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from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other '," may we be borne by them to the bosom of our heavenly Father, for the sake of him whom all the angels worship, even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

1 Matt. xxiv. 31.



PHIL. iii. 17.

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

THESE are very remarkable words, my brethren, and for this reason-they are the words of a mere man.-They are the words of one, who was a being of flesh and blood like ourselves-exposed to the same temptations-subject to the same infirmities liable to the same sins.-Of one who has himself told us, that he found it necessary to keep a constant watch over his carnal appetites and passions, lest after having preached to others, he himself should eventually be a castaway. -The first question that arises, therefore,

is this-when such an one exhorts us to be followers of him, and to walk so as we have him for an example-how far ought we to obey him?

But, then, on the other hand, though St. Paul was a mere man undoubtedly —and as such, liable to human erroryet he was a man, placed under very peculiar circumstances, and possessed of advantages of no common order.-An astonishing miracle had been wrought for his conversion.-His Lord had condescended to prepare him for the work to which he had called him, by a special revelation of himself and his intentions. -And throughout the whole of his laborious task-from the commencement to the close of the ministry-he was always at hand to animate and support, to instruct and direct him.-In the second place, therefore, we are constrained to ask-how far can we imitate so highly privileged a pattern?

To these two points I shall direct your attention this morning, my brethren,

because some misconceptions, respecting them, are very frequently entertained, the removal of which, may perhaps be productive of practical benefit to us.

"Brethren, be followers together of me, and walk so as ye have us for an ensample."--How far ought we to obey these words ?-We shall discover this if we inquire-how far St. Paul intended we should obey them, and in what sense, and with what limitations we should understand them.-With what limitations, I say because it is quite clear, that the Apostle never could have expected us to interpret them literally, and act upon them without any reservation.- Every human example must be imperfect—and therefore, if copied implicitly, would become the occasion and authority for sin. -In his Epistle to the Hebrews he exhorts his readers to be "followers of them, who through faith and patience, inherit the promises ."-And in a sub

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sequent part of the same work, some of the most illustrious of these patterns of virtue are enumerated.-And can we follow any of these implicitly ?-For instance-we are to imitate Noah-but not in his excess-not when having planted a vineyard," he drank of the wine and was drunken."-We are to imitate Moses-but to imitate him, for "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the children of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."-Not in having forgotten his meekness for a moment, and "spoken unadvisedly with his lips at the waters of strife 2."-David is proposed as a pattern to us, but not when the pride of his heart prompted him "to go number Israel and Judah."-Not when he was the unfeeling tyrant of Nathan's parable, tearing the pet lamb from his neighbour's bosom, but while he behaved himself wisely in all his ways, so that the Lord was with him ;"—or when he abhorred himself for


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