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few brief years, pass away. My hope has been, not to render you wealthy or prosperous here, but to turn your attention rather from that which must of necessity be of such short endurance, to an inheritance which fadeth not away. I would cause you to dwell, not in the palaces and courts of earth, but in a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The time will shortly come, when you will be summoned to shew the use you have made of those admonitions and exhortations you have here received, and I, to render a strict account of the stewardship to which I have been appointed. It may be, that God, in his mercy, will grant hereafter, that the good shall meet and know each other again. The remembrance of the evil will probably perish with them; but the spirits of the just will live together in light. Perhaps, too, the faithful shepherd, and those of his flock whom he has brought to God, may be united again in holier bonds than those which bound them on earth; bonds which no accident can loosen, no change impair. Will it, my brethren, be our fate thus to meet, and thus to part no more. Pray for me, then, that I may fight the good fight of faith, and not, having preached to others, be myself a cast-away. And I will pray for you, if God will aid me with his Spirit-I will pray for you, my dear brethren, with the prayer of an humble and anxious heart,

that when the Lamb of God shall spread the marriage supper for his chosen children, you may find a place there, not as bidden only, but as elected guests. If this holy link of mutual love exist between us, we may be separated indeed, but we cannot be estranged. Earthly affection may be, and often is weakened, if not destroyed, by absence; but the ties of Christian love can never be broken. A new flock, indeed, will soon become the immediate objects of my solicitude; but still, dear as they may be to me, they will never, I trust, and I am sure they will never desire, to banish from my remembrance the wish for your welfare and immortal happiness. When, therefore, I bid you farewell, I do so as ceasing to minister longer among you, not as ceasing to feel an interest in that religious improvement and spiritual consolation, which I have endeavoured, I hope, to promote within these walls.

There is much in this reflection, which comes at periods like these, to soften the regret which must necessarily attend them. Yet, my brethren, if a moment more may be allowed me, to speak of my own feelings and wishes, I would add, that although I leave you in sorrow, yet is it a sorrow not unmingled with joy. For I go, I trust, I have reason to trust, not unaccompanied by the good wishes of all who hear me now; and go to those, amongst whom your kindness has


much contributed to bring me a Christian welcoming. It is a source of joy, because, aware as I am, that you knew me first only as the minister appointed over you, and humbly hoping that I have preached the truth without fear or favour, I view in your friendship to me, an approbation of the doctrine I have taught, and a desire to make pleasant the paths of those who are the faithful ministers of God's revelations. May God, in his mercy, still cultivate this holy spirit in your hearts; and if, hereafter, you should still wish to renew the gladness which this hope of your righteousness has now imparted, send me the glad tidings that you have quitted yourselves like men; that you have stood fast in the faith; that you are strong. I have indeed much solace now in the hope, that some of you I may have awakened—some I may have strengthened—some


may have comforted and sustained. But it will bring me a far brighter consolation, it will give me a far more enduring joy, if, in after years, when age brings its infirmities and cares, (should a bounteous providence spare my life till then,) your hearts shall still bless me, as one who, under God's guidance, trained your earlier steps into the ways of peace.

My brethren, it is hard to say farewell; it is hard, even under all the alleviations which circumstances bring, to bid you adieu. May God

bless you all in time and in eternity; may his Spirit dwell in you here on earth, and guide you to the Saviour's rest in heaven. And if we meet not in this world again, may we, my dear brethren, meet in the courts of our Redeemer's kingdom; and may it be mine, whilst kneeling in humble joy before the throne of the Lamb who was slain, to adopt, with gratitude and praise, his own words of bright and holy consolation; and to exclaim, whilst presenting before him the souls, whom his mercy has employed me as an humble instrument of converting to his service, "Of them," O Lord, "which thou gavest me, have I lost none."



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