Images de page
[ocr errors]

It is an indubitable truth, that all fouls are of equal value with the Lord; and the one thing necessary, both in the learned and unlearned, the rich and the poor, the high and the low, is, that pure and heavenly principle from which all true religion must arife, and all real happiness flow-and that is, LOVE And I am per


fuaded, the rich and wealthy are as fufceptible of this principle, as the poor and needy. Wherever this pure love to God and charity to man is found, that person, if poor, will be contented in his ftate, envy not those who are more wealthy than himself, but be as ufeful to all as he poffibly can, in that humble fituation which providence has placed him. If he be a man of affluence and wealth, he will confider himfelf as the steward of the Lord, to difperfe and diffuse the bounties of Divine Providence, to the relief and comfort of the poor and wretched. love of God will infpire him with a noble, benevolent mind; charity to man, will prompt him to every poffible act of kindnefs, compaffion, and pity; and wifdom from the Lord, will direct him to distribute both fpiritual and temporal goods with prudence and discretion, to the fons and daughters of want and mifery-the hapless children of forrow and woe.


Let us then endeavor to be properly acquainted with the true nature of that religion, which our Let us bleffed Lord hath taught us in his word. confider, that it is equally adapted to all claffes and conditions of men, the high and low, rich and poor,

[ocr errors][merged small]

learned and unlearned; and that the fum and fubftance of it is, to know the Lord, love him, keep his laws, love one another, and be useful to all, as far as we have power. We have nothing to part with, but what is evil, falfe, and infernal; we have nothing to do, but what is good, true, and heavenly ; and we have nothing to expect, but honor, glory, immortality, and unspeakable felicity.

If you are in states of indigence and poverty, be contented and refigned-the Lord will take care of you, and bless you; love him, depart from all evil, and keep his commandments-and you will very foon have as much riches, honor, and happiness, in his eternal kingdom, as you can poffibly enjoy. If you are rich, wealthy, and great-die to felf-love, love of the world, and of dominion; from love to God, obey his laws; from charity to man, diffuse happiness all around you; be faithful ftewards of the bleffings you have received, whether temporal or fpiritual; enjoy the bounties of providence with gratitude and thankfulness, and be affured you shall foon be raised to more durable riches, more heavenly joys, more exalted honors, and everlasting happiness, pleasure, and glory, in his eternal kingdom.

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.




MATT. x. 36.

And a man's foes fhall be they of his own houfhold.

IT is an indubitable truth, that man was

created to be happy. is love, in its effence. He formed man in his own image and likenefs; he came out of his hands pure; and his Maker pronounced him GOOD.Whatever proceeds from, or is the work of the Almighty, much resemble its author; and as he is goodness itself, he can but delight in the happiness of every part of his creation; and as man is the highest and nobleft work of God, so the highest

The God who created him


and most fublime happiness must be defigned for him. And whoever fuppofes that the blessed God created mankind with any other design than to make them completely happy, must have but very imperfect notions of the Divine Being.

But as no rational being can be happy without free agency, or liberty of choice-fo man was created with a freedom of mind: and as he was created in a natural world, furrounded with natural objects, and endowed with various natural fenfes, and alfo had a will to choose, and an understanding to direct him in that choice, fo he was at liberty either to fink beneath the dignified situation in which he ftood, or to rife into a more elevated and exalted ftate. To fink by fenfual gratifications, or rife by mental endowments-by fpiritual attainments.

In this state of freedom and liberty which man was created (and without which he could not be man) he continued not long undefiled. Leaning to the fenfual principle, he averted himself from the centre of good, departed from the fountain of happiness and purity, and immersed himself in evil and forrow. From age to age the children of men have become more and more degenerate-evil has abounded and increafed-the whole man is totally out of divine order, and is become his own most dangerous enemy. This is fo evident that it needs no proof by argument. Daily experience evinces, that children of all defcriptions, as they advance from infancy, discover difpofitions and tempers inimical

inimical to their future happiness and well-being; and none of us need go from our own doors to find enemies which would plunge us in ruin.

It has generally been understood by the words of our text, i. e. "a man's foes fhall be they of "his own houfhold," that our divine Lord means our families, relations, our parents, and brethren, fhall be our foes; doing all they can to prevent our becoming his disciples, and being happy with And indeed if this be the Lord's meaning, and the preceding verfes, as connected with this, be taken in this light, they feem to reprefent the Lord himself as the real cause of all fuch enmity and oppofition. For the Lord fays, "I am come to set a man at variance against his

him in heaven.

father, and the daughter against her mother, and "the daughter-in-law againft her mother-in-law." But can any one fuppofe that the Prince of Peace, the kind and loving Redeemer, could come into the world with defign to do that which the devil himself has always been doing, and still does?— Variance, enmity, hatred, and divifion, are directly oppofite to the temper, laws, and kingdom of the Lord Jefus Chrift ;-and therefore in this light the words must not be understood.

I know how fome perfons endeavour to qualify and explain the words. They fay, the Lord does not defign these things fhould take place, but his doctrines will eventually have that effect when they are cordially received. But I muft affert they will


« PrécédentContinuer »