« PreviousContinue »
MANY pious people, engaged in the active duties of life, have neither time to read, nor money to purchase large books. With a view to relieve them in both these respects, the following Short Sermons are published.
Long sermons are generally tiresome, and seldom do much good either to readers or hearers.
The author of these ser“ mons has been employed in the work of the ministry more than one-and-twenty years, and has always found that short sermons are both more useful and more acceptable than long ones.
may be objected that these are too short. To this it is answered, first, that each short sermon in this work is intended
to contain the substance of a long sermon; and, secondly, that the design of a sermoni, in the author's judgment, should be rather to open the way for people to think for themselves, than to exhaust the subject by long illustrations.
Should this feeble attempt to instruct the "pious prove a blessing to any one, God shall have the praise. The author does not court 'popular applause. His highest ambition, he trusts, is to DO GOOD.
The original State of Man.
Gen. 1. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image
of God created he him.
THE works of God are beautiful in their appearance, regular in their motions, and useful in their various operations. To contemplate them frequently is both an important duty, and a source of great delight. # The works of God are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
The first chapter of Genesis, out of which we have taken our text, contains a short account of creation in general, and of man in particular. The solemnity with which man was created, proves that he was designed to fill an important place in the newly-created world. A COUNCIL was held. “Let us (said God) make man in our image; so God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him."
Our text teaches two things: first, that God created man: secondly, that he created him in his own images
I. GOD CREATED MAN.
To create is to give being to that which did not exist before ; and it implies such amazing wisdom and power as far exceeds our comprehension. We are certain that man could not create himself; for that would have implied being without being, and power without power. Nor can we conceive that the highest angels, who are but creatures themselves, could create him. God, is the only being in the universe who has infinite wisdom and almighty power, both of which are absolutely necessary in a CREATOR. All other beings, however highly exalted, are but of yesterday. They had a beginning; but God is from everlasting. He had no beginning. He received life from none; but gives life to all. The propagation of man is a very different thing. God has given him, in common with various other beings, a power to propagate his own species: but if we trace propagation back as far as imagination can carry us, we must come at length to a first pair, formed by an almighty hand. The sacred scriptures place this subject in a clear light; informing us that man is a creature, and that the God of heaven and earth, who made all things by the word of his power, is his CREATOR.
Hence we learn that man is a dependent being, who owes all his greatness to God
that he should be humble, giving God the glory of all he is and all he has--that he should love, honour, and obey his Maker in all things; employing those
powers both of body and mind with which God has created him, in the way that infinite Wisdom may direct. While he does so, he may safely rely on the goodness of God for a supply of all his wants. A kind Providence will watch over him for good : he will be protected in every hour of danger; and he will enjoy a large portion of substantial happiness, which may be continued to him through every period of his existence.
II. GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE.
Many erroneous opinions have been maintained on man's primitive state. Some have placed him on a level with, if not above the angels of God; and others have placed him below many of his descendants. To avoid these wide extremes, we must abide by reason and revelation.
The image of God does not refer to the body of man, which was formed of the dust; for God is a spirit, and cannot be represented by any material form.
An image is the representation, or likes ness, of any person or thing. Man was an image, representation, or likeness of God,