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Auence, or complete novelty, are sible in his present state, of God peculiar to the Gospel dispensation and his attributes; of the means of
-a law not only thus perfect in it. his own acceptance with him; of self, but set off and perfectly ex- the substance of his duty, and the emplified in the pure and perfect sources of his spiritual strength. life of its divine Legislator.
And, added to all these, are the And, as man had fallen through powerful encouragements to the full the prevalence of temptation, and and conscientious discharge of our his posterity had gone on falling duty, held forth in the doctrine of lower and lower, through their in- the resurrection, and the reunion of herited weakness and depravity; and our bodies to our souls, for their man under the Christian dispensa- mutual enjoyment of a life, compared tion is still the same in nature, to which this is but as the mere in. though born to higher hopes and fancy of our existence ; a life, endprivileges; it had been in vain to less in its duration, inconceivable have proposed these conditions, and in its glory, and unvarying in the left man unable to perform thein. fruition of everlasting happiness. Some strength must be imparted “The righteous shall shine forth, as beyond what man has naturally; or the sun, in the kingdom of their Fathe very perfection of the law would ther.” only render our endeavours the more What remains then, but to say, hopeless. This strength we are in the words of our Lord taught to expect through the graces “ If ye know these things, happy of the Holy Spirit; and the very are ye if ye do them;" if ye live up channel through which those graces to what ye know, and strive to shew will be ordinarily conveyed, are ex- forth the excellence of your knowpressly laid down,
ledge in the superior sanctity of The waters of baptism are to give your lives," as obedient children, the first impulse to the spiritual life, not fashioning yourselves according and purify the heart, and place us to the lust of the flesh, but purifyin a capacity of working out our ing your souls in obeying the truth salvation, by transplanting us out through the Spirit." of the state of wrath into the state Is God all just and powerful ? of grace.
Fear Him. Is He all merciful ? The bread and wine taken sacra. Love Him. Is He every where prementally, as the holy symbols of sent? Think not to hide yourselves our Lord's crucified body and blood, from Him. Is He a Spirit? Be ye are to be the instruments of our spiritually minded, and worship Him strength, and the earnests of our in spirit and in truth. pardon.
teriously united in three distinct The priests and ministers of the persons ? Veil, like the holy seraLord are to be the official dispensers phim, your faces before Him, and of the divine graces,
bow yourselves in the deeepest huAnd the Church itself, as a holy miliation of soul and body, at the and visible society, under its own footstool of his mysterious Majesty. divinely appointed governors, and Has the Son of God redeemed salutary laws, is to be the deposi- us ? Let us make Him our Retory of these graces, and the faith. deeemer, by believing in the efficacy ful witness of their efficacy to all of his death. Has He given us a generations. Within her bosom, as law whereby we are to walk? Let in the ark of Noah, the Christian us obey Him as our Lord, that he rides safely, shut in by the hand of may be indeed a Redeemer unto us. the Lord, and wanting no one thing Has He promised us abundantly of that is good.-Perfect is his know- his Holy Spirit? Let us lay hold ledge, as far as is needful or pos- on his gracious promise; let us give
Is He mys
it to our children, by baptizing goodness: to their thoughts the them; let us ask it for them and for merciful design of the Gospel reaourselves in prayer; let us seek it dily occurs; in their view, privilege at the Lord's own table; let us re- prevails over duty in the scheme of ceive it at the hands of his own ap- salvation; according to their apprepointed ministers ; let us abide bension, the study of the Holy within his holy Church, as members Scriptures and the practice of devoof his mystical body, that, nourish- tion ought to be simply pleasurable, ed together with Him, we may grow and should prove the means of up unto an holy and living temple enkiudling and keeping alive within in the Lord, and be sealed with the them, love, and thankfulness, and Holy Spirit of promise, that earnest joy. They are almost strangers to of our everlasting inheritance. Is this fear: religion seems to them, to inheritance rich beyond compare, consist chiefly in the cultivation and and placed beyond all doubt? Has the exercise of warm affection and Christ risen from the dead, that we of earnest zeal. There are other might rise also? And has the word Christians whose temper of mind of truth declared, that " when he and character of feeling are quite shall appear" in his glory, “we opposite. These persons, regard shall be like him," and shall go the whole subject of religion with forth “ to meet our Lord in the air, awful reverence: every precept of and so shall ever be with the Lord.” the law occurs to their minds in close Having these promises, dearly be. connection with that high authority loved, let us, as the Apostle ad• which enjoins and sanctions it; monishes “cleanse ourselves from every privilege suggests to their all filthiness of the flesh and thoughts the majesty of that exalted spirit:” let us not choose the ser- Being who condescends to grant it; vice of sin, whose wages is death, whenever they listen to the voice of but the service of God, whose gift God, as speaking in His word, they is eternal life," through Jesus Christ shrink back with involuntary dread, our Lord;" let us cast off the works and use an effort with themselves, of darkness, and put on all these lest they should suspend attention glorious truths, and holy resolu- to that which they humbly confess tions, and pious affections, and themselves bound both to learn and heavenly hopes, as an armour of to obey. As I have already intilight, well knowing that it is high mated, these opposite characters time for every Christian to awake are both chargeable with error. out of the sleep, and folly, and mad True religion is not on the one hand ness of sin, and believe and live, a concern unmixedly awful; neither and hope unto the salvation of his is it on the other an affair which is soul, through Him, the only Teacher calculated to excite and to render
- the perfect Exemplar--the gra- active no other affections than those cious Supporter--the powerful In- of love and gratitude. It must be tercessor-and effectual Redeemer remembered that this holy principle and Justifier of Man--the Lord then produces its right effect, when Jesus Christ.
it imparts to the timid some firmness C. of resolution, and confidence of
hope, and inspires the man of san
guine and cheerful temperament ON RELIGIOUS FEAR,
with a respectful reverence for the
majesty of God. Whatever may be Two opposite errors are of fre- the fault of the abashed and fearful, quent occurrence among Christians. it is at all events certain that the Some persons delight to dwell on over-confident cannot be right: if the contemplation of the Divine there is more present unhappiness
in the case of the former, there is the Divine Majesty. In the piety undoubtedly more safety. In all of the faithful Christian there is instances of Christian virtue, the af- never found any symptom of familifection of fear, as well as other arity with the great and glorious affections of the soul, must be alive object of his love and of his confi. and active; but it must be a fear dence. He forgets not the sublime. pure in character, and well regulated nature of that Being, to whom he in degree. It may be confidently addresses his supplications, and ofasserted that genuine piety is ever fers up the tribute of his praise. In deeply founded on such fear. Se- the moments of devout retirement veral of the inspired writers use this and of public prayer he equally resingle word in the comprehensive members that God is in heaven and sense of religion as it relates to God; that himself is upon the earth: he and by this practice, they lead the therefore prostrates himself before attentive reader to conclude that this the throne of the Almighty with particular affection holds a promi- lowliness of mind, and is careful nent place in the formation and de- that his words be few, the well chovelopement of the religious charac- sen and respectful expression of his ter. It is thus that the Psalmist inward feelings of gratitude and declares: “ the fear of the Lord is love. His confidence, encouraged the beginning of wisdom; a good by the promises of Holy Scripture, understanding have all they that do is tempered with awe, and he does his commandments.” Psal. cxi. 10. not venture to give utterance to it It is thus too that Solomon ex- rashly or in haste. In formularies presses the same sentiment in the that have been consecrated by the same language: “ the fear of the use of the devout in every age of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; Church, he finds the safest and the and the knowledge of the Holy is best mode of celebrating the praises understanding.” Prov. ix. 10. "The and magnifying the mercy of his fear of the Lord is the instruction “ Father, which is in heaven :" he of wisdom." Prov. xv. 33. Indeed is not careful about novelty of lanto the reader of the book of Proverbs, guage but studiously consults how the expression “ the fear of the Lord" he may best conform the temper of is familiarly known as a short account his soul to the forms of saints and of true piety. In like manner, when martyrs, and confessors of the UniSt. Peter, in the New Testament, versal Church. He is much afraid would sum up the whole of our duty of any discordancy between the in. towards God, he does so in the brief ward feelings of his heart and the but significant admonition: “ Fear language of his lips; and instead of God." Now fear, as it enters into aiming at a glowing ardour of the pure religion, consists, partly, in an latter, he is intent on the far more awful reverence for the Divine Ma- important and more difficult task of jesty; and partly, in a humble dis- regulating the former aright. Nor trust of human infirmity. As it is such reverence as produces these consists in the former of these ele- effects in any degree, at variance ments, it is the principle of lowli. with a due reliance on the Divine ness, of self-abasement, of respectful goodness. He who is most strongly homage, and of grave and solemn impressed with the sublime majesty worship: as it consists in the latter of God, is likely to form the justest element, it is the principle of cau estimate of the clemency of that tion, of dependence on the help of High and Holy Being; and love, Divine grace, of careful and dili- awakened and cherished by a begent obedience.
coming sense of clemency, is only In the first place, religious fear purified from the grossness of earthly consists in an awful reverence for affection, by an accompanying sense
of the power and glory of Him, who ways were directed to keep thy stais the object of it.
“ Teach me, O Lord, the The other element of a right re way of thy statutes, and I shall ligious fear which I have mentioned keep it unto the end. Give me unis a humble distrust of human in- derstanding and I shall keep thy firmity,which immediately issues in a law. Incline my heart unto thy tesprinciple of caution, of dependence on timonies. Quicken thou me in thy Divine aid, of careful and diligent way.” (Psalm cxix.) Whilst his obedience. The sincere and earnest prayer, if not couched in these exChristian is justly afraid of himself. act terms, is at least such in meanIf a proper apprehension of the Di- ing and effect; his active powers vine majesty serves to shew him the are all awake, and are employed in enormity and malignant nature of a course of circumspect and diligent sin, a growing acquaintance with obedience. The fear of failing in himself lays open to his view his bis duty is not excessive ; in that own liability to transgression; and case it would dishearten and deter he despairs of being able always to from action; but it is strong enough stand upright, if he is left to his to rouse him to efforts at once zeaown strength. For bis own part, lous and persevering. Thus, inhowever, he is anxious to leave no- stead of disheartening, it has rather thing undone; he strives to be con the effect of exciting and animating. tinually on his guard; he arms him. It is the fear, not of a slave, but of a self with every instrument and loyal and obedient son.. Failure is means of caution; he accustoms the object of apprehension, not behimself to detect remote tendencies cause of the severity, but of the towards evil, and to discover be. goodness of God; and whilst the forehand what may ultimately en. Christian is persuaded that he cantangle him in sin; he lives under a not too much distrust himself, be is constant and practical persuasion equally convinced that the Lord that the first step in morals, al. and Master, whom he siucerely though it be always easy, and strives to honour and obey, will in sometimes almost imperceptible, is terpret his actions with favourable yet ever of incalculable moment. allowance, and with gracious conThis cautious distrust of himself is descension to the weakness of our followed by a humble dependence nature. on Divine aid. For the weakness, That religious fear, whose eleof which he is conscious, he finds ments I have been endeavouring to promised in Holy Scripture an ade. disclose, cannot be a source of unquate and appropriate supply of happiness. It is rather a fruitful grace and strength; and on that source of courage and of serenity of supply he depends with firm as. mind; for it has been well observed surance : but he seeks it through that it is “ the fear which banishes the appointed channels of Divine in- all other fear.” It is that“ fear of the stitution, and expects it in such Lord, in which is strong confimanner and degree as will not su- dence." (Prov. xiv. 26.) It is that persede, but assist his own powers, fear, which renders truly blessed and will increase rather than abate him who lives under its influence. his own activity. In the posture of Surely he" that feareth with this devotion, and with the accents of fear “ shall not be moved for ever : earnest prayer, he awaits the secret he shall not be afraid of evil tidings; communications of that hallowed his heart is fixed, trusting in the influence, which he thankfully con- Lord; his heart is established ; he fesses to be the principle of all pu- shall not be afraid until he see his rity within him. In the language of desire upon his enemies.” (Psalm the Psalmist he prays : “ O that my cxii. 6, 7, 8.)
Deut. xix, 14.
lected from the following commence* “ Thou slalt not remove thy neigh. ment of one of 'Alciphon's Epis. boar's land-mark.”
tles* :-“ Not even they who had Joshua xv. 6. and xviii. 17.
defaced land-marks, or profaned « The border went up to the stone of
the Eleusynian mysteries, could have Bohan,"
so much to dread as I had, having
fallen, Oye gods! into the bands NUMA introduced deities, under of that accursed Phanomacha, since the nature of termini, or bounda- she found that her husband was atries. In Romulus's time, neither the tached to that Ionian girl, who plays Roman territories in general, nor tricks with balls and the lamps, she the estates of private persons, had has suspected that I was accessary any fixed limits; Numa therefore to the intrigue.” ordered stones dedicated to Jupiter In the Institutes of Menu, which terminalis to be placed on the bor are supposed to have been written der of the Roman state, to mark the in the twelfth century before Christ, just extent of it. The same was we find, amongst other laws, that done with regard to the lands of the destroyers of known land-marks private property; and these land- must suffer such corporal punishmarks became a kind of deities. To ment as will disfigure them; as, for remove them was deemed a sacrilege instance, depriving them of their of so heinous a nature, that any eyes or hands.--Maurice's India Ant. man might with impunity slay the vol. vi. 395. transgressor; and, in order to ren. Not far from Tawarasakka are der the law yet more inviolable, two bound stones, to separate the Numa instituted a festival, called dominions of Fisen and Omura; the Terminalia, in honour of the Dii first of these bound stones, though Termini, (which in his time were it stood lower than the other, by nothing more than square stones or reason of the way going up hill, yet posts, to which a religious honour it was much higher, to signify that was paid; afterwards they were the dominions of the prince of Fisen adorned with statues representing are also much larger than those of human figures, were crowned with the prince of Omura.-Kæmpher's flowers, and rubbed with perfumes.) Japan, vol. ii. p. 560. The owners of lands met on the
Mark v. 2, 3. confines of their estates, and there
« There met him out of the tombs a made their offerings of loaves and
man with an unclean spirit, who had his the first gatherings of their fruits and dwelling among the tombs.”, harvests. Hooker's Roman His.
Isaiah xxii, 16. tory, vol. i. p. 127.-D. Hal. b.ü.
“ What hast thou here, and whom hast p. 133, 134.-Plut. p. 71.
thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a A large stone, set upright, marks sepulchre here;
as he that heweth him each man's property, in some out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth places, in others only a few sticks; an habitation for himself in a rock." as no man ever thinks of removing
Matt. xxvii. 60. his neighbour's land-mark.- Par.
“ And laid it in a sepulchre, which he son's Travels in Asia and Africa, had hewn ont of a rock.”
To the north of the city (Lata. That this offence was considered in a very serious light, may be col.
* B. iji. Let. 72,