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Mr. and Mr. are willing to take in the subscriptions that any may be inclined to send them. May God bless the family, and grant that his children may not disgrace the memory of their father; that they may live as followers of his faith, who is now gone to inherit the promises of God. You know not how your children may be left by you, though there is not one of you here but may be called that have children, to say, by and by my children must be left to the goodness of God; and it is a great happiness to see so many fatherless children provided for of late : there was never a time when persons were more beneficent to the distressed; let it not be said that believers in London live on bread alone, but may they be continuing to lay up treasure in heaven! when we plead, not by way of merit, remember me, O Lord, I did so and so when others were in trouble. Lord Jesus, I plead thy promises, if thou hast chosen me in the furnace of aMiction ; 0 Lord, help me to lay hold on thee: 0 that this may be your and my lot. I am hastening to the grave;
I am astonished that I have again an opportunity to preach the word of God. May God prepare us to follow those that are gone before us, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary soul enjoys everlasting rest with thee, O Father, with thee, O Son, and with the Holy Ghost; to whom, three persons but one God, be all honor and glory, now and evermore. Amen.
THE LORD OUR LIGHT.
ISAIAH 1x. ver. 19, 20. The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for
brightness shall the moon give light unto thee, but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlast ng light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be thine e. verlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
PON reading these words, I cannot help
thinking of what the royal Psalmist said, Glorious things are spoken of thee, ( city of God. Selah. I am afraid, my dear hearers, that even believers themselves, who have tasted of the grace of God, reflect not and meditate as they ought, on the glorious and amazing felicity they are called by the Spirit of God to experience in this life. We content ourselves too much with our hopes, and if we attain to a good hope through grace, we are ready to think we have got up to the last step of the gospel ladder, and have nothing more to do but to rest in that hope, without ever attaining to an abiding, full assurance of faith. If we would cxamine the scriptures, and not chuse to bring them down to us, but beg of God to raise our hearts up to them, we shall find the believer is made partaker of the grace of life, as well as an heir of it; the one is on earth, the other in heaven, and one is only a prelibation of the other. This
blessed prophet Isaiah, speaking of the privileges of the children of God, saith, Eve hath not seen, nor car heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things that God hath prepared (and that even here below) for those that love him: God grant that we may be of that happy number! Hence, like an evangelist, the prophet draws aside the veil, and has one inspired by the spirit of God, and filled with the rays of divine light, gives us a transporting view of the gospel state, and the glory which the church militant enjoys below, before its triumphant state above.
The text, probably, refers to the great change that should be made in the affairs of the Jews after their captivity, how wonderfully God would appear for them, after their harps had been long hanging on the willows, and they could make no other answer to their insulting foes than this mournful one, How can we sing, the Lord's song in a strange land? The gospel is, doubtless, glad tidings of great joy; and however the people of God might be encouraged to hope that the time would come when they should tread on the necks of their enemies, the prophet teaches them to look further, and lets them know that their happiness was not to consist in any external created good, but in a larger possession of the graces and comforts of the Holy Ghost. So that this chapter speaks not only of a temporal deliverance and rest, which they should enjoy after their trouble, but a spiritual rest, which, by faith, they should enter into here, as the earnest and pledge of the rest and enjoyment of the better world hereafter. As we know no more of heaven than is discovered by the eye of faith, for even St. Paul acknowledges, that the things he saw were unutterable, 'tis observ.
able that heaven in scripture is described to us more by what it is not, than by what it is. So in the words of the text, “ Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Here are three negatives, and but one positive, namely, “the Lord shall be thy everlasting light,” which is a beautiful allusion to the sun, that should teach us to spiritualize natural things; and if we feared God, and lived near to him as we ought, there is no object of our bodily eyes but might improve our spiritual sight. You cannot suppose the prophet meant a time should come, when the sun should not literally go down, that there should not be night and day as indeed permitted a man once to say, sun, stand thou still
, and it was done; but, perhaps, there never will be any such thing again till the sun is removed from its station, and the moon forsake her orbit, and be turned into blood. "The word must therefore be understood in a figurative sense ; and then comparing spiritual things with spiritual, it must certainly import, that Jesus-Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, shall be what the sun is to the visible world, that is, the light and life of all his people ; I say, all the people of God. You see now, the sun shines on us all: I never heard that the sun said, Lord, I will not shine on the Press byterians, I will not shine on the Independentsy I will not shine on the people called chodists, those great enthusiasts: the sun never said yet I will not shine on the Papists; the sun shines on all, which shows that Jesus Christ's love is open to all that are 'made willing by the Holy Ghostite accept of him; and therefore it is said, “ the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing under his
wings.” If you were all up this morning before the sun arose at five o'clock, how beautiful was his first appearance ! how pleasant to behold the flowers opening to the rising sun! I appeal to you yourselves, when you were looking out at a window, or walking about, or opening your shop, ifin a spiritual frame, whether you did not say, Arise thou sun of righteousness with healing under thy wings, on me.
All that the natural sun is to the world, Jesus Christ is, and more, to his people without the sun we should have no corn, or fruit of any kind : what a dark place would the world be without the sun, and how dark would the world be without Jesus Christ; and as the sun does really communicate its rays to the earth, the plants, and to all this lower creation, so the Son of God does really communicate his life and power to every new created soul, otherwise Christ is but a painted sun; and is Christ nothing but a painted Christ to us, while we receive heat and benefit by the Holy Ghost, on account of the virtue of his blood; Sometimes the sun shines brighter than at other times, and does not always appear alike; clouds intervene and interrupt its rays; so it is between a renewed soul and the Lord Jesus, the sun of righteousness; O my brethren, I believe you know it by fatal experience: hold but your hand now, when the sun shines in its meridian, between it and you, and if by the breadth of that you can keep the sun from you, ah! how very little earth will keep off thy heart from Jesus Christ! It was a very excellent saying of one of the antients, that God never leaves a person till he first leaves him. Some people think God does so of his sovereignty, but I am apt to think when the sun shines, we shall find some people have taken