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Him the "all in all.” Let Him, then, be, night, to teach us that for a single in your eyes what He is in the Father's. | instant God never forgets his people. Is he not a sufficient portion ?-does he Now how often does Zion say, “the Lord not fill all heaven with rapture? In the hath forsaken me, and my God hath chorus which swells and echoes through forgotten me;" but with what an answer its arches, from one end to the other, is has the Lord himself furnished us, to there anything that indicates a wish un- silence these complaints of unbelief! fulfilled, a desire unsatisfied ? « Worthy“ Can a woman forget her sucking child, is the Lamb that was slain ; hallelujah! | that she should not have compassion on for the Lord God omnipotent rəigneth, the son of her womb ?-yea, they may and we shall reign with him! Are not forget, yet will not I forget thee." “A these the words of triumphant joy? Oh! | vineyard of red wine; I the Lord do then, adore the love and goodness which keep it; I will water it every moment; has provided such a portion for you in a lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and world which, without this, would be a day." Could it, my friends, be possible wilderness indeed—and, as such, the fittest that he “ who remembered us in our low emblem of your natural hearts.
estate, because his mercy endureth for We have to remark further, that the ever,” would forget us when brought MANNA FELL DURING THE NIGHT; and into relationship with himself ? No; not looking upon the manna as a type of the only are the very hairs of our heads all Gospel, can anything more plainly prove numbered—not only has he given his its freeness? The whole camp of the angels charge over us, to keep us in all Israelites was buried in sleep-few were our ways, but he hath himself "hidden us then thinking of that bountiful provision in the hollow of his hand;" even our which anticipated all their wants : very very tears are put into his bottle, that probably the larger body of the people he may bring them forth at the last day, lay down to rest, not in the humble and and enjoy the supreme happiness to confident dependance of faith, but in the which he has looked forward from eternity, indifference of spirit which says, “to of wiping them from all the faces of his morrow shall be as to-day, and much redeemed. Can it be, that he would more abundant.” It also fell alike take thought for our bodies, and yet round all their habitations provision was neglect the interest of those precious made equally for the unjust as for the souls which he is preparing to live for just; for the unthankful and evil, as for ever with himself? Assuredly not. Therethe pious and thankful. And was it not fore, when thoughts like these enter the during the night of ignorance, forgetful- | mind, let us say with the Psalmist, it is ness and sin, that “ God who commanded mine own infirmity ; but I will remember the light to shine out of darkness, shone the years of the right hand of the Most into our hearts, to give us the light of Highest.” the knowledge of the glory of God in the Another sweet reflection arises from face of Jesus Christ ?" Were not the the circumstance of the manna falling by words which first quickened us into spi- night. The Lord would have our waking ritual existence, “Awake, thou that thoughts to be happy thoughts, and every sleepest, and arise from the dead, and happy thought to be connected with his Christ shall give thee light?” When mercies. Would it not be natural to conscience was first alarmed, and enquiry suppose that the first glance the Israelite excited, did we not see that in the Gos- cast from his tent door over the wilderpel all our wants had been anticipated, ness, would call forth the words, “ It is ere we were ourselves aware of them? of the Lord's mercies that I am not that we had not to say in our hearts “who consumed, because his compassions fail shall ascend into heaven, or who shall not; they are new every morning ; great descend into the deep, but that the word is thy faithfulness ?” Would it not have was nigh us,” because suggested to us been the basest ingratitude, had he by the Spirit of truth, and by him put allowed his first expression to have been, into our hearts and mouths ? Yes, then“ Here I am, a stranger and pilgrim in a we loved him, but he had first loved us ; | desert, without home or country, not then we ran after him, but he had first knowing what is to become of me; anodrawn us; then we were willing, but it ther day has dawned, and its tedious hours was because it was the day of his power; must be whiled away; when will there be we prayed, but it was in him to give ere either a change in or an end to my it was in us to ask.
, wearisome monotonous existence !” Oh! Again the manna fell during the think well of this, yon who know by ex
perience something of the pangs of answer this question on scriptural waking-you who dread to sleep because grounds, let me enquire of you, is it your you must awake_and ere you begin to intention at some future time to give register your sorrows anew, take a more yourselves wholly unto God ? to enquire accurate inventory of your mercies. They more particularly into the plan of salvaare neither few nor small. Meditate on tion ? to await the moment when you them, and their number and magnitude will be more fully convinced of the vanity will increase.
of the world? Oh, my dear friends, the But whilst this subject gives rise to words may sound strangely in your ears, many consolatory reflections, it speaks to whilst I utter them; yet are they truesome, 1 fear to many of you, a solemn fearfully true ; that the intention of reforwarning. With such an abundant supply mation, if not immediately carried into all around bim, the Israelite who died of execution, is as sinful, yea, perhaps want must have been a suicide. To you more sinful, than a determination to go I would say the same thing—this day the on frowardly in the way of your hearts ! manna of Christ's Gospel has fallen in the Let me ask you, what warrant have you midst of you--has it fed, has it saved for supposing the world will ever have your souls alive? has it been received as a less hold on you than it now has ? have the gift of God, the power, the wisdom you not seen enough of the vanity of its of God? or does your soul loathe this pleasures, of the delusory, yea, the tor“ light bread ?” are you turning away menting nature of its joys, to convince from it with the cool indifference of those | you that there is nothing true but who are determined for the present, to heaven? or are your hearts still so selfcare for none of these things? O dear deceived as to imagine, that the fetters of friends, remember the Lord's words, sin will become loosened by an indulgence “ take heed how ye hear,” for yon may in the very practices by which those never hear these words agaiu. To each chains were cast around you ? of you then I would say, “ if thou, even But I appeal to more than your reason thou hadst known, at the least in this thy -I appeal to your affections, and on day, the things that belong to thy peace, this ground I ask you, were I to put into ere yet they are hid from thine eyes !” plain language your avowal of intention O“ beware lest that come upon you to reform and turn to God at some future which is written in the prophets; behold and more convenient opportunity, how ye despisers, and wonder and perish ! for would it sound in your ears ? Let me I work a work in your days, a work which thus express the feeling out of which this ye shall in no wise believe, though a man (what the world would call good) resoludeclare it unto you !” It is not a vain tion arises— The intention of God in thing about which we speak to you—it is the gift of his Son was most gracious and even your life—the responsibilities are benevolent, far more than I had reason tremendous upon you who have heard the to expect; the penalty of sin is, I must words of eternal life, your condemnation allow, as just as it is fearful; the Being will be great, in proportion to the num who alone can deliver me from its conber of your opportunities ; under similar sequences, is one whose invitation it circumstancs you would find no human | would be as insane to make light of, as it being who would make allowances for would be impossible to hear the thunderyour infirmities, who would suffer you to ing denouncements of his law without put in any plea of self-justification, or trembling; by rejecting the former, I may who would listen to any entreaty that the expose myself to the latter, and “who can just panishment of such unworthy conduct dwell with everlasting burnings?” yet might be remitted, or in the slightest the pleasure of sin is at present so great, degree mitigated. -0 then, "is it a the restraints of holiness so irksome, small thing that ye will weary men ? but happiness, as proposed in the way of will ye weary my God also ?» Again, my Gospel obedience, so uncertain, so mixed, friends, beware of such a line of conduct, | and requiring such present sacrifices, and remember that you are treating with, that I have made up my mind not to and hereafter will be judged by, a God serve God till the world will no longer who cannot be too far trusted, but who have the power of pleasing me, and then may be (perhaps easier than you think) only to serve him, because by refusing to too far tempted! Before leaving this do so, without securing any present profit, subject, let me again press upon you the I should inevitably expose myself to question, “ have I received or not, the endless perdition- Few, indeed I would Gospel of my salvation?” if you cannot without hesitation say, none of you would
thus boldly express your present feelings, of “a tower," "a rock," "a well of springperhaps you are at this moment iaclined ing water,” “food, “raiment,” “riches, with scorn, with what you would call are frequently employed to show the nehonorable principle, but which in love and cessity of it for man's safety, its fulness, grief, though I say, it, I can acknowledge freeness, its adaptation to his wants, and by no other name than pride, self-righ- its general excellency. Now, Scripture teousness, and lamentable, awful self-declares plainly, that the means whereby deception, at once to repudiate such a a sinner becomes a partaker of its blesscharge : give me then this moment, the ings, is by believing its testimony; and proof-this moment submit yourselves to this conviction of things not seen (Heb. the righteousness of Christ this moment xi. 1), of things which are the substance determine no longer to serve the world, of his hopes, is put in direct opposition your ungodly acquaintances and associ- / to all acts of obedience, frames, feelings, ates-from henceforth no longer say, I and emotions, whether supposed to be holy will do so and so; but do it and do it now, and pious, or the reverse, by which he could
-let conscience speak—when she speaks in any way be entitled to, or counted let her be heard_when heard, let her be worthy of, the blessings of the Gospel, the followed- and when followed, let her be possession, or rather supposed possession followed in all her requisitions.--Does of which feelings gives him no greater not conscience this moment say to each claim to, than the absence of them exof you, "Thou art the man ? who cludes him from the invitation of mercy amongst you can answer conscience by which is addressed to all as sinners and pointing to Christ as the representative in this sense, to all as sinners alike. It of sinners, and say to him “thou art the is, therefore, only natural to suppose, that man?” who of you can take up the words this simple exercise of faith in a truth reof Pilate, and in a different sense, yet vealed, would be expressed by terms with a fuller meaning can answer the borrowed from, and suggested by, those Devil and conscience by saying boldly to figures under which some peculiar chathem when they would accuse you, racteristic of the Gospel is set forth. “ behold the man?"_"he loved me and Hence the frequent occurrence of exgave himself for me”-“what shall sepa- pressions, such as “running to," “ comrate me from his love ?" 0! if you ing to” the Saviour, eating his flesh, cannot thus answer conscience, that I drinking his blood. That these and may stir you up, let me remind you that similar expressions imply no more than you will hereafter be judged by one who simply “believing' on him, may at once will make no allowance for sins, infirmi. be seen, by observing how frequently ties, or numerous temptations, in cases they are interchanged in the same sensuch as yours, where there was provided tence. Thus, “ If any man thirst, let for you a ransom all-sufficient : stifle not him come unto me and drink; he that the warnings of couscience by supposing believeth on me,” &c. “ He that eateth you will be judged by a fallible rule for my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth as the Saviour said, his ministers are in me, and I in him ; but there are some authorised to say also, if they spaek of you which believe not.” If then the according to his word, “the words now expressions be synonimous, and faith ex. spoken to you, the same shall judge you cludes all works before and after justi. in the last day.” Would not the death of fication as the grounds of justification, an Israelite from famine have been justly the misapprehension will be evident, chargeable upon himself? and is not the which supposes that, by words such as loss of a soul who has heard the Gospel, those above quoted, is intended some equally chargeable upon himself, seeing great effort or extraordinary exercise of that in both cases an ample provision was the mind. Nor let it be said, that this is a provided, whilst the husks were preferred mistake of words, from which no evil to the plenty of a father's house ?
can arise. Many are kept from the peace V. THE MANNA WAS NOT PRODUCED BY of the Gospel by supposing that they are CULTIVATION; THE PEOPLE WERE SIMPLY not qualified, or duly prepared for the reCOMMANDED TO GATHER IT. Many of the ception of so great a blessing as the pardicffiulties with which simple truth has don of their sins, because they have not been embarrassed, arise from not properly experienced either that degree of selfunderstanding the precise meaning of the abasement which they think necessary, or metaphorical language in which the truth felt that degree of love to the Saviour is taught. When the salvation of the Gos- which they consider, however unconpel is spoken of in Scripture, the figures sciously, to be not only a proof, but also a ground of their pardon. Hence it is, care, to reap it, and finally to trust to that many a person of an exeitable dis- their own industry, against all the chances position can easily persuade himself of of the weather, and the dangers of a the forgiveness of his sins, without having wilderness life. It was ready to their any such adequate views of the Saviour and hand; hunger might have inclined, but it his work as would warrant such a convic. was only the free bounteous grace which tion; whilst many a broken and contrite provided it, could have entitled them to heart is sunk in “ the slough of de- gather it. They were starving; food spond” from not clearly seeing the truth was furnished their table was spread : which meets us at the very threshold of was there then a merit in partaking of Christianity, that all manner of sin and its stores? How preposterous is such blasphemy is instantly forgiven to all who a notion! Yet precisely similar is the plead nothing but the atonement of the error of those who would say there was Lord Jesus Christ.
anything in faith itself of the nature of a Let me have the happiness as well as meritorious work? Man is regarded in the exalted privilege, my friends, of scripture as in a lost condition, and is openly declaring to you, that there is no told that a Saviour is provided for him so blessing that the Gospel can impart to fully able to meet his wants, so willing to any, which you may not now fully re- bestow on any the benefits of his free ceive, no matter how strong the objec- salvation, that whosoever will, may come tions which may be urged against you by to Him and be saved. Is there any room a tempting malicious devil, a censorious for boasting in his consenting not to be world, or your own self-righteous deceit miserable for ever? or rather is not all ful hearts. Are you afraid that you are the glory due to him whose grace hath not worthy enough? The more reason thus richly abounded ? you should come to Him who alone is VI. The MANNA WAS TO BE GATHERED worthy-worthy, because he was slain-- EARLY, AND OUTSIDE THE CAMP. slain, and slain for you. But we have Although the Manna was altogether not felt deeply enough our lost condition. God's free gift to the people, yet he And would you therefore stay away from would have it seen that they were thank the source of feeling ? Must Jesus again ful for it, and acknowledge their want of and again implore of you to come as you it, by going forth in the morning to are, and meet no other reply than, “ at gather it. God does not so force his some future time I will come, when I favors on any, as to make them be received think I shall be more fit to come, more against their will if any are made worthy of being received,” and, of willing, the praise must belong entirely to course, let me add, less grounds for being Him, seeing that the pride and obstinacy thankful ?. No, no, dear friends, what of the natural heart revolts from the idea matter what you either feel or do not of being under any obligation to Him, of feel, if this is to be only a ground for whom, nevertheless, it cannot be indestaying away a little longer from Christ? pendant; yet, if any will reject his Believe me_rather believe the Lord mercies, the responsibility is entirely their you are quite bad enough to come you own. It can, however, be hardly necesnever will be good enough to come ; and sary here to insist on a truth, which I if you were, in your sense, good enough, cannot suppose any to disbelieve, though humbled enough, determined enough on it is too painfully thrilling for the uncona future good course of life, and per verted to wish to think of. Let us examine, sisted to the end in thinking that you had therefore, what was intended to be taught therefore a warrant to come boldly, which by the Manna requiring to be gathered any other sinner did not possess, God early. would have nothing to say to you but to Although the command of God was consign you over to Satan—and for ever! that when all had gathered, those who
But examine a little more closely the had been more active, and perhaps had parallel with which our subject furnishes not as many necessary domestic duties as us. What a strange infatuation would it others, should share their superfluity with have been in the Israelites to have boasted them, so that “he that gathered, (i. e. that they had done the meritorious work could gather) little might have no of gathering the manna! The fact is, lack, yet it is by no means to be that they were simply commanded to supposed that if any person, withgather it, that all boasting might be ex- | out such just cause, were to have cluded. They had not to till the ground, neglected the means of providing for to water the seed, to watch over it with | himself and family, he could expect, or would be permitted to live upon the deliver'remember the fate of the industry and exertions of others were slothful Israelite, who went to seek the such an instance to have occurred, as Manna after the sun had waxed hot; and very probably it did, we may fairly sup- tremble lest you should only be aroused pose that the individual would be made from slumber in that place which has to suffer the privations to which his own never been cheered by the faintest gleam sloth had exposed him. Let us further of the taper of hope_where all is the remark, that the loss of one day's food blackness and darkness of despair for might have exposed him to imminent ever! danger, by inducing some disease—he “But,” you may say, “ I do not yet might have escaped, yet still he ran the feel hungry enough; I have not an risk, and could blame no one but himself appetite to give a relish to the food”— for the consequences. To apply the To you I would say, "taste and see that case_who will be bold enough to take the Lord is gracious,”—as long as you on himself the fearful responsibility—who, stay away from Christ, you cannot hope iu his moments of calm reflection would to acquire a relish for him, but the not censure as the excess of infatuation instant faith apprehends him, he is or fool-hardiness, the conduct of one appreciated—things in which we before who would trifle with eternity? of one saw no form or comeliness, become the who, assured that each opportunity might delight of our eyes-new tastes and be the last, (and each opportunity ne- appetites are acquired, which nothing but glected brings the sinner so much nearer | Christ can satisfy. Nothing could have to, and makes it so much the more pro- excused the Israelites for not gathering bable that each may be the last) will Manna-and equally true is it that no sport upon the brink of the grave with ingenuity or casuistry can frame a just what strikes angels mute with awe-with excuse for not partaking of the Bread of what fills hell with the screams of despair! Life,-if you fear you are too unworthy, yet is not this the conduct of a sinner believe it not_if you think you are who rejects the Gospel, time after time? worthy, go and compare your worthiness where is his warrant for supposing he with his, and your own will soon be lost ever may hear it again ? and if not, what sight of_if you have not an appetite for must be the result of his indifference, his him, taste his goodness, and it will create enmity to it? what can it be supposed to one. The Israelite might not have end in but the loss of his soul ? “ Yes, too been hungry while gathering his portion, true," you will say: " but then he may re- but he laid up a store for the day-s0 pent; as long as he lives, the door of hope is you may not feel all you would desire, not closed against him”_Grant it-far but “follow-on to know the Lord;" – be it from me to say there is not hope these feelings are founded on principles, for all of you, howsoever often you may and principles are formed by contemhave rejected the Gospel. But this plating Him " who is the brightness of comfort of a future repentance which the Father's glory,” in all the relations you propose to yourselves, amounts to in which he stands to his Father, to neither more nor less, than a determina- the sinner, and to the believer. tion to sin, because grace abounds — VII. The Manna WAS SWEET TO THE besides, can you say positively that at a TASTE WHEN GROUND AND BAKED. It is future time you will certainly repent ?- Is evident that the manna was a constant it true that continuing a little longer in sin miracle before the eyes of the people, will make you more desirous of forsaking both in the regularity of its supply, and it? has the experience of the past war- the wholesome nourishment it yielded to ranted such a conclusion ? is there no all of every age, every variety of constisuch thing as a person being "given tution. It is more than probable that the over to a reprobate mind?” no such thing article itself was not any natural producas being judicially blinded ? no such thing tion known at that time; and nothing as a “hardened and impenitent heart trea- since seen in that or any other region has suring up unto itself wrath against the day answered to the description given of it of wrath ?” and all these fearful states by Moses. One of the most remarkable commencing with the good hope and good of its properties was, that though if it resolution of repenting at a future time, were left on the ground till the sun had i. e. a determination not to repent now, waxed hot, it melted and disappeared, and never if it could be avoided ? “O yet, if gathered in the proper time, it was consider this, ye that forget God, lest He so hard that it could be beaten in mortars, pluck you away, and there be none to and even bear the heat of an oven.