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"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man."-The difference lies,
[2.] That they may defire grace, for its neceffity in order to fave them, but not for its intrinfic beauty and likeness to the Lord: Matth. v. 7. "Bleffed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteoufnefs, for they fhall be filled." It is the chief thing the true Chriftian defires, grace to be holy, as well as grace to be justified and pardoned : Pfal. xxvii. 4. "One thing have I defired of the Lord, that will I feek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple."-The difference lies,
Lafly, That a hypocrite may have much joy and delight in the duties of religion; fo had the ftonyground hearers, Matth. xiii. 20.-If. lviii. 2. "Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteoufnefs, and forfook not the ordinances of their God; they afk of me the ordinances of juftice; they take delight in approaching to God." There may be delufive raptures of joy, as well as unfound floods of forrow. I fhewed very lately the difference betwixt genuine joy and thefe delufive raptures. True joy rifeth orderly, after a preceding renting effect on the heart, &c.; delufive joy more quickly, &c. *-I now come,
III. To make fome fhort improvement.-I have endeavoured to lay before you, the differences betwixt the hypocrite and the fincere Christian; and from the whole, I think you may carry away these leffons. We may hence fee,
1. That it is no eafy thing to be a real Christian.
*See Catechetical Sermor.s en Rom. v. 2.
A parcel of external performances do not make a Christian, nay, nor even internal things alfo, without the genuine spirit of duties, performances, and attainments: That the great thing which makes the difference is, not so much what is done, as how it is done, the principles, ends, manner, &c. of doing it. We may learn,
2. That a man may go a very great length in religion, and notwithstanding be naught in God's esteem. A perfon may look fo like a true Christian, that he may deceive both faints and finners, like him who is faid to have made an image with fuch motion, that others thought it had life. Nay, I know not but he may deceive the devil himself : Jer. xvii. 9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and defperately wicked; who can know it ?" like him who is faid to have painted grapes fo lively, that the birds came and picked at them. He may deceive himself like the Laodiceans, and go to death with the delufion, like the foolish virgins. We may learn,
3. That however far the hypocrite goes, the true Chriftian goes beyond him; and therefore we must not, we ought not, to fatisfy ourselves as to the point of fincerity, unless there be something in us which is not to be found in hypocrites. And therefore I exhort you to put yourselves to the trial. Try yourselves whether you be in Christ or not, whether you be fincere Chriftians or not.-Confider,
(1.) True religion is very rare at all times: Mat. vii. 14. "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." The miferable decay and untenderness among all forts of perfons, fhew it to be especially rare at this time, in which we may fay, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceafeth;
for the faithful fail from among the children of men," Pfal. xii. 1.-Confider,
(2.) That we are like to fee trying times, in which the Lord will fet his furnace in Zion. God has appeared often feasonably and wonderfully for our deliverance; but the generation is not bettered, but rather growing worfe and worfe in all points. This is a forerunner of a fearful ftroke. Now, Sirs, a fhew of religion may do in a time of ease and peace, but when that trial comes, it will be hard to bear up without the reality.-Confider,
(3.) That death and judgement will try us all. We may put off the trial as we will for a time, there is however no fhifting of it altogether. God will not be mocked. Confider,
Lafly, That it will be a terrible difappointment to be awakened out of dreams of heaven, by falling into hell. It will be no time to seek oil, when the Bridegroom is come, and hath fhut the door. We have in view an ordinance that calls to selfexamination : Cor. xi. 28. "But let a man examine himself, and fo let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." Therefore beftir yourfelves, and confider your ftate. Study the fpirituality of religion, that you may thus approve yourselves to the heart-fearching God. Amen
THE STATUTE-LAW OF DISCIPLESHIP *.
LUKE, xiv. 26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and fifters, yea, and his own life alfa, he cannot be my difciple.
E is a fool who joins himself to any fociety, before he has weighed with himself how he can comply with the laws and rules of that fociety. In vain do we propofe to be a difciple to any perfon, if we are not difpofed, if we will not submit to his difcipline. Man is born like a wild afs's colt, naturally untractable and unteachable; the Son of God has fet up. his fchool amongst us; many who externally belong to it ftand at a distance from him, as rude and unpolifhed by grace as when they firft came to it.. There is a folemn and awful entry into the schoolof Chrift before us, and it cannot be unfuitable, efpecially on fuch a feafon as this, to ftand and. hear,
Delivered at Selkirk, Saturday, OA. 11. 1712.
hear, out of the mouth of the great Master, the neceflary qualifications of all fuch as will be reckoned his difciples indeed. This we have in the text. In which there is obfervable,
1. A cafe fuppofed; and there are two things in it. For this cafe, though the cafe of many, is like the legs of the lame, which are not equal.In it, firft, there is a fair profeffion. The man cometh to Chrift, not in the way of believing on him, as this word is often ufed, the expreffion here can by no means be thus explained; but in the way of an outward profeffion, joining himself with his followers, taking on him the name of his party. The occafion of the words clears this. Multitudes went with him, and they were ready to value themfelves becaufe they kept good company. The Lord turns to them, and tells them, that it was another thing to be a difciple of his than most of them took it to be. He lays the matter fo plainly before them, as would make it easy to conclude, that moft who followed him now would leave him afterwards; and that when it came to the trying pinch, he would have but a thin backing'; therefore they should in time confider what they were doing.-In the cafe there is, next, a foul and falfe heart. The man comes to Christ, and brings not his heart with him, but leaves it at home with his father or mother, &c. or keeps it ftill hugging and embracing his dear felf, his life, fo that he cannot embrace Christ, more than a man can take both heaven and earth in his arms at once. Christ must be dearer to his difciples than what is dearest to them in the world. The deareft perfons are father, mother, &c. The dearest thing is life. That which makes this cafe fo bad is, that they are dearer to the man than Chrift. He hates not his father, mother, &c. He who taught us