Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

the one and the other. The great objection to the worship of the ancient Jews, was on account of their unengagedness of heart and spiritual pride, in the services of their sanctuary. For these reasons, they were` addressed in this reprehensive style: "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me." Their real situation is accurately described in these words; "this people draweth nigh to me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." Their pride is thus depicted, by the pencil of truth; "they say, stand by thyself, and come not near to me, for I am holier than thou." It is easier to see, that such dispositions were directly opposed to those qualities, which true worship possesses. "The sacrifices of God are a broken heart and a contrite spirit." Besides, false worshippers have been represented as complaining of the hardness of their service. "What a weariness it is." The cheerful engagedness of the heart would effectually prevent all such complaints. The spirit of the Redeemer shuts out this mur

muring disposition. It enables the worship-
say, with his Master, "it is my meat
per to
and drink to do the will of God." Humility
renders every duty satisfactory and pleasant.
“ "Take my yoke upon you," says Jesus," and
learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of
heart, and shall find rest unto your souls;
ye
for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Having thus pointed out some of the essential requisites of true worship, we proceed to show, Thirdly, the reasons, why "the Father seeketh such to worship him, as worship in spirit and truth.”

;

The best support of this proposition is derived from two considerations, which are often presented in the sacred scriptures. The one is drawn from the nature of God the other has respect to the condition of man as a being susceptible of true felicity. As the moral governor of the world, the Deity seeks his own declarative glory, in all his administration. The glory of God can never be dissociated from the happiness of his creatures. Here the two ideas unite, and

[merged small][ocr errors]

give their common support to the great
truth, advanced in the text.

We are

That pure devotion, which is called in
scripture, “the beauty of holiness," is alone
acceptable to the Most High. This is cer-
tainly what he seeks, as a requirement of the
moral justice of his law, as the strongest
declaration of his own honour, and as the su-
preme felicity of his rational offspring. The
nearer we approximate to this exalted state
of mind, in the present life, the more of hea-
ven we enjoy, and the richer is our antepast
of the entertainments of eternity.
not at liberty to trifle with the word of truth,
by any efforts to shew, that "the Father"
will seek in vain, for "worshippers," of the
character here delineated. Express decla-
rations prove that he will not. The pious
Psalmist sang this sentiment, in strains of
angelic melody: "All nations whom thou
hast made shall come and worship before
thee, and glorify thy name. All the ends of
the earth shall turn unto the Lord, and all
the kindreds of the nations shall worship be-
fore him."
This language is neither limit-
ed nor conditional. It involves the great

principles, on which all true worship is founded, while it exhibits the power, which will finally effect the purpose of God in the complete subjugation, and consequent holiness and felicity of man.

Numerous other testimonies might be adduced, if necessary, in support of this great truth; and many of them describe the means by which this glorious event will be produced. In an address to the "annointed, whom God hath set upon his holy hill," David utters these sentiments, "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion, rule thou in the midst of thine enemies; thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power; in the beauty of holiness, from the womb of the morning, thou hast the dew of thy youth." The haughtiness of the heart being reduced, and the obstinacy of the will subdued, our God and Father" will receive the homage and adoration, of all the subjects of his moral government. The oath of Jehovah will be accomplished, in bringing " every knee to bow, of things in heaven and things on earth, and things under the earth,"

66

and in causing" every tongue to confess, that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

With these views of the duty, interest and final destination of mankind, I, most feelingly and affectionately congratulate you, my christian brethren, upon the erection and completion of this edifice. Though we are assured that "God dwelleth not in temples, made with hands," nor is worshipped in any particular place, exclusively; yet convenience suggests the expediency of places, better adapted than others, to the services of devotion. The zeal which you have manifested, in the establishment of your social state, and in the erection of a house, for religious services, is truly laudable, as it appears to be "according to knowledge." We trust, that you will continue the course, which you have thus far pursued, till you attain other objects, of great importance to your social happiness. Among these, is the established ministry of the word of life. May the same hand, that has helped you to lay the foundation of this structure, and

« AnteriorContinua »