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at large, lying in wickedness; and the thought that many will reject the counsel of God against themselves, compels him who believes in a judgement to come, to weep over such and say, O that "thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy
day, the things which belong unto thy peace! "but now they are hid from thine eyes.' * And should they treat the Christian as they did the Saviour, those tears and prayers shall return into his own bosom." He that sows in tears shall reap in "joy."
From this subject we are led to notice, at once the inseparable connexion between sowing and reaping; and yet the vast disparity between our sincerest, most vigorous and persevering efforts, and the gracious and liberal reward. For not to enlarge on the present consolations, which are neither few nor small, the future joy of the saint will be great, like the joy of the harvest: will be complete, they shall weep no more; will be abundant, the seed sown yielding an hundred fold; will be seasonable, their happiness being like the shock of corn coming in at the appointed season, fully ripe, This bliss is reserved for all the pious. The year of the redeemed shall be crowned with Divine goodness.
* Luke, xix. 42.
2. Let us enquire if we are interested in the gracious purport of our text? For like the mystic and miraculous cloud which attended the Israelites in the Wilderness, which while luminous to the camp was dark to the enemy, all the exceedingly great and precious promises made to the Church, are terrible and gloomy threatenings to her foes.
Retire then, after reading this discourse, and ask yourselves if you are experimentally acquainted with these sorrows. Have your hearts been broken for sin? Are the remains of corruption your heaviest burden? Are your frequent wanderings of heart your real and deepest grief? Are you concerned for the afflictions of Joseph ?* Proceed in this order; remember religion is a personal concern; begin with your own heart; enquire what you most love, what you most abhor. If you find your heart unmoved-hard as the stubborn rock, cold as the useless stone-plead that gracious promise; "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of heart out of your flesh, and will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my "statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and "do them."t
3. Take encouragement from the continued chain of evidence with which you are furnished, that these words are true.
Each revolving year, proclaims and confirms the fact in natural appearances; our fields speak to us; their language, both in their decay and renovation is," Heaven and earth shall pass away, "but not one jot or tittle of the Divine word shall "fail."
Departing saints establish by their dying breath and immediate felicity, this cheering truth. In that solemn moment, when every thing is real and undisguised, they tell us of their joys; they speak of their groans as about to be exchanged for praise their sighs, for songs-their tears, for triumphs; and incredible is the countless number now standing on the hallowed and invisible mount of God, the cloud of witnesses, on this subject, with which we are encompassed. All tears are wiped away from their faces; sorrow and sighing have for ever fled.
"Once they were mourning here below,
"With sins and doubts and fears."
And finally, observe how fully exemplified and
gloriously established are these words, in the toils and triumphs of our best model, our only hope: He who bare our sorrows, and wept for others' woes.
Consider what he endured for the joy that was set before him. He went forth weeping," a man "of sorrows and acquainted with grief," bearing precious seed and sowing it around him; at length, his own body was buried like a grain of wheat, in the furrow of the grave; from whence he rose, and reviving as the corn, became the first fruits of them that slept; and as the wave sheaf of old, is presented in the high and holy temple, before the God of the harvest. And shortly as you have been conformed to his sufferings, so will you be to his death. You must drop into the dust of the grave -to the dust from whence you sprang. You must see corruption; but "thou sowest not that body “that shall be, but bare grain; God will give it a
body as it pleaseth him. It is sown in corrup❝tion, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in "weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a na"tural body, it is raised a spiritual body."
Thanks be to God who giveth us these hopes which support us under pressing woes, and these
* 1 Cor. xv. 37, 38, 42, 43, 44.
joys which shall succeed our passing sorrows, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my "beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, "always abounding in the work of the Lord, for"asmuch as ye know that your labor is not in "vain in the Lord."† They that sow in tears
"shall reap in joy."
+1 Corinthians, xv. 58