Page images
PDF
EPUB

" tion, at, length attained to this mastery

over himself. As soon as he rose in the morning, it was, throughout his whole life, his daily practice to retire for an hour to private

prayer and meditation; this, he often told “ his friends, gave him spirit and vigour in " the business of the day, and this he there“ fore commended as the best rule of life; “ for nothing he knew could support the " soul in all distresses but a confidence in

a Supreme Being, nor can a steady and “ rational magnanimity flow from any other

source than a consciousness of the divine "favour.

" He asserted on all occasions the divine authority, and sacred efficacy of the Holy

Scriptures; and maintained that they “ alone taught the way of salvation, and " that they only could give peace of mind. “ The excellency of the christian religion

was the frequent subject of his conversa- tion. A strict obedience to the doctrine, " and a diligent imitation of the example " of our blessed Saviour, he often declared “ to be the foundation of true tranquillity:

L3

66 Such

[ocr errors]

“Such were the sentiments of Boerhaave. “ So far was this man from being made

impious by philosophy, or vain by know

ledge, or by virtue, that he ascribed all shis abilities to the bounty, and all his

goodness to the grace of God. May his

example extend its influence to his ad“ mirers and followers! May those who

study his writings imitate his life! and " those who endeavour after his knowledge

aspire likewise to his piety,"

No XXIV. No XXIV.

On the Redemption of Man, commemorated

in the Lord's Supper.

nailed to the cross
By his own nation, slain for bringing life.

MILTON

Ir christianity have any claim of prefer ence above every other institution in the world, the advocate for infidelity may say,

produce your cause, bring forth your

strong reasons.In the gospel of Christ an important cause has been produced, and the strongest reasons offered to the consideration of mankind. Jesus Christ came, neither in the habit, nor the manner, of an ancient philosopher, and he differs as much from one of modern days, as any other discordant appearance in nature. Every thing was peculiar in the character of Christ; and in this peculiarity consists the super

L 4

eminent

eminent excellency of his religion. I do not say that it is excellent because it is peculiar; but as it transcends every former system of belief, that alone excepted which was connected with it from the era of the fall of man, and foretold its promulgationbut as it rises above the moral lessons of every preceding age, and presents motives of conduct totally unsuspected by the wisest head, altogether inconceivable by the purest unregenerated heart.

The diffusion of grace was the object of our Saviour's mission, and by this to save alive those souls which should believe in him. “Without faith, it is impossible to

please God.” This faith is not a fruitless unproductive principle; it is not a mere assent of the imagination; but, on the contrary, it is replete with every active virtue: “ for,” as the apostle proceeds, " he that cometh to God must believe “ that he is, and that he is a rewarder of " them that diligently seek him.'

The means used by the gospel to diffuse the graces which it bestows, are within the reach of every believer. No man indeed

can

can command the operations of the Spirit; but every man by prayer, religious meditation, habitual devotion, hearing and reading the word of God, and a diligent attention to all the duties which the word of God requires, will perceive the influence of the divine Spirit, and be satisfied so that God hath visited and redeemed his

people.”

This redemption it is, which gives an efficacy to every branch of christian virtue. In the times when the gospel was first preached, it was a custom (I would to God that I could add now abolished !). to buy and sell slaves. To that state we are often compared when confined under the bondage of sin. Our reconciliation with God there fore is often considered in scripture as effected by the way of redemption. When we were lost in trespasses and sins; and estranged from God, he purchased us again by his Son.

And was the ransom paid? Ti was: and paidi
(What can exalt the bounty more) for you..

YOUNG:

« PreviousContinue »