Imágenes de páginas

St. Peter refers. To them St. Paul also refers in his epistles to the Romans, and to the Ephefians (c). In several passages in the New Testament the expressions of David are likewise recited and applied to Christ (d). I propose, therefore, in the first place, to point out some of the particulars with respect to which we are to regard Jesus Christ as the great corner-stone. And 1 shall endeavour afterwards to illustrate the animating declaration of St. Peter; that he who believeth on Christ shall not be confounded: and the tremendous warning which it involves, that they who refuse to believe on Christ shall be confounded for ever.

I. i. Jesus Christ is the corner-stone of religious doctrine. He is the sole foundation, the author and sinisher (e) of our faith. He camfe from the Father: he is one with the Father: and he knoweth the will of the Father. He was in the beginning with God, and was God: and he knew the incomprehensible nature and the unchangeable attributes of the Godhead. He knew the perfect holiness necessary to obtain acceptance from a God of holiness. He knew the inherent heinoufness

(«) Romans, ix. 33. x.11? Ephefians, ii. 20. (d) Matt. «i. 4Z. Actsjiv. 11. (/) 1 Cor.iii. 10,11. Heb.xii. 2.

of sin; the extreme guilt of every deviation from the divine law, of every instance of rebellion against God, He knew how great must be'the sacrifice, for he offered himself to be made that sacrifice, by which the pardon of sin, and the restoration of the divine favour, should be procured. He knew by what price, for that price he undertook to pay, the continual grace of the. Holy Spirit, by which alone the sinner could be enabled to repent, to'believe, to become holy^and to persevere in holiness, fnust. be purchased. He was the Son of the God of truth; he was Truth himself: and he came into the world to bear witness to the truth. By his personal ministry, and by the ministry of his apostles, he revealed to the fallen children of men the things which belonged to their peace. By his Spirit he instructed and empowered the sacred writers of the New Testament to spread to the most distant regions, to deliver down,to the latest generations, the words of eternal life. Well therefore may Su Paul affirm that all Scripture is profitable for doctrine (f). Wtll may St. John pronounce; Whosoever abideib net in the doctr'me of Christ, hath not God.- fa that abideth in the doctrine of Christ * be hatb both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine; receive*

(/) 2 Tim. iii. 16.


him not into your house, neither bid him Cod speed: for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds (g). Learn then your faith from the mouth of your Saviour, and of his inspired apostles and evangelists. Look to your Bible. Fix your foot on that rocki Apply to yourself the admonitions of St. Paul: Be sledsasl in the unity of the faith. Be not tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doclrine: but speaking the truth in love, grow up unto Him in all things who is the head, even Christ. Be not carried about with divers and fir ange doclrines : for it is-a good thing that the heart be established with grace. Remember them which have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, confdering the end os their conversation, Jesus Christ, the fame yesterday, and to-day, and for ever (h). Recollect the prophetic warning of the fame apostle. The time will come when they will not endure found doclrine (i). That time has long since arrived. The prophecy has already been fulfilled, and is at this, day fulfilling, with respect to multitudes. Numbers at this day, while they profess themselves Christians, erect themselves in opposition to the efential doctrines ofthe Gospel. Sometimes they ex

(.?) zJ0!«?> S—M- . V>) Ephes. iv. 13 -15. Heb. xiii. 7—9. {>] 2 Tim. iv. 3.

B 3 claim

claim against its mysteries : and presuming to measure by their unassisted reason subjects utterly beyond the grasp of human understanding, plunge into the most extravagant wildnesses of interpretation, rather than bend to the plain and repeated declarations of God concerning the nature of his own Godhead. More frequently they take offence at the humiliating facts which lie at the root of the doctrine of redemption: that man is radically. corrupt; that the law of God is a law of perfect holiness, and requires perfect obedience; that, any breach of that law in any one-point, subjects the offender to the penalty of eternal death; that holiness is in no respect the product of the human heart, but altogether the fruit of the Spirit of God; and consequently that whoever shall receive remission of punishment, sanctification, and the gift of life eternal, will receive all these blessings solely through the free grace and mercy of God in .Christ, and will owe no one of them in the smallest portion or degree to any right or merit of his own. Numbers, instead of humbly acknowledging these truths, which are as consistent with reason as they are decidedly inculcated in the Scriptures, proudly rely on their supposed personal righteousness; dare to claim forgiveness and salvation as in part at least due to their own excellence and good

works; works; and are so far from looking to Christ as the sole ground of hope of deliverance from the wrath to come, and of admission into the kingdom of glory, that they regard his atoning sacrifice merely, if I may venture to apply the term to so aweful a subject, as a sort of make-weight, which may compensate for such of their transgressions as their own imaginary righteousness may not have been altogether sufficient to countervail. So blind to their own state, so ignorant of the fundamental principles of Christianity, are many who frequent Christian worfliip! May God grant that few or none of you, when you examine your own faith, may sind yourselves of this description! Meditate then, as the apostle exhorts, upon these things. Take heed to thyself and to thy doclrine: continue in them. Speak thou the things which become sound dotlrine; that men be sound in faith. If any man consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doclrine which is according to godliness; be is proud, knowing nothing (k).

2. Christ, in the i.econd place, is the cornerstone of morality. He conferred, in various Ways, most eminent glory on the moral law of God. He came to give himself as a sacrifice

(I) J Tim, iv. 15, 16. Tit. ii. 1,2. 1 Tim. vi. 3, 4.

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