صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

eyes were opened I know not; nor who enabled me to see I know not; but one thing I know, that whereas I was formerly blind now I actually see. So says the Saviour speaking upon this subject-The wind bloweth where it listeth, and ye hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the spirit.

I shall now endeavour to make some improvement of the portion of Scripture we have been considering. You have heard, my brethren, the nature of regeneration or the doctrine of the new birth stated; and have you heard it with indifference and unconcern? Have you heard as persons not at all interested in the fundamental article of our faith, as those who have no need of undergoing this change? If you had never offended you might, or if you could atone for your past conduct, or render yourselves pure and holy at any time, there might be some excuse for inattention to a matter of such moment; but as this is not the case, as we are under the power and controuling influence of sin, enfeebled by the fall, so that we have no ability to do any thing that is good without the grace of God disposing our minds thereto, giving us, as our Church speaks, a good will, and working with us when we have got that good will. How unbecoming it is in any of us to betray the slightest indifference, how incon

sistent to manifest the least unconcern when our endless happiness depends upon our being converted to the faith of Christ. Now let each one here ask himself, am I a converted character? Do I deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world? Are my prayers daily ascending to heaven for a memorial before God, as it was said of Cornelius in the Gospel? Are my sins a sourse of lamentation to me? Am I anxiously desirous of becoming more holy? If this is your experience, my brethren, you have passed from death unto life; you are Christians indeed and in truth, and not in name only: but I fear there are but few in this assembly that know and understand these things by heartfelt experience: Are not many of you satisfied with an earthly portion, with the comforts and conveniencies of this life, with the approbation of those around you, with the esteem of fellow mortals? Do not some here imbibe prejudices against this supernatural change, and entertain unscriptural ideas upon the subject; others perhaps think it will be wrought upon them in a miraculous way at the hour of death, and so defer the consideration of these things to what they term the more convenient season; but let me ask whether you act thus with respect to the affairs of this life? Do you put off till to-morrow what may be done to-day; do you postpone matters of importance

G

which may affect your health, your property, your credit, or which may in any way tend to lessen you in the eyes of your fellow-creatures? If you are careful to avoid such absurd conduct with regard to this frail life, which is so soon to terminate, if you are anxious to shun such inconsistencies as may inconvenience your present comfort, how ought you to guard against procrastination when your souls are at stake; when your time is not at you own disposal; when your breath is in your nostrils and may be stopped in the twinkling of an eye; when,with Isaac of old, you are obliged to say-I know not the day of my death? How awful, my brethren, is the idea that, perhaps, I am addressing many of you in ruin, that I am warning you to no purpose, how dreadful the thought that, perhaps, the majority of my hearers only hear with the outward ear while the heart continues unaffed, or, if good resolutions are formed and impressions made, for want of prayer and serious thought, they die away and evaporate like smoke; but if the Gospel is preached and the truth declared, you must answer for the neglect of this Gospel and the resistance made to the truth.-Now to God, &c.

SERMON V.

PSALM 14, PART OF VERSE 1.

The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.

WE live in an age, my brethren, when infide lity abounds, when blasphemous publications are disseminated in this enlightened country, to corrupt the minds of youth, to seduce the thoughtless and unexperienced, and to shake the principles of those who are yet wavering and unsettled respecting the truths of the Bible; and yet we live in an age when religion is flourishing, when the Gospel is spreading, and true piety is gaining ground. Great are the exertions now making for sending the Gospel into the uttermost corners of the earth, vast are the means now employed for evangelizing the world; O that each each of us, this morning, may praise the Lord for his goodness and for the wonders he is doing for the children of men. In discoursing from the words I have selected for our present consideration, I shall shew what

is meant by a fool in the scriptural sense of the word, state some of the evidences we have of the being of a God, and then make some improvement.

First, then, let us bring forward some of the evidences to substantiate the existence of a Diety! but where shall I begin? Does not universal nature proclaim this truth; does not every thing we see and hear confirm this statement? Come and behold his works, view the starry heavens, consider the planetary system, why do they appear so small? Because of their immense distance from our globe, each of them being much larger than the whole world we inhabit; look at the glorious sun remitting light and heat to our earth, cheering us with his beams, erradiating the face of nature, ripening the fruits of the field and promoting vegetable growth; how sweet is the light, how pleasant to see the sun, especially after a long and dark night, how refreshing to the spirits! This luminary, as the Psalmist speaks-rejoiceth as a giant to run his course; the moon,the nearest planet to our own, how servicable to us by night; how useful to those who go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in the mighty waters? These men, indeed, see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the great deep; Who formed all these, they could not make themselves, are they to be ascribed to chance?

« السابقةمتابعة »