Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

that “as many as are led by the Spirit and receives with joy the assurance of God they are the sons of God:" and of Scripture, that He whom he worthat it is by the receiving of his Spirit ships will be a Father of mercies, that they cry, “ Abba, Father.” It is and a God of consolation. God therefore as our Father whom The Third and last clause of the we are to worship; and this indeed is text describes the disposition, and the Christian's most precious boon, inward feelings of the true worshipand his dearest privilege. The igno- pers: they “ worship the Father IN rant heathen sees his god only in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” Theirs is the elements that surround him-in no formal service, no language of the the wind, or in the cold, or in the mouth, to which the heart is not consun that gives bim light. The Jews senting. Do they break out into saw Jehovah in all his terrors, in thanksgivings for God's mercies reunbearable majesty and dread: and ceived? With all that is within them “not so much as a beast durst to ap- they praise his Holy Name. Do proach the mountain lest he should they unsold to Him their wants in be consumed alive.” But the Chris- į prayer, beseeching Him who knows tian looks upon God, and regards their necessities to make suitable prohim with feelings expanding with love vision for soul and body? They are and reverence, impressed with the bold in utterance under the teaching hope that he is his Father. In his of the Holy Spirit who helpeth their paternal character he recognises the infirmities--who, when they know love of Him who can be “just, and not what to ask for, “maketh interyet the justifier of them that believe;" cession for them with groanings that and is reminded that “God sent not cannot be uttered.” Do they ask? his Son into the world, to condemn They ask with moderation. Do they the world, but that the world through deprecate? They deprecate in a Spihim might be saved.” The believer rit of resignation. Do they rejoice? has “ boldness to enter into the ho- It is in a spirit of purity, and cheerliest by the blood of Jesus, by a new fulness. Do they mourn? They and living way, which he hath con- mourn not as those, who mourn withsecrated for us, through the veil, that out hope --as Rachel mourning for is to say, his flesh;” and “ for this her children, and would not be comcause he bows his knees to the Fa- forted; but as those who know that ther of the Lord Jesus Christ, by God will wipe away all tears from whom the whole family in heaven off all faces; they know that those and carth is named.” Has be heard who sow in tears shall reap with the announcement that no man com-joy. eth to the Father but by Christ,' and They worship him also in truth. that whoso denieth the Son hath not To worship God in truth, is to worthe Father. And feeling his absolute ship him according to the knowledge need of intercession, is he not thank- he has revealed of himself, and of his ful, that he has an advocate with the will. Those who know God only Father Jesus Christ the righteous ? by natural religion cannot worship And seeing that he that abideth in him in truth. The heathen cannot Christ hath the Father and the Son, worship bim in truth ; and this affords and that the Father hath been glo- a strong argument, for promoting as rified in the Son, he knows of a surety far as in us lies, the efforts of those that what he asks of the Father in Christian men, who would bring them Christ's name, he will give it to him; to the knowledge of the true God. But there are others, who have more there are other schools connected opportunity than the ignorant hea- with this populous neighbourhood then, who yet do not worship him in towards the support of which this contruth. There

may

be among our gregation is called on to contribute Christian brethren (so called) those their charitable aid. But I would who do not worship God in spirit, and gladly see a larger number connected in truth. There must be an intelligent more immediately with yourselves. knowledge of GOD afforded by the cir- I learn from those who are engaged culation of the Holy Scriptures, before on behalf of the twenty-four children, we can worship God in truth. Can and are endeavouring to train them Christianity consist with ignorance? up in the way they should go, that No more than it can consist with un- to extend these benefits to a larger holiness.

number of children depended upon Brethren, our children must be the extension of your charity, when instructed in the truths of the Gospel, larger means shall be provided for in a Christian land, before they can their accommodation. I would that be worshippers in spirit and in truth. such a collection be made this day as We must bring them by times to the not merely to provide for the annual foot of the cross, to teach them there expenses of the present school, but that Christ would have even the little so ample that there should be such children brought to him, and that he a surplus, through the subscripreproves those who would hinder them tions, and by means of the annual from coming, that they may be brought collections, as may enable the maup in the nurture and admonition of nagers of the school to execute the the Lord. And at this point I would project of building a larger room for desire to bring your thoughts, in con- the accommodation of more children. clusion, to the schools in connexion In some degree this rests with yourwith this chapel.

selves : you know the principle obI have set before you, the nature ject for which these children are eduof the worship rendered by the true cated, and as a parent myself I canworshipper in spirit and in truth. I not but feel, as others do, (for there have desired in dependance on may be many parents now before Christ's Holy Spirit to be enabled to me) how liable to sin their children put to your own hearts, my Christian are, for whose eternal happiness they brethren, the searching question, are themselves in some degree rewhither you have profited by your sponsible; to how many dangers they Christian advantages, and are in- are exposed, by contact with those deed worshippers in spirit and in whose principles are not founded on truth. And if you are such, I shall the eternal word of God. We furnot need bring before you any ar

ther these institutions, to provide guments for encouragement in the those whom we place in our nursery, work of Christian education, or to the tenderest objects of our regard, stir you up to Christian charity to- with superintendents who shall give wards your brethren poorer in this them true Christian principles, which world's riches, but whose souls are shall enable them to speak a word in dear to God as your own.

season to the charge we commit to I have asked why so few as twenty- them, who shall keep the children four children, are all who are edu- back from hurtful communicationscated in connexion with this chapel : for“ evil communications corrupt I know, and I bless God for it, that good manners.”

I feel that I cannot use a stronger to the state of the children educated argument to excite your charity, than here, but may he also enlarge your by showing you, that freely ye have hearts with a warmer glow of Christian received, and that, therefore, you love, and give you a more confirmed should freely give. May the Lord be faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, that pleased to prosper your gift with his you may be true worshippers of the blessing, and give an increase, not only Father in spirit and in truth.

A Sermon,

DELIVERED BY THE REV. ARTHUR T. RUSSEL, B.C. L.

VICAR OF CAXTON, CAMBRIDGESHIRE.

AT WEST HACKNEY CHURCH, SUNDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 26, 1833.

1 John, iv. 8.-" He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love."

These words of the blessed Evan- he is known to be love. But such is gelist set forth the proper disposition the effect of sin that men can love of the mind and affections toward themselves and slight their Maker. religion—that of love. And they also They are buried in the deceits of the prove to us the fitness of such a state senses and are lost in the din of earthly of the soul from the nature of that sounds; whilst the voice of nature obligation upon which our religious that every where invites them to God, duty is built-that God is love. passes unheard, and the soul roves

For not the power, wisdom, and in quest of repose, yet ever a stranger greatness of God, but his goodness is to rest, because wandering daily from that which claims the service of his God. creatures, and effectually claims it; Such in short is the condition of for love produces gratitude and will. man, that he needs to be reminded ing obedience in those toward whom that religion is an appointment not it is exercised. Greatness, it hath less for his happiness than for his been said, may be admired; power Creator's glory; and that to love God may be feared; but it is only good is the preparation of the heart for ness that can be esteemed and loved- true wisdom, security, and pleasure. whether goodness be in man or in But men wilfully shut their eyes to God. We are accordingly taught by this truth, even to such an extent as the blessed Evangelist, that without that they rather turn to the obstacles the union of the heart with the under which imagination throws in the way standing, we cannot conceive rightly of reason, when reason would lead of God, we cannot enter into the na- us to confess the goodness of God, ture of religion, we cannot know the than silence the objections of their blessedness of their freedom who imagination whilst exaggerating the serve God. For He alone serves evils they know but in part. Such God acceptably who serves Him out speculations upon Providence and the of love. Nay, God is not known till world as end in doubt or denial of the

OUR NATURE IS

divine goodness, as they are partial, III. HOW THE LOVE OF GOD WITHIN so they may be traced to the narrow US INCREASES OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. mindedness of pride. Pride and love

I. Remark HOW cannot dwell together. The proud ADAPTED TO ENTERTAIN THE LOVE OF man's knowledge must be limited by God. It is prepared for this prinhis pride.

ciple by our natural love of truth and Let every one be assured of this, | knowledge; by our natural love of that pride and hard-heartedness, an goodness, and by our natural desire overweening conceit of our own pow- of love, of some guidance support ers, and a willingness to fix upon the and friendship, which may give by dark side of things, and to find fault, its presence substance to our hapand to seek difficulties, and make piness, and may make our burdens at doubts, evince that the mind is not least tolerable. candid but captious, not inclined to the 1. Our natural love of knowledge love of truth, but to disputation. And and desire of truth, prepare us to ento such, the Almighty and allwise God tertain the love of God. For whatis not careful to show himself. Di

ever knowledge we seek, whether of vine wisdom is surely a gift too ex- nature, or of ourselves, or of the cellent for those who cannot even whole course of mankind and the confess that they need it. For as we history of the past, all witness to cannot avoid seeing much that is an overruling power; all declare that lovely and excellent in the world, a Glorious and Uncreated Spirit fallen as it is from the glory of Pa- wrought all things and is in all: which radise, he, who cannot find in his Spirit being itself the most noble heart to trace up this to its Author, object upon which the mind can recannot know him; he can have no | flect, the most exalted to which it can will to know him ; he cannot think it soar, raises the desire of the mind worth his while to meditate on the above all other things to ascend to books of nature and providence, or it, and to find out what can be known to give ear to revelation, who loves of God, the inconceivable Beginning not, whose soul is chained down, and End, the First and the Last, of whose affections are constrained by all that the understanding can trace. pride.

And although this knowledge in all So we may see at once the truth of its height and depth is too great for the blessed Evangelist's words,“ He us, it is yet promised to the pure in that loveth not, knoweth not God." heart in another world, to an extent

I. Let us now consider how our which may have a bound, but which NATURE IS ADAPTED TO ENTERTAIN yet must be infinitely beyond our THE LOVE OF GOD.

present reach. II. How GOD, IN COMPASSION TO OUR NATURE, HAS ADDED EXTRAOR

(To be continued.)

DINARY INDUCEMENTS TO LEAD US TO

LOVE HIM.

[blocks in formation]

2. Our natural love of goodness leads serves his lusts turns suddenly with us up to God. Whence do we learn awe to God, and forgets for a moment that God is love, but, in the first in his vain philosophy, when the children stance, from the beautiful variety of of light bid him reverence their delights which the Creator presents to heavenly Father. Such of you as are the senses, to the imagination and drawn aside by the glitter of false to the heart, softening our passions, sentiment—by passion speciously arcontrolling our discontent, reforming rayed in the disguise of honour-by the madness of our folly, and melting vicious impulses, the warmth of which us into tears of pity and love to the world calls nature, if not innoall, and even opening to us brighter cence-could you but imagine how skies and happier worlds? “When much pleasure is in reality denied to I consider thy heavens, even the the benevolent through the perversion works of thy fingers, the moon and of their affections; could you but disthe stars which thou hast ordained, interestedly meditate upon that prowhat is man that thou art mindful of vision for true satisfaction which the him, or the son of man, that thou path of duty holds out; could you but visitest him ?” Again, when we look admire innocence instead of the semupon the virtue that is in the world, blance of it; could you but so learn to imperfect as much of it is, debased love the Creator in his creatures; how in many by ignorance or by incon- would you perceive his love, in formsistency, or heightened as it may often ing creatures capable of holiness ; be by our affection toward those who how would you hear it calling to you possess it, yet can we fail of directing not to injure the works of his hands, our admiration to the perfect foun- the spirits he made for himself! How tain of love, truth, and purity? Can would the very objects which now we see less of God in the souls he has tempt to sin, incline you to virtue! inspired than in the material creation How would the snare of the passions which he made but for their use? become their restraint, and the very

Wherefore is it that the pride of senses themselves, instead of worinfidelity itself is sometimes checked shipping sense, raise themselves to by better feelings, and the being who the love of God. Yes; our natural

VOL. VI.

K

« AnteriorContinuar »