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the glory as of the only begotten of the is willing and ready to impart his grace Father) full of grace and truth." "It unto them according to their need. Ig. hath pleased the Father,” saith the apos- norance of this keeps many Christians in tle Paul," that in him should all fulness a languishing, dejected state. Though dwell.” Nay, “ In him dwelleth all the they know that the fulness of the Godfulness of the Godhead bodily.” Coloss. ii. head dwelleth in Christ, and that all 9. Here then is not only fulness, but all grace is treasured up in him for the benfulness; nay, the whole fulness of the God-efit of his people, they are nevertheless head dwelling in Christ Jesus: and what haunted with fears and jealousies about words can import a sufficiency of grace, his willingness to communicate this treasif these do not ? But may we hope that ure to them. These partly arise from the this grace shall be imparted to us? Yes, sense of their own unworthiness, and we may. For, in the
partly from the misrepresentations of 2d place, The Scriptures assure us, Satan, the great adversary, who doth that all this grace is treasured up in Christ every thing in his power to cherish and for the behoof of his people. I need not strengthen those evil surmisings which mention particular passages of Scripture keep sinners at a distance from the founfor the proof of this, seeing it evidently tain of mercy, and drive them away from appears from the whole strain of divine that Almighty Saviour upon whom their revelation, where Christ is uniformly re- help is laid. But, blessed be God! the presented as a public person, sustaining Scriptures furnish us with arguments more the character of Mediator or Surety, liv- than sufficient to refute all the suggesing and dying, not for himself, but for the tions of Satan upon this head. The good sake of those whom the Father had given will of our Lord shines with such glory him. Hence he is called the head, and in every page of this sacred book, that believers are styled the members of his there can remain no rational ground to body. He is compared to the vine; and, doubt of it: “In the last day, that great in a suitableness to this figurative repre- day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, sentation, believers are denominated bran- saying, If any man thirst, let him come ches which
out of this vine, and de- unto me and drink. He that believeth on rive all their sap and nourishment from it. me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of livThat remarkable prophecy of Isaiah, (chap. ing water. This," adds the evangelist, lxi. 1,-3.) which our Lord applied to “spake he of the Spirit, which they that behinself in the synagogue at Nazareth, is a lieve on him should receive." John vii. 37, clear and strong confirmation of this truth : 38, 39. He is represented, in the book of “ The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, the Revelation, as standing at the door, and because the Lord hath anointed me to knocking, with these gracious words in his preach good tidings unto the meek; he mouth, "If any man will hear my voice, hath sent me to bind up the broken-heart- and open the door, I will come in to him and ed, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and sup with him, and he with me.” How sweet the opening of the prison to them that are is his name, Jesus, a Saviour ! how endearbound; to appoint unto them that mourn ing the relations he stands in to his people, in Zion, to give unto them beauty for as their Shepherd and Friend, their Husashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the gar- band, their Brother? Was he not temptment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; ed, that he might succor those who are that they might be called
trees of righteous- tempted ? And can we have any reason to ness, the planting of the Lord, that he question his love to us, who became flesh might be glorified." Here is a plain de- of our flesh, and bore our griefs, for this claration, that Christ was anointed, and very end, that he might be gracious ? filled with the Spirit, for this very end, Nay, we may appeal to facts for the proof that he might dispense to his people those of this doctrine. All the ransomed supplies of grace which their various cases around the throne, who overcame by the and necessities might require. We are blood and Spirit of the Lamb, give testifurther assured,
mony to this great and important truth; dly. That Christ, upon all occasions, and I trust there are many thousands upon earth, who, with humble gratitude and How completely amiable doth the joy, can attest the same, and say with the Lord Jesus appear when viewed in this apostle John, “ Of his fulness have all we light! How safe and happy are they who received, and grace for grace. More are vitally united to him ! “The young might be said upon this head; but you lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they have heard enough to show, that believers that fear the Lord shall not want any in Christ have all possible encouragement good thing." "O sing unto the Lord a to come boldly to a throne of grace, in new song, and his praise in the congrethe assured hope that they shall ob- gation of his saints : Let Israel rejoice tain mercy, and find grace to help them in him that made and redeemed him; let in every time of need. And therefore I the children of Zion be joyful in their shall only add,
King." These reflections are just and 4thly. That this grace of Christ, when natural; but as I must not stay to enonce obtained, shall infallibly prove vic- large upon all the uses that might be torious, and finally prevail against all op- made of this subject, I shall at present position. He who is the author, is like confine myself to what appears most imwise the finisher of his people's faith ; portant and seasonable ; namely, a few for “his gifts and calling are without re-advices to Christians in general, and pentance “He will not break the more especially to those who have newly bruised reed, nor quench the smoking entered upon a religious course. And, flax, till he bring forth judgment unto
1st. I would forewarn you of the opvictory.” Grace, though a small rivulet position you are likely to meet with in in appearance, is fed with an everlasting your way heavenward.' You have begun spring. Where the Lord Jesus begins a a warfare; and “every battle of the wargood work, he will carry it on to perfec- rior is with confused noise, and garments tion, and never leave the objects of his rolled in blood.” Corruption will no love till he hath made them like himself, doubt assail you from within ; but I am all glorious both within and without, and to warn you of danger from another quarpresented them to his father without ter. We read, that when Jesus was born, spot and blemish.
“Herod the king was troubled, and all Thus have I laid before you two im- Jerusalem with him.'
In like manner, potant points of Christian doctrine; first, when Christ is formed in any heart, all Our weakness in ourselves; and, second- hell is in an uproar, and the malignant ly, That sufficiency of grace which is to brood of the old serpent upon earth will be found in Christ Jesus. The Spirit not fail to spit out their venom against was not given by measure unto him; and that person as lavishly as they can. The the precious oil was poured upon his wicked among whom you live will mock head, that from thence it might flow and ridicule you; and it is probable that down to the remotest skirts of his gar- your former companions in sin will taunt ments, and be communicated to all the you with past and pardoned faults (for members of his body. Nay, he is, upon pardoned they are if you have come to all occasions, most willing and ready to Christ), and will exert their utmost dispense to his people this inestimable strength and cunning to mar your confiblessing : none who come to him under a dence, if they cannot carry you back into sense of need shall be sent empty away. the same excess of riot with themselves; And the first fruits of his grace are a cer- nay, with hellish spite they may even tain pledge and earnest of future glory; forge lies to blacken your character, that for “whatsoever is born of God over they may not seem to have suffered any cometh the world.” It is not so much loss by your revolt from their party. the Christian that lives, as Christ that all this you have reason to expect; and liveth in him ; and because he lives, all I speak of it beforehand, that when it who believe in him shall live also. "They happens, you may not be surprised or are kept," not by their own strength, but discouraged, as though some strange and “by the power of God, through faith un unusual thing had befallen you. It is, to salvation."
and always hath been, the lot of God's
children ; and when you suffer in this saith God, "will I be inquired of by the manner, you have the honor to suffer in house of Ísrael to do it for them.”' Paul, the best of causes, and with the best of you see, besought the Lord thrice before company.
“ Marvel not, my brethren, he received the answer in my text. Prayer if the world hate you; it hated your keeps the communication open between Lord before it hated you, and the servant the head and the members; it is the mesis not greater than his Master. If ye senger that goes from earth to heaven, were of the world, the world would love and returns with all necessary blessings its own;
but because ye are not of the from thence. Beware, then, of neglecting world, and because Christ hath called this necessary duty. Pray in faith, pray you out of the world, upon these accounts in the name of Christ, pray without ceasthe world hateth you." " Rejoice, there ing: and beg of Christ to teach you to fors, and be exceeding glad ; for great is pray aright, that you may ask and reyour reward in heaven."
ceive, and then your joy shall be full. 2dly. Maintain a constant sense of your Now, brethren, I commend you to God, own weakness. Remember that caution and to the word of his grace, which is of the apostle, “Be not high-minded, but able to build you up, and to give you an
You can only work to purpose inheritance among all them which are when you work upon a present strength ; sanctified." And to him who is able to the grace you receive to-day will need a keep us from falling, whose grace is suffifresh supply of grace to revive and actuate cient for all his people, at all times, and it to-morrow; for Christ always dispenseth in all circumstances, to the only wise God his peculiar gifts in such a way as to re- and our Saviour, be glory and honor, domind his people of their constant depend minion and power, for ever and ever. ence upon him, and to render them diligent Amen. in the use of all the means he hath
appointed for promoting the divine life in their souls. At the same time, 3dly. Think honorably of your Lord,
SERMON XXXVI. in whose service you are engaged. Believe it, whatever Satan may suggest to the contrary, that his heart is kind, and his hand liberal. It is of the highest im- 1 THESSALONIANS, II. 4.-"But as we were allow
ed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, portance to have just conceptions of
even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but Christ, and to know what mercy and God, which trieth our hearts.” strength are laid up for us in him. Look not so much to your enemies as to the WHEN we compare ourselves with the Captain of your salvation; set his promi- primitive Christians, we are obliged to ses against their threatening, his omni- confess, that, in every respect, we fall potent grace against their impotent malice. greatly short of their attainments. We Be ye therefore bold and very courage- seem to be creatures of a lower rank, inous; victory is insured to you; it is capable of reaching the same degree of already sown in that new nature you have perfection with them: And indeed it is got; and ere long the Prince of Peace, to be suspected, that through a false and the Lion of the tribe of Judah, shall vicious modesty, we look upon these anbruise Satan underneath your feet, and put cient worthies as examples which, though that triumphant song into your mouths, we ought to imitate, we can never hope to "Now is come salvation and strength, and equal. Hence we rest satisfied with any the kingdom of our God, and the power distant resemblance we can attain, thinkof his Christ; for the accuser of our ing, that if we are not altogether unlike brethren is cast down, which accused to them, it is all that a modern Christian them before our God day and night." can expect.
4thly. Remember, that all this guffi This is a gross and most pernicious cient grace is only to be obtained by mistake. The gate of heaven is no wider prayer and supplication: “For this,” now than it was seventeen hundred years
THE GREAT TRUST.
The law of God extends as far as supported him under the ignominious treatit did when the apostles lived; and I ment he met with at Philippi, which he know of no indulgence granted to us mentions in the second verse of this chapwhich did not exist in the earliest times ter, and encouraged him to persist in of Christianity. The church of Rome preaching that gospel which he had reindeed hath taught, that some eminent ceived in trust from God. It was this Christians have done more than was which rendered the first Christians supestrictly necessary for their own salvation. rior to adversity in all its frightful forms; But no such doctrine is to be found in and it is the same divine principle, which, Scripture : Nay, on the contrary, we are if once it got the entire possession of our told, that when we have done ail, we are hearts, would be a constant spring of holy still unprofitable servants, and have done obedience, and enable us, by the blessing no more than what was our duty to do. of God, to follow the cloud of witnesses To this day, therefore, we are bound to who have gone before us, through the most the same strictness and purity, to the rugged paths of virtue, untainted with same mortification and self-denial, to the that meanness and inconstancy of behasame zeal and steadfastness, which dis- vior which are the reproach of so many tinguished the primitive Christians; and professing Christians in our days. it is impossible to devise any excuse for I propose, therefore, through divine asour degeneracy from their bright example. sistance, 1st, To open the nature and exThey were all men of like passions with tent of the divine principle mentioned in ourselves : they had the same corrupt na my text; 2dly, To represent the happy ture to strive against, the same tempta effects which would flow from our being tions to resist, the same enemies to over- animated with this steady and prevailing
Their advantages for performing desire. After which I shall conclude with their duty were not greater than ours : on a practical improvement on the subject. the contrary, besides all that they possess- I BEGIN with opening the nature and ed, we have the benefit of their example extent of the divine principle mentioned and experience. God's hand is not short- in the text. And to prevent any misened, the blood of Christ hath lost none takes on this head, it may be needful to of its virtue, his intercession is no less observe, that our making the approbation prevalent, nor is the power of his Spirit in of God our principal aim, does not exthe least impaired by length of time and clude all regard to the opinion or judg. constant exercise. “He is the same yes- ment of our fellow-creatures. terday, to-day, and for ever:” So that we certainly bound by that great law of our are entirely without excuse, if we do not religion, " Thou shalt love thy neighbor both aim at it, and actually attain the as thyself,” to make the pleasing of our same degrees of holiness and purity with brethren, by every lawful means, an obany of those that have gone before us. ject of attention, and a subordinate end of
Let us then consider all those persons our conduct. And as our neighbor is comcelebrated in Scripture history, as exam- manded to love us as himself, both reason ples which we not only ought to copy and religion teach us to render ourselves after, but may, through God's grace, hope as amiable to him as we can, that so we to equal: and, instead of being dazzled may facilitate his performance of that imwith the lustre of their virtues, let us portant duty. search into the principles which influenced Neither, on the other hand, are we their conduct, that, by cherishing these, wholly to disregard the censures of men, we may be animated to go on, and do as or be altogether unconcerned, when our they did.
reputation is blackened by injurious ca. The apostle mentions, in the text, one lumnies. “A good name is better than of distinguished efficacy, which I propose precious ointment.” It is a special blessto make the subject of this discoưrse : A ing which we are to receive with thanksupreme desire to please God, who trieth fulness from the hand of God; and it is the heart, without regard either to the our duty to preserve it as carefully as we praise or censure of men. It was this which can. Without a good name, no man can
be useful in the world. To neglect it or say of me, if I act in this manner? therefore, where it does not proceed from a Will it endanger my reputation, or hurt consciousness of guilt, is certainly in most my interst, or prevent my rising in the cases a very culpable indifference. Thus world? You will easily see that a considfar, then, the judgment of men is to be erable time must elapse before all these regarded; but then we must please our difficult points can be settled. Weheras brethren only so far as it is pleasing to the man whose single aim is to please God, God. In every case we must state the is at once freed from all these incummatter thus: Whether it is wiser to obey brances. He no sooner discovers the will God or man ? to fear those who, after of God, than he proceeds immediately to they have killed the body, have no more action; and whilst the other is bewildered that they can do ? or to fear him who, with numberless conjectures, he goes after he hath killed, can destroy both cheerfully forward, leaving all his temposoul and body in hell ? We must not ral concerns in the hands of that God by only contemn the favor of men when com- whose law he is governed, and to whose pared with the approbation of God, but disposal he is entirely resigned. And is learn to value it among those transitory not this an unspeakable advantage, towards things which are only desirable as means abounding in the fruits of righteousness ? for attaining a higher end.
How free is the mind of such a man ? how In like manner, the displeasure of men, firm are his steps? He walks straight if unjust, must be reckoned among our forward, without deviating into by-paths; light afflictions, which are but for a mo- and whilst his conscience tells him that he ment. In such circumstances, it must is accepted of God, he enjoys a pure and appear a small matter to us to be judged unmixed tranquillity, which the world can of man's judgment: “We have one that neither give nor take away. judgeth us, even God." That prophecy
A 2d happy effect that would flow from of our Saviour must be constantly remem- our being animated with a steady and prebered, that the world will hate us; and vailing desire of pleasing God, would be, his example must be ever before our eyes, that our conduct would thereby become who condescended to be scorned, and buf- consistent and uniform. God alone is infeted, and slandered as an impostor and variable. What pleased him yesterday, blasphemer; who made himself of no re pleaseth him to-day as well, and though putation, but endured the cross, and de- his commandments are exceeding broad, spised the shame, leaving us an example yet they perfectly agree among themselves, that we should follow his steps. In a and make one beautiful and harmonious word, God must be pleased by all means; system. Whereas men not only differ his approbation is the one thing needful; from one another, but at times from themhe is now our Witness, and will ere long selves also, and require opposite and conbe our Judge ; and in these two characters tradictory things, which makes it absolutewe ought constantly to set him before us. ly impossible to please any number of them
This is the temper which the apostle at one time, or even to continue long in expresseth in the text. I proceed now, the favor of any one of them, without the in the
most disgraceful inconsistencies in our Second place, to represent the happy conduct; but he, whose single aim is to effects which would flow from our being please God, in some measure resembles the animated with this steady and prevailing Father of lights, "with whom is no variadesire of pleasing God.
bleness, neither shadow of turning.” “His And, in the 1st place, This would make path is as the morning light, that shineth us ready to every good work, by remov- more and more unto the perfect day.” ing all those grounds of hesitation and His character is still brightening; he adsuspense, whereby double-minded people vanсeth from one degree of grace to anare perplexed and retarded in their way. Other; and is every moment drawing nearA man must be very slow in his motions, er to the enjoyment of that God whose when every step is burdened with such approbation he constantly sought. questions as these: What will men think In the 3d place, The divine principle