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for their own repentance, not for gift of God; not of works, or any their own faith as a work of theirs; goodness of our own, lest any should but because the Lord loveth them, boast.” You are to make your calland because he would perform his ing and election sure to prove to promised mercy, and would remem- yourselves and others that you are ber his holy covenant; because he indeed of God's Israel, and that you hath made them his people he would are travelling towards the promised save them, because he would bless land by your obedience to the laws of for ever his inheritance.
God, by the holiness of your lives I am addressing a mixed assembly, and conversation; but having done and there must be some among us all, having been in all things atten(how many there are God alone can tive to godliness, you must think, and tell) who have no interest in God's say, you are unprofitable servants. covenant of mercy, no saving grace Be you diligent and good ; but avoid of the hope of Israel. Of such I can boasting as you would the most proonly speak as God did of the prede- voking offence you can commit. cessors of the children of Israel, for And now in inviting you to a partheir wickedness they shall be driven ticipation in this work of love I would out; unrepenting, unbelieving, still call you to it not as a means of proin their sins, iniquitous and abomi- curing your salvation, but as a means nable, they are enemies to God, and of expressing your thankfulness to he is an enemy to them ; he regards Him, who of his free mercy has prethem with anger, whetting his sword pared, from the beginning, the kingand bending his bow against them, dom for his people. Your benevopreparing for thein the instruments lence too, on this occasion, may form of death, and levelling his arrows a proof that you belong to God, if it against all who persist in sin and re- be practised with simplicity of heart, fuse or neglect his mercy. Unlike with true humility, and without grudgthe devoted nations the enemies of ing. If having in yourselves the God have now mercy offered them ; knowledge and the love of God, and but if, as the devoted nations, they the prospect of heaven, you cannot will not turn, as the same, they shall fail of being desirous of imparting be cast out for ever, and shall be that knowledge to others, of training destroyed from the presence of the up others in that love, of affording to Lord. Consider this ye that forget others that blissful prospect. This God, “ lest ye be torn in pieces, and is what I ask you to do for these there be none to deliver.” Remem- children. Our object is to bring them ber, and forget not, that “ the wicked up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, shall be turned into hell, and all the and to the praise of his holy name; nations that forget God.'
to educate them, as sound members But to you who we may humbly of our established church, in that hope belong to God, and are of bis doctrine and discipline which we people, and of his inheritance, to you, are well assured are according to I say, be thankful in heart. Praise truth and godliness; and to render God for his distinguishing love and them useful and respectable members infinite mercy; and remembering your of society, peaceable, honest, and instate by nature, as also recollecting dustrious. It is our anxious aim to your stiff-neckedness, and your many put them in the way of passing through provocations, your ingratitude and this life religiously, creditably, and backsliding since you were called into virtuously, to a life of everlasting rest his fold, be humbled for your unwor- and glory. We desire to give them thines3, be ashamed of your trans- a clue for their pilgrimage through gressions, and be afraid even to men- the wilderness, which may lead them tion your own righteousness, or to safely to the promised land; not by give a passing thought to the upright- their own righteousness, but by the ness of your hearts in connection free and unmerited grace of the God with your salvation. If saved, you and Saviour whom they are taught to are saved “by grace through faith ; believe. and that not of yourselves it is the As, therefore, you wish to promote the glory of God-as you wish to occasional sermons and anniversary uphold your church, and to extend dinners, is not adequate to the payits blessed and saving influencemas ment of rents, masters, and other you would preserve these little ones incidental charges, nor can the exfrom ignorance and vice, and convert penditure be contracted within narsouls from death unto life, come for- rower limits without diminishing its ward now, and assist us in our pre- usefulness. Most earnestly, therefore, sent application. Assist us with your do the committee hope, that the debounty, giving plenteously — assist pressed condition of the finances of us with your countenance, showing the city of London National Schools, your good will towards this institu- may induce many of their welltion-assist us in the most valuable wishers to contribute both by example manner with your prayers, and join and persuasion to restore them to a in beseeching the Father of mercies prosperous state. If the finances that he would be pleased to prosper have declined, the committee have this work of our hands for us ; I call / still to apnounce with satisfaction, the assistance of your prayers the that in point of number and discimost valuable, as indeed it is, not pline the schools continue to flourish.” meaning that you should thereby re- I have not heard that the finances lax the bounty of your hearts. Those have since improved ; and I am quite who pray for us the most will pro- sure from my knowledge of the conbably be the most bounteous be- ductors of the institution, I particustowers in aid of the cause of which larly allude to the Treasurer, the I am the humble advocate.
Secretary and other officers of the The City of London National Society, that there can be no falling Schools were established in the year off in the discipline and efficiency of 1813, for the education of poor chil- the schools. dren on the Madras system, and on the My brethren, without boasting let principles of the established church me tell you, that this work of instructof England. By this charity one ing youth in the way they should gothousand boys and girls daily receive this work of religiously and virtuthe benefit of religious instruction, ously educating the children of our and are taught reading, writing, and poorer neighbours, is a work acceparithmetic; in addition to which the table to God. His word warrants me girls are instructed in needle-work. to say that he approves it; and he will All the children attend twice on a reward it, though not of debt, for we Sunday at some of the neighbouring owe bim already more than we can parish churches. Under the blessing pay, yet of grace. Speak not unto of Divine Providence, the objects of your hearts, saying, For this libethis institution have been eminently rality the Lord will bring us to heaven, attended with success, in proportion for this charity the Lord will give us to its ability. Its founders and friends everlasting life," but you may say, earnestly entreat the support of the “ This work is pleasing to God." Iminhabitants of the different wards, and perfect as it is, and as all we can the public, to enable them to continue, do is, yet the Lord graciously accepts and still more generally to extend its our endeavours to serve him. Not advantages to the poor of the city of weighing our merits, but pardoning our London. You will allow me to read offences, he approves our kind offices one extract from the Report of last towards these little ones; and he will year. “The Committee"--of which not forget our labours of love, which I had at that time the honor to be a he considers as shown for his name's member—" are under the painful sake. We are saved freely, but the necessity of stating, that the income Lord expects us, as his people, to be of the charity from annual subscrip- fruitful in good works, tions, including the aid derived from
Titus, ii. 11–14. “ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
teuching us that, denying ungodliness and evil lusts, we should live suberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world ; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Of all the blessings, my brethren, I leap as an bart, and the tongue of the which God has conferred upon the dumb sing.” He therefore calls upon children of men, none will bear a the whole universe to feel and express comparison with the Gospel. Isaiah, their extasy ; Sing, 0 ye heavens; the evangelical prophet, often refers for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye to it, and, like an eastern, labours for lower parts of the earth : break forth metaphors to express his admiration into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and praise of it; he often foretells and every tree therein: for the Lord the introduction of it, and always as hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified an era of joy and gladness. Some- himself in Israel.” times he takes his images from the No wonder, therefore, that our Sascenery of vegetation ; “ for in the viour should call his Gospel of the wilderness,” says he, “ shall waters kingdom,“ the pearl of great price," break out, and streams in the desert;” and “ the treasure hid in the field;" " and the wilderness and the solitary and no wonder that our apostle place shall be glad for them; and the should call it “ the glorious Gospel desert shall rejoice and blossom as of the blessed God.” It is of this be the rose.” Sometimes he derives speaks, and of this only in the words them from the animal kingdom ; and which I have read. The Gospel, says, " the wolf also shall dwell with therefore, will be this evening our the lamb, and the leopard shall lie subject. It is not to be supposed, down with the kid; and the calf and that we should be able to examine the young lion and the fatlings toge- minutely, every circumstance of rether; and a little child shall lead flection in a passage of Scripture so them. And the cow and the bear replete with materials; but let us shall feed; their young ones shall lie confine our attention to two things. down together; and the lion shall eat First, WHAT IS HERE SAID OF ITS straw like the ox.” Sometimes he takes : A from the human body. Secondly, WHAT IS HERE SAID OF “Observe,' says he, “the blind, the ITS INFLUENCE. deaf, the lane', the dumb ;" but, " then Consider what we say; and may the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the Lord give you understanding in and the ears of the deaf shall be un- all things. stopped. Then shall the lame man First, What is VERE SAID
NATURE ? " The grace of God that Why, nothing but a certain fearful bringeth salvation hath appeared unto looking for of judgment and fiery inall men.” Observe three things, the dignation to devour up the advername — the subject - the manifesta- saries. But we are told that “ God tion.
sent not his Son into the world to The name.
“ The grace of God.” condemn the world, but that the This is a name often applied to it in world through him might be saved." Scripture. I hardly know how far it “He is rich in mercy, for bis great love will be necessary to adduce passages wherewith he loved us, even when in proof of this; otherwise we could we were dead in sins, hath quickread," this is the true grace of God ened us together with Christ, and wherein we stand”_" receive not hath raised us up together with him the grace of God in vain "-" it is a in the heavenly places. Why it is, good thing for the heart to be esta- says the Apostle, " that in the ages blished with grace," and so on: for to come he might show the exceeding in all these places, “ the grace of riches of his grace in his kindness God” means simply the Gospel. Such towards us through Christ Jesus." a denomination of it can be easily Observe its subject. “The grace accounted for; not however only, or of God bringing salvation.” The principally, as some imagine, because Gospel is not employed on a trifle ; it it was communicated in a manner the is not sent to be a judge and a divider most mild and gentle, void of all those over us in our secular claims; it is tremendous appendages which terri- not designed to teach us how to work fied the Jews on Horeb in the giving in iron or brass, or handle the harp of the law, and when Moses, half way or the organ, or to teach us languages, up the hill, said, “I exceedingly or commerce, or husbandry, or civil feared and quaked—”
policy; to all this reason is equal, un
aided by revelation. The infinite “ For we are come to Zion's hill, The city of our God,
importance of the Gospel is to be inWhere milder words declare his will,
ferred from the subject it brings, And spread his grace abroad.”
hich is salvation. This is a blessing
which we can never too highly extol. But it is named so chiefly to remind It is called “ a great salvation." It us of its source. As we are unworthy was a great salvation the Jews expeof the least of all God's mercies, rienced when they were redeemed grace may be inscribed on every from the land of Egypt, and the house blessing we enjoy. As we are guilty of bondage ; and it was a great salbefore God and deserve destruction vation they experienced when refrom his presence, the bread we eat, leased from Babylon, and allowed to the water we drink, the air we breathe, return to their own country; but the the raiment we put on-all is of grace. greatness of this salvation is unsearchWhat then are we to think of the able. Those salvations were proGospel itself? Surely this could only duced by an exertion of divine power arise from the good" pleasure of his only; the salvation here spoken of goodness. Surely we contributed was achieved by nothing less than the nothing towards this dispensation by incarnation, the sufferings, and death 'our desert or preparations to receive of the Son of God. Those salvations it, or desires after it. It was given were for the body-this for the soul ; freely, therefore, in every conceivable they were for time-this for eternity. sense of the word.
And, my dear hearers, there is noAnd not only does it spring from thing really great that has not a rethe grace of God, but it also reveals lation to the soul and eternity. This, it, and testifies of it. Suppose now this, therefore, is the highest recomwe had been informed that God was mendation of the Gospel, that it brings going to send down from heaven, salvation. Not indeed in the estieven by his own Son, a communica- mation of those who never saw they tion concerning his treatment of this were in a perishing condition; this world of rebels, what would have is the reason why they disregard it; been the foreboding of our minds ? | becanse while the blessing is spiritual they are carnal; and, therefore, i will sprinkle many, all nations shall despising the invitation they go their fall down before him, and all kings way, one to his farm, another to his shall serve him”—“ the earth shall merchandise, and in a little while be full of the knowledge of the Lord, they will learn by experience what as the waters cover the sea”-“ Every their bargains and their merchandise valley shall be exalted and every can do for them in their neglect of mountain and hill shall be made low; the Gospel. But as to the man who and the crooked shall be made straight, will make the jailor's inquiry,“ What and the rough places plain ; and the must I do to be saved?”—why this is glory of the Lord shall be revealed, the very book for him. I can look and all flesh shall see it together: for into Blackstone to know how to save the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” my property-I can look into Galen And to this universality it is every to know how to save my bealth–I way adapted; there is nothing in can look into Epictetus or Seneca to Christianity restrictive. The Jewish know how to save my reputation ; religion, though divine in its origin, but if I would know how to attain was confined, and necessarily consalvation for my soul, in the day of fined to one people ; for to mention the Lord Jesus with eternal glory, I nothing more, how could all the males must come to the Scriptures. Here in all other countries have repaired are the words of eternal life. I must three times a year to have appeared come to the Apostles and Prophets, before the Lord, in Jerusalem, and those servants of the most high God, to have offered sacrifices there? But who show unto men the way of sal- Christianity has no localities. “The vation. I am expiring, and here is hour cometh,” said our Saviour to a remedy; I am in bondage, and the woman, " when neither in this here is a redemption ; I am perish- mountain nor Jerusalem shall men,' ing, and here is balm in Gilead and exclusively or superstitiously, “wora physician; I am destitute, here is ship the Father." “Gop is a spirit; the bread of life; naked, here is a and they that worship him must worrobe of righteousness ; poor, here ship him in spirit and in truth.” are unsearchable riches ; I am no- By revealing pardoning mercy, thing, here I can possess all things, and sanctifying grace, and eternal and exclaim with the Apostle, “ bless- life, it is easy to see, that the Gospel ed is the God and Father of our Lord addresses man only as man, regardJesus Christ, who hath blessed us less of any adventitious distinctions. It with all spiritual blessings in heavenly regards him only in his free essential places in Christ.”
exigencies and interests, and which Observe its manifestation. “ The are the same with regard to all men, grace of God that bringeth salvation wherever they are ; and that is, first, hath appeared to all men.” Chris- as a guilty creature, secondly, as a tianity was designed to be a light to depraved creature, and thirdly, as a lighten the Gentiles as well as the glory creature who, though fallen, is still of the people Israel. Christ, therefore great, and destined to immortality. said, “I am come a light,” not into It passes by all the little distinctions a room, but, “ I am come a light into that exist for a few moments here the world ;” and hence he is com- between the great and the small, the pared not to a lamp, however large rich and the poor, the learned and or advantageously suspended, which the illiterate, and verifies the lancan shed but a partial and confined guage of the Apostle, “ there is neiillumination after all ; but to the orb ther Jew nor Greek, circumcision of day: and saith Bildad, “ on whom nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scydoth not his light arise ?” He irra- thian, bond nor free ; but Christ is diates the valley as well as the hill, all, and in all.” And surely this will and there is nothing hid from the heat much stronger apply to those little thereof. This will be the final result differences that subsist among those of Christianity. Down to this time who equally worship God in the it has had to do with individuals and spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, families ; by and by there will be the and have no confidence in the flesh? nations of those who are saved. “He ! It is painful to think how disposed