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panion would proceed among them. strictest attention. The captain The afternoon had nearly passed | joined them to hear the story, the away, and he had conversed with no conclusion of which afforded an opone but myself. At length he inquired portunity for the stranger to begin of the captain if he were willing to his work. He was the advocate of have prayers on board.
temperance, as well as religion, and "I have no objection,” said he.
here gained some friends to this "if the passengers have not: but I cause. shan't attend."
“But,” said he at length, “though At an early hour the passengers intoxication occasions an immense were invited into the cabin, and in amount of crime and misery in our a few minutes the captain was world, I recollect ong instance of seated among them. After reading murder with which it had no conå short portion of Scripture, our nection.” He then related, as nearly friend made a few appropriate re- | as I can remember, the following marks, and earnestly commended us story :to God.
"In a populous city of the East, As soon as he rose from prayer, was a man who seemed to live only a gentleman, whose head was for the good of others. He daily exwhitening for the grave, said, hibited the most perfect benevolence "Sir, I should like to converse towards his fellow-men; sought out with you. I profess to be a Deist. the poor and needy, and relieved I once professed religion, but now I their wants; sympathized with and believe it is all delusion.”
comforted the sick and the afflicted; "Sir," said the young man, “I and, though he was rich, his unsparrespect age, and will listen to you; ing beneficence clothed him in and as you proceed, may perhaps poverty. He deserved the esteem of ask a few questions; but I cannot all, yet he had enemies. He took no debate, I can only say that I must part in politics, yet many feared that love Jesus Christ. He died to save his generosity was a cloak of ambime, and I am a great sinner.”
tion, and that he was making friends "I do not deny that men are sin in order to secure to himself the ners," said the old man, “but I reins of government. Others feared don't believe in Christ.”
that his religious views, connected “Will you then tell us how sin- | with his consistent life, would exDers can be saved in some other pose their hypocrisy. At length a Way, and God's law be honoured ?” mock trial was held by an infuriated
We waited in vain for a reply, mob, and he was condemned and put when my friend proceeded :-"Not to death.” many years since I was an infidel, " Where was that?" "When was because I did not love the truth, | it?” “Who was it?" was heard and was unwilling to examine it. | from several voices. Now I see my error; and the more I “It was the city of Jerusalem, study the Bible, the firmer is my l and the person was none other than conviction of its truth; and that | the LORD JESUS CHRIST. By his there is no way of salvation, but enemies he was hung upon the cross, through a crucified Redeemer.” and for us, guilty sinners, he
As the passengers sat engaged in died.” conversation, one of them at length Every eye was fixed upon the turned to our young friend, and re young man, and a solemn awe lated the circumstances of a murder rested on every countenance. He recently perpetrated by a man in opened a Bible which lay upon the
neighbourhood, while in a fit , table, and read the account of The captain nodded to him as a | replied the young man; "will you: signal for prayer, and we all again my friend, give him your heart?" feil on our knees, while he wept over " yes, yes! if I had a thousand the condition of sinners, and, for the hearts he should have them all." sake of Christ, besought God's mercy was the answer. upon them. Here again was a The young man turned away and floating Bethel.
wept. For some minutes, silenca In the morning, the stranger was was broken only by the deep sighs not forgotten; and he evidently did of the aged penitent. There was not forget that there were immortal something, in an hour like this, awsouls around him, hastening with fully solemn. Heaven was rejoicing, him to the bar of God. During the | I doubt not, over a returning pro day he conversed separately with digal. As he stood alone and wepty each individual, except an elderly | he reiterated, again and again, gentleman who had followed him “Yes, I will serve God; I will, from seat to seat, and showed much I will.” After a time his feelings uneasiness of mind; the realities of became more calm, and, lifting his eternity were set before us, and the eyes towards heaven, with both Holy Spirit seemed to be striving | hands raised, he sangwith many hearts.
"There shall I bathe my weary soul As the mantle of evening was In seas of heavenly rest, drawing around us, our friend re And not a wave of trouble roll quested an interview with the aged Across my peaceful breast.” man.
And then again he wept, and said, “Yes, yes,” he said, “I have “ Yes, O Jesus, precious Saviour !"|| been wishing all day to see you, The time had come for our young but you were talking with others.” friend to leave us. By his zeal 10
He acknowledged that he had his Master's service he had stolen ou tried to be a Universalist; and hearts, and all pressed forward to though he could not rest in that express their friendship in an affeo belief, he never, until the previous tionate farewell. evening, saw his lost condition. Such was the influence of one “ And now," said he, “I want you individual, whose unwavering pur. to tell me what I shall do.”
pose it was to live for God. He fel The young man raised his eyes to for dying sinners; and, relying or heaven as if imploring the Spirit's the help of the Holy Spirit for suc influences, and then briefly ex- | cess, laboured for the salvation o plained the nature and reasonable- souls around him. ness of repentance and faith, accom- Will not the reader solemnly re panied by a few striking illustrations solve, in God's strength, that hence in proof of the justice of God in con forth, whether at home or abroad, b demning, and his mercy in pardoning | will make the glory of Christ, in th sinrers.
salvation of men, the one object o The old man saw the plan of re- his life? When Christians univer demption so clearly, that he burst sally shall do this, we may expei into tears, and exclaimed, “Oh, my soon to hear the song of Zion flos soul, my soul! How have I sinned on every breeze: “Hallelujah! T} against God! I see it-I feel it; kingdoms of this world are becon yes, I have sinned all my days.” the kingdoms of our Lord and of h
“But Jesus died to save sinners,” | Christ!”
THE JOY OF THE LORD.
“Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”—Matt. xxv. 25. God's people sometimes are afflicted with doubts and fears. I need not say that sometimes the greatness of the blessing is such that they think it too good. Amidst all the Christian's hopes of Heaven there are some reasonings set in doubts, some apprehensions, and Satan is diligent to increase those apprehensions. You know very well you have walked very indifferently with God; how much like a hypocrite! Don't you know how often you are weary of the service of God; weary in it, and of it? Don't you know how many doubts you have concerning the Divino authority of the Scriptures ? You know the breaking out of passion, pride, envy. What have you to do to think of heaven ? You desire to depart and be with Christ, and you know you have no taste for Divine things. How will you be able to look Christ in the face ? You have sinned against Him in your own conscience many a time, you know you have. You have not a spirit fit to go to heaven. I fear it is all true. [Yet] if an angel was to come and say I must live separate from Christ, that would be hell enough for me. Here is the relief vital faith gives. The Saviour can view his people more than in one point of sight. In one point Christ can view them as guilty, apostate, polluted creatures, deserving of all God's wrath. But this is the relief of faith, He can view them as beloved by Him from all eternity. If Christ can view me as chosen, adopted, forgiven, redeemed, regeserated, and glorified ; if He views me in this light, why may I not yiew myself in this light? And can the Son of God say with all his heart, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"? He can. He has done so thousands and millions of times. I. Why Heaven is called “ the joy of the Lord.”
1. It is called “the joy of the Lord,” because God has provided itGod the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost provided this joy.
2. The obedience and death of Christ is the condition on which we possess this joy. We must hold the doctrine of Christ's infinite merit. We are unrewardable on the Socinian system.
3. It is called “the joy of the Lord” because the Lord Jesus looked to it, and was delighted with it.
4. Because the Lord” puts his people in the possession of it. The Lord Jesus Christ gives it heartily.
II. Ilustrate this joy, and show that all the springs of joy found in our world are to be found in heaven.
Joy in general is a pleasant sensation arising from the actual possession or the sure prospect of possessing some real good. I think that boundless
* Notes of a Sermon preached Jan. 19th, 1772.
appetite in wicked men for pleasure is a strong proof that the soul is made to live for ever.
1. It is the joy of the Husbandman.
This is one Scriptural instance of the joy of a true Christian. Job represents a godly man coming in as a shock of corn fully ripe. Here the believer goes through a great deal. Here is ploughing, sowing, reaping, and abundance of work. The husbandman that sowed his corn last October must go through all the winter, the long, dark, cold nights. Abundance of trouble he has to watch his corn in April, May, June, [to keep it from the birds. So a believer says, “I hope I shall be saved. I believe (fear ?] I shall not. When grace springs up in my heart, there are the weeds of pride springing up. But when the husbandman sees the corn ripe, and he begins to cut it down, then his joy begins, and he says, “I do not repent I took all these pains eight or nine months ago, because I have now ten, twenty, and a hundred-fold.” When the soul by the influence of God's Spirit has been established and brought nearer to God, and he is got into heaven, then his joy begins. Thousands, when they got in their harvest, perhaps, they got drunk for joy.
2. There is the joy of the Scholar. When a man first sets out in learning, he meets with great difficulties. The believer is a scholar in Christ's school. He sets out like a little boy. But when he knows more of God's word and more of the Lord Jesus, when he comes to see the whole plan of justification, when he comes up to heaven and sees the whole system of truth, then what a joy. I would not part with the pleasure I find in the knowing of things for all the world. In reading the Bible, if you do but find one promise in a week, what pleasure and satisfaction! What will it be to come up to heaven and be a finished scholar in the promises of God ?
3. The joy of a Merchant.
He furnishes ont a ship with a large cargo, and this ship is to go a long voyage. Now the poor believer makes a venture of his soul in the Lory Jesus Christ, and his precious soul is of more worth than all the cargoe of all the merchants in the world. Sometimes he is afraid he is no insured, sometimes he does get a peep at the insurance book. But as man is frightened in a dark night about his cargo, so we can't live lon together without some painful reasonings. Our constant imperfectio before God is a constant spring of suspicions and painful reasoning Afterwards a believer finds the fruit of all his prayers, and he finds thei is no more prayer, but all praise. This is gold, silver, and diamonds, an all sorts of riches.
4. The joy of the Captain, the General. This is commonly a ver wicked joy. I have often thought there is a great deal of idolatry in General. (Here God did nothing.)
5. The joy of pure, rational, virtuous Friendship. Friendship has bee defined to be the mutual inclination of two or more parties to promo each other's happiness. In order to any great friendship there must 1 an agreement in the principal dispositions, tastes, views, and pursuit (Such a man as Sir Isaac Newton-put him with a country farmer that can't read a word.) Whenever you have any joy or trouble you look round and say, “Who shall I open my mind to first ?" If ever the Christian has the joy of assurance, our Lord is sure to hear of it in prayer and praise. A fresh meeting increases the joys of friendship. Thus it, will be when the believer enters heaven. “Now," he will say," I am como into a country I never saw. I have looked through a glass—the Scrip tures. I have had ten thousand doubts and fears I should never come here. While I was down in dark old Adam's world I lived like a heathen ; but I find my heart now is so closely joined to Christ that like a planet dropt in the sun, nothing but Omnipotence could ever separate it. I used to find some pleasure in secret prayer, but I commonly was weary before I had been ten minutes upon my knees. But I thank God I shall never be weary any more.” Sometimes a believer finds such vile images, such nonsensical images, that sometimes he is tempted, if he could, to hide his heart from Christ; but in heaven he will never be ashamed of one thought.
6. The joy of a Marriage feast. (See Matt. xxii.; Psal. xlv. &c.) | The prophet Isaiah declares Christ to be the husband of his people. A few weeks ago I was in company with a widow lady whose husband had been a minister. She put into my hand a paper containing a dream. The minister was in London (He dreamed he was sick, and then died. When his soul left his body he found his soul ascend towards heaven, and looked down upon this world with pity and disdain. As he ascended higher and higher in his journey he wondered he had no guide. At last he met an angel, who said he would conduct him, and at length he came to a fine palace. Says he, “I think I have in my imagination seen as fine a place as this.” Says he (the angel), “ You must come to it by degrees." He had him in the parlour, where was a table, and upon the table a gold cup, and golden wine. He asked what that cup was. While he was thus talking he heard a little noise. He asked what that was. He said, “It is your Master.” He imagined that at last Christ came in, and he fell prostrate at his feet. His Lord raised him up and took the said gold cup and drank to him. He was surprised at the condescension. When his Lord had drunk he gave him the cup, and he thought the condescension so great that he refused, and the Lord said, “ If thou drink not thou hast no part with me." He was overcome, and his Lord said, “ I'll leave you for the present, and I will come again." Accordingly he liad him into a parlour full of fine pictures which showed [the history of his life ? Dream of Dr. Doddridge. I knew the minister-a man of fine sense, and he was ready to speak of it to any friend.
7. The joy of a Coronation. What a vast account people make of a coronation ! what grand rich dresses are provided ! &c. Now when true believers are entered into glory, it is to have crowns of glory given to them.