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of him shall much be required"; "and and abundantly pardon you, and you this commandment have we from him, will find peace at your latter end, that he who loveth God, love his brother through Him who is “our peace" with
God, through faith in his name-even But I may be speaking to some who, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. under the light of these great privileges, Again, if I am speaking to a backslider, are still enslaved by a wordly heart; is there nothing touching, nothing affectunimpressed by the sparing mercies of ing, in the retrospect to which I would God, and unsubdued by all that is summon you also ! is there nothing brought to bear upon the conscience, the condemning-nothing painful, in the intellect, and the sensibilities; provi- constrast of a heart once occupied by dences are startling, warnings are reiter- spiritual things, with a heart that ated, the Gospel plies you with its mo- now tries to satisfy itself with the tives, and judgment with its terrors, and frivolities of a hollow world ? let “ days you will not awake! If there be one speak” to you also ; I would waken awful state on earth, it is that of one, memory; I would arm her with recolwho, under the periodical preaching of lections of the past; I would bid her plead the Gospel, can sit listless and unim- with you, by the holy and the happy pressed-madly bent on turning that into hours, the peaceful meditation, the sweet his condemnation, which is held out communion with God, and with the to him for the salvation of his soul! people of God—the fervent prayer-the There he sits among the worshippers of humble trust the soul rejoicing view God, while the world is the idol of his of Jesus, and your hope of glory, and affections! mocking God with a lip ser- ask you, are you happy? are you vice, and rendering Satan the devotion of happy, since you parted with them ! his heart, in the very temple of the Most Oh! if you have any conscience, any High! And while the dew of hea | remnant of just reflection or sensivenly blessings descends in rich abun bility, there will be, under the Lord's dance upon all around, like Gideon's blessing, a penetrating power in her fleece, that wretched man alone is singu. | words, while she bids you “remember larly unaltered! Oh, my brethren, should from whence you are fallen;" and it can not “ days speak, and years teach you scarcely come to pass, that, recalling the wisdom ?” Look back upon the past : past, with all its sanctified enjoyments, what fruit had ye in these things, of and contrasting the present, with its which you should be now ashamed ? bitter and remorseful pangs, you will not none ! “the wages of sin is death !" I do feel yourself to be the wanderer, without beseech you to consider your ways ; let yearning for the home you have forsaken ; it suffice you of your past abominations ; and thus it may be “ days would speak throw yourself upon the mercies of Him, and years teach wisdom.” who se mercy you have hitherto despised, Finally, I rejoice in the assurance that mercy purchased by a Saviour's blood, there are some among you, who, under and He will have mercy upon you, all the hindrances of a deceitful heart,
and a sinful world, have been enabled, i ness and insufficiency: well, then, try by the Lord's grace, to practise “ patient them no more—“ days should speak ;” continuance in well doing ;” to you, too, “years should teach” the wisdom of “set“ days should speak;” let the peaceful ting your affections on things above, not on enjoyment you have found in the path of things upon the earth ;” turn, therefore, devotedness to God encourage you to from the fickle and changeable, the unpersevere. Under the discipline of the stable and hurtful things of this poor Holy Comforter you have been acquiring world, to Him who never changes, and is many a lesson from last year's experience; the unfailing well spring of his people's various and conflicting it may be lately, joy. Oh! beloved, if the eye of faith forming the variegated threads of that did but more steadily contemplate the interwoven cord of love with which He Saviour, in the mystery of his person, the binds you unto Jesus; and, whether perfection of his work, the fulness of his pleasurable or otherwise, those lessons love, and the glory of his promises, have, I trust, been sanctified unto your believe me, the affections of our resouls. No doubt, you have had more newed nature would settle down unalterexperience of indwelling sin—learned ably upon him. Then, whatever the more of the evil of your hearts even in changes, the difficulties, and the trials your holiest things, and been humbled which may and will be presented by this into self abasement thereby, and have troublesome world, they would no more felt with the pious Beveridge, when, in turn the heart from its object, than the the hour of self-searching meditation, he magnet could be turned from the north was led to say—“nay, I cannot so much by shaking the box which encloses it : as confess my sins, but my confessions some vibrations there may be ; but allow are still aggravations of them: my re- a moment for the soul to settle, and, like pentance needs to be repented of my the needle, it will turn with trembling tears want washing, and the very washing pertinacity to the object by which it is of my tears needs still to be washed with supremely attracted, " for it is there the blood of my Redeemer.” Have you surely fixed, where true joys are to be felt this, and, in brokenness of heart, be found.” taken yourselves to your precious and all Again-death has been busy among sufficient Saviour, and been comforted in you; your tears are scarcely dry. ConsiHim, though condemned in yourselves ? der, beloved, that when Christ takes his Then let “days speak :” continue ever children home, it is but the answer to to go to Him, who is “the same yester- his prayer, “ Father I will, that they day, to-day, and for ever”—“whose com- whom thou hast given me be with me passions fail not, they are new every where I am, that they may behold my morning.” You have been, perhaps, no glory”—that it is “to depart and be with strangers to the sorrows and disappoint-Christ, which is far better.” Nature will ments which beset the highway of life ; grieve, but faith should rejoice; and you have been learning the change-though the heart be bursting with emoableness of earthly things, their hollow- tions that none but those who have experienced them can imagine, yet can I discipleship, you will do with them what that heart in filial trustfulness declare, the elders do with their crowns-cast “I know in whom I have believed, and them before the Lamb, and give Him all am persuaded that he is able to keep that the praise. 'Tis true, our ignorance is as which I have committed unto him," until obvious as distressing ; this is indeed the the blessed morning of reunion in the night time of sin, sorrow, and darkness ; kingdom of Christ. Rest, then, my dear but of that glorious habitation which brethren, on Him who more than supplies Jesus hath opened to all believers, it is the place of father and mother, and sister emphatically said, “there shall be no and brother—who is the father of the night there," and there, in the most fatherless, and the God of the widow ; enlarged sense, shall “ days speak, and and thus days of bereavement will not multitude of years teach wisdom :" the have spoken in vain, nor years of sorrow ways of providence shall be made clear, been unfruitful of wisdom.
the mysteries of grace unfolded, and the Once more--you have to deplore your things hard to be understood explained. ignorance, and your poor advancement “ No night” of sorrow, for grief cannot in true knowledge. Brethren, perhaps exist there ; no tears are shed, no friends you have not studied your Bibles care removed, no sepulchres replenished—and fully and prayerfully enough, and in the never does one momentary shadow flit excitement of social communion, you across the pure sunshine of its bright have comparatively overlooked the quiet tranquillity. No more blighted hopes or, home-study of God's Holy Word. This sudden disappointments, no more weariis wrong. The Bible is the lamp which ness of heart nor bitterness of spirit, but the Spirit has lit up in this dark and dan everlasting gladness shall bear us on the gerous world, to guide our souls into the bosom of its unruffled joys, shall roll apprehension of wisdom, and our feet throughout eternity, and deepen as it into the way of peace. Those doctrines, rolls, “ No night" of sin shall be there, precepts, and promises, which are appre- no evil heart to battle with, no sinful ciated sooner by the spiritual heart than desire to resist, no corrupt suggestions by the learned head, are the rays which to subdue, but holiness the atmosphere at once warm our hearts, and enlighten which we shall breathe. There shall be our road. Keep, therefore, to the Word, the removal of all mistake, for misconand you are on that highway on which ception and conjecture shall give place to “the wayfaring men, though fools, shall certainty-_" we shall know even as we not err.” Be watchful, too, against self- are known ;” and thus, in the unassaildependance; it is a great obstacle to able holiness of heaven, in its ineffable spiritual advancement, and a great inlet and imperishable joys, in the untiring of sin : try your progress in grace more expatiation of our enlarged and spirituby the requirements of God's Word than alised intellect over the wondrous ways by the walk and profession of others; and works of God our Saviour, shall this will keep you humble, and often “days” of glory “speak," and "years” of bring you to the foot of the cross; and eternity“ teach wisdom.” whatever be your attainments in practical ! And now, having folded down the leaf
of the past year, with its cares, its res- | reliance upon Him! The world is as ponsibilities, and its lessons of instruction, sinful as ever-our hearts are as deceitful we stand at the threshold of a year of as ever ;-trust, therefore, in him at all thick coming perplexities and changes— times, and pour out your hearts before such perilous times as may possibly him: “God is a refuge for us." deceive the very elect of God. I will May this well meant advice sink into but commend you to Him who is able to your hearts ; and if ever on a future do exceeding abundantly above all that day you recal to mind this day's service we can either ask or conceive-for He and sermon, remember_“I said days alone is our defence; and what are all should speak, and multitude of years our lessons of experience apart from our | teach wisdom.”
THE CHRISTIAN IN HIS SUFFERINGS.
Every man shews fair in prosperity, but estate ? he comforts himself in the conthe main trial of the Christian, in Suf- science of a better treasure, that can FERING; any man may steer in a good never be lost. Is he afflicted with sickgale and clear sea, but the mariner's ness? his comfort is, that the inward skill will be seen in a tempest.
man is so much more renewed daily, as Herein the Christian goes beyond the the outward perisheth. Is he slandered Pagan's, not practice only, but admira- and unjustly disgraced ? his comfort is, tion. We rejoice in tribulation,' saith that there is a blessing which will more the chosen vessel. Lo! here a point than make him amends. Is he banished ? transcending all the affectation of heath. he knows he is on his way homeward. enism. Perhaps some resolute spirit, Is he imprisoned ? his spirit cannot be whether out of a natural fortitude, or out locked in: God and his angels cannot of an ambition of fame or earthly glory, be locked out. Is he dying ? to him may set a face upon a patient enduring to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' of loss or pain ; bnt never any of these Is he dead ? he «rests from his laburs,' heroic Gentiles durst pretend to a joy in and is crowned with glory. Shortly he suffering. Hither can christian courage is perfect gold, that comes more pure reach; knowing that “tribulation works out of the fire than when it went in ; eth patiance, patience experience, and ex- neither had ever been so great a saint in perience hope, and hope maketh not heaven, if he had not passed through the ashamed.'
flames of his trial here upon earth. Is he berǝaved of his goods and wordly
THE CHRISTIAN IN HIS CONFLICTS.
He knows himself never out of danger, and that there can be no match to the and therefore stands ever upon his guard. Almighty. Neither of his hands is empty: the one He is careful not to give advantage to holds out the shield of faith ;' the other his vigilant adversary, and therefore manageth “the sword of the Spirit :' warily avoids the occasions of sin : and both of them are employed in his perpe- if, at any time, he be overtaken with the tual CONFLICT.
suddenness or subtility of temptation, he He cannot be weary of resisting, but speedily recovers himself by a serious resolves to die fighting. He hath a ward repentance, and fights so much the harder for every blow; and as his eye is quick because of his foil. to discern temptations, so is his hand and He hates to take quarter of the spirifoot nimble to avoid them.
tual powers: nothing less than death can He cannot be discouraged with either put an end to his quarrel, nor nothing the number or power of his enemies; below victory. knowing that his strength is out of him
Ibid. self, in him in whom he can do all things,
THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help."-Hosea xiii. 9.
Wand'ring o'er the barren mountains,
Roaming in the desert wide,
Far from home, without a guide :
Once the chosen flock of God;
And provok'd his heavy rod.
Long did mercy plead with justice,
Spread her wings, and raise the cry-
Thus saith God, why will ye die ?
Sent my prophetsgiv'n my Son !
What more could your God have done ?