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The words that He speaks, they are spirit and they are life, and therefore as such, they are level to the plainest capacity; require no more than faithfully and affectionately to be set before the flock, and to be “ received in an honest and good heart," that they may grow thereby

They “ know" Christ because they are his sheep. As he said to the Jews, “ ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you, my sheep hear my voice and I know them.” “ He that is of God, heareth God's words.” They are his sheep, and therefore they hear the voice of the shepherd. The master calleth them, and they obey the call. They believe on him, they trust his power and his goodness to lead and conduct them safely. “ The Lord is my shepherd, therefore can I lack nothing. He shall lead me forth in the paths of righteousness for his name-sake." As sinners, they renounce all other lords. “ All we, like sheep, have gone astray:" have wandered from the fold; renounced the care of the good shepherd, and followed the devices and desires of our own hearts. By nature, children of wrath ; strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Christ the good shepherd, came to seek and to save them that are lost. And to as many as believe, to them

he gives the power to become the sons of God : which are born, not of man, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. He gives to his sheep, wandering, destitute, sought out, and found, that new nature, which : is the effect of faith. He leads them into the paths of righteousness. “ They be called by his spirit, and through grace, they obey the call.”. “ They hear his voice.” And although the fold of Christ is a little fold, his flock a little flock, compared to the world that lieth in wickedness, yet he speaks to all : all hear his voice, but all do not obey it. Man, in his natural corrupt state, is ready to follow any guide rather than Christ; to hear any voice, rather than that of the good shepherd. But when once brought into the fold, once gathered in his arms, and conveyed thither on his shoulders, as to a place of rest, safety, and repose, he will then hear no other voice... They will flee from a stranger, for they know not the voice of strangers." He is the door into the fold of God. By Him they have entered. By Him they go in and out, never venturing a single step, but as He leads. He goes before them, and they follow him. “I know them, and they follow me.”

3. Having heard the voice of Christ believ. ed his word, and embraced the doctrine of

salvation through faith, which is the gift of God, they also “follow" Christ. Sheep, I before observed, are docile animals : they will follow the shepherd wherever he leadeth them: from fold to fold, from pasture to pasture. Docility, however, excludes not discrimination. It rather supposes it : otherwise it would not be docility, but stupidity.' Docile, therefore, though they be, they do not blindly entrust every one to lead them whither he pleases ;_"for a stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers." Thus Christians follow Christ, and follow him implicitly, and whithersoever he leadeth them, even should it be circuitously and through by-paths, over wastes where no water is, through all the dark ways and leadings of his providence. They follow Him because they trust in Him. And they trust in Him because they know Him. “He calleth his own sheep by name.” He knows each individual ; his character, wants, and cir- : cumstances. This is no new thing in a shepherd. He has his marks; and so has the good Shepherd—“The Lord knoweth them that are his." Therefore they follow him, and him only. “ All that ever came before me,” said Christ, " are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.” There are false doors and false

keys by which to enter the fold; “false prophets among the people, and false teachers, who privily bring in damnable heresies, even deny. ing the Lord that bought them”-promising sal. vation by any other method and way, than by the mediation of Christ, the Lamb of God, once offered to take away sin. Such are thieves and robbers, adulterators of the word of truth, who withhold from the flock their proper comfort and support. “These the sheep will not follow.” Having once gathered the heavenly manna, the

read that came down from heaven for the life of their souls; having once tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, and by the Gospel preached to them, known the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,-can they take up with husks, or feed and thrive upon human theories, “vain disputings of men of corrupt minds," or grow upon any thing short of “the grace of God which bringeth salvation,” soundly and scripturally laid before them ?

No! “They know that they are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And they know that the Son of God is come, and hath given them an understanding, that they may know Him that is true, and they are in Him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." They follow

Christ, therefore, because reason, and Scripture, and experience, assure them that it is good, yea, best to do so: that He has the words of eternal life: that He alone hath the keys of heaven, that openeth and no man shutteth. “God hath given them an understanding to know Him that is true:” that by following him they are in the right way: that they no longer walk in darkness, but see the light of life. • 4. Not contented, however, with following Christ's doctrine, they follow his steps. They walk even as He walked, They are careful to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things ; to let their light shine before men; to live honestly, soberly, and godly, in this present world. As He who has called them is holy, so also are they holy, in all manner of conversation. They conform to the manners and disposition of the good Shepherd : gentle and affable to all; tender, charitable, and inoffensive; bearing with the infirmities of the weak; carrying the lambs in their bosom, and gently leading them that are with young : they lay down their lives for the brethren. Transcribing into their lives and conduct the admirable rules which Christ gave to his first disciples ; they are « wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” This, however, is a lesson of discretion, which

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