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SERMONS 



DOCTRINES AND DUTIES 



CHRISTIANITY. 



Cruttwell, Printer, St.James't-Strcet, Bath. 



SERMONS 




DOCTRINES AND DUTIEg 



OF 



CHRISTIANITY. 






FOURTH EDITION. 



KaYMTiet.'Va /V'\a^iat )c!:)o^6\z\- 



BATH, PRINTED BY R. CRUTTWELL; 



T. CADELL, JUN. AND W. DAVIES, IN THE STRAND, LONDOBJJ 
AND J. CHEYNE, EDINBURGH. 

1803. 



TO THE RIGHT REVEREND 

GEORGE LORD BISHOP OF LINCOLN. 

MY LORD, 

I presume to 7^ e quest your Lordship's protection 
for the following Discourses^ though the Author has 
not the honour of being known to you, because I flatter 
myself they contain the genuine Doctrines of that 
Church of which your Lordship is one of the ablest 
Pillars. If those Doctrines are expressed in a manner 
which may be useful to the humble Followers of 
Christ, ybr whose instruction and comfort this little 
work is designed, it will want no other introduction to 
your Lordship; and if I am perynitted to say, that it 
has been honoured ztnth your approbation, it can stand 
in need of no other recommendation to the Public. 

I have the honour to be, 

With the greatest respect, 

MY LORD, 

Your Lordshsip's most faithful , 

J nd obedient humble Servant, 

THE AUTHOR. 



PREFxiCE 



THE intention of the following Work 
is to supply the ignorant, and those 
who wish to instruct them, with a plain 
and simple summary of the faith and duty 
of a Christian ; unmixed with controversy, 
and level to the capacities of those who 
have not had the advantage of a learned 
education. If it shall be found to contain 
nothing netv, I beg leave to observe that I 
consider that circumstance as its greatest 
merit. Some late experiments give us too 
much reason to dread novelty in Philo- 
sophy and Politics, and it is still more to 



Vm PKEFACE. 

be dreaded in Religion. If this Volume 
contain any doctrine which is not to be 
proved from scripture, and was not believed 
by the Primitive Church, I shall be the 
first to condemn it, when pointed out to 
me ; for Christianity, like its Great Author, 
is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 
Having had the happiness of being born 
and educated in the bosom of the Church 
of England, to which I am most firmly 
attached, I think it necessary to disclaim 
all connexion with those who seek out 
new paths, and presume to find fault with 
the method of instruction usually employed 
in our Church. I have always considered 
the privilege of joining in our excellent 
Liturgy, and receiving the instru(5lions of a 
regularly-ordained Ministry, as an inesti- 
mable blessing. I am fully persuaded, that, 
taken as a body, the Clergy of the Church 
of England are not inferior in abilities, in 
Christian knowledge, or in morals, to any 



PREFACE. IX 

of their opponents ; and that those who 
attend the public service of our Church 
with an humble wish to receive instruc- 
tion, will seldom be disappointed. I never 
heard a sermon from which I did not learn 
something ; and I wish that those who 
find it otherwise, would remember, that 
half an hour which affords neither inform- 
ation nor amusement, may be well spent 
by the greatest and wisest men, in setting 
an example of that respe6lful attention 
which is due to the place, and to the 
office at least, if not to the abilities, of the 
Preacher. 

If tliese Discourses have any merit, it 
is, that they contain in a narrow compass 
the instru6lion which I have myself re- 
ceived from some of the best Writers and 
Preachers of our Church ; and I venture 
to offer them to the Public, because I have 
often been at a loss to find sermons for 
family reading, written in so plain a style 



X PREFACE. 

that the unlearned might from thence ob- 
tain useful pra6lical instruction, on Christian 
principles, suited to their situation and 
habits of life. I do not write for fame, 
but in the humble hope of being useful to 
a very respectable class of my fellow- 
Christians; and my utmost ambition will be 
gratified, if they shall receive instruction 
and comfort from wdiat is here submitted 
to their consideration. 



CONTENTS. 



SERMON I. 
The Creation and Redemprion of Mankind. 

MARK Xii. 32. 

There is one God, and there is none other 
but He, --------- Page 1 

SERMON II. 

The Nature and Office of the Son of God. 

JOHN i. 1. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word 

was with God, and the Word was God. \?» 

SERMON III. 
The Example of Christ. 
JOHN vi. 38. 
/ came down from Heaven^ not to do mine own 
will, but the will of Him that sent me. - 25 



Xll CONTENTS. 

SERMON IV. 

Baptism. 
MATTHEW iii. 13. 
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto 
John to be baptized of him. - - Page 37 

SERMON V. 
The Lord's Supper. 
LUKE xxii. 19. 
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake 
it, and gave unto them, saying, This is 
my body, which is given for you; this do in 
remembrance of me, --..-- si 

SERMON VI. 

The Christian Sabbath. 
LUKE vi. . 
A?id it came to pass also on another Sabbath 
that he entered into the Syiiagogue. - 65 

SERMON VII. 
The Festivals of the Church. 
LUKE xxii. 15. 
And he said unto them, with desire J have de- 
sired to eat this Passover uith you before I 
suffer, 79 



CONTENTS. XUl 

SERMON VIII. 

Giving Glory to God. 

JOHN xvii. 4. 

/ have glorified thee on earth. - - Page 93 

SERMON IX. 

The Duties of Children. 
LUKE ii. 51, 51. 
And he went down with them, and came to 
Nazareth, and ivas subject unto them; but 
his Mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, 
and ill Javour with God aiid Man. - 107 

SERMON X. 

The Duties of the Young. 

Hebrews iv. 15. 

But was in all points tempted like as we are, 

yet without sin. ------- 119 

SERMON XL 
The Duties of Husbands and Wives. 

MATTHEW xix. 5, 6. 

For this cause shall a man leave father and 
mother, and shall cleave to his zoife,and they 
twain shall be one flesh. IVherefore they 
are no more twain, but one flesh. IV hat 
therefore God liath joined together, let not 
man put asunder 133 



XIV CONTENTS. 

SERMON XII. 
The Duties of the Poor. 
2 COR. viii. 9. 
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, that though he was rich^ yet for 
your sakes he became poor, that ye through 
his poverty might be rich 145 

SERMON XIII. 

The Duty of doing Good. 

ACTS X. 38. 

Who went about doing good. - . . - 159 

SERMON XIV. 

The Duties of Adversity. 

LUKE xxii. 42. 

Not my will, but thine be done. - - - 173 

SERMON XV. 

The Duty of Forgiveness. 

LUKE xxiii. 34. 

Father, forgive them, for they knoxo not what 

they do. 1S7 



CONTENTS. XV 

SERMON XVI. 
The Duties of the Aged.. 
LUKE ii. 37, 38 
And she was a widozo of about fourscore and 
four years, which departed not Jrom the 
tempte, but served God, ivith fastings and 
prayers, night and day. And she coming in 
that instant, gave thantis likewise unto the 
Lord, and spake of liim to all them that 
looked for redemption in Jerusalem. - 201 

SERMON XVII. 
The HQur of Death. 
LUKE xxHi. 46. 
And when]z^vi?> had cried with a loud voice, 
he said, Father, into thy hands I commend 
my spirit ! And having said tJius, he gave up 
the ghost. - - - - 213 

SERMON XVIII. 

The Future 'State. 

MATTHEW XXVi. 64. 

Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man, sitting 
on the right hand oj power, and coming in 
the clouds of Heaven 225 






SERMON 1. 



ST. MARK xii. 32. 

' — THERE IS ONE GOD, AND THERE IS NONE 
OTHER BUT HE. 

A yfY Text contains the great truth which is the 
"*■ ' '^ foundation of all that we are to believe, and 
all that we are to do; of all our hopes, and all our 
fears; of our consolation in this world, and our 
happiness in the next. I shall not waste your 
time in endeavouring to prove, what no man, who 
has common sense, can possibly doubt. The fool 
may say in his heart, there is no God; but no 
thinking man will, or can, believe him. When 
we look at a house, a ship, or any other work of 
men, we are immediately convinced that it was 
not formed by chance; and when we see what 

B 



I 2 ] 

human strength and skill can do, we conclude that 
such things were made by men like ourselves, and 
who only differ from us in having applied their 
strength and skill to those particular purposes. — 
When we look at a tree, or a flower, at the ra- 
ging sea, or the stars of heaven, we must be equal- 
ly convinced that they were not made by chance; 
and as we know that human strength or skilt can- 
not make them, we must conclude that they are the 
work of some Being whose power is much greater 
than ours. Much more when we refiecl on our- 
selves; on the wonderful contrivance of the Body, 
and the far more wonderful faculties of the Soul; 
when we feel and know that we are capable oF 
happiness and of virtue; that we can think, and 
speak, and aft; yet are certain that we did not 
make ourselves; common sense must convince us 
that we were formed by Him, "in whom we live, 
and move, and have our being;'** and we must 
believe that there is a God.— But " no man hatli 
seen God at any time;"t and iiil that we can know 
ctf his nature, must be what He has been graciously 
pleased to reveal ta us. From the earliest times 
God has given laws and instruftlons to men, and 
his- will has been made known to them, either im- 
* Ads xviii. 28. t John i. l8. 



[ 3 ] 

mediately from Himself, as appears to have been 
the case when He spake to Adam, to Noah, to 
Abraham, and others, and when He pronounced 
the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai to the 
whole nation of the children of Israel j or by the 
ministry of Prophets, who on different occasions 
have been commissioned to declare his will, and 
by whom the Books of the Old Testament were 
written. But " God, who at sundry times and in 
divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers 
by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken 
unto us by his Son."* Our Saviour Jesus 
Christ came into the world to teach us our duty, 
to set us an example, and to die for our sins. He 
proved that he was sent from God, by works 
which no man can do by his own power. He 
opened the eyes of the blind, he healed the sick, 
he cast out devils, he raised the dead. Above all, 
after having been publicly put to death as a male- 
faftor, he rose triumphant from the grave, lived 
and conversed forty days with his disciples on 
earth, and then ascended into Heaven, in the pre- 
sence of numbers who afterwards laid down their 
lives, to prove the truth of those things which 
they had themselves seen and heard. These men, 
* Heb.i. I. 



r 4- ] 

to whom Our Saviour gave a commission to preach 
the Gospel to all nations, wrote the Books of 
the New Testament; and in these books, which, 
with the Old Testament, make up the sacred vo- 
lume which we call the Bible, we may find all the 
information that is necessary for us, in regard to 
the nature of God, and our duty to Him; we may 
learn how to behave in every situation in this world, 
and to look beyond this world to the happiness 
which is promised to every good man after death. 
To that book then we must apply for information; 
and from that book I will endeavour to colleft the 
substance of what we are required to believe and to 
do, in order to obtain the salvation which is there 
promised to all the faithful servants of God. I hope 
to do^this in such a plain and simple manner as 
may be understood by all, may be useful to those 
who have not the advantage of being able to read 
the Bible themselves, and may afford satisfaftion 
to those who are already well acquainted with that 
sacred book, by bringing to their remembrance 
what ought never to be forgotten. 

The first words of the Bible contain a great 
and most important truth, " In the beginning God 
created the heaven and the earth."* Here wc 
* Gen. i. i. 



[ 5 ] 

may learn the answer to the question how we and 
the world we live in were made. God created, 
God produced out of nothing,^! that we see in 
this beautiful world. He spake and it was done. 
In six days God created the world, furnished it 
with plants and animals, and made man, in his own 
image, to rule over it ; " and God saw every 
thing that He had made, and behold it was very 
good."* Every thing then was perfeft in its kind; 
and the appointed ruler of all, Adam, formed in 
the image of God, was wise, was virtuous^^and 
was happy. For him God formed a companion, 
a friend, and a wife, innocent and virtuous as him- 
self, to complete his happiness by sharing it with 
him,, to deserve and possess his love, and to join 
with him in serving and in praising their great 
Creator. To this happy pair God gave the Gar- 
den of Eden, with all things in it richly to enjoy; 
and God said, " of every tree of the garden thou 
may St freely eat; but of the Tree of the Know- 
ledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it, 
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt 
surely die."t Obedience to this command was 
the proof required of their love and gratitude to 
Him who gave them all; but this command was 
* Gen. i. 31. f Gen. ii. 16, 17. 

-7^ Ah 'Tt ty U^ Oyno fj^ Yo f-^t ^^?*?5!:|5~ ^ mii^ttV 



[ 6 ] 



.'^T] 



broken. ! Through envy of the devil death came 
into the world. From the Bible we learn, that a 
fallen Angel, who had himself lost his happiness 
by rebelling against God, took the form of a ser- 
pent, and persuaded the woman to transgress. 
" She took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and 
gave also unto her husband with her, and he did 
eat."* From this moment all is changed. Con- 
scious of guilt, and trembling with apprehension 
of the threatened punishment, they hid themselves 
in the garden; vainly hoping, or at least wishing, 
to escape from the all-seeing eye of God. As it 
has been justly observed by an excellent writer, 
" In the state of innocence Adam ran to meet 
God; and the intercourse with his Divine Instruc- 
tor was the most exalted delight of Paradise. But 
when innocence was gone, he sought the shelter 
of the deepest cover; and on being called forth 
out of it, returned for answer, with a dejeftion ne- 
ver known before, I heard thy voice and I was 
afraid.'*! That voice pronounced the sentence, 
<' Cursed is the ground for thy sake."| " In the 
sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou 
return unto the ground ; for out of it wast thou 

* Gen. iii. 6. t Sermons by the Rev. Dr. Randolph. 
X Gen. iii. 17. 

L/^</;i/ C/^^ yc<n^< /ci^,- f-<^ Cl/yryyy%A^<Yyt^ (cx,^ 



C 7 ] 

taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou 
return.*** If any person should be surprised that 
the trial to which Adam was exposed was of so 
trifling a nature, and that his happiness or misery 
should depend on his eating, or not eating, the 
fruit of a tree; I beg him to consider, first, that 
Adam, in his situation, could not be guilty of what 
we regard as the greatest crimes. He could not 
commit murder when he was the only man, nor 
adultery when his wife was the only woman. He 
could not steal, when he was already in posses- 
sion of every thing around him, nor commit any 
other injury to his fellow-creatures, while he was 
alone on the earth; secondly, that, in reality, every 
thing which can draw us away from the service of 
God, whether it be honour, power, riches, or 
pleasure, is as trifling, as un\vorthy of our regai'd, 
as truly contemptible, as the forbidden fruit; and 
lastly, that, in fa£t, the trial of Adam was exaftly 
like that of every other man; the question was not 
whetlier he would or would not taste of the 
fruit, but whether he would or would not obey 
God; whether he would submit to the revealed 
will of his Creator, and not attempt to be wise 
above that which he was taught, but humbly and 
* Gen. iii. 19. 



[ 8 ] 

constantly observe whatever directions he had re- 
ceived from God. 

Such is the account which Scripture gives us of 
the fall of man; and from the same authority we 
learn that the consequences of this event extend 
to all the children of Adam; that having lost his 
innocence, and corrupted his nature, all who 
descend from him are bom weak and imperfeft, 
inclined to sin, and under sentence of death. It 
is of great importance that this should be clearly 
understood, in order that we may know, and feel, 
how much we owe to the great deliverer of the 
human race, Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us 
that without holiness no man can see God, who 
is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; and the 
best man in the world, if he look into his own 
heart, must acknowledge that he is very imperfeft, 
that his nature is inclined to sin, and that if he 
depend on his own righteousness, he must tremble 
to appear before God. If therefore perfe£l obe- 
dience were required, every one of us must appear 
guilty before God. But our merc'ful Creator did 
not place any human being in this dreadful situa- 
tion; for even before He pronounced the sentence 
on Adam, He gave the promise of mercy, in this 
remarkable prophecy — The seed of the woman 



[91 

shall bruise the serpent* s head. The whole his- 
tory of the Old and New Testament is a comment 
on these words. From every part of it we learn, 
that this promised seed of the woman, our Saviour 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offered himself 
as a sacrifice for the sin of the whole world ; that 
" asm Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be 
made alivej"* that through his merits every son 
of Adam may hope for mercy and acceptance, if 
he believe in him, and humbly endeavour to do 
his will. He has brought life and immortality to 
light. He will give us much more than Adam 
lost. He will place us in a better Paradise, he will 
make us for ever happy, if during our short trial 
in this world, we put our whole trust in li m, and 
endeavour to obey all his commandments; and 
even if we are so unhappy as to fail in our obedi- 
ence, and to commit s n, we have his promise of par- 
don on our sincere repentance. " He is the Lamb 
of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.^f 
Through the whole history contained in the Bi- 
ble, from the fall of Adam to the birth of Christ, 
we find every thing conne6led with that great event. 
Sacrifices were immediately appointed, and have 
been offered in every part of the world, to keep 
* I Cor. XV. %%, t I J^li'i !• 39. 



[ 10 ] 

up the remembrance of him, who was afterwards 
to be offered as a sacrifice for all mankijid; and 
they were accepted of God, when they were ac- 
companied by faith in Christ. When God, 
for the wickedness of man, destroyed the whole 
human race by a flood of water, Noah and his 
family were spared, and the everlasting Covenant 
was renewed with them. When Abraham was 
called of God, he was told that in his seed all the 
families of the earth should be blessed. When it 
pleased God to separate the children of Israel 
from other nations, and to give them a law from 
heaven, it was to keep up the expeftation of the 
promised Redeemer by the ceremonies of that 
law; and particularly by the sacrifice of the Lamb 
at the feast of the Passover, to represent the Lamb 
of GoDj which was to be offered for the sin of the 
whole world. Of him Moses spake; to him gave 
all the Prophets witness; and on him were fixed 
the hopes of every good man ; for these cdl lived 
and died in faith, though they had not received 
the promise, but they saw it afar off, and went 
on their way -rejoicing; looking unto Jesus the 
Author and Finisher of their faith, the Mediator 
of the new Covenant, the Saviour and Redeemer 
of the world. 



[ 11 ] 

To him then let us come, with humble and pe- 
nitent hearts; not trusting in our own righteous- 
ness, but in the full, perfeft, and sufficient sacri- 
fice and satisfaftion for the sin of the whole world, 
which he made upon the cross for our redemption. 
'* If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our- 
selves;"* all have sinned; all flesh is corrupt be- 
fore God; and it is impossible that hy our own 
strength we can attain the holiness which is neces- 
sary to please hnu. But our gracious God does 
not require what we are unable to perform; he 
pities our weakness, and accepts our sincere though 
imperfe^ endeavours, through the merits and me- 
diation of Christ. Let all our hopes be fixed on 
him. Let us diligently study the directions he has 
left us in the New Testament. Let us believe what 
is there revealed, and practise what is there taught; 
and having used our best endeavours to know his 
will, and humbly to perform it, let us cast all our 
care on him, who has promised that he will guide 
us with his counsel, and after death receive us into 
glory. Now to him who loved us, and washed 
us from our sins in his own blood, and has made us 
kings and priests to God and his Father, to him. 
be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

* I John i. 8. 



SERMON 11. 



ST. JOHN I. I. 



IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD; AND THE 
WORD WAS WITH GOD; AND THE WORD 
WAS GOD. 

TN my last discourse I endeavoured to give you 
a short account of what God has been pleased 
to reveal to us in the Old Testament, concerning 
the creation of the world, the fall of man, and 
the mercy promised to him through the expelled 
Redeemer; earnestly wishing that the little I said 
on those subjects may increase the diligence of 
the serious Christian in the study of that sacred 
book, which of late has been too much neglected. 
I will venture to say, on the authority of the best 
judges, that if the Bible were only to be consi- 
dered as the work of man, it has still every claim 
to attention, from the beauty and simplicity of the 



[ 1* ] 

histories it relates, the wisdom of the instruclion 
it contains, and the information which it gives us 
on many subjefts in which we are all deeply inte- 
rested. Who can read the story of Joseph with- 
out pleasure? Who can read the account of the 
flood without terror? Where shall we find a 
description of friendship so interesting as that of 
David and Jonathan? Where shall we meet with 
such useful instrudion as in the Proverbs of 
Solomon? But if we believe that " all Scripture 
is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable 
for doctrine, for reproof, for corre(Sl:ion, for in- 
struction in righteousness,"* surely we shall then 
receive the word with all readiness of mind, and 
search the scriptures daily. 

The plan which I have proposed to myself does 
not allow me to dwell longer on the interesting 
subjefts which are to be found in the Old Testa- 
ment; but earnestly recommending that sacred 
book to the serious and attentive perusal of all 
who have it in their power to study it as it de- 
serves, I proceed to the consideration of what is 
revealed to us in the New Testament, concerning 
him of whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets 
did write, Jesus the Son of God. I propose, by 

* 2 Tim. iii. i6. 



[ 15 ] 

the blessing of God, to lay before you, In a few 
words, the doctrine of the Scripture and of our 
Church concerning Christ our Saviour; and 
to consider the blessings which we and all man- 
kind enjoy at present, and hope to receive after 
death, through his merits and mediation. 

" In the beginning was the Word, and the 
Word was with God, and the Word was God."* 
*' And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among 
us.'*t From this sublime description, compared 
with many other parts of scripture, we learn that 
the Word v/as God and was man. We are told that 
our Saviour Jesus Christ, called by St. John the 
Word, was the Son of God; that all things were 
made by him; that he is King of kings, and Lord 
of lords; that to him every knee shall bow, of 
things in heaven, and things on earth, and things 
under the earth; that he is worthy to receive pow- 
er, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and 
honour, and glory, and blessing. But we are also 
told that he was made man ; that he took our na- 
ture upon him, and humbled himself even to the 
death upon the cross. We must not ask, with 
Nicodemus, how can these things be? We must 
not be surprised, if poor, weak, ignorant creatures, 
* lohni. I. t John i.14. 



C 16 J 

as we are, cannot comprehend the nature of the 
great God of Heaven. We are equally ignorant 
how our own soul and body make one man; and if 
we were never to believe what we do not perfedlly 
understand, we should believe nothing, know no- 
thing, and do nothing. It is sufficient for us to 
know, what we are told in the Bible, that our 
Saviour was God, and for our sakes was made 
man; that he and the Father are one; and that all 
men are to honour the Son, even as they honour 
the Father. We are told that he suffered for our 
salvation, rose again the third day, ascended into 
heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God; that 
according to his promise, he sent to his disciples 
another comforter, even the spirit of truth, the 
Holy Ghost, who will abide with his faithful ser- 
vants for ever, and guide them into all truth; 
and that by the direftion of our Lord himself, 
every Christian is to be baptised, in the name of 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Let 
us not presume to inquire further than God has 
been pleased to reveal to us, or be wise above what 
is written; but let us give glory to the Father, to 
the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the 
beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world with- 
out end, Amen. 



[17.3 

But though the secret things belong to God, 
the things which are revealed belong to us and to 
our children; and though our eyes cannot see the 
glory of God, yet since our blessed Saviour for 
our sakes was pleased to appear on earth as man, 
and to suffer for us, we are allowed, and com- 
manded, to look upon him with the eye of faith, 
to trust in his merits, to observe his instruftions, 
and to imitate his example. We cannot see him 
as the apostles did, for he is again ascended to his 
Father; but we must attentively read and consider 
what is told us in the New Testament. There 
we find a full account of the life and death of our 
blessed Lord, which should be the constant 
study of every Christian; and from thence we 
may collet the following particulars, among 
many others. 

Our Saviour Jesus Christ was pleased to be 
born, and to live, in a state of poverty. His youth 
was spent in submission to his parents; and du- 
ring the first thirty years of his life, he appears 
to us only as a pattern of humility and obedience; 
When he afterwards appeared as a teacher sent 
from God, he instructed the ignorant, he reproved 
the guilty, he comforted the afflifted. He bore all 
the insults of his enemies with patience and meek- 

C 'L. 



, [ 18 ] 

yess. He went about doing good. He was 
kbid even to the unthankful, and prayed for his 
murderers. His bitterest enemies, Jews and 
Gentiles, joiiiied to attest his uprightness. " Have 
thou nothing tQ5 do with that just man," said the 
wife of Pilate, l^ilate himself declared, " I find 
no fault in this man." Judas, who had every 
possible opportunity of knowing the character of 
his Master, cried out in an agony of despair, " I 
have betrayed the innocent blood." And the 
Roman centurion who watched at the cross, gave 
in his evidence, " Certainly this was a righteous 
man."* His delight was to do the will of his 
Father. He spent whole nights in prayer. He 
observed the sabbath-day, and the public service 
of the Church; and in the performance of every 
duty, to God and to man, he has left us an 
example that we should follow his steps. 

But he was not only the best of men, he was 
much more. He spake as never man spake, and he 
performed miracles which no man could perform, 
except God were with him. He restored sight to 
the blind, he raised the dead, he said to the storm, 
*^ Peace, be still." " What manner of man is 
this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"t 
''- Bishop Home's Sermons. t Mat. viii. a-/. 



[ 19 ] 

Even the devils were forced to confess, that h^ 
was the Son of the Most High God. In him were 
fulfilled all the ancient prophecies. We may read 
these prophecies in the Old Testament, and their 
wonderful accomplishment in the New; and we 
shall see that they can be applied to no other 
person who ever appeared in the world. Jesus 
Christ was himself the greatest of prophets. 
He foretold that Judas should betray, and that 
Peter should deny him. He foretold the lime and 
the manner of his death, and his glorious resurrec- 
tion. He foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, 
and pointed out the time, by circumstances which 
enabled all the Christians to escape from the 
punishment prepared for them who uttered at his 
crucifixion those dreadful words, " his blood be on 
us and on our children."* These and many other 
prophecies, extending even to the end of the world, 
have, in every age, proved the divinity of Christ; 
and they will continue to do so, till the last shall 
be fulfilled, when his murderers shall see the Son 
of Man, sitting on the right hand of Power, and 
coming in the clouds of heaven. To crown 
every otlier proof of divinity, he rose from the 
grave, and ascended into heaven. Can any man 

* Mat. Kxvii. 35. 



C 20 ] 

consider these tilings, and not cry out with the 
centurion, " Truly this was the Son of God."* 
But we have higher witness than that of man, the 
voice of God himself proclaimed from Heaven, 
" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well 
pleased. Hear ye him." f 

There is still another light in which our Lord 
Jesus Christ is revealed to us; there is another 
chara^er, in which he comm.ands all our venera- 
tion, gratitude, and love. Though he was born in 
a stable, and laid in a manger, a choir of angels 
attended to proclaim his birth; and they did it in 
these consoling words, " Behold I bring )'ou good 
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; 
for unto you is born this day a Saviour, which is 
Christ the Lord."} The Holy Child Jesus 
shall not only be the best of men, a teacher sent 
from God, nay, the Son of God himself; — great 
and glorious as these characters are, they offer no 
hope to sinful man; — ^but he shall be a Saviour. 
He shall die for our sins; he shall reconcile us to 
God; he shall take away the hand- writing that is 
against us, nailing it to his cross; he shall bring 
life and immortality to light; he shall guide us by 
his spirit, and after death he shall receive us into 

* Mat. xxvii. 54. t Mat. xvii. 5. :f Luke xi. 10, 11. 



[ 21 ] 

glory. These are indeed glad tidings to every son 
of fallen Adam; and cold and insensible must 
that heart be, which does not join in the triumphant 
song of the angels, " Glory to God in the highest, 
and on earth peace, good-will towards men."* 

This, my brethren, is the great, the distinguish- 
ing doctrine of the Gospel ; this is the corner-stone 
of Christianity. " Behold the Lamb of God, 
who taketh aw^ay the sin of the world;'* put all 
your trust in him; look unto him and be saved, all 
ye ends of the earth. As in Adam all die, so in 
Christ shall all be made alive. Christ is risen 
from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep. 
The great captain of our salvation has overcome 
death, and opened to us the gate of everlasting 
life. He has shewed us the way to Heaven; he 
will lead us to eternal glory. 

But let us not forget that these glorious pro- 
mises are made only to the faithful servants of 
Christ. Let us not forget that when our Sa- 
viour redeemed the world, he did it to purchase to 
himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 
He has told us, that we must take up the cross 
and follow him. He has shewn us the path of life, 
and promised to assist our humble endeavours by 
* Luke ii. 14. 



[ 2^ 1 

his holy spirit; but he has told us, that strait is 
the gate, and narrow the way, and that we must 
exert our utmost powers to enter into it. 

It shall be my endeavour, by the blessing of 
God, to explain to you the particular duties which 
we are commanded to perform, and to enforce 
them by the example of our blessed Saviour, 
as pointed out to us in the New Testament; at 
present I will only mention the following awful 
consideration, which I earaestly wish to impress 
most strongly on the minds of all who hear me. 
Though Christianity holds out the most comfort- 
able hopes of assistance to the weak, consolation 
to the affli^ed, and pardon to the penitent; it 
offers no hope while we continue in any known 
or habitual sin. 

Repentance, faith, and obedience, are the indis- 
pensable conditions of the Christian covenant. We 
must believe in the Son of God, \Aho alone is able 
to save; not trusting in our own merits, but in his 
manifold and great mercies; but we must add to 
our faith, virtue; and by patient continuance in well 
doing, we must work out our own salvation, with 
fear and trembling. 

Be not deceived, but attend to the words of St. 
Paul. " The works of the flesh are manifest; 



[ 23 ] 

which are these; adultery, fornication, uiicleanness, 
lasciviousness, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, 
strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, 
drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which 
I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, 
that they who do such things, shall not inherit the 
kingdom of God."* O terrible voice of most 
just judgment, which shall be pronounced on all 
obstinate sinners ; " Depart from me, ye cursed, 
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and 
his angels. "t 

But they who are Christ's have crucified tiit 
flesh with the affeftions and lusts; they walk 
religiously in good works by the assistance of 
his grace; and when they have finished the work 
which he gave them to do, they will know that 
their labour has not been in vain. Their Lord 
will return from a far country, to demand an ac- 
count of the talents he had entrusted to their care; 
and happy are those to whom he shall say, 
" Well done, thou good and faithful servant, 
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."]; 

* Gal. V. 19, 20, ai. t Mat. xxv. 41. t Mat. xxv, zt. 



SERMON III. 



ST. JOHN vi. 33. 



I CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, NOT TO DO 
MINE OWN WILL, BUT THE WILL OF HIM 
THAT SENT ME. 

T TAVING endeavoured to colleft from holy 
^ Scripture what we are permitted to know of 
the nature and office of the Son of God, and con- 
sidered him as our Creator and Redeemer; I will 
now proceed to point out to you what we may 
learn from the same sacred book of his character 
as man, and shew in what respefts he has left us 
an example that we should follow his steps. Even 
as man we must follow him at an humble distance. 
None of us can say, " wh ch of you convinceth 
me of sin?"* None of us can go through all the 
* John viii. 46. 



[ 26 ] 

troubles and perform all the duties of life without 
any imperfection or error. And as we cannot at- 
tain to the perfection of his virtue, we have also 
some duties to perform which could not belong to 
a charaCler in which was no fault. He had no need 
of repentance, self-examination, and all the humble 
duties of sinful man. But there are many parts of 
his charafter, which we can and ought to imitate, 
that we may follow as closely as possible the great 
example which is set before us ; and in order to 
consider these more distinctly, I will take a view 
of his conduct towards God, and towards man. 

Our Saviour tells us in my text, that he came 
down from Heaven, not to do his own will, but 
the will of Him that sent him ; and this is evident 
through every part of his life. In his childhood, 
when his parents returned to Jerusalem seeking 
him, and found him in the temple, he thus ad- 
dressed them, " Wist ye not that I must be about 
my father's business?"* In the course of his mi- 
nistiy he said to his disciples, " My meat is to do 
the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his 
work."t Before his death, in his hist solemn 
dedication of himself to God, he says, " I have 
finished the work which Thou gav est me to do."| 

* Luke ii. 49. t John iv. 34. X John xvii. 4. 



[ 27 ] 

In his agony in the garden, though he prayed most 
earnestly, that if it were possible that cup might 
pass from him, he added, " Not my will, but thine 
be done;"* and having performed that will by 
his dreadful sufferings on the cross, having by his 
full, perfect, and all-sufficient sacrifice, taken away 
the sin of the world, then, and not till then, he 
says, " Father! into thy hands I commend my 
spirit."! 

This, my Christian brethren, is the great ex- 
ample which every one of us is called to follow, in 
that station in which it has pleased God to place 
him. We all v.-ere sent into this world, not to do 
our own will, but the will of our Father which is in 
heaven. Pi.ety towards God is the first and great 
duty of a Christian ; and the difference between a 
good and a bad man is this — that the good man 
endeavours to do the will of God, the bad man 
does his own will. We may see the difference 
even in those who are not guilty of what are cal- 
led great crimes; and we may see it in every cir- 
cumstance of life. The man who is without God 
in the world, is constantly engaged in the pursuit 
of riches, or pleasure, or whatever he thinks will 
contribute most to his happiness on earth. When 

'■* tuke xxii. 4?. t Luke xxiii. 46. 



[ 28 J 

he rises in the morning, he considers how he can 
in the course of the day get most money, or enjoy 
most pleasure. In his beliaviour to otlier men, he 
is perhaps honest, because he is afraid of the laws 
of his country; good-natured, when it does not 
interfere with his own interest; a good husband 
and father, if he lo\'e his wife or children, and as 
long as they contribute to his pleasure; a good 
subjeft, if he have sense enough to see that it is 
every man's interest to be one. Such a man may 
pass through life with a decent character; for if 
he be prudent, and really consider only his own 
comfort in this world, he will take care of his 
affairs, he will endeavour to gain friends, and he 
will avoid vices which are always attended with 
shame and miserv; but all this while he is not a 
good man, because he does his own will, and not 
the will of God. When the hour of trial comes, 
this will be often evident to the world, as it always 
is to the eye of God. If it should happen that 
ihis man could get some great advantage by dis- 
honesty, in a way which did not expose him to 
shame or punishment, what should restrain him 
from doing it ? If sickness or vexation should rulile 
his temper, he is no longer the pleasant companion, 
the kind husband or father. If bad company 



[ 29- ] 

entice him to join in riot or rebellion, from which 
he expecls some advantage to himself, he is no 
longer a loyal subject. In short, whenever he 
thinks it for his interest to do wrong, there is reason 
to fear that he will do it, for he has no principles 
to prevent him. And when the hour comes, which 
must come to all, when the body returns to the 
dust of which it was formed, and the spirit returns 
to God who gave it; with what comfort can that 
man look back on his past life? With what hope 
can he look forward to the judgment of the great 
day? 

But the good man has the fear of God always 
before his eyes, and the love of God always in his 
heart. When he begins each day, he considers 
how he can best please God ; he resigns himself 
to his direction, he trusts in his care, he humbly 
prays for his assistance, and then goes on his way 
rejoic'ng. He follows the honest duties of his 
station, because God has said to every son of 
Adam, " In the sweat of thy face thou must eat 
bread."* If he be rich and prosperous in life, he 
does not consider that as a reason why he should 
be idle. He knows that to whom much' is given, 
of him shall be much required, and he endeavours 
* Gen. iii. 19. 



t 30 ] 

to do all the good he can. If he be poor and dis- 
tressed, he knows it is the will of God, and he 
submits with cheerfulness. He remembers that 
his Saviour was poor, that he had not where to lay 
his head; and he knows that the same Saviour is 
able to raise the poorest and meanest man on earth 
to be the greatest in Heaven. He is honest, though 
no eye behold him, for he knows that he cannot 
be hid from the sight of God. He is cheerful, 
because his mind is free from the guilt of any de- 
liberate sin, and full of the hopes of immortality. 
He is kind to all his relations and friends, not only 
to the good and gentle, but also to the froward; 
for his sake who maketh his sun to shine on the 
evil and on the good. He is kind even to his ene- 
mies, after the example of him who prayed for his 
murderers. He is loyal and faithful to his king, 
because the King of kings commands it. At the 
close of every day he considers whether he has 
done the will of God, in that station to which He 
has called him. He endeavours to recolleft all his 
faults, and he humbly begs forgiveness through 
Jesus Christ ; he prays for his friends and rela- 
tions, and even for his enemies; and then in charity 
with all the world, he lays him down in peace and 
takes his rest. He sees the hand of God in every 



[ 31 3 

thing. Ill prosperity, he thanks him for the bless- 
ings he enjoys; in ailli<Stion, he acknowledges the 
kind severity of his Heavenly Father. In sickness, 
he is humble and patient ; in deatli, he is resigned 
and happy. He i^ found in his Father's house, the 
chttrchj and is constant in all the public as well as 
private duties of religion. In every action of life 
he considers what is his duty. He asks with St. 
Paul, " Lord what wilt thou have me to doj"* 
and when he has finished his appointed work, and 
is called to receive the re\^ard which has been 
graciously promised to every good and faithful 
servant, still looking unto Jesus the author and 
finisher of his faith, he may with humble hope 
and pious resignation say, " Father, into thy hands 
I commend my spirit!** 

And now, ray brethren, let me entreat every 
one who hears me, to consider with himself to 
which of these descriptions of men he belongs. 
The question is of infinite impci nice, for his 
happiness or misery in the next world depends 
upon it. All other distinctions must be ended by 
death; high and low, rich and poor, learned and 
ignorant, all will then be equal; but this most 
important of all distinC^tions will remain for ever. 
''■ Ads ix. 6. 



[ 32 ] 

It is a question which every man must ask of his 
own conscience, and which only his own con- 
science can answer. We must not presume to de- 
cide on the characters of other men, except as far 
as their words and actions are known to us. God 
only knows their hearts. It is true that a good 
and a bad man may in many respefts acl in the 
same manner. Both may preserve a decent ap- 
pearance to the world; both may eat the bread 
of honest industry, and appear to lead a harmless 
life, and yet their hearts may be very different j 
but He only, who knows the heart, can tell this; 
we must always be careful to guard against un- 
charitable suspicions, for charity thinketh no evil. 
If our neighbour live in open negle6i: of his duties 
to God and man, we ought to express our dislike 
of such conduct; but when he appears to a6l 
rightly, we should not allow ourselves to suspect 
his motives, without very good reason for doing 
so. But in your own case you cannot be too 
watchful, or too suspicious; and in order to know 
the real state of your souls, let me earnestly 
recommend to you a duty which is too much ne- 
glected by many who call themselves Christians, 
— the duty of self-examination. Every Christian, 
before he goe;i to rest, should consider how he has 



C 33 ] 

spent the day, and ask himself such questions as 
these. Did I in the morning offer up my prayers 
to God? Have I done my duty in the station to 
which he is pleased to call me? Have I been honest, 
industrious, temperate, patient? Have I been kind 
to my relations and friends, and made them as 
happy as I could ? Have I done any injury to any 
body? Have I done any good to any body? Upon 
the wbole, can I give a good account of this day, 
when I stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. 
O my Christian brethren, consider the importance 
of these questions, and judge yourselves, that you 
may not be judged of the Lord. If your heart 
condemn you, humbly on your knees confess your 
sin to God, and try to make your peace with 
Him before you sleep: He will forgive, if we will 
repent. The duty which I now recommend, may 
appear difficult to those who have never pra(ft:iscd 
it; but those who are accustomed to perform it, 
know the comfort it affords. They know, that 
by thus constantly attending to the state of their 
souls, they are prevented from continuing 'n any 
habit of sin; and they know with what sweet 
tranquillity a good man retires to rest, at peace 
with all the world, with him.self, and with h'.s 
God; and when sickness weakens the niind, and 

D 



[ 34 ] 

death approaches, they will know how delightful 
it is to feel that their accounts are always ready, 
and that they are of the number of those faithful 
servants, whom their Lord, when he cometh, shall 
fnid watching. 

What I recommend to every Christian, may be 
done in a very short time, when use has made it 
easy, A man who is accustomed to watch over 
himself, will find no difficulty in recollecting how 
he has passed the day, and what he has done 
amiss. But in order to make a right judgment of 
our actions, we must be careful always to compare 
them with the law of God. We are too apt to 
be partial in judging of ourselves, and one of our 
most dangerous errors is, that instead of com- 
paring our anions with our duty, we compare 
them with the actions of other men, and try to 
quiet our conscience by fancying that others are 
worse than ourselves. This is a most dangerous 
error. Consider only your own duty, and how 
you have performed it. If you have not done the 
very best that you could, frame no vain excuse, 
and hope for no indulgence while you continue in 
sin; but on your knees confess your fiiult to God, 
and humbly implore his pardon, through Jesus 
Christj and when you rise the next day, recol- 



[ 35 ] 

h£\: what you have done amiss, and try to be more 
careful. While we are in this state of trial, the 
best men will always discover imperfeftions in 
their condu£l, and will ahvays know and feel 
that they must depend for mercy on the merits of 
Christ, and not on their own; but if any man 
will constantly examine his own conduct every night, 
with true Christian humility; if he will constantly 
ask GoD*s pardon for what he has done amiss, 
and his assistance during the remainder of his life, 
it is, I think impossible, that such a man should 
not grow wiser and better; it is, I think, impos- 
sible that he should continue in any known sin; 
and it is, I hope and believe, impossible, that he 
should not at last find mercy from our gracious 
God, through the merits and mediation of Jesus 
Christ; to whom with the Father and the Holy 
Ghost, be glory and praise for ever and ever. 
Amen. 



SERMON IV. 



ST. MATTHEW ili. 13. 

THEN COMETH JESUS FROM GALILEE TO JOR- 
DAN UNTO JOHN TO BE BAPTIZED OF HIM. 

'TPHAT constant regard to the will of God 
which was the subject of my last discourse, 
will shew Itself in obedience to his commands of 
every kind, and make us diligent in the perform- 
ance of every duty, to God and to our neighbour. 
Our duty to God requires that we should not 
only pay him the hidden worship of the heart, 
but also that we should observe all the ordinances 
of religion which He has appointed. We must 
not only serve Him in our closets by prayer and 
self-examination, but we must also, in obedience 
to his commands, attend the public worship of his 
church J we must receive the sacraments which 



C 38 ] 

He has ordained, observe his sabbaths, honour his 
holy name and word, and publicly as well as 
privately shew that we are his disciples; and in 
this our Saviour has been pleased to be our pat- 
tern, as well as our instructor. From his example 
we learn the most exalted piety. He prayed ear- 
nestly; he was constant in his attendance on public 
worship, and in the observance of the sabbath; 
and St. Matthew informs us in my text that he 
was baptized. " Though he was a Son, yet 
learned he obedience;"* and though he knew no 
sin, yet for our sakes he condescended to leave an 
example of submission to every ordinance of God 
by using the appointed means of purification in 
the sacrament of baptism. " Suffer it to be so,'* 
said our Lord to St. John the Baptist, " for thus 
it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness."! With 
this great example always before our eyes, I pro- 
pose to consider the public duties appointed in 
the Christian Church, to explain the nature and 
use of each, and to enforce the duty of obedience 
to all the ordinances of the Lord. 

Before I enter on these subje^s, let me beg 
you to remember the reverence which is due to 
the Church of Christ, and to the appointed 
* Ileb. V. 8. t Mat. iii. ij. 



[ 39 1 

ministers of the gospel; and let me earnestly 
entreat you not to follow strange teachers. Many 
of them may be good men, and I hope they are 
so ; but let them not lead you from the appointed 
place of worship, and the appointed minister, to 
whom Christ has given authority to watch over 
your souls. We are told that even our Saviour 
took not this honour on himself, but was called of 
God. We are told that before his death he laid 
his hands on his apostles, and appointed them to 
preach and baptize in his name. We know that 
those apostles appointed others; and even to this 
day every man who is to speak in the name of 
Christ, and to administer his sacraments, ought 
to be lawfully ordained by the bishops of Christ's 
church. These are the shepherds whom Christ 
has commanded to feed his flock; and no man 
ought to take this honour to himself. All clergy- 
men, before they are allowed to exercise this holy 
office, are instructed in the religion which God 
has revealed; and care is taken that they should 
be properly qualified to teach others. They are 
the lawful ministers of Christ; the sacraments 
which they administer are given by his authority; 
the prayers which they read are the appointed ser- 
vice of the church; and the humble Christian 



[ 40 ] 

ulio joins with them in worship, does his duty, 
and has every reaion to hope for all the benefits 
promised by our Saviour to his church. If the 
sermon be not always so edifying as it might be, 
let him chaiitably excuse the defeats of his teach- 
ers, and never forget the respeft that is due to 
their office. The sermon is not the most impor- 
tant part of the service, though it is much to be 
wished that it should always be such as might be 
most for the benefit of those who hear it. The most 
important part is joining in public prayer and 
thanksgiving to God, and hearing his word, in 
the place and the manner which our church directs, 
and under the authority of a minister who is law- 
fully qualified to administer the sacraments which 
Christ has ordained. If we leave the church, 
and are led by idle curiosity to listen to those who 
intrude into another man's fold, we know not 
into what errors we may be led. We cannot be 
certain that we shall hear the true do61rine of the 
church, we cannot be certain that we shall hear 
prayers in which we ought to join; and even if 
the preacher should be better qualified to instruct 
you than your own minister, still we are com- 
manded to lisien to those who are appointed to 
rule over us, and shun those who make divisions 



L 41 ] 

ill tlie cliurch. All such divisions .should be 
avoided. " There is one body," " the church and 
one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of 
your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
one God and Father of all, who is above all, and 
through all, and in you all."* 

I proceed now to consider those public duties 
of our church, which no Christian ought to ne- 
gleft; and the first which our religion requires is 
that which is mentioned in my text. We all be- 
come members of Christ's church by baptism. 
This sacrament has always been the distinguishing 
mark of Christians; and it is particularly ordained 
by our Saviour Christ himself; for in his last 
solemn charge to his apostles he says, " Go ye 
into all the world, and preach the gospel to every 
creature, baptizing them in the name of the Fatlier, 
and the Son, and the Holy Ghost."t In obedi- 
ence to this command, we find the apostles con- 
stantly exhorting all their hearers to repent and 
be baptized; and the praftice of the church hatk 
been at all times the same. This sacrament is the 
appointed means to cleanse us from the g-uilt of 
original sin, to make us again children of God, 
and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. In it we 
* Eph. iy. 4- t Mr.ik xvi. ij. 



[ 42 ] 

renounce the devil and all his works, we profess 
our belief in all the articles of the Christian faith, 
and we promise to observe God's holy will and 
commandments all the days of our life. 

We who have the happiness to be born in a 
Christian country, are baptised when we are too 
young to know any thing of the nature ard use 
of this sacred ordinance; and too many who are 
called Christians pass their lives without ever seri- 
ou.^^Iy considering it. I earnestly recommend to 
every person to read with attention the form of 
baptism in our book of common prayer, and to 
consider the solemn promise which was made in 
his name. A christening is too often considered 
only as a feast, an occasion of mirth, and perhaps 
even of intemperance. It is indeed a season of 
rejoicing, but we should rejoice like Christians. 
The parents, whom God has blest with a child, 
have reason to rejoice and to praise Him; their 
neighbours and friends should rejoice with them; 
but still they should remember the importance of 
that duty for which they are called together. Tp 
tlie parents God has committed the care of a crea- 
ture formed to live for ever, in happiness or in 
misery; to them He has given the important charge 
of instruding that child in his duty, of setting 



E 43 ] 

iiim a good example, and gently leading him ia 
the path5 of religion and virtue. When they see 
that child dedicated to the service of God in bap- 
tism, let them seriously refle£i on the importance 
of the task which they have to perform. To the 
god-fatheri and god-mothers the minister gives a 
cliarge which they too often entirely neglect; but 
I wish them to consider that they must answer for 
that negle^ at the day of judgment. In tlie pre- 
sence of God they have made a solemn promise, 
Avhlch binds them to see that the child be taught 
his duty to God; and if tlie parents neglect this, 
tlie god-fathers and god-raothers are bound to 
perform it to the best of their abilities. On this 
account It is to be wished that those who answer 
for the child should be relations, neighbours, or 
friends of the parents; who may have it in tiieir 
}X)wer to pay some attention to the child, in case 
of the negle<9: or the death of those who ought to 
perform this duty. To all who may be preseii! 
on this awful occasion, I beg leave to address my- 
self as to Christians who are assembled, not merelv 
to a family meeting and a feast, but to dedicate a 
nevir-born infont to the God wlio made, and to 
the Savbur who redeemed it. If they consider tlus 
as it deserves, they will perceive that there is not 



[ 44 ] 

a more interesting and affefting sight than baptism. 
When we see* a human being, with its eye just 
opening on the Avorld, presented free from a6lual 
guilt before the God who created it, dedicated 
to the Saviour, without whose redeeming love it 
had better never have been born, receiving in so 
solemn a manner the privileges of the Christian 
covenant, and engaged to be a faithful servant of 
Christ; every person, who is capable of reflec- 
tion, thinks, at the same time, of the difficulties 
Vv'hich that harmless infant must meet with in its 
passage through this wicked world. When we fol- 
low a pious and virtuous friend to the grave, how- 
ever we may»feel our own loss, we ought to rejoice 
at the blessed change which he has experienced. 
Sin and misery have no more power over liim; he 
can never more be exposed to tem.ptation, or lose 
the favour of his God. His trial is past, and 
he is for ever happy. But when we look at the- 
infant, who is just entering on this state of trial, in 
which he must meet with many temptations, . as 
well as many sorrows, and on wh'ch his eternal 
happiness or misery depends, surely v.e shall re- 
joice with trembling. Every pious heart will share 
the feelings of a Christian parent, and join in 
* See Mtditaiions of a Recliiie. 



C 45 ] 

earnest prayer to God for him who cannot as yet 
pray for himself; committing the little inflmt to 
the proteftion of that Saviour whose soldier he 
now is, with whose cross he has been signed, and 
whose example he is bound to follow. 

To give the Christian an opportunity of pro- 
'fessing his determination to believe and to do what 
his god-fathers and god-mothers promised in his 
name, and to obtain for him, by the prayer of the 
Bishop, the assistance of the Holy Spirit, another 
ceremony is appointed in the church, which is 
called Confirmation. This sacred ordinance is often 
shamefully negle£i:ed amongst us; but the first 
Christians considered it as a necessary part of 
baptism; and it ought certainly to be observed by 
every person who has an opportunity of being 
presented for that purpose to the Bishop. Every 
young person should be taught the principles of 
the Christian religion, as explained in our excellent 
catechism; and when he is duly sensible of the 
necessity of a Redeemer, and the gratitude which 
we ought to feel to our blessed Saviour; when he 
has learnt his duty, and is fully resolved, by the 
assistance of God's grace, to perform it; he 
should publicly profess this resolution by being 
confirmed. The Bishop, as head of the church 



[ 46 T 

onder Christ, and afting by his authority, then 
lays his hand on him, and oiFers up a solemn pray- 
er, that the Holy Spirit may assist the young 
Christian to perform the promise he has jast made. 
Without the assistance of the Hdy Spirit we can 
do nothing; but we must not expeft that assist- 
ance, unless we use the means which God has 
appointed to obtain it; and those means are, 
devout and earnest prayer, confirmation, and recei- 
ving the holy communion; of which last I hope 
to speak more fully in my next discourse. But 
before I conclude the subject of our meditation at 
present, let me remind all parents, that it is their 
duty to see that their children are properly in- 
structed and prepared for confirmation; and if 
they negle<9: this, or if God be pleased to call 
them to. himself before they can perform it, the 
sureties of the child should endeavour to fulfil the 
promise they made at his baptism. 

Those who are not themselves sufficiently in- 
structed to teach their children, should make use 
of every proper assistance which they can proaire. 
I'lvery pious minister will wish to assist them; and 
in many parishes there are Sunday Schools where 
children may learn their duty. By constant attend- 
ance at church, and a habit of attentively li^rteaing 



[ 47 ] 

lo the lessons and to the sermon, they may learn 
a great deal; and Indeed it is hardly possible, that 
in this country any person should be ignorant of 
his duty, except it be his own fault. God will ne- 
ver require more than we are able to do; and at the 
day of judgment it will not be asked whether we 
were learned, but whether we were humble, pious, 
and virtuous. But God does require us to do 
all that we can. We must use every means of 
instruftion, for ourselves and for our children, with 
which he has blessed us. We must diligently at- 
tend to our teachers; we must try to remember 
what we hear, and we must practise what we leara. 
Most of us, I am afraid, know more of our duty 
than we choose to perform ; but none of us mu^t hope 
that ignorance will be an excuse, till we have taken 
all possible pains to be informed of our duty, and 
Iiave constantly endeavoured to perform it. Our 
Lord gives to some ten talents, to some five, and 
to others only one. To whom much is given, of 
him shall be much required; but if he who has^ 
only one talent make no use of it, he must expcft 
the dreadful sentence, " Cast ye the unprofitable 
servant into outer darkness^ there shall be weeping 
and gnashing of teeth.'** Consider this, 1 bc- 
* Matt. xxr. 30. 



i: 48 ] 

seecli yoir every one. Whether we be rich or 
poor, old or young, learned or ignorant, we hifve 
all much to do. All must work the work of God, 
All must endeavour to know his will, and to per- 
form it to the utmost of their pov/cr. All must 
humbly entreat his pardon, when they fail in their 
duty; and all must beg the iissistance of his holy 
spirit to enable them to perform it. In order to 
obtain that assistance, all must attend the public 
worship of the church. They who have children, 
must bring them to be baptized and confirmed. 
All must observe the duties of the Lord's dav, 
and gladly embrace eveiy opportunity of receiving 
tlie holy sacrament. And may all to whom God 
has given the inestimable blessing of being born 
in a Christian country, and educated by pious pa- 
rents, remember how much they owe to those who 
teach them their duty, and point out to them the 
way to eternal life. May all young persons fre- 
quently refleft on the promises made for them in 
baptism, and on the blessings which they may 
receive from the Christian covenant. May they 
remember their Creator in the days of their youth; 
and then He will not forget them when the evil 
days come, and the years in which there is no plea- 
sure; he will not forsake them when they are grey- 



C *9 ] 

headed. May they never forget that they were 
signed with the cross in baptism, that they might 
fight manfully under the banner of Christ, 
against the world, the flesh, and the devil. May 
they never forget the vows which were made for 
them by their sureties in baptism, and renewed by 
themselves in confirmation, but through every part 
of their lives, in youth and in age, as children, as 
men, as husbands, as fathers, may they always a£l 
as Christians. May this title be their highest 
glory J may it raise them above this world, and 
make them constantly endeavour to follow the ex- 
ample of him, by whose name they are called j to 
whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be 
glory now and for ever. Amen. 



SERMON V. 



ST. LUKE xxii. 19. 

AND HE TOOK BREAD, AND GAVE THANKS, 
AND BRAKE IT, AND GAVE UNTO THEM, 
SAYING, THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS GIVEN 
FOR you; this do IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME. 

T yf 7E are told by the blessed apostle, St. John, 
' that, " when Jesus knew that his hour 
was come that he should depart out of this world 
unto the Father, having loved his own which were 
in the world, he loved them unto the end." The 
evening before his death was spent with his chosen 
friends, in a manner which it seems impossible they 
should ever forget. He confirms their faith, he 
instrufts them in their duty, he promises them 
another comforter to abide with them for ever. 
He strengthens them to meet the trials and perse- 



[ 5C ] 

cutions to which they must soon be exposed; and 
he bids them be of good cheer, for he had over- 
come the world. He exhorts them to love one 
another as he had loved them; and he commends 
them to the care and protection of his heavenly- 
Father, In the admirable prayer which you may 
read in the seventeenth chapter of St. John's gos- 
pel. It was at that interesting moment, when he 
was offering himself as a sacrifice on the cross for 
the sin of the world, when he was Immediately to 
suffer a most painful and cruel death, it was at 
that awful period, that our Saviour Instituted the 
holy Communion. " And he took bread, and 
gave thanks, and brake It, and gave It unto them, 
saying. This is my body which is given for you; 
this do in remembrance of me. And he took the 
cup and gave thanks, and gave It to them, saying. 
Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the 
New Testament, which is shed for many, for the 
remission of sins." This was the last command 
of our dying Master; and if no benefit to ourselves 
were to be expelled from the performance of this 
duty, still It might have been suj5posed impossible, 
that any Christian could negleft to give this proof 
of obedience to his Saviour, his Redeemer, and 
his God. li there one amongst us who, havmg 



[ -53 J 

received such a command from a dying parent or 
friend, could possibly forget to perform it? And 
yet I fear there are many who call themselves 
Christians, and who yet live and die without ever 
offering to their crucified I\'Iaster this appointed 
testimony of gratitude and love. The reason of 
this strange and shameful ncgieft of such an easy 
command, in those from whom better things might 
be hoped, is commonly some mistaken notion of 
■this holy sacrament; and in order to remove such 
mistakes, I will lay before you what I believe ♦■o 
be the doftrine of scripture, and of our church, 
on this subie<rt. That I may be the better under- 
stood, I will endeavour: 

First, to explain the nature of this sacrament. 

Secondly, to answer some objections which have 
been made on this subject. 

Thirdly, to shew the advantage to be expe<51:ed 
from frequent communion. 

And lastly, to point out the proper manner of 
performing this sacred duty. 

In order to understand the nature and meaning 
of this holy sacrament, we should consider, that 
sacrifices of some kind or other have always been 
appointed to be offered up to God, as a testimony 
of our obedience and gratitude to Him, as a rcpre- 



[ -^* ] 

scntation of the great sacrifice of Christ upon 
the cross, and as the means of conveying to the true 
believer the benefits of that sacrifice which \vas 
ofTcrcd for the sin of the whole world. Such 
were the sacrifices offered by Abel, by Noah, by 
Abraham, and by all the faithful from the begin- 
ning of the world; and such were the sacrifices 
which God ordained in the law of Moses. We 
every where find that something is required on 
our part, in order to our receiving the benefits 
which God is graciously pleased to bestow upon' 
us. When our blessed Saviour had fulfilled the 
law, and introduced a new and more perfed dispen- 
sation, the ceremonies whicli Moses had appointed 
were set aside; and instead of all the different 
sacrifices which had been required of the children 
of Israel, our Lord was pleased to ordain this 
testimony of our love and obedience; and we are 
told by St. Paul, that as often as we eat this 
bread, and drink this cup, we do shew the Lord's 
death till he come, 'lliis sacrament is appointed, 
not only to keep up the remembrance of Christ 
in our minds, but that by it we may plead before 
God the merits of his death as the foundation of 
all our hopes of pardon and acceptance; and by 
it, when we perform this duty with Christian 



C 55 J 

faith, we shall be made partakers of the benefits 
of that great sacrifice, which our Saviour offered 
for the sin of the world. I'he bread and the wine 
are appointed to represent to us the body and 
blood of Christ, and to communicate the benefit 
of his death to every faithful Christian. By par- 
taking of this sacrament our squIs are strengthened 
and refreshed, as our bodies are by bread and 
wine. It is the appointed mfans of conveying to 
us pardon and grace. In this sacrament, more 
than in any other ceremony of our religion, we 
seem to be brought near to our gracious and re- 
conciled God; we enter into his courts, we are 
admitted to his table, though unworthy even to 
gather up the crumbs that fall from thence. 
There we are allowed and commanded to hope 
and to pray for pardon through the merits and 
for the sake of our crucified Saviour; and there 
we receive the assistance of his grace, which will 
guard us against sin, will support us in every trial, 
will guide our feet into the way of peace, and at 
last will lead us to heaven. 

But if such be the nature of this blessed sacra- 
ment, let us enquire, secondly, w/uii objections 
can be made against an institution so full of com- 
fort and advantage to all sincere Christians} and 



I S6 2 

how it happens, that any of those who are called, 
refuse to come to the supper of their Lord. It 
is not extraordinary that those who neither believe 
in Christ, nor obey his laws, should refuse to 
enter into his presence, and be afraid to approach 
bis table. They may indeed be afraid even to think 
of his death, while by their sins they crucify him 
afresh, and put him to open shame. But I wish 
to address myself to those who sincerely believe 
the gospel, and hope for salvation only by the me- 
rits of Christ; but who yet neglect to perform 
this his last command. I believe it will generally 
be found, that this negleft is owing either to the 
v/ant of a just sense of the importance of this 
duty, or to fears and scruples which are some- 
times occasioned by a passage in St. Paul's Epistle 
to the Corinthians. 

To those who stay away for want of sufficiently 
considering the importance of the duty, I must 
speak in the language of deserved reproof. I must 
ask, if any man who calls himself a Christian, can 
forget the last request of his dying Master ; if he 
can presume to disobey his last command? Have 
you no gratitude to such a friend? Have you no 
love for him who died for you? Have you no sins 
for which you ought to ask forgiveness? Have 



C 57 ] 

you no need of grace to assist your feeble endea- 
vours in the piUh of virtue? Whoever thou art 
who dost presume to hope for salvation through 
Christ, and yet dost live in constant disobedi- 
ence to his positive command, I charge thee to 
consider the danger of thy state. The command 
was given by Christ himself, and it was given to 
all. Who shall dare to disobey it? 

To them who are afraid to approach the table 
of the Lord from an humble sense of their own 
infirmities, the Christian Minister would wish to 
speak the language of consolation; but in order to 
avoid mistakes on this important subject, I will 
endeavour to shew you who those are that receive 
the Communion unworthily. St. Paul certainly 
does not mean to exclude any sincere Christian, 
who humbly endeavours to perform the will of 
God. Such a man may have many faults, he 
may fall into many errors; but this sacrament is 
the appointed means by which he may hope to- 
receive the pardon of those faults, by which he 
may obtain gi-ace to guard him against those er- 
rors. The sincere, the humble, the penitent 
Christian wilfnot be rejected, when he duly ap- 
plies for these benefits at the 'sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper. Evea the greatest sinner, if he 



C 58 1 

truly repent, and determine, by the grace of God, 
to forsake his evil ways, may hope, through faith 
in the merits of Christ, to obtain mercy j for 
which he should plead at the table of the Lord, 
But if any man indulge in the practice of any 
known sin; if he be not fully resolved to amend; 
if he bear any malice against his neighbour; if he 
lead a wicked life, and be not determined to 
change it;— I do not advise that man to come 
to the table of the Lord; but I do advise and 
most earnestly entreat him to consider the dan- 
ger of his state. To him I say, that if he be 
not fit to receive the Holy Sacrament, he is not 
iit to die. If he obstinately refuse to repent and 
change his condu£l:, whether he does, or does not, 
approach the altar of God, still the gospel gives 
him no hope of salvation. Let such a man 
tremble at the wrath of God; let him tremble 
at the punishments prepared for obstinate sin- 
ners; let him instantly renounce and forsake all 
wickedness; let him humbly entreat the pardon of 
God, let him stedfastly resolve to lead a new life, 
and then let him approach the throne of grace, 
and plead for mercy at the altar of God, through 
the merits and mediation of him who died to save 
sinners. Then, " though his sins be as scarlet. 



[ S9 ] 

tliey shall be white as snow; though they be red 
like crimson, they shall be a.s wool."* Then he 
shall know that the Lord Is gi-acious, long-suiFer- 
ing, arid of great pity ; that he spareth when we 
deserve punishment, and in his wrath thinketh 
on mercy. 

I hope what I have now said is sufficient to 
persuade every sincere Christian, that he has no- 
thing to fear, while he humbly repents of his sins, 
and endeavours .to amend his life; and that the 
judgments mentioned by St. Paul are only to be 
dreaded by those who continue in any known sin ; 
or in other words, that whatever should keep any 
man from the table of the Lord, must equally ex- 
clude him from heaven, if he die without repentance. 

I proceed, thirdly, to point out the adv intages . 
oi frequent cmmunion. On this subject I may 
appeal to the hearts of all those, who constantly, 
and with true piety, attend this holy Sacrament. 
They know the comfort it affords in every situation 
of life. It is there the Christian applies for relief, 
when he is ready to sijik under the sense of his 
own weakness and impcrfect'on. There he learns 
that, " if any man sin, we have an advocate with 
the Father, Jesus Christ -the righteous, and he 
* Ifaiah i. i8. 



[ 60 ] 

is the propitiation for our sins.*" When he is 
in distress or aflliftion, there he hears the conso- 
ling voice of Chriit, which calls to every child 
of sorrow, " Come unto me all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."t 
When he feels the infirmities of age, and sees 
the near approach of death, there he is taught 
to look for support from him who suffered and 
died for us all. Admitted to communion with 
God, allowed to enter into his presence, to eat at 
his table; he feels his faith strengthened, his hope 
confirmed, his charity enlarged. He returns to 
the duties of life with more ardour; he supports 
its sorrows with more resolution. Such are the bless- 
ings, such are the consolations, which our Saviour 
offered to all his faithful servants, when he left 
with them his last command, " Do this in remem- 
brance of mt," 

It only remains to consider, in the last place, 
how we may best perform this sacred duty. " Let 
a man examine himself," says St. Paul; and our 
church informs us in what manner we ought to do 
this. We must look into the state of our hearts, 
and of our lives, and see whether we truly repent 
of our former sins, stedfastly pui-posing to lead a 
* 1 John ii. I. t Matt, xi. 28. 



[ 61 ] 

rew life; whether we have a lively faith In God's 
mercy through Christ, with a thankful remem- 
* brance of his death; and whether we are in charity 
with all men. This is the preparation required; 
and this will be easy to those who constantly per- 
form the important duty of self-examination, which 
I have in a former discourse so earnestly recom- 
mended. The humble and pious Christian, who 
keeps a constant watch over his own heart, and 
never sleeps till he has endeavoured to obtain the 
pardon of his sins, should not refuse to attend the 
Lord's table, though he may not have much tinae 
for preparation. Every man may find some time 
to pray to God for pardon, before he goes to the 
holy Communion; every man may attend the so- 
lemn service with reverence and devotion, with a 
lively faith in Christ, and a thankful remem- 
brance of his death; and every man may find some 
time to return thanks for the blessings he has just 
received ; and if these prayers and praises are 
offered from a sincere and humble heart, they will 
be accepted at the throne of grace. In every situ- 
ation we must do the best we can. Those who 
have time, should spend it in reading and medita- 
tation. Those who have not the power of doing 
this, may at least offer up a short but fervent prayer 



r 



C 62 ] 

for pardon, through the merits of that Saviour 
whose death they are to commemorate; and ha- 
ving done this, let them approach the altar of 
God, trusting in his manifold and great mercies. 

Before I conclude this discourse, I wish to say 
a few words to prevent a very comm^on, but very 
dangerous mistake. Many who have never recei- 
ved the sacrament during their lives, wish for it 
when they are dying; and seem to suppose it will 
then he eiFe6lual for their salvation. It is a sad 
and most painful task to the minister of the gospel, 
to attend the death-bed of the hardened sinner, 
who, having rejected every offer of mercy, trem- 
bles at approaching punishment. Then he wishes 
to apply for that mercy, which he has so often 
refused, and to plead the merits of that Saviour 
whom he had despised; while he indulges a vain 
hope, that this holy sacrament, which he always 
neglected to rece've v. hen he was in health, will 
still procure for him pardon and acceptance. 

Alas ! my brethren, the gospel offers no such 
hope; and what comfort can the minister of 
Christ afford to such a man? He can only exhort 
him to repent, and throw himself on the mercy of 
his God. He can only hope and pray that it may 
not yet be too late; but terrible is the state of such 



[ 63 ] 

a person, and It is not merely the ceremony of re- 
ceiving this holy sacrament which can aiFord him 
solid consolation. 

But to the good man, as this blessed sacrament 
has been a support through life, so it will be a 
comfort in that trying hour when all human com- 
fort fails. To him it will bring pardon and peace. 
It will enable him to support the pains of death, 
and open to his closing eyes the prosped of eternal 
glory, I have witnessed many such scenes. I 
know how faith and hope can sustain the dying 
Christian. It is then that religion triumphs. It 
is then that we feel all its worth. It is then that wc 
know in whom we have trusted. Then thy faith- 
ful servant, O God! sees heaven opened; then 
he joins with Angels and Archangels, and the spi- 
rits of just men made perfeft, to laud and magnify 
thy glorious name, ever more praising Thee, and 
saying. Holy, holy, holy. Lord God of hosts, 
heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be 
to Thee, O Lord most High! Amen. 



SERMON VI. 



ST. LUKE vi. 6. 



AND IT CAME TO PASS ALSO, ON ANOTHER 
SABBATH, THAT HE ENTERED INTO THE 
SYNAGOGUE. 



TT is required of every Christian that he should 
publicly, as well as privately, glorify God. It 
is not enough that he pray to Him in secret, 
though it is absolutely necessary to do so; but he 
must also let his light shine before men, and con- 
vince them that he thinks it his greatest glory to 
be the servant of Cfirist. This is to be done 
by constant attendance on the public service of 
the church, by religious observance of the Lord's 
day, and the appointed feasts and fasts; by never 
taking the name of God in vain, but always men- 
tioning it with the greatest reverence, and by being 
ready on all proper occasions to testify openly 



L 68 2 

that he is a Christian. Our blessed Lord has 
left us an example of all these duties. We are 
told, not only that he prayed most earnestly in 
private, but that on the sabbath he went into the 
Synagogue, which was the name given by the 
Jews to the place of public worship. We find 
him constant in his attendance there. He went up 
to Jerusalem to worship at the feast; and immedi- 
ately before his death, he kept the Passover with 
his disciples. In every word, and in every "aftion, 
Jie might truly say to his heavenly Father, " I 
have glorified Thee on earth."* 

As the duties which I now recommend are at- 
tended with little difficulty, and much present 
sacisfaftion, it is strange, that any exhortation to 
the performance of them can be necessary. 

The great God of heaven allows us, his poor 
sinful creatures, formed of the dust, and soon to 
return to dust again, he allows us to enter into 
his courts, to assemble in his presence, to beg his 
assistance and proteftion, to hear his holy word, 
and to learn the way to everlasting happiness. He 
calls us to unite in the bonds of charity, and to ask 
in the name of his blessed Son what is necessary 
for ourselves, for our friends, for our country, for 
* John xvii. 4. 



[ 67 ] 

all mankind. If we are happy, should we not 
wish to thank Him who giveth us all things richly 
to enjoy? If we are in affli<ftion, should we not 
wish to ask his assistance and proteftion? And 
when he tells us that, where two or three are ga- 
thered together, there He is in the midst, is it pos- 
sible that any serious Christians should negle<fl the 
assembling of themselves together? In the church 
we are allowed to consider ourselves as in the im- 
mediate presence of God. Assembled in his 
house, kneeling at his altar, we confess our sins, 
and receive his promise of pardon, we sing his 
praise, we hear his wofd, we thank Him for all 
his goodness to us, we are taught our duty, and 
we receive his blessing. In the church we are all 
united in the bonds of Christian charity. There 
we are taught to forgive as we hope to be for- 
given. There all the little distinctions of this life 
are forgotten, ami we learn to love each other as 
Christ has loved us. There the rich and the 
poor kneel together, to implore that pardon oi 
which all have need. There the rich and the poor 
look forward to that happiness for which all are 
'taught to hope. There the sorrows of this short 
state of trial appear not worthy to be compared 
with the glory which shall be revealed. There 



[ C8 ] 

\Xre seem to have a nearer view of heaven, while 
we hear from the minister of Christ the conso- 
ling words of St. Paul: " Eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man 
the things which God hath prepared for them 
that love Him."* Surely every Christian will 
cry out with David, " My soul hath a desire and 
longing to enter into the courts of the Lord."! 
Surely every Christian will think, that he never 
can be sufficiently thankful for the blessing which 
in this happy country is offered to all. Filled 
with love and gratitude to God, he will go into 
the house of the Lord and worship. 

The appointment of one day in seven for the 
performance of this duty, seems to have been the 
first of all religious mstitutions; for we read in the 
second chapter of Genesis, that " God blessed the 
seventh day and sanftified it; because that in it he 
had rested from all his work, which God created 
and made;"| and as all the creatures of God are 
bound to thank Him for their creation, so all 
mankind are bound, to observe a sabbath day. 
We have every reason to believe that there never 
was a time when good men did not dedicate one 
day in seven to the duties of religion; and when 

* I Cor. ii. 9. t Plalm IxxxIt' 2. t Gen. ii. 3. 



r 6y ] 

God himself was pleased to command the obser- 
vance of the seventh day from Mount Sinai, it is 
plain that he spake of a duty which was already- 
known; for he says, " Remember the sabbath 
day to keep it holy." God would not have re- 
quired men to remember what they had never 
been taught. In the Jewish church, the seventh 
day was observed, in memory of their deliverance 
out of Egypt; and since our Lord Jesus Christ 
arose from the dead on the first day of the Vv^eek, 
which we call Sunday, his disciples have constantly 
observed that day in memory of a greater deliver- 
ance wrought for all mankind, when their Saviour 
burst the bonds of death, and opened to them the 
kingdom of heaven. 

To call your attention to the advantages we 
derive from this merciful appointment of God, I 
will consider the Lord's day, first, as a day of 
rest and comfort; and secondly, as a day of reli- 
gious improvement; and I will conclude with some 
observations on the manner in which this sacred 
day should be spent, by all Christians. 

If we consider only our situation in this world, 
Sunday is a day of rest and comfort; and viewing 
it in this light only, it must be regarded as a wise 
and merciful institution. Such is the impatience 



[ ro ] 

to get money, and such the cruelty of mankind, 
that thousands would be worn out with labour, if 
there were not an appointed day of restj many 
condemned to work in mines would never see 
the light of the sun; many would never know the 
comfort of cleanliness, of a few cheerful hours 
with their friends, or of a walk in the fresh air, 
and would pass a miserable life of continual hard- 
ship. But now, whatever be the sufferings of the 
other six days, Sunday will bring some relief, 
wherever it is observed as it ought to be. All 
worldly cares being then laid aside, every man is 
at liberty to enjoy such pleasures as his situation 
affords. He is clean, he has time to see his family 
and friends, he breathes the fresh air of the coun- 
try which thousands never can do on any other 
day. He sees the beauties of nature, and the kind 
looks of a friend, and he feels himself free and 
happy. Even the poor beasts have reason to re- 
joice in the rest which that day affords, and by 
which they are prevented from sinking under 
constant and excessive labour. 

But secondly, if we consider the Lord's day as 
the season of religious improvement, we shall know 
how much reason we have to bless God for it. 
SLx days we may devote to worldly business; many 



C 71 3 

of us Indeed nntst do so, to provide the necessaries 
of life; but the seventh is the sabbath. On that 
blessed day we are permitted to lay aside all our 
cares; and we are taught to support all our sor- 
rows, by fixing our thoughts on God, and the 
happiness which He has promised to all who love 
Him. On that blessed day we may worship Him 
in the assembly of his servants, we may read his 
holy word, and we may san£lify the innocent plea- 
sures of life by uniting them with religion. 

In order to make this sacred day more useful to 
us, allow me to make a few observations on the 
proper manner of spending it. 

The fourth commandment tells us that we must 
do no manner of v/ork. We must lay aside such 
employments as relate only to this world. The 
business of the farm, and tiie shop, must be sus- 
pended, as well as those public amusements which 
are too often made the business of the rich. In- 
deed I wish they were as attentive to their duty in 
this particular, as their poor neighbours, and that 
they would as constantly give up their journeys, 
and their meetings for pleasure, as the shop-keeper 
docs his gain, and the labourer his work. But 
though many of the rich are much to be blamed 
in this particular, I am not at present addressing 



[ 72 J 

myself to them; and the poor are not always as 
obedient as tlicy should be to the commands of 
God, in regard to this sacred day. Though a 
man does not open his shop, he may offend God, 
by taking that day to settle his books. Though a 
woman does not spin or work at her needle, yet if 
she negleft her duty, to follow any other employ- 
ment, the fault is the same. It is the Lord's 
day, and to Him we must answer for the use we 
make of it. 

How then, it may be asked, ought the poor 
man to spend his time on Sunday? I will endea- 
vour to answer this question according to what 
we are taught in the Bible, and from the practice 
of the best and most pious Christians. 

"When a poor man rises in the morning on Sun- 
day, let him endeavour to turn his thoughts from 
the business of other da vs. and fix them upon 
God. Let him gratefully acknowledge the bless- 
ing of a day of rest, and return his humble thanks 
to the Giver of all good gifts. Let him show his 
respeft for the day, by making himself as clean 
and as decent in his appearance as his circumstances 
will permit. Every man may be clean in his per- 
son, and the very poorest, though only clothed in 
rags, will still be welcome to the presence of his 

7 



[ 73 ] 

God, if in that, as in every tiling else, he 

does the best he can. The public service of the 

church must be attended by every one who is not 

prevented by some duty which obliges him to stay 

away. A sick person must not be negledl:ed by 

tljose whose duty it is to take care of him. A 

mother who has the charge of young children 

cannot leave them. Frequently the servants in a 

family cannot all go to church at the same time. 

These are lawful excuses; but let every one, v/ho 

is deprived of the happiness of serving God in the 

congregation, consider it as a misfortune to be 

avoided if possible. Let every one who stays 

away, be sure that his reasons for so doing, arc 

such as he would not be ashamed to allege at the 

day of judgment. Families may be so ordered, 

that every one may go to church by turns ; and if 

there is any service where this is not allowed, I 

should advise the servant of Christ to leave such 

a master, and to seek for one who fears God. It 

is impossible to point out every particular case; 

but if we really regard the service of God as our 

greatest happiness, if we love Him as we ought to 

do, and value the blessings we enjoy in his house 

as they deserve, we shall not stay away if we can 

possibly help it. It is not a shower of rain, it is 



C 7* ] 

not a lazy wish to lie longer in bed, which will 
keep us from what we delight to do. lliey who 
are not in the habit of going to church, whose 
hearts are not right before God, those men know 
not the pleasures of religion; but my bretliren, I 
hcjpe for better things from you. O taste and 
see how gracious the Lord is; blessed are all they 
who put their tiiist in Iiim! 

When the service of the church is over, let the 
remainder of the day be spent in such a manner, 
as not to lose the advantages we have gained. It 
is a joyful and a happy day, it is a day to enjoy 
innocent pleasure; but let it be the pleasure of a 
Christian. Those who spend the other six days 
in hard work, confined perhaps to towns, or to 
unwholesome manufaftories or mines, may with 
innocence, and with advantage to their bodies and 
minds, enjoy a walk into the country, breathe the 
fresh air, and gain health and strength to support 
the labours of the week. Those who live in the 
country, may enjoy the company and conversation 
of their friends; they may be cheerful and happy. 
But if the love of God fill their hearts, they 
will do all to his glory. When they look at 
this beautiful world, they will bless Him who 
made it. When they feel the comfort of virtuous 



[ 75 ] 

friendship, they will thank Him for that greatest 
of blessings. Whatever is perfecftly innocent in 
itself, and does not interfere with the particuliir 
duties of the day, may be enjoyed with thankful- 
ness. I hope it is not necessary to say that 
gaming, and excessive drinking, are ««;^r innocent; 
ard on this sacred day, they must be regarded as 
doubly sinful. One employment which our Saviour 
seems to have delighted to perform on the sabbath 
day I earnestly recommend to all; and that is 
doifig good. This subjeft shall be particularly 
mentioned in a future discourse; and I will only 
observe at present, that the leisure, which Sunday 
affords, can never be filled up more delightfully 
than in practising the lessons we have learnt at 
church, and in giving to others what God has 
given to us. If a poor sick neighbour cannot go 
to church, a kind friend may read the lessons, or 
say a prayer to him at home; or may tell him the 
text, and what he can recoUecl of the sermon. If 
he is in afiliftion, a kind friend may share with 
him the religious consolation he has himself re- 
ceived. If he is in poverty, and that friend has 
neither silver nor gold to bestow, he perhaps may 
spare him a little of his Sunday's meal; or if not, 
he may at least speak comfort to his soul. He 



[ 76 ] 

may tell him what he has just heard of Him who 
for our sakes became poorj who suffered more 
than ever man did, and who calls us to take up the 
cross, and follow him through the sorrows of this 
life, to the everlasting happiness of the next. 
Those who have children, should spend some part 
of the day in teaching them their duty, and should 
gladly accept every assistance that is offered by 
the clergy, or by Sunday Schools. Those who 
have performed these duties to the best of their 
power, will sit down with double pleasure to their 
cheerful meal, and bless God for it with a joyful 
heart. If there is service in the afternoon, they 
will not need any exhortation to go there, for it 
will be tlieir delight. In the evenings, I would re- 
commend, what is praftised in some places, that 
there should be a friendly society of those who 
fear God; who may meet together in order that 
some one of them may read the Bible, or some 
good book, to the rest; that those who cannot 
read themselves, may have the comfort of hearing 
'the word of God, and spending the evening like 
Christians.* This will promote friendship, and 

* See the Bishop of Durham's Charge, in the year 1797. 

page 25. See also a v&ry interesting account of the Fiieadly 

Society at Winston, in the Reports of the Society for bettering 
the Condition of the Poor, vol. ii. p. 82. 



C 77 1 

unite good people to each other: they will enjoy 
cheerful and Innocent conversation, and learn to 
love each other, as Christ has loved them. Such 
my Christian friends, should be the employments, 
such should be the pleasures of the Lord's day. 
When you spend it thus, it will be unnecessary 
that I should remind you to thank God for such 
blessings before you sleep. Your evening song 
will be a song of thanksgiving. At peace with 
all the world, and with your heavenly Father, 
retire to rest; and rise refreshed, and ready to do 
your duty in the state to which God has called 
you. Then go forth to your six days labour, 
joyful and glad of heart ; hoping for the blessing 
of God on your honest industry, and looking for- 
ward to the return of this happy day, when we 
may again enter into the courts of the Lord, and 
meet in the house of God as friends. This liappy 
day, which brings rest to the weary, instruc>ioT<» 
to the ignorant, and comfort to the afflifted. This 
happy day, when every good man en earth is 
called to join with the angels in heaven, in singing, 
" Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent 
reigneth." Glory, and honour, and thanksgiving, 
and praise, be unto Him, for ever and ever. 
Am-en. 



SERMON VII. 



ST. LUKE xxH. 15. 

AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, WITH DESIRE I 
HAVE DESIRED TO EAT THIS PASSOVER. 
WITH YOU, BEFORE I SUFFER. 

T PROCEED now to consider the principal 
-*- festivals and fasts which our church has ap- 
pointed to be kept holy, and to point out the 
duties required of us on those sacred days. The 
example of our Lord, as well as the command of 
his apostles, and of their successors in the govern- 
ment of his church, binds us to perform these 
duties. We are told several times in the gospel, 
that our blessed Saviour kept the solemn feasts of 
the Jewish church; and it appears from the chap- 
ter of which my text is a part, that on the same night 
that he was betrayed, he celebrated the great feast 



C 80 ] 

of the Passover with his disciples. The necessity 
of these duties is so generally allowed by all 
Christians, that I will not detain you longer on 
that subjeft, but proceed to explain the meaning 
of the chief festivals of our church, and the man- 
ner in which they ought to be observed. 

The birth-day of Christ, commonly called 
Christm.as-day, has been always observed by his 
disciples with gratitude and joy. His birth was 
the greatest blessing ever bestowed on mankind. 
The angels from heaven celebrated it with a joyful 
hymn; and every man, who has any feeling of his 
own lost state without a Redeemer, must rejoice 
and be glad in it. On this great day, he will lay 
aside all worldly business, he will appear in the 
presence of God, and he will not fail to receive 
that holy sacrafnent by which we partake of the 
benefits of our Redeemer's birth and death. He 
will rejoice from his heart, and call his neighbours 
and friends to rejoice with him. Christmas has 
been always considered as a season of joy, of 
friendship, of hospitality, of charity; as such 
it always ought to be considered. We should 
express our love and good-will to each other; 
we should show kindness to all who belong to 
Christ for his sake. We should give of oui" 



C 81 ] ' 

breiad to the hungry, and do every thing In our 
power to make our fellow-creatures happy. A 
few holidays are generally allowed to all men, 
in honour of this blessed season; they may be 
spent in harmless pleasure, in innocent mirth 
and joy. A good man has the besr right to be 
cheerful, for he only is at peace with God. Let 
him also be at peace with all mankind. At this 
holy season particularly we should banish all strife 
and contention. If any man has been injured, 
now is the time to forgive. If any man has done 
wrong, now is the time to own it and to ask par- 
don. Our Saviour Christ came to us in great 
humility; and no degree of pride must accompany 
the devotion of a Christian. If we have done 
wrong, let us never be ashamed to own it. If we 
have been unkind to a friend, or even to an enemy, 
let us not hope to feel Christian joy till we ac- 
knowledge our error. Then, at peace with all 
men, and with our own conscience, let us be 
merry and joyful. This is the day which the 
Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it; 
*' for unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is 
given} and his name shall be called Wonderful, 



r 8i ] 

Coimsellor, the Miglity God, the Everlasting Fa- 
ther, the Prince of Peace.*** 

But while we point out this blessed season as a 
time of joy to every servant of Christ, I grieve 
that, in any Christian congregation, it should be 
necessary to say, that it is not a time of intempe- 
rance. No time indeed ought to be such; but 
surely it is strange and shocking that this most 
holy season is sometimes disgraced by gaming, 
drunkenness, and every kind of vice. Is this a 
Christian's joy? Is this the return which our God 
cxpefts, when he allows us to rest from our labours 
and be happy? O my friends! consider the ingra- 
titude, the dreadful wickedness, of these who 
spend such a season as this in vice. Gaming is 
always madness and folly. It is trusting the com- 
fort and happiness of our future lives to chance. 
It is perhaps ruining our families, losing all the 
fruit of years of honest industry, and reducing our- 
seh^es to beggary; or if it be successful, it inflicts the 
same misery on anothei". Who can enjoy money 
so gained? But these gains generally go to cheats 
and sharpers, who will render a dreadful account 
of them at the day of judgment. Those whom 
they have cheated are left to lament their folly and 
* Ifaiah ix. 6. 



C 83 ] 

wickedness, perhaps to blaspheme their gracious 
God, and shock everjr pious ear by oaths and 
execrations. I'his vice, I hope, is not common; 
but there is another which is so to a dreadful de- 
gree. I speak of the odious crime of drunkenness. 
God made man in his own image; he gave him a 
body fearfully and wonderfully made, and a soul 
capable of reason and refle<5lion. Unlike all other 
animals, man can think and reason; he can re- 
member what is past, and look forward to what 
is to come. He knows and feels the dignity of 
his nature, and pays to his Creator free and rea- 
sonable service. Superior to all other creatures, 
formed to be the lord of the \i'orld, he is greater 
stilt as he is the heir of heaven, destined to live 
for ever, to be for ever happy. Such is man as 
his Creator formed him; and now consider for a 
moment what he makes himself by intemperance. 
Grovelling on the ground, an obje^lof disgust and 
detestation, his boasted reason gone, sunk far be- 
low the brutes that perish, he can no longer direct 
his own actions. He may quarrel with his best 
friend, he may murder the wife of his bosom, and 
not know what he is doing. Does the world 
present a sight more melancholy or more degra- 
ding? And when that man is called to answer for 



C S4 ] 

his crimes, will it be admitted as an excuse, that 
he had robbed himself of the reason which Gob 
had given him to direft his actions? Sm-ely not. 
Though he has made himself a beast, he will be 
judged, he will be punished, as a man Let me 
entreat all who hear me, and particularly those 
who are entering into life, to consider this odious 
vice in the true light, and never to be guilty of it. 
When once it becomes a habit, repentance is diffi- 
cult; yet the hour of repentance and amendment 
must come, or dreadful indeed will be the conse- 
quence, for we know that a drunkard cannot 
inherit eternal life; but if those who are as yet 
innocent in this respeA, will seriously consider this 
odious vice, surely they will fly from it as from 
the face of a serpent. If they have a proper sense 
of religion, they will avoid any meetings which 
may lead them into temptation; and particularly 
at those holy seasons which are set apart for the 
service of God. 

The forty days of Lent are appointed as a time 
of repentance and recollection, in order to prepare 
the Christian for the proper observation of the 
great festival of Easter. On the first day of Lent, 
which we call Ash-Wednesday, our church has 
appointed a very solemn and awful service, which 



[ 85 ] 

all, who can do it, should not fail to attend. That 
service is intended as a merciful warning to those 
who do not sufficiently consider the dreadful judg* 
ment hanging over all impenitent sinners, which 
is there pronounced in the words of holy scrip- 
ture; in order to lead those who have been guilty 
of the crimes which are there mentioned, to save 
themselves by repentance; and in order that those 
who are as yet guiltless of such crimes, may be 
the more afraid to oifend. The holy season of 
Lent has been always considered as a time of self- 
examination and penitence, and every one should 
make it such, according to the circumstances of 
his situation. All may pra£lise some degree of 
self-denial, and all may find some time to think 
seriously of the state of their souls, to change 
what they find amiss in their general habits of life, 
and to make their peace with God by sincere 
repentance. 

At the end of this holy season is the day on 
which we commemorate the death of our blessed 
Saviour, which is commonly called Good-Friday. 
This day cannot be observed too stridly. It is a 
day of the deepest humiliation and sorrow, for 
those sins which brought the Son of God to the 
cross. We should not fail to attend the service 



C 86 J 

of tlie church on that day; and neither business 
nor pleasure should prevent our refle<5iing seriously 
on that great event, and humbly entreating pardon 
from God, through the merits of the sacrifice 
which was then oHered for the sin of the world. 
We should read with great attention the accounts 
given in the New Testament of ohr Saviour's suf- 
ferings and death. We should consider what he 
has dpne for us ; we should thank him from our 
hearts. We should renounce every sin, and 
devote ourselves entirely to his service. We 
should on that day ret re from the world, to com- 
mune with our own hearts, and on our knees 
entreat forgiveness of our sins, through Jesus 
Christ. Thus shall we be prepared to celebrate 
the greatest of all days in the eyes of a Christian, 
and through sorrow and humiliation, we shall be 
led from the cross of CHR|st to his triumphant 
resurre£l:ion. 

On Easter-Sunday we celebrate our Saviour's 
vi^ory ovei- death and hell, when, having on the 
cross made an atonement for the sin of the world, 
l^e. rose agaifi from the grave, brought life and 
immortality to light, and opened to all his fiiithful 
servants the way to heaven. All our hopes rest 
m this gceat event. " If Christ be not risen,"' 



[ 87 ] 

says St. Paul, '* then is our preaching vain, and 
your faith is also vain. Ye are yet in your sins. — 
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and be- 
come the first-fruits of them that sleep.'** Death 
has now no sting; the grave has now no terror. 
We are assured that we shall rise again to meet 
our Lord, when he cometh with his holy angels. 
This greatest of feasts must be obsei-ved with true 
devotion. All Christian churches are open on 
this day, and the holy sacrament is every w^here 
offered to the true believer, who will not surely 
refuse to pay that tribute of gratitude and love 
to his glorified Redeemer. He will welcome this 
great day with Cliristian joy, for " the Lord is 
risen indeed."! 

Forty days after his resurrection, our Lord as- 
cended into heaven, in the sight of his disciples; 
which is celebrated by tlie church on Ascension- 
day, or Holy Thursday, and ten days after his 
ascension, he sent the Holy Spirit to be their 
comforter and guide, which great blessing is com- 
memorated on WhitrSunday. This is a very great 
fL'stival, and should be observed as such. The 
assistance of the Holy Spirit can alone support 
us through all temptations, and guide us into all 
* J Cor, XV. J4. t Lwke xxir. 34. 



C 88 ] 

truth. For this assistance we must continually 
pray, and we must celebrate this great day with 
reverence and devotion. 

Many other days are appointed to be kept 
holy, in memory of the apostles and evangelists: 
and those who have an opportunity of attending 
the public service of the church on those days, 
should gladly do it. But as many Christians cannot 
do this, I beg leave to recommend to them care- 
fully to study the Companion to the Feasts and 
Fasts by Mr. Nelson. Few books contain so 
much Christian knowledge. In it instru(5lion is 
mixed with entertainment, and much learning with 
true piety, Whoever is so happy as to be able 
to read and understand that book, possesses a 
treasure of divine knowledge and of true devotion. 

Having now taken a general view of the public 
service of our church, let me beg you to consider 
what a blessing it is to us. In many countries 
men know not God, in many they do not worship 
yiin as He has commanded; but in this happy 
land, every Christian may have the blessing of 
hearing God's \yord, and receiving his sacra- 
ments; lie may join in prayer with a faithful 
congregation, and receive the instruOions of a 
minister commissioned by Christ j and if he 



[ 89 1 

do this constantly and attentively, I will venture 
to say that the poorest man amongst us, though 
unable to read, and without the advantage of any 
other religious instruftion, may gain more useful 
and important knowledge than the wisest man in 
the Heathen world ever possessed. Let him only 
attend to the Sunday lessons, and consider the 
great truths which he may learn from them. The 
Heathens knew not how the world was made; 
some thought it was formed by chance, and some 
that it existed from all eternity. But the first 
verse in the Bible removes all these doubts, " In 
the beginning, God created the heaven and the 
earth.'* They knew not how sin and misery came 
into the world; but from the Bible we learn, that 
it was through envy of the Devil, who persuaded 
Adam to disobey God. The Heathens knew not 
"whether there was one God only, or whether 
there were many ; and they worshipped wood and 
stone. But from the Bible we learn, that the 
great Creator said, I am the Lord thy God, and 
thou shalt have none other Gods but me. They 
never heard of a Redeemer, and knew not how to 
obtain pardon for their sins; but the Bible tells 
«x, that Christ Jesus came into tlie world to 
save sinners. The Heathens knew Httle of the 



[ DO 1 

will of God, or how they ought to a£l in order 
to please Him; but in the Bible we learn h^s will, 
aud our duty to Kim and to our neighbour. 
Lastly, tlie Heathens knew not what to expeft 
after death, nor whether they were ever to live 
again after leaving this world; but from the Bible 
we learn this most important of all truths, that all 
men shall rise again with their bodies, and give 
an account of their own works ; and the wicked 
'* shall go away into everlasting punishment, but 
the righteous into life eternal."* 

Such are the treasures of divine knowledge, 
which are open to every Christian. Let us thank- 
fully acknowledge such great blessings; but let us 
also remember that, " unto whomsoever much is 
given, of him shall be much required."! No man 
amongst us can justly plead ignorance of the law 
of God, as an excuse for not obeying it: for every 
man may know what is necessary for the salvation 
of his soul, if he will only go to church, and at- 
tend to what he hears there. To those who add 
to this the happiness of being able to read the 
Bible at home, I earnestly recommend the study 
of tliat sacred book, as the greatest advantage, 
and the greatest pleasure, they <:an enjoy. It will 
* Matt. XXV. 46. t Luke xii. 48. 



[ 91 1 

be the guide of their youth, and the comfort of 
their old age. They will eveiy day find new 
beauties, as they become more acquainted with it. 
Their understandings will be enlightened, their 
hearts will be softened. All the blessings of re- 
deeming love will be presented to their view, all 
the glories of heaven will be opened to their 
hopes. The joys and sorrows of this world will 
seem as nothing; they will learn to scom its plea- 
sures, and despise its temptations, while they press 
forward to the mark, with their eyes fixed on the 
glory which shall be revealed. And when they 
have finished their course with joy, they will re- 
sign their souls in peace to Him who made, and 
who redeemed them; who will support them 
through the pains of death, and receive them into 
everlasting glory. To whom, with the Father 
and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all honour, and 
glory, by us and by all created beings, now and 
for ever. Amen. 



SERMON Vm. 



ST. JOHN xvii. 4. 
I HAVE GLORIFIED THEE ON EARTH. 

T^ROM the example of our blessed Lord we 
"*• learn to glorify God, by our thoughts, by 
our words, and by our a£lions. I have endea- 
voured to shew you how we should imitate his 
piety, his fervent prayer, his constant attendance 
on all the appointed duties of religion; and we 
must humbly endeavour to follow his example in 
the reverence which he expressed for his Heavenly 
Father by every part of his conduct here on earth. 
I will mention some particulars which make a part 
t)f what is called our duty towards God, before I 
proceed to shew you how we ought to glorify 
Him, by performing our duty towards our neigh- 
bour in the manner which he has commanded. 



[ s-^ ] 

In the first place, we should glorify God by 
never tak'ng his name in vain; and I do not know 
a surer sign of true piety, than constant attention 
to this duty. The man who has a true reverence 
for God, dares not prophane his holy name. He 
will hold in abhorrence the shocking vice of 
swearing, that disgrace to a Christian country, by 
which men commit a dreadful crime against God, 
without even the temptation by which they try to 
excuse other crimes. 

A truly pious m^n can never be guilty of this 
vice; for the fear of God is always before his 
eyes, and the love of God in his heart. He looks 
up with reverence to the great Creator of heaven 
and earth, to whom all hearts are open, who 
hears the most secret word, and will call him to 
answer for it before men and angels. Though 
he fear not them who kill the body, he fears 
(and every human being ought to fear) the tor- 
ments reserved for the wicked after death. But 
the good man is not restrained only by the fear of 
punishment, he is influenced by the love as well 
as the fear of God. Can such a man wantonly 
offend his kind and gracious Master; will he 
blaspheme that sacred name which he adores? 
Certainly not. When he mentions the name of 



C 95 J 

God, it is to bless and praise it; to tell lio'vr- 
gracious the Lo rd has been to hira. Will a man, 
who knows the terrors of the Almighty, who 
believes that he will assuredly punish those who 
despise his mercy, will /je dare to call for damnation 
on his feiiow-creatures? Will his heart be capable 
of forming the dreadful wish, that the man who 
has offended him, may really suffer the vengeance 
of eternal fire, that he may really dwell with ever- 
lasting burnings, where the worm dieth not, and 
the fire is not quenched? Think of this, I entreat 
you, and tell me, whether any heart, however 
wicked, is capable of wishing this? Yet such is 
the impious language which we continually hear 
amongst men who call themselves Christians; such 
is tlie inhuman wish pronounced against a man 
like ourselves, nay sometimes even against the 
•poor harmless animal whom God has given to 
assist us in our labour, against the horse, worn 
out with work, or terrified with blows. I'he bai'- 
barous treatment of animals is a subjefl which 
deserves very serious consideration; but at present 
I am only endeavouring to point out to you the 
meaning of words which arc often used by thought- 
less men, who never consider what they have 



C 96 1 

diireJ to utter, or they would fear that thes6 
horrible curses might fall on their own heads. 

Secondly, we should glorify God in our com- 
mon conversation. It is not enough that we do 
not take his name in vain by mentioning it without 
due reverence, but we must be careful that our 
conversation be such as becometh Christians. Let 
us not suppose that we are only to serve God oil 
Sundays, and not to think of Him during the rest 
of the week. The true Christian is always en- 
gaged in the service of God. He takes every op- 
portunity to shew his zeal for his Master's honour. 
He tries to lead others, and particularly those who 
are younger than himself, to think upon God. 
One of the greatest pleasures which good men can 
enjoy, is speaking to each other on the subjedl 
which is most interesting to them. They will 
never be ashamed to own that they fear God; oq 
the contrary, it will be their glory that they are 
Christians; and much good might be done, even 
during the common employments of life, if they 
always spoke and afted in that character; if their 
-conversation were such as becometh godliness. 

Thirdly, we should glorify God by praising 
Him for our daily food. We are told that our 
Saviour gave thanks before he began to eat; and 



[ 97 ] 

every Christian ought to do the same. To the 
bounty of God we owe every blessing; and while 
we enjoy the gift, let us not forget the Giver. 
Every enjoyment for which we have offered our 
humble thanks to God, will be doubly sweet. 
" Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, 
do all to the glory of God."* 

Lastly, we should glorify God by our thoughts. 
Every thought which arises in our heaits is known 
to God, though concealed from all the world. 
This should make us guard our hearts with the 
greatest care. It is indeed impossible that our 
thoughts should be always employed on religion. 
Our gracious Master does not require this, but He 
does require us carefully to guard against those 
which are wicked, and He commands us frequently 
to make Him the objefl: of our meditations. 
Wicked thoughts too often lead to wicked a^lions; 
and the man who can find pleasure in thinking of 
gratifying his malice, or indulging his lust or in- 
temperance, is in great danger of committing such 
crimes. The man who allows himself to wish for 
what does not belong to him, is in great danger of 
using dishonest means to obtain it. For this rea- 
son it is, that GoD, who knows our weakness, 

* I Cor. X. 31. 
H 



[ 98 1 

has not only told us not to steal but to prevent 
our wishing to do so, He commands us not to 
covet or desire our neighbour's goods. For this 
reason our blessed Saviour tells us, " that he who 
looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath com- 
mitted adultery with her already in his heart,*** 
For t|iis reason, he guards us against even a thought 
of revenge, by telling us to love our enemies, and 
to pray for those who persecute us. Wicked 
thoughts ai-e the temptations of the Devil, and we 
must constantly endeavour to resist and drive them 
away ; which may be most effeftually done by 
turning our thoughts towards God. The poor 
man, whose daily labour is necessary to gain his 
daily bread, has not much time to spend in read- 
ing, or in making long prayers; though every 
man, who sei-ves God as he ought, will find a 
few minutes night and morning to kneel down 
before Him, to beg his pardon and his blessing. 
But the poorest man, whilst engaged in the hard- 
est labour, may sometimes thmk upon God, and 
find his greatest comfort in doing so. He may 
thank Him for blessing with increase the labour of 
his hands, for the health which enables him to 
maintain himself and his family, for having placed 

* Matt. V. a2. 



[ 99 1 

him in this happy country, wherp every man may 
eat the fruits of his honest industry in peace and 
liberty. He may thank God that he is not a 
slave, as many are in other countries, and forced 
to work under the lash of a cruei master. Above 
all, he should thank Him for the glorious prospect 
of happiness in the next world, which supports us 
through all the sorrows of this. When he re- 
turns at night, he may still think upon God. He 
may^hank Him for the blessings of food and rest, 
sweetened, as they ought to be, by the duty and 
affeftion of his wife and children. Even if his 
situation in this hfe be still more unhappy, his 
thoughts may fly to heaven, and dwell on the 
glory which shall be revealed. " There the 
wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary 
are at restl"* There the faithful servant of God 
will be for €ver happy. 
^.V • Having now endeavoured to point out to you 
•^•'the principal duties of a Christian towards God, 
let me beg you to consider the happiness, wliich, 
.even in this world, attends the performance of 
them. This will be seen by considering the diffe- 
rence between a good and a bad man, in the day 
of prosperity, and in the day of adversity. It is 

* Job iii. 1 7. 



[ 100 ] 

certainly true that this world is a state of trial to 
all^ and the best men must not expeft to escape 
those sufferings which our Heavenly Father sends 
to purify our minds, and to make us more worthy 
of his love. " We must through much tribulation 
enter into the kingdom of God.'** This is the 
lot of all; high and low, rich and poor, from the 
king on his throne to the captive in the dungeon, 
all know and feel it. 

But if there are many sorrows in life, there are 
also many pleasures; and what we have to con- 
sider is, whether the good or the bad man be 
more likely to enjoy those pleasures, and support 
those sorrows, which are sent to both alike. 
Allow me however to observe to you, that in the 
common course of things it is probable the good 
man will be more prosperous, even in this world, 
than the bad man ; for in most cases misery is the 
natural consequence of vice. A man who spends 
his time and his money in idleness, gaming, or 
drinking, will probably be poor. He will suffer 
want, he will be in debt, and perhaps end his 
days in a prison. A man who spends his youth 
in debauchery, will probably pass the rest of his 
life in pain and sickness. A man who is guilty of 

* A(JtS Xiv. 22. 



C 101 ] 

dishonest actions, will be despised and shunned; 
he will lose his character, and perhaps fell under 
the punishments of the law. These are the com', 
mon and natural consequences of great vices; and 
certainly the man who suffers in any of these ways^ 
cannot be so happy as he, whose industry procures 
him an honest independence, whose health is se- 
cured by temperance and sobriety, and whose confc 
duft entitles him to respeft and esteem from all 
good men; thus " godliness hath the. promise of 
this life, as well as of that which is to come."* 
vvJBut there may be a great idifference between a 
good and a bad man, as I have already observed, 
even when the latter is not guilty of such gross 
vices as these. I will therefore take up the argu- 
ment on the least favourable ground, and suppose 
a man who is guilty of no vices which are known 
to the world ; who is sober for the sake of his 
health, and honest because he is afraid of the 
laws of his country; whose character stands fair, 
and who possesses all the prosperity which can be 
enjoyed in the world. All this may certainly 
happen to a man who neither fears nor loves 
God; for " He maketh his sun to shine on the 
evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just 
* I Tim. ir. 8. 



[ 102 ] 

and on the unjust."* It must however be evident^ 
that a good man might be in the same happy cit-- 
cumstances as to outward things; and then the 
question is, which of these men will have most 
enjoyment of prosperity.' I am at present consi- 
dering only what each will feel while he lives in 
this world; and I say that if they are in exaftly 
the same situation, still there are two circumstanced 
which will make the good man beyond comparison 
the happier. ^'r-^rf!' 

First, the man ivho h withdut God in the 
world, is' tormented by the fear of losing the 
blessings he enjoys. We all know that this fii^y 
happen with regard t6 every earthly blessing; We 
know that it often does happen; and he who thinks 
that he owes his prosperity to chance, has always 
reason to fear that chance may take it away. The 
good man, on the contrary, puts himself and all 
that lie possesses under the care of an all-powerful 
Proteftor. Me knows that from God he received 
every good gift, and he knows that the blessings 
he enjoys never can be taken away, except by the 
permission of Him who gave them ; and that if 
God permit him to be deprived of them, it is 
because it is more for his real advantage. Td 
* Matt. V. 45. 



[ 103 ] 

God he looks up with gratitude for all he enjoys j 
to God he is ready cheerfully to resign every 
blessing He has given. He therefore possesses a 
degree of tranquillity which no bad man ever felt. 

Secondly, if the bad man should even persuade 
himself that he has nothing to fear after death, 
still every man knows that he must die. In a very 
few years this must happen; it may be in a very 
few houts ; arid the more a man is attached to the 
good things of this life, the greater is his dread 
of losing all by death. But the good man knows 
that death is the gate of life, and the road to 
happiness far superior to any he could enjoy here 
below. Thus we find, that in the most prosperous 
state the bad man must be tormented with fear 
and anxiety, while the good man is tranquil, com- 
posed, and happy. 

But as prosperity comes alike to all, so does 
adversity. Each of these men may be placed by 
Providence in want, in sickness, in pain, or in sor- 
row. Which of them will then find most comfort 
under his affliftion? Every heart can answer this 
question, for it admits of no doubt. Wliile the 
one trembles under the avenging wrath of an 
angry God, the other acknowledges the kind seve- 
rity of a tender parent. The first has no comfort. 



[ 104 ] 

lia.j^ujpporti for he: jlias neither trust in God nor 
hope of heaven. The other knows that his light 
affliftlqnsj.whlcharebut for a moment, -will work 
for him an eternal weight of glory. Humbled 
under the mighty hand of God, he suiFers indeed, 
but he is patient and resigned. He feels the loss 
of what was dear to him, but he knows that -it 
is not lost for ever.: His sufferings only increase 
his diligence. He knows they 'were sent fqr. hrs 
g-ealgoodj, and from h's heart he thanks Gop 
for them,,;jf^ may be hard to bear, the loss of 
a dear friend may force his tears to flowj but 
through every trial, every affli^ion, he will still 
know and feel, that even in this world there is a 
reward for tiie righteous; that even, in this world 
the good man enjoys that peace, which the wicked 
can never know. 

, But it may perhaps be said, that there are cases 
in which th^ advantage as to worldly prosperity is 
en the Side of the bad man, and when he who 
will not disobey Qod, must sacrifice what wicked 
men enjoy. It cannot be denied that this may 
often happen. A wicked man may obtain riches 
by means which a virtuous man cannot practise ; 
and still he may not be liable to punishment from 
the laws of his comitry. To set the answer to 



t 105 3 

tliis objection in the clearest light, I will siipyiosc 
the bad man raised to the highest degi-ee of pros- 
perity, and the good man sunk to the lowest poiut 
of afliiction and distress; and still I say that this 
last is the happier man. To prove this, it is only- 
necessary to objferve that the one lives and dies in 
fear, and that the other lives and dies in hope; — 
fear, which will poison every enjoyment; — hope 
which will sweeten every sorrow. The one is 
conscious of guilt, luid hves in fear of punishment; 
the other has reason to trust in the mercy of God, 
and lives in hope of an everlasting reward. 

And now let me ask of every one who hears 
me, which of these is the happier man? I hope no 
Christian can be in doubt what answer to give. 

These are the advantages, these are the triumphs 
of Christianity; and blessed are they who make 
it the rule of their lives. In prosperity and ad- 
versity, in youth and age, in health and sickness, 
in life and death, they will enjoy that peace which 
tiiis world cannot give, that peace which only 
good men can experience, and which passeth all 
understanding. 

Now to God, the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, be ascribed all honour and glory, adora- 
tion and praise, now and for evermore. x\men, • 



SERMON IX. 



ST. LUKE ii. 51, 52. 
ANt) HE WENT DOWN WITH TPIEM, AND CAME 

• i !_ ' . -. ■ ' ■ 

to nazareth, and was subject unto 

them; but his mother kept all these 

""' 'sA'\'4lsrGs 'ii<r her heart, and jesus in- 

■'' 'creased in wisdom and stature, and 

'IN FAVOUR with GOD AND MAN. 

Y TAVING endeavoured to explain our duty to 
"*• God, I proceed to consider what He has 
commanded us in regard to our fellow-creatures; 
for the foundation of every duty, of every kind, 
is the command of God. Our reverence for the 
great Creator is to accompany us in every a£lion 
of life. " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" 
is the Christian's enquiry on every occasion; and 
he looks for the answer to it in his Bible. His 
duty to his neighbour is a part of his duty to God. 
'' lliou shalt love the Lord thv God witli all 



[ J08 ] 

thy heart, and with all thy sou!, and with all thy 
mind ; this is the first and great commandment. 
And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy 
neighbour as thyself. On these two command- 
ments hang all the law and the prophets."* It is 
not enough that a man loves his relations and 
friends for his own sake, and because they contri- 
bute to his happiness; it is not enough that he 
does good merely to relieve himself from the pain 
of beholding misery ; he can then only be said to 
perform these duties as a Christian, when a con- 
stant wish of pleasing God, and attention to his 
commands, is the ruling principle of every action. 
Dear as his wife and children are to him^ the 
Christian would lose them all rather than disobey 
God. He would see them suffer any degree of 
misery, rather than attempt to relieve it by a dis- 
honest or wicked a£lion. Thus in every circum- 
stance of his life, in every affection of his heart, 
his God must be his ruler and guide; and every 
duty which we are now to consider, is still to be 
regarded as a part of our duty towards Him. 

I will now endeavour to point out the principal 
duties which God has commanded us to perform 
to our fellow-creatures; presenting to yoa the per- 

* Mau. xxii. 37. 



C 109 ] 

{e£i example of Jesus Christ in every circum- 
stance in which it is possible for us to imitate his 
conduft, and adding some observations on such 
duties as did not belong to the character in which 
he was pleased to appear in this world, and there- 
fore are to be learnt from the doctrines, rather 
than from the example, of our divine Pvlaster. 

The iirst duty which we are called to perform 
in this state of trial, is that which we owe to our 
parents; and of this our Saviour has left us an 
illustrious example. We learn from my text, that 
Jesus went down with his parents to Nazareth, 
that he was subject to them, and that under their 
tender care he increased in wisdom and stature, 
and in favour with God and with man. Such 
is the beautiful pifture which is left us in the gos- 
pel, of the childhood ofCHRisT; and short as it is, 
we find in it all that is necessary for our instruc- 
tion. The first duty of a child is obedience; and 
tve are told that even the eternal Son of God 
practised this duty; he was subje£l to his pa- 
rents. Man, when he comes into the world, is 
more weak and helpless than any other animal; 
he depends on his parents for every thing; and if 
through life he can ever forget what he owes to 
their care an4 kindness, he may justly be coiiai- 



C 110 ] 

dercd as a monster of ingratitude. Most otlier 
animals can provide for themselves, but man must 
perish immediately vi'ithout assistance. Many years 
must pass, before his reason will be strong enough 
to dircd him even as to the care of his body ; and 
it is only by observing the directions of those who 
are older and wiser than himself, that his health, 
or even his life, can be preserved. We must first 
learn obedience to those who are to instruct us, 
or wc shall never learn any thing else. In the 
practice of this duty we arc told that Jesus in- 
creased in wisdom, as well as in stature; he set an 
example of dutiful attention to his parents, and he 
was pleased to learn wisdom, as every other man 
learns it, by listening to those who were appointed 
to instruft him. Thus we find him in the temple, 
at twelve years of age, amongst the Do61:ors, both 
hearing them and asking them questions. They 
were astonished at his understanding and an- 
swers ; yet we still find him setting an example 
to youth of attention, humility, and that disposi- 
tion to learn, without which none will ever in- 
crease in wisdom. The Evangelist adds, that Jesus 
also increased in favour with God and with man. 
From this it is evident, not only that he was obe- 
dient, but also that he gained the love of his pa- 



[ HI ] 

rents and friends, which can only be done by 
loving them, by constantly endeavouring to make 
them happy, by modesty, gentleness, and every 
other virtue, that a child can perform. Such vi^ere 
the early virtues which were seen in the holy child 
Jesus. But we learn from St. John's Gospel, 
that he did not think the duties of a son were to 
end with childhood; for in the last dreadful mo- 
ments of his life, when he hung bleeding on the 
cross, in agonies such as no other man ever felt, we 
find him still tenderly attentive to his aged mother, 
and committing her, as a sacred trust, to the care 
of his beloved disciple. *' Then saith he to the 
disciple, behold thy mother; and from that hour 
that disciple took her unto his own home.*'* 

From this afFefting story we may learn, that no 

"circumstances, however dreadful, should make a 

man negleft the care of his parents. If he fail in 

that duty, I fear he is very unlikely to perform 

any other. 

Such is the lesson which all young persons may 
learn from the example of Christ; and it is con- 
firmed by the directions left us on the same sub- 
jeft by the great apostle St. Paul, in several of 
his epistles. " Children, obey your parents in tJie 

* John xix. 26. 



[ 112 3 

Lord, for this rs right. Honour thy father and 
mother, which is the first commandment with 
promise, that it may be well with thee, and thou 
iTiajst live long on earth."* And again, *^' Chil- 
dren obey your parents in all things, for this is 
well-pleasing unto the Lord."! This sacred duty 
cannot be too strongly impressed on the minds of 
all children. God has committed them to the 
care and government of their parents, who are an- 
swerable for the performance of that trust, and 
are ordered to instruft them, to prevent their do- 
ing what is wrong, and to bring them up in the 
niurtiire and admonition of the Lord. To make 
this, an easv and pleasing task, the child should 
pay a willing obedience to the commands of his 
father and mother. He should feel and know 
that he is weak and ignorant, and should thank 
God for having given him guides to direct his 
steps. He should tenderly love his parents. He 
should always remember his obligations to them. 
He should attentively listen to tlieir instructions, 
and diligently obey all their conmiandsj and thus, 
by willing and dutiful obedience, he should spare 
them the painful task of forcing him to do what 
his duty requires. This they must do, if he will 
* Ephcs. vi. 6. t Col. iii. 20. 



C 113 1 

ftot obey them willingly, for God has command- 
ed it; and they are answerable to Him, if their 
child contrail habits of lying, stealing, obstinacy, 
or any other fault, which might have been pre- 
vented by their authority. Let every child con- 
sider this, and if he has any love or gratitude to 
his father and mother, any regard to his own in- 
terest, or any sense of duty to God, let him wil- 
lingly submit to those who have the rule over 
him ; and endeavour to ?lS: so, that they may never 
be obliged to govern him by any methods, but 
those of gentleness and love. And if a child be 
so unfortunate as to have an unkind parent, or if 
he be under the power of a severe master, let him 
never forget his duty to God, which obliges him 
always to submit whh meekness. Whatever may 
be the faults of the parent, or of those who a£t 
by his authority, they cannot alter the duty of the 
child. He must take his sufferings patiently; he 
must constantly endeavour to please, by obedience 
aivd dutiful submission; and if he still be tfeated 
with unkindness, he must consider his sufferings 
as appointed by God, who frequently, at some 
part or other of our lives, coneys our faults by 
affliftion and pain; but will reward those who bear 
their sufferings like Christians, with an eternal 

I 



[ 114 ] 

weight of glory. Let him pray to God to direct 
him in the duty he is to perform, and to grant him 
patience under every trial; and let him look for- 
ward to the time, when, either in this world or the 
next, he will be comforted. Never let him forget 
the reverence which every child owes even to the 
worst of parents; let him still honour and respe<5t 
them, let him ti-y to gain their love, and let him 
pray to God to bless them. I have been speak- 
ing of a case which seldom happens. The aifec- 
tion of parents to their children is so strong, that 
if they meet with the proper return of duty and 
obedience, they are not often unkind. But iji this, 
as in every thing, let each one consider his own 
duty, and perform it; and the duty of a child is so 
plain that it cannot be mistaken. He is to love, 
honour, and succour his father and mother, and 
cheerfully to obey all their commands, for the 
Lord's sake. 

When the young man, having increased in wis- 
dom and stature, becomes capable of providing 
for himself, let me advise him to guard carefully 
against any wish to be freed from the authority of 
his parents. We have a most affefting instance of 
the ill consequence of that wish, in the beautiful 
parable of the prodigal son, which you may read 



C 115 ] 

m the 15th chapter of St. Luke. Tired of the 
restraints of a regular family, and the gentle con- 
troul of his affeftionate father, the young man 
would be his own masteh Trusting to his own 
judgment, he fell into bad company, vice, and po- 
verty. He spent his substance in riotous living, 
and when the season of wicked pleasure was over, 
he was reduced to such a state of wretchedness, 
that " he would fain have filled his belly with 
the husks that the swine did eat, and no man 
gavd unto him.'* Then, and not till then, he was 
sensible of his error, and did all that could be done 
to repair it. He went to his father, and humbly 
confessed his fault, saying, " Father, I have sin- 
ned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no 
more worthy to be called thy son." Let every 
young person learn from this story the danger 
of the first step out of the narrow path of duty. 
When the prodigal left his father, he little thought 
that he should so soon be plunged in sin and 
misery; but he was led on step by step, till he 
was on the brink of destruction, and could only 
be saved by the bitter tears of repentance. Hap- 
pily for him his father yet lived to receive and 
to forgive him. What must have been the state 
of the wretched son, had it been otherwise? O 



[ H6 ] 

ye, who are as yet innocent of great crime?) \vho 
as yet are under the protection of tender parents, 
and can receive the benefit of their advice and ex- 
ample, cherish it as the greatest of blessings! 
Consider such parents as your best friends; as- 
sist, support, and comfort them; try to deserve 
their love and esteem, and then you may hope 
that their blessing will obtain the blessing of God. 
In almost every instance they are the best and 
truest friends that a man will ever find in this 
world; and if they are pious and virtuous, he 
shpuld always wish to be guided by their advice, 
and should pay the most respeftful attention to 
their wishes. He can seldom, at any age, be jus- 
tified in disobeying their commands, unless those 
commands are contrary to the laws of God or 
his country. He should consider it as a great 
blessing, if his parents are spared till he is in full 
strength ; that he may have the means of proving 
his gratitude and love, by devoting a portion of 
his labour to their support, if their wants require 
it, and in every situation of life, by constant and 
affe^onate care and attention when they are old. 
Age, as well as infancy, must be assisted, for it 
h subjeft to many infirmities. Happy is the man 
who shews by his tender care of his parents in 



C 117 ] 

their old age, that he has not forgoiccn what they 
did for him in his youth. Happy is the itian 
who thus deserves and obtains the blessing of his 
dying parents, and after he has lost these his best 
friends, may refleft on his condu(ft towards them 
with satisfaction. Such a man will indeed always 
feel that the loss of a parent is never to be sup- 
plied to a dutiful and aiTetStionate child; and in a 
world where true friends are not often found, he 
will perhaps drop many a tender tear over th6 
grave of his father, long after he has committed 
his body to the earth; but the consciousness of 
having always endeavoured to perform his duty 
to him will be his greatest comfort. He will 
recolleft what he learnt from his parents in his 
youth; he will think of all their kindness and 
tender attention to his happiness in this world 
and the next; he will imitate their example, and 
endeavour to honour their memory by praftising 
all the virtues which they taught him. But dread- 
ful must be the feelings of him, who knows that 
he has added to the usual sufferings of age, by 
the want of that duty and aifeiStion which his 
parents had a right to expe(5t from him. Dread- 
ful must be the state of his mind, when his con- 
science tells him that he has done so, after those 



[ 118 ] 

parents are removed from this world, when he 
knows that he can never make them amends for 
his faults, never regain their love, never obtain 
their pardon and their blessing. 

Consider what has been said, all ye whose pa- 
rents yet live. Reverence the grey hairs of your 
father, and forsake not your mother when she is 
old. Bear with all their infirmities of body and 
mind, and have patience with them if their under- 
standing fail. Support them in poverty, watch 
over them in sickness, and let your tender care 
cheer the gloom of declinmg years, and smooth 
the bed of death. And, may the blessing of God 
reward you, in the duty and affe^ion of your 
own children; may you live long in the land which 
He has given you; and may He, who often in this 
world punishes the vices of the father upon the 
children to the third or fourth generation, may 
He make the blessing of your parents to rest on 
you and on your children, and shew mercy ta 
thousands in them who love Him and keep his 
commandments. To Him be glory now and for 
ever. Amen. 



SERMON X. 



HEBREWS iv. 15. 

BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE A3 
WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN. 

"T X 7E are told in three of the Gospels, that 
^ ^ after our Saviour was baptised, and before 
he began his ministry, he was led into the wilder- 
ness to be tempted of the Devil. It is not per- 
haps possible for us fully to understand the nature 
of that temptation ; but I will lay before you what 
I apprehend we may learn from the account which 
is given us of it, and then proceed to consider how 
far it is in our power to imitate the bright ex- 
ample of our Lord and Master. 

We know from the Bible that the evil spirit, 
called the Devil and Satan, has been from the be- 
ginning the enemy of mankind. We know that 
he tempted our first parents, that they yielded to 



[ 120 1 

the temptation, and by so doing lost the favour of 
God, and the happiness of Paradise, and became 
subject to sin and deatli. We are told that this 
enemy of God and man still goes about seeking 
whom he may devour, and that the servant of 
God must resist him, and not yield to the tempta- 
tions which he offers to draw him from his duty. 
Some men resist with more constancy than others; 
but such is the v/eakness of our nature, that it 
never can be said of any man that he is without sin. 
" If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, 
and the truth is not in us."* But those tempta- 
tions tQ which Adam and all his sons have yielded, 
were presented in vain to Jesus Christ. He re- 
sisted every art of the deceiver ; and having been 
in all things tempted like as we are, he was still 
without sin. During the whole of his life he was 
perfe^ly innocent; and though it is impossible for 
us to be like him in that respect, yet we must 
constantly set his bright example before our eyes, 
and come as near it as we possibly can., We must 
imitate his spotless purity, and freedom from every 
kind of vice; his humility, his charity, his resigna- 
tion to the will of God. In youth and in age, ia 
life and in death, we must still look unto Jesus, 

* I John i. 8. 



[ 121 ] 

tlie pattern of every virtue, as well us the sacrifice 
for sin; the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Judge 
of the world. 

Having already considered the situat'on in which 
we are first placed in this world, when our aftions 
are under the control and government of our pa- 
rents, and when obedience to them is our principal 
duty; I proceed to the period when a man begins 
to aft for himself, and to be his own master. To 
this period children often look forward with im- 
patience, as the beginning of their enjoyment of 
life, as the time of liberty and of happiness. Alas, 
my brethren, how soon do wc learn that this is 
a mistake ! Happy is it for those who know this 
from the experience of others, before they learn it 
to their ruin from their own. Let me entreat those 
who are yet young, and free from great crimes, to 
listen with attention, whilst I speak to them the 
language of experience and truth. 

Let it not be supposed that I wish to check 
the innocent cheerfulness of youth, or to discou- 
rage hope, by representing the world as a state of 
continual disappointment and son-ow. I am far 
from considering it as such. God has given us 
many comforts, many pleasures; and 1 only wijh 
to secure these blessings, by teaching the young 



C 1^^ ] 

man to enjoy them like a Christian. At onr en- 
trance into life, we commonly possess many ven- 
great advantages, and Providence allows us to en- 
joy them. " Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, 
and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy 
youth."* It is the season of health and vigour 
of body. The spirits have not been broken by 
afflicHiion, and the heart beats high with hope. 
All the pleasures of life have the charm of novelty, 
and we pursue them with eagerness. Impatient 
for liberty, and often feeling much confidence in 
our powers of body and mind, nothing seems too 
hard for us. Rejoice, O young man, but do not 
forget, " that for all these things,'* if indulged 
beyond their due limits, " God will bring thee 
into judgment.'* If youth be the season of plea- 
sure, it is also the season of danger. Many are 
the temptations to which it exposes every man; 
and from those temptations no man will escape, 
who is not guarded by firm principles of religion. 

To this point, my young friends, the Christian 
preacher would wish to call your attention. Re- 
joice in the blessings which God has given you ; 
but never lose sight of this great truth, that our 
chief business in this world is to make ourselves fit 

* Ecclcs. xi. 9. 



[ 123 ] 

for Heaven. The pleasures of this Hfe may be en- 
joyed, as far as can be done with innocence ; but 
they must never be the principal object of our pur- 
suit. Perfect liberty, and perfe6l happiness, are 
not allowed to man in this state of trial. Though 
we are no longer restrained by the authority of our 
pai-ents, we must be for ever restrained by the au- 
thority of God. Though happiness be the objeft 
of all our wishes, it is not placed within our reach 
in this world. The door of Paradise is shut. The 
angel with the flaming sword guards the way 
of the tree of life. It can only be found by the 
narrow path of virtue, and opened to us by Him, 
who is the way, and the truth, and the life. Listen 
to the great Captain of our salvation: "If any 
man will come after me, let him take up his cross 
and follow me." " Ye must through much tribu- 
lation enter into the kingdom of God." " In the 
world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good 
cheer, I have overcome the world."* On this last 
great truth rests the Christian's joy. He views 
the world as the appointed path to eternal glory. 
He expefts to find in that path many thorns, as 
well as flowers. He knows that it is filled with 
temptations which he must firmly resist, as well as 

* John xvi. 3J. 



. [ 124 3 

with pleasures which he may innocently enjoys but 
he knows that Christ has overcome tlie world. 
Strong in his strength, he enters into life with calm 
and rational satisfaftion, prepared to meet with 
many pleasures and many sorrows; but as both 
will soon be over, his attention is chiefly fixed on a 
better country. He knows not whether he shall 
be prosperous or unfortunate during his passage 
through the world, but he knows that in both 
situations he shall be exposed to temptations; and 
the wish of his heart, the object of his hope, the 
business of his life, is to resist them. He is firm 
unto death, in hopes that God will give him a 
crown of life. For this he does not trust in his 
own strength, but in the grace and assistance of 
Him who was in all things tempted like as we are, 
yet without sin; who, having himself overcome 
the world, despised its pleasures, and resisted its 
temptations, has left us an example that we should 
follow his steps. 

But as different situations expose us to different 
dangers, it may perhaps be of use to make a few 
observations on the temptations to which young 
persons are commonly exposed, when they first 
enter into the world, and are allo\^'ed to tliink and 
a£l for themselves.. 



C 12^- ] 

First, then, let rae guard the j^oung man against 
temptations from within, and entreat him to be- 
ware of vanity and presumption. These are very 
common faults in youth, and they often choak the 
seeds of every virtue. Experience will convince 
him of his error, but he may be ruined before he 
has learnt the sad lessons which are taught in that 
school. Let him not trust to his own strength, 
but with the modesty v.hich is so becoming in 
j'-outh, and with the humility of a Christian, let 
him listen to the advice of his friends, and the 
commands of his Gojd. Let him pray for grace 
to overcome all the temptations of the world, the 
flesh, and the Devil, and not suppose that his 
own strength and wisdom is sufficient to do this. 
'* Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed 
lest he fall.'** 

Secondly, let him guard against temptations 
from without, and avoid bad company. This is, 
perhaps, the most dangerous of all temptations. 
For one man who is led astray by love of vice, 
thousands are ruined by the seduftions of others. 
The pleasure of entertaining conversation, the fear 
of being laughed at, the dangerous arguments by 
which wicked men try to shake the religious prin- 
* T Cor. X. 12. 



[ 126 i 

ciples of those ^vhom they wish to ruin, and that 
great enemy of weak minds, bad example ; these 
are the snares which are often fatal to inexpe- 
rienced youth. Let the servant of God guard his 
heart against them. Let him avoid every place 
where he will hear religion made the subjedi: of 
ridicule. Let him avoid the unbeliever, the drunk- 
ard, the gamester, the libertine. Let him be 
very careful in the choice of friends, and never 
seek the company of any but good men. With 
them he may be cheerful without danger, and 
happy with a safe conscience. 

Thirdly, let him guard against the temptation 
of idleness. No man is so unlikely to fall into 
mischief, as he who is employed in honest industry. 
In this respeft the poor are far happier than the 
rich; and to this, perhaps, it is owing that they 
escape many vices. When a man has nothing to 
do, he is almost always tempted to do wrong. Let 
every young person shun idleness. Every man, 
and every woman, may find some useful employ- 
ment; and every hour v/hich is spent in doing 
nothing, should be considered as a misfortune, a 
disgrace, and a temptation to sin. 

Lastly, let him guard against the temptations of 
vice. When I exhort a well-educated and virtuous 



[ 127 ] 

youth, to avoid drunkenness, gaming, adultery, 
murder, he will perhaps answer, as Hazacl did to 
the prophet, " What ! is thy servant a dog, that 
he should do this thing?"* God grant that he 
may always hear of these vices with the same 
honest indignation; but in order to this, he must 
not presume too much on his own strength, and 
he must carefully avoid all the temptations I have 
already mentioned ; or he may be led on, step by 
step, till he loses his principles, his character, his 
innocence, and his happiness. He may be led on, 
till only the bitter tears of repentance can preserve 
his soul, as well as his body, from ruin. I have 
already cautioned you against some of these ene- 
mies of our souls, and others shall be noticed 
hereafter. At present 1 will only mention one 
amongst the dangers which surround the inexpe- 
rienced youth, and entreat him to avoid the society 
of bad women. Virtue is never so lovely, or vice 
so odious, as in a woman. Let the young man 
attend to what is said on this subjcft in the Bible. 
" The lips of a strange woman drop as an honey- 
comb, and her mouth is smoother than oil ; but 
her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two- 
edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her 
* 2 Kings viii. ij. 



[ 12S ] 

Steps take hold on Hell. Remove thy way from 
her, come not nigh the door of her house."* 

" A virtuous woman,'* says the same inspired 
writer, " is a crown to her husband ;"t and happy 
is the man who is so united to such an one by the 
sacred bond of marriage; " but v/horemongers and 
adulterers," says St. Paul, " God will judge."+ 

Before I conclude this subje£l, let me warn 
every one wl o hears me, against the dreadful 
guilt of corrupting an innocent woman to her ruin. 
However men may regard this crime, I scruple not 
to say, that, when all its dreadful consequences are 
considered, the murderer is far less guilty than 
the seducer. They who kill the body, have no 
more that they can do; but may every young 
woman look with horror on the wretch, ^^'ho, 
under the pretence of love, would rob her of her 
virtue, of the esteem of her friends, of her cha- 
rafter in this world, and perhaps of her eternal 
happiness in the next. And shall not God be 
avenged for such crimes? Think not that the num- 
ber ot criminals will be any excuse in his sight. I 
know that such men are not always detested as 
they ought to be. I know that they are often 
found in all societies, and even in the religious as- 

* Pioveibs V. 3. t Piov. xii. 4. X Web. xiii. 4. 



C 129 3 

seinblies of Christians. If there be such a man in 
this congregation, to him I speak ; let kim hsten to 
the voice of truth. If thy wicked heart intend to 
seduce an innocent woman, and to take advantage 
of her love for thee to ruin her in this world and 
the next ; I charge thee to consider the sin which 
thou art about to commit, and to tremble at the 
vengeance of an offended Gon. The hour of re- 
pentance must come, God grant that it maybe 71qw. 
God grant that the Preacher may touch thee to 
the soul, while he calls thee to answer for thy 
crime at the judgment-seat of Christ. There we 
must all appear; and how wilt thou then reply to 
the parents of the woman thou hast seduced, when 
they thus charge thee in the presence of her Re- 
deemer.? " This child was the object of our fondest 
love, we reared her with the tenderest care, we 
taught her all we knew, we set her a good example, 
we brought her up in the fear of God. She was 
innocent and happy, and we hoped that our de- 
clining years would be blest by her growing virtues; 
but that man, that man whom she k)ved, who pre- 
tended to love her, seduced her from the path of 
virtue, plunged her in guilt, in shame, in ruin. At 
his hands we demand our child." 

K 



t 130 J 

But this is not all. Shouldst thou then see that 
woman, who was ruined by thee, banished from 
Heaven for thy sake, consider for a moment what 
thou wilt then feel ? Could thy agony be greater, 
if all her sins and thy own should fall with tenfold 
vengeance on thy guilty head? This is not a fable; 
it is, it will be iru(^. In v.iin may a wicked world 
excuse such crimes, in vam may many }>artners in 
guilt persuade thee not to rejfledt on the duy of 
vengeance. The hour will come, it must be soon, 
it may be fww, when thou shalt know and feel all 
the horrors oi this blackest of crimes. O consider 
this, ye that forget God; repent, and beg for 
mercy, before it be too late! 

To those Avho are not yet polluted with such 
crimes, allow me to repeat, in a few words, the 
advice wnich has been offered; in order that it may 
make a more lasting impression on the memory. 
Once more then, my young friends, let me entreat 
you to consider the world as a state of trial, and 
youth as a time of danger. Let me beg you to 
guard against the temptations of vanity and pre- 
sumption, of bad company, o^ idleness, and of vice. 
Above all, let me entreat you io " remember your 
Creator in the days of your youth;"* and to study, 

* Eccles.xii. j. 



C 131 ] 

and endeavour to imitate, the bright example of 
perfeft purity, and freedom from every kind of vice, 
which was presented to the world by Him, " who 
was in all things tempted like us we are, yet 
without sin." 

To Him, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, 
be glory, now and for ever. Amen. 



SERMON XL 



ST. MATTHEW xix. 5, 6. 

FOR THIS CAUSE SHALL A MAN LEAVE FATHER 
AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO lllS 
WIFE, AND THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE 
FLESH. WHEREFORE THEY ARE NO MORE 
TWAIN, BUT ONE FLESH. WHAT THERE- 
FORE GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER, LET 
NOT MAN PUT ASUNDER. 

T PROPOSE in this discourse to consider the 
duties of married persons, to each other, and 
to their children, according to what we learn on 
these subjefts from the Holy Scriptures. 

In these particular situations of life, we cannot 
gain instruftion from the example of Our Saviour, 
as he did not appear to us in the chara(fler of a 
husband or a father; but in the words of my text 
he expresses, in the strongest manner possible, his 



[ 134 ] 

approbation of the sacred engagement of marriage; 
and his apostles particularly explain the duties 
which belong to it. St. Paul says, " Wives sub- 
mit yourselves to your owti husbands, as unto 
the Lord. Husbands love your wives, even 
as Christ also loved the church, and gave him- 
self for it."* St. Peter, v^'ho was himself a mamed 
man, directs the wife to be in subjection to the 
husband, and the husband to dwell with the 
wife, giving honour to her as unto the weaker 
vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace 
of life; and St. John, in the Book of Revelation, 
sets the dignity of marriage in the strongest light, 
when he speaks of the union of Christ and his 
church under that title. It is indeed the glory of 
the Christian Religion, that while it checks every 
approach to vice, and condemns even a thought 
that is impure, it san(rt:fies all the virtuous affec- 
tions of our nature; ii connects every relation of 
life with our duty to God; it bids us perform, for 
his sake, all those kind offices which even natural 
alTe^tion would lead us to perform for pur own ; 
while it sweetens the enjoyments, and lessens the 
sorrows, of love and friendship, by the hope which 
it gives of an eternal union with those who were 

* Eph. V. Z2, 2 J. 



[ 135 ] 

most dear to us on earth, in the presence of our 
Father who is in Heaven. 

To the sacred institution of marriage we owe the 
greatest blessings which this imperfeft state affords, 
and to it we owe many of the virtues which will 
lead us to Heaven. It was not good for man to be 
alone even in Paradise, and therefore our gracious 
God formed an help meet for him. This world 
affords no happiness equal to that of two pious and 
virtuous minds, united for ever by the sacred vow 
which they made in the presence of God, as well 
as by faithful and pure love ; constantly endeavour- 
ing to make each other happy in this life, and 
joining in the praftice of those duties which lead to 
still greater happiness in the next. Every a£l of 
kindness is then as much their pleasure, as it is their 
duty. Every word or aftion which contributes to 
the happiness of the objeft of their love, returns 
with interest into their own bosom. Their tempers 
regulated, and their conduft secured, by religion; 
no quarrels, no jealousies, will disturb their peace. 
Their interests being for ever united, their greatest 
pleasure is to assist each other. With what delight 
will the husband labour for the objeft of his love, 
sure to be rewarded by seeing her happy! With 
what delight will she prepare his cheerful fire and 



[ 136- ] 

comfortable mcd; and meet him with smiles of 
duty and alteclion! If he be sick, she is his nurse; 
a he be distressed, she is his comforter. Sur- 
rounded by smiling, healthy, happy children, with 
what transport wiil they unite in forming their in- 
fant minds to piety and virtue! If they live together 
to a good old age, from such children they may 
expeft support and comfort; and even when the 
hour of trial comes, and death calls the husband 
from the wife, or the wife from her husband; 
through all the anguish of that dreadful moment, 
they will still hear a voice which tells them not to 
sorrow as those who have no hope, and they will 
look forward to an eternal union in a happier world. 
Such should be the happiness of the marriage 
state, but I am very sorry to say that it is not 
often thus; and I will endeavour to point out the 
faults which prevent it. In the first place, if w-e 
expe61: happiness in marriage, we must be careful 
in our choice. Be not guided by the eye, by the 
fancy of a moment; but enquire into the real cha- 
ra£l:er of the person with whom you are to pass 
your life, lias she been educated by virtuous 
parents, or has she by any other means been well 
instructed? Has she been accustomed to honest in- 
dustry and frugality ? Has she been free from vice. 



[ 137 J 

Oiid does she dislike the company of bad people? 
Is she respected and beloved by those who are 
good; and above all, has she a just sense of her duty 
towards God? These are points upon which every 
prudent pei-son, whether man or woman, would 
wish to be satisfied, before an engagement is formed 
which only death can dissolve. When that engage- 
ment is to be made, let each of the parties refle6l 
on the solemn nature of it. In the awful presence 
of God, they are to make a vow, which binds 
them to the end of life. Let no man, let no 
woman, dare to make tliat vow, without a firm 
resolution to perform it. That vow is recorded in 
Heaven, and the performance of it will be required 
at the judgment-seat of God. 

Secondly, do not expert too much from each 
other. We are all poor, weak, s"nful creatures, 
and require that indulgence from our friends, wh:ch 
we all hope from our Creator. We are too apt 
lo expect that the obje<ft of our love is to be with- 
out fault's, and we are out of humour when we are 
disappointed; but we should not form such expect- 
ations. The best of us are often in the wrong, 
and true love will bear with faults which do not 
come from the heart. A man may be off his 
guard, and speak hastily; but a gentle and tender 



[ 138 3 

wife will not contradifl: him in the moment o^ 
anger or ill-hniv>oiir. Should he even be guiltv of 
greater faults, however she may grieve at it, she 
will not reproach him, but make use of a more 
favourable time to lead him back to virtue. Let 
her ahvays remember that she has promised obe- 
dience, and that God himself has given the husband 
power over the wife; but the gentle influence of a 
virtuous and beloved wife is very great over every 
heart which is not hardened in vice. Let her en- 
deavour to preserve that influence by constant good 
temper, by neatness, and industry. Let her always 
try to make him happy at home, as the best way 
to prevent his going into bad company abroad. 

Let the husband never forget what he owes to 
the friend of his heart, to the wife of his bosom. 
Let him guard her from every danger, let him 
tenderly waich over her happiness, let him be in- 
dulgent to liule faults, and let him love and cherish 
her vh-tiies. Women in general are disposed to be 
grateful and afleiftionate; and a man who deserves 
their lo\e, will seldom fail to preserve it, especially 
if they have a proper sense of religion. Let each 
cons"dcr the other as their best friend, from \\ horn 
they shorld never have any secrets, and of whom 
they should never complain to any other person. 



[ 139 1 

It is impossible that we can be perfectly happy in 
this world; there will be moments of discontent 
and disappointment ; but they who are guided by 
a sense of duty, will always be ready to take the 
the first step towards reconciliation, and to sacrifice 
their pride to their love. 

Thirdly, never dispute about trifles. If constant 
attention were paid to this, it would seldom happen 
that two well-meaning and good people could be 
unhappy. They must think alike in great matters, 
if both seek the rule of their condud in the law 
of God ; but trifles, which are not worth disputing, 
often destroy the peace of a family. To guard 
against this, should be the business of both ; but 
particularly of the wife, whose duty it is to yield 
in every thing which is not wicked. 

Fourthly, never dispute before your children. 
This is a very common fault, and it is the ruin ol 
all proper authority. If one parent is to encourage 
and humour a child, while the other reproves him ; 
or if, while tliey teach him to be gentle and patient, 
they set him an example of perverseness and ill- 
humour in their behaviour to each other, he will 
soon despise them both. Let the parents alway*- 
support each other's authority, let them set the 
example of every virtue which they wish the child 



to pra£lise, and let each of them teach their children 
to love and respeft the other. 

This leads me to the important subjecl of edu- 
cation; and I earnestly request the attention of all 
those who are called to perform this duty. To 
them God has given a great blessing; for children 
are his gift, and happy is the man on whom he 
vouchsafes to bestow them. Let him never con- 
sider a large family as a hardship. If he be not 
able to maintain them, he has a right to expeft as- 
sistance; but when they grow up, I believe it will 
be almost always seen, that a large family, w^ll 
brought up, in the fear of God, and habits of 
honest industry, who are dutiful to their parents, 
and united by mutual alFeftion; it will (I say) be 
almost always seen, that they succeed best in the. 
world, and are a support, instead of a burden, to 
each other. But if we expert the tree to flourish 
and take deep root, we must carefully form the 
tender plant. It must not be exposed to the chilling 
frost of unkindness, or the constant sunshine of 
improper indulgence. We must train it in the way 
that it should go, and by constant care and gentle 
management, we must raise it to that state of 
perfe£lion, from which the happiest fruits may be 
reasonably expelled. It is indeed possible that 



[ 141 ] 

the best parent may be disappointed in the hopes 
which he had formed of his child ; but this does 
not often happen, if constant and prudent care 
have been taken from infancy. On this subjecft I 
wish to address myself particidarly to the mothers; 
for they are commonly entrusted with this most 
important part of education. The temper and 
disposition,- the habit of obedience, and the first 
principles of religion, should all be formed during 
the first six or seven years, when the child is chiefly 
under the care of the mother. Women, if they 
ai-e what they ought to be, seem particularly suited 
to this task, from the gentleness and tenderness of 
their dispositions, and the happy art which they 
possess of gaining afFecTtion, and softening autho- 
rity by kindness. But they are apt to tall into 
some errors from which I wibh to guard them. 
They do not ahvays consider the absolute neces- 
sity of teaching a child obedience from the very 
first. Before he can speak, he should learn this 
lesson, which sooner or later must be learnt by 
every. created being. From infancy he sliouid be 
taught, that nothing is to be gained by passion or 
crying. This is attended with very little difficulty, 
if it be done before any bad habits are formed, 
and custom will soon make it easy to the child ^ 



[ 142 ] 

btit we often see mothers, and especially amongst 
the poor, who never attempt to govern their 
children, till their little passions have gained so 
much strength, that they know not how to con- 
quer them, except by methods which would never 
have been necessary, if they had been taught 
obedience from the beginning. If a child have 
been accustomed from infancy to do what he 
is bid, and if his little heart have been gained by 
the kindness of a prudent mother, her displeasure 
will be his punishment, her praise will be his 
reward. Rough language and blows, are almost 
always proofs that the parent did not know how 
to govern. It is observed of one sect of Christ- 
ians, who have a remarkable command over their 
passions, that they never raise their voices in 
speaking to their children, or ever permit them 
to speak loud to each other. The good effects of 
this rule will be evident to all who steadily pursue 
it. The child will attend to the meaning of your 
words, instead of being frightened with the sound 
of them; and will soon know that he is- go- 
verned like a reasonable creature, and not like a 
brute beast, which has no understanding. 

This point being once gained, and the child be- 
ing accustomed to immediate and ready obedience. 



[ 1+3 ] 

without dispute or murmur, it remains that you 
use this power for his real good. Carefully watch 
the very first appearance of any thing wrong in 
his disposition, and check it immediately. Care- 
fully guard against deceit. Teach him to own 
his faults J and when he does so, forgive tlicm; 
but convince him laat they are faults, and avast be 
rooted out. ri.jove all, give him early impressions 
of religion; teach him to fear God, and to tremble 
at the punishments prepared for the wicked in the 
next world, fhese are what we all ought to fear. 
As your children grow up, give them reason 
to consider' tiie;r parents as their best friends. 
Encourage them to open their hearts to you, and 
assist them , in conquering their faults. Make 
use of every assistance you can procure, in teach- 
ing them their duty. Let them have such in- 
struction as you caa afford, but do not attempt 
to put them above their rank in life, for it will 
only make them discontented and unhappy. If it 
be possible, never let tlitm be idle; for idleness is 
the root of all evil. Children should have time to 
play, as well as to work, but they should not get 
a habit of doing nothing. Accustom them lo be 
active, industrious, and neat. The more a man 
can do for himself, the less dependent he is upon 



C 1-ii ] 

other people. He who has learnt to be industrious 
and contented, is rich and happy. He who is 
idle and discontented, must be poor and miserable. 
"When your children are of an age to marry and 
settle, prove your love for them by doing every 
tiling in your power to make them happy. As- 
sist them with your advice, and endeavour to pre- 
vent their being conne<fted with a person of bad 
char.^c'^er; but do not suppose that you have any 
right to insist on their marrying any person against 
their own inclination. In every thing set them a 
good example, and pray to God to bless them. 

Such are the duties of husbands and wives, of 
parents and children; and may God of his infi- 
nite mercy grant, that all who humbly endeavour 
to perform them for his sake, and according to his 
commandment, may escape the greatest affliftion 
which a good mind can feel; I mean, the pain of 
knowing that those whom they love most, are 
imworthy of that love — the pain of seeing all their 
care and tenderness repaid with ingratitude. May 
all, who have done their part with diligence, be 
rewarded by seeking the blessed eife£ls of their 
care; may the husband and wife, the parent and 
child, love and bless each other; may they unite 
in serving God faithfully on earth, and in glori- 
fying his name for ever in Heaven! 



SERMON XIT. 



2 CORINTHIANS viii. 9. 

FOR YE KNOW THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS 
CHRIST^ THAT THOUGH HE WAS RICH, YET 
FOR YOUR SAKES HE BECAME POOR, THAT 
YE THROUGH HIS POVERTY MIGHT BE RICH. 

T TAVING considered the duties which we all 
"*■ -*' owe to God, and some of those which par- 
ticular situations of life require from us, as child- 
ren, as husbands, as parents; I will, in the pre- 
sent discourse, address myself particularly to those 
who depend on their own industry, with the bles- 
sing of God, for their support; and make some 
observations which relate principally to their situ- 
ation in life. 

Whatever opinion men may form of the advan- 
tages attendant on riches, and however they may 
despise poverty, it appears from the Gospel, that 



[ 146 ] 

these things are not so regarded by Him who made 
both the rich and the poor. We find that our 
Saviour Christ hid himself from those who would 
have made him a king, and that for our sakes he 
became poor. We are told that he was born in 
a stable, and laid in a manger; that he was sup- 
posed to be the son of a carpenter; that he was 
so poor that it was necessary for him to work a 
miracle, in order to pay the accustomed tribute; 
and he describes his own situation in these re- 
markable words, " Foxes have holes, and the 
birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man 
hath not where to lay his head."* Such was the 
situation in which the Lord of heaven and earth 
was pleased to appear amongst men; and by doing 
so he has exalted the humble, and made his 
example particularly useful to the poor. He did 
not appear in the character of a rich man, of a 
conqueror, uf a statesman, or of a monarch; but 
the poor man sees his Saviour perform all the du- 
ties of his own situation in life, and may learn from 
him humility, patience, and resignation. To him 
then let us look for the pattern of every virtue, 
while we consider the duties which belong to an 
humble station in this world ; and let us learn to 
* Luke ix. 58. 



[ 1+7 ] 

reverence that station in which the Son of God 
did not disdain to appear. 

ti;. Many, who pretend to wish well to the poor, 
endeavour to make them discontented with their 
condition in this life, by telling them that all men 
are equal, and representing all the distinftions of 
rank and fortune as an attack on the just rights of 
the poor. So much has been said on this subje^ 
of late, that I am anxious to remove the impres- 
sion which such artful reasoners sometimes make 
on weak or ignorant minds; and I request your 
attention, while I lay before you the real state of 
things in this world. That all men are born equal, 
is very far from the truth. All are indeed born 
weak and helpless, and dependent even for food on 
the assistance of others; but it is certain that some 
children are born with much more strength of body 
than others, and some with much more strength 
of mind; and it is equally certain, that some are 
born rich, and others poor, according to the will 
of God, who alone orders whether any man shall 
come into the world in a palace, or in a cottage; 
but in whichever it be, he has a right to share 
the inheritance of his father, according to the laws 
of his country. Thus men are born unequal; and 
the necessary consequence is, that through life 



[ 148 ] 

some will be stronger, some -will be wiser, and 
some will be richer than others. No man, who 
believes what he reads in his bible, can doubt 
that this was the intention of Providence; for 
from the very first, God gave power to the hus- 
band over the wife, to the father over his child- 
ren, and even to the elder brother over the 
younger, as appears by the story of Cain and 
Abel.* It must be acknowledged, that this dis- 
pensation of Providence places some men in a more 
comfortable situation than ochers; for poverty 
and nakedness, cold and hunger, are great evils ; 
and we might reasonably wonder, that some of the 
children of God should enjoy a much larger por- 
tion of the good things of this world than others, 
jf our short life on earth were all we had to con- 
sider. But this is the fatal mistake which has 
ruined thousands, and in our own times has made 
the world a field of blood. Men consider this life 
as a time of enjoyment, not as a time of trial ; and 
finding themselves less happy than some of their 
neighbours, they try to make all equal; and in 
doing so, they make all miserable. Let us there- 
fore consider the world as the Holy Scripture re- 
presents it. 

* Gen. iv. •■. 



^ [ 149 ] 

We are never taught to view this world as a 
state of happiness, though many blessings are be- 
stowed to support us in our passage- through it. 
This life is called a journey, a warfare, a pilgrim- 
age; we are told that here we have no abiding 
place, but that through much tribulation we must 
enter into the kingdom of God. Our business 
here is to prepare for heaven; and whatever be 
the state in which we are most likely to work out 
our salvation, and obtain the favour of God; that 
is the state in which a wise and a good man would 
wish to be placed. Our gracious God has been 
pleased to order, that diifcrent men should be 
tried in different ways; He has appointed diifercnt 
ranks amongst mankind, and He has commanded 
us to submit to those whom He has set over us, 
for his sake. Why one man was born a king, 
and another a beggar, is known to God alone; 
but if they serve Him faithfully in their diifcrent 
...: stations, both will be accepted by Him; and though 
biWe arc not all equal when we come into this life, 
we certainly are so when we go out of it, except 
in what js the consequence of our own good or 
bad conduft here. We are indeed often mistaken, 
in thinking that they who are born in a high sta- 
tion are the happiest, even in ihi^. world; and 



[ 150 J 

many a sleepless night Is spent by those who go- 
vern kingdoms, to secure the peace of the poor 
man's cottage; but this is not the point which 
ought to be considered by the heir of immortal 
glory. Whether we are cloathed in purple, and 
fare sumptuously every day, or whether we lie at 
the gate full of sores; whether we sleep on a bed 
of down, or, like our blessed Lord, have not where 
to lay our head; still a few more days and nights 
must put an end to these distinflions. The rich 
and the poor must alike rest in the grave, the rich 
and the poor must alike rise to judgment, the rich 
and the poor must alike be sentenced to eternal 
happiness or misery. 

If we consider the good of the whole commu • 
nity, even in this world ; it is easy to prove, that 
different ranks in society contribute much to the 
happiness of mankind. There must be some men 
appointed to make laws for the protection of all, 
or the strong would oppress the weak. There 
must be some to defend the rest, or the country 
would be a prey to every invader, and none could 
cat the fruit of his own industry. There must be 
some rich, or those who meet with misfortunes 
could hope for no relief. There must be a king, to 
be the common father and friend of all, to dire^l 



[ 151 ] 

the execution of the laws, to restra'n vice, and 
to prote£l innocence. If all these do their duty, 
all contribute to the welfare of the poor, and all 
have reason to love each other, and to unite in 
praising God for the blessings of a well-ordered 
government. But if we view this world as a 
state of trial, then the only point to be consi- 
dered is, in what situation a man is most likely 
to work out his salvation, and attain everlasting 
happiness; and considering it in this light, which 
is certainly the true one, I believe it will be found 
that the rich are not to be envied, and that those 
are happiest, whom Providence has placed in an 
humbler station. We are all taught to pray, 
that God would not lead us into temptation; and 
many certainly are the temptations which the rich 
and prosperous must withstand, if they will do 
their duty; many are the vices which they are led 
to commit, from which poverty secures those who 
cannot mix in scenes of riot and unlawful pleasure. 
And will not any man, who knows the value of 
eternal happiness, consider this as a blessing? 
Will he not thank God, that he was taught in 
the school of poverty to set his affeftions on- 
things above? 



C 152 ] 

It Is indeed true that e.vtreme distress brings 
temptations of a different kind; and if we were at 
liberty to choose for ourselves, every wise man 
would say with Agur in the book of Proverbs,* 
" Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me 
with food convenient for me, lest I be full,' and 
deny Thee, and say, who is the Lord? or lest I 
be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God 
in vain.*' But He, who best knows what is fit 
for us, has not left us this choice. He has placed 
us in different situations, and has commanded all to 
do the duties of that state, to which He has been 
pleased to call them: while He offers to all his 
grace and assistance in this life, and eternal hap- 
piness in the next. Let no Christian, therefore, 
presiime to repine at the order of Providence; 
but let each consider the particular duties of his 
own station, and endeavour to perform them. 

I will now point out some of the duties of that 
rank in life, which our Saviour was pleased to 
assume, and of which he has left us a glorious ex- 
ample. It is the duty of the poor to be contented^ 
and never to murmur at the dispensations of Pro- 
vidence. If we are perfectly convinced of this 
great truth, that all the events of life are direfted 

* Proverbs xxx. 8, 9. 



[ 153 ] 

by an all- wise and good Gob, who orders them in 
the way that is best for us, and will at last make 
all work together for good to those who love Him, 
we shall be ready to follow the example of Christ, 
and to say, " Not my will, but thine be done!" 
he It is the duty of the poor to be industrious. 
From the beginning God commanded man to 
labour. " In the SA^'eat of thy face shalt thou eat 
bread,*'* was the sentence passed on every son of 
Adam. Every man is commanded to employ those 
talents which God has given him, and none is 
allowed to be idle. Every man living ought to 
say with his Saviour, " I must work the work of 
God.'* But the poor man is particularly obliged 
to be industrious,l est distress should tempt hira 
to dishonesty. This is a point of great import- 
ance, and should be considered with attention. 
When a man, by idleness or vice, has reduced 
himself to such poverty that he cannot procure 
the necessaries of life, he is -sometimes tempted to 
commit actions, on which, at other times, he 
would have trembled to think. For this reason 
it is very important that young persons should 
be taught some means of gaining an honest 
maintenance, and they should also be taught to 

* Gen. iii. 19. 



be strlftly just and honest in all their anions. 
One important step towards this is the habit of 
constantly speaking truth. The falsehood and 
deceit which are continually practised in the world, 
and particularly in trade, are a disgrace to a 
Christian country. Many a man, who would not i 
steal his neighbour's money, will yet by lies and 
deceit lead him to spend it for damaged goods. 
Many a man, who would be oiFended if he were 
called a liar, will every day make promises to his 
customers which he never intends to perform. 
Many a man, who would wish to be thought a 
good subjeft and an honest man, will yet gain a 
scandalous profit by smuggling, in defiance of the 
laws of his country. Many, who would not steal 
a purse, will take up goods for which they know 
that they cannot pay, and injure the honest trader 
by false pretences and deceitful promises. Yet all 
these pretend to be followers of Him " who did 
no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;"* 
of Him who came to guide us into all truth; for 
" whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things 
are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever 
things are of good report,"! all may be learnt from 
the glorious example of Christ. 

"* I ret. 11. S2. t Phil. i?. 8. 



[ 155 ] 

The best rule for the general conduft of our 
lives in all our dealings with other men is that 
■which our Saviour gives us in his admirable sermon 
on the Mount ; " Whatsoever ye would that men 
should do unto you, do ye even so to them.** 
Every Christian should try his dealings with others 
by this rule. Are you a farmer ? Consider how 
you would wish to be treated, if you were a poor 
labouring man. Are you a labourer ? Consider 
how you would wish your work to be done, if you 
were a farmer. Are you a shopkeeper ? Consider 
how you would like to be deceived in goods which 
you wanted to buy. Are you in want of what is 
sold at that shop ? Consider whether you would 
not expeft a reasonable profit, if you were a shop- 
keeper. Thus in every transaftion put yourself 
in the place of the person with whom you are to 
deal, consider how you would then wish to be 
treated, and do what in that case you would wish 
should be done unto you. 

Before I finish this address to the poor, let me 
exhort them, from the precepts and example of 
Christ, to pay a dutiful and constant obedience 
to the laws of their country. No man who looks 
into his Bible can doubt that this is the duty of 
every Christian; and in this happy land the jioor 



C 156 ] 

are particularly bound to fulfil it, as there is per- 
haps no country in the world where they are so 
well protected by the laws. In this country, and 
at this time, it may truly be said, that the King is 
the Father of his people, and that the rich are 
in most instances the guardians and proteflors 
of the poor. Times of distress and scarcity 
may be sent by Providence for the punishment 
of a sinful nation; but let not any man, who 
knows that the Lord is King, murmur at his 
dispensations. Riot and rebellion must increase 
the evil, how great soever it may be; while patient 
submission to the will of God, and charitable 
assistance afforded to each other, will lessen the 
distress to all. In such times, we know that what 
can be done, by the wisdom of our laws, and by 
that humanity which is the glory of our country, 
will not be wanting. If these are not sufficient to 
remove the distress, we must trust in God, and 
patiently wait his time. Calamities, which appear 
the most alarming, are often removed by the 
gracious Providence of God when we least expect 
it; and when human wisdom fails, still it often 
happens that God shews us a way to escape. In 
llim then let the poor man trust, and if all that he 
can do be not sufficient for the support of his 



[ 157 3 

family, let him remember the words of David, " I 
iiave been young, and now am old, and yet saw 
I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging 
their bread."* The man, who, after having done 
his utmost to gain an honest livelihood, casts all 
his care on God, and places his helpless wife and 
children under his protection, that. man need not fear 
either for them or for himself. His gracious God 
will relieve his distress, or will call him to receive 
the reward of his patience and submission in a 
happier world. Let every man gratefully acknow- 
ledge the blessing of good laws. Let him never 
forget the duty and loyalty which he owes to a good 
King. Let him faithfully obey those laws, and 
renounce all dishonest gains. When the country 
is prosperous and happy, let him eat the fruits of 
honest labour with a grateful arid cheerful heart. 
When God is pleased to send distress, let him 
support his share of it with patience, and do every 
thing in his power to lessen the distresses of others; 
and if it be the will of God that this great and 
severe trial should continue, still let us all say with 
the Prophet, and let us say it from our hearts, 
" Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither 
shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the 
* Psalm xjjxvii. i5. 



C 158 ] 

olive shall fail, and the jRelds shall yield no meat; 
the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there 
shall be no herd in the stalls ; yet I will rejoice 
in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my sal- 
vation."* 
To Him be glory now and for ever. Amen. 

* Heb. iii. 15. 



SERMON XIII. 



ACTS X, 38. 



WHO WENT ABOUT DOING GOOD. 



*' I ""HE enemies, as well as the disciples, of our 
'*• blessed Saviour have in every age borne 
witness to the beuevolence of his charafter, and 
have owned that charity is the glory of that reli- 
gion which he taught. That he went about doing 
good, that the wonders of his power were dis- 
played in shewing mercy and pity, that he Hved 
to instru^, to assist, and to relieve, those whom 
he died to save; these are truths which are confes- 
sed by all who believe the scriptures. He was 
sent to heal the broken in heart; none ever ap- 
plied to him for relief in vain. He shed tears at 
the tomb of Lazarus. He had compassion on the 
unhappy widow who had lost her only son. He 



felt for all wlio were in aflli^^tion. Even those 
who had least reason to expeft it, shared his pity. 
He wept over that ungrateful city in which his 
sacred blood was to be shed ; the last miracle be- 
fore his death was performed tp heal one of the 
soldiers who were sent to take him ; and he prayed 
for his murderers, while he hung bleeding on the 
cross. His parables, as well as his mimcles, every 
where abound in proofs of this exalted virtue. His 
Sermon on the Mount contains the noblest lessons 
of humanity. This virtue was displayed in every 
part of his life, and he recommended it in his last 
charge to his disciples, " A new commandment 1 
give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have 
loved you."* The effe£l of these instructions was 
for some time so remarkable amongst the disciples 
of our Lord, that it led the heathens to say, 
" See how these Christians love one another." 

Alas! my brethren, were those heathens to take 
a view of many countries where tliis divine religion 
has been for ages established, would they nszu 
have reason to say, See how these Christians love 
one another? Yet if such be the true spirit of the 
Gospel, can those pretend to be the disciples of 
Christ, who seek only their own advantage or 
* John xiii. 34. 



C 161 ] 

pleasure, who injure and oppress theirneighbours? 
Certainly not. The Christian must constantly 
endeavour to do good. Following the example of 
his Great Master, he will comfort the afflidted, 
support the weak, and heal the broken in heart. 
He will, as far as lies in his power, deal out his 
bread to the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit 
the sick. It is not enough that we do no harm, 
that none can accuse us of dishonesty or cruelty. 
We must do good. The world is full of sorrows, 
and it is the duty of the Chrisitian to relieve them. 
It may be said, and with truth, that charity is 
the glory of this nation ; and perhaps there never 
was a country in which so much attention was paid 
to lessen the sufferings of the poor. The constant 
relief afforded to them by parish rates, the esta- 
blishment of such numbers of schools and hospitals, 
and the large sums given in private charity, are as 
honorable to the rich, as they are useful to the 
poor. These things should be thankfully acknow- 
leged by those who receive such comfort; and 
God grant that they may bring down a blessing 
on the heads of those who give ; that all may be 
united by the sacred bond o? kindness and grati- 
tude, and all, in their different stations, may be 

M 



[ Idc ] 

be thankful for the blessings they enjoy from 
reguliir ^od just government, proper subordination, 
^ud Christian charity. But while we give due 
praise to those amongst the higher classes who 
practise this heavenly virtue, the poor may pos- 
iiibly think that nothing which can be said on this 
subjeft reUtes to them. They have perhapg nothing 
to give^ their hardest Ubour only procures neces* 
saries for their families. They cannot enjoy the 
pleasure of doing good, they cannot share in the 
blessing promised to those who thus follow the 
example of their Lord. This, my beloved 
Brethren, is a very common, but it is a very great 
mistake ; and it shall be my business in this 
discQurse to point out the duty of the poor in this 
respe^, and to shev/ them how they may cpn- 
tribute to the happiness of their fellow-creatures, 
and draw down on their own heads the blessing 
of God, 

hi order to prove this, let me beg you to take a 
view of the principal distresses to which we are 
subject: in our passage through this world, and to 
consider how few of them can be relieved by money 
only. When we are tortured by pain, will money 
remove it ? When we have lost a darling child, will 
riches bring him back again? When we sink under 



a sense of guilt, and trenible at approaching punish- 
ment, will riches heal the wounded heart ? In all 
these, and many other sorrows, what can the rich 
■man do more than the poor to comfort the afflicted? 
But both may do much. If your frierid be sick, 
you whom he knows and loves, may speak com- 
fort to his heart; you may watch by his side during 
the tedious sleepless night, you may prepare his 
food or medicine, and by all tine tender offices of 
friendship, you may greatly lessen the sufferings 
which the wealth of worlds could not remove. 
You may do this for your neighbour, though he 
be not your particular friend; you may do it even 
for your enemy. And will not God bless you for 
such anions, as much as he would have done, it 
you had been able and willing to give money in 
order to hire a nurse to do such offices for the 
sick? This Is all that riches could do; but the nurse, 
who IS thus hired, will not give the same comfort 
to the sufferer as the well-known voice of a friend 
or neighbour. She cannot give the same comfort, 
as the unexpefted assistance of a person who had 
perhaps reason to be offended with him, but who 
forgives as he hopes to be forgiven. 

If it have pleased God to deprive a parent oi 
his child, riches cannot bring him back again ; bur 



[ 164 ] 

even in the deepest affllftion, what heart is insen- 
sible to the voice of kindness? In vain might you 
offer money to the poor mourner, that is not what 
he wants. But sit by his side in silence, share his 
grief, mix your tears with his, and when you find a 
proper moment in which to offer consolation, talk 
to him of the promises of God. Tell him of that 
glorious place where all that he has lost will be 
restored; where friends will meet, to part no more. 
Perform the duty of the lost child to the aged 
parent; assist him; take care of him; forgive him, 
if at first he cannot thank you as he would wish; in 
time his mind will be more composed, he will be 
resigned to the will of God, he will feel your kind- 
ness, and his soul will bless you. If it have pleased 
God to deprive a child of his parent, take care of 
the poor orphan ; give him your advice, your 
assistance; tell him that he has still a Father in 
Heaven, who will never leave nor forsake him. 

Is any unhappy wanderer from the right path 
recalled to a sense of his duty by some merciful 
judgment of God ? Does he feel the weight of 
his sins, and tremble at the punishment which he 
has reason to dread ? There is no sorrow like this, 
and it is one for which the wealth of worlds could 
aiford no relief. But speak to that man of the 



[ 1«5 ] 

mercy of God ; tell him of a loving Saviour, who- 
died for him, and for us all. Tell him that pai-don 
is offered, even to the greatest of sinners, if they 
will believe and repent. Convince him that what 
he suffers in this world is sent in mercy to save 
his soul in the great day of the Lord. Advise him 
to throw himself at the feet of his offended Godj 
to leave off from sin, and humbly on his knees to 
beg that mercy, which will never be refused to the 
true penitent. Turn to the sacred scriptures. 
Speak of Him who came to seek and to save that 
which was lost. Tell him of a weeping Magdalen, 
who was forgiven because she loved much. Tell 
him of a penitent thief, to whom his Saviour pro- 
mised the blessings of Paradise. If you cannot 
succeed in composing his mind, persuade him to 
apply to those who are commissioned by Christ ; 
to feed his flock with heavenly food. Should that, 
man, instead of a desponding sinner, become an 
accepted penitent, you have done more good than 
those whose wealth has kept thousands from 
perishing with hunger. One immortal soul is of 
far more importance. 

Even in those cases where money is m.ost wanted, 
think not that you can only do good with a purse 
in your hand. Those who have wealth, employ it 



[ 166 ] 

nobly in assisting tlie poor; but those who have 
none, may still assist by advice and by example. 
If your poor neighbour see you always contented 
and cheerful, if he see that by honest industry 
you struggle through hardships as great as his own, 
he will be encouraged to do liicewise. If he see 
that you put your trust in God and are supported, 
he may be led to do the same; and surely he who 
relie"\l^es our wants, does not half so much for our 
real advantage, as he who teaches us to bear them 
like Christians. If you can do nothing else, you 
can pray for the unfortunate ; and we know, that 
** the efFe£lual fervent prayer of a righteous man 
availeth much."* 

Let no servant of God ever suppose that he has 
nothing to do. We may be called to work in dif- 
ferent parts of our Lord's vineyard, but every 
one has his appointed task. "We may do good by 
our advice, we may do good by our example, we 
may do good by our prayers. In youth we may 
assist others by our labour, and through life by 
our kindness ; even in our last moments we may 
still do good, and if it be too late to shew others 
jbow to live, we may still teach them how to die. 

* James V. i6. 



[ 167 J 

By bearing one unother's biirdtns, we ligh'ten 
the load to all. I will venture to assure all who 
hear me, (and I appeal for tlie truth of what I say 
to the experience of every generous heart) that 
the best comfort in our own afflictions is endea- 
vouring to make others happy. No man was ever 
tired of life, whilst he was employed in doing good. 
Whoever thou art who feelest thy mind oppressed 
with sorrow, thy spirits sunk, thy a<fi;ivity gone; 
if the world present no objeft which seems worthy 
of thy care, if thou view it M'ith weariness and 
disgust, one remedy remains. Consider if it be 
possible for thee, in any way whatever, to do good. 
This is possible in every situation* Do it without 
delay; exert all thy power for the happiness of 
others, and thou wilt find thy own. And ye 
who still th'nk that poverty prevents your being 
of much use to others, let me entreat you, in th^ 
last place, to consider that our Saviour and hi§ 
Apostles, and almost all the first Christians, were 
poor; and that no other men- ever did so much 
good. Our Lord had not where to lay his head. 
St. Peter says, " silver and gold have I none.*'* 
St. Paul maintained himself by working with his 
hands. The saints at Jerusalem were supportrcl 

* A(5ls iii. 6. 



C 168 ] 

by the charity of a distant church and nation. Yet 
these were the men who spread blessings over the 
whole earth, and whose example we ought all 
to imitate. We cannot indeed work m'racles as 
some of them did, but still we may do much. We 
cannot restore the blind to sight, but we can be 
eye? to the blind, by assisting and supporting him. 
We cannot bid the lame man rise up and walk, 
but we can lead him on his way. We cannot heal 
the sick, but we can comfort them j we can assist 
them with medicine or food, and greatly lessen their 
sufferings. And there is one of the works of mercy 
which our Saviour points out as the eife6l of his 
appearance on earth, in which aii may assist. 
*^ The poor," says he, " have the Gospel preached 
to them.*'* Wisdom is no longer confined to a 
few, but all men are now called to hear the glad 
tidings of salvation. All are called to share in that 
mercy which is oifered through Christ to the 
whole world. And here, my brethren, all may 
endeavour to imitate the example of our Saviour 
Jind his Apostles. We arc not indeed all called to 
preach, but we all may speak to each other of the 
Ipving-kindness of the Lord. If we do this, and 
try to lead our poor afflicted brother to the Father of 
* Matt. xi. 5 . 



C 169 J 

Mercy and God of all comfort, if our advice and 
example induce him to seek those things which 
belong to his peace, we have done much more 
good, than those who have the power to heal his 
sickness, or relieve his wants. If we train up our 
children in the way of godliness, if we teach them 
to be industrious and contented, we give them the 
best and most valuable riches. And if, by precept 
or example, you instruft others that " godliness 
with contentment is great gain;"* and lead them to 
trust in God, and to obey his laws, instead of 
being idle, dishonest, swearers, drunkards, thieves, 
or liars, which would ruin their souls for ever; can 
there be a doubt that you have done more good 
than those do, who by giving money can only lessen 
the miseries which such crimes produce? 

Think not that such labours of love will be of no 
account with Him who reckoneth with every man 
according to what he hath, and not according to 
what he hath not. We are told that at the great 
day He will say to the righteous, who have fed the 
hungry, and cloathed the naked, " Forasmuch as 
ye have done it unto one of the least of these my 
brethren, ye have done it unto me." Surely then 
He will not look with less favour on those, who 

* I Tim. vi. 6. 



170 ] 



have taught the unfortunate to turn these i.orrbwv 
into blessings, by s;etting them an example of 
Christian resignation ; who have fed the hungry 
with the bread of hfe, and visited the sick and the 
prisoner, to give them heavenly consolation. These 
are the greatest afts of charity which one Christian 
can perform to another ; and they may be per*- 
formed by all. Let no man therfcfore, however 
poor, however unhappy he may be, let no man 
suppose that he is to think only of himself; but 
let him remember, that though we arc called to 
assist each other in different ways, all may and mmf 
do good. Every day, in which we have not con- 
tributed, in some way or other, to the happiness^ 
the assistance, or the improvement of our fellow 
Christians, should be considered as lost. And 
let not those who feel that they cannot do mucb, 
be afraid of losing their reward, while they do all 
they can. The widow's mite was accepted by 
Christ, and declared to be of more value than 
the large offerings of the rich. Do all you can ; 
by giving money if you have it, and if not, by 
friendly assistance, by advice, and by example; and 
when nothing else remains to give for the relief of 
the up.fortunate, give him your prayers. The 
prayer of faith may heal the sick, when all the 



C 171 ] 

skill of the physician fails. The prayer oF fa'th 
may reach the Throne of Mercy, and bring down 
blessings on his head, and on your own. Perhaps, 
when we all meet in another world, the poor suf- 
ferer may thank you for it, more than for any 
assistance which money could have afforded him. 
And He who v/ent about doing good, and Vviio 
has commanded us all to go and do likewise. He will 
not forget your labour of love ; but will say to 
every one who has done the best he could, "• Vv^cll 
done, thou good and faithful serv^mt, thou hast 
been faithful over a few things, I will make thee 
ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy 
of thy Lord?"* 

* Matt. XXV. a I. 



SERMON XIV. 



ST. LUKE xxii. 42. 
NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE BE DONE. 

T ^7'HEN the only-begotten Son of God left 
the bosom of his Father, and took upon 
him the nature of man, he was also pleased to take 
on himself the sorrows to which men are subject, 
and greater than any other man ever felt. " He 
was despised and rejefted of men, a man of sorrows 
and acquainted with grief. He was afflifted and 
tormented. He was led as a lamb to the slaugh- 
ter."* But amidst all these dreadful trials he has 
left us a glorious example of patience, and resigna- 
tion to the will of God. In his agony in the garden, 
when he appears to have felt such anguish as never 
was inflifted on any other man, when " his sweat 
* Ifaiah liii. 3, 7. 



[ 174. ] 

was as it were great drops of blood, f;illlng clowii 
to the ground;"* he then tauglit us how every 
good man should meet the severest trials which can 
befal him. He prayed earnestly, that, if it were 
possible, God would remove this cup from him, 
but immediately he adds, " Not my will, but 
thine be done." With this example ever before 
our eyes, I will consider the situation of a Christian 
under those afflictions, which at some time or other 
of our lives are the lot of all ; and will point out 
the conduft which the Gospel requires from" him. 

In order to make what I wish to say on this sub- 
je<5t more clear and distinft, I will mention, first, 
the sorrows which we receive immediately from 
the hand of God; secondly, those which are in- 
flifted upon us by men ; and lastly, those which 
we bring on ourselves. 

The sorrows which we receive from the hand 
of God, are often great; but they are almost al- 
ways, in tlie course of our lives, mixed with many 
and great mercies. We have many days of health 
for one day of sickness, many hours of ease for 
one of pain, many comforts to balance one afllictr 
ion. Thl;> ought to be gratefully acknowledged, 
«ven when the day of trial comes; and we should 
* LuUe xsii. 44- 



[ 175 ] 

-say witli Job, " Shall we receive good at the 
hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? The 
Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. 
Blessed be the name of the Lokd."* But still 
the day of trial must come, and we ought to be 
prepared to. meet it. The most common trials 
which we experience from the hand of God, are 
sickness, poverty, and the loss of friends. Our 
best support in ;dl these is the firm belief that 
every affliction is sent in mercy, to m.ake us more 
virtuous and more happy. It is an undoubted truth, 
which I, wish to impress on the minds of all who 
liear me, tliat we never can be perfectly happy, in 
this world, or the next, till we have learnt submis- 
sion to the will of God, and have renounced 
every evil inclination, which would lead us out of 
that path in which He has commanded us to walk. 
If we have not sufficiently learnt this lesson in the 
school of mercy, we must be taught it by affli£lion ; 
but this lesson is not learnt as it ought to be, till, 
humbled in the dust, we bless our gracious God 
for our sufferings as sincerely as for our enjoy- 
ments. This we shall do, when we are fully con- 
v"nced that they are for our real good, and never 
would have been sent by the Father of Mercy, but 

* Job ii. 10. 



C 176 3 

to lead us to repentance, to strengthen us in virtue,' 
and to work for us an eternal weight of glory. 
In this light the good man views every affliction 
of every kind; and though the flesh may tremble 
when racked with pain, though the strength may 
fail when struggling with poverty, though the tears 
may flow over the dying friend; still he will bend 
the trembling knees, he will lift up the feeble hands, 
be will raise the streaming eyes to Heaven, and 
bless his Father and his God. 

Pain and sickness are evils which at some parts 
of their lives all feel ; and they are indeed great 
trials. When God is pleased to send this afiliftion 
to any man, he may lawfully seek those means of 
relief which are to be found. He may humbly 
pray to God for his blessing on the skill of the 
physician; but still he must say, after the example 
of his blessed Master, " Not my will, but thine 
be done." If it be God's pleasure that his suffer- 
ings should continue, he must carefully guard 
against impatience. He must thankfully acknov/- 
Icdge the kindness of his friends, and never add 
to their distress by peevishness and ill-humour. 
He must, as far as possible, suppress complaints, 
and shew by manly resolution that he cheerfully 
submits to tlie will of God. He must not forget 



[ 177 ] 

to thauk Him for every blessing which he still en^ " 
joys; if he have a comfortable home, needful food, 
and kind relations and friends, these are blessings 
for which he should then be doubly thankful. If 
the want of these add to his distress, if every 
earthly comfort fail, still he should say with Eli, 
"It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth 
Him good." Whatever his sufferings may be, let 
him still remember that his Saviour suffered more, 
and suffered for his sake; let him consider, that 
how great soever his pain may be, it cannot keep 
him long from the regions of eternal joy. If 
Providence allow no other relief, still the Christ- 
ian trusts that death will end all his sufferings, 
and lead him to everlasting happiness. 

Poverty is a great trial. By poverty, I am far 
from meaning any situation in which a man can ^ 
supply himself with the necessaries of life by ho- - 
nest industry; but I speak of those who have no 
means of supplying their most pressing wants, who 
are destitute of lodging, raiment, or food. In this 
unhappy situation, the good man should pray to 
God for assistance; and if it be really out of his 
power to procure, by any kind of work, the' 
things which are necessary for him, he may 
very properly ask the assistance of others. Any. 

N 



[ 178 ] 

man v/ho does this, while he can support himself, 
i$ little better than a thief; as he draws from those 
who are charitably disposed, the money which 
should have been given to such as really want it. 
The rich are in general ready to assist those whose 
charafter and conduct give them a just claim on 
their bounty; and the relief which is thus ob- 
tained, should be acknowledged with gratitude. 
Even if it be refused, never let distress, however 
great, tempt any man to dishonest praftices. Let 
the unhappy sufferer cast all his care on God, 
who will never leave him or forsake him, but will 
either send relief to his sorrows, or call him to 
Himself, when he has felt his appointed portion 
of afflidion. 

. The loss of friends is a very severe trial. Wlien 
all our earthly happiness seems to be buried with a 
wife, a child, or a friend, who was dear to us as cnir 
: own soul, the firmest mind will yield to grief. But 
here, my brethren, we see the glorious triumph 
of Christianity. The poor heathens knew not 
that friends who were separated by death, would 
ever meet again; but the Christian looks beyond 
the grave. He sorrows indeed, but not without 
hope. He weeps, but he knows that God will 
soon wipe all tears from his eyes. His friends 



[ 179 1 

are not lost for ever; they are only gone before, 
where he must soon follow. He hopes that they 
"will bid him welcome to a better world, where all 
who have obtained mercy through Christ, will 
meet to part no more. 

These and many other trials and affliftions 
come to us immediately from the hand of God; 
but there are others in which our suiferings pro- 
ceed from our fellow-creatures, and I wish to 
make a few remarks on the proper behaviour under 
them. If we suffer justly from those who have a 
lawful authority over us, it is certainly the duty 
of all men patiently to submit. If we are unjustly 
treated, we may use such means as the laws of 
the land provide for our defence against oppres- 
sion; and in this happy country they afford all 
possible security to our lives and our property; 
but prudence and charity require, that we should, 
if possible, rather settle disputes by a private 
agreement, than bring them into a court of jus- 
tice. If our adversary will not hear reason, the 
law is open; but in no case are we at liberty to 
avenge ourselves. In all injuries, we must con- 
stantly keep in mind the mild precepts of the 
Gospel; we must never return evil for evil, but 
contrariwise blessing. As this is a point of 



[ 180 ] 

great importance, it shall be made the subjeft of 
a separate discourse. At present I will only ob- 
serve farther, that to whatever cause we owe our 
misfortunes, if we have no lawful means to escape, 
we should consider them as sent by God for our 
advantage, though perhaps brought upon us by 
the hands of wicked men. Such men are often 
his instruments for the trial of his faithful servants; 
and as they could have no power us, except it were 
given them from above, we must not regard them 
in what we suffer, but acknowledge the hand of 
God in every thing. 

Lastly, there are sufferings which men bring 
upon themselves, by their ovm folly, imprudence, 
and vice. In this case all we can do, is to humble 
ourselves under the just judgment of God j and 
we have great reason to bless Him, if the punish- 
ment which sooner or later must fall on every sinner 
who does not repent, is inflicted in this world, 
while there is still room to hope that by repent- 
ance and amendment we may be restored to the 
favour of God, through the merits and mediation 
.of Christ, and that when our sufferings here shall 
be ended, we may still find mercy at the last day. 

If the time would permit, I might mention many 
other trials to which men are subje<5l in this world; 



[ '81 ] 

but a few general observations may be applied to 
them all. 

First, let me beg those who are in a more prospe- 
rous condition, to observe that afflictions are not 
always punishments. They are sometimes sent to 
the very best men, while the wicked appear to be 
in great prosperity. The scripture indeed leads us 
to consider the afllided as peculiarly favoured by 
God. " As manyas I love,I rebuke andchasten."* 
Those, who are most strong in faith, are often called 
to set an example of patience to others. This is a 
glorious distinction, and will obtain for tl:tem a 
brighter crown. Such were the Apostles and 
Martyrs; and such are seen in every age, whose 
trials only make, their virtues shine with greater 
lustre. They are indeed happy, for their light 
affliftions will procure for them a glorious reward. 

Secondly, when we see men, whose lives have 
been notoriously wicked, suffering, as it sometimes 
happens, under some striking judgment of the Al- 
mighty, such an example should make us tremble 
for ourselves. But, even in that case, we must 
not dare to pronounce any rash censure upon them. 
We know not how far any man is guilty in the 
sight of God, because, though we see the crime, 

* Rev. iii. 19. 



[ 1«2 1 

we do not know the circumstances that led to it. 
We do not know whether the sinner had the hap- 
piness of being taught his duty, or to what tempt- 
ations he was exposed. And whatever be the cha- 
rafter of the sufferer, let us remember, that though 
he may deserve punishment from God, he is en- 
titled to pity and comfort from us. Never let us 
insult his distress, or add to the sorrows of him 
whom God has wounded. Let us give him our 
assistance and our advice. Let us endeavour to 
lead him into the right way, and set before him 
all the comforts which religion offers to those who 
sincerely repent. Let us pray for him, and let us 
humbly hope that such judgments are intended to 
punish him in this life, that his soul may be saved 
in the day of the Lord. When, on the other 
hand, we see those who we have reason to believe 
are virtuous and good men, visited with great 
aiHiftions, let us look on them not only with pity, 
but with reverence. Let us consider them as the 
favoured children of God, who are ccrtuited worthy 
to suffer for his sake. Let us try to imitate the 
glorious example of their patience and resignation, 
and treasure it in our hearts till our day of trial 
shall come. 



[ i83 ] 

Thirdly, let those who are in affliction of any 
kind, carefully examine their own hearts. Let therrt 
consider whether any iinrepented sin has brouglit 
this judgment upon them; if so, let them instantly 
renounce and forsake it. If the best men fairly 
examine the state of their hearts, they will allow 
that it is good for them to have been afflided. 
If they feel and acknowledge this, and can humbly 
dnd sincerely thank God for the trials, as well as 
for the blessings, which He is pleased to send them, 
they have reason to hope that all they suffer here, 
will work for them an eternal weight of glory. If 
they have reason to believe that they are found 
worthy to be set as examples to others, that 
they are called to suffer for the glory of God, 
and the good of their fellow-creatures, after 
the example of the Apostles and Martyrs ; then 
tiiey may indeed glory in tribulation. They may 
suffer, not only with patience, but with joy. 
They may rejoice, with the Apostles, that they 
were found worthy to suffer for his sake who 
died for them. The glorious privilege of following 
their crucified Master, of proving to all the world 
their love and gratitude to him, will make them 
even take pleasure in afHidions. They will look 
unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith, 



[184 ] 

who for their sakes endured the cross, despising 
the shame ; they will follow him through pain and 
sickness, though poverty and distress, through re- 
proach and persecution; and in all thv'rse things 
they will be more than conquerors. The glories 
of Heaven are ever before their eyes, and every 
earthly sorrow will appear as nothing. Happy, 
indeed, are they who have thus learned Christ, 
but few" of us, I fear, have attained to such per- 
fe<5tion; and God, who knows our weakness, 
does not call us to suffer more than we are able 
to bear. Trusting in his support, convinced of 
his kindness, and hoping for his mercy, let us all, 
when He visits us with affliction, endeavour to bear 
it with patience and resignation, that it may answer 
the ends for which it is in general designed, by 
correcting our faults, purifying our minds, and 
making us less unworthy of the favour of God. 

Lastly, I address myself to those who as yet 
have not been called to any severe trials, who as 
yet enjoy health and stn.Tigth, and to whom the 
evil days appear to be still at a distance. Let me 
entreat you to remember, that in this world we 
must not expeCl: to be always happy; and though 
we may thankfully enjoy every day of ease and 
prosperity which God is pleased to allow us, yet 



[ 185 ] 

we ought always to be prepared for the trials whfth 
will certainly follow, and never to set our hearts so 
much on any earthly blessing, as to be unv\ illing to 
resign it at the command of God. Remember 
the advice of the wise son of Sirach, which you 
will find in the second chapter of Ecclesiasticus, a 
chapter which I wish particularly to recommend to 
all young persons, as containing a most important 
and useful lesson. " My son, if thou come to 
serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for tempta- 
tion. Set thy heart aright, and constantly endure, 
and make not haste in time of trouble. For 
gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men 
in the furnace of adversity." And now, my 
Christian brethren, as we must all sooner or later 
taste the bitter cup of affliftion, let us all apply for 
succour to Him who alone can enable us cheerfully 
to receive it; and let me entreat you, with humble 
and penitent hearts, to join with me in prayer. 

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our sup- 
plications and prayers, and dispose the way of thy 
servan':s towards the attainment of everlasting sal- 
vation ; that, amidst all the changes and chances of 
this mortal life, they may ever be defended by thy 
• most gracious and ready help, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 



SERMON XV. 



ST. LUKE xxiii. 34. 

FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW 

NOT Vv^HAT THEY DO. 

inORGIVENESS of injuries has always been 
"*■ considered as one of the strongestj proofs of 
a truly Christian disposition. It is the glory of 
our religion, that it has carried this exalted virtue 
to a height which never before was known in the 
world. Revenge is no longer b.ilowed on any 
pretence whatever. Resentment is no longer to be 
called courage. To return evil for evil is no 
longer to be called justice. The Christian must 
forgive, if he hope to be forgiven. His courage 
must be shewn, in nob!)' enduring sufferings or 
injuries. His justice must be displayed, in an 



[ 188 ] , 

humble acknowlegment, that, as we have all 
sinned, we should all shew that mercy to each 
other, which we hope to receive from God. Con- 
vinced of the weakness of human nature, he pities, 
he prays for the unhappy offender; to whom he 
hopes God will forgive much greater sins than 
he can commit against his fellow-creatures. 

On this subjeft, my beloved brethren, our blessed 
Master has left us the most glorious and striking 
example that is to be found in the history of the 
whole world. All mankind had offended him, 
yet he died for all. During the course of his hfe, 
we see him continually practising this noblest of 
virtues. When his disciples would have called fire 
from Heaven to consume those who would not 
receive him, he mildly answered, " Ye know not 
what manner of spirit ye are of; and he went to 
another village."* When Judas, who had been 
his chosen friend, betrayed him to his murderers, 
what was his language to this greatest of criminals? 
*' Judas, betray est thou the Son of Man with a 
kiss?"t When one of his followers rashly wounded 
a soldier who came to take him, Jesus said, " Put 
up thy sword.'* " Suffer ye thus far, and he 
touched his ear, and healed him."+ Wlien Peter, 

*• Lukeix. S5- t ^^^^^^ '^^^^- 4S. t L'^'l^c xxii. 51. 



C m ] 

whom lie so much loved, and \vho had promised 
such faithful attachment, fell into the temptation of 
which his kind Master had given him warning; when 
before the cock crew he liad denied him thrice, 
how did he treat this unhappy man ? " And the 
Lord turned, and looked upon Peter."* It was 
a look which touched him to the heart, a look no 
doubt of kindness and compassion, for " he went 
out, and wept bitterly.'* 

Every feeling heart must be struck with the 
particular attention shewn to this penitent and re- 
conciled friend after our Lord's resurrection ; 
when the Angel says to the pious women, " Tell 
his disciples, and Peter, that he goeth before you 
hito Gallilee, there shall ye see him."t Our 
(Saviour seems impatient that Peter should know, 
not only that his Lord was risen indeed, but that 
h^ was himself forgiven, and still the objetH: of his 
Jove. But above all, my text displays such a proof 
of this exalted virtue, as was never given by any 
other man. None ever felt such torments, none 
ever received such injuries, no other man therefore 
ever had so much to forgive; yet at that dreadful 
moment of almost insupportable agony, amidst 
The insults of those who inflicted these torments, 
'^ LukexxJi. <)r. t Mark xvi. 7. 



[ 190 1 

of those for whose sake he endured them, what is 
the language of our dying Saviour? " Father, 
forgive them!'* 

With such an example before our eyes, it is 
strange that any Christian should find it difficult to 
forgive. It is strange that it should still be neces- 
sary to say. Avenge not yourselves. 

Consider, I entreat you, our situation in this 
world with regard to each other. We are all 
weak, frail, sinful creatures. The best of us 
seldom passes through one day, without feehng 
that he requires forgiveness from his God, and 
too often from his fellow-creatures also. Mercy 
is all ourhope ; forgiveness is our constant prayer. 
In such a state, should we not pity and assist each 
other? Does not mutual weakness call for mutual 
forbearance? But weak, and frail, and sinful as we 
are, yet through the merits of Christ, we all 
hope to attain the happiness of Heaven. And can 
creatures, who, after a few short years, expeft to be 
for ever united in the presence of their God, to be 
set free from all unruly passions, and to live to- 
gether for ever in Heaven, in peace, and joy, and 
everlasting love ; can such creatures hate each 
other on earth? Can they add to the sorrows of 
this state of trial, and spread more thorns on the 



path of life, by malice and revenge? Can they risk 
their own eternal happiness, by denying to eacli 
other that forgiveness, without which they must 
not dare to hope that they shall be themselves 
forgiven? To set the necessity, and the nature of 
this duty, in the clearest light, I will consider first, 
how we are required to 3.£t under great injuries ; and 
secondly, what is our duty in regard to those smaller 
offences, which often disturb the peace of society. 

We are not often called to forgive great offences; 
yet such there are, and every Cliristian should be 
prepared to meet with them. A man may be 
robbed of his property; an attempt may be made 
to rob him of his life. Jie may be robbed of what 
is perliaps still dearer to him, the honour of his 
.>yife or daughter. A treaclierous friend may ruin 
his domestic peace ; an unprovoked enemy may 
destroy his reputation. These are gi-eat injuries, 
and every man feels them as such. In these and 
all such cases, Christianity does not forbid that we 
should defend ourselves to a certain degree. We 
may defend our house from the thief, and our 
life from the murderer. We may apply to the 
lav/ to punish these crimes, and the still greater 
injury sustained from the seducer and the adulterer. 
If our chara(rter be attacked, we may defend it by 



[ 192 ] 

exposing the falsehood of the charge; and in every 
case, we may use such means of self-defence as 
the laws of our country put into our hands; but 
we must be sure that we do this to prevent crimes, 
not in order to be revenged on the criminal. If 
we bring a wicked man to justice, our motive for 
it must be, to prevent his injuring others^ to make 
him an example, in order that others may be 
afraid to offend; we must do it, because the laws 
of our country command us not to conceal such 
crimes as should be punished for the good of so- 
ciety. On these principles a man ought to bring 
an offender to justice ; but never from any wish 
of being revenged for the injury done to himself. 
This is a point in regard towhich a Christian should 
carefully examine his own heart. Let there be no 
malice there. However great the injury may be, 
the offender is still in a state to hope for mercy 
from God, if he repent ; and let him find it from 
you. However great the injury may be, your 
Saviour suffered more; and if you are his true dis- 
ciple, you will say with him, " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do!" 

Alas! no man knows what he does, when he 
offends God by such crimes. Think of the state 
of him who has wronged you, and resentment 



ni 



[ 193 ] 

must be changed to pity. Think of the situation 
of a man who has lost the favour of God, who 
has committed crimes which will plunge him in 
endless misery if he do^ not repent, who is still 
perhaps in a hardened impenitent state. Think 
of all which that man must suffer, even if a life 
of penitence should at last obtain pardon from 
God; think of what he must suffer, if he die 
without repentance. O think of this, and do not 
drive the wretched man down the precipice; think 
of this, and say. Father, forgive him. 

But these are not the offences which most of us 
are called to forgive. The far greater part of 
mankind pass through life without meeting with 
such provocations as these. What then are the 
injuries which fill our streets with riot, and our 
cottages with quarrels, which destroy our domestic 
peace, and disturb our minds with anger, malice, 
and revenge? A Christian must blush to answer 
this question. They are the errors and impcr- 
feftions to which all are subjeft; they are faults 
of temper; they arc faults which proceed from 
want of judgment; they are faults, for which 
all hope to be forgiven, and therefore which all 
ought to forgive. And can we call ourselves 
the followers of the meek and humble jEsrrs, 

o 



C 194 ] 

whilst every trifle is sufficient to raise our anger, 
and excite us to revenge? Can we hope to be 
forgiven our debt of ten thousand talents, while 
we take our fellow-servant by the throat, and 
throw him into prison, because he owes us a hun- 
dred pence? I hope every Christian acknowledges 
the necessity of guarding his temper against these 
smaller provocations, and I beg he will attend to 
a few rules which may assist him in doing it. 

First, endeavour to conquer your own pride. 
This passion is the most dangerous and the most 
obstinate enemy, which the Christian is called 
upon to combat. It shews itself in every shape; 
it meets us on every occasion. It leads us to rise 
up against every provocation; it leads us to expe£l 
from others more than any body is inclined or 
obliged to pay. The true way of conquering this 
enemy is to know and feel our own weakness; and 
this is one of the many advantages of self-exami- 
nation. The man who really looks into his own 
heart, and knows how often he has been in the 
wrong almost every day of his life, will not be 
surprised or offended, if his friends should some- 
times think him so; he will suspeft that it is very 
. possible, though he do not "at that moment per- 
ceive it. Such a man will always suspeft himself 



C 195 ] 

rathefthan others; and, far from resenting any 
doubt which is expressed of his judgment, or even 
of the propriety of his condu<5l in any particular 
instance, he will humbly examine his own heart. 
If he find all right, he will with modesty and can- 
dour try to convince his friend of his mistake; if 
he have been wrong, he will confess the justice of 
the censure with humility and gratitude. 

Secondly, study the dispositions, and make 
every charitable allowance for the faults, of your 
friends. We all stand in need of much indulgence, 
and it is a great branch of Christian charity to 
prevent the faults of others. If your husband, or 
your friend, be subjeft to fits of passion, be very 
careful not to provoke him. Avoid all disputes, 
even when you are sure that you are in the right; 
for they may lead another to be in the wrong. 
*' The beginning of strife is as when one letteth 
out water, therefore leave off contention before it 
be meddled with.*** When the moment of anger 
is over, how often are we ashamed to think of the 
trifles for which we have been contending, for 
which we have disturbed the happiness of our best 
friends, weakened their esteem for us, ruffled their 
tempers and our own, and perhaps lost the favour 
of God! 

* Proverbs xvii. 14. 



[ m J 

Thirdly, remember, tlut in every quarrel the 
person whp has been least to blame is generally 
.the most ready to be reconciled; and try your owQ 
heart by this rule. If you feel disposed to take 
the first step towards reconciliation, you may hope 
•that you did not oiFend of malicious wickedness. 
In this case, do not leave time fpr resentment to 
take root in the breast of your friend. Forgive, 
SLS you hope to be forgiven. Do it generously, 
dq it instantly. If you feel that you are unwilling 
to do this, suspe£l your own heart, and humbly 
;pn your knees entreat that God would give you 
grace to conquer that pride, which is the ruin of 
your peace and happiness. This will compose 
your mind; you will see things in the true light, 
you will feel that you were yourself to blame, and 
you will make every atonement in your power. 

Fourthly, when you have really been iiyured 
\)y any person, whether a stranger or a friend, 
put yourself in his place, and fairly and calmly 
consider what could be the motives of his condu^l. 
In most instances you will find that the fault was 
not from the heart, but that he afted under some 
mistaken idea of his own rights, or at worst under 
the iniluence of passions which his cooler judgment 
would condemn. In all such cases, if it be pos- 



[ 197 1 

sible that a calm explanation, by yoUrSelF or by 
some other friend, might remove such mistakes. 
Christian charity requires that it should be done 
without delay. If his conduft do not admit of this 
excuse, and you have reason to believe that he has 
injured you from deliberate malice; yoii must guard 
against the effefts of this malice, but always remem- 
ber that the worst effe^ it possibly could have, 
^k'ould be making you share in the guilt of such 
wicked passions. Carefully guard your own heart, 
arid let no degree of resentment transport you be- 
fond the bounds of Christian charity. Let it 
never prevent your doing every good office in your 
power, even to those who have most deeply in- 
jured you. " If thine enemy hunger, feed him; 
if he thirst, give him drink."* Such are the 
commands of Him, who " when he was reviled, 
reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened 
hot; but committed himself to Him who judgcth 
righteously.'*! 

Fifthly, avoid all scenes where you are likely 
to be drawn into quarrels; and for that reason, 
amongst others, avoid every kind of vice. It is 
in the ale-house, it is at the gaming-table, it is in 
scenes of riot and unlawful pleasure, that quarrels 
^ Romans xlr. ao. t i Peter ii. 23. 



C 198 ] 

commonly arise, " Who hath woe, who hath 
sorrow, who hath contention, who hath babbling, 
who hath wounds without cause? They that tarry 
long at the wine, they that go to seek mixed 
wine."* It is in bad company that we fall into 
danger of every kind; and corrupt as the world 
is, we may generally pass quietly through it, if we 
are prudent in the choice of our companions. 
Even if it should happen that a man is mad enough 
to attack you without any provocation, yet if you 
are yourself calm and composed, and perfeftly 
master of your temper, it gives you a very great 
advantage over hira. Every man who is in a pas- 
sion is mad, and like other madmen should be 
avoided and pitied; though like other madmen he 
"is dangerous, and in some cases he must be re- 
strained from doing mischief. In general, how- 
ever, there will be no quarrel, unless both parties 
are to blame. Guard your own conduft, learn to 
command your own temper, and you will not often 
be engaged in disputes. 

Eastly, my beloved brethren, let me sum up all 
by giving you one general rule, which is applicable 
to all cases, from the greatest to the most trifling 
offences; and which I wish to impress strongly 

* Proverbs xxiii. 29. 



C m ] 

on the memory of all who hear me, as the surest 
guard against immoderate anger and unchristian 
resentment. If you think yourself injured by any 
person, before you take any method to bring him 
to punishment, and, if possible, before you allow 
yourself to express your resentment, to him or to 
any one else; retire for a moment, and throwing 
yourself on your knees before God, pray for the 
happiness of that person in this world and in the 
next. If you cannot do this from your heart, 
your heart is not right before God; and the ma- 
lice which dwells there may make you more guilty 
in his sight than the person who has injured you. 
If, on the contrary, you can sincerely pray for your 
enemy, there is reason to hope, that anger or re- 
sentment will never lead you into any adlion un- 
worthy of the faithful disciple of Him, who, while 
we were yet sinners, died for our salvation; and 
in whose mercy we trust, that it will plead for us 
all, as it did for his murderers, " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do!'* 

To Him, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, 
be glory now and for ever. Amen. 



SERMON XVI. 



ST. LUKE ii. 37, 3S. 



AND SHE WAS A WIDOW OF ABOUT FOURSCORE 
AND FOUR YEARS, WHICH DEPARTED NOT 
' FROM THE TEMPLE, BUT SERVED GOD, WITH 
FASTINGS AND PRAYERS, NIGHT AND DAY. 
AND SHE, COMING IN THAT INSTANT, GAVE 
THANKS LIKEWISE UNTO THE LORD, AND 
SPAKE OF HIM TO ALL THEM THAT LOOKED 
FOR REDEMPTION IN JERUSALEM. 

T HAVE now, to the best of my abilities, en- 
deavoured to explain the duties towards God 
and towards man, which :re required of every 
human bemg. I have recommended the sacred 
word of God as the only light of our paths. I 
have enforced the necessity of prayer, of self-exa- 



[ 202 ] 

minatlon, of the religious observance of the Sab- 
bath and the great festivals of the Church, and 
of frequent attendance at the Lord's Table. I 
have spoken of the reverence due to the holy 
name of God, and of that constant and pious 
regard to his commands which ought to direft all 
our aftions. I have mentioned the duties which 
belong to particular situations in life, and what is 
required of us, as children, as young men, as 
husbands, as fathers. I have shewn you where 
to look for protefiion against the temptations of 
vice, and for support in the hardships of poverty. 
I have recommended sobriety, industr)', and con- 
tentment, as necessary for our own happiness, in 
this world and the next. I have exhorted you to 
promote the happiness of others by mutual kind- 
ness and charity; and the good of your country 
by dutiful submission to the laws. I have recom- 
mended the Christian duties of resignation and for- 
giveness of injuries ; and I have constantly set 
before your eyes the bright example of every vir- 
tue, which is left us by our Saviour Jesus 
Christ. In the cour&'e of these enquiries T hope 
I have proved, that in this life, as well as in the 
next, h.ij^piness can only be found in the paths of 
piety and virtue ; and tliat high and low, rich and 



[ 203 ] 

poor, will alike know and feel the truth of the 
Prophet's awful declaration, " Tliere is no peace, 
saith the Lord, unto the wicked.*'* 

But as I wish to trace the progress of human 
life from first to last, and to shew the superior 
happiness which, in every situation, is enjoyed by 
the pious and virtuous man ; I will now take a 
view of that period, to which we look forward with 
little expectation of enjoyment, and consider the 
duties of the aged. Though most men wish to 
live to be old, yet it must be acknowledged that 
many sorrows almost always attend that part of 
life. " The days of our age are threescore years 
and ten, and though men be so strong that they 
come to fourscore years, yet is their strength then 
but labour and sorrow."! These are the evil 
days, of which Solomon speaks, and the years in 
which we have no pleasure. The loss of health 
and of friends, perhaps of some of our faculties ; 
the weariness and disgust which are often the con- 
sequence of disappointed hopes, and the fear with 
which many view the approach of death; these 
and other circumstances often make extreme old 
age a state of labour and son-ow. But still it is a 
state through which many of us must pass, before 

* Isaiah xlviii. 22. t Psalm xc. 10. 



[ 204 3 

we leave this world; and I hope to conviiVCe ydti^ 
that even in this gloomy period, religion oifers sup- 
port and comfort sufficient to brighten the closing 
scene of life, and to gild with sunshine the evening 
of our days. In this part of my subject, I cannot 
set before you the example of our Lord, for his 
life on earth was short; though in the course of 
that short life he practised all the virtues, which 
in age, as well as in youth, must be the support 
of his faithful servants. I have therefore taken for 
my text part of the interesting account which tve 
find in St. Luke's Gospel, of Anna the prophetess, 
who was an illustrious example of piety and virtue 
in the last stage of life. In the same chapter we 
find another instance of a similar kind, in good old 
Simeon. Both these excellent pel-sons appear to 
have been chiefly employed in thfe duties of religion, 
and serving God in his temple ; and from their 
example we may learn how the latter part of life 
should be spent, while, from the same example, 
we are taught to hope for that Heavenly consola- 
tion, for which the pious widow gave thanks to 
God, and which enabled Simeon to say, "Lord, 
now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace!'* 

Every period of life has itis sorrows, and in ge- 
neral it must be confessed that age ha^ many; but 



[ 20;> ] 

it has also advantages which should be properly 
considered, and thankfully acknowledged. If the 
amusements of life have lost their relish; if you 
say, as Barziilai did to King David, " I am this 
day fourscore years old, and can I discern between 
good and evil? Can thy servant taste what I eat, 
and what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice 
of singing men or singing women?"* Let it at the 
same time be remembered, that you are no longer 
exposed to the temptations \\'hich attend on every 
earthly enjoyment. The old man rests secure 
after the storms of life are over. Pleasure or 
ambition will not now lead him astray; he will 
will not now forfeit his honour, or his charafter. 
If his hopes in this world are over, so are his 
fears. He only wishes " to die in his own city, 
and to be buried in the grave of his father and of 
his mother." To those whose hearts have been 
fixed on the things of this world, age must indeed 
be a scene of disappointment and sorrow; and I 
do not know a more melancholy sight than the 
latter years of such a man; when we see him 
still wishing for pleasures which he can no longer 
enjoy, peevish and discontented with all around 
liim; tired and disgusted with this life, and afraid 
* 2 Sam. xix. 35. 



[ 206 J 

of being called Into the next. But very different 
are the feelings of the pious and virtuous man; 
and it shall be my endeavour, in the remainder of 
this discourse, to point out the comforts "which 
such a man may still enjoy, as well as the duties 
which he may still perform, even in those days, 
which, in some respefts, all must confess to be evil, 
and in which the wicked will find no pleasure. ^^'-^ 
When a good man has passed safely through 
the different periods of life; when he has afied 
his part with honour, and secured the esteem and 
respeft of the wise and good; above all, when he 
has made his peace with God, and hopes for ac- 
ceptance through the merits of his Saviour; surely 
he ought to be considered with envy, rather than 
with pity. He no longer feels those apprehensions, 
with which every wise man enters into the world. 
He no longer dreads the allurements of pleasure, or 
the seduftions of v:ce. His trial will soon be past, 
and his reward is at hand. When he looks back 
on his past life, he will remember many errors, ai 
well as many sorrows ; but both are over and gone. 
He has repented of all his sins, and he trusts that 
the mercy of God has forgiven them. Vice has 
now lost her power over his mind; he knows the 
vanity of all earthly pleasures; and those which 



C 207 ] 

he can no longer enjoy, he has learnt to despise. 
But has he therefore no enjoyment left? If the 
dance and the song no longer please, if he cannot 
taste what he eats or what he drinks, still nobler 
pleasures remain. If some friends are taken away, 
they only make him feel more strongly the value 
of those who are left. He sees the blessing of 
God descend on many generations. He sees the 
opening virtues of his children's children. He is 
beloved and respe^ed by them all. Their duty 
and afFeftion support and comfort him. He points 
out to them the path in which he has walked j he 
instruifis, he encourages them to pursue it. If he 
can no longer perform the aftive duties of life, he 
has more leisure to think of his God. To Him 
he now entirely devotes the remainder of his days. 
Like the pious widow in the text, he departs not 
from the temple, but serves God day and night. 
He sees with joy the approach of death, for death 
will lead him to his Saviour's presence. It will 
lead him to those friends whom he has lost on 
earth, to the spirits of just men made perfeft. 
Yet he experts it without impatience; enjoying to 
the last the blessings which God has given him, 
enjoying the happiness of all whom he loves on 
earth, the pleasure of doing good, the peace of a 



[ 208 ] 

clear conscience. Patient and resigned under the 
infirmities of age, he considers them as sent irt 
mercy to wean him from a world, which, amidst 
all its follies, and all its sorrows, we still are apt 
to love too well. Cheerful and content, he looks 
back without regret, and forward with hope and 
joy. Such is the old age of the righteous, and 
such are the pleasures, which, in a greater or a less 
degree, may be enjoyed by all, even in that most 
trying period of life. But in order to secure these 
comforts when they are most wanted, let us con- 
sider the duties of the aged; for we must not 
suppose, that in any situation in this world we 
have nothing to do. 

Piety is our first duty at all times ; but towards 
the close of life it should be our chief employment, 
as it will be our sweetest consolation. We should 
disengage ourselves from the pleasures and pur- 
suits of the world, " and having borne our share 
of the heat and labour of the day, the evening of 
life should be passed in the cool and quiet shade."* 
Our thoughts, our affeftions, our hopes, should be 
drawn from this world, and should rest upon God. 

Patience and resignation are often difiicult duties; 
and they should be learned in youth, that they 
* Dr. Blair. 



[ 20i> ] 

may be praftised in age. As far as the weakness 
of human nature will permit, avoid complaints; 
avoid peevishness and ill-humour; and learn to bear 
with firmness and manly resolution the infirmities, 
which all who live long must feel. Cheerfulness, 
good-humour, and a disposition to be pleased, are 
qualities which make men beloved at all periods of 
life, but particularly in old age ; and it is as much 
for our own interest to make the attentions which 
duty requires, as easy and pleasant as possible to 
those on whose kindness we must then depend for 
our remaining comforts. Kindness and good-will 
to others are particularly pleasing and respe(5lable in 
age. Let your children and friends see that you 
still love them, and are interested for their happi- 
ness, in the midst of your own sufferings. Such 
proofs of friendship will be deeply felt, and they 
will return into your own bosom. 
. The last duty which I shall mention is, preparing 
for death. The best preparation for this awful 
event is a good life; and the man who faithfully 
serves God, and puts his whole trust in Him, need 
not be afraid if he should be called at a much earlier 
period; but the old man knows that his time must 
be short, and it is his duty to employ it to the 
best ad\'antage. If he have any worldly affairs, 



[ 210 ] 

which in justice to his family he ought to settle, 
let not this be left to the last moments of life. 
If he have injured any man, let him lose no time 
in mak'ng restitution. If he have it in his power 
to do good to any man, let it be done without 
delay. Above all, let him make his peace with 
God ; and leave nothing to be done on a s'ck bed. 
Patience and resignation are the only duties which 
we can then hope to practise, even if time be 
allowed, and our faculties preserved, for the exer- 
cise of these last duties of a Christian. Leave 
nothing undone, I most earnestly entreat you, the 
negl':£l of which m.ay disturb the peace of your 
last moments; but be ready and prepared, that 
"with a clear and undisturlved conscience you may 
resign your soul to God who gave it. 

Before I finish this discourse, let me address a 
few words to the younger part of my audience. 
Let me entreat all who wish to live, and would fain 
see good days; all who hope to be happy in their,, 
own children, and to find comfort when they most ■ 
want it; all who hope for the blessing of God in 
this life, and the rewards which He has promised 
to good men in the next ; let me entreat them all 
to reverence grey hairs, and never to forget the 
duty which youth should pay to age. This duty 



[ 211 ] 

cannot be placed in too strong a light. It lias 
been felt and acknowledged in every age and 
every country; even where the glorious light of 
the Gospel never shone. Every feeling of the 
heart seems to point it out. Old age is subject to 
many infirmities, and commonly attended with many 
sorrows. Let it be the business, let it be the 
delight of the young, to support those infirmitiec, 
and to lessen those sorrows. Never forget the re- 
verence due to an old man. Listen to his advice 
with attention and respe£l. Give him every assist- 
ance in your power. If distress should sometimes 
make him fretful and impatient, bear with meek- 
ness and gentleness the infirmities to which all are 
subject. Do nothing to give him pain ; study in 
every way to contribute to his pleasure; try to 
amuse him when his spirits fail; support him when 
his limbs have lost their strength; watch him on 
the bed of sickness ; do not forsake him at the 
hour of death. When he shall be removed to a 
happier world, you will remember with pleasure 
every aft of kindness which you have done him. 
You will bitterly regret every one which you have 
neglefted. Do not fly from the sick room ; in 
such scenes you will learn wisdom and virtue. 
They will not destroy your happiness ; they will 



[ 212 ] 

only make it more lasting, and more worthy of a 
Christian. If you have done your duty in such 
scenes, they will be remembered with pleasure, 
when all the amusements of a thoughtless world 
are only recollected with a sigh. The tender 
offices of love and duty, which you have performed 
for the aged, will comfort you when you also lie on 
a sick bed; and the blessing of God will rest on 
those who thus fulfil his commandments. 

May all who now hear me, while they refleft on 
the different periods of life, learn so to number 
their days that they may apply their hearts unto 
wisdom. At whatever hour their Master call, 
may he find them always ready : and in youth, in 
manhood, or in age, may the Chr stian be prepared 
to say, *' I CRD, now lertest Thou thy servant 
depart in peace, according to thy wordj for mine 
eyes have seen thy salvation." 



SERMON XVII. 



ST. LUKE xxiii. 4(5. 

AND WHEN JESUS HAD CRIED WITH A LOUD 
VOICE, HE SAID, FATHER, INTO THY HANDS 
I COMMEND MY SPIRIT; AND HAVING SAID 
THUS, HE GAVE UP THE GHOST. 

T TAVING now observed the progress of a 
'*■ '*' Christian in his passage, thro* this life, from 
childhood to the brink of the grave; it only remains 
to consider his situation, and to compare it with 
that of a wicked man, at the hour of death. This 
shall be the subje6l of my present discourse; and 
at our next meeting I hope to close the whole, 
by looking with the eye of faith beyond this tran- 
sitory life, and leading you to reflect on what we are 
permitted to know of the glories of Heaven. 

However men mav differ in all other respefts, 
there is one event common to all, and thiit is 
death; yet it is astonishing to see how seldom they 



[ 214 ] 

reflect on this subject. Consider, I beseech you, 
what it is to die. You see it every day, and one 
day you must feel it; but have you ever seriously 
reflected on death? To die, is to leave all that is 
dear to us here on earth. Those pleasures for which 
we too often negle^l our duty, must end at once. 
The riches we have gained, must be left behind. 
We must see no more on earth the friends we have 
loved. The strong and vigorous limbs v.'ill be stiff 
and cold ; the anxious heart will cease to beat ; 
the bosom which once swelled with pride, will be 
humbled in the dust ; the worm will feed on the 
cheek of beauty. All that the kindest friend can 
then do to shew his love, will be to lay us in the 
cold ground, and leave us there to be eaten by 
worms. Such is the end of human pride, and of 
human happiness! Such is the fate which power 
cannot prevent, which wisdom cannot escape. 
The rich man clothed in purple, and the beggar 
at his door, must sink alike into the grave, must 
alike return to that dust of which they were formed. 
My brethren, have you ever thought of this ? 
Have you reflefted, that I who speak, and every 
one of you who hear, must be in the state which I 
have described; that it will happen soon; that it 
may happen now? I may never be allowed to 



[ 215 ] 

ftpeak to you again. Some of you may never see 
another Sunday. Before the end of a year, 
there is every reason to expeft that some of those 
who are now present, will be laid in the grave. 
In a few years this will probably happen to many. 
In a few more years it jiiust happen to all. Is it 
possible we should believe and know this awful 
truth, and yet that so few should prepare for an 
event which must befal every one? We try to se- 
cure wealth; we say to our soul, " thou hast 
much goods laid up for many years, take thine 
ease, eat, drink, and be merry." But who re- 
members the dreadful answer of God? " Thou 
fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee."* 
O my brethren! these are thoughts to make the 
firmest tremble; and nothing, except religion, can 
support us under them. But let us vew these 
things as Christians, and all is changed. We must 
die indeed, but what is death when viewed by the 
light of revelation? If we leave those virtuous 
friends who are most dear to us on earth, it is to 
meet them again in heaven. There we hope for 
pleasures which will never fade, for riches which 
no rust can destroy. The voice of God will call 
our bodies from the grave, no more to see cor- 

* Luke xii. 19. 



ruptlon; while every sorrow forgotten, every sin. 
forgiven, the heir of immortal gloiy shall be caught 
up into the clouds, to meet his Lord in the air, 
to reign with him for ever! Do not your hearts 
burn within you at such thoughts as these? Is not 
every one who hears me ready to exclaim with the 
Prophet, " Let me die the death of the righteous, 
and let my last end be like his."* 

But in order to this, we must live the Hfe of 
the righteous. All must die; but whether death 
is to be the moment of joy or of terror, whether 
it is to be the beginning or the end of happiness, 
depends on the state of every man's conscience. 
For this reason it is, that I have so frequently and 
earnestly recommended to every Christian the con- 
stant practice of self-examination, and advised 
him never to sleep, till he have endeavoured to 
obtain the pardon of his sins. Sooner or later 
he must give an account of his anions; and dread- 
ful is the state of those, who in age or sickness 
are forced, for the first time, to think on their past 
lives. An hour will come, when every one of us 
must remember, what he would most wish to for- 
get. With what horror will the wicked man then 
tefleft on his unrepented sins, the mercies he has 
• Numbers xxiii. lo. 



t 217 ] 

slighted, the time he has lost, and the dreadful 
judgment hanging over his head! This world does 
not present an objeft so shocking as a hardened 
dying sinner, who having rejecftcd the call of a 
gracious God to mercy, now trembles at the pu- 
nishment which he dares not hope to escape. All 
the torments which he expe(51:s in the next world, 
seem to be already felt. O Father of Mercies, 
grant that we may all, by timely repentance, escape 
the horrors of such a death! Yet even that mo- 
ment of reflexion is not allowed to all. Death is 
sometimes so sudden, as to make it impossible for 
us even to call on God for mercy. We see men 
cutoiFin the bloom of )'outb, nay even in the 
midst of their sins. The drunkard, the thief, 
the murderer, may be called before his Judge, even 
in the acl of sin; death may be the immediate 
consequence of his crime; in a moment; no time 
allowed for repentance; no pause between the sin 
luid the punishment. O think of this, ye that 
forget God; think of this, and repent! The Sa- 
viour of the world still allows you to hope for 
mercy; but lose not an hour, for this hour may 
be your last. And may they, whose hearts are 
not thus hardened, consider how necessary it is 
to guard against this dreadful state by constant 



[ 218 ] 

ti'atchfulness. No man who goes out to his work 
in the morning, is sure that he shall return at 
night. No man who lies down to rest at night, is 
sure that he shall ever see the light of another 
day. What manner of persons, then, ought we to 
be? With these things strongly impressed on your 
hearts, let me again entreat you to watch over 
your own souls, and never to fleep without en- 
deavouring to be reconciled with God. If we do 
this, we need not dread the pestilence that walketh 
in darkness, nor the arrow that flieth at noon-day; 
for whether we live or die, we are still in the hands 
of that protecting Saviour, who will be our guide 
unto death, and after death will receive us to glory. 
The best support of the Christian in the hour of 
trial, is the remembrance of the death of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. We shall find in the account of that 
event, given by all the Evangelists, a pattern of 
all that is great and noble; and an example, which, 
as far as the weakness of our nature will permit, 
we must humbly endeavour to imitate. We are 
told that our Saviour earnestly prayed to God; 
and, having done so, went forth to meet his per- 
secutors. Through all the sufferings which fol- 
lowed, he was patient and resigned. His tender- 
ness for his parent and his friends appeared in his 



[ 219 ] 

last agonies. His compassion for the unhappy 
man who sufFered with him, was expressed by a 
promise that he should be with him in Paradise. 
His forgiveness of his murderers appeared in his 
last prayer, " Father, forgive them, for they 
know not what they do!" Ihcn, having com- 
pleted the work for which he came into the world, 
he resigned his soul to God, and said, " Father, 
into thy hands I commend my spirit!'* And 
having said this, he gave up the ghost. 

This is the glorious pattern v/hich we must try 
to imitate; and, in order to do so, we must, while 
we are in health, prepare for a change which can- 
not be long delayed. I have already observed, 
that the best preparation for death is a good life; 
and the man who faithfully serves God, and trusts 
in the merits of his Saviour, will be always ready 
when he is called. But if age or sickness point 
out to us the near approach of this great event, let 
the pious Christian collect all his strength to meet 
it with firmness, and let him pray for support to 
that Almighty deliverer, without whose assistance 
our strength is but weakness. Let him to the 
last shew kindness to his friends, and let him 
freely forgive his enemies. Let him ask the as- 
sistance of a clergyman, to pray with him, and to 



[ 220 1 

administer the holy sacrament. Before he feceiVeS 
it, let him humbly confess to God the sins of his 
past life, and put his whole trust in his mercy 
through Christ. Then let him try to think only 
of the glorious change which he is soon to expe* 
rience; let him call to remembrance the gracious 
promises of God; and firm in faith, and strong in 
hope, let him resign his soul to Him who gave it. 
These duties should not be left to the last hour, 
sufficient to that hour is the evil thereof; but 
however severe his bodily sufferings may be, the 
Christian, who is well prepared, will feel the sup- 
port of his God. In that hour the good man is 
often distinguished by his peculiar grace and favour. 
I have seen such men, nay I have seen the tender 
frame of a weak and delicate woman, support the 
severest sufferings, not only with patience, but 
with joy; happy in being found worthy to suffer 
for Christ's sake, and triumphing in the imme- 
diate prospeft of an eternal reward. In general, 
death is not attended with such sufferings; and 
very frequently, I believe, it is attended with no 
suffering at all; but this is uncertain, and we 
should be prepared to endure pain with patience 
and resignation, at whatever part of our lives it 
may be sent to us, because at some part or other 



[ 221 ] 

of life it may be expelled by all. We know not 
the degree of pain which we are appointed to suf- 
fer in this life; but we know, what is far more 
important, that after death dreadful sufferings are 
prepared for those who will not repent. Let us 
all consider this, and seek the Lord while He may 
be found,i''f> ,s\r 

They who as yet enjoy health and strength, 
should not drive the thoughts of death from their 
minds, but endeavour to lessen its horrors by 
making it familiar. Let them never negle<ft the 
duly which they owe to their dying friends, on 
account of any pain which it may give to them- 
selves. Many useful lessons are to be learnt in 
the house of mourning. Never forsake those 
"whom duty or ailecftion calls you to attend at that 
awful moment. Much comfort may often be given, 
even at the last. When nothing else remains to 
be done, pray for them to Him who will never 
leave them nor forsake them. Remember that a 
dying person is often sensible of what passes 
around him, much longer than those who are not 
accustomed to such scenes would suppose. Care- 
fully avoid shocking them by saying any thing 
"which they should not hear; and, as long as it is 
possible, let them be sensible that they have the 



[ 222 ] 

comfort of your kindness and of your prayers. 
When all is over, do not try to banish the serious 
thoughts which such a sight must awaken in .your 
mind. Treasure them up in your heart against 
your own hour of trial. I would not wish even very 
young persons to be always kept away from such 
scenes. Let them early learn to see death in the 
true light. This will banish vain and foolish fears. 
They should be taught not to be afraid of the 
dead; they should know there is no more danger 
in>a church-yard than in any other place. Those 
who rest there, can never rise till the day of judg- 
ment. Wg shall go to them, but they never \v\\\ 
return to us. A good man should learn to fear 
nothing except God; but young persons, as w^ell 
as old, should remember that they must die. If 
an opportunity offer of shew-irig them that death 
is not really terrible to a Christian, it may be to 
them a very useful lesson. They should learn 
never to fly from distress which they can relieve, 
but to be kind and compassionate; and they should 
learn the vanity of alt earthly things, by seeing that 
they lead only to the grave. These r.efleftions 
will not rob a man of happiness whilst he is 
young, and they will secure his possession of it 
when he is old. They will teach him to remember 



[ 2Q3 ] 

his Creator in the days of his youth; they will 
teach him to fear God, and to know no other 
fear. " I have sent for you,'* said the great and 
good Mr. Addison to a young man whom he 
loved, " I have sent for you to see how a Christian 
can die." It is indeed a glorious sight, and the 
triumph of our holy reiig'on. 

And now let me entreat you to remember, in 
what manner we ought to consider death. It is 
an awful change to all, but it should be an objeft 
of terror only to wicked men. To them, indeed, 
it is dreadful beyond the power of language to ex- 
press; but it must be endured by them and by us 
all. Other evils may possibly be avoded, some 
crimes escape the punishment of human laws, and 
some wicked men appear to be in great prosper ty; 
but that prosperty must soon be over. "It is 
appo-nted to men once to d.e, but after this the 
judgment."* Ihis ought to make every man 
tremble, who has not reason to hope for the mercy 
of God; but to such men o«/j death is terrible. 
To the humble follower of Christ this last 
enemy appears as a kind friend. Death is to h-m 
the road to life; it has no terror in the eyes of the 
true believer. He views it only as the gate of 
* Hebrews ix. 27. 



[ 224 J 

Heaven, the appointed path to eternal joy. Death 
will end all his sorrows, death will confirm all his 
hopes, death will seal the pardon of all his sins, 
death will crown all his virtues. Death has no 
power to keep the Christian from his Saviour and 
his God. Like the great Captain of his salva- 
vation, he will rise triumphant from the tomb; he 
will look back on this world as on a dream wlien 
one awaketh; he will view its pleasures with con- 
tempt, its sorrows with a smile. He will hear 
that voice which calls to every faithful servant of 
Christ, " Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit 
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 
of the v,orld."* These are the blessings of re- 
deeming love; these are the hopes, these are the 
prospects, which support the dying Christian. 
Under the severest sufferings, nay even under the 
deepest sense of his own weakness and imperfec- 
tion, on the bed of sickness, and at the hour of 
dissolution, he is still enabled to say, " O death, 
where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy vidory ?" 
Now to Him, who for our sakes overcame 
death, and opened to us the gate of everlasting life, 
to Him, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, be 
glory now and for ever. Amen. 
* Matt. XXV. 54. 



SERMON XVIII. 



ST. MATTHEW xxvi. 64. 



HEREAFTER SHALL YE SEE THE SON OF MAN, 
SITTING ON THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, 
AND COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN. 

T 71 TE here learn, from our Saviour himself, 
the certainty of that great event, which 
every Christian expefts, as the completion of all 
his hopes; and every pious heart is prepared to 
answer, " Even so, come. Lord Jesus.'* 

In discoursing on a subje£l which is so far 
above the reach of our weak understandings, it 
is my intention carefully to avoid saying any thing 
which is not revealed in scripture. It shall be my 
humble endeavour to collcft, from the word of 
God, what is told us concerning the judgment of 



[ 226 ] 

the great dixy, and ths happiness or misery to 
Avliich every human being will then be sentenced. 
If ever there were a subject worthy to fix the 
attention of a reasonable creature, it is that on 
which I am now to speak. All the littje distinc- 
tions of this world shrink to nothing in comparison 
with it. All the studies which have employed the 
learned, all the glories which attejid the conqueror, 
appear unworthy of regard. We know and feel, 
that all are vanity and vexation of spirit. This is 
a subjeft on which w^e can gain no information, 
except from the revealed word of God. Of this 
the Heathens knew nothing, and frequently wished 
for instruction. They committed the bodies of 
their friends to the earth, or to the flames, and 
knew not that they were ever to rise again. 
Tliey resigned their souls to God, without any 
sure and certain hope, that He would make them 
for ever happy. All human prospefls end with 
death, and the eye of reason can pierce no farther. 
None ever returned to tell the secrets of the invi- 
sible world. Little remained of that light which 
God had given to our first parents. The hopes of 
the best men were mixed with doubt and uncer- 
tainty, and it was only by death, they were taught 
those glorious truths which every Christian knows; 



[ 227 ] 

it was only by death they were taught that there 
is a reward for the righteous, that there is a God 
who judgeth the earth. 

But to us, my brethren, the Gospel has brouglit 
life and immortality to light. There we learn 
that when our blessed Lord had ascended into 
Heaven, in the presence of his disciples, and a 
cloud received him out of their sight; two men 
stood by them in white apparel, who said, " Why 
stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, 
which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall 
so come in like manner as ye have seen him go 
into Heaven."* Our Saviour in my text informs 
us, that we shall ' see the Son of Man sitting 
on the right hand of power, and coming in the 
clouds of Heaven. He tells us, that " When the 
Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the 
Holy Angels with him, then shall he sit on tlic 
throne of his glory, and before bimshall be gathered 
all nations."! 

" Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye 
shall see him, and they also that pierced him!"]; Such 
is the language of scripture, and such is the firm 
belief of every Christian. Of the day and the hour 
knoweth no man, but we all know that the day of 
* Ads i. II. t Matt. XXV. ai. J Rtv. i. 7. 



[ 228 ] 

the Lord will come, and blessed is he, whom his 
Lord, when hecometh, shall find watching! 

He Cometh indeed, but how changed! How 
different his appearance to what it once was! How 
shall we be able to conceive of it as it deserves ; 
to raise our thoughts from the voice of the tender 
Babe in the manger,bewailing our sins that brought 
him thither, to the voice of the Son of God, from 
which the heavens and the earth shall flee away, 
and no place shall be found for them any more 
for ever? Yet so it is. Behold, he who came in 
swaddling clothes, cometh with clouds. He who 
came to preach the day of salvation, cometh again 
to proclaim the day of vengeance. He who was led 
as a lamb to the slaughter, leads his ten thousands 
to the prey, as the lion of the tribe of Judah. 
He who cried not, nor lifted up his voice against 
his enemies on eaith, thunders with the glorious 
• voice of his excellency against them from Heaven, 
. He who quenched not the smoaking flax, extin- 
guishes the great lights of the world; darkens the 
son, and turns the moon into blood ; commands 
the stars from their stations, and the dead from 
their graves; shakes the powers of Heaven, and 
the foundations of the earth, and all hearts that 
arc not fixed on him."* 

* Bishop Home's Sermons. 



[ 229 1 

He Cometh to judge the world, and before him 
shall be gathered ail nations. To him all hearts 
are open ; to him all crimes are known. In vain 
may his enemies call on the mountiiins to cover 
them; they can be no longer hid. Every secret sin, 
every wicked thought, will then be known; the 
time of repentance will be past, the day of ven- 
geance will be come. A dreadful sentence is re- 
corded in the word of truth, and we must not 
conceal it. We must give the warning, and shew 
you the terrors of the Lord. He hath spoken, 
and we cannot reverse it. " The wicked shall go 
away into everlasting punishment!** " Depart from 
me, ye cursed,into everlasting fire, prepared for the 
Devil and his Angels."* " The fearful, the un- 
believing, and the abominable, the murderers and 
whoremongers, the sorcerers and idolaters, and 
all liars, shall have their part in the lake which 
burneth with fire and brimstone; this is the second 
death."! These iu-e the words of scripture; the 
Minister of the Gospel dares not change them. 
However he may grieve for others, however he 
may tremble for himself, it is his duty to declare 
the truth. " God is not a man that He should 
lie, neither the son of man that He should repent; 
t Matt. -^:xv. 41* t Rev. xxi. 8. 



[ 230 ] 

hath He said, and shall He not do it?"* These 
are the terrors which should be strongly impressed 
on every human being. " Be not afraid of them 
who kill the body, but fear Him, who after 
He hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. 
Yea, I say unto you, fear Him."t If Christianity 
be true, if we have any reason to trust in the merit 
of our Saviour's sufferings, if we have any reason 
to hope for happiness in Heaven, we have the very 
same reason to believe and to know, that every sinner 
who will not repent, must expect punishments, of 
which no degree of misery that can be Iclt on earth 
can give us an idea. Think of this, ye who would 
tremble at the sentence of an earthly judge, at the 
sufferings of an hour! Think of the worm that never 
dies; think of the fire that never will be quenched. 
But to those who look for their Lord, he shall 
appear in a very different character . The judg- 
ment of that great day, while it reveals every se- 
cret sin, will at the same time discover every un- 
known virtue. There the patient will be com^ 
forted, there the humble will be exalted. There it 
will be seen that the secret prayer was not offered 
in vain, that the hour of self-examination was not 
lost. The poor, the weak, the ignorant, if rich 
* Numbers xxiii. 19. f Luke xii. 4« 



[ 231 ] 

in fdltli and virtue, will there be raised far above 
those who despised them. There he, who suf- 
fered in this world, will bless God for calling hirai 
to repentance by pain or sorrow. The wish to do 
good, which arose in the hearts of those who liad 
. nothing to give, will there be rewarded. The Sa- 
viour of the world, terrible in vengeance, but rich 
in mercy, will call his sheep by name. He who 
died for their sins, will accept their sincere, though 
imperfect, obedience. The humble endeavour to 
please him, the tear of penitence, the prayer of 
faitli, will reach the Throne of Grace. He who 
washed us from our sins ^n his own blooJ, will 
complete the work of redeeming love; he will say 
to every faithful servant, " Enter thou into the 
joy of thy Lord." 

Of the happiness of heaven "jce can form no . 
idea J and here, as before, I will repeat the words 
of scripture, without presuming to add any thing 
to them. We are told by St. Paul, that " Eye 
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered 
into the heart of man, the th'ngs which God hath 
prepared for them that love him,"* From scrip- 
ture we learn, that there v/ill be no more sorrow, 
nor crying; and that God shall wipe all tears 

* I Cor. ii. 9. 



[ i232 ] 

from their eyes. From scripture we learn, that 
they will be as the Angels of God ; there will be 
no more sin, there will be no more death. From 
scripture we learn, that they will follow the Lamb 
for ever, and join with all the host of heaven in 
singing. Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent 
reigneth, and he shall reign for ever and ever. 
King of kings, and Lord of lords! Such are the 
hopes, such are the expectations, of a Christian; 
such are the promises which we have received from 
God himself. For ever safe under his proteftion, 
their trial over, their pardon sealed, those who at- 
tain that blessed state can sin no more. No im- 
proper wishes, no wicked inclinations, no arts of 
the tempter, can ever more disturb their peace. 
Pain and sorrow will be no more. United in mu- 
tual love, W'hich human passions will never more 
disturb, they will be happy, and they will be 
happy for ever. Hours, days, years, ages, will 
pass in constant enjoyment, and still their pros- 
per will know no bounds. They will be always 
increasing in wisdom and virtue, going on from 
strength to strength, praising and blessing God 
for ever and ever. 

And does any task seem hard which procures 
for us such a rich reward? Is any thing too much. 



[ Q33 ] 

to prove our love and gratitude to such a Master? 
Is his service hard, when he calls us to do for his 
Sake what, if we knew our own interest, we 
should do for our own; to renounce follies which 
the wise must despise, and vices which the good 
must detest? A man who only regards his own 
health, will not make himself a beast by drunken- 
ness or lust. A man who values his own happi- 
ness, will not make himself hated by cruelty and 
injustice; he will not be unkind to his friends, nor 
disloyal to his King. " What doth the Lord 
require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, 
and to walk humbly with thy God ?"* What 
doth He require of thee, but to pursue thy own 
true interest, to be happy in this world and in the 
next? If we are sometimes called to suffer, we 
know that it is only to make us more worthy of 
his love who suffered for us. He has left us 
his example, he has promised us his support, he 
has set before us an eternal reward. Could such 
a reward be too dearly purchased by any degree 
of suffering during our short life on earth? Thou- 
sands have purchased that reward by sufferings 
to which at present we are not exposed. Thou- 
sands have glorified God in torments and in flames. 
" They were tortured, not accepting deliverance, 

* Micah vi. t. 
R 



[ 234 ], 

that they might obtain a better resuite£l:ion. And 
others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, 
yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They 
were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempt- 
ed, were slain with the sword. They wandered 
about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being des- 
titute, afflicted, tormented, (of whom the world 
was not worthy;) they wandered in deserts, and in 
mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth."* 
Happy are they who have shewn their love to Him 
who died for them; and let us all think ourselves 
happy, if by any means we can obtain his favour. 
Whether He crown us with blessings, or try us 
with afflictions, still let us love and thank Him. 
He only knows what is good for us; and secure 
under his proteftion, trusting in his mercy, and 
relying on his gracious promises, let every Christ- 
ian say, and say it from his heart, " Not my will^ 
but thine be done!" " Let us lay aside every 
v'eight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, 
and let us run with patience the race that is set 
before us; looking unto Jesus, the Author and 
Finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that Mas 
set before him, endured the cross, dcspii:ing the 
shame, and is set down at the right hand of the 
throne of GoD.'f 

* Ileb. xi. .15. t Heb. xii. i. 



I 235 ] 

And now, my beloved brethren, consider all that 
has been said. I have endeavoured to shew you 
the path of life; and may God give you grace to 
walk in it to the end. " I call Heaven and earth 
to record this day, that I have set before you life 
death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, 
that both you and your seed may live." I will sum 
up all in the words of the Royal Preacher. " Let 
us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear 
God, and keep his commandments, for this is the 
whole duty of man. For God shall bring every 
work into judgment, and every secret thinj, whe- 
ther it be good, or whi^ther it be evil."* 

" Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfeft, be 
of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, 
and the God of love and peac^ shall be with you."i 
And may He who liatli called us to eternal glory 
by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suifered a 
while, make you perfeft, stablish, strengthen, 
settle you. May He be your guide unto deathj 
and after death, may He receive you into glory! 
Now to Him who loved us, and washed us from 
our sins in his own blood, and hatii made us kings 
and priests to God and his Father, to Him be 
glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

* Eccles. xii. 13. fa Cor. xiii. i.i. 



Cruttwell, Printer, St. James's-Street, Bath. 



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