Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

have corresponded with them-we | wards apostacy, we weep over them, have taken them by the arm and ten- we tell others we have been weeping, derly and affectionately conversed with that they so walk as to prove themthem-we have pressed on them the selves in reality the enemies of the vast importance of paying a prompt cross of Christ. attention to the things that make for Once more, however, and to bring their everlasting peace before they are our remarks to PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, hidden from their eyes; but still we the principle or sentiment we have see they are hardened by the very drawn from this passage may be found word itself through their unbelief, applicable to the state of religion in through the perverseness of their your own souls. My dear hearers. spirits; and that word which might | though it cannot be a fact admissible become a savour of life unto life is that all who are assembled within these becoming to them a savour of death walls are the subjects of conversion to unto death ; and we deprecate their God; yet I think it is a fact, which departure from life, lest in reality the we may also venture to state, that inscription should be written on their there are not a few, there are many tombs as expressive of their state past who have tasted that the Lord is graand present, “Oh, that thou hadst cious, and who are walking in the way known the things that belonged to thy: of holiness towards heaven. peace, but now they are hid from thy | My Christian friends, compare your

former and your present state. Time But to take another view of this was when you were all darkness-time subject, perhaps there were some in was when you were bound and fettered dividuals who were bidding fair for the by the chains of unbelief and sin-time eternal world. In their hearts, power- / was when you were resting your deful convictions of sin had been pro- | pendance for salvation upon your own duced-on their minds, heavenly light | imaginary merits—time was when you had beamed—they seemed to be feel never pleaded and never panted after a ing after God-beginning to cleave to new heart and a right spirit-time was Christ-to be following holiness, with when cleaving to worldly associates, out which no man can see the Lord. you said to God and to his people, They were just upon the edge of dis- | "Depart from us, we desire not the solving their secular associations and knowledge of your ways.” But one yielding themselves up entirely to God, thing you know, that whereas you were and throwing in their lot among his once blind, now you see-see the evil people; but, oh! some golden apple ofsin-see the excellence of the Saviour has been rolled by their side, soon -see that righteousness which can jusafter they were seen to start in the tify-see that stream which flowed from race, and they have gone away. Like the victim of the cross, and which Demas they have forsaken Christ, and cleanses from all the foulest pollutions his Apostles having loved the things of sin-see the promises of the Spirit to of this present evil world. “Oh, ye succour you amidst all your spiritual Galatians," we are ready to say to weaknesses, and to enable you successthem, “who hath bewitched you ; we | fully to conflict with the powers of cormarvel you have been so soon turned ruption and with the principalities of away after another Gospel.” And of darkness, and with the opposition of some who are evidently proceeding this present evil world, until at length along the path 'of error, and along the you attain the glories and the felicities parallel path of vice, and who are of the heavenly state. And does not moving onwards in their course to- | all this demand a song and an ascription

of praise? Is not this event the result | my members"-"To will is present
of the mercy of God which endureth with me, but how to perform I find not
for ever? Is not this an event compared by reason of sin ?" And then sometimes
with which there is no other, which your associations grieve you, and you
can so involve the eternal interests of cry out “Wo is me, that I sojurn in
man? Is not this an event which calls Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of
upon you to praise God, and shout Kedar. My soul hath long dwelt with
aloud for joy because the foundations him that hateth peace. I am for peace :
of the spiritual temple are laid within but when I speak, they are for war."
you? You will concede it.

Now, my Christian friends, let me
And yet I make another appeal to say to you that this combination of joy
you, whether even amidst all the joys and sorrow in the bosom of a believer
and the grateful pleasures which you is perfectly congenial and compatible.
share, when marking the change which You recollect when Moses found that
Divine mercy and grace have pro- the children of Israel were well nigh
duced on the state of your hearts, | through the wilderness, close to Jordan,
there is not also much which should and were about to enter into the land
make you walk humbly before God, flowing with milk and honey, which was
much, which not unfrequently extorts promised to the fathers, he gave them
from you the cry, “Oh, wretched man this charge, “and thou shalt remem-
that I am, who shall deliver me from ber all the way which the LORD thy
the body of this death !” Can you look God hath led thee these forty years in
back on your follies and crimes, ante the wilderness, to humble thee, and to
cedent to the hour which cut up your prove thee, to know what was in thine
follies by the root, without a tear? Can heart, whether thou wouldst keep his
you think of the backslidings and de- commandments, or no.” And said the
partures of your heart from God, since prophet, or rather Jehovah by him to
that blessed period when you found re Israel, renewing their repentance, and
lief, without deep and poignant regret? | going weeping in supplication on their
Can you think of the slow progress you return to God, And thou shalt re-
have made, on the paucity of your at- member and be confounded, and never
tainments in religion, compared with open thy mouth any more because of
the ample number and variety of your thy shame, when I am pacified toward
Christian privileges and means of grace, thee for all that thou hast done, saith
without a godly sorrow which needeth the Lord God." And when Paul
not to be repented of? And oh! the wished to cherish in the bosom of
dulness and the languor and the care-l his Christian friends a lowly and an
lessness, and the irreverence, and the humble frame, he reminds them of
coldness, and the indifference, and the their obligations to the wonders of Di.
sluggishness which often mark your vine grace; “And you hath he quick-
devotions in solitude, in your families, ened, who were dead in trespasses and
and in the sactuary of God-does not sins, wherein in time past ye walked
all these awaken painful regrets ? And according to the course of this world.
when you enter upon close and upon se But God who is rich in mercy, for his
rious self-examination are you not often great love wherewith he loved us, even
constrained to say with an ardour of when we were dead in sins, hath
distressful feeling, “I find a law in my quickened us together with Christ.”
members warring against that which Professed humility, the habitual exer-
is in my mind, and bringing me into cise of penitence for sin, and a joy
captivity to the law of Sin, which is in unutterable and full of glory may exist
together in the bosom of those who you have much to deplore, much that
are converted and sanctified by the is to be removed, much that is to be
grace of God.

accomplished ; yet we would prevent
Now I have only one more question you from indulging too much depres.
to put to you in concluding these re- sion-we would exhort you not to
marks, and that is, whether in the last give way to despondency-we would
part of my discourse I have supplied tell you that the little leaven shall
the description of your own real leaven the whole lump, that the grain
experience, or have I not? If not, my of mustard seed shall rise till it be.
dear hearers, if the foundations ot real comes a lofty tree, and the fowls of the
religion are not already laid within air shall lodge in the branches thereof,
your souls, then let me tell you what. and that the water which begins to
ever be your rank or position in society, bubble up from the well shall prove
and whatever the circumstances in the well of water springing up unto
which you are found, or the character everlasting life. Oh, yes! he that has
which you sustain in the estimation of begun the good work in you, shall
your fellow-creatures, you have no real perform it till the day of Jesus Christ.
cause for joy. You may have gifts as

“ The work which wisdom undertakes
brilliant as the stars of the sky-you

Eternal mercy ne'er forsakes."
may have opulence abundant as the
sands on the sea-shore-you may have

And though powerful obstructions may

again rise up to hinder the erection of
success and prosperity in your several

this building which you are rearing,
professions and callings—in a word,

the top stone shall at last be brought
you may be distinguished by all that is

forth with shoutings of grace, grace
honorable and all that is glorious in

unto it.
the estimation of men, and yet your
condition in future, unless you become

“ The feeble saint shall win the day,

Though death and hell obstruct the way."
the subjects of genuine repentance, of
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, of the And soon, my Christian friends, the
regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, conflict shall be over, the enterprise
your condition will be infinitely shall be complete, and you, like the
worse than that of the most miserable returned children of the captivity, shall
captive that ever groaned beneath the settle down in a better country, even
iron despotism of the Chaldean emperor. the heavenly, which shall be your per-
On the contrary, if you can say that I manent residence and abode, where
have supplied a description of your there shall be no admixture of pain.
experience, namely, that you can re-

“ No roses grow on thorns,
joice that the grain of mustard seed is In purer worlds on high,
within your heart, that the little leaven

There everlasting Spring abides,
is there, although at the same time And joys that never die."

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

A Sermon


1 Cor. xv. 35.-"But some man will say, How are the dead raised? and with

what body do they come ?

(Continued from page 16.) - We are in search of truth and profit, not only call up our vile bodies from not of ideal representations: and hav- | the grave, but so change them that they ing therefore seen in some measure shall be no longer vile, but become how the dead are raised-having seen like unto his own glorious body, acthat there will be a contemporaneous cording to the mighty working, whereby resurrection of the bodies of all the he is able to subdue all things to himdead, both of the just and of the unself. Nor is the Apostle content with just, in one appointed day; and that this single and general intimation on after all the dead have been raised, the subject; he has pursued it into a there will next pass a change on the variety of the most interesting partibodies of the living ; let us proceed to culars ; he has given us every degree examine with what bodies the dead of information which it is necessary to will rise, and with what bodies the possess. living will be caught up into the air to | Our body, when it dies, he tells us, in meet the Lord.

the first place,“ is sown in corruption :" First of all, then, we are taught it is the heir of death, the daughter of that at the resurrection there will be a the earth, and the sister of the world ; modification in the bodies, or rather a vessel of clay, with the principle of in the attributes of the bodies which dissolution bound up in its very es. we bear with us on the earth: for, as sence, and the sentence of mortality all flesh is not the same flesh, but there written on its brow. It is to be raised is one kind of flesh of men, another in incorruption, without the possibility flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and of being either crushed by violence, or another of birds; so also, says the worn away by suffering, with the germ apostle, is the resurrection of the dead. of life planted in its centre, and springAs the nature of the living body of one ing up into a continual renewal of its class of created beings differs from the vital powers, free from the decay of living body of another class of created death, unchanging and unchangeable, beings, so also does our present body Our body will, it is added, besown of clay differ from that with which we in dishonour." It is a body which hath shall be clothed when brought forth its shameful and less honourable parts, from the grave to an eternal existence. as well as its more noble and dignified The nature of this change in general members. It is subject to deformities the Apostle thus describes :-“The which make it hideous—to losses and Saviour, when he shall appear, will defects which make it useless and it


is a state of wounds and bruises and motion will fly from one end of heaven putrefying sores. In its most beau-to the other at the bidding of our good tiful state the body has some uncome- intentions, and feel no decay of liness, and its best honours fade and strength, never be weary in well doing, depart with youth, and turn into the and never sink under the burden. wrinkles of wretchedness and age. Lastly, says St. Paul, the body that But it will be raised in glory—the dies is “ sown a natural body," the glory of unblemished righteousness, source of all fleshly natural lusts, and and the unspotted loveliness of a per- the seat of all earthly natural passions. petual spring; and also in the ethereal But the body of the natural man is not and eternal charm of an angelic purity. subject to the law of God, neither It will be without spot, or wrinkle, or indeed can be ; for the flesh of the any such thing, a delight to every eye natural man lusteth always against the that looks upon it; walking like our spirit, and mindeth earthly things. first parents in the Paradise of God, But it will be raised a spiritual body naked, but not ashamed; without one spiritual, and therefore holy in all its dishonourable member, without one feelings, desires, and wants; the ever dishonourable infirmity.

living, never failing instrument of obeOur body, when it dies, is sown, as dience to the will of the spirit. it had lived, in weakness, in utter in- There is but one other particular to ability to labour without weariness in be mentioned, and that is, that though any work, however good or great. the body of every redeemed Christian The body is in its power unable to will at the resurrection be risen up, fulfil the grand and lofty desires of the the glory will not be equal in all. understanding; weak it is to obey the The stars in the firmament on high holier aspirations of the soul. The shine not all with an equal lustre, or mind museth upon many things in its with an equal purity : the beams of activity and strength—the body weigh- some are faint and feeble—the glow of eth down in its musings. The spirit others powerful and bright ; yet the searcheth even the deep things of God; shining of them all, however pure and but the languid incapacity of the slug- powerful in the darkness of night, is gish flesh is unable to sustain the lost before the coming splendour of weight of its desires. The mind can the great luminary of day. When the do many things; but the weakness of sun rises on the earth, the stars get the body hindereth. It circumscribes them away together, and their beautiful my longings after wisdom-checks me brightness is perceived no more. And in my pursuits after truth. I would thus, also, will it be, as we are taught go and find wisdom in the uttermost by the Apostle, with the bodies of the parts of the earth—my body is weak saints when called from the grave to in motion. I would search for hidden walk their everlasting rounds upon treasures day and night--my body is the face of God's heavenly firmament. weak in watching. I would penetrate Some will have a higher and better the deepest mysteries by the energy of glory, and some will have a humbler unbroken meditation-my body is bliss. The glory of the most glorious feeble, and its feebleness must be re- of all the stars will dwindle, decay, novated. It is the same also in my and fall disregarded in the presence pursuits of holiness. Suppose the of the superior excellency of the Lord mind forms the image of a great and Jesus, the sun of righteousness, the godly enterprize for God's glory and ruler of the heavens and everlasting man's welfare ; then the living portion day. So are we taught by the Apostle of strength fails, and the heart faints Paul, when he says, “ that as there is ere half the task of holiness has been one glory of the sun, and another glory accomplished. It is a feeble and un- of the moon, and another glory of ready instrument of the will, ever dis- | the stars; and as one star differeth appointing our best wishes, and leaving from another star in glory—so also our best ideas unfulfilled. But it will shall be the resurrection of the dead." not ever be thus. It is sown in weak- Blessed be the Lord Jesus, that he ness-it will be raised in power: its hath inspired the Apostle to make capacities of activity and endurance of known to man these circumstances;

« AnteriorContinuar »