Page images
PDF
EPUB

promises encourage him to hope, that he shall receive the privileges of a child, and hear the voice of his eternal Father, say, “Son all that I have is thine.” He closes with the invitation of mercy. The forfeiture is taken off; he is restored to the family of heaven; and receives the Spirit of adoption, whereby he cries, “ Abba, Father.” He is no more a stranger and a foreigner, but a fellow citizen with the Saints, and of the household of God. He is begotten again to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. He is reinstated in every alienated possession. He has peace with God : he has the imparted sanctification of a Christian character : and he has that sure and certain hope of an eternal reversion, in which he is able to “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” In the present communion of saints, he has delighted intercourse with the family of heaven : and ere long, he shall come to the general assembly and church of the first born; and take his part among the inheritance of the saints in light; drawing from a fountain of happiness, of which the depth is unfathomable, and the flow eternal. Is it thus with any here ? Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon you, that ye should be called the sons of God! Beloved, now are ye the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what you shall be ; but you

know, that when he shall appear, you shall be like him: for you shall see him as he is.

II. It was not enough, that the year and day of the great jubilee should come round in silence ; lest some dispirited child of Abraham, wearied and worn down with servitude, should allow it to pass by him in listlessness, or doubt, or despair. How then was it proclaimed ? “Thou shalt call the trumpet of the jubilee to sound in the tenth day of the seventh month ; in the day of the atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.” In like manner is the gospel mercy proclaimed, and the tidings of salvation spread abroad by the voice of its preachers, and after the command of its Alinighty author : Goye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. The trumpet on this glad occasion gave forth a peculiar note throughout the tents and tribes of Israel; whence, probably, the festival had its name. And does the gospel utter an uncertain sound? Do its glad tidings of great joy resemble any

other which have been proclaimed in the history of man? May the message of the Saviour's lovethe wonders of his life-the overpowering mystery of his death—and all the astonishing circumstances of his mediatorial work, from the first promise of redemption, to its consummation in judgment, be likened to aught beside? Assuredly not. A miracle of goodness would have been exhibited, if the provisions of the gospel had been merely made for man, and no means taken to press them upon his heart: but this manifestation of compassion sufficed not the riches of our father's tenderness. He bids his ministers proclaim long and loudly, earnestly and affectionately, the offers of pardon and peace, the promises of bliss and heaven, to every penitent and believing supplicant for mercy. 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. In his name, and by his authority, we cry to every one dead in trespasses and sins, enslaved by the bondage of an evil heart of unbelief, which departs from the living God, and having alienated his rich inheritance of spiritual blessings, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead ; and Christ shall give thee light. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money : come ye, buy and eat. Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.

The Jewish trumpet sounded through the land on the eventful day of jubilee, that all might hear, and that every one might avail himself of its merciful appointment. Thus plainly does the gospel speak to you, that you

ness;

may arise and profit by its ministrations of good

that you may obtain redemption through the blood of Christ, even the remission of sins; and with that remission, a restoration to your possessions and hopes as part of the ransomed people of the Most High. “Unto you,” saith the Spirit of wisdom, “I call, and my voice is unto the sons of men.” Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound—that possess an experimental acquaintance with all the wonders of its mercy—that feel their debts cancelled, their liberty restored, their birthright as the children of God recovered, their duties defined, their weakness strengthened, their ignorance enlightened, their zeal quickened, their love refined; their faith invigorated, and every holy impulse of renewed minds kindled into glowing exercise, as a pledge and proof that the day of the Lord's redemption has dawned upon them. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Imagine the delight with which the debtor, the bondman, the poor outcast from the lot of his fathers, would listen to the trumpet peal on this day of liberty and restoration ! What then, should be the joy, what the delight, what the overflowing rapture, with which you should hear the offers of the gospel made, with this individual application, Men and brethren, unto each of you is the word of this salvation sent ?

[ocr errors]

Would the slave, fainting beneath his burden, would the poor destitute spendthrift, on whom poverty and want had come, like an armed man, have slumbered in his chains, unawakened, and uninterested by the loud call of the trumpet on this eventful day? And shall they, whom sin and Satan have enslaved—shall they, to whom the remembrance of their sins should be grievous, and the burden intolerable, remain.heedless of the invitation, heedless of their own woeful state, heedless of the Father's grace, the Son's cross, the Spirit's loud and powerful call ? The day of jubilee will soon be past, and the offers of mercy will then cease for ever. Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation. The proclamation of liberty is made, and the call is gone forth ; “Return ye every man to his own inheritance, as a son through the spirit of adoption, and every man to his own family, as a member of the household above.” To-day then, while it is called to-day, harden not your hearts. The gospel sounds loudly, to solicit your regard. We must lift our voices like a trumpet, and make the most unreserved proclamation of the day of mercy. See that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Now is the Jubilee of divine compassion : ere long another trumpet will peal its awful summons through the world, and sound forth the

« PreviousContinue »