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SERMON I.

LUKE XXIV. 50, 51, 52.

And he led them out as far as to Bethany ; and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to pass,

while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

WHEN persons are in exalted stations, much depends on their conduct: we reckon every event interesting; and the heart is filled with anxiety to know the least circumstance. It is eminently so with those whom we dearly love. Nothing appears small or uninteresting. Love delights to dwell upon every period of their lives. In this manner, all ought to study Christ; and such as have a lively faith will not fail to attempt it. Actuated by this principle, Paul determined to know nothing but Christ; and the more he knew of him, the more he laboured to increase his knowledge.

The last scene has always been reckoned peculiarly interesting. Many other circumstances may be forgotten; but memory collects the whole of this, tenacious of its theme. While every part of Jacob's history attracts attention, we dwell upon the last, when he blessed his sons, and worshipped, leaning

the top of his staff. Stephen too peculiarly engages our attention in his last moments; when,

upon

amidst a shower of stones, he committed his soul into the hands of Christ, and prayed for forgiveness to his murderers. We feel in the same manner when we read the last testimony of the martyrs, who were stoned or sawn asunder, burned or suffered death in its most formidable shapes. Most interesting was that scene when Paul parted from the Ephesians : • He kneeled down, and prayed with them all, and they all wept sore, and fell on his neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more.”

Christ's death was properly the last scene of his life of humiliation; and will never be forgotten, but carefully remembered by all his friends. His hanging on the cross, and the joyful cry, “ It is finished,” will be the subject of their daily meditation, will feed their faith, and inflame their love. His death was actually the last scene as to personal intercourse with his enemies in this world. With wicked hands they crucified and slew him, and they saw him no

He entered no more into their temple or synagogues. His death, when it happened, appeared the last scene to his friends. Their faith was sore tried. Downcast and ready to faint they said, “We trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel."

To the unspeakable comfort of friends, and confusion of enemies, “ self-vigorous he rose, and showed himself alive to chosen witnesses, by proofs so strong, that the most slow assenting had not a scruple left.” Every interview which he had with his disciples, during the time he staid with them in this world, after his resurrection, is most interesting

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