Page images

length. 'Are you resolved to have no part »*► Christ and the covenant, that ye keep so sar from the place of his seet, and the seal of his covenant. —Consider, you also must come before God. You must die and come before the tribunal. Could you secure yourselves a place to be mere onlookers, when the reft of the world are dying about you', and when the world shall stand before the judgement-seat, then perhaps you might be allowed to be mere spectators on such an occasion- as this. But it will not be so. You must take your part with the rest. And what will it be to get the sirst sight of your Judge then, with whom you might have been accepted, but would not ?—Consider, if it it be a matter of such awsul solemnity to approach the throne of grace, what will it be to itand before the throne of avenging justice? If k be so solemn to come up into mount Zion, where communion is to be had with God in Christ, what will it be to come to mount Sinai, where there is such blackness, darkness, and tempest, as will confound the adversaries of the Lord? Bless not yourselves that you have not gone up into the mount, for monuments of justice you shall be, if you be not thus monuments of grace.—Consider, what madness ie k to lift np the heel against God, the -weight of whose hand can crush you as a moth. Woufd it not be your wisdom to lie down among the iifift of his- f«fe*j to approach him through his Son, and ii* she way of his covenant, trernMing, if so be that he may be pleased to stretch out the j>oJden seeptre, and save your life ? Nay, eome forward yet, strive to take hold of au offered Christ and covenant. Let not hie terrors defer- yen from him. As the lepets at the gate of Samaria did, so reason ye.

%- fcefr us praife him* for diis, that upon us he


has net laid his hand; that we have not left a name to the place, Perez, from the Lord's milking a breach upon us; but that we may set up a pillar here, and call it Ebenezer. There has been strange sire offered to the Lord here this day; wrong touches given to the ark; unworthy communicating, saithless, searless, stupid, consused, and hypocritical managements; who dare say they have made no stumble on the mount? The bread and wine in the sacrament hate as deep relative holiness as the ark had; but had spectators and communicants been taken up as hot for their prosane looking to the one, as the men of Bethshemesh were for their looking to the other, there had been a sad sight among us ere now. Glory be to our gracious God, that on us he hath not laid his hand.

4. Let us long for that day which will put an end to our sinsulness, weakness, and imperfection, when we shall see him as he is, without any danger of sinning or suffering, which is sar better, Phil. i. 23. It would be a token for good that we had seen the Lord, if we were now longing for that blessed day.

lastly, Let us apply ourselves to the duties which a gracious God calls for at our hands.—* And,

t. Is there a-ny among us who have been admitted to an holy samiliarity with God ? Song, i. 4. Then, — Wonder at the freedom of grace, and be thanksul that ever the like of you. should have come so sar forward: 2 Sam. vii. 18. "Who am I, O Lord God! and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto '."—Double your watch, and walk very softly, being caresul to keep your nearness. Song,. in. 5. Isa. xxxviii. 15-^i-—If there be any I i 2 special. special errand to the throne for your yourselves*or for the church of God, as not doubt there is, strike in with this golden opportunity, and lay it before the Lord, Exod. xxxiv. 8. 9.—Beware of being proud of your attainments. There is a hazard here; but when you see your peacock-seathers, remembet they are borrowed, and look to your black seet, 2 Cor.xii.7.—Lay your account with a storm, and be on your guard. If you have got a larger meal than others, it is not unlike you have more to do than they. But accept that kindly, and bless God who is beforehand with you, laying in the provision before he lays on the burden.

2. Is there any among us who have seen the God of Israel? Then walk as becomes those who have beheld his glory. Blessed are your eyes, for they see. But here some may say, Alas! this sight has been with-held from my eyes.—In answer to such, I observe, that some saying this, no doubt speak true; others belie the working of God's grace towards them. Therefore we must put it to the trial ; for one may get a sight of Christ, and not know that it is him, John, xx. 14. Luke, xxiv. 16. I ask you, then, what effect on you has the sight which ye have got this day ?—Has this day's sight humbled you more, made you niore vile and loathsome in your own eyes, silled you with shame and blushing, and self-loathing? It is a sign you have seen the Lord, Job, xlii. 5. 6.-^— Has it weaned you more from the world, sunk the value of all created excellency with you, made you see through the bulky vanity of the world, that you are resolved you shall seed no more on these hulks? Math. xiii. 45. 46. Rev. xii. 1.— Has it made the body of sin and death heavier

than it used to be? May be some of you think,

ye have been undone at this communion with an ill


fieart, that drew a vail between Christ and you; and now you are crying, Rom. vii. 24. "O wretched man that I am! who (hall deliver me from the body of this death?" O to be quit of this burden at any rate! O to be beyond a /inning condition! welcome grim death, so it would take off the burden. Truly, if it be so, it has been fo thin a vail, that you have got a sight of Chrisl through it, Isa. vi. 5. Luke, ii. 29, 30.—Has it kindled a superlative love in your heart to this unseen Lord? Do ye love him more than all persons and things else? Psal. Ixxiii. 25. If it be so, yc have seen him, Luke, xxiv. 32. Sick of love, argues a blink of the sace of the lovely one received. Therefore, bless God, and be thanksul. It is bastard humility to belie the grace of God. Walk ib as the world may take notice that you have seen what they never saw, and have been where their ungracious seet never carried them. And 'show this in personal and relative holiness, Acts, iv. 13. Commend the way of God to others. Tell them it is good to be on the mount. Speak good of God's house, and give it your testimony,. before despisers of Christ and ordinances; especially before poor discouraged sinners, those who desert ordinances, alledging God is not to be found in them.-—Finally quench not the Spirit, cherishhis motions, and follow on to know, the Lord.

3. Ye who have made this solemn approach,but really- have not seen the Lord, set ye - about your proper duty.—Search out, mourn over the cause of this, and quickly flee to the blood of Christ for its removal. You have not seen the Lord; and is there not a cause? yes, sure he has a quarrel with you, and therefore has withdrawn himself.—Seek it out. The sault has been either ia your state, that you are yet in the gall of bitterIi 3 ness


ness and bond of iniquity. This is a sundamental mistake.— Or it has been in your frame. Either you have not been at pains to prepare, or have sit down on your preparation; or some idol of jealousy has been nourished :—or it has been in your saithless management. Wonder ye in a special manner, that ye have come off sase, and that upon you the Lord has not laid his hand. Do rot fret that you are come off with nothing i but,

0 bless him that you are come off at all \ Lastly, Go back to the throne with all speed.

Though the communion-table be drawn here, it is not yet drawn to you in heaven: Jcel, iii. 21. "For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed; for the Lord dwelleth in Zion." Follow on to know the Lord. Be not like the mixed multitude, who, disappointed of the milk and honey of Canaan, would needs go back to the onions and the garlic in Egypt. If you do so, his soul will abhor you: Heb. x. 38. "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." —Say not, I will never see the Lord now: For, wherefore has he spared you, but that you might have occasion to have your marred work amended? And if ye wait long on, wonder not, it is a mercy ye have access to wait on. Lay down that resolution in Lam. iii. 49. 50. "Mine eye trick-' leth down, and ceaseth not, without intermission, till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven;" and in Isa. viii. 17. !* I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his sace from the house os Jacob, and

1 will look for him." Amen.

« PreviousContinue »