Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

judgment break forth into victory. Where judga ment bath not victory, nor patience its perfect work, people will not be patient, under God's judgment. But* Zion must be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. This is promised to tbe citizens of Zion, and Jerusalem shall be the praise of the wbole earth. Then they shall sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, a song of delive erance and redemption. The Apostle Paul sung this song, after he was sensible of his miserable state. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death! I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death.'

All are in a condemned state out of Christ; but when once in Cbrist, there are new thougbts, new desires, and new will and affections. Then we shall shake off every weight and burden, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is before us, and deny ourselves, and take up the cross of Christ, and follow him, and learn of him a holy resignation to the will of our heavenly Father; and say with him, Not my will but thy will be done.' Thus God gathered a people in the beginning, and thus he reacheth people now, and is gathering a people to this day.

Blessed are they that live and walk according to the ministration of the grace of God in their bearts, and that come, by Christ, to be made free from the law of sin and death. It is Christ alone that give eth grace and truth in the inward parts, to make us free; and that giveth us power against the enemy : And though the devil our enemy be too mighty for ws, he is not too mighty for Christ, who is mighty to save, and to save to the uttermost too, ait iba!

[ocr errors]

come unto God by hiin. Our Lord Jesus foiled the enerny in all his assaults, and conquered him by bis divine power, even then when he was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The tempter knew he was bungry, he knew he wanted sustenance : 'If thou be the Son of God, (said he, command that these stones be made bread.' But he answered and said, “It is written, man liveth not by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.' Then he attacks him, and taketh bim up into the holy eity, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written he shall give his angels charge concerning thee, lest at any time thou shouldst dash thy foot againt a stone. And Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.' Then again the devil assaulted him, and taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto bim, Get thee behind me, satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' Thus our blessed Lord overcame the devil, and vanquished him in all his assaults and temptations. Then the devil leaveth him, and behold angels came and ministered unto him.'

This is an emblem of wbat Christ will do for all bis followers, that open the door of their hearts to bim: He will enable them to overcome the devil when he does attack them; and to conquer that enemy that bath sometimes overcome them. He will put upon them the whole armour of God, and they shall be able to stand in the evil day, having their loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness, and baving the shield

of faith, wherewith they shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked ; and the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God Pray always, wiih all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching thereunto, with all perseverance. Our Lord Jesus Christ will preserve bis people under bis pavilion, and cover them under the shadow of his wings, all those that make their applications to him, and obey bim, and submit to him, when he reproves them for sin. If they turn from their evil ways, they shall know his power that overcometh the world, and all the powers of darkness, and obtain salvation from sin, and from the wrath to come. Take away the cause, and the effect ceaseth: Can you hope to escape the wrath of God, while sin, that is the cause, re. mains? This is as great a contradiction as the doctrine of transubstantiation, that a thing is, and is not, at the same time. O that people would come to be wise, and in this their day consider the things that belong to their eternal peace, before they are hid froin their eyes ! . God hath given Christ to be a Redeemer to us; to finish transgression, and make an end of sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness; and behold Cbrist stands at the door and knocks; if you open the door of your hearts and let him in, he will bind the strong inan, and spoil him of his goods, and cast him out, and take possession for himself. My Friends! you that bave heard the call of God, and. obeyed the voice of your Maker, and known the operation of his divine hand; you that have known the work of conviction and conversion, and do persevere to the end, happy are ye. You do not know how soon God may call you. The time past is gone, only the present time is yours. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation, let none harden their hearts, now is the time wherein we are to act for eternity. Now we have time and

opportunity, for the saving of our souls; we are shortly to go out of this world, and the Lord will call us to an account for our time, and all the talents which he hath given to us. O that we may-so live as to give up our account with joy! It is the desire of my soul that all the opportunities, and geasons of grace we now enjoy, may bring us nearer to God, and bring us to a better frame of spirit; that we may acquaint ourselves with God, and be at peace. Thus saith the Lord by the prophet, "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you.' As men come to turn from their sins, and from the evil of their ways and doings, they shall come to know the mystery of God's salvation revealed to them. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will sbew thern his covenant.' 0 keep yourselves from iniquity, and say when a temptation presents itself, How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?' Do not rush into sin, as a horse into the battle, with a brutish violence; not considering that death is before him. Do not indulge yourselves in any sin; do not gratify your lusts, and passions, and appetites, but keep them under government. Be of a considerate heart and mind, having the fear of God before your eyes, that you may say with the Psalmist, Psal. xvi. 8, I have set the Lord always before me, he is at my right band, I shall not be moved.' The enemy sball not move me, nor hurt me, nor prevail against me; he cannot ensnare me. If I set the Lord always before me, I shall not want power and ability to resist the devil and overcome him. Those that have set the Lord before them, he will be at their right band, and they shall know and experience his preserving arm and power in the time of affliction and distress, and losses, and crosses, and disappointments : And in the time of great calamities, God will be

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

present with his people; even in the night season, he will sweetly refresh them, with the sense of his love, and lift up the light of his countenance upon them.

Take therefore, Friends, no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself, sufficient unto the day is the evil the reof, Matt. vi. 34, whether they be moral evils, or providential evils; the evils we do, or the evils we suffer; the evils' and sins we commit, or the evils that God by his providential hand inflicts upon us. Upon our repentance God will graciously pardon the 'one, and assist us by his grace to bear the other. God will help us by bis grace and Spirit to overcome moral evils, to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. What hope is that which the apostle there mentions? (Tit. ii. 15,) It is the hope of the glory of heaven and eternal happiness : That we shall come to · Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innume. rable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, who are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel.'

This world is but an inn, and we must not think to dwell here. We are travelling in the way to heaven, the undefiled way; and glory, immortality, and eternal blessedness are our mark we aim at; the recompense of reward, and the eternal inheritance. Christ the forerunner, that shall be the desire of all nations, is gone before us, and we cannot be followers of bim, if we walk in pride, envy, covetousness; we must learn of him to be humble, meek,

« EdellinenJatka »