Obrázky na stránke

Mat. iii. 15.

life and actions, that he could folemnly ap. peal to his father at the close of his work, chap. xvi, 4. “ I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

He was very exemplary in the worship of God, and in the observance of all the sacred institutions in force under that difpenfation. He was careful to “ fulfil all righteousness,"

It appears from several passages of St. John's Golpel, that he used to attend the public worship of the temple upon

all proper occasions; and the worship of the synagogue every fabbath-day in the places where he came. Luke observes, chap. iv. 16. that, “ as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath-day ;" where the usual exercises of praying, and reading, and expounding the word of God, were performed. And for secret prayer, we find him retiring for that purpose, where he might enjoy the greatest freedom, Mat. xiv. 23.

Or rila ing up early for that exercise, Mark i. 35And upon extraordinary occafions, carrying on his devotions to a great length ; as once. * continuing all night in prayer to God," Lake vi. 12. Or with peculiar earnestness, when he had special difficulties before him ; as in his agony in the garden. And the Gospel-history foinetimes takes notice of the outward marks of reverence he used; that he “ kneeled,” Luke xxii. 41. that he “ fell on his face,” Mat. xxvi. 39. that he 6 lift


his eyes to heaven," John xvii. 1. which are recorded no doubt as exemplary indications of


the reverence of his spirit. And for the other institutions then in use, they were all observed in his case. He was circumcised by his parents at the time appointed by the law, he submitted to be baptized by John, when he had an extraordinary commission to dispense that ordinance ; and statedly celebrated the passover. Without doubt, one intention of his performance of these things, and of their being recorded concerning him, was to dispose all his followers to a resemblance of the captain of their falvation in piety towards God.

And now to close this subject.

1. We may see one peculiar excellence of the christian religion, that it has the most direct tendency to promote godlinefs. It would be indeed an undeniable evidence that it had not a divine original, if it gave us an unworthy representation of the blessed God, or did not make a full provision for securing his rights and claims from mankind. But it is the glory of christianity, that it sets out God, his perfections, relations, and authority in the most clear and amiable view ; and at the same time calls us by the most express precepts and the strongest motives to a becoming temper

and practice.

2. Let us then who wear the christian name, make it our business to “ live godly in Christ Jesus.” We find that phrase used in 2 Tim. 111. 12. and it imports something peculiar in the godliness to be exercised by Christians.

Let the respect we pay to God be agreeable to the revelation made of him by Christ. While - no man hath seen God at any time;


the only begotten Son, who is in the bofom of the Father, hath declared him," John i. 18. And hath declared him in such a manner, as he was scarce manifelted to the world before, Let our regards for him be correspondent to this discovery. Let them be fpiritual, and not only bodily ; as he is now more fully re-vealed in his spiritual nature, and requiring fpiritual worshippers, John iv. 23, 24. He is now manifested, not only as our Creators but as at the head of a saving design, reconciling, an apostate world to himself in his Son : Our homage therefore Mould be paid him, not as if we were innocent creatures; but as it becomes redeemed finners, through a Mcdiator ; honouring him in the way established by wise grace for lapsed creatures to have ac-cess to him. And yet as his grace and good-will are set in a clearer light than in any form-er dispensation, and as there is a more com-fortable effusion of his Spirit, as a Spirit of adoption ;” our service to him should be, not. with a slavish, but a childlike temper.

Let us animate ourselves in the practice by: the great example of piety, which Christ has given us. Looking unto Jesus, let us have grace to serve God acceptably; remembering, that while in one nature he was himself " the true God,” yet as man, he was the most godly man that ever was in the world. .

Let us apply ourselves to the exercise of godliness in a dependance on the grace and strength of Christ. If we are united to Christ as his living members, and partakers of his holy Spirit, godliness will thrive under such


Blessed culture and influence ; but separate from him as our head, we apostate creatures can do nothing, John xv. 5:

Let us expeči God's favourable regard to the poor and imperfect respects we pay to him, only for the sake of Christ. As our goodness, on supposition it was perfect, cannot extend to him to profit him; so in the present imperfection of it, it could not please him or be accepted by him but in his beloved Son.

3. As godliness is profitable to all things, and peculiarly subserves the other duties of the christian life ; fo let the fruits of it appear in all the rest of a christian temper and practice. Let our faith be shewn by our works ; our piety by our fobriety, and righteousnessg. and charity ; and our love to God, whom we have not seen, by our love to our brother, whom we have seen. That fuperftru&ture the Apostle calls us to add to godliness, in the words immediately following the text, ver. 7. 66 And to godliness, brotherly-kindness; and to brotherly-kindness, charity.”



Faith in Christ.

1 Pet. i. 8.

IPhom, having not feen, ye love : In whom,

though now ye fee liim not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

to the christian temper towards CHRIST, as the Saviour and Mediator, naturally comes under consideration. As the Saviour is hiinself God, that which hath been said already of the respect due to God, belongs to him in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost : But the Scripture leads us to another view of him as the Melliah and Mediator, and claims from us distinct practical regards to him as fuch. These are what I now propose to confider, for which the words read give us a proper foundation.

St. Peter wrote this Epistle to “ the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia," &c. ver. 1. i.@g. to those of the Jewish nation who lived out of Judea in foreign parts, as many of them had done long before Christ's time ; and who were already converted to the christian faith. Several churches were ear planted in Asia, consisting chiefly of these Jewish converts. The Apostle describes the nature of their change, whence it had its ori

« PredošláPokračovať »