Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

been. And then Satan will bave obtained from me all that his
utmost malice could desire: for what can he wish for more, than a
life begun, continued, and ended in his service! Anonymous.

Far rather would I in some humble cell,
Distant from all that's gay for ever dwell;
Than waste my fying hours, and thus divide

My time 'twixt folly, calumny, and pride. Mrs. Rowe. A dreadful account must be given of all this lost and wasted time. When the Judge shall ascend his throne in the air, and all the sons and daughters of Adam are brought before bim, the grand inquiry will be, What have you done with all the time of life in yonder world? You spent thirty or forty years there, or perhaps seventy or eighty; and I gave you this time, with a thousand opportuuities and means of grace and salvation; and what have you done with them all? How many sabbaths did I afford you? How many sermons have you heard ? How many seasons did I give you for prayer and retirement, and converse with God and your own souls? Did you improve time well ? Did you pray? Did you converse with your own souls and with God? Or did you suffer time to slide away

in a thousand impertinences, and neglect the one thing neces

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

sary?

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

A fruitless and bitter mourning for the waste and abuse of time will be another consequence of your folly. Whatsoever satisfaction you may take now in passing away time merrily, and without thinking, it must not pass away so for ever. If the approaches of death do not awaken you, judgment will do it. Your consciences will be worried with terrible reflections on your foolish conduct.

Dr. Watts.
God of all worlds! Source and Supreme of things !
From whom all life, from whom duration springs!
Intense, oh let me for thy glory burn,
Nor fruitless view my days and months return.
Give me with wonder at thy works to glow,
To grasp thy vision, and thy truths to know ;
O'er life's tempestuous sea to reach thy shore,
To sing thy praise, and all thy grace adore,
When seas shall roll and time shall be no more. Dr. WATTS.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

This is the last link of our chain that comes under the observa. tion of our senses; we shall then come to the closing scene, when We must trace it by faith, and not by sight.

The period that " Christian” will bave to sojourn in this lower world is very uncertain ; but whatever that time may be, he must persevere to the end; for “he that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved." Matt. x. 22. “ Christian” will have to encounter many difficulties, dangers, and troubles; his path will not be strewed with flowers, nor will be walk to heaven on velvet carpets : quite the reverse; the way from the City of Destruction to Emanuel's land is attended with many dangers-enemies without and enemies withinpains, afflictions, and persecutions must be bis lot; otherwise be would be “a bastard, and not a son;" Heb. xii. 8. and hence will appear the propriety of the following exhortations:

Let us, therefore, run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb, xii, 1, 2.

To bim that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Rev. ii. 7.

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my
God, and he shall go no more out. Rev. iii. 12.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

+

It was the writer's intention to have introduced, in this place, two or three additional links to the chain ; such as, “ The nature of Temptation,” “ The Necessity of Christian's always appearing in Armour,” &c. but finding the volume already extended far beyond the original design, it has been considered advisable to omit them.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

I confess, when a man is converted, the principal part of his danger is over.

He is safe in the love and care of Christ, and none can take bim out of bis hands; but this is only a part of the truth: the other part must be taken with it, or we deceive ourselves. There is still a great deal of work before us; and holiness is still the way to happiness; and much care and diligence is required at our hands; and it is no more certain that we be saved by Christ, than it is that we shall be kept in faith and love and obedience by him. It is as true, that none can separate us from the love of God, and from a care to please him, and from a holy diligence in the work of our salvation, as that none can take us out of his bands, and bring us into a state of condemnation. He that is resolved to bring us to glory, is as much resolved to bring us to it by perse verance in boliness and diligent obedience; for he never decreed the one without the otber, and he will never save us by any other way. Indeed, when we are converted, we have escaped many

and grievous dangers; but yet there are many more before us, wbich we must by care and diligence escape. We are translated from death to life; but not from earth to heaven. We bave the life of grace; but we are short of the life of glory. And why bave we the life of grace, but to use it, and live by it? Why came we into the vineyard, but to work ? And why came we into the army

of Christ, but to fight? Why came we into the race, but to run for the prize ? Or why turned we into the right way, but to travel in it ?

Barter.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The Almighty Architect stretches out the north and its whole starry train over the empty space; be bangs the earth and all the etherial globes upon nothing ; yet are their foundations laid so sure, that they can never be moved at any time. No unfit representation to the sincere Christian of his final perseverance, but such as points out the cause that effects it, and constitutes the pledge which ascertains it. His nature is all en feebled, be is not able of himself to think a good thought, he has no visible safeguard, por any

sufli ciency of his own; and yet, whole legions of formidable enemies are combined to compass his ruin. The world lays unnumbered

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

1

snares for his feet; the devil is incessantly urging the siege, hy a
multitude of fiery darts or wily temptations; the flesh, like a per-
fidious inmate, under colour of friendship and a specious pretence
of pleasure, is always forward to betray bis integrity. But amidst
all these threatening circumstances of personal weakness and im-
minent danger, an invisible aid is his defence :—“ I will uphold
thee," says the blessed God," with the right hand of my righteous-
ness.” O comfortable truth! the arm which fixed the stars in their
courses, and guides the planets in theirs, is stretched out to preserve
the heirs of salvation. My sheep,” adds the great Redeemer,

are mine, and they shall never perish; neither shall any pluck
them out of my hand.” What words are these! and did they come
from him, wbo bath all power in heaven and earth ? and were they
spoken to every unfeigned, though feeble, follower of the great
Shepherd ? Then, Omnipotence itself must be vanquished, before
they can be destroyed, either by the seductions of fraud, or the
assaults of violence.
If

you ask, therefore, what security we have of enduring to the
end, and continuing faithful unto death ?—the very same that esta-
blishes the heavens, and settles the ordinances of the universe.
Can these be thrown into confusion? Then may the true believer
draw back unto perdition. Can the sun be dislodged from bis
sphere, and rush lawlessly through the sky? Then, and then only,
can the faith of God's elect be overthrown finally. Be of good
courage, then, O my soul! steadily rely on those divine succours,
which are so solemnly stipulated, so faithfully promised. Though
thy grace be languid as the glimmering spark, though the over-
flowings of corruption threaten it with total extinction; yet, since
the

great Jehovah bas undertaken to cherish tbe dim principle, many waters cannot quench it, nor the floods drown it. Nay, though it were feeble as the smoking flax, almighty goodness stands engaged to augment the heat, to raise the fire, and feed the flame, till it beam forth a lamp of immortal glory in the heavens !

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and os rthall

4

suda

Hervey.

Therefore I believe that we shall, every one, be preserved and kept, in him, and for him, according to his own word. I dare

boldly say, with our everlasting Saviour, Jesus Christ, that all the elect shall be preserved and kept for ever and ever. So, then, none of them shall be damned at any time. They who say that any of them may be lost for ever, do as much as in them lieth to make (i. e. to represent) Christ unable to preserve and keep them; deny. ing the power of Christ in so saying: for be saith, he loveth his unto the end ; which love remaineth, and shall never be extinguished or put out; and is not as the love of mans which is some times angry, and sometimes pleased. God, at no time, is so disa pleased with any of bis elect, to the end that he will deprive them of the purchased possession, which he hath Jaid up in store for them in Christ before, and were elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ : which Lamb was killed from the beginning, according to God's divine will and providence. Christ was ordained to die in the flesh; and all was for our sins. Cbrist was ordained in this respect, that the Fatber, seeing the fall of Adam, for that purpose only be ordained Christ, to the end that he migbt preserve a remnant of the posterity of Adam, even as it pleased his godly wisdom.

Toplady. Let us see whether Satan be able to pluck the Christian away, and step between him and home. Abundant provision is made against his assaults; the saint is wrapt up in the arms of almighty power, and what can a cursed devil do against God, who laid those chains on bim, which he cannot shake off? When he is able to pluck that dart of divine fury out of his own conscience, which God has fastened there, then let him think of such an enterprise as this. How can be overcome thee, that cannot tempt thee but in God's appointed time? And if God set Satan his time to assault the Christian whom he loves so dearly, surely it shall be when he shall be repulsed with greater shame. Away, then, with that doctrine which saith, one may be a saint to-day, and none to-morrownow a Peter, anon a Judas. O what unsavoury stuff! a principle it is which at once crosses the main design of God in the gospel, reflects sadly on the honour of Christ, and wounds the saint's comfort to the heart.

Gurnall.

« PreviousContinue »