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two sons wish to be on my right hand and on my left on the cross?-to drink that bitter cup of sorrow?-to be baptized, admitted by death into such a palace? She did not yet understand him, but thought that he was speaking some riddle, which meant that though they might suffer a little, they would still be made great upon earth. And therefore the two sons immediately told him that they were able -that they were ready to bear every thing, provided they could be favourites with him in his kingdom. Jesus Christ immediately undeceived them: told them, that they would suffer enough for his sake, (and one of them was afterwards beheaded, and the other is said by some writers to have been thrown into a caldron of boiling oil) but as for the honours they asked, he assured them, that the only honours he would give would be honours in heaven-happiness and glory with him when this short and sorrowful life should have an end. And that in giving this happiness and glory he
would have no favourites-would shew no partiality; but would advance every body, according as the behaviour of every body had recommended them to the favour of God.
The other disciples were angry, that these two young men should have been so anxious to get preferred before the rest: and therefore, our Lord thought it right to give all the disciples the following excellent advice. He told them, that in following other kings, and in being subjects of other kingdoms, people sought to be high and great and honourable: but that, in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus, in his kingdom, Christians must seek for glory by being the most humble-hearted of mankind-that they must endeavour to be chief by striving to excel others in doing good, and in performing acts of kindness. "Even as the Son of Man, says he, came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
and to give his life a ransom for many." Jesus Christ did not come into the world to be waited upon, and attended on and served: he came to serve others, to heal all their sicknesses, and to wash away all their sins, and at length, to die in order to ransom mankind from everlasting misery.
Our religion, my brethren, the Christian religion, the religion you believe in, when you are made Christians, is certainly intended for the benefit and use and comfort of all people, in all ranks, and in all stations of life. You find from what I' have related to you, that what our Lord insisted on very much was humbleness of mind, a willingness to serve and oblige others, a readiness to give up our time, our thoughts, our powers of body and mind, to the good of others. You see too, he gave no encouragement to forwardness, to presumption, to any body's wishing to out-do and to be a greater favourite with him than others.
Learn then what your duty is as followers of your humble Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Your lot is, indeed, to minister to others to minister to their comforts and to their enjoyments. Be not dissatisfied with your lot. Such was the lot of the blessed Saviour of your souls. His life was spent in serving others. But let all your services proceed from the right motive. Let not fear of punishment from men work on you, but let a desire of pleasing God, and of serving your Redeemer, and a fear of offending them, lead you to do all your duties to men. Serve and obey those, who are over you in this world, with singleness of heart, as fearing to offend God by being disobedient and unruly here. There is a great charm in humility. Pride and haughtiness are always unpleasing. Jesus Christ was always advising his disciples to be meek and lowly in heart.
Learn also from what I have said this
great truth-that we shall every one of us be dealt with in the next world, as we behave in this. Our blessed Lord will have no favourites, as we call favourites: he will shew no partiality. But as every one has behaved here, from the king on his throne to the slave with his hoe, he will sentence the good to honour, and the bad to shame.
And now to God, &c.