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those three dreadful monsters, make strange havock amongst us, notwithstanding the laws and regulations of society: what then would this world be without them?
With respect to God, the state of man is a state of rebellion, alienation, and condemnation. His ways are so opposite to the will of God, that he is said to be at enmity with him. He has no alliance with his Maker, either as a child, a subject, or a servant; but being under a general law of disobedience, can inherit nothing from God but wrath and punishment.
You will see this account verified by the plainest declarations of the scripture.—First, as to the enmity of the world against God. If the world hate you, saith our Lord when he came to save it, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. Secondly, as to their alienation or departure from all alliance with him—you that were some time alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works; saith St. Paul, Col. i. 21: and again, speaking of the natural state of the Ephesians before their conversion, he describes them as aliens and. strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. In which passage, there is something farther than appears from the sound of the words; for when we read, without
out God in the world, the words, in the world, are emphatical, and denote this wicked world, such as we have been describing it, of which they that are members must of course be without God, and without hope: they belong to a society which knows him not.
Then, thirdly, that the world is under condemnation; we are chastened of the Lord, saith St. Paul, that we should not be condemned with the world: whence it is evident, that the world, as such, is under condemnation, and can expect nothing of God, but punishment for sin.
We are now prepared to take a review of this society called the world. It is composed of men lost by the fall; disposed to all manner of evil; ignorant of the way of peace; at enmity with God, and with one another; delighting themselves in the pride of appearance, and the vanity of distinction. In a word, the whole world lieth in wickedness, and they that are condemned for sin will be condemned with the world, whose condemnation, therefore, is a thing of course. What human philosophy may say of this description of the world, we are not to regard: if it is the description which stands in the Holy Scripture, we are not to consider what men may say of it. A proud world will D D 3 never
never be pleased to see an humiliating description of itself.
Such then is the world, and such are we all, so far as we are members of it. God therefore of his infinite mercy takes us out of this wicked society, and translates us into another. He delivers us from the power of darkness, and translates us into the kingdom of his dear son; and without this translation we are inevitably lost. You are here to observe, that the kingdom of Christ is one of the names of his church; and they that are in it, as it is distinguished from the world, are called children of the kingdom. Its nature is totally different from the kingdoms of this world (of which we shall see more hereafter) for as the world is called wicked, so the church is called holy, and all the holiness that can be in man, must be derived from thence. If we enquire how, and in what respects, the church is holy, we find it must be so from its relation to God. It is called the church of God, and he being holy, every thing that belongs to him must be so of course. And further, it is a society, or body, of which the Holy Spirit is the life; and this life being communicated to those who are taken into the church, they are thereby made partakers of an holy life, which is elsewhere called the life of God; from which
life they are alienated who are out of this society. It is holy in its sacraments; our baptism is an holy baptism, from the Holy Spirit of God; the Lord's Supper is an holy sacrifice: the ordinance of absolution is for the forgiveness of past sin, that the members of the church may be recovered from sin to a state of holiness, and peace with God. The church is holy in its priesthood; all the offices of which are for the sanctification of the people.
The contrary nature of the two societies I have been speaking of, will now be better understood, when they are compared together. In the one, men are in a lost condition; in the other, they are in a state of salvation; for as the world is alienated from God, the church is in alliance and covenant with him, and partaker of his promises. As the world is under condemnation, the church is under grace and pardon of sin; its baptism washes away original sin, and gives a new birth to purity and righteousness; its. other sacrament of the Lord's supper maintains that spiritual life which is begun at baptism, as meat and drink support the life we receive at our natural birth. As the world is wilhout hope, the Christian hath hope in death, through the Resurrection of Chris.t, and is assured, that he who is united to p D 4 the the life of God can never die: for God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. While the wicked are to perish with the world which they inhabit, the children of God are heirs with Christ of an eternal kingdom.
The Church is also holy, when by the word Church, we understand the buildjng or place in which the people assemble to accomplish the service of God. As the world, on the other hand, hath always had its unholy places of assembly, its theatre, its \dol temples, &c. which unsanctify and pollute those who frequent them. Under the Jewish State of the Church, the temple is called the holy temple, or holy place; (Heb.) and a part of it was called the most holy place. Our Saviour allows that the temple sanctified the gold, which was offered in it, and consequently all other offerings and sacrifices there made. Now, if that temple was holy, whose glory was to be done away, certainly the place of christian worship, called the Church, must be holy also. For why was the Temple at Jerusalem holy, but because the presence of God attended it? And has he not promised to be in the midst of us? And must not our churches therefore be holy upon the same account? And are they not guilty of a great sin, who treat any church with