Imatges de pàgina
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Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” Here we see how closely interwoven the one is with the other. If we are bound to honour the Father as our Creator, so also the Son, because by him, saith St. John, “all things were made, and without him was not anything made that was made." If we are bound to honour the Father as our preserver, because from day to day he supplies us with food and with raiment, and with all things that tend to our comfort, and to our happiness—so also the Son, for he is our preserver against all evil which may assault and hurt the soul; sending, as he promised, the Comforter to guide us into all godliness, and to save us from the power of that evil one, who is ever “going about seeking whom he may devour.” If we are bound to honour the Father as giving us the revelation of his will in the law, as placing before us the great precepts of holiness which shall make us, if obeyed, his perfect children

-so also the Son, who “ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it;" who came not to enforce it to that letter which killeth, but to the spirit which maketh alive; who came to shew us in the gospel another and a more full revelation of his will; not only doing it in word, but in fact; not only by precept, but by a living example. The honour of the Son, then,

cause

is the honour of the Father, and the honour of the Father is the honour of the Son. “ Jesus said, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing. It is my Father that honoureth me, of whom ye say that he is your God.” “I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.” But how did the Jews dishonour Christ? Be

“ he told them the truth, and they believed him not." They refused the faith, they withheld the credence which the evidence of his works demanded; pretending to be the people of God under the law, they refused to be so under the gospel ; whereas both 'went together, and one was only the sequence of the other.

But as mercy is a greater gift than justice; and as life and immortality is a greater boon than temporal glory; and as redemption is a higher work than creation ; so must we honour the Father principally in his Son. So must we say, when we remember the death by which the work of redemption was effected, Blessing and glory, and honour and power, be unto him that “sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

But our thankful remembrance must not only convey those feelings which are of the most elevated description, but also the more close and affectionate feelings of love ; and why? He had toward us those close and affectionate feelings. His care of us was not so much

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that of a king toward his subjects, as of a pastor and shepherd toward his flock. He came to teach things which we never conceived possible before; he

he came

to suffer things which the utmost generosity of human patience and human disinterestedness never could have imagined as endurable. Our souls were lost, we were condemned past hope, we were as sheep gone astray from the fold, wandering in the wilderness, no food to nourish us, no arm to protect us, no light to cheer us. In the midst of this he approached, he became the shepherd and bishop of our souls. He led us into green pastures and fed us with spiritual manna from on high. While we

were yet sinners he died for us. The wages of sin, and the condemnation of the law he changed into the free gift of salvation and grace. The gate of hell he for ever shut, the gate of heaven he for ever opened, and now keeps perpetually open, that all may enter who seek admittance through him. At that gate he stands inviting us, and keeping a place for his own. There in his glory and his love he stands, such love as passeth all understanding, intending and preparing for us such high prizes of Christian exaltation as it enters not into our hearts to conceive; O, hear his words of mercy : “Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" hear his words

of peace :

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our

« Peace I leave with you, my peace I give

I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you;" hear his words of love: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love." Then surely before we presume to communicate with him in that most intimate fellowship of his holy supper,

must ascertain that

hearts are clearly embued with a spiritual love towards him. Jesus said on one occasion to Simon, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me ?” and he repeated the question three times. O, let us answer even as he answered: “Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” Let us so exclaim, and let it be a faithful, a sincere exclamation on every occasion on which we approach the symbols of his love toward us. Let us be prepared in the fulness of joy, in the fulness of blessing, in the fulness of a heart teeming with solemn and reverential love toward him who could in no way shew greater love for us than this, that he laid down his life for us. “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us ; God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear

are

we in

hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love, we love him because he first loved us."

VI. From considerations of the past, we are to proceed to the future. From the repentance to which our soul has been subjected in recalling our past demerits, we are naturally led to resolutions of future amendment-“ to lead a new life;" and from the love with which we have been contemplating the meritorious death of the Redeemer, we are obviously led to faith in God's mercy through Christ. Repentance, if sincere, conveys at once the intention of amendment ; for it signifies not only a remorse and sorrow for the past, but a change of mind, an alteration of the feelings and opinions in regard to sin, and in regard to God. Again, the love of Christ, love of his character, love of his person, love of his doctrines, which are all conveyed in the expression, “a thankful remembrance of Christ's death,” signifies an intention of keeping his commandments: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” So that repentance and love will work together, under the grace of God, to alter the character, to amend and to improve it, so that it seems impossible that a man can really have “a thankful remembrance of Christ's death,” without, at the same moment “ steadfastly purposing to lead a new life.” That a person should presume to enter the house of God in any way, even to listen

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