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panions devils and damned spirits. Reflect upon the threatening contained in the verse already quoted from the gospel of Luke: of all such as are ashamed of Christ in this world, will he be ashamed when he comes in his own glory, and his Father's, and of the holy angels, “to judge all the dead, small and great,"'* and in vain will they call on mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of His wrath will have then come.f If your soul were separated from your body at this instant, would you be found interested in the cross of Christ and in his blood and righteousness? Let your conscience answer, and it will accuse you or else excuse you.I Assume the cross of Christ then for your soul's sake, for Christ's sake, and let grace make you a child of God “by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost."
But you are guilty of the blackest ingratitude in permitting yourself to be ashamed. Has not God loaded you with benefits? Has He not crowned all of your years with his goodness ?|| For many years when there was but " a step between you and death,” has he not prevented you from falling into hell? And yet you are ashamed of his only begotten Son, either to follow him or to be called by his name. But your pride may perhaps suggest, that it is incompa
# Romans ii. 15.
Rev. xx. 12. $ Titus iii. 5.
† Rev. vi. 16.
tible with the dignity of your nature that that man should reign over you, who was cradled in a manger, the reputed son of a carpenter, who was so poor that he had “not where to lay his head,"* who was mocked, buffeted, spit upon, crowned with thorns, and crucified between two thieves. Let me remind you that although he was “meek and lowly in heart,”! from the time of his birth until Joseph of Arimathea begged his body of Pilate and “wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb,”$ yet “a multitude of the heavenly host” rejoiced at his nativity ;|| the glory of God shone round about those to whom that blessed intelligence was communicated, and a star pointed out his humble birth-place. It is true he was poor, but he had been rich, for the treasures of the universe had been his. Reader, do you know why he became poor? “ He who was rich for your sake became poor, that you, through his poverty, might be rich "** For your sake his soul was “exceeding sorrowful;" for your sake he was agonized, “ and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground;"+t and that you might live, “ he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.”If He has opened “ a new and living way"$$ in which God can be just and yet justify the chief of sinners, and in him all the promises are “yea and amen.”ll!
* Matt. viii. 20. + Matt. xxvii. 38.
# Matt. xi. 29.
“Did pity ever stoop so low,
Dress'd in divinity and blood ?
In groans of an expiring God!
But perhaps, reader, you may have declared by a public act, that you will follow Christ—you may have professed his name publicly in words or by participating in one or both of the sealing ordinances of his church: be not deceived, for still you may be ashamed of him. The injunction of our blessed Saviour is to take up his cross and follow him, (not monthly, nor semi-annually,) but “ daily."* You may meet the people of God periodically, and unite with them in commemorating the Redeemer's death by the eating of bread and drinking of wine, and, notwithstanding, show that you are ashamed of him each day that intervenes between the celebration of that “ feast of fat things.”+ As the name of Christ may be professed by a single act without a single word, in the same way may it be denied-you need not “ curse and swear,”\ to show that you are ashamed of it. If you be a christian, you cannot live in the habitual commission of any known sin, or omission of any known duty. Do you not “restrain prayer before God,"'$, because you are ashamed to be seen engaged in that duty? Do you not permit the name of God to be profaned in your presence without exhortation or rebuke, because you are
* Luke ix. 23. * Matt. xxvi. 74.
f Isa. xxv. 6.
ashamed to declare that you are “on the Lord's side?" Are you a parent? Have you endeavoured to lead your children to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus ?* have you prayed with them and for them? Are you at the head of a family? Are your walk and conversation so ordered, that every member of it may take knowledge of you, that you have been with Jesus and learned of him? Does shame restrain you from the performance of no christian duty to your family or any one of its members ? Does your whole deportment say at all times to your household, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”?+ Do your children, your servants, and your visiters hear you ask the blessing of God upon the provisions of your table ; and do they hear you at your family altar praising God for his goodness, and beseeching his blessing upon your house? What are your relations with your neighbourhood? Would your opinions and example influence the opinions and practice of others? Are you not ashamed to let them see you following Christ through good report and bad report? Do you at all proper times, both by precept and example, recommend his religion, and do your words and actions say, “ I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation ?"We are supposing you a member of Christ's visible church.
Are your professions and practice consistent? Even under the dispensation of the law to the Jews, David was “glad”s to visit the house of God, and said, “ if I
* Eph. iv. 21. † Jos. xxiv. 15. + 2 Tim. i. 12. $Ps. cxxü. 1.
forget thee, O Jerusalem, (the place where 'prayer was wont to be made,') let my right hand forget her cunning ;'* and even then “ they that feared the Lord, spake often one to another." But I will refer you to the last three verses of the third chapter of the prophecy of Malachi, from the first of which 1 make the last quotation. Read them—they contain important matter! But since life and immortality have been brought to light by the gospel, christians are enjoined not to forsake “the assembling of themselves together," but to exhort one another daily; to “pray without ceasing ;" “that prayers, supplications and giving of thanks be made for all men; to teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs;"† and Christ himself graciously promises that when even two or three are gathered together in his name, he will be there and bless them. Do you love the assemblies of God's saints? or when you assemble with them, are you ashamed to bend your knees or close your eyes in prayer, lest an ungodly witness should say, “ behold! he prayeth”? After the resurrection of our Saviour, his disciples met in one place, notwithstanding they closed the doors for fear of the Jews (not because they feared the ridicule of the Jews,) and he appeared in their midst “and showed them his hands and his feet.”I Do you forbear to meet with the people of God for his worship, because you fear this derision
* Ps. cxxxvii. 5. + Heb. x. 25, and iii. 13. 1 Thes, v. 17. I Tim. ii. 1. Col. iii. 16.
#Luke xxiy. 40.