Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

his devotion, self-denial, and profound humility! Is the increase of holiness your daily pursuit? do you lament when your efforts for obtaining it are defeated? then, however weak your faith, or feeble your endeavors, you are led by the Spirit, and are undoubtedly the sons of God. Would that each of us would faithfully apply the Scripture criterion to himself; and learn to adjust his character to the pattern laid down for a Christian in the word of God! Then should we adopt the Apostolic salutation without hesitation. Yet still shall it be lawful for us to wish grace and peace to every individual of the present assembly.

After a long absence from the house of God at home,* visiting only those shores where Christian idolatry substitutes the crucifix for the doctrine of the cross, I desire on this occasion to acknowledge with gratitude the good providence of God, who hath permitted me to behold a congregation of Christians, a Christian congregation of my country-men in this distant land. Humbly do I implore the divine blessing on you all! O my brethren, may you ever enjoy that peace which the religion you profess is calculated to afford; and be the means of diffusing light and joy throughout this benighted region! Situated as you are, in the midst of the enemies of Christ--amidst idolaters of every description, you are justly regarded by the Christian world as occupying

* This was the first sermon preached by the Author at the Mission Church Calcat. ta, shortly after his arrival in India.

the most arduous and responsible situation in it. Nay, even the Savior himself may be conceived to be more attentively observing your conduct, in which his honor is so deeply interested. By you the surrounding nations can take a nearer view of Christianity, and inspect its nature more narrowly; and the multitudes of all religions who are collected in this place, will be carrying into all parts of the world, what they see and hear in the followers of Christ. Ó let not that holy name be blasphemed through any inconsistency of yours let not pride, or luxury be observable in the disciples of him, who was meek and lowly in heart. Let them see in the lives of Christians what Christianity itself is; and if they will not embrace the Gospel, let them be constrained to admire the professors of it. To this your country calls you. To descant on the public virtues of the British inhabitants of India, would be foreign to our purpose; their established character needs not my feeble eulogy; but great indeed will be the honor you will reflect on your country, if you prove by your lives, that Britain is not less pious than she is magnanimous and brave. Permit me thus far to have applied the Apostle's salutation to yourselves; and now in conclusion, let us unite with St. Paul in wishing grace

and who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus; both their's and our's. Let every heart expand with divine benevolence; let imagination transport us from shore to shore; let

peace to all

us think, how with sacred ardor they bend before the universal Lord. Their hearts acknowledge with our's a kindred affection. Though their names be different, yet their Lord and our's is one; though they differ from us in nation, or rank, or color, yet in this they resemble us, that they call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. Is he our's? he is their's also. Then let us with cordial and comprehensive charity embrace them all--let us heartily wish all the assemblies of Zron

grace
and

; if in this mental circuit, our thoughts veer to our native land, and fond memory recal those beloved scenes which imagination paints, in colors perhaps more pleasing than true, let her assemblies of faithful Christians engage our more fervent prayers. Thus shall our local attachments be elevated into an exercise of spiritual affection, and call down a rich effusion of blessings on ourselves and them.

Thus let us live in this heavenly temper towards all around; and while we delight to find new objects of our love, let faithful hope realize that glorious day, when, in a larger sense, the prophecy of God by Zephaniah, (chap. i, ver. 9, 10,) shall be fulfilled. I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent

. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering,

SERMON XIV.

1 CORINTHIANS 1, 23, 24. We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stum

blingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

If at any time God is pleased to make a revelation of his will to mankind, and to point out a way of salvation to them which is entirely new, it is evident that we can be in no respect judges before hand, what kind of revelation is to be expected, or what sort of truths are likely to be contained in it. We cannot so much as conjecture about these things with any appearance of probability; but must wait in patient expectation, till the revelation is actually made: because the nature and necessities of man may require à treatment which we are not at all aware of. God's manner of

governing the universe, of which we form but a very small part, may be utterly beyond the range and reach of our highest apprehension.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Hence, when we examine a revelation purporting to be from God, and inquire into the way of salvation pointed out in it, our minds must be made up to difficulties, and be contented to remain ignorant on many points which we hoped would have been revealed. When once we are satisfied with the external evidences of its truth, it is incumbent on us to inquire what is the revealed will of God; not what it ought or might have been. It becomes as to ask for instruction with humility, and receive it with reverence. It men will not conduct their inquiries in this spirit of diffidence, but under the influence of premature opinions will presume to dictate, instead of submitting to be taught, God is not at all anxious to accommodate himself to the prejudices of proud men; nor will he new model his scheme to make it more agreeable to their views. As he first sent forth his Scriptures to mankind with a certain degree of evidence and no more, so he has left them. If men neglect them, on whatever plausible pretext, let them do it at their peril. Once he has sent forth his word; with the majesty of. God he declares, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;- but he that believeth not shall be damned.* It is therefore, not to be expected that God will enlighten the eyes of a captious scrutiniser of his truths; but rather in the execution of natural justice, and in conformity to the principles of his wise and righteous government, leave them in darkness.

CE

EL

P

* Mark Xvi, 16,

« ПредишнаНапред »