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rely a great deal upon my feelings. I do not think you are right in calling all kinds of sinners to come to Christ, but you are right in calling me, for I am one of the right sort. I am one of the publican sort; ľam pharisaical enough to think that; I think that I most certainly have a special commission to come, for I have such an experience that if I were to write my biography, you would say, 'This is a good experience; this man has a right to come to Christ. Well, friend, I am sorry to upset you, but I shall be compelled to do so. If you bring your experience to Christ when you come to him, you are as bad as the Romanist who brings his masses and Ave-Marias. I like your experience very well, if it be the work of God's grace in your heart, but if you bring it when you come to Christ, you put that before Christ, and it is an Anti-Christ. Away with it! away with it! When we have been preaching to poor sinners and tried to describe their state by nature and their feelings, I have been afraid after all, that we were fostering a spirit of self righteonsness, and teaching our hearers to think that they must get certain feelings, before they can come to Christ. Let me just, if I can, preach the gospel in the broadest way possible, and that is the most truthful way. Christ wants your feelings no more than he does your money, and that is, not at all. If you want good experience you must come to Christ:
" All the fitness he requireth, is to feel your need of him." Yes, but stop
* This he gives you, 'tis his Spirit's rising beam." You are to come to Christ to get everything. You are not to say, “ Well, I will believe first, and then come." No; go to Christ for faith. You must look to the cross even to get a sense of sin. We do not feel our sins so much before we see the cross, but we feel them most afterwards. We look to Christ first; then repentance flows from both our streaming eyes. Remember, if you go anywhere else to find a Saviour, you are on the wrong track. If you try to bring anything to Christ, to use a homely proverb, it is like bringing coals to Newcastle. He has plenty--he does not want any of yours, and what is more, as soon as he sees anything in your hands he will turn you straight away. He will have nothing to do with you until you can say
“ Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling." I have heard of a negro who was convinced of sin, and at the same time his master was under conviction. The negro found peace with God, but the master was a long time secking without any hope; and at last he said, “I cannot make out how it is that you found comfort so soon, and I cannot get it at all.” So the negro, after asking his master to excuse his speaking plainly, said, “ Massa, I tink it is just dis. When Jesus say, . Come along,' he say, 'I give you a righteousness dat cover you from head to foot.' I, poor negro, looks down at myself, covered all over wid filthy rags, and I say, 'Lord, clothe me, I am naked,'—and off go my rags. Now, massa, you not so bad as dat. When he say, 'Come along,' to you, you look at your coat, and you say, “Well, it wants a little mending, but I tink it will wear a little longer. Dere is a great hole here, but a little darning and stitching will do it up again.' So, massa, you keep your old coat; you keep on darning and stitching, and you never get comfort. But if you would take it off, you would get comfort at once.” That is just it, we will be trying to get something before we come to Christ.
Now I dare say in this congregation I have a hundred different phases of this singular fatuity of man--the desire to bring something to Christ. "Oh," says one, "I would come to Christ, but I have been too great a sinner." Self again, sir. your being a great sinner has nothing to do with that. Christ is a great Saviour, and however great your sin, his mercy is greater than that. He invites you simply as a sinner. Be you big or little, he bids you come to him and take his salvation “ without money and without price.” Another says, “ Ah! but I do not feel it enough.” Self again. lle does not ask you about your feelings; he simply says, “Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth.” "But, sir, I cannot pray.". Self again. You are not to be saved by your prayers; you are to be saved by Christ, and your business is simply to look to Christ; he will help you to pray afterwards. You must begin at the right end by clinging only to his cross and trusting there. But,” says another, “ if I felt as So-and-so did.” Self again. What business have you to talk so? Christ is where you are to look, not to self. “Yes,” you say, “I think he would receive any body but me.” Please, who gave you any leave to think at all in the matter?' Does he not say, “Him that cometh unto me I will in nowise cast out?” Why, you are thinking your soul into eternal ruin. Give up thinking, and bclieve. Are your thoughts as God's thoughts? Remember, his thoughts are as much higher than yours as heaven is higher than earth. “But,” says one, “I have sought him and I have
not found him.” Dear friend, can you truly say that you have come to Christ with nothing in your hand, and have looked alone to bim, and yet he has cast you away? Do you dare to say that? No; if God's Word be true, and you are true, you cannot say that. Ah! I remember how that struck my heart when I heard my mother say it once. I had been some years seeking Christ, and I never could believe he would save me. She said she had heard many people swear and blaspheme God, but one thing she had never heard-she had never heard a man say he had sought Christ, and Christ had rejected him. * And,” said she, “I do not believe that G would permit any man live to say that.” Well, I thought I could say it; I thought I had sought him, and he had cast me away, and I determined I would say it, even if it destroyed my soul: I would speak what I thought was the truth. But, I said to myself, “ I will try once more; and I went to the Master, with nothing of my own, casting myself simply on his mercy; and I believed that he died for me:-and I have never said that, and blessed be his holy name, I know I never shall. Nor will you. Oh, do try him.
“Make but a trial of his love; How blest are they, and only they, Experience will decide
Who in his love confide." If you will come down to this price, and take Christ for nothing, just as he is, " without money and without price," you shall not find him a hard Master.
III. Now, I have to use a FEW ARGUMENTS with you, and may God apply them to your hearts! I would first speak to some of you who never think about these things at all. You have come here to hear the Word to-day, because it is preached in a strange place; otherwise you might not have been in the house of God at all. Very seldom you vex yourselves with religious questions; you do not ask yourselves many questions about it, because you feel it would be an awkward thing for you if you were to think much of religion; you feel there would be a necessity for a change of life in you, for thoughts about religion and your present habits would not suit well together. My dear friends, bear with me a moment if 1 press you very much home. Did you ever hear of the ostrich? When the hunter pursues it, the poor silly bird flies away as fast as it can, and when it sees that there is no way of escape, what do you suppose it does? It buries its head in the sand, and then thinks it is safe, because it shuts its eyes and cannot see. Is not that just what you are doing? Conscience won't let you rest, and what you are trying to do is to bury it. You bury your head in the sand; you do not like to think. Ah! if we could bring men to think, what a wonderful thing we should have done! That is one of the things, sinner, that, without Christ, you dare not do. Do you think? We have heard of men afraid to be alone half an hour because of thoughts too terrible for them. I challenge any of you without God, to spend one hour on that heath, or in this balcony, or in your own house at home, and just chew these thoughts, masticate them—“I am an enemy to God; my sins are not forgiven; if I die to-night, I am damned to all eternity; I have never sought Christ, and never found him to be mine.”. I defy you to keep at that an hour. You dare not; you would be afraid of your shadow. The only way sinners can be happy is by thoughtlessness. They say, “Cover it up; bury my dead out of my sight.”. They put such thoughts away. Now is this wise? Is there anything in religion? If not, it will be consistent in you to deny it; but if this Bible is true, if you have a soul that is to live for ever, is it rational, is it sensible, is it prudent, to be neglecting your eternal soul? If you suffered your bodies to starve, you would not want much argument, would you, to induce you to eat? But here is your soul perishing, and yet no mortal tongue can persuade you to attend to that. Ah! is it not strange that men are going to live for ever in eternity, and yet they have never provided for it. I have heard of a certain king who had a fool in his court, who made a great many merry jests, and the king gave him a stick, and said, “ Keep that till you find a bigger fool than yourself.” At last the king came to die, and when he lay a-dying, the jester came to him and said, “ Master, what is the matter?” “I am going to die," said the king. “Going to die-where's that?” “ I am going to die, man, don't laugh at me now. “How long are you going to be there?” “Well, where I am going I shall live for ever." " Have you got a house there?" No." “ Have you made any preparation for the journey?" "No." "Have you got any provision whatever, as you are going to live there such a long time?" "No." * There, take the stick; fool as I am, I have made preparation. I am not such a fool as to have to live in a place where I have not got a house." Christ has prepared for his people a mansion in heaven. Tnere was much wisdom in the jester's language. Let nie speak to you, even though it be in his langu:ge, but very seriously. If men are to live for ever in heaven, is it not a strange, will, frantic freak of' intolerant madness, that they never think of the world to come. To-day they think, but for ever--they put that away. Time, and its poor baubles and its toys do fill the hce, buit cternity--that
hill without a summit, that sea without a shore, that river without an end, over which they are to sail for ever-they never think of that. Will you pause a moment and recollect that you have to sail for ever, and you must sail o'er the burning waves of hell, or else o'er sparkling streams of glory. Which shall it be with you? You will have to consider this soon. Before many days, and months, and years are gone, God will say to you, “Prepare to meet thy God," and it may be that the summons shall come to you when you are in the death struggle, when the stream of Jordan is chilling your blood, and your heart is sunken within you by reason of fear. And what will you do then? What wilt thou do in the swell. ings of sin in the day when thou art spoiled? What shalt thou do when God shall bring thee into judgment?
And I have now the pleasing task of closing by addressing men of another character. Ah! friend; you are not careless. You have many thoughts, and they pain you; but, although you would be glad to get rid of them, you would be afraid to do so. You can say, “Oh! I do feel it were well for me if I could rejoice in Christ-I do feel I should be happy if I could be converted.” Friend, I am glad to hear thee say so. Where God has put the work of an impressed heart, I do not think he will leave it till he has finished. Now, I want to speak to you very seriously to-night, but for a minute. You do feel your need of a Saviour. Remember, Christ died for you. Believe that—will you? There he hangs upon his cross, dying; look into his face, it is full of love, it is melting with forgiveness; his lips are moving, and he says, “Father forgive them." Will you look to him Can you hear him say it, and yet turn away? All he asks you is simply to look, and that look will save you. You do feel your need of a Saviour; you know you are a sinner. Why tarry? Do not say you are unworthy. Remember, le died for the unworthy. Do not say he will not save you. Remember, he died for the devil's castaways; the very draff and scum of ihe world Christ has redeemed. Look at him. Can you look at him and not believe him? Can you see the blood streaming from his shoulders, and trickling from his hands and side, and not beliere him? Oh! by him that liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, I entreat you to believe on the Lord Jesus; for thus is it written, “ He that believeth on the Lord Jesus, and is baptized, shall be saved."
Once when Rowland Hill was preaching, Lady Ann Erskine happened to be driving by : she was in the outer ring of the circle, and she asked the coachman, what all the people were there for. He replied, “ They are going to hear Rowland Hill.” Well, she had heard a great deal about this strange man, accounted to be the very wildest of preachers, and so she drew near. No sooner did Rowland Hill see her, than he said, “Come, I am going to have an auction, I am going to sell Lady Ann Erskine.” (She of course stopped, and she wondered how she was going to be disposed of.) “Who will buy her?” Up comes the world. " What will you give for her?” “I will give her all the pomps and vanitics of this present life; she shall be a happy woman here she shall be very rich, she shall have many admirers, she shall go through this world with many joys." You shall not have her ; her soul is an everlasting thing; it is a poor price you are offering ; you are only giving a little, and what shall it profit her if she gain the whole world and lose her own soul? Here comes another purchaser-here is the devil. “What will you give for her." * Well," says he, “I will let her enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; she shall indulge in everything her heart shall set itself unto; she shall have everything to delight the eye and the ear; she shall indulge in every sin and vice that can possibly gire a transcient pleasure.” Ah ! Satan, what will you do for her for ever? You shall not have her, for I know what you are ; you would give a paltry price for her, and then destroy her soul to all eternity. But, here comes another-i know him-it is the Lord Jesus. “What will you give for her?” Says he, “ It is not what I will give, it is what I have given ; I have given my life, my blood for her ; I have bought her with a price, and I will give her heaven for ever and ever ; I will give her grace in her heart now and glory throughout eternity."
"O Lord, Jesus Christ,” said Rowland Hill, “ thou shalt have her. Lady Ann Erskine, do you demur to the bargain ?” She was fairly caught; there was no answer that could be given. “It is done,” he said, “it is done ; you are the Saviour's ; I have betrothed you unto him ; never break that contract.” And she never did. From that time forth, from being a gay and volatile woman she became one of the most serious persons, one of the greatest supporters of the truth of the gospel in those times, and died in a glorious and certain hope of entering the kingdom of heaven. I would be well pleased if I might make a match of some of you this night; if you would now say, “Lord, I will have thee,” Christ is ready. If he has made you ready he is never behind hand himself. Whosoever is willing to have Christ, Christ is willing to have him. What sayest thou ? wilt thou go with this man ? If thou sayest “Ay,” God bless thee! Christ saith " Ay” too, and thou art savel, saved now, saved for ever !
THE WICKED MAN'S LIFE, FUNERAL, AND EPITAPH.
"And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they wero forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.”—Ecclesiastes viii. 10. It is quite certain that there are immense benefits attending our present mode of burial in extra mural cemeteries. It was high time that the dead should be removed from the midst of the living—that we should not worship in the midst of corpses, and sit in the Lord's house on the Sabbath, breathing the noxious effluvia of decaying bodies. But when we have said this, we must remember that there are some advantages which we have lost by the removal of the dead, and more especially by the wholesale mode of burial which now, seems very likely to become general. We are not so often met by the array of dead. In the midst of our crowded cities we sometimes see the sable hearse bearing the relics of men to their last homes, but the funeral ceremonies are now mostly confined to those sweet sleeping places beyond our walks, where rest the bodies of those who are very dear to us. Now, I believe the sight of a funeral is a very healthful thing for the soul. Whatever harm may come to the body by walking through the vault and the catacomb, the soul can there find much food for contemplation, and much excitement for thought, In the great villages, where some of us were wont to dwell, we remember how, when the funeral came now and then, the tolling of the bell preached to all the villagers a better sermon than they had beard in the church for many a day; and we recollect, how as children, we used to cluster around the grave, and look at that which was not so frequent an occurrence in the midst of a rare and spare population; and we remember the solemp thoughts which used to arise even in our young hearts when we heard the words uttered, “ Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” The solemn falling of the few grains of ashes upon the coffin-lid was the sowing of good seed in our hearts. And afterwards, when we have in our childish play climbed over those nettle-bound graves, and seated ourselves upon those mossgrown tombstones, we have had many a lesson preached to us by the dull, cold tongue of death, more eloquent than aught we have heard from the lip of living man, and more likely to abide with us in after years; but now we see little of death. We have fulfilled Abraham's wish beyond what he desired—we“ bury the dead out of our sight;" it is rarely that we see them, and a stranger passing through our streets might say, “Do these live always? for I see no funerals amongst the millions of this city; I see no signs of death."
We shall this morning want you, first of all, to walk with a living man; it is said of him that he did “come and go from the place of the holy:" next, I shall want you to attend his funeral; and then, in conclusion, I shall ask you to assist in writing his epitaph—"and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this also is vanity.”
I. In the first place, HERE IS SOME GOOD COMPANY FOR YOU; some with whom you may walk to the house of God, for it is said of them, that they did come and go from the place of the holy. By this, I think we may un lerstand the place where the righteous meet to worship God. God's house may be called “the place of the holy." Still, if we confine ourselves strictly to the Hebrew, and to the connection, it appears that by the “place of the holy” is intended the judgment-seat the place where the magistrate dispenses justice; and alas! there be some wicked who come and go even to the place of judgment, to judge their fellow sinners. And we may with equal propriety consider it in a third sense to represent the pulpit, which should be “the place of the holy; but we have seen the wicked come and go even from the pulpit, though God had never commanded them to declare his, statutes.
In the first place we will take this as representing the house of God. What a sight it is to see the great crowds coming up to the sanctuary of the Lord. I am sure, as we saw the multitudes coming up to the house of God, there must have been a peculiar thrill of joy pass through our hearts. It reminds us of the ancient gathering in Zion's temple when thither the tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord, to worship at the sanctuary of God. Oh! it is a noble sight when with joy and gladness we see the young and the old, the grey-headed and the children, all of them pressing forward in one eager throng to worship the Lord of Hosts, and listen to the voice of his sacred oracle. But your pleasure must have a great deal of alloy if you stop for a moment and dissect the congregation. Pull the goodly mass in sunder : in a heap it sparkles like gold; pull aside the threads, and alas ! you will see that there are some not made of the precious metal, for "we have seen the wicked come and go from the place of the holy." Gathered in this throng this morning we have here men who almost profane the spot in which they are found. Last night's revel has left its impress upon their countenances. We have others who will, ere this day is closed, be cursing God in the house of Satan. There be many to be found here who have during this week been spending their time in lying, cheating, and swindling in the midst of their business. I doubt not there are some here who have taken every advantage that was possible of their fellow men, and if they have not come within the clutches of the law it certainly has not been their fault. We have too, I doubt not, in such a multitude-yea, I may speak with confidence-we have men here who have, during the past week, and at other times, defiled themselves with sins that we will not mention, for it were a shame for us to speak of the things which are done of them in secret. Little do we know when we look here from this pulpit—it looks like one great field of Powers, fair to look upon -how many a root of deadly henbane and noxious nightshade groweth here ; and though you all look fair and goodly, yet " I have seen the wicked come and go from the place of the holy.”
Shall we just take the wicked man's arm and walk with him to the house of God? When he begins to go, if he be one who has neglected going in his childhood, which perhaps is not extremely likely, when he begins to go even in his childhood, or whenever you choose to mention, you will notice that he is not often affected by the sound of the ministry. He goes up to the chapel with flippancy and mirth. He goeth to it as he would to a theatre or any other place of amusement, as a means of passing away his Sabbath and killing time. Merrily he trippeth in there; but I have seen the wicked man when he went away look far differently from what he did when he entered. His plumes had been trailed in the dust. As he walks home there is no more flippancy and lightness, for he says, “Surely the Lord God has been in that place and I have been compelled to tremble. I went to scoff, but I am obliged, in coming away, to confess that there is a power in religion, and the services of God's house are not all dulness after all.” Perhaps you have hoped good of this man. But, alas! he forgot it all, and cast away all his impressions. And he came again the next Sunday, and that time he felt again. Again the arrow of the Lord seemed to stick fast in his heart. But, alas! it was like the rushing of water. There was a mark for a moment, but his heart was soon healed, he felt not the blow; and as for persuading him to salvation, he was like the deaf adder, "charm we never so wisely," he would not regard us so as to turn fro n his ways. And I have seen him come and go till years have rolled over his head, and he has still filled his seat, and the minister is still preaching, but in his case preaching in vain. Still are the tears of mercy flowing for him; still are the thunders of justice launched against him; but be abideth just as he was. In him there is no change except this, that now he groweth hard and callous. You do not now hear him say that he trembles under the Word-not he. He is like a horse that hath been in the battle, he feareth not the noise of the drum nor the rolling of the smoke, and careth not for the din of the cannon. He cometh up, he heareth a faithful warning, and he saith, “What of it? this is for the wicked.” He heareth an