Consider first, that these ten virgins, in this parable, represent to us the state of Christians in this mortal pilgrimage. We are all, by our vocation or calling to the Christian faith, appointed to go forth, with our lamps, to meet the bridegroom: because the business of a Christian in this life is to make the best of his way, by the help of the light of faith, towards his God and a happy eternity; and to be always in readiness for the coming of Christ, the great bridegroom of our souls. The lamps with which we are to go forth to meet Christ are the light of faith and all the divine truths of the Christian religion; the oil with which these lamps are to be kept burning are the works of faith, that is, the good works prescribed by the gospel, and particularly the works of mercy and charity, and the love of God above all things. Where this oil is wanting the lamps are extinguished, because faith without good works is dead. And thrice unhappy they who at the approaches of that uncertain hour of their departure hence, when they shall be called upon as in the middle of the night, to go forth to meet the bridegroom, shall find no oil in their lamps! Alas, where shall they then go to buy it? In all appearance, before they shall be in a condition to procure any, the bridegroom will come, and take along with him those whom he finds ready to his wedding feast; and shut the door against the rest, never, never to be opened, to all eternity!

Consider 2ndly, that all Christians belong to one or other of those two companies represented in this parable under the denomination of wise and foolish virgins. The good are truly wise, because they are wise according to God; and they are wise in order to eternity; inasmuch as they wisely provide for eternity. But O, how truly foolish are the wicked and all the children of Babylon, who continually forget both God and eternity! For what greater folly or what greater madness can there be, than to believe as Christians, and to live as infidels; to expect to go to heaven by the road that leads to hell; to be daily preferring darkness before light, slavery before liberty, misery before happiness, Satan before God; by preferring the state of sin before the state of grace? In a word, what can be more foolish than blindly to exchange all that is really good, both in time and eternity, for the very worst of evils, and such as will never have an end? And yet, alas! as we daily see, the number of such fools as these is infinite. But the folly that is here particularly censured in this parable, is that of Christians who make no provision of the oil of good works for the nourishment of their lamps, but go out to meet their Lord with expectation of being admitted by him to his eternal feast with Christian faith, without Christian charity; with believing in God without loving God, and keeping his commandments. Ah! my soul, take good care thou never be so foolish.

Consider 3rdly, that the great lesson designed for us in this parable is expressed in those words with which our Lord concludes, 'Watch ye, therefore, because ye know not the day nor the hour.' The bridegroom in the parable came in the middle of the night, that is at a time when he was least expected; according to what he has often signified, that he will come 'like a thief in the night,' and that we shall not know the hour of his coming. Nor that he desires to surprise us, for if he did he would not so often warn us; but that he desires we would always watch, and be always ready, that so we may never be surprised. 'What I say to you,' said he to his disciples, 'I say to all: Watch,' and again: 'Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. Amen, I say to you that he will gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and passing he will minister to them.' Luke xii. 37. O! who can express or conceive the greatness of these heavenly rewards, of these highest honours, of these never-ending joys, signified here by our Lord's ministering in this manner himself to the servants whom he shall find watching? But O, the dismal case, on the other hand, of all them that instead of watching, and being always ready, are quite asleep as to all that relates to God and their souls; and are not awakened, either with the love or fear of God, till death opens their eyes, when 'tis too late; and then, like the foolish virgins, they find the door shut against them, and are sent away, with 'I know you not,' into the exterior darkness.

Conclude to bear always in mind this indispensable duty of watching, so frequently inculcated by the Son of God; that so thou mayest never be surprised and sleep in death; carrying always with thee the lamp of faith to enlighten thee; but never forgetting that this light must be kept in with the oil of good works.



Consider first, how our Lord in this parable likens himself to a man going into a far country, who called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one - to every one according to his proper ability - and immediately he took his journey. Our Lord, by his ascension, is gone into heaven - a far country indeed from this wretched earth, on which we dwell. But. 'ascending on high, he led captivity captive: he gave gifts to men,' Eph. iv. 1. He has plentifully distributed his goods and talents amongst his servants; to the end that they might trade with them, and improve the stock, during the time of his absence, till he shall come again and take an account of their good or evil management of their trust. He is the universal Lord of all; he distributes his talents amongst us all, according to his good pleasure. All whatsoever we have, as to soul or body, nature or grace, all belongs to him. we have nothing but what we have received from him; nor anything but what we are accountable for to him. and those that have received more than their neighbours, have nothing to be proud of: for 'what hast thou' says the apostle, 1 Cor. iv. 7, 'that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory?' On the contrary, those that have received more ought to be so much the more humble, and to fear so much the more; because they are accountable for so much the more: for where more is given, more will be required. Christians, have you been rightly sensible of these truths? Have you considered your wit, your advantages of soul and body, your fortune, as you call it, your very time, and all other gifts, either of nature or of grace, as talents deposited in your hands? Have you ever seriously thought of the strict account you must one day give of them all?

Consider 2ndly, the difference use that these servants made of their master's money. for 'he that had received the five talents, went his way, and traded with the same, and gained other five: and in like manner, he that had received the two, gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way, digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.' The two former are proposed for our imitation; that by the like industry, in corresponding with divine grace, and employing in a proper manner all the gifts of God, and laying hold on every opportunity of good, we may continually advance in virtue; and, like these good and faithful servants, improve and double our stock. O, how happy shall we be if we shall trade in this manner with the talents committed to our charge! And though one of these servants gained five talents, and the other but two, yet as the latter who had received but two, was no less industrious than the former - gaining as much in proportion as he; so as to double his stock as well as he - we find him rewarded in like manner; and the same eulogium given to him by his master; 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of the lord,' verse 23. O what encouragement is here for those who have received fewer talents; since we see, if they make proper use of what they have received, they shall be rewarded equally with them that have received more. But O, the sublime reward that is here set before us in these words: 'enter thou into the joy of thy lord!' for what is this joy of our Lord? O, nothing less than the everlasting possession of himself; an universal, incomprehensible, eternal good.

Consider 3rdly, how he that buried his master's money is here condemned, both as a slothful and a wicked servant; as a warning to all such Christians as, having received talents, that is, gifts, graces, or advantages of any kind from God, do not employ them to his greater honour and glory, or to their own or their neighbour's improvement or advancement in good; but through sloth and indolence let them be unregarded, and as it were hidden and buried in the earth; even in this unhappy earth, the world and the flesh, which engage all their thoughts, and affections more than the honour and glory of their Lord, or the eternal welfare of their own dear souls. but see where all this is like soon to end, by the sentence pronounced against this naughty servant: 'Take ye away the talent from him, and give it to him that hath the ten talents. for to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound; but from him that hath not, that also which he seemeth to have, shall be taken away. And the unprofitable servant cast ye out into exterior darkness, there, shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' But if the unprofitable servant come off so ill, who only buried his master's money, what will become of so many thousands, who do not content themselves with making no good use of the talents they are intrusted with, but squander them away, and even pervert and turn them all against their master, by making them the instruments of sin? O, my soul, hast thou never been so unhappy?



Consider first, what our Lord here tells us: that 'there was a certain householder, who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it; and dug in it a wine-press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a strange country.' This householder represents to us God himself; and this vineyard which he has planted is his universal church. But see my soul, what care he has bestowed upon this vineyard; fencing it in with his excellent laws, and his perpetual protection, as with a hedge; digging in it a wine-press, by the institution of his divine sacraments, the sources of his heavenly grace, pressed out for us from the sacred wounds of our crucified Saviour; and building in its favour a tower, in which he might watch over it by his extraordinary province, as well to keep evils away from it as to provide it with all good. This vineyard he lets out to husbandmen; that is to all men, inasmuch a he has given to all men a part, or share, in which each one is to labour; to wit, his own soul at least, and the souls of as many others as he has committed to his charge. And having done this, he withdraws himself, as it were, into a strange country, by keeping himself out of our sight, during the time of our mortal life, and patiently waiting for the fruit of this his vineyard, which we are to furnish in due season. O what lessons have we here, as well with regard to the goodness of our God on the one hand, in all that he has done for his vineyard, and for every part of it, and consequently for every Christian soul, as with regard to our indispensable duty, on the other hand, of corresponding with this his goodness by our labours, in producing and furnishing the fruit he expected.

Consider 2ndly, with regard to thyself, what this great Lord has done for the vineyard of thy soul in particular, by innumerable favours and graces of every kind which he has bestowed upon thee all thy life long, till this very hour; and by many happy opportunities of doing good, which he has afforded thee, (which if duly embraced by thee, might have made thee a saint,) beyond what he has granted to thousands of others. Then see if he may not say of thee, what he said heretofore of this vineyard of Jerusalem, Isaias v. 4, 'What is there that I ought to do more for my vineyard, that I have not done to it?' But after all this care on his part, what fruit hast thou hitherto produced for him? alas! may he not justly complain of thee, as he did of that Jewish vineyard, that instead of the good grapes, which he looked for from thee, thou hast only brought forth wild grapes? O dread then what he threatens, in the same place, in consequence of his being thus disappointed, in the words that immediately follow - 'I will show you,' said he, 'what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted; I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall not be pruned, and it shall not be digged; but briars and thorn shall come up! and I will command the clouds to rain no rain upon it.' Can anything be more terrible than these threats of the soul's being thus abandoned and given up to a reprobate sense, in punishment of her still bringing forth no good fruit, after so many repeated favours and graces?

Consider 3rdly, in this parable, how the Lord of the vineyard sent, at different times, his servants to the husbandmen, to receive the fruits of it; but they persecuted them to death; till at length he sent his only son, whom they used in like manner. In punishment of which he brought these evil men to an evil end, and let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that should render him the fruit in due season. This was literally verified in the Jews, to whom the parable was addressed by our Lord a few days before his passion. God sent to them, at divers times, his servants, the prophets, to call for the fruits of his vineyard; but they returned him no fruits; they even persecuted his messengers, and put several of them to death. At length, he sent them his only Son; and him they cast off, condemned to death, and crucified. And therefore, as our Lord here foretells, the kingdom of God (that is the vineyard of his church) has been long ago taken away from them, to be given to a nation (that is to the Gentiles) that should bring forth the fruits thereof. But all this is applicable, more or less, to the particular vineyard of the soul of each Christian. Wherefore, as to thy own part, O my soul, reflect how far thou hast imitated those unhappy husbandmen, in refusing to render to the Lord of the vineyard, in due season, the fruits which he has so often called for at thy hands by his messengers; that is, by his preachers, by his word, by his inspirations, by reproaches of conscience, &c.; and in persecuting those who he sent to thee, by wilfully resisting his graces, stifling his inspirations, and setting at nought all them who sought to bring thee to good. Alas! hast thou not, by thy obstinacy in sin, as much as lay in thee, even crucified again the Son of God? O take heed, lest if thou go on in this perversity, thou fall under the like sentence as the Jews did, of being brought to an evil end, and the kingdom of God be taken away from thee and given to another. 

Conclude to look well to the vineyard of thy soul, that it may, be due correspondence with divine grace, bring forth its fruit in due season: even such good grapes as may be acceptable to the great Lord, who has let out his vineyard to thee, and who ceases not to furnish thee with all proper helps to make it fruitful. 



Consider first, how Christ our Lord, whilst he was here visible upon earth, was pleased in a particular manner to show favour and mercy to poor sinners, and to express on all occasions his loving kindness to them; insomuch that the Scribes and Pharisees, (who being full of a conceit of their own justice, despised sinners, and kept them at a distance, saying, 'Depart from me, come not near me, because thou art unclean,' Isaias lxv. 5,) were ever objecting to this merciful Lord, that he suffered sinners to draw near unto him; that he received sinners, and did eat with them; that he was a friend to publicans and sinners, &c. Unhappy men, who did not understand that his infinite mercy and charity had bought him down from heaven on purpose to seek and to save sinners! And still more unhappy, in proudly thinking themselves to be just, and not sinners; and therefore rejecting him who came 'not to call the just, but sinners,' Matt. ix. 13, vainly imagining they had no need of him. Christians, see here and admire, embrace and love, the great mercy of your redeemer, and how much soever you may be involved in sin, assure yourselves that he is eve ready to receive you, if you will repent in a proper manner and return to him. But O, beware of the blindness of the Pharisees, and of a vain conceit of your own justice! For the first step towards your obtaining mercy must be an humble sense of your sins, and of the great need you have of mercy.

Consider 2ndly, the many instances recorded in the gospel of this merciful disposition of Christ our Lord in favour of sinners. As in his calling them to him, Matt. xi. 28, and even making them his disciples - as in the case of Matthew, &c. - and his frequently conversing most familiarly with them. To which add those remarkable examples of Magdalene, Luke vii.; of the Samaritan woman, John iv.; of the woman taken in adultery, John viii.; of the woman of Canaan, Matt. xv.; of Zacheus, Luke xix.; and of the thief upon the cross, Luke xxiii. And as both in his life and at his death, so after his resurrection also, he gave the like proofs of his loving kindness and his tender mercies to sinners, in the favour he showed both to Magdalene and to Peter, (who had so lately denied him,) by making to them his first visits after his rising from the dead. O! what encouragements are here, O my soul, for us to look for the like mercy from this same Lord, who is still as rich in mercy as ever. But then we must remember to go to him with the like dispositions of faith and repentance, love and humility, as these happy penitents did; and to take care, like them, to return no more to our sins.

Consider 3rdly, the parables by which our Lord has shown forth to us, in a most lively manner, his infinite goodness and mercy to poor sinners; as for instance, that of the good shepherd, Luke xv., who having lost one of his sheep, leaves the rest of his flock, and goes in quest of that which is lost, and ceases not to seek it till he has found it; and when he has found it, lays it upon his shoulders with joy, and coming hoe, calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying: 'Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.' In like manner, that of the charitable Samaritan, who showed such tender mercy to the man that had fallen among thieves; and that of the father of the prodigal child, who received so kindly and lovingly his ungracious son, returning home to him. In all which, my soul, thou mayest see a lively and a lovely image of that tender mercy, compassion, and goodness which thy redeemer has so often exercised and continues daily to exercise in favour of sinners. But what can he think too much, that he does for them for whom he has even shed the last drop of his blood? O blessed be his mercy for poor sinners! Ah, my soul were it not for these wonders of his mercy, we should long since have dwelt in hell!

Conclude to lay hold of this mercy of thy Saviour whilst thou hast time, by turning thyself away from all thy sins, from this very hour, and running to this Father of mercies, and dedicating thyself eternally to his service. For why shouldst thou any longer abuse his goodness and love by obstinacy in sin; or run the risk of provoking his justice to revenge upon thee the contempt of his mercy.



Consider first, how when our Lord was walking through the city of Jericho, 'there was a man there named Zacheus, who was the chief of the publicans, and he was rich; and he sought to see Jesus, who he was, and he could not for the crowd, because he was of low stature.  and he ran before and climbed up into a sycamore tree, hat he might see him, for he was to pass that way.' See here, Christians, the first step towards this wonderful conversion of a rich worldling; that is, one of that sort of men which is usually the most remote from the kingdom of God.  1.  He desired to see Jesus who he was.  Good desires are the first beginning of all our good; these incline us to seek to see Jesus and to come to him by true wisdom, which consists in truly knowing him - what he is in himself, and what he is in regard to us.  Now the beginning of this true wisdom, as we learn from the Spirit of God in the scriptures, is an earnest desire after it; and that is seeking, like Zacheus, to see who Jesus is.  2.  He was of low stature and could not see Jesus for the crowd, and therefore he ran before and climbed up into a sycamore tree, that he might see him, for he was to pass that way.  Alas!  poor sinners, we are also low of stature, through our unhappy weakness and manifold miseries; we are hindered from seeing Jesus by the crowd, that is by the distractions, worldly solicitudes, disorderly affections of our heart, and dissipation of thought in which we live, and by the tumult of our passions; and therefore in order to see and know him, we must get out of the crowd by retirement and recollection of thought; we must run before, by a disengagement of our heart from worldly wisdom and human respect, and embracing the maxims of the gospel, which the world calls foolishness.  We must get above the heads of the worldly crowd, by climbing up the tree of the cross, which the world despises and abhors: and then we shall be able to know Jesus, and to contemplate him:  for that is the way by which he passes.

Consider 2ndly, that 'when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said to him:  Zacheus make haste and come down, for to-day I must abide in thy house.  And he made haste and came down, and received him with joy.  And when they all saw it, they murmured, saying, that he was gone to be a guest with a man who was a sinner. See here, Christians, how true that is of the wise man, Wisdom vi. 13, &c., that 'wisdom is easily seen by them that love her, and is found by them that seek her, and preventeth them that covet her, so that the first showeth herself unto them.'  Our Lord does not only suffer himself to be seen by this publican, but he looks up at him; he calls to him to make haste and to come down to him; he even invites himself into his house to be his guest, and brings along with him salvation into that house.  O the happy consequences of seeking to see and to know Jesus, and of getting out of the crowd, into the sycamore tree, to contemplate him!  but then we must also learn from the example of Zacheus a ready correspondence with the grace of our Lord, when he looks up and calls; we must not let him go away on this occasion; we must make haste and come down to him without delay; we must accept of the favour of the visit he offers us with thankfulness; we must conduct him with joy into our inward house; we must make him welcome there, by a proper entertainment of devotion and love:  thus he will bring salvation with him to our house.

Consider 3rdly, what entertainment Zacheus offered to our Lord, when he had received him into his house. 'Behold, Lord,' saith he, 'the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man of anything, I restore him fourfold.' He made a sacrifice to him upon the spot of his predominant passion, even of that love of the mammon of iniquity, which before had been his idol.  He gave up at once all his worldly riches, which were so near his heart, to be employed either in alms or in making restitution fourfold, for all ill-gotten goods.  He laid down all his sins at the feet of his Saviour, with a sincere detestation and repentance of them all, and a firm resolution to return to them no more, but to make the best satisfaction he could for them.  Now this was the most agreeable feast he could make for our Lord, who was pleased immediately to declare: 'this day is salvation come to this house; because he also is a son of Abraham; for the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.' O what comfort was here for Zacheus!  O what encouragement for us poor sinners, to imitate the readiness and sincerity of his conversion, that we ma also with him be acknowledged for true sons of Abraham, by following the example of his faith, obedience, and sacrifice; and that the like salvation may come also to our house from him, who ever delights in seeking and saving that which was lost!

Conclude to consider the conversion of Zacheus as a model of a perfect conversion, and to strive to imitate it in every part.  Often invite Christ into thy house, and entertain him there in spirit; but see that thou make him a proper feast, even as Zacheus did, by sacrificing to him the dearest affections of thy heart; and never let him go, without giving his blessing to thy house.



Consider first, how our Lord, coming for the last time to visit Jerusalem, a few days before his passion; 'when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known and that in this thy day, the things that are for thy peace! but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee; and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone; because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.'

Our Lord in this his last coming to Jerusalem is accompanied by crowds of people, bearing branches of palms in their hands, and welcoming him with hosannas of joy; but his attention is engaged by the melancholy object he has before his eyes of that unhappy city, and of all the evils that were coming upon it, which he bewails in this pathetic manner. Not that the beating down of stone walls, or the destroying of houses, was a matter worthy of the tears of the Son of God; nor yet that men, who are all doomed to die, should die a little before their time; but the miseries which he lamented were of another kind, viz., the blindness and the hardness of heart of the inhabitants of this city so highly favoured by his visits; their extreme ingratitude and their obstinacy in sin; and that final reprobation and eternal damnation, which they were quickly drawing down upon their own heads, by their repeated abuses and wilful resistance of those extra-ordinary graces which he offered them at this time of their visitation. Christians, beware lest the like abuses of divine grace should draw down the like judgment on you also.

Consider 2ndly, that you have at present your day as Jerusalem had then. This is your day; a time of mercy and grace, in which the son of God daily visits you by many gracious calls and inspirations. His sacrament and sacrifice, the fountains of your Saviour, are now continually open for you, together with all manner of helps for your salvation. But what use do you make of this your day? For it is short and will be quickly at an end, and then the day of the Lord must take place. Have you a right sense and knowledge in this your day of the things that are for your peace and for your true welfare? Do the things of God and eternity make a true impression on your souls? Is the conduct of your life regulated by them? Or are not these great truths, through your own fault, hidden at present from your eyes? O take care lest you pass by unregarded this time of your visitation, as Jerusalem did. The days shall suddenly come upon you also, when your spiritual enemies shall cast a trench about you, and straiten you on every side, and beat you flat to the ground; when the sorrows of death shall encompass you, and the perils of hell shall find you, and the grace of God, which you have so long abused, shall leave you in the hands of your enemies.

Consider 3rdly, how our Saviour, after weeping over Jerusalem and denouncing to it its final desolation, entering into the temple, began to cast them out that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: 'It is written, my house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves,' Luke xix. 45:- giving us to understand by this proceeding, that the profanation of the house of God, and of sacred things, the love of gain more than of holiness, and a gross neglect of prayer and other religious duties, is the high road of blindness of spirit, and hardness of heart, and consequently to a dreadful and eternal reprobation. Christians, take care, lest imitating in these particulars the guilt of the Jews, you draw upon your heads the like punishments. The soul of every Christian ought to be the temple of the living God, 2 Cor. vi. 16, and in that quality the house of prayer. O take care you never be so unhappy as to turn this house of prayer into a den of thieves, by shutting out from hence the fear and love of God, and letting in sin and Satan.

Conclude to attend in this your day to the things that appertain to your peace, and not to neglect the time of your visitation; lest by a want of corresponding with grace, you be so unhappy as to fill up the measure of your sins, and suddenly to fall, when you least expect it, into the hands of the living God.



Consider first, the lessons we are to learn from the example of this great saint. St. Andrew, before he came to Christ, was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, (John I. 35, 40,) trained up to devotion and penance in that excellent school of the great forerunner of our Lord. See, my soul, the great advantages of early piety and of a saint-like education! 'It is good for man,' saith the prophet, 'when he hath borne the yoke from his youth,' Lament. iii. 27. And it is a proverb, saith Solomon, Prov. xxi. 6, 'train a young man according to his way; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.' St John, the true friend of the bridegroom, who sought not his own honour and glory, but the spiritual advantage of his disciples, directed them to Jesus. St. Andrew and another heard him saying of our Lord, 'Behold the Lamb of God!' and they presently followed him, and accompanied him to the place of his abode, and there they stayed with him that day. O! what entertainment did he give them! O! what heavenly conversation did they there enjoy! Christians, see you take care to fit up a lodging for Christ in your own interior, and invite him in thither, and entertain him there by the exercise of recollection and of mental prayer, and you may also be so happy as to relish the admirable sweetness of his divine conversation.

Consider 2ndly, that St. Andrew had no sooner found Christ himself, but he endeavourer immediately to impart the same happiness to his brother Simon, and forthwith brought him to our Lord! Happy they who having found Jesus, and relished his sweetness, endeavour, like St. Andrew, to bring their brethren also to him, according to that of the Scripture, (Apoc. xiii. 17,) 'let him that heareth, say, Come; i.e., let him that heareth the sweet voice and invitation of the Spirit of God in his own soul, calling him to Christ, invite as many others as he can, and bring them along with him. But though these two brothers began now to be acquainted with our Lord, and to believe in him, they had not as yet left all to follow him. This grace was reserved for another time; when, as we read, (Matt. iv. 18,) 'Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, (for they were fisherman,) and he saith to them: Come after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men; and they, immediately leaving their nets, followed him.' Learn, Christians, from this example a ready correspondence with the calls and graces of God, even though he should call upon you to leave all you possess, and to follow him--how much more when he calls for a much easier sacrifice, such as the giving up for the love of him some petty toy or worldly bauble which has taken possession of your heart. Alas! the affections to these fooleries are like nets, from which you must be disengaged, before you can truly follow Christ.

Consider 3rdly, that from this time St. Andrew kept close to our Lord as his individual companion and disciple; and after his ascension into heaven, employed his whole life in propagating by his labours, by his preaching, and by his miracles, the glory of his master's name and his blessed kingdom, and in procuring salvation for innumerable souls. Neither did he cease till, after many sufferings and tribulations, (the usual portion of the disciples of Christ,) he laid down his life for the love of his Lord, following him faithfully and constantly unto death, even the death of the cross. But oh! with what affection did he salute the cross prepared for him, when according to the acts of his martyrdom, coming within sight of that happy instrument, which was to send him to his God, he cried out: 'O good Cross, which has received beauty and glory from bearing the body of my Lord! O Cross which I have long desired, tenderly loved, and continually sought after, and which now at length art here prepared to satisfy my longing soul: receive me now into thy embraces; take me away from amongst mortals, and conduct me to my master; that through thee he may receive me, who redeemed me by dying on thee.' Christians, what are your dispositions in regard to the cross prepared for you? There is no going to heaven for you by any other way than that of the cross. Are you sensible of this? Do you, like St. Andrew, lovingly embrace this blessed instrument which is to bring you to your God and to a happy eternity? Two considerations in particular recommended the cross to St. Andrew as the object of his affections and love: viz., the example of his master, who had sanctified the cross by his own sufferings and death; and the cross being the sovereign means of divine appointment to bring him to his master, and to unite him eternally to him. O! let the like considerations recommend the cross also to your love and affection. 

Conclude to labour to imitate the virtues of St. Andrew, more especially his early piety, his attention to all the divine calls, his ready correspondence with the grace of God, his constant adhesion to Christ, and his dedicating his whole life to his love and service, and the pious dispositions of his soul with relation to the cross. There is no better way of honouring the saints than by endeavoring to be saints by an imitation of their lives.

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