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The subjects taught by Jesus Christ were the most interesting to the present and eternal felicity of men. The being and perfections of Jehovah-the care and benevolence of a superintending providence the nature of man, with his obligation to God in his law-the depravity of the human heart by sin, and the necessity of conversionthe counsel of Jehovah, relative to his own person, mission, suffering, and death, for the purpose of redemptionthe nature and blessedness of pardon, and the advantages of brotherly love and benevolence-death, judgment, heaven, and future punishment. These were some of the interesting subjects taught by Jesus; to which may be added, the nature of his own church and kingdom, detached from all civil powers, and purely spiritual; that baptism was an institution for the obedience of his disci. ples, and that his last supper was to be held as a perpe: tual memorial of his redeeming love, until his coming again to judge the world.
It was not only the province of a prophet to teach, but to foretel future events. Christ foretold the time, manner, place, circumstances, and design of his own sufferings and death; and also of the perfidious Judas, who was to sell his blood. Nor did he omit to inform Peter and other of his disciples the ungenerous conduct they should act by deserting him in the midst of his deepest sorrows, notwithstanding their present resolved attachment to his person. What was still more remarkable, he prophesied of the time and manner of his own resurrection from the dead, and of his return to the mansions of his Father as the fore-runner of his people.
To this likewise we not only add the predictions of Jesus, of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jews; but, by his revelation to John in the Isle of
Patmos, the most capital events that should take place among the nations, for the purpose of gathering his Church ; many of which have been completed, and not one word which yet remains but shall be fulfilled to the praise of his glory!
2. The manner in which Jesus, the prophet of Israel, executes his office is worthy our attention. This was done personally, and more immediately in the three last years of his life, preaching salvation in Jerusalem, and all the regions round about. Persons of various ranks and degrees received his instruction, obeyed his holy precepts, bore a noble testimony against the practice of vice, and closed their lives in hope of a glorious immortality. His word was with power, it penetrated and changed the heart; and of some of the most illiterate, and others of worldly dissipated lives, Jesus produced a race of disciples, so wise and so virtuous, the history of whom has never failed to create the most profound astonishment wherever the Gospel has been published. As a secondary mean to execute his prophetic office, Jesus commissioned many of his disciples to preach his word, promising them his presence, and rendered them successful in the instruction and conversion of thousands.
The same Gospel mean is still continued; Christ raises up men of every nation and language by the power of his grace, and thus in a rational and spiritual manner gathers sinners to himself, and progressively illuminates his Church with divine knowledge. Here, however, we must say, the written word of Christ, the Bible, is the invariable law and the testimony, received and published by all whom he employs to execute his prophetic office; for if they speak not according to this word, we are positively assured there is no light in them. Men may be converted to a party, but none were ever converted to Christ but by the power of his own truth. But the pri. mary mean by which Jesus discharges the important of fice of a prophet is by the influence of his Holy SPIRIT, without which, the written word and the preached Gospel are in vain. No more need be said upon this point than to recur to the promise of Christ to his disciples, I will send you the Spirit of Truth, he shall teach you all things that I have said unto you.
We might now close our remarks on the office of Jesus as a prophet, but it is absolutely necessary to assign the reason why Jesus is able to make men wise unto salvation. He is the infinitely WISE GOD, The wisdom of God; the Word that was with God, and the Word that was God. Therefore he can chase darkness from the mind, create the pure light of truth, and bring the carnal heart into the most spiritual obedience. Blessed be the Lord who is the light of his people, and who can bring the most distant sinner nigh to taste the sweets of redeeming love!
As a necessary improvement upon this subject, let us now ask, Have we ever received one instructive lesson from this great Teacher of Israel? Has he taught us to view ourselves as sinners, and are we assisted to look to him who is able to save to the uttermost? When Jesus opened the understanding of the disciples going to Em. maus, their hearts burned within them; and you may be certain, if the Lord hath enlightened your minds, you have enjoyed a degree of that comfort, peace, and joy, from a view of a complete salvation, which you can never forget. The promise is, All thy people shall be taught of God, and great shall be the peace of thy children. If this be the case, learn to make use of Jesus as your prophet. The
evils of your heart, the treachery of satan, the designs of his providence, the truth of his word, the privileges of Zion, the glories of eternity; these, with every other important subject which is your interest to know, Jesus will progressively reveal to your mind. You cannot be too sensible of your own ignorance, nor can you employ Jesus as your prophet' too often. Learn of me, is his command; and our duty is, with Mary, to set at Christ's feet, and hear his words. Happy the man, happy the minister, and happy the family, who receive instruction from the Saviour! Conscious of my incapacity, unassisted, to promote your personal and domestic felicity, by this course of LECTURES, I devoutly implore the aid of Jesus, our divine Prophet, to render his own truth effec. tual to your instruction. Influenced by no name nor. party, but the adored name of Immanuel and his ransomed flock, I deliver to you those sentiments, which, on mature investigation, I believe to be the TRUTH OF GOD: I despair net, therefore, of his gracious benediction upon you. Let us then look to Jesus, and resolve with David, Thou, Lord, shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory. Amen.
THE LOVE OF LIFE MODERATED.
JOB vii. 16.
Each moment draw from earth away
My heart, that lowly waits thy call;
I am thy love, thy God, thy all!
THE love of life is natural to all men; and there are those awful attendants on death which make humanity tremble at the idea of dissolution. The possession of the grace of God, however, changes both the scenes of mortality, and the state of the mind, so as to regulate the love of life, produce 'a subjection to the will of God, and attain the most charming and certain prospect of felicity beyond the grave. On a single glance upon our text, we may with certainty conclude that, as with Job, so with every good man, there are justifiable reasons why he would wish a continuance in life; but that there are also considerations more interesting and important, which preponderate against the love of life, and lead him to say, I would not live alway. It shall be our employ, in this discourse, to examine both these reasons, in some cheerful hope the subject may be beneficial to all who may hear.
1. Although the love of life be natural to all men, there are some more attached the present state than others. Nay, we read of some who through fear of death are all