« AnteriorContinuar »
dation, and hope is his anchor, and power, superstition and wilfulness, death is his harbour, and Christ his pilot, fame and money, nature and empire, and heaven is his country : and all the which are all the causes in this world evils of poverty, or affronts of tribunals that can make a thing impossible; this, and evil judges, of fears and sadder this is to be ascribed to the power of apprehensions, are but like the loud God, and is the great demonstration of wind blowing from the right point, the resurrection of Jesus. Every thing they make a noise and drive faster to was an argument for it, and improved the harbour; and if we do not leave it; no objection could hinder it, no the ship, and leap into the sea; quit enemies destroy it; whatsoever was the interest of religion, and run to the for them, it made the religion to insecurities of the world ; cut our cables, crease ; whatsoever was against them and dissolve our hopes ; grow impa- made it to increase; sunshine and tient and hug a wave, and dies in its storms, fair weather or foul, it was all embraces; we are as safe at sea, safer one as to the event of things; for they in the storm which God sends us, than were instruments in the hands of GOD, in a calm when we are befriended with who could make what himself should the world.—Presently it came to pass chivose to be the product of any cause; that men
no longer ashamed so that if the Christians bad peace, of the cross, but it was worn upon they went abroad and brought in conbreasts, printed in the air, drawn upon verts; is they had no peace, but perforeheads, carried upon banners, put secution, the converts came into them. upon crowns imperial-presently it In prosperity they allured and enticed came to pass that the religion of the the world by the beauty of holiness; despised Jesus did infinitely prevail; in affliction and trouble they amazed a religion that taught men to be meek all men with the splendour of their and humble, apt to receive injuries, innocence, and the glories of their pabut unapt to do any; a religion that tience; and quickly it was that the gave countenance to the poor and world became disciple to the glorious pitiful, in a time when riches were Nazarene, and men could no longer adored, and ambition and pleasure doubt of the resurrection of Jesus, had possessed the heart of all man where it became so demonstrated by kind; a religion that would change certainty of them that saw it, and the the face of things, and the hearts of courage of them that died for it, and men, and break vile habits into gen- | the multitude of them that believed it; tleness and counsel. That such a re- who by their sermons and their actions, ligion, in such a time, by the sermons by their public offices and discourses, and conduct of fishermen, men of mean by festivals and eucharists, by argubreeding and illiberal arts, should so ments of experience and sense, by speedily triumph over the philosophy reason and religion, by persuading raof the world, and the arguments of the tional men, and establishing believing subtle, and the sermons of the eloquent; Christians, by their living in the obethe power of princes and the interests dience of Jesus, and dying for the testi. of states, the inclinations of nature and mony of Jesus, have greatly advanced the blindness of zeal, the force of cus his kingdom, and his power, and his tom and the solicitation of passions, glory, iuto which he entered after his the pleasures of sin and the busy arts resurrection from the dead. of the devil; that is against wit and
Bishop TAYLOR. London : Published for the Proprietors, by T.GRIFFITHS, Wellington Street, Strand;
and Sold by all Booksellers in Town and Country.
Romans, viii. 16, 17.-" The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are
the children of God: and if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; is so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
The value of any testimony in our utterance of the Spirit of God. They favour is determined by the value of are the witnessing of the Holy Ghost. the character of the person who gives He who dwells most on the chait. The testimony is received or re racter of the Spirit will be the ful. jected according to the impression lest acquainted with their value, will which such an one has produced. To be the strongest in desire to become be spoken of for our knowledge, by a distinguished by their application. comparative fool, is of idle account; | These testimonies do more for a man whilst a word from the wise, from the than to raise him in the admiration man as deeply as variously informed, of his fellow, than to give him a how good is it? To be spoken of for perishable place in the annals of the our valour by a coward is a vain brave, or in the records of the wisematter ; whilst the commendation of they do more for a man than to grace the man who has been distinguished his memory for the beauty of his walk for his personal exposures, and prowess amongst the courtesies, and sympathies, in the battle-field, is sometimes of and virtues of human life-they do great moment. To be spoken of for more for a man than the obtaining for our domestic duties and for our reli- him a commutation of his sentencegious compliances by one who has the testimonies of the Spirit do infilived careless and reckless of them all, nitely more than all this. But St. is a worthless service ; whilst to be so Paul's words must needs be more by the man who bears the name of a powerful than mine, and you will now good father, a kind husband, a dutiful see the compass they take in the sumson, an affectionate brother, by the ming up of the text. man whose life is that of the pious itself beareth witness with our spirit, follower of Christ, is of sterling weight that we are the children of God: and and importance.
if children, then heirs; heirs of God, Now in this way the greatest and and joint heirs with Christ; if so be best, and richest of all testimonies are that we suffer with him, that we may the testimonies to the soul of the sin. be also glorified together.” cere believer, for they are of the I would now, with the Divine guid.
“ The Spirit
ance, lead your thoughts to some few | freely, hath forgiven you fully-you reflections on these verses in the fol- know, and are assured, that a great lowing form— The author of the testi- change hath passed upon you, as from mony—The substance of the testimony death to life-you know, and are as-The inference from the testimony-sured, that you are justified from all The condition of Christians under the things through the mercy of Christ, testimony—The exaltation of Chris- from which you could not be justified tians affected by the testimony. May by the law of Moses—you know, and He who commandeth light to shine are assured, that you are received back out of darkness, enable me so to dis- again by the Father from whom, like cern and to speak, that your souls may the prodigal, you had so recklessly be filled with the knowledge of God, wandered, that you have a home for a and that his name may be blessed for wilderness, and the bread of life for Christ's sake.
the husks of a sore famine-you know, The AUTHOR OF THE BELIEVER's and are assured, that the consolations T'ESTIMONY—The Spirit !
which you experience, and the holy The Spirit beareth witness with our joy with which your soul so frequently spirit. The Spirit is the accompanying aboundeth, are not of the world, but presence that speaks with us, and are of God. And what, I would ask, through us; he is the one who testifieth is this knowledge and assurance but secretly and openly. Secretly in the the secret testimony of the Spirit, the sense which he conveys of our personal inward witnessing of the Spirit with interest in the great scheme of Christ's your spirit ? atonement, by the gift of faith. Se- But there is also an open testicretly in the conviction that the true mony-a testimony of sight— the light is afforded by which the soul Holy Spirit bears it to the Christian discovers its own estate, obtains a before the eyes of the world, that the right view of the nature of sin, of sin world may take knowledge of his work. in the depths of its blood-guilti. The man who lives in all moral comness, of sin in the strengths of its pliances with the spirit and the law of reigning dominion, by which the the Gospel, but whose life before exsoul holds also a full and correct esti- hibited all moral resistances, this is a mate of the excellencies of the Divine testimony—the man who made self his truth, of the Divine righteousness, of god, but hath now trodden self in the the Divine justice, of the Divine holi- dust-the man who loves truth, and
Secretly, in the inward per- justice, and equity, and charity, but suasion that the soul is become sub- who formerly believed in a lie, held the ject to the pardoning exercise of the deceitful balances, shut his hand to his love of a God in Christ, that the soul brother's need—the man who is heais become subject to the renewing and venly-minded, but was earthly-minded, renovating influences of the grace of a who walks in the fear of God, but God in Christ, that the soul is become formerly in the defiance of God—who subject to the justifying operations of makes His name the subject of a devout the mercy of God in Christ, that the
reverence and of holy hymns, which soul is become subject to the accepting name was once uttered wantonly and manifestations of the favour of a God profanely—who now loves holiness as in Christ, that the soul is become sub- much as he loved sin, and hates sin as ject to the peace-enriching communica- much as he hated holiness—who once tions of the mind of a God in Christ. reviled the Lord Jesus and spurned his Yes, Christian ! you know, and are as- every overture, but now is a weeping sured, that God, who hath loved you candidate for his mercy, glorying in
the cross which he had hitherto con ness with our spirit that we are the temned, this is a testimony. The children of God." man who is calm when others are In what way does this testimony spiritually agitated—who is walking discover itself ? What is the evi. beside the still waters, and in green dence by which they who were forpastures, where others are in barren merly aliens and strangers by reason solitudes of rock and sand—who has of their evil works, show themliving well for a broken pitcher-the selves, or are shown to be the children man who in the afflictions of life suf- of God, to be verily and truly of God's fers meekly and contentedly, bowing own and chosen family? There will to the storm as the yielding reed, where be a filial love to his person, in its boothers, by an opposing attitude, are dily expression though Christ Jesus rent, and torn up by the roots—the our Lord-and do you love him, love man who at the last has a smile on his him in his name, in his character, in lips for a brow of agony, a hymn for a his gracious offices ? There will be a groan, a prayer for a curse, faith for filial trust and dependence upon the distraction, hope for fear, assurance supplies of God--and in the sense of your for despair—this is the outward and own personal weaknesses and wants, open testimony, the Spirit's witnessing casting all the promises of self back through the life and the death of the again as void, do you simply, and unbeliever in Jesus!
reservedly, and solely rely on his care ? Tue suBSTANCE OF THE TESTIMONY. There will be a filial lowliness in the
This, as immediately brought before posture-and are you walking humbly us in the text, is, “that we are the with your God? There will be a filial children of God.” All intelligent fear-and do you shrink from touchand existing creatures may be called, ing the forbidden thing—do you refrain and justly called, “ the children of from all exciting causes of Divine disGod.” We are by nature one family, pleasure? There will be a filial confi. whose head and father is God: all are dence in his wisdom-and do you subcreated by his power, fashioned by his mit yourselves in all teachableness of wisdom, nourished and sustained by his the Spirit, to be taught by him ? goodness and love: but God has aworld There will be a filial resignation to his within a world, a creation within a crea- will—and in the dark dispensation, is tion. There are two senses in which he yours an unmurmuring voice-in its stands as Father, universally and par- every falling upon you, can you kiss the ticularly: in the one by the agencies of rod and bless the hand which chastises, his hand, in the other by the agencies because it is the hand of the Father? of his Holy Spirit. All, as I have said, There will be filial obedience—and is are the members of one world ; but few, the law of God in your hearts—do you comparatively very few, of the other. bear it as a frontlet betwixt your eyes, All, in a common and ordinary sense, do you run gladly in the way of his may call God Father ; but there are commandments? There will be a filial but few, very few, who can realize likeness to God your Father-and are the meaning of the term in the you becoming holy as he is holy-do strengths and tenderness of its true you reflect the beauties of Christ's relationship; where this takes place, walk? There will be a filial delight in the work is the work of the Holy Ghost. his presencemand are you much with “Ye have received,” saith St. Paul, in God, the world being shut out and He the verse preceding the text,” the spirit alone standing before your worshipping of adoption whereby we cry Abba Fa- and adoring soul? And is it a pain ther.” “The Spirit itself beareth wit. when he is not so? What are the
times of your communion—are they like soul of the most insignificant and de. Daniel's ? What are the desires of spised of his family! The heir of God! your communion-are they like Daw of all things temporal, spiritual, and vid's ? “As the hart panteth after eternal, of all which a God can devise the water brook, so panteth my soul and bestow for our good. The heir of after thee, O God; my soul thirsteth God—the partaker of the Divine nature, for God, for the living God; when the being clothed upon with his own shall I come and appear before God?” image, the being admitted to a mansion What are the extents of your commu in his own kingdom, the passing from nion-fall they not far below Christ's ? 1 glory to glory in his presence!-" heirs What are the exercises of your com of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” munion-are they like Paul's for their What a further unfolding is there elevation and intensity, so that “whe here? How affecting for its symther in the body, or out of the body, pathies ! how magnificent for its proyou cannot tell ?”
visions ! what honour for the disciple Again, there will be a filial joy in thus to be associated with his master, the contemplation and in the declara. the servant with his Lord, the poor tion of the Divine love. And as you and miserable sipner with his al)-sufbehold the love of God for your soul, ficient Redeemer, his ever-living interas you dwell upon the strength of its cessor! What! shall I be a joint- heir devotion and the richness of its sacri- with Christ? Be raised with him, fices, are there continual thanksgivings be crowned with him, be enthroned within your hearts and continual praise with him, receive my everlasting porupon your lips-are you ready to sing tion with him in the unspeakable the Lord's song all the days of your blessedness of the heavenly world! Art life? These are some of the Spirit's thou speaking, poor child of the dust, witnessings that you are the children who sayest thou art a worm and no of God!
man—who art low as Lazarus, and THE DEDUCTION FROM THIS TESTI helpless as the paralytic at the pool ? MONY-"if children, then heirs ; heirs Yes; the privilege is thine, the joy of of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” the exaltation and possession shall be Whata volume of privileges is there in
thine. Oh! the heights, and lengths, these few words! "if children, then and depths, and breadths of the Diheirs,” notone in a family, but all heirs vine love; it is passing knowledge. not heirs who may lose their inheritance “Leap, ye feet that are lame ; burst by premature death, or be defrauded into song, ye lips that are dumb; for of it by the villainies of men, or have the Lord hath said it, and he shall it wasted away by the delays and chi bring greater things than these to pass.” caneries of law, but an heirdom where THE CONDITION OF THOSE WHO REthe possession is certain as universal, and full as certain—"an inheritance It is a suffering condition, “ if so that fadeth not away, where neither be that we suffer with him”-with moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where Christ. If we are to be co-beirs with thieves do not break through and steal.” him hereafter, we must not forget that
The heir of God! To the heir of a king he is our elder brother here that we what glorious expectancies are there? are of the same family—that we must of a throne, of a crown, of a treasury, bear the same likeness to him who of a nation! But how poor in promise, was the marred more than any man, what shrunken things, and things of and his form than the sons of men. nothingness are these, to the objects Was he the despised and rejected? Did before the heir of God !-before the lhe suffer desertion, and poverty, and
CEIVE THE TESTIMONY.