us copy it, and we shall do well.
This is your LECTURE V.
DUTIES OF MEMBERS OF CHURCHES.
“We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you ; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake; and be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, wara them that are unruly, comfort the feeble. minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." 1 Thess. v. 12-15.
The object which brought the Son of God into our apostate world was to redeem and gather out of it a people for himself. That people formed part of the common mass; were implicated in the common guilt; and, by nature, the children of wrath, even as others. But they were ziven him of the Fa. ther; and he came, and sought, and saved them. They are therefore a “peculiar people," distinguished as to their spirit and character from the men of the world, being formed anew “ to shew forth the praises of him who brought them out of darkness into his marvellous light.” The Holy Spirit having wrought a change on their moral nature, they differ, not only from others, but from their former selves. Before, they were ignorant of God and godliness ; now, they acquaint themselves with God, and delight to do his will.-Before, they imbibed the opinions and maxims of the world, and acted upon them; now, they perceive the course of this world to be altogether wrong, and they renounce it.—Before, their pursuits, their hopes, their fears, were all confined within the narrow compass of mortality; now, their views and prospects stretch far beyond and above the gloomy precincts of death, to a home, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth