« 前へ次へ »
consecrated to a noble end; for whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, the glory of God is compatible with it, and may enter into its design. Even the last act of life, with all possible accompaniments of pain and opprobrium, may be to the glory of God, as Christ spake of Peter's crucifixion, “signifying by what death he should glorify God.” As both soul and body are redeemed, an entire surrender of both is to be made, both for service and for suffering. Shall we then take those members which belong to the Lord, for purposes of pollution, or employ them in the agency of Satan or of debasing lusts? Or shall those nobler capacities of the soul which God at first gave us, and, when they were servile to sin, hath emancipated from the bondage of error and corruption by so great a sacrifice, be again abandoned to ungodly pursuits, and foolish imaginations ? Shall they be turned against God and his truth, and recede with aversion from the devout pursuing of his glory, substituting self glory in its room ? No; we were not made for this we were not redeemed for this. God our Saviour did not die for this; and we will not live for such vile and reprobate ends. And being persuaded of the grace of our redemp
tion, and that there is grace in the Redeemer to strenghen and uphold us in so great a course; knowing, too, that we shall thus most effectually promote and secure our own happiness in every change we shall experience of place and condition ; our purpose is to glorify God in our body and our spirits, which are his. To him be glory and dominion. Amen.
THE REGENERATE MAN'S ESTIMATE OF
Titus III. 3–6. * For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, dis.
obedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Saviour." SALVATION, in one important sense, is yet remote, and lies hid in the futurity of the world to come. It is a thing which many are intently seeking as the great business of life, but of which the attainment and the fruition are placed beyond the confines of mortality. And it is in this ultimate sense, we understand salvation in such texts as the following :-" We believe that we shall be saved even as they'_“ Now. is our salvation nearer than when we believed
“ Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
In such expressions of the divine word, salvation refers to the ultimate glory of the redeemed, when, being completely extricated from the ruins of the fall, and gloriously delivered from the evils, dangers, and sufferings of time, never to be affected with them more; and having all the endowments of perfected natures, and all the requisites of compatible enjoyment in full possession; the saints, in immortality, shall live immensely and immutably blessed, beholding God with seraphic ardours of devotion ; and transported into fervours of wonder, love, and praise, that are now unfelt and ill conceived in this state of partial life, on seeing the glory of Emmanuel, in whose presence there is fulness of joy, at whose right hand there are pleasures more exalted pleasures than mortals know-pleasures for evermore. Such is salvation in its final and absolute meaning; and the very thought of it cheers, enlivens, and elevates, the soul to a high pitch of rejoicing hope-a hope which the believer would not choose to forego for the proferred riches of the world, or the utmost joys of sense ; for we may happily get through time, without riches
without sensual joy; but without salvation, ah! how should we pass through eternity ?
Yet must we recollect, that salvation is not merely to be contemplated as the bright and alluring idea of another world. There is a sense-a sense, alas ! too little regarded by the thoughtless and the inconsiderate! there is a sense in which salvation is not the brilliant condition of a future state of being; but a serious reality of the present life, a matter of heart-felt experience, and sober consciousness, yea, the invariable and indispensable attainment of all for whom heaven itself is prepared. There is a sense in which salvation is applicable to things present; and there are men on this side the grave of whom it may, without error or impropriety of speech, be said, that they are already saved. That living men are thus addressed in Scripture, is unquestionable; and we need not travel beyond the text for an example ; for here salvation is not spoken of as conditional, distant, or future, but as a thing already ascertained. The Apostle does not say-of his mercy he will save us, but of his mercy he saved us. The thing was accomplished, and had passed into a fact of grace that could not be controverted.