Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

nen exhib

goodnek z ve full als

But either

hoard up ence of to-iolate the

T on that

that gathered little had no lack.” Now if we attend
to the conduct of Providence to this day, and in every
ftate of the world, we fhall find the same equality of
distribution still going on. A man has just what he
uses and no more. With a chest full of gold, he has
à desire to eat but twice or thrice a day at moft. With
a thousand fuits of apparel in his wardrobe, he can
use but one at a time. His neighbour, therefore, who
has but one dinner, and one coat at once, is, upon the
whole, just as rich as he. Beyond what nature re-
quires, reafort approves, and the Almighty crowns
with his bleffing, all is childifh and fantastical.. " There
is that feattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that
withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to pov-
crty."* If this were felt and understood as it ought,
we should: fee less eagerness, rapacity and selfifhiness in
one part of mankind, and less unthankfulness and difa,
content in another...

Sixthly. Mark the danger of giving way to a light, wanton, fanciful disposition. Even manna pleased not long. An imagination filled with the luxurious dain, ties of Egypt, foon fpurned at it, as “ light bread.” There is no end to wishing and desiring. Unadulterated nature craves but little, and is not difficult to please. But once give the reins to fancy, and the wealth of Crcesus, the magnificence of Solomon, the elegance of Lucullus, and the luxury of Heliogabalus, will foon: stink and be despised. Men ate angels' food, and loatlied it. Of what importance then must it be, to check in ourselves, and to repress in those whose virtue and happiness are entrusted to our care, the first workings of a wild and fantastical appetite. Children cannot be too simply clothed and fed. Solicit the palate by delicacies, and you kindle a fire in the imagination to which no wealth can administer a sufficient fupply of fuel, which no reason can keep within bounds, which will certainly produce a thousand reali evils, and render the poffeffion of the real felicities of M.2

life * Prov. xi. 24.

[blocks in formation]

life tasteless and insipid. Teach young ones to value themselves on dress and appearance, and you undermine the fabric of their true consequence. In propora tión as you lead them to derive their importance from the adorning of their bodies, you strip and expose their minds.

Seventhly.. The same Power which corrupted the manna on the second day, and which preserved it from corruption every seventh day, commanded a small portion to be laid up, for a memorial to future generations; and for that purpose miraculously kept it in its original state of sweetness and perfection. In this we fee the absolute subjection of all things to the will of God. They grow. and decay, they continue and pass away, they live and perish, just as he will. “I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living:" "And, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the lat.. ter day upon the earth. And though after my skin: worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I fee God.” No power nor skill can redeem the body from the power of the grave; the arm of an archangel is unable to confine it there.

Finally. The manna from heaven is likewise an image of better things to come. The bread of angels could not confer immortality on those who did eat it : but “the true bread which came down from heaven," communicates eternal life to all who partake of it. But the words of our Saviour himself will best explain. · this subject. " Jesus faith unto them, I am the bread, of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.' Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the

bread

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

LECT. XIII. History of Moses.. 181 bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews, therefore, strove among themselves, saying, How can this inan give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus, said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, ye have no life in you.: Whofo eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath.eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last days for my fesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drink-, eth my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” “ As. the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth of this bread shall live forever."*

Having thus finished the Course of Lectures proposed for this season, what remains, but that with a grateful heart I first acknowledge the great goodness of Almighty God, who has gracioufly lent health and strength for carrying on this undertaking thus far. If any favour of divine things has been felt, or communicated; if fcripture truth has, to any, been set in a new or an agreeable light; if a taste for facred reading and meditation has been conveyed.; if the connexion between the Old and New Testament has been pointed out, and impressed upon any heart; and, if the young

vill. I nd to the

now that at the lat- my skin hall I see he body

. archan

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

explain e bread er, and

Verily,

e hath our fa. · dead.

*** John vi. 47, &c. + For the reason aligned, when these discourses were first submitted to the public eye, some of the occasional addresses from the pulpit were retained in the publication. But the Lectures of a season not corresponding exactly to the usual size of a volume, it became at length a matter of doubt, whether these addresses fhould be altogether fupprefled, modelled into a more proper di&tion and station from the press, or given exactly in the order and words in which they were delivered.

The doubt issued in resolving upon the last. This Lecture concluded the Course of the Spring, 1783. The Course of the ensuing season cominenced with that which follows. Perhaps it was unnecessary to fay so much, in explanation of a matter so little important as the conclufion of one discourse and the introduction to another.

[blocks in formation]

in particular have been induced, by any thing faid in this place, to think for themselves, and to compare spiritual things with spiritual ; the Lecturer has gained his end, and is already in poffeffion of his re ward. The praise he cheerfully renders to Him to whom it belongs. ,

To you, my very dear friends, my thanks are in the next place unquestionably due, and are rendered with unfeigned gratitude.

gratitude. Your patient attendance

Your paut and candid attention, during seven months together, I shall ever consider as a proof of attachment the most flattering and the most encouraging. Why Mould I conceal my feelings on the occasion ? I engaged in this undertaking, at first, with fear and trembling ; I proceeded with solicitude ; but I conclude with heart, felt satisfa&ion; because the countenance I have met with encourages me to hope that my labours may have been doing fome good. If there be one circumstance which gives me pain, it is the excess of that liberality and approbation which has so far over-rated and overpaid my endeavours, to convey to you useful and pleaf, ing instruction. In return, all I can do, is to wil and pray that your kindness may be returned a thousand fold into your bosoms, in temporal, spiritual and heavenly blessings. And now, my beloved brethren, farewell. To the grace of God I commend you all : even, “ to Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy ; even to the only wise God our Saviour." * That we thall never all meet again in an earthly temple, is certain. For time is hastening to filence the tongue of the preacher, and to close the hearer's ear. But we have everlasting consolation and good hope, through grace, of meeting together, and of worshipping in that temple, which has no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the clory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are

faved

* Jude 24, 25:

[blocks in formation]

saved fhall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there."* Let us, therefore, 6 be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord ; forasmuch as we know that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.”+

im to

are in

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »