« PoprzedniaDalej »
above all to strive to recover to thee those who are fast bound in heavy chains of vice, or guilty of base falsehood and dishonesty :
That we may be thy children, O thou Father of compassions, who, desirous of the happiness of all thy creatures, art not willing that any of them should perish, but that all may be saved ; and may approve ourselves the disciples of Jesus, who came to seek and to save lost mankind, and who spent his life in doing good to men's bodies, that he might better prevail to heal the worst disorders of their souls.
We thank thee, O God, for the hope that thou hast held forth to us, that in the next stage of our being, all dangerous trials and sufferings will for ever be removed from those who have improved their talents here, and faithfully and sincerely endeavoured to recommend themselves unto thee: and that evil and misery shall no longer subsist in thy works, O thou God of all goodness, till thy creatures shall be purified by them, and fixed before thee in confirmed habits and unchangeable dispositions of virtue and goodness. Help us duly to profit, in this short season of
our pilgrimage and trial, by these lights and assistances which thou hast afforded us by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Unto thee, who art the living and true God, be praise, thanksgiving, and increasing obedience by us, and by all thy intelligent creation for ever and ever!
And now, may the Lord bless us, &c.
January 11, 1778.
MARK vi. 12.
And they went out and preuched that men should
The preceding passage of the evangelist gives an account of our Saviour's sending forth his twelve disciples in his lifetime;' and by his authority from God investing them with extraordinary divine powers, to give credit to their doctrine as coming from God, and to make men to attend to it.
And he here concludes with informing us what their great errand was, and the doctrine they were to preach; "that men should repent." It was indeed the chief subject of the preaching of John the Baptist the forerunner of our Lord, and of Christ himself. And also afrer his resurrection we find him declaring (Luke xxiv. 47.) that the great end of his mission, of his death and resurrection, was to give VOL. I,
authority to this doctrine ; “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” It is assuredly a subject of vast importance to all of us, both as men and as Christians.
I propose, therefore, to review the general doctrine of repentance; on what it is founded; 3 the mistakes men have fallen into ;4and also
what the Gospel teaches concerning it closing the whole with an application of it to ourselves.
It has been obvious to every serious mind, in all ages, that the will of the gracious Power that gave us our being, must be the rule and guide of the actions of his creatures, so far as they can discover' it. This is a natural obligation and deference which we owe to, and cannot but think it a duty and our happiness to pay to, that wisdom and goodness of our Maker to which we are so much and so continually indebted, and by whose
power we are every moment sustained. And as in our feeble inquiries after him, who is at such an infinite distance from us, we cannot conceive or descry that he, who is