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SERMON XIV. JESUS ENDURING THE GROSS AND DESPISING
THE SHAME. HEBREWS, xii. 2. Who, for the Joy that was set
before Him, endured the Cross, despising the Shame.
THE OBJECT AND EFFECT OF CHRISTIAN
HOPE. 1 John, iii. 3 And every man that hath this hope
in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
ON THE OFFICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND
THE DANGER OF GRIEVING HIM. EPHESIANS, iv. 30. Grieve not the Holy Spirit
of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of Redemption.
ON THE RECIPROCAL DUTIES OF MINISTERS
AND PEOPLE. Hebrews, xiii. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves : for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that
they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.
CONVERSION TO GOD A REAL CHANGE OF
ISAIAH, Ixv. 1. I am sought of them that asked not for me: I am found
of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, Behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name 272
DESCRIPTION AND BLESSEDNESS OF GOD'S
ROMANS, viii. 28. And we know that all things work
together for good to them that love God, to them who are the Called according to his purpose. 289
MOTIVES TO DILIGENCE AND EARNESTNESS
HEBREWS, iv 11. Let us labour therefore to enter into that Rest.
ON THE EFFICACY OF THE WORD OF GOD,
AND ON THE WAY OF RECEIVING IT.
1 THESSALONIANS, ii. 13.
For this cause also thank we God without
ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the Word of Men, but (as it is in truth) the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
WHILE those, who preach the Gospel, are answerable for the trust committed to them; those who hear it are not less answerable for the use which they make of this great privilege. While ministers are solemnly charged to "take heed unto their doctrine;" the people are not less solemnly warned to " take heed how they hear. In truth, the Word of God is not to be 'trifled with. It is either the savour of
life unto life;" or " the savour of death unto death." It must make us better; or it will leave us worse... does not raise us to heaven, it will'sink us into deeper condemnation. Feeling then how greatly we are concerned in this matter, let us propose to ourselves the example of those Thessalonians, of whom St. Paul, in the text, speaks with so much satisfaction and comfort. He tells them that he " thanked God on their account, without ceasing:" and why? 66 Because" (he adds) “ when ye received the Word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the Word of Men, but (as it is in truth) the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe He recollected that serious attention, with which they had listened to the preaching of the Word of God, that ready submission, which they had yielded to its doctrines, and that exemplary obedience to its precepts, by which they had shewed its power on their hearts ; and the recollection of these things, furnished him with a constant source of thankfulness and consoJation under his many, afflictions. Would God! that all who hear his Word, would receive it in the same manner as these Thessalonians did that they would receive it not as the Word of Men, but (as it is in truth) the Word of God which effectually worketh in them tħat believe !". With the view of stirring us up to follow this example, as well as of farther explaining the subject, let us consider two things here suggested to us;
I. The description given of the Word.
II. The manner in which it ought to be received.
1. The Description here given of the Word may be considered.
First, as to its author: whose word it is. It is not, says the apostle, the word of men. Men are employed as instruments for making known the word; but it is not their own word which they make known. The doctrines, which they teach, are “ not cunningly devised fables" of human invention. The word is the Word of God. It contains his message to mankind ; reveals his will, and discovers his counsels, so far as he thinks fit to discover them. It is, says St. Paul, in the text, “ in truth the Word of God." ' Such was the word which he preached to the Thessalonians; as he calls it in another part of his Epistle, " The Gospel of God."* It had been revealed to him, as he tells the Galatians, by God himself.
• I certify * Chap. ii. 2.