« PreviousContinue »
your Maker in his church, and commemorating the death and sufferings of your blessed Saviour, at his holy table. Remember, an awful responsibility rests upon you, for the souls of your children and domestics ; let them not then be able, justly to charge you with having set them a bad example,—with having employed them unnecessarily in temporal affairs on the Lord's Day,—with having prevented their worshipping God their Creator, their Sanctifier, their Redeemer. Nor is this enough : you are required to go farther : you must press upon them the importance of this duty; and according to your ability, carefully instruct them in it; and if they still neglect it, remonstrate with, and reprove them : in a word, you must labour to impress them with a conviction that there can be no hope of the blessing of the Almighty, without the conscientious observance of the Sabbath. You must also be ready to make sacrifices for this purpose,—to renounce a part of your gains, should it be necessary, rather than violate your conscience, and transgress the commandment of God, by breaking the Sabbath. This is a test whether you prefer spiritual blessings to temporal advantages ; --whether
souls more than your bodies, and would please God rather than man. But, while I would urge these duties in a more especial manner, upon you, who, as heads of families, are required to train up your chil
your households, under such discipline and instruction, as may most effectually lead them both to the knowledge and the practice of the religion of Christ ; let me beseech you, brethren, one and all, to take heed that the sense of your responsibility be ever joined to a deep consciousness of your own weakness, -your utter inability without God's assisting and preventing grace, either to advance yourselves, or to lead others a single step in the way of holiness. And O!
may this humbling conviction, while it produces a salutary distrust of yourselves, and an utter renunciation of all vain and presumptuous self-dependence, serve to increase your trust and confidence in God; and excite you to seek the more diligently, by constant and earnest prayer, the aid of that “Spirit” which, you may be assured, will be given to you abundantly, the might of that “strength” which will be manifested and “made perfect in
your weakness." Thus,“ strong in the Lord,” and thus united to Christ by the in-dwelling of his Spirit you shall “go on from strength to strength,” in the well founded hope that his blessing may rest upon you, and that “the work of the Lord may prosper
in In the true spirit of Christian humility then, let us all, in every relation of life, reverence and observe the sacred injunction of the text : and let us devoutly and earnestly pray, that by the
sanctifying influence of God's Holy Spirit, “ of whose only gift it cometh, that His faithful people do unto him true and laudable service,”—we may all have a heart to know, and to love, and faithfully to serve the Lord our God :—that we may honour his Holy Name, and “hallow his Sabbaths” upon
earth; and at length, in his own good time, be prepared for the enjoyment of a glorious, an eternal Sabbath, in his blessed kingdom of Heaven, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Saviour! Amen.
A RIGHTEOUS CONDUCT THE MOST CONVINCING
TEST OF GENUINE FAITH.
1 Timothy 111. 9.-“ Holding the mystery of the faith in
a pure conscience.”
THERE is no doctrine more clearly stated, or more strongly enforced in Scripture, than that faith is indispensable to salvation. “ Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” is the grand precept of the Gospel, and is bound upon us by the strongest obligations : the most extensive advantages are annexed to it, and its necessity is universal and perpetual. We are expressly told, that “without faith it is impossible to please God;"—that “by grace we are saved through faith ;"—that “he who believeth not is condemned ;"—and that “all unbelievers shall have their portion in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.” “Ye believe in God," said our blessed Lord, “believe also in me :" and he assigns as a reason, “I am the way, the truth, and the life : no man cometh to the Father but by me.” “This, saith St. John, “is his commandment, that ye should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.” And again, “ This is the will of God, that ye believe on Him whom he hath sent.” Wherefore, by “the mystery of the faith,” mentioned in the text, we must understand,—that great and leading doctrine of the Gospel—the redemption of fallen man by Jesus Christ, the Emmanuel, or “ God manifest in the flesh,” who, “by his one oblation of himself, once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.” And faith in Christ as the Redeemer of mankind, which every Christian professes, is the influential principle, which leads the contrite sinner to fly unto Him for pardon, for grace, for holiness, and for eternal life. It is represented by the significant action of looking up to Him on the cross, as the wounded Israelites looked on the brazen serpent in the wilderness, with an eye of penitence and humble hope. It is a firm persuasion that “there is none other name under Heaven given to man by whom, and through whom, he can obtain spiritual health and salvation, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.' The humble Christian knows, that by the works of the ceremonial law no man shall be justified. He therefore relies not on any thing which he can himself do for