« FöregåendeFortsätt »
your pastor. And this is not all, for you are cherishing a temper in your heart which is very hateful in God's sight, and effectually bars the door against the entrance of any heavenly principles whatsoever-malice! Is it not rather that you are angry against the religion of Jesus, not your clergyman; and that the devil is enlisting your evil nature on that side, and waging war within you against the principles of the truth itself. Oh! do not suppose that with this evil passion rankling at your
know thing yet of that religion which is "love and joy, longsuffering and gentleness.” Your bitterness of feeling shews that you have not yet put off the old man with his deeds, nor are seeking to walk in newness of life. But further, do you go to honour the clergyman? and yet your conduct is almost a proof that you do. For you go only when you are pleased with him, and stay away when he offends you. You go to honour God, and your absence from his house is a question only between you and him. Him you go to pray to, and to praise; as his people to serve him as your King, as his children to obey him as your Father. Cast away from you then this fatal mistake ere another Sunday. Break your delusion. Unbind your chains, and come into the courts of the Lord again as a true and hearty, an unfeigned and penitent worshipper at the throne of grace, and you will be a happy
Now, my friends, I would say a few words in conclusion. There are many other reasons, I doubt not, for the devil does not come against us single-handed, which keep persons away from public worship; but those which I have noticed are the chief ones: and you know that if there is no excuse to be found in the chief, there can be much less in the slighter. I might have told you, as I went along discussing them, many blessings which would flow to you in keeping holy the Sabbath day, and going to church on principle; but I wished to shew you that it was your duty, on the express commands of God, and to leave these very much to your real experience of their value in the paths of religion: "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” But if you go there, purposing to serve God, and enquiring after truth and salvation, you will doubtless find them, as many have and do, to be such, and that it scatters many blessings on your path. It will help to make your home happy, your family industrious, your children cleanly and neat, because they are trained up in the fear of God. If you thus go, you will see that it does not confine itself to one good alone, but will lead you on in every part of religion. It will make the sunny smiles of joy and peace lighten on your road; and though poor you will find that poverty with godliness is a great gain. Your example will warn the ungodly man, and strengthen the righteous. Your example, with God's blessing, may effect great things. It may widen the circles of its influence from your family to your friends, and from your friends to your neighbours, and from your neighbours to your village, and gather many from this naughty world to seek the true riches which are laid up in Christ Jesus for every anxious and enquiring soul. There. fore “think on these things.”
THE COMING HOUR.
WHAT WILL BECOME OF ME? This was the question of one who had lived some thirty years, and now lay stretched on the bed of death. Probably it had before this been suggested, as one which would some day become of moment; perhaps it had been felt as one of great interest, which would, before long, demand serious attention and action : but time glided away, and a seductive voice whispered, “ Not now !" The individual was amiable and greatly beloved. A multitude of the tenderest sympathies and most pleasing hopes had clustered along the path where those feet were to tread, and a balmy air overhung and played around it. Suddenly all those hopes are blasted, and the whole beauty of the scene becomes blackness. The destroyer has come. The question, which had floated through the mind in hours of health and hope, in flickering and shadowy uncertainty, has put on the distinctness and tenor of a stern, staring reality_" What will become of me?" Then come up broken memories, struggling to make answer_in early readings of the Bible, in a thousand sermons, in repeated conversations, in prayers listened to from infancy. Death, heaven, and hell, were common themes in all these. Jesus Christ, and the way of salvation, were worn into the mind; so often had it been talked over But the body is now racked with pain, the mind is enfeebled and wandering with delirium, and the lucid intervals are only long enough to struggle at hard odds with this great question, “ What will become of me?" Young man and maiden, ask that question now in the days of your youth and hope; man and woman, of maturer years, ask it now in the days of your vigour ; aged im. penitence, ask it in health. But, oh! put it not off till the day when nature struggles with disease, and death only gives answer to the terrible inquiry.
TO ALL THE BELOVED FLOCK
ON WHOSE BEHALF I AM CALLED TO MINISTER IN SACRED
I SEEm called upon, at the present time, to invite your very serious attention to the circumstances in which another summer finds us.
Being on the eve of one of those perilous seasons in our village, which all good men dread, but which most of the thoughtless and the covetous bail with delight, I take advantage of the occasion to advert to your social and religious condition as a people; and I am the more strongly urged to address you from house to house in this way, because large numbers of you seem to despise the ordinance of preaching, though God himself is pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
With respect to those amongst you who have received Christ Jesus the Lord, and are humbly endeavouring to walk in him, I pray that grace, mercy and peace, may be multiplied towards you: may you earnestly contend for the faith delivered unto you, and cleave with all your hearts unto him who loved you and
self for you.
But alas, many of you seem to be living without God in the world, wholly given up to walk in your own way, as if you had cast off the fear of the Lord altogether, and meant to die in your sins.
Many of you never, perhaps, enter a place of public worship except on a club day, or when you pay the usual compliment to a departed relative or neighbour. And of those who hear the Gospel more regularly, how large a proportion of you are rejecting Christ in your hearts, and are consequently denying him in your lives. Consider that for this God will bring you into judgment: how shall
you escape if you neglect so great salvation ? Some few of you are keepers of public houses, and, as such, you claim a particular notice from me. O that I could persuade you to consider your ways ! What scenes of vice and folly are witnessed and encouraged amongst you, with, I fear, but little exception; the hopes of gain, tempting you to connive at drunkenness, swearing, and various other kinds of iniquity upon your very hearths! Lay to heart Lev. xix. 17.
To you, amongst my flock, who are in the habit of needlessly frequenting public houses, I offer a word in season : Fly from such places of temptation, consider the claims of your families, consider the effect of your example, consider the authority of God, who says, “ Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord ?"
I beg of you, who are fathers and and mothers, to inquire into the morals of your children. How is it, that when they grow up, 80 many of both sexes are found to be both irreligious and dissolute? Many of your sons and daughters fix a lasting stain upon their characters before they enter into the marriage state! Many of them, alas, appear to die unconverted! Did you pray with them morning and evening, when they were young, and their hearts yet tender? Did you go with them regularly to the house of God! Did you set them a good example by endeavouring to live righteously, soberly, and godly, in this present world ? Have you even now begun to live so ?
Let me affectionately beseech you amongst my flock who are young, to shun the deceitful and ruinous paths of forbidden pleasure, and especially on the approaching occasion. Ask God to enable you, by the aid of his holy Spirit, to fix your affections upon himself, and to begin in your early years to lay up treasure in heaven.
May all of you, who are under my pastoral care, lay to heart the claims and authority of that God who made you—of that Saviour who has redeemed you—and of that blessed and eternal Spirit who alone can rescue you from the love and dominion of sin, and give you a new heart and a right spirit. Much precious time has already been lost : O let us be awake, and let us live for eternity let us live by faith in Christ, and walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit, and thus let us prepare to meet our God. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Such is the desire of your affectionate Pastor,
E. S. GREVILLE.
Bonsall Rectory, July 28, 1845.
WITHOUT REMEDY.” “ He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be
destroyed, and that without remedy,”_Prov. xxix. 1. Destruction without remedy! Fearful condition for a thinking, sensitive, deathless spirit! Miserable, indeed, is the man who, by impenitence and Christlessness, is treasuring up such a doom ! Through all the trying changes of his mortal life; when cares press upon him; providences frown; friends desert; afflictions beat, and terrors appal, he shall have no substantial remedy. He has no Almighty Friend to whom he can appeal; no gracious succour upon which he can rely. Alone, unsupported, unguided, he goes down to his grave, without one reflection to soothe, or one hope to cheer him. Loneliness is the history of his life-darkness, desertion, and terror are the attendants of his death. In life there is for him "no remedy."
He has no rernedy in death! He has lived without God, so without God must be die. The fell destroyer comes apace, and the fierce death struggle seizes him. The chill of dissolution covers him
his eye glazes and fixes in death ; his form stiffens; his senses reel; his soul departs. But in this strange and terrible experience there is for him “no remedy."
He has no remedy in judgment! Trembling and convulsed with fear, he draws nigh the throne. He sees the glorious Advocate, with the throng, which no man can number, of those washed by his blood, and redeemed by his love. He sees the scroll of life unrolled ; every disguise removed; the record of every secret sin, every passion, and every shame, set forth in characters of fire. There is no blood to wash; no voice of intercession to excuse ; no friend or helper to assist. He hears from every voice, and sees in every glance that there is " no remedy."
He has no remedy in eternity! He shall hear the sentence, Depart !" Shrieking and shrinking before the intolerable frown of the incensed Judge, he shall sink and sink far adown unfathomed depths. At every step of his dreadful progress, from the fiery recesses of every cavern of woe, the dismal truth shall break upon his ear_" no remedy.” And when at last he shall take his abode in hell, and his stricken eye shall look forth and around upon
the dreary expanse of his endless voyage, every billow of fire as it rises and dashes over his desolate soul, shall moan as it passes, “no remedy, no remedy!"