Imágenes de páginas






if we


mockery, and persecution, for the admits of no accommodations and comtruth's sake? Was an evil world full of promises : “ If so be that we suffer conspiracies against his peace,


with him, we may also be glorified toshall we expect less ? Shall we shrink gether.” from a full avowal of his doctrines

But, Lastly, THE EXALTATION where these may bring down upon us worldly contempt, worldly neglects

TESTIMONY, “ that we may also be and oppressions? Oh, no! the dis- glorified together.” ciple is not above his Lord, nor The children were to become heirs, the servant his master; sufficient

heirs of God, and joint heirs with for the disciple to be as his Lord, Christ; and it is here added, that and the servant as his master.

they may

be glorified together," cannot be of the household of Christ viz. together with him. It is in itself not called Beelzebub;

a delightful thought, that the intimacy, but we must also suffer with Christ in

the union of Christ with believers on his temptations. Did Satan harass

earth is to be continued, that they are to and vex his righteous soul, and shall remain branches of the same heavenly we not have to bear the buffetings of vine into which we are grafted—that no the evil one? Shall we not have to separation is to take place, no distance struggle through his fiery trials to re

to intervene, between the soul and the sist the devil that he may flee from us? | soul's object, in love and communion, Again, we must suffer with Christ

in ministry and worship, but that we under the darkness of Divine dispen.

are to be glorified together !—Together, sations. Had he no cup to drink? how full of happy privilege is this Had he no cloud to travail under, in word! How much are our pleasures anguish and sorrow ?

Yes! the cry

encreased by sympathy! What a blank went up, but the cup was not to pass were life to many present, but for the from him. Yes! the enquiry was ad- cherished hope of passing its hours to

My God! my God! why gether! And what a stronger impulse hast thou forsaken me ?" but

does it give to the endeavours of a voice came from heaven-no golden family to obtain through Christ the glory burst over him—no dove de

felicities of a heavenly world, the perscended—the cloud remained thick suasion, the faith, of possessing them and heavy, and he sank beneath it! together! And so, Christians who live Justice, inexorable justice, called

with Christ, who suffer, who enjoy back the ministring ngel from his with Christ, who are bound up in earthward flight-for the debt must spirit with Christ, have a sweet satisbe paid! And do you think that you

faction and delight to think that they shall stand exempt from affliction and

shall be glorified together, pass with judgment—that the waters of tribula

him into the heights of his heavenly tion shall not rise upon your soul-kingdom, traverse the same boundless that there shall be no sharp flints in the firmament, encreasing in purity and way to wound, no rocks to oppose, no splendour as they ascend—that they vallies of humiliation to pass through ? shall still be with him, and near him, No, Christians, no!-trouble and dis- through a series of joys whose protress must come upon you—you must gression is infinite, dwell in his ador. walk the way of Christ—there is no

able presence, and be changed with Him Ainching from the rule that is laid

from glory to glory for ever! And the down—there is no avoidance of the con

voices of how many present are there dition that is fixed—the Divine word saying, these privileges shall be ours ?

dressed, “


Who of you are looking through the mercy upon you, and to our God window of the house of affliction to the that he may abundantly pardon"-"0 brightness and blessedness of such a Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; reward? Who in the joy of being for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. with Christ now, are dwelling with a Take with you words, and turn to the holy ecstasy on the promise of being Lord : say unto him, Take away all with him amidst the cloudless glories iniquity, and receive us graciously: so of the world to come? “With whose will we render the calves of our lips. spirit the Spirit witnesseth that you Asshur shall not save us; we will not are the children of God, and if chil- ride upon horses; neither will we say dren then heirs, heirs of God, and any more to the work of our hands, joint heirs with Christ.” Oh! this Ye are our gods : for in Thee the faworld hath nothing to give that therless findeth mercy.” may enrich you.

This world hath Sinner, behold the volume of the nothing to take away that may spo- Divine word unrolling its leaf before liate you—that may be accounted a your eyes ? It is full of the same kind loss-excite a sigh-or warrant a invitations and gentle entreaties it ever tear. Hold on your course unwaver. breathed-it reveals the same lessons ingly, suffer contentedly, strive unre- to dissuade from sin-it makes known mittingly, and a few short years shall the same promises to allure to holibehold you entering upon your inherit- ness—it presents the same just judge ance, filled with all the fulness of God. to arrest your steps in the evil way,

But is not the prevailing voice and the same all-merciful Saviour to here, if interpreted truly, this glorious draw and attach your thoughts to consummation shall not be mine? those things which vitally affect your There is no witnessing of the Spirit peace. In your ignorances, it opens a with my spirit that I am a child of source of wisdom—in your iniquities, God—there is no inward persuasion, a fountain for all sin and uncleannessno outward testimony that I am with in your wanderings from God, the Christ, with him in meditations upon way of life-in the abandonment of his character through his word, with your souls, the means of their restohim in imitations of heavenly virtues ration, and happiness, and eternal salthrough his life, with him in the com- vation. The volume is spread now that munion of prayer through his spirit. But contains the title of your inheritance there is opposite and positive evidence with the saints of light, and the that I am not that I am with the preacher's finger is pointing to it with world, with self, with the lust and the earnestness of one who under God pleasures of the eye and sense, with would save the guilty soul alive. But Satan, the adversary of souls—that I ere another sabbath—(for none can am his child, that by consequence I penetrate God's mysterious proviam his heir, and the joint heir with dences)—the volume may be closed for his wicked angels.

ever, and the ministry of reconciliation Sipner, it is not too late to hope and of peace be over. and believe better things! This sab- Hear, therefore, and repent, and bebath is another opening of the door lieve, and obey the Gospel-and humble of escape to you, from the evils that yourself in the dust; lift an eye of threaten to come upon you. There faith to Jesus your only Redeemer and is a voice to meet you in this church, intercessor-grasp the cross as the from this pulpit, return unto the wretched man catches at the hanging Lord your God, that he may have bough in the moment of his drowning,

that so even in your case, though of God, the heir of God, and the the hour be the eleventh hour, the joint-heir with Christ; and that so suftestimonies of the ever-willing, ever fering with hiin here, you may be glo. gracious, ever to be entreated Spirit, rified together with him hereafter in may be, that you are made the child his own immortality of blessedness !

A Sermon




Acts, iv. 13.-“ Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and percend

that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled ; and they took knowlerlçe of them, that they had been with Jesus.

We seldom have our attention directed their imprisonment they were brought to any individual, even for a few mo- out, and in the presence of the Sanments, without forming some opinion hedrim, Annas the high-priest, and as to his general character, and as to Caiaphas, and John, ard Alexander, the situation which he fills in society. and many of the kindred of the highWe are continually making mistakes priest, rulers, elders, scribes, those inin the judgment we thus form, but are dividuals in Jerusalem of most influnot at all discouraged by that circum- ence, who had most power, and upon stance from scrutinizing the characters whose decision, at that moment, their which pass before us. Most individuals liberation depended—in the presence do not excite much attention, a passing of these the Apostles plainly and boldly thought is all we give them ; but there preached the truth of Christ.

“ Be it are many whose characters are marked, known unto you all, and unto all the who are assuming a great authority, people of Israel, that by the name of aiming at a high situation, pretending Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye to great powers, and on whom, per- crucified, whom God raised from the haps, our own character, our comfort, dead, even by him doth the man stand or interest, are in some way par here before you whole. This is the ticularly connected—when those per- stone which was set at nought by you sons happen to cross our path we take builders, which is become the head of knowledge of them.

the corner.

Neither is there salvation The Apostles having been endowed in any other; for there is none other with the gift of tongues, began to name under heaven given among men speak, in various languages, the won- whereby we must be saved.” derful works of God to the multitude Now when they saw the boldness of assembled, and Peter stood up with Peter and John, that they feared not John, and with great boldness, unusual, the power of men, that they had plainly peculiar plainness and point, pressed and honestly stated the truth to those upon them repentance towards God, in whose power they were, and to that their sins might be blotted out. whose minds that truth would be most They were soon cast into prison for unpleasant—when they saw the boldthis open, and honest, and faithful ness of Peter and John, and perceived course of conduct. The next day after that they were unlearned and ignorant

men, they marvelled, and probably connected with his general course of asked among themselves whence these conduct. He himself is honoured or men came, where they acquired this despised in the world, and his good or decision, and determination, and force evil name is reflected in the master of character; then they scrutinized whom he professes to serve. “ They them, and drawing upon their recol- took knowledge of them that they had lections, they remembered that these been with Jesus.” They judged of the men they had formerly seen with Jesus. disciples by their master; or not knowThey took knowledge of them that ing the master, and seeing the disciples, they had been with Jesus.” Thus do they judged of the master by the dismen take knowledge one of another, ciples. If these Jews had indeed been and form an opinion one of another- unacquainted with Christ, had never of their general deportment, their car- heard, never seen him, had known riage, their tone of conversation, their nothing of his character, they would appearance.

now, from the boldness, and decision, There is a second principle which and integrity of his followers, and the we carry with us in our observation good opinion they must have been of men. We class mer, we connect constrained to form of the principles the child with his parent, the servant which entered into the formation of with his master, the pupil with his in- their character, which were essential structor, and we form an opinion of to their formation, and without which the one whom we do not know from their character could not have been the other whom we do know. If a formed, they would have also judged disciple, for instance, utters good sen- favourably of their master; and if timents, and exhibits a good life, we they had known Jesus Christ before, give credit to his teachers for having and had never seen these disciples unwell instructed him ; and if it is the til then, they would have judged, as contrary, we suppose that he may have they in fact did, that “they had been been led astray by the influence of his with Jesus.” No man liveth to himmaster. If, on the other hand, the self-we are connected, individuals are master is erroneous in his sentiments united together, and our good or our and vicious in his conduct, we are evil name has its influence on those afraid that his disciples will also be the around us. same. If the parent is eminently vi There is another principle which we cious we tremble for the child; and if carry into our estimates of human chathe child is eminently vicious, we are ap- racter : we judge of a man by his prehensive that something was wrong avowed principles, just as we judge of a in the parent.

man's principles by his general conduct. Thus it is that we are connected one We may know nothing of an indivi. with another, and thus every man is dual, but we can estimate the doctrine forming a character and getting a which he has adopted, and we expect name good or bad, not only for him that these doctrines will produce their self but for his connexions. It is ab- corresponding traits of moral characsolutely impossible, in this sense of the ter on each individual, just in proporexpression, for a man to live unto him- tion as he believes them ; if they are self; and it is exceedingly wicked for good, we expect that they will have a any Christian to forget it, because, in good influence, and if bad, the conhis case, the principles which he has trary. We may know nothing about adopted, and the master whom he has the principles, as is the case with the professed to serve, are most closely unconverted world, as far as experience

goes, of the principles of true piety, | bright and holy principles for the rule but we can observe the conduct of of his life. They are peculiarly high those who profess to act under the in- and holy, and the world will not profluence of those principles.

fess to be under their influence; but Now, we shall form our opinion of if any man steps out and declares that these principles by the conduct of he will take these rules, then are all those who profess them. If those eyes set upon him ; they take knowprinciples are peculiar, if they are ledge of him that at the table of the found, as insisted upon, of so much im- Lord he was with Jesus, and they obportance, so important that a man serve whether he sustains that procannot become holy without them, fession. then we have only to examine the con We are sometimes disposed to comduct of the professor, to ascertain the plain that the world observes us too efficacy of the principles by making him closely. Now be it so, that the observaholy in his life and conversation. tion of the world is especially directed

Thus we judge men by the principles and turned upon us, we cannot be which they adopt ; consequently, as more scrutinized by the world than we soon as an individual publicly professes ought to be by ourselves, or than we are to believe and to adopt, as the rule of by Him who will finally sit in judgment his life, the principles of the word of on our souls. And the recollection, God, immediately the test of his cha- my dear brethren, that we have excited racter becomes stricter, more high and their observation—that the eye of pubholy than it was before. We judge lic remark is turned upon us, in public of the man's principles, and we also and private, should assist us in mainform our estimate as to the man's | taining good works, in exercising selfconduct. We compare his principles denial, in being more watchful and with his conduct, and we determine prayerful, and attentive to our not only what he is, but what he versation, and spirit, and conduct, ought to be.

every where, and at all times. Thus When, then, an individual has come it will be happy for us to have attracted out from the ungodly world, and de- their observation. clared that he will follow after holi. The world takes knowledge of us ness—that he will aim at great at- and forms an estimate of our principles tainments in a life of godliness—that and conduct. If they have looked to he will take Christ for his example the principles which we profess to and the word of God for his rule and adopt, then they expect great things guide ; then that individual, instead of from us, because those principles are being more kindly and more consider- high and holy and peculiar—if they ately observed— instead of having look at our conduct, then they form greater allowance made for his short an opinion of the principles which we comings—instead of it being considered profess to adopt according to their in his case according to the heathen opinion of that conduct. The tree is maxim, that in great things it is suffi- judged of by its fruits, and if the lives cient for a man to have made an effort of Christians are trifling and careless, -instead of this, his failures and in the general spirit little above sooner seen, more severely dwelt upon, that of the ungodly world, then it is and more widely published than those natural to affirm, on the part of the of other men. This is, indeed, to be ungodly world, that religion is a fable expected ; and never would have been they take knowledge of them in their the case, but for his adopting these general demeanour and deportment



« AnteriorContinuar »