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he will not impute our trespasses to us, or lay one of our sins to our charge.
What wondrous love is this! The Creator stooping to the creature! The offended beBeeching the offender to come to terms, and be friends! The insulted and injured Deity giving his own Son to die, and offering to give us his Holy Spirit, rather than punish us for our sins. What could he do, that he has not done? What could be say that he has not said P In what way could he prove the sincerity of his love, that he has not proved it ? In what manner could he more clearly prove, that our destruction is of ourselves, that we choose death in the error of our way! He says, “Here is mercy, if you will seek it. Here is pardon if you will accept it. Here is righteousness, if you will embrace it. Here is a Saviour, if you will apply to him. Here is my Holy Spirit, if you will ask for it. Here is life, everlasting life, in my Son, a free gift, if you will believe in him for it. Here is, in one word, a full, free, and everlasting salvation for whosoever will.'
Reader, what can God say more than this ? How can God stoop lower P Perhaps you have, up to the present hour, neglected your soul, wasted your time, trifled with your convictions, and provoked the Lord to anger by your levity and folly. If so, let me beseech you now, to bethink yourself. Is it not high time to awake out of sleep? How many have been cut down all around you by disease and death! How many whom you once knew are now in hell, in the regions of des. pair! What a mercy that you are not there yourself! But you are spared—and spared for what P Perhaps some one has pleaded for you, “Lord, let him alone for this year also, and if he repent of his sins, flee to Jesus, and accept a free salvation, well ; but if not, if he continue obstinate, if he trifle through another year, I will pray for him no more ; I will ask thee to delay the stroke no longer !”
Perhaps thy mother prayed thus; or it may be it was thy father, or thy wife, or thy godly child; and, in answer to their prayers, God has spared thee as he spared Zoar, in answer to the prayers of Lot. He has given thee longer space for repentance. He is loath to cut thee down. He is not willing to cast thee into hell without a longer trial. Yield then, yield to his love! Receive, oh receive his gracious invitation; flee to Jesus, believe in Jesus, commit thy soul to Jesus, seek, oh seek, and find, a present and everlasting salvation in Jesus !
IS IT A DUTY ?
“Now, concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so do ye. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by Him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Cor. xvi. 2.
THE obligations of the believer are infinite. He owes everything to Jesus. In his baptism he professed to consecrate himself, and all he had to Jesus. He said, “I am the Lord's. For the Lord I wish to live, to labour, to suffer, and to die. I wish to be wholly the Lord's, and for ever the Lord's." He is Christ's servant, as well as God's child; Christ's steward, as well as Christ's spouse. He holds everything for Christ, and he should use everything for Christ; as he receives everything from Christ, he should dedicate everything to Christ, and use everything for Christ. But, alas ! how many of us live to ourselves, and use our property as if it was absolutely our own! How few seem to have Scriptural views upon this subject, or to be influenced by Scriptural principles ! Let us for a little while dwell upon it, as it is presented to us by the Apostle, or rather by the Holy Spirit, in this passage of Holy Writ.
First: THE SUBJECT. The setting apart of a portion of our property for Christ, or for religious purposes, to assist the cause of God. The text refers to one case, but it contains a general principle, that ought to be applied to all. Paul is pleading for the poor saints, and asking for a weekly contribution to supply their wants. Not the poor saints at Corinth, but at Jerusalem, for the Church of Christ is one, and each distinct church should care for its fellow, as each distinct member should sympathise with the whole church. The Lord has left his poor among us to represent himself; and what is done to them, he takes as done to Himself. All the Apostles at Jerusalem required of Paul was, that he should “remember the poor." Are our poor cared for, and supplied as they should be ? Then there is the house of God where his people meet, His worship is conducted, and His Gospel is preached. Debts on God's house should be paid, and they may, if every member felt it to be his debt, and each contributed according to his ability towards it. It should be comfortable; and if each one felt an interest in making it comfortable, it would be so. The expenses attending on the worship of God, and the spread of the Gospel in our lanes and alleys, villages and hamlets, islands and continents, is also committed to the church : and last, but not least, the support of the minister. It is ordained by God, that they who preach
the Gospel, should live of the Gospel; and if we communicate our spiritual things, every believer who receives them, is bound to contribute of his carnal things. How differently would ministers be supported if : every Christian in the church and congregation felt it to be a duty and a pleasure to assist in comfortably supplying all the pastor's wants as the servant of Christ! If the Lord's poor are to be provided for if the house of God is to be worthy of the name-if the worship of God is to be properly conducted, and the Gospel regularly preached-if the nations are to be taught, and our home population evangelised-and if the servants of Christ are to be supported, and supported as they ought to be then there must be collections, then all who profess Christ should be prepared to contribute to the wants of the cause of Christ. And this is required ; no one can read the New Testament, without prejudice, but must see that the Lord has cast the temporal support of his cause on the love and zeal of his professed followers. It should therefore be attended to-not as a matter that is indiffer. ent, or that may be neglected without sinbut a duty that cannot be shifted off without transgression. Let us now notice,
Secondly : THE DIRECTION. But an inquiry may be started, “Is this direction binding on us?” Is anything in the epistle binding on us ! Did not the Apostle direct