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lusts, the world with its affections, | frees you from your captivity; and self with its sins. It is for this new having given you the Spirit of light creation in the soul the Apostle blesses and life, gives you, also, the desire God. It is this, and nothing but this, and the will to walk worthy of your which can give us a lively hope of our high calling, and to devote your newly future inheritance.
created powers to the service of your Observe how remarkably strong is Redeemer and your God. the expression. He does not say, It is for this that the Apostle blesses « Blessed be God that he has merely the God and Father of our Lord Jesus reformed or improved us ;” but that Christ-and rightly blesses him ; for he has " begotten us again." How it is the spontaneous act of God's own entire, then, must be the change of free and sovereign grace, undeserved motives and feelings, of inclination and and unsought by those who are the practice, to justify such a term as this. | blessed objects of it. If I, then, adCould such a phrase ever be applicable dress any—and I trust that, through if the work were only a partial work? | divine grace, I am addressing many Must it not be total and entire to such—who have attained to one true justify such an expression ? Must and scriptural thought of God-to one there not be the implantation of a new heartfelt desire to know and to serve principle in the heart, to give the full him—to one prayerful aspiration to be meaning to such language? And is what he would have you to be, and not something more than this implied ? what he alone can make you-blessed Does it not prove that the work can be the God and Father of our Lord not be our own? If by the unaided Jesus Christ for this undeserved mark efforts of your own resolutions you of his compassion and love. To him could turn from “ a death in sin" to be all the praise and all the glory. “ a life in righteousness," would it Early beseech him to carry forward not be a total misapplication of lan- | the work of mercy, which he alone guage to say, that by such a change could have commenced : and be asGod had begotten you again? Most sured, that he who has begun the assuredly it would. The Apostle in good work will carry it on until the such a case might have said, “ Blessed day of Jesus Christ. be God that we have begotten our. There are those, my brethren, who, selves ;” but he could never have said, when they think of spiritual religion, “ Blessed be the God and Father the religion of the Gospel, speak of it as of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ac- some gloomy, forbidding mysticism, cording to his abundant mercy hath something of which they feel thembegotten us,” unless, as it most cer-selves to be ignorant, and rather intainly is, the work of this change in clined to thank God that they are so, heart and life were wholly and entirely, and to pray that they may continue so; from first to last, of God himself. Be believing that the reception of it would assured, therefore, your own will would deprive them of the harmless joys and never have been influenced by any pleasures of the world. This is an thing in itself, to turn from the follies argument against the reception of the and pleasures of sin; but that it is truths of the Gospel so universal, that acted upon by the internal force, the it is impossible to avoid alluding to it; sweet and gentle, but still powerful and and yet so unscriptural, that the most prevailing influence, of God's quick-simple reader of God's word can overening Spirit. It is He who finds you, throw it. Look at the manner in as the Scripture describes you, and as which the Apostle expresses himself in you feel yourselves to be,“ dead in the very words we are considering. He trespasses and sins.” It is He who blesses God that he has begotten us-to breathes into your soul the spiritual what? To“ a lively hope by the resurlife of the children of God. It is He rection of Jesus Christ from the dead, who finds you fast bound by the to an inheritance incorruptible, undethousand chains which the corruptions filed, and that fadeth not away." Does of your own nature, and the fascina- this appear to be the language of a tions of this world, have wound round man who saw pothing in religion but you; and who, by his all-powerful privation and restraint, gloom and interest, dissolves these chains, and despondency? Is it not rather the ex.. pression of one who felt that his The most durable of your possessions greatest present happiness, as well as cannot be secured to you, even for the his future welfare, depended entirely day that passeth over you. The mornon those views of eternity which the ing sun sees you rejoicing in your eye of faith had now opened? He abundance: the evening sun may besays, in effect, " Blessed be God, that, hold you destitute and impoverished. by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, The year opens upon you surrounded which was the seal and sign that his by an affectionate family, closely united atonement had been accepted for the re- to loving relatives : it closes upon you mission of sins-blessed be God, that cheerless and bereft of all the gladdenI have been created anew in heart ing joys of the present life. Such, and affection, in motives and desires ; even as to temporal things, is the and am filled with a lively hope which Christian's life here below. And with no sorrow can quench, and which respect to spiritual things, they are aldeath itself shall not be able to destroy." most equally unsatisfactory. A few How elevating such a subject ought to hours of holy meditation, and the be! How cheering is such a hope! There world returns again with its unceasis nothing gloomy nor desponding here. | ing demands, and must, and will be Has the world with all its immunities attended to. A few moments of intiand rewards, its wealth for the cove- mate communion with God, and wantous, its rewards for the ambitious, its dering thoughts, or sinful imaginations, luxuries for the indolent, its joys for come in among us, and remind us the sensual-has it any thing to offer that we are still possessors of an unwhich can stand a moment's competi- holy nature-that we are carrying tion with this? They are the melan- about a body of sin and death with us choly and desponding whose pleasures that the good which we would we are for the passing day, who have no do not, and that the evil which we consolation in their sickness, no hope, would not, that we do. no certain hope in their death. “The Now turn your eyes from what you end of that mirth,” as the wise man are, to what you shall be-from what says, “ will turn out to be heaviness." you now possess, to that which is proWhat would they give, the happiest, mised you hereafter. An inheritance the most dignified, the most successful is placed before you in which every of the sons of earth-or rather, what thing is entirely the reverse of all that would they not give, when on a bed of we have just stated; in which the ensickness, and about to enter the valley joyment is declared by the unerring of the shadow of death, for a single word of God to be eternal--for it is hour of that peace, and joy, and strong an inheritance incorruptible: no taint consolation, which the true believer of sin shall ever pass upon it-for it is can alone experience, and which shall an inheritance undefiled: no change be his portion throughout eternity? shall ever interrupt or diminish the
We now proceed to consider the Se- happiness of it-for it is an inhericond subject brought before us in the stance that fadeth not away. No sound text—THE NATURE OF THAT INHERI- of sorrow shall ever be heard within TANCE WHICH GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR those blissful abodes. The wealth H18 PEOPLE.
laid up in store for you in those imThe Apostle calls it, “an inheri- | perishable garners shall never be extance incorruptible, undefiled, and that hausted. The friends you knew on fadeth not away." Consider only the earth who have entered there, shall go nature and the blessedness of such a l no more out for ever ; they are in prospect; and see whether it is not their Father's house, rejoicing in their likely to be an influential motive to Redeemer's presence, and beholding holiness, and for gratitude towards his glory. How delightful is the God. You are placed here but for a thought, how glorious the anticipation, short and uncertain period; and if you that not a person whom we have supposed, that while here your lot were loved on earth, if a real child of God, the happiest ever enjoyed by mortals, shall be absent from our future inheristill, all you possess is transitory-all tance-not a joy in which as Chrisyou do is defiled--all you love and en- tians we appear delighted, that we joy is perpetually fading from you. shall not find awaiting us, but per
fectly purified, and unspeakably mag-, engaged, or for which your hearts are nified, in our Redeemer's kingdom! striving; but it would not yield the That is indeed worthy the name of an peace which can defy the world and inheritance where all are heirs, and its impositions, the flesh and its tempyet where nothing is divided; but tations, the devil and his threats. But where each shall enjoy an abundance here is something which can, and of which no mortal tongue can tell the will, and blessed be God, daily and extent-where our communion with hourly, to the humble follower of our God shall not be momentary, but per- Lord and Saviour, does bestow a petual—where our union with the peace of mind and consolation which Redeemer shall be of a nature so cer- can defy all these, and places their tain and unquestionable, that it shall possessors in a state where they shall form the one great subject of our never prevail. thanksgiving, the one great crowning There are times when you—I speak joy of all our joys throughout eternity now to those, and to those only, who -where our intercourse shall be un- are enabled to thank God that he has chequered by those sinful differences, begotten you again unto this lively those selfish jealousies, those unholy hope by the resurrection of Jesus suspicions, those unchristian cold- Christ from the dead—who are connesses, which mar the happiest state scious of this change of heart, and of of Christian fellowship on earth— this change of life, of which we have where all shall be loved equally, and been speaking—there are times when each desire above all other happiness, you may feel doubtful whether you the increase of each other's joy, and shall ever arrive at the one great ob. the advancement of each other's ho- ject of your hope and of all your nour, as tending in the same propor- ! prayers-an inheritance into the kingtion to the increase of their own grati-dom and joy of our Lord. Now, my fication, and to the extension of their brethren, at such moments call to Redeemer's glory.
mind the declarations of the text, and Such is a faint and imperfect-alas, see whether it will not turn your sihow faint and imperfect !-such is a lence into thanksgiving, your heavifaint and imperfect view of that bliss-ness into joy. The revealed word of ful inheritance for which the Apostle God declares, that the inheritance is blesseth God the Father of our Lord reserved for you, and that you are reJesus Christ.
served for it. The word that expresses But there is yet one peculiar feature, this is in the original a very peculiar which to every true and obedient be- word; it is that which is used for liever in the Lord Jesus Christ, must those who are kept by a constant yield, while in this world, a ten-fold guard; so that it implies the Christian joy. It is, says the Apostle, an inhe- is never left alone, or unguarded on ritance reserved “for you who are the road to his inheritance that you kept by the power of God through have a defence perpetually before you, faith unto salvation :” that is, in other and behind you, and around you, words, thIS GLORIOUS INHERITANCE through which your spiritual enemies IS KEPT FOR YOU, AND YOU ARE KEPT can never break, and from which they FOR IT. Here is a boundless motive shall never force you. Your strength for gratitude, the one substantial and your security do not depend upon ground for present peace—not that yourselves; they depend upon your there is, in some far distant and far position. The weakest woman, the happier clime, an inheritance incor- youngest child, when placed in a wellruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth garrisoned and ably-defended fortress, not away, to which you might by may smile at the hostile army without, some possibility attain, but of which though thousands and tens of thouyou can possess no comfortable assur-sands were encamped around the walls. ance below. Would this be comfort? | And is not the Christian thus situated It might be in your minds a certain who knows something of this security, undefinable longing for something when he has realized the truth of the which appeared desirable when op- | declaration, “The name of the Lord posed to the comparative worthless is a strong tower : the righteous runness of all in which your hands are neth into it, and is safe?" Most blessed
privilege! You are going to an inhe- , which are his : for his unerring word ritance which shall never fail; and has declared, “ The Lord is thy keeper: you are placed in a fortress which can the Lord is thy shade upon thy right never be taken-kept by a guard which hand. The sun shall not smite thee cannot be overcome.
by day, nor the moon by night. The Be careful, lest such a declaration Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: as this, which God has intended for he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord your comfort, be wrested to your de- shall preserve thy going out and thy struction. Be careful, lest such a de- coming in from this time forth, and claration as this make you careless, even for evermore.” How astonishing a indifferent, disobedient, or unholy. I promise! Three times within two verses Surely the very words of the text does the Almighty pledge himself to themselves ought to prevent this. You preserve every obedient and believing are “ kept by the power of God through servant “from this time forth, even faith unto salvation.” It is then by for ever more." Let the world foolishly God's power that you are kept; but assert, that such a statement as this it is through your own faith. If either will lead us to licentiousness and sin: be absent the promise is rendered void. do you disprove the profane and imYou are not told that you are kept by pious fallacy, by demonstrating, that, God's power without a lively, influ- in your own case, instead of leading ential faith. Man may tell you so, to licentiousness, it leads to greater hoand will tell you so; but be assured liness—to a more abundant love of God has never told you so. He who God's commandments-to a greater has appointed the end has also ap- | dread of sin—to a more enlarged chapointed the means; and those means rity to every member of the human are, a true, living, active, and obeying family. As you have been forgiven faith- a faith which worketh by love much, love much, obey much, practise -a faith which knows, and which much, of all that the Lord requires of honours, and delights to honour, even you ; but still cast all these duties bethe very least of God's commandments hind you as keepers or dependants ; -a faith which by uniting you to your and let your morning and your evening Redeemer, brings you within the cita- song for ever be on earth, as it will del; and by causing you to cleave to ever be your song in heaven, “Blessed your Redeemer, keeps you within it. be the God and Father of our Lord Therefore the word of God says, “This Jesus Christ, which, according to his is the victory that overcometh the abundant mercy, hath begotten us world, even your faith.” The weakest again unto a lively hope by the resurbeliever is safe by the power of God rection of Jesus Christ from the dead, through faith; because by faith he to an inheritance incorruptible, undehas united himself by the most power- | filed, and that fadeth not away, reful of all protectors, and is placed in served in heaven for all who are kept the strongest of all defences.
by the power of God through faith Rejoice, therefore, in the Lord, my unto salvation, ready to be revealed in Christian brethren, and glorify him the last time.” in your bodies and in your spirits,
AT THE EPISCOPAL CHAPEL, LONG ACRE, NOV. 7, 1830.
1 Corinthians, xi. 24.-" This do in remembrance of me."
I hope there is no individual here this pared himself to lead the families of morning who quarrels with the word Israel into the presence of the living preparation-calls it legality, and then God. Hear what Samuel says—“ And rejects the idea. The word legality Samuel spake unto all the house of is bandied about by some professors Israel, saying, If ye do return unto from time to time; abused first of the Lord with all your hearts, then put all, and then rejected. It behoves, away the strange gods, and Ashtaroth, however, every minister, especially one from among you, and prepare your who is fixed in one and the same place, hearts unto the Lord, and serve him to present his hearers with every part only : and he will deliver you out of of truth, with the preceptive parts as well the hand of the Philistines." I might, as with the promissory portions of Scrip- if time would permit, from the minutiæ ture. To dwell incessantly on the of our own concerns, point out the mercy and love of God, and systema- folly, as well as the wickedness, of rushtically omitting many parts of Scrip- | ing thoughtlessly into the presence of ture, has a very injurious effect. When the King of kings. No wise man doeth my Bible tells me, that all Scripture is any thing without first of all throwing given by the inspiration of God, and is all his intellect into it, if I may so profitable for reproof, for doctrine, for speak. Thoughtlessness was never correction and instruction in righteous- | intended by God to accompany man in Dess, that the man of God may be any thing. Is it to follow him in his made perfect in righteousness-dare I, approach to God? Are we like some or any one else, with a clear con- of the Israelites of old, worshipping science, neglectany part or portion of it: him with our lips only, while our
The first thing I would observe is, hearts are far from him? We know God commands us to prepare ourselves what it is to do this again and again. to meet him. If somebody were to in. May God teach our hearts by the inform you, to-morrow you are to have fluence of the Holy Spirit. an interview with his Majesty, no in. Secondly, The peril and presumption dividual would rush into the presence of of approaching God in this manner is very an earthly sovereign in a thoughtless great. Need I remind you of the fate manner, forgetting whose presence he of Nadab and Abihu, who rushed into was in. There would be a certain de- | the presence of the Lord with strange gree of respect due to him, and there fire? They were visited with death; would also be a dignity—that dignity and evidently, their history is handed involving humility in the deportment down to us that we may be presented of every one under the influence of with instruction, that we may address common sense, in the presence of an our own hearts, and invoke God to adearthly sovereign. But what are dress us at the same time. It is when earthly sovereigns compared, or rather we thus approach him that God has contrasted, with the King of kings ? promised to meet us. Nay, he will “Upon the first day of the first month be honoured by those whom he began he,” that is Ezra, “to go up from honours, and he will honour those who Babylon, and on the first day of the honour him. But to show the temerity fifth month, came he to Jerusalem, of individuals who will sometimes call according to the good hand of his this preparation legality, consider this God upon him. For Ezra had pre -unless we are preparing ourselves to pared his heart to seek the law of the meet the Lord, we are arming ourselves Lord, and to do it, and teach in Israel to fight against him. We must do statutes and judgments.” He pre- the one or the other—there is no neutral