« PreviousContinue »
the offer of mercy to-day; and to-morrow, if the offer be slighted, you may be in hell. There is no love there, no pardon or mercy there. The wrath of God abideth there for ever.
But now is your own. Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. What an astonishing thought! If a sinner would now stir himself up to lay hold of God, would cast himself now on the free grace of God in Christ, there is no power in earth or hell that shall hinder him from grasping everlasting life. Let me beseech you by the mercies of God. Do you not know that the experience of a fellow-creature's love, a wife's, or a parent's, or a child's, is the sweetest thing which this world has to offer? And how sweet then must be the love of God? Thy loving-kindness, says the Psalmist, is better than life. With such things set before you, let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.*
2. But let me address a word of exhortation to the true believer. Are these your privileges ? Then do not defraud yourselves of
your comforts. If you have a solid scriptural ground fo concluding yourself to be in Christ, then it is nothing less than the love of God which is
yours. Let nothing short of this satisfy your desires. Dwell on this. Study the Scriptures to get a clear view of this. Let it be your constant prayer, that you may understand and enter into this. Here, methinks, my Christian friends, we
* Heb. iv, 1.
HEARTS INTO THE LOVE OF
are sadly wanting to ourselves. We are willing to take up with inferior pleasures. We live short of our privileges. THE LORD DIRECT YOUR
Не, , the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man ; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye, being rooted and grounded. in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God!
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
THE PURE JOYS OF PIETY.
PSALM XXIII. 5.—Thou preparest a table before me.
marrow and fatness.
“ Hath God given me appetites, (says the worldling) and the good things of this life wherewith to satisfy them; and shall I not enjoy his bounty?” Let the impiety that would turn the goodness of God into an ungrateful argument against himself, remain for once unanswered ; and let the Christian reply with the same question : “ Hath God given me a divine appetite, and the good things of his word wherewith to satisfy it; and shall I not enjoy his bounty?” This bread of life (John vi. 35.) This living water (John iv. 10.) This wine and milk (Is. lv. 1.) This feast of fat things, full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined (Is. xxv. 6.) Where is it in this world, that I can sit down to the table of my God to banquet upon these ? Is it not in retirement ? Is it not by faith? Is it not in meditation and prayer?
Blame me not, therefore, O worldling, on your
66 Can we
own principles, for securing all the hours I can for pleasures so divine! The worldling understands not this : but the professor, who would meet the worldling half-way, replies, not accommodate the two enjoyments ? Take the hours of retirement;-are there none left for the innocent pleasures of the world ?” Professor, the Christian has two objects to accomplish: Ist, to awaken, and 2ndly, to satisfy the holy appetite, of which we speak. And the two objects coincide; for, when most satisfied, this divine hunger and this divine thirst (Matt. v. 6.) are most pure.
Be candid, professor; is it likely, is it possible, that in the amusements of the world, in the playhouse, the ball-room, the card-party, in any mixing in the world for pleasure's sake,* the appetite after spiritual things should be either satisfied or even awakened ?
August 28th, 1821.
THE LIGHT OF GOD'S WORD.
Psalm cxix. 105.-Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light
unto my path. 1 Cor. xiii. 12.-Now I know in part.
He who walks with a lamp in a dark night finds it safe for his feet, and comfortable to his sight; but then he diligently uses his lamp, and wherever he finds his path to lie, there he follows. His lamp enlightens a small circle about himself, and leaves the surrounding objects in obscurity. Nay, his path, at a distance, is still dark; but he knows that, as he advances, his lamp shall light up each part of his way in its turn.
* See Memoir, p. 145.
in its turn. And thus he goes on confidently.
Christian, thy lamp is the word of God. Dost thou really and conscientiously use it for the purpose of ordering thy steps thereby ? and wherever it leads thee, in how rough or thorny a road soever, art thou undoubtedly walking therein ? Again, does thy soul's eye turn from the mists and darkness of this world, as from that in which it delights not, to the light of the word, and solace itself in that? If so, happy art thou. But thou must be content with having thine own way cleared before thee: shadows and darkness, and often thick darkness, will lie on the providences of God in the world about thee. What He doth thou knowest not now.(John xiii.7.) Thine own way, too, at a distance may be dark; but, be of good cheer; thou hast a light which shall assuredly shine upon it, when thou comest thither. Some promise, or some precept, which as yet thou understandest not, because, perhaps, thou hast never yet been in the circumstances for which it is suited, shall be opened and applied to thee; and there shall arise light in the darkness. (Psalm cxii. 4.)
August 26th, 1821.