« FöregåendeFortsätt »
of success in the Lord's work-all are em: ployed to humble us. And God humbles us in mercy-for, “before honour is humility. We must lie in the dust before we shall sit on the throne. We must feel that we are less than the least of all God's mercies, before we shall be crowned with glory. “Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly; but the proud he knoweth afar off."
“But what does the Lord want of me P"? He wants you to submit to him. To allow him to be God, and do as he will; to be King, and exercise his sovereignty; to be Father, and choose your lot; to be your Lord, and rule you at his pleasure. You have professed all this, but you have not carried out your profession. You ac knowledge it to be right in your judgment, but you do not conform to it in your prac. tice. If God did not love you, he might allow you to go on; but he loves you too well to ruin you. If God had given you up, you might escape the trials you complain of —but as the Lord careth for you, he will cross your will, hedge up your way with thorns, and by very painful discipline hum. ble you. He wants you to depend on him. To depend on him always, and to depend on him for all. He has all you want, and he intends to glorify himself by supplying all your needs. Now you feel at times, as if you need not depend on the Lord for all. You
fancy you can do, or manage some things yourself. You are not a mere child now. You have judgment and experience, and grace; and, therefore, you can manage this, or you can do that. As you do not feel that you are absolutely dependent on the Lord, you do not seek his aid as you did ; then the Lord leaves you to yourself, and you soon turn to folly, run into difficulties, and are overwhelmed with disappointments. Ah! it is “ TO HUMBLE THEE,” and bring thee to feel thy dependence on the Lord afresh. He wishes you to look for everything to him. He would never have his children dependent on any one but himself. Therefore, when we seek aid from creatures, depend on creatures, and expect to receive from creatures, he says, “ Well, go and try what they can do for you.” And what do they but prove themselves to be broken cisterns, empty wells, and brooks that dry up P Nor is it until, like Hagar, we have given up all hope in the creatures, and laid our most valued comforts down under the shrubs to die, that we honestly and heartily say, “I will look unto the Lord I will wait for the God of my salvation.” If our eyes are taken from the Lord and fixed upon the creature-if we consult men when we should consult God-if we expect help from men, when we should expect it from God, we stir up jealousy; and painful experiences are sure to follow, to humble us, and break us down, and shew us our sin. He wishes us, as we receive all good from him, to ascribe all glory to him. He has a right to be wors shipped as God, to be obeyed as King, to be trusted and treated as a Father; it is his glory to be 80; and he says, “I will not give my glory to another.” If, therefore, we honour the creature rather than the Creator -if we obey the subject rather than the Sovereign-if we trust our fellow-men, and treat them with more confidence than our heavenly Father and if we ascribe to ourselves, or to others, what God has wrought in us, or wrought by us—then we shall be chastened ; and when we fret, complain, or are surprised at the Lord's dealings, and ask, “Why is this ?" the answer is ready “TO HUMBLE THEE.” If we were but hum. ble, and honestly rendered to man only the things that belong to man, and rendered to God the things that belong to God, it would often be very different with us to what it is. O, for that genuine humility which lies prostrate before God, looks to God, trusts in God, expects from God, ap. proves of all that is done by God, and surrenders every thing to the will and disposal of God! And when in deep trials, or sore conflicts, or distressing troubles, may I ac. cept the punishment of my iniquity, Kiss the rod, and fervently pray, “O Lord, correct
me, but with judgment, not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.” “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth, therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.”
Thus far my God hath led me on,
Last night I heard a labouring man pray. He had been a great sinner, but he had found a great Saviour. He was enjoying salvation. He pleaded with God for others. His thoughts travelled forwards, he anticipated the soul's meeting with its God, and he exclaimed with deep feeling, “AH, THE THOUGHT OF MEETING GOD UNPREPARED! This he repeated. They are solemn words, and I want to speak to you upon them.
You must meet God. This is a settled point; for, at death, the spirit returns unto God who gave it. Dismissed from the body, • it is led up into the presence of God, and it appears there just in the state in which death found it. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” “PREPARE TO MEET THY God.” You cannot avoid the meeting, but you may be prepared for it. There is a fountain opened, in which you may be cleansed from all sin. There is a robe of righteousness provided, in which you may appear just before God. The Holy Spirit is promised to them that ask for him, and he will sanctify and make you meet for glory. All that you can need to fit you to appear before God with joy, is prepared by