Sidor som bilder

God is smiting us with terrors, horrors, flashes of divine anger, reproofs, rebukes, the lashes of conscience, bitter reflections, and smiting us with the application of the threatenings and sentences of a broken law, and with the fore buffetings of Satail, and the killing stings and remorses of guilt. To come into the bond of the covenant is to have the love of God shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost given unto us. The work on you seems to me to be very much like that of Hezekiah, much joy and confidence. And no wonder; for at that time he knew nothing of the plague of his own heart; but, when God shewed him this, his joy, confidence, and hopes, all sunk together : " I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world : he will cut me off with pining sickness; from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.” Ifa. xxxviii. 11, 12. And, indeed, nothing will hide pride from our eyes but an abiding fense of our own depravity, and of the superabounding and undeserved mercy, of God in Christ Jesus to us. May this religion ever rest with thee and me. So prays

Thy friend and servant in Christ Jesus,


The Defert.



TO PHILOMELA, on the Spray, Mount Tabor.

THE long, cold, dreary winter of my beloved sister in God is past; the dismal cloud of mount Sinai, which hath long rained its entangling snares on thy soul, is now over and gone; the hiding place from the impending storms, and the covert from the dreadful tempeft, is found at last; “ being wet with the showers of the mountains, she hath embraced the rock for want of a shelter.”.6. He was angry with me," says Philomela; “ but his anger is turned away, and he comforts me.” “ In his favour is · life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

“ The flowers appear on the earth, the time of finging of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” Ifrael buds and blossoms as the rose; the lilies of the valley ap


[ocr errors]

pear among the thorns; those that have long lain, felf-condemned, among the pots and potsherds of the earth, obtain the wings of a dove, and their feathers shine with burnished gold, while the voice of the turtle bemoans his mate. “ Nor will he deliver the soul of his turtle dove unto the multitude of the wicked, nor forget the congregation of his poor for ever.” Psalm lxxiv. 19. Two turtle doves were always offered together under the old dispensation; but one was never offered alone. Jesus died not alone; we were crucified with him. How precious is the sacrifice of a crucified Saviour to poor perishing finners! and how precious is the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart to Christ Jesus! These were both offered

up, and they will ever go together; as in type, so i in truth. The voice of the heavenly turtle is heard and understood; and his approving and commanding voice to his mate is, “ O my dove, that art in the cleft of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs ! Let me see thy countenance; let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” Love in the heart ravilhes him, and truth on the tongue charms his blessed cars; while a cheerful countenance, reflected from a joyful conscience, carries all before it, and holds him a willing and a joyful captive to the charms of a mortal's affections : “ The King is held in the galleries.” How humbling, how condescending, is the King of kings, and



Lord of lords, to bow the heavens and come down to manifest himself, and pay his divine vifits to rebels, to criminals in chains, who are shut up in unbelief, in legal bondage, and in the strong holds of fin and Satan! But he comes; and “ his reward is with him, and his work before him." He enters and takes possession of the purchase of his own blood, and rejoices over the trophy of his own victory; separates the objects of his choice from among the rest of the captives, and espouses the foreigner. What a brilliant train of glory, majesty, and power, attend him when the everlasting doors are lifted up, and the King of glory enters in ! Then we bow to his sceptre, submit to his easy yoke, embrace the heavenly proclamation, and, with joy unspeakable, come over to the divine standard; while the banner, that he has given to them that fear him, is displayed, that his beloved may be delivered from that fear and torment that is more bitter than death. How wonderful are his works to the children of men ! The clay lies passive in the hand of the potter, while he forms the broken pitcher into another vessel, as it seemeth good unto the potter to make it. He enlightens the understanding to behold his beauty, suitableness, and worth; he renews the mind, writes the law of faith in it, and entertains it with heavenly things; he binds up the broken heart, and sheds abroad his love in it; he purges the conscience, and endows it with

B 2


« FöregåendeFortsätt »