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Letting Your Light Shine for the Glory of God

Letting Your Light Shine for the Glory of God

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLIAM VAN MILDERT, D. D.

PREACHER OF LINCOLN S INN,

NOW BISHOP OF DURHAM. 1831.


MATTHEW v. 16.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may
see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven.
BY WILLIAM VAN MILDERT, D. D.

PREACHER OF LINCOLN S INN,

NOW BISHOP OF DURHAM. 1831.


MATTHEW v. 16.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may
see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 04, 2014
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LETTIG YOUR LIGHT SHIE FOR THE GLORY OF GODBY WILLIAM VA MILDERT, D. D. PREACHER OF LICOL S I, OW BISHOP OF DURHAM. 1831. MATTHEW v. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. we to rest the perfection of our blessed Saviour s character as a public Teacher upon the evidence of any one of his discourses in particular, his Sermon on the Mount might be selected as affording, perhaps, the most remarkable proof of his divine pretensions. Distinguished as it is for extraordinary sim plicity and clearness, in developing those prin ciples of human conduct which were thence forth to be considered as binding upon all who would embrace His religion ; it at the same time discovers such an insight into hu man nature, and such an elevation of senti ment, as never yet were attained by mere phi losophical instructors. Whether we view it with reference to active or to contemplative life ; whether we apply it to men s interests in this present world, or to those which await VOL. II. 1 i
 
482 SERMO XXIV. them in a future state ; it points to each with the effect which authority only, authority un impeachable and infallible, could produce. In this respect, it may well be said to be com mensurate with those other " demonstrations " of the Spirit and of power a ," by which his heavenly mission was more directly verified. Our Lord had, indeed, already obtained among the people a reputation of no ordinary kind. ot only had his forerunner pro claimed him to be the Saviour of the world, but the fame of his wonderful works had be gun to raise expectations of his being the great Deliverer foretold by the Prophets. Those very expectations, however, while they served to awaken the attention of his hearers, laid him so much the more open to rigid scrutiny. They exposed him, on all sides, to such animadversions as must speedily have silenced his pretensions, had he failed in any instance to sustain the character he assumed. It is no inconsiderable proof, therefore, of his  just claims to that high character, that he was able to abide this ordeal ; that in no in stance did he administer to the corrupt affec tions or erroneous prejudices of his followers; but with uncompromising firmness, yet at the same time with the utmost mildness and for- 1 Cor. ii. 4. SERMO XXIV. 488
 
bearance, discountenanced and opposed those sentiments which he knew to be most preva lent among them, and which were most in unison with the notions they had formed of the purpose of his mission. This is strikingly instanced in the several beatitudes, as they are called, with which he opens his discourse. Instead of encouraging the pursuit of worldly honour, wealth, or do minion ; instead of holding out inducements of ease, luxury, and temporal grandeur ; in stead of promising earthly conquests and the subjugation of rival and hostile powers; what are the expectations offered, what the qualities declared to be indispensable for ad mission into His kingdom ? humility, self- denial, meekness, forbearance, purity, patience under tribulation and adversity. The only superiority to which he bids them aspire, is that of setting an example edifying to the rest of mankind. The only splendour with which he would have them invested, is the lustre of those unostentatious qualities which might gradually win men to the truth, and lead to the adoption of that religion from which they proceeded. or were they to content themselves with the scanty measure of excellence which hitherto their religious instructors had meted out to them ; but " ex- i i 2 484 SERMO XXIV. " cept their righteousness exceeded that of " the Scribes and Pharisees, they would in " no case enter into the kingdom of heaven b ."

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