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free grace, and is presented to you in the everlasting gospel. You will not come to Jesus, that you might have life ; and before his Father's face he will be a witness against you, that he was willing to save you, but you were unwilling to be saved by him; choosing rather to risk all the tremendous consequences of appearing before God unprepared, to coming to him and receiving an everlasting salvation from him.
How will you appear before God, prepared or unprepared? Appear you must, but how rests with yourself. Will you still prefer the pleasures of sin to the joys of religion ? The opinions of man to the decisions of God ? Will you run the risk of being cast into hell, the fire that never can be quenched, rather than turn to the Lord, and obtain the pardon of your sins from him ? " Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, and call ye upon him while he is near.” Mercy may be obtained, pardon is offered you, the Holy Spirit is promised to all who ask for him, and so salvation may be yours. Will you seek mercy ? Will you accept God's pardon Will you ask for his Holy Spirit ? Will you be saved What is your reply P Ponder well this one question, * How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?"
"I AM ON THE ROCK." A SHORT time since, I called to see one of my hearers, who was near death. She was an aged woman, remarkably quiet and unobtrusive, whose life had adorned the gospel. When I approached her, I saw that death was evidently doing its work, but she was calm and composed. I took her proffered hand, and said, “How is it with you ?" In her own calm quiet way, yet with considerable earnestness, she replied, “ WELL, SIR, I AM ON THE ROCK.” O what a mercy, thought I, to feel thus, after a long life in which so many trials had been experienced, and so many changes seen! It brought to my mind what I had heard of a good woman in hum. ble life, who when visited by her pastor, when she was near to death, and being ask. ed by him if she felt sinking, replied, "How could you ask me that P Did you ever know any one sink through a rock p I am on the rock.” My friend lingered for a time, experienced a few more conflicts with the foe, and then died in peace. No one that knew her, doubts but she is with the Lord. She felt her need of Christ when young, sought the Lord with her heart, found peace in believing, battled through a long life with
many fears and troubles, but has now enter. ed into rest. The religion she enjoyed in life, sustained her in death, and gave her a victory over it.
Reader, if you were in my friend's place, and some one was to put the same question to you, could you honestly say, “I AM ON THE ROCK !" It is one of the Saviour's own figures, and represents the solid peace, the settled rest, and unquestionable safety enjoyed by the believer in Jesus. We all build on the shifting sands by nature. But when the Holy Spirit discovers to us our danger, we are filled with alarm, and at once begin to look out for safety and repose. These can be found no where but in Jesus. These can be enjoyed only by believing in Jesus. All the good works we can perform, all the tears we can shed, all the prayers we can offer, will never lay a foundation for true peace. All must be discarded, the soul must learn to build on the person, blood-shedding, and finished work of Christ alone. Nothing tries the convinced soul like this, to have to re. nounce every thing, and to venture on Christ alone for life and salvation, without the least thing of our own to look to or lean upon. But we must come to it, or we shall never be happy. There is no foundation on which to build our hopes of eternal life, but Jesus Christ alone. Nor can there ever be any, for the testimony of God is, “Other foundation can no man lay, but that which is laid, which
is Christ Jesus.” On this, all who have been taught by the Holy Spirit, in all ages have built, and on this we must build. We can have no peace or sense of safety until then. But as soon as we venture our souls on the atoning blood, perfect righteousness, and prevalent intercession of the Lord Jesus ; we enjoy the pardon of sin, we have peace with God, and look forward with hope to the glory that shall be revealed.
Having taken Christ for the foundation of our hopes for eternity, we feel that we are on a rock. The winds may rise, the waves may roar, the storms may beat; but we are safe, being founded on a rock. Many a storm has the believer to brave, many a tempest has he to endure, but nothing can shake his foundation. The Lord Jesus is a tried stone, a sure foundation ; he never failed one who trusted in him. No earthquake can en. gulf it nor can any wave ever, wash the be. liever off it. There he stands firm, while all around him reels to and fro; there he rests in peace, while men's hearts are failing them for fear. Once on the rock, he is safe for ever. Once cemented to this foundation by a living faith, he can never be severed from it; fear at times he may ; doubt at some seasons he will ;-but these do not affect his safety. In his happiest and holiest seasons, he can look above and below, before and be hind, on the right hand and on the left, and ask, “Who shall separate me from the love
of Christ ?" And when he has deliberately thought of all that is powerful, cruel, malicious, crafty, and likely to cffect such a pur. pose, in calm and quiet confidence he can exclaim, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord !" O blessed assurance! O glorious state of safety and peace! Storms may rise and tempests gather, life may wane and death may approach, but the happy believer is not alarmed, for he can say, “I AM ON THE BOCK." Feeling his standing, enjoying his high privilege, with David and with Luther he can sing, “Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea ; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." · Friend, are you on the rock P Is it a settled matter? Is there no doubt of it? In these days of profession, it is to be feared that many take it for granted without proof. Many have fancied themselves to be safe during health and prosperity, who in sickness and adversity have found out their mistake, and when they wanted religion to comfort and support them, they had it to seek. Let no man deceive you; let nothing tempt