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is displayed in his all-prevailing intercession, and street, nor breaking the bruised reed, nor quenchin the influences of the Sanctifier and Comfortering the smoking flax, but then the terrors of shed abroad in the soul, purifying the believer the Lord shall be around him. On earth his more and more; strengthening the pilgrim to sceptre was peace, and the transgressor, the the celestial city,' and giving him, in the conso- chief of sinners,' was warmly invited to draw lations by which his journey is cheered, a foretaste near, to touch it and live; then justice and of what is reserved for him in that happy land ; judgment shall be the habitation of his throne.' "whereas the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, In his state of humiliation, his affecting words 50 thy God,' o thou follower of the Lamb, were, “ If thou hadst known, even thou in this shall "rejoice for ever over thee.'
thy day, the things which belong to thy peace! Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Ye will not come
unto me, that ye may have life :' but then his Fifth DAY.—MORNING.
language will be, O hear it now ye . who are * Who shall be punished with everlasting destruc- and wonder and perish ! — Repentance is hid
at ease in Zion,' that you may not hear it then, tion from the presence of the Lord, and from from mine eyes ; vengeance is mine, I will repay, the glory of his power,' 2Thess. i. 9.
saith the Lord.' The universe, through all its * To-day if you will hear God's voice, harden not bounds, shall feel the approach of its Creator to your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of judge the world in righteousness.' Then the temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers sublime language of the Psalmist shall be strictly tempted me, proved me, and saw my works. applicable to him, who though David's son is Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they also David's Lord, (Psal. xviii. 7—15). In such should not enter into my rest. This denuncia- awful circumstances, and with such an accumulation of Jehovah against the unbelieving, murmur- tion of horrors, will he manifest himself to the ing, and disobedient Israelites, excluding them unbelieving and the half-believing, the obstinate from the temporal Canaan, is addressed in refer- and the unimpressed, the unconvinced and the ence to 'a better country, even a heavenly,' to unjustified, the unwashed in the blood of sprinkthose who to the last moment of their existence, ling and the unsanctified by the Spirit of holiwilfully • know not God, and obey not the gospel ness. Their sin is wilful, their contempt of salof our Lord Jesus Christ.' Their day of grace vation evident to all, and borne witness to, by is gone, and the time of their fearful visitation is their own conscience; and to heighten and comat hand. Messiah as judge, is come to be glori- plete their punishment they shall behold 'afar fied in his saints, and admired in all them that off,' the glory in which the saints delight thembelieve.' When he was manifested to save those selves, in the abundance of peace, and the great' given to him by the Father, in an everlasting and impassable gulf fixed,' which shall separate covenant, he had no form, nor comeliness,' and them from the abodes of blessedness for ever. when the fallen saw him, there was no beauty While the appalling scene is yet only in prospect, in him that they should desire him.' "They hid, let us consider how the Judge shall appear to as it were their faces from him ; he was despised, us individually. He has long addressed us as a and they esteemed him not; he was oppressed, Saviour; he has long told us that we are children and he was afflicted; he was taken from prison, of wrath,' and deserving the outpouring of wrath. and from judgment, and made his grave with the He has long offered himself, in all his sufficiency, wicked. But he will appear the second time, to our acceptance, and entreated us to receive him without' suffering for “sin,' as a sinner, in the as our all in all.? He has long called, and have we sinner's room, “unto salvation.' He will then be answered ? He has long stretched out his hand, Irrayed in his own majesty, for he and the and have we regarded ? He has long stood at the Father are one, in all the splendour, and holiness, door and knocked, and have we heard his voice, ind irresistible power of the uncreated God. and opened the door; and has he come in and supAngels shall be his adoring and ministering atten- ped with us, and we with him ? He has long imlants, the clouds his chariot of conquest, and the plored us to put on the robe of his righteousness, bunders of the Almighty Triune Jehovah an- as the only covering for the soul, and the only rounce his descent. He once came the messenger unfailing defence against the enemy, and are we of glad tidings—a free and full deliverance from indeed clothed with the garments of salvation? uilt and its consequences, not crying, nor lift- He has long assured us that every shelter which ng up, nor causing his voice to be heard in the self can supply is a refuge of lies, and have we
abandoned it as spiritually destructive, and sought He collects the most striking incidents from and found ' a hiding-place from the storm,' in the their interesting and varied history, and combinone strong-hold, where alone the prisoners of ing all by his splendid and sanctified talents, hope can enjoy safety, security, and undisturbed he remonstrates, he reasons, he threatens, he imrepose? Let us put these questions to ourselves plores with an energy of thought and expression in the presence of God, and remember that the which has perhaps never been equalled, and Omniscient is the witness of this our appeal. most unquestionably has never been surpassed. How then do our consciences authorise us to Never was grief for the sins and calamities of answer them? Now, and now only is the time, others more deeply or acutely felt, and never was when they can be asked and replied to, so as to it more patriotically and touchingly expressed. avoid the effects which must follow from inability His whole soul is absorbed. There is a complete to give satisfaction to our own minds, in the self- identification of himself, with the objects on examination to which they are intended to con- account of whose treacherous dealings' his harp
Let thy meditations, O my soul, rest strings sound only " lamentation, mourning, and on these truths, of unspeakable and directly per- woe.' • The harvest is past, the summer is ended, sonal importance ; Christ, now thy Saviour, shall and we are not saved. For the hurt of the come as thy Judge, in majesty ineffable; and art daughter of my people am I hurt. I am black ; thou prepared to stand before him without fear, astonishment hath taken hold on me.' In this dark and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God ?' This day of my country's visitation for her sins, I feel is the question of questions. Put it not away that she has deserved it all, but I feel at the from thee. Delay not to ask it. Every thing same time that she is still my country. “Is there essential to thy happiness depends upon it.
• To then no balm in Gilead ?-0 is there no physiday, if thou wilt hear his voice;' to-morrow, I cian there?' Yes, O sinner, there is balm of may be incapable of hearing it. Death may sovereign virtue, an infallible Physician, who can have shut my eyes, and sealed my doom for apply it in all its healing efficacy to thy diseased
And what must that doom inevitably be ? and dying soul. The balm is the blood of Jesus, Heaven or hell, and no after change possible. of which the celebrated production of Gilead was All fixed, fixed unalterably and eternally. The the type, and the physician is Jesus himself, who soul won or lost for evermore. God in Christ be by his Spirit applies the unfailing remedy-11merciful to me a sinner!
failing because it is his blood, and because it is
thus applied. It is the high privilege of the “When thou, O Lord, shalt stand disclosed
Christian teacher, to point out to the sinner the
alarming symptoms of his disease, and to assure O how shall I appear ?'
him that if he will use the means provided, and indispensable for his particular desperate case, be shall be rescued from spiritual death, and restored
to spiritual health, and translated at last to that Fifth Day.-EVENING.
happy land • where the inhabitant shall not say • Is there no balm in Gilead ? is there no physician
I am sick, because the people that dwell therein there?' Jer. viii. 22.
are forgiven their iniquity. But how often, like
the prophet, does the watchman on the towers The prophet was commissioned, by the God of of Zion' call, and warn, and admonish in rain! Israel, to expostulate with his people, on the The balm is here, the physician is here.
But the conduct which they had pursued and were still one has no value, and the other is regarded as not pursuing, and to set before them the consequences worth the inquiring after. Thus are the messenwhich had followed and were still following, from gers of Jesus met in their anxious endeavours to their apostacy. For this purpose he employs all rouse attention, and affect rational creatures sufthe powers of his pathetic and persuasive elo- fering under a malady that must bring them to quence. He pours out the feelings of his troubled hell, and yet boldly maintaining that all is wel soul in language worthy of the subject, and with with them. Thus is the Spirit of God grieved and an earnestness which displays at once the peculiar constrained to strive no more with man detercharacteristics of his genius, the strength of his mined on self-destruction; and thus are millions religious principles, and the warmth of his social of miserable souls lost in the full blaze of gospel affection. He adverts to every circumstance par- light, and in the very midst of Christian ordinticularly calculated to make a favourable impres- ances. Place the great bulk of a professedly sion on the minds of those whom he addressed. religious community within reach of a contagious
disease, which is raging around them, and
And O let us examine carefully our own ing off its victims in rapid succession, and laying state, that we may know whether we have had families desolate, and covering the population of the healing baln applied to our wounds, and thus the district where they reside with mourning. have satisfactory evidence that He who is now How anxiously are inquiries made respecting the our physician, shall rejoice over the souls that he progress of the malady! How tremblingly alive has redeemed from destruction, and crowned are the inquirers to every new report of its in- with loving-kindness and tender mercies’ for ever. creasing inveteracy! How strongly is alarm depicted on every countenance! How crushingly does fear master and subdue every heart! How quickly they hasten from the scene of danger, and if they
Sixth Day.-MORNING. are seized, or imagine they are seized by the frightful pestilence before they reach a place of Then shall he say also unto them on the left safety, how eagerly do they implore advice, assist
hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everance, and relief? The plague spot has appeared,
lasting fire, prepared for the devil and his it is spreading, and what would they not give or
angels,' Matt. xxv. 41. do that it may be removed? They would spend Faith, when really the gift of God, and othertheir all, they would beg—only let their life be wise it has no right to the name, looks to a dis-spared, and they ask no more. But how melan- tance, and views, as the proper objects of its choly and humbling the reflection forced on us by exercise, the realities of eternity. 'If a man die, observation, yes, and by our own experience, shall he live again?' This question has been that the soul may be sick, sick unto death, with asked with feverish anxiety by every thinking out awakening any fears for its state! The being, since death, through the fall of Adam, moral leprosy has comme
menced, for the seeds of it established his despotism over a sinful world. are naturally in our frame. Every hour is add- And it has been answered in the affirmative, in ing to its virulence and establishing its power. proportion to the degree of knowledge attained The vital parts, the heart and conscience, the by the accountable creature, who felt that much understanding and the will, are deeply infect- of his happiness or misery depended on the kind ed, and eternal death is unavoidable except of response which could be returned to the imby the prescriptions of the one physician, and the portant inquiry. But though the immortality of application of the one medicine. The mind the soul, in some form or other, has found a place becomes more and more alienated from God, the in every creed, except the atheist's, with which conduct gradually darkened with deeper shades history has made us acquainted, the doctrine of a of corruption, and the soul by steps accelerated in general judgment is peculiar to the Bible. The proportion to their number more irretrievably resurrection from the dead, and the appearance sunk in guilt. The harvest is past' with sinners of the world's inhabitants, past, present, and to of this description; "the summer is ended, and come, at the bar of the world's Judge, were truths they are not saved. But while they are yet 'in too vast for unaided reason to discover, or to comthe land of the living,' and within the reach of prehend. They formed part of those “secret mercy, let us pray that the Lord in Christ may things which belong to the Lord,' and have ceased visit them in the multitude of his compassions,' to be mysteries to such favoured lands, alone, as and by his Spirit convince them of their sin and have been visited and enlightened by the day danger, and lead them to the cross, and enable spring from on high. The certainty of judgment them to behold there the man' Jesus suffering is an object of faith, as the substance of things and dying, 'the just for the unjust, that he might not seen, because it was taught to the people of bring them unto God. Affected with the scene God under both the patriarchal and Mosaic dispresented to the eye of their faith, may they say pensations. See Jude xiv. 15; Job xix. 25, &c.; with the gospel penitent, · Lord, remember us Psal. ix. 7, 8; Dan. xii. 1–3. When we turn when thou comest into thy kingdom, and hear to the evangelical records, we have the particular Emmanuel replying in answer to their prayer, Person of the adorable Trinity pointed out, who uttered with a full recognition of his divinity and is to be the Judge ; and a sublime and minute power to save to the uttermost, and unreserved description of the 'great day of dread, decision, reliance on his merits as the only ground of their and despair,' given by him who is ordained by pardon and acceptance, In the day when I call the Father to conduct the awful proceedings. you to leave the world, which you now feel is not See Matt. xxv. 31, &c.; Acts i. 10, 11; xvii. 31 ; to be your home, you shall be with me in para- 12 Cor. v. 10; Rev. i. 7. The sureness of judgment being thus established on the ground of the us, and see how the terror rises at every step of divine testimony, its righteousness follows as a the dreadful denunciation, 'Depart from me,' who matter of course, when we consider the attributes once made myself known to you as a Saviour, and character of the Judge. “In him dwelleth | ‘not willing that any of you should perish, and all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; and, there- imploring you by my Spirit, and my ambassadors, fore, the actions of every subject of God's govern- to be reconciled unto God. 'Ye cursed,
' ye ment are known to him, and their most secret devoted without shelter, and without hope, on sins,' or 'labours of love,' placed in the light of whom the wrath of the Lord, as a "mighty terhis countenance. Their thoughts, words, and rible One,' is just about to fall, ‘into everlasting deeds, will be examined and estimated according fire,' kindled by the breath of the Omnipotent, to the opportunities which they have enjoyed, of and decreed to burn while he that changeth not becoming acquainted with the will of God, and exists, “prepared for the devil and his angels, the improvement which they have made of the made completely ready, by your sins, your spurnprivileges where with the Lord, in his wisdom ing away from you offered grace, and your perseand goodness, has been pleased to bless them. verance in ungodliness for associating with those * From them, to whom much has been given, rebellious spirits 'who kept not their first estate, much will also be required; and it shall be more but left their own habitation, and are reserved in tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judg- everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment, than for us to whom the Lord has been, ment of this very day. These shall go away into and is so peculiarly gracious, if we do not listen everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life to the invitations of mercy, and close with the eternal. Imagination has often been employed in Redeemer's offers on his own terms, “and take fast attempting to describe the place and the torments hold of his covenant. The inhabitants of those of the damned. But what fancy can pourtray guilty cities sinned in a great measure through what is indescribable, and even inconceivable? The ignorance; but we who have the light of the Lord grant that we may be kept in a state of gospel shining on us, who acknowledge that to us ignorance on the subject from our own experience 'the word of this salvation is sent,' and have long for ever! Emmanuel came to seek and to save heard "the joyful sound, can have no excuse for that which was lost.' Lord, lead us to thyself, our indifference, and ‘no cloak’ whatever ‘for and enable us to rest in perfect security on the our sins. Our own mouths condemn us' as Redeemer's blood for taking away our sins, and well as the law of God. “Yea, our own lips laying sure the foundation of our peace with testify against us' in fearful accordance with the thee! 'O satisfy us early with thy mercy, that declarations of the Most High. From the sen- we may rejoice and be glad all our days.' O by tence then solemnly pronounced there is no appeal. thy Spirit working in us mightily, make us feel The jurisdiction of the court is supreme; for he the full import of the words, death, judgment, who presides in it ‘is God over all.' "His throne and eternity! is for ever and ever; the sceptre of his kingdom is a right sceptre. He loveth righteousness, and hateth iniquity. He hath on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish above his fellows,' that even in the judgment'
from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a his followers may rejoice; yet 'out of his mouth
little,' Psal. ii. 12. goeth a sharp sword, that with it he may smite This psalm is expressly applied to the Messiah the nations, and the individuals, who would not by his own inspired servants in the gospel, and that he should rule over them;' when he spoke we must fail entirely in seeing its true meaning, to their hearts, and entreated them by all that if we are not convinced that a greater than was dear to them here and hereafter, to “take David is here.' In the midst of his threateninge upon them his yoke, which is easy, and his bur- against the mighty of the earth, who set themden, which is light. Considering, then, the cer- selves, and took counsel together against the tainty of judgment, the perfections of the Judge, Lord and his Anointed, he forgets not that the the righteousness which shall distinguish all his great object of his mission was to pity, and to procedure, and the impossibility of any appeal save. He therefore exhorts rulers and judges, from the decision then finally given, let us weigh whatever may be the extent of their dominions, well the awful words of the declaration before or the irresponsibility of their authority, "to be
instructed by him,' the only infallible Teacher, shall undertake for us? If we compel him to and to learn that wisdom which leadeth unto leave us, willing as he is to stay with us, and to salvation. He entreats them to humble them- justify us freely,' all is over with us; and unreselves before the Lord, who is their Master, and to penting, unforgiven, and utterly unprepared for cast their crowns and their sceptres at the foot of meeting with God, we must enter into eternity. the cross. He counsels them with warm solicitude If he cease to intercede for us, there remaineth for their everlasting welfare, to serve the Lord,' no more sacrifice for sin, no other name whereby Christ as the King of Zion, with fear, and to we can be saved. Reflect then, O my soul, if rejoice,' even in the plenitude of worldly glory, such be the peril of the sinner, when the anger with trembling.' It was love to man, fallen of the Son is kindled 'but a little,' what must be and miserable, that brought Jesus from the his dreadful condition, when the remainder of his Father's right hand. It was love to man that wrath he doth not, and will not restrain. Hast made “the accursed tree’ an object of desire to thou then made up thy peace with him? Hast the only begotten Son of the Eternal. It is thou formed a just estimate of what this peace love to man, which still glows in the heart of the really is? Hast thou heard, by faith, the words exalted Intercessor, and graciously constrains him of thine own Redeemer describing it? “Peace I to say unto us, who have long thoughtlessly and leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not contemningly turned a deaf ear to his invitations, as the world giveth, give I unto you.' Hast thou
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish experienced the richness of the blessings which from the way. The expression here used, Kiss go to its composition; pardon of sin, which lies at the Son,' takes it for granted, that we are in a the foundation of spiritual joy; all thy transgresstate of alienation from him, and are become his sions forgiven, and thine iniquities covered; Jesus enemies, and the exhortation implies that we made of God unto thee wisdom and righteousness, listen to his voice entreating us to be reconciled sanctification and redemption?' Thou hast felt to him as our best friend. When enmity had what it is to be tortured with a sense of guilt, and for years existed between Jacob and Esau, and to anticipate that "fiery indignation which shall the wrath of the latter subdued, by time, had devour the adversary. But blessed be his gloripassed away, a “kiss' at meeting was at once an ous name to all eternity; thou hast felt, also, what evidence of all former animosities having been it is to have the assurance of pardon given thee forgotten, and a seal of fraternal amity and love by him who is unchangeable, and "a promise left restored. Our own interests as rational, but thee of entering into that rest which remaineth for sinful creatures, are intimately concerned in our the people of God.' Thy sins, like the hand-writcomplying with the reasonable and tender injuncing of ordinances that was against thee, and contion here expressed, or in our disregarding it. trary to thee,' have been taken away by the dying When we compare the state of our hearts and Redeemer, who triumphed over them openly, affections with what the word of God declares it nailing them to his cross.' As the effect of pardon, should be; when we think on our continued hast thou experience of the delightful truth, that impenitence, on neglected opportunities, on un- thou art now in favour with thy God, and canst hieeded warnings on particular providences, on say with the saint of old; “O Lord, I will praise unimproved afflictions and solemn calls to be thee; though thou wast angry with me, thine “ready, because we know not the day nor the anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me?' hour' when the summons shall be put into our Hast thou the influences of the Spirit of all grace hands, peremptorily commanding our immediate shed over thee, and the Sanctifier himself dwellappearance before God, can we entertain a doubting in thee? Hast thou felt him to be the silent of the Son being angry,' and of the extreme dan- and unseen, but Almighty Agent in thy regeneger of our 'perishing from the way?' Do we not ration and progress in holiness, the Implanter of feel that we have given just cause for his "wrath right principles, and Inspirer of pious dispositions, being kindled,' not only “a little, but to make it the Giver of every good gift, and thy Comforter in 'burn with a most vehement flame?' And if all the trials, difficulties, and conflicts of thy spiritJesus, even the meek, the long-suffering Jesus, ual warfare? And being thus privileged, endowed, with all his 'bowels of compassion,' and all his and blessed, art thou cheered with the belief, that yearnings of love, be sore displeased, and about thou art an heir of God, and a joint heir with to say, if he has not already said it, “I will go Christ of immortality? O! magnify his name, and return unto my place,' to whom shall we who has thus rescued thee from destruction, and flee for help, and where, () where can we seek is sustaining thee with the certainty of a better and find a shelter? If he abandon us, who country, an eternally enduring inheritance, pur