Luke 12:35
Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning.
The Equipment of the ServantsAlexander MaclarenLuke 12:35
Lessons from the Fowls and LiliesR.M. Edgar Luke 12:22-40
A Sudden CallLuke 12:35-40
All WatchedLuke 12:35-40
Always ReadyH. O. Mackay.Luke 12:35-40
Be ReadyChristian AgeLuke 12:35-40
Christian PreparednessR. Cecil.Luke 12:35-40
Christian WatchfulnessJames Foote, M. A.Luke 12:35-40
Danger of UnwatchfulnessLuke 12:35-40
Death a Divine VisitationW. Clarkson Luke 12:35-40
Death a SurpriseHomiletic ReviewLuke 12:35-40
Found Well EmployedLuke 12:35-40
Irresistible GraceH. Melvill, B. D.Luke 12:35-40
Of the Believer's Readiness for the Coming of ChristF. G. Lisco.Luke 12:35-40
Preparation for DeathJ. Alexander.Luke 12:35-40
Preparation for DeathLuke 12:35-40
Preparation for Death and JudgmentC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 12:35-40
Prepare At OnceC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 12:35-40
Proper Preparation for DeathD. Ruell, M. A.Luke 12:35-40
ReadyH. G. Salter.Luke 12:35-40
Ready!The Weekly PulpitLuke 12:35-40
Ready, or not ReadyA. Bibby.Luke 12:35-40
Signs and Preparations of the Last JudgmentJ. Marchant.Luke 12:35-40
The Coming of ChristT. Dwight, D. D.Luke 12:35-40
The Expectant ServantH. G. Weston, D. D.Luke 12:35-40
The Kind MasterS. Cox, D. D.Luke 12:35-40
The Lamp of the Soul Ever BurningR. Jones, M. . 4.Luke 12:35-40
The Motive of Christian WatchfulnessVan Oosterzee.Luke 12:35-40
The Nature of Christian WatchfulnessVan Oosterzee.Luke 12:35-40
Waiting and WatchingBishop Stevens.Luke 12:35-40
Waiting for the LordC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 12:35-40
Waiting for the LordJ. H. Norton.Luke 12:35-40
Watchfulness in its True CharacterArndt.Luke 12:35-40
Watching for the MasterThe Congregational PulpitLuke 12:35-40
Watching is EssentialChristian AgeLuke 12:35-40
What Do You Keep a Lantern ForLuke 12:35-40
What Does the Lord Demand of His Faithful Servants?Van Oosterzee.Luke 12:35-40
What Does the Lord Promise to His Faithful Servants?Van Oosterzee.Luke 12:35-40
To us the coming of the Son of mart means the hour of death; that is the practical view and therefore the wise view of the subject· And we may well regard our departure from this world as a coming of God to us.


1. At death God comes to us all in judgment. Death is the appointed penalty of sin. It is true that the burden of that penalty is spiritual rather than material, and that God grants us a kind reprieve before he executes it; but still, in conformity with it, the accidents of death have to occur to us; that ancient sentence has to be fulfilled; the shadows of the last hour must fall around us; and whenever and however that may happen, with whatever mitigations, God will come to us then in solemn penalty, saying, "My child, thou hast sinned, and thou must die."

2. At death God comes to us in providence.

(1) God has given to us a perishable frame, one that is only constructed to last for a term of years, that after a certain point begins to waste and wane

(2) He suffers, if he does not send, the special circumstances which lead up to death; at the least, he withholds the interposing act or suggestion which would prolong the life that is taken· Man never "goes to his long home" but we may say, "Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men." On each such occasion the Son of man comes and says, "Put off thy tabernacle, and come within the veil."

3. At death Christ comes to us in sacred summons· In life God's voice should be daily heard saying, "Put out those powers; use those opportunities; cultivate that spiritual nature I have entrusted to thee; serve thy brethren; glorify my Name." But at death Christ comes to us and summons us to his presence; then we hear him say, "Give account of thy stewardship;" "Reap what thou hast sown."

II. READINESS FOR DEATH A PART OF HUMAN WISDOM. "Let your loins be girded about... be like men that wait for their Lord... the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."

1. It is true that there is usually less suddenness than there seems in cases of sudden death; on inquiry, it is nearly always found that there were premonitory signs of danger, kindly warnings from the Author of our nature, that the end was not far off it. But it is also and equally true that death is unexpected when it does arrive·

(1) So do we cling to life, that we are not willing to acknowledge concerning ourselves the fact which is obvious to every one else respecting us.

(2) It is our mental habit to expect continuance where we ought to look for severance and cessation. The oftener we have crossed the decaying and breaking bridge, the more confidently we do cross it, though we know well that it is nearer than ever to its fall. We may be almost sure that, in whatever form and at whatever hour the Son of man comes to us, we shall be surprised at his appearance.

3. It will be a terrible thing to be unready; to have to do, if we can, in a few brief hours that for which a long life is not a day too long.

4. It will be a blessed thing to be ready for this vision of our Lord; not merely, nor chiefly, because we shall thus be enabled to cross, with calm hopefulness, into the other country, but because we shall then be ready for those high services and celestial honors which our gracious and generous Master intends to confer upon us (ver. 37). - C.

Men that wait for their Lord.
This readiness stands in watchfulness and fidelity.


1. Its nature.

2. Its ground. The servant's relation of dependence toward his Lord.

3. The motive to it. The glorious reward.

4. The difficulty of it. The long delay.

5. Its necessity. The uncertainty of the time.


1. Motives to it.

(1)The confidence reposed in him by the Lord;

(2)who intrusts to him a large sphere of operation;

(3)in which much good may be done.

2. Its nature.

(1)That is, deals justly.

(2)And in proper season.

3. Its consequences.

(1)The internal joy of a good conscience.

(2)The Lord's approval and recompense.

4. Exhortation to fidelity from the mournful consequences of the opposite.

1. Source of faithlessness. Security and unbelief.

2. Nature of faithlessness.

(1)Abuse of power.

(2)Ill use of means entrusted to it.

3. Mournful consequences of faithlessness.

(1)He finds himself surprised in his security.

(2)He is severely punished.

(3)And the punishment, whether more lenient or more severe, is perfectly just.

(F. G. Lisco.)

The Congregational Pulpit.

1. We expect Christ's second advent as King and Judge. Or —

2. We expect our own decease, which will take us into His presence, to give an account of ourselves.


1. We are His servants. We belong to Him, and are subject to Him; He has given us work to do in His absence — work which should occupy all our time, and engage all our powers. Specifically, there is the work of our own sanctification; and there is the work of Christian beneficence and labour in the world.

2. We are left to ourselves for a season. We have it in our power to refuse doing His work. We may use His property and gifts for our own pleasure or profit. We may be indolent, selfish, and sensual, and lull ourselves to sleep and carelessness.

3. But He will return, and call us to account. We expect a day of reckoning.


1. If found faithful, what joy and honour will be ours! (See verse 37.)

2. If found unfaithful, what discomfiture and ruin! (See verse 45, &c.)


1. it is, to live wholly for eternity — for Christ.

2. It is, to be prepared for death and judgment every moment. (See vers. 35, 40.)

3. It is, to stir up others to the same wakefulness and zeal!

(The Congregational Pulpit.)

1. Alertness.

2. Activity.

3. Circumspection.

(Van Oosterzee.)

1. Certainty.

2. Suddenness.

3. Decisiveness of the coming of the Lord.

(Van Oosterzee.)

1. An eye that is open for His light.

2. A hand that carries on His work.

3. A foot that is every instant ready to go to meet Him and to open to Him.

(Van Oosterzee.)

1. Honourable distinction.

2. Perfect contentment.

3. Beseeming elevation.

(Van Oosterzee.)

1. Its inner essence.

2. Its blessed consequences.

3. Its indispensable universality.


I. THE REPRESENTATION WHICH IS HERE GIVEN OF GOD'S MODE OF DEALING WITH MEN. "He cometh and knocketh." Where? At the "door" of our hearts. Then the door is by nature closed against God. And this applies equally to all. We allow all that can be asked of us, in regard to a vast difference between man and man; but only with reference to their characters and their conduct as members of society. When we try them by their love to God, by their willingness to submit to Him, by their desire to please Him, we contend that there is no difference whatever, but that all must be equally included under one emphatic description — "Enemies in your minds by wicked works." This truth it is which we derive from the words of our text — the truth that the heart of every one amongst us is naturally barred against God, so that though it will be readily opened at the touch of friendship, or the call of distress, yet does it obstinately exclude that Creator and that Benefactor, who alone can fill its mighty capacities. And, if the text thus pourtray to you the natural condition of the human heart, it shows you, with equal accuracy, by what kind of manner Christ tries to gain the entrance which is wickedly denied. We speak not yet of the mode, in which it may be said, that Christ "knocks" at the door of the heart. We confine ourselves simply to the representation that no kind of violence is employed; there is nothing like forcing the door; but when Christ has "knocked," it still rests with man to determine whether he will obey the summons, and let in the guest. You will all admit that there is nothing in the text which looks like what is called IRRESISTIBLE ONCE; nothing to favour the opinion that there is any inteference with the free will of man, in order that he may be compelled or induced to renounce what is evil, and embrace what is good. The representation is purely that of such an appeal to man as man is quite at liberty to withstand. There is a "knocking" at the door; perhaps a loud knocking, and a continued knocking, but still it is left with man to decide whether he will hear the voice and throw open the door. It is very clear from this, whatever we may hold as to human corruption and disability, that none of us can be excusable in being still unconverted and at enmity with God. If Christ have only "knocked" (and this can hardly be denied by any who have ever heard the sound of the gospel), the whole blame is chargeable on themselves, if He have not also entered, and taken possession of the heart. And how does Christ knock? We might almost say that He knocks by every object in creation, and by every provision in redemption. Every feature of the landscape, every tree of the forest; every flower of the garden, every joint and every muscle of my frame — all are gifted with the same energy, an energy in proclaiming that there is a Supreme Being, infinite in wisdom and goodness, as well as in might. And through each, therefore, this Being may be justly affirmed to "knock" at the door of the heart, demanding its love and its allegiance. And there are modes yet more personal than these, in which God may be said to "come and knock" at the human heart. Does He not often inflict fatherly chastisements — removing objects of deep love, and startling those who were sunk in lethargy, and living as though they had here an "abiding city" by sudden and distressing dispensations? And if God may be said to knock at the heart by the visitations of His providence, will you not allow the same in regard of all those actings on men, which are especially to be referred to the Second and Third Persons of the Trinity? We are bold to declare of every sermon that you hear, and every chapter which you read, that it knocks at the heart. The written word and the preached word are the exhibitions of what has been done for you by the Lord your Redeemer; and in resisting these, you resist the strongest possible appeal to every charity of the heart, to every susceptibility, to every hope, and to every fear. When Christ is evidently set forth "crucified amongst you," the throes of His agony and passion; the instruments of shame and torture, the crown, the nail, the cross, the spear, the indignities endured without resentment, the griefs sustained without a murmur; the contumely poured on the Lord of Glory, the death submitted to by the Lord of Life, and all "for us men and for our salvation"; — each of these may emphatically be said to rush against the heart, pleading against its indifference, and worldliness, and pride, and soliciting admission for a Saviour who longs to enter it, only that He may purify and bless and fill it with lasting happiness. And to this must be added what must occur to every one of you, that the suggestions of conscience, and the strivings of the Spirit, are means through which Christ often "knocks" at the heart, and that too, with a violence which will scarcely permit inattention. Who is there of you who will presume to say that he never heard this knocking?

II. THE PROMISE MADE TO THOSE WHO YIELD TO HIS SOLICITATIONS, We will not insist upon that point of the representation which sets before us Christ as actually ministering — ministering as a servant to such as open when He knocks. We must not give too literal an interpretation to such sayings, though we may certainly understand our blessed Lord as affirming that He will graciously condescend to employ all His power and authority in advancing the honour and happiness of those who hearken to His call. Whilst waiving this, let us consider only the representation of "sitting down to meat" in association and company with the Lord our Redeemer. It has often been said, and we suppose with much truth, that heaven would be no scene of enjoyment to the wicked if they could be admitted within its gates without having the heart first changed by Divine grace. There cannot be happiness unless our faculties and desires have their counterpart objects. This is only saying that we must have our faculties rectified and receive a new set of desires ere we can possibly find happiness in the occupation and pleasures of the invisible world. And such a remark is specially in place with regard to the promise made by Christ in our text. It is not a promise which can wear much attractiveness to men who are wholly strangers to vital religion. There is not much in it to excite them, because it addresses itself to feelings which they do not yet possess and presupposes desires of which they are not conscious. They may see that the promise refers to close intimacy and rich communion between Christ and the soul, but they are disposed to resolve all such things into idealism and enthusiasm: they cannot profess to understand how they can be, nor if they be real, how they can also be valuable. But let us all add, that if unconverted men find no relish for the blessing to which the promise refers, this alone is sufficient to make them earnest in obeying Christ's summons and opening the door. Certainly we do not know a more startling truth if we be impenitent and indifferent, than that heaven would be no heaven to us, even if we could gain entrance within its precincts; and it is going far beyond all ordinary descriptions, whether of mental or corporeal tyranny, to say that there is such a thorough unfitness for every pleasure which has God for its author, such a thorough incapacity for enjoying the blessings which God delighteth to secure to those whom He loves, that they would carry, as it were, hell into heaven, and be unspeakably miserable, even where there is to be "no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." That man indeed, must have wretchedness woven up with all the elements of his being, so that he must be his own tormentor, his own accuser, his own executioner, who could be translated from hell to heaven, and find the purities of the heavens a burden with the infirmities of earth. We will not, therefore, hear that there is no stirring motive to the unconverted amongst you in these words of the Saviour — "he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." That you do not feel their force; that you do not see their beauty; this alone is argument enough why you should labour to fulfil the conditions and "open immediately," upon hearing the knocking of Christ. To have no relish for what Christ has to bestow, proves such incapacity for happiness as is more formidable than the mere accumulation of misery. Therefore should the unconverted be as much roused by a promise whose worth they do not feel as by one which should actually address itself to their hopes and their wishes. If the "door were to be opened" that wealth might pour in, and that carnal pleasure might abound, what alacrity would there be in obeying the summons and withdrawing the bolt I But if the door is to be opened, that the Mediator may enter, and if this seem in no degree an inducement; why, this very fact ought to furnish the strongest possible inducement! for, unless I can learn to be happy in God's way, how unspeakably wretched must I ever be in my own! But we may well believe that there are others in this assembly who have appreciated the worth of the promise in our text. To such we need not say that there is a communion and intercourse between Christ and the soul, which if not capable of being described to a stranger, is unspeakably precious to those by whom it is experienced. It is no dream of rye enthusiast; it is the statement of soberness and truth. The Redeemer so manifests Himself to those who believe in His name that He communicates to them such a sense of His presence, and brings them into such intimate companionship, that He may be said to enter in and "make them sit down to meat." There is what I may venture to call a social and family intercourse; not indeed an intercourse in which the majesty and the dignity of the Mediator are ever forgotten, but nevertheless one which is as cordial and unreserved as it is actual, the soul opening all her capacities that she may be filled with all the fulness of the Saviour, and the Saviour deigning to impart himself in His various offices.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

First let us glance at the form of the parable. A certain Oriental gentleman, or "lord," has gone to the wedding of a friend. The festivities connected with an Eastern marriage were spread over many days, a week at least, sometimes a month. All the friends of the family were expected to put in an appearance, but only a select few remained to the end. The rest might come and go at any hour, on any day, that suited their convenience or pleasure. So that when this Hebrew gentleman went to his friend's wedding, his servants could not tell to an hour, or to a watch, or even to a day, when he would return. But, however long he delayed his coming, they kept a keen look-out for him. When night fell, instead of barring up the house and retiring to rest, they girt up their long outer robes, that they might be ready to run out at any instant to greet him; they kindled their lamps, that they might run safely, as well as swiftly, on his errands. They even prepared a table for him; for, though he was coming from a feast, he may have had to ride far and long, and, in any case, a little fruit and a cup of pure water or of generous wine might be very acceptable to him. In this posture, with these preparations, they await his coming. And when he comes, he is so pleased with their fidelity and thoughtfulness that, instead of sitting down to meat or hastening to his couch, he girds up his loins, bids his servants sit down to the very banquet they had prepared for him, and comes forth from his chamber to wait upon them.

I. THE WATCHFULNESS OF THE SERVANTS. As they waited for the coming of their master, so are we to wait for the coming of ours. If we take the great promise of the New Testament — the second advent of Christ — if we divest it of all mere accidents of form and date, and reduce it to its most simple and general terms, what does it come to? It comes at least to this: that, somewhere in the future, there is to be a better world than this — a world more wisely and happily ordered, a world in which all that is now wrong will be righted, a world of perfect beauty and growing righteousness; in a word, a world in which He who once suffered for and with all men will really reign in and over all men, His spirit dwelling in them, and raising them towards the true ideal of manhood. And is not that a reasonable hope? Does it not make a vital difference to us whether or not we entertain it? If in this world only we have hope, we are of all creatures most miserable. If the tragedy of human life be pregnant with no Divine purpose, if there be no better time coming, no golden age of righteousness and peace — if, in short, we can no longer believe in the advent and reign of Christ, then surely every thoughtful spectator of this vast tragedy must say, "It were better for men that they had never been born!" But if we believe in this great promise, if we cherish this great hope, then can we with patience wait for it. And this is the very posture which our Lord here enjoins.

II. THE FRIENDLY AND BOUNTIFUL KINDNESS OF THE MASTER. Whatever we have done for God, He will do for us; when He reckons with us, we shall receive our own again, and receive it with usury. It is but a metaphorical expression of that great law of retribution which pervades the whole Bible, but the happier face of which we are too apt to overlook — that whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap, that, and all that has come of it. The Divine reward will be at once equitable and bountiful. If in this present life we have shown some capacity for serving God in serving our fellows, we may be sure that in the life to come we shall receive the harvest of our service; we may be sure that God will do for us all that we have done for Him, and a great deal more. But what, after all, is the best part of a man's reward for a faithful and diligent use of any faculty here? It is that his faculty, whatever it may be, is invigorated, developed, refined by use. If, then, I have here used my faculty and opportunity for serving God in serving my fellows, I may hope and believe that hereafter my best reward will be an enlarged faculty of service and ampler opportunities for exercising it. If I love righteousness here, and pursue it, I find all righteous men and influences on my side, and so get my reward; but my best reward is that I myself am ever growing in righteousness, in the power of teaching and serving it.

(S. Cox, D. D.)


1. Death, you perceive, is here represented as the coming of Jesus Christ. In His capacity of Mediator, He comes at death, to terminate that "space for repentance" which He has allotted to each individual; He comes to demand an account of our stewardship.

2. But out text refers, with peculiar emphasis, to the uncertainty in which we are left, as to the time when our Lord will come. That He will come, we are distinctly and impressively assured: and the time, the place, and the manner of His coming, are all foreknown to Him, and appointed by Him. But they are all unknown to us; the year, the day, the hour are unknown; whether it shall be "in the second watch, or in the third watch"; whether it shall be in the morning, or in the evening, or at noonday; "for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."


1. Preparation for death is founded on a belief of the gospel of Christ.

2. It includes a devout anticipation of death, and a reference to it amidst the concerns and engagements of life.

3. Preparation for death includes also a holy and habitual perseverance in the service of Jesus Christ.


1. They are blessed with peace and hops in the prospect and in the act of dying.

2. They are blessed with an entrance into heaven immediately after death.

(J. Alexander.)

Our dear friend, Mr. James Smith, whom some of you remember as preaching the Word at Park Street, and afterwards at Cheltenham, when I saw him, some little while before his departure, described himself thus: "You have seen a passenger that has gone to the station, taken his ticket, all his luggage brought in, all packed up, strapped, directed; and you have seen him sitting with his ticket in his hand, waiting till the train comes up. That," said he, "is exactly my condition. I am ready to go as soon as my Heavenly Father pleases to come for me." And is not that how we should always live — waiting for the Lord's appearing? Mr. Whitefield used to say, of his well-known order and regularity, "I like to go to bed feeling that if I were to die to-night, there is not so much as a pair of my gloves out of their proper place."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

When war was declared between France and Germany, Count yon Moltke, the strategist, was fully prepared for it. The news was brought to him late one night at Kreisau: he had already gone to bed. "Very well," he said to the messenger, "the third portfolio on the left," and went to sleep again until morning.

(H. O. Mackay.)

Christian Age.
A general, after gaining a great victory, was encamping with his army for the night. He ordered watch to be kept all around the camp as usual. One of the sentinels, as he went to his station, grumbled to himself, and said, " Why could not the general let us have a quiet night's rest for once, after beating the enemy? I'm sure there's nothing to be afraid of." The man then went to his station and stood for some time looking about him. It was a bright night, with a harvest moon, but, as he could see no sign of danger anywhere, he said to himself, "I am terribly tired, I shall sleep for just five minutes, out of the moonlight, under the shadow of this tree. So he lay down. Presently he started up, dreaming that some one had pushed a lantern before his eyes, and he found that the moon was shining brightly down on him through the branches of the tree above him. The next minute an arrow whizzed past his ear, and the whole field before him seemed alive with soldiers in dark green coats, who sprang up from the ground, where they had been silently creeping onward, and rushed toward him. Fortunately the arrow had missed him! so he shouted aloud to give the alarm, and ran back to some other sentinels. The army to which he belonged was thus saved, and the soldier said, "I shall never forget, as long as I live, that when one is at war, one must watch."

(Christian Age.)

The Rev. Dr. Kidd was a Scotch minister of some prominence, and very eccentric, and one who had his own way of doing things. One of his parishioners says: "I was busy in my shop, when, in the midst of my work, in stepped the doctor. 'Did you expect me?'" was his abrupt inquiry, without even waiting for a salutation. 'No,' was my reply. 'What if I had been Death?' he asked, when at once he stepped out as abruptly as he came, and was gone almost before I knew it." What a question! What a thought for every one of us! Does not Death come to most, if not to all, as unexpectedly as this? And does not the inquiry impress the lesson from our Saviour's lips, "Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."

Christian Age.
In the early part of 1875, a young minister, desirous to see the working of the railway signals, points, and telegraph, entered a signal box on a branch line (where the road crossed the metals) for that purpose. The man in charge was most affable, and willing to supplement his limited knowledge of it, by showing him the working of the various branches of trust committed to his charge, as the respective trains came through. Only a few moments elapsed when the sharp ring of the gong attracted both signalman and his visitor to the telegraphic instrument, and the signal "Be ready" was given for a fast through train. The answer returned, the signal lowered, the points righted, and, like the rushing of a mighty wind, on came the ponderous engine and its train of human life. Fast went that train, but the "Be ready " flew before it from station to station, preparing for it clear metals and a safe journey. A few days elapsed, and the same train was again due; the "Be ready" had been received and forwarded; the signals lowered, the points righted; but one of the gates had somehow got unlocked, and hung across the road. The signalman rushed to the gate hoping to fling it back, but was too late. The train dashed on, and the mangled corpse of the poor man told of his sudden exit from this world to the next. Have you not received the "Be ready" again and again? Look well to your signals, look well to your points, and see that you are ready. The Apostle Paul once got the signal " Be ready," and his reply was this: "I am now ready to be offered up, for the time of my departure is at hand."

(Christian Age.)

Faith without works has no testifying and authenticating fruit. They are the two extremes of the one tree, viz., the root and the fruit; they are the two halves of the one whole — together they make up the complete Christian. In the text, this completeness is brought out and illustrated in a forcible manner, in the three aspects in which our Lord presents the Christian, viz., a servant, a light-bearer, and a watchman.

I. In the first direction which our Lord gives, "Let your loins be girded about," we have before us the picture of A SERVANT GIRDED FOR DUTY. I need not tell you what the position and duties of a servant are; how it is expected of him that he should know his place, and humbly and faithfully discharge the duties of his station. He should, if possible, identify himself with his master's interest, and conduct himself in a manner which will sustain his master's honour. The servant of Christ has the noblest of all masters — the holiest of all services — the most honourable of all positions. The servant of a king ever bears about him the reflected honour of the king, and the amount of this honour is in proportion to his nearness or remoteness to the throne. So the servant of the King of kings borrows dignity from the Being whom he serves. He wears no outward insignia of that dignity, as earthly courtiers do in stars or ribbons; but it is a glory which reflects itself in his daily life, and evidences his relation to Jesus by the fidelity and zeal which he shows in His service. The fact that what he does, he does for Christ, lifts it out of the plane of menial duty, and places it in the higher region of holy privilege. Such a service ought to call out prompt obedience, loving devotion, unwearied effort, and thorough sympathy with the aim and purpose of God in the work of man's salvation.

II. But, secondly, the text tells us that the Christian is to BE A LIGHT-BEARER as well as a servant. Not only must his loins be girded, but his lights must be burning, The Christian lives in the midst of moral darkness. Sin is darkness, and he lives in a world of sin; a world in which men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. Error also is darkness. If Christ is in you His light will shine out through you; and if none shines out through you, it will be because there is none in you. Where the light is, there will be the shining. The absence of light proves the absence of Christ; for you cannot cover up His light or smother His beams. The necessity for these lights being ever burning arises from the personal need of the believer himself; and from the necessity of showing forth to others the light and truth which he has found in Jesus. The personal security of the disciple, then, requires that he should let his lights be burning. His spiritual comfort also depends on this. St. John, after declaring that "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all," immediately adds, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." The holier the life, the brighter the light. The more the light shines for others, the greater is the inner glow of our own hearts, and the greater the outer glory given to God. The absence of light where we expect to find it, often produces most disastrous results.

III. Lastly, the text tells us that the Christian is to be a WATCHMAN: "and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord," The watchman-like character of the Christian is to show itself in two ways. First, by watching over himself; and secondly, by waiting for his returning Lord. Over himself he must watch, lest he become careless in duty, remiss in keeping his light burning, and be overtaken with drowsiness and indifference. Self-watchfulness is the necessary pre-requisite to spiritual peace and growth. Only the self-confident and the self-ignorant are unwatchful; and the unwatchful always become an easy prey to the spoiler. All that the great deceiver asks of us is; not that we should openly abandon our religion, but simply ungird our loins — let our light go out and cease to watch. He will finish the work which we thus by carelessness and unwatchfulness begin. In addition to this self-watchfulness there is the other position to be taken, viz., waiting for our returning Lord. This may imply that outlook which all true Christians like to take in reference to the Second Advent of Christ, when He shall come again to judge the world.

(Bishop Stevens.)

I. CONSIDER THE EMPTY, UNTRIMMED LAMP AS THE EMBLEM OF THE NOMINAL PROFESSOR. A lamp is a very serviceable thing, serviceable for lighting our stormy coast, and guarding against shipwrecks; serviceable for lighting our homes; but it is of little service unless it is trimmed, and unless it has oil in it. Now a hollow professor is like a lamp of this kind, a lamp with no oil in it, that cannot be lighted when you want it; as useless, though more dangerous. He lets not the lamp of his profession shine before men with the light of practice, with the light of good works, because the lamp of his profession is destitute of the oil of Divine grace. The oil is the emblem of Divine grace in the Christian profession. And as it is impossible to light a lamp without first putting oil into it; so is it impossible for a hollow professor to shed around on this dark world the beautiful and refreshing light of good works, unless, first, the oil of Divine grace is poured into the empty receptacle of his unconverted heart, by the unseen hand of the Holy Spirit.

II. CONSIDER THE LAMP, WITH OIL IN IT, RUT NOT LIGHTED, AS AN EMBLEM OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN, BUT NOT EXACTLY SO WELL PREPARED FOR THE SECOND COMING OF THE SON OF MAN AT AN HOUR UNEXPECTED. It is an easy thing for the lamp of the Christian to grow dim, or to go out. If the Christian is not watchful, the slightest blast from the insidious temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, will blow his lamp out. Want of prayer, irregularity in prayer, coldness in prayer, will put the Christian's lamp out, or make it burn very dull. Neglect of the Scriptures, neglect either in not searching them, or in searching them in a self-righteous and careless spirit, will extinguish the bright light of the lamp. Or irregularity, or formality, in attending the Sacrament, and the other Divinely appointed means of grace, will cause the lamp to emit a dim and unhealthy light. Yielding to the besetting sin will put the lamp out; yielding to any wilful sin will put the lamp out. Remissness in self-examination will put the lamp out. Want of zeal for Christ will put the lamp out. Want of faith in Christ will put the lamp out. Want of hope in Christ will put the lamp out. Want of love for Christ will put the lamp out. Want of an abounding stedfastness in the work of the Lord, will put the lamp out.

III. CONSIDER THE LAMP BURNING, AS AN EMBLEM OF DUE PREPARATION FOR CHRIST'S SUDDEN COMING. Brethren, it is a hard thing in a world like this, and with an old evil nature that clings to the new man, for the Christian to keep his lamp burning. There are few Christians, indeed, whom sudden death has found, or the second advent will find, not only with lamps, and the oil in the lamps, but the lamps themselves burning. "Sudden death, sudden glory," has been the noble motto of a very distinguished minority, and death has not had power to make them retract. Absent from the body, present with the Lord; so said St. Paul in life, and so he felt in death. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, are among the last glorious words on record of St. John. They shed a burning and shining light upon this dark world of sin and woe to the very last. Their whole eventful lives were spent in being good, or doing good. "To them to live is Christ, to die is gain." When their lamps grow dull, and seem threatening to go out, they immediately brighten them up, and make them burn again, by betaking themselves to the throne of grace.

IV. To each of these three classes of Christians, denoted by the lamp, WE WOULD OFFER A WORD OF EXHORTATION BY WAY OF WARNING OR ENCOURAGEMENT.

1. To the first we would say, yours is a sad case, indeed. You trust in the lamp of a hollow profession to save you in the great, and awful, and searching day of your Lord's second coming. You trust to a lamp without oil to light it. If you put confidence in any refuge of lies of this description, what a miserable end yours will be when Christ cometh. The God that seeth not as man seeth, the God that searcheth the hearts and trieth the reins, is to be your Judge, and pronounce your final doom.

2. To the second class of Christians we would say, guard against all those things that tend to put the lamp out. Every Christian knows what has the influence of deadening the light of the Spirit in his soul, and such a course ought to be strenuously avoided.

3. To the third class of Christians here designated, let us offer the word of encouragement. Often seated amid nights of terrible darkness, on the rock that is higher than we, on the rock of ages, have you been looking patiently, and in faith, over Time's troublous sea, for the glad day of Christ's coming to arrive, watching for the day-star to rise. Let your lamps be thus burning, till He comes. It will not be long before He does come. Yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry. Then your soul's vigils will come to an end.

(R. Jones, M. . 4.)

A blind beggar sat by the side-walk on a dark night with a bright lantern by his side. Whereat a passer-by was so puzzled that he had to turn back with — "What in the world do you keep a lantern burning for? You can't see!" "So't folks won't stumble over me," was the reply. We should keep our lights brightly burning for others' sakes, as well as for the good of being "in the light" ourselves.

A Christian must stand in a posture to receive every message which God shall send. He must be so prepared as to be like one who is called to set off on a sudden journey, and has nothing to do but to set out at a moment's notice; or like a merchant who has goods to send abroad, and has them all packed up and in readiness for the first vessel that is to sail.

(R. Cecil.)

We should always stand "with our lamps burning, and our loins girt." A Christian should always be as a ship that has taken in its lading, and is prepared and furnished with all manner of tackling, ready to sail, only expecting the good winds to carry him out of the haven. So should we be ready to set sail for the ocean of eternity, and stand at heaven's gate, be in a perpetual exercise of faith and love, and be fittingly prepared to meet our Saviour.

(H. G. Salter.)


1. Christ predicted this apathy.

2. The narrow views prevalent as to the idea of "judgment" have much to do with this indifference. Christ is to establish a rule of equity, to establish righteousness in the earth, let us remember.

3. In saying "It is expedient for you that I go away," the Lord did not say that it was expedient to stay away. We seem to act as if He said so. But He said, "I will come again."


1. It shows our real affection for Him.

2. It shows that we entertain right views of the work of Christ, and are in sympathy with that work.

3. This expectant attitude testifies to our supreme desire for spiritual blessings: those gifts of His grace which prepare us for His work here, and for the glorious vision of His face at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

(H. G. Weston, D. D.)

Let the duty of watchfulness engage your most careful attention. How vigilant is he who is appointed to keep watch at seal "The watchful mariner," says one, "is ever on the look out. His eyes and ears are both open. Be the prevailing fear an enemy's force, or a sunk rock, or concealed bank, or shelving coast, he discerns the smallest symptoms, observes the motion of the waves sounds with the line, and gives the alarm on the most minute alteration. Without such watchfulness, the most precious merchandise, and the lives of men, would be each hour in jeopardy. Much the same is the case in warfare by land. The sentinel on the outpost is heedful of the most inconsiderable object within his station; and in the darkness of the night, his ear listens to every noise, Nothing can divert his attention from fidelity to his charge. Such also is the case with the watchman in the besieged city. From the walls, as far as he has light, he marks each change and alteration in the posture of the enemy, draws a judgment from the nicest circumstances; and, in the night, discerns even the rustling of the leaf moved by the breath of heaven; and at every suspicious noise he gives the alarm to the guards of the city. Without this the cry of havoc would oft be heard in the town, when drowned in heaviness and slumber." Thus it is that you should watch for your own souls. Be watchful lest ye make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience. Be watchful against your spiritual enemies. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour." Watch over your words and actions, and your very thoughts. "Keep your hearts with all dilligence, for out of them are the issues of life." Beware of those things which are contrary to watchfulness, such as sloth, inconsideration, worldliness, and sensuality. And see that you join prayer to watchfulness.

(James Foote, M. A.)

Philip Henry, the father of the commentator, called upon a tanner, who was so briskly employed in tanning a hide that he did not notice the minister's approach, and on looking round he apologized for being found thus employed. Philip Henry replied, "Let Christ, when He comes, find me equally well employed in the duties of my calling." "Many other ministers have made the same reply to similar excuses.

"A story that I read when a boy," says one, "made a great impression on me. At a lonely country house a pedlar asked permission to leave a large pack of goods. Some one looking at it in an out-of-the-way room, thought they saw it move. A man in the house fired at it: a groan was heard, and blood issued. Inside the pack was the accomplice of coming robbers, with food, and a wind-call. Neighbours were got in, guns were loaded, and all watched. In the night they sounded the call; the robbers came, were welcomed with a volley, and fled, taking their dead and wounded with them."

Two centuries ago, Andrew Gray, the M'Cheyne of his time, and who, like him, was early called home, once said at a communion season, "Oh, when shall these blue heavens be rent, and we be admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb? I long for the day when all the language of heaven and earth shall be, 'Come, come, Lord Jesus.'" But, in a more marked degree still, this was the theme in which Samuel Rutherford ever specially delighted. "All is night that is here," he said; "therefore sigh and long for the dawning of the morning, and the breaking of that day of the coming of the Son of Man! Persuade yourself the King is coming: read his letter sent before him, 'Behold, I come quickly.' Wait with the wearied night watch for the breaking of the eastern sky, and think that ye have not a morrow."

(J. H. Norton.)

I. THE PERSONS TO WHOM THE COMMAND WAS ADDRESSED WERE ORIGINALLY THE AUDIENCE TO WHICH OUR SAVIOUR WAS SPEAKING. These, as St. Luke informs us, were an innumerable multitude of people, gathered, as it would seem, to hear him preach the gospel. A part of them were His disciples, a part of them were His enemies, and a part, probably including the greatest number, could scarcely have known anything of Him, unless by report. To all these classes of men the command is addressed in the written gospel. To him who reads it, and to him who hears it, it is addressed alike; and that whether he be a Christian, or a sinner, acquainted with Christ, or unacquainted.

II. IN EXAMINING THE COMMAND ITSELF, I SHALL BRIEFLY MENTION — First, What that is for which we are to be ready; and — Secondly, What is included in being ready. First, We are required to be ready for the coming of Christ. There are several senses in which this phrase may be fairly understood, as used in the Scriptures.(1) When it is applied to individuals it particularly denotes the day of death. Death to every man is the time in which Christ will come, which will terminate every man's probation, and put an end to the necessity and duty of watching, so solemnly enjoined in the text.(2) We are also required to be ready for the judgment;(3) and for eternity. Secondly, I will now proceed to inquire what is included in being ready.

1. Profaners of the Lord's Day are not ready for the coming of Christ.

2. Prayerless persons are not ready for the coming of Christ.

3. Those who do not profess the religion of Christ, and enter into His covenant, are not not ready for His coming.

4. Those persons also are unprepared for the coming of Christ who prefer the world to Him.

5. All persons are unprepared for the coming of Christ who have hitherto put off their repentance to a future season.

6. All those persons also are unready for the coming of Christ who in their schemes of reformation reserve to themselves the indulgence of some sinful disposition, or the perpetration of some particular sin.

7. Those also are unready for the coming of Christ who do not continually and solemnly converse with death, judgment, and eternity.

8. Careless Christians are also unprepared for the coming of Christ.

III. I WILL NOW PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THE REASON BY WHICH THE DUTY OF PREPARING OURSELVES FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST IS ENFORCED IN THE TEXT — "For the Son of Man cometh in an hour when ye think not." How solemnly ought we to remember that death will not wait for our wishes, that the judgment is now hastening, that eternity is at the door? Disease, unperceived, may now be making progress in our veins, and may be preparing, without a suspicion on our part, to hurry us to the grave. How absurd, how deceitful, how fatal is our procrastination!

(T. Dwight, D. D.)



1. The justification of our persons by a true and lively faith in Christ.

2. The sanctification of our souls by the effectual operation of the Holy Spirit.


1. Because the time of his coming, or (what is substantially the same thing to us) the time of our death is awfully uncertain.

2. Because delay may be fatal and irretrievable.

(D. Ruell, M. A.)


1. The coming of Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4).

2. The coming of Enoch and Elias, and the spread of faith (Revelation 11:3-12).


1. Tribulations on earth (Luke 21:9, &c.).

2. Signs in heaven (Matthew 24:29).

3. The standard of the cross of Christ (Matthew 24:30).It shall appear —

(1)As token of Christ's victory.

(2)As the key of heaven. It is the cross that re-opened heaven, and it is our cross carried after Jesus that will open heaven to us.

(3)As a measure of our works.

(4)As a reproach to all the enemies of Christ (John 19:37).


1. The bodies of the dead will rise.

2. All men must appear before the tribunal of Christ.

3. The wicked shall be separated from among the just.

(J. Marchant.)


1. Not in humble guise, but in His glorious majesty.

2. Not to procure salvation, but to inquire who among men have sought His salvation and accepted His offers, and to pronounce sentence accordingly.


1. The world generally will be unprepared.

2. For each of us, death is the coming of the Son of Man.


1. Are you forgiven?

2. Are you growing in holiness?

(A. Bibby.)

The Weekly Pulpit.
Anxious thought misdirected only secures misery. Supreme efforts of thought, involving the greatest tension of heart-strings, should be spent on objects worthy of themselves. We were once shown a crossing-sweeper who had received a university training. What a waste! Men who spend their lives in seeking the daintiest food to eat, and the costliest dress to wear, waste time and talent, energy and substance, on the inferior parts of their being. Where, then, should anxious thought be exercised? "But rather seek ye the kingdom of God." "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning." "Be ye therefore ready also." These are the objects worthy of our anxiety and prayer.

I. BE READY — BE RECONCILED TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. IT IS HERE THE PREPARATION BEGINS. No one is ready to die who is not justified by faith and has peace with God. We do not wish to limit the power of God to save, even at the last moment, but we must say that it is a hazardous practice. Life at the longest is but brief to prepare for a world which has no end. For a long journey, and for a long stay from home, more elaborate preparations are made than for a short stay. When one intends to quit his native land for ever to reside in some distant colony, every preparation possible is made for that event. Observe also that the preparation is made with a view to the future. We who are hastening towards the judgment-seat need remember the exhortation — "Prepare, O Israel, to meet thy God." Our sins must be pardoned, and our hearts cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Without this we shall encounter the frown which will strike an eternal shudder through the soul. "Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

II. BE READY — BE ON YOUR GUARD AGAINST THE ALLUREMENTS OF THE WORLD. Let neither prosperity nor adversity steal our opportunities, but let our heart be fixed on heavenly things. The stag is swift of foot, but it is often caught by its own horns in the thicket of the forest. Men who pride themselves on their business capacities are drowned in the pleasures of wealth-getting. This world is full of enticements, and as Calypso would have detained the hero in her beautiful grotto, so these exert an influence prejudicial to the growth of heavenly desires. Let us cultivate the spirit of prayer, and commune often with the opposite shore. Every prayer reminds us that there is a happy land yonder where the saints stand in bright glory.

III. BE READY — BE IN CONSTANT EXPECTATION OF HIS COMING. Of all thoughts this is the sweetest. The Apostolic Church was fired daily with the hope that the Master was at hand. A lieutenant who had been mortally wounded was asked if he had a word he wished to be conveyed to his wife, replied, "Tell my wife that there is not a cloud between me and Jesus." It was a triumphant death. Be ready to welcome the Saviour when He comes, that no earthly entanglements may detain you one moment.

(The Weekly Pulpit.)

To die! This is the sure end of earthly life. However long our life may be, it must terminate in death. We may struggle as we will, but the stream of time is carrying us onwards, and we must be swept away; strong swimmers though we be, we cannot contend against the flood, but onward we must go, each day bearing us upon its bosom to the boundless Sea of Eternity. Since then, death is so certain to each of us, what is it to die? To die is to stand in the presence of the King of kings. Is no preparation required to appear before the Majesty of Heaven? And to die is not only to appear before the King, but to stand before a Judge. Moreover, to die is to stamp our lot with eternity. Now if we look at death in this light, as appearing before a King, as standing before a Judge, and as the settling and consolidation of our future existence, what arguments might we draw from these facts that we should be "ready also." Many men say, "Oh! when I come to die I shall say, 'Lord, have mercy upon me'; and will then get ready to go to heaven." Dressing for heaven, my friends, is not done quite so rapidly as that. Besides, how do you know that even five minutes will ever be given to you? I have heard of such a man, who often made it his boast that he would so prepare for heaven; but, alas I coming home one night, drunk, his horse leaped the parapet of a bridge, and he was heard cursing as he descended to his doom. Such may be your lot; sudden death may smite you, and there will be no time for preparation — there will be no time for you to prepare to meet your God. And now what is the preparation that we require to make? If death be what I have said it is, it is needful that we should be prepared for it; but what is- the preparation? My hearers, there are two things necessary before a man can face his God without fear. The first is, that his sins should be pardoned. When an unpardoned sinner shall come into the presence of God, he shall not stand in the Judgment, for the burning wrath of God shall consume him like stubble. "Depart" — says God — "depart, ye cursed; ye have lived in sin against Me; go and reap the harvest ye have sowed; inherit the reward of your own works." Sin unpardoned clothes a man with rags; and shall a man stand in rags before the King of Heaven? Sin unpardoned defiles a man with filth and loathsomeness; and shall filth and loathsomeness appear before perfection, or blackness stand in the presence of light and purity? Sin unpardoned makes man an enemy of God, and God an enemy of man. Sinners, lay hold of Christ. Ye doves, ye who are timid, and fear the tempest of God, hide yourselves in the cleft of the Rock of Ages, so shall ye be sheltered in the day of the fierce anger of the Lord. Now, as I have said, the first thing necessary for salvation is pardon of sin, and that is to be had through faith in Christ. But, secondly, even if a man's sins are pardoned, he would not be prepared to die if his nature were not renewed. If you could blot out all your sins in a moment, and if it could be possible for you to go to heaven just as you are, you could not be happy there; because heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. An unconverted man in heaven would be like a fish out of water — he would be wholly out of his element. Holy Mr. Whitfield used to say, that if an ungodly man could go to heaven as he is, he would be so miserable there that he would ask to be allowed to run to hell for shelter! Ye who find our places of worship dreary prisons, and Sundays dull days, how could you bear everlasting worship? How could you bear to have eternal Sabbaths, and continual songs of praises morning, noon, and night? Why, you would say, "Let me out; Gabriel, let me out; this is not the place for me; let me be gone; I am not happy here." Verily, verily I say unto you, ye must be born again. Well, cries one, "I will change my nature." My dear friends, you cannot do it; you may alter your habits, but your nature you cannot; there is only One that can alter nature, and that is the Holy Spirit. Christ blots out sin, and the Holy Spirit renews the heart. You may reform, but that will not take you to heaven. It is not being reformed; it is being reborn; made new creatures in Christ Jesus.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I was preaching in Essex but a few months ago, and the sermon was scarcely finished, when a Christian woman, who was hearing it, dropped dead in her pew. It was but a little while ago, in Kent, that during a sermon, a poor man who had bent forward, and listened with all his ears, fell forward on his face, and then and there appeared before his God. Sudden deaths are not such common things as perpetually to keep us in alarm, yet they are common enough, I hope, to make both young and old arise and hear the voice of God — "Prepare, prepare, to meet your God." Oh! my hearers, it is but a short time with the very longest lived amongst us. I see here and there a hoary head. Is that grey hair yonder a crown of glory or a fool's cap? It is either the one or the other. There are young persons here too, O let them look forward to the longest time that we may live, and how brief the period! Time — how short! Eternity — how long! Well, since die we must, I do beseech and intreat you to think of death. Why should all your time be spent in thinking of the things of this world, when there is another world beyond the present? Why, why, is this short life to have all your thoughts, and the life to come to have none of them? I have heard of a monarch who, having a fool in his court, gave him a walking-stick, with an injunction never to part with it, until he should meet with a bigger fool than himself. He kept it for many a day, until at last, the monarch dying, the fool (who was a wise man, after all) came, and said, "Master, where are you going?" "Well," said he, "I am going to die." Said the fool, "How long are you going to be there? Oh!" said the monarch, "for ever and ever." "And have you not made any preparation for the journey; have you no house to live in when you get there; have you nothing ready?" said the fool. "No," said the monarch, "I never thought of it." "There," said the fool, "take the walkingstick; I play the fool in this world, but you have fooled away the next: you have entirely neglected the world to come, and are a fool in very deed." And is not that the English after all of what those men are who are so careless of the world to come?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Homiletic Review.
1. Death is a surprise in the time of its coming.

2. It is a surprise in the way of its coming.

3. It is a surprise, as it finds the sinner unprepared. He meant to be ready, but death was too quick for him.OBSERVATIONS:

1. God has wisely hidden from us the day of death, that we may be always ready and watching for His coming.

2. There is never but a step, a breath, a heart-throb, between any man and death! While the citadel is guarded, and the walls and gates are watched day and night with sleepless vigilance, an unseen foe lurks within, and with noiseless tread, at the midnight hour, enters the chamber of the sleeper, and life is extinct. Be ready, O man! The Son of Man may come at any hour, in any place, by any agency, along any one of a thousand unseen avenues.

(Homiletic Review.)

A great commander was engaged in besieging a strongly fortified city. After a while he concentrated his forces at a point where the fortifications were stronger than at any other, and at 2 p.m., under a bright sun and a clear sky, ordered an assault. When expostulated with by an under officer, the commander replied, "At this point such a general is in command. At this hour of the day he is invariably accustomed to retire for a long sleep. When informed of our approach he will deny the fact, and send a messenger for information. Before the messenger returns we shall gain possession of the fortress." The facts turned out exactly as predicted. "Yonder weak point," said the commander, "is held by General — There is no use in attempting to surprise him; he is never for a moment off his guard."

The following story is by an Indian officer: — It was the height of summer, and a tropical sun had just set, and a cool, refreshing sea-breeze was blowing, which we were inhaling with delight. A fever peculiar to the climate had prostrated many of all ranks, and proved fatal in some instances; and among the convalescents was a young officer in whom I had taken a great personal interest. His strength, however, not recruiting as rapidly as could be wished, the medical authorities advised his return to England for a short furlough; and just as the mess bugle had sounded, and I was preparing to dress, he came in in high spirits, but with tottering steps, to tell me that, as that very evening a steamer was expected, he had obtained leave to embark, and he heartily wished me good-bye. His last words were: "I am going home to-night, and perhaps the steamer will come in before you leave the mess; if not, see me off." It was midnight before we left the mess-room; and on walking to my quarters I found a lamp burning in my friend's room. I looked in and found him sleeping soundly, but breathing very loudly. I went up to him, and found all my efforts to waken him unavailing. I immediately summoned the doctor, and to my horror he pronounced him to be dying. In three hours, and just as the signal-gun was fired to announce the arrival of the steamer in which he had engaged his passage, his spirit passed away. He was gone home. He had lived to Christ on earth, and by his bedside lay the Bible which he had just read before he slept that fatal sleep. "Watch ye, therefore, for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh."

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