Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

But, above all, beware of further procrastination. None can say,

" what shall be on the mor“ row.”

“ The Master of the house may have “risen up and shut the door;" and then it will be in vain to “stand without, and to say, LORD,

open to us,” as it was for the inhabitants of the old world, to seek admission into the long-despised Ark of Noah, when the days of the Lord's longsuffering were ended. Nay, it is impossible to say, whether, even if life be prolonged, God may not be provoked to give you up to final obduracy, and to “swear in his wrath, that you shall not “enter into his rest.”— In any view of the subject, if not now truly penitent, and seeking diligently salvation through Christ our Lord; you

have reason to fear, lest he should at last address you with these tremendous words: “Because I called, “and ye refused, I stretched out my hand, and

no man regarded, but ye have set at nought all

my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I “also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock “ when your fear cometh.--When your fear cometh

as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a “ whirlwind;. when distress and anguish cometh

upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but “I will not answer; they shall seek me carly, but

they shall not find me.”_" Then will I profess “ unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye

that work iniquity.” Oh! my fellow-sinners, such of you as have

you have,

been favoured with manifold advantages, and have at times seemed disposed to profit by them; if you should at last die in your sins, what an account will you have to give! What a meeting will even with those who have spoken to you the word of God, and watched for your souls; who have faithfully and affectionately warned you, and earnestly persuaded you, by the love of Christ, and by the terror of the LORD, “not to refuse him " that speaketh,” not “to neglect so great salva“tion!” “ It would have been better for you not “ to have known the way of righteousness, than to “ turn at last from the holy commandment de

livered unto you."

Again let me intreat you, to reverence your consciences; and venture not to go on in any thing concerning which your own heart condemns you; for “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth "all things.”—“Submit yourselves therefore to

God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw

nigh unto you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; “and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be “aflicted, and mourn, and weep: let

your laugh“ ter be turned into mourning, and your joy into “ heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of “God, and he shall lift you up.” Then will the gracious Saviour say of you, to his friends and servants, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my

"sheep, which was lost:” and you also shall, ere long, share the joy.

Let me then conclude by again reminding you of the words of CHRIST, “ Him that cometh unto “me, I will in no wise cast out.” Imitate him, who of old cried with tears “LORD, I believe, “ help thou mine unbelief;” and your sorrow shall in due time be turned into joy. And may God, of his infinite mercy, grant that all present may be found among those, over whom Christians and Ministers rejoice; over whom Christ rejoices; and who shall rejoice with him, and in his love and presence, to all eternity! Amen.

SERMON IX.

LUKE, xi. 13.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts

unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

In the former part of this chapter, our blessed Saviour teaches his disciples to pray; and encourages them, in the most affecting manner, to earnestness and importunity in prayer. With what energy do the illustrations, used on the occasion, address the feelings of our hearts! “If a son shall “ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he “ give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he “ for a fish, give him a serpent? Or if he shall “ ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?”

And while every one, who heard him, must find his heart revolt against a conduct so contrary to parental affection, he added the words of our text: “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give “ good gifts unto your children, how much more

shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit " to them that ask him?” It is not said, to his children, but “to them that ask him;" that the asking itself might be a ground of encouragement to every supplicant. In a parallel passage the concluding words are, “How much more shall

your Father, which is in heaven, give good

things to them that ask him?” But here the Holy Spirit is promised, as the best gift of God to those that are favoured with the gospel, and indeed, as comprehending all things which are truly and essentially good for them.

“God made man in his own image, after his “ own likeness.” He had before pronounced each part of the creation good; but when man had been formed, and placed in dominion over the other creatures, he pronounced the whole to be very good. Yet here our. Lord, addressing his own disciples, speaks of them, and of men in general, as evil: “if then ye being evil, &c.” We are informed in the third of Genesis, how by

one man sin entered into the world, and death

by sin. Thus man became as clay marred in " the hand of the potter:" and soon after we read, that “God saw the wickedness of man was great “ in the earth; and that every imagination of the

thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. “ And it repented the LORD that he had made man

i Matt. vii. 11,

R+

« VorigeDoorgaan »