« PreviousContinue »
insensible they will ever remain. But a word from thy mouth, a glance of thine eye, shall instantly put life into our souls, and fervour into our devotions ; and, quickened and assisted by thy Spirit, we shall run, and not be weary; we shall walk, and not faint.
Let us not then disgrace our High-priest by languid afiections, and heartless services. Let us push them from us with indignation and contempt, as unworthy of' a Saviour. Let us love and serve him, with a pure heart, fervently. Let us call upon our souls, and all that is within us, to join their several powers, that there may be something of the ferrour of heaven in our devotions. When we see him " pouring out his soul to death ;” when we behold him rising from the dead with power and great glory, and passing into the hearens to complete our salvation; when we view him at the right hand of God, and hear how affectionately and fervently he pleads our cause; and especially, when he is hastening towards us with looks full of love, and his hands full of blessings, then, my fellow Christians, let us give vent to our bursting hearts. Let our souls magnify the Lord, and our spirits rejoice in God our Saviour. Let us confess all our sins upon the head of this scapegoat, pour all our griets into the bosom of this friend ; and since we have not an Iligh-priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, let us go boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in time of need.
The subject which we have been considering, should be also improved, as an encouragement to sinners to
says he, “ all
come to Christ, since he has manifested such a merciful and gracious disposition.
66 Come unto me,' “all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light.” “ He will regard the day of small things.” “ He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.” It would
oppose his very nature to reject the meanest sinner who comes to him; so exceedingly is he inclined to receive and relieve the distressed. O! happy, happy men, who have such a Saviour! But how shall
you escape, if you neglect so great a salvation ?
A consideration of the tenderness of Christ should make us willing to live out our time for God, and actively employ ourselves in his service.
Several men of distinguished eminence in the church of God, have failed in this respect. When the duties of their station become difficult, they are hasty to remove. Moses, Job, and Jonah, seem to have transgressed in this particular. But seeing that our great High-priest, Jesus the Son of God, is so tenderly affected towards his servants on earth, it should reconcile us to our labour and sufferings. Absence cannot cause neglect or forgetfulness; and therefore, if such a kind and bountiful Master will have us stay longer at our work, let us be content, and take a pleasure in spending, and being spenț, for the advancement of his kingdom.
This subject also affords great comfort to the afflicted people of God.
Perhaps their trials are such as no one on earth is
able or willing to relieve. They say with the Psalmist, “ I looked on iny right hand, and beheld; but there was no man that would know me. Refuge failed me, no man cared for my soul.” But still there is a friend in heaven, who can, and will, give them relief. Take, therefore, Christians, your cup, and drink it, however bitter it be. Lay hold of your cross, and bear it; and run with patience the race that is set before you, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now sat down at the right hand of God. For, consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds.
Lastly, the sympathy of Christ obliges us to sympathize with one another; and with all God's people in their sorrows and sufferings.
The too evident want of benevolene and compassion, shows that we have but little of the spirit of Christ, and are very unworthy disciples of such a kind and compassionate Master. Though it may be well with ourselves, and there be nothing in our persons, families, or circumstances, to give us uneasiness, yet we should remember those that are in bonds as bound with them, and those that suffer adversity, as being ourselves also in the body. We should weep with those that weep. We should be kindly affectioned one to another. We should bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law, and fol. low the example of Christ. If this be our character, we may hope that we are bis disciples; and then when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory.
THE UNCHANGEABLENESS OF CHRIST,
HEB, xiii. S.
Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever,
There is no truth more frequently and bitterly experienced, than what the preacher says of all sublunary things ; “ Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” We begin the world with great expectations, and having met with no disappointment, suspect no deceit. Our fondness grows with enjoyment. But when our hearts are captivated, when our mountain seems so strong as never to be moved, and when we are ready to say, “ Soul, take thine ease, ” some accident breaks the charm, and all our imaginary prospects vanish.
I say imaginary prospects; and let not the men of pleasure be offended at the word : for what better title do life's best enjoyments deserve? Wealth, which has generally been looked upon as essential to happiness, is held by the most precarious tenure; and when we think that we grasp it fastest, it suddenly takes wings, and flies away. Friends, whose company, sympathy, and assistance, have, indeed, a very considerable influence on our comfort, are by no means to be depended upon ; for when the numher is largest, and inutual harmony and pleasure.
reign uninterrupted, and give cheerfulness to every countenance, some fatal arrow, shot unperceived by the king of terrors, whom we fondly hoped to be far, far distant, makes a breach in the happy circle, and puts lover and friend far from us, and our acquaintance into darkness. Ilealth (without which, neither riches, nor friends, nor any thing else, can be enjoyed with satisfaction) is the most precarious of all. A thousand accidents may deprive us of that invaluable blessing: the least disorder, in vessels almost too small to be seen, will throw the whole frame into contusion, and open a way for sickness and death. Nothing (if we will credit the experience of others, or if we will be convinced by our own) in this world of shadows, is permanent and valuable. What week passes, but robs us of some of our enjoyments? At every little puff, some leaves drop ofl'. Sometimes a blast strikes us, and the better half of our widespreading top withers and dies; and sometimes a rude storin shakes the very roots, and threatens a total overthrow. Many such we may possibly outlive: but the axe will be laid to the root at last, and we must resign our places, and make room for another plantation.
But there is a world--thanks be to God for the joyful discovery—there is a world whose inhabitants and enjoyments are all immortal; where we shall never be pained with want, nor cloyed with possession; where are fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore, There thou hast a friend: yes, Christian, destitute as thou mayest be, and forsaken by thy tellow-mortals, however stripped of what thy heart was most set upon, and to whatever circumstances of distress and sorrow reduced, thou hast a friend, whose compassions never