Page images

Father. John iii. 13, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

Fourthly, The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father. This is a figurative phrase. The bosom is that part of the body in which the heart is enclosed, and the affections are seated in the heart. It is while engaged in considering this and a variety of similar testimonies that the mind is prone to wander from the simplicity of truth. We can hardly forbear conceiving of the Father as a being constructed precisely as we ourselves are not attending to the figure which the Almighty hath manifested of himself, for although the soul has affections, it has no heart, no heart of flesh, but as manifested in the body; so the affections of the divine nature is manifested in the human nature, which is the body, that body which was prepared for the Redeemer; a body hast thou prepared for me, &c. &c.

Fifthly and lastly, No man can know the Father, but the Son, and those to whom the Son declares him. The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Emmanuel hath declared him. Emmanuel, the God-man, the divine and human Nature united. John xvii. 26, “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." How fraternal, how becoming the character of an elder brother is the reason affectionately rendered by the Redeemer-that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. Chapter xv. 15, "Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth, but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you." Gracious, ever gracious, ever condescending Redeemer, with what rapturous adoration shall we through the wasteless ages of eternity echo the loud hallelujah to thy glorious, thy emphatic name. Again Chapter vi. 45, our LORD saith, "It is written in the prophets they shall be all taught of God." How rational, how truly divine is the inference, "Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me." Most luminous, most blessed is the divine Teacher whom by sweet and powerful constraint we shall all

eventually approach. By his teaching we shall indeed be made wise unto salvation, for this omniscient, omnipotent Prophet, Priest and King is the true light, that lighteth every man who cometh into the world. The light of the world. GLORY BE TO GOD.


JOHN Vi. 28, 29.

First, MEN
EN arrogantly conceive themselves capable of doing

the works of God. Matthew xix. 16, "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" Acts xvi. 30, “Sir, what must I do to be saved?" Chapter ii. 37, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" And in our text, What shall we do that we might work the works of God?

Secondly, Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. This answer was given by him who spake as never man spake. But what are we to understand by believing on him whom God hath sent? God sent his Son into the world to destroy the works of the devil. Can we believe in Jesus Christ, and not believe this truth? And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Can I believe in Jesus Christ, and not admit this good report? "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will but the will of him that sent me." What is the will of God? The will of God is that all men should be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth. But the Re- : deemer came to do the will of him that sent him.

Thirdly, This believing on the sent Saviour is not the work of any created being, it is the work of God himself. God knoweth this, and it is therefore he saith, John xii. 47, "And if any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." Faith is the gift

of God. It is God who powerfully worketh this work of faith. No man can know the things of God but by the spirit of God. Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but it is God who giveth the increase.


JOHN vi. 67, 68.

MANY of our Saviour's hearers left him, and thus leav ing the rock of their salvation, attached themselves to lying vanities. This fact naturally originated this affecting question. “Will ye also go away? And the question produced the reply, "LORD, to whom should we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." It is frequently affirmed by our adversaries that we shall not continue in our present sentiments, that we shall reject the doctrines we now embrace, that we shall turn back; but our reason for not turning back is the best possible reason. Jesus hath the words of eternal life. But we will inquire,

First, For what I pray you shall we turn back? For eternal life? Where have we life but where we are. Christ Jesus hath the words of eternal life. Shall we go from Christ to Moses, or can we desire to be again under the law? Hearken ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? Galatians iii. 10, "For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one which continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them." Shall we turn from the master to the servant, from the blessing to the curse, from the ministration of salvation and life, to the ministration of condemnation and death?

Secondly, Shall we turn from the Redeemer of the world to John? From the baptism of the one, to the baptism of the other?

Thirdly, Shall we turn from the glorious High Priest of our profession, to any who are in subordination to the traditions of men?

Fourthly, Shall we turn from the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Christ Jesus, unto the righteousness found in the creature, and the faith of the creature consequent thereon?

Fifthly, Shall we leave him who was given by Jehovah as a covenant to the people, and turn to fabricating covenants for ourselves? What, turn from an everlasting covenant to those

enfeebled exertions, those fluctuating compacts in which there is no stability? Shall we adopt the conduct of the people described by Jeremiah, ii. 12, 13, when the heavens were called upon to be astonished, to be horribly afraid, to be very desolate, because the people of God had committed two evils; they had forsaken him, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, which could hold no water. We are melted by this paternal enquiry, Is Israel a servant? Is he a home-born slave? Why is he spoiled?

What infatuation should we evince, were we to turn from the peace made by the blood of the cross, and from him who made that peace, and who is, therefore, our peace, which peace and which covenant can never be removed?

Sixthly, Shall we leave him who is made of God unto us sanctification, and turn to the santification exhibited by an imperfect creature? Shall we turn from the holiness we possess in Christ Jesus, which holiness renders us perfect, even as our Father who îs in heaven is perfect? Shall we turn from this immaculate holiness, to the holiness found in a being who, in his best estate, is vanity?

Once we fed on husks; but we have returned to the house of our almighty Father, where there is enough and to spare; corn, wine, and oil in abundance; where there is enough for every child of Adam, and still there will be to spare. Shall we turn back to these husks, spending our money for that which is not bread, and our labour for that which satisfieth not? Shall we refuse to receive wine and milk without money and without price, even that wine which maketh glad the heart of God and man, which is the fruit of the true vine unadulterated, well refined on the lees, pure from those drugs used by wine merchants, who sell, at a great price, the wine of their own manufacturing, prepared from the fruit of the degenerate vine? Shall we, who, when babes were fed with the sincere milk of the word, having grown thereby, turn back to a gross compound of hypocrisy and self-conceit, which is a milk, not of the word of God that abideth forever, but of the doctrines and traditions of men? Shall we turn from that which is to be purchased without money and without price, and go back to that which, although destitute of real value, is yet sold at a very high price? Shall we turn from the love of God which thinketh no evil to the love of the creature, however alluring his blandish

ments, who is continually devising mischief? Made wise by experience, we are not now to be taught, that the imaginations of the human heart are evil, and that continually. Shall we, who have heretofore been imposed upon, who were once made to call in question the sufficiency, the all-sufficiency, and durability of the living fountain, and, under these impressions, sat about preparing, with abundant labour and much time, cisterns for ourselves, which, after a vast accumulation of expense, proved broken cisterns which could hold no water, shall we unwisely turn back to this worse than unprofitable labour? O, no; having drank of the never-failing spring, we indulge a hope, that it is not decreed we shall be so far deprived of our spiritual senses, as to act a part totally unbecoming the christian character.

We have found Jesus of whom Moses and the prophets testified, we have found a friend, an approved friend; we had formerly many friends, for we were supposed spiritually rich, and we have exchanged honourable proofs of mutual friendship; but we have found the friendship of this world vain and perishing.

and the most upWe beheld our

When we confessed we were sinners, and that eternal misery was our due, when we frankly and unequivocally declared this truth, nay, more, when we boldly affirmed, that we accounted all things which we once imagined we possessed, (and which our very dear friends still boasted,) but dross, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the LORD, when we dared thus to think, thus to speak, we experienced that their friendship was not only vain, but vexatious. We discovered, that the best of these once professing, once dear friends, was a brier; right amongst them, sharper than a thorn hedge. once affectionate friends, who had loved us in word almost as well as they loved themselves, we beheld those very affectionate friends our most dangerous, most inveterate enemies! When we affirmed, that the individuals, every individual of the human family, possessed every spiritual blessing in the seed of Abraham, the tongues once lavish in our praise, which seemed as dipped in oil when expatiating upon our virtues, were now, as if set on fire of hell; the poison of asps was under them, and their mouths were full of cursing and bitterness!!

Shall we then leave our faithful and true Friend, and turn back to those who are faithless and false? The Friend to whom we render the homage of our most pious affections, is the sinner's

« PreviousContinue »