Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers complished in your brethren that are in the world. are the angels. The Son of Man shall send forth 1 Peter v. 8, 9. his angels, and they shall gather out of his king. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the dom all things that offend, and them which do ini- devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose quity. Matt. xii. 39, 41.

the Son of God was manifested, that he might de* Then shall he say also unto them on the left stroy the works of the devil. hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting in this the children of God are manifest and the fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt. children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righxxv. 41.

teousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not And in the synagogue there was a man which his brother. 1 John iii. 8, 10. had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with Ye are of God, little children, and have overa loud voice, saying, Let us alone; what have we come them; because greater is he that is in you, to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth; art thou / than he that is in the world. 1 John iv. 4. come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art : And the angels which kept not their first estate, the Holy One of God. Luke iv. 33, 34.

but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in Those by the way-side are they that hear; then everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgcometh the devil and taketh away the word out of ment of the great day. Jude 6.. . their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed Luke viii. 12.

Tin white raiment; and I will not blot out his name But he knowing their thoughts, said unto them, out of the book of life, but I will confess his name Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to before my Father, and before his angels. Rev. desolation, and a house divided against a house, | iii. 5. . falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, And there was war in heaven; Michael and his how shall his kingdom stand } because ye say that angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon I cast out devils through Beelzebub. Luke xi. fought and his angels, And provailed not; neither 17, 18.

I was their place found any more in heaven. And Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, your father ye will do; he was a murderer called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and because there is no truth in him. When he his angels were cast out with him. Therefore respeaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a joice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Wo liar, and the father of it. John vii. 44.

to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea ! for F. And supper being ended, (the devil having the devil is come down unto you, having great

now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a E: son to betray him.) John xiii. 2.

short time. Rev. xii. 7, 8, 9, 12. But Peter said, 'Ananias, why hath Satan filled And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serBy thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep pent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound " back part of the price of the land ? Acts v. 3. him a thousand years. And when the thousand

To open their eyes, and to turn them from dark-years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his ness to light, and from the power of Satan unto prison. And the devil that deceived them was God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the and an inheritance among them which are sancti- beast and the false prophet are, and shall be torfied by faith that is in me. Acts xxvi. 18. mented day and night, for ever and ever. Rev. xx.

And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under 2, 7, 10. your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Rom. xvi. 20.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Cor. ii. 11.

DISCOURSE VII. In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of THEREFORE, whosoever heareth these sayings the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise God, should shine unto them. 2 Cor. iv. 4. man, which built his house upon a rock: And the

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the rain descended, and the floods came, and the the course of this world, according to the prince winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it of the power of the air, the spirit that now work- fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every eth in the children of disobedience. Eph. ï. 2. one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For which built his house upon the sand: And the we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds principalities, against powers, against the rulers blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and of the darkness of this world, against spiritual great was the fall of it. Matt. vii. 24-27. wickedness in high places. Eph. vi. 11, 12

At that time, Jesus answered and said, I thank For some are already turned aside after Satan. thee, O Father! Lord of heaven and earth, be1 Timothy v. 15.

cause thou hast hid these things from the wise Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part Matt. xi. 25. of the same; that through death he might destroy Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and him that had the power of death, that is the devil. drank in thy presence, and thou hast taught in Heb. ï. 14.

our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the you not whence ye are ; depart from me all ye devil, and he will flee from you. James iv. 1. workers of iniquity. Luke xiii. 26, 27.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary For not the hearers of the law are just before the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in Rom. ii. 13. the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are ac- And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance unto you the testimony of God. For I determined in the saints. And what is the exceeding greatnot to know any thing among you, save Jesus ness of his power to us-ward who believe, accordChrist and him crucified. And my speech and ing to the working of his mighty power. Eph. i. my preaching was not with enticing words of 17, 18, 19. man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit And you hath he quickened, who were dead in and of power. That your faith should not stand trespasses and sins. For we are his workmanship, in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Eph. ii. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, 1, 10. but the Spirit which is of God; that we might For our gospel came not unto you in word only, know the things that are freely given to us of God. but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in Which things also we speak, not in the words much assurance. 1 Thes, i. 5. which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Of his own will begat he us with the word of Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not creatures. the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolish- But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers ness unto him ; neither can he know them, because only, deceiving yourselves. For if any be a hearer they are spiritually discerned. I Cor. ii. 1, 2, 4, 5, of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man 12, 13, 14.

beholding his natural face in a glass. For he bo For the wisdom of this world is foolishness holdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightwith God. 1 Cor. iii. 19.

way forgetteth what manner of man he was. But For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and power. 1 Cor. iv. 20.

continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not in his deed. James i. 18, 22-25. with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priestnot in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of hood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye the heart. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves should show forth the praises of him who has callto think any thing as of ourselves; but our suffi- ed you out of darkness into his marvellous light. ciency is of God: who also hath made us able 1 Peter ii. 9. ministers of the New Testament; not of the let- But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the ye know all things. spirit giveth life. 2 Cor. iii. 3, 5, 6.

But the anointing which ye have received of "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Fa- him abideth in you; and ye need not that any ther of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wis- man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth dom and revelation in the knowledge of him; The you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and eyes of your understanding being enlightened; even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in hun. that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, 11 John ii. 20, 27.

SERMONS

ON THE

DEPRAVITY OF HUMAN NATURE.

PREFACE.

The doctrine which is most urgently, and most frequently insisted on in the following volume, is that of the depravity of human nature; and it were certainly cruel to expose the unworthiness of man for the single object of disturbing him. But the cruelty is turned into kindness, when, along with the knowledge of the disease, there is offered an adequate and all-powerful remedy. It is impossible to have a true perception of our own character, in the sight of God, without feeling our need of acquittal; and in opposition to every obstacle, which the justice of God seems to hold out to it, this want is provided for in the Gospel. And it is equally impossible, to have a true perception of the character of God, as being utterly repugnant to sin, without feeling the need of amendment; and in opposition to every obstacle, which the impotency of man holds out to it, this want is also provided for in the Gospel. There we behold the amplest securities for the peace of the guilty. But there do we also behold securities equally ample for their progress, and their perfection in holiness. Insomuch, that in every genuine disciple of the New Testament, we not only see one who, delivered from the burden of his fears, rejoices in hope of a coming glory--but we see one who, set free from the bondage of corruption, and animated by a new love and a new desire, is honest in the purposes, and strenuous in the efforts, and abundant in the works of obedience. He feels the instigations of sin, and in this respect he differs from an angel. But he follows not the instigations of sin, and in this respect he differs from a natural or unconverted man. He may experience the motions of the flesh-but he walks not after the flesh. So that in him we may view the picture of a man, struggling with effect against his earth-born propensities, and yet hateful to himself for the very existence of them—holier than any of the people around him, and yet humbler than them all—realizing, from time to time, a positive increase to the grace and excellency of his character, and yet becoming more tenderly conscious every day of its remaining deformities-gradually expanding in attainment as well as in desire, towards the light and the liberty of heaven, and yet groaning under a yoke from which death alone will fully emancipate him.

When time and space have restrained an author of sermons from entering on what may be called the ethics of Christianity, it is the more incumbent on him to avouch of the doctrine of the gospel, that while it provides directly for the peace of a sinner, it provides no less directly and efficiently for the purity of his practice—that faith in this doctrine never terminates in itself, but is a mean to holiness as an end-and that he who truly accepts of Christ, as the alone foundation of his meritorious acceptance before God, is stimulated, by the circumstances of his new condition, to breathe holy purposes, and to abound in holy performances. He is created anew unto good works. He is made the workmanship of God in Christ Jesus.

The anxious enforcement of one great lesson on the part of a writer, generally proceeds from the desire to effect a full and adequate conveyance, into the mind of another, of some truth which has filled his own mind, by a sense of its importance; and, in offering this volume to the public, the author is far from being insensible to the literary defects that from this cause may be charged upon it. He knows, in particular, that throughout these discourses there is a frequent recurrence of the same idea, though generally expressed in different language, and with some new speciality, either in its bearing or in its illustration. And he further knows, that the habit of ex patiating on one topic may be indulged to such a length, as to satiate the reader, and that, to a degree, far beyond the limits of his forbearance:

And yet, if a writer be conscious that, to gain a reception for his favorite doctrine, he must combat with certain elements of opposition, in the taste, or the pride, or the indolence, of those whom he is addressing, this will only serve to make him the more importunate, and so to betray him still farther into the fault of redundancy. If the lesson he is urging be of an intellectual character, he will labour to bring it home, as nearly as possible, to the understanding. If it be a moral lesson, he will labour to bring it home, as nearly as possible, to the heart. It is difficult, and it were hard to say in how far it would be right, to restrain this propensity in the pulpit, where the high matters of salvation are addressed to a multitude of individuals, who bring before the minister every possible variety of taste and of capacity; and it it no less difficult, when the compositions of the pulpit are transferred to the press, to detach from them a peculiarity by which their whole texture may be pervaded, and thus to free them from what may be counted by many to be the blemish of a very great and characteristic deformity.

There is, however, a difference between such truths as are merely of a speculative nature, and such as are allied with practice and moral feeling ; and much, ought to be conceded to this difference. With the former, all repetition may often be superfluous; with the latter, it may just be by earnest repetition, that their influence comes to be thoroughly established over the mind of an inquirer. And, if so much as one'individual be gained over in this way to the cause of righteousness, he is untrue to the spirit and to the obligations of his office, who would not, for the sake of this one, willingly hazard all the rewards, and all the honours of literary estimation.

And, if there be one truth which, more than another, should be habitually presented to the notice, and proposed to the conviction of fallen creatures, it is the humbling truth of their own depravity. This is a truth which may be recognized and read in every exhibition of unrenewed nature; but it often lurks under a specious disguise, and it is surely of the utmost practical importance to unveil and elicit a principle, which, when admitted into the heart, may be considered as the great basis of a sinner's religion.

SERMON I.
The Necessity of the Spirit to give Effect to the Preaching of the Gospel.

“And my speech, and my preaching, was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration

of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man but in the power of God."--1 Corinthians, ii. 4, 5.

Paul, in his second epistle to the Co- the reach of human power and human wisrinthians has expressed himself to the same dom; and to obtain which, immediate reeffect as in the text, in the following words: course must be had, in the way of prayer “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to and dependence, to the power of God. Withthink any thing as of ourselves; but our out attempting a full exposition of these difsufficiency is of God; who also hath made ferent verses, we shall, first, endeavour to us able ministers of the New Testament; direct your attention to that part of the work not of the letter, but of the Spirit.”

of a Christian teacher, which it has in comIn both these passages, the Apostle points mon with any other kind of education; and, to a speciality in the work of a Christian secondly, offer a few remarks on the speteacher,--a something essential to its suc- ciality that is adverted to in the text.. cess, and, which is not essential to the pro- I. And here it must be admitted, that ficiency of scholars in the ordinary branches even in the ordinary branches of human of education,-an influence that is beyond I learning, the success of the teacher, on the

TE

one hand, and the proficiency of the scho-the business of education, and conspires to lars on the other, are still dependent on the the result of an accomplished and a wellwill of God. It is true, that in this case, informed scholar, is in the hand of the Deity, we are not so ready to feel our depend- and he will pray for the continuation of ence. God is apt to be overlooked in all these elements,--and while science is raising those cases where he acts with uniformity. her wondrous monuments, and drawing the Wherever we see, what we call, the opera- admiration of the world after her, -it retion of a law of nature, we are apt to shut mains to be seen, on the day of the revelaour eyes against the operation of his hand, tion of hidden things, whether the prayers and faith in the constancy of this law, is of the humble and derided Christian, for a sure to beget, in the mind, a sentiment of blessing on those to whom he has confided independence on the power and will of the the object of his tenderness, have not susDeity. Now, in the matters of human edu- tained the vigour and brilliancy of those cation, God acts with uniformity. Let there very talents on which the world is lavishing be zeal and ability on the part of the teacher, the idolatry of her praise. and an ordinary degree of aptitude on the Let us now conceive the very ablest of part of the taught, and the result of their these teachers, to bring all his powers and vigorous and well sustained co-operation all his accomplishments, to bear on the submay in general be counted upon. Let theject of Christianity. Has he skill in the parent, who witnesses his son's capacity, languages? The very same process by and his generous ambition for improvement, which he gets at the meaning of any ancient send him to a well qualified instructor, and author, carries him to a fair and faithful renhe will be filled with the hopeful sentiment dering of the scriptures of the Old and New of his future eminence, without any refer- Testament. Has he a mind enlightened ence to God whatever,—without so much as and exercised on questions of erudition ? ever thinking of his purpose or of his agency The very same principles which qualify in the matter, or its once occurring to him him to decide on the genuineness of any to make the proficiency of his son the sub- old publication, enable him to demonstrate ject of prayer. This is the way in which the genuineness of the Bible, and how fully nature, by the constancy of her operations, sustained it is on the evidence of history, is made to usurp the place of God: and it Has he that sagacity and comprehension of goes far to spread, and to establish the de- talent, by which he can seize on the leading lusion, when we attend to the obvious fact, principles which run through the writings that a man of the most splendid genius may of some eminent philosopher? This very exbe destitute of piety; that he may fill the office ercise may be gone through on the writings of an instructor with the greatest talent and of Inspiration, and the man, who, with the success, and yet be without reverence for works of Aristotle before him can present the God, and practically disown him; and that world with the best system or summary of thousands of our youth may issue every year his principles, might transfer these very pow. warm from the schools of Philosophy, stored ers to the works of the Apostles and Evanwith all her lessons, and adorned with all her gelists, and present the world with a just accomplishments, and yet be utter strangers and interesting survey of the doctrines of to the power of godliness, and be filled with our faith. And thus it is, that the man who an utter distaste and antipathy for its name. might stand the highest of his fellows in All this helps on the practical conviction, the field of ordinary scholarship, might turn that common education is a business, with his entire mind to the field of Christianity; which prayer and the exercise of depend- and, by the very same kind of talent, which ence on God, have no concern. It is true would have made him the most eminent of that a Christian parent will see through the all the philosophers, he might come to be vanity of this delusion. Instructed to make counted the most eminent of all the theolohis requests known unto God in all things, gians; and he who could have reared to his he will not depose him from the supremacy fame some monument of literary genius, of his power and of his government over might now, by the labours of his midnight this one thing,- he will commit to God the oil, rear some beauteous and consistent fabric progress of his son in every one branch of of orthodoxy, strengthened, in all its parts, education he may put him to,-and, know- by one unbroken chain of reasoning, and ing that the talent of every teacher, and the recommended throughout by the powers of continuance of his zeal, and his powers of a persuasive and captivating eloquence. communication, and his faculty of interest-! So much for the talents which a Christian ing the attention of his pupils,—that all teacher may employ, in common with other these are the gifts of God, and may be with teachers, and even though they did make drawn by him at pleasure,-he will not suf- up all the qualifications necessary for his fer the regular march and movement of office, there would still be a call, as we said what is visible or created to cast him out of before, for the exercise of dependence upon his dependence on the Creator. He will God. Well do we know, that both he and see that every one element which enters into his hearers would be apt to put their faith

« AnteriorContinuar »