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think that our Lord's kingdom was of this world, whereas he said it was not; and
gigantic talents and accumulated learning.
Fancourt, will, we are sure, upon further consideration, allow us to terminate this
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. (Nos. 78 and 79.)
BY THE REV. ROBERT HALL.
For the Christian Observer. commencement. In both dispensa
tions we trace that identity of feelSKETCHES OF ORIGINAL SERMONS ing which pervades all good men.
The expressions of David of old, are (Continued from p. 205.)
the expressions of our devotion now:
as face answers to face in a glass, so SERMON IV.*
doth the heart of man to man. 2 Chron. xv. 15: And all Judah
We must confess that care is nerejoiced at the oath ; for they had cessary not to press the comparison sworn with all their heart, and sought of the two dispensations too far, so him with their whole desire; and he
as to lose sight of the difference was found of them : and the Lord between the two. The types and gave them rest round about.
shadows must not be too curiously It is a sufficient apology for adducing urged. We must not apply immeOld Testament subjects for the en- diately to the state of Christians couragement and direction of Chris- every promise in the Old Testament. tians, that, though the Old Testament Some of the promises were confined dispensation is passed away, so that to the Mosaical economy: some of the the precepts and observances are not prophecies, also, received their accomto be enforced, except as they are plishment in the age when they were corroborated by the New, yet we are delivered, or in those immediately informed that the Jewish nation and following; and therefore are not to economy, generally, was a type of be fulfilled now. Similar cautions the church of God. The dispen- may be extended to other points, in sations of God's providence towards the comparison between the Old and it represent corresponding dispensa- New Testament tions of providence now. The things
But, to leave this digression, or that happened to them, “ happened rather introduction to our subject, to them,” says St. Paul,
we have before us an account of the samples "-types, patterns.
reformation in religion made by king The Old Testament is replete with Asa. Abijah his father had encoutypical persons, typical ceremonies, raged idolatry : he had followed the places, things, events, institutions- last days of Solomon: but Asa's heart especially its sacrifices.
had been touched with the fear of God throughout, the Apostle informs us, at an early period ; and, throughout "a shadow of good things to come.” his reign, it was perfect before God, We are to compare one with another. allowing for some serious drawbacks. Wediscern in the Gospel that finished Piety is no protection against external work of which the Law was the calamities. An invasion of an Ethi.
opian prince took place: probably • Delivered on Thursday, Feb. 8, 1827. the troops were composed of some Christ. OBSERV. No. 353.
tribes of the Cushites of Arabia, or peculiarly appropriate. We read of the neighbouring parts. Ethiopians, similar reformations under Jehoin Scripture, generally mean the shaphat, Hezekiah, and lastly under Arabs, and not the inhabitants of the Josiah ; in each of which the procountry south of Egypt. This prince ceedings were national. The king came upon Judea with a million of took the lead—for the kingdom and forces. Asa applied in prayer to God, the church were the same : the king and pleaded that it was nothing with was the head of the church, though Him to help, whether with many or he was not permitted to interfere with them that have no power; and with the priesthood : he was the vicethat in His name he went against the gerent and lieutenant of the Almultitude of his enemies. Let not mighty ; for God himself was their man, O Lord,” concludes the pious supreme Lord and King, and the kings monarch, “let not man prevail against had a delegated power under him. Thee."
This was designed to unite the nation Thus he rested ; cast himself upon under one and the same species of God: and God justified his confidence government, for the preservation of and heard his prayer. Asa not only the purity of worship, and to perdrave back his enemies, but enlarged petuate the statutes and ordinances his own territory: he recovered Gera, given by the hand of Moses. which had been taken by the Phi Let us, then, consider, I. The nalistines. Azariah, the son of Oded, ture of the engagement, and its cona prophet, of whom we read nothing nexion with our duty now. II. The
this occasion, met Asa im- spirit with which that engagement mediately upon his victory; and, after was entered into, and especially the appealing to the dealings of God with joy and satisfaction which accomIsrael in past times, and solemnly panied it. warning him of the consequences of 1. It was an engagement to redisobedience, invited Asa to return turn to that covenant which God had to the Lord, and institute a national made with their fathers, by which reformation. From this time Asa God avouched them to be his people, took courage; assembled the people, and entered into alliance with them and attempteda serious and important as their God. This embraced the reformation; removed the abominable exclusive worship of God, and an idols ; renewed the decayed altar of acknowledgment of the duty of culthe Lord ; re-established his worship tivating all those affections, and perat the temple ; deposed Maacah the forming all those actions, which are queen, and cut down her idol, and due to God. It was an engagement stamped it and burnt it at the brook
to serve God supremely and entirely; Kidron, as an expression of abhor to love him with all their heart; to
Then he engages his people place their dependence upon him ; in a covenant to seek the Lord God and to regulate their conduct by his of their fathers; "and they sware unto will. Real engagements with God the Lord with a loud voice, and with are under all dispensations the same shouting, and with trumpets, and with substantially: for God is the same cornets.” This was a repetition of he changes not-and man is the the covenant made at Mount Sinai.
same; and the nature of that reliThe text then assures us of the gion of which God is the object canmanner and spirit in which the en
not change, though it may be distingagement was made. They rejoiced guished by different circumstances,
the oath ; and especially because and by various degrees of light. This of the unanimity which accompanied engagement is called an oath ; and it it. This was attended with instru is said, “ they sware unto the Lord;" ments of music, and shouting, agree- though, whether they took the oath ably to the splendour of that dispen- in the formal terms, and with the sosation, when instrumental music was lemnities observed in judicial mat
ters, may be doubted. But as they given his Son for us; to God the publicly appealed to God for the sin- Son, as our Saviour, who became incerity of what they professed, the carnate and died for our redemption ; engagement had all the force and to God the Holy Ghost, as that Divine sanction of an oath.
Agent by whom we are enabled to 1. When the Christian convert believe in Christ, and are united to first engages in the service of God him and the Father in love: we through Christ—who is the object of enter into an engagement which has his obedience, love, confidence, and the nature of an oath, to be the Fatrust-this engagement may be term ther's, the Son's, and
the Holy ed an oath. Every one who enters Ghost's. We have the marks and into covenant with God, enters into signs of the covenant upon us. Hoan engagement equivalent in force liness is the grand qualification for and solemnity to an oath : it implies serving God. God has appointed a solemn appeal to the omnipresent an element to be used in baptism and omniscient God. A formal oath which is ordinarily used in purifying cannot bring with it any thing more the body from defilement, in order awful than the making God the in to represent the purifying of the spector and judge of the sincerity of soul by the Holy Ghost : we reour declaration ; except, perhaps, as ceive, therefore, in baptism, the to our fellow-creatures not being symbols and pledges and marks of witnesses so distinctly of the trans sanctifying grace :
we bear upon action, as in the case of oaths in our body the impress of the Lord civil and criminal proceedings. But Jesus *. as to the substance of the appeal, 3. At the table of the Lord these every conversion to God implies an are again renewed by the engagement equivalent in serious Christian believer. A solemn enness to that of the people under Asa. gagement is then again undertaken. The vows of God are upon the con When we receive the sacred elevert. He appeals to the Supreme ments of the bread and wine, it is a Creator, the Searcher of hearts ; great and most serious promise to which amounts, in fact, to an oath. take Christ as our Saviour, to reHe acknowledges himself to belong ceive him as the only ground of our to Christ. He avouches the Lord to dependence, our Lord, our Pattern, be his God. He feels and confesses our Prince, our Shepherd, our Friend. that he is not his own, but bought We engage ourselves to live upon with a price, that he may glorify him, as the Bread of life; and to live God with his body and with his to him, as the Lord of conscience, the spirit, which are God's.
King of kings and Lord of lords. 2. On the public confession of There is no form of words of the our faith before the church at our precise nature of swearing, indeed ; baptism we enter into covenant with but this engagement has in it the God; we repeat and renew the en nature and sanction of an oath. We gagement more privately made be declare solemnly, in the presence of tween God and our souls. This is the all-seeing God, that we are the a most solemn transaction, a declaration and engagement as solemn as * The writer of the above sketch, being words and actions can convey. By a member and minister of the Church of being baptized into the name of cach England, would just observe here, that distinct Person in the Godhead, we
the above remarks of the excellent preacher
proceed on the form of Christianity which recognise each particular Person as he followed, that of adult baptism. The our Lord and God, according to the argument is quite as forcible if applied to parts which they bear in the mystery the public recognition of the vows made of our salvation : we recognize and for us at Baptism, at Confirmation, agreesubject ourselves to God the Father, and the authority, as the writer of this note
ably to the usage of the primitive church, as our Father, who hath loved us, and thinks, of the Holy Scriptures.
Lord's, and that we will renounce pervades all time, all place, the every thing displeasing in his sight. whole man. We are consecrated The very word sacrament, by which to God, with all our bodily faculties the Lord's Supper is most commonly and mental powers. We are not our designated, is derived from the mili.
we resign ourselves to God, tary oath of the Roman soldiers-sa as his peculiar property ; to be kept cramentum militaire—by which they as a sacred thing, to be the habitation swore never to desert their standard, of God through the Spirit, to be the nor fly from before their enemies, seat of everlasting communications. but to continue faithful unto death. This engagement, once more, In like manner this engagement binds must be voluntary. So it was in the soul to Christ, and renders it a the case of Israel and king Asa besacrilege afterwards to alienate it to fore us. For although God has a the service of sin and the world. claim to all our obedience, and a And, on the other hand, the Lord right over us, which nothing can binds himself, where this engage- impair or increase, yet he treats us ment is sincerely taken, to bestow as he did Israel,
, -as free and acon us all the grace and blessings countable agents. He laid before promised in the Divine covenant. the nations of Israel, when the co
How important a thing, then, is venant was made at Mount Sinai, it to make a profession of religion! the Law: he proposed it to their It is not the calling ourselves by a choice, he asked their assent. Upon new name, nor the forsaking one this the people accepted the condicommunity of Christians and joining tions of the covenant. In acovenant, ourselves to another; it is not the the several parties must act a voluntransferring of our attendance and tary part. Religion will not bear influence from one place, and one compulsion. If obedience is comminister, to new ones : but it is an pelled, it is no obedience. Though engagement which extends to the God enjoins obedience by the sancwhole of our being : it is the con tions of his law, and has an infinite secration of ourselves to the unseen right to it, as our Creator and Benebut omnipotent Ruler: it is an act factor, yet if we yield that obedience which associates us with angels : it reluctantly, it is not true obedience; is a bond obliging us to live and de- it has fear, which has torment; it has vote ourselves to God; to turn our nothing vital, nothing of love, noattention from all creatures to Him; thing cordial, nothing acceptable to to account every thing as vanity, but God. And such compulsory obeGod and his service. And these dience is, moreover, only partial and vows are repeated whenever we ap- temporary: it extends only to a few proach the Lord's table. We hold branches of duty; and is like the out again, on each such occasion, to morning cloud and the early dew, the world around us, our public pro- which passeth away. fession of faith in Christ: we pro But this engagement must be sinclaim to angels, to men, to devils, to cere and hearty, cordial and affecthe church, to God, and to Christ, tionate. The Christian yields himthat we are not our own, but the self unto God as one that is alive Lord's; that we have made ourselves from the dead.
• Other over to Christ, to be guided by him lords besides thee have had dominion for time and eternity.
over us, but by Thee only will we This engagement, I would now make mention of thy name.” He reobserve, after thus enumerating the nounces all other masters, and cheerchief occasions when it is made, must fully devotes himself to one Master, reach the heart. It doth not extend even Christ. He is a volunteer in to actions merely, and stop there; his service; made willing in the day it doth not extend to times and sea of Christ's power, and presented to sons only, and stop there ; but it him in the beauty of holiness.