« הקודםהמשך »
attended with very considerable history. Joseph's brethren sold him into difficulty. Here, however, it is Egypt, in order to defeat the purpose foretreated in a wise, and holy, and told in his dream; but God by that very
measure brought about his advancement. practical manner; not the way, Pharaoh oppressed the Israelites, and made indeed, in which young Christians them groan under hard bondage, in order or keen controversialists would to subdue their spirit, and keep them in adopt on such a topic, but one perpetual slavery; but God overruled this which tends exceedingly to com
cruel policy, to prepare them for, and bring
about their deliverance, which he effected pose and solemnize the mind, and
by a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm. to produce those practical effects The chief priests and elders of the Jews, of humility, faith, diligence, and instigated by the devil, plotted and actually circumspection, which above all accomplished the death of the Son of God; things it becomes us to cultivate. thereby intending to destroy him, and deOf this Sermon, we shall insert by into the world and yet by this very act,
feat the grand purpose for which he came far the greater part, and are con- redemption was acconiplished, and the Revinced, that the perusal of those deemer exalted. So that they did “whatextracts will induce all who can
socver bis hand and counsel determined
before to be done*." duly appreciate its excellence to embrace the earliest opportunity of against the church of Christ in all ages,
The persecutions wbich have been raised perusing the volume for them- instead of destroying, have been the means selves.
of advancing it. When the apostles and This whole story is full of instruction; lem, and driven to other cities and coun
first Christians were persecuted in Jerusagiving us an example of an haughty mo
tries, it was the means of spreading the Darch, abased by Him who resisteth the proud, and forced to acknowledge the in- Gospel over the whole face of the earth.
St. Paul tells us that his long imprisonment, potence of the creature, the sovereignty of
which seemed such a nisfortune to the the Creator, and the impossibility of pre- Church, bad bappened rather for the furventing any of the divine purposes from taking effect . And this acknowledgment gained ground in the emperor's palace, and
therance of the Gospel, so that it thereby must be made by every creature willingly or unwillingly, for the Lord is a great king, being brought before rulers and kings for
in all other places : and the first preacbers and to him every knee shall bow. This
bis name's sake, gave them an opportunity view of the divine sovereignty I shall endeavour to illustrate from Scripture and
of proclaiming the Gospel to those whose
rank and station in life would otherwise experience, and then show its practical in
have kept them from bearing it. And we fluence in the business of man's salvation. The concurring testimonies of Scripture, and calumnies which have been raised in
know, in our days, that all the reproacbes to this view of the absolute sovereignty of
order to prevent the growth of pure and God, which is given in the text, are nume
undefiled religion, have been overruled to rous and express. Hear how the Lord of all power and might speaks of himself, and promote it. For thereby we are driven
more to God, and confirmed in the truth, in what lofty terms he asserts his supreme knowing what our Lord and his apostles dominion. “Who hath made the seeing have said: “ Marvel not if tbe world hate and the blind? Have not I the the Lord*?" —“I kill, and I make alive:"_“I will you t:"\"All that will live godly in
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution 1." show mercy on whom I will show mercy :"
The various attacks made against institu- I am the first, and I am the last, and
tions which bare for their object the spread beside me there is no God:"_" My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my plea- and principles of such as are active and
of the Gospel, and against the character sure.”
zealous in its cause, have proved the means The same great truth is set forth in all his works and ways. The work of creation adding to the number of faithful labourers.
of strengthening those institutions, and bears upon it the evident marks of sove
So mightily has the word of truth prevailreign power.
ed, under the management of a Power, who It is also equally apparent from his works of providence, and bis overruling the opposition of man to promote his pur
makes the wrath of man to praise him, and the designs and actions of men, to bring poses. In all these instances we see plainly bis own counsels to pass. Of this, we have innumerable proofs in the Scripture
the sovereign power of God, and the truth
* Acts, iv. 28. + i John, ii. 13. ** Exodus, iv, 11.
* 2 Tim. iii. 12.
of the Psalmist's observation, “ The Lord power, and is a glorious trophy of divine sitteth above the waterfloods, the Lord re- - sovereignty." maineth a king for ever *."
Having thus proved this great truth In bis kingdom of grace also it appears which is taught in the text, from the declathat he acts like a sovereigo agent, who was rations of God himself; from the acknowa right to do as be pleases with his own, ledgment of his enemies as well as friends ; and that “it is not of him that willeth nor from bis works of creation, providence, and of him that runneth, but of God that grace; and from his dealings with indivishoweth mercy t." It is not for our sakes duals; we are next to show the necessity that he bestows grace upon any of us, but of a practical acknowledgment of the difor his holy name's sake, and for his Son's vine sovereignty in order to salvation. sake. Wherefore did he single out the As it is bigbly fit that God should do acJews from all the nations of the earth to be cording to his will in the army of heaven, his peculiar people? Was it because they and among the inhabitants of the earth, were better than the rest? No, in no wise; and that he should act as he pleases in the for he repeatedly tells them that it was not distribution of bis favours, because he is for their righteousness, for they were, and infinitely wise, gracious, just, and good, continued to be, a stiff-necked people. Why and therefore cannot but govern the world did our Lord make choice of poor illiterate righteously, and do all things well; so it is fishermen to be his companions, disciples, very meet, right, and our bounden duty, and ambassadors to a fallen world, and not that we should at all times, and in all of the noble, learned, or wise, whose per- places, acknowledge bis authority, and his sonal credit might have done honour to his right to dispose of us as seemeth best to cause, and added weight to their testimony? bis godly wisdom. The sovereignty of Why are we in this kingdom, and in this God afforded matter for joy and triumph place, favoured with the clear light of the to the saints of old. “The Lord reigneth,” Gospel, while many large empires and ci- says the Psalmist, “ let the earth rejoice: ties of the world, naturally as good as we, let the multitude of the isles be glad are sitting in darkness and occupying habi- therefore *."-" Be thou exalted, Lord, in tations of cruelty? Wby is it that in the thine own strength ; so will we sing and spiritual, as well as the natural world, praise thy power t." And all but the enesome are enriched with many precious gifts, mies of the Lord have reason to rejoice talents, and graces, while others are com- that the government of the universe is in paratively poor? All this must be resolved the hands of that perfect Being, who must into God's sovereign will and pleasure, who always do that which is best and fittest to distributes bis favours as he thinks fit, and be done. · And yet, there is no part of the not into any natural worthiness there is divine character which is acknowledged among men, that can entitle one person to with more reluctance by the human mind his favour more than another; “ for all than this. We have a proud independent have sinned and come short of the glory of will, which hates 'to bend to the divine God I.”
will; and there is nothing which we hear The sovereigoty of God is also displayed with more disgust, than that God may, if in the conversion of sinners from darkness he pleases, refuse us the blessings both of to light. Our understandings are naturally his providence and grace; and that we so blind, our wills so alienated from God, should have no reason to complain of inand our taste so depraved, that if ever we justice were he to consigo us to the prison are enlightened to see clearly the things of hell, from whence there is no redempthat belong to our peace, or to delight in tion. Yet, if it be true that we, and all God and his ways, and gain a real relish mankind, are sinners against God, transfor divine things, it is as great a change as gressors of his law, and rebels against his a resurrection from the dead, and requires righteous gorernment, we surely lie at his as great a power to bring it about. mercy to punish, or forgive us, just as he crusb sinners to nothing,” says a sensible pleases, and have no claim upon him for divine § of the fast century, “ to break any favour, either temporal or spiritual. them in pieces, were easily done; a little of This every person must see and acknowdivine power would effect that: but to ledge, before he can experience the blessedhumble a proud and lofty spirit; to soften ness of those" to whom the Lord imputeth and melt an obdurate heart; to tame, righteousness without works 1." We must meeken, and reconcile a sanguinary rebel ; bumble ourselves beneath the mighty hand to change the very inwards of one habituated of God, before we can be exalted by his in sin, and enmity against God, and make mercy; we must, with Job, from an awful him yield to divine impressions : this highly view of the divine glory, be laid low in the proclaims the exceeding greatness of his dust, with this confession in our mouth, * Psalm xxix. 10.
† Romans, ix. 16. * Psalm xcvii. 1. + Psalm xxi, 13. Romans, iii. 23. f Clark.
Romans, iv. 6.
« Behold I am vile *," before we can taste " and all the inhabitants of the oartb are
hating to be reformed, refusing to submit A rebellious murmuring at bis providen- to mercy, and casting his words behind tial dispensations, as if his ways were un- you, dreadful is your situation, and the eqnal, and particularly a proud rising of doom that awaits you, if you are found thus heart against bis right to bestow his bless- at the last. You are contending with the ings upon whom, and in what manner and Sovereign of the universe, whose dominion measure, he pleases, must be exceeding is absolute, and power irresistible. You are offensive in his sight. “ Wo unto him in a state of rebellion against Him who in that striveth with his Maker: let the pot- his strength setteth fast the mountains, and sherds strive witb the potsherds of the is girded about with power. What can earth. Shall the clay say unto him that you do against him? or what will your fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy opposition avail ? If he lift up his band work, He bath no bands I? Yet how to punisb, none can stay it. If be arise to often bave the inhabitants of the earth, who execute vengeanec, none can deliver you. are reputed as nothing, presumed to charge Be still then, and know that he is God. God foolishly, as if his giving that grace Submit to a power that you can neither to some which he withbolds from others, escape nor resist; fall low before his footwas unjust partiality, and cruel respect of stool, acknowledging his just right over you, persons?. How often has this objection the guilt and folly of your apostasy, the been made since St. Paul's time, “ Why equity of the doom pronounced against you doth be yet find fault, for who bath resisted as transgressors, and the inefficacy of every his will g?” To this it is always sufficient plea that you can urge, but what is derived to reply, “Why dost thou strive against fronı his mercy, and the value of Christ's him, seeing he giveth no account of bis stoning blood. If you take this course, matters || ?”-“ Nay but, О man, who art all may yet be well, and his grace and thou that repliest against God [?” I power magnified in your salvation. But if firmly believe that Christ, by the grace of you persist in your opposition to his righGod, tasted death for every man, and shall teous governnient, or stand upon your own not controvert the opinion of those who vindication with God, you will one day think that a measure of grace is given to find that the divine power is too great a every one sufficient for their salvation. All thing to be trifled with, and that they who that I contend for is, that this sovereign refuse to submit to his mercy, shall be right to do what he will with bis own, must broken in pieces with the rod of bis justice. be acknowledged by all who see the salva- If you are brought to see the glory of tion of God. For the whole assembly of the divine sovereignty, the evil of your saints in heaven and earth, acknowledge rebellion against your lawful King, and the themselves debtors to the mercy of God in equity of his proceedings, should he give Christ, for every blessing they enjoy, and you up to the masters you have chosen ; own that it would have been righteous in what can you do in this extremity, but yield him to have passed them by, and left them yourselves to God, and cast yourselves upon to perish in their sins. It is, therciore, a his mercy? All bopes from any other proof of our being in the enmity of our quarter are vain; and after the experience fallen mind, when we find fault with the you have bad of the imperfection of your sovereign agency of God. All, however, best services, the hypocrisy of your religious will one day be forced to acknowledge it, duties, the weakness of all your resolutions and the proudest of God's. enemies will, of amendment, and the disorder of your with the hanghty king of Babylon, be affections, whither can you possibly betake brought to see that“ the Most High ruleth yourselves for refuge, but to the bope set in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to before you in the Gospel ? If you submit whomsoever he will." Happy are they to God as the sovereign disposer of his fawho obtain a saving discovery of this great vours, there is encouragement for you, that truth in the present world, and are disposed he will not cast you vut. Though your cheerfully and willingly to say, “ Power sins are many and aggravated, the mercy of and dominion belongeth unto God;”- God exceeds them all. Though you have
no merit to recommend you to the divine * Job, xl. 4. of Luke, 'xiv. 11. favour, yet the Gospel invites all thirsty
Isaiah, xlv. 9. & Romans, ix. 19. souls to buy its blessings without money || Job, xxxiii. 13. Romans, ix. 20. and without price. Though you cannot
work in yourselves that deep repentance The Duties of Children explained which becomes your case, Christ is exalted in seven short Sermons, particuas a prince and a Saviour “ to give repent
larly addressed to National and ance and forgiveness of sins *.” There is yet hope in God's omnipotent mercy, that he
Sunday Schools. By a Clergyman. will work in you both to will and to do. -Seeley, 1822. Pp. 100. He has done it for thousands of sinners no ATTENTION to the rising genebetter than you, and nothing is too hard ration is one of the most distinfor the Lord : and since we must all obtain mercy of God, or perish,
with what diliguishing features of the present gence and importunity, with what ardour day. Not merely have our schools of soul, should we address the throne of been remodelled, and a new and grace for deliverance from our guilt and admirable system of mutual indanger? Since God is pleased to bestow struction been very extensively inhis saving grace, with an interest in his Son; troduced ; not merely have an at what time and by what means seem best in his sight, we ought at all times, and in amazing number of entertaining the use of all the means of grace, to be and improving publications apseeking the Lord while he may be found, peared from the press, but men of and calling upon bim while he is near. the first talents and attainments
To conclude. Let all the children of have exerted themselves to render God bonour bis holy name, by a practical obedience to his will, and submission to all the principles and precepts of Christhe dispensations of bis providence and tianity intelligible to the meanest grace. You have acknowledged his power capacity, and to supply manuals of and right over you to save, or to destroy, instruction on the most important otherwise you could not have been brought into the relation of children: continue to topics, which our youth of both do so in the darkest seasons. There
sexes may carry with them from be many parts of the divine conduct towards the places where they have been you and others, which you may be unable educated to the various situations to account for, or to reconcile with his in life to which they are called. other perfections; but on all such occasions
Among such valuable producrecollect that He, who ruleth every thing after the counsel of his own will, is per
tions, these short Sermons occupy fectly wise and good, and that no one ought no mean place. It has been the to say, What doest thou? But the consider- writer's object to explain the reation that the Lord is king, should inspireligious and social duties of poor you not only with patience but joy; for children in language not above the under his government it must be well with level of that proficiency, which is have the Lord for their God. Rejoice in usually found in the middle classes the Lord, therefore, o ye righteous, for of our national schools; an object the Lord is a great God, and a great king which he has well attained. Nor above all gods. “ In bis hands are all the is he justly chargeable, as he seems corners of the earth: and the strength of the bills is his alsot." Thougb hosts of to anticipate, with being too homeenemies beset you on every side, enemies !y. There is nothing low or vulgar that are too mighty for you, yet the Lord in the whole publication; while we who dwelleth on high is mightier, and is of apprehend almost every sentence, course able to bruise the proudest of them
and every expression, will be
perunder his feet, as easily as be humbled the spirit of the haughty king of Babylon. fectly intelligible to those for whoin Thougb innumerable troubles compass you
the work is written. about, and afiictions and temptations, like Appropriate language, however, waves of the sea following one another, constitutes only one part of the exseem ready to overwhelm you, yet the Lord cellence of this little work. It has sitteth above the waterfloods; be presides other far stronger claims to attenin the storm, and remaineth a king for
“ Trust ye,” therefore, “in the tion. The sentiments are eminentLord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is ly scriptural and holy, and the exeverlasting strength 1."
hortations most strictly adapted to
the different characters to whom • Acts, v.31. * Psalm xcv. 4. Isaiah, xxvi. 4.
they are addressed. Many of the remarks are such as we do not re
collect having met with in print, which we select the following ex-
" Wherein is however, detain our readers with the barm,” says many a young person, “ of farther remarks, but shall pre- be denied it?
this or the other indulgence, that I should any
Others are taken to the fair sent them with a few extracts from and the feast: others are drest out in smart the work itself.
clothes, and have money in their pockets : The first sermon is entitled The others are allowed to go about visiting and Child's. Duty to God explained, merry-making with companions of their and is in fact a lecture on the an
own age, and why should not I?". Such
are the feelings, if not the very words, of swer to that question in the Cate=)
young and simple people, when withheld chism, “ What is thy duty towards from places of show and vanity by a reGod?”
ligious parent. I will put myself in that
parent's place, and thus I answer the Another part of your duty to God is, child's complaint. “ You ask, my beloved “ to worship him, to give him thanks, to child, where the harm would be of your put your whole trust in him, to call upon mixing in the amusements which are him.” The first part of worship is prayer. usually granted to children of your age, Now, real prayer is not merely pronouncingand attending those places of gaiety which a number of words to God upon your are so much frequented by them. Were knees. Many children repeat, every night you older and wiser than you are, I could and morning, the prayers which they have easily make you understand my reasons for learnt, and yet can never be said to pray. restraining you. The time will, I trust, To gabble over a form of words, in a lowly arrive, when you will have sense enough posture, yet without feeling any love and and grace enough to acknowledge, that reverence to God in your hearts, and per- what is a mortification to you now, is nehaps without so much as thinking about vertheless for your real good, both in this him, is not a vast deal better than saying world and that which is to come. In the no prayers at all. What then must be
mean time, be content to take it upon my thought of those children, wbo do not
assurance. You cannot doubt that I am, even pay Almighty God the outward re- your best and sincerest friend : for what spect of kneeling down before him, but other person can you name, that labours or hurry over their prayers, in a state between suffers for you half so much as I do? Since, sleeping and waking, just after they are then, you must be certain that I tenderly got into bed at night, or before they are up lore you, believe that this part of my conin the morning? Such a disrespectful way duct does not proceed from temper or unof addressing yourselves to God, is more kindness, but from a prudent regard to likely to provoke his anger, than to draw your chief interests. And, remember that down his blessing. Still I must acknowledge, if there were really no harm in what I keep that not to pray at all is something worse you from, there is always harm in doing, than to hurry over one's prayers in a light or even desiring, what is denied by the auand hasty manner. For although it is very thority of those whom God has placed over wrong to pretend to be drawing near to the you."Pp. 38, 39. King of heaven, while your thoughts are
Those who live in the country running upon play and foolishness ; yet, never to think of calling upon God at all,
will feel the justice of the following
And here I must remark upon the un-
grateful selfishness of those children, who, not one boy or girl in this parish so wicked
when doing well in the world themselves, or so ignorant. But as I cannot help know
never think of sending a trifle of their ing that there are many such, I must now
wages, or other gains, to assist their parents, solemnly forewarn them, that if they persist who are burdened perhaps with a young and in these ungodly ways, they will hereafter
numerous family. Stout lusty young felbe cast into a dungeon, where no praying lows will live at home, without contributis allowed, but instead of it there sball ing a sixpence to the expenses of the family; he weeping and gnashing of teeth.”—Pp.
but think it quite enough just to board 13--15.
themselves, and even oblige their poor The third Sermon is, the Duty mother to do all their washing for nothing. of Children to their Parents; from Nay, though their mother be sinking in
years, and a widow, and have worn out