Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

grace of Christ, which has already proved ft-* self sufficient to the salvation of millions of* your fellow-sinners, is sufficient, if you will seek for it and profit by it, for yours. Then will it qualify you to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit; and to prove that you are Christ's, by crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts. Then shall it sanctify you unto the day of redemption; unto that day when you shall join in the triumphant song of the text thousand times ten thousands and thousand's-''of' thousands of the spirits, of just men made perfect: Blejftng, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upo?i the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever ! 'For thou wast slain; and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood (a).

Let me now endeavour to apply to two classes of persons of opposite descriptions, Tome portion of the instruction, which the general subject of the present and of the two preceding discourses may suggest.

I. I would in the first place address myselfto those persons, who have hitherto neglected or despised the grace of God.

Are your eyes open to your situation? What is the object which you neglect or

(a) Rev. V..9. n. 13.

despise I

despise? Is it an object of no importance? Is it an object of little moment? Is it an object ,of temporary concern? It is tbe grace of God indispensably necessary, by your own confession indispensably necessary, to everlasting salvation. It is an object so pre-eminent in magnitude and in duration, that every other:

object which can interest the heart of man is

", ./iiTJoJfn . . v;. " i; '. .. . y-iX c

jn companion but the weight or a grain ot

dust,. the occupation of a moment. This grace,of God you neglect or despise, r That you {hould disregard the acquisition of a blessing thus inconceivably great without reasons of the strongest nature, would be madness almost beyond credibility. Perhaps then you regard the attainment of it as hopeless. Perhaps you have discovered in the charter . of grace some clause of exception, which singles you out from the rest of your species,; severs and fixes you apart from the objects of mercy; and debars you from the possibility of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which you may be sanctified unto life eternal! You do not plead this apology. You confess that your heavenly Father has ever treated you, and still treats you, as one of his children: that the offer of divine grace is universal: that to you is the word of this salvation sent: that to you it has been given I 4 to

'J.':ai-;[

to hear the invitation, and to understand the promise, of the Holy Spirit: that, whatever may have been the causes which. have pre-. vented you from obeying the call and accepting the boon, want of power has not been <& the. number. .,;, ,, ?, .r,

But perhaps you imagine that efforts on your part are to have np share in the attainment of the grace of Christ: that your iex-1 ertions would be either presumptuous., or useless, or needless: that it is your duty to wait in patient inactivity unto the time when it may please God, who worketh all in all,-.to vouchsafe to you the gift of his Holy Spirit. The(e are not your thoughts. You have not thus grossly misunderstood the scriptures. You confess that^ although it be God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good plea-, sure; you feel yourselves no less efficaciously free, no left truly moral agents in the ae* quisition of divine grace than you are in the acquisition of any of the gifts of God which you are to collect from the bosom of the earth. You confess that Jesus Christ, who commands that his grace be sought by the use of means; has not left you either ignorant of the means, or incapable of employing them. You confess that prayer, animated by suitable dispositions and urged with due perseverance, is a necessary and certain instrument

mentM'by which the influence of the Holy* Spirit in abundance proportioned to our need is to be drawn down from heaven: and that a reverent and edifying application of grace already received is an indispensable condition, not of its increase only, but of its continuance. - Perhaps then you may be doubtful, for ttere is-;scarcely any measure of felf-decep* tion too large to find admission into the human heart, whether you may not already be under the effectual guidance of the Spirit of God. You may be -of opinion that there are not any unequivocal marks, by which his presence may be ascertained; nor any tokens, which are infallible indications of his absence. Yet assuredly I have again failed to specify the causes of your disregard. What is the language of your secret thoughts, but an acknowledgement that the splendor of noon and the blackness of midnight are not removed, each from the other, by a distance more wide, by characters more striking, than those which separate and discriminate the works of the flesti from the fruits of the Spirit? What is their language but an acknowledgement that you detect within your bosom proofs too plain to be controverted that it is the habitation of worldly lusts, not the Temple pie of the Holy Ghost;, that you have not

the Spirit of Christ, and arc therefore none of bi$?•-. :'.».,. -ji\: tii

. - It is possible, however, that you may distrust the sufficiency of the grace of Christ. You may have become persuaded, that-to a being.by nature so unholy, by transgrefE'bn so depraved, as yourself; to such a being' encompassed by the snares, and assailed by the ttiatigntty, of the powers of darkness, the divine'-* assistance is granted in vain. ;"Bat your-hearts recoil from this supposition. You ** believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord arid "Giver of life." You believe frvther'drftnipotence of God. You do not exaltSaten to the sovereignty of the universe. Yc*u are convinced that he whom God blesseth is blessed; that he whom God affisteth must; be victorious: that he who taketh to himself the whole armour of God, the breaft-piate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, will be able to withstand all the wiles of the devil, to quench all his fiery darts, and to lay hold in the strength of divine grace on the crown of everlasting salvation; What then am I to conclude? For what cause, unhappy victim of delusion, disregardest or despiiest thou the riches of the grace of

6 "Christ?

« AnteriorContinuar »