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under the prospect.-You say, you see not how it will go with you

But God does.

And he is your friend, and your father, and loves you better than you love yourselves, and is far more concerned for your happiness, than you can be." Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O “Israel, my way is hid from the Lord, and my judg"ment is passed over from my God?" Nothing is hid from him. "He knows thy walking through this great "wilderness; he knows thy soul in adversity;" he sees all thy dangers, and all thy wants. Nothing can surprise him, whose eyes are in every place: nothing can elude his notice, who numbers the hairs of thy head.When Abraham was called to leave his own country, and his father's house, he obeyed; and "he went out, "not knowing whither he went"—but though he knew not whither he went, he knew with whom he travelled : he knew that he followed a guide who could not lead him astray. And thus Job relieved his mind, under a pressure of perplexity. "Behold, I go forward, but he " is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive him; on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot "behold him : he hideth himself on the right hand, that "I cannot see him: but he knoweth the way that I "take; when he hath tried me I shall come forth as You say you see not how it will go with you. But you know" that it shall be well with them that "fear God"—you know that if you are his, though your way may be thorny," your shoes shall be iron and "brass :" and that as 66 your day is, so shall your "strength be." You know that love is the spring of all your trials, as well as of your comforts. And that though "no chastening for the present seemeth to be "joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yield"eth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them " which are exercised thereby." You know that " God " is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above "that ye are able; but will with the temptation also "make a way to escape, that ye may be able to hear it."


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In a word, and is it not enough to know this?—you know that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD" to them "that love God; to them that are called according to "his purpose."-You say you see not how it will go with you

But your ignorance only regards time: all in eternity is sure. Beyond this land of darkness dwells everlasting light. Your uncertainty only regards the roughness or smoothness of the way-for you know what stands at the end of it.-It is your Father's house, where are many mansions.

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Yes, you know how it will go with you there. There you will enter into peace. There the days of your mourning will be ended. There you will be forever with the Lord.

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"There-shall we see his face,
"And never, never sin;

"There from the rivers of his grace,
"Drink endless pleasures in."

"Ah! blessed privilege-and happy they who can enjoy it! They have enough to relieve them in eve66 ry distress. Their afflictions must be light and mo"mentary indeed, when they are persuaded that they "are working out for them a far more exceeding and "eternal weight of glory. But this is not my case. "My perplexity seems to increase in proportion as I "advance. To me the other world seems darker than "this-and it is a dark valley that leads to it. O! if I "know that all would end well! But this is that "which adds a pressure to every burden, and embit"ters all my comforts-I see not how it will go with me AT LAST.'

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My christian friend: I designed not by what I have

said, to intimate that such a persuasion is essential to your safety. But only that it is a desirable privilege; and in this we are agreed.-But remember, it is attainable you may have a good hope through grace, and the full assurance of hope: you are commanded to seek it. In the mean time I would observe-that the solicitude you feel, is no bad evidence in your favor. In proportion as the mind feels the importance of salvation, it longs for certainty, and fearful of deception, is not satisfied with slender evidence.

May the Lord you are now following sorrowful, and in darkness, shine upon your path, and "fill you with "all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in "hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."

But if we cannot begin the new year with confidence and joy, let us do it with seriousness and prayer. Let us resolve to walk before him, in newness of life. Let us commit ourselves to the care of his providence, to the word of his grace, and to the agency of his Holy Spirit. And let us lift up our hearts with our voices, while we sing,

"And now, my soul, another year
"Of thy short life is past;
"I cannot long continue here,
"And this may prove my last.

"Much of my dubious life is gone,
"Nor will return again;

"And swift my passing moments run,
"And few perhaps remain.

"Awake, my soul, with solemn care,
"Thy true condition learn;

"What are thy hopes, how sure, how fair,
"And what thy great concern.

"Now a new scene of time begins,

"Set out afresh for heaven;
"Seek pardon for thy former sins,
"In Christ so freely giv❜n.

"Devoutly yield thyself to God,

"And on his grace depend;
"With zeal pursue the heav'nly road,

"Nor fear a happy end."



Having a form of godliness, but denying the power there of 2 Tim. iii. 5.

AND what is godliness ?It is the tendency of the mind towards God; and is exercised in believing in him; loving and fearing him; holding communion with him; resembling his perfections; and employing ourselves in his service. It is the introduction of God into all our concerns; our acknowledging of him in al our ways; our doing all we do in his name, and with a reference to his authority and glory-through the me diation of the Saviour, and-by the influences of the Holy Ghost.

This is godliness; and nothing else deserves the name. This godliness, however, has its form, and its power; and this distinction enables us to arrange four classes of characters.

For first, there are some who have neither the pow er, nor the form of godliness; they are as destitute o the pretension, as they are of the reality and ofter glory in this-for we read of some who glory in thei shame.


Secondly, there are some who possess both the pow er and the form. And these are the most worthy of our esteem, and imitation. May their number daily increase!

Thirdly, there are some who have the power of god liness, but not the form. Their religion is a kind of disembodied spirit: and because some have laid too

much strees upon outward things, they lay too little. They carry their notions of the spirituality of divine worship so far as to exclude social considerations; the influence of the body over the mind; and the use which the Supreme Being himself makes of our senses, to aid our graces-and which is simply the principle upon which the ordinances of the Lord's supper is founded. They do not remember, that though the substance be confessedly the main thing, circumstances are often very beautiful, and impressive, and beneficial: that we are not only to possess, but to profess religion : that we are not only to serve God individually, but to unite ourselves to a body of christians, and walk in holy fellowship, "striving together for the faith of the gos"pel;" and that we are bound, not only to "glorify "God in our spirits, but in our bodies also, which are "God's." So that the form when attached to the principle, is so far from being improper, that it is commendable, and important.

But here we have reached the fourth class to which we referred, viz. those who have the form, but deny the power. These are awful characters; and therefore, says the apostle, to Timothy, from such withdraw thyself. We should do this as much as possible, with regard to their persons, but above all with regard to their state. In order to this-let us, I. Consider the power of godliness, and II. Inquire whence it is that so many who deny it, are still disposed to maintain the form.

I. The power of godliness is here distinguished from the mere form: and indeed it is easy to shew the difference between them. The one is principally external, and deals in words-the other is internal, actuating our feelings, and governing our actions. The one is the name the other is the thing; the one is the appearance the other is the reality. The one is the body-the other is the soul, that inspires every member, and penetrates every particle of the frame. The one is the picture-the other is the original: the one shews

VOL. 11.

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