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bers in one body ; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every ons members one of another. Let love be, therefore, without dissimulatioa: be kindly-affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Rejoice with them that do rejoice ; and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one, toward another., Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath. . If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. Be not overcome of evil; but overcome evil with good." In a word, “ Let all your things be done with charity.”
To conclude. The evangelical pastor points out, the excellence of charity, and urges every motive that can lead to the practice of it, till worldly men are constrained to cry out, with all the admiration of the ancient heathens ; " See how these christians ~ love one another!” Lucian, indeed, could look with ridicule upon the zeal, with which the primitive christians succoured one another : “ For," says he, « their legislator has made them believe, that they “ are all brethren ; and hence they have all things « common among them, despising even death itself, " through the hope of immortality.” The good pas. tor, however, is anxious to do that, which this heathen writer was impious enough to censure in Christ. He admonishes believers to address the Alınighty, as their common parent, conscious, that so soon as they receive power to cry Abba, i. e. Father, by the Holy Spirit, they will necessarily forget every scrupulous distinction between mine and thine, and put up, with unfeigned sincerity that universal prayer, « Give us this day our daily bread." This petition is commonly used by every member of our degenerate church, while their hearts are comparatively insensible to the wants of their necessitous brethren. But was the love of ancient days to revive among us, we should not only solicit common blessings from above, but rejoice to share them with each other, as bre:
thren partake of a repast provided for them at the table of their common Parent."?? :53
* Happy days! when the Gospel of Christ was seen to flourish in the earth. Surely that sacred sea son might,' with propriéty, be termed the golden age of the church. O that we could recall the felicity we have forfeited, and see the joys of unani. mity restored to a distracted world! But, while we give vent to our lamentations, let us not sink into degpair, since however deplorable our present circum: stances may be, they are not totally remediless. Though, for so many ages, self-love has usurped the throne of charity : though mankind are prone to injure one another, in their reputation, by slander ; in their property by injustice ; and in their persons by murder, whether perpetrated in the character of an assassin, or i hat of a duellist; though wars are fomented on the slightest pretences, and christian princes appear eager to wash their hands in the blood of thousands ; though“ all the earth is full of darka, ness and cruel habitations :" yet will we not give up our hope. These unhappy times were foretold by ogr gracious Master. And as he had prescience enough to predict the decays of christian love, and the calamities consequent thereupon ; so he is pogo sessed of sufficient power to re-establish the empire of charity in the world. Believers, then, amidst all their afllictions, may patiently and confidently expect those " times of refreshing, which shall assured ly come from the presence of the Lord :" tooking forward to that promised " restitution of all things," concerning « which, God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy Prophets since the world began.!" Ini the mean while, let those who are hastening, by their prayers, this desirable revolution, be careful to preserve in their own hearts those sparks of charitys which shall one day kindle the universe into a sacred flame. And let the ministers of the Gospel make a constant display of those evangelical truthsy.
gity which were formerly sufficient to light up this glorious fire ; that by stirring up the dying embers of grace, the little light, which still remains in the church, may be preserved from total extinction.
i. Should it be here objected....Are not all the ministers of our church to be considered, as preachers
of christian charity?” We answer, by no means. Thę charity, concerning which we speak, must flow from a union, with Christ; a union, which ministers of the present day, are accustomed to treat as enthusiastic and vain. This excellent graee“ is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. But he, who dares openly to plead for this scriptural truth, is esteemed by such preachers, no belter than a deluded fanatic. These preachers are frequently heard, indeed, to speak of christian charity, but far from endeavouring to spread it through the world, they use every effort to destroy the very seeds of this grace in the church of God. If, in a parish that is unhappy enough to have a pastor of this kind, a few persons are happily converted to God, and united together in Jesus Christ; if, having one heart, and one soul, they frequently join togeth: er in prayer and in praise, mulually exhorting and provoking one another to love and good works;..is the worldly, minister, instantly alarmed, imagines that these persons, for the sake of forming a new sect, are destroying the unity of the church: when, on the contrary, they are but just about to experience "the communion of saints.” And, if he is possessert of zeal, or party-spirit, he will labour to make it ap. pear, that these christians, who are beginning to live as brethren, arc forming conventicles to disiurbine order both of church and state. Such a minister will give encouragement to companies of jugglers, dan., cers, and drunkards, rather than tolerate a society, which has christian charity for its object and its bas şis, s i
,' ; illius
i . ! · TEE TRUE DUINISTER BELIEVES AND PREACHES
DIE TUIREE GRAND PROMISES OF GOD, TO. 170 GITHER WITH THE THREE GREAT PISPENSA. TIONS OF GRACE. List
o f rist: 54525 's!!. WÈ Have" seen, in the preceding Chapters,
that believers are såred by a faith and a hope, which serve to feed in their souls the sacred fire of charits. Now, this faiih, and this hope, must necessarily * liave for their foundation some promise of God. A promise already accomplished is embraced by faith alone ; but a promise, whose accomplishment is protracted, is equally the object of faith and of hope. He, therefore, who is appointed by Christ a preacher of the everlasting Gospel, is solicitous lo obtain clear ideas of the great promises of God. He is constantly engaged in meditating, either upon their past or future accompiishment, in order to maintain in his own heart those inestimable graces, with which he is desirous to animate the souls of others. Obserre the method, in which he considers, embraces, and preaches then... ... Under the dispensation of the Father, the grand Dronise was that, which respected the external majufestation of the Son.' "The original promise, as 'inade to Adam, was expressed in the following terms : to The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serperit.” As the Messiah was to descend from' Abranam, according to the flesh, the same promise was thus renewed to that Patriarch: « In thee shall all 'famiiies of the earth be blessed." In the days of Moses, it was repeated to all Israel, as follows:'" The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren ; unto him shall ye hearken." David and the other prophets powerfully confirmed this prophecy, and Malachi thus recapituJates the promises which håd been given before his time : « The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in ; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. Unto you, that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth,” out of your présert. obscure dispensation, « and grow up," in spiritual strength, “ as calves of the stall.” Thus speaks the last of the prophets, under the dispensation of the Father.
» Immediately upon the accomplishment of these promises, while the dispensation of the Son was but
darkly opened by his precursor, another promise . was given for the exercise of faith and hope, under
this new economy, respecting the full manifestation of the Holy Ghost, as a Spirit of truth and love. * Behold this grand promise, as announced by John the baptist. «I am not the Christ; I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord. I baptize you with water unto repentance,” as a preparation for the spiritual kingdom and 'baptism of the Messiah: "but he that
cometh after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I i am not worthy to bear.” He shall introduce a more spiritual dispensation, and administer a more efficacious baptism; for " he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire," shedding abroad those gifts and graces of his Spirit, which shall penetrate and purify your hearts, as metals are penetrated and purified by material fire. This promise is of so great importance, that it was thought necessary to be repeated by the four Evangelists.
Our Lord, continuing the dispensation, which his, forerunner had opened, " made and baptized more disciples than Jolin, though Jesus himself bap. tized not,".. with water, “but his disciples.” The baptism, which he was about to administer, was as far suporior to the baptism of John, and that of his own disciples, as the water, of which he spake 10 the woman of Samaria, was superior to the water of
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