« EelmineJätka »
are peculiarly apostolical. They are in a more special manner, is bound to a people simple in the highest degree, support this church; because it is a and I have often read anecdotes with remarkable fact, that in the dark ages which I have been truly delighted, of Popery, it was the only church that with respect to the Hottentots in retained its episcopacy unsullied. Even Africa; where persons having attempt that illustrious band who testified for ed to preach to the Hottentots about Christ so boldly, who were so perseGod's attributes, and God's moral cuted by the church of Rome on the government, forgot that Jesus Christ Continent—the men who had to hide was the sum and centre of them all, themselves in the vallies and in the and they have totally failed; but when caves, could not have the same claim they were enabled simply to preach to upon us, inasmuch as they did not retain the Hottentots about the Lord Jesus those forms which we in the church Christ, and the peace that he bestows of England do, which, if not essential, upon his people, it had such an effect are at least both politic and useful. upon these poor creatures, that their But I say to members of the church of hearts were softened, and they came England, the Moravians have a pecuto the missionaries again and again, liar claim, and therefore I do trust and said, “ Tell us of that man that that you will show to-night that you died for us—tell us more of that man” | love the Moravians, and wish them -so that it is mentioned in the his- good speed in the name of the Lord. tory, the poor missionaries were bless- Oh, brethren, it is a very little thing ed with success from the moment they for us to give our money, and to open began simply to preach Christ, and him our purse-strings, and to say, we wish crucified. And that, by the way, is a you success—this may be done withword to us all, that we should never out a sympathy in their cause, and this go in a round-about manner preaching may be done while we are yet gratifythe Gospel; but if we wish to do ing self in many things ; but of this good to the souls of men, we must do you may be certain, that except you it in God's own way. Christ must be have felt a desire to aid them in this the Alpha, and Christ must be the matter, you have nothing of the misOmega, and like the Moravians preach. sionary spirit. If you cannot go out ing to the Hottentots, we must always as missionaries, and if you do not preach Christ, and him crucified, and suffer as missionaries, will you not him glorified.
feel that it is the highest privilege that There is another strong appeal to God can bestow upon you to take many persons in this congregation, the slightest part in his blessed work, the Moravian church is peculiarly to be permitted to contribute to the Episcopal. Now there are many here treasury of our God. I say, then, it who are not Episcopalians, and who is your privilege, I put it not merely do not see the scriptural nature as we upon the claim of duty, but on your high do of the established church, and to honour; and of all honours that can those we cannot appeal in the same be conferred on the immortal soul, the way as we can to members of the greatest is this, that the zeal of God church of England. I believe, indeed, has constrained us to give up ourthat the Moravians enjoy a peculiar selves, to give up our property, and Catholic spirit, and therefore, I be to give up our Jabours to the serlieve, that Christians of all denomina- vice of Christ. Now let us implore tions are bound to support them; but you, then, to see how far you can I do say, that the church of England, uphold the hands of our dear Mo.
ravian brethren, and participate in their rows, the hymn of praise, and the work both by your prayers and by your prayer of faith, rise up from these contributions this night. May God en poor, simple, heaven-taught souls, as large your heart; may your heart be the fruits of the Redeemer's travail of filled with joy and peace in Him, and his soul, and as monuments of his own then your soul will be refreshed when saving grace, and as the ingatherings you hear of Greenland's icy moun- of that family that shall reign with tains being gilded with the rays of the him in the day of his coming. Oh, Sun of Righteousness, and their inhabi- may God enlarge your hearts to-night, tants warmed with the love of Christ. and then all will be well, for God him. Then you will rejoice when the sons of self will speak to you; and if God Africa have found Christ to be a sanc- speaks to you, and you enjoy his peace, tuary, and to be as the shadow of a your first prayer and desire will be, great rock in a weary land. Then that the sons of men may be blessed you will be happy to hear that, amidst in Jesus, yea, that all nations may all their toils, and amidst all their sor- call him blessed.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. DR. BUSFEILD.
AT ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH, WOOD STREET, CHEAFSIDE, MAY 22, 1831.
Matthew, vii. 26, 27.—" And erery one that heareth these sayings of mine and deth
them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand : And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
If any thing can add interest or im- | what he requires of us in order to our portance to these words, it is the cir- salvation. “Whosoever,"
says the cumstance, that they are the con- Saviour, “heareth these sayings of cluding words of our Saviour's sermon mine and doeth them, him will I liken on the Mount—a sermon so superior to a wise man which built his house to all others which were ever preached, upon a rock." that it stands alone in sublimity and It seems to have been all along the excellence. I think it best, therefore, prime art of the Great Enemy of souls, to proceed immediately to the view and when he was not able to root out the explanation of them, simply requesting sense of religion from men's hearts, to you to give me your fixed attention. defeat the design of it upon their lives by
Now, the first thing which strikes his sophistries and delusions. He conus in our text, is the great wisdom and stantly brought some empty notion or happy consequences which result from false persuasion to take them off from our reducing to practice the sermons the main business of their Christian of the Gospel; not thinking it suf- profession, which is duty and obedificient to be instructed in our Christian ence, by bribing the conscience to be duty, and to talk of it, and admire its satisfied with something less. A proexcellence, and pretend to much of ject, this, extremely suitable to the faith and love to Jesus, unless we corrupt nature of man, whose chief, or heartily set about the performance of rather sole quarrel with religion, is the severity of its precepts and the dif. few of extraordinary abilities, but they ficulty of their practice; so that, al- were intended by the Divine Preacher though it is as natural for man to de. -and so we must receive them as sire to be happy as it is for him to standing monuments of his wisdom, as breathe, yet he had rather miss happi- standing rules for our direction. We ness and lose heaven itself, than seek must be satisfied, that upon our thinkthem in the way of holiness. For this ing, and speaking, and acting up to reason nothing speaks a language so the spirit, and agreeably to the prewelcome to the inmost desires of his cepts, of that sermon, in sincerity and carnal, unregenerate soul, as those to the best of our power, and upon maxims and opinions which would this alone, at all times, and upon all persuade him that it may be well with occasions, depends our eternal happihim hereafter without the absolute ne- ness; for it is a compendium of all cessity of his living here a chaste and that is wise, and good, and fruitful of virtuous life; which great mystery of consolation. He that hath faith in iniquity being carefully managed by the doctrines, and obedience to the the wily skill of the tempter Satan, rules, of his Saviour's sermon, will be and greedily embraced by a man's own
saved: but he who either does not betreacherous affections, lie at the bot- | lieve, or does not practice what Christ tom of all false religion, and is a therein revealed, hath no chance of canker at the root of every thing that finding the gates of eternal life. Hence is true and lovely.
we are warranted in drawing this imFind we not this, my brethren, in portant conclusion, that the sermon our daily experience, when we see delivered by our Lord upon the Mount how, in the strength of this delusion, is not hard and rigorous, but mild and some hope to be saved by believing reasonable. I mean that what is well, some by meaning well, some by therein declared, however difficult it charitable deeds, some by much prayer, may seem to our corrupted nature, and others by shedding a few tears and unpleasant to our wild passions, which come from the eyes and not is yet practicable by every sincere from the heart? These men are wil. lover of God; because we know full ling to make great professions if you well, from the gentle nature of Christ, call not for practice; they will believe that if his creatures were not able to in any thing we teach them if we de- reduce his doctrines to practice both mand not good works. Ready to by faith and obedience, he loved the sacrifice if we are content to dispense world too much to have made them a with obedience, they will hear as many necessary duty, and that to all withsayings of Christ as the Gospel con- out exception, and upon the severest tains, provided they are not required penalties. This is not like the conduct to do them. Now, to silence such of our merciful, affectionate Redeemer, shallow pretences, and dash to the Christ, who never laid on any man a ground such hopes as these, the mere burden too heavy for him to bear. fruit of an empty faith, was the grand The bruised reed he never brake, the object of our Saviour's sermon, smoking flax he never quenched. must be evident to every one who Therefore that Christian, and he only reads that heavenly discourse with a who is so wise as to practice with view to profit by its ons. Those heart and soul wha he hears and sacred words of the Son of God were knows of the duties of Christianity, has not intended as counsels of perfection any good grounds to hope for the reonly to his Apostles and some select | wards of it. And it is as vain and
foolish a thing to hope to be saved of his undertaking, otherwise he will without Christian obedience, as it is neither labour with industry vor perfor a man to expect any durable shelter severe unto the end. This, if he will or defence against the injuries of wind read the Gospel with a humble spirit, and weather, from a house which he (and no other spirit can understand it) hath built without any foundation upon he will find he can never accomplish the treacherous sand. A life thus void by his own strength, or through his of vital religion and the fruits of the own merits. What is the power of Spirit, will not bear the pressure of unaided man? Our Church says, man sorrow and affliction. The man who hath no power of himself to help him. flatters himself with such flimsy hopes self: and Christ, the founder of the hath built a structure which will fall church, declares its meaning: “With. when he most wants its shelter, and out me ye can do nothing.” So much bury him in its ruins.
for the strength of man. And, if posSo far, my brethren, our view of the sible, his merit stands lower. We pray text has been general; let us descend God in our liturgy not to weigh our to particulars, carefully following the merits but to pardon our offences, unbeautiful parallel which our Saviour worthy as we feel ourselves to gather draws betwixt the building ofan earthly up the crumbs under his table. And house and the structure of a Christian our Lord and Saviour hath for ever life ; our closest attention will be amply silenced the haughty pretensions of repaid.
each proud self-righteous Pharisee by And, First-The structure of a Chris- that notable doctrine. After all ye can tian life is like the building of a solid do, say–We are unprofitable servants.
house in this respect—they must both Here, then, is most evident the
be laid upon a good foundation. With-cessity of faith as a foundation-stone out securing this point, as you all for Christianity to rest upon. Our know, no builder that is wise has the faith presents to us Jesus Christ as the least expectation of finishing a safe and chief corner stone, the rock of ageslasting dwelling. And without the the foundation that cannot be movedsame security the Christian can have the first and last—the stability of as little reasonable hope of completing hope, and the certainty of salvation. such a structure of holy living and re- Of ourselves we are weak and sinful ligious habits as will support him in creatures, helpless, perplexed, and the day of trial, and survive the wreck ready to despond. He sends his Spirit of time.
in pity and in love, to strengthen, to The foundation on which a Christian sanctify, and to comfort us.
In ourstands is two-fold: it unites a stead selves, too, we have no merit. Refast faith and an honest purpose. A bellion is our character, ingratitude man must both believe well, and mean our soulest stain. He hath merit sufwell, and act well.
Thus to mean,
ficient for us all, atonement in his and thus to act, constitutes the honest blood to wipe away all our guilt. And purpose ; and it is of immense conse- he applies the obedience of his own quence to know that such an honest life, and the righteousness of his own purpose, or, if I may better so call it, death, to justify us, and recommend us conscientious principle, cannot exist to God. without a steadfast faith.
Before a In this view of our restoration, Christian sets seriously about building through Christ, from the ruins of our up a holy life, he must believe that he fall to the favour of heaven, and the has the means of ensuring the success glories of a redeemed state, faith is well described as able to remove mountains | by promising glory with himself and of error, infirmity, and sin. And his heavenly Father ; but threatening thus hath been established one and us, and what can be more just? with the first foundation on which a Chris- everlasting banishment from him, if tian builds—a steadfast faith.
we despise his authority, and trample The other part, namely, an honest upon his precepts. Thus an honest purpose, will be found equally essential
with steadfast to the structure of a Christian life. faith, presents itself to us the cerThe first bishop of Jerusalem hath laid tain road to heaven and eternal hapdown this doctrine, and that great piness. Espoused in the bridal garApostle never wrote more true, “Faith ments of the church, faith, and works, without works is dead, being alone.” walk hand in hand. The heavenly Thanks to the infinite mercy of host applaud the holy union, and what God, Christ hath set us, that believe, God hath joined together let not man free from the bondage and burden of put asunder. Who can say too much sin, so that whatever might have been in favour of the honest purpose, the imputed to us on account of original religious zeal, the conscientious prinsin, the consequence of the fall of our ciple for which I am now contending? first parents, is done away by the It is this honest purpose which calls blood of our crucified Saviour, and the forth the vigour and activity of our healing waters of baptism. St. Paul | love to Christ, and our obedience to sets this matter in the clearest light in the laws which he brought from heaseveral of his epistles, each tending to ven, by telling us, that God himself instruct us, that being born in sin and is well pleased to vouchsafe the best the children of wrath, we are made that He can give to the best that we the children of grace, and heirs with
can do. Christ to the heavenly inheritance. Be it, then, impressed upon all our
Yet so strangely prone are we, since minds, that the drift and design of rethe lapse of Adam, to evil, and so ligion is the active part of it. Proaverse to what is good and holy, that fession is only the badge. The soldier nothing is more necessary for our guid. of Jesus, who fights under the banners ance and security than good laws, of the cross, must not be content with bound upon us with the strongest showing the mere badge to the enemies sanctions, to keep us from utterly for- of his salvation-he must come forth feiting a second time the favour of a Christian warrior, arrayed in all the God, and to train us up for that hap. armour of God, with the sword of the piness which the Almighty has de- Spirit in his hand, the helmet of signed for us through the intercession righteousness on his head, bearing the of his Son. Therefore it is, that our shield of faith before him, and having, tender-hearted Saviour, ever watchful for his shoes, the preparation of the for our good, and incessantly mediat- Gospel of peace—he must fight for ing for our salvation, hath given us, victory till he hath subdued the last in his divine discourses, those rules of adversary of his spiritual leader-the life which would make us happy while world, the flesh, and the devil must lie we stay upon earth, if we would sin- prostrate at his feet. It is this which cerely live up to them. And how translates Christianity from a bare nokind, how gracious it is in that eternal tion into a real business, from useless friend, after he hath strictly com- speculations into substantial duties, manded us to respect and obey his and from an idea in the brain into an laws, to give us every motive to do so existence in the life. An upright con