Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

xiv

LIFE OF THE AUTHOUR.

sus.

tuation nor rank of any who had grossly offended; to the virtuous he was open and sincere, and united them to him by the cords of affection. Liberal in his sentiments, he did not look for christian excellence only in the pale of his own church ; he acknowledged and cherished it wherever it was to be found, and greeted it as being of the kingdom of Je

The merit of the humble he strove to make conspicuous, and the virtues of the more exalted he delighted to blazon for the sake of holding up impressive examples to the world, and of reminding those who contemn homely duties, that, the brightest ornaments of the human character are not those which dazzle with their glare, but those which shed the benign light that chastens the soul with the benevolence whose source and spring is in the bosom of God.

The esteem of his congregation was a decisive proof of the excellency of heart that characterized Dr. Buist, and his popularity as a preacher sufficiently evince the soundness of his doctrines and the eloquence of his deliveту. His judgment was strong and accurate. He seized a subject with the nervous grasp of an original genius, and he embellished it with

LIFE OF THE AUTHOUR.

XV

the chastest decorations of the fancy. His manner was that of an orator; his language was bold, flowing and ardent; he addressed every faculty and appealed to every feeling in behalf of the holy gospel of Christ ; and as a minister of his word, he either solicited with tenderness the contrite and humble to approach the courts of the temple, or spoke to the obdurate “ of righteousness, temperance, and a “judgment to come,” and pictured the calarnitous state of the rejected of God with such force and such vivid imagery, that, like the great apostle of the gentiles, he was of

power to make " Felix tremble.”

A collection of the Rev. Doctor's Sermons, revised and corrected by himself, would have exhibited many proofs of his excellence as a preacher : it is hoped, that what are now given to the publick, even with all the disadvantages that attend them, are yet adorned with specimens that will illustrate and do honour to the talents of their authour. But the fame of Dr. Buist can now live in its full blaze only in the recollection of those who were familiar with his preaching; all recorded beauties of his mind Aling but a fecble light from the dread gloom of that grave where lie the mouldered

хуі

LIFE OF THE AUTHOUR.

remains of him, who, while living, charmed and enlightened. The

ways of providence are so often mysterious and inscrutable to man, that we are tempted to arraign the dispensations of God as hard and unpitying. But he maketh light to arise to the upright of darkness. He dwelleth in the cloudy temples, but truth illumines the courts of his palace. Darkness is his

pavilion, but mercy and justice are his handmaids. The paths of his glory are often invisible to mortals, but faith makes manifest the secret ways, and hope extends the hand of friendly consolation to those who resign, with christian humility, the best of gifts into the keeping of him who is the great giver of alt good.*

* Dr: Buist was married after his settlement in this country, to Miss Somers, a lady of Carolina, who survives her husband. He left five children.

SERMON I.

On the importance and novelty of the truths

taught by Jesus Christ.

Joux, CHAP. 18, V&R. 38. .

Pilate saith unto him, What is Truth? And when he bad said this, he went out again."

THIS was not the first time that this question was proposed, but it was the first time that it was proposed to one who could give it any satisfactory answer. Truth had engaged the attention of mankind in every age and in every nation; and it was the professed object of the inquiries of the heathen priests and the ancient philosophers. But, although they were thus unanimous in considering truth to be a great and proper object of human pursuit, their methods of inquiry were so opposite, their conclusions were so contradictory, their

[blocks in formation]

researches were so fruitless, that, before the time of Jesus, mankind may be said, rather, to have evinced a desire of knowing the truth, than to have made any progress in this knowledge. Man, indeed, fallen and degraded as he was, had lost that excellence of understanding which originated in his resemblance to his Maker. A weakness had pervaded the mental powers which prevented them from soaring to those sublime heights where truth dwells, pure and unsullied by the errours of human imperfection.

This weakness was most conspicuous in matters of morality and religion. In other sciences, some progress had been made, some truths had been discovered, but the Author of our existence, our relations as moral agents and religious beings, our present state, and our future prospects, in a great measure, still lay hid in darkness. А revelation from God was necessary, that light might arise on this benighted part of the truth: A messenger from the fountain of wisdom must be sent to guide into truth those who had so long wandered in the paths of errour: and God, pitying the ignorance of his children, at length commissioned his Son Jesus to be the publisher of the truth to men. Thus he says

« ПредишнаНапред »