Page images
PDF
EPUB

Do you know, that you have passed from death unto life, because you love the brethren, with something of that enlarged charity, which the Saviour of man exhibited towards yourselves ? Ye will surely bear in mind, “that the law of the Jubilee for the release of the debtor was merely a type of that generous compassion which should animate every true Christian under the grace of the gospel.”! If the accents of the Saviour's love have fallen upon your hearts more loudly and more effectually, than the strain of the trumpet, on the great day of the jubilee atonement, gladdened the soul of the debtor and the captive, ye will be merciful after your power; and, “as Christ hath loved you, so will ye also love one another." It is written in that gospel, whence alone you derive a hope of mercy, ---and the speaker was the Son of God, in the character of the master in his parable, Shouldst not thou also have compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

· Dr. Buchanan's Jubilee Sermon, p. 25.

SERMON III.

THE INVITATION GIVEN BY MOSES TO HOBAB.

NUMBERS X. 29.

And Moses said unto Hobab the son of Raguel the

Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, We are journeying unto the place, of which the Lord said, I will give it you : : come thou with us, and we will do thee good : for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.

WHEN a celebrated Athenian philospherlay on his death-bed, he solemnly returned thanks to God, for having created him a man, rather than an irrational animal; for having made him a Grecian, instead of a barbarian; and for

permitting him to be the contemporary of Socrates, the great luminary of his age and nation.

If a view of divine mercy, comparatively so confined and partial could bid the heart of this

1 Plato.

[ocr errors]

wise heathen throb with gratitude, amidst its last earthly emotions, with what adoring thankfulness should a sincere Christian contemplate his own vast and varied heritage of mercy. To advantages social and civil, which the best ages of antiquity never knew, he adds others peculiarly arising out of the faith and hope of the gospel. He is a subject of that most blessed dispensation, which proclaims, “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace and good will to men." That love to others which is the closest bond of amity and peace on earth, and the unfailing fountain of bliss in heaven, is especially taught him at the foot of the cross. He looks to that most miraculous act of compassion, by which his salvation was purchased upon Calvary, when incarnate Deity died for him, “the just for the unjust, to bring him to God.” He there learns to imitate the mind of universal charity that was in Christ Jesus. The Spirit bears witness with his spirit that he is a child of God; and therefore he loves

every member of God's family. When he contrasts the extent of his possessions, and the magnificence of his prospects, with the bereaved and perishing condition of those who have no hope, and are without God in the world, he longs, and labours, and prays, that they also may obtain remission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified, through faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The solicitation of Moses to his brother-inlav Hobab, displays that sense of divine goodness, and that unaffected anxiety for the best interests of others, which invariably distinguish every zealous and faithful follower of God. It is therefore, in harmony with our usual attendance in the sanctuary, whither we come to hear and bless the wonders of redeeming love ; and thus to catch a spark of that compassion for others, which glowed in the Saviour's bosom towards ourselves.

With this appropriation of the subject, the scripture before us will exhibit

I. THE DECLARATION OF Moses.
II. His INVITATION TO HOBAB.

I. Canaan was preeminently the land of promise. Four hundred and thirty years before this period it had been given to the posterity of Abraham ; and they were now on their march to possess it. Well then, might their distinguished leader address Hobab in the exulting language of the text: “We are journeying unto the place, of which the Lord said, I will give it you.” If reiterated assurances, confirmed by the most stupendous acts of power and faithfulness, could silence unbelief, and enable the tribes of Israel to depend upon the integrity of the word of God, they possessed ample encouragement to pass on through the wilderness, in cheerful patient hope; nay in the full assurance of faith. The land was before them, and the veracity of God was pledged, that they should inhabit it.

We are assured, that Canaan is a type of heaven ;-an emblem of that rest, pure, perfect, unbroken, and eternal, which remains for the people of God. The same voice of mercy which calls us forth from the house of bondage, the slavery of Satan, the land of darkness, and the shadow of spiritual death, addresses us in accents of unchangeable truth from the pages of the Bible ; offering to invest us with the glorious reversion of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. “Father,” said the Saviour, in the anticipation of his great redemption—" Father, I will, that they also whom thou hast given me be with me, where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me.” That voice could never plead unheard in heaven. For his sake, God willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed

it by an oath ; that by two immutable things, i in which it was impossible for God to lie, (his

promise and his oath) we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to the hope

« PreviousContinue »