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influence for good thousands as yet unborn. It may be so; but this is no safe thought for us to dwell upon: it may cause us, if indulged, to become castaways ourselves, however much we may have benefited others. It is a far safer thought to consider, not how long our works may last, but how soon we must leave them. The shortness of our own time bids us remember that we are but God's instruments, appointed to labour for a little while on a particular little part of His great work; but that neither its beginning nor its finishing belongs to us, nor can we so much as understand the vastness of its range. Our best praise is that bestowed on David, that we serve our own generation by the will of God, and then fall asleep, and be gathered to our fathers, and see corruption. Whether our work may endure on earth or no, we can never tell; the wisdom of the wise, and the virtue of the good, have too often remained without fruit, except that eternal fruit which remains for all those who work God's work heartily, without presuming to think that it is their own.

We look forward often enough ; it is indeed one of the distinctions of our nature that we can do so: the future is frequently the subject of our hope and fear. It were well, if while looking forward as we sometimes do, far into our future life, we would look at once to the end of it; that we would form something of a definite notion of the prospect

before us--So many years of youth, so many of prime, so many of decay, and then the end. This is a very different thing from the unwise practices of superstition, such as meditating over the remains of mortality, and bringing before our eyes and minds, not the solemnity of death, but its loathsomeness. For this there is sometimes even a morbid eagerness; but this is not the soberness of Christian wisdom. I would advise none to dwell in detail upon the circumstances of death to excite the feelings, but rather to keep before their minds simply the general truth, that after such a period they will have ceased to live; that earth will to them have passed away, and the time of judgment be arrived. This, I imagine, can be nothing but wholesome at every age,—not unnatural even to the youngest. Do not fancy your time shorter nor longer than it is, but simply consider it as it is : a period very likely of many years, but still only of many years; that there will most surely be an end of it. Then remember what that end is, that it is a time when no one can work any longer; when all must rest for ever, or for ever suffer.


December 1st, 1833.




St. John, xx, 28.

And Thomas answered, and said unto him, My Lord and my


Every one, I suppose, who reads the Scriptures much, cannot but feel that there are certain particular parts of them to which he turns with an especial delight; which seem in a peculiar manner to meet the wants of his own individual nature, whether for comfort, or for warning, or for mere thought and reflection.

Nor does this appear blameable, so long as we do not neglect or despise other parts of the Scripture; it belongs rather to that variety of tastes which God has given to men, and which, as it is certainly in a very large proportion innocent, so we can often see that it is beneficial.

But of these passages of Scripture so especially

cherished by different minds, a very large number will I think be found to exist in the Gospel of St. John. Most readers feel that this Gospel contains some of the most invaluable treasures of Christ's revelation; that it contains what could be supplied to us from no other quarter. Thus, for instance, in the accounts given of our Lord's appearances to his disciples after his resurrection, how ill could we spare the account given by St. John of His appearance to Thomas, and that of His appearance to Peter and his companions by the sea of Tiberias ? Confining ourselves for the present to the former, how great and manifold are the treasures which a few verses contain for us!

The Collect for St. Thomas's Day addresses God as“ having for the more confirmation of the faith suffered His holy apostle Thomas, to be doubtful in His Son's resurrection.” And this is one of the most obvious uses of this passage of the Scripture. We are, I think, hardly apt to be enough aware how much of all our Christian faith and hope must rest on the reality of our Lord's resurrection. It is in the first place the fulfilment of all prophecy. I mean, that whereas all prophecy looks forward to the triumph of good over evil,--to its triumph not partially merely, but entirely, and with over measure, so the resurrection of Christ is as yet the only adequate fulfilment of these expectations ; but it is itself fully adequate. Everywhere else,

the last seen and recorded thing in every man's history, is the triumph of death over him. Hope and faith, resting upon Christ's resurrection, do indeed go farther than this; there are many, no doubt, of whom our last and prevailing idea is that of their happiness; we believe that death's triumph will be altogether, and is already in part undone. But this can be belief and hope only, not sight and knowledge. It still remains true that the last known and recorded thing of the strongest man is his weakness; of the wisest man, the failure of his powers; of the best man, that he has suffered the punishment of sin. Thus, as far as sight and knowledge go, the end of every man is the triumph of the enemy over him; the victory cannot be said to belong to the cause of good. But in Christ this is not so; with Him the end—I do not say the end as hoped and believed, but as seen, as known, as recorded—was His triumph over the enemy,— the victory was His wholly and finally. One such instance,-one seen, and known, and recorded instance,-may indeed be the support of hope and faith for the rest : if Christ's triumph was complete, so also may be the triumph of those that are Christ's; but without this, let hope go as far as she will, let faith be ever so confident, still prophecy has been unfulfilled, still experience gives no encouragement; if Christ be not risen, all that is known of the best and wisest of the sons of men

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