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brought to light, and every one shall a man carry the marks of his iniquity, answer according to what he hath and thus emblazoningit to the eyes of all. done, whether it be good or bad. Hast thou never heard how the dumb
Again, from the subject of the Divine earth that hath drunk in the blood of omnipresence, let every sinner remem- the slain, or hath supported the steps ber that God is present at the com- of the thief, hath carried upon her mission of all his crimes. When faithful countenance the print of his thoughts of rebellion, profanity, and foot, and hath yielded her silent but uningratitude, arise in the soul-when erring testimony to the guilty ? Hast thoughts of pride, and malice, and thou never heard how the faithful dog cruelty, deform it-when thoughts of hath fled upon the murderer or the intemperance, lust, and lewdness, de- thief, or by his piercing cry and agobase it, then God is in the polluted nizing look, hath testified to the deed guilty mind, searching its secret cham- of sin? These are but parts of the bers, and is laying open to the full system. These are but specimens of sunshine all the hiding-places of ini- the Divine conduct. Be sure thy sin quity. When the sinners who are in will find thee out. The winds will this house rise up in rebellion against proclaim it, the waters shall refuse to their Maker-when you murmuragainst carry thee. Thou shalt be thine his government, lay your sins to his own accuser; the secret long retained, charge, impeach his justice, mercy, and thy lips burning to declare it, shall, truth-when you, from impure intents on some unguarded day, tell all, or and fraudulent designs, proceed to acts thy horror-struck conscience shall of cruelty and violence and lewdness make thee tell it in thy sleep. Oh, —when you devise false doctrines and think not to escape, heaven and earth systems in order to lead yourselves are witness, angels saw thee, the Spifurther astray-when you oppose the rit of God saw thee, the Son of God truth of God, revile his Son, grieve saw thee, the God of infinite truth and his Spirit, profane the sabbath- justice saw thee. when, finally, you pollute and ensnare Further, the doctrine of the Divine others as well as yourselves, then, omniscience affords abundant cause of though you do this in the shades of joy to the godly. My dear hearers, solitude, or wrap around you the cur- ye who repent and believe the Gospel, tains of the night, God is present, omniscience is the attribute of your seeing, hearing, and recording all Father and your friend. His eyes are your words, thoughts, and actions. continually upon you for good. He is And I tell thee more, ob sinner of perfectly acquainted with your wants, every class, this one quality of thy and he knows all things that are reJudge, his omniscience and omnipre- quired for their supply. This qualifies sence, are engaged to make his decla- him to be the object of your trust and ration good, that “ thy sins shall find confidence. On him you may safely thee out.” Hast thou not seen this depend. Do not suppose your affairs come to pass, and read of it a thousand too mean, or even the meanest of them times? Hast thou forgot how Cain, to be beneath his notice. His eyes are that did the first murder, buried in in every place. With God nothing is the ground the pale and bleeding form great, nothing is little. He has, I of Abel his brother, but that a voice quote the words of Dr. Paley, polished of vengeance cried out aloud, from amid the joint of the wing of a fly as he the bloody sod, and entered into the ears had had nothing else to do. Not a of the All-seeing? Hast thou never seen hair of thy head but it is numbered,
not a sparrow falls to the ground | forsaken you, that still you are not without his notice. But the omniscience alone, for the Father is with you. In of God is also consoling on other seasons of sickness and bereavement, accounts. What a stay and support when you have lost parents or childid it yield to St. Peter when he dren, or are forsaken by any or by all; said to Jesus, Lord, thou know when the world begins to seem a deest all things, thou knowest that I sert and life a burden, God is then at love thee; I confess, indeed, the base- hand, thy Father, and thy ever-faithful ness and treachery of my conduct. It friend. Thy Lord will be to thee is true I forsook thee, impiously de- better than sons and daughters. Be nied thee, but wert thou not the all- will pour balm and wine into thy diswise God as well as compassionate tressed spirit, and enable thee to say, Saviour, thy reiterated question would“ Why art thou cast down, oh my strike me dumb and drive me from thy soul ? and why art thou disquieted presence, for how could I pretend to within me? Hope thou in God, for I love thee after such perfidy and base- shall yet praise him who is the health
But this is my refuge; thou of my countenance and my God.” who knowest all things, knowest that When those around you become hosI love thee.” Such may still be the tile to your character, when you are consolation of the sincere Christian. hated, persecuted, despised, when you
As perfection is not the attainment look through the world in vain for of the present life, even the children comfort, remember that God has been of God are too often carried away with present to behold all thy sufferings, the force of temptation, insomuch that and will effectually guard from any had they to do with a man like them- fatal evil. You may be persecuted, selves, they might well despair of being but you will not be forsaken ; you able ever to convince him of their love. may be cast down, but you will not be But He seeth thee; He understandeth destroyed. Your afflictions, though thy thought afar off, you may truly they seem heavy, are but for a mosay with the Psalmist, “ All my de- ment, and work out for you a far more sire is before thee, and my groaning is exceeding and an eternal weight of not from thee."
glory. Think not, further, that your services When you are under a decay of are too inconsiderable ; to obtain his piety, God is at hand to renew you; regard, the two mites which you when you are tempted and even backhave contributed to God, and the cup slide, he can and will restore your soul. of cold water you gave to a disciple, in Thou depressed under the hidings of the name of a disciple, were neither God's countenance, and smitten by unknown or forgotten. From his his rod, remember, that though your constant, kind, and merciful regard, heavenly Father hath smitten you for oh my prayerful penitent hearers, no your sins, yet his covenant will not situations, no circumstances will ever be taken away, nor will he forget his exclude you even for a moment. mercy. The walls of Zion are continu. However lowly and solitary, however ally before him; he has graven thee even forgotten by mankind your course of in the palms of his hands; and that allife may be, yourself, your interests; though a woman may forget hersucking your wants and woes are tenderly, as child so as to have no compassion on well as continually, regarded by God. the fruit of her womb, yet the Redeemer Yours is the consolation of the Lord will not forget his people, but will Jesus, that when all the world have keep thee and all his in the hollow of
his hand, and wnen you come to a timed look express thy doubts, and dying bed, when eternity, with all its didst give thy prophetic warnings, amazing scenes, is about to be un mingled with thy pretended fears. veiled, when the trial is ready to com But no more, my brethren, behold an mence, behold on the throne of judg- epitome of our discourse. Behold a rule ment that glorious person who has of religion in these words—God seeth promised never to leave thee, nor for me. God seeth you, my young hearers, sake thee. He is the judge by whom whether you have yet obeyed the comwe are to be tried. Thy Divine Lord mand, “My son give me thy heart.” will remember thee as one for whom He sees you whether you draw nigh to he died, and had lived to make inter- him in daily prayer, whether you read cession.
his word, whether you are trusting Lastly, let the doctrine of Divine om in Christ, whether you strive against niscience restrain us from every sin, all sin. Return to your homes, and and excite us to every duty, “ Thou God everywhere henceforth cultivate the seest me.” “When thou was under the consciousness, “Thou God seest me.” fig-tree,” said Jesus to Nathaniel, “I | To all the wiles the devil, to all the saw thee." We do not know what it snares of the world, to all the allurewas that Jesus saw under the fig- ments of the flesh oppose this reflectree-suffice it to say, that it was tion, God seeth me. In the hour of no doubt something which Natha- despondency, in the time of domestic niel supposed no mortal eye had seen. sorrow, recal to mind the cheering As soon as Jesus had uttered these truth which shall be to thee like the words, we are told that Nathaniel star of evening beaming more brightly believed, and said, “Rabbi, then art the darker the surrounding cloud bethou the Son of God, thou art the
“ Thou God seest me.” King of Israel.” My brethren, God
“ Should He command me to the farthest uses the same language to each one of
verge you at this time. I saw thee, thou
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous hypocrite! when wrapped in a veil of
climes, religion, embellished with exterior Rivers unknown to song ; where first the piety, thou didst conceal an impious heart, and didst endeavour to impose Gilds Indian Mountains, or his setting beam upon God and man-I saw thee, I Flames on the Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to penetrated all those labyrinths, I dissipated all that darkness, I dived into | Since God is ever present, ever felt, all thy deep designs. Thou worldling! In the void waste as in the city full; who with thy well cultivated prudence And where He vital breathes there must be hast the art of giving a beautiful tint to
When even at last the solemn hour shall the most odious objects, who appearest
come, not to slander thy neighbour, because And wing my mystic flight to future worlds, thou dost not openly attack him; I saw I cheerful will obey; there, with new powers, thee when thou didst wound his
repu Will rising wonders sing : I cannot go tation, and didst with many a well- ) Where Universal Love not smiles around.”
DELIVERED BY THE REV. B. NOEL,
AT ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL, BEDFORD ROW, APRIL 3, 1831.
Galatians, 5, 6.-“ For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision acaileth any thing, nor
uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."
A real perception of the various excel present is to us through Christ with lencies that belong to our blessed Sa- what the past once was without him, viour, must fill us with love to him in we cannot but feel some gratitude to return—a real perception of his love to Christ—and when our hearts overflow us must cause us to love him. All the with joy at the numberless blessings, sufferings he has endured for us—all all of them as we know provided the power which he now possesses in through his mercy, and all of them conjunction with the love which he secured in perpetuity through the same has shown by his sufferings—all the mercy, we cannot fail to love him. benefits that spring to us from his Every thing, in short, which is a love, are all so many powerful sources a reason why we should glory in of our love towards Christ. If we do Christ, and those reasons are count. not love Christ it must be because we less, are so many reasons why we do not know him at all, or we do not should love him too; and no one, know him spiritually; for as the Apos- therefore, can have a genuine perceptle St. John says generally of the tion of the excellence, glory, goodness, knowledge of God, “He that loveth and grace of Christ, without loving not, knoweth not God;" the same him in proportion to that faith. must be equally true of our blessed But a genuine love of Christ is the Saviour through whom we know and principle of an eternal and universal love God. He that loveth not, know- obedience; because if we really love eth not Christ, because there is that him, we cannot fail to make up-as far in Christ, which, if really perceived, as it is lawful to use such an expresmust compel our hearts to love him, sion-for our past neglect and unkind. and therefore has the Apostle St. ness; we cannot help wishing to do Peter connected a powerful love of him honour whom we have heretofore Christ, with a real faith in him. dishonoured, to serve him against “Whom having not seen ye love ; in whom we have revolted, to be subject whom though now ye see him not, to him from whom we once rebelled yet believing, ye rejoice with joy un- in the spirit of proud independence ; speakable and full of glory.” So that and these desires will all be in prothese two points must ever be con- portion to the strength of that love nected;
where there is a genuine faith which we feel to Christ; and if love in Christ, there must be a propor- become very strong, as it ever will tionate love to him.
become where faith is strengthened, When we see something of the guilt then the desire to do all these things from which Christ has delivered us, we will be strong likewise. But it is cannot help loving him; when we look plain that we can do none of these at the prospects we now have through things except by obeying Christ. This his merit and intercession, we cannot but is the single method by which we love him—when we contrast what the I are enabled to please him, by which
we are enabled to serve or honour as in favourable circumstances, whehim. Obedience alone is service-ther the thing contradicts our obedience alone is honour—the only tural disposition, or whether it is way by which we can grow like him agreeable to it, whether it is approved is by obeying his will, and by this by the world, or whether it is opposed. alone can we avoid repeating our It will lead a man to devise all posformer unkindness and neglect. sible means by which obedience may
If this genuine faith will bring real be facilitated and may be made more love to Christ, a real love to Christ complete. Each opportunity of obeymust also bring a disposition to obey ing will become precious to a person him; and thus faith works in the soul in this state of mind. It will make a spirit of holy obedience-faith work- him avoid all temptation, as leading to ing by love. This obedience has no disobedience. All this is plainly the limit short of perfection, because he consequence of any genuine love to who loves Christ at all, knows well Christ, because similar consequences that all his commands are so good, would follow from any natural love that they should be obeyed as one-he that we bear to a fellow-creature. knows too, that all the returns he can Thus, then, faith works by love, make for boundless benefits, are all throughout the whole of a Christian's small, and therefore will ever be course. As faith grows love will grow, striving to render greater-he must and as love becomes stronger obedience remain infinitely a debtor to Christ will become more complete. Perfect for ever, because the very power to faith will work in the soul a perfect render back to the Saviour any thing love, and that perfect love will, at according to his mercy to us, is re- length, be accompanied with perfect ceived from him our very payment obedience. This is the only kind only renders us the more his debtors, of faith which justifies—" For in and will do so to all eternity.
Christ Jesus neither circumcision Wherever, then, there is genuine availeth any thing, nor uncircumlove springing from genuine faith, cision”-no varying forms of relithere must be a disposition to obey gion, whether with more or less of Christ with less and less of imperfection, ceremony—“but faith which worketh till we obey him with all the faculties by love.” Wherever there be that real of our nature, till our obedience be faith it works by love, and that justicomes absolutely perfect. Such an fies. All real believers will, therefore, obedience will not be partial, but uni obey in the spirit of love. Where versal, with respect to the whole faith is extremely weak, there love will law; it will not be for a time, but also be doubtful, and obedience exit must be for ever; it will make a ceedingly imperfect. Where hope alperson wish to serve Christ so much, terpates with fear, there obedience will as to make him anxious to know his be fitful and often reluctant. As faith will, to know not a part of his will, strengthens, it fills the soul with aboundbut to know it all, and, in order to ing gratitude, and obedience will beknow it, he will take pains to as come more and more steadfast and certain really what is Christ's will, complete. and strive to trace it to its conse But before we proceed further, let us quences, not to avoid but to follow remember, my Christian friends, that it to the utmost.
faith not the persuasion, whether This spirit will lead him to serve with or without evidence, of this one Christ equally in difficulties as well truth, that we are accepted of God