Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

sult of their own happy state, which engendered such benevolence in their hearts. For let it never be forgotten that personal misery, unsanctified by the grace of God, is the enemy of benevolent affections. The devils are strangers to their influence: and had the curse been consummated upon our race, we would never have possessed or displayed them. The hope of acceptance with God has originated in the human family the exercise • of love for our fellow-men, and mercy towards them in their afflictions. .

Secondly, The warning which this subject gives to unbelievers is, that they should prepare for death.

What are your prospects, who live without God, and without hope? When you die, and die you must, whither do you expect to go?—to heaven or to hell ? Have you made provision for the great change which awaits you? Have you an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, when the earthly house of your tabernacle shall be dissolved? What ? knowing that you must die, are you living without any regard to your future welfare ? Infatuated men, you are preparing for your

selves tribulation and anguish for a dying hour. When you come to the verge of life, and are compelled by a powerful hand that you cannot resist, to take the fearful leap, what will support you? In looking back upon your past lives, a long black catalogue of sins will present itself to your memories : in looking forward, the horrible prospect of eternal destruction will break in upon your dismayed spirits. No comforter will then be near to speak peace, applying to your hearts the blood of the everlasting covenant, and opening to your view the blessedness of an infinite inheritance. Alone, unaided, conscious of your deserts, and expecting wrath, your heart and flesh failing you, how will you be able to grapple with the king of terrors ? '

Sirs, God warns you now, and you ought no longer to trifle with the warning. God threatens you now, and you ought to fear his threatnings. God exhorts you now, and you ought to say, “ speak Lord, for thy s servants hear.” Immediately hasten to Christ, the resurrection and the life, in whom there is redemption through his blood. Why should you delay any longer to secure the VOL. II.

37

INHERITANCE [SER. XR favour of your offended God ? That you may more speedily and certainly perish? for perish you must, if you die without being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Be ye then reconciled to God, that ye may live. To-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Thirdly, The exhortation which the subject addresses to believers is, give all diligence to make your calling and election sure, that so you may be more and more qualified for the heavenly inheritance.

Brethren, live by faith in Him who is the Lord, your righteousness and strength. Rely upon his covenant faithfulness at all times, especially in the day of affliction, and in the hour of death. Honour him by your prompt and cheerful obedience to all his will, and bear the chastisements of his hand with patience and resignation. You have every encouragement to persevere in following your Lord fully. Now he dispenses to you his grace as you need it-hereafter he will put the crown upon your head.

Thus far you have advanced in your journey to the eternal world, where the reward of your labour of love and work of faith

awaits you. What is before you, God only knows; but whatever it is, he will help you in adversity, and sanctify prosperity to you. The space between you and the grave is not great. You are drawing nearer to the heavenly temple. The world is behind you ; heaven is before you. From behind you hear the groans of misery and the cry of despair. Before you, from above, you will presently hear the voice saying, Come up hither. Obedient to the call, you will hasten to join kindred souls. They are waiting for you, ready to welcome your entrance into the Holy City. Ere long its spires will glitter in your view-ere long the melodies of its inhabitants will fill you with rapture—ere long you will mingle your hosannas with those of others ransomed by Christ. What if you have yet to cross many a mountain, traverse many a valley, encounter many an enemy, the Lord will help you. Nay, when you come to the Jordan of death, its waves will roll back. The Lord will help you to pass over it in safety; and on the other side you will join in the shout of victory, in the acclamations of Hallelujah. AMEN.

SERMON XII.

CHRIST THE ONLY FOUNDATION.

I CORINTHIANS 111. 11.

For other foundation can no man lay, than

that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.

The Church in Corinth was the seat of discord soon after its formation. Forgetting that One was their Master, even Christ, they split into parties, calling themselves by the name of Paul and Apollos. Against this ungodly conduct the apostle remonstrates, with holy warmth, asking them, “ Who is Paul, and who is Apollos, but

« ZurückWeiter »