« ПредишнаНапред »
profeffion of his name, and refuse to take a feat at his table? Shall we, when his enemies reproach him, fit filent, and never fpeak a word in his favor ? Shall we be content to live and die, without giving the world to know, whether we believe in him or not? Whether we own him as our king, or reject him as a ufurper ?
How many are there, who treat Christ with lefs respect than did this heathen governor ? He declared Jesus to be innocent ; to be a righteous perfon; to be a king. And though he gave
up to death, yet he bare testimony that he did not deserve it. How many are there, who never acknowledge him at all; who make no profession of his religion ; who give no testimony of regard to him? And of those, who in words profess to know him, how many in works deny him ? If we call him a king, let us fhew ourselves to be his subjects by obedience to his laws, attendance on his ordinances, and reliance on his promises. And as fellow subjects of the fame prince, let us love one. another, and be fellow workers unto bis kingdom.
5. Pilate, as we have feen, was stedfast in his de claration. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. When the governor
had publickly testified, that Jesus was a king, no importunity could move him to retract, or in the least to alter his teftimony. « What I have written, I have written." have the fame resolution. Have we made a profefsion of faith in, and obedience to Chrift? Let us maintain it, and live in conformity to it. If any would feduce us from it, let us answer them, “ We have believed, and therefore we have fpoken; and what we have fpoken, we have fpoken, We have sworn and we will perform it, that we will walk as becomes the gospel
. Jesus is always
the same. He cannot deny himself; we will not deny him. We will pay him our vows.
If it feem evil to you to serve him, choose ye
will serve. As for us we will serve him whom we have owned as our Lord. To whom else can we go? He has the words of eternal life.”
This is the language in which we should answer gainsayers. We are to consider well what we en. gage, to sit down and count the cost. And when we have deliberately and rationally formed our resolution, in that we should abide. It does not become a Christian to use lightness; to follow every wind of doctrine ; his profession should not be yea, and nay; but, like the promises of Christ, yea and amen. It is a good thing, that the heart be established with grace. Let us choose the religion of Christ; and abide in it without change.
6. We fee how inclined men are to cast the blame of their fins upon other people.
Pilate, in compliance with the demand of the Jews, delivered Jesus to be crucified; and that the fault might appear to be theirs, rather than his, he wrote on thecross, This is the King of the Jews. They are crucifying their king. So he had said just before ; “I am innocent of the blood of this just man : see ye to it."
Guilt is a heavy burden to the conscience; and every man chooses to transfer it from himself to some other. Adam, after his tranfgrefsion endeavored to exculpate himself by imputing the fault to the woman ; and the palliated her crime by ascribing it to the guileful temptation of the serpent. It is better, however, for every one honestly to see, and ingenuously to confess his own faults, and, instead of pacifying his con. science by vain excuses, to remove his guilt by
Jesus has borne our sins in his own body on the cross. Let us by faith repair to him, who has been made a sin-offering for us, that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. “There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Je. sus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made them free from the law of fin and death."
Under a sense of our guilt, let us apply to the blood of Christ, for “this will cleanfe us from all fin.” “ If we say, we have no fin, we deceive ourselves. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive them."
Let us sit down at the table of our Lord, with hearts relying on him, who on the cross made himself an offering for our guilt ; and with reso. lutions of obedience to him, who on the cross was proclaimed our king. It is not eating at his table, but doing his will, that entitles us to his approbation. “Not every one,” says he,“ that calls me his Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven."
The Disciples gazing after their ascending Lord.
A Communion Sermon.
ACTS i. 10, 11,
And while they looked fted fally toward heaven, as he went up ; behold, two
men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This fame Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into hcaven.
AFTER our Lord had risen from the dead, , he tarried on earth about the fpace of forty days; during which time he had feveral interviews with his disciples, conversed with them familiarly on things relating to his kingdom ; gave them such instructions and encouragements, as were necessary to guide and animate them in their future work; and, on a day prefixed, he led them out to Bethany, a village nigh to Jerusalem, where, in consequence of previous notice a large number of believers had assembled to be witnesses of his ascension. When he was come to the place, he ftood-he lifted up his hands and blessed his chof
en discipleshe fervently implored the divine blessing to attend them, and renewed the gracious promises which had before been made to them : and while he was blessing them, praying for them, and commending them to God; and while their eyes were intently fixed upon him," he was parted from them;" he rose into the air, ascended toward heaven, “ and a cloud received him out of their fight.” Here they stood with their eyes fix. cd on that spot in the sky, where they lost the light of him; and here they would longer have ftood, had not the voice of an angel summoned
6. While they looked stedfastly toward heaven, as Jesus went up two men,”-men in form, but by the splendor of their appearance known to be angels, “stood by them, and said, Ye men of Galilee, why ftand ye here gazing into heaven? This fame Jesus, who is now taken from you into heaven, shall fo come, as ye have seen him go into heaven.” On this advice they returned to Jerusalem ; and there assembling with other devout persons, they spent their time in fuch religious exercises, as were adapted to comfort them in present trials, and to prepare them for future labours.
In the words, which have been read, there are two things to be remarked.
First ; The posture in which the disciples stood, after they had loft light of their afcending Lord. And, Secondly, The expostulation of the angels with them on this occasion.
First ; The posture, in which the disciples stood, after the ascending Saviour had disappeared from their eyes, is worthy to be remarked. looked stedfastly toward heaven, as he went up; and in this attitude they seem to have continued, after the cloud had received him out of their áght. In this fixed and gazing posture we might