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No. 20 Slote-Lane-

1822. ..'••:-

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_l HE following Sermons, as to the substance, (for most of them
are considerably abridged,) were preached to a public and nu-
merous assembly ; and, therefore, an accurate and logical discus-
sion of the several subjects was not aimed at. They are rather
populai* discourses, in which the author, though he wished not to
treat the politer part of his auditory with disrespect, thought it
likewise his duty, so to adapt his manner to the occasion, as to
be intelligible to persons of weak capacities, and in the lower
ranks of life. He conceives himself to be a debtor to every
class of his hearers, and that he ought to endeavour to please all
men, with a viev/ to their edification ; but further than this, not
to be greatly affected, either by their approbation or by their

Many of the subjects are so nearly coincident, that repetitions
could not be always avoided, without the appearance of affecta-
tion. Besides, as it may be expected, that in a large congregation
there are always some persons present for the first time ; with
respect to these, an observation may be new, though, perhaps the
more stated hearers may recollect its having been mentioned
before. For a similar reason, such repetitions are not improper
in print. Many persons read part of a book, who may not have
opportunity or inclination to read the whole. Should any one,
by opening these Sermons at a venture, meet with a passage
which, by a divine blessing, may either awaken a careless, or heal
a wounded spirit, that passage will be exactly in the right page,
even though the purport of it should be expressed in several
other places. Further, since we do not always so much stand in
need of new information, as to have what we already know more
effectually impressed upon the mind ; there are truths which can
scarcely be inculcated too often, at least until the design for which
they are mentioned once be effectually answered. Thus, when the
strokes of a hammer are often repeated, not one of them can be
deemed superfluous ; the last, which drives the nail to the head,
being no less necessary than any of those which preceded it.

4 PREI'ACi.',

From those readers, whose habits of thinking on religious sub-
jects are formed by a close attachment to particular systems of
divinity, the author requests a candid construction of what he
advances, if he ventures, in some instances, to deviate a little more
from the beaten track. If he is sometimes constrained to differ
from the judgment of wise and good men, who have deserved
well of the church of God, he would do it with modesty. Far
from depreciating their labours, he would be thankful for the
benefit which he hopes he has received from them. It is a great
satisfaction to him, that in all doctrinal points of primary impor-
tance, his views are confirmed by the suffrage of writers and minis-
ters eminent for genuine piety and sound learning, who assisted him
in his early inquiries after truth, and at whose feet he is still wil-
ling to sit. Yet, remembering that he is authorized and commanded
to call no man master, so as to yield an implicit and unqualified
submission to human teachers ; while he gladly borrows every
help he can from others, he ventures likewise to think for himself.
His leading sentiments concerning the grand peculiarities of the
Gospel were formed many j^ears since, when he was in a state of
almost entire seclusion from society ; when he had scarcely any
religious book but the Bible within his reach : and had no know-
ledge either of the various names, parties, and opinions, by which
Christians were distinguished and divided, or of the controversies
which subsisted among them. He is not conscious that any
very material difference has taken place in his sentiments since he
first became acquainted with the religious world ; but, after a long
course of experience and observation, he seems to possess them
in a different manner. The difficulties, which, for a season, per-
plexed him on some points, are either removed, or considerably
abated. On the other hand, he now perceives difficulties that
constrain him to lay his hand upon his mouth, in subjects which
once appeared to him obvious and plain. Thus, if he mistakes
not himself, he is less troubled with scepticism, and at the same
time less disposed to be dogmatical, than he formerly was. He
feels himself unable to draw the line, with precision, between
those essential points which ought to be earnestly contended for,


(In a spirit of meekness,) as for the faith once delivered to tiie
saints ; and certain secondary positions, concerning which good
men may safely differ, and wherein, perhaps, we cannot reasonably
expect them to be unanimous during the present state of imper-
fection. But if the exact boundary cannot be marked with
certainty, he thinks it both desirable and possible to avoid the
extremes into which men of warm tempers have often been led.
Not that the author can be an advocate for that indifference to
truth, which, under the specious semblance of modej^ation and
candour, offers a comprehension, from which none are excluded
but those who profess and aim to worship God in the spirit, to
rejoice in Christ Jesus, and to renounce all confidence in the flesh.
Moderation is a Christian grace ; it differs much from that tame,
unfeeling neutrality between truth and error, which is so preva-
lent in the present day. As the different rays of light which, when
separated by a prism, exhibit the various colours of the rainbow,
form, in their combination, a perfect and resplendent white, in
which every colour is incorporated ; so, if the graces of the Holy
Spirit were complete in us, the result of their combined effect
would be a truly candid, moderate, and liberal spirit towards our
brethren. The Christian, especially he who is advanced and estab-
lished in the life of faith, has a fervent zeal for God, for the
honour of his name, his law, and his Gospel. The honest warmth
which he feels, when such a law is broken, such a Gospel is des-
pised, and when the great and glorious name of the Lord his God
is profaned, would, by the occasion of his infirmities, often
degenerate into anger or contempt towards those who oppose
themselves, if he was under the influence of zeal only. But his
zeal is blended with benevolence and humility : it is softened by
a conciousness of his own frailty and fallibility. He is aware
that his knowledge is very limited in itself, and very faint in its
efficacy ; that his attainments are weak and few, compared with
his deficiencies; that his gratitude is very disproportionate to
his obligations, and his obedience unspeakably short of confor-
mity to his prescribed rule ; that he has nothing but what he has
received, and has received nothing but what, in a greater or


less degree, he has misapplied and misimproved. He is therefore
a debtor to the mercy of God, and lives upon his multiplied for-
giveness. And he makes the gracious conduct of the Lord
towards himself a pattern for his own conduct towards his fellow-
creatures. He cannot boast, nor is he forward to censure. He
considers himself, lest lie also be tempted f^ and thus he learns
tenderness and compassion to others, and to bear patiently with
those mistakes, predjudices, and prepossessions in them, which
once belonged to his own character ; and from which, as yet, he
is but imperfectly freed. But then, the same considerations
which inspire him with meekness and gentleness towards those
who oppose the truth, strengthen his regard for the truth itself,
and his conviction of its importance. For the sake of peace,
which he loves and cultivates, he accommodates himself, as far
as he lawfully can, to the weakness and misapprehensions of
those who mean well ; though he is thereby exposed to the cen-
sure of bigots of all parties, who deem him flexible and wavering,
like a reed shaken with the wind. But there are other points
nearly connected with the honour of God, and essential to the
life of faith, which are the foundations of his hope, and the
sources of his joy. For his firm attachment to these, he is con-
tent to be treated as a bigot himself. For here he is immovable
as an iron pillar ; nor can either the fear or the favour of man
prevail on him to give place, no, not for an hour.f Here his
judgment is fixed ; and he expresses it in simple and unequivocal
language, so as not to leave either friends or enemies in suspense
concerning the side which he has chosen, or the cause which is
nearest to his heart.

The minister who possesses a candour thus enlightened, and
thus qualified, will neither degrade himself to be the instrument,
nor aspire to be the head, of a party. He will not servilely tread
in the paths prescribed him by men, however respectable. He
w^ill not multiply contentions, in defence either of the shibboleths of
others, or of any nostrum of his own, under a pretence that he

■^- Gal. vi. 1. + Gal. ii. 5.


is pleading" tor the cause of God and truth. His attention
will not be restrained to the credit or interest of any detached
denomination of Christians, but extended to all who love the
Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. On the other hand, knowing
that the Gospel is the wisdom and power of God, and the only
possible mean by which fallen man can obtain either peace or
rectitude, he most cordially embraces and avows it. Far from
being ashamed of it, he esteems it his glory. He preaches
Christ Jesus the Lord, and him crucified. He dares not sophisti-
cate,* disguise, or soften the great doctrines of the grace of God,
to render them more palatable to the depraved taste of the times.
He disdains the thought. And he will no more encounter the
prejudices and corrupt maxims and practices of the world with
any weapon but the truth as it is in Jesus^f than he would venture
to fight an enraged enemy with a wooden sword.

Such is the disposition which the author wishes for himself, and
which he would endeavour to cultivate in others. He hopes that
nothing of a contrary tendency will be found in the volumes now
presented to the public. Messiah, the great subject of the Ora-
torio, is the leading and principal subject of every sermon. His
person, grace, and glory ; his matchless love to sinners ; his
humiliation, sufferings, and death ; his ability and willingness
to save to the uttermost; his kingdom, and the present and
future liappiness of his wiUing people, are severally considered,
according to the order suggested by the series of texts. Nearly
connected with these topics, are the doctrines of the fall arid
depravity of man, the agency of the Holy Spirit, and the
nature and necessity of regeneration, and of that holiness with-
out which no man shall see the Lord. On these subjects the
author is not afraid of contradiction from those who are taught
of God.

With respect to some other points which incidentally occur, he^
has endeavoured so to treat them as to avoid administering fuel
to the flame of angry controversy. He is persuaded himself.

S Cor. iv. 2. 7 Eph. iv. 21,

o VREl-ACt.

and shall be iiappy to persuade his readers, that the remaining
differences of opinion among those who truly understand and
cordially believe the declarations of Scripture on the preceding
articles, are neither so wide nor so important as they have been
sometimes represented. Many of these differences are nearly
verbal, and would cease, if due allowance was made for the imper-
fection of human language, and tlie effects of an accustomed
phraseology, which often lead people to affix different ideas to
the same expressions, or to express the same ideas in different
words. And if, in some things, we cannot exactly agree, since
we confess that we are all weak and fallible, mutual patience and
forbearance would be equally becoming the acknowledgments we
make, and the Gospel which we profess. We should thereby act
in character, as the followers of Him who was compassionate to
the infirmities and mistakes of his disciples, and taught them, not
every thing at once, but gradually, as they were able to bear.

The author ought not to be very solicitous, upon his own ac-
count, what reception his performance may meet with. The
fashion of this world is passing away. The voice, both of ap-
plause and of censure, will soon be stifled in the dust. It is there-
fore but a small thing to be judged of man's judgment.* But
conscious of the vast importance of the subject which he thus
puts into the reader's hands, he cannot take leave of him without
earnestly entreating his serious attention. The one principle
which he assumes for granted, and which he is certain cannot be
disproved, is, that the Bible is a revelation from God. By this
standard he is willing that whatever he has advanced may be tried.
If the Bible be true, we must all give an account, each one of
himself, to the great and final Judge. That when we shall appear
before his awful tribunal, we may be found at his right hand,
accepted in the Beloved, is the author's fervent prayer, both for his
readers and for himself

London, Idth ^pril, 1786.

1 Cor. iv. C.


The Consolation.

Isaiah, xl. 1, 2.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comforiahly to

Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniqui-

ty is pardoned : for she has received at the Lord's hand double for all her

sins. Page 1


The Harbinger.

Isaiah, si. 3 — 5.
The voice of him that crieth in the icilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a high- way for our God. Every valley shall he
exalted, and every mountain and hill shall he made loic, arul the crooked shall
he made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall
be revealed, and all Jlesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath
spoken it. 16


The shaking of the Heavens and the Earth.

Haggai, il. 6, 7.

ThilS saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a litUe while, and IidUshake the

heavens, and the earth, and the sea, arid the dry land: And I will shake all

nations^ and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with

glory, saith the Lord of hosts. 25


The Lord coming to his Temple.

Malachi, iii. 1 — 3.
The Lord, whom, ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple ; even the messenger
of the covenant whom ye delight in : Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord oj
hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming 7 and who shall stand when
he appear eth ? for he is like a refiner^ s fire, and like fuller'' s soap — And he
shall purify the sons of Levi — that theymuy offer v.nlo the Lord an offering in.
righteousness. 40



Isaiah, vli. 14.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and hear a son^ and shaU call his name Imma-
is'UEL, God with rf=. 55

Vol. IV. z

X coi\te:^ts.

Salvation published from the Mountains.

Isaiab, xl. 9.
O Zion, that bnngest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountains. O Je*
rusalem, that hringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength : lift it upy
he not afraid: say Unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God. 68

The Morning Light.

Isaiah, h. 1 — 3.
^irise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people :
hut the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee^
and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Icings to the brightness of thy
rising. 79


The Sun rising upon a dark World.

Isaiab, ix. 2.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light : they thai dwell in
the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 91

Characters and Names of Messiah.

Isaiah, ix. 6.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given ; and the government shall
be upon his shoulder ; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace. 103


The Angel's Message and Song.

Luke, ii. 8—14.
There were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch
over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and
the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And
the angel said unto them. Fear not, for, behold, I bnng unto you good tidings
of gi-eat joy, which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day, in
the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a
sign unto you : Ye shall find the babe ivrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying
in a manger. And suddenly there ivas with the angel a multitude of the hea-
venly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, on earth
peacBy good-will towards men. 115

Messiah's entrance into Jerusalem.

Zech. ix. 9, 10.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold


thy King comefh unto thee : he is just, and having salvation, Imvhj and riding
upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass. And he shall speak peace
unto the heathen. 127


Effects of Messiah's Appearance.

Isaiah, xxxv. 5, 6.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall he un-
stopped : Then shall the lame leap as an hart, and the tongue of the
dumb sing. 13S


The Great Shepherd.

Isaiah, xl. 11.
He shall feed his flonk like a shepherd ; he shall gather the lambs with his
arm, and carry them in his bosom ; and shall gently lead those that art with
young. 149


Rest for the Weary.

MaUh. xi. 28.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I tvill give yon
rest. ' 163


Messiah's easy Yoke.

Matth. si. 29, 30.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart;
and ye shall find rest to your souls. For mv yoke is easy, and my bu.rden is

light. ' "^ irs


The Lamb of God, the Great Atonement.

John, i. 29.
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the umrld! 184

Messiah despised and rejected of Men*

Isaiah; liii. 3.

He is despised and rejected of men ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief 198


Voluntary Suffering".

Isaiah, 1. 6.
I gave my back to the smiiers, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the huir;
I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 209


Messiah suffering and wounded for us.

Isaiah, Hit. 4, 5.
Surely he hath borne our grief and carried our sorrotvs. He was wounded for
our transgressions^ he ivas bruised for our iniquities ; the chastisement of our
peace teas upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. 219


Sin charged upon the Surety.

Isaiah, liii. 6.
All we, like sheep, have gone astray; ive turned every one to his otvn loay; and the
Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. £30

Messiah derided upon the cross.

Psalm xxii. 7, 8.
All they that see me, laugh me to scorn ; they shoot out the lip, they shake the
head, saying. He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him ; let him deli-
ver him, seeing he delighted in him. 240

Messiah unpitied and without Comforter.

Psalm Ixix. 20.
lieproach [rebuke] hath broken my heart, and I am fidl of heaviness ; and I
looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I
found, none. 250


No Sorrow like Messiah's Sorrow.

Lam. i. 12.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ? Behold, and see if there be any sor-
row Jike unto my sorroio ! 260

Messiah's Innocence vindicated.

Isaiah, liii. 8.
He was taken from prison and fro tn judgment ; and who shall declare his gene-
ration ? For he was cut off out of the land of the living ; for the transgression
of my people loas he stricken. 270


Messiah rising from the dead.

Psalm xvi. 10.
Far thou ivilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou .suffer thine Holy One
to see corruption. 280


The Ascension of Messiah to Glory.

Psalm xxiv. 7—10.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the
King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory ? The Lord, strong
and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, even
lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King^ of glory shall come in. Who
is this King of glory ? The Lord of Hosts, he is the King of glory. 292

Messiah the Son of God.

Heb. i. 5.
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son^ this day
have I begotten thee ? 302


Messiah worshipped by Angels,

Heb. i. 6.

Let all the angels of God worship him. 313

Gifts received for the Rebellious.

Psalm Ixviii. 18.

Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received
gifts for men ; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell
among them. 324


^ The Publication of the Gospel.

Psalm Ixviii. 11.
The Lord gave the word^ great was the company of those that published it, [or,
of the preachers.] 835


The Gospel Message, glad Tidings.

Rom. X. 15.
[As it is written] How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of
peace, and bring glad tidings of good things ! 346

The Progress of the Gospel.

Rom. X. 18.
— TVieir sound icent into all the earthy and their words unto the ends of the
ivorld. 357


Opposition to Messiah unreasonable.

Psalm ii. 1 — 3.

TVhy do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing ? The kings of

the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord,

and against his Anointed ; saying. Let us break his bonds asunder, and cast

cncay his cords from us. 368

Opposition to Messiah in vain.

Psalm ii. 4.
He thai sitteth in the heavens shall laugh ; the Lord shall have them in deri-
sion. 379

Opposition to Messiah ruinous.

Psalra ii. 9.
Thou shall break them with a rod of iron, thou shall dash them in pieces like w
notter^s vessel. 389


The Lord reigneth.

Rev. xix. 6.

Hallelujah ; for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. * 400


The Extent of Messiah's Spiritual Kingdom.

Rev. xi. 15.

The Kingdoms of this loorld are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his
Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. « 411


King of kings, and Lord of lords.

Rev. xix 16.

[And he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh a name ivritten,] King of kings,
AND Lord of lords. 425


Job's Faitb and Expectation.

Job, xix. 25, 26.
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand in the latter day upon
the earth. And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my
Uesh shall I see God. ' ' 435


The Lord is risen indeed.

1 Cor. XV. 20.
But 710W is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them thai
slept. 448


Death by Adam, Life by Christ.

1 Cor. XV. 21, 22.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 458

The general Resurrection.

1 Cor. XV. 51 , 52.
Behold, I shoiv you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump ; for the
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall
be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal
must put on immortality. 468


Death swallowed up in Victory.

1 Cor. XV. 54.
Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up
in victory. 479


Triumph over Death and the Grave. ^

1 Cor. XV 55, 56, 57.

Online LibraryJohn NewtonThe works of the Rev. John Newton (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 43)