Page images

brought froin Scripture. The prayer does not prove my point. Consider which Christ taught his Disciples, too the pride, vanity, envy, covete! “ forgive us our trespasses,” implies ousness, impatience, anger, lust, that all men bad trespassed. His hatred, revenge, hypocrisy, sloth, charge to his Apostles, “ Go ye and drunkenness, profaneness, falsehood, preach the Gospel to every creature;" fraud, oppression, cruelty, and other God's commanı, that all men every evil passions and evil habits which where should repent; as well as our disgrace mankind, and some one or Saviour's assurances, except a more of which are to be found in a man is born again, he cannot see greater or less degree in every man, the kingdom of God,” “ except ye and you will be disposed to say that be converted and become as litile all men indeed “have sinned and children, ye shall not enter the come short of the glory of God.” kingdom of heaven," “ except ye But not to confine our view to repent ye shall all likewise perish,” what passes without, let each of us do of themselves prove that all men turn his eye inward, and see whether need repentance, conversion, re what he finds there does not strengthgeneration; in other words, that en the doctrine. God bath given us * all have sinned and come short of a law, founded in justice, goodness, the glory of God."

and truth, and requiring us to love But even had the Scriptures been bim with all our hearts, and our silent on this head we should have neighbours, that is, all men, as ourhad cause enough, from what we selves. Now let us inquire how far see around us, to conclude that all we have kept this holy law. Let us men are sinners. God made man try ourselves by it, our own conat first to be happy. Why then is sciences being the judges, and we be not happy? Why those dreadful cannot fail to come to the conclusion, marks of God's displeasure which that we at least have sinned. appear in the disorders of the earth; Have we then, as his subjects, in ihe storms and thunders, the light- yielded to God at all times a cheerpings and earthquakes, which visit ful obedience? Have we been ready it, and which overwhelm thousands to adore, worship, and submit to in one common ruin? Whence all bim? Have we, as his children, the evils of life? Whence those loved and honoured him, applied to diseases which prey on mankind? him in our straits, placed our deWhence all the miseries which they pendence on him, acquiesced in his have to endure? Why is there no disposals, and been ready with childcountry which has not been wasted like submission to receive the law by war? Why is there no man who from his mouth? Have we been escapes the stroke of death? To all always in the habit of delighting in this ihere is only one answer, “ All him and his favour, being thankful have sinned." The state of man in for all bis kindness, and zealous for this world, and his history from the his glory; or have we delighted in cradle to the grave, join with Scrip- things which God has forbidden, lure in proclaiming this truth. and been ready to act for other ends · Let us also consider the conduct than to please him? Have we in our of men in all ages, and see what different relations, as husbands and farther support it gives to this doc- wives, parents and children, masters trine. Since the first murder of and servants; as superiors, inferiors, Abel, what dreadful hayoc has man or equals, acted towards others as made of man? Every page of his we would they should act towarde tory is filled with accounts of slaugh. us? Have we at all times behaved ter and desolation, of folly and vice. to all men with kindness and love? See all the nations of the world, ex Have we never indulged ihe thoughts cept the family of Abraham, given of envy, malice, revenge, lust, covetup to stupid idolatry, and say if this ousness, discontent ; to say nothing

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

of the actions io which such disposi- through his not believing the protions lead? Have we always been mises and the threatenings of God; sober, chaste, self-denying, meek, the same cause which turns us also 'charitable, never violating truth, aside from his righteous ways. never indulging selfishness, never Thus did sin enter into the world.

preferring the world and the things Man, by sinning, necessarily lost of the world to God and conscience? his Maker's image, and of course bis Where is the man who will lay his favour and friendship. He became hand on his heart, and, appealing to unholy and unclean.

And who can that God who searches it and knows bring a clean thing out of an un. the ground of it, will say, I have clean? Therefore did Adam beget fully performed all these duries, Isons in his own sinful likeness, and have never been guilty of one or therefore, till the present hour, have other of inese sins?

men come into the world with hearts But how greatly aggravated will prone 10 evil and averse from good; 'our guilt appear, when we consider with hearts which are enmily against against whom it is that we have Gori, and with dispositions which are thus sinned. It is the God who contrary to his pure and holy na'created and who preserves us continually: the kind Father who sup Are further proofs wanting? plies all our wants, and whose mer. Scripture is full of them. cies are renewed to us every inorn Adam all die.” “ The carnal mind," ing. It is the Gou wao, potuith- or the mind of man by nature, “is standing our sins, still regards us enmity against God, for it is not with an eye of pity, and even now subject to the law of God, neither prays us to turn to him: nay niore, indved can be.”

Among whom" who has sent his Son to suffer in our (the children of disobedience) “we stead, to die to redeem us, in atone also had our conversation in times for our sins, and to make our peace. past, and were by nature children And have we not also increase'i our of wrath, even as others," or, as it guilt, by setting av ught his invita might be translated, as the rest of tions, despising wis warnings, rej ct. munkind; as much as to say, that ing his offers of

mercy disrerarding all by nature are children of wrath; his calls to reprolance, and endeavour and how can that be, unless by naing to quencu the motions of his

lure all are corrupt and sinful? Spirit? And yet, notwithstanding all Other proofs might be produced, this, God still spares us, prolong our but I conceive these to be fully suffidays, and causes loving kindness and cient. Indeed, when we look around mercy still to follow us.

us, and see that we cannot ourselves not, then, added base in ratiiude to name a man who sinneth not; and all our other sims?

when we look inward, and consi. 3. But let us consider the cause der what passes in our own minds; why all hare thus sinned. And here there appears little room to object we observe,that the cause is that cor to this doctrine, but abundant cause rupt nature which we have inherited to believe it true. How hard are from Adam, and which, descend our hearts, how obstinale is our reing from bun, our common parent, sistance to the grace of God, whe. hath infected ihe whole human race, ther he call us by his word and On this point the Scriptures are ministers, sofien our hearts by the very express.

God created man in continual succession of mercies, or bis own image, in knowledge, righ- alarm us by affictive or awful teousness and poliness: but, through visitations ! How do we fortify the subtilty of the old serpent, the ourselves by pride and unbelief, devil, his miod was draira aside against the whispers of conscience, from the simplicity of dependence the motions of God's Spirit, and the on God. Through unbelief he fell, awful declarations and threatenings

Have we

cape the

of his word! And even when we for it?" I must answer to this, that begin to be convinced that we must sin naturally brings a punishment repent, how do we put off the day with it; and that, even supposing no of repentance! How backward are direct curse to be pronounced on it, we to part with our sins! How do we yet it cannot but produce misery as flatter ourselves they are but small, well in another world, as in this, to and that there is no danger! And the soul in which it dwells. But, when we al length give up outward whatever there might be in this ob. sins, how do we continue to indulge jection in other circumstances, and the lusts of the flesh! And what I do not allow there would be any, struggles have those with their car. there can be no weight given to it in nal bearis, whose desires in the our case. For the same Bible wbich main are towards God, and wbo are makes us acquainted with our disin the main following Christ their ease, points out to us also the reRedeemer! Consider, in one word, . medy. We are called upon to rethe means God has used to recover pent and turn to God, to believe in us out of the spare of the devil: Christ, to forsake sin, and follow the pains he has taken in sending holiness, that we may prophets into the world; the mira- punishment of sin. Nay, lest any cles, sufferings, and death of Christ; man should still object, and say that the blood which has been shed as a this was beyond his power, God seal of the truth; the strivings of himself has promised, if we will God's Spirit; the threatenings of but ask him, to give us repentance, God's Law; the gracious promises of faith, the pardon of our sins, his the Gospel; the alarming sermons Spirit to renew and sancify us, and we have heard; the good books we his grace to fit us for glory. The have read; and all the instructions, objection then can have no weight; warnings, and admonitions we have for if any of us are punished for received ;-consider, I say, all this; our sins, it will be, noi because our and at the same time reflect uot only natures were originally depraved and on what is passing in the world corrupted, but because we would not around us, but on what passes every have them renewed; bot because day in our own hearts, and shall we we loved sin so well, as to refuse to noi be constrained to allow that we exchange it for Christ and all the bave all sinned, because there is no blessings of his purchase. spiritual health in us, and because 4. And now I come to consider we are by nature children of disobe. the awful effects of our having dience and children of wrath ? thus sinned. On this point, suffice

It may be asked, however, how it to say, that God hath in express can men now be answerable for terms assured us, that the wages of Adam's sin? But the point we have sin is death ; " that the soul which been proving is, not that men are sinneth shall die;" “ that his wrath answerable for Adam's sin, but that is revealed from Heaven agaiost all they have inherited Adam's corrup- unrighteousness of men;" that “intion. And what signify cavils dignation and wrath, tribulation and against facts? It is plain that we anguish await every soul of man that bave inherited Adam's corruption. doeth evil;" that “the wicked shall And when we find that diseases of- be punished with everlasting destruc. ten run in the blood, and taint tion from the presence of the Lord, whole families, why should it be so and from the glory of his power." inconceivable, that sin, which so Nor is it only those who have been corrup's and vitiates the whole man, guilty of shocking and atrocious should extend its ruinous influence crimes, that in Scripture are classed to man's offspring ?

with sinners, with the wicked and But “if sin be natural to man, how the unrighteous; for it is written, can God blame him, or punish him “ Cursed is every one that con.

tiqueth not in all things which are unless we know ourselves ruined written in the book of the law to do and undone without him? No: with. them." And again,“Whosoevershall out the knowledge and the convickeep the whole law, and yet offend : tion of sin, we shall go on in impein one point, is guilty of all." Let' nitency and unbelief, we shall conno man then deceive us with vain ,,tinue in a state of carnal security, words; let none of us deceive him- dreaming that we are safe, until self; for. because of these things, death wake us from our dream, and because of the breaches of his law, convince us, though too late, of our shall the wrath of God come upon guilt and misery. the children of disobedience,

But see, on the other hand, the 'If, then, this be indeed man's' blessings which flow from an affectstalo by nature; if we are all thus ing knowledge of our sinful and the slaves of sin, enemies to God lost estate. We shall be disposed by wicked works, and the heirs of to seek for salvation ; and those who deserved and endless wrath; how seek as they ought shall assuredly incumbent is it upon us to cry aloud find it. The knowledge of our disfor mercy! How eagerly should ease will naturally leail us to the we inquire, What must we do to be Physician. Christ, the Physician of sared! And, blessed be God, there souls, waits to be gracious to us. He is a way of escape, which those will blot out the sins of the penitent. who seek shall find. Help is laid He will bind up the broken-hearted. for sinners, on Him who, though He will free those who desire delibone of our bone, is also the mighty verance from the yoke of sin. . JusGod, the everlasting Father, and the tified by his blood and righteousPrince of Peace. In him is God ness, we shall be sanctified by his now reconciling sinners to himself. Spirit: made children of God by Of his mere mercy does be save us, faith in Christ, we shall be freed through faith, through a faith too not from the curse, and sin shall have of ourselves, it is the gift of God. no more dominion over us ; “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ" is shall have peace and joy in believing, the command to sinners, " and thou , and at length receive the end of shalt be saved.". Nor is it by our our faith, even the salvation of our works of righteousness, but accord- souls. ing to his mercy, he saves us, by

Now to Him who hath loved us, the washing of regeneration, and and washed us from our sins in his renewing of the Holy Ghost, which blood, and who will make all that he sheds abundantly on his children, truly believe in him kings and through Jesus Christ our Saviour, priests unto God and his Father, may that being justified by his grace, we, with all the redeemed, ascribe they may be made heirs according the dominion and glory both now 10 the bope of eternal life.

and ever. : Amen. To conclude; let no man imagine that the knowledge of our lost estate is a point of vo moment. « Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. perish.” But how can we repent, I much incline to think, that if Paunless we know and feel ourselves ROCHUS (with 'whose paper your sinners Unless we are made to Number for January begins), could feel our need of salvation, how sball meet with a publication of 1654, we regard Christ as our Saviour ? entitled, A Rejoinder to Mr. Drake: “ Unless ye believe that I am he," by John Humfrey, A. M. Minithat is, the Christ, the Saviour, " ye ster of Frome, Somersetshire; it shall die in your sins.” But how mighı very much relieve his mind can we believe in him as our Saviour, on one part of the subject on wbich CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 147.



both in public and peavours, own righteousness, and trusted only

be complains, and perhaps fully Thus superstition may seem to run convince him, that neither any mi- 'here in a channel directly contrary nister or spiritual society has any to that in the parish of Parochus. right from Scripture to exercise a The office for the Communion of power to separate the worthy from the Sick supposes that people ought unworthy communicants,' viz. while diligently to altend the Sacrament they are actual members of the visi: 'in their health, and that' then they ble church; except by loudly call. 'need not be disquieléd for the want ing on all, with St. Paul, to eramine of it in time of sickness. As Paro. themselves, &c. It is somewhat 'chu's observes of several eminent remarkable, that Mr. Humfrey Christians by name, I have also was one of the ejected Bartholo- known maný pious persons, whó, næans after the Restoration; but having been regular communicants he did not quit the Established in health, expressed no anxiety to Church through any scruples reso communicate on their dying beds; pecting mitt communion, as it is well knowinig, according to the called. Ever since I read the said Rubrick, that while they truly repented Rejoinder, I have not felt a wish 10 of their sins, and stedfastly believed possess such a power as Parochus that Jesus Christ 'shed his blood for seems to covet; nay, I am glad to their redemption, earnestly rememhave it not, as it would be of no bering the benefits they have thereby service, and I can conduct myself and giving hin hearty thanks' there. full as well without it.

fore, they did eat and drink the body, The existing state of things may and blood of Christ profitably to their be rather different in that part of souls" healtli

, although they did not England where Parochus ''resides. then receite the Sacrament with their I have been in my present situation mouths. betwixt 30 and 40 years. I have ' I do not know that, in my large very often, all along, spoken with and populous district, 'iħe opus ope. the utmost plaioness and fidelity on ratum of communicating on a deaththe subject of the Sacrament, in my bed is at all considered as a passport public ministrations. From the first to Heaven: I generally have some I was never much disturbed with or other, to whow1 occasionally those persons intruding themselves administer the Sacrament at home, 10 the Lord's table, whose absence who'have been communicants beco" I should rather have preferred. I fore, and are disabled from attend. do not know that there are any ing the church, 'by sickness, 6ldi amongst my present set of monthly age, or other infirmities,' But it is communicants whom I would wish not very often' that I have been to be kept away; and 'I 'verily be asked to administer it to persons on lieve, that upon the whole, their death-beds, though I am much in the characters are at least as examplary, habit of visiting the sick. In some as those of any set of Church - Men- such cases, I have declined doing bers (as they are called) amongst it; and then and in other cases, any of those parties who separate when I have complied,' I have in. from the Established Church on pres 'structed and solemnlyi admonished tence of greater purity. My chief the parties, that it would'"avail cause for complaint is, that there "them" nothing, unless they were is a considerable number of per: deeply humbled for their “sins sons in my congregation who I found the remembrance grievous think ought to attend the Lord's renounced all dependence on their be prevailed with to do so, nor to 'passion, whereof the Sacramentis. lay' aside their mistaken fears of a solemon and thankful terdem. eating and drinking unworthily. 'brance, &c.; that if endüed by gracë

[ocr errors][merged small]


« PreviousContinue »