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Nevertheless, the Spirit of Life alone can make the preached Word profitable, by mixing it with faith in those who hear it. May He, therefore, take the truth as it is in Jesus, and show it to us; that, knowing the things which are freely given to us of God, we may freely receive them, to our present salvation and everlasting glory, through Him, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
AN URGENT BUSINESS.
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him ; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”
Mart. v. 25, 26.
Who is he that speaks here as one having authority ? And who gave him this authority to say these things ? Brethren, this is the Son of God; and God is here speaking to us in these last days by him. This is He to whom he has also given authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. He is speaking to us of the things which belong to our everlasting peace. Happy is the man who hearkens to his voice, finds wisdom, and takes hold of the path of life! He is a prudent man who foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
The matter which these words of Christ en
force is one of unspeakable importance to every soul among us,--namely, Reconciliation with God. They intimate both his goodness and severity ;his goodness, inasmuch as he has granted a time and opportunity for this to every man ;-and his severity, for if that season be not taken advantage of, God's mercy is clean gone for ever, and divine justice to the uttermost overtakes the soul which passes unpardoned to the judgment-seat.
Agree with thine adversary,”—is the counsel of Christ. Now the word “adversary,” in this place, means one who has a suit at law against another:" this is the literal signification of the term in the original Greek. The “adversary” is what we call the “plaintiff.” Christ here, according to his custom in teaching man knowledge, employs a circumstance of human life and experience to set forth and illustrate deep spiritual truth.
And has God no lawsuit against us? If he should at this moment call each one of us to account, and sum up what is owing to him, and what we have discharged of this reckoning; if he should bring us face to face with our liabilities, and demand of us, personally and individually, payment of that we owe, in what position should we find ourselves ? Debtors with nothing to pay, we could not answer him one of a thousand;