Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

already reconciled to him through the great Mediator. He who waited so long upon you, and at length gained your consent, will., most assuredly keep you, and perfect his own work in your complete salvation. The mercy he is still exercising towards enemies, teacheth his friends what they may lawfully hope to receive. Great are your privileges ; but, at the same time, great and manifold are your obligations. Hath much been forgiven you? then you ought to love the more, and to show the truth and favour of er your love, by an unreserved respect to all his commandments. “ Be followers of God, ". as dear children.” Remember that nothing is more unseemly, nothing more offensive, than the provocations of fons and of daughters. “See, then, that ye walk cir“ cumspectly, not as fools, but as wise;"— and let the fame goodness which led you to repentance, be continually present to your minds, that under its sweet, but powerful influence, you may bring forth in rich abundance, all those fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Amen. .

E 3

SER

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the

Lord; and ourselves your servants, for
Jesus sake.

W HEN God descended upon Sinai to

V give laws to his ancient people Ifrael, the awful tokens of his presence, the thunderings and lightnings, the found of the trumpet, and the smoking of the mountain, struck the whole camp with such consternation and dread, that they were constrained to remove and fand afar off. They could not bear the exceeding lustre of his glory, notwithstanding the thick darkness with which it was veiled; and therefore addressed Moses in these remarkable words :

Speak thou with us, and we will hear; “ but let not God speak with us, left we die.”

From

* Preached at the introduction of the Reverend Mr Charles Stuart to the Church of Cramond, the Sabbath after his ordination, 1773.

From which authentic piece of sacred history, we may juftly conclude, that our nature is too weak, in its present state, to sustain an immediate intercourse with the Deity: For which cause, God, in great condescension, is pleased to speak to us by men like ourselves; that, on the one hand, we may not want the benefit of his instruction ; and, on the other hand, that we may not be overpowered by the too dazzling splendour and majesty of the Teacher.

Under the old dispensation, besides the stated ministers of religion, God,“ at sun“ dry times,” sent extraordinary messengers on special errands to the Jewish church ; furnishing them with such credentials of their mission, as were sufficient to convince that highly-favoured people, that they came from God; and consequently, that in every thing relative to their particular message so attested, they were bound to hearken to them as unto God himself. This we have no warrant to look for under the gofpel : The whole counsel of God, so far as it regards the children of men, is clearly repealed, and committed to writing; Nothing

E 4

[ocr errors]

is

is to be added to it, or taken from it; nay, could it be supposed that an angel were to come from heaven, and publish any thing that differed from, or even that was not already expressed in the Scripture-record, instead of our being obliged to give him a hearing, we are told, that he himself would * be accursed” for so doing. - Nevertheless, that this complete and finished revelation might lack no advantage, and that all excuse might be taken away from those who should either contemn or counteract its dictates, our Lord Jesus Christ, “ God manifested in the flesh,” the great 5c Apostle and High-Priest of our profession,” hath instituted the ordinance of a gospelministry, and committed to men the word of reconciliation, charging them to proclaim, in the ears of their brethren, “ all the “ words of this life,” which are already delivered in writing to the church; with a special promise, that in the faithful difcharge of this important trust, “ he will be “ with them always, even unto the end of " the world.” And 'to add greater weight to their holy ministrations, he hạth expreff

[ocr errors]

ly declared, that the doctrines and precepts of his word, which they publish in his name, are to be receïved with the same meekness and submission as if they were spoken immediately by his own blessed mouth : Luke x. 16. “ He that heareth you, “ 'heareth me; and he that despiseth you,

despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, va despiseth him that sent me.”—I am fenfible, that some proud ambitious churchmen have, “ with great swelling words of “ vanity,” magnified their office beyond what is meet ; laying claim to that kind of precedence which belongs to high rank, or other worldly distinctions, which men have devised for the benefit or embellishment of civil society. But this is only a false blazon, that doth by no means suit the ministerial character. « Be not ye called Rabbi,” said the blessed Jefus ; “ for one is your master, 5 even Christ, and all ye are brethren.”" Whosoever is great among you, let him so be your minister.; even as the Son of “ man came not to be ministered unto, but “c' to minister, and to give his life a ransom 6 for many." Your true dignity consists

« IndietroContinua »