Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

gree of resolution to bear up against the ridicule of the world; and, indeed no resolution but that, which arises from the power of divine grace in the soul, can carry a man through all the difficulties he has to encounter in his Christian progress. But, more than cruel mockings have been, and may yet be, the portion of the Christian. He may meet with bonds and imprisonment, with scourges, with torture, and with death. "Turn or burn" was once the language, with which the adversaries of truth addressed the followers of Jesus; and in those days many, who had appeared zealous believers, while it suited their ease and convenience, were ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, and, through cowardice, denied the Faith. Alas! how many of these characters would appear, if times of trial were to return again! May God grant us grace, my Brethren, and enable us to endure the great fight of afflictions, wherewith he shall be pleased to exercise us.

3. The admirers of Christ are ready enough to follow him to the exercise of Moral Duties; and though they will, upon many occasions, be exceedingly active in the service of the Lord; yet, they must, to prove their sincerity, go farther than all that. They must learn to be passive, and do, not their own will, but the will of Him to whom they have engaged to

yield themselves in subjection. This, I conceive, is the most difficult lesson the Christian has to learn; for, in active duties there is often a great deal of pride and self-complacency, but in those of which I am now speaking, there must be a continual act of self-denial. We must be contented to see our wishes unaccomplished, our plans frustrated, and our counsels disesteemed. This, or that man shall be listened to, but our advice shall be disregarded; and when we think, that we are acting for the glory of God, we shall often find that God will not be glorified in our way, and that, instead of the praise, which we scught, we must be contented with shame and reproach. A Christian, who determines to follow Christ entirely, must apply himself very closely to the difficult work of self-examination, and must watch the various motions of pride, anger, envy, malice, lust, and divers other passions, which are constantly knocking at the door of his heart, and pleading for admittance.

you

hesi

And, now, my Brethren, do you, in the face of all these difficulties, determine to follow Christ withersoever he goeth? or, do tate, saying" there is no necessity to follow him so closely?" But, if you follow not him, whom will you follow? Shall it be the devices and desires of your own hearts? What! while

you read in your Bibles that" to be carnally

minded is death,"* and that "he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption,"† will you follow the customs of the world? What! When the Word of Truth styles those those who do so " Adulterers and Adultresses," and tells them, that "the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" We read in our Bibles but of two ways. The one is the broad road, which leadeth to destruction, which is trod by many; and the other is the narrow road, which leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it. Now, God has mercifully told you this, that you may use more diligence, yea "all diligence to make your calling and election sure."§

As you came here, my Brethren, I hope, to be exhorted and instructed, I presume, that as many of you, as have paid any attention to what I have been saying, are determined at this moment to follow Christ, or not to follow him entirely; or, in other words, to strive, or not to strive, to enter in at the strait gate. Be not deceived: the character of the Almost Christian is a very common one, but he is not in the less danger on that account; and, therefore, instead of regarding what others are, and saying "What is to become of the multitude James iv. 4. § II Pet, i. 10.

*Rom. viii. 6. + Gal. vi. S.

F

who seem worse than ourselves?" Let us take care that we are the Christians, whom God will approve, and let us pray most earnestly to be delivered from every error and delusion. If we thus run, we may confidently expect to obtain the glorious prize of Eternal Life, which is given to all that seek it through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SERMON III.

SIN AND DANGER

OF

UNBELIEF.

« AnteriorContinuar »