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doctrine of mortification means, that by a few | a man have to resist it? Is this the religion we
momentary acts of self-denial we should free must oppose in order to be damned? "Israel,
ourselves from eternal misery, and that by thou hast destroyed thyself.
contemning 'temporal things which are seen' III. Well, well, we grant, say you, we are
we should obtain things which are not seen, stupid not to avail ourselves of such advanta-
but which are eternal.'

ges as religion sets before us, we are negligent,
4. But, say you, this perfection required by we are depraved: but all this depravity, nego
the gospel, is it within our reach? Is it not ligence, and stupidity, are natural to us ; we
this religion which exhorts us to be perfect as bring these dispositions into the world with us,
God is perfect?' Is not this the religion that ex- we did not make ourselves ; in a word, we are
horts us to be holy as God is holy?' Does not naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of do-
this religion require us to be renewed after ing good. This religion teaches, of this we
the image of him that created us?' Indeed it are convinced by our own feelings, and the ex-
does, my brethren : yet this law, severe as it perience of all mankind confirms it.
may seem, has a fourth character exactly ac- This is the third difficulty concerning the
cording to our just wishes, that is, it has a cha- proposition in the text, and it is taken from
racter of proportion. As we see in the doc- the condition of human nature. In answer to
trines of religion, that although they open a this, I say, that the objection implies four
vast field to the most sablime .geniuses, yet vague notions of human depravity, each erro-
they accommodate themselves to the most con- neous, and all removable by a clear explica-
tracted minds, so in regard to the moral parts tion of the subject.
of religion, though the most eminent saints are 1. When we speak of our natural impotence
required to make more progress, yet the first to practise virtue, we confound it with an in-
efforts of novices are acceptable services, pro- surmountable necessity to commit the greatest
vided they are sincerely disposed to persevere. crimes. We may be in the first case without
Jesus Christ, our great lawgiver, knoweth being in the second. We may be sick, and in-
our frame, and remembereth that we are dust; capable of procuring medicines to restore
he will not break a bruised reed, and smoking health, without being invincibly impelled to
flax he will not quench:' and the rule by aggravate our condition by taking poison for
which he will judge us, will not be so much food, and a dagger for physic. A man may be
taken from the infinite rights acquired over in a pit without ability to get out, and yet not
us by creation and redemption as from our be invincibly compelled to throw himself into
frailty, and the efforts we shall have made to a chasm beneath him, deeper and darker, and
surmount it.

more terrible still. In like manner, we may 5. Power of motive is another character of be so enslaved by depravity as not to be able evangelical morality. In this life we are ani- to part with any thing to relieve the poor, and mated, I will not say only by gratitude, equi- yet not so as to be absolutely compelled to rob ty, and reason, motives too noble to actuate them of the alms bestowed on them by others, most men : but by motives interesting to our and so of the rest. passions, and proper to inflame them, if they It seems to me, my brethren, that this disbe well and thoroughly understood.

tinction has not been attended to in discourses You have ambition. But how do you mean of human depravity. Let people allege this to gratify it? By a palace, a dress, a few ser- impotence to exculpate themselves for not vants, a few horses in your carriages ? False practising virtue, with all my heart : but to idea of grandeur, fanciful elevation! I see in a allege it in excuse of odious crimes practised course of Christian virtue an ambition well every day freely, willingly, and of set purpose, directed. To approach God, to be like God, is to form such an idea of natural depravity as to be made a 'partaker of the divine nature;' no divine has ever given, and such as can never this is true grandeur, this is substantial glory. be given with the least appearance of truth.

You are avaricious, hence perpetual care, No sermon, no body of divinity, no council, no hence anxious fears, hence never ending move- synod ever said that human depravity was so ments. But how can your avarice bear to great as absolutely to force a man to become think of all the vicissitudes that may affect an assassin, a murderer, a slanderer, a plunderyour fortune? In a course of Christian virtue er of the fortune, and a destroyer of the life of i see an avarice well directed. The gospel his neighbour, or, what is worse than either, a promises a fortune beyond vicissitude, and di- murderer of his reputation and honour. Had rects us to a faithful correspondent, who will such a proposition been advanced, it would return us for one grain thirty, for another six- not be the more probable for that, and nothing ty, for another a hundred fold.

ought to induce us to spare it. Monsters of You are voluptuous, and you refine sensual nature ! who, after you have taken pains to enjoyments, tickle your appetite, and sleep in eradicate from your hearts such fibres of naa bed of down! I see in a course of virtue a ture as sin seems to have left, would you at"joy unspeakable and full of glory, a peace tempt to exculpate yourselves ? you who, afthat passeth all understanding, pleasures ter you have rendered yourselves in every inboundless in prospect, and delicious in enjoy. stance unlike God, would carry your madness ment, pleasures greater than the liveliest ima- so far as to render God like yourselves by acgination can conceive, and more beautiful than cusing him of creating you with dispositions, the most eloquent lips can describe.

which oblige you to dip your hands in innoSuch is religion, my brethren. What a fund cent blood, to build your houses with the spoils of stupidity, negligence, and corruption, must lof widows and orphane, and to commit crimes

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subversive of society? Cease to affirm, these as eager in pursuit of lasciviousness, as ever are natural dispositions. No, they are acquired the heathens were, and you never blush, nor dispositions. That part of religion which pro- ever feel remorse, and all under pretence that hibits your excesses, is practicable by you the gospel teaches us we are frail, and can do without the supernatural aid necessary to a nothing without the assistance of God! thorough conversion.

4. lo fine, my brethren, when we speak of 2. When we speak of natural depravity, we the depravity of nature, we confine the condi. confound the pure virtue that religion inspires tion of a man, to whom God has given only with other virtues, which constitution, educa- exterior revelation, with the condition of him tion, and motives of worldly honour, are suffi- to whom God offers supernatural aid to assist cient to enable us to practise. I grant, you him against his natural frailty, which precannot practise such virtues as have the love vents his living up to external revelation. of God for their principle, order for their mo- Does he not offer you this assistance? Does not tives, and perfection for their end: but you the holy Scripture teach you in a hundred may at least acknowledge your natural depra- places that it is your own fault if you be devity, and exclaim,O wretched man that I am, prived of it? who shall deliver me from the body of this Recollect only the famous words of St. death? You may at least exclaim with the James, which were lately explained to you in magician mentioned by a poet, I see and ap- this pulpit with the greatest clearness, and prove of the best things, though I practise the pressed home with the utmost pathos.* •If worst. You may do more, you may practise any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, some superficial virtues, which the very hea- that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraidthens, not in covenant with God, exemplified. eth not, and it shall be given him.' God gives You may be cautious like Ulysses, temperate to all men liberally, to all without exception, like Scipio, chaste like Polemon, wise like So- and they who are deprived of this wisdom crates. "If then you neglect this sort of virtue, ought to blame none but themselves, not and if your negligence ruin you, your destruc- God, who gives to all men liberally, and uption is of yourselves.'

braids not. 3. When we speak of natural depravity, we True, to obtain it, we must ask with a deconfound that of a man born a pagan with only sign to profit by it; we must ask it nothing the light of reason with that of a Christian, wavering,' that is, not divided between the born and educated among Christians, and hope and the fear of obtaining it: we must not amidst all the advantages of revelation. This be like those double-minded men, who are vague way of talking is a consequence of the unstable in all their ways,' who seem by askmiserable custom of taking detached passages ing wisdom to esteem virtue, but who discover of Scripture, considering them only in them- by the abuse they make of that wisdom they selves without any regard to connexion of time, have, that virtue is supremely hateful to them. place, or circumstance, and applying them in- We must not resemble the waves of the sea' discriminately to their own imaginations and which seem to offer the spectator on a shore a systems. The inspired writers give us dread- treasure, but which presently drown him in ful descriptions of the state of believers before gulfs from which he cannot possibly free him. their being called to Christianity: they call self. Dod God set this wisdom before us at a this state a night, a death, a nothing,' in re- price too high? Ought we to find fault with gard to the practice of virtue, and certainly him for refusing to bestow it, while we refuse the state of a man now living without religion to apply it to that moral use which justice reunder the gospel economy may be properly quires? Can we desire God to bestow his grace described in the same manner : but I affirm, on such as ask for it only to insult him? that these expressions must be taken in a very 0! that we were properly affected with different sense. This night, this death, this the greatness of our depravity, and the shame nothing,' if I may be allowed to speak so, have of our slavery! But our condition, all scandadifferent degrees. The degrees in regard to a lous and horrible as it is, seems to us all full of native pagan are greater than those in regard charms. to a native Christian. What then, my bre- When we are told that sin has subverted thren, do you reckon for nothing all the care nature, infected the air, confounded in a mantaken of you in your infancy, all the instruc- ner cold with heat, heat with cold, wet with tions given you in your childhood by your pi- dry, dry with wet, and disconcerted the beauous fathers and mothers, all the lessons they tiful order of creation, which constituted the procured others to give you, all the tutors who happiness of creatures; when we cast our have given you information! What! agreea- eyes on the maladies caused by sin, the vicissible books put into your hands, exhortations, tules occasioned by it, the dominion of death directions, and sermons, addressed to you, you over all creatures, which it has established; reckon all these things for nothing! What! when we see ourselves stretched on a sick bed, you make no account of the visits of your pas- cold, pale, dying, amidst sorrows and tears, tors, when you thought yourselves dying, of | fears and pains, waiting to be torn from a the proper discourses they directed to you con- world we idolize; then we detest sin, and cerning your past negligence, of your own re- groan under the weight of its chains. Should solutions and vows! I ask, do you reckon all that Spirit, who knocks to-day at the door of this for nothing? All these efforts have been attended with no good effect : but you are as

This remark indicates a generous temper in Sauambitious, as worldly, as envious, as covetous, rin, to speak handsomely of his colleagues.

our hearts, say to us, open, sinner, I will re-, connected with the other part, but in me is store nature to its beauty, the air shall be se- thine help. God yet entreats us not to derene, and all the elements in harmony, I will stroy ourselves. God has not yet given us up. confirm your health, reanimate your enfee- He does not know, pardon this expression, he bled frame, lengthen your life, and banish for is a stranger to that point of honour, which ofever from your houses death, that death which ten engages us to turn away for ever from stains all your rooms with blood : Ah! every those who have treated us with contempt. He, heart would burn with ardour to possess this he himself, the great, the mighty God does not assistance, and every one of my hearers would think it beneath him, not unworthy of his glomake these walls echo with, Come, Holy Spi- rious majesty, yet to entreat us to return to rit, come and dry up our tears by putting an him and be happy. O mercy,' that'' reachend to our maladies.

eth to the heavens!' 0 • faithfulness, reachBut when we are told, that sin has degraded ing unto the clouds! What consolations flow us from our natural dignity; that it has loaded from you to a soul afraid of having exhausted us with chains of depravity; that man, a crea- you! ture formed on the model of the divine perfec- Above all, think, think, my brethren, that tions, and required to receive no other laws the truth we have been preaching will bethan those of order, is become the sport of un- come one of the most cruel torments of the worthy passions, which move him as they damned. Devouring flame, kindled by divine please, which say to him, go and he goeth, vengeance in hell, I have no need of your come and he cometh, which debase and vilify light ; smoke ascending up for ever and ever, him at pleasure, we are not affected with I have no need to be struck with your blackthese mortifying truths, but we glory in our ness; chains of darkness that weigh down the shame!

damnel, I have no need to know your weight, Slaves of sin ! Captives under a heavier to enable me to form lamentable ideas of the yoke than that of Pharaoh, in a furnace more punishments of the reprobate, the truth in my cruel than that of Egypt! Behold your Deli- text is sufficient to make me conceive your verer! He comes to-day to break your bonds horror. Being lost, it will be remembered and set you free. The assistance of grace is that there was a time when destruction might set before you.

What am I saying? An have been prevented. One of you will recolabundant measure is already communicated to lect the education God gave you, another the you. Already you know your misery. Alrea- sermon he addressed to you, a third the sickdy you are seeking relief from it. Avail your- ness he sent to reform you : conscience will be selves of this. Ask for this succour, and if it obliged to do homage to an arenging God, it be refused you, ask again, and never cease ask- will be forced to allow, that the aid of the Spiing till you have obtained it.

rit of God was mighty, the motives of the gosRecollect, that the truths we have been pel powerful, and the duties of it practicable. preaching are the most mortifying of religion, it will be compelled to acquiesce in this terriand the most proper to humble us. It was ble truth, thou hast destroyed thyself.' A voluntarily, that we so often rebelled against condemned soul will incessantly be its own God. Freely, alas! freely, and without com- tormentor, and will continually say, I am the pulsion we have, some of us, denied the truths author of my own punishment, I might have of religion, and others given mortal wounds to been saved, I opened and entered this horrible the majesty of its laws. Ah! Are there any gulf of myself. tears too bitter, is there any remorse too cut- Inculcate all these great truths, Christians, ting, any cavern in the earth too deep, to expi. let them affect you, let them persuade you, ate the guilt of such a frightful character ! let them compel you. God grant you the

Remember, the truths we have been teach- grace! To him be honour and glory for ever. ing are full of consolation. This part of my Amen. text, O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself,' is





PSALM cxix. 36. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law. FEW people are such novices in religion as of society every day endangered and damaged not to know, that sinners ought not to be by its enemies without shedding tears of selftroubled for their own sins; but it is but here interest. and there a man, who enters so much into the Almighty God, whose 'tender mercies are spirit of religion as to understand how far over all thy works,' but whose adorable Prothe sins of others ought to trouble us. David vidence condemns us to wander in a valley of was a model of both these kinds of penitential tears; O condescend, 'to put our tears into grief.

thy bottle,' and to gather us in due time to Repentance for his own sing is immortalized that happy society in which conformity to thy in his penitential psalms : and would to God, laws is the highest happiness and glory! instead of that fatal security, and that unmean- Amen. ing levity, which most of us discover, even af- 1. David shed over sinners of his time, tears ter we have grossly offended God, would to of zeal. Thus he expresses himself in the God, we had the sentiments of this penitent! psalm from which we have taken the text, His sin was always before him, and imbittered My zeal hath consumed me, because mine all the pleasures of life. You know the lan- enemies have forgotten thy words. But guage of his grief. 'Have mercy on me, what is zeal? How many people, to exculpate Lord, for I am weak, my bones are vexed. themselves for not feeling this sacred name, Mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as ridicule it as a phantom, the mark of an ena heavy burden they are too heavy for me. thusiast? However, there is no disposition Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O more real and sensible. The word seal is Lord. I acknowledge my transgression, and vague and metaphorical, it signifies fire, heat, my sin is ever before me. Deliver me from warmth, and applied to intelligent beings, it blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my sal- means the activity and vehemence of their devation. Restore unto me the joy of thy salva- sires, hence, in common style, it is attributed tion, that the bones which thou hast broken to all the passions indifferently, good and bad: may rejoice.'

but it is most commonly applied to religion, But as David gives us such proper models and there it has two meanings, the one vague, of penitential expressions of grief for our own the other precise. sins, so he furnishes us with others as just for In a vague sense, zeal is put less for a partilamenting the sins of others. You have heard cular virtue, than for a general vigour and the text, rivers of waters run down mine vivacity pervading all the powers of the soul eyes, because they keep not thy law. Read of a zealous man. Zeal is opposed to luke. the psalm from which the text is taken, and warmness, and lukewarminess is not a particuyou will find that our prophet shed three sorts lar vice, but a dulness, an indolence that acof tears for the sins of others. The first were companies and enfeebles all the exercises of tears of zeal: the second flowed from love: the religion of a lukewarm man. On the conthe third from self-interest. This is a kind of trary, zeal is a fire animating all the emotions penitence, which I propose to-day to your em- of the piety of the man who has it, and giving ulation.

them all the worth and weight of vehemence. In the first place, I will describe the insults But as the most noble exercises of religion which a sinner offers to God, and will endea- are such as have God for their object, and as vour to show you, that it is impossible for a the virtue of virtues, or, as Jesus Christ exgood man to see his God affronted in this man- presses it, the first and great commandment' ner without being extremely grieved, and is that of divine love, zeal is particularly taken shedding tears of seal.

(and this is the precise meaning of the word) In the second place, I will enumerate the for loving God, not for a love limited and momiseries, into which a sinner plunges himself derate, such as that which we ought to have by his obstinate perseverance in sin, and I will for creatures, even creatures the most worthy endeavour to convince you, that it is impossi- of esteem, but a love boundless and beyond ble for a good man to see this without shed moderation, so to speak, like that of glorified ding tears of pity and love.

spirits to the Supreme Intelligence, whose In the third place, I shall show you, if I per- perfections have no limits, whose beauties are ceive your attention continue, the disorders infinite. which sinners cause in society, in our cities The idea thus fixed, it is easy to compreand families, and you will perceive, that it is hend, that a soul animated with zeal, cannot impossible for a good man to see the prosperity see without the deepest sorrow, the insults offered by sinners to his God. What object is They attack the magnificence of God. it that kindles flames of zeal in an ingenuous Such are those madmen who employ all the soul? It is the union of three attributes : an depths of their erudition, all the acuteness of attribute of magnificence, an attribute of ho- their genius, and all the fire of their fancy to liness, and an attribute of communication. obscure the eternity of the first cause, the inThis union can be found only in God, and for finity of his power, the infallibility of his wisthis reason God only is worthy of supreme dom, and every other perfection that makes a love. Every being in whom any one of these part of that complexure, or combination of three attributes is wanting, yea, uny being in excellences, which we call magnificence. whom any degree is wanting, is not, cannot be Such, again, are those abominable characters, an object of supreme love.

who supply the want of genius with the dea In vain would God possess attributes of cha- pravity of their hearts, and the blasphemies ritable communication, if he did not possess at of their mouths, and who, not being able to tributes of magnificence. His attributes of attack him with specious reasons and plausicommunication would indeed inspire me with ble sophisms, endeavour to stir up his subsentiments of gratitude: but what benefit jects to rebel, defying his power, and trying should I derive from his inclination to make whether it be possible to deprive him of the me happy, is he had not power sufficient to do empire of the world. so, and if he were not himself the happy God, Some sinners attack the attributes of holi. that is, the origin, the source of all felicity, or, ness in the perfect God. Such are those deas an inspired writer speaks, the parent of testable men, who presume to tax him with every good and every perfect gift?" James i. falsehood and deceit, who deny the truth of 17. In this case he would reach a feeble hand his promises, who accuse his laws of injustice, to help me, he would shed unavailing tears and his conduct of prevarication, who would over my miseries, and I could not say to him, persuade us, that the reins of the universe my supreme good is to draw near to thee; would be held much more wisely by their whom have I in heaven but thee? and there impure hands than by those of the judge of all is none upon earth that I desire beside thee,' the earth. Ps. lxxiii. 28. 25.

Some sinners attack the attributes of comIn vain would God possess attributes of ho- munication. Such, in the first instance, are liness, if he did not possess attributes of com- those ungrateful persons," who, while they munication. In this case he would indeed be breathe only his air, and live only o: his ali. an object of my admiration, but he could not ments, while only his earth bears, and only be the ground of my hope. I should be struck his sun illuminates them, while they neither with the contemplation of a virtue always live, nor move, nor have a being, but what pure, always firm, and always alike: but in they derive from him, while he opens to them regard to me, it would be only an abstract and the path to supreme happiness, I mean the metaphysical virtue, which could have no in- road to faith and obedience, pretend that he is fluence over my happiness. Follow this rea- wanting in goodness, charge him with all the soning in regard to the other attributes, and miseries into which they have the madness to you will perceive that nothing but a union of plunge themselves, dare to accuse him with these three can render an object supremely taking pleasure in tormenting his creatures, lovely; and as this union can be found only and in the sufferings of the unfortunate ; who in God, it is God only who can be the object wish the goodness of the Supreme Being were of zeal, or, what is the same thing, expressed regulated by their caprice, or rather by their in other words, God alone is worthy of su- madness, and will never consent to worship preme love.

him as good, except he allows them with impuAs we make a progress in our meditation, pity to gratify their most absurd and guilty and in proportion as we acquire a just notion passions. of true zeal, we shall enter into the spirit and Observe too, people may be profane by acmeaning of the words of our psalmist. Do tion as well as by system and reasoning. If you love God as he did? Does your heart sinners attack the attributes of God directly, burn like his, with flames of divine zeal? it is equally true, they make an indirect attack

Then you can finish the first part of my dis- upon the same persections. course, for you know by experience this dis- Here I wish, my brethren, each of us had position of mind, my zeal hath consumed accustomed himself to derive his morality from me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy evangelical sources, to hear the language of words. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes inspired writers, and to judge of his own acbecause they keep not thy law.'

tions, not by such flattering portraits as his own Sinners, I do not mean such as sin through prejudices produce, but by the essential proinfirmity and surprise, the text does not speak perties of morality as it is described in the of them, I mean such as sin openly, freely, word of God. and deliberately, these sinners attack the per- For example, what is a man who coolly fections of God, either his attributes of mag- puts himself under the protection of another nificence, or those of holiness, or those of com- man without taking any thought about the munication, and sometimes all three together. guardianship of God? He is a profane They endeavour to disconcert the beautiful wretch, who declares war against God, and harmony of the divine perfections, and so to rob attacks his attributes of magnificence by attrius of all we adore, the only worthy object of buting more power to the patron, under whose our esteem.

wing he creeps and thinks himself secure, R

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