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unto us, but unto thy name, give glory, for thy mer-life madness, and their end to be without honor!
cy and thy truth's sake. what I am. Not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Behold him THERE, and see the conduct of God towards him in this world explained and rindicated. It will be acknowledged that though God does much for his people here, yet the relation in which he has been pleased to place himself, implies and requires far more than he now performs. A future state of munificent liberality is therefore necessary. To this he op". and by this his promises are to be estimated. Hence says the apostle, “Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, seeing he hath prepared for them a city.” Here, while the wicked prospered, and had more than heart could wish, the righteous were poor, and oppressed, and afflicted; plagued every morning, and chastened every moment. And you were ready to ask, If they are his, why are they thus? You were so perplexed at the strangeness of his providence towards them,
that your feet were almost gone, and your steps had
well nigh slipped. But even then, he told you that his ways are not our ways; he told you that his ple were under an economy, a very small part of which falls within your inspection; he told you that the dispensations you complained of were not yet terminated: he said, “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come.” But here is the full answer. Look at them. Now. All that was darkness, is now illuminated: all that appeared disorderly, is now arranged: all that seemed evil, is now acknowledged o: Now we have the clue, and the difficulties are loosened. Now we have the end, and this justifies the means. We now see by what his dispensations towards them were regulated, and in what they have resulted. They were chastened. of the Lord, that they might not be condemned with the world. The trial of their faith was much more precious than that of gold that perisheth, because it was to be found unto praise, and glory, and honor, at the o of Jesus Christ. . The light afflictions which were but for a moment, have worked out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. They themselves are more than satisfied. They acknowledge. that he hath dealt well with his servants...They exclaim,. He hath done all things well. “Marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are all o O thou King of saints.” - —Behold the GLoRIFIED Christian, and see the justification of his choice. Here, his fellow-creatures despised him, or affected to pity. . If they allowed him to be sincere, they reproached him as weak, and considered his life a system of restraints, and privations, and sacrifices. Even then wisdom was justified of all her children. Even then they were conscious that reason itself bore them out in their preference. Even then they were not ashamed of their self-denial or sufferings, for they knew whom they had believed; and were persuaded that he was able to o that which they had committed unto him against that day. Even then they rejoiced in the testimony of their consciences, and the secret smiles and whis ers of their Lord and Saviour. But the world knew them not. They were princes in disguise. Their titles were refused, and their honors and riches were turned to scorn. And they bore this with firmness and patience—for they saw that their day was coming. And lo! now it is arrived. Now they shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Now is the manifestation of the sons of God. Now their enemies return and discern between the righteous and the wicked; between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not. , And oh! how changed their sentiments and their language now. “We fools counted their
By the grace of God I am Now are they numbered with the saints, and their
lot is among the children of God.” —Contemplate him where he is, and inquire whether you will be a partaker of the same blessedness. Is it not astonishing that you can put such a question from you, as if it was the greatest impertinence, from week to week, from year to year, though in the midst of life you are in death, and after death is the judgment And is it not strange that others can remain in a state of indecision, with only such a radventure as this to support their peace—Perps I am in the way to heaven, and perhaps I am in the way to hell! What is your real condition with regard to that eternity, on the verge of which you are 3 Have you a title to glory? This results from relationship: “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.” Have you any meetness for the inheritance of the Saints in light? Without this you cannot see the kingdom f God—not only for want of permission, but for want of capacity. Threatenings are not necessary to exclude—your disposition bars you out. The excellency of the state cannot make you happy without an adaptation to it: your contrariety of temper and taste would make you miserable. “God has wrought us,” says the apostle, “for the self-same thing.” Has he done this for you? Have you any thing in you that is congenial with heaven Heaven is a }. place. Are you hungering and thirsting after righteousness? It consists in the presence and adoration of Christ. Are you at home now when you are saying—“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, be glory and dominion. , There all religious distinctions will be done away; and the question will be, not where you have worshipped, but only how. Can you now rise above a party and say, “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity?” Many of you do not hope for heaven; do not desire it. You cannot hope for it, you cannot desire it—unless you can love and enjoy its ingredients now. - —Let the contemplation bring you upon your knees, and be this your prayer: “Remember me, O Lord, with the favor thou bearest unto thy people. O visit me with thy salvation, that I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, and glory with thine inheritance.” O! how shall I plead with you for this purpose? By what motives can I urge you to make it your immediate and prevailing concern ? Need I remind you of the importance of the object 7 Glory ! Honor Immortality : An eternity, an infinity, of blessedness! —Need you to be told that it is placed within your attainment—that you are allowed, invited, commanded to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, with an assurance of success? And if you perish, what an aggravation of your misery will this produce When an event is unavoidable, you may lament, but you feel no self-reproach. hen you suffer innocently, conscience even commends you; you feel a little of the spirit of a martyr; you claim on your side a God of judgment, and believe that in due time he will appear on your behalf. But here you will be speechless: You will feel that you have destroyed yourselves. Your misery will be your greatest sin. Every mouth will be stopped; and you will be found guilty before God. Guilty of what? Of transgressing his law. Yes—but still more of neglecting so great salvation, of rejecting the counsel of God against yourselves, and judging yourselves o; of everlasting life. And allow me to ask, for what is it that you are determined to sacrifice this attainable and infinite
boon 7 Are |. not spending your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not? You condemn the folly of Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birth-right. You reproach Adam and Eve, who lost the garden of Eden for a taste of the forbidden tree. But you are making a far worse, a far viler o; Ou are sacrificing all the glory of God and the Lamb– I again ask, for what? You would be losers if you gained the whole world. But are you gaining empires 4 provinces 3 estates? Are you gaining reputation? The esteem of the wise and good? Health? Peace of mind? Support in trouble % Freedom from fear? Sin ought to yield you much, for it will cost you dear. But the way of transgressors is hard. There is no peace to the wicked. When you lie down in sorrow, how will you answer the question, “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed 1 for the end of these things is death.” Remember also the alternative. —For missing this, there is nothing but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation to devour the adversary. If you are not with the sheep at the right hand, you must be with the goats at the left. If you hear not the sentence, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” you must hear the doom, “Depart ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his anels.” g Lastly. Let us Look and hail those who can make the prospect their own. We talk of happiness! Can any thing equal the state of those who can humbly and confidently say, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God?” Many are in adversity and tribulation; and yet have no such prospect. All is fighting against them, and they have no refuge. Their thoughts are broken off; even the purposes of their hearts, and their earthly schemes, laid desolate; yet they have nothing better before them. Yea, conscience tells them, this is only the beginning of sorrows; the short preface to a long roll written within and without, with lamentation, and mourning, and wo. But to the upright there ariseth light in the darkness. He sees the storm beginning to clear up: and he knows that no cloud shall return after the rain. “I reckon,” says he, “that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” Soon, want will be followed with fulness— Soon, the wormwood and the gall will be succeeded by the cup of salvation.
“Yet a season, and we know
With this prospect, how superior is he to the envied, the indulged, the successful man of the world. He has his portion in this life; but, says the Christian, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” His good things are temporal; mine are eternal. He is leaving his; I am advancing to mine. Every hour diminishes the value of his hope; but every moment adds interest to mine.
Nor need the Christian envy the man of claims
merely intellectual. Wisdom indeed excelleth folly, as much as light excelleth darkness. Money is a defence; but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. But what wisdom 4 It was a fine reply of the converted astronomer, who, when interrogated concerning the science which he had been idolizing, answered, “I am now bound for heaven, and I take the stars in my way.” How humiliating is it to reflect, that the treasures of learning and science depend upon the brain; that an accident of disease may abolish them; or that, at most, they are limited to the life that now is, and which we spend as a shadow.— Whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away —unless it be the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord—for this life is eternal.
In much wisdom also, there is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow. Some of the most expansive and cultivated minds are the most miserable. Nor is it difficult to account for this. Genius implies a sensibility which strangers intermeddle not with. It is attended with a keenness of feeling, that renders the possessor like a sensitive plant, that shrinks at every touch. He lives in a world of imagination, as well as a world of reality. He views nothing simply and purely. Every thing is dressed up to his conceptions; the beautiful in preternatural tints, and the evil in preternatural horrors. His thoughts are sentiments. He feels intensely: and nothing very intense can continue. Then follows a void whic is irksome, and a listlessness which is intolerable, and which are sometimes productive of fatal effects. In Madame de Stael's Memoirs of her father, we have the following remark: “I have a proof,” says Mr. Necker, “of the immortality of the soul in this; that it is at least after a while desirable; and essential to our happiness. By the time we have reached threescore years and ten, we have looked around us, and become familiar with the whole scene: and though not satisfied, we are sated. Then we feel our need of a new residence; a new sphere of activity; and new sources of employment and enjoy-ment.” This is a striking remark; and we may observe, that if at such a period, religion with its motives and promises is not present to the mind, the man wearied of existence, and feeling everything here to be vanity, is likely to become the victim of an insupportable oppression, and in a moment of rashness may welcome self-destruction. Have we had no instances of this?
—Here the Christian is guarded; here he is provided for. As this world palls upon him, an other opens to his view. This prospect enlivens the solitudes which bereavement and decays of nature have produced. This prospect becomes a substitute for the scenes and charms which have faded and fled. This prospect entertains and engages, now the days are come in which he says, I have no pleasure in them. The outward man perisheth, but the inward man is renewed day by day. His heart and his flesh fail; but God is the strength of his heart and his portion for ever. He departs; but he leaves what is not his rest, what is polluted, what is nigh unto cursing, and whose end is to be burned—while he enters a creation where every thing that is new, and marvellous, and pure, and attractive, and beautifying, says, Arise, and come away. And the hour that obscures and quenches for ever all other glories, immortalizes him.
To THE RIGHT REVEREND DANIEL, L OR D B is Hop OF CAL CUT TA, THE FOLLowing MEMOIRs up T H E W E N E R A B L E AND Apostolic swART z, THE SCENE OF WHOSE LABORS ForMs PART of THE EXTENSIVE DIOCESE over which HIS LORDSHIP HAS BEEN SO HAPPILY CALLED TO PRESIDE, ARE, IN TESTIMONY OF A LONG AND MOST ENDEARED