Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

of heaven. There is a little difference in repentance is only hypocritical, and the sight of God, but when compared that when they leave the institution with the great distance that all men they return to their former course are from Him by nature it sinks into that it is a mere waste of time and nothing. The whole world may be waste of money. Alas ! alas ! my bresaid to be equidistant from the sun, thren, it is but too true that there have so it is with the character of mankind been many instances of this descripfrom God. They differ one from an- tion; but do not all the world hear of other in the sight of their fellow God's love, and hear it in many cases worms upon the earth ; but as to Je- | in vain ? Oh, if God had argued som hovah's character and their distance if he had said, “ It will be a waste of from him, they are all equidistant. the lavish expenditure of my love in All have sinned and come short of my Son, to give him for the world, bethe glory of God.” The most moral cause the world is obdurate and will not individual in this assembly, in the believe;" we had been ruined. But state of nature, is as far from God as God gave his Son, and it is our busiany poor prostitute in the penitentiary, ness, our duty, our privilege, to carry and the Gospel is as free to them as the proclamation of his love to all to the highest, and noblest, and most such as have erred. It is time to bring amiable of you. Yea, and our Master such persons as we are now consihath taught us to say more-that dering within the reach of the hearing through the state of their character, as of the Gospel. And surely there is no despised before men, the more apt, the justice in the objection which is somemore ready are they to receive a token times urged, that such seminaries will of kindness if it be afforded them, and only prove encouragers of vice ? Can it to feel that they deserve it not—"They be truly said, that the Humane Society go into the kingdom of God before the is an encouragement for persons to Pharisees.” “The Pharisees and the throw themselves into the river ? Can Scribes murmured against him, saying, it be truly said, that the modern disThis man receiveth sinners.” Some coveries of surgery are encouragements of the poor sinners received by him to men to drink poison? As truly may wept tears of love upon his feet, and it be said that an institution of this wiped them with the hairs of their sort is an encouragement to women to head. You see the difference between commit sin. Oh, no! No one is led the proud Pharisees reproaching Jesus into that course at first by the prosfor receiving the sinner, and the poor pect of such an asylum as this at last. convinced sinner weeping, kneeling at an advantage may be taken of it, and his feet-washing his feet with her evil arguments may be grounded upon tears, and wiping them with the hair it, and in a moment of depravity and of her head.

wickedness the tongue of a seducer, Oh, my brethren, what is it that envenomed with poison from hell, may keeps any of you alienated from God, advert to it as the last resource of the when there is such a token of God's victim of his lust. But such an argulove ? How is it, why is it, that you, ment would go~if good for any thing and they, and all who hear this mes- -would go against all alleviating efsage, are not willing to come to God? forts made upon a large scale for manIt is objected by some persons, that kind, because it would go to say, that this and similar institutions do no as soon as sinners should know of the good—that the characters received re- alleviating effort made by the benevomain obdurate—that the appearance of lence of Christian men, they would sin in order to get within the reach of that the table, not a man would be saved. alleviation. No, the argument proves All men are alienated from the love of too much, it cannot be maintained God through the ignorance which is wisely; and I am persuaded it is but in them, because of the blindness of the objection of those who wish for an their hearts. The guests, in point of objection, and who do not grieve be. fact, that were invited, according to cause there is one, who do not sin- the parable, would not come. And cerely grieve over the extent to which shall the King's design be frustrated ? the objection is true, but who rather | And shal) the King's feast be spread wish to find an excuse against con- in vain? And shall the King be distributing to such an institution. It appointed ? And shall bis Son hare is too true-I repeat it. But it is not no guests at the supper? No, my there only, but in the whole world that brethren, it must not be, and therethe Gospel message is slighted, and fore what follows. He said to the God's love in Jesus Christ is rejected. servants, go out into the high-ways To hear of his love, and to reject his and hedges and compel them to come love, is a climax of iniquity which is in. Here is the place where the sovepeculiar, so far as we know of it at reign grace of God in overcoming least, peculiar to man. Oh! can any man's enmity comes in—the Gospel words aggravate the idea we have of of Jesus Christ. It comes got in, in man's depravity, from the fact that he limiting the provision-it comes not hears and rejects God's love in Jesus in, in restricting the provision, or in Christ? To break God's law-to hindering any man from coming to violate the great law of creation-was the feast; but it comes in in hinderbad enough, but to hear of God's love ing the feast from being in vain to all and reject it is worse.

Even the very

men; it comes in in securing some devils have not had an opportunity of men, not in rejecting any man. We committing such wickedness as man may say in reference to the provision has committed. They have violated of the feast, how gracious, how longthe law of creation in not keeping suffering, and how merciful is our their first estate, but they have not God! But we may say in reference rejected God's love in a Saviour. They to the election, according to grace, have no opportunity of doing so; for how powerful in mercy is our God! no Saviour has been preached to them. Powerful in mercy !—it is the triumph There is a spectacle on earth of more of mercy. It is the Lord's out-going of heinous wickedness, of greater pro- power, in order that his offers of mercy gress in iniquity, than is exhibited shall not be in vain to the world. If even by hell itself. And yet this any man will be contentious—if any iniquity would be displayed in every man, instead of humbling himself beindividual case of the human species fore God, and not crying mightily for if men were left to themselves, if the the Holy Ghost to break his hard expenditure of God's love in his Son heart, will be contentious, and will were proclaimed to the world, and say, “Why is not this grace exercised nothing more were sent forth than an on all men ?" The answer, in point invitation to the feast. If the oxen of fact, in the Scripture is, “ Many and the fatlings were killed, and all are called, but few are chosen." things were ready, and only the invi- Chosen is here put in opposition to tation were given, not a guest would called. We are not to understand come, not a sinner would be found at here, chosen to the outward privileges

and calls of the Gospel, as the Gen- | effect his own plans. He is controlled, tiles were chosen-in that case chosen indeed, by the law of the land in some and called mean the same thing; but things, and at times he is held by that the Lord puts them in opposition, the restraint; but as far as he can, he will one to the other—“ many are called, please himself, and please no other. but few are chosen.” And as this is He hates to be dependent, and he the scriptural answer in point of fact, hates God. That is the secret of his so the scriptural reason is, “Even heart. If you could follow the man so, Father; for so it seemed good in into his self-indulgence—if you could thy sight!” Jesus rejoiced in spirit tell him of God's hatred to sin—if you when he used these words. He had could tell him of the flames of hell, of grieved in spirit over the unbelief of God's anger to the wicked, you would the people, he had been tempted to make no impression upon him. He is think that he would suffer in vain, ac- prepared for it, he is steeled against it. cording to the word spoken by Isaiah, The enemy will not yield to such “I have laboured in vain, I have treatment, because the enemy is hatred spent my strength for nought, and in to God, and that hatred is increased vain ;” but when he considers the by it. All you can tell him upon

that love of the Father, and recollects that score adds to his alienation from God, all the Father hath given to him shall and his alienation from God is the and must come to him, he rejoices in groundwork of the enthronement of spirit, and he says, “Even so, Father; self in the heart, and the enthronement for so it seemed good in thy sight.” of self is the root of his wickedness ;

My brethren, I have said thus much and all you can tell him of God's in order to set this portion of divine anger against him only adds to his truth in its true connexion with that hatred of God, to his alienation from which is the main object we have in God, and to his determination to conview to-night, namely, the exhibition tinue in his disobedience against God. of God's love to you in Jesus Christ. What shall we do then? Oh, we Oh, let that love win you to-night. will tell the man, without limitation, What is it that leaves that man in the without condition, without hesitation continuance of his sin ? What is it – we will go to the man and say, God that leaves that man in enmity against loves you, God gave his Son to die for God, so that he can go and join with you, God is willing to receive you to evil companions—go and join, and himself, God stands in Jesus Christ drink, and swear, and commit iniquity, receiving sinners: there is no man and give cause, by his abominable self- upon earth who is kept away from God indulgence, for such a remedy as we by an act of God. You are kept away are now asking for these poor helpless, by yourself; there is nothing in him to wretched creatures, who are the vic-keep you away from him ; it is your tim's of such men's lust and passion ? own alienation that keeps you away. What is it that leaves the man in that God loves you, Jesus Christ mourns state? It is the love of self, so en- over you, Jesus Christ is willing to regendered in his heart that he prefers it ceive you and make you happy. Perto the love of God! He loves him- haps the man will not believe this reself-he is a god to himself-he is de cord—he may have a hundred objectermined to please himself—he will tions to put in; but this is the meshave his own way–he will allow no sage—this is the most likely weapon, superior and he will exercise all the the only justifiable weapon that any powers of his intellect to carry into minister of God's gospel can use against such a rebel. It is the weapon that | to open, she will not be left to die of God honours. Oh, that God may ho- hunger, she will not be permitted to nour it among you this night, and sub- starve in the street. No-I believe it due your hearts! If this message were not. No—the person who would cast carried home to your hearts that are herself in faith on God, and make up here present, I shall have done more her mind to starve rather than to live to lessen the crimes of this city this in sin, would not be allowed, bad as night than can be done by any contri- the world is, alienated as men are, do butions to the Penitentiary—I shall go one would allow her really to starve. farther to slay the root of the mischief Oh, if there be any poor helpless that springs up and flowers into such young woman in this congregation toabominable produce in the world—I night who has determined to forsake shall go farther, I say, to root out the the course she is pursuing, but whose mischief, if by God's mercy this mes

heart has failed her at the prospect of sage were carried with power to your what is before her, I beseech you, by hearts this night, than it would be the mercy of God, to look at God's possible to do by any amount of money mercy to you in Jesus Christ. Let expended in any way that can be de. God's endearing love allure and win vised by the ingenuity or the wisdom you away from your evil courses ; let of man.

Oh, let money be given and God's love to you open your heart, and expended by thousands and thousands touch your souls with penitence for the of pounds, and yet if the root remain crimes you have already committed ! unsubdued the branches will still bring Let God's love to you ; let his acceptforth their bitter fruits ! But let the ance of sinners by Jesus Christ prevail! love of God be planted in men's hearts, He is willing to receive you whatever and they will cease to idolize self; they the state of your character may be, will cease to lay prostrate the happi- however polluted your mind may be ness of families at the feet of their by reflection and meditation that has brutish lusts; they will cease to be been forced upon you-however polseducers, when they have learned to be luted your body may be, Jesus Christ lovers of God; and the poor, helpless, | is willing still to receive you freely, wretched creature that is cast out of her to make you holy, to shed the love of home-that is cast in a measure on God in your soul, which is happiness, the streets—that is reduced to famine which is heaven, because it is holiness. and starvation, and is often driven to My dear brethren, shall I beseech sin as a mere refuge against hunger, you in vain to see this evil in its in opposition to the better feelings of right point of view, to see that it is her mind-she, too, would be rescued. our privilege to be permitted during She, too, loving God, would take his our Lord's absence, and while the chastisement-she would take the bit-world is under the power of the usurter chastisement, and rather die of per, and the whole creation is groanhunger, and destitute, than live on the ing and travailing together-that it wages of iniquity. Yes, the love of is our privilege to mitigate some of God in her soul would strengthen her these pangs—that it is our privilege -the Holy Ghost in her would subdue to soothe, as far as it lies within our her flesh, so that she would rather die power, the helpless widow, and the of bunger than live a sinner. And helpless orphan, and the helpless outsurely, my brethren, if this same prin cast, who is brought before you this ciple were lodged in the mind of others, night: I say, to soothe creation's were lodged in those that have doors groans, to be upon the Lord's side now in his absence-on his side who some of them have conducted themwill put an end to all these groans selves while in the institution, and when he returns, who will put an since they have quitted it to go to serend to sin, and all the concomitants vice, in a way that is highly encouragof sin and sorrow. Now be on his ing. Some of them are still receiving side; enter now into his mind; begin instruction with a readiness of mind now, in some measure, to do the which gives encouragement to the hope work that he will do effectually that they will go and do likewise. But when he comes. All these works of the expenses of the institution are conmitigation are but little aims of ours siderable ; and I grieve to be obliged to at redemption, at redeeming a portion tell you that the stated income is much of wickedness out of the vortex, and diminished. I have been informed, winning it back to God. They are and I grieve to say, that one hundred like a sort of first fruits of redemption, pounds has been withdrawn from the a sort of breathing of redeemed men annual subscriptions to the institution! after the redemption of the creation. Although the occasional collections This is the nature of such efforts; and and donations have been increased, it ye who see this and know the connexion is the stated annual support of sub. of this present dispensation with the scribers which alone can justify the hopes of a future, give yourselves to it conductors in keeping up the stated as your

Lord
gave

himself to it. See expenditure. Therefore, dear brethren, how exactly you are following your come forward to this amelioration of Lord's steps. He went about redeeming the misery of many of your poor felwhat could be redeemed in the Jewish low-creatures. Enrol your names todispensation in its last days. He night as subscribers to an institution went about delivering souls from sin, for so laudable a purpose. One of the and delivering bodies from sickness, conductors will be in the vestry to and purging the temple from the mo- receive them after service. ney-changers, and delivering all that Let your prayers ascend before God, could be delivered in the way of man's that the word of eternal love, brought interference, in the last stages of that before these poor women, may be rendispensation; and now we are called dered the power of God to their salto follow his example-we are called vation, by the Holy Ghost sent down to assist the sorrowful-we are called from heaven—that the invitation to to administer to the necessities of those the supper of the Lord be made efthat are in wąnt-we are called to fectual, and that Jesus Christ contribute, as far as lieth in us, by received-in short, that they may not means of our substance, and, by our only stand ready to receive him, but kindness, to redeem some portion of that they may be known to receive him the wickedness around us, and bring that they may be known to love it back to God.

Him who first loved them—that they My brethren, consider this with re

may be taught to sigh for holy fellowspect to these poor women. There ship with him. are numbers of them assembled in this Gracious, oh, gracious and merciful institution; there are efforts made for God, make this people all to love thee! them to instruct them in the know. Thou knowest all them that love thee ! ledge of God, in the love of God, in Thou knowest all them that are grievthe redemption of Christ Jesus. Some ed, because they do not feel that they of them have shown that the power of love thee! Oh, make them to love God has been exercised in them; thee! Let none of them continue

may be

« VorigeDoorgaan »