Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

fufficient

grace. This is the victory which overcometh the world, even your faith (8). If there are those

among you

who

practically believe not; let them mark the full enormity of their guilt. Wo unto thee, Cherazin, said our Lord; Wo unto thee Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you

had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackloth and afhes. I say unto you, it fall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of Judgement than for you (b). In this denunciation of our blessed Saviour, read his warning to yourselves. To you the things of eternal life, though you believe them not, have been spoken. To you, though you reject them, they have been unremittingly declared. To you, though you have closed your eyes, they have been displayed in the Scriptures. To you, though you have shut your ears, they have been unceasingly proclaimed by the ministers of the Gospel. To you God has offered the mercy, though you have thrust it away, of being converted and healed.

How many uninstructed Heathens, lying like Tyre and Sidon of old, in darkness and the shadow of death, would long ago have glorified God (8) 1 John, v.4. (1) Matth. xi. 21, 22.

by

D4

by repentance in fackcloth and ashes, if the light of divine truth, which has been poured upon you in vain, had been vouchsafed unto them! How many idolaters would have broken and burned their images ; while you have cherished the idols of your heart! How many favages would have relinquished their cruel and abominable practices; while you have strengthened yourself in your wickedness! How many would have turned unto God, while you have disobeyed his call! How many would have laid down their lives for the faith of Christ; while

you

have crucified the Son of God afresh, and trodden under foot, as an unholy thing, the blood of the covenant wherewith you were fanctified ! How many would have welcomed the regenerating influence of the Holy Ghost; while you have hardened your hearts, and done despite unto the Spirit of grace ! They who have sinned without the Gospel shall be judged without the Gospel ; they shall be judged according to the dispensation under which they were placed. But if with understandings convinced of the truth of Christianity, we remain adverse in heart to its sanctifying power; if with the unclouded blaze of evangelical light before us

w@

we persist in the paths of darkness; there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin; but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. Therefore shall it be more tolerable, if you persist in refusing to believe and obey the things which have been spoken ; therefore shall it be more tolerable at the day of judgement for the idolatrous Heathen than for you,

SERMON III.

On Proneness to disparage Religious

Characters.

Luke, vii. 31. And the Lord faid; Whereunto then shall I

liken the Men of this Generation ? IN

N the education of youth, parental wif

dom and kindness display themselves, not only by the aptness, but by the diversity of the means selected for the accomplishment of the purpose in view. It is not merely that the father places at distinct periods before his child opportunities and subjects of instruction severally fitted to the progresfive growth and expansion of the mind. He studies the character of his offspring, and labours to provide instructors specially fitted for the correction of its defects. If the appointed preceptors have expended, and expended without adequate fruit, the exertion from which, inconsequence of their talents and demeanour, a successful result

might reasonably have been anticipated ; the father looks around for others, if not more able than the former, yet so far differing from them in peculiarity of disposition and deportment as to be better adapted to make, under existing circumstances, an impression on the understanding and the heart. If the sloth and perverseness of the pupil obstinately resist, neither subdued by principle, nor shaken by argument, nor awed by strictness, nor won by conciliation; the ends of his education are defeated : but let him not charge his ruin on his parent.

The Lord of earth and heaven permits men to call Him Father. He deals with them as his children. In the successive dispensations by which he revealed himself to Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to the people of Israel, he adapted his communications to the actual state of the human race. In his fuperintending intercourse with the twelve rebellious tribes, we behold him sending forth messengers distinguished from each other, and recommended to the people, by every leading variety of qualification suited to command or to allure attention. The sublimity of Isaiah, the simplicity of Haggai, the vehemence of Ezekiel, the pathos of Jeremiah, the sententious abrupt

ness

« PoprzedniaDalej »