صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
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An early Christian writer states, that Julitta, a pious lady possessed of wealth, was required, under the penalty of losing her property and life, to offer incense to idols. "Hearing the impious decision, and supported by her Lord, she exclaimed, “ Farewell, riches; welcome, poverty! Farewell, life; welcome, death! Ali that I have, were it a thousand times more, would I lose rather than speak one wicked word against God my Creator. I yield thee most hearty thanks, O my God, for this gift of grace, that I can despise this frail and transitory world, esteeming the possession of Christ above all treasures." To any question after this, her answer was, “I am the servant of Jesus Christ.” She welcomed a sentence that doomed her to the flames, and when committed to them her words and looks declared the joy that filled her heart. Doubtless this devoted but happy sufferer found in her Saviour a rich compensation for all she sacrificed. She had given her heart to God, and God still demands the heart.

This is required for God by the first and great commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind," Luke x. 27. This commandment is binding on all on earth,

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and all in heaven. No intelligent being can be exempt from obligation to love his Creator, and no child of man, from still weightier obligation, to love the Divine Redeemer.

Think of the gift required. Not lifeless forms, or outward offerings merely, the wealth of the rich, or the estates of the noble, the honours of philosophers, or the crowns of kings. All these, if you could give them, would, if offered alone, be mean and contemptible in the view of God. “Give me thine heart." The heart often signifies the affections. Give these to Christ, yield yourself to God, acknowledge his right to you. Say, "Lord, here take the purchase of thy death; I am for ever thine. Thou didst die to ransom me from debasing servitude to sin and Satan, and from the horrors of eternal death. Now, take me, and all I am, and all I have; for thou hast a right to all. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Thus present to God the sacrifice he loves,

a broken and a contrite heart,” Psa. li. 17: a heart in which Christ may dwell, Gal. ii. 20; Ephes. iii. 17.

By rnost this offering is withheld from God; by the open sinner-his heart is full of evil and given to vanity; by the merely moral-he shuns the open vices of some, but gives not his heart to God; by the undecided-in them there may be much that has the semblance of piety, but here is their great want-the heart is not given to the Lord. Like them, are they who take up the profession of religion, but give not their hearts to Christ; and hence the many inconsistencies that prove their religion to be vain.

Traveller to eternity ! consider for whom and by whom this gift is demanded. The claim on thy heart is made for God, the infinite, the blessed, the high and lofty One, whose love would bless, but whose frown would undo you for ever.

His favour is life, his anger is death, and worse than death. A dying sinner said, “O thou blasphemed, yet most indulgent Lord God, hell itself is a refuge, if it hide me from thy frown." Give him thy heart. It will not be to a feeble friend, for He is the Almighty God; nor to a poor one, for all the wealth of heaven is his. He has blessed many that have made the offering; he can love, and save, and bless you. Him you must shortly meet, and appear as a disembodied spirit in his awful presence, Eccles. xii. 7. Would you be blessed then, give now thy heart to God.

Present the offering to the Lord Jesus, who appeared as “God manifest in the flesh.” How many are his claims and excellences! He is the only Saviour. His love was so vast, that it brought him from the throne of the heavenly glory to the cross of deepest woe.

His grace

is so wonderful that he will cast out




teaching of the Holy Spirit, may, by repentance and faith in Christ, find a place among his happy friends, and the guilt of twice ten thousand sins be thus washed away in a moment. He would be to thee all that a lost sinner, with an immortal soul, can

He can save to the uttermost, Heb. vii. 25; has saved many, and would save thee. He is an everlasting Friend. They that are accepted in him may joyfully exclaim, “Who shail separate us from the love of Christ?-Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any

other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Rom. viii. 35, etc. On him


will look with joy or dismay when days and years are past; “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," Rev. i. 7; Matt. xxv. 34, 41, etc. That joyful welcome, or that dreadful sentence, you will hear. With everlasting joy you will look upon the eternal Judge, or with terror join the cry to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb." Vain cry! there will then be no hiding-place. Oh, give him now thy heart, believe in him, trust him, love him, and he himself will be thy refuge then!

Not only is this gift requested for him, but, stranger still, it is requested by him. He invites the offering when he bids all the heavy-laden come to him and promises to give them rest, Matt. xi. 27-29. With condescension still more wonderful, the blessed God beseeches you to take him for your friend:“ Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God," 2 Cor. v. 20. Amazing words of heavenly mercy! God, as it were, a suppliant to wretched rebel man, intreating him to lay aside his enmity, to welcome salvation and be blessed.

Undone immortal! God desires thy happiness when he says, “Give me thine heart." Vain, where eternity is concerned, is everything short of the surrender of the heart to God. An accomplished young lady, supposed to be pious, though she made no open profession of religion, was taken ill, and death seemed near. A minister of the gospel went to her sick-chamber, expecting to find her possessed of peace and hope; but to his surprise he saw her countenance expressing agony of mind. “I am glad,” said she, “ you are come; I cannot bear to go out

of my heart to those about me; it would be too much for them to bear. Ah, what have I to undergo? I am not religious; I have talked about religion; my passions have often felt the powers of the world to come, but, amidst all, my own heart has never loved religion as a personal thing. Indeed, I have never concerned myself about it for myself, and now I must die without any of its prospects, and be for ever shut out from any of its enjoyments. Is not this wretchedness ?” The minister urged on her to confess her sins, and even then to seek mercy by believing in Christ, trusting wholly to him. “ No, Sir," she replied, " spare me, spare yourself; my character is finished. What I am, that I shall be for ever. The tree is even now falling. It is too late to direct the point to which its trunk shall be extended on the earth.” Thus, full of despair, she died.

Reader, as you would avoid such wretchedness, give your heart to Christ. There is but the alternative before you of giving or refusing your heart to him. Give, and yield to the strongest claims of the blessed God and gracious Saviour. Refuse, and you trample on them all. Give, and you take the course which God, and Christ, and angels, and perfected saints, and dying Christians, and even dying sinners, approve. Refuse, and you take the course which pleases Satan and those who are led captive by him. Give, and obtain all spiritual blessings in Christ, pardon, peace, adoption, and blissful hope. Refuse, and you live and die accursed, without peace, without God, without Christ, without hope. Give, and travel to heaven, and secure in Christ a mansion there. Refuse, and you spend a life of base rebellion, and vile ingratitude towards a heavenly Friend, and of cruel madness to your own soul. In short, comply and be for ever blessed. Refuse, and you will be for ever lost. The matter comes to this point, you must give or refuse. No half-giving will avail. Indecision is refusal. Delay is refusal. Why should you delay?

Is Satan so good a master that you should be loth to leave his service ? Can you find a better friend than God? Can

find another Saviour than Christ? Now

pray, resolve, decide, ask the Holy Spirit's help, without which no one ever gave

the heart to God. Fall on your knees before the mercyseat, and vow to the Lord of all, “This heart is thine; O Lord, it shall be thine.” “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed." “ Choose you this day whom ye will serve :- -As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," Josh. xxiv. 15.

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“ HINDER ME NOT." So said Abraham's servant to the family of Laban, as they were trying to persuade him to tarry longer with them; and so, reader, should you say to every one and to everything which would hinder you in subinitting your heart to Christ. You may meet with many hindrances, but they all must be overcome by faith in Christ, with firmness and resolution.

What are the hindrances, and how should they be overcome?

The opposition of a wicked heart hinders. “ The heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Their sinful affections carry them away in a course of disobedience, and if they go not after iniquity in one form, they will in another. This, sinner, is your condition. You will not come to Christ. Your wicked lieart keeps you away from him. You strengthen yourself against conviction with all your might; and for this, if you repent not, and believe the gospel, God will judge and condemn you in the last day.

The persuasions of impenitent friends hinder. They desire companions as unmoved and unconcerned as themselves. Does one of them by any means become serious, they ply him with every motive which can drive out the thoughts of God and a concern for his salvation. They soothe him with the deadly thought, that he is in no danger, or the specious plea, that there is time enough yet; that there is now no need of damping the

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