there remains no other sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of fiery indignation, that shall devour the adversaries," Heb. x.

Let none of us think it is well with us, merely because we were born and educated in a Christian country, have means of instruction in our hands, and enjoy frequent opportunities of presenting ourselves before God in public worship. To thousands, these, so far from being advantages, will greatly aggravate their condemnation, and point the sting of the never-dying worm. Better were it for us to have been inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon, Luke x. yea, of Sodom and Gomorrah, than to appear in judgment with no better plea than this. Neither let us speak peace to ourselves, because we are not so bad as others, but perhaps live decently and comfortably ; are useful in society, and perform many things that are commonly called good works. If these works spring from a true love of God, if they are framed according to the rule of his word, if they are performed by faith in Christ Jesus our Lord, they are undoubtedly good, and shall be rewarded before men and angels : if otherwise, you have already your reward, in the complacence of your own minds, and the approbation of friends and acquaintance. The Christianity of the New Testament imports more than all this. It is, to believe in Jesus Christ ; so to believe in him as to obey him in all his commands, to trust him in all his dispensations, to walk in his steps, copying out the bright example of his love, meekness, patience, self-denial, and active zeal for the glory of God, and the good of mankind. It is from a consciousness of our utter inability to perform these great things, to depend continually upon the promised aid and direction of his Holy Spirit, to seek this assistance by frequent fervent prayer, to offer up ourselves daily as living sacrifices unto God; and, finally, when we have done all, to be deeply sensible of our unworthiness of the least of his mercies, to confess ourselves unprofitable servants, and to place all our hopes upon this faithful saying, “That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.'

Thus, from the consideration of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatness of our misery by nature, and the wonderful things he has done and suffered for our redemption, we may learn the complete security of that salvation he has provided, the extreme danger of neglecting it, and the folly and presumption of attempting to establish a righteousness of our own, independent of him who is appointed of God unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,' 1 Cor. 1. In setting these things before you plainly and faithfully, I trust I have delivered my own soul. Time is short, life is precarious, and perhaps, to some, this may be the last opportunity of the kind that inay be afforded

them; God grant we may be wise in time, that, 'to-day, while it is called to-day,' we may hear his voice. Then we shall understand more of the text than words can teach us; then we shall experience a peace which passeth all understanding. Phil. iv. sa joy' which a stranger intermeddleth not with, Prov. xiv. and a hope 'full of glory,' which shall be completed in the endless possession of those "pleasures which are at the right hand of God,' Psalm xvi. where sin, and its inseparable attendant, sorrow, shall cease for ever; where there shall be no more grief, or pain, or fear,' Rev. xxi. but every tear shall be wiped from eve. ry eye.



Acrs, X1. 26. latter part.

--Ind the disciples were called Christians first ai Antioch.

The evangelist Luke having contributed his appointed part to the history of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, proceeds, in the book we style the Acts of the Apostles, to inform us of the state and behaviour of those faithful followers he left behind him on earth, when he ascended, in the name and behalf of his people, to that heaven from whence his love had brought him down. We are informed that the gracious promises he had made while he was yet with them, began soon to take place; for, wben the day of Pentecost was fully come,' Acts. ii. the Holy Spirit descended powerfully upon them, qualified them for preaching the Gospel to the whole world, and gave them an earnest of success, in making their first essay the happy means of converting about three thousand souls.'

The first believers, who were of one heart and one soul, who continued stedfastly in the apostle's doctrine, and had all things in common,' would probably have been well content to have lived together in Jerusalem, till death had successively transplanted them to the Jerusalem which is above. But this was not to be their rest : and their Lord, who had appointed them to be the salt of the earth,' and the light of the world,' Matth. v, made use of the rage of their enemies to effect that separation which those who are uvited by the grace of God are often so loath to yield to.

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Little did Herod and the Jews consider what would be the consequence of the persecution they raised against the church of Christ: but persecutors are always blind, and counteract their own designs. So here; for we are told that those whom they scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.' Thus, the word of the Lord 'ran and was glorified ;' their bitterest enemies contributing to push it forward, till, in a few years, it was published from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth,' Psalm lxxii.

For a while these faithful followers of the Lamb were known only by particular names, according to the different humours of different places ; Nazarenes, Galileans, the people of that way, pestilent fellows, and the like ; but at length, when they grew more numerous, when their societies were regularly formed, and their enemies universally alarmed, they began to bear a more general and emphatical name. St. Luke has informed us that this was the case in fact; and has likewise told us where it was first obtained; and, as I suppose he did not this without some design, I shall endeavour to draw some observations, for our use and direction, from this remark in the text, that the disciples were called Christians first at Autioch ;' which I shall divide into two : thus—That the first general name by which the disciples were distinguished from the world, and united among themselves, was that of Christians; and, secondly, That this took place at Antioch. Thus the propositions lie in the text; but, in treating of each, it may be more convenient to invert this order, and consider the latter as previous to the other.

Now, if we consider the state of the city of Antioch, before, at the time, and since the event which is here recorded ; from each of these views we may gather some lesson of instruction for ourselves ; which ought to be our view in all we read, but especially when we read those books which are able to make us wise unto salvation, and where no one sentence is insignificant. But let us not forget, with all we read and hear concerning religion, to mingle our frequent prayers to the great Author and Fountain of all grace, for that aid and assistance of his Holy Spirit without which we can do nothing to advantage.

Antioch, the capital of Syria, built about three hundred years before Christ, had long been the most flourishing city of the East: the most remarkable circumstance of its ancient state, as suiting our present purpose, was its having been the seat and residence of Antiochus, the most cruel and inveterate enemy of the church and people of God; the most direct and eminent type of that Antichrist who was afterwards to appear in the world; spoken

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of expressly by prophecy in Daniel, chap. xi. the completion of which you may see at large in the first book of Maccabees, in Josephus, and more briefly in the 79th and 80th psalms. But behold the wisdom, the power, and the providence of God! when his people were brought low, he helped them; he set those bounds to the rage of the adversary which could not be broken through; and at length, in his appointed time, he erected this first general standard of the Gospel upon the very spot where bis grand enemy had so long encamped; and from whence his pernicious counsels and enterprises had so far proceeded. The application of this is very suitable to the times in which we now live. We see a powerful combination against the Protestant interest. Our enemies are many and mighty : their designs, we have reason to believe, are deep laid, and

their efforts unwearied. Once and again our hopes have been almost swallowed up: and though we, through the singular goodness of God, have hitherto escaped, the storm has fallen heavy upon our brethren abroad. What may be the immediate issue of the present threatening appearances, we know not: but we may encourage ourselves from the experience of past ages, as well as from the sure promises of Scripture, that however the kings of the earth may assemble, and the rulers take counsel together,' Psalm ii. God has a hook in their nose, and a bridle in their jaws,'Isa. xxxvii. and all their force and policy shall at last bring about what they least desire and intend--the welfare and glory of God's church. He that caused the Christian name to go forth first at Antioch, where the truth of God had been most eminently and successfully opposed, can likewise introduce a temper and worship, truly Christian, in those places which at present seem destitute of either. And for this it is our duty continually to pray.

Again, if we consider the state of Antioch at the time the disciples were first called Christians there, we may learn how to form a judgment of our profession. This city was then luxurious and dissolute to a proverb, even in Asia, where luxury and effeminacy were universally prevalent. Whether this name was assumed by the disciples, or imposed by their enemies, we cavnot doubt but that, in common repute, it was a term of the most extreme reproach and ignominy. Nor can I suppose the worst appellations any sect in succeeding ages has been doomed to bear, have implied half of that contempt which an inhabitant of Antioch or Daphne expressed, when he called a man a Christian. If we imagine a set of people, who, at this time, in France, should style themselves the disciples of the late Damien, and be called after his name, we may, perhaps, form some idea of what the people of Antioch understood by the word Christian. The

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apostle assures us that he and his brethrets were accounted the filth and offscouring of all things,' i Cor. iv. is wspixadápuara so κόσμου-πάντων περιψημα. He has chosen two words of the most vile and despicable signification; which, I believe, no two words in our language will fully express. The outward state of things is since changed, and the external profession of Christianty is now no reproach; but let us not imagine the nature of things is chang

It was then received as a maxim, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution,' 2 Tim. iii. and it is a truth still, founded upon Scripture, and confirmed by experience. If we know nothing of it in our own cases, it is because our tempers and manners have hitherto been too conformable to that wicked world which in our baptisms we were engaged to renounce. I shall have occasion to speak further upon this point before I close: in the mean time, here is a test to examine ourselves by. If we could not glory in the Christian name, under the same circumstances as the disciples bore it at Antioch, we are as yet unworthy of it. Let conscience judge.

Once more : Antioch, the city where the Gospel once so flourished, that from thence the whole Christian church received that name by which it is still called, is now no more. It has been a heap of ruins more than five hundred years. The light of the gospel has been long withdrawn : gaiety and festivity are likewise forgot. Slavery, imposture, and barbarism, have blotted out the resemblance, and even the remembrance of what it once was. O that our yet happy land could from hence take a timely warning! Our privileges are great ; perhaps greater, all things considered, than any nation has possessed since the days of Solomon. Our preservation hitherto has been wonderful; often have we been in extreme danger, but have always found deliverance at hand. Yet let us not be high minded; our sins and aggravations (it is to be feared) have been, and still are, very great likewise ; and God, we see, is no more a respecter of places than of persons. Antioch is ruived, Rev. iii. Philadelphia, which received so honourable a testimony from the mouth of the Lord himself, has been long since destroyed. Let us beware of boasting ; let us not presume too much on what we are; nor say, 'the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord is here,' Jer. vii. we are the bulwark of the Protestant interest, and none can hurt us. If the Lord is with us, it is true; if we'walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called,' we are safe; but if otherwise, we know not how soon God may visit us with his heavy judgments, war, famine, discord, or pestilence, till we become a warning to others, as others are now proposed warnings to us.

Our liberties, our properties, our religion, are in God's hands : may he incline our

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