Page images

ations of your life evince by your conduc this characteristic temper of a Chriftian. Are you in profperity? Walk humbly with your God. Confefs, that it is he, who of his own loving kindness giveth you all things richly to enjoy. Confefs, with the Patriarch Jacob, O Lord, I am not worthy of the leaft of thefe thy mercies (e). Let the Giver be glorified in his gifts. Now ye are full, now ye are rich. Be it fo. Who maketh thee to differ from another? And what haft thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it; why doft thou glory as if thou hadst not received it (f)? The more distinguished is your profperity, the more earnest be your folicitude to become meek, humble, and fober-minded. Remember that he who lifteth up, can caft down; that he who beftoweth can take away. Remember that thou haft here no continuing city. Look at that withering flower; and behold how perishable are all the glories which derive their nutriment from earth. Has adverfity overtaken you? Have trials and afflictions, and fickneffes clouded your days? Walk humbly with your God. Humble yourself under his chaftifing hand. It is the Lord, let him do what feemeth him good (g). Reflect on his unbounded wifdom, his in(e) Gen. xxxii 10. (f) Cor. iv. 7, 8. (g) 1 Sam iii. 18. X 4 exhauf

[ocr errors]

exhauftible loving-kindness. What! fhall we receive good at the band of God; and shall we not receive evil (b)? Knoweth he not what is fitteft for you? Loveth he not the work of His own hand, the foul for which he gave His Son unto death? Verily be chaftifeth us for our profit, that we may be partakers of His bolinefs. And although no chaftening for the prefent feemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteoufnefs unto them which are exercifed thereby (i), and walk humbly with their God? Finally, obferve His laws with reverence; and humbly render equal obedience to them all. Prefume not to think that you may venture to neglect any commandment, which God has pronounced. Doft thou refufe fubmiffion to any one of His injunctions, and fayeft thou that thou walkeft humbly with Him? Be diligent in frequenting the public worship of your Lord; and receive His word with humility. Slight not any opportunity of attending the holy communion, in humble and thankful remembrance of your crucified Master. In every thing by prayer and fupplication, public and private, let your requests be made known unto God (j). And humbly offer up to Him all your petitions.

(b) Job, ii. 10. () Hebr. xii. 10, 11.

(j) Phil. iv. 6.

[ocr errors]

in the name of the appointed Mediator and Interceffor, Jefus Christ.

III. It appears then that to the Jew and to the Chriftian the fum and fubftance of religion has ever been the fame. To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God in grateful dependence and univerfal obedi ence; this it has been, this it is, to be a fervant of the Moft High. The duties of juftice and of mercy, duties placed within the fphere of human reason, were developed in the Scriptures of the Old Teftament to the Jew. Before the Chriftian they stand arrayed in brighter radiance borrowed from the precepts and the example of his Lord. To the Jew the general obligation of walking humbly with his God was unfolded. The Chrif tian, furveying it in clearer luftre, refers the acceffion of light to his Saviour. But as to the greatest of the events in the divine economy to which that general obligation pointed, the Jew was comparatively in darkness. He little understood the method, by which expiation was to be made for guilt. He looked for juftification to his burnt offerings and facrifices; to the blood of bulls and of goats, which could never take away fin (k). Through (k) Hebr. x. 4.

[ocr errors]


the veil of types and emblems he difcerned not the true atonement. He had heard of one who fhould fave Ifrael. But he looked to deliverance from worldly foes, to preeminence over proftrate kingdoms. He had heard of One who fhould redeem Ifrael from all his iniquities (). But he looked only to the fuller establishment of the Mofaic law. He was affured that the Redeemer fhould be ftricken for the tranfgreffion of his people; that he fhould pour out his foul unto death; that he should make his foul an offering for fin: that he fhould bear the fins of many, and make interceffion for the tranfgreffors (m). But pride ftupified his heart. Vain of his exclufive privileges, he deemed them all-sufficient. Averfe to the righteousness of God, he flood upon the deeds of the law. Dazzled by phantoms of temporal grandeur, he fhut his eyes against the image of a fuffering Meffiah. To the Chriftian thefe myfteries are revealed; thefe fhadows are become realities. He knows that by the deeds, whether of the ceremonial or of the moral law, fhall no flesh be juftified in the fight of God. He renounces all claim to merit even in the leaft imperfect

of his works; and pleads for pardon and juftification folely through the propitiatory

(1) Pfalm cxxx. 8.

(m) Isaiah, liii..


[blocks in formation]

facrifice of the Son of God. In Chrift Jefus, contemplated by the eye of faith on the cross, he beholds wisdom, and righteousness and fanctification and redemption; that, as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (n).


[ocr errors]

Survey then, my brethren, your advantages. From him, to whom much is given, much Shall be required (o). Have you pondered this rule? Have you confidered the consequences of falling fhort when tried by this standard? Moft confpicuously hath God fhewed you what is good; what he requires you to believe, and what he requires you to perform. Have you obferved then to do juftly? Are you upright and faithful in all your words and in all your actions, as juftice indifpenfably demands? You may forget juftice: but God will not forget it. You may refufe to render to others that which belongs to them: but he will render to you according to your works. God, is not a man, that he should lie. Hath be Spoken, and fhall he not do it? The Lord knoweth how to referve the unjuft unto the day of judgement to be punished (p). He will surely fulfil his word, he will accomplish his threatenings. The hope of the unjust man pe

(0) Luke, xii. 48.

() Numb.


(n) 1 Cor. i. 30, 31. xxii. 19. 2 Pet. ii. 9.

« PreviousContinue »