Obrazy na stronie
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tired-out mercy had at length been laid aside for the weapons of his terrible justice. The thunder-clap then shall be heard indeed,-for it shall tear asunder the bowels of the earth, and lay prostrate the palaces of kings-it shall burst open the tombs and it shall awake the dead! At the trumpet sound there shall be a gathering together from every quarter of the falling world: myriads long forgotten, and ages yet unborn, shall be hurried forward into the Almighty's presence. And, then, when the awful assembling has been made, and silence-deep, solemn silence, shall precede the business of that dread assize, think, O think, my beloved, of the agony of those who have refused to take the Saviour for their advocate-who have thought to redeem their souls by their own deeds, instead of throwing themselves, guilty, ruined sinners, before that cross where his body was offered and his blood poured out. Think of the misery of those on whom He will not even look, and who may not so much as touch the hem of his garment as he passes by. Think of these things, beloved brethren, and ask your own hearts, whether it is nothing to neglect and despise the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ; whether it is nothing to throw away the blessings of eternal life, exchanging them for the pangs of an everlasting hell!

And now, brethren, I am reminded that in having brought you to the last scene in the history of this perishable world, that I have also come to the close of my ministrations in this Temple. Believe me, my beloved friends, I cannot speak to you, probably for the last time, I cannot address to you the last words which it may be permitted me to address to you on earth, without experiencing that heaviness of sorrow which would be naturally consequent on such an occurrence. There is a connection of

feeling, of interest, and of affection, between a pastor and his flock, of more than usual strength, and my heart must indeed have been seared and hardened, did I not experience it and acknowledge it now, in parting with you. I cannot be insensible to much kindness you have shewn memuch affectionate regard-I cannot be otherwise than gratified at the willingness with which some of you have been led to receive my message. I cannot view our separation with cold or careless feelings and from my heart, brethren, I will address to you a few parting words, which I pray GOD may be blessed to your souls. It is an awful thought, that though we may never meet again on earth, a day to which I have been alluding will come, when we must meet once more -a day when the cry shall go forth that the bridegroom is approaching. We must meet when every grave shall be loosed-the jaws of every tomb be rent-the marble magnificence of every sepulchre shall be torn and defaced, and “the boast of heraldry and pomp of power," be levelled with the dust: when the earth and the sea shall restore the dead they had swallowed; and when all tribes, and nations, and languages, and all human creatures shall stand in one huge concourse before the Judge upon the throne-the tribunal ready and the book opened. This, brethren, is the day to which GOD calls your attention, and for which we beseech you, from time to time, in his Son's name, to prepare, and yet too many of you go on, day by day, and Sabbath by Sabbath, unthankful for his mercies, and unmindful of his threats. We follow the steps of those who go before us-tread in their beaten path, and seldom trouble ourselves to pause and examine whether we are progressing in the right way, or whether we are preparing in readi

wind and the covert from the tempest. Has there been any improvement since we have been associated to

ness to make up the items of our account in the end. But that account must be made up, brethren, and we may meet no more till it is called for.gether in this holy service? Have Let us, then, pause for awhile, under we been living more to the glory of this sacred roof, where we have been GOD, and of Him who redeemed us? permitted to meet often, and let us Have we been separating ourselves thank him we are here-let us re- from the society of the carnal-minded member our privileges, and examine and the vicious, and living apart with ourselves that we may improve them. those who seek Christ? Oh! it is We have been permitted to enjoy easy, brethren, to come here with the many seasons of Christian worship bended knee and the serving lip-it to come together within these walls, is easy to come to God's house and around and without which are re- call ourselves Christians. But have corded the memorials of the departed we not been bringing our faith and dead; and we have mingled our practice to a higher standard. Are we praises and prayers, which we trust in spiritual matters no nearer GOD, at have gone up to the mercy-seat. We this moment, than the day on which have been permitted to hear and to we first became connected by the bond preach God's holy Word: if that which unites the shepherd and his Word has been scattered on good flock? Do we know more of Him and ground, it will bring forth abundant | His will, and are we more earnest and fruit; if otherwise, it will perish, be- devoted in our obedience to it?—are cause it lacketh the means of nourish- we living more by faith in the Son ment. If, when bowed down by afflic- of GOD, and becoming more zealous tion and distress, you have come hither, in promoting his cause? No!-then to him who refreshes the weary and these things shall rise up against us heavy laden, and have had your bur- at the dread tribunal; and the Gospel den lightened and your cloud removed; has been to us the "savour of death if you have found yourselves growing unto death, and not of life unto life." in grace and in the knowledge of If we have not been gaining ground, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we must have been losing ground, and you have abundant cause of thankful- are now farther off from GOD than ness: if some doubts have been resince we first came together. Believe moved, and bright and spiritual know- me, my beloved brethren, the Gospel ledge more amply imparted, it has never can leave us as it found us: we been God's work, and to him be must be the better for it or we must given the praise. But let us not be the worse. Every sermon preached forget to examine ourselves whether it has been so. Alas! on my own part, brethren, I feel a heavy burden of responsibility, nor do I know that I may say with the Apostle, that I am free from your blood. Weakly and unworthily have I declared to you the truths of the ever blessed Gospel, though I have prayed and sought to teach you nothing but Christ crucified, and to bring you to him only as the hiding place from the

every prayer offered-every chapter of the Bible read, are means of grace, which, if they have not been improved, are gone up against us to swell the list of our numberless offences and our despised mercies. These are questions, brethren, which I beg and implore you to put daily to your hearts, that you may ascertain how far you have been going backward in the great work of salvation, or how far forward.

leges, that can save us in that day: we must have exchanged a heart of stone for a heart of flesh-we must have become converted, new creatures, born again, or we cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

In looking around me, I am blessed | torment! It is not the formal attendin the belief that I leave among you, ance on the means of grace-the outsome who are treasuring up the pre-ward participation in Gospel privicious truths of the Gospel of Salvation --some who are living a life of faith, making their light shine before men, and looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus. It need not that I declare to you whether such form the majority of those over whom my heavenly Master had called me to keep my shepherd-watch, or whether they be comparatively few, compared with those who are living a life of forgetfulness and sin: their names are all written in the Lamb's book of life, or in the register of wrath!

Let us pray then, brethren, that the power of GOD may be with us, to build us up on our most holy faith, keeping us in the love of GOD. Prayer in the Holy Ghost is the channel through which covenant mercy flows. Let us pray, then, without ceasing, both for ourselves and others: though time and place may part us, let us meet often at the throne of grace, remembering one another, in the church, at the altar, and when we go to the secret closet to commune with the Redeemer alone. Let us pray that we may have our conversation in Heaven-that whatever we may do, may be done to the glory of GODthat we may grow in grace and all knowledge, holiness and love-that we may be engrafted on the true vine, and bear much fruit unto the Lord--that we may serve him in things temporal, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life; and in the mansions of the blessed may we meet, serving him there with unwearied worship, without spot or blemish or any such thing,-ministering with holy angels, day and night, in His Temple.

But alas! I must also grieve, that there are many among you who take little pains or care to improve the means of grace so liberally and mercifully administered to you-many who have sat under the sound of the Gospel, Sabbath after Sabbath, and year following year, till hoary age has succeeded the elasticity of youth,who have never yet been the free and acknowledged disciples of the Lord Jesus-who have never truly seen in Him, their only, their all-important Saviour; who, with the form of godliness, have been contented to lack its power; having the lamps of profession in their hands, but no oil of grace in the vessel of their hearts. Such persons, my beloved brethren, may have a high character in the world, and be looked upon by their fellow-creatures as children of the bright promise; but where shall they stand at the judg- And now, beloved brethren, the ment day? Shall they not be among fleeting moments compel me to say the goats-among those who will call the saddest word we can ever utterupon the hills, to hide them from an farewell! I dare not dwell upon itoffended GOD? Every secret sin shall, it would linger too long upon my in that day, be detected and revealed-lips. But ere I pronounce it for no veil shall shade the wicked from the penetrating eye of GOD, and no hand shall be raised to molest the destroyer as he hurries the unredeemed to the lake of ever-burning

the last time, let me briefly leave a parting word, and may it, through grace, be made a parting blessingto parents and to children. O, my beloved friends, you who are mo

thers and fathers in our Israel, pray | youth, and not to delay it till the evil constantly that you may be led more days come, when you can find no and more, to see the awful respon- pleasure in them. Let not the silver sibility of the talent committed to your cord be loosed, nor the golden bowl parental keeping. Remember that it broken, ere your spirit has been fitted has been said by the wise man, that to be rendered to the GOD who gave a child trained up in the way he it, so soon as your dust may return should go, will not depart from that to the earth from which it sprang. way. Remember that your children Give the best of your days to Him have souls to be saved or to be lost, who is giving all His days and nights as well as bodies to be cared for or to you and may He guard, sanctify neglected. A day is coming when and keep you, in your infancy, your you will have to stand side by side manhood, and even to your hoar with them at the tribunal of GOD-hairs may He carry you! may you not then be charged with leading them, either by precept or example, into the broad way of destruction may they not have to say, should they be cast from the presence of GOD, that they have to thank their father or their mother for their eternal damnation! And you, my dear young friends, for whom many an anxious tear has fallen, and many a swelling bosom grieved-let me once more, ere I leave you to another's ministry, call upon you to remember your Creator in the days of your

And now, beloved friends, as the last tribute of my affection, I commend you to God and to His holy Word, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. May He, the GOD of peace, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; and may we all meet together, accepted and redeemed by Him, at the last great day!-Amen.

A Sermon,

DELIVERED BY THE REV. W. B. LEACH,

AT ROBERT STREET CHAPEL, GROSVERNOR SQUARE, ON SUNDAY MORNING,
MARCH 10, 1833.

1 Pet. i. 3, 4.-"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you."

I HAVE long and often admired the | in his way to the kingdom of Heaven contents of this and of the ensuing chapter. They exhibit a rich fund of evangelical sentiment and spiritual consolation, and are well calculated to cheer the Christian traveller

through this vale of tears. The author of this epistle, as the title imports, was the Apostle Peter, who was one of the first Disciples of our Lord, and was distinguished among his

love, and mercy-with the infinite merits of the Saviour and the extensive provisions of the Gospelwith His unlimited power to turn the hearts of mankind like the rivers of water whithersoever he pleases-and with the general character of his

brethren, by an ardent, zealous, and impetuous mind. And the persons to whom it was addressed were converted Jews, and probably believing Gentiles, who were scattered abroad by the iron rod of persecution through various provinces of the Lesser Asia. But though denominated, "Stran-kind dispensations in providence and gers" in those places in which they sought an asylum, Peter congratulates them as "the elect and sanctified of GOD," to whom he presents the affectionate salutation of "grace and peace." Viewed in this light, it is evident that whatever they were to the world which despised and rejected them, they were neither strangers, to Christ, to themselves, nor to the consolations of the Gospel. This is the solace of the true believer. Wherever he goes, wherever he dwells, though the world knows him not," he is not alone, for the Father is with him."

In touching upon the doctrine of Election, at which we have glanced, from the tenour of the context, I am quite aware of the diversity of opinion to which that profound topic has given rise. But though denied by some, and misunderstood or abused by others, yet, when surveyed in the benevolence of its source, and in its practical tendency and influence, so far from presenting a lowering and forbidding aspect, and investing the Almighty with the character of an arbitrary and despotic ruler, it exhibits an act of sovereign love and mercy to the fallen and helpless children of men, but for which none would have been saved. That the doctrine appears somewhat mysterious when placed in association with some other articles of divine revelation, we readily admit. It is one of "the secret things which belong to the Lord our GOD," but which is to be judged of by its effects. Still, when we view it in connection with His infinite goodness,

in religion, there is every encourage-
ment to believe that the election of
Grace, far from being so limited as
some contracted minds would insi-
nuate, is wide and munificent. And
when, in addition to the height, and
depth, the length and breadth of its
benevolent range, you distinctly mark
the purifying and practical objects
which it determines to secure, you
will see that so far from leading to
illiberality, and rigidity of opinion
on one hand, or to laxity and licen-
tiousness of manners on the other, it
is intended, by its Divine Author, to
produce just the opposite result. For
example: As it selects its objects
without their merit or desert, instead
of fostering their pride, self-conceit
and dogmatism, (defects which are
too often betrayed by those who
abuse the doctrine,) it should make
them humble, meek and modest. As
it springs from love on the part of its
beneficent Author, instead of promot-
ing illiberality, and selfishness, cen-
soriousness, and indolence, it should
cherish the graces of affection, gene-
rosity, and benignity. And as every
exhibition of it is connected with
sanctification and Christian obedience,
far from becoming licentious Antino-
mians, we ought to adorn it by every
holy temper, habit, and act. This is
the design of the doctrine of Elec-
tion; and wherever it is not thus ex-
emplified, you may safely conclude
that the person espousing it, assumes
it only as a stolen garment, to which
he is not at all intitled, to conceal
a defective character, or an erro-
neous creed, as the GoD of infinité

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