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in all his perfections. Blessed God! we almost sink under the weight of thy goodness; we tremble at the height to which thy mercy has exalted us, and are afraid of that nearness and freedom to which thou bast condescended to invite us. We glory in thee as our friend and our father ; but when we think of our own meanness and vileness, we abhor ourselves, and almost fear dishonouring thee by pleading the relation.
What a privilege, Christians, is this! How extensive and important! It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps ; many unforeseen difficulties start up to baffle all human sagacity and prudence. But if we have an interest in the favour of God, we may have recourse to him as our father; and, with humble confidence, ask that wisdom which comes from above, and is profitable to direct in every perplexity. Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upwards. Innumerable evils encompass us about : sickness, want, and a thousand other calamities, continually lie in wait to distress us. They sometimes attack us singly, and at other times in a body; and falling with their united force upon us,threaten us with immediate destruction. In such circumstances, to have everlasting arms underneath us, and the Lord God for our sun and shield, is a happiness which is beyond our power to express. It is appointed to all men once to die. That dreaded, dreadful period is fixed, and every hour hastens its approach. Then must all our well-concerted schemes, like a deed out of date, be at once laid aside ; and all our earthly comforts, like leaves in autumn, drop off, and leave us for ever. Then will all our gay companions, like a broken reed, sink under us when we
most want their assistance. Then will this earthly tabernacle, like a house untenanted, tumble into ruins; and our spirits, like a bird set at liberty, return to God who gave them. But at that affecting period, , if we have an interest in the favour of God, we shall be able to rejoice in him as the strength of our hearts, and our portion for ever. We may look the king of terrors in the face undaunted; and when nature is dissolving, we may be serene. The sinner who lives without God, will die without hope; or, if he indulge any pleasing expectations, he will be dreadfully disappointed when he enters eternity. But to you, Christians, an abundant entrance will be ministered into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I have thus endeavoured to illustrate and enforce this important duty of giving yourselves to the Lord. In the name of God, I have been soliciting your hearts, but with what success the event must determine. I fear that many of you, notwithstanding all that has been said to recommend the Lord Jesus to your esteem and affection, secretly say, “ We will not have him to reign over us.
.” But consider again, what a dangerous and uncomfortable life you are leading. By refusing to give yourselves to the Lord, you discharge him of all concern for your safety, and are left to the mercy of every wind, without anchor or pilot. If you will not trust him, look to yourselves, and take the consequence. Save yourselves in danger, cure your own diseases, quiet your own consciences, fight death with your own weapons, plead your own cause in judgment, deliver your souls from hell, if you Can; and then boasting of your achievments tell the
world how little you are beholden to a Saviour. But I will not stay to expose the folly and danger of such dreadful presumption. Whether you consent to it or not, God will one day assert that claim which now you oppose; for sooner than he will give up his right, he will renounce his existence. A time is coming when your souls shall be required at your hands ; not as now, in the melting accents of mercy, “My son, give me thy heart;" but in this stern language of justice ; “ How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward.” You will wish that
You will wish that you had never a soul, if you then shall have neglected to yield it to God. By a timely surrender of yourself to the Lord, prevent, therefore, that ruin which will be the certain consequence of an obstinate refusal. your heart, your hope, upon God; for all meaner dependencies will certainly deceive you. They are sandy foundations, broken cisterns, wells without water, refuges of lies. But, O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee!
Fix your eye,
THE ADVANTAGES OF A CHRISTIAN'S REVIEWING
HIS DEDICATION TO GOD.
PSALM xvi. 2. O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art
I wish I could have heard what you said to yourselyes when these words were first mentioned. I believe I could guess the language of some of you.--When you heard me repeat these words,“ O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord,” you thought, “ I have never said any thing to the Lord, unless when I cried out, Depart from me, for I desire not the knowledge of thy ways.” Has not something like this passed in your minds ?-Iwill try again. When I first mentioned the text, “Let me consider,' you secretly said, “ I believe that I did once say to the Lord, Thou art my Lord; but it was so long ago, that I had almost forgotten it : but I suppose that it must be at such a time when I was in trouble. I had met with disappointments in the world ; and then, perhaps, I cried, Thou art my portion, O Lord. Or, perhaps, when I was under serious impressions, in
the hurry of my spirits, I might look up to God, and say, Thou art my Lord. But whatever I could or did formerly say, I am certain, that I cannot
present.” Have none of you thought in this manner? I will hazard one conjecture more; and I doubt not but in this case I shall guess rightly. When I repeated these words, “O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord,” “So have I,” thought one: “So have I,” thought another: “I have said it often, but I said it with peculiar solemnity and pleasure, when, in an act of humble devotion, I lately threw my ransomed, rescued, grateful soul at his feet, and cried, O Lord, truly I am thy servant ; I am thy servant; thou hast loosed my bonds. The very recol. lection of it is pleasant; and I shall now have an opportunity of renewing my vows, and hope to recovet something of the divine serenity and joy which I at that time experienced.”
It is one among a thousand instances in which good men have the superiority over the rest of the world, that when they are retired from the notice and conversation of others, they may be excellent company to themselves. When their tongues are silent, and their bodies inactive, they may converse with their souls to a very good purpose. They may call themselves to a strict account, censure what has been amiss, rejoice in what has been pleasing to God, and form holy resolutions as to their future. behaviour. David was an exemplary proficient in this exercise. He communed with his own heart, and his spirit made diligent search ; and he gives us an instance of it, when he exclaims, “O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord.”