Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

security, in transcendent honour, and in immortal life. Imperfection, sorrow, crying, pain, and death, within that sacred residence shall never enter;

“ the Lamb in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and lead them to living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their

eyes.

»* To be through eternity with thee, O my God, -what more can my soul desire! “In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore !

IV. The language of the patriarch leads us to consider, THE ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE HE ASSERTS.

The decision and unwavering boldness with which Job utters every part of his statement, cannot fail to be observed, and is remarkably striking. For I know that my Redeemer liveth ;”—and after infusing the same positive confidence through every successive phrase, he then beautifully declares in conclusion, that on the prospect of restoration his mind finally rests, without the intrusion ofanotheranxious reflection, _“ the thoughts of my bosom are accomplished.”

[ocr errors]

These expressions of certainty by the patriarch, arose from no equivocal impulse. The vast remoteness of his period from the day towards which his hopes were directed, and the obscurity necessarily resulting from the unfinished state of the Divine dispensations, might

* Rev. vii. 17.

seem naturally to induce hesitation and doubt; but his faith was strong in the declaration of the promise, and his mind was doubtless the subject of direct inspiration from the Holy Ghost, which enabled it to penetrate through intervening centuries, and to fix its unerring and unclouded gaze upon

the sublime consummation. Such was the source of the assurance that lifted him above all depression, cheered him amidst all trial, and identified him with immortality.

We, who are now numbered among the heirs of promise, tell to the world that we have the same confidence too. We claim not indeed any marvellous light of personal inspiration ; yet our expectations waver not, and the language of Job is our own.

The course of the divine dispensations has favoured us with a written testi, mony regarding the method and results of redemption,far more extended than what was offered to the saints of old, reiterating, expounding, and amplifying the gracious promises of God, and narrating events in the work of mediation by which they have been most distinctly illustrated, and most conclusively sealed. The

operation of the Spirit of the Lord upon our hearts, has induced us to exercise cordial faith in the testimony we have received; and has implanted within us, through faith, the principles or“ fruits” which are the asserted evidences of a personal participation in spiritual privileges, and pledges and earnests of the glory that is to follow.. Let not our boldness, hence resulting, be impugned. The justness of our ground for certainty cannot fairly be denied. In the presence of the infidel and the unconverted, we vindicate and we employ. it; and we do but render legitimate honour to our religion, when we make a public protestation of our confidence, and aver—“ We know that our Redeemer liveth,—we know in whom we have believed, and are persuaded that he is able to keep what we have committed to him against that day.

It is of transcendent importance, both as regards personal experience, and the honour of religion in the world, that Christians should study, employ, and follow out those means which may best enable them to exhibit this spirit of dignified assurance. Many of the instances which occur in the professing church of acknowledged doubt and hesitancy, we cannot but think are to be regarded, not as afflictions, but as sins. We exhort you,-aim to clear your minds of mistakes as to the doctrines of the gospel, and to have distinct apprehensions of its operation on the state and heart; be searching and regular in self-examination ; be fervent and constant in prayer ; and dispute not, that when the instrumentality is employed, the blessing will be given.. Never imagine that your spiritual duties are accomplished, until you can imitate the example, and rise to the state, of the departed saints whose confidence shed such a lustre around their exist

ence, and so beautifully exemplified the power of piety to impart animation and joy when surrounded by trials, and when encountered by the prospect of death and of eternity. True religion warrants it, and true religion demands it; and noble is the sight, when the believer, standing firm on the Rock of ages, can point upward to heaven, and proclaim his joyous expectation of a triumphant entrance there!

—And now that we have reviewed the proclamation of the afflicted Job,—tell us, ye unconverted sinners, do you not perceive the exalted privileges and happiness of the believing servants of God? You are indeed accustomed to hear of him by whom the text was uttered, as one proverbially oppressed and wretched; and you perhaps have looked on all those who compose the spiritual church, as an afflicted people, placed under a law of mortification and sorrow. But regard the blessings for which their union with the Divine Redeemer is preparing them; think of their glorious resurrection from the dead in the image of their Lord; think of their everlasting inheritance in realms of ineffable felicity ;and say,

whether any station of earthly prosperity and grandeur is to be brought into a moment's competition with their's ? No! .carnal splendours fade away into darkness, and carnal majesty is prostrated in the dust, when once compared with their immunities, whom thus the Most High is training for heaven. He is dull

and perverted indeed who discerns and owns not the fact, and whose ambition is not stirred within him to become united with their assembly, and at length to be crowned with their reward.

It becomes you truly to tremble, lest you should at last be found without an interest in the work of the Redeemer for yourselves. Some may attempt to lull you into slumber and fatal peace, , by denying that there is a peril to the soul: but 0, there is reason for the sinner's alarm! If you have no part in the Redeemer, you can possess no antidote for the sharp stings and sorrows of earthly distress ; if you have no part in the Redeemer, you can possess no gleam of comfort to cheer the last fainting hours of mortality; if you have no part in the Redeemer, you can possess no hope of acceptance, and no possibility of escape, when the great day of wrath shall come. Reject him, you close against yourselves the gates of heaven, and bid the portals of Tophet to open wide that you may enter. Yea, I tell you, by the authority of that Being before whose tribunal

you
must appear,

that if

you

flee not to him who saves sinners by his blood, those immortal spirits of yours will become the hopeless victims of infinite and eternal agony! You shall hear the blast of the trumpet, and you shall arise; but you shall arise only to gaze on a Being surrounded with terrors and vengeance, and before the thunder of his curse you shall

« PoprzedniaDalej »