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SERMON LXXIV. Angelic Ministrations ...
330 By Mr. G. GRANGER. " Take heed that ye despise not one of obese little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my father which is in heaven."Matthew xviii. 10.
SERMON LXXV. Hagar and Ishmael
... 339 By the Rev. D. G. Goyder. “ And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had borne unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out the bond-woman and her son ; for the son of this bond woman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.". Genesis xxi.9, 10.
SERMON LXXVI. The Purifying the Affections
344 By the late Rev. J. Hodson. « Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my naroe, because ye belong to Cbrist ; verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."- Mark ix. 41.
SERMON LXXVII. The Signs that follow them that believe.....
By Mr. D. T. DYKE. "And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out derils; they sball speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay bands on the sick, and they sball recover."- Mark xvi. 17, 18
SERMON LXXVIII. The Divine Householder and His Servants
361 By the Rev. E. MADELEY. " For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave aathority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch."- Mark xiii. 34.
LIST OF THE WRITERS OF THE SERMONS
CONTAINED IN THIS VOLUME.
ALLEN, M., M.D., of High Beach.
(Io the List of Writers in vol. I. the name of the Rev. J. H. SMITHSON was by mistake omitted.]
THE NEW-CHURCH DOCTRINE OF THE
FORGIVENESS OF INJURIES.
Preached at Liverpool, before the General Conference of the New
Church, August 13, 1839,
BY THE REV. SAMUEL NOBLE.
Matthew xviii. 21, 22. "Then came Peter to him and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother
sin against me, and I forgive him ? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy
times seven?" Perhaps there are few religious subjects on which more of misapprehension exists in the world, than that of the forgiveness of injuries, and the true doctrine of charity in general. Possibly, then, there is no subject which can more profitably engage our attention on the present occasion, or which can exhibit in clearer light the superiority of the views of Divine Truth, as opened to, and received by, that class of the professors of the Christian Religion, who conceive that a new and true Christian Church is, in these last days, beginning to be raised up in the world.
It is undeniable that, among all the duties of true religion which are pressed upon man's attention in the discourses of the Lord in the gospel, none is presented in a more forcible point of view, than that of cultivating a forgiving disposition. This is, indeed, the same thing as the principle of charity or love: for as love is the opposite of anger, and a disposition to retain the remembrance of injuries is nothing but a continued state of anger, so a disposition VOL. II.
to forgive, which is the opposite of such cherished resentment, is clearly one of the necessary results of charity or love. Accordingly, since love and charity are described by the Lord Jesus Christ as constituting the sum and substance of all religion, inculcated alike by the law and the gospel; so the remission of man's evils by the Lord, and his consequent acceptance in His sight, are constantly represented as depending entirely upon his disposition to extend forgiveness to others. On the former of these subjects the testimony of Jesus Christ is most explicit, when he says, “ The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel! the Lord thy God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” And in like manner, his last injunctions to his disciples, as recorded in John, are full of exhortations to these duties. He even adds an injunction to a love of a third species, when he says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that
love one another: even as I have loved you, so ought ye to love one another;" where that he refers to a kind of affection not before expressly enjoined, is evident from his calling it a new commandment; and what sort of an affection it is which he thus inculcatcs, is evident from his directing them to love one another; that is, that it is that species of affection which is properly called mutual love; something beyond the general love of the neighbour -a love which binds all the subjects of it together in the closest bonds of friendship, so that each regards another in preference to himself. This is the love with which the angels of the highest heavens are bound to each other. It is that which animates the breasts of those towards each other, whose ruling and predominant affection is love to the Lord.
So with respect to a disposition to the forgiveness of injuries, which cannot be absent where any love of a spiritual character reigns: this is so urgently pressed upon man's attention by the Lord, that he not only makes it a condition of man's forgiveness by Him, but he even does not permit man to ask forgiveness for himself, except in the same proportion as he extends it to others. Thus one of the clauses of the divine prayer which the Lord himself has taught us, is, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors:” and what is further remarkable, after the Lord has finished giving this prayer, this is the only clause of it on which he makes any comment; but this clause he immediately takes up, and enforces, by adding, “ For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
It has often been a matter of surprise to myself and others, how they who contend that man's acceptance with God depends upon his faith in the merits of what Jesus Christ has done and suffered, and on nothing else, can, by any means whatever, evade the force of this most positive declaration,-of this passage in the Lord's prayer. An attempt has sometimes been made to surmount it by a different translation: It has been affirmed that we ought to read, not, “as we forgive our debtors;" but, “that we may forgive our debtors,”-making the clause, “forgive us our debts, that we may forgive our debtors.” Certainly, it ought to bear this meaning, if the doctrine be true, that man is accepted for his faith only, without regard to any thing else. But the words will in reality bear no other sense than that which our translators have given them. The particle translated as, never means that; and the verb translated we forgive, is not in the mood which would be requisite to make it bear the sense of may forgive: accordingly, no man of learning, among those who hold the doctrine of salvation by faith alone, ever pretended that the words were wrong translated. If then the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ himself is to be regarded, there is another condition, beside faith, to man's receiving the remission of his sins; and that is, a willingness to forgive the faults of others: and unless man is disposed to cherish this, he is not so much as authorized to approach for himself the throne of Mercy: he must not ask for the forgiveness of his own trespasses, any further than he is disposed to forgive the trespasses of others. This we find is the case, even when he has not offered injury to others, but only retains a resentful feeling of others' injuries to him: much more then must it be necessary to repent of, and, as far as possible, make amends for, any injuries that we ourselves have done, before we can hope to have our worship accepted when we assemble in the Lord's house, or to obtain any real benefit when we approach his table! Accordingly, the Lord says, “When thou bringest thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way: first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift:" where the injunction, be reconciled to thy brother, does not merely mean, that the party must lay aside his own resentment, but, as the offending party, must make such acknow