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being but a limited period for hearing the word. David says, (Psa. xcv, 7.) To-day, if ye soill hear his voice. The Apostle (Heb. iii, 12–14.) lays much stress on this expression, Take heed, best there be in any of you an ei heart of unbelief in departing from the living God: but exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day, let any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin: for we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the begianing of our confidence stedfast unto the end ; while it e said, To-day, if ye will hear his voice. And he aftewards again presses this, (chap. iv, ver. 7.) Again ki limited a certain day, saying in David, To-day, after * long a time. He tells the Corinthians also, We beseeck you, also, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.... Behold, now is the accepted time! Behold, now is the day of salvation! And so Isaiah says, Seek ye tk Lord, while he may be found; call ye upon him, while k is near. Now if prophets and apostles thus earnest urge us to use the present time, and our Saviour himsel pathetically and deeply sighs over Jerusalem, If the hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace ! Surely it must be a thing of infinite danger to neglect so great salvation zur a single day, or a single hour.
O the danger of delay and procrastination! It is the grand device of Satan to keep our souls from: present attention to our salvation. Most men think of being religious at some time or other. Undoubtedly the great multitude of those now in eternal woe once purposed to repent of their sins and turn to God; but they stifled their convictions, deferred the work to another time, and so were lost.
most needful to your edification ; a scriptural denunciation di vengeance against your own besetting sin? How know you but that to the absence of the Christian armour which that discourse would have supplied, your fall under recent tempt tions is to be attributed ? How know you but from the absede of that armour, temptations, even now impending over you head, will derive their particular strength."
To-day is the whole of time that you can call your own. Attend while you are called; enter in while the door is open, lest it be for ever closed. It is possible that the day of mercy may be ended as to you even before the day of death comes. God sometimes gives up those who have refused to hear, to a hardened heart, even while life continues. Thus Pharaoh was hardened before his death. To-day, then,- forthwith
immediately--while the word is sounding in your ears—while the invitation comes to you-now--now is the accepted time. How know you but that this may be the special, the appoiuted, the only season of grace for you. Now, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
O reader, think of that word, TO-DAY. Well may we be in earnest with you: Satan, and the flesh, and the world, plead hard against Christ, and against you. They all say, TO-MORROW. No! to-morrow will not do; for God says, TO-DAY. Begin this very day to hear, believe, and obey his voice. There will always be difficulties. Those difficulties will increase, and not diminish. You never can, you never will, in your whole life, have a more suitable season for breaking through all obstacles, and giving yourself up to God, than the present moment. Behold, says Christ, I stand "at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me. Fear then to lose the divine mercy, and weary the divine patience, by inexcusable
presumption. Fear to provoke the divine wratband & pleasure. To defer reconciliation to God to any fute period, is the most reprehensible and ruinous folly. supposes that God will indulge us with the allowaai of sensual and sinful appetites, and cause his meres i wait till we have executed our iniquitous purposes. shews that we do in our hearts prefer Satan to Chris sin to holiness, and earth to heaven. And can we sa ously think that God will be thus mocked? No; # deceive only ourselves; we fill up thus the measured sin to our ruin.
To-day, then, God calls you; to-day he sets besar you the riches of his grace, a free reconciliation, fd pardon, the gift of his Spirit, and the sure hoped everlasting life. Before you refuse, before you dele before you trife with and neglect so great a salvatice think what may be on the morrow. If you reject be offer, to-morrow may be too late. God may be sile - his grace may no longer be set before you -gospel no more sound in your ears; you may be give up to a hardened heart; you may be doomed to eteras perdition. Thus you may be left under the final curs of bitter and unavailing self reproach, and for ever remain in that outer darkness where is weeping and gnashing of teeth. O what an awful description is tha given by our Lord of those who in his day neglected this salvation-'This people's heart is waxed gross, auk their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed ; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand eith their heart, and should be converted, and I should hea them! May the writer and the reader of these pages ever receive from above that power of the Holy Spirit, which may enlighten the eyes of our understanding,
preserve us from a doom so earnestly to be depred, so deeply to be deplored ! For, after all, what
mere reasoning avail ? O blessed Spirit! thou mone canst convert and edify. It has been most justly
erved,* and the author feels that the fault has too
en attached to himself, “ Some press to duties, so at they seem to think, that their reasonings are able to
orce a compliance; or at least they do not take e to keep up, upon themselves and their hearers, Constant sense of the contrary, in order earnestly to gage in dependence on the Spirit of the Lord.”
O Holy Ghost! into our minds,
Send down thy heavenly light;
THE former chapter closed with an affecting description given by our Lord of the awful state of those who neglected the Gospel: we turn now to a brighter scene. Our Lord, after speaking those awakening words, directly contrasts the state of the wicked with the happiness of his own disciples, receiving his word~-But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for
* See Halyburton's Life.
they hear; for derily I say unto you, that many propia and righteous men have desired to see those things at ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those think which ge hear, and have not heard them. They blessed above those around them who disregarded a words of Christ; and above even kings and prophe of former ages, who, though they knew Christ, trusted in him as a Saviour to come, had yet on paratively very indistinct apprehensions of hin, would have rejoiced to have witnessed what ? Apostles did. The particulars of this blessing! worthy of distinct and full consideration. In a respects is the faithful hearer blessed?
His FACULTIES ARE Then EMPLOYED 4 THE END FOR WHICH THEY WERE GIVEN. various senses and abilities, our sight, our hear our memory, understanding, and affections, bestowed upon us for the glory of God, and our present and eternal good. They are then engaged these ends, and used to the best account, when are exercised upon discovering and receiving the se truths of the Gospel. The Gospel alone sets bem us that which can fill and satisfy our immortal sou and when our faculties are employed on other mus without reference to, or concern about, the will of la all our powers are wasted and squandered away; " spend money for that which is not bread, and labour | | that which satisfieth not. They are not merely copy fitably expended, but lost in a way that will bring upe us future condemnation and final ruin. But let." faculties be rightly directed to know and do the willo God, and we are so living as he would have us live! will glorify his name, secure his favour, and our One best happiness.