Page images
PDF
EPUB

rifbeth (q). He may flatter himself with hopes of heaven: but, as furely as the word of God is true, he will find himself among the wicked who are turned into hell. Do you love mercy? Have you not only proved yourfelf gentle, kind, tender-hearted,compassionate, and charitable, in your ordinary proceedings; but have you diligently fought opportunities of exercising thefe Chriftian virtues, and placed your delight in the exercise of them? Have you remembered the infinite and unmerited mercy of Jefus Chrift in dying on the crofs to make atonement for your fins, that if through his offered grace you repent and believe and obey you may be received for His fake into heaven? He who fheweth no mercy fhall have judgement without mercy. If you forgive not men their trefpaffes against you, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive· your trefpaffes (r) again/Himfelf. Do you

walk humbly with your God? Do you acknowledge your utter unworthinefs in his fight? Do you confefs the original corruption of your nature, and your numberless tranfgreflions by thought and word and deed of the righteous laws of God? Have you your fled for falvation to Chrift, through whom alone man is to be faved? Have

you taken (9) Prov. xi. 7. (r) James, ii. 13. Matth. vi. 15.

him for your Lord and Master? Are old things paffed away, and all things become new? Has the grace of the Spirit of Chrift transformed you into a new creature (s)? Do you pray for the continued influence of that Spirit to enable you to fhew yourself a fincere fervant of the Lord Jefus? Do you humbly submit your imaginations and defires to his gofpel? Do you ftrive to love what he commands you to love, and cheerfully to renounce what he forbids? Follow him now, that he may acknowledge you hereafter. If you are not one of his faithful followers on earth; he will deny you and caft you out at the great day. Love Him with your whole heart, humbly and stedfastly serve Him here; and He will own you before assembled angels, and receive you for ever into glory.

(s) 2 Cor. v. 17.

[ocr errors][merged small]

On prefumptuous Plans.
[Preached at the Commencement of a new Year.]

JAMES, iv. 13—17.

66

Go to now, ye that fay; "To-day, or to-mor row, we will go into fuch a City, and con"tinue there a Year, and buy, and fell, and

66

get gain." Whereas ye know not what shall be on the Morrow. For what is

66

your Life? It is even a Vapour, that appeareth for a little Time, and then vanifheth away. For that ye ought to fay; If the Lord will, we fball live and do this or that." ye rejoice in your Boaftings: all fuch Rejoicing is Evil. Therefore to Him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not; to Him it is Sin.

66

But now

THE Scriptures abound with admonitions

calculated to undeceive mankind refpecting the importance and the natural effects of wealth. If riches increafe, faith the warn

[ocr errors]

ing voice of the Old Teftament; fet not your heart upon them. Let not the rich man glory in his riches: he that trusteth in his riches shall fall. He that trufleth in the abundance of his riches, ftrengtheneth himself in his wickedness. Give me not riches; left I be full, and deny thee, and fay, who is the Lord (a)? In the New Teftament, the aweful exclamation of our Saviour, How hardly fhall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God (b), would of itself be fufficient, after the most ample deductions which could be required on account of the peculiarity of the occafion on which it was uttered, to establish by the fanction of his immediate authority the antecedent declarations of prophets, and the fubfequent teftimony of apoftles, concerning the deftructive influence of the idol of mankind. That the love of money is the root of all evil; that there is no degree, no fpecies, of criminality to which the thirft of gold may not prove a fuccessful incentive; that they who will be rich, they who are refolved on the accumulation of poffeffions, fall into temptation and a fnare, and into many foolish and burtful lufts which drown men in deftruction and perdition: that, while fome have coveted

(4) Pfalm Ixii. 10. Prov. xxx. 8, 9.

Jer. ix. 23. Prov. xi. 28. Pf. lii. 7. (6) Mark, x. 23.

after

after wealth, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many forrows, they have apoftatized from Chriftianity and overwhelmed themselves with remorse, anguish and dfepair: this is the recorded result of the judgement and experience of St. Paul (c). But among the sacred writers there is no one more frequent or more energetic than St. James in denunciations against tranfgreffors, whom riches plunge into enormities. The two leading fources of evil, which are reprefented in the infpired writings as derived from the influence of riches. over the heart, are worldly-mindedness, and felf-dependence. Against these fortreffes of guilt, fometimes battered feparately, fometimes affailed in the fame onfet, the facred artillery of Scripture is unremittingly directed.

In the verses immediately under your confideration the apostle points the vehemence of his attack against felf-dependence. Go to, now, ye that fay," To-day or to-morrow we will 66 go into fuch a city, and continue there a year; and buy and fell, and get gain." Whereas, ye know not what fhall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanifheth (c) 1 Tim. vi,

66

I

9, 10.

away.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »