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From Zion's top the breezes blow,
* Early on Wednesday morning, he lifted up his hands and eyes towards Heaven, and said, Lord Jesus receive my spirit---And in a short space exclaimed, My God! Godt my God!-these were the last words he distinctly uttered.-he was now incapable of speaking, and sunk very fast ; but was perfectly sersible to the end---He died about twenty minutes past nine o'clock in the morning, apparently without any struggle or pain ; leaving a most glorious testimony that
gone to be for ever with the Lord.” May my last end be like his. Amen.
Manchester, March 30, 1809.
ON HUMBLY WALKING WITH GOD.
Mical vi. 8. He hath shewed thee, o man, what is good : and what doth the Lord require of
thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? IT
T appears that the word of the Lord came to his servant Micah, in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. When, notwithstanding the piety of Jotham, and Hezekiah, ihe people in general had revolted froin God, had made themselves vile in his sight, and had well nigh filled up the measure of their iniquity. In this degenerate age, Micah was raised up, and sent to them by an highly dishonoured God, to make them sensible of their sin, and to apprize them of their danger. And, as a faithful servant of God, he speaks with all possible plainness, and reasons with them in the most convincing manner.
He begins this chapter with the utmost solemnity: “ Heat ye now what the Lord saith, Arises contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice. Hear ye, O
mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong founda: tions of the earth :" That is to say, hear the word of the Lord,
ye great and mighty men, ye that are the princes, rulers, and guides of the people, who of all others ought to ask counsel of God, and to obey his voice.
He then reminds them of the wonderful deliverances which the Lord had wrought for their fore.fathers, how he had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and delivered them from the hand of the king of Moab. The people are then considered as being somewhat moved by the word of the Prophet, and therefore they begin to enquire, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, or bow myself before the high God ?: Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I
give my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" It is answered" He bath shewed thee, O man, what is good," &c. The Lord hath revealed his will unto thee in his word, and hath therein made the way of life plain and clear to every one, so that no one need to be ignorant of their duty, or wherein true happiness consists.
But although mankind in general acknowledge the scriptures to be the fountain of truth, and though we are to learn from them the way to everlasting happiness; yet many there are who remain entirely ignorant of the proper meaning of the word of God, and seek death in the error of their way. And as they do not understand, so it is natural for them to misapply the word of God, and try to justify themselves in that which the Scripture, rightly understood, condemns.
Perhaps there is hardly a single text in the whole Bible Jess understood, or more grossly abused, than the words before us. Every dead-hearted formalist will claim bis interest in this passage of scripture. In express contradiction to the whole tenor of God's holy word, such men will impertinently tell us Yes; this is all that God requires of us. This is my religion, to do justly, and to love mercy,” &c. At the same time the man is, perhaps, a thief and a robber. He has been robbing the blessed God of his honour, and his own soul of that salvation which Christ bath purchased for him.
There is no great difficulty in understanding these words, if we attend to the last clause of them in the first place; the sense will then be abundantly clear. In discoursing upon them, let us enquire,
First, What is implied in " walking hambly with thy God?" Secondlys When may a person be said, “ to do justly and
}" And first, What is implied in a walking humbly with thy God?"
In making the enquiry, we shall find the poor formalist, stumbling at the threshold. For the very first thing implied in walking humbly with God is,-a clear manifestation of his love towards us, or of our interest in him, asia God reconciled to us, through the Son of his Love; or what is the same thing, a God in covenant with us. For want of considering the import of that most comprehensive word, “ THY GOD, a person unenlightened by the Divine Spirit,vainly thinks that he walks with God, when, as he supposes, he is doing his duty.
Had it only been said, walking humbly with God, it might have been very justly replied, How can two walk togeiber
to love mercy
except they be agreed? How then can God and a sinner walk together, till God is reconciled to him, and his sins are blotted out? But in as much as the words are," walk humbly with thy God,” the matter is put beyond all doubt; so that in order to this, the man must be received into the favour of God, through faith in the Redeemer, and must experience the knowledge of salvation, by the remission of all his past sins. To walk with a person, undoubtedly implies, a state of favour and friendship with the person with whom we walk. But how can a sinner, with the guilt of sin upon his conscience, and consequently under the displeasure of God, (whether he knows it or not) be said, with any degree of propriety, to walk with God? No; he must first of all, fly for refuge to the only hope set before him in the Gose pel, and embrace the offers of pardoning mercy with his whole soul, so as to experience the peace of God in his conscience, arising from an assurance of his interest in the blood of a crucified Saviour.
Perhaps an higher character was never given of any mere man, than that which was given of Enoch, when it is said, “ And Enoch walked with God." He, no doubt, lived in a state of friendship with God, as we have observed, and as a convincing proof of it, he was translated to heaven, and did : not taste of death, a favouir granted only to him, and Elijah the Prophet, as far as we know.
To walk with God, implies, that we are brought into a proper state of mind to walk with him, God, we well know, is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. But we are guilty in his sight, having violated his holy law, and we are de. praved, polluted, and unholy creatures, having a carnal mind, which is enmity with God. How then shall we walk with bim, till an entire change is wrought, and this enmity taken away? And what shall take this away, but that grace which our blessed Redeemer hath procured for us? Res. pecting this, we are just as helpless, as we are respecting the removal of the guilt of sin froni our conscience. Was it not in eonsideration of this, that the Apostle said, “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” He adds,"I thank God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Here is our glorious deliverer from the bondage of sin and corruption, into the marvellous light, and glorious liberty of the sons of God.
This we learn was his design in coming into the world, “To proclaim liberty to the captives, and to cpen the prison to them who were bound." He then communicates the divine nature to us, sheds abroad his love in our hearts, so that blessed change takes place, and the soul is renewed
in righteousness and true holiness: The whole mind is turned towards God, and finds in him all that it stands in need of.
Here then true religion begins, when the God of all grace mercifully delivers us from that darkness and death which sin bad brought upon us, and we are quickened together with Christ, being raised up by him out of the ruins of our fallen state, and made the happy partakers of the unsearchable riches of his grace, and witnesses of the truth of his promises.
It is said of Wisdom, that "ber ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” We witness to the truth of this, when the grace of God is communicated to us, but not before. For as we then have most delightful views of the love of God towards us, so divine grace hath so far changed our hearts, that we can only, delight in drawing near io God, and in the most unreserved manner devoting all we bave and are to him. Our one grand desigu then is to please God in all things, to live to his glory, and that not merely from a sense of duty, but we clearly see it is our highest wisdom and interest." In keeping bis commandments there is great reward,” and these are not grievous to the renewed soul: For as by the light of God we see that the commandment is holy, just, and good," so the mind being brought into an holy ştate, feels no reluctance, but chearfully embraces that wbich appears conducive to its hapr piness. Our desires now centre in, or run out after the enjoyment of God. In his light we see that he is the fountain af all goodness, a never-failing source of solid peace, and sub. stantial happiness, and therefore infinitely worthy to be desired by us; so that we may daily receive ont of his unbounded fulness, all the unsearchable riches of gracę, Our affections will now be fixed upon spiritual objects, upon God himself, upon his holy word, bis ministers, his people, and his ordinances: Yea, upon every thing which Hows from, or leads to God. Thus then it not only becomes practicable, but truly delightful to walk with God, and the soul is in its proper element, when living in his presence, and walking in his ways.
To walk with God, implies also, that we have proper views of his all-sufficiency, and therefore live in a state of entire dependence upon him. This includes a clear view of our own weakness, and of the greatness and importance of that work in which we are engaged. Our present business is, to know, to do, and to suffer the will of God. Respecting each of these we may say, “We are not sufficient of ourgelves, but all our' sufficiency is of God." But what abug,