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they are applicable of a truth! To have been attentive to the history of the sufferings and death of the Saviour of the world, which, for some time past, has been the great subject of our address, to have traced it through all its successive circumstances, to have felt the necessity, and to have penetrated into the design of the whole; to have applied to ourselves the lessons which it inculcates, the consolations which it supplies, the hope which it inspires: to deduce, from those grand objects, consequences affecting the conduct of life, tending to promote sanctity of manners, superiority to the world, love to a God so rich in mercy, desire of possessing that in perfection, of which displays so astonishing, convey ideas so sublime
After that, to come next Lord's day to the table of Jesus Christ, with the understanding convinced, the lieart overflowing, the soul penetrated: to discern, in the bread and the wine of which we are to partake, the symbols of that death, whose memorial the church is celebrating : to promise unto God, over those august pledges of his love, to render to him love for love, and life for life : to expand the heart in such emotions; to communicate in such a disposition, and to wait for death under such impressions -these are the loftiest objects which man can propose to his meditation. This is the highest point of perfection which we are capable of attaining, in the course of this mortal pilgrimage. This is the purest delight that we can tasie in this valley of tears.
I trust, my dearly beloved brethren, that these 'sublime objects shall not have been presented to
you in vain. I trust that so many exhortations will not fall to the ground totally without suc
I trust that these first emotions, which it is impossible to withhold from an expiring Saviour, will not be as the early cloud, and as the morning den, Hos. vi. 4. which appear for a moment, and are dissipated in a moment. I trust they will henceforward engage your heart, your mind, your whole life, and that they will accompany you to the bed of death. I trust that when this awful period comes, instead of that mortal reluctance, instead of those insupportable forebodings which unrepented guilt inspires, the image of Jesus Christ crucified, present to your eyes; what do I say, of Jesus Christ crucified ? of Jesus Christ raised from the dead, glorious, sitting at the right hand of his Father; of Jesus Christ, presenting continually before his eyes the value of that blood which he shed for the salvation of the human race; of Jesus Christ extending his arins to receive your departing spirit, that he may bind it up in the bundle of life: I trust that this image will dispel all the terrors of death, and thus prepare you to pass from the dispensation of grace, to the dispensation of glory.
In the dispensation of grace, you have beheld the Son of God invested with the form of a servant ; in the dispensation of glory, you shall behold him arrayed in all splendour and magnificence. In the dispensation of grace, you have beheld the King of kings attended by an humble train of disciples of but mean appearance: in the dispensation of glory, you shall behold him accompanied by the heavenly
hosts, legions of angels and archangels, of the cherubim and of the seraphim. In the dispensation of grace, you have beheld Jesus Christ expiring ignominiously upon a cross: in the dispensation of glory, you shall behold him in the clouds of heaven, judging the quick and the dead. In the dispensation of grace, you have heard the lips of your Saviour thus speaking peace to your soul: Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee : in the dispensation of glory, you shall hear this decision from his mouth; “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” Matth. xxv. 34. May God of his infinite mercy grant it! To him be honour and glory now and for ever. Amen.
N. B. The next Sermon in the series, that on THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST, which is the eighth of Vol. II. of Mr. Robinson's Selection, may be read with advantage in this place.
The Blessedness of believing, without having seen.
JOHN XX, 29.
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen
me thou hast believed : blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
STRANGE is the condition in which Providence has placed the Christian. He is ever walking in the midst of darkness and obscurity. He is placed between two periods of gloominess; between the cloudy night of the past, and the still darker night of futurity.
Does he wish to ascertain the truths which are the object of his faith? They are founded on facts; and in order to be assured of those facts, he must force his way backward, through more than eighteen hundred years: he must dig truth and falsehood out of the rubbish of tradition ; out of the captious systems of the enemies of Christianity; nay, sometimes, out of the pious frauds, on which an indiscreet zeal has attempted to establish it."
If he wishes to ascertain the reality of that blessedness which is the object of his hope, he must plunge
It is ne
himself, in quest of it, into periods which do not yet subsist. He must walk by faith and not by sight, 2 Cor. v. 7. le must depart as Abraham did, and leave his kindred and his father's house, without knowing, precisely whilher he goes, Heb. xi. 8. cessary that his persuasion, if I may so express myself, should form a new creation of things, which have no real existence as to hiin; or, to use the expression of St. Paul, his faith must be the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen, Heb. xi. 1. Now, it is to such obscurity, it is to such darkness, that a man is called to sacrifice all that the human mind is taught to consider as the greatest reality and certainty, I mean the decisions of reason, and the felicities of a present world.
What a situation! What a strange situation!
But be it as it may, we, this day, place ourselves, my brethren, between these two dark clouds; between the night of the past, and the night of futurity. In what are the duties of this day to terminate ? What is the language suitable to the day which is now passing ? I believe : I hope. I believe that the Word was made flesh, that he suffered, that he died, that he rose again : this is the night of the past. I hope that, in virtue of this incarnation, of these sufferings, of this resurrection, “an entrance shall be ministered unto me abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," 2 Pet. i. 11. and that I sball partake in the felicity of the ever blessed God: this is the night of futurity. I believe, and to that belief I immolate all the ideas of my intellect, all the systems of my reason. I hope,