תמונות בעמוד

He published, in 1791, “Christ Crucified," in 2 vols.; the pulpit. On this occasion he caught cold; but his and no exhortation was wanting on his part to point illness was not such as to cause alarm, until a sudden out the inestimable blessing of the British constitu- | attack in the stomach seized him, and after lingering tion, and the madness of those who, in its stead, would a few hours, he died, full of faith in the alone sin-offerhave instituted that most oppressive and ruinous of ing of Jesus to save to the uttermost. His wife and governments, if government it can be called-an un- | three children survived him. His body was buried restrained democracy.

at Shawbury, near Shrewsbury, his funeral being atMr. De Courcy would not exchange his duties at tended by a vast assemblage ; and sermons relative Shrewsbury for more lucrative preferment, though to the mou ful event were preached at St. Alksuch was offered him. His resolution on this point mond's by the Rev. Brian Hill, and in other places is distinctly set forth in a letter in reply to a very of worship urgent invitation to undertake duty in the metropolis. The following testimony to Mr. De Courcy's cha

“The kind things you are pleased to say of me, and racter was borne by a periodical not favourable to his the kind plans which you and some unknown friends views, religious or political, in noticing his death. He have in contemplation for me, with a view to my in- was “highly esteemed as an affectionate and evangetroduction to the metropolis, demand my best acknow- lical pastor, and excellent extemporary preacher. His ledgments; but I must without reserve decline the un- language was plain and powerful, yet exceedingly merited offer. I should rejoice, as long as life and elegant, and his ministerial labours among his flock health are vouchsafed to deliver my message in any were incessant. Though his income was but small, situation to which Providence might call me; but I yet he had a liberal and generous spirit. Mr. De tremble at the idea of being ever stationed in London; Courcy saw but little company, and courted retireand it is one of my pleasing prospects here, that 'the ment. His last illness was very short. In his last bounds of my liabitation' seem fixed in the country, moments, he expressed his full persuasion of his inand the cloud does not point to that great city, where, terest in the salvation which is the great object of the though a large field for usefulness presents itself, the Christian faith, repeating pious lines from different snares and difficulties are to the ministerial character hymns, &c. In his manners and general deportment proportionably great and perilous. I remember to Mr. De Courcy was uncommonly graceful and gentlehave read of an ancient father of the Church, who, manlike." upon an intimation given him that it was intended to In addition to the work already adverted to, Mr. raise him to the office of a bishop, ran away from the De Courcy published " Jehu's Looking-Glass, or true place of the proposed consecration, and wandered and false zeal.” “Nathan's Message to David," a about all night, in the hope of eluding the search of Sermon. Two Fast-Sermons, 1776. " A Letter to a his sanguine friends. I enter very deeply into the Baptist Minister." "A Reply to Parmenas," 1776. feelings of that venerable man, and often stand asto- “ The Rejoinder on Baptism," 1777. “Hints respectnished at the temerity of our modern adventurers in ing the utility of some parochial plan for suppressing theological profession, who, instead of flying from so the profanation of the Lord's Day," 1777. Two Fastlarge and conspicuous a theatre as the metropolis, Sermons, 1778. “ Seduction; or, the cause of injured seem ambitious of trying their wings there, and only innocence pleaded," a Poem, 1782. “The Seducer there, while their talents are yet raw and unfledged; convicted on his own Evidence," 1783 ; and a Sermon and crowd to it with an eagerness that I cannot re- preached at Hawkestone Chapel, at the presentation concile, in some instances at least, with any prin- of the Standard to the North Shropshire Yeomanry ciple of humility and self-knowledge. I do, from my Cavalry, 1789.

T. inmost soul, bless God that I am dead to praise and popularity. The one is often only the senseless cry of an untutored mob, and the other such a mere bubble, liable to be burst by the very breath of human

AN ADDRESS TO MASTERS caprice that inflated it, and is much prostituted both

ON THE DUTY OF PREVENTING SIN IN THEIR by those who receive, as well as those who give, that he who seeks the one or the other, must be the dupe

SERVANTS, of his own vanity, and a mean dependent on the opi

By the Rev. J. L. GOLDING, M.A. nion of others.” “Happiness,” he elsewhere observes, “no more

Walton, near Peterborough. depends on station, rank, or any local or adventitious In a former address I endeavoured to point out the circumstances in individuals, than a man's life is con

solemn and imperative duty of parents endeavouring nected with the colour of his garment. And to make it so in reality, nothing is necessary but the balm of

to prevent sin in their children: the object of the preGospel peace, and the saving knowledge of the Son of

sent is to inculcate a similar duty on the part of God. As for those who know what is good by the

masters with reference to their servants. teaching of God's word and Spirit, and the earnest The situation of a master gives him an influence cry of whose heart is, ‘Lord, lift thou up the light of

over servants, for good or for evil, for which he cannot thy countenance upon us ; they know that every good is laid up for them in Jesus Christ; ordinances,

escape a future reckoning. Not only will that master providences, and even crosses, shall work together

who sets his servants a positively evil example, and for their present and eternal good."

even encourages sin in them, have to account hereHis general health in early life was good ; but from after for the abuse of a trust reposed in bim by Proweakness of the knees, arising from attacks of rheu

vidence; but that master also will stand convicted for matic gout, he was latterly obliged to sit when preaching:

an offence, certainly a less offence, but yet an offence, In August 1803, he lost his youngest son, an event

who has refused or neglected to make use of means, which was a matter of deep grief, though he bowed plainly and easily within his reach, for the "prevenwith submission to the Divine will. Preaching, shortly tion” of sin in his servants. Masters, let me take the after the melancholy event had occurred, on the even

example of your requiring them to pay an outward ing of a public fast-day, on Rev. vi. 2," I saw, and behold a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow, and house of God. I have already hinted, that I consider

respect at least to the Sabbath-day, by attending the a crown was given him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer ;" he adverted to his bereavement,

the neglect of the plain duty of decently observing and was so much affected that he was obliged to leave this day to be the fruitful source of sin and sorrow.

For he who neglects to observe the Sabbath-day's / which I write, the evil of the practice in question was duties is in double danger: he first of all breaks a regarded as a vast impediment to the efficiency of the plain command of God; and then he brings himself Sunday-school recently established there. The remedy by so doing into an evil condition, infinitely to be was pointed out, and at once adopted; and thus, by the dreaded, in that he must be considered to be out of blessing of God, will sin be "prevented” in many; the reach of every religious impression. The English and thus will such as are parents amongst them be man who should have daringly set foot upon the French

able henceforth to exhort their children to treat reterritory during the time of Napoleon's bitter enmity verently God's day, since they will no longer set the to Great Britain, would have been, according to all example of a gross violation of it by their own habits. human calculations, as wise and as safe as that bap- There are various ways, too, in our intercourse tised Christian is who refuses to observe the plain with others, our friends and connexions, by which a ordinance of the Sabbath. For on that day Satan thoughtful and wise man may kindly "prevent" sin especially claims as his territory every spot of ground in them. The view which I have taken of sin, as the not consecrated to the worship of almighty God. In direct cause of our temporal as well as of our eternal using your influence, then, to keep your servants from misery, justifies me in appealing to those whose views the sin of Sabbath-breaking, you are conferring upon of the future are not very influential over their practices. them the highest advantage. The master who firmly If you can prevent your fellow-creature from swearing and kindly uses the influence which his situation gives an oath, I think you will have conferred a positive blesshim, by bringing to the house of God his servants, is ing upon him. You will have saved him from throwmore than compensating to them for the apparent ing another grain into the scale of his temporal misery. irregularities of their outward condition. Such a mas- You will have saved one blow of the hammer by wbich ter pays his servants for their labours not only with the iron would have been yet more hardened: and bethe pence of time, but with the gold of eternity. He lieving as I do, that the believer's capacity for the himself, too, will have his reward, in finding himself enjoyment of eternal happiness is increased by indisurrounded with those who, if they become good ser- vidual acts of obedience; so do I think that the sinvants of God, must, as a matter of course, be good ner's capacity for the endurance of eternal misery is servants of man. I am speaking of one way of your augmented by individual acts of disobedience. What"preventing" sin in your servants, by using your ever your own practices may be, do justice to your influence to aid them in rightly observing the Sabbath- understandings, and take God's views of the real naday. Take care, then, that they have not to trace ture of sin. You cannot determine its heinousness up to you a compulsion—at least a strong temptation yourselves. It lies with God entirely. Follow the - to buy or sell on this day. It must be a bad begin- | dictates, then, of a sound reason, and you will listen ning for a right worship of God, when the day has to his voice only upon this subject; and never again been entered upon by the double sin, first, of buying, will you palliate it; never again will you think that and then of encouraging the palpable sin in him who another sin, and another, thrown into the scale, are of sold. Your precaution with your servants may thus no importance. Remember, it is the simple ouncereach and benefit those with whom you have no imme- weight, added to the weight which already presses diate concern; for if there are no Sunday buyers, there upon the loaded camel, that breaks its back; and so will be no Sunday sellers. And with what kind of a it may be your next wilful sin which shall for ever confession of sin can such a sinner enter the courts of harden your heart against the calls of God's grace, or the Lord's house on the Sabbath morning? When wbich shall, at least, in the natural order of God's the minister reads the confession of sin, to awaken punitive providence, heap upon you a load of tempenitential feelings, how much contrition must he bring poral mercy, which may bring down your gray hairs to it who, a few hours only before, desecrated the with sorrow to the grave. Sabbath by the traffic of this world, and so came to There is yet one more use I would direct you to meet his God just after he has been building up an- make of this topic: it is in reference to yourselves. other barrier to prevent his approach to him? If such, Do not forget, that, if it is certain you will " * prevent" then, is the condition of him who trades on the Sab- sin in others by influencing them to keep holy the bath-day, Christian master, let me entreat you to Sabbath, it is equally certain that by so doing you take care that no share in this sad sin lies on your will "prevent” it in yourselves. In the management conscience, for not having taken every precaution to of your own lives, the "prevention" of sin is one dis"prevent" it. If, then, you desire to do your part tinct part of your discipline. For this purpose, you towards "preventing" the hardening sin of Sunday-must, conscientiously and self-denyingly, keep out of trading in your servants, make your arrangements so the way of temptation. For no man is safe for a mowith them, that they shall have no excuse for not ment who voluntarily exposes himself to it; though cbtaining the weekly necessaries of life on the pre- if he meets it in the way of duty, by the help of the ceding day. You can do this, if you like. I cannot Spirit of God, he is as secure as if there were none. conceive it to be of any consequence to the master But I must stop. whether the settling-day between himself and his ser- The subject is one of much instruction and interest. vants is on the Friday or Saturday; but it is of incon- It opens a distinct door of usefulness in our interceivable importance to the servant that it should take course with others. The parent sees one course place on the former day. The change of days may clearly marked out with regard to training his children even awaken the attention of the thoughtless labourer -it is to be his unwearied labour to "prevent" sin in to the magnitude of a sin which custom has long ren- them, by his advice, watchfulness, influence, and selfdered too familiar to be felt. In a place near to that in ' denial. The master sees before him the power of doing good to his servants, at the trifling sacrifice of a few | ragements, and also its thrcats, denunciarules wiscly laid down and firmly enforced: he can tions, and judgments. "prevent" the sin of Sabbath-breaking in them, by The word testimony also occurs twice at previously making it the rule of his house, and of all least in the New Testament, where it signifies the members of his establishment, from which he will

the Gospel of Christ. Thus, 1 Cor. ii. 1, the admit of no deviation but illness or unavoidable duties, apostle states, “ And I, brethren, when I came to frequent regularly the house of God. Such things

to yon, came not with excellency of speech or may appear but trifles to some; but this is a fatal mis

of wistlom, (eclaring unto you the testimony take. Nothing is small which can affect the welfare of of Gol; for I determined to know nothing the soul: and indeed the word "small" is totally mis

among you, save Jesus Christ and him crnci. used when applied to this sin ; for if that sin is the

fied." 'Again, he writes to Timothy (2 Tim. greatest, whose couscquences are the most deadly, tell me, where shall we find one whose consequences are

i. 8): “ Be not thon, therefore, ashamed of more fatal than that of Sabbath-breaking ?

the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thon partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel.” From these two pas

sages it is evident that the testimony of God THE PERFECTION OF GOD'S LAW :

and the testimony of our Lord_mcan the A Sermon

Gospel of Jesus Christ-the New Testament;

therefore we will extend the signification of BY TIE REV. T. Dixox, M.A. Incumbent of Trinity Church, South Shields.

the terms in the text—the law of the Lord

and the testimony of the Lordto the whole Pealm xix. 7.

revealed word of God to the whole Bible. " The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the And if David could say of the portion which

soul : the testimony of the Lord' is sure, making had been revealed in his time, or even of that wisc thc simple."

part of it, the moral law, " the law of the It is a very common style with the sacred Lord is perfect, converting the soul : the teswriters, especially the poetic and prophetic, timony of the Lord is sure, making wise the to repeat the same sentiment in two consecu- simple," — what manner of persons ought tive sentences somewhat differently express- we to be, in all holy conversation and godlied. The latter, indeed, frequently throws ness, who are favoured with so full and perlight upon the former; sometimes cnlarging fect revelation ? and how indeed can we escape the same ileas, and sometimes embodying if we neglect so great salvation ? new ones, We have an example of this in The propriety of the word testimony, as dethe words of the text-" The law of the Lord | noting the law of the Lord, is very evident; is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony the same word is frequently translated witof the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. First, it is a witness-a standing meHere the latter sentiment is precisely the morial of the covenant which God graciously same in the effect produced—the simple soul condescended to enter into with man, of the is made wise, or converted. By the lan of terms upon which he engaged to be his God, the Lord, therefore, and the testimony of the to bless him in time and eternity, and of the Lord, is to be understood the same thing, in duties which he required from man thus to the main, in the passage before us: they fre- secuure his favour ; and of the dreadful conquently occur in the same scuse throughout sequences of man's disobedience. Secondly, the Bible, and are convertible terms. Thus the word testimony is most suitably chosen to it is said (Exodus, xxxi. 18) God gave unto signify the law of the Lord; for that law is a Moses “ two tables of testimony;" (Exodus, perpetual testimony or evidence of its divine xxxii. 15) that Moses “ went down from the original. The wisdom, the purity, the jusmount, and the two tables of testimony were tice, the goodness, which therein appear, in his hand;" that is, the moral law, or ten could only spring from the Divine mind. commandments, generally in Scripture called | The perfection of character therein taught thc law. They are also used synonymously and insisted upon, as necessary for man, opby the prophet Isaiah, viii. 16. “ Bind up posing all his corrupt feelings and appetites, the testimony, seal the law among my disci- and leading him to look for true happiness ples.” And again, versc 20, “To the law in purity and spirituality of mind alone, is and to the testimony.Thus it appears that so contrary to man's natural disposition that the lans and the testimony frequently denote the idea of it never could originate in the the same thing in the Old Testament, as they

they human mind; the law enforcing it bears in do in the text, and that, in its first sense, is ward testimony of its heavenly original--of the moral law, or covenant of works: in a being designed by a mind not tainted with more extended sense it comprises the whole human imperfection-of a mind perfectly moral and preceptive part of the Old Testa- pure and holy. This will appear still more ment, with its promises, invitations, encou- evidently, if we compare God's pure law with


any other system of religion found in the , when the lawyer asked our Saviour what he world. Take, for instance, the Mohammedan, should do to inherit eternal life, and he said with which we are most familiar, and which unto him, " What is written in the law? claims our attention first from the extensive how readest thou ?" the scribe replied establishment it has obtained. A very few “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all moments' comparison will shew that it has thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all sprung from a less pure source that it is the thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy device of man, human error and infirmity neighbour as thyself. And Jesus said unto mixed up with divine truths taken from the him, Thou hast answered right; do this, and Bible. Its sensual paradise, its sensual in- thou shalt live.” Luke x. 27. The law dulgences in this life, and its bitter persecut- therefore is doubly perfect; perfect in forbiding spirit towards all other religious forms of ding all and every sin, and condemning to faith, are, of themselves a sufficient testimony death for the slightest transgression—"cursed that it was the device of frail and fallen man. is every one that continueth not in all things These things are so natural to men, that they written in the book of the law to do them;" bespeak the human character at once. The and perfect, in enjoining entire holiness of pleasures promised by the Mohammedan re- heart and life, and only promising reward ligion in the next life, and allowed in this, upon that condition," he that doeth these are just such as the depraved heart of man things shall live by them.” would wish for, if he had a religion and hea- But alas! for such perfection as this ! ven of his own choosing. But how different « who then can be saved ?" Must we not all the purity and holiness required by the law assert with the apostle, that the “ commandof the Lord, for happiness here, and the en- ment which was ordained to life, I found to joyment of heaven hereafter!“ Be ye perfect, be unto death?” Which of you does not even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”' acknowledge himself guilty, and under the

There is yet a further reason why the law condemnation of this law times above numis called the testimony of the Lord, namely, ber? Which of you does not admit that by the miraculous testimony borne to it, when it the deeds of this law no flesh can be saved ? was delivered on Mount Sinai, and the many Which of you does not plead guilty to and varied miracles with which the prophets impure thoughts, covetous desires, uncharitin the Old, and the apostles in the New Tes-able, envious, or malicious feelings? Has tament, proved that their commission was no evil communication proceeded out of your from heaven, and that what they taught man- mouth? no slander, no guile, no dissimulakind was the word and will of God.

tion, no irreverent, no blaspheinous words? It may serve to simplify the further eluci- have there been no deeds of darkness, which dation of the text, by considering first, the would not bear the light; no adultery, forniPsalmist's statement of the nature or condi- cation, or uncleanness; no over-reaching or tion of the law and testimony of the Lord-supplanting, no injust weight or measure; they are "perfect and sure:" secondly, their 110 drunkenness, no untruthfulness, no diseffects" converting the soul,” and “mak- honesty ? Alas! who bear these ing wise the simple.

searching inquiries? We must all plead 1. It is said of the law and testimony of guilty to this holy law-I who speak, and the Lord, that they are perfect and sure. As you who hear. And who can refrain, under a rule of life the moral law is a standard of such accumulated condemnation, from smitexcellence-it is "holy, just, and good;” ing upon his breast, and saying, “ God be the counterpart of that pure, divine mind merciful to me a sinner ?" Yet forget not to who

gave it to man for the regulation of his observe that this law, so far considered, says thoughts, words, and actions. It is so perfect, not a word about mercy; it provides no such that there is no sin which it does not condemn; mercy; it simply says, Do, and live-Do not, it leaves no chance of escape from the rigour and die. and minuteness of its commands--no subter- Perfect then as the law is, by forbidding fuge, no plea, no excuse whatever. There is all sin and enjoining all righteousness, it is no condition or limitation allowed; it au- only perfect for a perfect being. It was in thoritatively and without reserve says, do, every way perfect for man as he came from or THOU SHALT NOT DO. And this rigorous his Maker's hands, enjoining a perfection command extends eqnally to the thoughts which he was every way capable of fulfilling. entertained in the heart, and to words and And as God is unchangeable, and the condiactions. All, if sinful, are alike forbidden tion of man to qualify him for the Divine and condemned. But this law not only for- presence and enjoyment in heaven is one and bids and condemns all sin and imperfection, the same for ever, God could not abate any but it enjoins and insists upon, with the same thing from the holiness of his law after rigour of enforcement, all perfection; for man had fallen; he could not adapt his


requirements to the fallen, corrupted na- | undiminished, the rigour of the law unabated; ture of man; but gave him on Mount while guilty man can be pardoned, blessed, Sinai the same perfect covenant of works, as sanctified, and saved. It could not be a perhe would have given, and perhaps did give fect law to us, unless it promised us these him, in Paradise before his fall

. Perfect then mercies, and provided the means for making as this holy, just, and good law is in itself, them ours. But after all this, my brethren, and for man as he came from the hands of I would earnestly impress upon your minds his Creator, it is very imperfect for him in that an offered salvation may be no salvation ; his present degenerate condition. The He- a provided Saviour may be no Saviour ; neibrew word here translated perfectis ren- ther the one nor the other will profit you, dered in the Septuagint version by a Greek unless secured, appropriated, made your own; word signifying faultless, blameless, i. e. you are no further from perdition. That in its holy requirements. This is a much « Christ has redeemed you from the curse more suitable designation of the law as ap- of the law,” has “ tasted death for every plying to man in his present condition. We man;"- this will only aggravate your conall most heartily assent that it is indeed demnation-unless this Saviour be tied to and blameless in its requirements; but who of us embraced, and you secure a personal incan now say that it is perfect? We find that terest in his precious blood-shedding and it sets up a standard which we can never righteousness. You must observe that it is reach; and in coming to it we feel under its in him that we have “ redemption, through condemning curse-helpless, hopeless. We his blood ;” and “if any man be in him,” feel that a law to be perfect for us must pro- we read, that “he is a new creature; old vide mercy, pardon, grace, and salvation. things are passed away, and all things are The law then, so far considered, will not, of become new,”—his hopes, his desires, his itself, do for us.

pleasures, his wishes, his thoughts, his words, But we have already seen that the law his actions, his life, his conversation, his and the testimony may comprehend the whole heart and soul. Remember that unless thus revealed word of God, the New Testament as found in Christ, you are under the law of well as the Old, and have agreed to consider works, and must inevitably perish; for by it in that comprehensive light. Thus then that law, we have already clearly seen, “ no we can give our full assent and consent to Aesh can be saved.” Out of Christ, notthe law, that it is not only “holy, just, and withstanding his completion of the covenantgood,” but perfect too ; yea, the excellence work of redemption, “ God is a consumof perfection, and that to us-ward. In this ing fire;" and out of Christ you all are until extended acceptation of the terms law and you have felt your guilty and lost condition, testimony, which is no forced one, we find and have come to him, through a faith of the “mercy and truth meeting together, righte- operation of God, as the only Saviour of peousness and peace embracing cach other." rishing sinners. May the Holy Spirit lead “ For what the law could not do, in that it each of us to make this Saviour our own Sawas weak through the flesh, God sending his viour, and may we all be found in him jusown Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and tified from all things, without spot and blamefor sin, condemned sin in the flesh ; that the less ! righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after mony of the Lord, that it is sure. the Spirit.” Thus is the Old Testament dis- book been found in some obscure corner of pensation perfected by the New; the law the world, of which no one knew the author, becoming a “school-master to lead us to or from whence it came, or could give any Christ, that we might be justified by faith ;” account of it, beyond the simple fact of its that in “ him we might be justified from existence; and had this same book contained all things, from which we could not be laws and institutions, and a religion every justified by the law of Moses.” This new way calculated for the perfection and happicovenant provides that in Christ ness of man in time and in eternity,--one have redemption through his blood, even the would suppose the world would have been forgiveness of sins;" and that “ being justi- lost in admiration of its excellence, that the fied by faith, we have peace with God, universal cry would have been,“ how wise, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and rejoice how good, how wonderful! What purity, in hope of the glory of God."

what holiness, what happiness, is promised Thus combined, the law and the testimony and provided for here and for ever! An alform a perfect covenant for man as he now mighty God to pardon and bless, a divine is ; by which “ God can be just, and the Saviour to redeem from all sin, a Holy Spirit justifier of him that believes in Jesus." It to sanctify, the light of God's countenance in maintains the glory of God and his justice this vale of tears, and the enjoyment of his

Had a


« הקודםהמשך »