« VorigeDoorgaan »
which “ hath brought life and immortality to light * !” Thrice glorious grace, which hath constrained any of us to receive " the truth in “ the love thereof:” And thrice condescending Saviour, who hath“ washed us from our sins “in his own blood, and hath made us kings “ and priests unto God and his father t."
2. Since the Lord hath destroyed the vail that was spread over us, by revealing to us the great salvation, let all who have hitherto been indifferent about it, be deeply impressed with the duty of embracing it without delay, and with the sin and danger of neglecting it.
“ It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all " acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the « world to save the chief of sinnerst.” On the authority of the most high God, that gospel which we preach, tenders to you, my brethren, to every one of you, a free grant of this Saviour, and, in him, of eternal life: and, suffer me to add with all solemnity, enjoins your acceptance of it at the peril of your souls. This is his commandment; this, therefore, is your duty, your immediate, your indispensible duty, to believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, that you may be saved. A refusal is the most aggravated crime which you can pos
* 2 Tim. 1. 10.
+ Rev. i. 5.
1 Tim... 15.
sibis commit. For it not only approves, with deliberation, all your deeds of rebellion against the God of your mercies, but pours contempt on the riches of his grace, and throws scornfully away the only hope that erer has been, or ever shall be, proposed to guilty men. The experiment, therefore, is not less dangerous than sinful. For if ye reject Christ Jesus, the Lord, “ there remaineth no more sacrifice for “ sin *.” And when Jehovah writeth up the people, he will count that ye “trampled under “ foot the Son of his love, and deemed the
blood of the covenant, wherewith he was "sanetified, an unholy thing; and did despite “ unto the spirit of grace." Think not that this is a matter of trifling moment. If the gospel, which you hear from day to day, be not the instrument of your conversion to God, it shall be the occasion of your more dreadful condemnation. If not “the savour of life “ unto life,” most certainly «'the savour of " death unto death 1.” The Heathen will rise up in the judgment against you, and will condemn you; for they never shared your means of salvation. The devils will rise up in the judgment against you, and will condemn you; for no Saviour was provided for them; and, there
* Ileb. X. 26.
of Ibid, X. 29.
1 2 Cor. ii, 16,
fore, whatever be their crimes, the rejection of a Mediator's blood will be none of them. Now, then, “ as though God did beseech you “ by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye " reconciled unto God*.” Othat ye may know, in this your day, the “ things that be“ long to your peace, before they be hid from “ your eyes!"
3. In the assurance that Jehovah will destroy, by the prevalence of his gospel, the vail spread over the nations, believers may see how little they have to fear for the existence, or for the triumph, of their religion. • Infidelity, it is true, prospers; and hath as: sumed a'most effrontful air, and a most imperious tone. Her threats are loud, and her expectations sanguine. But threats as loud have, more than once, been put to shame; and expectations as sanguine, more than once, been blasted, Seventeen centuries ago did the adversaries of the church predict her speedy downfal; but, unlike the prophets of Jehovah, they proved to be the seers of a lie: she hath lived to see their rage perish, their monuments moulder, their naines sink into oblivion: and such shall be the issue of her present conflict. She can meet with no assault more furious and
formidable than those which she hath a thousand times met and a thousand times foiled. « God is in the midst of her; she shall not be « moved; God shall help her, and that right « early*.” Therefore, « no weapon that is “ formed against her shall prosper; and every “ tongue that riseth in judgment against her, " she shall condemnt.” The temporary success of the infidel should, indeed, confirm our faith, because it verifies the scriptures. Our master, Christ, hath told us, that this shall be one of the signs of his approach: “ when the “ Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on “ the earth I?” Every infidel under heaven is, then, a witness for Christianity; and carries in his forehead the proclamation that it is divine - Let him enjoy his exultation. Under a controul which he can neither elude nor resist, he is, really, though ignorantly, working his own destruction, and the aggrandizement of the Messiah. His progress shall be arrested, and his boast confounded, whenever he shall have performed the part allotted to him in the “ de“ terminate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” In our patience, therefore, let us possess our souls. What, though blasphemy display his columns in defiance to the armies of the living
Ps, xlvi, 57
+ Isaiah liv. 17.
Luke xvii. 3.
God? What, though disorder spread from pole to pole, and mingle the nations in universal uproar? What, though the foundations be destroyed, their fabrics overturned, and earth quiver under the falling wreck: That Jesus whom we worship, sitteth king for ever:
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.”
With all power in heaven and in earth, he will bring order out of confusion, and light out of darkness. In the moment of decision he will arise, and plead his own cause. When he appears, in glory, to build up Zion, his enemies shall lick the very dust. The infidel, to his astonishment, will find, that in planting the seeds of unbelief, he was planting laurels for the cross: and the believer, to his unspeakable joy, that all the trials of the church, and all the tumults of the world, were but preparative to the reign of righteousnefs “ in the ages of “peace.” -. .'.. · 4. The subject which has this evening occupied our attention, places, in a strong light, both the obligation which lies on Christians to
evangelize the Heathen, and their encouragei ment to attempt it.
If we count it life eternal to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent,