תמונות בעמוד

which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness ?” The eye of sense discerns a frail child of dust, sinking under a load of growing infirmity ; " in heaviness through manifold temptations ;” “ through fear of death subjected to bondage.” The eye of faith beholds in that same forlorn creature, one hastening unto the resurrection of the dead, about to assume a glorious body fashioned after the similitude of that of a risen and glorified Redeemer, arising “ to meet the Lord in the air,” triumphing over death, and “him who has the power of death," “ with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and changing into the same image from glory to glory.”

Christ has taught us, my brethren, to resort to the radical source of consolation : “ rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” It is a pleasant and honourable feeling to take complacency in an illustrious or even reputable descent; to reflect on the attainment of eminence of station by eminence in talent ; to contemplate wealth earned by industry and fair dealing. But these, and such advantages as these, are transient, They may be marred and embittered by untoward circumstances. But to meditate on an inalienable, unalterable good, running through the whole progress of duration, increasing continually in lustre and value ; to think that all is the free gift of a Father, whose love is not liable to change, whose bounty is inexhaustible, whose power sustains the worlds visible and invisible, and whose existence is from everlasting to everlasting: this soothes the soul to peace, this sweetens the bitterest morsel, this quenches the flame of the fiery trial, this disarms the king of terrors. “ These things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven

“ He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels." Vol. IV.

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The highest privileges which christianity confers, and the fairest prospect which it opens, powerfully recommend the spirit of humanity. Is thy name written in heaven? What hand wrote it there? Might not the hand that wrote blot it out again ? Has not thy own right hand made many a dreadful attempt to erase the signature? If it has found a place on that hallowed page, if it has been permitted to remain there, if it has not in fatherly displeasure been for ever obliterated, it is all of free sovereign grace.

Art thou an heir of “ a kingdom which cannot be moved ?” “it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” have grace, whereby you may “ serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.” The highest and the holiest are also the humblest of beings. With whom does “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy,” delight to dwell ? “ With him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite

He who is most humble has the greatest similitude to his divine master, and to be like Christ is to po: sess the highest glory which the creature is capable of attaining. “ Learn of me,” says he, not to walk upon the water or rebuke the wind, not to open the eyes of the blind or quicken the dead, but “ Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

“ Jesus rejoiced in spirit,” as he contemplated the rise, the progress, the consummation of his kingdom, and the correspondent downfal of the empire of sin and Satan. He is the same who wept over the grave of Lazarus, who “ groaned in the spirit and was troubled,” in sympathy with the wo of others; the same who beheld the devoted city, “and wept over it ;" the same who in the agony of Gethsemane exclaimed, “ My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” Let our sorrows and joys flow from the same sources with his. Are the ravages of time and death


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presented to our view, or the still more dreadful ravages, which issue in death, committed by “the carnal mind which is enmity against God," and hatred to man? Are we the spectators of the progress of moral corruption from evil to worse, till all is lost? Can we behold it unmoved ? “ Fools make a mock at sin,” but every serious spirit is very differently affected. beheld the transgressors,

says the psalmist, was grieved because they kept not thy word. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes ; because they keep not thy law."

On the other hand, how delightful is it, to mark the progress of goodness; “ the path of the just as the shining light, that slineth more and more unto the perfect day ;” to behold “ a brand plucked out of the fire," a soul saved from death, an heir born into the kingdom of God! This causes“ joy in heaven, in the presence of the angels of God.”' This is that “ travail of his soul," which the Redeemer “ shall see, and shall be satisfied.” This is the dawning of that eternal day when “the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." That we all


be found in that company, partake of that joy, assist in raising those songs, may God of his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



We thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for all thy inexpressible, all thy inconceivable goodness to the children of men. Thou didst form the first human body of “ dust of the ground,” and thou didst breathe into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul, capable of knowing, of admir

ing, of loving, and of enjoying the glorious excellencies of the divine nature. Under thy creative benediction he increased, and multiplied, and replenished the earth. But man that was in honour continued not. Sin entered into the world, and death by sin has passed upon

all men. Nevertheless, God who is rich in mercy pitied and spared, and said, “ Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.” To guilty man, driven out from paradise, a door of grace opened, a dawn of hope arose. That dawning light, that day-spring from on high, through thy favour, waxed brighter and brighter, till it reached meridian splendour. The fulness of tiine came, when“ God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets,” was pleased to speak “ unto us by his Son, the heir of all things, who “ made the worlds, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power." But he “ made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;" He was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief :" and “ being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” and “ when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.” “Which things the angels desire to look into;" let our souls rejoice and adore.

To thee, voluntarily humbled, to thee, highly exalted Saviour, our knees shall bow: that name which is above every name our tongue shall confess ; “ the love of Christ constraineth us:" " we love him : because he first loved us.” And what proof, blessed Lord, what proof of love art thou this day demanding of thine infinitely indebted creatures ? Not to suffer the loss of all things, not to go to prison and to death for thee, not to give our body to be burnt, not to give

but to receive : “ Take and eat, Take and drink, Do this in remembrance of Me." Of a truth thy commandments are not grievous; thy yoke is easy, and thy burden is light. Draw us, we will run after thee; these are cords of a man, these are bands of love. We hear the command and we obey. We present our bodies a living sacrifice, which is our reasonable service. We devote the superiour powers of our immortal spirits to the contemplation of the great mystery of godliness, that we.“ may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, and that we may be filled with all the fulness of God.”

We employ, risen and exalted Redeemer, we employ these elements of bread and wine as a memorial of thy dying love, because, in the near prospect of death, thou wert pleased, by giving thanks over them, to set them apart to this sacred purpose.

We would, after thy example, look up to our Father in heaven, and give thanks for all the blessings which they commemorate, for redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of free sovereign grace ; for the abolishing of death, and for all the exceedingly great and precious promises, and the glorious prospects of life and immortality brought to light by the gospel.

In thy name we solemnly separate from a common to a hallowed use, so much of this bread and of this wine as we are now to employ in commemorating the death of Christ, his body broken, and his blood shed, as a propitiation for the sin of the world. these sacred symbols we again solemnly dedicate ourselves unto thee, to be disposed of by thy providence, to be governed by thy laws, to be guided by thy spirit, to be accepted through thy intercession. Thee having not seen we love; in thee, though now we see thee not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable,

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