صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

mitted unto us the word of reconciliation; never then be tempted to look upon God as one who wills your destruction, as your hard master or your bitter enemy. This may be the view of God that the great enemy and your fallen nature would lead you to take. But the gospel shews him to you not as your enemy, but as your reconciled Father, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. He will quiet every troubled bosom, he will calm every agitated thought; He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. I leave you in stirring and agitating times; men's minds are afloat and the elements of conflict are all around: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm; but he also stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of the waves, and the tumult of the people. To his people he is, in all, the God of peace, and the very signs of discord may be to you the emblems and tokens of the speedy approach of the Prince of peace. And if you want a refuge, O what a refuge is here, the God of peace! Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers and shut thy doors about thee, hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be overpast. For behold the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth also shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain. But the God of peace shall be with you.

But let us more particularly notice WHAT IT IS

TO HAVE THE GOD OF LOVE AND PEACE WITH US?

With you in all situations and circumstances; with you in the congregation, whenever you assemble together. O may you be filled with Divine love and peace; the doctrines of love and peace continually proclaimed from the pulpit and felt in every bosom; the riches of love and peace exhibited in brightest colours in your public baptisms, and around the table of the Lord when commemorating his dying love. In all your religious meetings may the God of love and peace preside and abundantly manifest the sweet savour of his graces. In your families may the same glorious Being condescend to dwell; even as if I said in each of your houses, Peace be to this house, so from the heart would I say, the God of love and peace be in all your dwellings. Receive into your hearts also the same great inhabitant, and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

O my brethren, well may you spare the feeble light of a taper if you have the bright shining of the full Sun of glory; well may you part with a messenger, if you have his Master himself as your guest and friend. His omnipotence meets all your weakness; His omnipresence visits you

in all your varied abodes; His exhaustless fulness of wisdom, love, and riches will supply all your necessities. Wherever he is, there is light and gladness, peace and love. Wherever he is, there is a supply of all your varied needs. Your ministers are but earthen vessels, and can convey but a limited supply; all human aid is but as that derived from a cistern: you have a fuller an inexhaustible source, and my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I commend you all to the God of love and peace.

Before I conclude, let me once more address the different classes before me. May these parting words be used of God, to the calling in of any of his sheep, or to the edifying of any of his people.

Doubtless

And first I address the unconverted. there are such here. In so crowded a congregation there must be those not truly converted to God. They may have heard and approved the truth, but they have never been turned from their sins. They have never experienced an entire inward change, and are not new creatures in Christ Jesus. They love the world and the things of the world; their treasure is in it, and their heart is in it. Once more then let this voice reach your ears, and may the Holy Spirit send it home to your hearts-Turn ye, turn ye. Hear

once more the gracious declaration of your God— As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his ways and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die, O house of Israel. I tremble at the thought of your condemnation. O how fearful is the very supposition, that when we meet again it may be before the judgmentseat, and then that, instead of your being my joy, I am compelled to witness against you, and when I have to speak concerning you to say, "Time after time I preached thy word to them, I warned them, I entreated them, I laid thy promises, O my God, before them, I made known thy threatnings to them, but they would not hear!" some of you, are, I fear, walking still in the ways of ruin; your conduct is not that which stamps the Christian. O, I also would speak, even with many tears, of those whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who mind earthly things. Once more I set before you Christ and his salvation; once more I invite you to come to him; once more I tell you the Heavenly Father is ready to receive you, and Jesus to save you, and the Spirit to sanctify. God of all grace, grant ere it be too late they may come to thee. God of all grace, make these last words converting words to unconverted souls now before Thee.

Lastly, I address the CONVERTED, those to

whom sin is grievous and Christ is precious; those who love his word, his day, his house, his ordinances, and his people. May grace, mercy, and peace be multiplied unto you. Ye are my joy and crown of rejoicing. I have good hope through grace that you will persevere. We live if ye stand fast in the Lord; the words express my inward feelings concerning you. May the Lord himself hold up your goings in his paths. Our past communion has been pleasant and profitable. Often our hearts have been touched, and melted, and comforted under the sense of God's presence and love; the glow of devotion has warmed our bosoms together; the praises of the Redeemer, like one volume of holy joy and admiration, have together ascended up to the Heavenly Habitation; but all that we have hitherto enjoyed is but the foretaste of a more entire and more blessed communion. Ye are come unto Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, and to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant. Soon shall we join that blessed company. Short indeed is the intervening time. But in that intervening time, may the bond of prayer still unite us; often may we meet at the

« السابقةمتابعة »