« PoprzedniaDalej »
away all iniquity, and receive us graciously : 'so will we render the calves of our lips. , Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses ; neither will we say any more to the works of our hands, Ye are our gods ; for ip thee the fatherless findeth mercy.” (Hosea xiv. 1.)
O sinner, return unto Jesus ; for Jesus only is thy “shield and thy buckler, the horn of thy sala vation, and thy strong tower;" he is exalted as sa Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remis, sion of sins:" "he is able to save to the utter most all that come unto God by þim; and “ him that cometh, he will in no wise cast out." Go to him, burthened and polluted as thou art ; and cast thy wretched soul at his feet, crying, “ “ Lord, save me, or I perish! O Lord, thou Son of David, bave mercy on me." I have been long a prisoner of Satan, and a captive to sin ; but ļ now fly to thee, and put myself under the protection of thy righ, teousness and blood. Innumerable evils compass me about, yea, they compasş me about: arise, O Lord ; save me, O my God; save me, for I trust in thee. I come, according to thine own invitation, weary and heavy laden: blessed Jesus, fulfil thy prox mise, and give rest to my labouring mind, and ease to my wounded spirit, and liberty to my captive soul. Speak a word of peace and pardon to a sink- . ing creature, and raise and receive me to hope and salvation. Then shall the blessing of one that was, ready to perish come upon thee : so will I render the calves of my lips : I will offer unto God thanksgiving; I will render soul and body, and offer them both, as a grateful sacrifice to Him wba hath loved me, and washed me, and redeemed me from sin, and death, and hell, by his own most precious blood.'
2. Let believers be careful to " walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called.”
Let the song of Zion be joyful in their king. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemned from the hand of the enemy. If the blessing of corn, and wine, and oil; if health, and peace, and plenty; if deliverance' from war, pestilence, or famine; can so affect us, as to draw from us, at least some tempotary acknowledgment, and some superficial forms of thanksgiving ; how carnal must be our minds, how earthly our thoughts, if the contemplation of the riches of God's mercy, in redeeming us from sin and Satan, do not fill “our mouths with laughter, and our tongues with praise !"
Let no future dangers terrify you: “ Fear not, for I have redeemed you," is your security and defence, in all inward temptations, in all outward distresses, at the hour of death, and at the day of judgment. Depend on his power and faithfulness; think often of your deliverance; look continually to your Deliveter; and bid defiance to earth and hell : consider them as vanquished foes; and though' at any time they should rally their scattered forces, and seem to make a formidable stand," be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might:" he that delivered you, will protect you from sin and Satan, and every other enemy whatsoever.
Be watchful and circumspect. You are delivered
from prison indeed, but you are still in an enemy's country; surrounded on every side with those that lie in wait to deceive, or seek an opportunity to
Let your enemies teach you to be vigilant. “Let not him that girdeth on the harDess, be as those that put it off:” on watchfulness and prayer depend your safety. And when you are praying for yourselves, do not be unmindfal- of those who are yet prisoners and slaves. It were cruel, it were unnatural, to see our friends carried captive by Satan, and fast bound by the fetters of iniquity, and not endeavour their rescue. Being insensible of their danger, they may perhaps ill requite your faithful friendship ; look upon this, how. ever, as the ravings of a delirium; let it provoke your pity rather than your resentment; and renew your counsels and prayers, since “ he that turneth a sinner from his ways, shall save a soul from death, and bide a multitude of sins.”
Think nothing too much to do, or to suffer, for Him, who, at the expence of his life, has rescued you from death and destruction. Being delivered out of the hand of your enemies, you can do no less than serve bim in holiness and righteousness all the days of your life. Your bodies and your souls are his; his by creation, his by purchase, his by conquest : and your best services fall infinitely short of what he has deserved from you.
To conclude. Let your deliverance from capti. vity be the subject of your frequent meditation ; and when you think of your former bondage and your present freedom, and especially when
you recollect the surprising method by which this happy
alteration in your circumstances was brought about, wonder not that you hear “every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them" wonder not that you hear them all saying, “ Bless-, ing, and honour, glory, and power, be to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever."
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF THE REVEREND
AT APPLEDORE, NOVEMBER, 1754, AGED THIRTY.
JOHN xiv. 28. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go
unto the Father. There is nothing more certain, and yet scarcely any thing we are with more difficulty brought to acknowledge, than that we know not what is good for us “all the days of our vain life, which we spend as a shadow.” We are apt to imagine that wisdom is ours; and are puffed up with such an extravagant conceit of our own abilities, as to think, that, if the government of the world were in our hands, it should be carried on without those signs of confusion and distress wbich are now so frequent and visible, and much more to general satisfaction and advantage. But this is only the language of peevishness and dis. content: and means nothing but that, if the choice of our condition were left to ourselves, we should be always rich and easy; we should know no changes, neither should we be in trouble, like other
In which were we to succeed to our wishes, nothing could more effectually procure our destruction.
We are all presently alarmed at the appearance of any bodily disorder, and are easily persuaded to take the most disagreeable methods to remove