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substantiates all that is said of the Jewish tyrants : and the constancy of our modern Maccabees, is a sure test of what is said concerning the constancy of the ancient Maccabees. What has been the seed of the reformed church? It is the blood of the reformers, and of the first reformed. What was the rise of this republic ? It was the light of faggots kindled to consume it. Inhabitants of these provinces, what were your ancestors ? Confessors and martyrs. And you, my dear countrymen, whence are you come ? Out of great tribulation. What are you? Brands plucked from the burning. Fathers, who have seen their children die for religion; children who have seen their fathers die for religion. O that God may forbear hearkening to the voice of so much blood, which cries to Heaven for vengeance on those who shed it! May God, in placing the crown of righteousness on the heads of those who suffered, pardon those who caused their death! May we be, at least, permitted to recount the history of our brethren, who have conquered in the fight; to encourage those who have yet to combat, but who so disgracefully draw back. Ah! generation of confessors and martyrs, would you degrade the nobility of your descent? Your fathers have confessed their religion amid the severest tortures; and would you deny it in these happy provinces, enlightened by the truth? Have they sacrificed their lives for religion, and will you refuse to sacrifice a portion of your riches? Ah, my brethren, Secing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run with patience, the race that is set before us.
IV. I have said that there is, between us and those illustrious saints, proposed as models by the Holy Spirit, a similarity of molives. It implies a contradiction, to suppose that they had more powerful motives.to animate them in their course, than those we have proposed to you. Yes, it implies a contradiction, that the Abrahams, quitting their country, the land of their nativity, and wandering they knew not where, in obedience to the divine call :-it implies a contradiction, that the Moseses preferred affliction with the people of God,
God, to the pleasures of sin, which are but for a sesson :-it implies a contradiction, that this multitude of martyrs, some of whom were tormented, others were stoned, others were sawn asunder, others were killed by the sword: -it implies a contradiction, that those illustrious saints have beheld, at the close of their course, a more valuable prize than that extended to you. This prize is a blissful immortality. Here the whole advantage is on your side. This prize is placed more distinctly in your sight, than it was in the view of those illustrious characters. I really think it was St. Paul's view at the close of the chapter, in which he enumerates the saints, whose virtues have formed the leading subject of this discoure. These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise ; God having provided some better things for us, that they, without us, should not be made perfect. What is implied in their not having received the promise? Does it mean that they did not know the doctrine of a future state ? St. Paul affirms quite the contrary. What is meant by their not being made
good things unto your children, how much more shali your Father which is in heaven, give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him ? If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.
0! if we knew the value of wisdom! If we knew What miracles of virtue can we wrought by a soul actuated by the Holy Spirit! If we knew how to avail ourselves of this promise! Let us, my dear brethren, avail ourselves of it. Let us ask of God those aids, not to flatter our indolence and vice, but to strengthen us in all our conflicts. Let us say, Lord, teach my hands to war, and my fingers to fight, Ps. cxliv. Seeing so many enemies combine to detach us from his favour, let us thus invite bim to our aid. Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let them also that hate him, flee before him. Let us pour into his bosom all those anxieties, which enfeeble the mind. Then he will reply, My grace is sufficient for thee, my strengtk shall be made perfect in thy weakness. Then shall all the enemies of our salvation fly, and be confounded before us. Then shall all the difficulties, which discourage us by the way, disappear. Then shall we exclaim in the midst of conflicts, Blessed be God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ. Amen. To him be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
On the Example of the Saints.
HEBREWS xii. l.
Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so
great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us ; and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
(THE SUBJECT CONCLUDED.
WE proceed this day, my brethren, to shew you the way which leads to the end proposed in our two precding discourses. The words we have now read for the third time, place three things before your view,—distinguished duties,-excellent models, and wise precautions. The distinguished duties are illustrated in the perseverance we pressed in our first discourse. The excellent models are the saints of the highest order, and in particular the cloud of witnesses with which we are surrounded. Of these, St. Paul has made an enumeration and eulogium in the chapter preceding that, from which our text is read; and whose virtues we have traced in our last discourse. But, by what means may we attain an end so noble ? By what means may we discharge duties perfect without us? Is it as some of the primitive fathers, and as some of our modern divines have thought, that the Old Testament saints were not received into beaven till the ascension of Jesus Christ? This is contrary to other passages of our Scriptures. But they received not the promise, that is to say, with the same clearness as Christians. They without us were not made perfect ; the perfect knowledge of immortality and life being the peculiar prerogative of the Christian church. Whatever be the sense of those words of St. Paul, we will sheiv, that this doctrine of immortality and life is no longer covered with a veil; as it was previously to the introduction of the gospel ; but it is demonstrated by a multitude of arguments which sound reason, though less improved than that of the ancients, enables us to adduce for conviction; and they are placed in evidence by Jesus Christ. Let us introduce this Jesus to you ; let us cause you to hear this Jesus animating you by doctrine and example in the course; Him that overcometh, says he, will I grant to sit down with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father or his throne, Rev. iii. 21.
V. The last article,--happily adapted to silence those who avail themselves of the distinguished virtues of those saints for not accepting them as models; or, to conclude in a manner more correspondent to our ministry, an article well calculated to support us in the race God has set before all his saints-is, that between us and those who have finished it with joy, there is a similarity of assistance. By nature they were like us, incapable of running the race; and by