תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

bitual sense of their shortness and uncertainty, as well of their unsatisfying nature, when they are not sanctified by the principles and hopes of Christian faith, “set your affections on things above." You are heirs of a kingdom not subject to the imperfections and impurities, and not to be moved by the changes of time. Ascend then, in heart and mind, thither, where “true joys are to be found ;" and let it be the supreme object of all your desires and efforts, so to “pass through things temporal, that you lose not the things which are eternal.”

Yes, brethren--the consideration of the shortness and uncertainty of life, should urge us to an immediate and diligent application to the work of our salvation.

In any important temporal concern, what would be the effect produced on us, by the consideration of the shortness and uncertainty of the time allotted to it?-Immediate application, and laborious dispatch. He who should have at stake an important temporal object, which could not be attained but by great efforts; and who should be circumscribed as to time, and, even uncertain whether that short time might not be instantly contracted, and his labours instantly terminated; and should fail immediately to commence his exertions, and to prosecute them with supreme and ardent diligence, would be justly branded with a more odious epithet than that of unwise. Is there no parallel between temporal and eternal concerns?

d Col, iii, 2.

-between the conduct that wisdom dictates in the one and in the other? Yes, my brethren, but the contrast applies with infinitely greater force to the latter. For the interests of time pass away; the interests of eternity endure for ever. If, then, in the former, a failure in immediate application, in laborious dispatch, be worse than unwise, what must the same conduct be in the latter? An eternity of happiness or misery is dependent on the portion of time allotted us in the world and this period is short—this period may be soon closedThis night our soul may be required of us. And, are there not some present, who have not yet applied themselves to the work of securing this eternity of happiness, of averting this eternity of misery? Are there not some present, who, having entered on this work, instead of that laborious diligence demanded by its magnitude, and by the shortness and uncertainty of the time allotted to it, devote to it only occasional and lukewarm efforts ? Ah! careless soul! careless of those immortal interests that are to be decided during thy present short and uncertain term of probationlukewarm and slothful Christian ! lukewarm and slothful, in a work infinitely more than any other demanding thy most laborious efforts-What, if thou wast now to hear the summons-“This night thy soul shall be required of thee!' Ah,-thou

dost not indeed hear it, and yet it may

be

pronounced. There have been those who have laid down at night in thoughtless security; and they waked--but amidst the scenes of eternity!

Now then, relying on those infinite merits, through which alone you can be accepted, and invoking that grace, by which alone you can be strengthened, engage in the work of your salvation. Christian, whatever sin thou hast imperfectly subdued; whatever grace thou hast imperfectly attained ; redouble thy diligence. Watch and pray-be always ready—for remember, this night thy soul may be required of thee.Come not, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, till we are prepared to meet thee.

SERMON X.

JESUS--THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.

[EPIPHANY.]

REVELATION xxii. last clause of 10th verse.

I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright

and Morning Star.

For several weeks during the present season, the Church presents to us, in her services, Jesus her Saviour. During the seven days succeeding the festival of the Nativity, she continues to commemorate his birth; celebrating, with the heavenly hosts, the glorious event which brought to a lost world, “ a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord”;” and whom, in accordance with the antient prophecy, that predicted both his divinity and his incarnation, she adores as “ Immanuel, God with us b." On the festival of the Circumcision, she particularly sets forth the human nature of the Saviour by

a Luke ji. 11.

b Isaiah vii. 14. Matt, i. 28.

JESUS, THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR. 129

commemorating his subjection to the law in the rite of circumcision. And on the festival of the Epiphany, she manifests him to the world, casting the beams of truth and salvation on the nations that "sate in darkness and the shadow of death."

My text sets forth these three great truths, which are celebrated at these three succeeding festivals, the divinity, the humanity, and the manifestation, of Jesus Christ, as the Saviour of the world. It was uttered by Jesus Christ, who, through the ministry of an angel, delivered to the Evangelist, St. John, those views of futurity which he has recorded in the book of his Revelation.

The whole verse is as follows

I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

“ The root and the offspring of David !”—The original of David, and yet proceeding from him ! Is not this a contradiction ?-No more a contradiction, my brethren, than that Christ who, in regard to his divine nature, is the “ Son of God," should be elsewhere styled, with reference to his human nature, “ the Son of Man.” No more a contradiction than that Christ who, speaking as the Son of Man, confesses, “ My Father is greater

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
« הקודםהמשך »