« הקודםהמשך »
remains unimpaired and unexhausted. The gospel partakes of the immortality of its author, and, amidst all the conflicts of opinion, and the changes of time, and the ravages of death, it is essentially “the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”
PLAN OF A SERMON ON THE BEST PURCHASE.
PROVERBS xxiii. 23.
BUY THE TRUTH, AND SELL IT NOT.” THERE have always been enemies to the truth—and indeed every human heart is a traitor to the word of God. Observe what the Scripture says of the heart of man by nature. Jer. xvii. 9; John iii. 19. Truth is employed for the gospel. Gal. iii. 1. Jesus Christ says, “I am the truth.” “Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
I. THE WORTH OF THE TRUTH.
Divine truth-incomparably precious. Nothing can compensate for the want of it. Nothing becomes its substitute. It is inestimable. 1. For its essence.
Infallible-immutable. The truth or word of God cannot be broken.
2. For its subject. Jesus Christ. His salvation-promises -heaven.
3. For its tendency to promote human happiness in this life, and for ever. 4. For its connexion with the divine glory.
Isaiah lv, ll; 1 Peter i. 24, 25.
II, THE PRICE THAT MUST BE PAID FOR THE TRUTH.
1. Diligent and serious, perhaps, painful attention to its import. 2. Humiliation of our wills and hearts.
Matt. xi. 29,
30. 3. Sacrifice of sinful desires and worldly affections. Matt. xviii. 8.
4. Bearing of chastisement from Providence in bringing our wills into submission, and in working sanctification.
5. Braving the scorn of worldly connexions, and sustain
ing contempt or persecution from the wicked. We must be prepared to forsake all for the truth's sake.
III. WHEN IS TRUTH SOLD ?
1. When a preference is shown for carnal things, and worldly interests supersede spiritual.
2. When endeavours are made to stifle convictions of conscience—when we prefer ease to work—and buy peace at the expense of our salvation.
3. When there is a contradiction between profession and practice. We say one thing and do another. Cry Lord ! Lord ! but do not his commands.
4. When we apostatize from the ways of truth through some worldly motive-or from some unbelieving fear. When we shrink from suffering for the truth's sake—and rather abandon it than pay the price for its retention,
5. When error and infidelity are embraced rather than truth, because they are more favourable to our corruptions, and proclaim no war with our sins. Appeal to the consciences of many on this point.
IV. REASONS WHY THE TRUTH SHOULD NOT BE SOLD.
1. Because it will expose us to the anger of the God of truth. He will avenge his own quarrel with all that hate his truth. 2 Thes. ii. 12.
2. Because it will justly expose us to become the dupes of error, and of lies. God will send
upon such strong delusions. 3. Because it will arm conscience with the most fearful power against ourselves. It shall come upon us as an armed man, saying, “What fruit had ye in those things of which ye are now ashamed, for the end of these things is death ?”
4. Because it will be sealing our own final destruction. At the judgment of the great day, all such will be speechless. Out of their own mouth they will be condemned.
APPLICATION.–Love, cherish, venerate the truth—especially God's truth. Fear it not, though it is painful in its application now; it probes to heal. But if we humbly face it and submit to its frowns now, it will smile upon us in death, and reward us for ever.
EPITOME OF A SERMON ON THE CHARACTER OF
THE LORD'S DAY.
(By the late Rev. Joseph Hughes.)
PSALM cxviii, 24.
THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE; WE WILL
REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT."
This Psalm contains a clear allusion to the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. Thus, in the 22nd verse it is written, The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” By which stone the New Testament more than once teaches us to understand the Son of God, disallowed by the builders of the Jewish church, but honoured by his heavenly Father with the chief place in a more spiritual and extensive edifice. Well may believers, while gazing on their Saviour's triumph, say (v. 23), “This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.” Well may the church, in view of that morning which displayed the triumph, exclaim with all her voices (v. 24), “ This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Yes! dearly beloved, disciples of the Redeemer, you are welcome to the house he opens this day, which is all his own. Enter with joy. Your attention I shall now request—while I justify the name given to the day, and explain the ground of that rejoicing to which it invites you. This day is the Lord's,—so, indeed, are all our days; but the Son of Man is Lord especially of the Sabbath.
I. This DAY IS DISTINGUISHED BY HIS TRIUMPHS-let us hail him Conqueror.
He sustained a long and sharp conflict; but at the rising hour it was finally decided. I behold in his resurrection a triumph over the malice that mocked-the scourge
which wounded the injustice which condemned—the cross which supported—the sword which pierced-the guards that watched the tomb that confined—the hell which rose imbattled against him.
“ The rising God forsakes the tomb,
The tomb in vain forbids his rise."
II. THIS DAY HE CLAIMS AS AN OFFERING—let us present it with joyful obedience.
When the wonders of creation were finished, God rested-it was the seventh day, and God set it apart. While the dispensation of Moses lasted, we know that the law for devoting it to God was strict and express. But the resurrection of Christ was an event vast enough to produce an alteration of the day, and the example of the earliest Christians has led the church in each following age to observe that day on which we are now assembled :
:-a day on which, though we are not called to retire from all temporal employ, so much as the Jews were, yet we are bound to cherish principally those thoughts, and pleasures, and pursuits, which imply a more immediate surrender of the soul to God. Servants of Christ, come and prove your attachment to his work—come join our prayers, our praises, and our meditations, and by our cheerfulness let us all proclaim to the world that Christ's service is perfect freedom.
III. ON THIS DAY HE ADVANCES WITH PECULIAR PRIVILEGES, -let us get forth to meet him with all the ardour of hope. “ Happy,” said the queen of Sheba to Solomon,
are these thy servants”-much more happy are Christians, for a greater than Solomon is here. The Lord hath made this day for his people.”
He unites the separated and estranged-six days they are like the sheep scattered, on the seventh, the flocks are gathered into the fold. Or like children placed at different schools, they return home. Their prayers, seriousness, cheerfulness, praises, designs, prove their kindred. Psalm cxxii. 1-4. He calls from secular to spiritual employment. Full long have ye toiled for the mortal part-trade -amusement-learning have engrossed enough-it is pleasant to come and place yourselves where Mary sat. He has made it for the promotion of his cause on earth-who are these that are assembled? The thoughtless, ignorant, abandoned, immoral, they will receive instruction; the arrow from the bow may pierce -mercy from the fountain may allure-glory to be revealed may invite. Atleast Caleb and Joshua shall report well. He supplies your personal need-you are perplexed by providential government,-you go into the sanctuary, and discern the end-weary of the cares of life, in him you find rest—troubled, you hear of consolation-hungry, of bread-tempted, of succour-guilty, of grace.
IV, ON THIS DAY WE DISCERN OUR INTEREST IN THE TRI
UMPH OF THE REDEEM]
He arose—and proved himself to be indeed of God: often had he received testimony from on high, but then decisively; after all his work had been wrought, he was to see of his soul's travail. He arose and assured his people of a happy resurrection. “Because I live, ye shall live also.” The first fruits of them that sleep. Humanity hath been raised to heaven. There is the Master, he must have his servants around—there the Redeemer, he looketh for his purchased possession—the Head must be seen in union with all the members—again, I say, Rejoice.
Render therefore to God the things that are God's; you are not left to act as you please. And is the demand unreasonablea seventh portion to him whose is all your time? Let this day be considered as the day of the Lord. Let your improvement of it correspond with the name. It is the Lord's day, therefore it excludes levity and worldly amusement. Isaiah lviii. 13. It is a rejoicing day-crucify your reluctance, and dismiss your gloom; God loves a cheerful giver, and the joy of the Christian is a glory borrowed from God, attractive to him that beholds it. Depression becomes not a feast-music ill assorts with murmurs, and in the presence of a friend it is ungracious to sigh. Let us throw into each day as much of the spirit demanded by this day as we
God sees, superintends, blesses, and stands ready to bless more abundantly, every day.