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their education and usefulness, their piety and salvation. Thence it reaches the wider circle of his neighbours, where it daily appears in that cheerful communication of kind; just, sincere, and faithful offices which render life a blessing, and which, as a powerful example, charm others to go and do likewise. From his neighbourhood it extends to his country, where it is employed in honourable and public-spirited efforts, and fervent prayers for its welfare, in promoting peace and good order, in encouraging useful knowledge, and in diffusing, as far as in him lies, undefiled religion. From his country it spreads also over the world in unceasing supplications for the deliverance of his fellow-men from the bondage of corruption, and their translation into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. From this world it makes excursions also at times into the distant regions of the universe, on the wings of ardent goodness, with delightful premonitions of that happy period when his own mind shall be actively and eternally engaged in producing and communicating blessings throughout the immeasurable kingdom of virtue. Like the slothful man, he seeks for daily ease; but it is the ease which flows from the efforts of a diligent mind, and rewards the labours of an industrious life. Like the prodigal he scatters abundantly; but he scatters blessings, and not curses to himself and to others. Like the ambitious man, he seeks for honour and distinction; but it is for the honour of immortality, and the distinction attached to the sons of God. Like the avaricious man, he continually hoards up; but it is the treasure in the heavens. Like the man of science, he applies eagerly to the attainment of knowledge; but it is the knowledge of God, of Christ, and of heaven; the knowledge of his duty, of his soul, and of his end. Like the accomplished man, he aims at grace and elegance ; but it is elegance of mind, and the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. Like the man of moderation and decency, he aims" at being safe and comfortable, peaceful and beloved; but it is the peace of forgiven sin ; the comfort of an approving conscience; the safety which is found in Christ, and the love of Christians, of Angels, and of God.

To him it is of little import in what station of life he is found, if it be the most useful station for which he is qualified. If it be humble he is satisfied, because it is appointed by Him who knows and chooses far better than he himself can choose. If more elevated, he only becomes more careful to fill the station with usefulness and duty. Hence the cares and fears, the disappointments and mortifications which harass his companions are removed far from him. Troubles he must unquestionably find. Of defects he will undoubtedly be the subject. His disposition to perform his duty is imperfect, and produces its proper effects therefore in an imperfect degree. Still this is his prevailing increasing disposition, and gives birth to consequences numerous, great, and desirable. To glorify his Maker, and to do good to his fellow creatures is his chief aim, the principal employment of his life. To that divine Saviour, by whose precepts he is instructed, by whose blood he is redeemed, by whose spirit he is sanctified, and by whose intercession he is received to eternal glory, he consecrates all his life and labours, and esteems that all unspeaksbly too little to show the grateful sense which he feels of his obligations to him, and the supreme delight which he finds in doing his pleasure.

Thus he passes through life, not in a dull stagnation, but in an active cheerful serenity of soul; not in thoughtless and guilty prodigality, but in a rational and uninterrupted diffusion of blessings; not in a career of frantic ambition, but in a steady pursuit of eternal glory ; not in sordid and swinish avarice, but in an industrious accumulation of celestial riches ; not in acquiring vain philosophy, and knowledge which only puffeth up, but in enlarging his views of God, of his own mind, duty, and interest, and of the qualifications and employments of just men made perfect; not in a whimsical attention to form, and dress, and appearance, but in ardently gaining refined thought, elegance of affection, and beauty of mind; not in exhibiting mere decency of exterior, moderation of conduct, and regularity of life to the eye of man, but in presenting to the eye of God that well-regulated soul, that becoming life, that patient submission to his pleasure which, amiable and excellent in itself, will be remembered by him with everlasting love.

While this man lives, he is a blessing to all around him. It is good for the world that he was born, and that he has sojourned here below. Throughout eternity, governed by the same spirit, he will prove an accession to the universe, a blessing to the great kingdom of Jehovah.

Like the rest of mankind, he must however die. From this vale of tears he must be released, and death is the method of release appointed by his Maker. As a release he regards it, from pain and fear, from sin and sorrow. Familiar to his eye by daily contemplation, and disarmed by the mediation of Christ, death to him has ceased to be the king of terrors. On the contrary, he is considered as a messenger from heaven, rude indeed, and rough, and forbidding; but sent on a benevolent errand, and bringing merely the summons to call him home. With the peace which Christ left as a rich legacy to all his faithful followers, he closes his eyes in sleep, and calmly resigns up his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father. This man,

in my view, has so run in the race of life as to obtain the prize.

SERMON XXII.

MINISTERS AND THEIR CONVERTS, A MUTUAL

REJOICING IN THE DAY OF CHRIST.

To the Candidates for the Baccalaureate, in 1803 and 1813.

1 THESSALONIANS II. 19.

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are

not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming?"

Paul, with his fellow-labourers Silas and Timothy, being directed by the Holy Ghost to go from Asia into Macedonia, passed over to Philippi, and gathered a church in that city. Hence they went to Thessalonica, and gathered another. Here, however, they were persecuted by the Jews. Paul, the chief object of their hatred, departed therefore to Berea. His persecutors followed him thither, and forced him to betake himself to Athens. From that city he proceeded to Corinth. Thus for a long time he was absent from Thessalonica ; and although exceedingly desirous to revisit the church, which he had founded there, was prevented by certain hindrances which he has alluded to, but not described.

During his absence various objections, which he has specified in his Epistle, were by the Jews and Greeks of Thessalonica raised up against the divine origin and authority of the Gospel. Among these were his flight and the length of his

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absence. From these facts his adversaries argued, and endeavoured to persuade his converts, that he was an impostor, and not a messenger of God, nor a friend to them. His flight they seem to have urged as a proof of his cowardice, and his absence as satisfactory evidence that he was regardless of the Thessalonian Christians.

The efforts of these malignant men appear to have alarmed the fears of the Apostle. To prevent their effect on the minds of his followers, he replied in this Epistle to the objections made against him and against the Gospel. Among the answers to those made against him, the text contains one, remarkable for the extraordinary sentiment expressed in it, and for the affectionate manner in which it is communicated. “ For “ what is my hope, or my joy, or my crown of rejoicing? Are “ not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, at his “ coming ?” Look at my life, and behold it made up of labours and sufferings. What hope can I propose'; what joy can I find, but in your conversion and eternal life. This world is only hostile to me, and yields me neither rest nor safety. If, therefore, I am disposed to indulge any hope, or to expect any reward, it must be beyond the grave. It must be furnished by you, my own converts, turned by my preaching from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. In you,

'of course, my affections must centre with a sincerity and strength, which distance cannot change, nor time impair. Vain, therefore, and groundless are the allegations of your enemies and mine, when they insinuate, that I do not regard you with the tenderness of a parent and the fidelity of an Apostle.

It is not to be supposed that the Thessalonian converts were dearer to St. Paul than others who had become Christians under his ministry.

Unquestionably he, who addressed the Romans, whom he had never seen, in terms so affectionate, could not but regard his own converts, universally, with the strongest attachment. Accordingly, he addresses the very sentiment contained in the text to the Corinthians: “As also

ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing,

even as ye are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.">; To the Philippians he addresses it again. “ Among whom ye shine

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