« PoprzedniaDalej »
are among the unfaithful hearers of the word! Tel. suppose it be so, as with wast multitudes it is se; is your present duty, and your first interest? Fra the wings of faith to the Saviour. Exercise presa acts of faith in him. Regard his great, and full, ai free salvation. Cast yourself, guilty and vile as te truly judge yourself to be, on bis ample merits; and i may be in the very exercise of faith you may discere, not caly that ke that believeth shall be saved, but, the you do really believe, and are among the saved. You may receive from that blessed Saviour, the large giftet the Holy Ghost, and so may be filled with love, si joy, and peace, and break through all the tramwels a sin and Satan, and triumph over the world, and live here to the praise and glory of God, and the good man, and finally join the spirits of just men made perfeet above, to inherit with them the full enjoyment i their praises, and their participation of the divine glory through eternity.
Address to different Classes, exhorting them to
attend to this Duty.
THOUGH the danger of neglecting the word be so great, and the blessed result of attending to it so unspeakably important, yet, as we have already intimated, it is an appalling fact, that the great mass of professing Christians in a Christian land do neglect to
fg or hear very irregularly. We would close then
Treatise, by earnestly beseeching all such persons, whatever condition, or ip whatever class of life they. y be, to lay to heart the duty which it is the design this. Treatise to reconniend and enforce. Are you IN EMINENT AND LEADING SITUAONS—Rulers and Governors, Statesmen and Legistors, Barristers and Physicians, whose employment is f such magnitude, and whose avocations are so numerus, and engagements so unremitting, that it appears to ou that there is a reasonable excuse for your absence ? of all other classes, the load of responsibility falls heaviest on you. You stand upon an elevation so commanding, your influence is so extensive, and your personal piety so indispensable, that, without it, all your means and power, instead of a comprehensive benefit, may become a wide-wasting mischief. You are equally dependent with the poorest and the meanest of your fellow-creatures, as to your everlasting salvation, on the use of the means which God has appointed. You are bound by the very knowledge which exalts you above others, to be aware of this. You will be under an aggravated condemnation, if, professing yourselves to be wise, you act the part of the greatest folly, and misuse all the distinguished talents with which you are intrusted. Your situation gives you peculiar advantages for attaining and diffusing heavenly wisdom. How tremendous your responsibility if you use these advantages for increasing and extending that wisdom which is earthly, sensual, and devilish! Do you speak of the impossibility of sparing time? You only shew your earthly mind. It is impossible only because of the superior importance which you 'attach to earthly
things.* The time taken from religion is est the time given to it is not lost. How many in occur of men in high stations so overwhelming selves with work, and so neglectful of hearing the and misemploying the sabbath, and thence so test of the comfort of that word, that in an hour of deyir sion, despondency prevails, and they destroy B! selves! Such instances are beacons to all in station, not to violate God's appointed ordinances, un ever occupied, even if the violation had only an una ous influence on the present life. The Christian feel far higher motives : and such men as Sir Matter Hale, and the late Mr. Hey of Leeds, shew how I? possible, even amid other multifarious and import engagements, to find time for hearing the word. Toe there have been men faithfully discharging the duties! religion in all those precise situations of lawful empor ment wbich worldly men allege as a sufficient elcs for neglect.
Are you IN EXTENSIVE BUSINESS, in the mais of large mercantile transactions, and extending you schemes and plans on every side, either at home abroad? O, without the divine blessing, what you
* Cecil's remerks, in his sermon on Jer. xxiii, 28, 29, oame. preferring their own notions and dreams to simple Evangeli truth, are striking_" It pleases God to appoint the preaca of the Gospel in a neighbourhood ; that is, he opens a spiraz life in a dry and barren place. But one man cannot atten though he lives in the neighbourhood, and why? he leans his imaginations : he has dreamed ! he is a Socinian, apd cam bear the doctrines taught in the Church of England. Another
is a philosopher truly! he has turned his thoughts to the reaso. "and fitness of things, and cannot attend to the plain and simpl preaching of God's word, which calls him to lay dowiall image nations and reasonings, and be taught by his great parent, what is that religion which is acceptable to himself.”
ou derive from worldly prosperity? You may I wealth ; but even now your wills are perpetualiy 3d, and care and anxiety rob you of repose ; diswill soon follow-death is at hand—and what will le end, when your soul shall be required of you ? you ask, What shall I do?: moderate your earthly res; restrain your ambitious projects ; attend to ething higher, and more really profitable--your
itual, your eternal good; make it your main conon to fear God and keep his commandments; here • 2 your first business and true bliss. Do you call
is folly and enthusiasm ? Hearken, men of mere usiness! you are enthusiasts? you are extravagant'; ou are imprudent; your schemes are trifling; your
peculations fanciful and delusive! No, you reply'; jie tire lay our plans wisely and cautiously; we have long 1.xperience ; they are sure to succeed. Be it so. Let schem succeed, still the charge is true : your great busi
ness is overlooked ; your chief interest is neglected ; your main chance is still in hazard : you are wise for a
day, but are you not fools for endless days ? you gain a ir child's rattle ; you lose an angel's inheritance ; you
escape far enough from an earthly bankruptcy; you are e plunging headlong to a bankruptcy which will ruin you
for ever. Do I exceed ? no, the figures fall short, infi
nitely short, of the tremendous reality. - Listen, O listen je to the infallible word of God-Heaven and earth shall pass away ; but that word shall not pass away!
Are you PARENTS ? And will you neglect this word ? will you set your children a pattern of disobedience to the best of Parents, our Heavenly Father? How can you ask them to obey you, when you wilfully
disobey Him! You wish for the good of your children; í you desire to make them happy, and possibly, in order
Our souls ÀRE RIPENING FOR THE GLORY TO COME. Not merely temporal benefits, but a preparátion for eternal, is connected with a due regard to Christ's word. Our Lord asserts, He that heareth my words, and believeth in me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life. This is the road in which the saints that now fill the heavenly mansions once walked on earth. They heard, and listened to, and loved the truth of God. They tasted its sweetness, they experienced its power, they lived under its influence. · St. Peter says, Desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby * unto salvation. 1 Pet. ii, 2. Would you attain the glory above? tread in the steps of saints below, and thus be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Reader! it is true excellence, and the way to true glory, to discern the vanity of all knowledge separate from that which makes wise unto salvation, and to yield and submit ourselves wholly to the guidance of divirre truth. Those saved by the Gospel are freely pardoned, justified, and accepted of God, sanctified by his Holy Spirit, and made meet to be partakers of the heavenly inheritance. They are adopted into the family of their divine Parent, made heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. To be delivered from the wrath of God, the power of Satan, and the misery of hell; to be changed, renewed, and purified by the Holy Ghost; to be translated into the king.
dom of God's dear Son; and even now to have the ... sure hope of everlasting life--these are some foretastes
• The best manuscripts add, eis'swingrav. See Griesbach and