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prodigious distance, which the sublimity of their esesence puts between us and them? at least should it not make us lament the depravity of our taste, if it be not sufficient perfectly to restore it ? Christians, the plan of our evangelical felicity is founded on that of celestial felicity. Christians are called, even here below, to taste those noble pleasures, which are so delightful to the blessed above. Let us feel these pleasures, my brethren. Let us feel the pleasure of rendering to God the homage of the mind. Let us soar into a sublime meditation of his essenceOf his perfections let us form the most elevated ideas, that our diminutive capacities can permit. Let us conceive, as far as we possibly car, a wise God, supremely powerful, supremely holy, supremely good. Let us associate his glorious attributes, and, judging by the splendor of these feeble rays, of some of the beauties of the original, let us adore this Great Supreme. Let us feel the pleasure of rendering to God the homage of the heart. Let us measure the dimensions of love divine. Let us lose ourselves in the length, in the breadth, in the height, in the depth of that love, which passeth knowledge, Eph. iii. 18. Let us conceive the inexpressible felicity of an intimate union with the happy God, 1 Tim. vi. 15. Let us reflect on the happiness of a creature, who has a relation of love to a God, who knows how to love with so much extent, with so much pity, with so much power. Let us feel the pleasure of rendering to God the homage of an entire devotedness, the submission of all our desires. Slaves of the world, let us free ourselves from sensuality and cupidity, let us shake off the yoke of these domineering passions, let us submit ourselves to God, James iv. 7. Tbus let us taste the felicity of returning to order, of obeying that God, all whose commands enforce love to what is supremely lovely.
True, deceitful world! thou wilt yet oppose our real pleasures. True, sensual flesh! thou wilt yet solicit us to pleasures agreeable to thy corruption. True, worldly pomp! thou wilt again dazzle us with thy vain glory. But thou worldly pomp shalt presently vanish! thou sensual flesh shall presently fall into the dust! thou also deceitful fashion of the world * thou shalt presently pass away ! 1 Cor. vii. -31. presently these auditors, who have endeavored to approach nearest to angelical pleasures, shall approach them entirely. Shortly this flock shall be numbered with the ten thousand times ten thousand. Presently the voices, which have made these walls resound the Creator's praise, shall sing it in a nobler manner, and shall make the heavenly arches echo the hymn in my text, Worthy is the Lamb to receive honor, power, riches, wisdom, strength, glory, and blessing. To him, that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing, and honor, and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
το σχημα του κοσμού Locutio a theatro et scenis desumpta, quæ subito cum per sonis mutantur. Figure du monde trompeur.
1 Cor. vii. 31. Fashion of this world.
CHRIST THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ANCIENT
SACRIFICES OF THE LAW.
Hebrews X. 5, 6, 7.
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not : but a body hast thou prepare
In burnt-offerings, and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure : Then said I, Lo! I come, (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
our example is an abridgment of religion, and the only way to heaven.
If Jesus Christ be not taken for our Redeemer, alas ! how can we bear the looks of a God, who is of purer eyes than to behold the evil? Hab. i. 18. How can we hope to please, with prayers debased by numberless imperfections; with a repentance, in which a regret for not daring to repeat a crime too often mixes with a sorrow for having committed it ; with a love of which self-interest is always the first spring ; how, I say, can we hope with our sinful services to please a God, before whom seraphims vail their faces, and in whose sight the heavens themselves are unclean?
If we do not take Jesus Christ for our example, with what face can we take him for our Redeemer? Should we make the mysteries of religion mysteries of iniquity? Should we wish, that he, who came into the world on purpose to destroy the works of
the devil, would re-establish them, in order to fill up the communion with this wicked spirit that void, which communion with Christ leaves ? But to take Jesus Christ for a redeemer, and to take him for a model, is to unite all, that can procure our supreme felicity ; it is, as I said before, an abridgment of re-ligion, and the only way to heaven.
In these two points of light St. Paul presents our divine Saviour to the view of the Hebrews, in this chapter, from which we have taken the text, and in some following chapters. It was necessary to convince men, educated in Judaism, new converts to christianity, and greatly prejudiced in favor of the magnificence of the levitical service, that the most pompous parts of the Mosaic ritual, the alters and offerings, the priests and the sacrifices, the temple and all its ceremonies, were designed to prefigure the sacrifice on the cross. It was nocessary to convince men, who were as little acquainted with the morality of the gospel as with the divinity: of it, that, far from using this oblation to diminish in the least degree the motives, which engage every intelligent creature to devote himself to his Creator, it was employed to give them all new and additional influence. St. Paul intended to convince the Jewish converts of these truths in this epistle in general, and in my text in particular.
But is the doctrine of my text addressed to new converts only ? Suppose the doctrine addressed par- i ticularly to them, does it follow, that it is needless : to preach it in this pulpit ? We will not examine these questions now.
However averse we are to.. consume the precious moments of these exercises in scholastic debates, the words that we have read, furnish us with a most specious pretext for a minute discussion of them. Are the words of my . text to be considered as the language of Jesus