« PreviousContinue »
and bring you to a sweet submission to the way of salvation by his Son.
But this is certain, that whether you hear or forbear, God will be just and glorious. And if you perish, it will appear that it was not through a natural inability to come to Christ ; but from inexcusable wickedness in slighting him, and neglecting the great salvation.
To conclude, let all who have truly come to Christ, feel your dependence and obligations--adore the grace that inclined you to come, that made you willing in the day of God's power ; and that made you welcome in the day of his wonderful mercy.
“ 'Twas the same Lord that spread the feast
And perished in our sin.” Let all who have come to Christ, continue coming, and in this way make their calling and election
And in a little time, they shall come unto him in the most glorious manner-faith shall be changed into sight, and hope into full fruition. For this is his intercession before the Father, for all them who have come unto him that they may be with him where he is, and behold his glory. Amen.
NEARNESS TO GOD THE SAINT'S DESIRE AND HAPO
JOB XXIII. 3, 4.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might
come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
The joys and the sorrows of the children of God. are peculiar to themselves. They are such as the world knows nothing of. Though intermixed with the world, and subject to the same temporal calamities and disappointments with the rest of rankind, yet they have a joy in God, and in the things of religion, which, the world can neither give nor take away. They have joy and peace in believing; not merely in the reflection that they do believe, and are the children of God, and so in a safe site : this they may have, but not rationally, till after they have had joy in the act of believing, and with an eye of faitla have perceived the excellency of the divine character, and are pleased and satisfied with it.
“ In whom,” says the apostle, that is, in God the Saviour,“ though now ye see him not yet believing, ye rejoice with joy inspeakable, and full of glory." They rejoice and are raised above the world, in believing and in beholding and contemplating the divine character. It is the
linguage of their hearts, “Whom have I in heaven bat thee, and there is none on earth I desire beside thee." Their sorrows also are peculiar.
Those things, which give sorrow and affliction to the children of God, very frequently give joy to the world, or at least do not affect them with any uneasy sensations. And the reason of this is, their supreme affections are placed on different objects; their taste is different, they relish objects of a different nature.. The children of God, viewing the character of God as amiable, and his law holy, just and good, cannot but view sin as odious, and finding such remains of it in their own hearts, finding the law of sin and death warring againstt he law of their minds, it causes them. continual sorrow of heart : they sorrow after a godly sort. But this is a sorrow with which the world, with which sinners, are as much unacquainted, as, they are with the joys and satisfactions which the children of God have, and which they derive from the contemplation of God, and the exercise of the Christian graces. Sin is so far from being their bur-, den, and their sorrow, that it is their delight'; they pursue it with greediness, and have no desire or rel.. ish for any other happiness, but what they derive from sinful courses. Another source of sorrow and affiction peculiar to the children of God, is the hiding of God's face ; being deprived of the light of his countenance. The world, as they have no relish for holiness, and take no pleasure in spiritual and divine things; so it gives them no pain nor sorrow, to be far from God; or deprived of spiritual intercourse and communion with him. But to Christians, or the true children of God, there cannot in their view, a greater. and move afflicting evil happen. That there is such , a thing as God's withdrawing himself, in a measure, from Christians, leaving them for a season, to much cold.ess, barrenness, and darkness, I conclude has been. proved by the experience of all of you who are Chris.. vians indeed. As this is a state of imperfection, as
the children of God are sanctified but in part, and being surrounded by the temptations and allurements of the world, the flesh, and the devil, they frequently fall into sin, and thereby quench the spirit, and act unworthy of their high calling. The consequence is, God sometimes sends temporal calamities upon them as trials and chastisements, and frequently great spiritual darkness, so that the pains of hell, as it were, get hold upon them, and they find trouble and sorrow. This was the case with God's children, the saints of old. David, the man after God's own heart, frequently experienced not only great temporal calamities, but spiritual darkness, and bitter sorrows and aflliction of soul, under the hidings of God's face. “ The sorrows of death” says he, “compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me : I found trouble and sorrow." And again, Psalm lxxvii. “ My soul refused to be comforted, I remembered God, and was troubled.” That is, troubled at the thoughts of his righteous frowns : “I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. Thou holdest my eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak ;" that is, cannot pray or get near the throne. “I have considered the days of old; the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night :" that is, I have reflected upon the times when enjoying the light of God's countenance, I have had sweet access to him by prayer, and communion with him : when even the silent watches of the night were witness to the joy and praise of my heart, and the satisfaction I had in contemplating upon God, more than in the rest of sleep. " I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search;” that is, diligent enquiry into the reason of this darkness and the withdrawing of God's spirit. “ Will the Lord cast off for ever, and will he be favorable no more ? Is his mercy clean gone for ever ? Doth his promise fail forevermore? In many such instances, does the Psalmist and others, as recorded in sacred scripture, complain of seasons