« PoprzedniaDalej »
ment of deferred resolutions, both as it respects the disposition of the mind, and the opportunity afforded, -in the overwhelming force of present obligations, and, in the fearful consequences of an ultimate failure of being actuated by them, in all these things motives of infinite extent, and of infinitely combined influence, are found urging, almost compelling repentance ; showing, at least, beyond the possibility of objection, why it 'should not be for one single moment delayed. But yet, in the hardness of his heart, and sustained only by the long-suffering mercy and compassion of God, the sinner regards it as a matter to be dispensed with at pleasure, and says, in effect, to the great Being who is thus urging his demands upon him, only in the exhibition of his grace, “Go thy way for this time, when I have a more convenient season I will call for thee.”
In youth, when the appeal is defended by all the tenderness of parental regard, when the plea of affection is uttered in those terms of strongest endearment, “My son, give me thy heart;" the answer is, “ Go thy way; I will rejoice in my youth, and my heart shall cheer me in the days of my youth ;" in future days, when the world shall have lost its relish, and I can see no longer any pleasure in it, then “I will call for thee.” Alas! lest those days should not come! In most instances they do not. But, when they do, what is their character, and how are they improved ?
Manhood brings. along with it the solicitudes of life. The whirl of business and of pleasure precludes the possibility of reflection. The whole soul is absorbed in schemes of mere temporal ambition. The world, with its vainest dependances is worshipped, and God in all his glory is despised. A philosopher without study, the man becomes a fool; to defend his folly, he ridicules religion, he scoffs at religious men; wise in his own conceit, the preaching of the cross is become foolishness to him ; and, to fill up in his own character the fatal picture of St. Paul, he too often “by wisdom, knows not God.”. « God is not in all his thoughts.
By degrees, the shadow of life advances - the frost upon bis head is thickened the sands in his glass run low - and
how do they leave him ?-a Christian ?-- a child of God? better prepared than he once was to admit his claims ? — more alive to a sense of his obligations ? - more fully assimilated to the glorious likeness of his almighty Father? - more deeply sensible of the solemn issues of his approaching trial ? - and fitted as by his privileges and opportunities might be expected of him-fitted for the change which is awaiting him! No, my hearers, no. They too often leave him an infidel, with the full measure of ingratitude to proclaim his enormous guilt — with the utmost weight of transgression, to sink him, without mercy, into the depths of hell. “O my soul ! come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united !”
And where, my hearers, in conclusion, let me ask you, where, in the midst of this perversity of human nature, for the picture assuredly is a true one, is wisdom to be found? where, but in the humble obedience of him, who afixes to life its proper value, regarding the world only as a probationary scene, and turning to full account, in their bearing upon eternal destiny, the pleasures and the pains, the mercies and the judgments which are incident to its most uncertain and changeful conditions ? The multitude say, by their conduct at least, if they do not declare it in their words, “To-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant;" with the rich fool, they pull down their barns and build greater, and there bestow all their fruits and their goods, and then say to their souls, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” They admit not the unwelcome thought, that the time is, when they must be taken from them; and, secure in their possessions, they reply therefore to the voice of admonition, “Go thy way for this time, when I have a more convenient season I will call for thee.” Affection may be heard earnestly entreating them not to make man their confidence, but they heed it not. The word of God brings home to them the remonstrance, "To-day, after so long a time to day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts;" but they are not aroused by it; and then also, the providence of God, in the disappointment of their hopes, and the overthrow of their fondest expectations, most urgently calls them to consider ; but, too often alas !-- they are still left to the execution of the fearful sentence, “Because I bave called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded, -I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh.” We may, indeed, seem to “break his bands asunder, and cast away his cords from us," but God holdeth us, my hearers, by a tie we know not, and there is no escaping his judgment. Impenitent, his wrath will overtake us ; unpardoned, bis fear will ultimately take hold upon us ; and better, far better will it be to exercise that fear of him now, which " is the beginning of wisdom," than tremble before him then, when “there shall be no room for repentance, though we should seek it carefully with tears."
VOWS AND PETITIONS.
THEE will I love, my Strength and Tower,
In darkness willingly I stray'd;
I thank Thee, uncreated Sun,
I thank Thee, who hast overthrown
Give to my eyes refreshing tears,
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL PULPIT.
SERMON BY THE REV. JOHN FREDERICK SCHROEDER, M. A.
THE MOTIVE AND POWER OF THE GOSPEL IN THE
WORK OF MISSIONS:
A Sermon, In behalf of the New York Protestant Episcopal City.Mission, preached to the friends of the institution, in the Mission Church of the Holy Evangelists, March 31, 1833,
BY THE REV. J. F. SCHROEDER,
AN ASSISTANT MINISTER OF TRINITY CHURCH, IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK. :
2 Cor. 1. 14.-" The love of Christ constraineth us."
6 THE LOVE
The motive and power of the Gospel, are the particulars included in these words. They present an interesting subject, not unsuitable to the occasion which has brought us bither. It is our professed object, my mission friends, to advance God's kingdom upon earth, and his eternal glory in the highest. We feel, that he alone is able to implant the motive, and display the power, by means of which this work may be achieved. O touch, then, our hearts, Eternal Spirit, with thy quickening influence ! O enliven our energies ! And in all that is connected with our mission, may our inspired motto ever be, OF CHRIST CONSTRAINETH us !"
I. In the discoveries which are made, throughout the inspired volume of God's revelation, there is no doctrine to be compared with that which tells us of Christ's boundless love. The radiant heaven of divine truth exhibits indeed many stars, but only this one sun of righteousness.
The plan of our salvation through the love of Jesus, is an affecting picture, that appeals to the tenderest sympathies of our hearts.
For our sake, the only-begotten of the Father leaves his throne on bigh. For our sake, he becomes incarnate, and is