« PreviousContinue »
been redeemed from the curse of the law, he does not forsake you. How often does he reclaim your wandering feet, by convincing you that the world which you are sometimes seduced to love, is but vanity and vexation of spirit! How often does he excite within you the sigh of penitence for your sins ! How often does he lead you to form holy and successful resolutions of amendment! How often does he guard you against the temptations which do most easily beset you! How often does he chasten you by frustrating your favourite worldly projects, and by depriving you of some worldly good, and thus lead you back to God! How does he bless you in the enjoyment and use of all the means of grace! How does he condescend himself to occupy your hearts by the influences of his Holy Spirit, confirming and invigorating your faith, and increasing within you every Christian grace and virtue! And thus will he still continue to reclaim, to chasten, to instruct, and to guide you. If you are truly his disciples, nothing shall separate you from his love ; nothing—"neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus your Lord.” He will ever be near you, to strengthen and increase your faith. By this faith he will fortify you to resist the great adversary of your souls. By it, he will enable you to overcome the world. By it, he will purify your
hearts and ripen you for heaven. By it, he will cause you to triumph over your last enemy, the king of terrors. By it he will thus bring you to the gates of paradise.—Then shall Faith have done its perfect work. Then shall Jesus be emphatically the Finisher of it, by rendering it no longer necessary : for be will introduce you to the unclouded vision of the heavenly world. Faith will be swallowed up in sight. “ Now ye see through a glass darkly, but then face to face : now ye know in part, but then shall ye know even as also ye are known." Then will be the termination of the race that is now set before you. Then, if you continue stedfast unto the end, you will receive from Christ himself that crown of glory which fadeth not away.
Look, therefore, my brethren, unto Jesus, as the Author and Finisher of your faith. Look unto him with a spirit of confidential trust : for His omnipotent arm manages, in its vast extent, the sublime work of redemption, and will bring it to a most glorious and successful result-a result which will reflect the brightest lustre on the character of God, and redound to the eternal and unspeakable happiness of all who put their trust in him. Look unto him with a spirit of humble docility : for in him“ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge :" from him must you hope to derive that light of Divine Truth, which is to shine in the dark places of your understanding ; thence to dispel all error, and doubt, and perplexity, and to guide you in the way everlasting. Finally, look unto him with a spirit of
cordial dependence : for the Comforter, which he sends, first shed abroad the love of God in your hearts. And to this same Spirit of holiness must you constantly be indebted for the increase of your faith. He alone can preserve it from shipwreck.-He alone can make it as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast. He alone can so confirm, and invigorate, and ripen it, that it shall be prepared at last to be finished and swallowed up in the unclouded vision of the heavenly world.
HEBREWS xii. 2.
Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our
While discoursing from these words, the last Sabbath, I attempted, my brethren, to place before you the several respects in which Jesus Christ may be considered as the Author and Finisher of our faith. From what was said, it would seem that he is entitled to this appellation for the following reasons: because he accomplished those events in the economy of God's government, which were necessary to open the way for the promulgation of the doctrines of the Cross ; because he promulgated, by himself and by his Apostles, these doctrines, so glorious to God, and so interesting to man; because he alone produces faith within us, through the influences of the Holy Spirit; because he is now accomplishing, and will continue to accomplish, those events which are necessary to prepare the way for the consummation of his mediatorial work; because he continues to instruct us more fully in the doctrines of the Cross; because he con
firms and invigorates our faith, by the influences of the Holy Spirit, and will finally perfect it in the unclouded vision of the heavenly world. Such are the various attitudes in which Jesus Christ presents himself to our view, as the Author and Finisher of our faith. Thus, wielding the sceptre of universal empire, and managing in its vast extent the great work of redemption ; thus carrying it on to a most successful and glorious result, which will reflect the brightest lustre on the character of God, and redound to the eternal happiness of all who put their trust in him ; thus opening the treasures of his infinite wisdom and knowledge, and distributing most liberally the riches of Divine Truth, to all who will receive and use them for the relief of their spiritual wants ; thus shedding down, as the choicest of his blessings, the Holy Comforter, to renew the hearts and invigorate the graces of all whom his Father hath given bim; thus supporting and guiding his disciples, through this pilgrimage of tears, in the straight and narrow path which leads to the mansions of eternal rest ;-sustaining this character so sublime and so interesting, most justly is he proposed to us by the Apostle as the great Object of our faith. Wherefore, while running with patience the race that is set before us, while struggling for: that crown of glory which fadeth not away, Christians are called upon by every principle of reason, by every motive of esteem, by every tie of gratitude, continually to look unto Jesus with a spirit of confidential trust, of humble docility, and of cordial