« AnteriorContinuar »
blessing, he was rejected, though he sought it carefully with tears. Take heed, lest there be among you any profane person like him.
6. We see the peculiar guilt and danger of those sinners, who seduce and corrupt others. The peo, ple in heaven glorify God for his righteous judgments on that idolatrous church, which had cor, rupted the earth with her fornication.
Zealots in a false religion will be condemned with distinguished severity ; for the greater the zeal, the more extensive the mischief.
It is vain to imagine, that the holy God will approve and accept all, who, as some express it, are sincere in their way ; i. e. zealous and engaged in the religion which they have adopted, whether true or false. Who more zealous in their way, than that corrupt body, which, in the text, is characterised by an infamous name?
--Who have ever taken more pains, used more arts, and applied more. force, to spread their doctrines in the world ? And yet we find, that their zeal and engagedness are urged, not as an excuse for, but as an aggravation of, their crimes not as a reason for a reward, or for the extenuation of their punishment, but as a reason why they should be punished with greater severity. They had corrupted the earth. And when their smoke arose, the people in heaven sang, Allelujah. It is mentioned in scripture, as a mark of consummate wickedness, when men not only do evil, but have pleasure in them who do it. The woes denounced by the Saviour against the Pharisees, are chiefly grounded on that false zeal, by which they propagated their corrupt opinions, and obstructed the progress of truth.“ Woe unto you, for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men-ye neither go in yourselves, nor suffer those, who are entering, to go in-Woe unto you, for yề compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."
How dangerous is it then to corrupt the essential principles of religion! God has taught us what re. ligion is. His gospel is plain. If we er from the truth, it is through the corruption of the hearti Think not that mistakes will excuse you, when the mistakes themselves proceed from the love of sin not from the want of light. They who fall into strong delusion to believe a lie, because they love not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness, will receive a distinguished condemnation.
How dangerous is it to deceive and seduce otha ers! To become partakers of their sins! How eareful ought we te be, who are teachers of reli: gion, to understand for ourselves, and declare to you, the whole counsel of God! How cautious should the parent be, that he give to his childrem 011ly good doctrine-sound wisdom—not the instructions which cause to err from the words of knowl. edge! How watchful should every Christian be, that he seduce none into errour or vice—that by no evil communication he corrupt good manners !
Finally, How glorious is that salvation, which the gospel reveals!
It is a deliverance from that awful state, which we have been contemplating. It is a great salvation, purchased at an infinite price. It is an eternal salvation—a salvation which saints and angels celebrate in perpetual songs. Since Christ has died to procure it for us, let us be solicitous to obtain a share in it. By a neglect of it, our future misery will be mightily augmented. Imagine not that your attention to such an object may safely be suspended. When the happiness, on the one hand, is so vast ; and the danger, on the other, so amazing, every day's neglect is presumption and mad. ness every day's neglect adds guilt to guilt, and danger to danger.
Come now, every soul who has heard the warn: ing of God this day-come to an immediate resolution, that you will renounce the guilty path, which leads down to the chambers of death; and with diligence and perseverance will strive to enter in at the strait gate, lest the master of the house soon arise and shut to the door, and ye be excluded in eternal darkness and horrour. Now is the ac. cepted time, and day of salvation. Know, in this your day, the things which belong to your peace. Delay not, lest they soon be hidden from your eyes.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, who hath loved us, and sent us the word of salvation, give us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace-establish our hearts in every good word and work, and grant us to obtain the salvation, which is of Christ, with exceeding joy.
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went oui, und departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
The morning here mentioned followed a Jewish sabbath, on which Jesus had been very diligently employed in the duties of his publick ministry. It is said, verse 21st, that Jesus, with some of his disciples, whom he had lately called to at tend him, went into Capernaum ; and straightway, on the sabbath day, he entered into the synagogue, and taught. He carefully observed all divine institutions. It was his custom to repair to the synagogue on the sabbath, and there instruct the people, who were assembled for divine worship. His example reproves the carelessness of those, who forsake the assembling of themselves together; and instead of entering into the house of God, do their own ways, and find their own pleasure, on his holy day.
Jęsua, seeing in the synagogue a man possessed with an unclean spirit, immediately healed him, to the astonishment of all who were present.
He has taught us, that we may do good on the sabbath day. Though we are to cease from the common labours of life, yet we are allowed to per. form works of mercy to our fellow mortals.
This miracle, so great in its nature, and performed in so publick a manner, was immediately spread around through all the region. The people, who attended the synagogue worship, carried the intelligence of this surprising work, when they return. ed to their respective homes. And at even, when the sun was set, they brought unto him all who were diseased, and them who were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door of the house where he was. The Jews thought it not lawful to bring their sick to be healed on the sabbath ; but when the sun was set, and the sabbath was ended, they brought to him their sick from all parts of the city, and he healed them.
After spending the evening in this important work, he retired to rest, Bụt he allowed himself
only a short repose. In the morning, rising up a great while before day, he departed to a solitary place, and there prayed,
You will remark,
1. How diligent the Saviour was in the improve. ment of his time.
Many great and important works had he to do, and he would not lose the season of doing them.
As he took part of our flesh and blood, and was compassed with our infirmities, he needed rest and refreshment as well as we. But he spent no more time în sleep by night, than was consistent with his business by day. When his work called with urgency, he shortened the hours of his repose. He says, I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.