« PreviousContinue »
ON THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST'S the imspired Prophets; celebrated MINISTERS.
in the songs of angels; completed Isaiah lii, 7.
ou the bill of Calvary by the atoning How beautiful upon the mountains are the sacrifice of the death of the only
feet of bim that bringeth good tidings, begotten Son of God; published that publisheth peace, that bringeth
throughout the world by his Aposgood tidings of good, that publisheth
tles; and to be for ever published, salvation, that saith unto Zion, “ Thy God reigneth.”
till time shall be no more, by his
ministers, their successors, as the These words of the Prophet Isaiah
most glorious and most blessed are applied by an Apostle to the subject that can engage the heart ministers of the Gospel—the term
or mind of man. Gospel literally signifying glad
“ How beautiful upon the moun. tidings ;” and its ministers being, in- tains are the feet of him that bringeth vation unto all the ends of the earth. scarcely risen from the contemplavation unto all the ends of the earth. glad tidings!". The Prophet had
The evidence thus, and so fre- tion of the sad condition of his unquently, afforded to the truth of our happy countrymen, exiled and op, most holy religiou by the fulfilment pressed for their sins, fainting and of prophecy, is at once convincing lying at the heads of all the streets of and consolatory; convincing, be
Babylon, impatiently,yet impotently, cause as none can foretel future events but God, so when that which tivity, full of the fury of the Lord
struggling in the net of their
caphas been predicted, has come to and the rebuke of their God ; pass, we know that it is of God; when the scene
sudden and consolatory, because it proves changes, and he hears in the Spirit the greatness and endurance of the waichmen on the mouniains God's love towards us. Isaiah lived several hundreds of years be announcing the approach of a mesfore the coming of our Lord; and senger, with the glad tidings of Je
rusalem's deliverance. His whole. yet his prophecies are but links of soul instantly takes fire, and in a a chain that extends still farther and farther back, even to the garden transport of joy he exclaims :of Eden itself. In Eden the Gospel o Zion! put on thy beautiful gar
“Awake, awake, put on thy strength, was first preached : in Eden were ments, o Jerusalem? the holy city. those glad tidings of peace and Shake thyself from the dust; arise salvation first announced, so raptu- and sit down ; loose thyself from rously repeated from age to age by the bands of thy neck, o captive * Rom. x. 15.
daughter of Zion!"
« How beauREMEMBRANCER, No. 61,
tiful upon the mountains are the tiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth glad tid- feet of him that bringeth good tidings, the tidings of thine happy de- ings, that publisheth peace, that liverance, after the seventy long bringeth good tidings of good, that years of thy mournful captivity!" publisheth salvation, that saith unto
In this interpretation we have the Zion, · Thy God reigneth.'” This Prophet's primary meaning; the is no private interpretation: it rests more inmediate intention of that not merely on the united wisdom most blessed Spirit, by whom he of the most learned and pious of was inspired, but neither the only divines. An inspired Apostle hath por the chief intention. Almost all applied the words to the ministers the prophecies--of this evangelical of the Gospel; and in this sense they Prophet more especially-have a may henceforth be nost fitly and extwo-fold application; the one re- clusively taken. With how much truth ferring to a merely temporal object, we shall next proceed to consider. the other to one spiritual and infi- The message delivered is denitely higher-even to the coming scribed under the several titles of of the Messiah, the great Redeemer glad tidings of peace, of good of mankind, in whom all the pro- tidings of good, and lastly of salphecies of God are Yea and Amen, vation. fully and everlastingly fulfilled. And what is the Gospel but the an
This is strikingly the case in the nunciation of peace between God and present instance. It was not of a mere man, through theatoning blood of our earthly messenger—the messenger most dear and blessed Lord?“Whilst of the glad tidings of a temporal we were yet sinners," saith the Aposdeliverance only, that the Prophet tle, “ Christ died for us; and he is spake: far, far more; it was of our peace, the author of our peace, Him, the angel and messenger of who hath reconciled both Jew and that everlasting covenant which God Gentile unto God in one body by would make with men; yea, not the cross, having slain the enmity the messenger only, sent from the thereby; and has come into the Father for this gracious object, but world and preached peace to the Himself, the divine and glorious Gentile which was afar off, and to and willing consummator, and most the Jew that was nigh, that through gracious sealer of that covenant him both might have access, by with his own most precious blood; one Spirit, to the Father.” What a covenant, whereby not Israel only, words can set forth in its full terror according to the flesh, but all man- the wrath of an offended God, from kind, whether they be Greek or which we have been hereby deJew, circumcision or uncircumcision, livered ? Shall we think of that barbarian or scythian, when ad- piteous cry of the wicked in the mitted into the Church through Apocalypse, when they said to the the appointed door of baptism, mountains and rocks: Fall on us, should be delivered from the spiritual and hide us from the face of him yoke of sin, restored to the favour that sitteth on the throne, and from of God, and assured on their faith the wrath of the Lamb ; for the great and obedience of a quiet and ever- day of his wrath is come, and who lasting inheritance in the kingdom shall be able to stand ? Or, shall we of their heavenly Father. Of Him, reflect on, and endeavour to collect, then our most blessed Lord, and the full import of those words of of the Apostles, his messengers, the Apostle, Indignation and wrath, whom he sent forth to preach his tribulation and anguish, upon word, and of the present ministers every soul of man that doeth evil? of his Church, does the Prophet or of that fearful denunciation speak, when in the power of the by our Lord of the worm that Spirit he exclaims,-" How beau- dieth not, and the fire that is not
quenched ? No image, however holiness, by which I mean every vivid, -no language, however strong, good word and work, done through can come up to this single consi- the assistance of God's Spirit, and deration, that the reconciliation out of a lively faith in Christ, our between God and man was effected at fellow-creatures are benefitted, and no less a price, than that of the death they bless us. By our deeds of hoof the only begotten of the Father! liness, God is glorified before inen ; Nothing can picture to the mind and we cannot but rejoice in being the more strongly the heinousness of sin, effectual, though lowly, instruments and the severity of God's wrath! of advancing his glory. By our But (thanks be to the love of Christ,) deeds of holiness, God's commands He hath borne our sins—the punish- are obeyed; and to strive to obey ment of our sins—in his own body on these, is to shew our gratitude to the tree; and that punishment once Him from whom all blessings flow; borne, pardon hath been granted, and gratitude is ever delightful to the and peace established, by his blood; honest and ingenuous heart. By our -a peace, never more to be broken deeds of holiness, God's intentions but by our own waywardness and in our redemption are fulfilled, for impenitence. Be not afraid, said the Christ gave himself for us, that he Angel, I bring you glad tidings of might redeem us from all'iniquity, great joy, which shall be to all people. and purify unto himself a peculiar peoGlory to God in the highest, and ple, zealous of good works. To become on earth peace! My peace I leave holy, therefore, through the assist. with you, said our Lord, when on ance of the ever-blessed Spirit, is the point of shedding that blood, at once to fulfil the gracious intenwhich was to be the means and seal tions of God in our redemption; to of our peace; my peace, the shew ourselves duly impressed with reconciliation that I have effected a sense of the unspeakable lovingfor you with the Father, I leave kindness of our Lord towards us ; with you, to be a source of never- to obey the commands of our heafailing hope, and comfort to the venly Father, by which endearing penitent. My peace I give unto you; name we are emboldened, through (for this reconciliation is the effect Christ, to address the God of heaven of the Father's free mercy towards and earth; to glorify his name, and us in accepting, and of our most to render ourselves, through Him, blessed Redeemer's unbounded love, a blessing to all around us; and, in offering himself for us ;) my surely, these are considerations peace I give unto you; that peace, fully calculated to produce (and whereby you are reconciled to the the righteous will tell you that they Father; that peace, whereby you do produce) a peace in the soul, shall be comforted beyond all the which the world cannot give, and power of words to express, ( for the which can be derived only under peace of God passeth understanding), Christ and his Spirit, from the ba. and enabled with the assistance of bitual practice of Christian holiness. my Spirit, calmly to bear the trials, Justly, therefore, is the minister of however great, of this your earthly the Gospel described by the Propilgrimage.”
phet as the publisher of peace ! The practice of that holiness, With equal justice is he farther which has its root in the death represented, as the bringer of good of Christ, brings with it a comfort tidings of good; for what can be in the performance, and a satisfac- more for our good than to be recontion in the reflection, that shed a ciled to the never failing fountain peace and tranquillity over the soul of goodness unspeakable? What far above every earthly joy that more for our good than to be decan be named. By our deeds of livered by the Holy Spirit of God, from the dominion and evil practices be more abundantly rewarded. Salof sin, and restored to the freedom vation of the body? This must die, of righteousness? What more for that we may be clothed
with our good than to be placed above our house, which is from heaven. this world by the hope of a better; Salvation, as confined to this world? to be taught how to live in it by the This world shall pass away, and example and rules of God himself; all the fashion of it. Salvation for and to be kept unspotted from it a time only, and from an evil of by the promised assistance of an but little moment? Not for such almighty Spirit? What, lastly, can did the divine Word, the only bebe more for our good, than from gotten of the Father, become flesh, enemies of God to be made bis and lay down his life for our sakes children; from outcasts to become on the Cross. The salvation that his heirs; and to be assured, on His he hath graciously wrought for us, own most faithful promise, that it is a salvation, on our faith and rewe labour by his grace to do our pentance, from the awful and just duty now, and put our trust in the anger of God, and from the horror atoning blood of our Redeemer, of everlasting death. In this world, death itself shall be but a passage
our Lord infuses hope—to save us into a life of unspeakable happi. from despair: He holds forth his exness; and this corruptible shall put ample before our eyes, He proclaims on incorruption, and this mortal his laws in our ears: He sheds abroad shall put on immortality, and death his Holy Spirit in our hearts, to be swallowed up in an everlasting save us from the heavy bondage of our victory. What earthly good can sinful habits: in the hour of temptabe put in the balance against these? tion, he saves his faithful servants
But the watchman, whose voice that pray unto him, from falling the Prophet heard in the Spirit, away from their stedfastness: in was a publisher moreover of sal. deaih, he saves their bodies from the vation. And whom do we preach power of the grave, which at the unto you but Jesus the Saviour? sound of the last trump shall be This is the first and the last, the forced to render up her dead: and beginning and the ending of all our at the day of final judgment, he preaching : warning every man, that shall graciously save them from the by the assisting grace of God, he torments of everlasting punishment, run with patience his race of duty, and bid them enter, through his looking into Jesus as the author merits, into the joy of their Lord; and finisher of his faith; inculcating there to live for ever and for ever in by every means in our power, and everlasting glory and blessedness, with fervent prayers to God, that triumphantly saying unto the heahe would write the truth deep in venly Zion, in the full meaning of the hearts of our hearers, that th re the prophetic address : “ Alleluia, is salvation in none other ; for there for the Lord God omnipotent reignis none other name under heaven eth; let us be glad and rejoice, and given among men, whereby we must give honour unto Him." be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ,
These considerations will conand Him crucified.
vey but a faint outline of the And what is the salvation that he blessedness of the Gospel; but it will hath purchased for us at the price of be for yourselves, through the ashis own most precious blood ? Salva- sistance of God's Spirit, to fill it up tion from the evils and afflictions by a patient and hearty study of the of this life? far otherwise ; the Scriptures, and frequent meditation Christian is often called to suffer on the same. It was to perfect this these that he may be proved ; and Gospel, that the only begotteu of on his patient endurance of them, the Father left the glories of hea. ihrough the aid of the Spirit, may ven, and become man, and laid down his life on the Cross. It was then his example, his cagerness to to preach it to the world, that the follow Christ, his noble sacrifice of Apostles went forth, counting all every earthly consideration, his faiththings but loss, for the excel. ful and undaunted preaching of the lency of the knowledge of Christ truth_let not these be lost upon Jesus their Lord. Foremost in this us, That Gospel, the Gospel of noble band was the Apostle of the peace, the glad tidings of good, the day. It was his glorious privilege, Gospel of salvation, let us receive first to follow our Lord; first to into our hearts; there let it take seek the blessedness of his conver- root and spring up, and bring forth, sation ; first to ackuowledge him to under the dew of God's blessing, be the Messias; first to point out, the fruit of righteousness; and Him, even unto Peter, the long-expected whom, when on earth, the Apostle Redeemer of the world. It was the St. Andrew so readily followed, let Apostle Andrew, that straightway us endeavour, through bis grace, to left his net, and gave up every follow also in all the acts of a earthly consideration at the call of pious, and holy, and charitable life ; bis Lord, that he might become a that through His merits we may fisher of men ; and true and faithful finally follow him, even into heaven, was he, even unto death. Lei not where he now sitteth, as a most
gracious and powerful intercessor This Sermon was preached ou the for us, at the right hand of his festival of St. Audrew.
occasioned by the inundation (of And the Lord said unto bim, Arise, and go the Nile) are refreshed by water'
into the street which is called Straight, drawn out of the river by instruand enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for, behold, he ments, and lodged afterwards in caprayeth,
pacious cisterns. When, therefore, AFTER the Mesku, there is no
their various sorts of pulse, melons, thing worth speaking of in Damas. sugar canes, &c. &c. 'all which are cus, excepting the via Recta, or commonly ploughed in rills, require the Great Street, mentioned in the
to be refreshed, they strike out the Acts of the Apostles. It extends plugs that are fixed in the bottom from the eastern to the western
of the cisterns; and then the water gate about a league, crossing the gushing out is conducted from one whole city and suburbs in a direct rill to another by the gardener, who line : on both sides of it there are
is always ready, as occasion reshops, where all the rich merchan. quires, to stop and divert the tordize is sold that is brought every it, by his foot, and opening, at the
rent, by turning the earth against year by the caravans from Europe, Armenia, Africa, Persia, and the
same time, with his mattock, a new Indies.”—Green's Journey from from Harmer's Illustrations.
trench to receive it.” Dr. Shaw, Aleppo lo Damascus.
Gen. xxxi, 40.
Thus I was; in the day the drought con
sumed me, and the frost by night ; and sess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sow
my sleep departed from mine eyes. edst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy Doubdan, travelling in the evening foot, as a garden of herbs.
of the 28th of March, N.S. from Jaffa “ Such vegetable productions as (or Joppa) to Rama, tells us he passed require more moisture than what is near two or three companies of Arabs,