Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

.kept thy word. Tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience hope. Nevertheless, God ermforteth those that are cast down (s). By whom? By the Holy Ghost* the Comforter. Did not God abundantly comfort in ancient days that pattern of afflic* tion, Job? Did not the Lord accept Job, and give unto Job twice as much as he had before? Did not he sanctify the afflictions of Job to the welfare of his foul; teaching him by salutary discipline to abhor himself, tand to repent in dust and ashes.? And does not the language bf St. Paul, in the bitterest season of his sorrows, demonstrate that he welcomed affliction as a blessing sent from a wise and merciful Father •, that he rejoiced in it as ah instrument of growth in grace? Hear him addressing the elders of Ephesus: Now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem; not knowing the things that shall befal me there: save that the Holy Ghofl wltnesfeth In every city,saying that bonds and afflcllons abide me. But none of these things move vie: neither count I my life dear unto myself; so that I might finish my course with joy, and the miniJlry which I have received os the Lord Jesus. Nay, as he adds on other occasions, in all

(j) Hebr. xii. 6. Psalm exit. 67. 71. Rom. v. 3,4. 2 Cor. vii. 6.

Vol.l I these

these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. I am flkd-^with comfort; I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. Blessed be God, even the Father' of our Lord Jesus Chrifl, the Father of mercies' and the God of all comfort, who comfort eth. usin^idl our tribulation. For, as the sufferings bfGhfist abound in us, so our consolation also aboitndeth by Christ (/). Are not here the fruits of allsufficient grace? Sanctify then, in afl ".ybiir sufferings, the Lord God in your hearts. V;B^ prayer, by patience, by self-examination^ by unremitting endeavours to correct and amend in yourself whatever offendeth the eyes of . your heavenly Father, strive to forward his gracious purpose. So shall the peace of God which passeth knowledge be poured by the Holy Ghost the Comforter into your heart. So shall your light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!

4. The grace of Christ is sufficient for salvation.

It is the grace of God wherein ye Jland. It is the grace of God "which bringeth salvation. It is the Holy Spirit of God, sent forth by Christ Jesus, that he may abide with men for &very

(t) Acts, xx. 22—24.. Rom. viii. 37, 2 Cor. i. 3—5. vii. 4.

whereby

whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption {u). St. Paul felt the sufficiency of the grace of Christ unto salvation, when he exclaimed, on the prospect of approaching martyrdom: I know whom I have believedt and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him. I have jwght a good fight; I have fni/hed my course I have kept the faith* Henceforth there is laid itpfor me a crown of righteousness; which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day (w). He that endureth Unto the end shall be saved: and the grace of Christ whereby you may be enabled to endure unto the end, is effectually placed within the reach of every man. Of the numbers of those who shall stretch forth their arms and embrace it, and hold it stedfastly unto salvation, we know little. That is a secret placed beyond the veil, which separates time from eternity. Yet have the skirts of that veil been so far lifted up by the hand of prophecy, as to cheer our present darkness with glimpses of the more than mortal light which glows behind. The earth jhall be filed with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our

(«) 1 Pet. v. 12. ,Tit. '4. II. Eph. iv .30. (w) 2 Tim. ;-J2. iv. 7, g.

I 2 Lord' Lord and of bis Christ: and hcjhall reign ffr ever and ever. Many Jhall come from the East, and from the West, and from the North, find from the South; and shall Jit down with Abraham, and .saac, and Jacob in the kingdom 6f heaven (tc). That you may form sorfte estimation of the countless myriads of i tHe;i** deemed saints, the inheritors of everlasting Use j contemplate the armies of heaven, 'Represented as attendants on the triumphs-of the Son of God in the emblematical visions of the Apocalypse: a great multitude •which xo man could number of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, sanding before the throne and beftre the Lamb^ clothed wit^ White robes, and with palms in their hands; and crying with a voice as the voice ofmdky ibafers, and as the voice of mighty thunder'rngs, Salvation- so our God and to the Lamb! Allelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reign et b fy). Here behold the sufficiency of the grace-of Christ unto salvation! How were all these countless myriads saved? Not an individual of the number was saved but by the grace of Christ. Do you rejoice in the contemplation of the innumerable hosts of the blessed? Rejoice with trembling. Innumerable- as

(w) Isaiah, xi. 9. Habbak. ii 14. Rev. xi. t $. Matth. .YiH. 11. Luke, xiii. 28, 29. (j) Rev. vii. 9. xix. <5. 14

they they are, the earth, from the generations which she has hitherto nourished in her bosom j from that which she now nourishes; from "those which in due succession she shall nourish, before the dawning of the great day of the Lord; can, supply these and yet larger multitudes to be inhabitants of heaven, without including you. She can supply these and yet larger multitudes to the regions of bliss eternal; and still may behold from among her iehildren multitudes equally exceeding the power of computation consigned to misery everlasting. In which of these multitudes shall you be found? One fact is incontrovertible. No unckan person, nor covetous man, nor any man who is a murderer, or a thief, or a liar, or a drunkard, or a reviler, or an extortioner, or a reveller, or seditious, or guilty of heresy, or of variance, or of hatred, or of Jlrife, or of emulations, or of envyings, or of any such crimes, of any other habitual sin, Jhall inherit the kingdom of God («). If you live as one of the unrighteous.; if you fulfil the works of the flesh 1 if you subject yourself to the dominion of any unchristian temper or practice; you will have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.. But the

(z) Eph. v. 5. 1 Cor, vi, 9, 10. Ga!« v. 19—%l' Rev. «i- $. xxii. 1 j. -^

I 3 grace

« AnteriorContinuar »