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SERMON BY THE REV. J. A. JAMES.
THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 1831.
( The Rev. J. A. James's Sermon concluded.)
Remember ye not that this same , influence upon his soul, of the love of Jesus, when he had asked for the Christ, when asked to speak of the largest blessings that his love could heaven which he desires and expects, think of or desire for his people, offered in one short sentence would say, my his requests for his disciples thus, heaven is to be with Christ. And this “Father, I will that they also whom is the heaven set forth in Scripturethou hast given me, be with me where “ Come,” said the Saviour, “ COME I am, that they may behold my glory UNTO ME.” -the glory which I had with thee Lastly—The sentence is uttered in before the foundation of the world." | THE LANGUAGE OF MUNIFICENT COMThe Apostle Paul was of the same MUNICATION, “Come, inherit the mind, for he said, to be absent from kingdom.” The kingdom prepared the body is to be present with the prepared for you-prepared from the LORD"-and he gathered up his own foundation of the world, and which experience, his hopes, his desires, in you are to receive by inheritance. The this matter, in language often read by felicities of a future state are set forth us, “I have a desire to depart and to in Scripture by a great variety of be with Christ, which is far better.” figures. For affection, their felicity is
Recollect he had been in heaven, he compared with that which is enjoyed had seen its glory ; but this, this it by a harmonious family—a closely was that lived longest in his recollec- united and loving family-heaven is tions—this it was that had impressed the meeting of the whole redeemed fahis heart with the greatest power, and mily. For joy and delight, it is fredrew him back to heaven again with quently compared to a feast ; heaven strong attraction-Christ-Christ is is an eternal feast for the mind upon there. Oh, my hearers, I know there the first fruits, and of the heart upon are those who think this a very trivial, the chief good. For dignity, for afflua very mean, a very barren description ence, for honour, heaven is compared of the celestial world, and they are to a kingdom : "fear not, little flock, for ready to say, if this be heaven we it is your Father's pleasure to give you scarcely desire it, or, if they say not the kingdom ;” and hence we read of this in so many words, it is the feeling “an incorruptible crown”-" of their hearts ; but sure I am, that of glory that fadeth not away”—"a the mind that has been enlightened by crown of life""a kingdom and a the Spirit, the heart that has been re- crown”—the most magnificent object newed by grace, the man who has of human ambition--for human ambibeen justified by faith, that feels the tion can go no further than a kingdom.
What an idea that a poor disciple, an in- prepared place for a prepared people, dividual that, in respect of this world,can and the preparation of both, in purcall nothing his own but his poverty, pose and destination, has been going and his sorrow and his disappointment on from eternity. -for him to receive a crown, and to
I have thus endeavoured to illustrate be invested with a kingdom ? Yes, the language of the text in the sen. Jesus will say to the poorest in his tence which, at the last day, shall be family, “Come, my disciple, leave thy | pronounced on the righteous. And poverty, leave thy privations, leave now, my Christian friends, what in. thine adversity, leave all behind, and ferences may be deduced from the come receive the kingdom which is whole? First: How astonishing the prepared for you. Oh, what a deep grace of God, to provide such an inunfathomable abyss of glory is con
heritance for such sinful and guilty tained in that invitation! You must creatures! My hearers, there is somebe aware that the word “prepared” thing so vast in the subject, and esfrequently is used, in Scripture, in con- pecially when viewed in connexion nexion with the future blessedness of with the moral character of those for the righteous. Christ is represented whom the inheritance has been proas going to prepare a mansion, and vided, that the very magnitude of it God is said not to be ashamed to be seems to raise a feeling of incredulity called the God of his people, because in our minds. Oh, the stupendous and he hath prepared for them a city-in- unsearchable grace of our God! that timating the exercise of the infinity of we sinful creatures, rebels against his his wisdom, of his power, of his grace, holy law, and deserving only the perto render it a state of felicity that shall petuity of his curse, should have prebe worthy of himself to bestow. paration like this made for our happi
Oh, that expression! he is not ness! My hearers, how is it that we ashamed to be called their God." As do not more frequently and more gratemuch as if the Apostle had said, If it fully meditate upon this wondrous had not been something so glorious as grace of Almighty God? We have to be worthy of himself, he would have become carelessly and sinfully neglibeen ashamed of it. And when here- gent in respect of this matter—we sink after the future state of the righteous into a sort of indolence when we speak shall be visible, there shall be found of those things, and yet there is in it something worthy of all that is said that which excites the astonishment of about it in Scripture, and worthy of every order of creatures except our own. the God by whom it has been pre- Secondly: How much are we in. pared-worthy of his infinite riches— debted to the grace of our Lord Jesus the riches of his grace, and wisdom, Christ for giving us a previous ac
“ He hath prepared for quaintance with those things so far as them a city.” It is a kingdom pre- our minds can understand and appared for them from the foundation of preciate them! He might have kept the world. The preparation hath been us all in the dark as to what glory he going on from eternity—it is not some- had provided for us, or he might have thing hastily done, it is something thrown a veil over it impenetrable by prepared—not something that may be us. He might have said nothing about represented as a kind of after-thought it, but that he had provided some great -it is something on which the mind thing for us; but yet he has, in his of Omniscience has been employed from marvellous condescension, done more the foundation of the world—it is a-he has opened up the vista of fu
turity-he has torn aside the cover- and, instead of being thankful for the ing-he has told us that all cannot gift, he allows his mind to be absorbbe told, but he has told us much—he ed by any other work, and neglects the has brought life and immortality to only volume that can conduct him to light, and they who believe shall, at glory, honour, immortality, and eterthe last day, be acknowledged by him nal life. And oh, shame, Christian, in the presence of an assembled uni
upon you and upon me, that the book verse, and receive from his hand every has not more of our attention, that we token of honour, and every mark of do not read that book with more freroyal distinction—that he will pro- quency, more earnestness of mind, nounce them blessed, and take them and with more intense delight, which to dwell with himself for ever and ever. speaks to us of God, which speaks to
How should we value the Scrip- us of the Saviour, of glory, of heaven; tures where this discovery is made, that fits man for communion and fellowand which contain the record of those ship, notonly with the church on earth, glorious prospects ? Oh, what are the but conducts him into fellowship with creations of genius, and the sublimest angels, with the redeemed spirits in works that the sublimest mind of man glory and with God himself. My ever penned, compared with this one. friends, we should blush before God It is, viewing ourselves as immortal that we are not more attentive to this ! creatures, going on to an unending Again, let the believer, amidst all state—it is worth all the volumes that his trials, afflictions, conflicts with the have ever been written on all other sorrows and cares of the present life, subjects. I do not undervalue science anticipate the decision of the judgmentor literature, I give to them all that day. Oh, Christian, what is before can be claimed for them; they em- you! What a scene of wonder, and bellish life, they multiply the sources what a prospect of glory opens up here of our innocent gratifications, they to the eye of faith! Christians, what raise us above the low and grovelling is there that should concern you then! habits ; but, my friends, what is all Why should you think so much about that science and literature can do for your privations or sorrows, that day us, compared with what the Bible will make amends for all. If this unfolds ? This sets immortality and be pronounced upon us—if we hear eternal life before us; and oh, the
“ Come ye blessed of my wickedness, the desperate wickedness Father, inherit the kingdom prepared of man, that he should be anxious to for you from the foundation of the read every book but that which God world.” Believer, go back to thy sorhas written, and on every subject but rows, to thy conflicts, to thy poverty, that of immortality! Deny the doc- to every thing, go with a smile of comtrine of human depravity! My hear- fort upon thy brow. Thou hast heard ers, here is a proof that may serve in- a distant echo of the voice which on the stead of a thousand—God has given day of judgment is to be pronounced man this book, written by his own upon thee, and make thee blessed. finger; given it to him to open before Thou hast seen the first beam of the him an interminable career of know- rising sun, which is, in all his glory, to ledge, of holiness, of life and happiness, burst upon thee-then should not this and to teach him how these may be reconcile thee to any thing? obtained; God has given him this But, oh, remember now that there book to guide his feet into everlasting is another sentence at that day. God, life, through life's dark gloomy valley ; in his mercy, grant that it may not be
pronounced upon us! If we have not brother and sister-between husband faith in Christ, if we are not among and wife—between pastor and people the number of the righteous—if we if they are not bound by the tie of re. are not righteous in the sight of ligion—the wicked to take their place God through the righteousness of at the left hand of the Judge, to Christ-if we are not righteous by the hear that dreadful sentence,“ Depart work of the Holy Spirit, sanctifying from me, ye cursed, into everlasting our hearts, and having that faith which punishment prepared for the devil and worketh by love, that other sentence his angels.” Instead of this, may you will be pronounced upon us, “Depart and I, belonging to the number of the from me, ye cursed, into everlasting righteous, hear that blessed welcome, fire, prepared for the devil and his Come ye blessed of my Father, inangels.” Christ will pronounce that herit the kingdom prepared for you too. A separation, awful and final, from the foundation of the world." shall then be made between the Amen. righteous and the wicked—between
A Funeral Sermon
DELIVERED BY THE REV. W. B. LEACH,
(OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF THE REV. BASIL WOOD) AT ROBERT STREET CHAPEL, GROSVENOR SQUARE, SUNDAY EVENING, APRIL 24, 1831.
Acts, xi. 24.~" For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith :
and much people was added unto the LORD.
Our much respected neighbour, the with the snow of nature's winter, would Rev. Basil Wood, is no more. His naturally remind them that their beministerial work is done-and he has loved pastor would shortly be gathered gone to receive “the crown of life to his Fathers ; still, we can easily imawhich the Lord, the righteous judge, gine, that when the time of his dewill give unto him” at the great de- parture arrived, they keenly felt that cisive day. His affectionate flock have pang which was to separate them until felt, and will long feel, the separating the resurrection of the just. Their constroke. He was to them a worthy solation, however, is, that he was spar. pastor, father, and friend. Most of ed to them so long-that his character them, no doubt, were presented by was untarnished for so lengthened a him in their infancy at the baptismal space that their loss is his indescri. font, grew up to maturity under his bable gain--that the great Lord of the ministerial oversight, viewed their chil church, as "the ancient of days," ever dren as the lambs of his fold under liveth to guide, to supply, and to supthe great and good Shepherd, and port them in their individual and social felt an attachment to his person and capacity; and that their beloved pastor, official character, which the revolu- whom they have, within the last few tion of forty-six years could not fail days, followed to the grave, with so to consolidate and strengthen. And much affection and respect, was so dethough his venerable brow, covered servedly esteemed by them, and by those who knew him, as a consistent, a close alliance with angels and seamicable, and useful minister of Jesus raphs. It is also a mark of his adoption Christ—"For he was a good man into the family of God, forms a pracand full of the Holy Ghost and of tical attestation of his union to the faith : and much people was added Saviour, and will survive the ravages unto the LORD.”
of death and the destruction of the Our text forms the high encomium universe.—" This honour have all the which it pleased the Holy Ghost to saints." confer on Barnabas, who was one of
To be "
a good man” is to be a the-first preachers of the Gospel in converted man, a new creature in Christ the primitive age. He was deno. Jesus——to be born again of the Spirit minated the son of consolation, and to have the heart sprinkled from an shone as a bright star amidst the sur- evil conscience by the precious blood rounding darkness of Judaism and of Christ-to have the understanding paganism. And in wishing to pay made light in the Lord, the enmity of our last public token of respect to the carnal will subdued, and every our deceased neighbour, the text in- thought brought into subjection to the stantly occurred to us, as a very sui- obedience of the Saviour.—To be so en.. table exposition of the amiableness of dowed, as to view religion as his elehis temper, the piety of his heart, the ment, to possess a spirit of piety and consistency of his deportment, and devotion, which hungers and thirsts the usefulness of his ministrations. It after righteousness, and which cannot is only since I entered this sanctuary, be satisfied with any attainments short that I have heard, that the same text to of the image of God impressed upon which your attention is now drawn, was the heart. the theme of meditation in our friend's Such a state of godliness and spiritual chapel this morning; but shows us, excellence is not natural to us. W by this interesting analogy of think- born in sin and shapen in iniquity ; ing and feeling, the high estimation and until that evangelical change ensues in which both preachers held the which causes us to bear the image of our deceased.
heavenly Father, and to possess the With these introductory remarks, mind of Christ, we walk according to let us now proceed to consider in the the course of this world, actuated by First place, the personal character and the prince of the power of the air, the ministerial success of Barnabas, and spirit which worketh in the children endeavour in the Second instance to of disobedience. But it is the great trace the resemblance to this pious design and specific tendency of the model, which was borne by our es- Gospel to produce this holy transforteemed departed friend.
mation. It “new models all the carnal First, our attention is drawn to mind, and moulds the man afresh ;” THE PERSONAL CHARACTER OF BAR- and, then, when the tree is good the
He was a good man, and fruit becomes good, when the fountain full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.” is cleansed the stream which issues This, you will allow, my dear hearers, from it must of necessity be pure. is an appellation of the very highest And let me assure you, my dear hearers, order. It rises infinitely above all the that nothing short of this sanctity of titles of sovereignty and nobility- mind and character can make you happy. eclipses the splendid garniture of You may have made great attainments crowns and cornets and places the in religious knowledge-you may be favoured individual who sustains it in very charitable in your actions