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LUKE X, 5.
6 Peace be to this House."
AFTER a temporary absence with my family, the kind providence of our heavenly Father permits us, my beloved friends and Christian brethren, again to meet together in this hallowed sanctuary :-a sanctuary endeared by many sweet remembrances of the presence of our Lord, and of his special blessing on the ordinances of his House.
When we bear in mind the uncertainty of human life_how little we know even what a day may bring forth—and reflect upon the comparatively trivial circumstances upon which great events frequently depend; the meeting together again of a minister and the people committed to his charge, should in a special manner solemnize the mind.
For although their separation may have been but comparatively short, their re-union in the house of the Lord may well lead to the anticipation of the meeting
" of the
general assembly of the Church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven;" or of that long-expected day, when raised from their
graves with all to whom they have ministered, the Lord's servants will be called to give an account of their stewardship—and their hearers, of the effects of their ministry. What an important day will it prove-a trying, sifting season, -"a day that will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart."
It is, my beloved friends, from my earnest desire that in that day I “
may give account with joy, and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you,” that I have selected my text. It is taken from a portion of Scripture in which the inspired writer has recorded the charge our divine Lord gave to the seventy disciples, when he sent them forth to preach the Gospel, and their mutual communications after their return.
As it contains some most instructive counsel, which is applicable to our present circumstances, I propose first to open and then to improve it. May the same gracious Lord, who delivered this charge to his disciples, now grant to us the Holy Spirit to impress
all our hearts.
The first thing to which I would call attention, is THE VERY PLEASING SALUTATiON our Lord directed his disciples to use upon entering any house, “ PEACE BE TO V THIS HOUSE.'
It seems as if that gracious God who had sent his Son to restore peace, first between God and man, and then between each other—a
which sin had broken-would make known to every individual, where his ministers were sent, his great object in sending them,—that, although the corruption of the human heart at times makes the Gospel the occasion of strife and division, his servants are men of peace,-messengers who come with this glorious proclamation, “that God was in Christ reconciling the