Images de page

the standard of practical godliness is. Are you dying unto the world? Are you living under a full conviction that you are living to God? Are your affections set on things above, and not on things of this world? Are you sowing not unto the flesh, but unto the spirit? Are you ceasing to be carnal, and looking beyond the things which are seen and which are temporal, to the things which are unseen and which are eternal ? It is a most grievous thing, my brethren, to see the total inexperience of all these things in numbers of what is called the “ professing church.” Be assured, my brethren, that in this age of ostensible profession, the call to a high standard of practical and spiritual Christianity is most urgently required. Profession, mere profession, brings a world of delusion in its train : the form of godliness without the power -a mere tacit assent to the faith without what is expressively called the obedience of faith—the Sabbath ordinances of religion without the weekday duties of religion-a pleasure, it may be, in the society of those called Christians, and in the services of religion, without the expense of that self-denial and steadfastness of walking in the work of the Lord, which the Saviour has laid on his followers.

To a man such as I have just described, the kingdom of God has come in word only, but not in power; he may be delighted, perhaps, with the doctrines of grace in a sermon, but there may not be one inch of progress made by him towards the clean heart and the right spirit; pleased and lulled Sabbath after Sabbath, as with the sound of a pleasant song, he may attend the ordinances of God, yet giving all his energies throughout the week, afterwards, with an entire unbroken affection to the world; repairing to the house of God as if it were the gate of heaven, yet going back with a renewed tenacity to hold faster to the affections and interests of the earth; running after gospel ministers and sitting in the house of God with all propriety, and great content and complacency under them, and yet an utter stranger to the close walk and spiritual exercises of the altogether Christian. Oh, my brethren, it looks so promising hear the city bells and to see every family and house pouring forth its worshippers on the Sabbath morning-to look to the avenues that lead to the house of God, and to see them all in a glow with the crowd and the bustle of passengers-to enter the church, and there to find every eye fastened on the man of God as he speaks of the high and holy things of salvation, and presses home on an arrested audience the

preparation for eternity. Oh, if the church going were a true and unfailing index of the heart, the business of the ministers would go on prosperously; but there is an obstinacy and a resistance to the will of God in the human heart, which none but God can remove ; there is a deep-seated corruption in the affections and will, which no human power and no human eloquence can drive out; there is a spell and an infatuation which the calls of urgency or the denunciations of vengeance cannot break, and, therefore, the alarm given by the energy of the preacher dies away with the sound of his voice. The old man is carried out as vigorous as he was carried in, and the seriousness which now sits so visibly on every countenance will, without a visitation from on high, be dissipated in half an hour, and all will vanish in deep and utter forgetfulness, when you go again to your shops, when you return to your homes, when you again enter your families and resting-places. But hearken, and be wise now, and be instructed, and while it is “called to-day, harden not your hearts as in the day of provocation, but kiss the son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little ;' and


will experience the blessedness of all those who put their trust in the Lord, and who make a transition from the state of nature to a state of grace, and be introduced into that new, spiritual, and heavenly atmosphere, into which he ushers all those who put their trust in him. God grant this for his name's sake!




my words

“My heart is sore, my head is weary,

and flow slowly and painfully from my breast; but yet I will not close this discourse, the last haply which I shall preach before the terrible deed is done, without a parting word to the Christian people who hear and understand what I say. Abraham hoped against hope; Abraham believed against probability, against possibility ; Abraham lifted up his knife upon his son, to slay him in whom God had promised that his seed should continue for ever.

The like faith, the like hope, have I, and would have you to possess at this moment, concerning the tribes of this kingdom, which I believe to be the sealed tribes of the Apocalypse, which are preserved against those furious winds of the wrath of God which bring unto nought the kings and the captains and the mighty men of the earth. Faith without a promise, is superstition or fanaticism: faith with a promise, winneth the victory over the devil, the world, and the flesh. Blessed is he who hath a promise at this time to rest his faith upon! I have that blessedness, and I would fain impart it unto you. I cannot now lay out the grounds of it ; nor, if I could, would I, standing over as it doth for our discourse next Lord's-day night. But I believe, I assure you, that we have such a promise, in this the darkest hour of the kingdom ; and to you I give it, as ground of faith, and therefore ground of prayer: as ground of consolation, and therefore ground of joy. And because this blessed hope of our tribes resteth upon and is derived from the steady faithfulness of the church, I do call upon every believer and if there be any ministers now listening to me, upon them especially I do call—with all diligence, with all faithfulness, with all earnestness, to set forth in their prayers the miserable state of this kingdom before the Lord, and implore his mercy: and in all responsible stations and offices, whether in the church or in the state, I call upon

them evermore solemnly to protest against the innovations which will now rush in like a flood. I call upon you not to desert the ship of the commonwealth of the church and state, but to abide therein, and stand fast, every man at his post, like good seamen in a breaking, bursting storm; and I think I can give hope from God's word, that in so doing we shall preserve and be preserved. I say not but the ship will go to pieces ; I say not but the constitution, which we and the nations have worshipped, shall, like the brazen serpent that once saved Israel and afterwards came to be worshipped by Israel, be ground into powder : I say not but that it will be in much suffering unto us all, but I say that it will not be with the loss of our existence as a church and a nation. I believe that the sun, which is now beginning to be eclipsed by the hurricane, will yet shine out bright and strong upon our children, or our children's children, through the faithfulness, the present faithfulness, of us their fathers. Therefore, my brethren, my flock, and all ye Christian people who hear and understand these things, I pray you to be stirred up in your minds with good hope ; and to continue instant in prayers; resigned unto the will of God; faithful unto Christ'; hoping all things, believing all things; and waiting for the crown of glory, which Christ will give unto us, and unto all who love his appearing."

Printed by C, Roworth & Sons, Bell Yard, Temple Bar.



Patronized by the Clergy and others.





At the Scotch Church, Swallow Street, Regent Street,


First Prayer, BY THE REv. Dr. Brown. ALMIGHTY, highly exalted, and ever blessed Jehovah, we desire to come into thy presence through that new and living way which thou hast appointed, even Jesus Christ, making mention of his righteousness, and of his only, and to implore thee to love us freely and to receive us graciously. Make us deeply sensible, Holy Father, of our urgent spiritual blindness ; cause us to feel the exceeding bitterness and malignity of sin; and do thou graciously lead us to the Lord Jesus as the fountain open in the house of Israel wherein we may wash and be clean. On this, the morning of thy holy day, we would give thee thanks for the return of the Christian Sabbath with all its quiet and peaceful associations—with all its gracious and spiritual privileges; and now that thou hast convened so many of us in the house of prayer, oh! do thou impart 10 us by thy Holy Spirit all the gracious dispositions that may enable us to hear thy word with profit and personal improvement. God forbid that it should be an additional aggravation of our guilt, that whereas we are spared to see the light and to enjoy the exercises of another Sabbath, that we should permit the opportunity to pass unheeded and unimproved. Enable us to remember that the extent of our responsibility corresponds with that of our privileges : and, now that thou art about io address us upon the great things that belong to our eternal peace, do thou give unto each of us now before thee the hearing ear, the understanding mind, and the believing heart. Oh Lord, deliver us, we pray thee, from all formality, insincerity, and indifference. Cause us to take a deep interest in the immortal concerns of our souls; and enable us to form a due estimate of the relative importance of time and of eternity. Help us to engage in the reading and in the hearing of thy word with a due feelNo. 4.


« PrécédentContinuer »