Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

the privileges of the gofpel while they refufed fubjection to its laws, fhould reprefent Chrift as the minifter of fin.

2dly, We are further obliged to live unto the Lord, as we regard the honour of our Mafter, and the credit of that faving religion which he taught. For hereby we most effectually ftop the mouths of gainfayers, and cut off occafion from those that defire occafion to blafpheme that worthy name by which we are called; prefenting to their view a convincing proof, that Christianity is an effectual means of falvation, and that Chrift is truly and properly a Saviour. The death of Chrift appears to have a mighty efficacy indeed, when it maketh thofe that believe on him to die unto fin. And it is impoffible to doubt, that he is alive, and hath all power committed to him in heaven and in earth, when he visibly lives in his members by his all-conquering grace, and caufeth them to live unto him: Whereas a contrary behaviour doth the greatest poffible injury to the cause of truth, furnishing the world with a handle to fay, that Christianity is nothing

nothing more than an airy fpeculation, and that the religion of Jefus is of no effect towards reforming the hearts and lives of its profeffors.

3dly, I fhall only add, that we are bound to live in the manner I described by the ftrictest ties of justice and equity. "Ye

cc'

66

c

are not your own," faith our Apostle, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. "for ye are bought with a price." From whence he draws this practical inference, "Therefore glorify God "in your body, and in your fpirit, which are God's." As creatures who derived their being from God, we are bound to love him with all our heart, and to ferve him to the utmost extent of the powers he hath given us. But his redeeming grace brings us under a new and still more endearing obligation to his fervice. When we had destroyed ourselves, and lay exposed to all the dreadful effects of his righteous displeasure, having no eye to pity, a d no hand that could help us, then did he pity us, and his own arm brought falvation. He iffued forth the gracious command, "Deliver "them from going down to the pit, for I

❝ have

1

have found a ranfom." And in the fulnefs of time our Lord Jefus Chrift, "the "Lamb flain" in decree "from the foun"dation of the world," appeared in our nature; and with the infinite price of his own precious blood redeemed us from the hand of juftice, and purchased for us complete and everlasting falvation. And now, with what face can we decline his fervice, or refuse subjection to any of his laws? It is purely by his merit that we live at all: and fhall we reckon it grievous to walk by his direction? Surely nothing can appear more just and equitable, than that he who bought us fhould poffets us, and that the ranfomed fhould be entirely devoted to their Redeemer.

LET thefe confiderations prevail with us to live unto him, who " died, and rofe, and "revived, that he might be Lord both of "the dead and living." And while we look up to him for that divine aid, which he hath not only encouraged us to ask, but commanded us to expect, let us go forward in his strength, making mention of his righteousness,

teousness, even of his only; that when we die, we may fall asleep in that Jefus, unto whom we now live, and commit our bodies to the duft, in the affured hope of a glorious refurrection; when that promife shall be fulfilled in its largest extent, "If cc any man ferve me, let him follow me; "and where I am, there fhall also my fervant "be. If any man ferve me, him will my "Father honour." Amen.

[ocr errors][merged small]

375

SERMON XV.

I PETER V. 7.

Cafting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.

E

XHORTATIONS of this kind, which frequently occur in the facred Scriptures, represent our holy religion in the moft amiable light. It appears, in all refpects, fuited to our prefent neceffities, and friendly to our higheft, our most important interests. How deplorable would be the ftate of men upon earth, were they left to ftruggle in their own ftrength with the trials and fufferings to which they are continually expofed? In profperity, when the mind is vigorous and undisturbed, Reafon may. discover a variety of arguments for bearing affliction with patience and fortitude; and may even fuggeft fome topics of confolation, which in the diftant view of adverfity, feem

to

« ForrigeFortsæt »