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pledge of His gracious will and purpose to confer on us at the last, if we prove not wanting to ourselves, a complete and an unchangeable redemption.
Wherefore, and to conclude with a practical exhortation on the foregoing remarks, let me adopt the words of the Apostle to the Hebrews: "We desire," he writes, "that ye be not sloth"ful, but followers of them who through faith "and patience inherit the promises;" (Heb. vi. 12.) and in another place he writes" Cast "not away therefore your confidence, which "hath great recompence of reward." (Heb. x. 35.) Consider yourselves, my brethren, to be indeed children and heirs of God, through Christ; and let the graces here spoken of rulé continually in your hearts, until you shall have come by them to the rest and the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you. St. Jude reminds us," how that the Lord, having saved "the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, after"ward destroyed them that believed not;” (Jude 5.) likewise St. Paul mentions some among them, who, when they "murmured, were de"stroyed of the destroyer." (1 Cor. x. 10.) It is, in short, a fact no less true than awful, that, of the vast multitude who came out of Egypt by Moses, scarcely any were suffered to enter the promised land, because of their aggravated
impatience and unbelief. Be we admonished by their doom, to maintain the contrary dispositions in this house of our pilgrimage, throughout all time of our tribulation: let nothing disturb our trust in God, or incline us to cease from expecting and desiring His goodness, however long He may choose to delay the performance of it. And finally, whenever the troubles of this mortal state are suddenly enhanced without our fault, then let us conceive an expectation, that some more than answerable relief is surely at hand. As Pharaoh oppressed the Israelites most severely when he apprehended that they were about to leave his service, or be rescued from him by the Lord their God, so is Satan apt to have the greatest wrath when he knoweth that his time (of tyranny) is short: (Rev. xii. 12.) as the peril of the same people, when the Red Sea interrupted their flight, was immediately followed by their decided enlargement from captivity, so, when the overflowings of corruption are seeming most formidable, then is the time, if we will move onward with courage, to make the most triumphant progress: above all, when the last enemy shall be overtaking him, then may every one that is godly, and that hath patiently endured, exclaim, after the dying patriarch," I have
"waited for Thy salvation, O Lord," (Gen. xlix. 18.) and go hence rejoicing in the hope, that he shall certainly find it to the very uttermost that he hath desired.
JOHN XX. 24.
Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
THE circumstance thus related, became the occasion of a very remarkable passage in the life of Thomas the Apostle.
Neither of his
acts and labours, nor of his death, have we any account in the Holy Scriptures. They principally represent him to us as the doubting one of the twelve, whom Jesus condescended specially to convince, and to reprove.
It may seem strange, that we should thus be given to know an Apostle, chiefly by a considerable infirmity in his character. So, however, it is in the present instance. And indeed, generally, they who wrote the Gospels appear to have been careful for nothing, but to record the truth without disguise. Every observant reader of those sacred histories must feel sure, that not a single occurrence was either omitted or set down by the Evangelists, with a view to make up a fair account, or to exhibit themselves and their associates in a favourable light.
They evidently wrote, as impartial men, whatever the Spirit of Christ suggested to them, scarcely stopping to think how it might be received. Their persuasion was, that the gospel should infallibly be made to stand, not by human wisdom or perfection, but by the almighty power of God: wherefore, nobly disregarding vain objections, they have described, for our admonition, the worldly tempers of James and John, the treachery of Judas, the denial of Peter, and the unbelief of Thomas, in a manner equally simple and open, as if they were describing things of good report, or of a nature to enhance their credit with mankind.
The words of my text are, "Thomas, one "of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with "them when Jesus came." As to the time and manner of the coming of Jesus herein alluded to, we have to consult some preceding verses. In them it is related, that," on the first day of "the week at even, when the doors were shut "where the disciples were assembled for fear "of the Jews, came Jesus" (who had risen from the dead early in the morning of the same day) "and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you. And when He had so "said, He shewed them His hands and His "side," the better to satisfy their minds that