« PreviousContinue »
ghost, and where is he? We understand our lat-cern. All who are truly wise will consider their ter end to be
latter end. Wisdom requires them to consider it The commencement of a future and eternal with state of being. The dust shall return to the Serious attention, as a subject in which they earth as it was; but the spirit shall return to are deeply interested, and with which they must God who gave it. After death cometh the very shortly be brought into personal connection. judgment, which shall try every man's work; and Fools may altogether exclude the thought of the sentence of the Judge shall admit of no appeal, death; but instead of being resisted as a prenor can the consequences which follow, whether sumptuous intruder, it ought to be welcomed as happy or miserable, be ever altered, or reversed. a friendly monitor, and permitted habitually to They that are Christ's, made perfect in holiness, influence our feelings and conduct. It is not more shall immediately enter on the full and everlasting calculated to alarm the sinner and bring him to enjoyment of God; whilst the enemies of his cross Christ, than it is necessary to humble the believer, and his cause shall be cast into outer darkness, and excite him to duty. They who are wise will
where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.' consider their latter endWe understand death to be
Practically, and in the way of diligent preparaThe universal destiny of man. The stroke of tion, by cultivating a state of mind and character death cannot be resisted by force, nor evaded by suitable for meeting death. This includes the artifice, nor set aside by the influence of rank or exercise of a simple and steady reliance on the
One event happeneth to the righteous work of Christ; connected with the cultivation and the wicked, to the king and his subjects, to of exalted spirituality, unfeigned and universal the philosopher and the fool, to the man of wealth repentance, enlarged and active benevolence. Ou and the child of poverty, to the sinner of four- lamps must not merely have oil in them, they score and the infant of yesterday. 'I know that must be filled with it, and exhibit a bright and thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house vigorous flame. Nothing but the privilege a appointed for all living. We understand that union to Christ realized by faith, evinced in th the event of death may come
purification of the heart, and in the victory which Soon and suddenly upon us.
It cannot be far overcometh the world, can prepare us to mee off, and it may be very near at hand. This night death with safety, or warrant us to meet it wit thy soul may be required of thee. How often are confidence and comfort. "Wherefore the rather children carried off before their parents, the brethren, give diligence to make your calling and scholars before their teacher, the physician before election sure; for if ye do these things, ye his patients. •Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministeren thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.' to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdon We understand death to be
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The The penalty of guilt. “By one man sin entered who are wise will consider their latter endinto the world, and death by sin, and so death Without delay. The Bridegroom may tarry hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. but the delay cannot be long; and the suddennes In Adam all die, even those who never sinned of his coming may be such as to take even thos after the similitude of Adam's transgression. But who love and long for his appearance by surprise as death is the wages of sin, so the gift of God Then 'whatsoever tlfy hand findeth to do, do i is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. with thy might; for there is no work, nor device To understand death aright we must view it in nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave,
whithe connection with
thou goest.' •Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel The remedy which has been provided for it in the sacrifice of Christ, who by dying took away sin, which is the sting of death, and destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the TWENTIETH DAY.MORNING. devil, and delivered them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,
Turn you at my reproof; behold, I will pou and who are enabled to say, Thanks be unto out my Spirit unto you, I will make know God, who giveth us the victory through Jesus
my words unto you,' Prov. i. 23. Christ our Lord. How awfully momentous is Wisdom has a word in season for persons the event of death, when thus understood! How every variety of character and circumstances. Fc unaccountable, how fatal the infatuation which the ignorant, she has a word of instruction ; fc treats it as a matter of trifling or of distant con- the sorrowful, a word of consolation ; for th
secure, a word of alarm; for the fearful, a word Conscience is a reprover. The sinner may of encouragement. She speaks here to sinners, to shut his eyes to the light of scripture, and *simple ones who ‘love simplicity,' to 'scorners' his ears to the voice of the preacher ; but who 'delight in scorning,' to 'fools' who hate where can he find a retreat from the lash of an *knowledge;' that is, to wilful, daring, and obsti- awakened conscience? By nature conscience is nate transgressors, and for them she has a word of defiled; and it may be blinded through ignor"reproof. Her reproofs are conveyed through ance, or misled by error, or seared as with a many different channels. One of these is hot iron by sensual excess.
But the force of naThe word of God. All scripture is given by tural conscience cannot be altogether subdued ; inspiration of God, and is profitable for reproof. and when its testimony is heard condemning the It points out the evil nature and ruinous conse- sinner, and setting before him the terrors of a quences of sin, and declares the certainty of a coming retribution, as in the case of Belshazzar coming judgment, by which “the wrath of God whose “knees smote one against another' when he shall be revealed from heaven against all unright- beheld the hand-writing on the wall; or of Felix eeusness and ungodliness of men. At the same who “trembled’ when Paul “reasoned of rightetime it deals with the peculiarities of individual ousness, temperance, and judgment to come;' character ; it holds up to sinners of every descrip- what is this but a message of reproof from heation a mirror which reflects the image of their own ven? How precious are the reproofs adminisdepravity, and it comes home to the conscience tered by the counsels of el each in language which reproves alike the in- Christian friendship! ‘Faithful are the wounds difference of the careless, the duplicity of the of a friend.' David held them in high estimahypocritical, the pride of the self-righteous, the tion, 'Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a impiety of the profane, and the excesses of the kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be an voluptuous. For the word of God is quick and excellent oil, which shall not break my head.' powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, Such reproofs ought to be received as tokens piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul of affection, and listened to as the dictates of and spirit
, of the joints and marrow, and is a dis- wisdom. ferner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.' The afflictive dispensations of providence speak
Ministers are reprovers. They are traitors to the language of reproof. Manasseh had been one the cause of Christ who speak smooth things,' of the chief of sinners, but solitude and suffering uying, 'Peace, peace, when there is no peace,' brought him to repentance, and he found mercy. and seek to please rather than to profit and edify We are prone to complain of our trials, but if we ibe people. Their commission runs in these viewed them in the proper light we should see lemas
, “Cry aloud, spare not ; lift up thy voice cause to be thankful for them. We ought allike a trumpet, and show my people their trans- ways to bear in mind that to improve them aright pressions, and the house of Jacob their sing.' is to be reproved by them. The reproofs of wisakn the Baptist did not flatter Herod the king, dom all aim at one practical object
, it is to st reproved him as he deserved without fear or awaken repentance. But reproofs cannot probrour
. Of Jesus it is said, that he taught as one duce this effect without the operation of aving authority, and not as the scribes; and his Divine influence. This is graciously prorants are commanded to preach the word, be mised; for wisdom has said, “I will pour out my staat in season and out of season, reprove, re- Spirit unto you.' Repentance is man’s duty, but pake, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.' God's work. We may change the conduct, but he papalar errors must not be countenanced, but renews the heart ; we may avoid the act of sin, but pereeted; prevailing sins must not be connived he destroys the love of it; we may go through libet condemned; unwelcome truths must not be the forms of duty, but he implants the principle nccaled, but declared; the vices both of indi- of obedience. To the commandment which says, pideals and communities must, without distinc- "Turn ye at my reproof, let us therefore reply, er of rank, or sex, or age, or circumstances, be "Turn thou me and I shall be turned, for thou adessly exposed; the people must be addressed art the Lord my God! .' is in vague generalities, but in plain, pointed, Reproofs must be understood in order to be
searching appeals to the conscience and the effectual. Wisdom has provided and promised est
. He is a bad preacher who makes the all needful instruction. She therefore adds, “I carers forget themselves in their admiration of will make known my words unto you. The La Discourses which give greatest offence fre- Spirit has given the word, but he must also give
the capacity to discern its meaning. In his light
atly do most good.
LIST of Christ's atonement to those whom ae Commen
* Father has given him. It will be sufficient of being
se every objection, and silence
every murit W
r mer in the Judge to say, I have called, and I үе Who
stused.' •Few are chosen,' but ‘many are called; ment,
and it is not with the purpose of election, which sentence
has not been revealed, that sinners have to do, can
int with the call of mercy which addresses ta PY
shem the free, unrestricted, unconditional offer ol еу tha
salvation. In refusing this call they act wilfully im
deliberately, from enmity to God, and aversion bym 1 bi
wou. I also to his service. This is the condemnation that her
de l oil matt light is come into the world, and men love
darkness rather than light, because their deed T
The government as time communes from 33*were evil? Thus they incur the guilt of disobey at
and will ditimativ risus ria z1 hs inteligent ing the command of God, of denying his truth creatures
, zmiinutak uzuns out and spectation of despising his mercy, of rejecting his counsel, We are not inåterà VPISAL DE MARET , to counting the blood of the covenant, wherewit know the reasvas a sendes: nie do we in Christ was sanctified, an unholy thing, and doin any as poses the capacit fult to compre- despite
unto the Spirit of grace. Resting hend themAzt beinu fe everything such grounds the punishment of the wicked sha that be dues rach wheely evealed, shall be perfectly
Righteous. The justice of God demands it at once demuestran the IT of his procenture, and she is pless nie, and holy, his mercy permits it; his truth and faithfulne and grachus charme Ponds and darkness cannot be maintained without it. All the attr are round sint ist: righteousness and butes of his character will be infinitely honour judgmens as the halsization of his throne; mercy | by it. The whole intelligent creation will a
prove of it. Sinners themselves will silent and truth stail gu kis fare'
In the imagen expanded to wicked men acquiesce in it. The man who had not on t there is an appareat deviation from those princi- wedding garment was speechless in presence ples of retrage and impartiallity which regulate the king, so shall be the finally impenitent und tive drūze gardeDINABE. Not only do they seem the sentence of the Judge. And their condem to engor immuniter à sa: there often attain to a nation as it is perfectly righteous so it is iner fur lagter dyrere esperity than falls to the ably, lot of the Thas as in all ages been a source
Certain. Now they have an accepted tim of perplexity and severagement to the people and a 'day of salvation. But the door, by wh of God what it randers saners bolder and more they are now invited to enter, will then be sh Bardiend an wiskundese But they abuse the Prayer will no longer avail. All the things t1
wire Border and knyg-suffering, not know- belong to their peace will be hid from their eying that the guardians of God leadeth to repen- The God of mercy will then have forgotten to biance; and her brukere up to themselves “wrath gracious,' and will be favourable no more.' H guin ser der er wrath, and revelation of the vain must be the hope of the poor and distres anderes jouets of God.' •Because sentence when their prayer for relief is met not by the } Neel werk is not executed speedily, and language of sympathy, but by laughter :
e de daard of the sons of men is fully set mockery! How dreadful to hear the Father shem * erakBut God will bring every mercies declare, “I also will laugh at your
dan segment, and will render unto every amity, I will mock when your fear come
wedge to his work; and he will be glori- And he is not a ‘man that he should lie, or M
& in the destruction of his enemies than son of man that he should repent!
salvation? Who can resist the force of his The news of their condemnation. They mighty arm, or elude the inspection of his ermitted to urge the plea of ignor- seeing eye? What is there to make up for
want of opportunity, nor even want of his friendship, or to protect us from
as their excuse; far less shall they effect of his anger ? The punishment of the to plead the decrees of God, or the ner will be unspeakably
Awful. To them on the left hand the Judge only with profound respect, but with affectionate shall say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into ever- acquiescence; they must be submitted to not only lasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' from a sense of duty, but in the spirit of love. When, therefore, the great day of his wrath is To this effect it is enjoined, "These words which come, who shall be able to stand ? Who among I command thee this day shall be in thine heart.' us can dwell with devouring fire? who
among us The words which God has commanded us decan dwell with everlasting burnings ?'
serve a place in the heart. They are the words But, blessed be God, there is still a way of of infallible truth, and merit our fullest confidence; escape. The time has not yet arrived of which it they are the words of eternal life, and claim our is said, “Then shall they call upon me, but I will warmest attachment. “More to be desired are not answer. His patience continues to wait, and they than gold; yea, than much fine gold: sweeter his Spirit to strive. He calls upon us to come, also than honey, and the honey comb. It is the for all things are now ready. Turn ye, why will heart that God looks to, and speaks to: and the ye die, 0 house of Israel? Let the wicked for- services we perform in obedience to his word can sake his way, and the unrighteous man his be acceptable and honouring to him in so far only thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, as they express the feelings of the heart. So long and he will have mercy upon him; and to our as it has not taken possession of the heart, the God, for he will abundantly pardon.'
word of God can produce no sanctifying effect on the character; and is in reality rejected. The good seed must be sown not by the way side, nor
on stony ground, nor among thorns, where it TWENTY-FIRST DAY.--MORNING. would be either entirely lost, or exert only a su
perficial and temporary influence; but on the soil *These words which I command thee this day shall of a good and honest heart, where it will take
be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them dili- deep root, and bring forth fruit in some thirty, in gently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them some sixty, and in some a hundred fold. But as echen thou sittest in thy house, and when thou it is man's duty to receive the word into his heart, ecolkest by the way, and when thou liest down, so it is God's work to put it there, and he has and when thou risest up,' Deut. vi. 6, 7. graciously promised to do his own work. “BeThe words which form the subject of this ex- hold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will hortation obviously refer in the first instance to make a new covenant with the house of Israel, the law of the ten commandments, which had on and with the house of Judah; but this shall be that
very day been delivered to the people of Is- the covenant that I will make with the house of mel
. These words' may, however, be supposed Israel after these days, saith the Lord. I will to comprehend generally the whole of revelation, put my law in their inward parts, and write it in including both the Old and New Testaments; their hearts; and I will be their God, and they and in particular they apply to the record which shall be my people. God has given of his Son Jesus Christ, which Having taken possession of the heart, the words unfolds a complete system of truth to be believed, which God has commanded us will necessarily and a perfect rule of duty to be followed, with all exert their proper influence in securing all those necessary means to be observed for the purpose practical effects which are intended or required. of enabling us to understand the one and to obey The memory will carefully retain them, the mind the other. Our duty in reference to the words will seriously reflect upon them, the mouth will of inspiration consists of two parts: we are com- loudly speak of them, and the life habitually cormanded to receive them for our own benefit, and respond with them. In particular, the reception we are required to communicate them for the of them for ourselves will produce the desire, and benefit of others. They demand in the first in- enforce the endeavour to
Communicate them to others. This we are Cordial reception from ourselves. It is not directed to attempt in two different ways. One enough that we put them in our houses, so as is by teaching, or— to have constant access to them for reading and Instruction. Thou shalt teach them diligently meditation; nor even that we have them in our unto thy children. Children represent the youth memories so as to be able to repeat them with ease of every family; and in this view the injunction and accuracy from beginning to end. They must is addressed to parents. To them has been not only be known and remembered, but under committed the charge of teaching unto their chilstood and approved; they must be regarded not dren the words which God has commanded.
only shall we see light. Let us unite dependence | limitation of Christ's atonement to those whom on his teaching with the diligent and prayerful the Father has given him. It will be sufficient use of all appointed means of instruction. Let to answer every objection, and silence every mur. us beware of setting at nought his counsels, or mur for the Judge to say, 'I have called, and ye despising his reproofs ; for he who being often re- refused.' "Few are chosen,' but ‘many are called; proved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be de- and it is not with the purpose of election, which stroyed, and that without remedy.'
has not been revealed, that sinners have to do but with the call of mercy which addresses to
them the free, unrestricted, unconditional offer o TWENTIETI DAY.—EVENING.
salvation. In refusing this call they act wilfully
deliberately, from enmity to God, and aversion · Because I have called, and ye refused, I also to his service. This is the condemnation tha
will laugh at your calamity; I will mock light is come into the world, and men love when your fear cometh,' Prov. i. 24, 26.
darkness rather than light, because their deed The government of God demands from us now, were evil. Thus they incur the guilt of disobey and will ultimately obtain from all his intelligent ing the command of God, of denying his truth creatures, unlimited acquiescence and approbation. of despising his mercy, of rejecting his counsel, We are not, indeed, permitted, in many cases, to counting the blood of the covenant, wherewit know the reasons of his conduct; nor do we in Christ was sanctified, an unholy thing, and doin any case possess the capacity fully to compre- despite unto the Spirit of grace. Resting hend them. But he has a reason for every thing such grounds the punishment of the wicked sha that he does, which, when clearly revealed, shall be perfectlyat once demonstrate the necessity of his pro- Righteous. The justice of God demands it cedure, and display its perfectly wise, and holy, his mercy permits it; his truth and faithfulne and gracious character. Clouds and darkness cannot be maintained without it. All the attı are round about him ;' yet righteousness and butes of his character will be infinitely honour judgment are the habitation of his throne; mercy by it. The whole intelligent creation will a and truth shall go before his face.'
prove of it. Sinners themselves will silent In the indulgence extended to wicked men acquiesce in it. The man who had not on t there is an apparent deviation from those princi- wedding garment was speechless in presence ples of rectitude and impartiality which regulate the king, so shall be the finally impenitent und the divine government. Not only do they seem the sentence of the Judge. And their condes to enjoy impunity in sin ; they often attain to a nation as it is perfectly righteous so it is inev far higher degree of prosperity than falls to the ablylot of others. This has in all ages been a source Certain. Now they have an accepted tin of perplexity and discouragement to the people and a day of salvation. But the door, by whi of God, whilst it renders sinners bolder and more they are now invited to enter, will then be sh hardened in wickedness. But they abuse the Prayer will no longer avail. All the things t divine forbearance and long-suffering, not know- belong to their peace will be hid from their ey ing that the goodness of God leadeth to repen- The God of mercy will then have forgotten to tance; and they treasure up to themselves “wrath gracious, and will be favourable no more' H against the day of wrath, and revelation of the vain must be the hope of the poor and distres righteous judgments of God. “Because sentence when their prayer for relief is met not by the l against an evil work is not executed speedily, and language of sympathy, but by laughter therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set mockery! How dreadful to hear the Father in them to do evil.' But God will bring every mercies declare, “I also will laugh at your work into judgment, and will render unto every amity, I will mock when your fear com man according to his work; and he will be glori- And he is not a “man that he should lie, or fied no less in the destruction of his enemies than son of man that he should repent. in the salvation of his redeemed people. He has How then shall we escape if we neglect so g distinctly stated
salvation? Who can resist the force of his The grounds of their condemnation. They mighty arm, or elude the inspection of his shall not be permitted to urge the plea of ignor- seeing eye? What is there to make up for ance, nor the want of opportunity, nor even want of his friendship, or to protect us from moral inability as their excuse; far less shall they effect of his anger? The punishment of the be allowed to plead the decrees of God, or the ner will be unspeakably