« PreviousContinue »
only of the flesh, the true Christian with Christ.” And as such, they are is regenerate, or born again of the entitled to a share in “ the inheriSpirit; so that there is the same tance of the saints in light," the difference between him and them, as richest inheritance in the world; there is between spirit and flesh, ac- seeing we are told, that those who cording to these remarkuble words are sharers in it." inherit all things." of our Saviour: “ That which is This inheritance, to which the chilborn of the flesh is flesh, and that dren of God are heirs, is described which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” by the Apostle as “ an inheritance For every thing being of the same incorruptible, undefiled, and that nature with ibat from which it pro- fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven ceeds, they who are born, as all men for them.” It is not like the inheare by nature, of the flesh, are car- ritances to which men are born on nal and sensual, like the flesh of earth, which they may never poswhich they are born; and they who sess, or of which they may afterare born again, being then born of wards be defrauded or deprived, the Holy Spirit of God, are thereby and which, at the best, they must made holy and spiritual, of the one day leave ; but it is reserved in same nature with him from whom Heaven in secure hands, where no they receive their new birth. Hence one can hinder them from possessing all such persons are called the sons it, nor take it froni them, but they of God, and indeed are really so; are sure to obtain it, and to enjoy for, as the Apostle observes," it for ever. many as are led by the Spirit of 3. To this lively hope and glo. God, they are the sons of God. For rious inheritance, the Apostle tells ye have not received the spirit of us, that the children of God are bebondage again to fear, but ye have gotten by the resurrection of Jesus received the spirit of adoption, Christ froin the dead. It is only by whereby we cry Abba, Father; the him that we receive any mercy at Spirit itself beareth witness with our all from the hands of Almighty God. spirits that we are the children of We cannot so much as look up to God.” And this may well be the him, much less expect any favour case, since it is the Spirit of God from hin, on account of any thing who works this change ; and they that we ourselves, or all the creatures who have received him as a Spirit of in the world, can do for us; seeing adoption, have an undeniable title to we have all grievously offended eternal life, being that to which him. If we contemplate bis Divine all who are born again of God are Majesty as he is in himself, we canheirs. They accordingly hope for not but be dismayed and confounded this eternal life, not with a faint and at the recollection of those sins by dead, but with a quick and lively which we have provoked his dishope, which animates them to do all pleasure. It is only when we rethose things that are requisite for gard him as the Father of our Lord obtaining it.
and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Me2. I have already anticipated what diator between God and man, that was to be shewn under the second we can feel any confidence of access head, namely, that those who are to him. And, indeerl, Christ him. begotten again of God, are begotten self hath declared, that we can unto a lively hope. We are assured approach God in no other way iu Scripture, that the same Spirit by but by him. “ No man cometh whom they are beyotten again, wit to the Father but by me," but by nesseth with their spirits that they the only begotten Son, “who is in are the children of God, and thus the bosom of the Father, and hath confirnis their hope of eternal life; declared him unto us.” Through " for if children, then are they him we may not only raise up our heirs, heirs of God, and joint 'heirs hearts to God, and contemplate the
Divine glory and majesty ; but we likewise, that he hath made a commay hope for all the good things plete sacrifice, oblation, and satisthat we can desire of God, if we faction for our sins by his death ; ask for them in the name of Him God having been pleased to raise who hath merited them all for us him again from the dead, and to set by his death, and is now our Advo- bim at his own right hand to make cate with the Father, interceding atonement and reconciliation for us for us that we may have them. This as our Great- High Priest, so that is the way, the ouly way, by which now there is no room left for doubt. we can seek God, so as to find "If Christ had not been raised, our any favour in his sight. But by faith and hope bad been in vain.” means of that intercession which his But now ihai “Christ is risen and only begotten Son is always making become the first fruits of them that for those who believe in bis name, slept," we have thestrongest grounds We may obtain from him the greatest to place our faith and hope in of all blessiogs, we may be begotten him, for that eternal inheritance again of him and made his children which he hath purchased for us by and beirs. " Blessed be the God his blood, and for all things necesand Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, sary to fit and qualify us for it. And who, of bis abundant mercy, bath the more to assure us of it, God himbegotten us again to a lively hope self hath here declared to us, that of by the resurrection of Jesus Christ his abundant mercy he " hath be. from the dead.” Christ, having gotten us again to a lively bope by soffered for our sins, and being rais- the resurrection of Jesus Christ." ed again from the dead, was exalted 4. Now wbat infinite cause have to the right band of God, and inade we all to bless God for this unspeakthe Mediator between him and us; able benefit! “Behold what man. and, by virtue of this mediation, he ner of love the Father hath bestowsends down his Holy Spirit on all ed upon us, that we should be calle that believe in him, to regenerate ed the sons of God ;” and this love a beget them again, and make them hath the Father for all who believe the children of God. “As many as in bis Son Jesus Christ; for they are receive him, to them he gives power begotten again of God, and so are to become the sons of Gud, even to made the sons of God, which is such them that believe on his name," and an expression of his love and kindthis power he gives them, by sendo ness, as we ourselves should never ing his Holy Spirit to accomplish have thought of, had not he himself Mae great work of regeneration with- revealed it to us. Who could have in them, that as he is the only be- imagined that such frail and sinful gotten Son of God, so they who be- worms as we are should be received lieve in him may be begotten again into so near a relation to the Alof God, and so made his children mighty Sovereign of the universe, by adoption and grace. But this he as to be called his children? That reld not have done, had he not he who created us at first, should een raised from the dead.
beget us again, and so become our And as we are thus begotten again Father as well as Maker? This is so (God by the resurrection of Jesus high an honour, so great a favour, that Christ, so by that also we are be we may well be astonished that all pilen again to a lively hope. The are not ambitious of it, so as to make surrection of Jesus Christ is the it their only care and study to attair immest ground that could be laid, it; for what is there in the world on thereop to build our hopes of God's which the thoughts and time of men serey and favour; for by this we can be employed with equal profit e not only fully assured of the and advantage to themselves! Byour uth of the Gospel, and of all that care and pains about the things of krist ever taught or promised, but, this world, we may, perhaps, get CeAut. OBSERY, No. 124.
something in it, and perhaps not. in all respects, in such a manner as But how much soever it be, it is as becomes his children; and that we nothing in comparison of what all may at last receive our inheritance the children of God possess. “All among them that are sanctified by things are theirs :" all things that faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. God hath made, and he himself too These inestimable blessings, they who made them. And what can who are “ begotten again, may they desire more? There is nothing confidently hope to attain. Indeed, more for them to desire ; therefore, it is to this very hope that they are their minds must needs be at rest, and “begotten again by the resurrection their souls fulloftrue joy and comfort. of Jesus Christ from the dead;" an
Who, ihen, would not be in the event which has produced so many number of these blessed souls? Who and so great benefits to mankind, that would not be regenerate, and made we can never sufficiently praise God a 'child of God, if he might? And for it. We have infinite cause to who may not, if he will? Blessed praise him for our Saviour's incarbe God, we are all capable of it; for nation; for his birth, his life, his now that Christ is risen from the death; but still more, if that were dead, and exalted at tbe right hand possible, for his resurrection fropi the of God, to be a Prince and a Saviour, dead, without which all that went to give repentance and forgiveness before would have availed us noof sins, if we do but apply ourselves thing. Without this, though He 10 him, and believe and trust on him took our flesh, we could not have for it, his father will be ours too: he had his Spirit: though he was born will beget us again in his own like- into the world, we could not have ness, and admit us into the glorious been born again : though he lived liberty of his own children.
on earth, we should not have lived Let us therefore now resolve, by in heaven: and though he died for God's assistance, to do so ; and for our sins, we must still have perishthat purpose let us exercise ourselves ed, had he not risen again to apply continually in the means of grace the merits of his death to us, and io and salvation. To use these means wash us in the blood which he shed only occasionally will little profit upon the cross. Let us now,therefore, us; we must use them constantly otter unto God continually the sacris and perseveringly. We must en-fice of praise and thanksgiving for alt gage with sincerity and devotion, as the wonderful works which he hath well as with regularity, in the public done for the sons of men, and especiand private worship of Almighty ally for his raising up his Son Jesus God. We must attentively read, Christ our Saviour from the dead. hear, and meditate upon his holy Let us all, from the bottom of our word. We must pariake of the sa, hearts, join with the Apostle in the crament of the body and blood of words of my text, and say, "BlessChrist as often as we can have it adued be the God and Father of our ministered to us. And in the use Lord Jesus Christ, wbich, according of all these means we must look up to his abundant mercy, hath begot. to Christ, and trust in him to render tey us again to a lively hope, by them effectual. Thus shall we attain the resurrection of Jesus Christ from that true evangelical faith by which the dead;" to whom, with the Father, we shall be united to Christ, made and the Holy Ghost, be all honour sound members of his body, and ob- and glory, now and for ever. Amen. tain the grace of his Holy Spirit to renew and purify our souls, so that The above sermon is an abstract we may really become the children of one by Bishop Beveridge, being. of the Most High God, and live the the 73d sermon of the first volume: rest of our days under his fatherlycare We have been induced to select it, and protection; conducting ourselves, not only on account of its intrinsie
excellence, but by other reasons of ceive, may be advantageously insome weight, though doubtless of troduced into this postscript. The inferior consideration. The author Bishop, adverting to the verse prerity of Bishop Beveridge has been ceding the text, “ Elect according recently pressed upon us, and upon to the foreknowledge of God the all who think with us on the subject Father, through sanctification of the of the Bible Society, by Dr. Herbert Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling Marsh, as decisive in favour of " the of the blood of Jesus Christ," obexcellency and usefulness of theCom- serves, that there is here a reference mon Prayer." We are certainly to the sprinkling of the blood of the disposed to defer to this authority i sacrifice upon the people. As the we most entirely and unequivocally children of Israel were delivered
poacur with all that the pious Bishop from the plague wherewith God mr has written on that subject. Let us, snapte the Egyptians, by having the
in our turn, recommend to Dr. Marsh sides and door-posts of their houses the view of regeneration which Bi- sprinkled with the blood of the
shop Beveridge has given us in the Paschal Lamb, which typified Christ jebove sermon, as a help to under the true Passoverzibus is the blood of
sanding the baptismal service con- Jesus supposed to be sprinkled upon tained in that Book of Prayer which believers, so as to wash them from be extols so highly and "so justly. their sins, and deliver them from We cannot help thinking, also, that the wrath of God. "These things, had the Bishop of Lincoln read this he observes, I notice, that you may teriton before he published his Ro see how it comes to pass that instead fuation, he would at least have mo- of dipping persons baptized, or washderated the strength of those ex- ing them all over, as in hot counpressions which would imply that tries, in cold climates it hath been
the adoption of his own views, with customary only to sprinkle the water #tespect to the identity of Baptism upon them:--for this being a sign or
and Regeneration, is essential to symbol of the blood of Christ now, sound churchmanship.
This at as the blood of the sacrifices was of least we may say, that there is not old; and the Holy Ghost having the censure insinuated against those been pleased to signify the applicawho are called evangelical clergy- tion of the blood of Christ by sprinkmen in the present day, on account Rng it, as well as by washing with of their opinions on the subject of i1; it was easy to infer that it might regeneration, which would not fall be represented by sprinkling as well
Mib at least equal force on the quon- as in any other way, if not in some dem Bishop of St. Asaph.
sense better, as this comes nearer We have omitted the prefatory to the phrase of sprinkling the blood matter contained in the above sermon of Christ so often used in Scripture of Bishop Beveridge; aot because — and which seems to have been so
we object to the reasoning contain- used to prevent the mistake of supdin it, but because it did not ap posing, that unless persons be dipped pear to us to be well adapted to the or washed all over with water they particular purpose which we have in are not rightly baptised; as if sprink. siew in these sermons, namely the ling the water did not represent the edification of the family circle. The sprinkling of the blood of Christ es substance of it, however, as we con- well as dipping in it.
For the Christian Obserder. considerable argument corrupted,
most of our other debates would ON THE ADVANTAGES ARISING FROM A DIFFERENCE OF PAKȚIES IN RE- quickly lose themselves in this."
Doubtless a principal design of
Providence in permitting our differ. Though the diversity of our reli- ences, is the opportunity they afford gious opinions is in itself an evil, for the trial and exercise of various and, in some views, greatly to be de Christian graces, such as candour, plored, there are others in which it forbearance, and love ; candoar in is attended with advantage ; and I the construction we place on the think it might be argued, a priori, sentiments, and especially the mothat it would not be permitted, by tives, of those who differ from us; Infinite Wisdom and Goodness, to ex- forbearance, notwithstanding their ist, were it not to answer some im. errors and failings, towards them; portant ends ;
and cordial esteem of their persons. “ From seeming evil still educing good."
But the great benefit results from Thomson,
the principle of emulation which this
diversity excites; and in the preTo this we are indebted, under sent imperfect state of human naProvidence, for the preservation of the Christian Scriptures, pure and exertion. A very powerful one we
ture, we need every stimulus to holy undefiled; for, as a candid and pious derive from this source, which would, writer * observes, “ Numbers of he- in a great measure, fail, were we all Jetics appeared in the very infancy of one communion. of the church, who all pretended to
The Dissenter, to be consistent, build their notions on Scripture; and must in this manner argue with bimmost of them appealed to it as the self:- i have separated from the final judge of controversies. Now
established church, because I thiok it is certain, that these different par- 1 perceive, in this step, some advanties of professing Christians were
tages to the growth and exercise of perpetual guards upon each other, and rendered it impossible for one
my piety. It behoves me tben to
evince not only that I am actualed party to practise grossly, on the by my principles, but that these Sacred Books, without the discovery principles are in themselves excel and clamour of the rest."
lent. This can only be done by the There is another incidental bene- exemplary manner in which I fulfil fit pointed out by the same author,
my social and relative duties. who observes : Indeed, in this re
On the other hand, the conscienspect, that is an advantage, which tious Churchman, believing that the in others is our great calamity; I cause of serious piety is best secured mean, the dirersity of our religious by adhering to the established form opinions. It is certain, that where- and, reasoning in the same manger ever there is a body of dissenters endeavours to evince the superiority from thc public establishment, who of his principles, and avoid the disso yet agree with their brethren in the establishment, in the use of the grace it would reflect on him, were
à Dissenter to know more of his same translation, there is as great religion, or practise it better, than evidence as could reasonably be de: himself. sired, that such a translation is in the
This principle has not only a ge main right; for if it were in any neral effect on the several parties o • Doddridge
Christians, but is peculiariy bene