ePub 版

cause of truth and virtue, and to honour those with his approbation who exert them. felves to promote it. For one to say, “Be• cause I cannot do good equal to that 6 which with the aid of miracles the first

preachers of the gospel did, I will do none c. at all,' would be talking neither like a Christian, nor like a reasonable person. The great and the rich have it in their power to be more extensively useful to their fellowcreatures than the ignoble and the poor : are the latter therefore exempted from being as useful as they can? God requireth of every man according to what he hath, and not according to what he hath not * Will it be a good apology for the servant who receives one talent, to say, Because I re. • ceived not, like some others, five talents, I thought it unnecessary to employ myself • in the improvement of so small a stock?' The case of individuals, and that of whole generations, is in this respect fimilar.

To do what we can to diffuse the light of the gospel, and communicate the benefits there. of to others, is what every motive of piety to God and benevolence to men requires of us. And we may fay, with the greatest ju. stice, that none deserve better of mankind, than those whose labour and wealth are employed in promoting the interest of their fel. low-creatures, the most valuable for time and for eternity. For this reason, the dis2 Çor, yiii. 12.


[ocr errors]


ciples of Jesus will entertain a due veneration for that truly Christian and truly Patriotic Society, who have honoured me with their commands to address you on this occafion. Their affiduous attention has long been fixed, and by the blessing of Heaven has not been fixed in vain, on the most sublime and important of all objects, the extenfion of the kingdom of Mefliah, and the salvation of the souls of men. I speak not thus to convince you of the just title they have to your esteem. This is a very small matter to those who seek not the praise of men, but that which cometh from God, the omnifcient and unerring Judge. But I speak to awaken the same zcal in the breasts of you, my hearers, and to excite every one of this assembly, to co-operate to the utmost of his power, in promoting the same noble ends.

And let us all add fervent prayers to strenuous and virtuous endeavours. Pray,” faid David *, “ for the peace of Jerusalem." Our Jerusalem is the church of Christ the antitype of that metropolis, the true city of the great King. Of her we may justly say, “ They fhall profper that love THEE. Peace “ be within the walls, and prosperity with: 6 in the palaces ! For our brethren and “ companions fakes we will say, Peace be with66 in THEE.

Because of the house of the 66 Lord our God, we will seek Thy good.”

* Psal. cxxii. 6. &c.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]



The sufferings of Christ compared with

those which fall out in life to other men, with a suitable improvement of the subject.


LAM. I. 12.

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Ben

hold and see, if there be any forrow like unte my forrow, wherewith the Lord hath aflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.

[ocr errors]

N the melancholy book of which the text

makes a part, we behold one of those ob. jets by which the human heart is most power. fully imprefied; - a good man mourning o. ver the ruins of his country; and struck every moment, while he wandered along the streets of a defolated city, with something that recalled to his memory the idea of its former magnificence, breaking into the language of pathetic complaint. It ought to be observed, that the prophetic character with which we fuppose the old and venerable mourner to have

* Preached on the Saturday before the celebration of the Lord's fupper.


been invested, inexpressibly heightens the distress upon the prefent occasion. By placing before our minds, at the fame time, the affliction of the prophet, and the defolation of the holy city, we find, that each of these objects illustrates the other; and the heart is irresistibly penetrated by the concurrence of iwo circumstances fo well adapted to awake its; fenfibility. On this occafion let us pause a little, till I have recounted a story which is naturally suggested by the present subject, and which is recorded in the history of Ancient Rome.

At the time when those civil commotions began which brought on the decline of the: Roman republic, we are told, that one of the consuls of Rome; who had been fix times in. vested with the fupreme magiftracy of his country, as the reward of his victories, and distinguished ability ; that this great man has ving been defeated in his old age by a fucceff ful competitor, was driven from Rome; that di price was set upon his head; and that all per:fons were forbidden, under a capital penalty, to afford him fhelter throughout the extent of the Roman empire. The venerable exilegi after having been hunted by his enemies fronti place to place through the Italian provinces ;; worn out at last with watching, and finking beneath the united pressure of age and fora: row, wandered to the sea-shore, found ai fhip, and prevailed upon the mariners to land him upon the opposite coaft, which was that


[ocr errors]

of Africa. Not far from the place at whick Marius (for that was the name of this perfonage) touched the shore, had stood, not many years before, the celebrated city of Car. thage, the rival of Rome for many ages, which had obftinately maintained the struggle with her for dominion, and had not yielded until she had brought this last to the brink of destruction. Now, however, a place fo lately the seat of empire, exhibited only a scene of desolation, and the yet recent ruins of its palaces, that had resounded to the voice of festivity, recalled the idea of what it once had been. The Hero, deeming these sacred remains a kind of temporary afylum, sat down in melancholy contemplation among the ruins; indulging most probably such thoughts as the objects around him must naturally have poured upon his mind. He remained not however undisturbed even in this retreat. The news of his arrival foon reached the governor of the province; who, embarrafled as he was betwixt the commands of the senate, and his reluctance, in the present instance, to carry these into execution, endeavoured to purfue a middle course ; and sent private orders to Marius, to leave, without delay, the place where he was, and the province itself where he presided, as he would not forfeit his life. The old warrior heard this message, and remained some time without making any reply. Probably buried in thought, and overcome by a fucceffion of calamities to which no end ap.


« 上一頁繼續 »