Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

pose we shall all die the common death of all men. But after death, the spirits of those who have walked with God, shall return to God that gave them; and at the morning of the resurrection, soul and body fhall be for ever with the LORD. Their bodies shall be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body, and their souls filled with all the fulness of God They shall fit on thrones ; they shall judge angels. They shall be enabled to sustain an exceeding and eternal weight of glory, even that glory which Jesus Christ enjoyed with the Father before the world began. O gloriam quantam et qualem, says the learned and pious Arndt, just before he bowed down his head, and gave up the ghost. The very thought of it is enough to make us “ wish to leap our seventy years," as good Dr. Watts expresses himself, and to make us break out into the earnest language of the royal Pfalmift, “ My soul is athirst for God, yea for the living God. When shall I come to appear in the immediate presence of my God?” I wonder not that a sense of this, when under a more than ordinary irradiation and influx of divine life and love, causes some perfons even to faint away, and for a time lose the power of their senses. A less fight than this, even a sight of Solomon's glory, made Sheba's queen astonished ; and a still lefser fight than that, even a sight of Joseph's waggons, made holy Jacob to faint, and for a while, as it were, die away. Daniel, when admitted to a distant view of this excellent glory, fell down at the feet of the angel as one dead. And if a distant view of this glory be so excellent, what must the actual poffeffion of it be? If the first fruits are so glorious, how infinitely must the harvest exceed in glory?

And now what shall I, or indeed what can I well say more, to excite you, even you that are yet strangers to CHRIST, to come and walk with God! If you love honour, pleasure, and a crown of glory, come, seek it where alone it can be found. Come, put ye on the LORD JESUS. Come, hafte ye away and walk with God, and make no longer provision for the flesh; to fulfil the luft thereof. Stop, stop, O finner ! turn ye, turn ye, Oye unconverted men ! for the end of that way you are now walking in, however right it may seem in your blinded eyes, will be death, even eternal destruction both of body and soul. Make no long tarrying, I say : at your peril, I charge you, step not one step further on in

C 2

your your present walk. For how knowelt thou, O man, but the next step thou takest may be into hell? Death may seize thee, judgment find thee, and then the great gulph will be fixed between thee and endless glory, for ever and ever. O think of these things, all ye that are unwilling to come and walk with God. Lay them to heart. Shew yourselves men, and in the strength of Jesus say, Farewel luft of the Aeth, I will no more walk with thee! Farewel luft of the eye, and pride of life! Farewel carnal acquaintance, and enemies of the cross, I will no more walk and be intimate with you ! Welcome Jesus, welcome thy word, welcome thy ordinances, welcome thy Spirit, welcome thy people, I will henceforth walk with you. O that there may be in you such a mind! GOD will set his almighty fiat to it, and real it with the broad seal of heaven, even the fignet of bis Holy Spirit. Yes, he will, though you have been walking with, and following after, the devices and desires of your der, perately wicked hearts, ever since you have been born. “ I the high and lofty one,” says the great Jehovah, “ that in, habiteth eternity, will dwell with the humble and contrite heart, even with the man that crembleth at my word.” The blood, even the precious blood of Jesus CHRIST, if you come to the Father in and through him, shall cleanse you from all fin.

But the text leads me to speak to you that are saints, as well as to you that are open or unconverted finners. I need not tell you that walking with God is not only honourable, but pleasant and profitable also: for ye know it by happy experience, and will find it more and more so every day. Only give me leave to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, and to beseech you by the mercies of God in CHRIST JESUS, to take heed to yourselves, and walk closer with your God, than you have in days paft : for the nearer you walk with God, the more you will enjoy of Him whose presence is life, and be the better prepared for being placed at his right-hand, where are pleasures for evermore. O do not follow Jesus afar off! O be not so formal, so dead and stupid in your attendance on holy ordinances ! Do not fo shamefully forsake the assembling yourselves together, or be so niggardly, and so indifferent about the things of God. Re

member

member what Jesus says of the church of Laodicea, “ Because thou art neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Think of the love of Jesus, and let that love con, ftrain you to keep near unto him; and though you die for him, do not deny him, do not keep at a distance from him in any wise.

One word to my brethren in the ministry that are here present, and I have done. You see, my brethren, my heart is full; I could almost say it is too big to speak, and yet too big to be silent, without dropping a word to you. For does not the text speak in a particular manner 'to those who have the honour of being stiled the ambassadors of CHRIST, and stewards of the mysteries of God? I observed at the beginning of this discourse, that Enoch in all probability was a public person, and a flaming preacher. Though he be dead, does he not yet speak to us, to quicken our zeal, and make us more active in the service of our glorious and ever-blessed Master How did Enoch preach? How did Enoch walk with God, though he lived in a wicked and adulterous generation ? Let us then follow him, as he followed Jesus CHRÍST, and ere long, where he is, there shall we be also. He is now entered into his reft : yet a little while, and we shall enter into ours, and that too much sooner than he did. He sojourned here below three hundred years; but blessed be God, the days of man are now shortened, and in a few days our work will be over. The Judge is before the door: he that cometh will come, and will not tarry : his reward is with him. And we Iball all (if we are zealous for the Lord of Hofts) ere long fine as the stars in the firmament, in the kingdom of our heavenly Father, for ever and ever. To Him, the blessed JESUS, and eternal Spirit, be all honour and glory, now, and to all eternity. Amen, and Amen.

[blocks in formation]

R

M

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

III.

S E . Abraham's offering up his Son Isaac. .

GENEŠ I S xxii. 12. And he said, Ley not thine Hand upon the Lad, neither

do thou any thing unto him; for now I know that · thou fcarest God, seeing thou hast not witbbeld

thy Son, thine only - Son from me.

N
N

[ocr errors]

T HE great Apostle Paul, in one of his epistles, informs

1 us, that " whatsoever was written aforetime was writ. ten for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the holy scripture might have hope.”. And as without faith it is impossible to please God, or be accepted in JESUS, the Son of his love; we may be assured, that whatever instances of a more than common faith are recorded in the book of God, they were more immediately designed by the holy Spirit for our learning and imitation, upon whom the ends of the world are come. For this reason, the author of the epiftle to the Hebrews, in the with chapter, mentions such a noble catalogue of Old Testament faints and martyrs, “ who sub dued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions, &c. and are gone before us to inherit the promises." A fufficient confutation, I think, of their error, who lightly esteem the Old Testament faints, and would not have them mentioned to christians, as persons whose faith and patience we are called upon more immediately to follow. If this was true, the apostle would never have produced such a cloud of witnesses out of the Old Testament, to excite the christians of the first, and consequently purest age of the church, to continue stedfast and unmoveable in the profession of their faith. Amidst ihis catalogue of saints, methinks the patriarch Abraham shines the brightest, and differs from the others, as

one one ftar differeth from another star in glory; for 'he thone with such diftinguished luftre, that he was called the " friend of God,” the “s father of the faithful;" and those who believe on CHRIST, are said to be “ fons and daughters of, and to “ be blessed with, faithful Abraham.Many trials of his faith did God send this great and good man, after he had commanded him to get out from his country, and from his kindred, unto a land which he should shew him ; but the last was the most severe of all, I mean, that of offering up his only son. This, by the divine adistance, I propose to make the subject of your present meditation, and, by way of conclusion, to draw some practical inferences, as God shall enable me, from this instructive story.

The sacred penman begins the narrative thus; verse 1. “ And it came to pass, after these things, God did tempt Abraham.After these things, that is, after he had underwent many severe trials before, after he was old, full of days, and might Alatter himself perhaps that the troubles and toils of life were now finished ; " after these things, God did tempt Abraham.Christians, you know not what trials you may meet with before you die : notwithstanding you may have suffered, and been tried much already, yet, it may be, a greater measure is still behind, which you are to fill up. " Be not high-minded, but fear.” Our laft trials, in all probability, will be the greatest : and we can never say our warfare is accomplished, or our trials finished, till we bow down our heads, and give up the ghost. " And it came to pass, after these things, that God did tempt Abraham.

sc God did tempt Abraham.But can the scripture contradict itself ? Does not the apostle James tell us, “ that God tempts no man;" and God does tempt no man to evil, or on purpose to draw him into fin; for, when a man is thus "tempted, he is drawn away of his own heart's luft, and enticed. But in another sense, God may be said to tempt, I mean, to try his servants; and in this sense we are to understand that passage of Matthew, where we are told, that, “ Jesus was led up by the Spirit (the good Spirit) into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil.” And our LORD, in that excellent form of prayer which he has been pleased to give us, does not require us to pray that we may not absoC4

.: lutely

« VorigeDoorgaan »