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themselves into a society for extempore preaching We meet in the Divinity-Hall. Farewell.

The reader, I am sure, will join me in admiring the beautiful combination of christian principle and brotherly affection contained in these letters. There is no affectation of feeling; but the utterance of it in the simplest and most impressive language. He dwells on the slight indications of religious feeling which his brother could give, with evident delight; and fondly cherished hope as far as the circumstances admitted. The account of the progress of religion and of the juvenile association, is also very interesting. It shows how completely his heart was now engaged; and, from this time, I considered him devoted to the work of God among the heathen, should Providence be pleased to spare his life. I accordingly wrote to him to encourage and cherish, rather than to stimulate him, which, I perceived, he did not require. The sermon to which he refers, as his first essay in this kind of composition, remains among his papers; and would do credit, in point of sentiment and expression, to a minister of some years standing.

Having been the principal means of establishing the University Missionary Society, he appears to have taken a very active part in its management. And as an evidence how much it engaged his mind, and how fully he thought on all the bearings and aspects of the great work, I must here introduce an essay which he read at one of its meetings, held on the 12th of February; a few days before the writing of the preceding letter,

THE

DOCTRINE OF A GRADATION

IN

REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS;

AND AN

ATTEMPT TO APPLY IT TO THE SUBJECT OF MISSIONS.

In all those descriptions of the final retribution which are given us in the Bible, our attention is called to two great divisions of the inhabitants of our world: namely, "Those who shall go away into everlasting punishment; and those who shall go into life eternal." But, though there be thus one grand classification of our whole species, where the line of demarcation is very broad and very strongly marked; yet in the same description, do we find an account given of minuter sub-divisions, whose bounding lines are not so vivid, but which imperceptibly shade into and blend with each other. And we think ourselves fully warranted to suppose, that there will be different degrees of glory on the one hand, and different degrees of punishment on the other; and that these will be determined by the privileges we have enjoyed on earth, and the degree to which those privileges have been improved or neglected. He that had gained ten pounds was made ruler

over ten cities; he that gained five, over five cities. And again, "That servant which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; but he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." But this doctrine of a gradation in rewards and punishments has been thought, by some, inconsistent with the Scripture doctrine of justification by faith; and inconsistent with the free and unmerited nature of that reward which shall be given to those who are thus justified. Were the glory promised a fair return, for our welldoings, there might then be some force in the objection; but when we consider, that, after we have done all that we are commanded, (and, who is there that can boast of having done so?) we are still unprofitable servants; and when we consider that sin mingles with our best services, which cannot, therefore, be pleasing to that God who cannot look upon iniquity but with abhorrence; we shall perceive, that this view of the final retribution far from being at variance with the grand and fundamental doctrine of the gospel, magnifies it and does it honor; inasmuch as it is the imputed righteousness of Christ, which imparts to our actions all in them that is pleasing, and all that is acceptable to God.

The doctrine of the cross is represented in the Bible as the foundation, and the virtuous actions of believers as the superstructure which is built upon it; the latter, deriving all their strength and all their stability from the former:

standing upon it, and falling in utter impotency to the ground as soon as it is removed. "For other foundation," says Paul, "can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire."

There seems, then, to be a connexion between the degree of active exertion here, and the degree of reward hereafter; and also a connexion between the degree of suffering here, and the degree of glory that shall follow. "He which soweth sparingly," says Paul, "shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." And the same apostle assures us, that "the light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Of the truth of these remarks, we have a very beautiful illustration in the mediatorial character of the Son of God. His was a life of the most strenuous exertion; it was his meat, and his drink to do the will of his Father. His, too, was a life of the most unparalleled suffering. He was emphatically "a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief." And as he suffered more than any of his followers, as his visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men, so shall his glory far exceed that of any of those whom He condescends to call his brethren.

It is the connexion between his unwearied exertion and his reward; the connexion between his sufferings, and his glory, that we especially advert to. Paul tells us that it became him by whom are all things, and for whom are all things, to make the Captain of our salvation perfect through suffering. And it is after giving an account of the humiliation of our Lord, that the apostle adds, "Therefore, (on which account) God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.' " But it may be thought that though these remarks hold, in their fullest extent, with regard to Him who was without sin, and who could demand, as his due, that reward which was but a fair compensation for his faultless accomplishment of the work which was given him to do; yet that they are wholly misapplied with regard to those whose very best services are polluted and mingled with sin. It is true that we can make no demand, that we have no plea to urge at the hands of justice, that our very salvation from wrath is a matter of purest merey, of free and unmerited favor. But yet is it true, that God is not unrighteous to forget our work and labor of love; and we are assured that if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with him.

We shall first, then, consider it as a privilege to be permitted to labor in the cause of Christ; and we shall advert to one or two of the ways in which we can share in His sufferings, and consequently be made partakers of His glory. First, then, Jesus Christ was a martyr. He sealed his testimony with his blood.-And hence the promise, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life." And hence the willingness, nay, the eagerness of the first disciples to

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