Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the possession of riches a condition of very peculiar trial and responsibility. He will consider himself as occupying an important post in society, and called upon to lead the way in advancing the ends of his heavenly Master's benign and gracious dispensations. He will consider the day as having passed by unprofitably, during which he has not availed himself of some opportunity for promoting peace upon earth, and good will amongst men, and glory to God in the highest.

Indeed, my brethren, the advocate in a cause like this, labours under very peculiar disadvantages. You imagine that he is seeking to excite you to some great and extraordinary act, while he is only feebly endeavouring to inculcate your ordinary Christian duty. You come here, it may be, on your guard against what you are pleased to call the eloquence and the exaggeration of the preacher ; whereas, if you felt as you ought, you would acknowledge that his strongest language was but a tame conveyance of truths that should never have been absent from

When we tell you that the widow and the fatherless are here soliciting some little charitable consideration from you, who have been so bountifully considered by your heavenly Father, do we make any

your hearts.

your hearts?

statement that is extravagant, do we prefer any claim that is unjust ? Are you afraid of being called to account before God, for having subtracted some little sum from your accustomed luxuries? Will God be displeased, think you, at the multiplication or support of those charitable institutions for relieving indigence, succouring affliction, and training up the youthful generation in the way they should go? My brethren, are you believers ? Has the law of God been written in vain upon

Has the word of God been recorded in vain in the Book of Life for your edification ? And shall the preacher be charged with exaggeration, when he presses the plainest and most momentous truths which it conveys upon your attention, and encourages you to do what God approves, and intreats you to do what God commands, and calls upon you, who are awfully elevated above your fellowmen in the scale of society, to have some touch of sympathy for the heart-searching misery and destitution to which they are exposed, and to be merciful even as

your

Father who is in heaven is merciful ? Alas!

my

brethren, how careless and indifferent are we to the knowledge of divine things! How reluctant is the admission of those truths, and how irksome the performance of those duties which diminish our complacency, or disturb our selfishness! And what a contrast is presented in this respect, between what we know of human, and what we are taught concerning the angelic nature! The natural man, when raised to wealth and distinction, knows little and cares less for the wretchedness of those below him. The spiritual messengers of God make it their business and find it their pleasure to be active in their good offices towards the afflicted and miserable children of men. “Are they not,” says the holy Apostle, “ministering spirits, sent to minister unto them that are the heirs of life.” Man is estranged from man by want and misery. But it is want and misery that attracts the protection and engages the sympathy of angels. What disgusts and alienates his fellow-mortal in this world, draws down the benign regards of purer and more blessed intelligences in the other. He is spurned upon earth for what he is beloved in heaven. Fear not, then, ye poor children of affliction, whose portion here is gall and bitterness. Your sufferings are not unnumbered. What, though you may be left to pine in wretchedness by those who are clothed in purple and fine linen, and who fare sumptuously every day, there are other higher and purer creatures, whose office it is to be

ministers unto you for good; whose constant endeavour it is either to relieve or to sanctify your sufferings; either to bring them to an happy issue here, or cause them to be produc-. tive of an exceeding and eternal weight of glory hereafter. Fear not, then, neither repine under the calamities with which you have been visited—if you are forgotten by men, you are remembered by angels-your privations here, no doubt, are great—but the end draweth nigh—and if with patience ye possess your souls, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

And why is it that celestial natures are thus occupied in works of love towards creatures of a baser mould? Why is it that the Creator of heaven and earth is thus graciously mindful of the inhabitants of this lower world

“ That blessed angels he sends to and fro,

“ To wait on guilty man, on guilty man his foe?” Because, my brethren, of the immense importance of the human soul-because God has endued us with a principle of immortality, and angels recognize us as the embryo inhabitants of heaven.-Because, how humble soever our origin, and how lowly soever our present state, they look forward to that period when time shall be no more when we shall share with them in the glories of eternity

Q

and be thought worthy of circling the presence of the adorable one, with song and everlasting joy upon our heads, singing,“ blessing and honour, and glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” They have a clear and distinct perception of all this. Faith has with them ripened into knowledge. The same confident expectation that a father has of the manhood of his child, higher and purer creatures entertain of those ulterior stages of being which commence after mortality. And therefore it is, that a father is not more anxious to make provision for his child's future welfare, than they are solicitous for the eternal well-being of those who are to be their co-heirs of life and immortality. The loathsome and forlorn being who is laid at our gates full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fall from our tables, full often they recognize, under his disguise of misery, as one possessed of a peace and a joy in believing, which the world can neither give nor take away, and patiently awaiting his deliverance from the body, that he may be with them in paradise.

Therefore it is, that there is joy amongst the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth-and not amongst them only-it is

« AnteriorContinuar »