Page images

but he can take his fellow-traveller by the hand, and animate him to go on amidst all the obstacles which intervene. Thus it is with the spiritual pilgrim in his journey to his eternal home. When he possesses satisfactory evidences that he is sanctified by divine grace, and led by the Spirit of God; when he feels the same fears, and desires, and joys, and hopes which were felt by those who “now inherit the promises,” he is capable not merely of enduring the toil of the journey, but of encouraging others in the paths of righteousness : With peculiar propriety and emphasis, he can expostulate with his former companions in sin,“ to taste and see that the Lord is good ;" he can assure them froin his own certain experience, that “ happy is that man whose Goù is Jehovah.

Is it not truly astonishing that men are usually so indifferent about their spiritual and everlasting interests ? Although faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is infinitely important; although it involves our safety and comfort, both in this world and in the next, yet how few can be persuaded to “examine whether they are in the faith ?” By what arguments can we prevail with our beloved hearers “to work out their salvation with fear and trembling ?” Propose to thern any scheme which will probably conduce to their temporal ease, or interest, or honor, or happiness, and their attention is instantly excited and engaged, but in the all-important concerns of

[ocr errors]

eternity, no considerations, either of mise: ry or joy, either of reproach or glory, are sufficient to rouse them to reflection. Open your door to a traveller, exhausted with fatigue or want, and how readily will he turn in? but although a door of hope is thrown open in the gospel for sinners of the human family, for the poor, the miserable, the blind and the hall, how few can be persuaded to enter? Offer bread to the hungry, or water to the thirsty, or clothing to the naked, or the healing medicine to one who is pining away with some malignant disease, or propose to the miserable slave to break off his galling chains, how eagerly would these offers be embraced ? but may not the “ bread of life, the water of life, the balm of the covenant, the liberty of the sons of God,” be a thousand times offered, yet wantonly rejected ? When any office of emolument or honor becomes vacant, how many candidates appear? What various means will they devise for insuring their success, and how prudently and patiently will they persevere in the use of these means? If a new region be explored, where the soil is fertile, the climate healthful, and other enjoyments may be obtained, what multitudes flock from all directions? And what fatigue will they endure, and what dangers, either by land or water will they encounter to reach it? Yet although the scriptures hold out to view « a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God, a house

eternal in the heavens, an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled,” a country where the inhabitant shall not say I am sick; where there shall be no more disease or death; and although so many profess to believe that the accounts which the scriptures afford of the heavenly country are true, yet how few are eagerly inquiring after it, or duly anxious to secure their interest in it? Was it suggested to any who are present, that their title to a certain house or farm was defective, and that with proper attention it might be confirmed, what anxiety would they feel, and what diligence would they exercise until the defect was corrected ? But I solemnly ask you what means have you employed for making sure your title to the inheritance of eternal glory? You have often heard that “ strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth to life,” with what eagerness have you been striving to enter ? “O Lord, that men did but know what everlasting glory, and everlasting torments are; would they behave as they do? would they read and hearthings as they do?” What meaneth this unconcern about those eternal, awful realities which alone are worthy of our concern? and what meaneth this indolence in pursuing them? Is not the soul precious ? Is not life precarious ? Have not many weeks, and months, and years of your accepted time already passed away, and is it to you a dreadful uncertainty how long the season of mercy may be continued to

VOL. 3.

D 2

« Hear ye,

you? What shall I say of the infatuation, the madness of men ? They are fond of pleasure, and yet, by their wilful unbelief, run the hazard of never ending pain. They are careful of the body ; they are diligent in feeding it, clothing it, in using the means of restoring it to health when diseased, and yet carelessly slight the nobler part, the immortal soul. They are professedly attached to life, and yet amidst admonitions and entreaties throw themselves into the arms of the second death: “Turn ye, turn ye, why will you die, 0 house of Israel ?” Sinners, by all that is dreadful in the miseries of the damned, and by all that is inviting in the joys of the redeemed, be entreated to shake off your slumbers. and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and wbile ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death."

Beloved brethren, consult your safety, and interest, and glory, by believing without delay in the Lord Jesus Christ: Then having laid the foundation sure, by union to bis Person, and a full reliance on that redemption which is in his blood, how cheerfully may you proceed to carry on the superstructure of holiness? You may be daily discharging the duties of religion, and in return receiving its consolations. You may with all freedom enterthe closet, and on bend

ed knees, and with grateful hearts be lisping forth the language of adoption, “our Father who art in heaven :" You may search the scriptures, not as the student looks over the map of a distant country, but as the heir examines his title to a large estate, ag a deed of conveyance securing to you all grace in time, and all glory through eternity : You may sanctify each returning sabbath as a memorial of the resurrection of your dear Lord, and an earnest of that eternal rest to which you will shortly be introduced: You may enter the sanctuary, and sit down with the congregation of the faithful, as a pledge of being admitted hereafter to the heavenly Jerusalem, and enjoying intiinate, uninterrupted communion with the redeemed of all kindreds and countries : You may submit to every trial, as the rod of an indulgent Father, and receive every earthly comfort as a foretaste of those “everlasting pleasures which are at God's right hand :” You may exercise patience in the season of darkness and disquietude, in the prospect of that morning which shall be obscured by no cloud, nor succeeded by any night.

Beloved reader, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. AMEN.

« PreviousContinue »