Page images

which he raises them, and the wonderful plan and progress of redeeming love. But who is sufficient for these things? Alas! how small a portion of his ways are we able to trace! But I would be thankful, that the desire of attempting this great subject was put into my heart, and that having obtained help of God, I have been preserved and enabled to finish my design. Imperfect as my execution of it has been, I cannot doubt that the various topics, I have been led to insist on, are the great truths of God. For what is properly my own, the defects and weaknesses, which mix with my best services, I entreat his forgiveness, and request your candour. But I do not hesitate to fay, that the substance of what I have advanced, deserves and demands your very serious attention.

It is probable, that those of my hearers, who admire this Oratorio, and are often present when it is performed, may think me harsh and singular in my opinion, that of all our musical compositions, this is the most improper for a public entertainment. But while it continues to be equally acceptable, whether performed in a church, or in the theatre, and while the greater part of the

perperformers and of the audience, are the fame et both places, I can rate it no higher, than as one of the many fashionable amusements, which mark the character of this age of dissipation. Though the subject be serious and solemn, in the highest sense, yea, for that very reason, and though the music is, in a striking manner, adapted to the subject, .yet, if the far greater part of the people who frequent the Oratorio, are evidently unaffected by the Redeemer's love, and uninfluenced by his commands, I am afraid, it is no better, than a profanation of the name and truths of God, a crucifying the Son of God afresh. You must judge for yourselves. If you think differently from me, you will act accordingly.—Yet, permit me to hope and to pray, that the next time you hear the Mes~ Jiah, God may bring something that you have heard in the course of these sermons, nearly connected with the peace and welfare of your fouls, effectually to your remembrance.

I would humbly hope, that some persons, who were strangers to the power and grace of Messiah, when I entered upon this service, are now desirous of seeking him with their whole hearts. Yes, I trust I have not

laboured laboured wholly in vain. The gospel is the rod of his Jirength *, which, when accompanied by the power of his Spirit, produces greater effects than the wonder-working rod of Moses. It causes the blind to fee, the deaf to hear, and the dead to live. A faithful minister, will account a single instance of success, a rich recompense for the labour of a life. May this joy be mine! May the Lord encourage you to go on seeking him. Then he will surely be found of you. An open door is set before you -jj", and if you are truly willing to enter, none shall be able to shut it.

But may I not fear, that I am still speaking to others, who, to this hour, have no cordial admiring thoughts of the great Saviour? Alas! should you die in your present frame of mind, let me, once more, entreat you to consider, what your situation and employment will be, when all his redeemed people, and all his holy angels, shall join in worshipping and praising him, in the great day of his appearance. Unless you repent, lay down your arms, and submit to his golden sceptre, your doom is al* Ps. c*. 2. t Rev. iii. 8.

ready ready pronounced. Awful are the words 0/ the Lord, by the prophet, and very ap* plicable to your cafe, if (which may his mercy prevent!) you should die in your fins. Therefore, thus faith the Lord God, Behold my servants Jhall eat, but yeJhall be hungry: behold, my servants Jhall drink, but ye Jhall be thirjly; behold, my servants foall rejoice, but ye JJjall aJhamed: behold, my servants Jhall finZfor j°y °f heart, but ye JJjall cry for sorrow of heart, and s:all howl for vexation of spirit *. If the Scribes and Pharisees were filled with envy and grief, when the children, in the temple, fung, Hofanna to the Son of David -j-; what must be their anguish and remorse, their rage and despair, when the whole creation shall join in his praise? If your thoughts of him now, are like theirs, tremble at your danger, for unless you repent, your lot must be with them hereafter.

* Isa. lxv. 13, 14. i Matt. xxi. 15.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

#* The Numeral Letters refer to the Volume, the figures
to the Page.


jftARON, his behaviour on the loss of his two sons, 1.414.

Abbadie, Mr. his Reflections on our ignorance respecting
the doctrine os the Trinity, ii. 25.

Abel, the cause of his death, i. 115.

Abraham, justified by faith in the promised seed, i. 13-^
highly favoured by God, 130—and the other Patriarchs,
sliepherds, 235.—rejoiced to fee the day of Christ, ii. 231.

Accommodation, a useful way of preaching by, i. 407.

Adam, the consequences of his fall, i. 9,100,111,125,370,
ii. 54, 230, 269, 13paflim. (See Fallen man, Sin, Sec.)—
the promise of the Redeemer made to him, i. 295. ii. 54,
230—his fall foreseen and provided for, i. 367. ii. 266.

A3,ifioni», meaning of that word, i. 393.

jidonai, a name of God, i. 69.

Afflictions, the fruit of sin, i. 16. (See Adam, Man, Sin, Sec.)
—light and momentary compared to the glories of heaven,
18, 121, 419. ii. 311—trials of the believer's faith, not
tokens of God's displeasure, i. 372—necessary in our pre-
sent state, ii. 388.

Aywvia, meaning of that word, i. 394.

Ahithophel, his counsel to Absalom, ii. 222.

Alexander the Great, a principal instrument to prepare the
way of Messiah, i. 36.

Alienation from God, a consequence of the fall, 1.113, ^

Allegorical Interpretation, to be admitted with caution, i.405.

America, the principal events of the present age in, have
a tendency to promote the accomplishment of the pro»
phecies, ii. 194—present state of the gospel in, 204—
reflections on the late revolution in, 221.


« PreviousContinue »