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Like many young Christians, these His Disciples were anticipating too confidently, and thinking too securely about, the rewards which awaited them -rewards, too, of the nature of which they formed very erroneous conceptions; when they should rather have been thinking of, and preparing for, the contests to be encountered in the way to them. Therefore Jesus kindly drew them off from questions which could not profit, to duties which lay before them. "Are ye able," said He, "to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” ¿. e. ‘Are you prepared to endure every trial and suffering which I am enduring, and have further to endure, before I arrive at the glory which awaits me?'

Christians, and especially young Christians, hear what your Lord saith!-You have been thinking, perhaps, of great things for yourselves. You would be high in the kingdom of Christ.-Well; that, rightly understood, is a legitimate object of desire, and worthy of your ambition. But, in order thereto, first, perhaps, you would be high amongst men?— and yet you say you would be high only amongst

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true Christians, and that, only for the sake of rendering eminent service to your Lord. But, before you make sure of all which your hearts desire, put to yourselves these questions, proposed by Christ to these aspirants after high place: Are you able to drink of the cup which Christ drank of, and to be baptized with the baptism with which He was baptized? Can you endure to be like Christ, in the tenor of your lives? His was not a life of ease and enjoyment. He was born in low estate; lived in subjection to persons in humble station; wrought himself, probably, at the occupation of the man who was reputed His father; and, after He entered on the exercise of His mission, travelled about with a few poor followers, without a place of His own to lay His head upon, depending for subsistence on the bounty of a few persons who had not much to spare. Though He spake as never man spake, and wrought such mighty works as had never before been wrought, still " He was despised and rejected of men" in general; and of those who followed Him, the greater part forsook Him when they learnt the real nature of His Religion: yea, in the hour of His extremity, His more immediate

Disciples all "forsook Him and fled." By one of them He was betrayed; by another denied ;—and He died, under unjust accusation, without one to vindicate His cause, the death of the vilest malefactors, being crucified between two thieves.

Can you drink of the cup of which Christ drank, and be baptized with the baptism with which He was baptized?—This was His question to the sons of Zebedee; and, in proposing it to them, He proposes it to us all. What was their reply? They said, "We are able." But, as before they knew not what they asked, so certainly they knew not now what they undertook; for in the time of temptation they, too, fled with the rest. My Friends, what would you say? Instead of promising any thing, you would do well to pray; that, whatever you may be called to do and suffer for the sake of Christ, you may be enabled to do and suffer faithfully. In the present day, the probability is not great that the true followers of Christ should be called to give such proofs of their discipleship as the first Christians were. Many of these were compelled, not figuratively only, but literally, to take up their cross and follow Him.

They were conformed, not only to His life, but literally also to His death;-and so have many of his true followers, in later ages.

But our lot is cast in more peaceful times.— Have we, then, nothing to do with this question? -Not so. If we are Christ's, we must expect suffering; and we shall do wisely not to account it an easy matter to suffer well, and in a manner becoming our Christian profession.-Are you able to endure such trials and temptations as you may probably be called to, for the sake of Christ? Can you make an open profession of your attachment to Christ and the cause of Christ-to the peculiar doctrines and precepts of His Religion, and to His servants as such, not only in places and companies where such profession would procure you admiration and promote your interest, but where it would probably expose you to ridicule and loss? Can you do this? Have you done it? Can you freely forgive, and exercise love, for Christ's sake, towards those who wilfully malign and otherwise injure you? Can you resolve, if you should be called to make such sacrifices, to part with all for

Christ-your reputation for popular qualities, your property, country, friends, or the person you love best? Can you give Christ credit for making up even a greater loss than any that you can be called to sustain for Him? Can you for Christ's sake endure the privations, and pains, and bereavements, aggravated by unkindness, which are the lot of some of His people, who, being exempt from more public trials, are proved, in secret, by afflictions, without any to witness and applaud their faith and patience?

These are questions which, even in these peaceful times of the Church, we may suppose Christ to address to any of us;-and therefore we should do well to ponder what we should answer, or rather to pray earnestly that we may not be found wanting in the hour of trial. Assuredly we should count the cost of our Christian profession; and, though we should be sparing of promises, we should resolve, in the strength of God, rather to die and suffer any loss, than deny Him, either by word or deed; and pray earnestly that His strength may be perfected in our weakness.

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