Imágenes de páginas




transgressions, and become reconciled to them. And though they still deserve his wrath, yet he can consistently, love them freely and receive them graciously. This gives thein joy and peace in believing. Hence says the apostle, “ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” As soon as the weary and heavy laden trust in Christ, the fear of God's wrath vanishes; that heavy burden is removed. Hope succeeds to fear, joy to sorrow. All those perfections in God which struck terror, afford joy and satisfaction. Thus the three thousand, who had been pricked in the heart, and thrown into anguish and distress under the weight of God's displeasure, as soon as they believed, were filled with joy and gladness, of heart. The Eunuch, after discovering and believing in Christ, went on his way rejoicing. And the Jailor, who had been weary and heavy laden, found joy and peace in believing. By coming to Christ, the weary and heavy laden find the burdens they had felt removed; and this is properly rest ; and rest equal to the burdens removed. But,

2. The weary and heavy laden, who come to Christ, not only find all their pains, and distresses taken away, but they find positive happiness in the enjoyment of God. It is one thing, not to suffer the terrors of the Almighty; it is another thing, to have the terrors of the Almighty removed; and it is still another thing, to enjoy the favor of God, which is life, and his loving kindness, which is better than life. It is through Christ, that believers come to the positive enjoyment of God. So says the apostle. “For through him we both have access by one spirit to the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” When the way of salvation by Christ opens to the weary and heavy laden; when their hearts become united to him by love, and when they renounce all selfdependence, and rely upon him alone for salvation ; they

[ocr errors]

then find the enjoyment of God, and enter into com munion with all the friends and followers of Chris They enjoy a happiness superior to all that they had ever before enjoyed in the course of their lives. They can appeal to God and say “whom have we in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth that we desire besides thee.” This is the earnest of their heavenly inheritance, and the beginning of that rest which remains for the people of God in a future state. They find it is good for them to draw Dear to God; and that the nearer God draws to them, the more their love, their faith, their joy, and their hope is increased. They are at rest, and their former inquiry, who will show us any good,' is at an end. Their only desire is that God would lift upon them the light of his countenance, and this will give them all the hàppiness they wish for. And though such rest in God is greater or less, in those who 21 come to Christ, at different times; yet it is a lastingth rest. They enjoy it, in a higher or lower degree, through life. But the more they become acquainted with Christ, the more they imbibe his spirit; and the more they renounce all confidence in them- to selves, the more they may expect that rest and peace, which the world cannot give, and which the world cannot take away. These are the consoling words of Christ, “ He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest n myself to him; and we will come unto him, and [ make our abode with him.” And the apostle John says, “ Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and to with his Son Jesus Christ. Such rest in God, and 5 such rest from the burdens of sin and guilt; all for weary and heavy laden sinners find by coming to Christ.

HEADS OF IMPROVEMENT. 1. It appears from what has been said concerning weary and heavy laden sinners, that merely awakened and convinced sinners are not of this character. Many, who are under the terrors of the



Sermon. Almighty, and realize their own guilt and the divine displeasure, are far from being weary and heavy laden. They are strong and resolute to take the kingdom of heaven, by violence. And they will not be weary and heavy laden until they are still-and resign themselves into God's sovereign hand.

2. It appears from what has been said concerning coming to Christ, that none can come to him before they repent. They may feel their guilt and danger; they may groan under their burdens; and they may seek and strive for heaven: but they must be truly sorry for their sins, before they can come to Christ for pardon.

3. We learn from what has been said concerning coming to Christ, that none can come without submission to divine sovereignty. They cannot feel the full weight of their burdens, until they renounce all claims to relief and are reconciled to carrying their burdens to all eternity.

4. We learn from what has been said concerning

coming to Christ, that none can come to him for ; . regeneration, but for pardon only. It is not the of

fice of Christ, as Mediator, to regenerate. This
belongs to the Divine Spirit. It is not the office of
Christ, as Mediator, to make sinners weary and
heavy laden, but to relieve them of their burden:
and this is done by his atonement. Many urge sin-
ners to come to Christ as they are, for regeneration

5. It appears from what has been said of coming to Christ, that it is as difficult for sinners to comply with the invitations of Christ, as to obey any of his commands. They must come weary and heavy laden-penitently and submissively.

6. It appears from what has been said concerning coming to Christ, that sinners must love Christ in his mediatorial character, in order to come to him, and not only as their friend.

7. It appears from what has been said concernthat rest, which heavy laden sinners find by coming

to Christ, that it does not essentially consist in a sense of safety, but in the enjoyment of God.

8. We learn the absurdity of those sinners, who complain that Christ is not willing to save them; when they are not willing to come to him. Many do complain, who are not willing.

9. We learn from this discourse, that those who have come to Christ may know it. They may know whether they have been weary and heavy laden. They may know whether they have found rest, and whether they continue to find it.

This subjects speaks to two sorts of sinners: those who slight Christ, and those who oppose him. Come-Christ's invitation will shut your mouths forever.


RELIGIOUS DECLENSION. While christians desire and receive the doctrines of divine truth in their purity and simplicity, they grow in knowledge, holiness, usefulness, happiness, beauty and strength. They then maintain the pure and lively exercise of holy affections in view of the objects, which the gospel of God places before their minds. They are then constant, faithful and humble in the performance of the duties, which they owe their Creator, their fellow creatures and themselves. They are patient and joyful in all their afflictions and sorrows. And they are watch. ful and prayerfil against every delusion and temptation. They also easily take unto themselves the whole armor of God.While they stand in the truth and strength of God, they enjor communion with the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and with their christian brethren, in the ordinances and privileges of the gospel. But christians may decline from the service and

favor of God. Churches are liable to err from his ways and to · harden their hearts from his fear, and their declension always begins by turning from the true knowledge of God. If they turn from the knowledge of his supreme object in his decrees and conduct, in his law and gospel, they turn from the fountain of light and of life ; and they will fall into darkness and weakness, into trouble and shame. And they easily, though insensibly, fall into the hands of their enemies, who are ever watchful to take advantage of their unwatchfulness and unfaithfulness. By turning from the true knowledge of God, his ancient people turned after idols and erred from the path of truth and peace. In the same way christian professors and christian churches declined in religion, during the ministry of the apos.


Is there no gooil done except during a revival.


lles and in the following centuries, until they were involved in ibo delusions and abominations of the antichristian apostacy. In the same way the churches in Europe declined after the protestant reformation. In this way the churches in New England have always been liable to religious declension ; und they loave declined, in this way, for the last thirty years with peculiar and astonishing rapidity. And in this way they will still decline, until they die ; if they do not return to the true knowledge and love of God, as he manifests his sovereignty, his holiness, his glory and beauty, by the great doctrines of election and reprobation; as well as by the doctrines of regeneration, justification and depravity. If the character, decrees and conduct of God, as they are revealed in the holy scriptures and manifested by the salvation of the elect and destruction of the nonelect, are not taught, inaintained and vindicated against all errorists and opposers, it will be impossible to understand and defend a single doctrine, or duty of natural, or of revealed religion. For God intends to manisest all his greatness and all his goodness forever and ever, by his decrees and conduct respecting the salvation of the elect and the destruction of the reprobate. So far as any churches, any christians, or any prenchers, decline from God and his truth, on these great subjects, they will decline in respect to all the doctrines, and duties, and blessings of the gospel. For it is for the greatest, wisest and best reasons," he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy and whom he will he hardeneth." God intends, for the glory of his great, holy and dreadful name, to have vessels of wrath, as well as vessels of mercy, according to the counsel of his own will. They, who decline from the supreme object of God, in the gospel, will in all respects, decline in religion. [Bosion Chr. Herald.]


From the Journal and Telegraph. IS THERE NO GOOD DONE EXCEPT DURING A REVIVAL ! A.revival of religion, or a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, every Christian must regard as the richest blessing which God ever bestows upon the church or the world. It is a blessing for which God's people should keep pleading and laboring continually; and in view of the bestowment of which, they ought to send up their most devout thanksgivings. Nevertheless, if we mistake not, there is a notion gaining currency at the present day, in connexion with this subject, which is not only fulse, but of decidedly evil tendency-it is the notion that there is litile or nothing done for the spiritual interests of the church, except during a season of revival. There are many who seem to feel as if the preaching and ordinances of the gospel are of little or no effect, and every thing as it respects the salvation of men, were standing still, unless there is a general

« AnteriorContinuar »