Графични страници
PDF файл

hast walked in darkness, and seen no light. Tell him if thou canst recollect, the doleful circumstances, when, and where, and how, thou didst first perceive his withdrawing. Tell him how bitterly thou hast lamented his absence, and how earnestly, though hitherto unsuccessfully, thou hast sought bim. Plead humbly and importunately with him, that he would not cast thee away from his presence; that he would not utterly take his loving-kindness from thee, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail; that he would restore to thee the joys of his salvation, and in the mean time uphold thee by his free Spirit. Tell him, O thou of little faith, how fearful and unbelieving thou art, how easily baffled by the slightest temptation ; how difficult it is for thee to wait for the salvation of God, when it is but a little delayed; how every difficulty sinks thy hopes, and alarms thy fears; and pray that he would strengthen the things that remain, and are ready to die. Tell him, Othou afflicted, and not comforted, that his arrows stick fast in thee, and that his hand is heavy upon thee. Pray that he would show thee wherefore he contends with thee; that be would, in the midst of judgment, remember mercy; that he would order the destroying angel to put up his sword into its sheath, and ifit be agreeable to his will, spare thy few remaining comforts. Entreat at least that he would mix consolation in thy bitter cup: that he would give thee strength to bear the burdens which he lays upon thee, and cause all things to work together for thy good. Tell him, O thou backsliding Christian, how sadly thou hast wandered, how easily thou art led captive by Satan at his will; how the God of this world blinds thine eyes, and

captivates thy soul; and pray that he would prevent thy heart of unbelief, from departing again from God. Entreat him, that he would join thee to him in an everlasting covenant; that he would forgive what is past; and that for time to come, thou mayest be steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Come, Christians, whatever we want, whatever we feel, whatever we fear, now is the time, when the King comes in to see his guests, to put ourselves in his way, to communicate to him our different cases, and to acquaint him with all our secret distresses. When he kindly inquires. “Children, have ye any meat?” let us say, “ Yes, Lord, thanks to thy bounty we have all things richly to enjoy. We have the bread of life before us; but we waited for thy coming to bless it, and break it.” At the feast of Pentecost, when the gift of tongues was bestowed on the Apos. tles, it is said, “ The people were all amazed, and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold! are not all these which speak Galileans? and how hear we everyman in our own tongue, wherein we were born ? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, we do hear them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God: and they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying, one to another, what meaneth this?” Do not we also see at this feast, the wonderful works of God ? Many Christians have marvelled, and said one to another, “ Is not this plain bread and wine; and how is it that we all partake of that spiritual refreshment, which is particularly adapted to each individual ? Theweak, the tempted, the afflicted, the backsliding, the fearful, the doubting, every one receives his own


portion. To one man is distributed pardon; to another peace; to another, strength; to another, comfort; to another, counsel ; to another, patience; to ano. ther courage;" " and they were amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?"

This is the feast to which you are invited. The provision is large, and the Master kind, and conde. scending. Wherefore eat, О friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

But, alas! we spread our table, and our company is gone? Gone to feed on husks, and to spend their money for that which is not bread; while here they might eat angels' food, and buy wine and milk, with. out money, and without price. Will you forgive me, if I ask you, who are contented with looking at these solemnities, what


intend to do when the marriage. supper of the Lamb will be celebrated? Will you then say, “I pray thee, have me excused?” Consider that heaven admits not of spectators, unless it be as Dives was, when he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. You say, that you are not prepared to sit down at his table: but you ought to have been prepared; for surely you have long enough

l abused the riches of his goodness. Remember that in Peter's vision, the sheet was let down three times, plentifully stored with all kinds of provision; and the command was thrice repeated, Rise, Peter, slay and eat;” but, after the third time, it was drawn up to heaven, and let down no more. Let not another Sacrament, if God should spare you to another, find you slothful in business. Humble yourselves before him, that you have been so long strangers to him, and to yourselves. Pray that you may hunger and thirst

after righteousness; and see your guilt and danger, and the excellence and suitableness of an Almighty Saviour. Pray that he would smite the rock, and make the waters of genuine repentance flow. Pray that the peace of God, which passes all understand

, ing, may keep your hearts and minds; and that

you may no longer turn away from Christ and salvation.




To an innumerable company of angels.

See, O my soul, what Omnipotence, under the influence of love and unbounded affection, can do! Couldst thou ever think, when thou wast so lately a poor grovelling worm, a companion of fools, a slave to appetite and passion, and a willing captive of Satan, couldst thou ever suppose that thou shouldst enjoy such an honour ? Would it not rather have appeared as one of the flights of a wild imagination ? Lord, what was man, that thou wast so mindful of him? Thou madest him at first but a little lower than the angels. But being in honour, he abode not; but became like the beasts that perish, lay wallowing in the mire, and sunk deeper and deeper into guilt and misery. Then it was thy wonder-working grace undertook our salvation. Then didst thou, indeed, lift the poor out of the dust, and the beggar from the dunghill, and set him among princes; and from the lowest depth of despair thou hast raised us to the society of angels. Let us consider then what benevolent and amiable spirits these are, to whom through rich grace we are united.

The narrow-spirited Samaritans once would not receive Christ, nor afford him the least entertainment, because his face was as if he would go to Jerusalem.

« ПредишнаНапред »