« EdellinenJatka »
it be remembered by us, that we cannot have any certainty that our eternal state will differ from that which would be assigned to us this day, if on this day the decision were to be made. We may live long; but we may wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived," and may thus be treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. We We may live long, and see many days; but our strength may be brought down in the midst of our journey, and our days be shortened. And who that now has not his loins girt, and his lamp burning, can think that he will be ready, if his Lord comes in an unexpected hour? How then should we even now strive, and watch, and pray, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus! For by every thought, word, and deed, we sow that seed, of which the harvest will then be reaped; and as we have sown to the flesh or to the spirit, we then shall reap either corruption or life everlasting.
INTRODUCTORY LECTURE II.
THE EVANGELIC RECORDS DESIGNED, ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE AND ST. JOHN, TO ASSURE US OF THE CERTAINTY OF THE GOSPEL, BY LAYING BEFORE US ITS EVIDENCE.THEIR SUFFICIENCY FOR THAT END.-NATURE AND ADVANTAGES OF THE VIEW WHICH THEY SUGGEST; AND THE PLAN OF THE FOLLOWING LECTURES IN ILLUSTRATION OF IT.
LUKE I. 1-4.
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
WE, as Christians, have been instructed in momentous truths; even in all that was taught, promised, and effected, by a divine, incarnate, suffering, crucified, and exalted, Messiah. We have been baptized into the name of Jesus Christ. Having been begotten again by him to a lively hope, we have been taught the articles of our faith, the commands of our Master, the vows which are upon us, the obligations which accompany all that a Christian ought to know and believe to his soul's health. We have, by our own mouths, ratified the promises and vows which were made on our behalf. We have received those holy mysteries,
in the participation of which we are "fed with the spiritual food of the precious body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ." We have thus become very members incorporate of the mystical body of the Son of God;" we thus "shew forth the Lord's death until his coming again;" professing that we are "heirs through hope of his everlasting kingdom ;" and praying unto our God to "grant that, by the merits and death of his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all his whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion "." We have been instructed in all these great and consolatory truths; and we have professed to believe them. If we have herein "witnessed a good confession," and are not "losing the things which we have wrought," then "believing with the heart unto righteousness, confession will be made by the mouth unto salvation." Of this salvation we may entertain a good hope through the promised mercy of a gracious God. For we have also been instructed, in the midst of the fears and infirmities of our nature, and under the afflictions of this life, to commit the keeping of our souls to God in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." We have been instructed, even in the hour of death,' to "commend our Spirits into the hands of that God
* Communion Service.