Imágenes de páginas

his steps.

dinances, the divine service of the I love because I lay down my life, that old dispensation-taketh away the I might take it again ; no man taketh typical sacrifices, but establishes and it from me, but I lay it down of mysatisfies divine justice, by the one self.” And what is the love of the offering of himself.

Spirit, brethren? What is the love My brethren, look at the obedience of the Spirit? That you have been of the man when in such difficulties, quickened from death in trespasses temptations and contradictions of sin- and sins—that he hath made you ners against himself, suffering the sensible of this love, and drawn you wrath set before him. Oh, who to himself, according to the purpose among you are of his spirit and dis- of the Father-that you might be led position, and are called his brethren? to believe on the name of the Son Surely in obedience he hath left you of God, and believing might have an example that you should follow life. This love, which produced the

sacrifice on the cross, you are called And what, it may be asked, was on to commemorate this day? And if the obedience which the will of the you are conscious of its height and Father required? It was this, that its depth, and its breadth and length he should not be ministered unto, (I mean in the measure to which all the but that he should minister. It was saints on earth can attain, because it this, that he should give his life a passeth knowledge) it will constrain ransom for many; and, therefore, you to live wholly to him who died “ Being found in fashion as a man for you, and rose again. he humbled himself, and became obe- And what is the will of the Father dient unto death, even the death of concerning the connexion of this obethe cross :" and therefore, “. He was dience with his people? It is that they wounded for our transgressions, he shall be sanctified thereby : “ By the was bruised for our iniquities, the which will we are sanctified, through chastisement of our peace was upon the offering of the body of Jesus Christ him, and by his stripes we are healed.” | once for all.” It was, therefore, the For they are the called persons who will of the Father, that by this offeralone can make that confession. And | ing a fountain should be opened for all this was by and through the love sin and uncleanness. It was the will of the Father. It was for the love of the Father, that consciences black which he bore to all his chosen in with guilt, and burdened with maniChrist, that he would expose his well | fold transgressions should be effecbeloved to all this labour and suffer- | tually lightened and purged. And ing, rather than that they should this will is fulfilled in as many of perish in their sins; so that this is you who are brought to the exercise their united confession-“ All we of simple faith in Jesus. You are like sheep have gone astray, we have sensible of sin; condemned of the turned every one to his own way,' law; but you have been induced to and Jehovah hath made to meet, turn to the Lord Jesus, and by faith him the iniquity of us all.” And how to behold the wounded hands, and gracious was that will of the Father feet, and sides, and to seek healing to us; how gracious was the will of in his wounds, and life in his death; the Father, yea, how abundant in and thus faith in his efficacious blood grace, that he would provide a sacri- was applied to you, and relieved your fice so valuable to atone for sin-a consciences from the guilt of sin, as you surety-a Saviour sufficient to stand have beholden him to be meritorious between you and all condemnation, and mighty to save. Thus you bewhereby you are now led to flee gan to feel the blessings of separafrom the wrath to come. And only tion from guilt. Now this is, as it think how great was the love of the should be, according to the will of Son, that his will perfectly accorded the Father, who gave his Son to be with the gracious purpose of the Fa- the propitiation for our sins. ther, and that he had thus spoken of Again, the will of the Father conall the sufferings he was about to en-necting the offering of Jesus with his dure. “ Therefore hath my Father people is, that they should be sanc


tified thereby. And this sanctifica- of the inhabitants by the American tion may be understood to involve all Indians, and the persecutions until those spiritual blessings, from the very lately experienced in Canada. effect of which it may be said to them In Southern Africa, two thousand -"Ye are the temples of the living Africans are blessed with the Gospel. God.” What then is your case with The Missionaries of the Brethren reout these distinctions of grace? Evi- ceive no salaries; but are content dently you have not the spirit of his with supplies of food and raiment. children; you have not the tokens of Their forty-two stations are mainhis will done in you. Let such be tained at an annual average of twoadmonished of their danger. “To hundred and seventy pounds each, be carnally minded is death.” And including (what is more astonishing) what should be the main object of the expenses of supporting the resolicitude to you, my brethren, who tired missionaries, and the families have some concern for your spiritual of those deceased. Now I come with safety, and for an interest in Jesus? | another plea; I hope it will move Why, that the Spirit may bear wit- you: my heart goes with the Society. ness with your spirit to your adop- " I wish them good luck in the name tion into the family of God. And of the Lord,” and an ample increase while God is your sanctification, of their funds, to their hearts content Jesus gave himself for you, that he and comfort. The deficiency it seems might redeem you“ from all iniquity, to meet the expenses at the close of and purify unto himself a peculiar 1831, was £163; the state of the funds people, zealous of good works.” And during 1832, though not yet ascerif ve be “ followers of God, as dear tained, it is feared will present a still children,” what will be your desire, greater deficiency; owing to the dimuand what your prayer? Why the self- nition of £400 in the receipts of the same with that of your Father, “ By London Association, and an unavoidthe which will we are sanctified, able increase of expenditure. I was through the offering of the body of very sorry to have an additional Jesus Christ once for all.”

item whispered to me in the vestry And you remark, still further, that since I came into the church--that it this will of the Father, in which are is possible it will be upwards of included as many as have been brought £3,000. to believe on the name of the Lord This is the case which I urge upon Jesus Christ, includes all his elect, your attention, and I do intreat you, whether called or not called, by grace, if there be any consolation in Christ, and not yet having received their ex- -if there be any comfort of loveistence, who until the end of time, if there be any fellowship of the and from all the ends of the earth, Spirit-if there be any blessings of are to be called to the excellence of mercy, so far to show your love, to the knowledge of Christ Jesus the God and man, as to give help to the Lord. And it includes the very ob- labour in this useful work, and to jects of Christian missions; and, by advise, and aid, and to contribute consequence, all the labours, indi- very liberally, as the Lord hath vidual and associated, of those into blessed you, remembering this fact,-whose hearts God has put the desire remembering, that it is not simple for so good a work—to convey the approbation in the mind, that will Gospel to the poor heathen, for relieve these necessities, rememberwhich I now beg your pecuniary as- ing the love of the Lord Jesus, who sistance.

laid down his life for you, rememTime would fail me to tell of the bering the words of the Lord Jesus, sufferings, as well as the labours, of with which I shall conclude, that “ It these witnesses of God :-the burn- is more blessed to give than to ing of their stations, and the massacre receive.”

a Sermon,



CHEAPSIDE, MAY 12, 1833.

Deuteronomy, ix. 4–6. Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God

hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nutions the Lord doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand, therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness ; for thou art a stiff-necked people.Man is prone to self-righteousness, to Moses, to ascribe the possession of self - exaltation, and

vain - glory. the promised land to their own righGuilty and rebellious as he is, he is teousness and deserving.

If they still ever disposed to boast of his own could not think that they got the land goodness, and to ascribe the advan- | in possession by their own sword, or tages which he enjoys to the counsels by their own arms or strength, yet of his own wisdom, to the exertion of they might suppose, in the lifting up his own powers, and to the greatness of their hearts, that for their righteof his own works. He is, as I said, ousness the Lord had brought them guilty and rebellious, fallen from ori- in to possess the land--that for their ginal righteousness, of his own nature righteousness, and for the uprightness inclined to evil, and continually set of their hearts the Lord their God ting himself in opposition to the holy, did drive out the nations from before and just, and good commandments them. It sometimes happens that the of the Almighty. He is, moreover, worst of men are the better the worse weak, insufficient of himself to think they think of themselves. Moses, any thing right as of himself, and hav- therefore, in the chapter from which ing no power of himself to do good the text is taken, endeavours to disworks pleasant and acceptable to God. suade the Israelites from such an He is, according to the description of opinion of their own righteousness ; him in Scripture, wretched, and mi- and in order to this, he rehearses seserable, and poor, and blind, and veral flagrant instances of the rebelnaked; destitute in himself of all lious spirit they had shown; he shows that is valuable, praiseworthy, or ef- how fervent prayer and supplication ficient for his well being. Yet this was necessary, on the part of him poor creature, man, will boast, will their appointed leader, to avert from dilate on the dignity of his nature cor- them the anger and hot displeasure rupted as it is by sinfulness, and will of the Lord; and he insists that it dare to reckon the free gifts of hea- was the wickedness of the nations, ven, bestowing abundant mercies, as together with his remembrance of his the acquisition of his skill, or the re-word unto their fathers, that induced ward of his labours.

the Lord to spare them in answer to Thus the Israelites, though noto his prayers and to bring them into rious for their rebellions—rebellions the land. God would not break his in the face of the most wonderful promise, he would not forego his purdisplay of goodness and love-were pose; therefore he listened to the inlikely, as God foresaw and revealed | tercession of Moses. He would not


destroy them, but would place them | All this is matter of great thankfulin the land ; not because they de- ness, but not of boasting: neither is served his favour, but (notwithstand-a purer religion bestowed on us being their manifold revolts, their pro- cause we are naturally better than voking wickedness) for the flagrant others, nor are we, individually or abominations of their enemies, and collectively, more deserving in the for his word's sake. The molten calf, sight of God because he has thus the complaint at Taberah, the tempt- greatly blessed us and loaded us with ing at Massah, the lusting at Kibroth- such unmerited benefits. It is his hattaavah, the fatal rebellion at Ka- love, not our righteousness, that has desh-barnea, called for their punish- lighted the living flame upon ment and their destruction, but the altars; and if conscience say to any Lord in wrath remembered mercy man, Thou art in the right path, thou and his promise ; he listened to the art in the way to heaven ; let conpetition of his chosen servant, and he science likewise say, “ The Lord thy overlooked their stubbornness, and God giveth thee not this good land to their wickedness, and their sin. possess it for thy righteousness; for

The like is to be seen in all ages. thou art, by nature, stiff-necked and The Lord favours a nation with the rebellious.” blessings of his providence and of his The most effectual method of ungrace—he displays his goodness-he deceiving those who are inclined to prospers the people in their under-arrogate to themselves merit and detakings—he causes the lines to fall sert, is that which Moses used with unto them in pleasant places—he the Israelites. To point out to them gives them a goodly heritage. How their sinfulness, their ingratitude and apt are they, under such circum- rebellion; to show them the necessity stances, to ascribe merit to them- of atonement and intercession in order selves, to speak to their hearts, say- to their salvation; and to insist on ing, For our righteousness this good the free and sovereign mercy of God land is ours; yea, how disposed are as that whereby alone they can enjoy they to exclaim, Our power and the present health and peace, or future might of our hands hath gotten us happiness and glory. Notwithstandthis land? How forgetful are they ing their sinfulness, through the generally of the Lord, the only giver atonement, God's free mercy, which of power to man, the only benefactor leads him to promise heaven to the of man. And how determined to at- faithful, shall be richly and everlasttribute their prosperity to any cause ingly extended towards them, prorather than to the right one, namely, vided they be of those who turn to to the mercy and loving kindness of him with all their hearts,and accept his Him, who spares when we deserve love as it is in Jesus. This is a very punishment, and blesses when we different view of the case to that might justly expect, with regard to which would ascribe to man, fallen our own dealings, a curse? How and ruined man, such righteousness prone are men to ascribe their reli- of himself as shall merit and deserve gious advantages to some good in salvation. themselves, and produced of them- Let those who are disposed to boast, selves. This is the worst mistake ; reflect on their own conduct-let them inasmuch as it involves more serious take a review of their actions, of consequences, and more immediately their words, of their thoughts so far affects our everlasting condition. What as they can from their earliest recolreligious advantages, either national lection, from their youth upwards. or individual, can be furthered or Is it possible that such a survey can perfected by ourselves? Is pure re- be made by any man with any toleligion according to God's revealed rable sincerity and fairness without will established among us? Do we his being convinced of his sinfulness possess a true creed? Do we enjoy before God? Let their thoughts, a scriptural form of worship? Is our words, and deeds be applied to the church governed and instructed by a touchstone of God's law, and men well-educated and enlightened clergy? | must see that they are not righteous,

saves us.

but sinners. Have they never set up / ration of the Spirit of the Lord of an idol in their hearts; and eaten, Hosts; not by works of righteousness and drunk, and played, as it were, which we have done, but according before it? Have they never mur- to his mercy in the Redeemer he mured and complained against God's dispensations, dishonouring his holy And let the inclined to boasting see name, tempting him by their distrust, further, and be taught to acknowor lusting for delights withheld from ledge, that it is only of God's free them? Have they never refused to grace and mercy that an atonement obey his commands? Have the pre- has been provided, and a way to salcepts of both tables been constantly vation opened for sinners. Do you observed by them? Have they be- ask, why does God bring his servants lieved, suffered, loved, worshipped, to possess heaven? Let the question praised, trusted, invoked, honoured, be answered by a reference to the and served God at all times as they case of the Israelites, as unfolded in ought? And have they in their rela- the chapter before us. Why did God tive capacities ordered themselves bring them in to possess the promised properly towards others, burt no one land? Not for any good in them, but by word or deed; bearing no malice because he had promised it-because or hatred in their hearts; keeping he had sworn unto their fathers-betheir bodies in temperance, sober- cause he had freely chosen them, ness, and chastity ; being true and brought them out of bondage, and just in all their dealings; keeping made them his people and his inbetheir tongues from evil speaking, ly- ritance. He cast out the nations of ing, and slandering ; and not covet- Canaan for their wickedness; but not ing or desiring aught they have not? for their goodness, not for their merit Where is he who will say, I am not did he bring the Israelites in. He guilty ?

gave the Israelites the land for his Let those who are disposed to boast free love, and for his truth's sake. see the necessity of atonement and Thus, I say, he brings his servants intercession in order to their salva- to heaven, for his free love, and for tion. Was it necessary for Moses to his truth's sake. We deserve nothing fall down before the Lord, and to fast at his hands but punishment, and that and pray, because of all the sins punishment which the contentious, which the Israelites sinned in doing disobedient, unrighteous (as we have wickedly in the sight of the Lord to all been), in all ages have suffered. provoke him to anger? Was it ne- But he has promised heaven to becessary for the Lord's ministers to lievers; “ and having exalted Jesus interfere by the instituted means of Christ to his right hand, to be a atonement to save the people, when prince and a saviour, to give repentthey sinned from his justly incensed ance and forgiveness of sins," he acwrath? So is it necessary that all, cepts all those to whom, believing in who would be eternally saved, should Jesus Christ, repentance and forgivehave an abiding interest in that ness are thus given ; and “ having atonement and intercession which first loved them,” and thus made alone can prove effectual for our de-them to love him,“ he loves them unto liverance from God's anger, and for the end,” performs the good work our admission to heaven. Away then begun in them, and perfects that with boasting! Not unto us, mise- which concerns them, by putting them rable sinners, not unto us, but unto in full possession of their inheritthe name of God give glory, for his ance. mercy in Christ, and for his truth's In this way all boasting is exsake; not by might nor by power, cluded, as St. Paul as well as Moses not for our righteousness nor for the declares it must be, on the part of uprightness of our hearts, but by the man on his admission to God's favor. meritorious sacrifice, by the all-pre- The spiritual Israel, as the Israel of vailing intercession of the crucified old, have their good portion given and exalted Son of God; and by the them to possess it, not for their own gracious, free, and sanctifying ope- / worth, not for their own works, not

« AnteriorContinuar »