Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

his glorious empire, the royal palace, and throne of our incarnate God! from which all evil is banished, and where light, and life, and joy, forever dwell. And is this the place where our blessed Saviour receives his faithful ministers and people? Hear his own gracious words; " and if,” saith he, “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Doth not every pious soul reply, Lord it is enough?

This happiness may be considered as further increased, by the society and converse of the heavenly inhabitants.

The pious and faithful of every age, and of every nation, will all meet in that blessed abode. Then, if we shall be so happy as to be found among them, we shall there sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacobwe shall see the company of the Prophets of the Holy Apostles—and the great company of the blessed Martyrs-there, we shall again see those who have been very dear to us, and have slept in Jesus, whether of our brethren in the ministry, of the people of our charge, or. from our own families we shall again enjoy their company, their conversation, and affections, and shall join our hearts and voices with theirs, in loving God without measure, and in praising him without end. But above all, there we shall see our Saviour and our God face to face, and shall satiate ourselves with the fulness of joy that is in his beatific presence, and in that ocean of pleasure, which is at his right hand for evermore.

Lastly, that which gives completeness to this happiness to this great reward, is, its duration. The happiness is without intermission, and will be without end. It is an everlasting crown, the glory of which can never fade, it is an undefiled and incorruptible inheritance, re

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

served in heaven, which can suffer no diminution by being possessed through eternity.-0, vast and boundless eternity, how dost thou at once astonish and delight us! thou addest new lustre to the crown of life, and givest new accents to the songs of the blessed, while they can in a triumph of holy security, say this happiness is endless, and this God is our God forever and ever.

The improvement follows: 1st. We cannot avoid reflecting upon the greatness and dread importance of the ministerial work-a work which hath for its object the salvation of souls, the interest of the Redeemer's kingdom, and the glory of God -objects, which in their nature are infinite and reach to 'eternity! Who are sufficient for these things ? Could we speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, we might tremble in approaching this sacred and awful work. What gifts and graces, what wisdom and prudence, what faithfulness and diligence, yea, what zeal for the glory of God, love to Christ, and compassion for souls are here needful! But our consolation is, that we serve a good master, who hath promised that as our days are, so shall our strength be. Had we no strength to depend on beyond our own, no encouragement but from human assistance, we might sit down in disconsolate despair, and utter the passionate language of Moses, “O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send,” for thy servant is insufficient for these things. But our sufficiency is of God, we have his divine promise for our security and consolation, lo, I am with you always.” With our Saviour by our side, we shall have nothing to fear. If he go with us into our study, into the pulpit, and among our people, we shall not only have easy, but joyful work. If he continue

1

with us always, we shall have light in darkness, strength in weakness, defence in dangers, victory over all our enemies, and finally, shall obtain the crown that can never fade, and the triumph that can never end.

2d. This subject leads us to look with trembling, to the last end of those who shall be found unfaithful in the sacred office. When conscience, and when God who is greater than conscience shall witness, that they had taken upon themselves the charge of souls, and had neglected them—that instead of awakening sinners from their slumbers, and warning them of their danger, they had lulled them to sleep by smooth and delusive wordsthat instead of preaching Christ Jesus, and him crucified, they had preached themselves, and offered incense to their own vanity-and, that instead of leading their people to the Redeemer's blood for cleansing, to his righteousness for clothing, and to his great salvation for life, they had left them exposed to wrath and eternal death : and, therefore, that their blood, the blood of their souls was found on them, and required from them. Surely, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than for vain and vicious, or, for graceless and unfaithful ministers of the gospel.

Finally, let us admire and adore the grace and bounty of our Redeemer and our God, towards those ministers who shall be faithful unto death. He hath made them “ stewards of the manifold grace of God,” and, “workers together with him." And, to support their faith and hope, animate their zeal, and insure their fidelity and perseverance in the sacred work, he hath promised his presence—that he himself will be with them always, and that his grace shall be sufficient for them : and then, to complete his bounty, he engages to crown his own gift—to crown that grace with glory,

0, how short are our labours, when compared to the eternal rest, and how light are our sufferings and ser. viees, when laid in the balance with the eternal weight of glory, and crown of life!

If the latter end of wicked and unfaithful ministers of the gospel shall be awful; if they shall be followed with uncommon wrath, and be sunk down deep into misery, on the other hand, those who shall be found faithful and suecessful, will be raised bigh in heaven-brought near the throne, and wear a resplendent crown. “They that be wise (skilful teachers) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the STARS, forever and ever.”_AMEN.

1

SERMON IV.

THE INFLUENCE OF FAITH IN PRODUCING

HOLY OBEDIENCE.

Hebrews xi. 17. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had

received the promises offered up his only begotten son.

BY THE REV. AMZI ARMSTRONG, A. M.
Pastor of the Presbyterian Congregation of Mendham.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »