Imágenes de páginas

By the righteousnes of Christ imputed to us we are justified; as it exists in him in its perfection it is our only and all-sufficient plea; but then morcover beside that righteousness of Christ's working out for us, and applied by God to us, there is a true righteousness wrought in us. The righteousness of Christ is the fountain, and it cannot abide as stagnant water within us, but is ever gushing forth in streams of the same nature with itself. There is an active righteousness, constraining every member in us to the same holy service, and such holiness in us will be appealed to as the decisive evidence of our being in Christ. God is not only just, but must be seen to be so, His judgment is for the manifestation of his justice, and assuredly none but holy beings will be requited at that tribunal. "Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Let us be assured of this great truth, however men may deceive themselves now, and seem to hold the truth in unrighteousness, and talk of trusting to Christ only; let us be assured that when the secrets of all hearts are disclosed-when all the sceret springs of conduct are laid bare-when every motion is searched into and made manifest-that works-works I mean in the most extensive sense, including inward disposition as well as outward act, will decide the point.

Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. It will not do then to urge the decrees of God, or our impression of having been once converted, or some new profession of faith in Christ, and outward honour rendered to him; but works will be the rule;

they will evince before the assembled world whether

The work of every other good in its appearance,

we be in Christ or not. man, however great and although it have the outward mark of unbounded benevolence, or of the most self-denying labour, yea if it spring not from this source, will be weighed in the balances, and found wanting. The root of all that is good will be found in Christ, and the fruit will evince whether we be in the root or not.

I would beseech you then, if you would stand before the coming Saviour with joy, let these things be manifest in you. If you would be found worthy of that glory which is to be revealed, we know not how soon, let your fruit be rich, and abundant, and fully ripe; let your evidences be bright and convincing. Oh are you keeping your garments undefiled; your members servants of righteousness; your whole man holy in the sight of God? Are you standing for the faith, and striving after the image of Christ, even his image of unsinning holiness?

This great assize will be a judgment according to works, in that it will be an exact retribution either of good or evil to each one according to works. It has been a sad perversion of the doctrines of grace, that the clear Scriptural testimony to this point has been so much clouded and kept out of sight, so that some good men have called in question the fact of there being any inequality in the future blessedness of the people of God, whereas all Scripture testifies to the point. There is the servant who gains two talents, and the servant who gains five; there is the servant set over two cities, and the servant set over ten. I do not mean that in the true sense one deserves more than

another; all are unprofitable servants, and each one who knows his own standing will confess to God, "Thou hast wrought all our works in us." But it follows in the nature of things that those who are most holy-those who most abound in the fruits of righteousness-those who are most successful in bringing all their members as instruments of righteousness unto God's service-these must be most blessed; every holy effort increases the capacity, and God will fill the capacity of all whatever it may be. So shall it come to pass that not one good work will be forgotten by your heavenly Father. "A cup of cold water given to a disciple, shall in no wise lose its reward." God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love. He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly. So likewise in all your spiritual acts, every approach you make to the throne of grace, every discourse which you hear which the Spirit of God applies to your heart, every approach to the table of the Lord, when you spiritually eat his flesh and drink his blood, enlarges your capacity, which God will fill out of his rich treasury.

Oh what a motive ought this to be to abound in the work of the Lord, and walk in all his ordinances, and to order all our steps in his word! when we consider that every hour we are enlarging or contracting the capacity for future blessedness.

THE CHURCH MISSIONARY DEPUTATION. (Continued from page 215.)

In the picturesque village of C-k our públic

Meeting was held in the School-Room, where, under the presiding care of the worthy Minister, we addressed a different class of people, consisting chiefly of the poor, whose peculiar privilege is marked out in Scripture to "have the gospel preached to them." To these we endeavoured simply to speak on the duty of spreading the Gospel of Christ from our Lord's own command, from his practice; from that of St. Paul, the great Missionary to us sinners of the Gentiles; from the consideration of the state of our forefathers in this land, and the means by which we were brought from the gross darkness of heathen idolatry into the marvellous light in which we now, through the grace of God, stand. The Church has ever been the great Missionary Society to the world; so the Jewish Church in our Lord's days, so still. And as in the individual Christian the power of the holy Spirit produces, first, the spirit of anxiety for his own salvation; secondly, for the salvation of those near and dear to him; thirdly, for the salvation of the world; so in our Church we have three Societies, answering to these three objects, The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge' supplying the knowledge of . salvation at home, by means of the circulation of the Scriptures, Common Prayer Books, and Tracts; "The Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts' supplying the wants of those who are near and dear to us as fellow subjects of the same Sovereign; and, The Church Missionary Society,' whose special object is to supply salvation to the world. It is for this last Society that I plead now, asking a share of your charity in promoting its object, which is to make known the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to every

[ocr errors]


The means by which we seek to accomplish this end is, the sending forth of men fitted for the work as ordained Ministers, as catechists, and schoolmasters, the establishment of schools for bringing up the heathen children in the knowledge of Christ; the translation and distribution of the Scriptures and the Common Prayer Book into the languages of the various nations of the earth, amongst which our Missionaries find entrance; the means by which we are enabled to do this is the Christian charity of friends to the cause at home,-by collections after sermons, after public meetings such as this, and by collections of a penny a week in parishes.

In Western Africa, at Sierra Leone, a settlement first formed by the Christian benevolence of such excellent men in their day as were Mr. Wilberforce and others of like spirit, for the purpose of giving a refuge to the poor heathen of Africa, who, after having been made slaves, had been or should be rescued by British justice. To this country in 1804, the Society sent her first two Missionaries; and there amidst innumerable trials, especially by the death of her labourers, she has continued, by God's help to this day. Such was the mortality at one time, through the fearful effects of that climate upon Europeans, that out of one huudred and nine labourers sent out during thirty years, four only remained alive. This fact may serve to shew the zeal of our MissionariesWhen the Rev. Mr. Raban, compelled to return to England in hopes to restore his health, was persuaded by his friends to return no more to a country which to all human probability must prove his grave (and seven who went out with him had died there) he would not

« AnteriorContinuar »