« 이전계속 »
eur faculties ; and being addressed, as the tenor
of it shews, to all mankind, it binds of course all those to whom that evidence has been sub mitted.
And this indeed is the very language of that Law itself. For the Jews disbelieved the Gospel, when it was preached to them by our blessed Lord. But what says the Legislator to these unbelievers? Does he leave them to the Law of Nature, whose authority they did not dispute, or to the Law of Moses, which God himself, they knew, had given them? No such thing: he tells them, that very Law, which they rejected, should judge them. “He, “ that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my "! words, hath one that judgeth him : the
WORD, that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last dayo.” And he assigns the reason of this determination -“For I “ have not spoken of myself; but the Father, “ which sent me, he gave me a commandment, “ what I should say, and what I should speak:* that is, the Law, I give you, is of divine authority; and therefore not to be rejected without blame on any pretence by you, to
0 John xiis 48..
whom the knowledge of it, and the proper evidence on which it rests, has been committed.
These reflexions, I know, have small weight with those, who treat the evidences of the Gospel with that scorn, which is familiar to some
But such persons should, at least, see that their scorn be well founded. If not but I will only say, they may subject themselves, for aught they know, to the penalties of the Gospel; I mean, to the future judgement of that man, whom, in this life, they would not have to reign over them P,
But this remonstrance is properly addressed to those that are without, to the contemners of the Christian Law. To you, who are within the pale of Christ's Church, and acknowledge his authority ; who profess yourselves to be his servants ; who admit no other Law, but in subjection to his, and have no expectation of life and glory from any other ; to you, I say, the question of the text is above measure interesting, How shall we escape, if we neglect 80 great Salvation ?
ř Luko xix. 14.
Compassion, and prudence, and charity may restrain you from censuring with severity the enemies of the faith ; may dispose you to overlook, or to soften at least, the alarming denunciations of the Gospel, in which they are concerned. But for YOURSELVES, who have given your names to Christ, and have hope in him only; who know the wonders of mercy that have been wrought for you, and were finally completed on that cross, which is your trust and consolation, your pride and glory, it is almost needless to say what your interest, and what your obligation is, to observe, respect, and reverence the dispensation of the Gospel. Pe are self-condemned, if ye slight this Law: ye are ungrateful, up to all the possibilities of guilt, if ye make light of it: ye are undone for ever, if ye neglect so great Salvation.
What allowances it may please God to make for the prejudices, the passions, the slights, the blasphemies of unthinking and careless men, who have never embraced the faith of Jesus, it may not, perhaps, concern you to inquire. But ye know, that ye are responsible to that Law, which ye profess, and to that master, whom ye serve; that to you, indifference is infidelity; and disobedience, treason;
that wilful unrepented sin in a Christian is without hope, as without excuse, shuts him out from all the rewards, and exposes him, even with his own full consent to all the
punishments of the Gospel.
In a word, as their joy is great in believing, who obey the Gospel of Christ; so the guilt and the terror is proportionably great, to disobedient believers. For, dreadful as unbelief may prove in the issue to such as, through their own fault, have not come to the knowledge of Christ, Belief, without obedience, is more dreadful still. I have an apostle's warrant for this assertion. For it had been better for us not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after we have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto us 9.
q 2 Peter ii. 21.
PREACHED NOVEMBER 16, 1766.
St. John, xiv. 8.
Philip saith to him, Lord, shew us the Father,
and it sufficeth us.
OUR Lord, being now about to depart out of the world", prepares his disciples for this unwelcome event by many consolations and instructions. He acquaints them, more particularly than he had hitherto done, with his own personal dignity. He tells them, that, as they believed in God, they were also to believe in hims; and that, although he should
i St. John, xiü. l.
s Ch. xiv. I.