Page images

of your Heavenly Father, and the nature of the promises : Is not that man happy, who hath a union with his Redeemer, and who, in virtue of that union, hath a filial interest and participation in that God who is the only felicity of his creatures ? Is he not happy, for whom the tribunal of avenging justice is changed into a throne of grace, to which he hath access through the intercession of his eternal High Priest? who beholds justice and mercy seated upon that throne, in perfect harmony, and waiting to embrace him? Is he not happy, whose person and services are accepted, imperfect as they are ; for whom a full propitiation has been made ; for whom a resistless advocate pleads ? Is he not happy, who, being a believer, and a seryant, and a son, has no just cause of dread for the solemnities and verdict of that impartial day, when vengeance will be taken only "upon those that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?” Is he not happy, for whom the veil of the temple is rent, that he may view the Holy of Holies, and the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat of divine reconciliation within it; who has a prospect of heaven while he lives, and an entrance into heaven when he dies?? Concerning that man it may,

· Charnock's Works, Vol. II. PP: 448, 449.

indeed, be said, that the Lord has spoken good; and, as the impregnable refuge of his hope, it may be added, The word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God.

II. With declarations such as these, to the truth of which every individual among the multitudes of Israel was a competent and undeniable witness, we can easily understand how the affectionate solicitude of Moses should have urged the INVITATION, with which he intreated Hobab to partake the privileges of this favoured people. Come thou with us, and we will do thee good. Christianity is the religion of love; and it is hardly more possible that a follower of Jesus Christ, an humble, faithful disciple of his law, who has experienced his mercy, imbibed his spirit, and been transformed into his likeness, should be a selfish independent member of his Saviour's mystical body, and wish to pass to heaven alone, than it would be possible that his master and exemplar should desire to surrender all the travail of his soul, and live through the ages of glory unattended by those whom he became incarnate, and suffered to save. O, if a Pharisee could compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and by the transformation to make him tenfold more a child of hell, shall Christian love be a principle less powerful, or the effort to save a soul from death, and to cover a multitude of sins, be either never made at all, or made so feebly, as to mock the deep want of a perishing spirit, and utterly to disparage and dishonour the mighty salvation provided for it in the gospel ? If any of you, in the experience of a saving change, produced by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, can say to those around, Come hither, and I will tell you what God hath done for my soul, I am persuaded, that every feeling of reverence to him, zeal for his glory, gratitude for the unsearchable riches of his son's love, and sympathy for the spiritual wants of those whom

you address, must urge you to add, 0, taste and see, that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Moses was the friend of the Most High, and richly gifted with the communications of his love. Experience, therefore, gave warrant to the solicitude with which he cried to Hobab, Come thou with us, and we will do thee good.” Barnabas was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith. And what was his advice to those of the church of Antioch, whom he visited ? " When he had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and exhorted them that, with purpose of heart, they would cleave unto the Lord.” If man ever felt the power and the blessedness of religion, amidst all its. trials, that man was St. Paul: and what was the desire of his heart for Agrippa, and those before whom he stood for judgment? “I would to God, that not only thou, but all who hear me this day, were not only almost, but altogether such as I am, except these bonds.” “The spirit and the bride say, Come; and whosoever heareth their voice will say, Come.” Christian love is like the widow's oil, that first filled all the vessels of her own house, and then those of her friends and neighbours. The language of those who have known the value of the good part which they have chosen, is that of believers in the ancient church. Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways; and we will walk in his paths. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. The enlarged affection of such an experimental acquaintance with religion points out to all around the excellences of the gospel, and the inestimable value of its author. It delights to exhibit him in the mount to teach, on the cross to atone, in heaven to intercede, in judgment to acquit, in eternity to glorify. And then adds, with something of that exultation which filled the mind of the mystical bride, this is my beloved, and this is my friend, 0 daughters of Jerusalem !

“Come thou with us, and we will do thee good.” Such is the invitation of love from those who believe and obey the gospel, to those who have not yet obtained, because they have not sought, an interest in its mercies. As though they should


“ Hasten to seek that faith, by which you and we must be equally united to the Saviour, and to the Father of Lights;" and depend upon our good offices, willingly and

dly exhibited, to shew you the beauty of holiness, the privileges of Christians, the grandeur of their hopes, the dignity of their service, the glory of their destiny. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Mark also the generosity of feeling, the utter absence of all desire for superiority in Christian privilege and reward, that is attained by him within whose heart “ the love of God is shed abroad by the Holy Ghost given unto him.” Mark the true liberality of him, who knows “ that he hath passed from death unto life, because he loves the brethren.' Moses has used his language; and none more fitting or more forcible, can be devised, to express the feeling of a Christian's mind, and the readiness of a Christian's love. “ It shall be, if thou go with us; yea it shall be, that what

« PreviousContinue »