ferings; and upon the all-sufficient aid imparted by God the Holy Ghost, to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life; are we not constrained to exclaim with the Psalmist, “ Lord, what is man, that thou art “ mindful of him; or the son of man, that “ thou so regardest him * !”

Yet let us not be so wrapt up in the speculative contemplation of these great and undeserved mercies of God in Christ Jesus, as to be practically unmindful of the obligations they lay upon us. “ For, behold, the day " cometh,” saith the last of the Hebrew prophets, “that shall burn as an oven; and all the

proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall “ be stubble: and the day that cometh shall

burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, 6 that it shall leave them neither root nor “ branch. But unto

But unto you that fear my name “shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with “ healing in his wings.” “ Unto you that “ fear my name!”—unto you, that is, who lead such lives as becometh men professing godliness ;-unto you who consider that the

goodness of God leadeth you to repent“ ance ?,” and that because “there is mercy “ with him, therefore shall he be feared ';" —

u Malachi iv. 2.

* Rom. ii. 4.

+ Psalm vii. 4. y Psalm cxxx. 4.


unto you, who having been “signed with the

sign of the cross,” will not be ashamed to “ confess the faith of Christ crucified, and

manfully to fight under his banner against

sin, the world, and the Devil, and to con«« tinue Christ's faithful soldiers and servants “ unto your lives' end." To such only do these precious promises belong; and in such only will they be effectually fulfilled.

With these thoughts deeply impressed upon our minds, neither the cares nor the troubles, neither the riches nor the pleasures of this present world, will prevail to turn us aside from the path we should pursue.

Intent upon “the high prize of the calling that is set “ before us,” we shall seek also to strengthen these impressions by habitual recourse to all the means of


ordained for our growth in godliness and virtue; more especially to those “holy mysteries,” which on this high festival' we are now about to celebrate; mysteries instituted by our blessed Lord himself,

as pledges of his love, and for the conti“ nual remembrance of his death, to our great “and endless comfort.” At his holy altar let our vows of faith and obedience be renewed ; and while our hearts overflow with gratitude for the mercies we ourselves rejoice in, let them expand also in love and charity towards all mankind, for whom his precious blood was shed; beseeching him, both for ourselves and others, to “ have mercy upon us, to pardon “ and deliver us from all our sins, to confirm “ and strengthen us in all goodness, and to

y Christmas-day.

bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus “ Christ our Lord.”



JOHN xvi. 15.

All things that the Father hath are mine: there

fore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shew

it unto you.

IT would be difficult to find in any of our Lord's discourses a stronger assertion of his Divinity than is contained in these words. Taken in connection with what precedes and follows them, they amount to a declaration of his equality with the Father, in one of the highest acts of infinite power and wisdom,that of imparting spiritual gifts. They imply also, in their more general signification, an inseparable union and cooperation of the Holy Spirit with the Father and Himself, in all that relates to the work of man's salvation.

Throughout this memorable conversation with his Apostles on the eve of his sufferings, our Lord appears exceedingly solicitous to assure them that his place should be supplied

by another Comforter, who, though not visibly manifested to them, should give abundant proof of his actual presence, by miraculous signs and tokens; these affording such evidence of His immediate influence upon their understandings and affections as should leave no room to doubt of the source from which it flowed. The characters he ascribes to this heavenly Person are nothing short of attributes essentially divine. He was to “ abide with them for ever;" to “teach them “ all things,” and “bring all things to their “ remembrance, whatsoever Jesus had said 6 unto them." He was to come unto them “ from the Father;" being “ the Spirit of “ truth which proceedeth from the Father,” to “guide them into all truth,” and to “shew “ them things to come.” He is represented also as having the same intimate knowledge of the Divine will and counsels as the Son himself. On these high prerogatives our Lord grounds the assurance, that the want of his own personal continuance among them would be amply compensated by the coming of this all-sufficient Guide and Instructor. Yet, great as these characters and prerogatives are, He speaks of Himself as equally entitled with the Father to the glory resulting from them: “ Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is


« VorigeDoorgaan »