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be shed for the purchase of his servants is his own most precious blood. This he freely gives. “ I lay down my life for the sheep : no man taketh it from me : but I lay it down of myself.”
Thus has he become the Master of his people. And what a Master he is ! The words spoken by the Queen of Sheba to Solomon may with the greatest truth be said of his service : “Happy are thy men; happy are these thy servants which stand before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.” For, in truth, it is a happy service : as he himself says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” But it would detain you far too long, were we to enter into the blessedness of his service : for I can truly say, that so far from being weary of it, every day it becomes more and more pleasant.
We therefore call back your attention to the significant title given to him : The MASTER. No addition is made, no epithet used, to explain who this Master is : for in a Christian's esteem there is but one Master - Jesus Christ, or God in him. Oh that with the Prophet each of us might be brought
6. Other Lords beside thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name."
Secondly, let us notice the presence of this Master, and his individual call, “ The Master IS COME AND CALLETH FOR THEE.” Here is a present Lord making an individual visit. And these are the circumstances in which we are now placed : for in this church is a present Saviour, and he speaks by his word to every
I stop not to shew this, because his gracious command, with his accompanying declaration, proves the fact, “Go
into all the world,” and preach the Gospel unto every creature ; and, “ Lo I am with
you alway, even unto the end of the world.” “ He that heareth
heareth me, and he that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” I rather consider a few of the different characters, to whom he calls, and the substance of his call.
As to the characters he calls, the first of these is the afflicted ; for, as it was the affliction of Martha and Mary which occasioned our Saviour's visit to Bethany, so it is
to those who are in trouble that Jesus calls. This it was for which he was anointed by the Holy Spirit. Hence when on earth his visits were principally made to the afflicted; and to these he has left his word, as a well-spring of consolation. For whilst the word of Christ denounces wrath upon the impenitent, it is full of comfort to those who are in trouble.
Oh how consoling are these words, “ Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me." “ Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” To them, therefore, the Master calls to-day. And are there no such persons present ? Are there none in the house of God at this moment, who fall within this description ? It would be for the first time that the Church met since it was a Church; for “man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards,” and “ many are the afflictions of the righteous, though the Lord delivers him out of them all."
Another class to whom He calls, are they who are in heaviness by troubles of their own creating: who appear outwardly gay in public, but who feel in secret the heaviness of a dissatisfied heart. For though the charm of novelty may amuse for a little, the calling a thing by the name of pleasure will not produce it. The party is tried and tried again ; something peculiar, it is thought, has kept the heart from cheerfulness; but still it is found that pleasure is in another room : at least it is not there : and whilst necessity constrains them to assume a gaiety, the heart is sad : dissatisfaction steals upon the mind. The little jars, and jealousies, and disappointments, too minute to be particularly detailed, like a continual dropping, wear the spirits ; and conscience adds to the
; weight by whispering to the soul, that man was made for a higher purpose than to be amused. Are there none present who know what these things mean? who know what it is to have exchanged the ardour of expectation for the listlessness of disappointment? who, having tried the world and found its vanity, still keep in it from knowing no other resource ? They have mistaken the character. of our Lord, and therefore turn from him
they go back to their worldly circles, as the wave returns to the sea, because it has no inward strength; and therefore falls upon
; the troubled waters, again and again, to be driven on the sands. To such persons we say, “The Master is come, and calleth for thee.” We shall mention in a little to what he calls.
There is another character to whom he calls ; and this is to the man who has in some degree prospered in the world, and who, enamoured with that prosperity, has been led, while he passes through the forms of religion, still to seek more of the world's grandeur. Hence he courts the great and the powerful : but he finds that these persons, though they are ready to use his services for themselves, are not so willing to second his wishes. Thus, taught by experience, he learns that ambitious projects pain, but do not profit; that they lead to many a wakeful night, and to many an anxious day, occasioning, even amidst prosperity, a discontented spirit. May not the Lord have brought some such character here to-day ? To him the Master calls.
He addresses those, also, whom many pass