Imágenes de páginas

For, not a known obligation, that we should aim at as much perfection as' we are capable of attaining? But you have renounced this desire altogether. In other words, you have deliberately left ofF that work to which our Saviour hath expressly commanded us to devote ourselves. For, are not these his words? "Be ye perfect, "even as your Father who is in heaven is ** perfect."—Once more, -.~'

What hath been said on this subject ought to quicken the zeal and activity even of those who have made the greatest progress in the good ways of God.

The declining state of religion calls loudly on all who are its real friends, to exert themselves to the utmost, in order to revive its influence in the world. Nothing, be assured, will be so effectual for accomplishing this defireable object, as the bright and exemplary lives of professing Christians. Are you then zealous for the glory of God ?^ be " zealous of good works." Let it appear that your religion gives authority to your conscience, by your being more just, and Jiumane, and generous than other men.

« Ye ** Ye are the salt of the earth, ye are the "light of the world." Your divine Master hath intrusted you with the honour of that religion which he taught on earth, and expects that you should display it in an amiable light. But surely a mere negative degree of virtue will never convince men that your principles have any excellence superior to their own: and that professing Christians satisfy themselves with a virtue of this fort, is, I am afraid, in no small degree the cause To which tlie rapid growth of infidelity in these times must be ascribed.

If this is at ali the fact, doth it not afford us a subject of the most serious lamentation?' " ft is impoihble but that of** fence* will come, but wo unto him thro' ** whom they .come. It were better for him "that a millstone were hanged about hi« "neck, and he cast into the sea." O then study to adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour in all things. "Let your light so '** shine before men, that they may see your "good works, and glorify your Father

"which is in heaven." ** Whatsoever

* things are true, whatsoever things are ho

I 3 "nest,

"nest, whatsoever things are just, whatfe-* ** ever things are pure, whatsoever things ** are lovely, whatsoever things are of good "report, and if there be any virtue, if there ** be any praise, think on these things,'' and do them. This will administer to you true pleasure in life, and solid hope in death; and hereafter the sound of the last trumpet, the terror of the negligent and unfaithful servant, will be the triumphant signal of your. release from the grave, and the summons of your Lor a to enter in^o his joy, Amei\.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Proverbs vi. .6,7, 8.

0o to the .ant, thou sluggards eonfider bpt ways, and be ivise: which having no guide, overseer, er ruler, provideth her meat in. the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

MAN was created with more tinderstanding than the beasts of the earth: But pur minds are so debased by our apostasy from GodJ, that the mealiest creatures may become our teachers. And accordingly, the Spirit of Gbd, in the Scriptures, doth frequently fend us to learn our duty from the example of the b#easts of the fields and of the fowls of heaven. Thus, ingratitude is reproved by the example of those animals' whish are accounted the most stupid and uritractable, (Isaiah u 3.) ** The 'v:i'!',:ij*l4-" ,^ .»: ?OX

"ox knoweth his owner, and the ass hi* "' master's crib; but Israel doth not know, "my people doth not consider." An inattention to the conduct of divine Providence* and a neglect of the proper seasons of activity, are in like manner condemned by the example of the fowls of heaven. "The stork ", knoweth her appointed times, and the tur"tle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe "the times of their coming; but my pecK "pie [faith God) know not the judgement *' of the Lord," (Jerem* viii. 7.) To cure us of excessive carefulness and anxiety, our Saviour fends,us to..'" consider the ravens: "they neither sow nor reap ^ they have .". neither storehouse nor barn; yet God. "feedeth them: How much more," faith he, '* are ye better than the fowls r" {Luke xii. 34.). And in my text, to. cure us of negligence and (loth, Solomon fends us to ...a-creature of the smallest size, but of most

•i 1

wonderful activity. "Go to the ant, thou .0" sluggard j consider her ways, and be wi,se:

4^ whichjl^yingjno guides fOyerseer, or ruler, -fYprovideth,' her; meat in the summer, and

<* gathered* her foo4 i» the harvest,"

« AnteriorContinuar »