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CHA P. III,
The finner without excuse before God.
Hope of forgiveness with God.
SER M O N IV..
The Nature of Faith.
Fervency and importunity in Prayer. Genesis xxxii. 26. And he faid, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
Fervency and importunity in Prayer. Genesis xxxii. 26. And he faid, I will not let the go, except thou bless me.
Obedience and sacrifice compared. 1 Sam. xv. 22. Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt
offerings and facrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey, is better than facrifice; and to hearken, than the fat of rams.
The security of those who trust in God. Prov. xviii. 10. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
The nature and extent of visible religion. Maith. v. 16. Let your light fo fine before men, that
they may fee your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.
S E R M O N XVI.
The happiness of the Saints in Heaven. Rev. vii, 15. Therefore are they before the throne of
God, and ferre lim day and night in his temple.
Delivered at Princeton, before the Board of Trustees of - the College of New Jersey, May 6, 1795, occasioned by the deaih of the Rev. JOHN WITHERSPOON, D. D. L. L. D. President of said College, by JOHN RODGERS, D. D. Senior Minister of the United Presbyterian Churches, in the city of New York.
PUBLISHED BY PARTICULAR REQUEST OF THE BOARD,
MATTHEW, XXV. 21.
“ His Lord said unto him, “ Well done, thou good and faith.
ful Servant ; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the
jsy of the the ruler over been faithfine, thou zooda
THE doctrine of a future state of rewards and punislaJ ments, lies deep at the foundation of our holy religion : It is a doctrine perfectly consonant to reason and fupported by it; and is either asserted, or justly taken for granted, in every page of the sacred oracles. This is the immortality, for the blessedness of which we became incapacitated, by our apostacy from God; and that, for the enjoyment of which, it is one great design of the religion of Jesus Christ to prepare us. The whole frame of this religion is wisely calculated for this end. Among the many evidences of these truths, we may appeal to the discourses of our Divine Master; and particularly to this, of which our text is a part.
In the preceding chapter, he had given his disciples an instructive discourse on the certainty and folemnity of his fecond coming. He continues the subject in this chapter, and enforces the great duty of preparation for it, by the parable of the ten virgins, from the first verse to the thirteenth; by the parable of the talents, from thence to the thirtieth verse; and by a more particular account of the process of the judgment of the great day, from thence to the end of the chapter.
The niore immediate design of the parable of the ta. lents, of which our text is a part, is to enforce the duty, and illustrate the happiness of being prepared for giving up our account, when he shall come to judge the world in righteousness. You may read it at your leisure. The “ man travelling into a far country,” in this parable means our Lord himself; who is the great head of his church, which is his family. The “ fervants,” of whom we here read, mean all professing Christians; all who call them. •selves the servants of Christ, whatever their nation or clenomination may be; though some suppose the Ministers of the Gospel are more particularly intended.
By the talents, we are to understand the various gifts of Heaven, whether of a common or of a special nature. They include the bounties of Providence, such as health, strength, reason, genius, riches, honor, power, learning, reputation, the several advantages arising from our stations in life; and, together with these, those graces of the spirit' that constitute the Christian temper. These are all so: many talents put into our hands, to be improved for God, and the best interests of our fellow-creatures; and they are different to different persons. To one God gives more of these gifts or graces, and to another less; which is designed in the parable by the master's giving to one servant five talents, and to another two, and to another one.
By“ the Lord of those servants coming, after a long time, to reckon with them,” we are to understand that particular judgment which every one passes under at death, when our final states are determined: and also, and principally, our Lord's coming to judge the world in righteousness, at the last day, “ When every one shall re