« PreviousContinue »
Sermon And, as to any Difficulties and Discourage\jry~\j ments that may present themselves to us in the Discharge of this Duty, let us be Gallids in these Things: It is Comfort and Encouragement sufficient, that Truth is on our Side, and that the Gates of Hell Jhall not prevail againjl it. Let not then Wickedness in high Places, nor the Overflowings of Ungodliness, make us afraid; for He whose Cause we plead, whose Doctrine we preach Matth. and defend, and who hath all Power in xxvin. 18. jjeaven and in Earth, He is, He will be,witb ib. xxviii. us always, even unto the End. Amen.
Conversion sounded on Conviction
Preached in the Parish-Church of All-Saints, in
. ,'. Acts ii. 37.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their Heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, What Jhall we dot
WE have an Account in this Chap- Sermon ter of three Thousand Souls be- VIing converted to the Faith of ^^^^ Christ in one Day, by the Preaching of the Apostles. A glorious Beginning of the Work of God on the Hearts of Sinners! A convincing Demonstration of the Power of the Holy Ghost; which now, according to our Saviour's Promise, descended upon his Embassadors, and rendered their Ministry effectual to the Conversion of many more Thousands in all Parts of 5 the
Sermon the known World: So mightily grew. theJ ly^r^Word of God, and pfeiiailSi under the-CSn-i* Actsx«. duct: ?ncj lnfluence 0f this Heavenly Dis-* p'enser! '' < .*.."
The miraculous Descent of the Holy> Ghost being noised abroad throughout jfcrusalem, great Numbers flocked to tne Temple, many of them doubtless led by a natural Curiosity to fee so extraordinary' a Sight. Now there happened to be present in this mixt Multitude Jews of Fifteen different Nations and Countries, who in Obedience to the Law of Moses were come up to' Jerusalem to the Feast: For though from the Time of the Babylonish Captivity they were dispersed almost over the Face of the whole Earth, yet they religiously kept the Passover at Jerusalem; and marly stayed there till after the Feast of Pentecost, which was instituted in-Memory of the Delivery of the Law on Mount Stnai.
, Peter being moved by the Holy Ghost, takes Occasion from this great Concourse of People to preach unto them Christ a Saviour; to prove to them from their own Scriptures, that the fame Jesus whom they had crucified was the Messiah therein foretold j told j and to insist upon his Resurrection Sermon from the Dead, and Exaltation at the Right (^/.vnj Hand of God. Upon which we read, that they, . i. e. such of them as believed, were pricked in their Hearts, and said, Men and Brethren, What Jhall we do? 'Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of fesus. Christy for the Remission of Sins, and ye shall receive the Gift of the Holy Gho/l. — And with many other Words did he teslify and exhort. . •
Now here it is observable, first, How God Almighty makes use of Natural, in conjunction with Supernatural Causes, to bring about the gracious Effect of GospelSalvation; and by a wonderful Cast of his Providence improves the most common, and to us seemingly accidental Occurrences, to the Manifestation of his Power and Glory. Thus, out of a rnixt Multitude, brought together by mere natural Curiosity, to fee some new thing, no less than Three Thousand Souls were caught in the Net of the Gospel, by those Fishers of Men, as our Saviour forenamed the Apostles. And I doubt not but many a one, who has come to; Church upon no better a. Principle, has ';' L been Sermon. been caught in like manner, and been ±s->r^~pricked to the Heart, where he only e*>* pected Entertainment for the Ear. , > idly. We may learn hence, that the Lord hath appointed the Ordinance .,pf .Preaching, as the most general and effec-. tual Means of making Converts to Christ* even in Preference to Miracles. And were it possible to make the Calculation, I doubt not, but for one Person proselyted to Christianity by the Miracles wrought by the Hands of the Apostles, Hundreds were brought over by their Preaching: Nay, it is plainly declared, that a Miracle would be ineffectual where Preaching is unproLuke xvi. fitable. If they will not hear Moses and '' the Prophets, (for they were preached to
the Jews every Sabbath Day,) neither. will they be persuaded though one rose from the Dead. Now, who will fay, that the Gospel of Christ, which has brought Life .and Immortality to Light with clearer Evidence than was ever done before, is not as powerful a Means of Conviction as the Law and the Prophets ? — Besides, Miracles declare no Truth; they only bear Testimony to the Mission and Authority of him that works them, and so become