Abbildungen der Seite

after God is created in righteousness from the markings of the pen, or the and true holiness."

teachings of the school, or the disAnd now to some few remarks upon courses of the pulpit, and yet there is these words, I would lead your serious as a wide gap betwixt this, and a true attention, and may He who is the knowledge of Christ, as may be. But light of the soul, and the sanctification some of yourselves can meet me with of the soul, vouchsafe His holy unc- your testimonies here. You rememtion, for Jesus' sake.

ber when the head was charged, and First,—THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHrist. the tongue was busy, nay, flippant,

Secondly,—THE MEANS TO THE AC- with the name of Christ, but when QUISITION OF THIS KNOWLEDGE. nothing went deeper; and you lacked

Thirdly,—THE EFFECTS AND INFLU- the spirit of the wisdom which now ENCES OF THIS KNOWLEDGE IN ITS RE- makes you wise indeed?—wise unto ACTION UPON THE HEART.

salvation. Again, there is a know

ledge of Christ which is erroneous. THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST. The other did not go far enough, “ But ye have not so learned this is at direct war with the prinChrist." Where is this learning of ciples professed to be known. Such Christ imperfect and superficial- is the knowledge of the Antinomian, where is it erroneous—and where is where a man makes Christ the object it full and complete? It is imper- of his faith, and the promises of feet and superficial where it merely Christ's Gospel the ground of his asaffects Christ's person where it surance, and defends and justifies the reaches only to the verisimilitude marring of the image and the exthe coincidences of the lines of his ample of Christ in his life. Such, life with the lines of ancient prophecy too, is the knowledge of the man to where it rests upon his miraculous whom in the exordium of this sermon I works only as the proof of his divine adverted, who, like many at Ephesus, mission—where it comprehends the is feign to hold Christ and the world bare trials and sufferings of the man in the same heart—who, perchance, and of the martyr-where it extends no would willingly give the tithe and further than to a general survey of his seventh part of his time to Jesus and duties and doctrines and ordinances his services, on the implied condition and offices. Now he who is wise thus that the remainder might be devoted mueh may comparatively be a fool- to himself and his own pleasures-who a knowledge of that which appears, would work his way, as it were, in betokens no knowledge of that which the Christian field with the unequal is hidden. Thus a man standing at a yoking of the heifer and the ass. And distance may see, and give you a pic- now, does not this knowledge present ture of a flower, and yet be altogether that of many here?

Have not some unconscious of its fragrancy; or upon of you, in a religious sense as it were, looking at the fame, he might repre- your Sunday suit and your everysent its colour and figure, and yet be day suit? Are you not feeding your altogether unconscious of its heat. self-complacency upon your baptism And so a man may know almost every in the name of Christ, and your thing about Christ, and yet not un- assemblings together in the name derstand any thing of his influences of Christ and your keeping of ordi-of his mysteries. Thousands have nances in the name of Christ, and your this knowledge, they suck it in with public avowals in the name of Christ, their mother's milk, they get at it while you go on sinning against the

And now,

pattern of Christ, returning from your | in these lower depths of consciousness, profession to your guilty practice, as you may look up and see, what were the sow that is washed to her wallow else invisible, a star shining above ing in the mire? Concerning whom, you, the eye of Christ looking down looking from this day's declarations upon you, who is to you pardon, to the morrow's acts, might I not tell, and redemption, and reconciliation, like the Apostle, even weeping, that and sanctification, and wisdom, and under an assumed friendship you are strength, and peace, and adoption, the enemies of the cross of Christ? and exaltation to the right hand of May the Divine Grace make the num- God. This is the learning of Christ ber of such instances less and less at as he is, from a learning of the man as each returning period of my labours he is. This is to know “ the truth as amongst you, for your soul's sake. it is in Jesus,” by a knowledge of the

what is the full and com- suitableness of his offices to the explete learning of Christ? This begins isting wants of the soul. If thus you with a man's knowledge of himself, hear of him with the spiritual ear, in his own heart he must find the and believe on him with the spiritual alphabet by which he may spell out heart, you have come to that full and the very name as well as the offices of complete, and essential knowledge Christ. The knowledge is practical ; which maketh wise to salvation. theories are cobwebs; in the appro- And now, Secondly,—THE WAY OF priation of Christ to the existing OBTAINING THIS KNOWLEDGE.

I am wants of the soul, lives the true and anxious, saith some inquiring voice, only wisdom of Christ. To know the thus to learn Christ, as my prophet, truth as it is in him, you must know priest, and king—as the way, and the the truth as it is in your own heart. truth, and the life, and yet I know Let down into this well, and you will not how-I cannot see myself in the draw up the living water; the deeper condition you describe--I have hitheryou go the water will be the sweeter to striven to do so in vain. And Go along the avenue, and you will who, my brother, has been your come to an opening ; the further you master? Has he been in or out of walk the opening will be the wider Christ? Have you forsaken other and the brighter. Do you know, ex- guides, as the blind leaders of the perimentally know, that you are a blind, and consented, in the words guilty sinner,—that you are under of my text, to be “ taught by him,” to the weight of the curse, of God's be taught hy his holy and promised righteous curse—that you are a rebel Spirit, who “ when he is come,” against your King — that you are said Christ, “ he shall teach you all stricken with the leprosy of evil, so things.” It is, indeed, a weary, that there is no sound part in you hopeless work, where you set about from the crown of your head to the to know yourselves, without a prayersole of your foot—that you are igno- ful dependence upon him who rant and weak, and like the troubled vinceth of sin," to seek truth in the sea, for agitation and strife—that you inward parts, without a diligent callare aliens and strangers from the true ing upon him who is the guide into commonwealth of Israel—that you all truth. Do you think that it is for are by nature the children of wrath you to supersede him in the ministry and the heirs of destruction. Oh! if of his offices ? Can you expect other you have, indeed, a deep and inward than that the knowledge shall be knowledge of this, if you are sunken withholden where the source of its


" the

communication is unsought? Begin, | UPON THE HEART, Where the knowmy brother, the work again,-enter ledge of Christ is, there must be the anew your close retirement, and aboundings of Christ's spirit. The having the law of the first and se- knowledge of the wise will thus recond tables before you, with your veal itself in a spirit of wisdomknees in the dust, earnestly and im- the knowledge of the

ek, in a spiportunately (as you would call for rit of meekness; the knowledge of light upon a world of three days dark- the humble, in a spirit of humility; Dess, or for rain upon the parched the knowledge of the obedient, in a corn while it is full in the ear) beseech spirit of obedience; the knowledge the gracious influences of the spirit of the loving, in a spirit of love; the pursuing the heads of your self-com- knowledge of the pure, in a spirit of munion, and praying as you go on- purity. If the Holy Spirit takes of being heedful that no fresh acts of the things of Christ, and shows them wilful sin, or omissions of holy duty, unto us, he at the same time imbues quench the light that is about to be and enriches with the things he regiven-restrain the blessed unction veals. The light that makes manifest that is about to be shed. Do not, assimilates to the manifestation; and however, imagine that so costly a

thus the former conversation, favor shall be at once afforded, that old man which is corrupt according you shall know the sin of your own to the deceitful lusts,” is put off, and hearts as a plague, and Christ in his in the renewal of the spirit of the blood of atonement as a Saviour, at mind there is a putting on “ of the your first supplication. The opening new man, which, after God, is created may be by little and little, but only go in righteousness and true holiness." on, and be assured that, in due time, The very process in the acquisition the fulness of the knowledge of Christ of spiritual knowledge indicating itshall possess your soul, —that in it self by the change of the life,-the you shall live, and move, and have two-fold operation of the same mighty yoor being.

spirit! The old man of pollution Oh! I wish for your sake, I wish being put in opposition to the new for the authority of my direction and man of purity—the death in sin to a your encouragement, that I could new birth unto righteousness—dissounfold before you the records of lution of the lusts of the flesh to a saints, who, by this means, by this creation after God in true holinesssimple process, have traced their way true holiness, not a mere holiness of out of darkness into marvellous light. the exterior, but as touching the moI honestly confess that whatever mo- tives and affections of the inward dification the rule might be made to soul. It is impossible by any lanassume, I know of none other that guage to mark more strongly the can secure to you the end in view. I transformation and change that takes hold this as one of the great and fun- place in the temper and conversation damental truths in the order and eco- of a believer in Jesus, than is set forth nomy of divine grace to the conver- in the terms of the text; the Apostle's sion of the soul ; and living or dying, words being the echo of those of his I could only wish for a thousand master, “ye must be born again.” voices to multiply its echoes through Regeneration is the soul's new cloththe church of Christ.

ing for the company of Jesus ; it is But, Thirdly,—THE INFLUENCE OF the wedding garment, the white apTHIS KNOWLEDGE IN JTS RE-ACTION parel of admission to the marriage


supper of the Lamb. He cannot be breast the point of a piercing sword, of the church of Christ, he cannot I dare not, for any human consideramix in the fellowship of the faithful, tion, let it remain idle in the scabbard. he cannot prefer a claim to the bless- I address each man, each woman beings of the new covenant, he cannot fore me, are you renewed in the lean upon any of the exceedingly spirit of your mind ? Are you the great and precious promises of the created anew in Christ Jesus? Have Gospel, he cannot enter into the bliss the regenerating influences passed of a true communion with God, he upon you ? Have you received the cannot see the Lord (for without ho- Holy Ghost? Touching your former liness no man shall see the Lord), life and conversation, what was it? who has it not-through whom the Touching your present, what is it? great change, the blessed renewal, While that poisoned and choked up all the glorious creation, after the image around with the rank luxuriancy of of God, has not passed! And now, the weed, does this exhibit the yieldmy dear friends, as there are no ing of the good seed, bear the promise exceptions to a submission, to a of a bright harvest? Are you come yielding of ourselves to this divine out of slavery into freedom? Are you agency, it is a question of unspeak- come out of darkness into light? Are able moment if you have become you come out of disease into health? subject to it? If the grace of God Are you come out of death into life? has had its effectual working on your It matters not, when or how, the prayerful hearts? I know that many change was wrought, but dwell upon of you would shrink from the home the great fact. Go home, musing as question, would strive to blink oravert you go—though in company still be it: But it must and will return upon alone—in the solitude of the thinking you as the touchstone of your profes- heart let the one enquiry dwell. And sions in having learned Christ, as the if some of you have reason to bless proof of your knowledge of the truth God in the answer, do so; and if which he came into the world to many of you should have cause to diffuse. And surely I had better fear that all is not safe, that the work press it upon you now, than leave is yet to be begun, let it prompt to an conscience to do so at a futare and immediate seeking and striving with a dying hour-when your body may God for his Holy Spirit, that you be racked with sharp pains, and your may learn Christ, and find the truth mind has become weak, and harassed, that shall make you free-I say, to and exhausted in a conflict with a an immediate seeking and striving, thousand cares. The only platform for the door that now stands open in of a minister's work, exists in the the living opportunity, may soon be word now ; and thus, though I may shut-eternally shut ! Amen. be holding against many a man's

a Sermon,



Hosea, ni. 5.---"Afterward shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God

and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.

We observed, in the morning, that and New Testament; though, occathese words contain a prophecy, which, sionally, it may indirectly, and only unquestionably, refers to the person indirectly, refer to the last period of and the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the present state of being. the promised Messiah. And we fur- It is said, that this astonishing exhither observed, that there were three bition of Christianity during the latter points here, peculiarly worthy of our period of the Jewish hierarchy, pronotice. First, the designation which duced in the mind of some of the Jews is given to the Gospel dispensation, -produced in the minds of the Genthe goodness of the Lord.” Secondly, tiles the emotion of fear.—" They the first stage of its developement“in shall fear the Lord and his goodness the latter days.” And, finally, the in the latter days.” It is intimated peculiar effect which this develope- that there is a peculiarity in the exment was to produce on the feelings pression and in the sentiment. Goodand passions of men; “ they shall fear ness generally excites admiration, and the Lord and his goodness in the lat- gratitude, and obedience ; but here it ter days.”

is said, that the exbibition of goodness The Gospel dispensation is in itself produces fear. Hence, there must be the essence, the consummation, the something in the mode of exhibiting · perfection of excellence. However, this goodness, which has a tendency

it deserves that appellation, it de- to touch this passion of the human serves it, peculiarly, because it is the breast, and to bring it forth to the supreme gift of divine love—it is the glory of God and the good of man: supreme evidence of divine love—it and this was the case, particularly at is the supreme instrument of divine the first establishment of the Chrislove. As such, we can give, at once, tian dispensation in the world : there this appellation to the whole of the was every thing calculated to produce Gospel economy, to its prophecies, to fear. There was, in the first place, its doctrines, to its history, to its pro- the astonishing fall of the Jews, and mises, and to its representations. The the calling in of the Gentiles; an phraseology,“ latter days,” refers to event which must have struck awe the last period of the Jewish hierarchy, and terror through the world, as well commencing, probably, about the time as gratitude on the part of the Genof Herod the Great, and ending with tiles. Then, secondly, there was a the destruction of Jerusalem, and of most splendid exhibition of divine the Temple. Such meaning, I believe, power; the great God moved forth, generally, we are to attach to the as it were, from the secrecy and myswords " latter days,” both in the Old tery of his own nature, and spoke

« ZurückWeiter »