« السابقةمتابعة »
"law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not "a forgetful hearer, but a DOER of the WORK, this 66 man shall be BLESSED in his DEED..
Need I inform you, that these means when unimproved will be found injurious; that the word of God is one of those things, which if unprofitable, become pernicious; that if it does not nourish as food, it will destroy like poison; if it does not soften, it will harden; if it does not justify, it will condemn.
For remember the awful account which you will be required to give of all your hearing, when called to appear before the bar of God. Then those sermons which you now fo eafily forget, will be perfectly revived in your recollection. The bible, from which you have been so often addreffed, will be called forth, and you will be judged out of this book. In this judg ment will rife up against you to condemn you, the queen of the south, "for she came from the uttermoft 66 parts to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a
greater than Solomon is here." In this judgment will rife up against you to condemn you, "the men "of Nineveh, for they repented at the preaching of
Jonah, and behold a greater than Jonah is here." In this judgment will rise up against you to condemn you, all your fellow-worshippers, who having the fame nature and passions with yourselves, and never having heard truths more powerful than those which you have heard, "turned at his reproof;" "sought the "Lord while he was to be found, and called upon "him while he was near." In this judgment will rise up against you to condemn you, those minifters who would gladly have saved not only themselves,
but you who heard them-While "the Saviour shall "be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know "not God, and that OBEY not the gospel of our Lord "Jesus Christ." . And can you say his language will be unreasonable? "Because I have called, and ye re"fused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man "regarded, but ye have set at nought all my counsel, "and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh "at your calamity, I will mock when your fear com"eth; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your "destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress "and anguish cometh upon you!" If you have never heard to purpose before, begin to-day; "to-day, if cc ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." If you are not lost to all sense of your own welfare; if you are not resolved to sacrifice eternal life; if you have not "made a covenant with death," and with hell are not at an "agreement," "see that ye refuse not him "that speaketh." It is the voice of friendship, it is the voice of conscience; it is the voice of reason, it is the voice of Scripture, it is "the voice of the archangel "and the trump of God"-"IF ANY MAN HAVE "EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR."
THE SUFFERINGS OF OUR SAVIOUR NE
FOR IT BECAME HIM, FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS, AND BY WHOM ARE
ALL THINGS, IN BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, TO MAKE THE CAPTAIN OF THEIR SALVATION PERFECT through sufferings.
HEB. ii. 10.
FOR my thoughts are not your "thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the "Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, "so are my ways higher than your ways, and my "thoughts than your thoughts." These words, my brethren, contain a reflection always seasonable, always useful, always necessary, when we would "re"gard the work of the Lord, or consider the opera. "tion of his hand." It may be exemplified in num berless instances, but in none so easily and so fully, as in the redemption of the world by means of a Mediator, "obedient unto death, even the death of the "cross." The sun never beheld such a scene. History records no such a transaction. The scheme would never have entered the mind of any finite intelligence"It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eye." "The thing proceeded forth from the Lord of Hosts,
"who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." "It is the wisdom of God in a mystery;" and the more we are enlightened from above to examine its sublime contents, the more of their perfection fhall we discover, the more worthy of God will they appear. "For it became Him, for whom are "all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many fons unto glory, to make the Captain of their "falvation perfect through sufferings."
I. Behold the CHARACTER OF THE SUPREME "FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS, AND BY WHOM ARE ALL THINGS;" the original Cause, the final End of the whole universe of beings, material or fpiritual; "in heaven, or on earth; visible, or invifi"ble; whether they be thrones or dominions, princi
palities or powers; all things were created By Him, "and FOR him." Nothing is more common for fpeakers and writers, when they wifh to mention esteemed perfonages, than to describe, rather than to name them. By feizing in our representation fomething which has endeared or distinguished them; by availing ourselves of fome qualities or actions, which have given them peculiar and fuperior claims, we can beftow deserved honour, and aid the impreffion we defire to make on the minds of thofe we addrefs. The admirers of poetry understand me, when I fay "the author of the "Task." My countrymen feel, when I utter," the he"ro of the Nile." The ingenuous youth yields, when I befeech him by the tears of her "who bare him," We cannot describe God by what he is in himself, but by what he is in his relations, and in his works; by
what he does as our Creator and Governor; as one who owns us, and may dispose of us as he pleases; on whom we entirely depend, and to whom we are universally accountable.
But who can tell how far this "all things" extends? Who can imagine the dimensions of his empire, the diversity of his subjects, the infinite number of his productions, each of which is an expression of his wisdom, power, and goodness, and a source of revenue from which his glory is derived?
And why this magnificence of description? To fill the mind with reverence, to raise our expectation, tọ remind us of the End and Author of our salvation, to shew us the principle from which he acts; that it is not necessity, but kindness; that he cannot stand in need of us, or our services, being "exalted above all "blessing and praise," it is by a display of his majesty, to draw forth our admiration of his mercy. "The "Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above "the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, "who dwelleth on high? who humbleth himself to be-> "hold the things that are in heaven and in the earth? "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the "needy out of the dunghill, that he my fet him with princes, even with the princes of his people." Contemplate then a Being, whofe goodness equals his grandeur. Behold him seeking his glory in our welfare. See him, regardless of all our unworthiness, and before we had expressed any desire, devifing means to rescue us from our ignorance, vice, infamy, and misery; and forming a scheme of pure compassion, designed to raise us to a state of happiness, superior to