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covenant: he has received the holy law: he has fed upon the food of Heaven, and drank of the spiritual drink: he has fought with the enemy: One has been with him, leading him through the howling desert, and sustaining him therein: he has sinned, and there has been One who has corrected him : he has mourned for his sin, and repented, and there has been One healing his backslidings, and forgiving his transgressions. The Christian has led a mysterious life, and by faith, feeling assured of this, he derives instruction and benefit from the memory of the past, and, like Israel of old, “remembers all the way, which the Lord his God has led him these many years in the wilderness, to humble him, and to prove him, to know what was in his heart, whether he would indeed keep His commandments or no.”
Once more: " whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterwards.” Though S. Peter was not then able to follow Christ, nor meet to die for His sake, yet in God's due time the marks of the Cross were very deeply imprinted on him, and at last he was crucified as his master had been before. He followed afterwards. And if we are enabled to follow Christ in His Death, we shall also follow Him in His Resurrection and Ascension. “ There should be no greater comfort to Christian persons, than to be made like unto Christ, by suffering patiently adversities, troubles, and sicknesses. For He Himself went not up to joy, but first He suffered pain; He entered not into His glory before He was crucified. So truly our way to eternal joy is to suffer here with Christ; and our door to enter into eternal life is gladly to die with Christ; that we may rise again from death, and dwell with Him in everlasting life.” If in patience and perseverance we do the will of God, if we wait His time and meanwhile in all the changing scenes of life, are still acquiring under His schooling a fitness for another and a better world, if we are content in humility and earnestness to watch for the coming of our Lord, we may rest assured, that He will be faithful who has promised, we shall follow afterwards.”
1 Deut. viii, 2.
God Almighty grant unto us faith to see His Hand in all things, and childlike obedience and childlike trust to follow Him always,—to take sufferings when He sends them, as marks of His love for us,—to fear much, lest, through any waywardness and wilfulness of our own, we frustrate His gracious designs for our good. God Almighty grant unto us all, that, after this life is over, through the grave and gate of death we may pass to a joyful resurrection. God Almighty grant this, for Jesus Christ, His sake.
Esrael in Canaan and the Christian in the Church.
[Preached at S. Giles' on the Fourth Sunday after Easter, May 5, 1844.]
FROM THE FIRST LESSON AT EVENING SERVICE.
DEUTERONOMY vii. 1, 2. “WHEN THE LORD THY GOD SHALL BRING THEE INTO THE LAND WHITHER THOU GOEST TO POSSESS IT, AND HATH CAST OUT MANY NATIONS BEFORE THEE,.... NATIONS GREATER AND MIGHTIER THAN THOU; AND WHEN THE LORD THY GOD SHALL DELIVER THEM BEFORE THEE; THOU SHALT SMITE THEM AND UTTERLY DESTROY THEM."
God is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and whatever parts of His dispensations to-usward we contemplate, there is an agreement and harmony between them. In the conduct of poor variable man we often see a sad fickleness and want of consistency; we cannot say from a man's conduct at one time, that we are sure he will act in the same way