« PoprzedniaDalej »
repressed. No one will depend upon you, and you can have no dependance on yourself; for passion comes like a flood, and sweeps away affection as with a torrent. Remember, Robert, that “ soft answer turneth away wrath : but grievous words stir up anger,” Prov. xv. l; and that 6. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city,” Prov. xvi. 32. I shall call again one of these days, Robert, not in a churlish spirit, but with kindness and affection, to say a little more on the subject of anger. May God, in his mercy, take passion away from your heart, and put love in its place, that you may live in peace with Gud, and in charity with all mankind.
Call on a Drunkard.
look bad enough, and bad enough you are likely to be. Oh that I had words shrill enough to make your ears tingle, and sharp enough to p:erce to your very heart. It is of no use to speak softly and soothingly to you, for comfort I have none to offer. To what a situation have you
reduced yourselt! Your wife is wretched and your children in rags; your body afflicted with disease, and your soul setting at defiance the threatenings of God. You are madly running to ruin, plunging headlong into perdition. “ The drunkard has to tread a briery way,
A path of sorrow in his latter day;
The almshouse, work house, madhouse, and the gaol.” Richard, you are now sober, and well may you hang your head with shame, to think what you once were, and what you now are. If you look back it must be with remorse; if forward, with despair. Which of all the curses that sin has brought upon mankind, can the drunkard hope to escape? You are wretched enough now, but what are temporal pains compared with eternal torment? Drunkenness has robbed you of comfort, joy, peace, and hope, and brought upon you distress, soriow, distraction, and despair: that soul-destroying gin has been your ruin.
“ Accursed gin! what ruin hast thou wrought,
What good prevented, and what evil brought.
And bring them back to virtue and to God!”
I wish, Richard, that I could speak more kindly to you. I wish that I could do you a service; but how may this be ? I can rebuke you, I can pity you, I can pray for you, but I cannot comfort you. While you pursue your drunken course, you will only go on from bad to worse; you are hastening to a dreadful precipice, a gulf of unfathomable misery.
It may be, Richard, that sometimes you take up a book and read, though it be to your own condemnation. I will therefore leave you a tract, “ What do you get by Gindrinking ?” and may He who, at the eleventh hour, spoke peace to the dying thief upon the cross, reprove your
backslidings, heal your diseases, forgive your sins, and bestaw upon you the riches of his mercy. No power, but the power of God, can reclaim you; no grace, but the grace of the Redeemer, can save you ; but as the mercy of God endureth for ever, he may yet snatch you as a brand from the burning; he may yet make a saint of the sinner, renewing you by the power of his Holy Spirit, and preparing you by sanctified affliction for his glory.
EXTRACT FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL AD
DRESS TO THE PARISHIONERS OF ST. MARY'S,
KILKENNY. SOME of you live apparently regardless of God, who is the bountiful bestower of all your blessings. Neglect of ordinances is a proof of neglect of the God of ordinances; and
neglect of God is a proof of impenitence; and true it is, that “ the word of God must be a lie, heaven a fable, hell an invention, before the impenitent sinner can be safe.” " Awake, then, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,” Eph. v. 14. ‘Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” Rom. xiii. 14. There are also some who can speak well upon the subject of religion, and because they can do so, persuade themselves, and desire to persuade others, that they are under its influence; but although the gilding of a piece of silver may make it pass for gold, yet the real nature and value of it are not altered. In like manner, it matters not what a man may know or profess, if he be not “born again,” if he be not“ renewed in the spirit of his mind,” if he has not obtained deliverance from the slavery of the world's opinion, if he be “ double-minded,” James i. 8, seeking at one time the society of those who are religious, and the next moment enjoying that of the ungodly; if he has not entered in at the “strait gate,” and is not. walking in the“ narrow way;" if his treasure be upon earth, and not in heaven-he is not Christ's disciple. “Be not then deceived: God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” etc. Gal. vi. 7 ; v. 24. See also John iii. 3; Rom. xii. 2; 1 John v. 4, 5.
The flock of Christ is a little, but a highly favoured flock; being continually watched over, fed, and healed by “the good Shepherd,” who has given his life for the sheep. To that flock a kingdom of peace, of righteousness, of glory, is promised by Him who cannot lie. To those who have the warrant of Scripture to believe that they belong to it, I would say, Great is your privilege, and great will be your blessedness.
To all of you I would say, Although the symptoms of your spiritual disease may be various, there is one, and but one remedy for all, and that remedy is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. v. 21. He “bare our sins in his own body on the tree," 1 Pet. ii. 24; and " by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” Heb. x. 14. He left no part of his work incomplete. By him the law in all its vast demands was perfectly fulfilled; by him justice, although ready to be
the executioner of the Divine wrath, is satisfied; by him eternal redemption is brought in; by him a way is opened into heaven itself; and by him unceasing and prevailing intercession is offered up in language such as this, " Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory,” John xvii. 24. I entreat you by the love which brought him down from the habitation of his glory; by the unceasing exercise of that love while he was upon earth; by the recollection of all the mercies which you have received through his merits and mediation, look unto him, that you may be saved ; glory in his cross and in nothing else; go to him as you are, crying “Save, Lord, or I perish;” and he will give you " the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness," Isa. lxi. 3.
There is no variableness in the love of God, towards those who are redeemed through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore, they may have“ strong confidence.” May you all be numbered amongst them, and may the Holy Spirit work in you to “ will and to do of his good pleasure, Phil. ii. 13.
“The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” Amen. Your very affectionate pastor and faithful friend,
THE VICISSITUDES OF GOD'S PEOPLE.
WHO shall describe the ups and downs of human life? They are so many, and so unexpected, that a Christian man in prosperity should always rejoice with trembling ; and when in adversity, lift up
his eyes to the hills whence cometh his help. Let us look for a moment to the experience of David.
"I will not be afraid,” says he, “of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about,” Psa. iii. 6. This manifested a courageous spirit. How strong his faith! “I will both lay me down in peace,
and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety,” Psa. iv. 8. The royal psalmist was well off, waking and sleeping. No fears by day! no distressing cares by night!
No wonder that his lips were opened, and that his mouth showed forth the praises of his God.
“ Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: 0 Lord, heal
my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed,” Psa. vi. 2, 3. How is this ? weak and afflicted in body and soul too! and so soon after being so strong and so much at peace! Surely it cannot be so bad with David as all this! Yes, it is. Hear him: “I am weary
my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears,” Psa. vi. 6. This is truly a sad case, but earthly trouble, like earthly joy, does not last for ever; let us hope better things.
“ The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer,” Psa. vi. 9. This is as it should be; the scene is changed again. “I will praise thee,
“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad, and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High,” Psa. ix. 1, 2. David was brought very low, but see he rises again! His weakness and his vexed bones; his weariness, his groaning, and his tears are all forgotten. He seems to be feasting on fat things; but how long will the banquet last? Alas! he may have to go on the strength of his meat and drink many days! “Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them ? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days,” Mark ii. 19, 20. But listen to David in other seasons :—“How long, Lord ? wilt thou hide thyself for ever ? shall thy wrath burn like fire,” Psa. lxxxix. 46. “I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. My knees are weak through fasting ; and my flesh faileth of fatness,” Psa. cix. 23, 24. “ I am so troubled that I cannot speak,” Psa. lxxvii. 4. “All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me,” Psa. xlii. 7. Well! here does seem to be an end of David at last. He has fallen deep, indeed, into the horrible pit, and the miry clay. Is there any hope for him now? Let him speak for himself.
“Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery,” Psa. lxxxi. 2. What can he