Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

pent ? They look to you for the portion of goods that falla eth to their share ; not only the meat which perishe h, but that meat which endureth unlo everlafing life.” If you are unfaithful they are undone. On the other hand,

great is. your reward” on earth, and ftill greater “your reward in heaven," if you are honoured to become their spiritual parents, as you are parents after ibe flesh ; it, after having introduced them into this world of nature, you are made the happy in. ftruments of introducing them into the kingdom of God; if you and they together are at lengi h added "to the general alfembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to the ipirits of juft men made perteệt.” through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and the “ blood of Sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”

Young man, thou wert in early, infancy, by the piety of affectionate parents, baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft. The birth of nature bel. towed on thee. the name of thy Father after the flesh ; when thou wert sprinkled with water, another name was prefixed to. it, which continues to be thy distinctive appellation. Both were indeed imposed without thy consciousness or consent, but in both thou haft cheerfully acquiesceà, perhaps they are a fource of pride to thee. Even the acquisition of an eftate will hardly induce a man of spirit to forego his parental designation, but the Chrißian name is indelible. Every time thou writest it then, every time thou heareft it addressed to thee, thou art admonished of thy dedication to God Baptifmal engagements rise into view. “I am not my own, for I am bought with a price. What, deny my name! What, sell it for a painted ba'uble ! No, I glory in it; I will not permit it to be dishonoured. What my parents did in my behalf when I was a little child, I now openly avow. They have done their part, through the help of God I will do mine. The name of Christ shall not be blafphemed through my un. worthinels. My brothers bear with me the common name of our ancestors, but I will render my own distinguished among many brethren. I will never blush at being called a Chris tian."

My friend, thou hast passed through the water at the age of puberty. Baptism was thy own act and deed. Thou haft en. tered into the kingdom of God, conscioufly, deliberately. The vows of God are upon thee. That young person, made a christian by the act of parents, when come to years may disallow.


that act, may renounce the name, but thou hast lublcribed with thy hand unto the Lord.

Thou hast put the yoke of Christ upon thy own neck and haft assumed his burthen. Thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, and must not look, must not go back. Thou standest pledged to God and to the world to support the honour of the Chriftian name, "to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” You feel and acknowledge the obligation ; no temptation, no compulsion can induce thee to retract it. Next facramental solemnity the row shall be renewed, repeated. The language of thy heart is: “I am not ashamed of the gorpel of Chrift: for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth :” “God forbid that I should glory, fave in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

It the spirit and power of the institution, we repeat it, are thus understood and telt, let a man pass through water into the pale of the church of Christ, or procure that privilege for his child, by the rite ot aspersion as conscience may prescribe, and let us " be kindly affectioned one to anocher, with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”

The Evangelist, at this interval, presents us with the genealogical table of Christ's descentrom Adam downward. It brings us all to the common level of brethren, Through endless and intricate ramifications every man finds himself derived from one and the same root, “ the son of Adam, the son of God." And the Christian is “ born again,” he is" a new creature,” being“ begotten again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Chrift from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” The law of nature binds us to each other as men, the law of the gospel doubles and strengthens the cord of love. This is Chrift's new commandments” the badge of discipleship, “the fulfilling of the law,” - the bond of pertectness." A new commandment,” says our blessed Lord, “ I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you,


also love one ano!her. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, it ye have love one to another."

Has God vouchfated to give such testimony to the Son oĖ his love ? Receive it, rest upon it, improve it as a rule of lite, as a source of consolation. Yę“ have not followed cunni. gly devised fables, when we have made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jelus Chrift;" for though you were not "eye-witnesses of his majesty,” you have

a more fure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as

[ocr errors]


unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts."

Ye call Chrift " Master and Lord :" and ye say well, for sa He is. “ It became Him to fulfil all righteousness ;" He put respect on the ordinances, on the house, on the word of God : " leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” Let the name, the day, the temple, the word of the Lord be hallowed in your eyes. “ Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Chỉift were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of lite."

“ The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove up. on Him :" when He was leaving the world, and going unto the Father, he promised his disciples to “ give them another Comforter, to abide with them for ever; even the Spirit of truth." That Comforter was to teach them all things and bring all things to their remembrance. “He shewed himself" to them alive after his paffion, by many infallible proofs :" He repeated his promise;" He commanded them that they should not de part from Jerufalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, faith He, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with wa. ter, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.” It was accordingly fulfilled : “ When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rulhing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were fitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them ; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghoft, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Thus were they comforted for their Master's departure ; thus they received" an unction from the Holy One," whereby they were fet apart unto, and fitted for their great work; thus were they Strengthened to begin and pursue a career which will be felt till time expire. The same Spirit is promised, and is given to us, to "help our infirmities," to " guide us into all truth.” to take what is Chrift's and fhew it unto us, to “comfort us in all our tribulation," to shew us things to come. We look not for a, miraculous effusion, to enable us to speak with tongues, to prophecy, to work miracles ; but we have good ground to ask and to hope that God will give us“ the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” “O send out thy light and thy, urath; let them lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill,


and to thy tabernacles; then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy."

Our blessed Lord entered on his public mififtry at the age 6f thirty, and it was accomplished within the face of little more than three years. Think how much was done in that short space. Were the things which Jesus did, as they Itand on this record, and the many other ihings" not recorded therein, to be " written every one," such would be their number and their lustre, that they would to the world! appear to be absolutely incredible, and therefore the world would not be disposed to receive them. Here we have an illufrious pattern of the employment, of the improvement of time. “I must work." says he, "the works of Him that lent me, while it is day;" the duty of the season in its season. How ought we to blush at our laborious idleness, at our pompous nothings ! What have we to lhew for our thirty, forty, fifty, threescore ġears ? Hardly enough to furnisá a decent inscription for a tombstone. Were the history of the most industrious ard useful life to be fairly delineated, the world would have cause to wonder at the frequent and hideous charms, the wild confusion, the indecent rapidity, the causeless delay which the detail would prelent. What a picture then must the life of the professedly idle and diflipaed, of the profligate and vi. éious exhibit! All enters into the book of God's remembrance, and must all come into judgment. What precious time, what invaluable opportunities of doing and of receiving good, have been shamefully negłected, have been vilely caft a

way !

What moment granted man without account?
What years are squaader'd, Wisdom's debt unpaid !

Nickr THOUGHTS, II. 30$

Much is irretrievably loft. Who knows how little may remain ? " Now it is high time to awake out of deep : the might is far spent, the day is at hand : let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day," and "put ye on the Lord Jesus Chrift." Awake thou that fleepest, and arise from the dead, and Chrift fhall give thee light. See that ye walk circumspectly not as fools but as wile, redeeming the. time, because the days are evil."



MATT. IV. 1-11.

Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wildernefs, to be

tempted of the devil. And when he had fafted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the templet came to him he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and jaid, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by eva ery word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And the devil takech him up into the holy city, and fetteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and farth unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down : for it is written, he shall give kis angels charge concerning thee : and in their hands they shall bear thee up, left at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone, Jesus said unto him, it is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and faith unto him, all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt

fall down and worship me. Then Jaith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, fatan : for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only

shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him, WONDERFUL is the influence which external obje&s

possess over the mind of man: wonderful it is to reflect how body and spirit act upon each other. On a fimple determination of the will, every limb is in motion, every nerve is exerted : and the man is burning under the line, or freezing at the pole. Let the blood be transmitted with a little more than usual rapidity, or move a little more fluggishly, and all the mental faculties are deranged a new world arises, every former idea is blotted out. The glance of that eye, at one time, chills me with terior, and at another it melts me into love. This note rouses me to the battle; and that soothes me into melancholy. Internal ferenity and depreflion are produced by a clearer or grofler state of the air. And it we are thus liable to be affected by objects merely material, what must be the influence of mind


« PreviousContinue »