Sidor som bilder

and obscure corner of the world, without learning, education, languages, or books. Consider further the minute description of all the most material circumstances of his birth, life, sufferings, death and resurrection, given by the ancient prophets many hundred years before he was born, and exactly fulfilled in him, and him only; the many astonishing miracles wrought by him in the open face of day, before thousands of spectators, the reality of which is proved by multitudes of the most unexceptionable witnesses, who sealed their testimony with their blood, and was even acknowledged by the earliest and most inveterate enemies of the Gospel. Above all, consider these two most remarkable occurrences in the history of our Lord, which have been particularly enlarged upon in these Lectures, and are alone sufficient to establish the divinity of his person and of his religion ; I mean his wonderful prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, with every minute circumstance attending it; and that astonishing and well authenticated miracle of his resurrection from the grave, which was in the last Lecture set before you: and when you lay all these things together, and weigh them deliberately and impartially, your minds must be formed in a very peculiar manner indeed, if they are not most thoroughlyimpressed with faith in the Son of God, and the Gospel


which he taught. Taking it then for granted that you firmly believe the Scriptures to be the word of God, that of course they contain those heavenly doctrines and rules of life by which you are to be guided here and saved hereafter ; that the present scene is nothing more than a state of trial and probation for another world; that all mankind must rise from the grave, and stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to receive from his lips their final doom; and that there is No oth ER NAME GIVEN UNDER HEAVEN BY WHICH YOU CAN : B E SAVED, BUT THAT OF JESUS on LY ; no other possible way of escaping the

the punishments or obtaining the rewards of the Christian covenant, but faith in Christ, reliance on his merits, and an earnest endeavour to practise every virtue and fulfil every duty prescribed in his Gospel; taking it for granted that you believe all these things to be true, let me then ask you, what is the course of life which every wise man, which every man of common sense, must feel himself irresistibly called upon to pursue 2 Is it possible that with such awful, such divine truths as these deeply impressed upon your souls, you can allow yourselves to be so entirely occupied with the various pursuits of this life as to exclude, I will not say all thought (for that is impossible) but all serious solicitude concerning your future and eternal destiny P Are there any delights that this world has to offer that can compensate for the loss of heaven 2 Some of you have perhaps run your career of power, of pleasure, of gaiety, of luxury, of glory, and of fame, and can tell the true amount, the real value of these enjoyVol. II. D D ments. ments. Say then, honestly, whether any one of them has answered your expectations; whether they have left your minds perfectly content and satisfied; whether they have proved so solid, so durable, so perfect, as to be worth purchasing at the expense of eternal happiness? I will venture to abide by your answer. Trust then to your own experience, and be no longer the dupes of illusions which have so long misled you. And if you have any feeling, any pity for the young, the thoughtless, and the inexperienced, let them profit by the instructions, the salutary lessons you are so well qualified to give them; let your warning voice restrain them from rushing headlong into those errors, into which you have perhaps been unfor. tunately betrayed. Tell them (for you know it to be true) that whatever flattering prospects the world may present to their ardent imaginations at their first entrance into life, there is no solid ground for permanent comfort and content of mind, but a conscientious discharge of

- their

their duty to God and man, an anxious endeavour to recommend themselves to the favour of the Almighty, and a hope of pardon and acceptance through the merits of their Redeemer. These alone can smooth the path of life and the bed of death; these alone can bring a man peace at the last.

Reflections such as these must, in all times, and under all circumstances, operate most powerfully on every considerate mind; but they receive tenfold weight from the peculiar complexion of the present period, and the awful situation into which, by the dispensations of Providence, we are now cast. Never since the world began, were such tremendous proof sheld up to the observation of mankind, of the slender and precarious tenure on which we hold every thing that we deem most valuable in the present life, as have been of late presented to our view. Look around you for a moment; consider what has been passing on the continent of - D ID 2 Europe

« FöregåendeFortsätt »