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son designated in all your prophecies, and obedience unto death. Farther: the person sent to you from the Father at Strive to comprehend the heights, and this very moment. Go not to the vanities depths, and lengths, and breadths, of my of this world to seek rest in thein; for love which passeth knowledge, and let a they can never give it you. It is not to sense of that love constrain you to walk be found in them; it is a gift which none with me, to depend on me, and to delight but myself can bestow upon any human also in seeing me. being. Farther: Keep not away from me, Now, this I conceive to be the true im under an apprehension that you can make port of the words“ Come unto me." satisfaction for your own souls, or that Come in faith, believing that I am indeed you can cleanse yourselves, by any means, able and willing to save.
Come in hope, from your iniquities; for you never can notwithstanding all that you have ever have redemption but through my blood, done amiss, however great it be. Come nor can you ever subdue your lusts but in love, and be driven not by a fear of by my all-sufficient grace; neither delay condemnation, but by a sense of the ex. to come to me on account of your unwor- cellency of my character, and by all the thiness, as if it were necessary to bring wonders of my love. some meritorious service as the price of My dear brethren, this I affirm to every my favour. No; come to me, every one one who is weary and heavy laden, whatof you, just as you are, with all your sins ever his burden be, that he is to consider upon you with all your sins upon you. these words as addressed to himself, at Do not stop to heal yourselves imper- this very moment, by the Lord Jesus fectly, but come instantly to the physi- Christ, as much as any of those who cian. Come, and receive all my bless- attended his personal ministry had it adings freely, without money, and without dressed to them. Nay, more, to every price.' Come in faith, believing that I individual soul is it addressed, as though am able to save to the uttermost all that it had been personally addressed to him come unto God by me, and believing that alone. I am as willing to save as I am able. Then let us, my brethren, hear our Come, every one of you, in faith. Come, blessed Lord's address—for it is He who also, in hope. Let your expectations be speaks, by the mouth of a poor unworthy enlarged. • Ye are not straitened in me, preacher—let us hear him, at this mobut ye are straitened in your own bowels.' ment, saying, “ Come unto me.” Hear Count
up all the blessings of time--sur- him with his dying breath upon the cross vey all the glories of eternity—stretch -behold him bowing his head in death, your imagination to the utmost-ask all and, with his dying breath, saying, that eye ever saw, or ear ever heard, or 6. Come unto me.” Follow him to his heart ever conceived, and I will not only throne of glory, and there behold him grant all your requests, but do for you stretching out his hands, and saying to • exceedingly abundant above all that ye you all, “ Come unto me." Let us all go can ask or even think.' Open your to him, with one accord, with one heart, mouths ever so wide, I pledge myself with one mind, and that without delay! that I will fill them. Moreover, come in Let us fly to him, every one of us, “ as love. Be not like persons driven to me doves to the windows." by mere necessity, and influenced by Now, that nothing might be wanting to nothing but the dread of hell; but con- give efficacy to his invitation, consider, template my character as the Son of the III. THE PROMISE WITH WHICH IT IS living God, who has become incarnate Enforced—"And I will give you rest." for you, and for the salvation of a ruined The world are glad to see us in our world. Meditate on my kindness, too, prosperity, and when we can participate in leaving the bosom of my Father, in in their pleasures; but, in the day of ademptying myself of all my glory, in order versity, when want and trouble come upon to take upon me all the guilt of your sins, us, they are but too apt to lessen their and to expiate them by my own sacrifice regards, and to grow weary of our com
plaints. Not so our blessed Lord; his laden soul, are called in Scripture an conduct is altogether different. He bids earnest of our inheritance. You all know as come to him in the time of trouble. what that earnest is yourselves. The He, instead of turning a deaf ear to our peace which he will give is an earnest, is requests, assures every one of us, “ I will a foretaste-a blessed foretaste of the give you rest." I will give you rest : how felicity of heaven itself. suitable his promise! What do the But we must extend our thoughts yet weary and heavy laden desire? I will farther, even to the rest which remains suppose them to be bowed down under for the people of God. Now that was, temporal afflictions ; what do they desire, doubtless, most eminently in the Saviour's what do they wish for, but something to mind ; nor can any thing short of all the soothe the anguish of their minds, and glories and felicities of heaven be the something to be a support to their faint- portion of those who come to him aright; ing souls ? Now, my brethren, the Lord -never shall you have less than all the Jesus Christ administers this to every glories and felicities of heaven. person that comes to him-administers it I now farther add, that this is a true and by the aid of his grace, and by the com- faithful saying, and worthy of all accepmunication of his Spirit. Are their sor- tation. Was there ever one person, from rows altogether spiritual? He speaks the beginning of the world, who ever peace to the wounded conscience, and came to the Saviour in vain? Was there says, “ Be of good cheer, be of good cheer, ever one that did not experience his truth I am thy salvation.” O what is it that and faithfulness ? It is true, many perhe hath spoken to the soul! Yes, bre-haps come to him without experiencing thren, he discovers to the wounded soul this rest and peace, and all these promises the sufficiency of his blood to cleanse it below. But why! They did not come from the guilt of sin, and the efficacy of in faith, hope, and love, and have been his grace to subdue and mortify our lusts. only impelled by terror, and would never Yes, he gives to all who wait upon him think of the Saviour if it were not for hell. what nothing in all the universe besides They listen to the suggestions of despondcan ever supply—a firm and stable hope ency, and they live under the reigning of pardon and peace, of holiness and glory. power of unbelief. No wonder, thereWhatever other blessings should be of- fore, that they do not find that rest which fered to the soul, they would be all de- their souls desire. But if they only go spised in comparison with these. That to him aright, there is no guilt, however which I offer you in the Saviour's name great, that shall not be removed from this day is bread to the hungry, water to their consciences, nor any earthly trouble the thirsty, and health to the sick. They which they shall not be able to support are exactly suited to your necessities with comfort; yea, to rejoice and glory the very thing that you need.
in it. If, under any cloud whatever, they And now, I ask, can any thing be more go to the Lord, as the apostle Paul did precious than this to the believing soul? with the thorn in the flesh, and cry reYou see how suitable it is. Mark how peatedly and earnestly to him, they shall, precious the word which is used in my like the apostle, be enabled to rejoice in text, “I will give rest.” This means their trials and tribulations, and glory in vastly more than a mere exemption from them. They shall certainly find that the labour and trial. The true import of it keenest of their sorrows are in fact sources implies refreshment--that kind of refresh- of triumph. You remember what St. ment which a strong and sincere belief Paul says, “ Therefore I take pleasure in affords. How sweet is peace to a believ- infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, ing penitent! It is peace that passeth all in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's understanding; it is joy that is unspeaka- sake; for when I am weak, then am I ble and glorious. My dear brethren, the strong.” Then I say this to all of you ; communications of his Holy Spirit, which if you will but go to the Saviour in the he will impart to the weary and heavy way he requires, you shall find all this
rest to your souls—rest in time, and glory On the other hand, many are templed in eternity.
to seek rest in their duties, in their pero Now let me address myself to two or formances ; but remember, I beseech you, three descriptions of persons.
my brethren, that it is Christ alone who I fear there are many present who have can give peace to a wounded soul. From never felt aright the burden of sin, and him you must receive it as a free, unmewho are ready to congratulate themselves rited gift. upon it. An exemption from earthly trou And then I would say to the weary and ble is a ground of self-congratulation, but heavy laden soul, only do you draw nigh not so an exemption from the sorrows of to Christ in his appointed way, and the a contrite heart. You remember that it Lord and Saviour will draw nigh to you, is the broken and the contrite heart which with all his promised blessings, and he God will not despise; but he will despise shall pour them in rich abundance into every other.
We may think that we your weary and heavy laden souls. have no need of this; we may, like the I trust that, in this assembly, there is a pharisee, boast of our own goodness, and, third description of persons—those who like the elder brother, refuse to join with have obtained rest, and can set their seals the poor penitent. But, if so, like the to the truth of what I have said, and can pharisee, we shall go without pardon, add, “I was a weary and heavy laden while the publican is accepted ; and, like sinner, bearing the wrath of God. I came the elder brother, be excluded, while the to the Saviour; my burden has fallen off returning prodigal is filled with peace and at the foot of the cross, and I have objoy. Dear brethren, I tell you from Al- tained peace to my soul.” O that that mighty God, that you must sow in tears may be the state of every one amongst if ever you would reap in joy : you must you ! go out weeping, bearing precious seed, Now to each person I would say, you and then you shall come at last rejoicing, must remember that this, so far from exbringing your sheaves with you. empting you from an obligation to watch
But I trust there are some who are seek-fulness, should bind you to tenfold dili. ing rest—some who have begun to pray gence in the ways of God. Look at the in secret—some who have smitten on words immediately following my text, their breasts like the publican, and are "Come unto me, all ye that labour and crying for mercy. Now, then, if there are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. be such a one here present, let him in Take my yoke upon you," (and then he particular attend to me. My brother, my confirms it again,) " and ye shall find rest afflicted brother, there are two things unto your souls." Mark ! by this he against which you have to guard—the shows that submission to his holy will, one is against self-righteous hopes, and the and obedience to his commandments, is other is against desponding feelings. as necessary to the rest of the soul as an
Now, there are many persons who are affiance in his name. You cannot come apt to despond. They think their burdens to him for pardon, and neglect the saneare too heavy to be removed, their guilt tity of your soul. You cannot have peace too great to be forgiven. But I ask of in a way of sin ; and the finding of peace you, whom it is that our Lord invites ? in the Lord Jesus should bind you to the The weary, and the heavy laden. Whom utmost possible exertion in the ways of does our Lord except? Not one-not holiness. one! “ Come unto me, all ye that are And then I say, if there be such a one weary, and heavy laden.” I pray God and I trust there are many—who enthat every one of you, my brethren, may joys the peace of God I say, my dear be included in this number. • Come brother, let this be your daily care, to unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy take Christ's yoke upon you, and to conladen," and whatever be your sins, what- form yourself in all things to his mind ever your burdens, “I will give you and will. Even supposing his yoke were rest."
ever so heavy, it would be reasonable
USE SCRIPTURE LANGUAGE.
that you should take it upon you, when should the more readily take the cautions he has delivered you from the yoke of we give; and that, in commending to sin, and all the weight of that yoke which them the great interests of their salvation, you deserve. But I tell you, and I tell it should be endeared to our own affecyou from sweet experience-I tell you tions as above all price. that his yoke is easy, and his burden is Can we conceive of a more exasperated light. There is not one of his command- case of folly and of crime than the reverse ments that is grievous—" his ways are of this ? A man who, by profession, is ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are denouncing the world, but, in heart, makpaths of peace.” If any of you will come ing it the object of his idolatry :-A man to the Saviour, and walk with him in who is pressing on others the importance obedience to his holy will, you shall find of their redemption, and is knowingly that in a dying hour it shall be verified in neglecting his own :-A man who ostenyou—“ Mark the perfect man, and behold tatiously avows himself to be the servant the upright; for the end of that man is of God, but who, in fact and in principle, peace.” Follow the soul into the climes is only serving himself; and professes to of bliss, and there you shall be found in serve God only that he may serve himAbraham's bosom; yea, in the very bosom self the more effectually. O, if demons of God!
laugh, if angels tremble, it is at such a Now I have endeavoured to spread be- sight!-Reed. fore you, with the utmost possible simplicity, what I conceive to be the entire gospel, having opened it, as it were, in Hold up your face, my brethren, for all its parts. I speak as a dying man, the truth and simplicity of the Bible. Be looking soon for my own departure; and not ashamed of its phraseology. It is the I speak to you as dying men. I pray God right instrument to handle in the great that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ work of calling a human soul out of darkmay be poured out upon you, as upon the ness into marvellous light. Stand firm day of Pentecost; and that you may come and secure on the impregnable principle, to him this day, and believe in him, and that this is the word of God, and that all experience salvation come home to your taste, and imagination, and science must souls; that thus you may live in holi- give way before its overbearing authority. ness, die in peace, and reign in glory for Walk in the footsteps of your Saviour, in evermore.
the twofold office of caring for the diseases The Lord grant a blessing to every soul of the body, and administering to the amongst you, for Christ's sake! Amen. wants of the soul; and though you may
fail in the former-though the patient may never rise and walk, yet, by the blessing of heaven upon your fervent and ef
fectual endeavours, the latter object may It is your privilege to find in your pro- be gained—the soul may be lightened of fessional duties every thing conducive all its anxieties—the whole burden of its to your particular salvation. Unlike diseases may be swept away—it may be other men, your very vocation is to of good cheer, because its sins are forprayer, to watchfulness, to heavenly con- given—and the right direction may be templation, and spiritual exertion. It impressed upon it which will carry it formight well be expected, that while we ward in progress to a happy eternity. are thus exercised for the benefit of Death may not be averted, but death may others, it should be beneficial, in a super- be disarmed. It may be stripped of its lative degree, to ourselves; that in teach-terrors, and instead of a devouring enemy, ing others, we should become the wiser it may be hailed as a messenger of triourselves; that in warning others, we umph.-Dr. Chalmers.
THE MINISTERIAL OFFICE INCREASES PERSONAL
FIDELITY TO CHRIST ENFORCED.
IN THE RELIEF CHURCH, EDINBURGH,
BY THE REV. ALEXANDER HARVEY.
“ Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."-Rev. ii. 10.
The visions unfolded to our contem The first scene in the vision exhibits plation in this book of sacred prophecy, the glorified Redeemer arrayed in all the are of the most sublime and captivating overwhelming splendours of Divine madescription. The curtain which conceals jesty, and walking in the “midst of the futurity from human inspection is listed seven golden candlesticks." This attiup, and the persecuted apostle, in his tude denotes the minute inspection he lonely banishment, has a magnificent dis- takes of his church-the tender care he closure made to him of what was to be exercises over her—and the rightful claim hereafter. The dispensations of Provi- he has to the supreme regard of every dence, which relate to the church, are one of her members. The unrivalled minutely unfolded. The trials she would dignity of the Saviour, and his high title have to encounter, and the sea of tribula- to the supreme adorations of men and of tion through which she should have to angels, are demonstrated by the authority pass before she should enter on her mil- which he possesses over the visible and lennial rest, are distinctly foretold. The invisible worlds, the minute knowledge revelation is not indeed given in plain which he has of every circumstance conlanguage, but under the more striking nected with the personal history of the form of hieroglyphical symbols. Like a humblest of our race, and the awards of panoramic exhibition, one scene after an- judgment, by which the changeless conother comes in rapid succession into view, dition of every order of rational intelliand one symbol after another arrests the gences shall be fixed. attention of the astonished apostle, till In the epistle to the church in Smyrna the revelation is complete; and each he describes himself as the “ First and scene unveils a portion of the history of the Last," as he who " was dead and is the church till she is seen far in futurity alive.” He assures her members that completely triumphant over all her in- he was well acquainted with their “works veterate foes. Then the curtain drops. of faith and labours of love”-that he Divine revelation closes. The heavens knew the sacrifices they had made for are shut, never to be opened till the Son his sake-the violence with which they of man shall come to judge the world in had been assailed by the emissaries of righteousness. The symbolic writing is Satan—the bloody persecution they had not destroyed. It is in our hands. And endured—and the accumulating trials to it becomes us attentively, and in the ex- which they would yet be exposed. But, ercise of fervent prayer, to watch the instead of shrinking back from the thickevolution of events, under the firm con- ening conflict, he encourages them to viction that the amazing realities, of hold fast their integrity, retain their couwhich these were but the types, either rage, and dismiss their fears. And he have been, or shall be unfolded, on the urges them to unflinching steadfastness theatre of the world.
I in the course on which they had entered,