Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

hearts of men and women, and there you must receive Him. But if you will live in your sins, there is no way but you must die in your sins ; unless Christ save from sin here, and justify you, sin will certainly condemn you. Be willing that Christ shall save you from sin now, and you will have cause to rejoice in the great day of judgment, for he that is the righteous Judge of the world, and that will sentence and condemn the wicked world, will be your Saviour and Justifier. In that day you that mourn now, shall rejoice forever, and obtain everlasting salvation; for Christ is the Author of eternal salvation to all them that believe in him and obey him. O that will be a trying day indeed, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know hnt God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with ev. erlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, saith the Apostle Paul, 2 Tbess. i. 7. Because our testimony among you was believed in that day; wherefore also we pray always for you, that God would count you worthy of his calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of frith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Crist may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.' Blessed are they which are prepared for the coming and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; they that can say with the Apostle, 2 Cor. v. 1. 'For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an House not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens: for in this we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon with that House which is froin heaven.' It is the groan of faith and hope, and of vehement desire, to be forever with the Lord. Those that are regenerate and born again, they are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave him

self for us, that be might redeem us from all iniqui· ty and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.

It is the desire of my soul, that you may all come to answer the call of God, who hath sent his son to bless you, and to turn every one of you from your iniquities. Let us not turn aside to the right band nor to the left, but be pressing forward towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and we shall be made partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light.

The people of Israel were by Joshua's command, all circumcised, both old and young, before they could enter into the good land, that flows with milk and honey ; so must it be now, if you will enter the eternal land by our heavenly Joshua. Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? (saith the Psalmist, Psal. cxix. 9.) "By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Hiding the word of the Lord in your heart, is the circumcising of it: there must be a witnessing of the circumcision in the heart, before we can enter into rest in the heavenly Canaan. The word of the Lord is as a fire, and as a hammer, and as a circumcising knife, the instrument of our purification, which takes away every thing that is unclean, that would defile us, that we may becoine living temples, prepared for the presence of the holy God.

The Proto-Martyr, Stephen, when he reproved the persecuting Jews ibat stoned him to death, said, "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; As your fathers did, so do ye: Which of the prophets, have not your fathers persecuted ? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of

the Just One, of whom you have been now betrayers and murderers. The most high God dwelleth not in temples made with bands ; Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest ? For all those things hath mine hand made. But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.' Therefore, my friends, give up your hearts to the Lord, that he may say, Here do I delight to dwell, this is my babitation; for I have desired it;' walk in the holy ways of God, and his word will be a light to your feet, and a lanthorn to your paths, and you will find the good ways of God to be ways of pleasantness, and all his paths to be full of peace. O pray, with the royal Psalmist, “Create in me, o God, a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in me; cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.' People must be first converted themselves, before they can be fit instruments to convert others. I love them that love me, (saith the Lord,) and they that seek me early shall find me,' that seek me in the first place, before and above all. Wash you, make ye clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes : Cease to do evil, and learn to do well. Come now, and let us reason together, (saith the Lord.) Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. This is the call of God, hearken to it, and obey; and do not start aside like a broken bow, for then wo unto you : • Better that a millstone were hanged about your necks, and you cast into the midst of the sea,' than be disobedient to the Lord, and live and die in your sins, and at last be drowned in destruction and perdition.

O, my Friends, hearken to the call of Christ'; bear and your souls shall live. Doth not Wisdom cry, and Understanding put forth her voice? Unto you, O inen, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men : Hear, for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be rigbt things; For my mouth shall speak truth, and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness : I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause those that love me to inberit substance, and I will fill their treasures. What is this substance? It is heavenly treasures in the other world, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and thieves do not break through nor steal.' The immutable God, that changeth not, hath an unchangeable inheritance for his people, that cannot find peace nor rest in their own hearts, till they find a place for the God of Jacob to dwell in: it is their most ardent desire that he may dwell in their hearts, and that they may for ever dwell with him in heaven.

0, my Friends, cast your care upon the Lord, and nothing shall be able to overwhelm you. If you have peace with God, he will in his time, make your enemies to be at peace with you; so that you may sit down under your own vines, and under your own figtrees, and eat the fruit of your labours. O say, with the Psalınist, “My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning, I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him there is plenteous redemption. What I say to you, I say unto all.. Watch, (saith our Saviour,) Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. We must watch always, and pray without ceasing; I must not pray before I watch. Let us always be upon our watch, and walk so as remembering we are always in the presence of the omnipresent God. Let us set the Lord always before us, and consider we are under his all-seeing eye: Let us take heed unto our ways, and turn our feet unto God's testimonies Let us look up to God and say, with holy David, .as the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God! When shall I come and appear before God ? Lord, thou wilt shew me the path of life. In thy presence there is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. When you are panting and breathing after the inward enjoyment of the divine presence, some may ignorantly call it enthusiasm, say it is merely the effect of melancholy; but holy David, the man after God's own beart, was such an enthusiast, he did ardently pant and breathe after the enjoyment of God's presence: God bath made known binself in and through his well-beloved Son Jesus Christ; God is in Christ, and Christ is in us, if we are his. Examine yourselves, saith the apostle, know ye not that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ? If God be in Christ, and Christ Jesus be in us, to rule and govern us, we are safe and happy; he will be with us in the time of distress, trouble and tribulation ; and will preserve us in the hour of temptation. What though we may meet with storms and tempests in our labours and travels on this earth: This may encourage us, that we have a serene heaven over our beads, and in the darkest night of our affliction, we may look up to the bright morning star, Christ Jesus, who is our light and our leader; and if we be weary and beasy laden, he will give us rest; And if we be wound

« EdellinenJatka »