Page images

CHRIST, in his gospel, have solemnly commanded us, to be "fruitful in every good "work," as well as "increasing in the

knowledge of GOD: that is, to unite practice with faith; and to shew forth in our lives, what we profess with our lips. This it is, in the words of the text, "to "walk worthy of the LORD in all pleasing to obtain his approbation, and inherit his promises. Assure yourselves, my brethren, that any other view of faith, or notion of christianity, than this plain and practical one, is false and ruinous; and can only lead you into darkness here, and destruction hereafter. "Take heed," then, "how ye hear;" and where ye go for religious instruction. Your ministers will not desert you, if you do not desert them; for "they watch over," and care for," your souls, as those that must give account." Their exhortations, -a scriptural Prayer-Book,-the ordinances of your church,—and, above all, the Holy Bible,

[ocr errors]

-are now your guides to salvation. Beware, therefore, that ye do not quit them for other teachers, or for "strange doctrines;" but carefully use these blessed means of improvement, to the forwarding of your everlasting welfare; to the "increasing in the "knowledge of GOD; and being fruitful in every good work.”

[ocr errors]


[For the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity.]

JEREMIAH Xxiii. 6.

This is the name, whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.


HE apostle John, in the book of Revelations, says, "the spirit of pro"phecy is the testimony of JESUS;" that is, the numerous prophecies in the Old Testament, delivered many hundred years before the birth of CHRIST; as well as the prophecies of St. John the baptist, pronounced before the public manifestation of our Saviour to the world; clearly prove, that he verily and indeed was, what he declared himself to be, the Son of God, and the Saviour of mankind. Hence it is, that, if we wished to prove the truth of our holy

religion, to those who had never heard of JESUS CHRIST, or to those, who, having heard of him, did not believe in him; we should make use of prophecy, among other things, for this purpose. We should shew to the person whom we wished to convince,. that, even thousands of years before the Saviour appeared, good and wise men, moved by the spirit of God, had foretold,—that, at a certain time, a great and extraordinary person should be born into the world;-that he would come from a particular family stock; that his birth would be attended with many remarkable circumstances;-that he could do many wonderful acts, above the power of man to perform;-that he would die a certain death;-and, contrary to any thing that had before happened in the world, would arise again from the grave, and ascend into heaven. And we should also shew them, that all these prophecies were fulfilled in the person of JESUS CHRIST ;-that every thing had happened to him as the prophets had said; and, consequently, that he must be the person of whom they had predicted. for so many successive ages. This is what is called, "the argument for the truth of "christianity, drawn from prophecy;" or, in other words, shewing that "the spirit of "prophecy is the testimony of JESUS."

The epistle for the day contains one of these remarkable predictions of JESUS CHRIST. It was delivered by Jeremiah, upwards of five hundred years before our Saviour; and describes so particularly the character of our blessed LORD, and the happy consequences which his religion would produce to the world, as makes it impossible not to see that the description was intended for him. Many ages before the time of Jeremiah, however, the ALMIGHTY, speaking by himself, or by the mouths of his prophets, had foretold the birth of that great Being in the fulness. of time, who was to save a lost world, by the sacrifice of himself; and make an atonement for the sins of mankind, by his own precious blood-shedding. To mention all these prophecies would be impossible, at present, from the greatness of their number; I will, however, point out a few of them to you; and shew you how exactly they were fulfilled, in the person, character, and history, of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.

The first prophecy which we meet with, of our blessed Saviour, was spoken by the ALMIGHTY himself, as early as the fall of Adam, four thousand years before the birth of CHRIST. The moment our first parents transgressed the commandment of God, by eating the forbidden fruit, they became

subject to the sentence which God had pronounced against their disobedience,"in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou "shalt surely die;" and nothing remained for them to look forwards to, but "the "fiery indignation" of that GOD, whom they had rebelled against. But the ALMIGHTY "in his wrath remembereth mercy;" and, when he executed the sentence upon the guilty pair, gave them, at the same time, a promise which prevented them from falling into utter despair. And the LORD GOD "said unto the serpent," (that is, to the Devil, who had ruined mankind under the form of the serpent,) "I will put enmity "between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.' The meaning of which is, (as our first parents would naturally understand it,) that the Devil would be the great enemy of mankind; that, for an appointed time, he would be suffered to go about the world, seeking "whom he might devour;" and, during that period, he would" bruise our heel," or afflict the sons of men in various ways, by trials, temptations, difficulties, and pains of body and mind; but that, at some future time, a mighty Saviour should be born of "the seed "of the woman," who should" bruise the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »