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make this your determination also, “I will arise “ and go to my
Father.” Christian, behold in this relation which the Scriptures make known for your comfort, your best resource in all the troubles of your life. Are you in sorrow and affliction ? Remember there is one who knows your secret sighs, who regards your tears, who careth for you. Into his ear you shall not in vain pour your complaints. From his presence you shall not come back unrefreshed. His throne of grace is ever nigh, and in all your troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress you, it is your privilege to make this your determination, “I will arise and go to my Father.”
Hast thou been prayerless and unwatchful; and has sin made its inroads into thy heart, and swayed thy affections? And does a sense of guilt oppress and weigh thee down? Has the force of temptation been met with only a feeble resistance; and led captive by some besetting lust, have thy sins taken such hold upon thee, that thou canst not look up? And art thou afraid again to approach to God, whom thou hast offended? Remember thy Saviour, who has felt thy infirmities, ever liveth to make intercession for thee; and thy God knoweth whereof thou art made. He remembereth that thou art but dust. Stay not then away, lest thou be tempted still farther to depart VOL. JI.
from his presence; but in humility, yet with confidence and hope of acceptance, be this thy firm resolve, “I will arise and go to my Father.”
If there be any against whom the world has shut the door of kindness; any who are unfriended, dejected, and unpitied; any who have no earthly resource on which to rely for help and direction, for counsel and sympathy; remember, if thou art a Christian, thou hast a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. There is one in heaven who permits thee to claim a paternal relation to him; and he is ever ready to hear, to succour, and to bless thee. To him let thy wants be made known ; upon him be thy cares reposed; and let this be thy consolation in all thy distress, “ I will arise and go to my Father.”
Do poverty and affliction overhang thy path; or fearfulness and apprehension bow down thy spirit? Do the persecutions of thy fellow men destroy thy peace, so that thou fearest every day because of the fury of the oppressor ? Art thou in perplexity and doubt for what concerns thy present duty, or thy future welfare? Or art thou a weary mourner in a world of bereavement and sorrow? Whatever be thy depression or need, he who dwelleth in the heavens will listen to thy prayer; he will fulfil the desire of those who fear him; he also will hear their cry, and will help them. He invites thee to come to his footstool, and pour out thy heart before him. Be this then thy refuge and thy resource, “ I will arise and go
66 " to my Father."
Hast thou sought in vain for happiness in earthly things? Hast thou discovered the coldness of human friendship, the emptiness of human professions, the vanity of earth, and the utter folly and heartlessness of all those joys which the multitude pursue? Have the pleasures of the world palled upon thy sense of enjoyment, and its promises ceased to deceive thee? Has thy soul caught some glimpses of that better felicity to which good men dare to aspire ? And do thy thoughts sometimes run forward to that long hereafter where they have fixed its residence? Wouldst thou realize the anticipations which swell their bosoms, and repose in the peace which they enjoy? Wouldst thou, with them, deny the sinful gratifications which surround thee, and in the triumph of a lofty faith, secure the things which are unseen and eternal ! It is God who has kindled within thee these heavenly aspirations, which he alone can satisfy. Unto him there is access for thy prayer through Jesus Christ, who is the way, and the truth, and the life. Haste thee to enter into his presence, for he will hear thee. Arise and go unto thy Father.
And thou whose prayer the Most High has heard and answered; thou who hast been delivered from the burden of thy sin, from the power of temptation, from the apprehensions of want, or the fears of an oppressor; thou whose bosom has been lightened of the weight of its sorrow, or whose cup has been made to overflow with good; thou who hast been raised above the delusions and vanities of earth, and whose hopes of heaven have been made bright before thee, remember there is still one motive to renew thy approach to his throne. It is the voice of gratitude for all these benefits which now addresses thee. Listen to the call with gladness; and say, in the devotion of a thankful heart, “ I will arise and go to my SERMON XVIII.
PSALM lxxxvii. 2.
The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of
THE duty of worshipping God results from our relation to him as creatures of his hand, and dependants upon his bounty. This is that first consideration of it, which must influence alike the rude heathen, who has merely arrived at the knowledge of a God, and the enlightened philosopher, who has made deep researches into his
and attributes. But while the duty of religious worship is a dictate of natural reason, and level to the comprehension of all men, its advantages and sanctions are known and appreciated only by those who possess the revelation with which we are favoured.
The division of this duty into the several parts of private prayer, family devotion, and public worship, is familiar to our minds; and it is hoped