« הקודםהמשך »
are guided by his Spirit; and this is equally in the power of all to cherish or reject, according as they are resolved to live for this world, or the next; not from an independent strength or power of their own, but through the power of Christ strengthening them; for, as in Adam all died, so, in Christ, shall all be made alive, or renewed in the spirit of their mind: not only at the resurrection of the just, but now, in order that they may be fitted to receive the glorified body prepared then for them. This I apprehend, my brethren, to be the safe meaning of Christ's saving his people from their sins, i.e. from the dominion of them, that they may escape the effect of them, and not barely from the punishment, if they wilfully persist in them; for that would be positively setting aside all distinction between good and bad—it would be contradicting the plain precepts of the Gospel, and making its divine Author a minister of sin, which cannot be too solemnly repeated :-GOD FORBID.
I humbly trust this will not be thought an unuseful application, after discoursing so fully on the power, goodness, and divine nature of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, and that it will confirm the necessity of believing in Christ as God; for, what will the knowledge of all these truths avail us, what will only such a faith in them profit, as does not bring forth righteousness, and peace, and joy; as does not afford some
sound assurance that we are among the happy people he came from heaven to save? Nor is there any danger that this doctrine will incline us to pray, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are; but, on the contrary, it will lead us to say, Lord, I praise thy holy name, that thou hast not cut me off in the midst of my sins, but that thy goodness has led me to REPENTANCE. Lord, as thou hast forgiven much, therefore do we love much: Lord, we stand condemned, let thy mercy interfere : Lord, we are unable to do what will please thee of OURSELVES ; let thy grace be sufficient for us. In proportion as we justly meditate on the awful majesty of God the Father, and weigh the condescending love of God the Son, we show that we obey his command to believe in him. These principles of true humility will take root in us, and we shall daily pray for that consolation and assistance, which God the Holy Ghost alone can give. To this divine and ever blessed nature, three Persons and one God, in mystic Trinity united, be ascribed, as is most due, all praise and adoration, for ever and ever.
LECTURES ON THE CHURCH CATECHISM.
UPON THE SECOND ARTICLE OF THE CREED,
“And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.”
JOHN, XIV. PART OF VER. 1.
In my former Discourse to you on these words, , I judged it for your advantage, my brethren, to dwell very fully upon the scriptural evidence of the divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because such knowledge is absolutely necessary to lay a sure foundation for the hope that is in us; and to render the endeavour for your instruction as complete as time would permit, I was obliged to defer the last part of the sentence which was the subject of that Lecture (viz. our belief in Jesus Christ, GOD'S ONLY Son, and our LORD), to another opportunity. Of this title here given to our blessed Master, I am therefore now to speak; and, though it consists but of one word, it is a word big with such important signification, that it would supply matter for volumes, if the spirit of Christian love were to indulge its grateful utterance upon the subject; for that which will employ our inexhaustible praise and wonder, to the endless ages of eternity, must surely furnish the utmost joy, gratitude, and exultation, during the very longest life of trial and preparation for the enjoyment of that happiness which will be the reward of all Christ's faithful servants. But, before I proceed to consider the various obseryations which our duty to Christ supplies, as from servants to their LORD, I shall first pursue the leading method, of clearing the way to every inquiry, by giving the meaning of the word which involves so much interesting instruction. LORD, is a word of authority, signifying a ruler or governor: it is applied, with the utmost truth, to God, the supreme Sovereign and Ruler over all (Gen. ii. 4), who, in the history of his creation of all things, is styled THE LORD God, who created the heaven and the earth; and it is with equal propriety ascribed to Jesus CHRIST, who is here styled our Lord, in the second article of our Christian faith, and in abundant places of the inspired writings, or God's holy word. The whole 110th Psalm is a beautiful and impressive composition, in praise of our Saviour Christ; and it begins with giving this title to him: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make