Sidor som bilder
PDF

have called forth the painful strokes. Nor only so, we are to turn to Him that smiteth us, confessing our faults, deploring our fol. lies, craving his forgiveness, and seeking grace, that we may live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world. Sanctified correction always embitters sin, brings us nearer to God, softens our spirits, humbles our hearts, produces penitence, and leads us to admire the condescension and love of God. Chastisement is designed to improve our char. acters. These, at best, are very imperfect; in order therefore to make us more watchful, prayerful, diligent, and devout, our heavenly Father uses the rod. And, if at any time we are left long without it, we become lukewarm, careless, indifferent, conformed to the world, and carnally minded. Prayer is neglected, or becomes formal, we are off our guard, and Satan takes advantage of us, and many of our most valuable privileges are slighted. Then comes some trial, for as Solomon says, “ The rod and reprvof give wisdom;" and when soundly chastened, we walk softly before the Lord, endeavour to keep a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward man; we fear to tamper with temptation, and afresh fix the eye on the glorious coming of the Master, and prepare ourselves for that auspicious event. Once more, chastisement is to wean us from earth, and lead us to fix our affections on things above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. The trials of time, if sanctified, endear to us the rest, peace, holiness, and happiness of eternity. A sick bed often gives us vivid views of the vanity of earth, and the solid glories of heaven. A stripping providence, renders Jesus and a place in His Father's house most precious. The wickedness of man in robbing, or cheat. ing, or deceiving us, makes us sigh for that place where the wicked cease from troubling, and God's weary children enjoy perfect rest. If earth was more pleasant, heaven would be less desirable. If all was agreeable in the wilderness, we should want to build our home and have our portion, on this side of the Jordan. But the thorns and briers, the fiery flying serpents, and scorpions, the Amalekites, and other sources of annoyance and discomfort, direct our thoughts, our hopes, and affections across the flood, and we begin to desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Oh the privilege, while in a world like this, and suffering as many of the Lord's people do, to know that we have a home in the better country, a place in the many mansions, and a portion in the glory that shines in Immanuel's land! Blessed, for ever blessed, be the Lord, who chastens us for our profit, who corrects usin infinite love, and who, using the rod, dealeth with us as with sons! No doubt, but we shall, when we get home, and see the needs be there was for every trial, every trouble,

and every difficulty, praise and bless His great and glorious name for every stroke of His rod. There is not one in heaven, who wishes that he had been led in a smoother path, or by an easier road, nor will there be when we are there; for all will see, and rejoice in the fact, that “He led us forth by THE right way, that we might go to the city of habitations." Gracious, gracious God, teach us to bear the rod, approve the disci. pline, and acquiesce in Thy corrections! May we never wish Thee to change the rod, or to smite us in some other part, but rather give us grace, that seeing, that “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth ;" we may lie down to be scourged, be still while we are correct. ed, and bless the hand that smites us!

Reader, are you suffering under the rod of God? Remember it is an evidence of sonship, and a proof of love. Thy heavenly Father will chasten, but He will not disin. 'herit thee. He will correct, but He will not destroy thee. He will chasten thee as His son now, and He will make thee full of joy with his countenance by and by. Receive His correction with meekness, bow before Him in humility, confess thy sins with sorrow, seek the sanctification of thy troubles, and so return unto the Lord, from whom thou hast so deeply revolted. Sinner, God dnes not chasten thee. Perhaps thy health is good, thy circumstances easy, thy trade prosperous, and thy soul at ease-you fancy all is well. But in truth all is ill. For with. out faith in Jesus, without repentance towards God, thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. Like the ox, fattening in the good pasture, or sheep feed. ing in the fold, thou art preparing for the day of visitation, and the righteous judgment of God. Faith in Jesus is the great thing you need, for we are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. Believe, oh! believe in Jesus, for he that believeth that Je. sus is the Christ, is born of God. Receive the Saviour, as presented to you in the everlasting Gospel, and remember that as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God; even to them that believe on His name. To an unbeliever, even the Gospel is a savour of death unto death. To an unbeliever, everything wears a frowning face. Believe then, in the Lord Jesus Christ, for he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved ; but he that believe eth not, shall be damned.

“God, in Israel, sows the seeds

Of affliction, pain, and toil;
These spring up and choke the weeds

Which would else o'erspread the soil;
Trials make the promise sweet;

Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet-

Lay me low, and keep me there."

A FEARFUL END. The privileges of young people in the present day, are very great, but their responsi. bility is also great. Our Sunday Schools, Bible classes, numerous publications, and other means made use of, to bring them to Christ, place them in very solemn circumstances. Many, very many, young people are brought savingly to know the Lord ; but every now and then, fearful instances of the justice of God, in rejecting those who trifle with him, are presented to our notice. I am about to relate one, which has recently occurred, and was communicated by an eye-witness. A young woman, in the city of Bath, the daughter of a godly mother, who endeavoured by all means to bring her up in the fear of the Lord, has just died without hope. She attended the Sunday School, and was constantly in her place in the Bible class, for two years. In the year, 1856, under an address given by one ofthe teachers, she was deeply convinced of sin, and appeared concerned to flee from the wrath to come. She prayed, and cried unto the Lord, for some time, but at length she began to stifle conviction, and tried to get rid of her impressions. She said to the Lord, “Depart from me, for I desire not the knowledge

« FöregåendeFortsätt »