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whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” In truth, this is the only just way of bringing to a conclusion, every question about the value of this world's goods, of whatever sort they be. Were we destined for immortality upon earth, or, mortal as we are, had we no prospect of a judgment after death, I grant you that not only knowledge, but wealth also, and pleasure, and power, and applause, and all the vanities that men pursue, would be highly desirable, and worthy of the wisdom with which they are sought; but bring these things to the test of a death bed examination, still more, weigh them in the scales in which Christ will balance all human acquirements, when at the last day he shall sit upon his throne to judge the world, and you must acknowledge that in themselves, “they are altogether lighter than vanity itself.”

How contemptible, how miserable at the close of this brief existence, is the man who has possessed them in the greatest profusion, if all his happiness consisted in these things which he must leave behind, and he has provided nothing which “he may carry away with him when he dieth.” How much greater, how

. much wiser, how much happier, how much more worthy of admiration, is the poorest, and weakest, and most ignorant mortal, who ends his days in the misery, and darkness, and desolation of a hovel, if he has“ laid up a good foundation against the time to come." He has " waited” it is true, all the days of his earthly pilgrimage, and has experienced little of worldly enjoyments, but now he triumphs, for he is going to receive the “ crown of glory,” the“prize of his high calling;' now he is rich, for he is hastening to enjoy the treasure on which his heart was always fixed, The bags that wax not old, eternal in the heavens;

now he is wise, for he is entering into that state, where he will "see face to face, and kņow even as he is known,” and be united with God, “ whom to know is eternal life;” now he is supremely happy, for he will speedily be feasting on those “ pleasures which are at God's right hand for evermore.”

What then, my brethren, is the conclusion of the whole matter. Is it not this, that wisdom, religious wisdom, is the principal thing? Is it not this, that every thing is nought if unaccompanied with the love and fear of God, and the preparation for eternity? “ Therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding." I said, religious wisdom, but that is too general a term; a Turk or a Heathen might equally recommend that, for they have a religion of their own, which, if they be sincere and serious, they must think of superior importance to any other attainment. Therefore as a christian minister, I limit the expression, and I say, get christian wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding of the gospel. Shall I content myself with merely exhorting you to be religious ; I call upon you therefore, to study the revealed word of truth, to embrace and cultivate the religion which God has taught, to acquire the christian faith, and the christian character. St. Paul does not say, “I desire to know nothing, save my duty to God, and the hope of immortality;" he does not use such vague and indefinite expressions, for he knew that every pious man, of every false religion, might say that as well as himself; but he confines himself to his own particular creed, and says, “I desire to know nothing save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” He does not say, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of the supreme Being and eternal life;” but he adheres expressly to his own faith, and says, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Our blessed Saviour himself guards us against the same error; he does not say, “the knowledge of God is the way of attaining to eternal life,” but “this is eternal life, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.” And again, I I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.I urge this point, my brethren, because we are too apt to substitute for the christianity which we profess, a fanciful religion, which is the mere offspring of our own imaginations, which has not been revealed, or at most is but a small part of that which has been revealed, and from which therefore no salvation is to be hoped for; I mean a religion, whose only doctrines are the goodness and mercy of God, the necessity of a moral life, and the certainty of a future retribution. But this is not the gospel; it omits its most essential features--it omits the humbling doctrine of our corruption-it omits the wonderful love of God in the redemption of mankind by the sacrifice of the cross-it omits the converting and sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit ;-it omits therefore the veryo“ gospel which we have received, and wherein we stand, and by which also we are saved ; (1 Cor. xv. 1, 2.) for leave out these things, and infidels and heathens are in the main of the very same religion as ourselves,

whereas a true christian's creed is most opposite to any other that has ever been held. Others hope for eternal life through their own deservings, and labour to obey God in dependence on their own strength ;-he considers himself a lost sinner, but for the merits of Christ, and even whilst só justified, still incapable of salvation, unless illuminated and made holy, and strengthened by the spirit of God. So that he builds his hope upon an altogether different foundation, he acts upon wholly dissimilar motives, he trusts in an assistance entirely unknown to men of any other creed. In regard to the morality also of his religious life, he requires much more of himself. He goes deeper far than they do; he penetrates to the very source of vice; he is not satisfied with externals ; nothing will content him short of the renewal of his heart and affections. And finally, he is most unlike all others in this grand characteristic also, that whatsoever his religious attainments may be, however

be in mind, and however holy in conduct, he is still humble in his own sight; he takes no praise to himself, thinking himself still but a worthless, though pardoned sinner, and ascribing all the glory of his piety and virtue, however exemplary they may be, to God, who“ worketh in him both to will and to do of bis good pleasure.”


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