« السابقةمتابعة »
the thunders of the broken law may echo forth all their condemnation. Him having found, the sword of vengeance and of justice, like the fluid stream, may blaze on every side, yet the soul can rest secure; and, blest with a sense of his pardoning love, it can smile away every pursuing storm, and pass in sweet tranquillity the waves of death, and the rocks of judgment. Nay, more, they will guide his happy pardoned spirit into that haven of rest which it so anxiously sought for its final refuge.
MISERABLE FATE OF THOSE WHO DESPISE
YE that have, to this moment, despised the Saviour by neglecting his salvation, Oh that God would open your eyes to the horrors of your situation, before these horrors are unutterably augmented, and must be inevitably and eternally endured! You stand as upon a shelf, undermined by every wave borne in upon it by the tide of time; and if the last shock be given, before you
“reconciled to God through the death of his Son,” you will be engulphed in ruin. The worm that never dies must then commence its gnawings, and the flame that is inextinguishable, its inconceivable torments. All this you may perhaps laugh to scorn as the frantic raving of a fanatical enthusiasm, or at least as the commonplace terrors of professional cant; but may God give you repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth, lest you experience all to be dreadful realities ! Now you are careless and unconcerned: the terrors of the Lord you despise • the message of his mercy you turn away from you; too well do you answer the description of the wise manas “fools,” you “mock at sin;" but the shaft may be on the wing that numbers you with the dead—the storm that brings destruction in its blast, waits but for its commission to hurl you to the depths of hell. I pursue you, in thought, through a life of alienation from God,-spent in pursuit of that visionary pleasure, which, like the apples of Sodom, crumbles at your attempt to seize it—in amassing the glittering dust, that only augments the cares it was imagined it would dispel-in hunting after fame, that dies with the breath that raised it; or honours, that, like empty bubbles, when you think to grasp them, burst away for ever from the view. At every step, I read upon the monuments your folly has raised, the inscription “ All is vanity and vexation of spirit.” I see you on the bed of death ; your eyes, that once sparkled with vivacity, are languid and lifeless; the rose of health and youth has faded away to the wanness of despair. Therethe last effort is made-nature has groaned its last-shall I go on? My soul shudders at the prospect. The immortal spirit has received its doom. Nor angels nor God can reverse it. On the walls of that prison, which must eternally inclose it, these words are written as in characters of flame, “ Reserved under chains of darknesssuffering the vengeance of eternal fire; because they obeyed not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” But now is the accepted time, the day of salvation. Sinners, it is Jesus who delivers from the wrath to come. For this he poured out his soul untó death. Flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before you.
GUILT AND PUNISHMENT OF INFIDELITY.
CARISTIANITY, which unbelievers reject, is a message from God; and, considered simply as a message from God, how much disrespect to the divine authority-what a daring contempt of the divine Majesty does it imply! And, independently of the nature or purpose of the message, what an awful condemnation will the mere refusal of it bring upon their guilty heads ! But deeper is their guilt, and more awful their condemnation, when we recollect what that message is which they spurn away from them. It is a message of grace: it conveys to them the offer of pardon, reconciliation, and eternal life: it makes a complete provision for their deliverance from hell, and for their final exaltation to heaven. In refusing the gospel, therefore, they refuse to be saved. They deliberately prefer a continuance in that state of alienation from God, and of liability to everlasting destruction, in which disobedience has already placed them. And continuing in that state, they must inevitably perish. And all that they shall suffer as sinners, must be aggravated tenfold by the reflection, that they suffer because they despised the redemption that was provided for them--because they shut their eyes against the light of heaven, and their ears against the voice of heaven, and their hearts against the mercy of heaven--because they persevered in infidelity, in despite of all the tenderness with which God entreated them, and in defiance of all the authority with which he commanded them, to believe in one who was "mighty and able to save them to the very uttermost.”
DUTY OF INSTRUCTING THE HEATHEN. I did not expect to hear that it could be a question, whether any nation, uninstructed in religion, should receive instruction ; or, whether that instruction should be imparted to them by a translation of the Holy Books into their own language. If obedience to the will of God be necessary to happiness, and knowledge of his will be necessary to obedience, I know not how he that withholds this knowledge, or delays it, can be said to love his neighbour as himself.. He that voluntarily continues in ignorance, is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces, as to him that extinguishes the tapers of a light-house might justly be imputed the calamities of shipwrecks. Christianity is the highest perfection of humanity; and as no man is good, but as he wishes the good of others, so no man can be good in the highest degree, who wishes not to others the largest measures of the greatest good. To omit for a year, or for a day, the most efficacious method of advancing Christianity, in compliance with any purposes that terminate on this side of the grave, is a crime of which the world has seldom had an example.
FAITH THE TRUE MEDIUM OF VISION.. It is by faith that we contemplate unseen things. To the eye of a clown, a planet appears but a twinkling star ; but if he looked through a telescope, and were able to calculate, he would perceive that it was a great world, and would be astonished at its distance and magnitude. While the gay and the busy are moving on their little mole-hills, full of anxiety, faith thus reaches beyond the world ; it views death as at hand; it looks at heaven, and catches a glimpse of its glory; it looks at hell, and sees the torments of the condemned; it looks at judgment, and realizes that awful day; it looks at eternity, and says,
“our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
He who looks upon Christ through his graces, is like one that sees the sun in water, which wavers and moves like the water :-Look upon Christ, only as shining in the firmament of the Father's grace and love, and there you will see him in his own genuine glory and unspeakable fullness.
RESOLUTE FAITH. If the believer would attain increasing consolation, he must likewise be more resolute and express in his actings of faith. It will be necessary for him to be resolute in looking away from every other object of dependence to Jesus. He must habitually and peremptorily resolve to trust simply in Him; and, in full assurance of faith, to intrust all his salvation and all his concerns to his care. By thus casting his burden upon the Lord Jesus, and trusting that he will make all