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according to the day? Dost thou fear that my zeal, my strength, and the sounding of my bowels towards thee are restrained ? Am not I Jesus still? Is my love waxed cold that it cannot pity ? Is my hand shortene at all that it cannot save ? Is mine car heavy that it cannot hear? Or have I no power to deliver? Beholi, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I clothe the heaven with blackness; and if in the greatest storm, I say to the raging billows, Be still! There is a great calm : Fear not then, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts....my zeal will do this, and more for thy soul; yea, I will do for thee exceeding abundantly above all that thou canst ask or think.
“I see what passes in thy heart, ( thou unwise and slow of heart to believe, all that I and my prophets have spoken: I read thy new excuses. Thou sayest thou dost not suspect me, my faithfulness and my power: but thyself, thy helplessness and the treachery of thy own desperately wicked heart.... What, shall this sore evil hinder thee from coming te me, who alone can remedy it? Wilt thou pray to be excused, from believing on such an account as this? Oh drop this last, this most absurd plea; and walk in the steps of the faith of thy father Abraham, Rom.. iv. 16. Consider not the deadness and hardness of thy heart, but the reviving softening love of mine ; not thy want of power, but my omnipotence ; not the suggestion of satan, but the declarations of my gospel. Wrestle not only against flesh and blood, but against the powers of eternal darkness, and the spiritual wickedness of an unbelieving thought. Strive to enter in at the strait gate of faith. Against hope believe in hope, that I quicken the dead, ard call the things which are not as though they were. Stagger no more at my promises through unbelief, but be strong in faith, and give glory to God, by being Pully persuaded, that what I promise, I am able and wilbing to perform.
“In me thou mayest find the richest and readiest supply of all thy wants : I am both the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the living: he that believetli in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and he that liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. Believe then, and thou shalt not come into condemnation....Believe, and thou shalt receive power; thou shalt see the glory of God; thou shalt be established; yea, and sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.... Believe and thou hast everlasting life, and shalt not come into condemnation....Believe, and a grain of faith will remove mountains of guilt and unbelief....Believe with all thy heart....All things are possible to hin that believeth, and he shall inherit all promises; For to him that overcometh (and faith is the victory) will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and to sit with ine on my throne; as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne....Only believe then, and through faith thou shalt subdue the kingdom of darkness, work righteousness, obtain proraises, stop the mouth of the roaring lion, quench the violence of temptation's fire, escape the flaming point of Satan's darts, out of weakness be made strong, was vaijant in fight, turn to fight the armies of thy spiritmal adversaries, and receive thy dead soul raised to. life again.
" Thou hast played with the fiery serpents, they have bitten thy heart, but I have already sucked the worst of the mortal poison. In the perilous attempt my soul was seized with sorrow even unto death, and an unheard-of agony, attended with a bloody sweat, came upon my body. A racking cross was the bed I was stretched upon : sharp thorns proved the pillow on which I rested my fainting head. The bitterest sarcasms were my consolations ; vinegar and gall my comials ; a band of bloody soldiers the cruel wretches appointed to tear open my veins ; whips, nails, hammers and a spear, the instruments allowed them to
do the dreadful operation. For hours I bled under their merciless hands; and thy fearful curse, O sina ner, flowed together with my blood. In the mean time, noon-day light was turned into the gloom of night, a dire emblem of the darkness that overspread my agonizing soul; and at last, while earthquakes rocked me into the sleep of death, I gave up the ghost, with cries that astonished my bitterest enemies, and made them smite their breasts in pangs of involuntary sympathy. Thus, to make thee partaker of my saving health, I took the shameful and painful consequences of thy mortal distemper upon me. And now sinner, despise no more such amazing love, re* quite it with a believing look. Consider my wounds, till thy conscience feels their wonderful effect. Bem hold my atoning blood, till thou canst witness it heals all thy infirmities.
“ Knowing the terrors of the Lord, I persuade men. Come thou poor prisoner of hope, turn by faith to the strong hold of my protection.... Up! for God will destroy this Sodom, the wicked world where thou lingerest.... Up! for the great and terrible day of the Lord approaches.... As I live, there is but one step between thee and death, and another between death and hell.
“Let my love even constrain thee to arise, and to follow me; that I may receive thee unto myself, and complain no longer, that, with respect to thee, I have laboured in vain, and spent my strength for nought. Surely sinner, I deserve thy grateful love, for I have fought thy fiercest enemies. Dreadful was the battle ! my flesh was torn, my blood spilt, my life lost in the obtsinate combat : But I have slain the lion and the bear, I have vanguished death and the grave, and rescued thy poor helpless soul : and now let thy good Shepherd rejoice over his lost sheep : Let gratitude compel thee to come into the fold of my church, and join the little flock of my faithful followers. And if thou canst pot come, do but look wishfully at me, and
I will lay thee on my shoulders rejoicing, and carry thee in triumph into the richest pastures of my grace.
“ Once more I turn supplicant ; Once more I stand at the door and knock....Saul ! Saul! It is hard for thee to kick against the sharp goads of my love.... Martha ! Martha ! one thing is needful, chuse the good part, chuse me....O Absalom my son! my son! give :my thy heart; I have died for thee, do not crucify nie afresh....Lay down the spear of unbelief, and thine is my grace, my glory, my kingdom, the kingdom of heaven.
“ Be not afraid to surrender; rebellious as thou art, I love thee still....Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea, she may forget, yet I will not forget thee. If thou wilt not take my word, believe my oath : Because I can swear by no greater, I swear by myself: As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live : Turn then, turn unto me, for I have redeemed thee : I have cast all thy sins into the depth of the sea, and will subdue all thy iniquities.
" And if thou canst not believe my oath, credit these scars....See! I have graved thee upon the plams of my hands. Long, too long have I waited for thy return, thon poor, wandering, weary prodigal. Let me see in thee the travail of my soul and be satisfied. By the mystery of my holy incarnation and dreadful temptation, by my agony and bloody sweat, by my infamous death and glorious resurrection, I beseech thee, come to the pardoning God by me. If thou hast nothing to pay, I forgive thee all the debt : Whether it be fifty or five hundred pence, or ten thousand talents, I frankly forgive thee all. Only let me heal thv back. slidings, and love thee freely ; let my left hand be unc'er thy head, and let my right hand embrace thee. See the wounds which I have received for thee in the house of my friends ! Reach hither thy finger, and be. hold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust
it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing. Cleave to me with full purpose of heart, follow me through the regeneration, and thou shalt not only be one of my jewels, but a crown of glory, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God: Yea, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so will I rejoice over thee, and give thee a name better than that of son and daughter.... I, the Holy One of Israel, will be thy life and glory....I, thy Maker, will be thy husband, and thy all.”
And are these, O sinner, the gracious sayings of God to thee ?.... The compassionate expostulations of God, become incarnate for thee ?....Did God so love thee, as to set forth his only begotten Son, as a propitiation through faith in his blood, thus to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past ? May the Almighty now be just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus? Is there no difference, no repect of persons with him ? And is the same Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him? Then shout ye heavens ! triumph thou earth! and thou, happy sinner, know the day of thy visitation, be wise, ponder these things, and thou shalt understand the loving. kindness of the Lord.
Be no longer afraid, that it will be presumption in thee to believe, and that God will be offended with thee, if thou makest so free with Jesus, as to wash instantly in the fountain of his atoning blood. He not only gives thee leave to believe, but he invites thee to do it freely. Nay, he commands thee to believe, for This is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. He even enforces the precept by a double piromise, that if thou believest thou shalt not perish but have everlasting life. And that nothing may be wanting to stir thee up to this important business, he is gracious enough to threaten the neglect of it with the most dreadful punishment ; for he that believeth not, shall not enter into his rest, and shall be damned; and he that to the end remains fear