« FöregåendeFortsätt »
From the moment the Gospel enters a coun- , than yourselves no security from brutal pagtry, the importance of it commences in the sions. Think of the temples of God burnt eye of angels; and then—then it is said- up, or converted to other purposes. Think “ Arise, shine, for thy light is come; and the -But let us not pursue this lamentable train glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” And of reflection-but consider a few remarks, when it withdraws from a place, “ Ichabol” tending both to illustrate and confirm the may be written upon the walls--"The glory danger of a wicked kingdom, and then to inis departed.” At a very early period this quire after the state of our own. inestimable blessing reached our highly fa- And First. If there be a moral governor voured isle. And while it has been with of the universe, sin must provoke him. A drawn from countries once blessed with the righteous God must love righteousness; a same privilege, it has been continued to us, holy God, holiness; a God of order, order; notwithstanding all our unworthiness and and a God of benevolence, benevolence: and provocation. Popery had indeed obscured accordingly he must abhor all that is opposite the glory of the Gospel, locked up the Scrip to these. And hence it is said, that “God is tures in an unknown language, and sacrificed angry with the wicked every day; the wickthousands of victims to superstitious rage. ed shall not stand in his sight: he hateth all But the Reformation gave us the Bible; and workers of iniquity.” And this is essential said, Read, and live! And the glorious to every lovely and reverential view we can Revolution fixing liberty on a firm and legal take of God. For who could adore a being basis, said, Assemble together; Preach and who professed to govern the world, and sufhear; Worship God according to the dictates fered the wicked to go on with impunity? of your own consciences, and - he that Second. If sin provoke God, he is able to toucheth you toucheth the apple of mine punish it. He is the Lord of hosts, the Lord eye!" Thus ever since we have sat under strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in batour own vine and fig-tree, and none have tle. All the elements are his. Every creamade us afraid. We have filled our sanc- ture obeys his nod, from an archangel to a tuaries; we have enjoyed our Sabbaths; and worm. How idle is it, in a case like this though he has given us the bread of adversity to talk of armies and navies, and alliances and the water of affliction, yet has he not re- how absurd is it to compare force with force, moved our teachers into a corner, but " our and to say, after flattering calculations, “Oh! eyes behold our teachers, and our ears hear the enemy cannot come?" He cannot come a voice behind us, saying- This is the way, unless God send him; but he can come easily walk ye in it, when we turn aside to the enough if he should. Is any thing too hard right hand or to the left."
for the Lord—when he would either show Ah! think of the want of all this! mercy or execute wrath? “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and Third. Bodies of men are punishable in your ears, for they bear : for verily I say unto this world only. In eternity there are no you, that many prophets and righteous men | families, churches, nations. If therefore ! have desired to see those things which ye country is to be destroyed, it is tried and see, and have not seen them; and to hear condemned and executed here. When we those things which ye hear, and have not see an individual sinner prospering in the heard them."
• world, and not immediately punished-our And to secure all these civil and religious faith is not staggered; for we “ know that advantages-how often has he made our his day is coming." But if a wicked people cause his own! How seasonably and signal- were allowed to escape—we should be colly has he interposed to save us from the de- founded—we should ask, “Where is the God signs of our enemies! When brought low, of judgment ?" For in this case, they are he has helped us: “at even-tide it has been not punished now. And they cannot be light."
punished hereafter. Can we be insensible to all this?-If there | Fourth. There is a tendency in the very were any ingenuousness in us, this motive nature of sin to injure and ruin a country. alone would be sufficient.
It violates all the duties of relative life. It But fear has its use and it is necessary to destroys subordination. It relaxes the ties tell you not only that you are bound by grati- which bind mankind together, and makes tude-but interest. “If ye shall still do them selfish and mean. It renders men wickedly, ye shall be destroyed, both you enemies to each other.—Social welfare canand your king." This is dreadful.—Think not survive the death of morals and virtue. of a king you love, as well as honour, and Fifth. God's dealings with guilty nations ** whose life is a lesson to the land he sways" are confirmed by his word, and indeed by all
-driven from his throne. Think of liberty history. He has invariably punished them exchanged for slavery. Think of property in due time. Witness the state of Ninerapaciously plundered, or devoured by tyranni- veh, Babylon, and others. Thus the nation cal exaction. Think of your private dwell- Samuel addressed put his declaration to the ings affording those who are dearer to you trial and found it true. A succession of
me severe judgments befel them-till at last tinguished a people by singular instances of
wrath came upon them to the uttermost, and his favour, that people will be proportionably
"the Romans came and took away both their criminal, unless they distinguish themselves De place and nation."
by their devotedness to him. Thus God from Finally, to enable us to draw the conclu- time to time aggravated the sins of the Jews. wc sion, he often-he always gives previousHe made him ride on the high places of the mit intimation of his displeasure-so that were earth, that he might eat the increase of the In not men blind and deaf they must see and fields; and he made him to suck honey out Dein hear his coming. When you see the body of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; b: wasting away by disease, and every com- | butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of
plaint growing more inveterate, you suspect | lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and ice that death will be the consequence—it is al goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and
teady begun. “When the fig-tree, and all thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape. inst the trees, put forth leaves, we know that But Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked : thou
Saimmer is nigh." Our Saviour said unto art waxen fat, thou art.grown thick, thou art . D e people, " When ye see a cloud rise out covered with fatness; then he forsook God o f the west, straightway ye say, There which made him, and lightly esteemed the c ometh a shower; and so it is. And when Rock of his salvation. Hear, O heavens, and
e see the south wind blow, ye say, There give ear, ( earth: for the Lord hath spoken, will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hy- I have nourished and brought up children, p ocrites, can ye discern the face of the sky and they have rebelled against me." And is e nd of the earth; but how is it that ye do not not this our case? discern this time?" And how is it that we They have told us, That when a nation is do not perceive that God is angry with us under the corrections of the Almighty, they that he is contending with us?-Are none of are eminently sinful if they disregard the his forerunners arrived ?-Has he not more tokens of his wrath, and go on careless and than spoken ?-Has he not smitten usand insensible. Hence, says Isaiah, “In that day more than once? And if lighter judgments did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping do not reform, will not heavier ones destroy ? and to mourning, and to baldness, and to The consequence is infallible. “ If ye still girding with sackcloth ; and behold, joy and do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both you gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, and your king.'
eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat But you ask-Have we any cause to fear and drink; for to-morrow we shall die. And this?-I answer, just in proportion to the de- it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of gree of our sin. Now there are two ways hosts, surely this iniquity shall not be purged by which we may judge of our national guilt. from you till ye die, saith the Lord God of
The first is to enumerate the sins which reign hosts.” In like manner, says Jeremiah,“ Thou predominant among us. To do this would not hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; only be shocking, but endless. For what yice thou hast consumed them, but they have recan be named that is not constantly commit- fused to receive correction: they have made ted through the land !—The other method is their faces harder than a rock; they have reto lay down criterions, by which we may es- fused to return."—And what impressions have timate the prevalency and the aggravations his judgments made upon us? Have they rcof sin in a country. And what test has ever strained us from any of our pride and luxury ? been devised that is not alarming when ap Have they reduced the number of worldly plied to ourselves ?
amusements; or chilled the ardour of dissi. Divines have told us That if God has fa- pation? If a stranger were to come among voured a nation with the revelation of his us and observe our manners, would he think will, their sins are aggravated by means of we were in any distress, or had received any this light-For “where much is given, much unfavourable omens ?” will be required; and he that knew his Lord's! They tell us to mention no more-That will, and did it not, shall be beaten with ma- shamelessness in sinning is a sure proof of ay stripes.” Thus a heathen country, com- general corruption. And where is the man mitting the very same sins with a country among us who is not more afraid of a threadenlightened with the Gospel, is far less cri- bare coat, than of a dishonest action ? To minal. Thus, a country overspread with su- fail in business, and defraud innocent sufferers perstition, where the Bible is scarcely known, of their lawful property, is no longer scandaand its contents can be only viewed through lous; never excites a blush. Impurity is a depraved and disfiguring medium-such a gloried in-and a young man, in most comcountry, committing the very same sins, panies, who should profess himself virtuous, would be far less guilty than a country fa- would be turned into ridicule! Much-every voured with a purer worship, and where thing depends upon the character of females. evangelical instruction is open to all. And see how many of the barriers of virtue they does not this apply to us?
have permitted to be removed ! Behold the They have told us, That when God has dis- experiments which fashion has tried upon
their reserve, their decency, their purity- fulfil his word to his servants upon which he See how they have adorned themselves in has caused them to hope—but he is also enmodest apparel, with shamefacedness and gaged to render vengeance to his adversa
ries~" he will not spare the guilty." If such tests prove the degree of national “What then, would you have us despair ?" guilt-our guilt is great; and if sin destroys I would-If we are resolved still to do kingdoms-1 say, we have reason to fear. wickedly. If we are not brought to national
It is not indeed for us to determine when the repentance, I would wish every individual to iniquity of a nation is full: and it seems that expect that we shall be destroyed, both we God sometimes prolongs the duration of a and our king. “At what instant I shall speak country for some providential purposes. They concerning a nation, and concerning a king. may be instruments in his hand of mercy or dom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in of wrath. But such a destiny does not hinder my sight, that it obey not my voice, then will their final ruin. Though they are his instru- I repent of the good wherewith I said I would ments, they are not his favourites. He may benefit them.” use them and still punish them.
But the reverse is true. * At what instant There is one thing of which we hear very I shall speak concerning a nation, and conmuch, and many seem to consider it as a coun- cerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull terpoise to all our fears, that there are so many down, and to destroy it; if that nation against good people among us. Blessed be God this is whom I have pronounced turn from their evil, true, and they certainly afford us encourage- I will repent of the evil that I thought lo do ment. Ten righteous men would have saved unto them.” Blessed be God for this welcome Sodom. And God says of the Jews, “I intelligence. For by this he assures us and sought for a man among them that should the Scripture cannot be broken-that not make up the hedge, and stand in the gap be- only innocence and righteousness will save a fore me for the land, that I should not destroy country-but also repentance and reformait; but I found none. Therefore have I tion. Oh that our country may be led to poured out mine indignation upon them. I make trial of this encouraging truth! May have consumed them with the fire of my we search and try our ways, and turn again wrath; their own way have I recompensed unto the Lord. May we seek him while he upon their heads, saith the Lord God." Let may be found, and call upon him while he is us therefore rejoice in this encouragement. near—" for he is gracious and merciful, slow But let us rejoice with trembling. Let us to anger, and of great kindness, and reremember that it is a hopeful circumstance-1 penteth him of the evil.” but that it does not absolutely insure the sal. We learn therefore who is the worst enemy vation of a country. Let us recollect that of his country—the sinner ; and who is the there was a time when God used the follow- best friend-ihe Christian. “By the bless ing language to Jeremiah and Ezekiel con- ing of the upright, the city is exalted; but it cerning the Jews: “Therefore pray not is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked!" thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor Let us all therefore seek after divine grace prayer for them, neither make intercession to renew our own souls, and to sanctify our to me: for I will not hear thee. Then said own lives; and do all in our power to promote the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people godliness around us. Let us endeavour to for their good. Though Moses and Samuel | hinder all the sin we can-in our families and stood before me, yet my mind could not be neighbourhood-by prayer, by example, by toward this people: cast them out of my influence. As much sin as we hinder, so sight, and let them go forth. Though these much misery and danger shall we prevent threc men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, Let us prize those institutions which are they should deliver but their own souls by favourable to the morality and sanctification their righteousness, saith the Lord God." of mankind. Especially let us value the What learn we from all this?- That there GOSPEL. It is the grand, and the only ef are cases in the history of nations when the fectual means of “teaching men to deny all Divine forbearance is exhausted, and then the ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live cries of the righteous will avail no more than soberly, righteously, and godly in the present those of the wicked. Were there not in Ju- world." dea some of the best inen that ever lived We are called upon to confess and bewail when the Babylonians invaded and conquered our national wickedness, and on such an oc. them? Have there not been pious people in casion as this we should feel ourselves to be every Christian country when destroyed ? parts of one great whole. But no man will Does God love his followers now better than ever be properly affected with the sins of formerly, when he suffered them to share in al others till he is impressed with his own. thousand public calamities!-While he pun- Here then our concern is to begin. We are ishes his enemies, may he not correct his individually to look backward-and inquire. friends? Or cannot he indemnify them? What have I done?"_and to look forwardOr hide them? Or deliver them? He must and ask, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" We find the builders, in Nehemiah, me.” But what would he have them believe? “ labouring every one over against his own You have heard." In my Father's house are house." And it is a plain but an expressive many mansions: if it were not so, I would image, of an old writer-" that the best way have told you. I go to prepare a place for to have a clean street is for every one to you : and if I go and prepare a place for you, sweep before his own door."
I will come again, and receive you unto myLet us therefore personally “ cease to do self; that where I am, there ye may be also." evil, and learn to do well.” Let us fear the Let us consider the various particulars of Lord and serve him. Let us mourn and weep this intelligence; and the certainty of the for the abominations that are done in the whole. land-and if we are not the repairers of the I. THE DECLARATION OF OUR SAVIOUR breach, the restorers of paths to dwell in-let CONTAINS EVERY THING THAT CAN FEED THE us remember, it shall be well with us. If we CONTEMPLATION, AND ENLIVEN THE HOPE OY suffer with others, we shall not suffer like THE CHRISTIAN. them. And we shall soon reach Immanuel's In describing heaven, he calls it his “ Faland, where the din of war will be heard no ther's house"-as much as to say, I am only more!
going home. Now he is not ashamed to call And oh! remember, if your country should his people brethren. “Behold," says he, be saved, and you as an individual continue after his resurrection, “ behold, I ascend to impenitent-you—you will be certainly de- my Father and your Father, and to my God stroyed! And what is any national calamity and your God." "Heaven therefore is their to " everlasting destruction from the presence home also. The world knoweth them not of the Lord, and the glory of his power!" it knew him not. They are only strangers
and pilgrims on earth. They take many a
weary step; and often meet with rough usage DISCOURSE LIII.
and trying weather. But when tempted to
complain, they are prevented by the reflection THE SAVIOUR COMFORTING HIS
that this is not their home-better entertainDISCIPLES.
ment awaits them at their journey's end(AFTER A FUNERAL.)
heaven will make amends for all. Dr. RowIn my Father's house are many mansions ; if land Taylor, when drawing near the tower
it were not so, I would have told you. I go of Hadley, in Suffolk, where he had been a to prepare a place for you. And if I go minister, and was now going to be a martyr and prepare a place for you, I will come being asked how he did-answered, “Never again, and receive you unto myself ; that better; for now I know that I am almost at where I am, there ye may be also.—John home !"-And looking over the meadow bexiv, 2, 3.
tween him and the place where he was to NEVER man spake like this man! Grace be immediately burnt, he said, “Only two was ported into his lips! And in him were stiles more to get over, and I am at my Faaccomplished in the highest sense the words ther's house.” And when the venerable Mr. of the prophet—"He hath given me the Mede was asked how he did, replied, “I am tongue of the learned, that I should kriow going home as fast as I can, as every honest how to speak a word in season to him that is man ought to do when his day's work is weary."
over; and I bless God I have a good home to Having assembled with his disciples in an go to." upper room, and administered to them the Yes-a good home indeed! Think of a memorials of his death—he announced his building of God and for him ; think of an ediapproaching departure. Sorrow filled their fice in which he resides; and which is worthy hearts. Perhaps they expressed it in words; of his infinite Majesty! We have seen splenperhaps it was visible in their countenances. did palaces. We have read of others, the However this may be-he perceived it, and magnificence of which seems to exceed besaid, “Let not your heart be troubled." lief. The Scripture tells us that Solomon's
But what can bear them up under such a palace was the wonder of the earth; and that loss?-We grieve when we lose a good man, when the queen of Sheba had surveyed it, a friend, a common benefactor. But they "there remained no more spirit in her." But were to lose their Lord and Saviour, their what is all this to heaven! “The palace of teacher, the resolver of their doubts, their the great King." No man could see it and comforter in every affliction. How then live. But all this is your home—it is your would he relieve them? What is the remedy " Father's house." he applies ?-It is faith!—The discoveries of Our Lord tells us that in this house there faith are the best support under the evils of “are many mansions.” No inconsiderable sense. “I had fainted," says David, “unless number will be required. For if it be asked, I had believed to see the goodness of the are there few that shall be saved ?-taking Lord in the land of the living.”—“Ye believe them all, eventually and collectively, we anin God," says our Saviour, "believe also in swer, No. The Captain of our salvation is leading “ many sons" unto glory. And John | us. He appeared in the presence of God for saw before the throne “a great multitude us, pleading his sacrifice, and claiming the which no man could number," from all the purchase of the Cross : " Father, I will that diversities of the human race. But there is they also whom thou hast given me be with room enough in the house of God to accom- me where I am, that they may behold my modate all his immense family. There is glory which thou hast given me: for thou therefore nothing to justify monopoly. There lovedst me before the foundation of the world." is enough and to spare.
He has taken possession of heaven in our But the expression implies not only multi- name, and he holds it for us. And we read plicity, but variety. Though the house is that he entered within the vail as our foreone, the apartments are many. There is runner, whose office it is to prepare for the something in the heavenly state suited to the reception, and to announce the approach of circumstances, and character, and taste of those to whom he belongs. every inhabitant. The land of Canaan was Again. "If,” says the Saviour, “I go and given to the Jews; but each tribe had its own prepare a place for you, I will come again, division, and the lots of no two of them were and receive you to myself. This is fulfilled in all respects alike. In the world of nature in two cases. He comes again at death. And we see “one glory of the sun, and another this is infinitely desirable. It is an awful glory of the moon, and another glory of the thing to die. And many a Christian has stars; for one star differeth from another star found himself in such a frame of mind as to in glory." Among the angels we read of saythrones and dominions; principalities and
“Oh! if my Lord would come and meet, powers: they have their orders and degrees.
My soul should stretch her wings in haste; This also we have reason to believe will be Fly fearless through death's iron gate, the case with glorified saints. We see end
Nor feel the terrors as she pass'd I" less diversity in all God's works and ways. He does this. He is peculiarly near to his And will heaven be an exception? All will people in their expiring moments. Many of be perfectly blessed—but why should all be them have confessed his presence in words; similarly employed; or equally endowed? while others who have not had the same de Plunge a number of vessels into the sea- gree of rapturous confidence, have equally they are all alike filled-but, various in their proved it by effects. Yes, he comes to irradimensions, they hold unequal proportions. diate the dark valley; he comes to establish
Further; he tells them, ** I go to prepare their faith, and to enliven their hope, and to a place for you. You are coming too but I make all grace to abound towards them in must go first-to remove every impediment; 'this time of need. He comes to take them to perform every condition; to secure every in from this world of storms to their everlastadvantage."
ing refuge-to receive them to himselfFor this happiness is not such as Adam as you would go to the door to receive a bewould have obtained after a proper trial of loved friend from a distance, or hasten to emhis obedience in Paradise. It is the happi- brace a dear child returning, after a long abness of a lost creature, in whose restoration sence, from school. difficulties were found which the Saviour He also comes again at the last day to realone could remove. And before He can re- ceive them to himself. And this coming difmove them—see how much it was necessary fers very much from the former. The one is for him to accomplish! It was necessary for spiritual, but the other will be personal. The him to come down from heaven to earth, and one is private, and invisible; the other will be return from earth to heaven. To your com- public and obvious, for every eye shall see plete happiness—his death was necessary- him. The one is to receive his people indihis resurrection was necessary-his ascension vidually; the other will be to receive them and intercession were necessary-his univer-collectively. The one is to receive their sal empire, and his dispensation of the Holy souls, but the other is also to receive their Ghost were necessary.
bodies. This is a grand article of our faith He went away, not only to possess a per- and hope. "To them that look for him, will sonal reward, but to assume a relative dignity he appear a second time, without sin, unto
-not only to live a life of glory, but also a salvation. Our conversation is in heaven;