Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

ality, though earthly-mindedness has overspread you like a leprosy, his right-hand and his holy arm will get him the victory. He is able to create you anew unto good works; and, as you are already monuments of his patience and forbearance, to make you to eternity the happy monuments of his sovereign and almighty grace. Is there now any remaining cbjection? Is there yet any room for farther delay ? Hath not time

Thed its hoary hairs upon your heads, and drawn ; its furrows upon your brows? Make haste

then, and fly for your lives, left you lie down in sorrow, and make your bed in hell, . 5. Let me preach the gospel to the Self- righteous. By the self-righteous, I mean those who trust in an outward, lifeless form of duties, in a character formed upon worldly prudence,

and a few of the most common offices of civi·lity between man and man; especially those, if

any such have perfisted in reading this discourse to the close, who despise the doctrines of the grace of God. Do any of you lean to the fafhionable scheme of irreligious, pretended morality; and when you are at liberty, treat the doctrine of free grace, and of Christ's righteousness and merit, with contempt and scorn. As the full foul lotheth the honeycomb, so the self-righteous soul spurns at the riches of di

vine mercy, and likes not the incessant repetition of the name of Christ. Your guilt is of the darkest and deepest dye. Your danger it is impossible to conceive or express. What views have you in drawing near to a holy God in solemn worship? Or what meeting do you expect with God, when he fitteth upon the throne of his holiness in the day of judgment? Do you ever, tho' in the flightest manner, make conscience of the duty of self-examination ? May I not have some hold of you by that quarter? What fatisface tion have you in your own hearts ? Dare you tell us now what passes there? O the power of self-deceit! You would be covered with confusion, did but the world know the foul pollution that lodges within you: how much less shall you be able to stand, the strict and impar. tial judgment of the great Searcher of hearts?

Do but open the book of God, and what page will not condemn you? This sentence stands uncancelled against you, “ Cursed is every “ one, that continueth not in all things that are cos written in the book of the law to do them.

" Out of your own mouths will you be judged, '" ye wicked servants. Thou that makest thy

“ boast of the law, through breaking the law, “ dishonourest thou God ?” Bring forth your boasted morality, and let it be put to the trial. Will you, or dare you say, " I have loved the

“ Lord

« Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, " with all my mind, and with all my strength ?” Will you say, I have loved his worship, and served him in public, in my family, and in fe. cret, and I hope he will accept of it? I think I am authorised to anfwer in his name, ' Was « it worshipping me to be finging 'psalms with Ć your mouths, and not once remembering 66 their meaning? to be thinking of an hundred. 6c vain things when you were in the house of 66. God? To be praising without thankfulness, 66 confefsing without sorrow, and asking, bleff66 ings without desiring them; and to be more 16 attentive to the faces and dresses of others « around you, than to the frame of your own « hearts ? Was it hearing my word, to be « criticising the file and manner of the speaker, “ and laying hold, with the utmost eagerness, 66 of every improper motion or ill-chosen ex“ pression, as a fund of entertainment for your

selves and your companions over your cups 66 and bowls? Or do you call your careless, “ hasty, drowsy prayers, with long intermifo sions, worshipping me in secret ?”

But perhaps you will rather choose to trust to the duties of the second table; and what you owe to your neighbour. Perhaps you will say, I have been honest in all my dealings, and never wronged any man: nay, I have been kind and

charitable

charitable, have dealt my bread to the hungry, and supplied the wants of the afflicted and poor. I answer, in the name of God, “Many have been « your defects even in these duties; but supposing " it to be so, you have not feared me. It might o be from pride, from fear of censure, from “ prudence; but it was not in obedience to “ me, for I was not in all your thoughts. Was it “ your duty to your neighbour, to make a mock « at his fins, to lead him into intemperance, to “ despise him in your hearts, and ridicule him “ in your conversation ?” In one word, do but examine all your " righteousnesses,” they will “ be found as filthy rags before God.” Truft not in such a “ refuge of lies. The bed is " shorter than that a man can stretch himself on “ it, and the covering narrower than that he “ can wrap himself in it *.” Believe it, there is no salvation in any other than in Christ. His atoning blood will reconcile you to God : his grace and love will captivate your souls : his holy and blessed Spirit will write his laws in your hearts. Believe in him, and you will be more holy than ever, and yet stand astonished at your profane and blind pride and vanity. He will create in you a clean heart, and you will then blush at the thoughts of your remaining pollution. You will apply yourselves to his ser* ll. xxviii, 20.

vice with zeal and diligence, and yet still say you are unprofitable servants. One view of the cross of Christ will inake sin inore odious than a thousand fine descriptions of the beauty of vir- tue, which commonly serve only to nourish and fortify the pride of man. If ever you defire to see the face of God in mercy, or to dwell in his presence, believe in Christ, for there is no other way to the Father. :

6. In the last place, suffer me to preach the gospel to the Chief of Sinners. It is the glory of our Redeemer, that he saves 6 to the uttermost " all that come to God by him.” The dignity of his person, the greatness of his suffer. ings, and the infinite value of his atonement founded on both, makes him “ mighty to save." Let such finners attend to this, who are without excuse, whose hearts have been a fink of the greatest impurity, whose lives are stained with the foulest and the groffest crimes, whose fins have been numerous, and hainous, and scandalous; who have no plea to offer, but are fenfible that they have justly merited the wrath of God in its utmost rigour. Let such attend to this, as are trembling at the thoughts of a righteous judgment, and saying, “ It is a fear-, 6 ful thing to fall into the hands of the living

God.- Men and brethren, what shall we 66 do?” Behold, I bring you good tidings of

mercy

« НазадПродовжити »