Page images

cisely in the way that the blinded children of this world would find it if they could, that is, by keeping the law; for, said the great Master, I came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfil them. Now he did, or he did not fulfil the law. If he did, I also have fulfilled the law, for the head of every man is Christ; and whatever is done by my head, is assuredly done by my whole body. Can we be Christians and not embrace this fundamental truth? I in them, said Emmanuel, and thou in me, that we may be made perfect in one. O, it is a great thing to be a Christian !

As ye have received the Lord Jesus, so walk ye in him. But we have received him as made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. But sanctification is that holiness, without which, no man can see the Lord. It is true, we must all stand before the judgment seat of God, of Jesus Christ, and give an account of the things done in the body. At such a period, if called upon, I should confess myself, in my individual character, a corrupt tree.

But I should add, Jesus is the green fir-tree, from whom


fruit is found. You would know my sentiments respecting the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps I cannot better answer this question, than by narrating what not long since passed between me and a clergyman of high respectability. It is seldom I am so happy as to be in company with those reverend gentlemen, I have no opportunity of meeting them in their own habitations, as I am rarely, or never an invited guest; and I do not invite them to my dwelling, because I am convinced they do not wish to have it supposed they associate with me. You know it is said, two cannot walk together except they be agreed ; but, although there be no such agreement as will admit of our associating together, yet we sometimes meet at funerals. We have lately in this, as well as in other towns, attempted doing , honour to America's deceased chief, by performing funeral solemnities over his supposed remains; and as I was present upon the occasion, I was ranked, by the master of the ceremonies, with the worthy gentleman adverted to above; and I am never thus

2 classed, without having some conversation, which, however, I sel. dom court. Drawing up a heavy sigh as we passed along toward the place of interment, he said, “ The time will come, when people will wonder how they could ever be so weak as to believe that God could die.This observation was made with so much serious solem. nity, as immediately to bring me acquainted with the religious


sentiments of his reverence; and I replied, Sir, I presume mankind never were so weak as to believe that God could die ; I do not suppose that any one who believes a state of existence in a future world, imagines that General Washington is dead; they believe, indeed, that his body is dead; but every reflecting member of the community is persuaded, that the immortal spark which he received from heaven, hath ascended to its native skies. They know that the house of his tabernacle is taken down, that the materials of which it was composed are lodged in the dust; but they believe the heayenly inhabitant hatn taken possession of his house not made with hands, eternal, and in the heavens. You know, my dear Sir, when God made man, he said, Let us make man in our own image ; he did not say, Let us make men in our image, but let us make man in our image; man, in the singular, our, in the plural, so that the plural was in the singular, body, soul, and spirit. The first, the body, is of the earth, earthy. The soul is that thinking, hoping, fearing, joying, sorrowing being, that was breathed into the body. The spirit unites these two together, until it pleases the Creator to dissolve this union, by consigning the earthy part to the dust from whence it originated, when the soul and the spirit return to God who gave it. Therefore, the scripture assures us, the spirit of a man, when his body returns to the dust, ascendeth to God who gave it, while the spirit of the beast, not being made in the image of God, having no soul to which to adhere, evaporates in empty air. But the spirit made in the image of its Creator, ascendeth with a spiritual body. The spirit of our Washington hath returned to God who gave it, and, therefore, this image of God is not lost ; and you will please to observe, that it is the soul and spirit of General Washington which inhabited his body, and the consideration is highly consolatory.

I have frequently reflected, with wonder and amazement, at the difficulty which has been made respecting the doctrine of the trinity. It is true that every part of the works of God are mysterious, and that none by searching can find out God, but as far as I can comprehend myself, I can catch a glimpse of the grace, exhibited

body, soul and spirit; made in the image of God, of the triune God. But it seems, as if mankind were fond of multiplying mysteries. It is one of the characters of the mother of the abominations of the earth, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the whole earth. But it re.

by this triune Being, consistin?


[ocr errors]

quires stronger faith to believe what unbelievers say, and profess to beliuve, than to yield credence to the good sayings of our God. It is said, that all nature is the body, and God, the soul, but while they admit, that God is in all the works of nature, they deny, that he is in the masterpiece of nature. Yet, they talk of God, and of a God out of Christ. I wish I could know what idea such dreamers ever had of a soul that had never been in a body. Yet we may form as just an idea of a soul out of a body, as of a God out of Christ.

Where God has given no revelation of himself, or of his works, we are very excusable when we do not understand, but, my dear Sir, when we have, by the favour of our God, so plain an account of man as the image of God, and we choose to leave it, and plunge in the dark, and then complain of being obliged to believe, and to comprehend dark mysteries, it seems to me an affront to the Majesty of heaven. I recollect being once asked by a hearer, on my quitting the pulpit, the following question: I do not know that I understood you this evening, Sir, but you seemed to me to talk of soul and spirit. Pray, is not this a distinction without a difference? No, Sir, were they one and the same, your horse would be your master, for he has much more spirit than yourself.

What idea should we, or even the angels of God in heaven, have of God, if he had never manifested himself in the flesh? To men and angels out of Christ, the Godhead is unknown. The Spirit of God led Mary to say, my soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; and the Apostle prays, that the Christians, in his day, may be sanctified in body, soul, and spirit. We are exhorted, to hold 'fast the form of sound words, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

It is, my dear. Sir, a blessed consideration, that the God who passed by the nature of angels, took upon him the seed of Abraham, and that he is now, and ever will be, God with us; and that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. No one, therefore, can suppose, that God, that the divine Nature, can die, but the genuine Christian, believes, that the divine Nature is united to the human nature, and that it was this human body, which was united to God, which expired upon the cross, while the divine Nature, like the soul of man, escaped from the suffering, expiring body. There is great beauty in the figure; body, soul and spirit, is the figure, the image of Deity, while Father, word and spirit, is the sublime original. But, my dear Sir, I am really ap

prehensive, that the truth as it is in Jesus will be but little known; it seems to be going out of fashion very fast, when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith upon the earth? “Ay,Sir,theGod of all the earth will do right;" here we parted, I only repeating his observation-Yes, Sir, the God of all the earth will do right; and I will now add, glory be to his name therefore, yea, forever and ever, amen, and amen.

Thus, I have, agreeably to the best of my poor abilities, employed myself in endeavouring to comply with your wishes. May the spirit of truth lead you into those paths, which are peace, into those ways, which are ways of pleasantness.--Farewell.


To a youth on the point of being separated from his family.


I shall not have an opportunity of speaking to you as I could wish. I must, therefore, beg your patience, while I give vent to the affections of my soul, in this way. I flatter myself, your attachment to me will oblige you to attend to the voice of my sup., plication.

Permit me then, as a brotheras a friend, as a father, as one to whom you have attended in the character of a teacher, and from ' whom, in that character, you have heard what God the Lord has done for your immortal soul. Permit me, I entreat you, in these characters, and in the fulness of warm affection, to give you a few words of advice.

You are now entering upon the stage of public life ; public when contrasted with the life, which, you have hitherto led in the bosom of your family. A life with which you can have no acquaintance, until you make the experiment, and therefore you cannot be so well guarded against the dangers and difficulties with which that life abounds. A life, however, which, should you pass cautiously through, may be rendered subservient to your future happiness,

[ocr errors]


In the first place, suffer me to remind you of the character you now sustain, which, if well supported, will not only command respect from the sensible part of mankind, (and to those only will a sensible man render the homage of his regard) but give you a continuation of what, (as the poet justly observes,) nothing earthly can give or take away

“The soul's calm sunshine and the heart-felt joy." It is known that you are a member of a society, who profess to believe that Jesus died for their sins, and rose again for their justification. Of this truth, you are well persuaded ; and you know it is incumbent upon you, in every walk of life, in every action, to endeavour to adorn the doctrine of your election. It will assuredly be your interest, as well as your duty, to conform thereto. The people with whom you associate will respect you the more, whatever they may say.' The Redeemer of men will, in his own gracious way and time, amply reward you ; and you will have, what of itself will be a full and sufficient récompense for any


you may make in supporting your character, you will have the approbation of your own heart.

We are right happy in knowing that the service of our Master is perfect freedom, and that it is as much our interest, as it our bounden duty, to be found in the paths of wisdom ; you will not, therefore, while exemplifying the christian character, be reduced to the necessity of appearing gloomy or unsociable. But I conjure, I entreat, I charge you, by every obligation you are under to the Lover of your soul, that you do not bring a reproach upon that sacred name, by which you are called. That you do not unite with them who speak profanely of that name. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God'in vain is more applicable to you than to others. The world may not yet know that Jesus is their Saviour, and their God. We are ready to say, it cannot be necessary to draw any arguments from christianity, to dissuade men from swearing, forasmuch as it is neither a genteel nor a profitable accomplishment. But, although, it is scandalous in all, it is peculiarly so in a professed Christian. God preserve my young friend from this ungentlemanly, from this horrid practice.

There are many vices, to the practice of which, you will have no inclination ; there are some, from which, pride will guard you.

1 But nature and company will draw you to others. There are two capital crimes, which have frequently proved fatal to young men,

« PreviousContinue »