Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

o

? TRUE DEVOTEDNESS TO GOD PRODUCED, &c. God I saved; but whose am I? not my own. The blood which They bojomed me when I had lost my all, bought all I now pos

ess, and all I am. Thou art my Redeemer, and thou hast a right to me. Thou hast had compassion on my body and my soul. I am thy property, and while I live would live to thee.

How important is such a life! how different the views and feeling of a heart, actuated by such principles, from those they indulge, who having never known themselves utterly con. demned, hope to please God by their defective morality! How different in its design as well as in its governing principles ! Let the mere moralist, or the fashionable worldly Christian utter his sentiments, and he might say, “ I trust the virtues of my character, and the goodness of my heart and actions, will obtain me the favour of my Maker." Let him, who acts from the principles above displayed, explain the design of his obe. dience, and he would say, “ I have no such expectation as my deluded fellow-sinner describes; I have decerved hell, and having deserved that direful doom, I know I cannot deserve heaven. All that I do, and all I ever can do, for God, (and I would do all I can,) is but a poor imperfect offering of gratitude and love to him for saving me. It is not a service by which I hope to earn his favour, but it is his rightful claim because he, as it were, bought my body and my soul, when he redeemed me from the pit of destruction, by the blood of his Son.

A life of devotedness to God is not generally connected with retirement, and withdrawment from the duties of the present world. Some avocations indeed are of such a nature, that religion absolutely forbids them, but with respect to those that are lawful and needful, the followers of Christ are di. rected to be “ not slothful in business," e as well as fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Religion does not set aside the common avocations of life, but, while it allows or enjoins the employments, it sanctifies the motives, that are to govern ir their performance, and says, Do this not with the views of the thoughtless worldling, but do all to the glory of God. Le thy industry, let thy diligence, reflect honour on the gospel. and furnish thee with additional means for promoting the honour of God. Seek health, that God may be glorified by thy improvement of its blessings. Labour for food that Goce

(e) Rom. xii. 11

LIFE TO BE PASSED AS IN GOD'S SIGHT. & which may be glorified in the life that food supports. Let ho!

posto the Lord be as much inscribed on all the engagement hast life, as upon the hours devoted to religious acts. am $ 12. Another feature in a life of devotedness to God will theebe, a prevailing concern to pass life as in his sight. That we andare so, all but atheists acknowledge, but most forget. That the he is so, the Christian desires to remember, and more and conmore impressively to feel. How In public, or in private, in blazing day, or midnight darkplesness, still acknowledge, Thou, O God, seest me. In the season Etian of business, and in the hour of prayer, in the house of worship, Des dor by your own fire-side, still God sees you. He hears every

w word, he observes every action, and watches every thought. from Alas! how much practical atheism have even his children to obadeplore! for how much are these truths forgotten! He sees on thee in the day of pain, and knows thy every secret sorrow. Can He sees thee in thy cheerful hours, and knows how those ser hours are spent. Were an apostle or an angel always with and you, how would you watch your actions, and your words ! ar but an infinitely greater is always near you! Were you to e bispend a few years immediately in the presence of God, how all would you live? God is as intimately acquainted with you, heland all you do, say, and think, and are, as he could possibly ddbe then. Act therefore as in his sight. Often think, “ Should

I live as I do, if I saw my God? Should I do these actions, cted utter these words, should I indulge these thoughts, if I beheld .

The him, who now beholds me ? cured Imitate the Lord Jesus Christ. In his holy life, devotedose ness to God shone with its brightest lustre. He represented it di- as his meat, his very support, to do his heavenly Father's will. in When after a fatiguing journey, his disciples entreated him to mu partake of refreshment, he replied, “ I have meat to eat that the ye know not of. My meat is to do the will of him that sent

in me, and to finish his work." f He laboured and suffered for cha the honour of God, He ascribed to his heavenly Father his Cet actions, his doctrines, and his success. He waited on him in ely his temple, or sought the solitude of deserts, to spend whole henights in fervent devotion. In life, he was all activity and byzeal for his heavenly Father's honour; and in sufferings and od death, all submission and resignation to his heavenly Father's

2 John iv. 32, 34.

24

DEVOTEDNESS TO GOD URGED will: and he left us his example that we should follow hi steps.

S 13. Perhaps you think the devotedness to God, thus urge upon you, is far superior to that which numbers who profe religion manifest. Be it so. Numbers deceive themselvi and have a name to live while they are dead. Numbers mc of whose sincerity some hope may be entertained, yet, al give cause for many a fear that, when weighed in the balan they will be found wanting. You would not wish at las belong to either of these classes. You will wish for a relig that, when proved by death and eternity, shall appear of right kind. Think not then that you are entreated to de yourself too entirely to God. He claims you for his mer sake. “I beseech you, by the mercies of God, that you vote your body a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to which is your reasonable service." 8 O think of those me God made you what you are. You might have been a but he has blessed you with a human form, and an in tal soul. You enjoy the use of reason. It is his gift. might have been an idiot or a maniac. Do you posses ing, speech, sight ? Can you taste, feel, smell? It is! has blessed you with these powers; you might hav deaf, dumb, and blind, unable to smell, or feel, or taste haps you were born to the enjoyment of wealth ; ( that, but for his goodness, you might have been al or a gipsy's child. If not wealthy, you are probablı in a situation which affords you many temporal i He placed you there. You might have been an Ar dering and famishing in burning deserts; a Koon-k ing with the wild beasts in dens or trees; a Bushman tentot, sunk almost to a level with the brute creatis have had parents or friends, whose love cheered an your early years. God gave them. You might 1 born where heathenism destroys natural affection, a offer their children to Moloch. God has been kine your lot; and has he not

ind in the deal providence. ne how m

s has he been Through h

n your prese body is

mplicated ma one pe

Janized all the

[graphic]

Lis urge - protein mselve

HIS GOODNESS IN PROVIDENCE AND GRACE. 25 llow hit he has kept its parts in action; and preserved and regulated the whole.

" Your life contains a thousand springs,

" And dies if one be gone:
“ Strange, that a harp of thousand strings

“ Should keep in tune so long!” ors mor Ah! it would not have kept in tune if he had not preserved et. alas the harmony. Survey your past years. They have been years Salanceof mercy. He has watched over you by day and by night.

last tiHow many days of ease have you enjoyed! How many nights religiosof security have you passed, when, sunk in sleep and insenr of th'sibility, you had none to secure you but God! Have you en

devotijoyed health ? He gave it. Has sickness, if it visited you, yet merciemade but a transient visit? He ordered its departure, raised jou deyou from the bed of pain, and brightened your pallid counto hintenance with the returning bloom of health. Have you lived erriesmany years, and never, even for a day, been destitute of need

brutful food and decent clothing? God has supplied these wants, Emmor through all the days of those departed years. Have you, from

Yo the moment of your birth to this hour, had friends, who have Es heart been the solace of your life? God gave those friends. PerTe whlhaps you have seen twenty, thirty, or more years roll away; 3 beef can you say of one day in all those years, That day God for

Perlgot me; that day I had nothing from his bounty? You know Inside you cannot; though you doubtless can say, I forgot him for sogar many long rebellious years. Through what changing scenes Sacelhas he led you, and still been uniformly kind! and so kind, n forts&hat neither ingratitude nor rebellion has ever checked the tor"wantrent of his mercies. He blessed you in childhood; he watched dwell over you in youth; and if riper years have rolled over your Hotshead, he has crowned those years with all the mercies they

Youhave brought you. Through how many dangers has he led Jesse you! From how many storms has he sheltered you! beeck $ 14. Kind in providence, has he not been kinder still in rent grace? How much has God done to make you happy for xingever! Compare your lot with the lot of millions; your holy

f hislight with their degrading darkness; your bright hopes with Liver their mournful despair ; the brightness of your day with the Voul gloom of their sad night. If a Christian, “contrast your pure

and and peaceful sabbaths, with their unnallowed festivals of cru- yel elty and superstition; your resources in sorrow, with all their

unheeded sadness; your consolations in death, with all their 26 : DEVOTEDNESS TO GOD URGED FROM dark and cheerless agonies; your assured prospects into eternity, with their cold and heart-sickening theories; and what a theme have you for gratitude! what an argument for praise !" Who hath made you to differ? Why were you not born in Dahomy, or Hindostan, or Ceylon, and trained to worship the tiger, or juggernaut, or devils? Some compute six hundred millions of pagans to exist on earth. You might have been one; but God fixed your lot where the gospel spreads a cheering day. There are perhaps one hundred millions of papists, the greater part of them as ignorant of religion as the heathens themselves. Why are you not one? Why were you not born where, instead of learning to adore God and the Lamb, you would have been taught to worship“ silver saviours and saints of gold !" and, nursed up in superstition and vice, have lived the slave of sin, believing that you could purchase of antichrist a pardon for your crimes? Have you a Bible? Millions never saw its holy pages. For perhaps a thousand millions of human beings but twenty-five millions of Bibles are supposed to have been printed. Why have you that precious book ? God bestowed it on you.

But I address you as a partaker of still greater mercies. Turn your eyes from earth to heaven. Think of God commending his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Think that he who kindled up the stars of light, assumed your nature, and suffered in your stead! and oh, what miracles of love have been manifested to you! Nor did they stop here. Did not God meet with you when you knew him not ? did he not enlighten your mind, that else had been for ever dark ? did he not kindle in your heart desires, that else you would never have felt ? did he not lead you to that Saviour, to whom else you had never gone? And when you feared rebuke, did he not forgive, receive, adopt, and save ? What mercies are these!

Can you not exclaim, “ I was lost, but am found; I was dead, but now I hope alive; I was a prodigal, but here I am in my Father's house !" Who sought, who quickened, who gave you welcome there? God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved you. And look you not forward to a time, when you hope in a heavenly home, to join the song of the ransomed, and to praise redeeming love for ever? And there will you not have to exclaim, What miracle

« FöregåendeFortsätt »