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SPECIMENS CF FRENCH PREACHERS.
Translated expressly for this Work.
ALEXANDER MORUS, a very distinguished Pro
testant preacher, born at Castres in 1616, died at Paris in 1670.
EXORDIUM OF A SERMON ON CHRISTIAN DILIGENCE.
Our souls have their diseases, and God has willed that they shall have their medicines. They have their peccant humours, as well as the body, and God has determined that they shall have their remedies, as well as it. The science of salvation is the medicine of the soul: the Holy Scripture is the garden, where we gather the flowers and herbs, the composition of which must establish our spiritual health; for it is necessary to compound them, that they may correct each other by their different qualities: any one ingredient would, perhaps, be poison, and would kill the patient, if taken separately; but it is very salutary when reduced to proper parts, by a mixture with another of a different quality. There are two kinds of venom which Satan has insinuated into our hearts by the means of our first parents; pride, Ye shall be as Gods; and security, Ye shall not surely die: the former has produced confidence in our works, and the latter a contempt of good works, and a love to forbidden fruit. The sin of man is not a simple indisposition, which only affects one part of the soul, it is a leprosy which has corrupted all the mass of his blood, and a complicated malady, which has, in different ways, corrupted all his faculties. For example, his understanding is diseased with pride, and this is what leads him, as by a kind of phrenzy, to
confide in his own works; but his will has another distemper, which is the contempt of good works, and the love of vice, which he fearlessly cherishes under the shadow of faith and confidence in the mercy of God. It is easily discoverable that these are very opposite maladies which require different remedies, and which the same application would not heal. What, then, has God done? He has first prescribed various doctrines, which seem to be opposed to each other, and which, out of their order and connection, ruin souls and cast them into despair, which is their certain death. For example, the doctrine of gratuitous predestination, and that of justification by faith, are, indeed, very suitable remedies to cure man of bris pride; but if you add nothing to them, his understanding will be healed, but his will will be worse than ever: for from gratuitous predestination, and
justification by faith, man will seize the opportu· nity to throw himself into a carnal security, and
will say, If God has elected me, whatever I do, I am sure that I shall be saved? If faith alone justifies, what need is there of works? This is the reason why God has provided another remedy for us, or rather another ingredient, which must be united and tempered with the preceding remedy, that is to say, the exhortations which he gives us, individually to take heed lest we fall, to establish ourselves more and more, to maintain good works for necessary uses, both for our justification before men, and for the satisfaction of our own cousciences; that by the just symmetry of these two doctrines, man may be delivered from the two poisons, and from the two infections of the old serpent, of which we have spoken. But God has done more than this; he has ordained that various physicians should prescribe for us various
remedies, as formerly among the ancients they had some doctors for the eyes, others for the stomach, and others for the other parts of the body, who were not permitted to have a care and general inspection of all the economy of the human frame; on account of the connection which all the parts of the body have one with another, St. Paul has treated the part affected by pride with predestination, and justification by faith, and at the same time, St. Peter and st. James bave undertaken, by the fear of God and exhortations to good works, to effect the cure of that other malady in the soul, which we call carnal security, the true nurse of the desires of the flesh.
And as formerly medicine was established by the custom of carrying sick persons to the cross-roads and public places, that each of the passengers might give them his recipe, if he found any one afflicted with a disorder under which he had laboured, and could prove the virtue of the remedy which he himself had tried; so God has adopted the same method in scripture. He dispenses to us the remedies of his grace by physicians who have tried them, and have made the application in their own persons. The remedy against pride, by St. Paul, that Pharisee, who bad confided in his works, and who had sought justification by the law of Moses, but the remedy against the feebleness of the flesh, and the carnal security of our nature, by St. Peter, who had felt the evil of it, and had learnt the cure, for he fell into a kind of palsy, or at least an epilepsy, when he three times denied so good a master; he had not always been firm, he had seen his vocation and election totter, he had dangerously stumbled, but he rose again to the practice of good works,
and by the tears of repentance evidenced his restoration to the favour of God. Hence, he often calls past events to remembrance, and takes occasion frequently to exhort believers to build up and establish themselves, not upon himself, as the ; prince of the Apostles, the chief, and the foundation, and atlas of the church; but rather upon the elect and precious stone, the stone of the corner, which God had laid in Zion. He always recollects what our Lord said to him, Satan hath desired to have thee, that he may sift thee as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' Here, then, behold him doing what the Lord had commanded him to do, confirming his brethren, and saying to them, that they might not fall as he had done, that they ought to study good works; • Therefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence, to make your calling and election sure; for in so doing, you shall never fall.
ON THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST, AS AN
IRREFRAGABLE PROOF OF THE AUTHEN-
. . . . . . “ In his bless'd life,
“ He rose!'he rose! he burst the bars of death.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, is the key-stone of that majestic arch, which extends to the uttermost parts of the earth, and rises to the very throne of God in the highest heavens. If the resurrection of Christ, therefore, cannot be sustained as an
indubitable fact, the whole scheme of divine revelation is enfeebled, disjointed, and rendered a mere fabulous legend. On this, as its basis, the grand edifice of Christianity must stand or fall:—and by this, its different parts be cemented together; or severed and exposed to the ruthless hand of sceptical vengeance.
But the advocates of the Scriptures have not the least occasion for fear or dismay at the bold assumptions of infidelity; because they can produce their witnesses to attest the facts for which they plead; and establish the resurrection of Jesus Christ beyond a reusonable doubt.
It will readily be admitted, that our Saviour was buried; and shortly afterwards his tomb was found empty. Then the question is, How was this body removed! His enemies would not take it away to afford his disciples a triumph; and his friends were too timid to make the attempt: therefore we may naturally suppose, he rose of himself.
But, let any unprejudiced mind examine the evidence on which this fact is founded, and the truth must carry conviction to the heart, and establish the unutterable glory of Christ.
There are eleven persons without learning to disguise a fiction, without influence to impose upon the credulous, without property to reward the obsequious, and without power to compel an opponent to submit to their decisions; and these eleven persons state a fact in which they could not possibly be deceived;-a fact which was obvious to the senses of each individual amongst them, and not dependent upon any chain of metaphysical reasoning, or difficult calculations: they had been familiar with Jesus Christ prior to his death, and he was with them forty successive days after his resurrection. Besides, they were PERFECTLY UNITED in their testimony. Whether they stood in the presence of kings or their subjects; before Jews or Gentiles; before philosophers or the most illiterate of mankind, they had the same unvarnished statement to set forth, and the same facts to assert, as they had wit