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ments to put him in remembrance-to plead in time of need.” But is not every time a with him"-to persevere, and not " let him time of need with us? It is. And there is go except he bless you."
not a monient in our existence in which we II. Having considered the manner in which, can live as we ought, independently of Dilet us observe THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE vine grace. We need this grace, to mortify ARE TO COME TO THE THRONE OF GRACE. They our corruptions; to sanctify our affections; are these to “obtain mercy"--and to “ find to resist temptations; to overcome the world. grace." These blessings are wisely con- It is this, and this alone, that can enable us nected together by the Apostle, because to pursue our journey; to run our race; to there are too many people who try to sepa- accomplish our warfare; to “endure to the rate them. They would be saved froin hell, end." We cannot pray, or sing, or hear, or but not from sin. They wish to be pardoned, read, as we ought, without the assistance of but not renewed. They would have mercy, this grace helping our infirmities. “We canbut not grace.
not," says Bishop Hopkins, “stand one mo But be not deceived. Whom God forgives ment longer than God holds us; or walk one he sanctifies and prepares for his service. step further than God leads us." For a thing And both these blessings are equally im constantly necessary, the Apostle would teach portant and necessary to our salvation. Let us to pray constantly. us therefore pray for both.
But there are some seasons in which we First. Pray for mercy. And pray like peculiarly require the aid of Divine grace. those who know they greatly need it. You | Two or three of these it may be proper to are verily guilty. You are charged with mention. innumerable transgressions, and your con- Prosperity is a time of need. Few “know sciences tell you that many of them are at- how to abound.” It is no easy thing to be tended with circumstances of peculiar aggra- full, and not deny God. Worldly fame and vation. Till these are pardoned, you are affluence have often had a baneful effect on in a state of condemnation: and what a doom the minds of good men; have attached them is that which is denounced upon you by the too strongly to earth, and slackened their dilaw which you have broken! Think of the ligence in seeking “a better, even a heavenly wrath of God." Think of the “ worm that country.” They have had less dependence dieth not, and the fire that is never to be upon God, and less communion with him. quenched. It is a fearful thing to fall into They have grown high minded and illiberal; the hands of the living God!"
and exbibted far less of the Christian in their And you are continually liable to the ex- advancement than in their poverty. Others ecution of this sentence. You must die soon, have lost their religion entirely in passing you may die this very night; this very hour: from a cottage to a mansion. “The prospeand then it will be too late to cry for mercy. rity of fools shall destroy them." Let us Be prevailed upon therefore to seek it imme- therefore be wise, and remember, that the diately and earnestly Have mercy upon wisdom which can alone preserve us consists me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: in our fearing always; in a diffidence of ouraccording unto the multitude of thy tender selves; in our praying, “ hold thou me up, mercies, blot out my transgressions." and I shall be safe." He indeed can keep us
But we shall need the exercise of mercy from falling, even in slippery places. Thus as long as we are in the body. We often he guarded Joseph and Daniel, in situations contract fresh guilt. Our most holy things equally high and dangerous. are defiled. “Who can say, I have made my Affliction is a time of need. It matters heart clean; I am pure from my sin ?” Arch- not from what quarter the trouble springs : it bishop Usher often said he hoped to die with is a trying season; and the Christian is conthe language of the publican in his mouth; cerned to "come forth as gold." He not only and his biographer tells us his wish was ful-wants support and comfort, so that he may not filled he died, saying, “God be merciful to “faint," but he wants strength and preservame, a sinner.” What an exalted character tion, so that he may not sin. He is concerned is given us of Onesiphorus! Yet, says the to be secured from impatience; from distrust Apostle, “the Lord grant unto him, that he of Providence; from quarreling with instrumay find”-nọt justice-but "mercy of the ments. He wishes to glorify God in the fires; Lord in that day." He would need mercy and to derive advantages from his crosses, so till then, and then he would need it more as to be able to say, “It is good for me that I than ever. And when we all come to ap- have been afflicted.” For all this he seeks pear before his righteous tribunal, to have our the Lord; and what the Lord said to Paul he actions and our motives tried "should he may apply unto himself: “My grace is suffimark iniquity, who could stand?" Let us cient for thee: for my strength is made pertherefore say, with Job, “Though I were fect in weakness." righteous, yet would I not answer him ; but Death is a time of need. And it is an una. I would make supplication to my Judge." voidable one-other times of need may come,
Secondly. Let us pray for “grace to help but this will come. It is indeed the last time
of need—but it is also the greatest. It is may appear, I suspect that this is the case. new and untried. It settles every thing for You are not prepared to estimate these adever. It is awful to let go our hold of earth, vantages. You do not feel your need of to give up the soul into the hand of God, to mercy and grace; otherwise surely you enter eternity. The enemy also now uses all would deem them worth asking for. If you his force to distress : for there are two sea- could gain a fortune by prayer-would you sons in which he is peculiarly busy: when not pray? Or health-would you not pray? we are coming to Christ for grace--and when But what are these to mercy and grace! we are going to him for glory. Now others These comprise every other blessing—and may endeavour to banish this subject from nothing else can be a blessing without them. their minds; but the Christian must think of Or do you imagine they are not to be gainit. And he will be concerned to die safely- ed ! There is no ground for such despair: as to consequences; honourably-as to reli- he " waiteth to be gracious; and is exalted gion; comfortably-as to himself; and use to have mercy.” “Come, for all things are fully-as to others. And what can be done now ready." None are excluded. All are here without grace to help to help in this welcome. time of need! If many Christians, who are Yet if one class of petitioners could be more now cast down, were but assured that their welcome and successful than another, it sun would set without a cloud, they would be would be the young : “ I love them that love filled with strong consolation, bear cheerfully me; and they that seek me early shall find their trials, and look forward to every future me." scene with pleasure. Well, grace can do this, and has done it for many; and even for many who were "once walking mournfully
DISCOURSE XV. before the Lord !" When the time of need came, then came the grace-suffering grace for a suffering hour-and dying grace for a
SUMMER AND HARVEST. dying hour.
Now if this be our errand in prayer-if Hc that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but we are to pray-" that we may obtain mercy, he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that and find grace to help in time of need," does causeth shame.-Prov. x. 5. it not follow, as a fair inference from the sub! What a scene of desolation was presented ject, that a prayerless person is destitute both to the eye of Noah when he opened the door of the mercy and grace of God? This is an of the ark! No human face appeared. The awful truth; and it leads me, before I con- earth was stripped of all its beauty; and no clude, seriously to ask you
trees, no plants, no grass were to be seen. First. Have you come to this throne? | The effects of the Deluge were everywhere Have you ever prayed? Perhaps you have awfully visible; and every cloud, every wind, sometimes dragged through the duty as a excited alarm. In this condition he offered a task-but did you ever feel it to be your pri- sacrifice. God accepted it--and to dissipate vilege and your pleasure? Perhaps you have bis fears, and to draw forth his confidence, he engaged in it occasionally--but has it been said, “ While the earth remaineth, seed-time your habitual employment? Perhaps you and harvest, cold and heat, and summer and have called upon God in the hour of sickness winter, and day and night, shall not cease.” and danger—but, as health returned, have Each of these periods is not only useful, you not discontinued prayer by little and lit- but instructive. We cheerfully part with tle, till you have lived entirely without him the dreary hours of winter, to embrace the in the world? You have frequently attended reviving spring; and as readily resign the public worship-do you pray much in your growing hours of spring, to welcome the joycloset; or, in the duties of your calling, do ful harvest. When, under Divine Providence, you send up many a desire to God, saying, this season arrives, “the year is crowned with “ Lord, help me?" You are fond of hearing his goodness; the earth is full of his riches;" sermons—but while you so often hear from and the husbandman is called forth to secure God, does God ever hear from you?
the golden produce. He is reasonably exSecondly. Do you design to come? or pected to make every concern give place to have you resolved to “ restrain prayer before this, and to exert all his diligence to improve him?"
the short, but all-important period. Hence Do you imagine you can acquire these the reflection of Solomon: “He that gatherblessings in any other way than by prayer? eth in summer is a wise son; but he that This is impossible: “For all these things,” | sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth says God,“ will I be inquired of:" “ Ask, shame.” and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall Common sense readily acquiesces in this find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." truth." But let us accommodate the subject
Or do you imagine these blessings are not to moral and spiritual purposes. Let iis worthy of your pursuit? Alas! strange as it represent YOUR HARVEST SEASON; and enforce
upon you the NECESSITY OF DILIGENCE IN Where is the person, who does not know USING IT.
what we mean by a season of conviction? I. God affords you OPPORTUNITIES FOR Conscience has sometimes forced you to a GOOD. He favours you with seasons which stand. Like Felix, you have trembled under may be considered as your harvest.
the power of the world to come. You have In this view we may regard the whole sometimes been pleasingly affected: you have period of life. While you are continued in wept, and prayed, and sighed—“Now, Lord, this world, you have “space for repentance; what wait I for? my hope is in thee." and the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation." But can I forget another season? Can I
You are blessed with a season of Gospel forget to urge the admonition of wisdom and grace. While many are sitting in darkness, friendship_"Remember now thy Creator, in and in the region of the shadow of death, upon the days of thy youth, while the evil days you "hath the light shined, to guide your feet come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou into the way of peace.” You not only live in shalt say, I have no pleasure in them !"a country where there is a written revelation, Never, never, my young friends, will you but your “ eyes see your teachers, and your have a season in which your hinderances are ears hear a voice behind you, saying, This is so few, or your helps so many. Every thing the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn aside to now invites; every thing constrains you. the right hand, or to the left." Though the “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, preaching of the word is neglected by some, now is the day of salvation." and despised by others, it is an invaluable II. I would enforce upon you the NECESSIprivilege. By this, the Scripture is explain- TY OF DILIGENCE TO IMPROVE YOUR REAPING ed to the mind, and enforced on the conscience: SEASON. by this, you are warned of your danger, and And first. Consider how much you have encouraged to flee for refuge; you are called to accomplish. You have the work of a upon to draw nigh, and assured that “all husbandman in harvestWill this allow you things are now ready." “ Faith cometh by to be drowsy and idle? Does it not require hearing; and hearing, by the word of God." you to rise early, and be active all the day?
And this reminds us that you have a season | To seize every moment, and secure every asof civil and religious liberty. You have the sistance? The salvation of the soul is a great Bible in your hands, and are not fined for read and arduous concern; and many things are ing it. You may assemble together in public, required of you. For though you are not left and hear the word of life without danger. to yourselves, nor called to act in your own Your devotions are sanctioned by law, and strength, yet religion is a race, and you must you may “sit under your own vine, and un- run; it is a warfare, and you must fight. The der your own fig-tree, and none make you blessings of the Gospel are free, but they are afraid." What advantages do we possess, to be sought and gained. It is God that above many of our ancestors who suffered for worketh in us to will and to do of his own conscience sake! They laboured, and we good pleasure;" but we are commanded, nothave entered into their labours. « They took withstanding this, yea, because of this, to joyfully the spoiling of their goods. They “ work out our salvation with fear and tremhad trial of cruel mockings and scourgings; bling.” Spring then from the bed of sloth; yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. shake off every impediment: you have sins to They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, be pardoned, passions to be subdued, graces were tempted, were slain with the sword: to be exercised, duties to be performed-a they wandered about in sheepskins and goat- harvest to gather in! skins: being destitute, afflicted, tormented : Secondly. Consider the worth of the of whom the world was not worthy: they blessings that demand your attention. The wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in advantages held forth by the prospect of hardens, and caves of the earth.”
vest animate the husbandman to diligence, Some are living in a religious family, and reconcile him to exertion; but what are where they have the benefit of instruction, the blessings of the field, compared with the prayer, and example. Some, like Timothy, blessings of salvation! The one is perishable,
have been trained up by a mother and a the other is eternal-the one is for the body • grandmother, of unfeigned faith, and, “ from only, the other is for the soul. What is an
a child, have known the Scriptures, which earthly portion in a barn, to "an inheritance are able to make us wise unto salvation." | incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth
Who, in passing through a vale of tears, not a way, reserved in heaven for us!" I has not experienced a day of trouble? From would address you as rational creatures. Is such a period, many have had to date their it not desirable to be redeemed from the curse saving acquaintance with Divine things. Af- of the law? to be justified freely from every fliction is favourable to religion: it abstracts, charge brought against us at the bar of God? it softens, its awes the mind: it strips the to be delivered from the tyranny and rage of world of its attractions, and starves us out of vicious appetites and passions? Great is the the creature into God.'
I happiness of those that belong to God here;
out who can describe the exalted glory and begin to stand without, and to knock at the joy that await them hereafter? Do you not door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and wish to enter in with those who shall be for ever he shall answer and say unto you, I know ye with the Lord ? “ They shall hunger no more, not, whence ye are: then shall ye begin to neither thirst any more; neither shall the say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presun light on them, nor any heat. For the sence, and thou hast taught in our streets. Lamb which is in the midst of the throne But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not shall feed them, and shall lead them unto whence ye are: depart from me, all ye workliving fountains of waters; and God shall ers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and wipe away all tears from their eyes." Will gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abranot this indemnify you for every sacrifice, and ham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the pro abundantly recompense all your toil ? phets, in the kingdoin of God, and you your
Thirdly. Remember that your labour will selves thrust out.” not be in vain in the Lord. "Be not weary Therefore, finally. Reflect upon the conin well-doing, for in due time you shall reap sequences of negligence. Is a man blamed if you faint not.” The husbandman has many for sleeping in harvest? Does every one uncertainties to contend with; insects, blights, reproach him as a fool ? Does he deserve to droughts, and storms--but probability stimu- suffer famine? You act a part far more ab lates him,-how much more should actual surd and fatal who “neglect this great salvacertainty encourage you! “They that sow tion," and will not embrace " in this your day in téars shall reap in joy. He that goeth the things that belong to your peace before forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, they are hid from your eyes." Having made shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, no provision for futurity-for eternity, your bringing his sheaves with him."
ruin is unavoidable. It will also be insup Fourthly. Remember that your season for portable. “It shall be more tolerable for action is limited and short. Harvest does not Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than last long. Your time in the whole compass for you." For a strict account will then be of it is but "a few days:" and how little of it required of all your talents and opportunities: deserves the name of life, or can be applied and what can you answer? O the feelings to any important services. When infancy, of sinners in hell who have perished under sleep, business, recreations have engrossed the means of grace !-How will their contheir share-is the remainder, think you, too sciences upbraid and condemn them! O the long a period to acquire the kingdom of God anguish and despair of sinners, when, dropand his righteousness? But your time is un ping from time into eternity, they exclaim, certain as well as short. The present only “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, is yours-you know not what a day or an and we are not saved !" hour may bring forth. The fool in the Gos- Let us conclude, first, by blessing God for pel talked of “goods laid up for many years," the harvest with which he has again favoured when he had but a few moments left: God our country. We went forth with anxious put his finger upon his conscience, and said, hope: we saw “first the blade, then the ear, i Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be re- and after that the full corn in the ear." We quired of thee.” “Man knoweth not his lifted up our eyes and saw “the fields already time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil white unto harvest," and with tears of joy net, and as the birds that are caught in the said, “Thou hast prepared of thy goodness share, so are the sons of men snared in an for the poor.” We only wanted the ap evil time when it falleth suddenly upon pointed weeks of harvest" -and lo! the weathem." Youth is no certain protection from ther is favourable; and the precious treasure the grave. Death does not go by age, nor will soon be secured ! " It shall come to pass does it always wait till it has sent a warning. in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will Your time is always in motion: if you are hear the heavens, and they shall hear the idle, time is not; but hurrying you forwards. earth, and the earth shall hear the corn, and If you do not perceive your progress, every the wine and oil; and they shall hear Jezhour, every moment, brings you nearer to reel." However numerous the means and your end. And your time once gone, cannot the second causes are which concur to enrich be recalled. God has plainly told you that us with plenteousness, God is the original there is a season when he will not be found: mover, and to him our praise is to be ad“therefore seek ye the Lord while he may dressed. Without his blessing, the ox would be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” have ploughed, and the husbandman would In vain those who despised the warnings of have sowed, in vain. How easily could he Noah clung to the sides of the ark when the have shrivelled up the grain by heat, drowned door was shut: it was then too late. “Strive it by showers, destroyed it by insects! By his to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say permission, an enemy might have invaded unto you, will seek to enter in and shall not our borders, and war have spoiled “the finest be able.' When once the master of the house of the wheat." Every thing is full of God, is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye he lives through all life, and while seeming to do nothing, is doing all. “Every good gift, led. His life was one continued career of and every perfect gift, is from above, and goodness. He did good to the soul and to cometh down from the Father of lights." To the body. He did good by preaching, and him let our praise ascend in a perpetual flow by miracles. of affection and obedience. While we live Every thing recorded of him is worthy of upon Divine goodness, shall we never ac- our attention; but the narrative before us is knowledge it, or acknowledge it in word beautiful and impressive in the highest deonly? Is this our kindness to our Friend? gree. We behold grandeur blended with O that our insensible hearts may be affected, simplicity, and omnipotence with coin passion. and that " the goodness of God may lead us | The circumstances progressively rise in imto repentance ! 0 that men would praise the portance; the mind is at last powerfully atLord for his goodness, and for his wonderful tracted to a single point, and all the passions works to the children of men! Bless the remain in awful suspense, till the joyful event Lord, O my soul !”
relieves us by a flood of tears. But let us remember, that “man liveth not The miracle requires a few REMARKS and by bread alone;" nor is he to “live here al- a few REFLECTIONS. ways." He has a soul within him, and an The first thing we behold is a FUNERAL eternity before him; and he would be worse PROCESSION. This is a scene which we have than a brute were he only concerned to pro- all witnessed; a scene by no means unusual vide for the inferior part of his nature, and -but, alas! owing to its frequency and fathe shortest period of his existence. What miliarity, it fails to impress. It is however will these things be to us when we come to an occurrence unspeakably interesting in itdie? What are they now? We feel far self, and it ought to rouse our attention. greater wants' now than any of these things How many lessons, were we disposed to are able to supply. We want “all spiritual learn, would a funeral supply! blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Place yourselves under a tree in a meadow,
And, blessed be God, they are attainable. along which lies the pathway to the lonely Let us therefore improve this season by churchyard. You say within yourself, “ Here making it a religious monitor. As we walk it comes, in slow and silent sadness. See ! in the fields, or reflect while at home on the every one has some importance. Who could process of harvest, let us say, “O my soul, bear to die unmourned! What a loss is the thou too hast thy season; and every thing death of some! See those who walk nearest forbids thee to be slothful. See the children to the corpse—these are the bereaved. The of this world: how wise they are in their rest are friends and neighbours, and a heedgeneration! And shall they labour so ea- less rabble drawn by the spectacle. • Man gerly for the meat that perisheth,' and I be goeth to his long home. It is the end of all indifference to acquire that meat which all men, and the living should lay it to heart." endureth unto everlasting life?' 'I must Soon the like services will be performed for work the work of him that sent me while it me. When carried along myself, how inis day: the night cometh when no man can sensible shall I be to all those things which work.'»
now agitate and perplex me! Of what importance will it then be, whether I have been
poor or rich, honourable or despised - But DISCOURSE XVI.
one thing is needful.' Oh! may I choose that good part which shall not be taken away
from me.' - Let me die the death of the THE FUNERAL OF A YOUTH.
righteous, and let my last end be like his.'”
But let us draw near, and contemplate this: Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, funeral solemnity. It was the funeral of a
behold, there was a dead man carried out, young man. We are not informed whether the only son of his mother, and she was a he died by disease or accident, slowly or widow: and much people of the city was suddenly; but he was carried off in the prime with her. And when the Lord saw her, he of life. “One dieth in his full strength, behad compassion on her, and said unto her, ing wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts Weep not. And he came and touched the are full of milk, and his bones are moistened bier: and they that bare him stood still. I with marrow. Another dieth in the bitterAnd he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Iness of his soul and never eateth with plea. Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and
sure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, began to speak. And he delivered him to
and the worms shall cover them.” “What his mother.-Luke vii. 12—15.
is our life? It is even a vapour which apAs we follow our Saviour in the evangeli-peareth for a little time, and then vanisheth cal history, we verify the words of the Apos- away?” What is beauty, strength, youth! tle, when he says of him "he went about “Verily, every man, at his best estate, is doing good." This character marks his dili- altogether vanity.” Think of this, ye young. gence, and the cause in which it was employ- Remember, the old are not the only victims