Imatges de pÓgina
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a Saviour, to give both repentance and forgivenefs; and this is the gospel, which he hath commanded to be preached in his name, among all nations. Upon this ground the weary and heavy laden are to apply to God in Chrift, by earnest prayer for repentance and faith, that the burden of fin may be taken off, and they find reft unto their fouls.

Laftly, Let fuch as have any good hope that their debts, how large foever, are forgiven, love much, yea love the more, the larger their debts have been. If we are pardoned at all, it is a very great debt from which we are discharged. O let us labour after fuitable affection, and shew it.

1. By reflecting upon fin with the greater shame and forrow, hatred and abhorrence, as committed against fo good a God. Ye that love the Lord, bate evil.

2. Having much forgiven, love God the more, and give him the glory due unto his name. Who is a God like unto thee, who pardoneth iniquity, and palleth by tranfgreffion, &c. Blefs the Lord, O my foul, and forget not all his benefits. Bless the Lord, O my foul, and all that is within me blefs his holy name. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, &c. who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies, Pfal. ciii. 1, 2, 3, 4.

3. Having much forgiven, let your love fhew itself greater by your growing esteem of Jesus Chrift, whofe blood was the price of your pardon, and though it is given you freely, coft him his life. In the fenfe of this, to them that believe, he is precious.

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If he be fo to you, fhew it by your delight in his prefence, and particularly by making confcience of meeting him at his table, to give him the glory of the grace you have received, and by waiting for all that you further need.

Thus fhew forth his death till he come: And the time of his coming will be a time of refreshing, when your fins fhall be blotted out, and you fhall be led into that ftate where all his ransomed fhall fing unto him that loved them and wafhed them from their fins in his own blood. To him be glory and dominion for ever. Amen.

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SERMON XIV.

LUKE. XVI. 2.

Give an account of thy Stewardship: for thou mayeft be no longer steward.

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HESE words are part of a parable: and the making ufe of parables, comparisons and fimilitudes, adapted to inftruct his hearers in the important doctrines he meant to communicate to them, was a way frequently used by our bleffed Saviour.

In the way of relating fome fhort particular history taken from, or built upon the way of tranfacting affairs in common life, which all would be defirous to hear, our Lord, at this time, and at many other times, excited his careless, his apt to be weary, yea and his prejudiced auditors to lend their attention to, and receive instruction in matters of the greatest moment to their concerns of another life, which they cared not to hear of; and to their deep conviction too of the truth and importance of thefe matters, even before they were well aware of his wife defign to call them to think of them.

Inftruction

Inftruction in moral and spiritual things by fit parables, is memorable inftruction: It is an eafy and pleafing way of teaching, and one ftealing in upon the confciences of those only amufed by it at firft: For after they, from one word or two of application, come to fee its drift, it often proves very awakening and convincing, Our Lord by great wisdom and art, as well as zeal and affection, got within the doors of the hearts of his hearers.

The defign of our Lord in this parable we may plainly fee, was to call his prefent auditors, and all others, to the greatest care and diligence in improving the advantages wherewith they were intrufted, as those that were accountable to God, and to fare for ever hereafter, according to their good or evil management and conduct here.

The Steward spoken of in the text, points to every man and woman in the world.

The goods he was entrusted with, represent the feveral talents received by them.

The certain rich man, whofe fervant the steward was, notes the great God, by and from whom all gifts and advantages of every kind are kind are committed to us his creatures. The account demanded of the Steward, refers to the strict en-. quiry that will be made another day, how every one has improved, or wafted this his Lord's goods or gifts: according to which he will be proved or condemned.

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And warning is given of the certainty and approach of fuch a day, from the notice they have in fcripture that their state of probation shall end, and

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and be followed with eternal happiness, or mi-. fery, according as they have behaved in their truft. Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayft be no longer fleward.

Hence, the truths obvious to be observed are these,

I. Every one of us in the prefent life, has the character and place of a fteward.

II. The time of our stewardship will have an end.

III. On our ceafing to be or act as ftewards, an account of our stewardship will be required: Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayft be no longer steward.

I. In the prefent life, every one of us has the character and place of a fteward.

Thus we are confidered of God: And what an influence would it have upon our hearts and lives, did we always thus confider ourfelves?

Steward is a title of truft. And here the enquiry may be made, What the goods include, with refpect to which we may be faid to be Stewards.

These take in whatever valuable gift or privilege we are intrufted with. We have nothing but what we have received from the Father of lights, from whom every good and perfect gift defcends; and hence are faid to be ftewards of the manifold grace of God, 1 Pet. iv. 10.

Particularly,

1. Reafon or understanding is the gift of God, and as endued with This, we may be faid to be ftewards to employ and use it for VOL. II.

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