Copyright
London Missionary Society.

Sermons (1796) online

. (page 3 of 15)
Online LibraryLondon Missionary SocietySermons (1796) → online text (page 3 of 15)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


"^^ bleffied be Ailyria the w^ork of my hands." — But,
ftill extending the profpe6t to that feafon when the
church fhall enjoy the kingdom, and himfelf the
fulnefs of the purchafed polieffion, he winds up the
whole, by challenging them as his portion; faying,
*' and bleffied be Ifrael mine inheritance." So, that
there is not a bleffing contained in the purpofe — in
the performance — or in the enjoyment of God — but

* H»bak. iii. 17, 18.

C the



34 NATURE AND EFFECT^ OP

the Gotpcl unfolds, proclaims, and exhibits that
blclTing to us. Of all blcflings then that the mind
can conceive, or the heart enjoy, the Gofpel may
be pronounced a great, and, by way of revelation or
exhibition, the greatell of all bleifings. In this
Gofpel, to them who were no people, the great Je-
hovah fays, '' ye are my people," while they are
enabled to add, and " this God is and fhall be our
" God for ever and ever". To the reality and great-
nefsof this blefiing, may I not

3. Pronounce tlfc Gofpel to be a general blcf-
fuig. The difcovery itfelf is not only one, and the
blelFiug difcovered by it, the fame ; but, in it's na-
ture, it is fuited to all nations and people. Egypt
and Ailyria, Ifrael and Britain, have but one com-
mon falvation. Only one Saviour is to be held out
to them all. In every country the Gofpel finds
men in the very fame Hate ; and in that deplorable
condition it holds out to them the fame grace, the
fame remedy, and the fame encouragement. For
there is no other name given under heaven, in
which men can be faved, but that of Jefus. Other
foundation can no man lay, for the fuppoitof dif
tant countries, or the hope of future ages, than that
which is now placed before us. True, the meflen-
gers of divine mercy may be fent to different na-
tions — may have to addrefs them in difFerent langu-
ages, and hnd the mind of men affec^ied with vari-
ous prejudices ; but, vv'hcther they addrefs themfelve*
to Jews or Gentiles, to Ethiopians or Europeans, to
the more northern inhabitants of Greenland, or the
Soutliern Klanders of Otaheite, ft ill they have
but one Gofpel to preach. With great propriety has
this Gofpel been denominated by fome the religion
of linncrs : And truly it is wifely adapted to fm-
ners of all forts, of all climates, and of all ages.
Yes, to all it will be found a taithful word, worthy
of their cordial acceptance, that Jefus Chrift came
into the world to favc not only linncrs^ but the

very



THE GOSPEL. 35

very chief of fmners. Permit me to add^

4. This Gofpel will eventually prove a iiniverjul
bleilino; to mankind. It informs us, that, in Chrift,
not only the Ej^yptians, Affyrians, and Ifraclites,
but all the families of the earth iball be bleffed.
To him fliall the Heathen be given for an inhe-
ritance, and the utmofl parts of the earth for his
poffeOlon. Men fbiall be blefled in him^ yea, all
nations fliall call him bldled. His dominion fhali
be from fea to fL\a, and from the river to the ends
of the earth. Nor is it improbable, that the three
countries here mentioned^ were fixed upon as a
fpecimen of the whole. .This, perhaps, maybe
implied in that expreflion, " Ifrael (ball be tbe third
" wiib Egypt and with Aflyria, even a blcffing in
'' the midlt of the land," or'earth. Thus fnall the
kuv go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord
Lord from Jerufalem. It fliall fpread fi'om pro-
vince to province, from kingdoin to kingdom, and
from pole to pole, till every ifland of the fea fhall
be vifited with this grand difcovery of divine grace
and mercy. This invaluable blessing Ibail fweil,
burft, bloiibm, and fill the earth with the favour
of the knowledge of Chrift : And that day come,
when the earth Iball be full of the knowledge of
the gloiy of God,

Let us now,

II. Point out fome of the falutary effecls of this
Gofpel, as defcribed in the text. '' In that day fhall
''' there beahigh-v/ay," &c. and amongfLthcplealing
effects to be produced by the Gofpel^ may I not,
in the front, place

1 . Its tendency to make one nation a bleiling to
another. In the prefent ftate of things, which is a
ftate of horrid war and devaftation^ nations arc far
from proving blcifings to each other. In their va-
rious conflicts for power, or from pride, the battle of
tlie warrior is carried on with confuled noifc and
garments rolled in blood ; but, in the period re-

C 2 fcrrcd



36 NATURE AND EFFECTS OF

ferred to in the text, '^ Ifrael (hall be a blelTing iiithri
" midll of the earth." And if we only glance at the
contents of the Gofpcl, how does it appear wifely
calculated to bring about fo defirable a bleffing.
It informs us, that the feparating wall, which once
in fo great a meafure confined the manifeflation
of God's love and glory to a pailicular nation, is
broken down — the vail, which was hung up be-
fore the temple of the great Jehovah, is rent — ^that
God hath made of one blood all nations of men —
that he now commandeth them every where to re-
pent — fecketh fuch to worfliip him, who worlhip
him in fpirit and in truth — and that in every na-
tion he that feareth God and worketh righteouf-
nefs fhall be accepted of him. In fhort, it afiures us,
that God is no longer the Godof the Jew only, but of
the Gentile alfo — that whofoever fliall in faith call
upon his name, fliall be faved, and that in every
place, incenfe fliall be offered to his name and a
pure offering. And in proportion as the truth of
this Gofpel comes to enlighten the underftanding,
its power to penetrate the hearts, and its grace to
influence the minds and meliorate the actions of
the inhabitants of the different nations, its harmo-
nizing and inviting ef^e^ls will become manifcft.
" Ifrael Ihall be a bleHing in the midft of the earth."
The Jews, upon their converfion, being reftored
to their own land, and influenced by Gofpel prin-
ciples, their hearts will expand with earneft delircs
for the falvation of the Gentile nations. No re-
maining diflin6lion (hall be found between Jew and
Gentile, bond and free, male and female, but all
fliall be confidcred as one body in Chrift. A fav-
ing difcovery of Jefus, in his pcrfon and work, and
the operations of his fpirit and grace upon their
minds, will deftroy all thofe little party- prejudices,
which have fo long divided the family of Adam.
No longer lliall they look upon each other as firangers
andforeigners, but as fellow citizens, and the houfe-

hold



THE GOSPEL. 3/

hold of God. Built upon the foundation of the
Apoftles and Prophets, Jefus Chrift himfelf being
the chief corner-itoiie, they fhall grow up into an
holy temple in the Lord. If, then, the falling away
of the Jews has proved the riches of the world ;
and the diminiihing of them the riches of the
Gentiles, how much more their fulnels ! If, through
their rejedlion, Gentiles became reconciled to God,
what fhall the receiving of them be, but as life from
the dead!

2. Another effedl: of the Gofpel, is to unite the
hearts of men to one another. The doors of the
Church and of the heart fiiall then be thrown wide
open to all thofe who love the Lord Jefus Chrift
in iincerity. Ifrael, Egypt, and AfTyria, fhall be
confederated together in bonds of truth, grace, and
peace. Every man fhall then feck his brother, and
every man the good of his neighbour, agreeably
to that memorable predidion, '^ The inhabitants of
^^ one city fhall go to another, faying, let us go
" fpeedily to pray before the Lord, and to feek the
" Lord of hofls ; Yea, many people, and flrong na-
^^ tions fhall come to feek the Lord of hofts in Je-
^^ rufalem and to pray before the Lord*. This
w411 probably bring on the converiion of the fulnefs
of the Gentiles, fo brilliantly defcribed by Ifaiah, in
the lixtieth chapter of his Prophecy.

O blelfed Gofpel ! the conftituted mean of fo
defirable an union ! They fhall love as brethren —
Brethren, who are objedls of the fame everlaiting
love — redeemed by the fame precious blood — par-
takers of the fame grace — poffeflbrs of the fimie pri-
vileges, and heirs of the heavenly inheritance. Hap-
py union ! to be one in Chrift ! Defirable blessing 1
to be rendered ufcful one to another. May the
fliowers of m.ercy be fo poured out from on high, as
not only to afford times of refrefhing to the garden
already inclofcd ; but, that the wildernefs may be-

* Zeck. viii. 21, 22.

come



3S NATURE AND EFFECTS OP

come as a fruitful field ! May the fervent pray<?rs;
the lioly converfation, the liberal oblations^ and the
bright example of God's own People, in this land,
rentier this eountry a blessing in the midfi: of the
earth ! Illumined and .warmed with the beams of
evangelie truth, may w^e be enabled to keep the
unity of the fpiritin the bonds of peace!

3. The Gof]:)el has alfo a tendency to promote
mutual intercourfe among nations. " Lvthat day,
" there (hall be a high way out of Egypt into Aflyria
*^ and the Afiyrian Ihall come into Egypt," &c. The
idea of the balance of power, fo frequently talked of^
and in fupport of which the hofts of the nations have
been fo often called out into the field, and countries
laid defolate by all the horrors of war, fhaii be for^
gotten and loft out of view^ ; while tlie inhabitants
of feme diftant aera fhall be privileged to contem-
plate a ftill grander objecl;, in the unity of the poweiv
of all the nations, difplayed in one grand combina-
tion, to become fabje6t to God, to Chrift, and to his
Gofpel. Inthatbleiledday, their fwordsfliall be beat-
en into plongh-fliarcs, and their fpears into pruning
hooks, nation fnall not envy nor infringe upon na-
tion, neither fliall they learn w^ar any more. Trade
and commerce will be then widely extended, and
carried on upon the moft honourable principles. The
buyer will not feek to depreciate the quality of that
article he wiOies to poffels ; nor the feller to en-
hance the v/orth of that w4th which he is difpofed
to part; but honour and equity iliall be their
guides, and men will learn to do to others, as they
\vould that others ihould do to themfelves. Property
will then be eonlidered as faered, and its poficilbrs
feeure, while conveying it from eountry to eoun-
try. Even in the bulir.efs of the world, the hearts of
men (hiill be devoted to God, and their hands cm-
ployed for his ferviee. 7Vade fhall fiouriili, hap-
pi nefs be greatly promoted; and, an intercourfe, as
extenlue as it will be honourable, fliall fubfift

amongft



THE GOSPEL. 3^

arrtongft the inhabitants of far diftant countries.
'■' There lb all be a high way out of Egypt to AflvTia;
and the Aliyrian Ibali come into Egypt, and ihe
Egvptian into Aflyria." It iball then be feenthat
they have been with Jefus, and that they acft as thofe
w ho belong to him ; and, probably, in that day, a
Jew will be as much revered and renowned for his
piety and probity, as he is at prefent for the re-
verfe of both. The grace, the power of the Gofpe!,
foftens, melts down, and tends, as it were, to incor-
porate -the hearts of men one with another. It
unites human fpirits, in different nations, to love
and fcrve the Lord. — For

4. Mutual communion in rcliQ:ous concerns
is alfo another eife^l refulting from the Gof-
pel of Chrift. Not only " ihall the Aiiyrian come
*' into Egypt,and the Eg%'ptian into Afiyria," but "the^
*' Egyptian flially^ri^^," that is worflriip "with the Af-
" fyrians." Every fcumbling block (hall then be re-
moved out of the way of tiie people; and every
unneccffary reftraint. being removed,the confciences
of men lliall be under no fhackles but thofe of con-
viclion. True, even then, the Egyptian and the
Affyrian may have their peculiar attachments to
this, or to that form of worfliip, but there (ball be
fuch an unity, as to their faith in God, and their nm-
tual afFecHon to each other, that they (hall ferve to-
gether. " Every valley fhall then be exalted, and
^' every mountain fnall be made low, and the crooked
^^ fhall be made ftraight, and the rough places plain,
" and the glory of the Lord fliall be revealed, and
*^all fledi fliall fee it together: for the mouth of
" the Lord hath fpoken it." '^ Happy, defirable fea-
fon! '' When the parched ground Iball beconie
'^ a pool, and the thirfty land fprings of water. And
'^ a high way fhall be there, and a way, and it fhail
'' be called the way of holinefs: the unclean fliall

^ Ifaiah, xl 4, 5.

'' not



40 NATURE AND EXTENT OP

'^ not pafs over it, but it (hall be for thofe: the way-
*^ faring men, though fools, fhall not err therein.
'* No Hon fhall be there, nor any ravenous beaft
" fhall go up thereon, it fliall not be found there:
^' but the redeemed fliall walk there, and the ran-
" fomed of the Lord fhall return and come to Zion
*' with fongs, and everlafting joy upon their heads:
'^ they fhall obtain joy and gladnefs^ and forrow
*^ and fighing fhall flee away." ^

To draw towards a clofe.

If fuch be the influence and effecls of the Gof-
pel, while we poflefs it in its purity, and profefs an
attachmenttoit,be it our concern to prove, that fuch
are its influences upon our hearts and conduct.
With this in view, the members of the Miflionary
Society have embarked in a work, which, we flatter
ourfelves, will prove an cxteftfive and lafting blelTing
to the world. The love of Chrifl — a concern for the
falvation of immortal, but, in my view, of now pe-
rifliing fouls — and a delire to promote the difplay
of God's chief glory, were the motives which firlt
induced us to coalefce in this grand defign ; and
ftill impel us to prefs forward. All our little dif-
ferences and diflin6tions w^c leave at the foot of the
hill, while, like the tribes of Ifrael in ancient days, we
now meet, as one general aflembly, in Chrilt our
Temple : here to confecrate our united petitions,
counfcls, and efforts to extend the difplay of his
glory. We have a work before us, in which our
views harmonife — our hands and fouls unite.
Here, the Churchman and the Diffentcr acknow*
ledge but one head — love as brethren, and aim
at one objedl : — That objedl, not the promoting of
this or that party, but to elevate and advance the
fpread of eternal truth. We feck not our own, but
the things of Chrill; and if he be exalted, let forms
crumble back into their original chaos, and dif-

* Ifalah. XXXV, 7, &c.

tindions



THE GOSPEL. 41

tincftlons among Chiiftians be obliterated and
forgotten. We are met, upon a fubje^l congenial
to the philanthropic feelings of all our hearts. In
every breaft, the prevailing fentiment, I trull, is
this, Let the Lord be glorified. And, is there an
Evangelical Minifter, whether in the eftablifhed
church or out of it, that can withold his amen in
the general rcfponfe.^ God forbid. But, we want
more than their amen, we call for their counfel, their
influence, and their fupport, in helping forward this
work of the Lord. Oh ! it grieves — it opprefles my
fpirits much*, when I obferve the cold referve the
apparent indifference, the half-exprefled difappro-
bation, difcovered by fome of my Brethren, I had
almoft fai'd. Fathers in the miniftry^^. In the decline
of life, may I be permitted to fpeak freely? Surely
the winter of age has not frozen up our zeal for God,
or benumbed the tender feelings of our hearts for the
fouls of men ! O that all would gird on their wea-
pons to their fide, and put their hands to this work !
As much for their own peace, honour and happinefs,
do I wifh it, as for the fuccefs of the work itfelf :
Bcin^g fully perfuaded in my own mind, that if they
do not, they will have afterwards to repent; for
God can and will carry it on without our puny aid.
Are they Churchmen ? Let them difcover it by feek-
ing the extent of the Church of God. Are they
Diffenters from all national ecclefiaflical eftablifh-
ments ? So am I. But be this one of the firft arti-
cles of our creed, that we difl^ent from a Laodicean
fpirit; and that we are not adluated by party views,
but by a principle of pure love to God and to the

'^ The above remarks were by no means intended to reflect
upon individuals; much lefs to infringe upon the rightsof pri-
vate judgment ; but were expreflivc of the Author's great con-
cern, that many, Jong taught in the fchool of experience, and
whofe prefence and counfeJs would have forwarded fo good a
caufe, ihould, from whatever motives, be held back Irom a
work which re(|uires the united efforts of Chriflians of every
dt=nomiiiation.

D fouh



42 NATURE AND EFFECTS^ &C,

fouls of men. In this undertaking, every man may
retain bis peculiar fentimcnts and yet contribute his
aid to the work of tlie Lord. Our defire is not to
make the inhabitants of other iflands, or continents,
Churchmen or Diiicnters — but Chriftians. And, if
Chrift be faithfully preached to them, let the views
of theMillionary rcfpecting thcfe circumftantials,be
what they may, we can and will rejoice. In thofe
countries, to which their courfe is to be directed, the
people will have nothing to diffent from, but their
idols and their lins. And w hen any from among
the Heathens are called to Chrift, their eftablifli-
ment will coniift, in being built up in him.

To conclude. Upon all the friends of the Gof-
pcl I call, befeeching them to plead for the fuccefs
of the religion of Jefus, in our ov\^n land, and in the
world at large. May the word of the Lord have
free courfe and be glorified ! — Pray for the femina-
ries of learning, thofe fchools of the prophets, where
our youth are training up for future fcrvice in the
Churclics. May the great Lord of the harvell thruit
forth many fkilful, diligent and fuccefsful labourers
into the field ! — Pray alfo forminifters already cs&lled
to labour in the word and dodtrine of the Gofpcl :
that they may be burning and fhining lights — zea-
lous for God — wife to w^in fouls — and happy in
gathering them to Chrift. — Nor forget to plead for
thofe Miffionaries who have fo freely offered them-
felves for the work of the Lord. May that Saviour,
who maiiifcfted himfelf to the beloved Difciple in
Patmos, meet them in the iflands of the South
Sea, reveal himfelf as their counfellor, prote6lor,
guide, and glory, and fay, Lo! I am with you.
May Truth and Liberty fill the world, and God be
Hoi'ified irf every language, and by every people,
througli Jefus Chriil! Amen.



GOD'i



GOD'S CALL, OUR DIRECTORY



SERMON H.

PREACHED BY

The Rev. THOMAS PENTYCROSS, A. M.

VICAR OF ST. MARY'S," WALLINGFORD,

mFORE THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY,
AT SURRY CHAPEL,

May 12, 1796.



SERMON II.

ISAIAH XLIII. 6.

I Will Jay to the south^ Keep not back.



w,



HERE Is the oldefl, where the wlfefl , where
the hoheft of Minifters, who, {landing at this mo-
ment on this eminence, would be proof againll
Fear and Trembhng ? Refle6lions hke thcfc muft
intimidate any one: what new thing, which hath
not been f]X)ken by others ; what weighty ; what
afFedling; what animating can you hope to utter,
worthy the ears of fo great and enHghtened an au-
dience; worthy the ears of fo many wife and ex-
perienced Miniilers of Chrift ; worthy the prayers,
worthy the expe6lations of all ; and worthy an oc-
cafion the greatefi: that can enter into the mind of
Man: I had almofl faid, of Angel. Indeed we
have divine authority for believing, that a principal
part of the fludy of Angels is the Salvation by Jefys
Chr'iji^: and that a great part of their happinefs,
in the prefence of God himfelf, is the Converfion
of Sinners'!-.

A moment then of prayer afford me, that this
mofl feeble of tongues may be ftrengthcned from
on high, and I plunge into the fubjedL ,

" / will fay to the South, Keep not lack"' What
have we here ? Three things very obfervablc.

I. The Grandeur of the Speaker: one who fpcaks

* I Peter i. is. j: Luke xv. lo.

to



46 god's call, our directory.

to the South Region of the world : and Tpcaks as
one hwcing authority. You gucfs who he is. The
very perlbnage you want, in the JMilTion before
you.

II. The Feliciij of the TJace: the South; the
ver}' place now in contemplation for convcrfion.
I will fay to the South,

III. The Glory of the thing fpoken. Keep not
hack. Let the Sea, the South Sea, give up her dead:
her dead in Paganifnt and Sin. The very object
of your AiTbeiation, Prayers and Exertions.

I. Then I point your attention to the Grandeur
of the Speaker in the Text. Who is Ke ? The
T^rfie he afiiimes is that of one, who need only
fpeak, to be heard, felt and obeyed thi'oucrh ail Na-
ture. Plainly then it is He, who is the^GREAx I
AM ; in comparifon with whom the Univerfe with
all its furniture is as Nothing: who only Spake,
and, in a moment fprang fcith, without any pre-
vious principle of cxiftencc, the whole Beautiful,
Perfedl and Multitudinous Creation: who only
need fpcak again, and all Being would as cafdy
i\7nijh, as at firfl it appeared. Such an Agent, fuch
a Iriend, one fo High and unfpeakable, fuiffees
you. Never forget his Grandeur.

Well! but what will he fuy^ Or (fpeaking and
cfFcding being the fame with him) what ^^•lll he
do?

He promifes to intereft himfelf in Converfions
of the Heathen : of courle to take well at our hands,
and to blefs our attempts for their (I'onvcrlion : he
engages to bring the fpiritual feed of Abraham to
the Ts^ew Jerusalem, the Church of Chrift, where-
foever difpcrfed throughout the v^'orld, and howfo-
cver confined at prcfcnt in grofs darknefs and lin.
A fccondar}^ fenle this of the text, which I believe
no Interpreter of Holy Writ will rejedl : and which,
like the other prophecies, referring ultimately to
Jesus Christ, and the Church, as much ex-
ceeds



GOD S CALL, OUR LIRECTORY. 4/

jceeds the Primary, Hiitorical fenfe, as the fub-
itance excels the fhadow; as Jesus Christ is
greater than Cyrus; and as Deliverance from
eternal INIilery lurpatres deliverance from Babylon,
or any temporal evil whatever.

In an undeitaking then like this before you,
how divinely plcafant and all-fupporting is the
confideration, that the Immenle and Inconcei viable
God joins you, and promifes to command tlie
South to furreiider at difcretion to his blelTed Got-
pel. What more do you all:? Surely the Gran-
deur of the Speaker appears as much in his Conde-
fceniion, Pity and Kindnefs, as in his Elfcntial
Rank and ^Supremacy.

But hovj will he fpL^'k? This, too, equally with
the reft, will difplay his Grandeur. Not merely
to the Underftanding, but to the Confcience and
Heart: to all the fecret fp^ings of our Nature: lb
as to make converts not to the Sect of the Na%a~
r erics ^ but to Right eoujnefs: not to Chijllanity only,
but to Chr'iji.

Take tw^o or three inftances. One fhall be that
of St. Mattheiv: another that of- St. Paul: and a
third of one without aiiv name.

St. Matthev: was in the heart of buiinefs,^////;;^
at the receipt of Cujlom. God our Saviour, in a
plain habit, aud mean appearance, pafiesbv; and
fays to him, '* FoUgzv Me.'" At that inftant the >
word thrilled through all his Frame. He forgat
Qrfars accompts, which he was miaking up, and
his own Profits therefrom ; down fell the Pen from
his mouth, the Money- fcales from his hands; and,
w^ithout waiting to attend to conlequenees, he
arofe and foil oivcd Chnft\ was addicfed to hmi inti-
mately, and became His to his dying day.

St. Paul was in the veiy dregs of fclf-eonfidence,
and the opinion of his own merit. The comuia^id-
ment came to him, Thou shalt xot covet; S'nr

re-jhedy



48 GOD S CALL, OUR DIRECTORr.

revived, and he died*. He faw and felt in a mo-
ment, be had coveted a thoufand things, which
God had not thought fit to allow him : that he
coveted the world and its indulgences; that he
was neither that contented, nor that abftracted and
heavenly minded creature the Law commanded he
ihould be. The fight of this infiance of the cor-
ruption of his nature intiioduced others. He funk
under the prefiiire of univerfal Guilt, though a
man of the firfi: pun6lilioufnefs in Religion, and
great external innocence of Life: Sin revived m all
its fubtilty, extent and condemnation: he per-
ceived himfelf wholly undone, inftead of being, as
he thouGfht before, fecure above others of Salva-
tion : he died. This is thcjiiving manner in which
God ftiil fpeaks by his Gofpel, and in which, as
you will hear more largely hereafter, he promifcs
to fpeak to the South.

But who is that I fee yonder, coming out of the
temple of VemiSy the Goddefs of Liiji, adored at
Cormthf He ftrolls into a large Hovel of a Primi-
tive Church : and what does he do there ? Look
7itt\\Q. frji Epijile of Corinthians ^ the 14th chap,


1 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryLondon Missionary SocietySermons (1796) → online text (page 3 of 15)