Page images

the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that sayeth unto Zion, thy God reigneth. Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice ; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Such is the glorious design, and such the natural effect of the Gospel, wherever it is cordially received into good and honest hearts. It gives no countenance to those obscure speculations, inveterate prejudices, severe reproaches, bitter sarcasms, and that self-righteous arrogance, which proud, aspiring, self-witted partizans, have cast upon each other. It breathes the benign spirit of universal benevolence; not seeking the destruction of any, but the good of all.

The Gospel speaks the language of love. It reveals the love of God. It requires love to God; love to all men, especially the household of faith. Christians, above ail

men, should love one another, and have fervent char. ity among themselves. Do you believe the Gospel ? Observe how pure its precepts--how divine its doctrines. Follow peace with all men, is the direction of an Apostle ; blessed are the peace-makers, is the benediction of our Divine Master.

Those unhappy animosities which divide the Christian world into sectaries and denominations, are a source of grief and sorrow, to every humble and contrite spirit.

Those shameful altercations serve to demoralize, rather than to Christianize mankind. In all our contentions for the faith once delivered to the saints, we cannot mingle the rage of the bear and the fierceness of the lion, with the wisdom of the serpent and harmlessness of the dove.

Religion cannot consist of multiform creeds, ideal fancies, and theological enigmas ; but is pure and undefiled, the hidden man of the heart, incorruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price.

Shall we reject the Gospel, because insidious men have perverted it into vile purposes ? We might, with equal propriety, refuse to sleep, to eat, or drink, because the sluggard, the glutton, and the drunkard, abuse the bounties of Heaven.

Where religion has become a subject of contention, it is not to be imputed to any defect in the Gospel, but to the pride and arrogance, ignorance and folly, of wicked men. “ An enemy hath done this ; the dragon is vomiting a flood after the woman.” But when the Gospel shall have an universal spread, sinners shall be converted

-the ransomed of the Lord shall return to Zion-blind żeal, party names, and discord among brethren, shall cease—the magic spell of infidelity shall be broken, and nothing shall remain to hurt or destroy.

Continuation of Dr. Hersey's Sermon to the Masonic So

ciety, Union Toron..-1805. AN indolent spirit is the parent of maný vices. Opulence and grandeur, lead men to contemn and abuse the children of adversity, to whom Providence has assigned the humble road of poverty and want. The Gospel teaches men to be honest and liberal, frugal and industrious, to be diligent; not slothful in business.

The physical influence of honest industry, in reforming the vices and amending the heart, is not to be doubted. An idle Christian, is a contradiction in terms. Industry testrains prodigality and intemperance, and checks the excessive love of demoralizing pleasures. On the contrary, idleness is productive of the most pernicious consequences. An idle citizen is like an infectious disease ; and has a baneful influence upon the interests, morals, and manners of men. Is he poor? He is a burden to himself, his family, and neighbourhood. Is he rich? He is most probably proud, ignorant, and vicious ;-certainly an offensive animal, unfit to associate with honest, industrious men. Is he in office? The public business is neglected; for he who is careless, indolent, and stupid, in the management of his domestic concerns, will carry a proportion of that sluggish, inactive disposition with him into every condition in which he can be placed. Is he à professor ? The duties of religion, private and public, are neglected ; the cause is wounded ; and while he sleeps, the enemy sows tares. Indolence clothes individuals in


rags and shame ;-involves a community in disgrace and ruin ! This is the soil where strife and confusion, servi. tude and oppression, grow.

Industry is an excellent preparative, for the introduction of the Gospel. To send forward a number of industrious, honest, and active men among the savages, to teach them agriculture and the mechanic arts, would lay a valuable foundation, for their recovery from ignorance, superstition, and idolatry. They would be like so many pioneers to the ministers of the Gospel, preparing

way of the Lord. The prediction in our text, more than intimates, that universal industry shall adorn the universal profession of Christianity, in the latter day of glory. Circulate the Gospel round the globe; briars and thorns shall be rooted up, and the fir and the myrtle shall rise

up and flourish in their place. Famine and wars are the natural sisters of indolence; but peace and plenty, the twinborn children of industry. When swords and spears shall be laid aside, and men's hearts subdued to the mild and peaceful temper of Christianity ; to prune the tree or plough the soil, will be esteemed the most honourable profession; vice and immorality will be almost banished from the earth; the reproach of ages will be wiped away, and righteousness shall exalt the nations.

Do you wish for the prosperity of Zion, and the general advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom? Become friends to man, cultivate every mild and heavenly temper; calm the turbulence of passion ; let not the sun go down upon your wrath : tame the unruly tongue'; love without dissimulation ; fear God, and keep his commandments. Let domestic feuds and family broils, be heard no more--the fruits of the Spirit are, love, joy, peace! The churlish husband, the peevish wife, the untoward child, are hostile to the Gospel; and have not yet exchanged the sword and spear, for the pruninghook, and the plough. The religion of Jesus extends still farther; it takes cognizance of the heart, and is a discerner of the thoughts. The humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, are now on the embattled field.

The peace that is required and insured by the Gospel, cannot be possessed nor enjoyed, so long as we are at peace with sin. A life of genuine peace, is a contin

so do

ual warfare !_Carnal weapons, indeed, are laid aside ; but faith buckles on the whole armour of God, and makes a stand ;-a solemn and determined stand, against every thing from within or from without, that might interrupt or distub the Christian's progress, to the gates of eternal glory. Lay aside, therefore, all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings; and put on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another (if any man hath a quarrel against any) even as Christ forgave you, so al


and learn war no more. The Lord of glory, is the Prince of Peace. He is the covenant of peace, the God, the council, and the conditions of



apos : tles came preaching peace by Jesus Christ. His ministers are the ambassadors of peace. He is our peace, and with

peace he will bless his people. O then ! let us seek peace, and the things that belong to our peace, and he will extend peace to us like a river, and mercy like an overflowing stream.

The Gospel is manifestly the power of God; and in the hand of the Spirit, effectual to subdue the rebellious and the refractory tempers of men.

Proud Nimrods have bowed to its imperial sceptre. Cæsars and Catalines have submitted at Emanuel's feet. Kings and conquerors have put off their armour and prayed for peace. The contentious and disobedient have trembled and humbled themselves before him. Such is the design, such the authority, and such the effect of the Gospel. At the same time it condescends to embrace every auxiliary aid, that can smooth the rough passage of life, meliorate our sorrows, relieve our distresses, improve our virtues, mend our hearts, or any way contribute to our present, or eternal felicity. The promises and obligations of the Gospel cannot be separated. Our duties and our privileges are combined in the economy

of grace; and what God hath put together let no man put asunder.

Never venture to cry peace, peace, when there is no peace ; for there is no peace to the wicked, saith my

God. Arise ye supine sons of sloth your souls are in danger --you are in an enemy's land. Engage with holy vio

lence, with the shield of faith, against hurtful lusts, that war against the soul. He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. The bleeding, wounded soul, that stuggles hard with sin, can never rest, until he finds his peace made with God. The sword of the spirit, wielded by prayer in the hand of faith, hews every Agag down, and casteth the head of Sheba over the wall. A Christless state is a perilous condition : Eternal dangers stand thick through all the way. An enemy to God, challenges Omnipotence to arms; contends with God, and can never prosper.

" Where shall the sinner hide his head ?

“ Can rocks or mountains save ?
“ Or will he hide within the shades
" Of midnight, and the grave?"

Extract from a Missionary Sermon, delivered at Phila

delphia, May 23, 1805, by Rev. EDWARD D. GRIFFIN, D. D.

MY ravished eye beholds the kingdom of Christ advanced to the glories of the heavenly state. Faith looks through the vail which conceals the eternal world, and discerns thousands of millions of happy beings, ransomed from destruction, and brought home to their Father's house ; it beholds the Church encircling the throne of her Redeemer, casting her honours at his feet, buried in the ocean of his glory, united to the Father by ineffable rela, tion, while all Heaven is ringing with hosannahs for redeeming love. There, there is the august kingdom completed, which God at first undertook to erect! Say nowpronounce is not the object worthy of all the means employed for its attainment? Do you hesitate ? Look, and think again : follow only one human soul into eternity ; trace its endless course through delights which flesh and blood could not sustain, or through fire suffici. ent to melt down all the planets ; pursue it through the ascending degrees of its eternal progression ; see it leaving behind the former dimensions of seraphim and cherubim, and still stretching towards God; or sinking, for

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »