Billeder på siden

have been told that their everlasting | Spirit to awaken in him a deep feeling chains might be broken, the flames of of the love and gratitude which they unextinguishable fire quenched, the owe to their Lord and Master. Breworm that never dies destroyed, and thren, you yourselves are the objects themselves once more lifted from hell of his love. To you is given what was to heaven, and reinstated in all the joys denied to angels, to throw yourselves and glories of their Father's house at the feet of your great and glorious do not ask how the intelligence would benefactor, of your crucified and risen have been received by them, because Lord, of the Saviour who ever liveth we are altogether unable to conceive to make intercession for you—who, how such intelligence would act upon even now, has not divested himself minds that had once risen in open re- of the nature of man-who is, even bellion against God, trampled on the now, not ashamed to call us brethren, riches of his grace, and polluted the but on the throne of ages, and amidst · brightness of his immediate presence; the innumerable company of angels, but this I may say with confidence, and the splendours and glories of the that they could scarcely receive it eternal God, is still the Lamb that worse than multitudes on earth, that was slain. This is the Saviour we they could scarcely receive it worse present to you, and this is the Saviour than those who profess his name, whom we call on you to adore and to and live lives of violence and dissi- love. pation, or unbelief, or half-belief-of

But, finally, brethren, I may furdedication to the world, when they ther observe, from the doctrine of the profess to be the disciples of a cruci- text, what a powerful lesson it confied Lord—they could scarcely receive veys to us, as to our feelings and conit worse than many who profess the duct with regard to each other. Did name of Jesus, and yet lock up their the Son of God take upon him not the heart against every generous principle, nature of holy and heavenly angels, banish from the soul every noble af- but of miserable fallen guilty men in fection and sympathy, and, professing all our affections ? Was he afflicted ? to live for him who lived for any one Did he submit himself to suffer, that but himself, live only to themselves, he might suffer no longer ? Then, their interest, their honour, their self- brethren, what an irresistible argugratification, their self-indulgence—I ment does his conduct supply for ten. may truly say, that they could scarcely derness, compassion, love, benificence; receive it worse than those who sin, for largeness and liberality of heart and because grace abounds, who dishonour conduct to every breathing creature in the name of Christianity by connect. this wilderness of tears! Look at him, ing with it the principles and prac- brethren, conversing with the guilty tices and tempers of a fallen world, woman of Samaria, wiping the eyes of who repay the Lord of life for his the weeping penitent at his feet-conagony and death by crucifying him templating the poor widow, and comafresh, by driving home again the nails mending her, as she cast in her two of the cross and platting a new crown mites into the treasury-raising the of thorns for his brow.

son of the widow and delivering him Brethren, if there be any person in with inexpressible tenderness to his this congregation that loves not the mother's arms—and then, can you Lord Jesus Christ, I would earnestly believe, that such a Saviour would not pray, that these simple considerations contribute to ameliorate the sufferings, may serve with the power of the Holy and increase the comforts of those of

whom I am the advocate to-day?} that one hundred and fifty cases have
Brethren, there are very many points been relieved during the present year.
in which the sort of charity, of which From the commencement of this insti-
I have to speak, corresponds with the tution many thousands have been vi-
example of Christ and with the pre- sited and relieved in these particular
cepts he has given. I need not tell circumstances, and that much com-
you, for instance, how much of his fort to the body, and, I believe, much
tenderness was directed to the bodies benefit to the soul has been thought,
of men-I need not say how much by those best qualified to judge, to
of his tenderness and compassion he have resulted from those visits of
bestowed on the female sex-I need mercy and love.
not say how much his regard to the I will, therefore, only say, brethren,
wants and wishes of other persons,

love your Saviour-if


feel how much it consisted in visiting the there is any thing of power in the distressed ;—but, perhaps, there is a arguments which have been adduced single point on which I may dwell. from Scripture to-day, that your It is observable, with regard to every

gracious Lord so loved you, as to be act of our Lord, which was directed willing to stoop to your wants and neby the object of advancing the bodily cessities, though he was rich to bemeans or comfort of those around him, come poor, that you, through his pothat their souls were never forgotten; verty, might be rich—if that is the that if, with the one hand, he strived to case, then, brethren, let the supportmitigate suffering, with the other heers of this institution have your aslaboured to promote holiness. And sistance in so pure and benevolent a such, brethren, I believe, is especially design-let those in this congregation, the object of the institution, which I who know the comfort of having their am begging you to assist. I believe I own wants almost anticipated in their may honestly say, that their object is peculiar circumstances, let them hasnot merely that these women should ten to make others, in a less favourable be comforted in an hour in which they state than their own, on whom Promuch want comfort, but, in the lan- vidence has lavished his bounties less guage of the apostle, " that they should largely, partakers of your own comfort be saved in childbearing." Their ob- and your own happiness, for if you exject is, that, perhaps, the only hours pect more of comfort yourselves you of solitude and repose in that life of a must be ready to give it to others. poor woman should be watched over, May this congregation comprehend, should be seen for purposes of religion, among high and low, many happy that she should find a tender and in- mothers and holy children, and may telligent and spiritual friend and in- he, who is the Father of mercies and structor standing at her bed-side the God of all comfort, bind each of smoothing her pillow and binding up you, one to another, with the same the wounds of her heart, that this golden chain by which he has, I trust, should be a season consecrated to re- bound many of you to himself, even ligion and to the salvation of the soul. for ever; and as Christ took upon him,

I need not enter further into the not the nature of angels, but your nacase; I believe the particulars with ture, may you endeavour, brethren, regard to this institution are sufficient to manifest his spirit and to walk in ly known to the great mass of persons, his steps through the several stages of who are attending this place of wor- your earthly pilgrimage !

ó ship. I might, perhaps, remind you,

A Sermon



Colossians, iii. 1, 2.-"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are

abore, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth."

The resurrection of Christ is one of this blessed event, which will be the the greatest events of the Gospel; perfection of the church, the resurperhaps the most glorious circum- rection of our dear Lord is the great stance in it. It is, as it were, the pattern. And besides all this, it is acceptance by the Father of the great the effect of his resurrection, that work of atonement. It is the broad every spiritual blessing descendeth to seal of heaven put upon the one sacri- the church ;—that any souls are confice, by which he did for ever perfect verted, that any heart is quickened, them that are sanctified. It is the that any work is revived, that any open declaration, that the debt has backslider is restored, that we expebeen perfectly cancelled, that the ten rience the renewings of the Holy thousand times ten thousand talents Ghost, without which we should be have all been paid, that he who was of all men the most wretched, is the made sin for his church, though he blessed and immediate effect of our knew no sin, has been pronounced Lord's resurrection. He arose that he righteous, that they might be made the might intercede for blessings on his righteousness of God in him. But, in people; and he intercedeth ever, and another point of view, the resurrection we want him ever, and we have that of Christ is in a covenant sense the which we want. resurrection of the church; for as every member of his body was in the as our text this morning, the arguFather's eye crucified with him, when ment of the Apostle runs somewhat in he hung upon the accursed tree, so this way—If ye then be risen with that they suffered in their head; so Christ.” He did not suppose, that all also, in the resurrection of their head, the Colossians were certainly the elect do they all participate ; and when he of GoD-he did not know certainly rose from the dead, it was, in a glo- that all the church of Colosse were rious sense, the church rising with made partakers of saving grace; that him. I trust that this part of my is more than could be said of the subject may not be lightly thought of twelve, for there was among the twelve by any that hear me; for it is one of one that was not. Let this have its the greatest glories of the Gospel. due effect upon our souls—let no cir.

His resurrection, too, was, as it cumstances of an outward nature blind were, the great example of our resur

our minds to the subject of personal rection. The spirits of the just made religion. It is not outward things, perfect are now, I doubt not, un. however excellent-it is not outward utterably happy; but the perfection of things, however in accordance with the their happiness shall be when their mind and will of God, that will stand bodies are united to them, and of us in stead, or do us good in the trying

as In the passage that I have quoted

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

hour. The question mustever be brought then spoken of the people before the before the visible church of Christ, food, but it is precisely line for line and the Apostle tells us this; "if ye and feature for feature in us at the then be risen with Christ; if ye be present moment, in every one in a among the blessed number, then seek state of nature. Now, in the sixth of those things which are above." In Genesis, you see what a horrible pit, which I cannot but think that the what a dreadful grave is the iniquity Apostle's argument seems to run in of man's nature. And God saw that this way—“Since our Lord has now the wickedness of man was great in the ascended-he did not tarry long earth”-He saw the act of sin—but -he had soon seen enough of earth then he saw, that this stream came from -he is now at the right hand of God a poisoned fountain—"God not only when he finished his work he went saw that the wickedness of man was to his Father; do ye not, then, set great in the earth, but he saw, that your affections upon a poor dying every imagination of the thoughts of world—it did not satisfy him—the his heart was only evil continually ;" moment he finished the work he want- And yet we

are perpetually heared to be away—the moment that he had ing men talk about the goodness done that which the LORD gave him of man's heart. The LORD could to do, he wanted not to sojourn longer; see no goodness. I think it is one and, if it be so, then do ye set your af- of the most wonderful passages in the affections on things above."

Word. Observe, it is not only the May the Holy Ghost graciously lead thoughts, but it is the imagination of us in the midst of all our ignorance, the thoughts—not only the thing in the midst of all our short-sighted- formed in the mind, but the very imaness, may he lead us to some holy and gination, yea, every imagination and profitable views of this most import- that not only of his intellect but of his ant portion of his sacred word, “If heart—and that not only evil but, only ye then be risen with Christ, seek evil, evil continually. How easy it is for those things which are above, where a man to take up the Bible and say, I Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. believe it. But do you believe thoughtSet your affections on things above, less, careless sinner who hearest me, not on things on the earth.” The or thou who art trusting in thy selfFirst point that presents itself is this, righteousness to save thee, dost thou that the believer in Christ is one that believe that every imagination of the has been raised from the dead. Se thoughts of thine heart is only evil, condly, as such, he is exhorted to seek and that continually? Never dost and set his affections on things above, thou believe it. If thou didst believe and not on things on the earth. it, if that was brought within the Thirdly, the great motive that is laid reach of thy conscience, thou wouldst before him is this Christ is at the at this moment stand before God, and right hand of God and sitting there. say,“ God be merciful to me a sinner." THE BELIEVER

But not only is that grave to be

looked at—there is another graveonce in the grave—the grave of his there is the grave of our actual enmity. iniquities. He was dead in the ini. Look at that first of Colossians, “And quity of his nature. I cannot but you that were sometimes alienated, refer you to that affecting descrip- and enemies”-enemies to whom ? tion of our nature, which is the same enemies to God. My dear hearers, now as it ever was, though it was what a thing is it to be an enemy

[ocr errors]




He was


to the best of beings; nay, an ene- ruption has done for us. We are placed my to Him who is the only good, by sin lower than the beasts that perfectly good being. For what said perish! May every thoughtless, careour Lord? “Why callest thou me less sinner who hears me, be made to good? There is none good but one, feel that truth in his conscience this that is God.” As if he had said, All day. We lament that we have so the goodness of my human nature I much in common with lost spirits, derive from God I have but a deri- with devils ; and yet be it known to vative goodness as man—I take that you, that preached as the Gospel is from God-why dost thou call me within these walls (I trust so), the good ? there is but one who is infinitely name of Jesus Christ listed up-reand perfectly good, and that is God. mission by his blood-the God that

My dear hearers, God is so good gave his own Son to die for the unthat there is nothing good out of him; godly—and that God proclaimed-the and all the goodness of his creatures man that goeth away and liveth in his is but a little drop out of himself. We sins is guilty of a sin that the devil meet with kindness—we meet with himself committeth not, and he placeth tenderness—we meet with sympa- himself below the very lost spirits themthy-we meet with affection-we selves. Oh, what an awful truth is meet with compassion; we find the this ! Let it be weighed well and saints of God praying when looked into. Yes, beloved, we are in is brought low—when one is tried- our natural state enemies to God. when one is placed in the furnace- But grace brings the dead soul out when one seems ready to be burnt up of its tomb. Think not of finding ma-we find the saints of God sympa- terials in man's fallen nature. It is thizing with one, bearing one upon the mighty fiat of God—his sovereign, their hearts, yet all their kindness is electing love that does and nothing but a little drop out of the inexhaustible short of it. It is the same mighty

Their little spark does but word that said, “ Let Lazarus come come out of the ocean of fire. It is forth,” that has made you, poor sinbut God's goodness that he has com- ners, come and bend before the cross municated to them-it is but his kind of Christ. It was the same God that ness that he has put into their hearts said, “Let there be light, and there was -it is but the overflowings of their light,” that has brought you to repentcompassion that they feel ; and if they ance, and made you to walk in newness

we weep, and if they of life. Look back on the past of your mourn when we mourn, it is but the existence-look back on the days that compassion of God communicated unto

are gone-see if you can trace aught them by his blessed Spirit.

of cause of God's love in yourselves ! All that is good in the creature is of Away with the tinsel-away with that God; and there is but one that is per- which passes current with God's fectly good, and that is God himself; saints, because they cannot look beand yet the heart of man is enmity to neath the surface—but when you and God. What an awful thought! There I come and turn beneath the surfaceis something deeply humiliating in our when we come in and commune with having so much in common with the God in our chambers and are stillbeasts that perish ; but they are above when we look in upon motives and us--no beast hateth God. See what principles and practices, then, I would sin has done for us—see what ini- ask why was it that you and I have not quity has done for ussee what cor- been permitted to remain still in that


Weep when

« ForrigeFortsæt »