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of justification by faith, as revealed actual offences remitted to his spiritand taught in the Gospel-the lat- ual seed, and their advancement to ter, of their having the image of a state, not only of innocence, but God stamped upon their souls, and of favour ;-these fundamental artibeing under the pervading influence cles of Christian faith, and the pracof a disposition to delight in his tical consequences attendant on commandments and conform them- due reception of them, are unfolded selves to His will. We cannot help with great plainness and scriptural asking ourselves a question, which simplicity. We consider the serwe wish many writers, or more pro mon an excellent compendium of perly speaking many fireachers, of the Gospei, and well calculated to serinons would ask themselves, Are build up its readers in the faith and the two constituent parts of the true practice of genuine Christianity. Christian's character, so fully insist The Eleventh Sermon is entitled, ed on in their necessary connection " The World and the Christian ;?! and mutual dependance by the au- and is intended to point out gene. thor, always held up to view with rally what in the text (1 Pet. iv. 4, impartial diligence and fidelity? We 5.) is expressed in particular of the must confess ourselves under an ap- first converts to Christianity, viz. the prehension, not wholly unfounded, entire change with respect to the that there are too many, who, if they inward principles and the outward do not altogether overlook, either conduct, produced in all who bevery slightly touch upon, or (what come true Christians the miscon. is perhaps most common) wrest ception and misrepresentation to from its natural and obvious mean. which the change exposes them ing, the clause “ in whose heart is from the people of the world and my law,” in their delineation of the the judgment which convicts those believer. To all such persons we
who revile and oppose them on acrecommend the attentive perusal of count of it. The genuine and natuMr. Cooper's remarks on this part ral effect of a cordial adoption of of his subject.
evangelical truths, and the contraThe Ninth Sermon, which is on riety and incompatibility of the spirit Jer. viii. 20, " The harvest is past, of the world and that of the Gospel, the summer is ended, and we are are here unfolded in a manner well not saved,” affords another specimen adapted to promote self-inquiry in of Mr. Cooper's judicious method the professed disciples of Christ, and of drawing general instruction from to warn those who calumniate his texts which have a particular and faithful servants of the guilt they special import.
incur by so doing. Sermon X. deduces from Rom. v. The Twelfth Sermon contains an 19. a very clear and instructive admirable view of “The Nature of statement of “the Fall and Recovery Sin, Repentance, and Pardoning of Man." The correspondence be. Mercy, as illustrated in the Parable tween Adam and Christ, considered of the Prodigal Son.”
We do not as the representative respectively of remember to have read a more copithe whole human race and of true ous or affecting exposition of this believers; the similarity, as to the most instructive portion of our Salaw of communication, between the viour's discourses. In the prodigal's effects derived from each to their estrangement from his indulgent respective members,-guilt and cor. father, his impatience of salutary ruption from the former, pardon and restraint, his headlong precipitation purity from the latter,-together of himself into vicious indulgence, with the pre-eminent advantages re- and his perseverance, for a time, in sulting from Christ's perfect obe. his wretched course, notwithstand. dience in regard to the number of ing the distress, disgrace, and ruin
Some who in that day will not find and thus appropriate to themselves
which he had brought upon himself, mercy of the Lord. Under the for. are exhibited the sinner's wilful re. mer of these heads, having remark. bellion against the goodness and au ed that by the emphatical expression thority of God-his lore of iniquity" that day" so often occurring in
the awful consequences of sin the New Testament, the day of its hardening and enslaving nature. judgment is appropriately designal. In the awakened consciousness, the ed, he exposcs in a most useful and self-accusing reflections, the bumble convincing manner the erroneous yet fixed resolution of the prodigal, notions so commonly entertained rewe see displayed the mixed emo- specting Divine mercy ; shewing tions, heart-rending conflicts, and that numbers, while they profess voluntary surrender of the true peni. themselves suppliants for mercy, are, tent; -- whilst the readiness of God
more properly speaking, claimants to notice the first relentings of the of justice. Who those are that will contrite offender, 10 “receive him not find mercy of the Lord in that graciously and love him freely,” is day, he determines by shewing, con portrayed in the father's compas- versely, what is the character of sionate reception of his undeserving those who will. This cannot better child.
be expressed than in the short In the Thirteenth Sermon, Mr. summary with which the discourse Cooper takes occasion, from a spe. closes. cial caution given by St. Paul to Timothy (1 Tim. v. 22,) in the ex. “Such then are the persons who shall ercise of his ministry to point out find mercy of the Lord in that day. If we and apply generally “ihe Danger of hope to find it, let us see that we are per. partaking of orber Men's Sins." He
sons of this character. Let us see that we
trust in Jesus Christ alone for mercy: since jusily remarks, that this caution is
• whosoever trusteth in Him shall not be much more commonly necessary confounded. Let us see that while through than we are apt to suspect, both on Him we hope for mercy, we face from sin : account of the great aggravation since the goodness of God should lead us which our own sins receive from a to repentance.' Let us see that we shew
mercy to others : since biessed are the participation of those of others, and merciful
, for they shall obtain mercy.'" because of our liability so to partake p. 229. of them, directly or indirectly, 1st, by actively encouraging others to In the Fifteenth Sermon, the work the commission of sin ; 2dly, by pure of the Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, is posely opposing their progress in considered, from John xiv. 16. Mr. religion, by means of ridicule, mis. Cooper first remarks, that the comrepresentation or threats ; 3dly, by fort which the Holy Spirit admi. furnishing them with means and nisters partakes of his own nature: opportunities of sinning ; 4chly, by as He is Divine, a Spirit, the Spirit exciting them to sin by our own of Truth, the Spirit of Holinessexample; and 5thly, by neglecting so the consolation He gives is to use the authority we may pos. supernatural-spiritual, having its sess, in order to prevent them from seat in the heart-agreeable to the sinning.
word of God which is truth itselfIn Sermon XIV. Mr. Cooper and holy in its nature and tendency deduces from St. Paul's prayer for He then shews that, in dischargin Onesimus (2 Tim. i. 18,) the iwo bis office, this Divine Agent firse following important propositions : removes the
false grounds of ist, that there is a day coming in comfort on wliich men which to find mercy of the Lord will rest, and then introduces them to be our only consolation and secu. solid peace and satisfaction by enrity; and 2dly, that there will be abling them to believe in Christ,
the blessed hope set before them in sive holiness-are amply and usethe Gospel. The subject is natu. fully insisted on. rally applied to the comforting of lo giving the foregoing sketch of such as are under salutary convice the sermons which compose this tions through the awakening influ. volume, we have almost wholly ubence of the Spirit of God on their stained from making extracts; part. hearts.
ly, from fear of extending this Re. In the Sixteenth Sermon, the De- view beyond its just limits-partiy, claration of Moses to the Israelites, because we really should have feit it Numb. xxxii. 2. is applied to the difficult to select from any single purpose of shewing generały the sermon one part better suited than certainty of our sin finding us oui another to afford a specimen of its that impedirent offenders will inevi. merits. We cannot, however, deny tably, though not always speedily, ourselves and our readers the pleal'eap the consequences of their sin. sure of subjoining a few quotations,
The Seventeenth Sermon, entitled which may serve to point out some * The Wedding Garment,” contains of what consider the distin. a scriptural and instructive explana- guishing qualities of Mr. Cooper's tion of Mai.xxii. 11-13. It abounds discourses. will judicious observations of the 1. Their tendency to promote piermost plain and practical tendency. sonal religion. We entirely agree with Mr. Cooper in thinking the Wedding Garment «« Is the way in which I am walking, emblematical of something which the way of the world, the way of the 'mul
titude ? Am I doing as others do! Am I distinguishes the true Christian from following their customs, and maxims, and the nominal professor, something fashions, acting on their principles, and which is not merely exterrial, and is led by their example ? Or have I left this discernible by God only, viz, the way? Am I no longer following the multistate and disposition of the heart, as
tude in doing evil ? Have I separated myrenewed by the Holy Spirit And others walk, in the broad way; have i
self from them? Once, I was walking as we think this interpretation less lia- now entered in at the strait gate? Once, I ble to exception and misconstruction was swimming down the stream with the than those which understand, by the
rest of the world; am I now turned about, emblem in question, either faith and am I trying to swim against it? An simply or the imputed righteousness in first making this attempt ? Am I con.
I sensible of the difficulty which I foundi, i of Christ.
scious how much I had to struggle with The Eighteenth and Nineteenth from within and from without? Did my 5 Sermons are chiefly addressed to worldly friends and worldly interests opyoung persons; and evince the all
pose my entrance ? Did my own corrupt thor's affectionate solicitude for the keep me back? Do I now find continual
heart resist my endeavours, and try to spiritual welfare of the lambs of his difficulty in following this narrow way! flock.
Do I perceive it to be a narrow way? and In the Twentieth Sermon, the Na 'notwithstanding these things, do i really ture and Effects of a due Reception walk in it? Do I take God's word for my of God's Word, are illustrated and rule? Do I humbly strive to obey his com. enforced, from 2 Thess. ii. 1. The mands in all things? Do I live in constant
dependence on his promises of help and necessity of receiving it with readi: strength ? Relying on these promises, do I ness and humility of mind, as His resist the motions of sin in my heart, as word—the change it produces when well as renounce the practice of it in my so received, viz. the conversion of life? Do I habitually deny myself
, my own the soul to God and the conse
corrupt desires, and evil inclinations? Do
I daily take up my cross and follow Christ ? quent fruit of habitual and progres. Do l'allow myself in nothing, which the
Bible and my conscience tell me is wrong? ourselves. We cannot but desire that the Would I rather suffer injury, or loss, than word of the Lord should have free course; commit sin ? Is my hope in heaven! Am that it should run and be glorified ; tbat I looking for happiness there, and not here? it should spread from heart to heart, from Do I trust in Jesus Christ, to give me this house to house, from place to place. There happiness and to prepare me for it? What are probably some, possibly many indi. says conscience to these questions? Does viduals among our friends, our acquain. it say to us, 'Thou' knowest nothing, tance, and our neighbours, in whose spiri. feelest nothing, doest nothing of these tual concerns we feel a lively interest; and things, wbich belong to the strait gate, for whose conversion and salvation we and the narrow way? Thou art still in the anxiously long. The Apostle's exhortabroad road! O, listen to the faithful moni- tion in the text shews us, in this case, to tor! Remember the broad way is the way what means we must primarily have re. of destruction. Stay then no longer in it. course. We must pray for this blessed Come out, and be separate. Strive to en work. It is God only, who giveth the in. ter in at the strait gate. Strive, and you crease. It is the Spirit only, who can open shall enter. The time past may suffice to the heart to receive, to understand, and have walked in the road of sin and death. to love the truth as it is in Jesus. There Henceforth walk in the way of life, the is no teacher like him ; nor will any one way of pleasantness and peace. Do you learn to any real purpose, till he is thus hope that you are already in this way? taught of God. But in respect to this, as Pray to the Lord to keep you in it. Strive well as to every other gift from above, earnestly to follow it. *He that endureth prayer is the appointed instrument for ob. unto the end shall be saved: but if any taining it. We must not omit, we must man draw hack, my soul (saith the Lord) not cease to pray for those whose spiritual shall have no pleasure in him.'” pp. 44–46. good we have at heart. In due time we
may hope to reap, if we faint not. But “ Here then is a still further subject for to ihe efficacy of our prayers for them in personal inquiry. Do we thus adorn and secret, let us add also the benefit of our glorify the gospel ? Do we thus shew forth good example in their sight. Let it be its power and excellence in our lives? Do our aim by a suitable, a consistent, and we abound in faith, hope, and love, those an irreproachable conduct to soften their pure and genuine fruits of true Christiani- prejudices, and wio them to Jesus ty? If the Apostle were writing to us and Christ. Let them see in us a clear and a enforcing the exercise of these Christian bright example of what religion really is ; graces, could he justly say, as he said to that so their mistakes respecting it may be the Thessalonians, even as re also do? corrected. Let them see, that it leads Let us endeavour to feel the importance of those who embrace it to be kind, cheerful, this inquiry. As Christians, we have not and contented; to be meek, patient, and only our own salvation at stake, but the industrious. Let them see that it enlivens honour of our divine religion. We are re- the spirits, amends the tempers, and im. quired to uphold that honour ; and to this proves the dispositions ; that it makes per. end to let it be seen in our own conduct, sons orderly, and submissive, and faithful that the doctrine which we hold is a doc. in discharging the duties of their station, trine according to godliness. We are re, and ready and disposed, so far as their quired to be careful in maintaining good means may extend, to every good work. works,'to - let our light shine before men,' In short, let them see in our example, to hold forth the word of life.' Without that true religion is a reasonable and a such an agreement between our profes- happy thing; that while it elevates the af. sion and our practice, far from glorifying fections and purifies the heart, it makes its the Gospel, we shall dishonour and dis- followers happier and better than all the grace it, and shall furnish occasion to those rest of mankind. Thus shall we glorify who are inclined to speak evil of it. the Word of the Lord, and shall be instru. Besides, if we are christians indeed, we mental in spreading the savour of real shall anxiously desire that other persons Christianity." pp. 326–328. should become so too. If we have our. selves tasted that the Lord is gracious, 2. The graphical delineation of it will be one of the first wishes of our character and feelings. hearts to be instrumental in making others partakers of the like precious faith with “ Extreme want, and the prospect of
being starved to death, at length brought “ The day here meant is the day so frethe prodigal to his senses, humbled his quently mentioned in Scripture; and in pride, and led him to see and to own his which we are all most deeply concerned. guilt and misery:. ' He came to himself.' It is described by many different names, as Hitherto he had been acting the part of a the day of judgment,' the day of the fool and a madman. Under the idea of Lord,' the last day,' the day of wrath, pursuing his pleasures, he had been injur- the day in which God will judge the ing and destroying himself. This truth he world.' In fact, it is that great and terrible now discovered; and comparing his pre- day, when we shall all stand before the sent, wretched state, with the happiness judgment-seat of Christ, to receive the aw: which he once enjoyed at home; nay, re- ful sentence, which will for ever assigo us fecting thať the meanest servant in his to the habitation of unspeakable happiness father's house was plentifully supplied, had or misery. It is that day in which the bread enough and to spare, wbile he, the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, once-favoured happy son, was ready to pe- and the elements shall melt with fervent rish with hunger, he deeply felt and lament. heat; the earth also, and the works that! ed his folly and guilt. The remembrance are therein, shall be burned up.' It is that of his father's kindness touched his heart; day, in which the Lord Jesus shall be rewhile the recollection of his own base in- vealed from heaven in flaming fire, to take gratitude, filled him with remorse and vengeance on them that know not God, and shame. But in the midst of these distress. obey not the Gospel; and to be glorified in ing thoughts, a ray of hope broke in. The his saints, and admired in all thein that be. very remembrance of his father's kindness, lieve :'--that day in which he will descend which pierced him to the soul, yet raised from heaven with a shout, with the voice an idea in his mind, that possibly he might of the arch-angel, and the trump of God,' yet receive him, and at least might and will sit on the throne of his glory, save him from perishing. This idea, once and before Him shall be gathered all naraised, is cherished as his only hope. He tions :'-that day in the which all that says, I will arise and go to my father.' are in the graves shall hear his voice, and 'I will acknowledge my transgressions, I shall come forth ; they that have done good will confess my unworthiness. I cannot unto the resurrection of life, and they that dare to ask that he will receive me as his have done evil to the resurrection of damson ; but peradventure, he may put me nation.' A day thus awfully distinguished ; among his hired servants.'
And he arose a day, on which events thus infinitely moand went. The way was long. He bad mentous are dependant; a day, which will come into a far country. He was ill pro. be to every one of us the end of time, and vided for the journey, and would be forced the beginning of eternity, may with reason to beg his bread on the road. As he drew be justly called that day: for it is a day nearer home,doubts and fears would great- which ought to be deeply fixed ou our ly increase and agitate him. Shame would minds, and ever uppermost in our thoughts. often be ready to stop him and turn him back. Such is the day here meant; a day, which The dread of the ridicule which his pre. is fast approaching; which every hour sent appearance would excite in those, who brings nearer; and of which no wit, nor had known him in his better days, would wisdom, nor power of ours can prevent or often cause him to faulter by the way delay the coming. In that day then what Above all, the apprehension of his father's will be our only consolation and security? just reproaches, the thoughts of his angry The text reminds us, “to find inercy of the countenance, would at times fill him with Lord.'”
pp. 215-217. dismay and terror. But still, if he go not forward, whither can he go? If his father, 4. The forcible use of simple arhis father once so loving and so kind, will
gumentation. not receive him, who will receive him? Can it be possible that such a father should
“ In the first place, the perfections of not receive him? These thoughts again Gol absolutely forbid inat sin should go revive his spirits : and with trembling steps, unpunished. God is preserit at all times and an anxious heart he still pursues his and in every place. He filleth all in all. journey.” pp. 187-189.
Nothing therefore can be hidden from him.
No sin, however secretly committed, or 3. The impressiveness with which studiously concealed, is unseen by him.solemn truths are inculcated.
He is also perfect in knowledge, and knoweth