صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

dead bodies, not only of natives, but of stran- , awful. But now God does not propose; he ingers, filled this holy place."*

flicts them. He does not propose any one of Read the whole history of that siege, ren- three; he inflicts the whole at once. On what dered for ever memorable by the multitude of side can you cast your regards, and not be preits calamities. See Jerusalem swimming with sented with the like objects? To what voice blood, and entombed in its own ashes. Mark can you hearken which does not say, “Except how it was besieged, precisely at the time of ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish?” Hear their most solemn festival, when the Jews were the people whose unhappy countries have for assembled from all parts of the world to cele- many years become the theatre of war; who brate their passover. See how the blood of hear of nothing “but wars and rumours of eleven hundred thousand persons was mingled wars,” who see their harvest cut down before with their sacrifices, and justified the expres- it is ripe, and the hopes of the year dissipated sion in the text, “Suppose ye that these Gali- in a moment. These are instructive examleans were more culpable? I tell you, nay; but ples; these are loud calls, which say, “Except except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Hear See how the walls of Jerusalem, in the same those people over whose heads the heavens are siege, sapped by the Roman ram, and by as brass, and under whose feet the earth is a thousand engines of war, fell down and bu- as iron, who are consumed by scarcity and ried the citizens in their ruins, literally accom- drought: these are instructive examples; these plishing this other part of the prophecy; “Sup- are loud calls which say, "except ye repent, pose ye, that those eighteen on whom the tow- ye shall likewise perish.” Hear those peoer of Siloam fell, were sinners above all that ple among whom death enters with the air dwelt in Jerusalem; I tell you, nay; but except they breathe, who see fall down before their ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." eyes, here an infant, and there a husband, and

God has the same designs in regard to us, who expect every moment to follow them. while afflicting Europe before our eyes. This These are awful examples; these are loud is the point at which we must now stop. We calls, which say, " Except ye repent, ye shall must leave the Jews, from whom the means all likewise perish." Thus our first parallel is of conversion were ultimately removed, to pro- correct; we, like the Jews, have seen examples fit by their awful example; and especially, from of the divine vengeance. the consideration of their impenitency, to derive 2. We, like the Jews, are still spared; and the most serious motives for our own conversion. whatever part we may have hitherto had in CONCLUSION.

the calamities of Europe, thank God, we have There is then so perfect a conformity be- not fallen, “ He has covered us with his featween us, my brethren, and those who came

thers, and given us refuge under his wings." to report to Jesus Christ the calamity of the We have not been struck with “terror by poor Galileans, that one must be wilfully blind night,” nor with “the arrow that flieth by not to perceive it. 1. The Jews had just seen

day,” nor with“ the pestilence that walketh in

darkness,” nor, " with the destruction that examples of the divine vengeance, and we also have lately seen them. 2. The Jews had been wasteth at noon-day. A thousand have fallen spared, and we also are spared. 3. The Jews at our side, and ten thousand on our right were likewise as great offenders as those hand; but the destruction has not come nigh that had fallen under the strokes of God; and of fasting have ever been "alleviated with

to us,” Ps. xci. 4—7. Our days of mourning and we are as great offenders as those that now suffer before our eyes.

4. The Jews joy; and this discourse which recalls so many were taught by Jesus Christ what disposition gloomy thoughts, excites recollections of comof mind they should in future assume; and we

fort. The prayers addressed to Heaven for so are equally instructed. 5. Those Jews har many unhappy mortals precipitated to peril, dened their hearts against his warning, and are enlivened with the voice of praise, inaswere ultimately destroyed; (O God, avert this We weep between the porch and the altar,

much as we are still exempt from the scourge. awful augur!) we harden our hearts in like with joy and with grief at the same instant; manner, and we shall experience the same lot, with grief, from a conviction that our sins if we continue in the same state. 1. We ourselves, like the Jews who were

have excited the anger of God against Europe; present at that bloody scene, have seen exam

with joy because his fury has not as yet exples of the divine vengeance. Europe is now heart, “O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto

tended to us; and if we say, with a contrite an instructive theatre, and bespangled with tragic scenes. The destroying angel, armed thee; but unto us confusion of face: O Lord, with the awful sword of celestial vengeance, Lord, pardon the iniquity of thy people," we

enter not into judgment with thy servants: 0 goes forth on our right hand, and on our left, shall make these walls resound with our distinguishing his route by carnage and horror. 4 'The sword of the Lord intoxicated with

thanksgiving. We shall say with Hezekiah, blood,” Jer. xlvii. 6, refuses to return to its hast in love to my soul delivered it from the

A great bitterness is como upon me, but thou scabbard, and seems wishful to make the whole earth a vast sepulchre. Our Europe has often pit of corruption. We shall say, with the been visited with severe strokes; but I know prophet Jonah, “ Thy billows and thy waves not whether history records a period in which have passed over me; then I said I am cast out they were so severe, and so general. God of thy sight; yet I will look again towards thy once proposed to David a terrible choice of holy temple; and with Jeremiah, “ It is of the

war, or of famine. The best was because his compassions fail not: they are new pestilence, of

Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, and * Joseph. Wars of the Jews, book v. every morning.” Our second parallel is there

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

fore correct; we like the Jews, are still spared. I if these walls which surround us were about Dan. ix. 7; Joel ii. 17; Isa. xxxviii. 17; Jonah to fall, and to make us like the eighteen on ii. 3; Lam. iii. 22, 23.

whom the tower in Siloam fell? And what would 3. Like the Jews, we are not less guilty our situation be, if the curses on those ancient than those who fall before our eyes under the people, and which are this day accomplished judgments of God. What a revolting propo- in so many parts of Europe, should fall upon sition, you will say? What! the men whose us? “The Lord shall make the pestilence hands were so often dipped in the most inno- cleave unto thee, until he consume thee from cent blood, the men who used their utmost ef- off the land. The heaven that is over thy forts to extinguish the lamp of truth, the men head shall be brass, and the earth that is under who are rendered for ever infamous by the thee shall be iron. The Lord shall cause thee death of so many martyrs, are they to be com- to be smitten before thine enemies. And bepared to us? Can we say of their calamities, cause thou servedst not the Lord thy God with what the Lord said to the Jews concerning joyfulness and with gladness of heart, thou the calamities named in the text, “ Think ye shalt serve in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, that these Galileans were sinners above all and in want, an enemy which shall put a yoke Galileans? Think ye that those eighteen on upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. whom the tower in Siloam foll, were sinners And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, above all that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters nay." We would wish you, my brethren, to which the Lord thy God shall give thee,” have as much patience in attending to the pa- Deut. xxviii. 21. 23. 25. 47, 48. 53. rallel, as we have had ground for drawing it. My brethren, let us not contend with God, Who then, in your opinion, is the greater sin- let us not arm ourselves with an infatuated ner, he who opposes a religion he believes to fortitude. Instead of braving the justice of be bad, or he who gives himself no sort of God, let us endeavour to appease it, by a concern to cherish and extend a religion he speedy recourse to his mercy, and by a genuine believes to be good? He, who for the sake of change of conduct. his religion sacrifices the goods, the liberty, and This is the duty imposed on this nation; this the lives of those that oppose it, or he who sa- is the work of all the faithful assembled here. crifices his religion to human hopes, to a sordid But permit me to say it, with all the respect interest, and to a prudence purely worldly? of a subject who addresses his masters, and, at He who enters with a lever and a hatchet into the same time, with all the frankness of a mihouses he believes profane, or he who feels but nister of the gospel who addresses the subjects languor and indifference when called upon to of the King of kings, this is peculiarly your revive the ashes he accounts holy, and to raise work, high and mighty lords of these provinces, the foundations he believes sacred? A glance fathers of this people. In vain do you adopt on the third parallel is, I presume, sufficient to the measures of prudence to avert the calamiinduce you to acknowledge its propriety. ties with which we are threatened, unless you

Amid so many dissipations, and this is the endeavour to purge the city of God of the fourth point of similarity, Jesus Christ still crimes which attract them. The languishing teaches us the same lessons he once taught the church extends to you her arms. The minisJews. He renders us attentive to Providence. try, rendered useless by the profligacy of the He proves that we are concerned in those age, has need of your influence to maintain itevents. He opens our eyes to the war, the self, and to be exercised with success; to put a pestilence, and famino, by which we are me- period to the horrible profanation of the sabnaced. He exhibits the example of the multi- bath, which has so long and so justly become tude who fall under those calamities. He says, our reproach; to suppress those scandalous “surely thou shalt receive instruction.” He publications which are ushered with insolence, avers that the same lot awaits us. He speaks, and by which are erected before your eyes, he presses, he urges. He hews us by his with impunity, a system of atheism and irreliprophets, and slays us by his word,” to use an gion; to punish the blasphemers; and thus to expression of Hosca, vi. 5. To all these traits, revive the enlightened laws of Constantine and our situation perfectly coincides. What then Theodosius. can obstruct our application of the latter, " Ex- If in this manner, we shall correspond with cept ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” the designs of God in the present chastise

And shall events so bloody leave no impres- ments of men, he will continue to protect and sion on your mind? “ Ye shall all likewise defend us. He will dissipate the tempests perish?” What would your situation be, if ready to burst on our heads. He will confirm this prophecy were about to be acccomplished? to us the truth of that promise he once made If our lot were about to be like that of the to the Jews by the ministry of Jeremiah; “ At. Galileans? If on a fast-day, a sacramental what instant I shall speak concerning a nation day, a day in which our people hold an extra- - to pull down and to destroy it-If that naordinary assembly, a cruel and ferocious sol- tion turn from their evil, I will repent of the diery, with rage in their hearts, with fury in evil I thought to do unto them,” xviii. 7, 8. their eyes, and murderous weapons in their In a word, after having rendered our own life hands, should rush and confound our devotion happy, and society tranquil

, he will exalt us with carnage, sacrificing the father before the above all clouds and tempests, to those happier eyes of the son, and the son before the eyes of regions, where there shall be “ the father, and make this church swim with row, nor crying, nor pain;" and where "all the blood of the worshippers? What would tears shall be for ever wiped from our eyes." your situation be, if the foundations of this Rev. vii. 17; xxi. 4. God grant us the grace: church were about to be shook under our feet, to whom be honour and glory for ever. Amen.

no more sor

[ocr errors]

ness,

a

sure.

convinced; but that religion charmed, ravished, SERMON XCVII.

and absorbed his soul by its .comforts. “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fat

ness, and my soul shall praise thee with joyful A TASTE FOR DEVOTION. lips; when I remember thee upon my bed, and

meditate upon thee in the night-watches.”—In Psalm Ixiii. 5, 6.

discussing the subject,

I. We shall trace the emotions of our proMy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fat- phet, and to give you the ideas, if it be possible

and

my mouth shall praise thee with joyful to give them, of what we understand by the lips: when I remember thee upon my bed, and piety of taste and sentiment. meditate upon thee in the night-watches.

II. We shall consider the words with regard It is a felicity to be acquainted with the ar- to the humiliation they reflect on the most part guments which forcibly attach us to religion. of Christians; and inquire into the judgment It is a great advantage to be able to arrange, we ought to form of our own state, when deswith conclusive propriety, the arguments which titute of the piety of sentiment and taste, so render virtue preferable to vice. It is a high consoling to a regenerate soul. favour to be able to proceed from principle to III. We shall investigate the cause of this principle, and from consequence to consequence, calamity. so as to say in one's own breast, with a conscious IV. We shall propose some maxims for the mind of the excellence of piety, I am persuaded acquisition of this piety, the want of which is that a good man is happy.

so deplorable; and to enable you to say with But how sublime soever this way of soaring David, “My soul shall be satisfied as with to God may be, it is not always sufficient. · Ar- marrow and fatness, and my soul shall praise guments may indeed impose silence on the pas- thee with joyful lips, when I remember thee sions; but they are not always sufficiently co-opon my bed, and meditate upon thee in the gent to eradicate them. However conclusive night-watches.” demonstrations may be in a book, in a school, 1. We must define what we understand by in the closet, they appear extremely weak, and the piety of taste and sentiment. Wishful to of very inadequate force, when opposed to sen- compress the subject, we shall not oppose protiments of anguish, or to the attractions of plea- fanation to eminent piety, nor apparent piety

The arguments adduced to suffer for re- to that which is genuine. We shall oppose religion, lose much of their efficacy, not to say of ality to reality; true piety to true piety; and the their evidence, when proposed to a man about religion of the heart to that which is rational to be broken alive on the wheel, or consumed and argumentative. A few examples, derived on a pile. The arguments for resisting the flesh; from human life, will illustrate this article of for rising superior to matter and sense, vanish, religion. for the most part, on viewing the objects of con- Suppose two pupils of a philosopher, both cupiscence. How worthy then is that man of emulous to make a proficiency in science; both pity who knows no way of approaching God, attentive to the maxims of their master; both but that of discussion and argument!

surmounting the greatest difficulties to retain a There is one way of leading us to God much permanent impression of what they hear. But more safe; and of inducing to abide in fellowship the one finds study a fatigue like the man totwith him, whenever it is embraced; that is, the tering under a burden: to him study is a severe way of taste and of sentiment. Happy the man, and arduous task: he hears because he is obliged who, in the conflicts to which he is exposed from to hear what is dictated. The other, on the the enemy of his soul, can oppose pleasure to contrary, enters into the spirit of study; ils pleasure, and joy to joy; the pleasures of piety pains are compensated by its pleasures: he loves and of converse with Heaven to the pleasure of truth for the sake of truth; and not for the sake the world; the delights of recollection and soli- of the encomiums conferred on literary charactude to those of brilliant circles, of dissipations, ters, and the preceptors of science. and of theatres! Such a man is firm in his duty, Take another example. The case of two because he is a man; and because it depends not warriors, both loyal to their sovereign; both on man to refuse affection to what opens to his alert and vigilant in military discipline, which, soul the fountains of life. Such a man is at- of all others, requires the greatest vigilance and tached to religion by the same motives which precision; both ready to sacrifice life when duty attach the world to the objects of their passions, shall so require; but the one groans under the which afford them exquisite deliglit. Such a heavy fatigues he endures, and sighis for repose: man has support in the time of temptation, be- his imagination is struck with the danger to cause "the peace of God which passeth all un- which he is exposed by his honour: he braves derstanding, keeps,” so to speak, the propensi-dangers, because he is obliged to brave them, ties of his heart, and the divine comforts which and because God will require an account of inundate his soul, obstructs his being drawn the public safety of those who may have had

the baseness to sacrifice it to personal preservaLet us attend to-day to a great master in the tion: yet amid triumphs he envies the lot of science of salvation. It is our prophet. He the cottager, who having held the plough by knew the argumentative way of coming to God. day, finds the rewards at night of domestic re“ Thy word,” said he to himself, “is a lamp pose. The other, on the contrary, is born with unto my feet, and a lantern to my paths,” Ps. an insatiable thirst of glory, to which nothing cxix. 105. But he knew also the way of taste can be arduous: he has by nature, that noble and of sentiment. He said to God in the words courage, shall I call it, or that happy temerity, of my text, not only that he was persuaded and I that amid the greatest danger, he sees no dan

a

away to sin.

ger; victory is ever before his eyes; and every thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, yea, step that leads to conquest is regarded as a vic- for the living God," Ps. xxvii. 8; xlii. 1. The tory already obtained.

delicious sentiments he finds in the communion These examples are more than sufficient to of Jesus Christ, prompts him to forget all the confirm your ideas, and make you perceive the sacrifices he has made for a participation vast distinction we make between a speculative therein. and an experimental piety, and to enable you In a word, not to multiply cases, the one in some sort to trace the sentiments of our pro- dies because he must die: he yields to that irphet, My soul shall be satisfied as with mar- | revocable sentence, “Return, ye children of row and fatness, and my soul shall praise thee men, "** Ps. xc. 3. Submission, resignation, and with joyful lips; when I remember thee upon patience, are the pillars which sustain him in my bed, and meditate upon thee in the night- his agony. The other, on the contrary, meets watches." He who has a rational and a spe- death as one who would go to a triumph. He culative piety, and he who has a piety of taste anticipates the happy moment with aspirations, and sentiment, are both sincere in their efforts; which shall give flight to his soul; he cries, he both devoted to their duty; both pure in pur- incessantly cries, “Come Lord Jesus, come pose; both in some sort pleasing to God; and quickly." Patience, resignation, submission, both alike engaged in studying his precepts, seem to him virtues out of season: he exercised and in reducing them to practice; but o, how them while condemned to live; not when he is different is their state!

called to die. Henceforth his soul abandons itThe one prays because he is awed by his self wholly to joy, to gratitude, and to transwants, and because prayer is the resource of ports. the wretched. The other prays because the II. Let us inquire in the second article what exercise of prayer transports him to another judgment we should pass upon ourselves when world; because it vanishes the objects which destitute of the heartfelt piety we have just obstruct his divine reflections; and because it described. strengthens those ties which unite him to that There are few subjects in the code of holiGod, whose love constitutes all his consolation, ness, which require greater precision, and in and all his treasure.

which we should be more cautious to avoid viThe one reads the word of God because his sionary notions. Some persons regard piety heart would reproach him for neglecting a duty of taste and sentiment so essential to salvation, so strongly enjoined, and because without the as to reprobate all those who, as yet, have not Bible he would be embarrassed at every step. attained it. Certain passages of Scripture misThe other reads because his heart burns when construed serve as the basis of this opinion. ever the Scriptures are opened; and because Because the Spirit of God sheds a profusion of this word composes his mind, assuages his an- consolations on the souls of some believers, it guish, and beguiles his care.

would seem that he must shed it on all. They The one gives alms, because the doors of presume that a Christian must judge of the heaven shall be shut against the unpitiable; be- state of his mind less by the uprightness of his cause without alms there is no religion; because heart, and the purity of his motives, than by Jesus Christ shall one day say to those who the enjoyments, or the privation of certain spihave been insensible to the wants of others, ritual comforts. A man shall powerfully wres

Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, for I was tle with his passions, be always at war with hungry, and ye gave me no meat;” and be- himself, and make to God the severest sacricause the rust of the gold and silver of “the fices, yet if we do not feel certain transports, covetous shall be a witness against them, and he must be regarded as a reprobate. A man, shall eat their flesh as a fire,” Matt. xxv. 41; on the contrary, who shall be less attentive to James v. 3. The other gives because there is the conditions of salvation, and less severe toa kind of instinct and mechanical impulse, if wards himself, must, according to the casuists you will excuse the phrase, which excite in his I attack, banish all sorts of doubt and scruple breast the most delicious sensations in the dis- of his salvation, provided he attain to certain tribution of alms: he gives because his soul is transports of ecstacy and joy. formed on the model of that God, whose cha- Whatever basis or solidity there may be in racter is love, “who left not himself without one part of the principles which constitute the witness, in that he did good,” and whose hap- foundation of this system, there are few that piness consists in the power of imparting that are more dangerous. It often gives occasion to felicity to others.

certain ebullitions of passion, of which we have The one approaches the Lord's table, because too many examples. It is much easier to warm the supreme wisdom has enjoined it; he sub- the imagination than to reform the heart. dues his passions because the sacrifice is requir- How often have we seen persons who thought ed; in resuming his heart from the objects of themselves superior to all our instructions, bevice, he seems to abscind his own flesh; it cause they flattered themselves with having the would seem requisite always to repeat in his Spirit of God for a guide, which inwardly asears this text, “He that eateth this bread, and sured them of their pardon and eternal salvadrinketh this cup unworthily, eateth and drink- tion? How often have we seen persons of this eth his own condemnation. The other comes description take offence because we doubted of to the Lord's table as to a feast; he brings a what they presumed was already decided in heart hungering and thirsting for righteousness; he inwardly hears the gentle voice of God, say- * What critic besides our author gives this turn to ing, “Seek ye my face:” he replies, “Thy these words of Moses! Their glosses are, either return face, Lord, I will seek. As the hart panteth scythe, and re-people the earth, after being desolated a

by repentance, or, “Come again as the grass after the after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thousand years before the food.”

Vol. II.-49

[ocr errors]

J. S.

[ocr errors]

their breast, by a divine influence and super- , an effect of our depravity, but a consequence natural voice? How often have we seen them of our infirmity. A man may be able to pay a reject with high disdain and revolt, strictures better supported attention' to an exhibition than of' which they were but too worthy? Let us to a course of holy meditation; not that he not give place to enthusiasm. Let us ever pre- loves an exhibition more than holy meditation, serve our judgment. The Spirit of God guides but because the one devolves on abstract and indeed, but he does not blind. I prefer a hu- spiritual truths, while the other presents him mility destitute of transports, to transports des- with spiritual objects. You feel no wandering titute of humility. The piety of taste and sen- thoughts in presence of an earthly monarch timent is certainly the privilege of some rege- who holds your life and fortune in his hands; nerate people: it is indeed a disposition of mind but a thousand distractions assail you in conto which all the regenerate should aspire; but verse with the God, who can make you eterwe must not exclude those that are weak from nally happy, or eternally miserable. This is regeneration.*

not because more exalted ideas of God's power But if there is danger of striking on the first than of the monarch's are denied; it is because rock, there is some danger of striking on the in God's power the object is abstract, but in second. Under a plea that one may be saved the monarch's, the object is sensible; it is bewithout the conscious comforts we have de- cause the impression of sensible objects is scribed, shall we give ourselves no inquietude stronger than those which are abstract. This, about acquiring them? Shall we give our heart, perhaps, induced St. John to say, “If a man and our warmes affections to the world; and love not his brother whom he hath seen, how offer to God but an exhausted, a constrained can he love God whom he hath not seen?" and reluctant obedience? Let us inquire in This argument in appearance is defective.what case, and what respects we may console Does it follow, that because I love not my broourselves when deprived of conscious comfort; ther, whom I see, being full of imperfections, and in what case, and what respects, we ought that I do not love God, who, though unseen, is to mourn when deprived of those divine favours. an all-perfect being? This is not the apostle's

1. Abstract and spiritual objects seldom argument. He means, that the dispositions of make so deep an impression on the inind as the soul are moved by sensible, rather than by those which are sensible. This is not always abstract and spiritual objects. If we possessed

that source of tenderness, which prompts the * Saurin, in twenty places of his sermons, attacks a class of opponents whom he calls casuists, or guides and heart to love God, our tenderness would be directors of the soul. These were the supralapsarians. moved at the sight of a man in distress, and That class of men, I have little doubt, were very clear in we should be instantly led to succour him. If the doctrine of the Spirit. And Saurin is not only clear, the sight of an afflicted man; if this sensible but sublimely so, as will appear from this sermon. he errs in too much restricting it to the more highly fa- object make no impression upon us, the Divine voured class of saints. Perhaps this arose from early pre- perfections which are spiritual and abstract objudice; perhaps from want or seeing the work of conver-jects, will leave us lukewarm and unanimated. sion on an extended scale; perhaps the opposition he re- Let each of us, my brethren, apply this remark ceived urged his replies beyond the feelings of his heart to the subject in hand. We sometimes want a and so far as to drive him to apparent contradictions of himself. We must never console the well disposed with taste and inclination for devotion; this is bethe doctrine of unconscious salvation, but urge them to seek it, as the Scriptures do, and as our author fully does ritual, and make a less impression on the mind,

cause the objects of piety are abstract and spiin the latter part of this discourse. The exceptions are in favour of men of a nervous and dejected

mind, who than the objects of sense. This is not always mostly die more happily than they live. Now, I would ask, an effect of our corruption; it is sometimes a is a man to attain the whole Christian temper without the influences of the Spirit Cau the harvest and the fruits consequence of natural frailty. ripen without the solar influence? Can we be satisfied with 2. The piety of preference and of sacrifice our imperfect marks of conversion till assured that we has a peculiar excellence, and may sometimes consciously love God from a reaction of his love shed afford encouraging niarks of salvation, though abroad in our heart? Romn. v. 5. Did not the primitive unaccompanied with the piety of sentiment Churches walk in the comforts of the Holy Ghost? Acts ix. 31. And is there any intimation that the witness--the and taste. You do not find the same vivacity seah--the unction—and the uppe Bov or earnests and com- in prayer that you once found in public diverforts of the Holy Spirit were confined to Christians of the sions, but you prefer prayer to those diverfirst age? How are we to attain the Divine image without a Divine and conscious influence? And if God testify his sions, and you sacrifice them for the sake of frowns against all crimes by secret terrors of conscience, prayer. You do not find the same pleasure in why may he not testily his approbation of the penitent, reading books of piety you felt in reading prowhen he believes with the heart unto righteousness? fane books, but you sacrifice profane reading Why should the most gracious of all beings keep us through the fear of death all our lives

subject to bondage? for books of devotion. You have not the same Is heaven a feast of which only a few favoured ones can pleasure in the contemplation of death as in have a foretaste? Are there no consolations in Christ the prospects of life, but on being called on to Jesus, exclusive of a future hope, to which our infirmities afford but a very defective title' Hence, I cannot but la- die, you prefer death both to health and life. ment the ignorance, or be wail the error of ministers, who You uniformly surrender your health and your ridicule the doctrine of the Spirit. Assurance, comfort, life to the pleasure of Heaven on being called and the witness of adoption, are subjects of prayer rather to the crisis. You would not ransom, by the than of dispute. This part of religion, according to Bishop Bull, is better understood by the heart than by the slightest violation of the divine law, this life head. The reader who would wish to be adequately ac and health, how dear soever they may be to quainted with the doctrine of the Spirit, may consult St. you. Console yourselves, therefore, with the Ambrose, St. Augustine, and Macarius. In our own tongue, Bishop Bull's sermons; the sermon of Bishop testimony of a good conscience. Be assured Smallridge, and Dr. Conant on the comforter; Mr. Joseph that you are sincere in the sight of God; and Mede and 'Dr. Cudworth on 1 John ii. 3; Dr. Owen on that while aspiring at perfection, your sincerity the Spirit: Dr. Watts' three sermons, and Mr. Wesley's shall be a substitute for perfection. bermon on the witness of the Spirit; the collect for the sixth Sunday after Trinity.

3. The holy Scriptures abound with passages

« السابقةمتابعة »