« IndietroContinua »
ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and « I will give you rest.” The commission he received, was to bind up the broken-hearted to bring forth the prisoners out of the prifon-house, and to comfort those that mourn. Are you wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked? Such precisely was the state of the Laodiceans, with this only difference, from whence no discouraging inference can be drawn, that they knew it not, whereas you do: yet even to them were these gracious words addressed by our Lord himself, Rev. iii. 18. “ I counsel thee to buy of me gold “ tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; " and white raiment, that thou mayest be “ clothed ; and to anoint thine, eyes with “ eye-salve, that thou mayest fee.” Nay, (which methinks should put an end to all further questioning upon this head), the epistle directed to them concludes with that unlimited offer of gospel-grace, which might justly be introduced with a note of admiration, “ BEHOLD, I stand at the door and “ knock; if any man will hear my voice, 6 and open the door, I will come in to him, & and sup with him, and he with me."
Beware then of setting bounds where God hath fet none.
you feel your need of Chrift as the only Saviour ; if your eyes have been so far opened, as to see that he is worthy to be depended upon, and “ mighty “ to save,” let no objections drawn from your own unworthiness, which, under the covert and semblance of humility, hides the daring presumption of giving God the lie, keep you back from this great High Priest, or prevent your application of his atoning blood, for sprinkling your hearts from an evil conscience, and introducing you into the bou lies with filial boldness, by that new and living way which he hath confecrated for you, through the vail of bis flesh.
What the Apostle fubjoins, having our bodies washed with pure water, may allude to thofe purifications enjoined by the law, which served to remind the Jews of the unfpotted holiness of the God of Israel, and of that reverence which ought to poffefs their minds in all their approaches to his gracious presence; though I cannot help thinking, that these words were intended
by the Apoftle to introduce a new exhortation; and ought therefore to be transferred to the following verfe : in which case, without any straining, they obviously apply to the ordinance, of baptism, and are urged, with great propriety, to enforce a stedfast unwavering adherence to that faith which the converted Hebrews had professed with fuch folemnity, when, at their admission into the church of Christ, their bodies were washed with pure water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
But I shall not detain you any longer from the proper business of the day. Only let me call upon you, before I conclude, to look up to this great High Priest over the house of God, for that Holy Spirit, without whom neither sermons nor facraments have any virtue or efficacy. It is he alone that can bestow upon us the qualifications here required. Let each of us then plead the promise of the Father, begging, that the Spirit of all grace may be given, to take of the u things of Christ's, and to thew them unto 6 us ;" that from just views of our HighPriest, and of the new and living way he
hath consecrated to us by his blood, we may be enabled to draw near to God with true bearts, in the full assurance of faith; and receive fuch tokens of his love while we sit at his table, as shall be an earnest and pledge to us, of that still more near and joyful approach to him in the heavenly sanctuary; where we shall no more fee him in the glass of ordinances, but face to face ; where we shall be thoroughly changed into his image, and enjoy him fully, without interruption, and without end. Amen.
For if, when we were enemies, we were rea
conciled to God by the death of bis Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his
HE grounds of a Christian's faith and
hope, are not only sufficient to satisfy his own mind, but capable likewise of being described and vindicated, in such a manner às cannot fail to give full satisfaction to every sober unprejudiced inquirer.
Genuine Christianity is far from declining any means of trial, whereby truth is distinguished from delusion or impoiture : on the contrary, it courts the light ; and the more severely it is cried, the brighter it Ihines : The words of the Lord are pure " words, like Gilver tried in a furnace of s carth, and purified feven times." The VOL. II.