Imatges de pàgina

into the bliss and immortality of heaven, pour forth the strains of exultation" Death is swallowed up in victory."-"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" "The Lord hath wiped" from the children of mortality and sin the "tears" of anguish; "the rebuke of his people," assailed by the reproaches of the ungodly, "hath he taken away from the face of the earth;" for they are come to the courts of the celestial Zion. Songs and everlasting joy are upon their heads;" joy and gladness" is their portion. From the seats of the heavenly Jerusalem "sorrow and sighing flee far away." Jehovah by his mighty hand and stretched out arm hath achieved our salvation. "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."



To our happy lot it has fallen, my brethren, to hail the fulfilment of the glorious prediction which I have laid before you. For us hath "the Lord of hosts prepared a feast of fat things." In the Gospel of his Son Jesus Christ, our heavenly Father hath set forth for us every blessing which is necessary to the health, the purity, the peace, and the everlasting salvation of our souls. From us he hath removed the vail which concealed his adorable character, and attributes, and will. For us he hath enlightened the way of access to the throne of his offended majesty. To us "life and immortality are brought to light;""death is swallowed up in victory;" for we know that "if our earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Our eyes now see the salvation of God.

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Let us gratefully adore him for the manifestation of his mercy, his grace, and salvation, in the Gospel VOL. II.


of his Son; and while divine truth sheds around us its benign lustre, let us not walk in the darkness of sensual ignorance, and in the paths of folly and sin. Called as we are now to commemorate the cheering rising of the Sun of Righteousness, let us use all diligence, as children of the light, to put off the works of darkness, and to put on the armour of light; and let it not be our condemnation, that "light has come into the world, and that we have chosen darkness rather than light."

The Lord of hosts hath "prepared for us a feast of fat things"-the blessings of celestial truth, mercy, grace, and salvation. He graciously invites us to come unto that spiritual banquet which in his holy mountain he hath prepared for all people. His "oxen and his fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage." "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him come and drink of the waters of life freely."

Come, then, guilty and perishing children of men, partake of the salvation of the Gospel; receive the pardon of your sins, which expose you to the just displeasure of your offended Maker; receive grace to purify your disordered natures, and to enable you to serve God acceptably; receive the everlasting favour of the Lord in his heavenly kingdom. He requires no other qualifications but a sense of your weakness and your guilt, an earnest desire to be freed from the dominion of your sins, and to partake of his satisfying mercy and favour. Turn not a deaf ear to the invitations of his mercy; despise not the solicitations of your Lord, who descended from heaven to redeem you. You are invited to partake of the rich, the pure, and the

unfading joys of the salvation of your Saviour; choose not as your portion the sensual, the corrupting, and the transitory gratifications of a sinful world. It is in your power to sit down with him at the everlasting festival of love in his kingdom above; and will you choose the doom of those who refuse to come to this heavenly banquet, and whose fearful portion is in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth? Blessed are they who hear the joyful sound, and with grateful, penitent, and obedient hearts, accept the salvation which is offered them; blessed are they in the favour of their God and Saviour here, blessed will they be in the light and glory of his presence hereafter.



Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

WHO can by searching find out God? Man, vigorous, keen, comprehensive as he is in his researches in human science, finds his aspiring faculties humbled, when he seeks to penetrate the Divine essence. The doctrine which lies at the foundation of all religion, and which even the impugner of the sacred writings, unless sunk into the gloom of atheism, reveres as the only essential principle of natural religion-the existence of an eternal uncaused cause of all things-is utterly beyond the grasp of the human intellect. When, then, even what is called natural religion, the religion which reason emphatically claims as her own, has its incomprehensible truths, it is folly to expect that a revelation which embraces more extensively the Divine counsels and operations, should not contain any thing which surpasses the comprehension of the mind of man,

My brethren, is it not then apparent that the incomprehensible nature of many of the truths of the Gospel does not invalidate their claim to credibility? In every thing that man sees, in every thing that he hears, in every thing within him, in

every thing without him, there is more or less of mystery. The clod on which he erects his proud footstep, the heavens towards which he lifts his aspiring view, his own mind equally with that Divine mind from which it has emanated, are all inscrutable. In the mystery, then, which envelops the truths of the Gospel, there is not any thing which is contrary to the analogy of nature. Every thing which is the object of our sense, our consciousness, our reason, is inscrutable. Would it not be wonderful if the eternal God, who filleth immensity, could be comprehended by the finite creatures whom he has made?

But though the truths of the Gospel surpass, they do not contradict the dictates of human reason; far otherwise: they afford her rest from many anxious inquiries, relief from many perplexing doubts. Where she most felt her impotence, and deplored her darkness-as to the mode by which sin may be pardoned-they point out the certain and cheering way of access unto the offended Sovereign of guilty man: they present a divine Saviour, the Son of God, making atonement for transgression-doing that which the holiness and justice of the Eternal demanded-obeying his law and enduring its penalties; and thus rendering the forgiveness of the penitent sinner consistent with all the attributes of God, and with the righteousness, the honour, and the authority of his govern


The glorious truths which the church this day celebrates-the descent of the Holy Ghost, with his spiritual gifts and graces-transcending, indeed, the comprehension of the human faculties, is still a truth fraught with inestimable blessings,

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