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and to administer. And the poor and dis- I life? and not only so, but trouble also-yea, tressed are as much consigned by Providence and reproach and suspicion, by accommodato the care of the affluent, as Mary was ting the mother of one who was executed as charged upon John. None of God's benefits a malefactor—an enemy to Cæsar ?" —He terminate wholly on the possessor-they are obeys cheerfully, instantly, implicitly. means as well as mercies, talents as well as And let us remember, that true obedience endowments. If we are enlightened, we are is prompt; and will lead us to “ do all things to "arise and shine;" if converted, we are to without murmuring and disputing." This is s strengthen our brethren;" if comforted, we peculiarly the case with regard to charity. are to “comfort others with those comforts Real benevolence, if I may so express it, is wherewith we ourselves are comforted of not too longsighted and thoughtful; it will God;" if we have "all things richly to en- not suffer the line impulse to cool by indul. joy," we are to be ready to communicate, ging hesitations: when an obligation strikes willing to distribute.'

us, it will not allow of our eluding it by givSuppose a master should call into his pre-ing us either inclination or time to bring forsence a servant, and say to him, " Take this ward the hardness of the times, the slackness money, and go, carry it to such a poor fami- of trade, the increase of tamily, the multiplily;" and suppose the servant, as soon as he city of cases. While we stop to investigate had gotten possession of it, should resolve to every particular, to make comparisons, to colkeep it, or lay it out on some finery or amuse-lect evidences, and to take great pains not to ment; what would you think? Would you be deceived—the opportunity is gone : our blame the master, as wanting in generosity ? neighbour may not be alive a few days bence, No-but you would say, “0 thou wicked or we may not-and thus by cautious and de servant !" And what would the master him-layed beneficence, he will lose the relief, and self say ?-Surely he would punish him ; and we the honour of the action. Therefore, he would well deserve it: for he would be at says Solomon, « Withhold not good from once guilty of unfaithfulness and cruelty. them to whom it is due, when it is in the Such a master indeed may never find out power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto this villany. But the rich are going to ap- thy neighbour, go, and come again, and topear before a God who “ cannot be mocked," morrow I will give, when thou hast it by to give an account of the application of the thee." property which he committed to their trust, To return. Let us now follow the mother for certain purposes which his word clearly of our Lord to her new residence. Veneraspecifies. It was given them to teach the | ble woman, whom all generations have blessignorant, to clothe the naked, to make the ed, we rejoice in thy comfort! Thou hast widow's heart to sing for joy"-Wo! wo be “a certain dwelling-place," thou shalt not to them, if they shall be found to have frus-want !-With what kindness would John trated the kindness of his designs, either by treat the charge of his departed Lord! With not using, or by wasting his goods!

what tenderness would he nourish her! How Once more. John was “the disciple whom many evenings would they pass together in Jesus loved :" he had a peculiar friendship discoursing of the Saviour ascended to his for him-and how does he express it ? Not Father and their Father, to his God and their by diminishing bis care, but by enlarging the God! How would they dwell upon his serclaims of his duty; not by increasing his es- mons, his miracles, his sufferings! We meet tate, but by giving him a consumer--consign- once more with this distinguished woman in ing to him an aged female for life. You the sacred history. In the beginning of the may deem this a strange proof of his affection | Acts of the Apostles, we find the twelve re La strange way of honouring him! But, if turning from the place of his ascension, and you view the matter aright, you will see that in an upper room, and it is said, “They conthere is nothing unaccountable in it. To be tinued with one accord, in prayer and suppliemployed by him and for him is a dignity cation with the women, and Mary the moand a privilege. If he pleased, he could well ther of Jesus." After this she disappears, dispense with our poor services; but he en- and we hear of her no more. But we shall gages us—to improve our graces, and to re-by-and-by see her, and derive from her all ward our exertions. And, in proportion as the interesting particulars relative to the we are in a good frame of mind, we shall birth, the infancy, the youth of the child Je long to be instruments in the Saviour's hands, sus, over which, for wise purposes, a veil is and bringing ourselves daily to his footstool, now thrown. we shall ask, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me. Let me conclude by calling upon you to to do ?” John, therefore,

choose for yourselves the situation of these III. EXECUTES THE ORDERS OF HIS DYING three women-they were “standing by the LORD. “From that hour that disciple took cross of Jesus. There, by reading the Scripher unto his own home.” He does not stand ture, by meditation, by the exercises of faith, weighing things: “Can I afford to do it? by the memorials of his death—there you Shall I not entail upon myself expenses for may fix yourselves. It is a blessed station :

grace,"

take it, and “determine to know nothing means of sanctifying, relieving, enriching the save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” soul-that he who teaches us to pray is our

Do you wish to contemplate whatever is best friend; and there is nothing we should . grand and sublime? Take this station. Be- more highly prize than those instructions

hold him on the cross_See “the Sun of which are designed to regulate and encourighteousness," as he sets, gilding the hea- rage our addresses to God. vens with glory. See him, as he dies, exer And such is the design of the Apostle in cising every grace, displaying every perfec- the words which I hạve read. He tells us of tion !

a throne of grace, and informs us in what Does the world prevail over thee? Take manner, and for what purpose we are to apthis station. Exclaim, with the Apostle, proach it. “Let us come boldly unto the “God forbid that I should glory, save in the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the and find grace to help in time of need.” world is crucified unto me, and I unto the The language is metaphorical. When God world!

enacts laws, he is on a throne of legislation; " His dying crimson, like a robe,

when he administers these laws, he is on a Spreads o'er his body on the tree :

throne of government; when he tries his creaThen am I dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me."

tures by these laws, he is on a throne of judgDo you feel trials and afflictions ? Take ment; and when he receives petitions and this station. Behold a suffering Saviour. dispenses favours, he is on a “ throne of “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be

| The idea of a throne inspires awe, borderwearied and faint in your minds."

ing on terror. It repels rather than invites. “ Thousands have found the bless'd effect,

Few of us could approach it without tremNor longer mourn their lot:

bling. But what is the throne of an earthly While on his gorrows they reflect,

monarch, the greatest earthly monarch that Their own are all forgot."

ever swayed a sceptre? The God we adAre you oppressed with a sense of guilt ?

dress is "the King of kings, and the Lord of Take this station. Bruised by sin, remem

lords." In his eye, an Alexander is a worm; ber him who was bruised for it. Be of good

yea "all nations before him are as nothing, cheer. “Surely he hath borne our grief,

| less than nothing, and vanity. Heaven is his and carried our sorrows; the chastisement of

throne, and this earth is only his footstool.” our peace was upon him, and by his stripes

How can we enter his presence, or approach we are healed.”

his infinite majesty ?-Blessed be his name, Do you wish for an example? Take this

he fills the “mercy-seat;" he is on a “throne station. Behold here not only your sacrifice, lo

of grace;" and we are allowed, and even but your pattern. While he atones, he in

commanded, to come to it boldly. But structs. “He suffered for us, leaving us an

J. IT IS NECESSARY FOR US TO KNOW WHAT example that we should follow his steps : who

THIS BOLDNESS IS. did no sin, neither was guile found in his

And we may be assured that it is not aumouth : who, when he was reviled, reviled

dacity, rudeness, or a trifling freedom. We not again; when he suffered, he threatened

have sometimes heard persons address God, not; but committed himself to him that judg

in a manner which they would not dare to eth righteously"-who, full of forgiveness,

use, I will not say to a superior, but even to prayed for enemies, and said, “Father, for

a fellow-creature of their own level. Such give them, for they know not what they do”

persons would do well to compare Scripture who, all affection and concern for his rela

with Scripture. For what is the language tions, said, Woman, behold thy son !" Son,

of the Bible in other places? “God is greatly behold thy mother! Ye children, admire him.

to be feared in the assembly of the saints, Admire him, ye friends. Admire him, ye

and to be had in reverence of all them that disciples, who wear his honoured name

55 are about him.” “Be not rash with thy “ nor stop at wonder-imitate and live."

mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to May we "be planted together in the likeness

utter any thing before God: for God is in of his death, that we may be also in the like

heaven, and thou upon earth, therefore let ness of his resurrection.”

thy words be few.” “Wherefore we re

ceiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, DISCOURSE XIV. let us have grace, whereby we may serve

God acceptably, with reverence, and godly THE THRONE OF GRACE.

fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”

They would also do well to remember the Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that nature of the business in which they are en

we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help gaged; for if we are imploring “mercy and in time of need.--Heb. iv. 16.

grace," common sense will tell us, that the PRAYER is of so niuch importance ; it is boldness we are allowed to indulge, can be such an honour, such a privilege, such a lonly the boldness of a penitent and a suppli

cant. Now an encouragement to beg, is not, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the surely a license to offend. Prayer and inso unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him lence ill accord together.

return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy This boldness then, arises from nothing in upon him; and to our God, for he will abunourselves, but purely from the goodness of dantly pardon. For my thoughts are not the Being we address—and it consists prin- your thoughts, neither are your ways my cipally in a persuasion that we are freely au- ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are thorized to come, and may contidently hope higher than the earth, so are my'ways higher to succeed.

than your ways, and my thoughts than your What a change is made in the view and thoughts." feelings of a person by conviction of sin! Sin To illustrate these promises, and to banish was once nothing in his view; but now, every fear, that springing from unworthiness awakened to consider, and enlightened to and guilt, would hinder our application to perceive its nature and consequences, he feels him, he has been pleased to add a succession it to be the greatest evil: as before he could of examples. Some of these are derived not be made to fear, he can scarcely now be from characters the most vile: but vile as induced to hope. Knowing his desert, and they once were, “they were washed, they judging under the influence of human and were sanctified, they were justified in the guilty feelings, he finds it difficult to believe name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of that God will receive him-But till he does our God.” Among men, the chief offenders believe this, he will not, he cannot come to are always made examples of justice—but him aright. God has therefore made provi- here they have frequently been made the exsion to excite and sustain the confidence of amples of mercy. Civil governors are afraid self-condemned sinners.

Ito pardon the most criminal lest they should He has revealed himself, not as implacable, operate as encouragements—but here they but as full of pity and compassion, as “the are designed to be precedents : " for this cause Lord God gracious and merciful." He has I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ "commended his love towards us, in that might show forth all long-suffering as a patwhile we were yet sinners, Christ died for tern to them that should believe on him to us." The conclusion is not more justly life everlasting." By these instances he has drawn, than it is infinitely encouraging : “ He said—“Never despair.-See what I can do that spared not his own Son, but delivered him Learn that neither the number nor the heiup for us all, how shall he not with him also nousness of your sins shall destroy you, if you freely give us all things ? Surely he hath are willing to obtain salvation by the Lord borne our grief, and carried our sorrow, the Jesus Christ.'” chastisement of our peace was upon him, and In time also, the believer's own experience by his stripes we are healed." His blood much aids his confidence. Though he has “cleanseth is from all sin. He is the end no more dependence upon himself than he of the law for righteousness to every one that once had, he learns to trust more simply and believeth.” He suffered, the just for the firmly in him who has never “ turned away unjust, that he inight bring us unto God.” his prayer," but has been “a very present I mention this the more fully, because we help in every time of trouble.” “ come unto God by him:" and in proportion This boldness takes in not only a confito our knowledge of the Mediator, and our dence of success, but also “ a holy liberty in reliance upon him, will be our enlargement our addresses to him, expressive of intimacy and consolation in duty. It is here that our and privilege." Are we Christians? We hopes take their rise: it is here that we are come not as strangers and foreigners, but as “ filled with all joy and peace in believing." fellow-citizens with the saints, and of "the “ In whom, speaking of Christ, says the household of God.” “We have received, not Apostle,) we have boldness and access with the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the confidence by the faith of him. And again, Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter Father!" Other monarchs can be approached into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a only at certain seasons; and in certain cases; new and living way which he hath conse- and with certain formalities. But you may crated for us, through the vail, that is to say, call upon him at "all times;" and in all “cir. his flesh; and having an high priest over the cumstances." You may “in everything house of God; let us draw near, with a true make known your requests unto God.” You heart, in full assurance of faith, having our may go and inform him of all that perplexes, hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and all that alarms, all that distresses you. He our bodies washed with pure water." deems nothing too little for you to spread

We have also “exceeding great and pre- before him. You may tell him what you can cious promises" such as these: “God so tell no earthly friend. And you are not reloved the world, that he gave his only be-quired to keep at a distance, but allowed to gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him come “ even to his seat-to order your cause should not perish, but have everlasting life." I before him to fill your mouth with argu

ments to put him in remembrance-to plead in time of need." But is not every time a with him"-to persevere, and not "let him time of need with us? It is. And there is go except he bless you."

not a moment in our existence in which we II. Having considered the manner in which, can live as we ought, independently of Di. let us observe THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE | vine grace. We need this grace, to mortify ARE TO COME TO THE THRONE OF GRACE. They our corruptions; to sanctify our affections; are these-to “obtain mercy"--and to " find to resist temptations; to overcome the world. grace." These blessings are wisely con- It is this, and this alone, that can enable us nected together by the Apostle, because to pursue our journey; to run our race; to there are too many people who try to sepa- accomplish our warfare; to " endure to the rate them. They would be saved froin hell, end.” We cannot pray, or sing, or hear, or but not from sin. They wish to be pardoned, read, as we ought, without the assistance of but not renewed. They would have mercy, this grace helping our infirmities. “We canbut not grace.

not," says Bishop Hopkins, "stand one moBut be not deceived. Whom God forgives ment longer than God holds us; or walk one he sanctifies and prepares for his service. step further than God leads us." For a thing And both these blessings are equally im constantly necessary, the Apostle would teach portant and necessary to our salvation. Let us to pray constantly. us therefore pray for both.

But there are some seasons in which we First. Pray for mercy. And pray like peculiarly require the aid of Divine grace. those who know they greatly need it. You Two or three of these it may be proper to are verily guilty. You are charged with mention. innumerable transgressions, and your con- ! Prosperity is a time of need. Few “know sciences tell you that many of them are at- how to abound.” It is no easy thing to be tended with circumstances of peculiar aggra- full, and not deny God. Worldly fame and vation. Till these are pardoned, you are affluence have often had a baneful effect on in a state of condemnation: and what a doom | the minds of good men; have attached them is that which is denounced upon you by the too strongly to earth, and slackened their dilaw which you have broken! Think of the ligence in seeking "a better, even a heavenly wrath of God." Think of the “ worm that country.” They have had less dependence dieth not, and the fire that is never to be upon God, and less communion with him. quenched. It is a fearful thing to fall into They have grown high minded and illiberal; the hands of the living God!"

and exbibted far less of the Christian in their And you are continually liable to the ex-advancement than in their poverty. Others ecution of this sentence. You must die soon, have lost their religion entirely in passing you may die this very night; this very hour: from a cottage to a mansion. “The prospe. and then it will be too late to cry for mercy. rity of fools shall destroy them.” Let us Be prevailed upon therefore to seek it imme- therefore be wise, and remember, that the diately and earnestly—“ Have mercy upon wisdom which can alone preserve us consists me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: in our fearing always; in a diffidence of ouraccording unto the multitude of thy tender selves; in our praying, “ hold thou me up, mercies, blot out my transgressions." and I shall be safe.” He indeed can keep us

But we shall need the exercise of mercy from falling, even in slippery places. Thus as long as we are in the body. We often he guarded Joseph and Daniel, in situations contract fresh guilt. Our most holy things equally high and dangerous. are defiled. “Who can say, I have made my Affliction is a time of need. It matters heart clean; I am pure from my sin ?" Arch- not from what quarter the trouble springs : it bishop Usher often said he hoped to die with is a trying season; and the Christian is conthe language of the publican in his mouth; cerned to come forth as gold.” He not only and his biographer tells us his wish was ful- wants support and comfort, so that he may not filled-he died, saying, “God be merciful to “ faint,” but he wants strength and preservame, a sinner.” What an exalted character tion, so that he may not sin. He is concerned is given us of Onesiphorus! Yet, says the to be secured from impatience; from distrust Apostle, “the Lord grant unto him, that he of Providence; from quarreling with instrumay find"--not justice-but "mercy of the ments. He wishes to glorify God in the fires; Lord in that day." He would need mercy and to derive advantages from his crosses, so till then, and then he would need it more as to be able to say, " It is good for me that I than ever. And when we all come to ap- have been afflicted.” For all this he seeks pear before his righteous tribunal, to have our the Lord; and what the Lord said to Paul he actions and our motives tried—“should he may apply unto himself: " My grace is suffimark iniquity, who could stand?" Let us cient for thee: for my strength is made pertherefore say, with Job, “ Though I were fect in weakness." righteous, yet would I not answer him; but Death is a time of need. And it is an una I would make supplication to my Judge." voidable one-other times of need may come,

Secondly. Let us pray for “grace to help but this will come. It is indeed the last time cant. Now an encouragement to beg, is not “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the surely a license to offend. Prayer and inso- unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him lence ill accord together.

return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy This boldness then, arises from nothing in upon him; and to our God, for be will abun. ourselves, but purely from the goodness of dantly pardon. For my thoughts are not the Being we address-and it consists prin- your thoughts, neither are your ways my cipally in a persuasion that we are frcely au- ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are thorized to come, and may confidently hope higher than the earth, so are my ways higher to succeed.

than your ways, and my thoughts than your What a change is made in the view and thoughts." feelings of a person by conviction of sin! Sin To illustrate these promises, and to banish was once nothing in his view; but now, every fear, that springing from unworthiness awakened to consider, and enlightened to and guilt, would hinder our application to perceive its nature and consequences, he feels him, he has been pleased to add a succession it to be the greatest evil: as before he could of examples. Some of these are derived not be made to fear, he can scarcely now be from characters the most vile: but vile as induced to hope. Knowing his desert, and they once were, “they were washed, they judging under the influence of human and were sanctified, they were justified in the guilty feelings, he finds it difficult to believe name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of that God will receive him-But till he does our God." Among men, the chief offenders believe this, he will not, he cannot come to are always made examples of justice-but him aright. God has therefore made provi- here they have frequently been made the ex. sion to excite and sustain the confidence of amples of mercy. Civil governors are afraid self-condemned sinners.

to pardon the most criminal lest they should He has revealed himself, not as implacable, operate as encouragements—but here they but as full of pity and compassion, as “the are designed to be precedents : “ for this cause Lord God gracious and merciful." He has I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ "commended his love towards us, in that might show forth all long-suffering as a patwhile we were yet sinners, Christ died for tern to them that should believe on him to us." The conclusion is not more justly life everlasting." By these instances he has drawn, than it is infinitely encouraging : “He said—“Never despair.-See what I can do. that spared not his own Son, but delivered him Learn that neither the number nor the heiup for us all, how shall he not with him also nousness of your sins shall destroy you, if you freely give us all things ? Surely he hath are willing to obtain salvation by the Lord borne our grief, and carried our sorrow, the Jesus Christ.'”. chastisement of our peace was upon him, and in time also, the believer's own experience by his stripes we are healed," His blood much aids his confidence. Though he has "cleanseth (s from all sin. He is the end no more dependence upon himself than be of the law for righteousness to every one that once had, he learns to trust more simply and believeth.” He suffered, the just for the firmly in him who has never “ turned away unjust, that he might bring us unto God.” his prayer," but has been “ a very present I mention this the more fully, because we help in every time of trouble.” " come unto God by him:" and in proportion This boldness takes in not only a confito our knowledge of the Mediator, and our dence of success, but also “ a holy liberty in reliance upon him, will be our enlargement our addresses to him, expressive of intimacy and consolation in duty. It is here that our and privilege." Are we Christians? We hopes take their rise: it is here that we are come not as strangers and foreigners, but as “ filled with all joy and peace in believing." fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the “ In whom, speaking of Christ, says the household of God.” “We have received, not Apostle, we have boldness and access with the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the confidence by the faith of him. And again, Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter Father!" Other monarchs can be approached into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a only at certain seasons; and in certain cases; new and living way which he hath conse- and with certain formalities. But you may crated for us, through the vail, that is to say, call upon him at “all times;" and in all “cirhis flesh; and having an high priest over the cumstances.” You may “in every thing house of God; let us draw near, with a true make known your requests unto God." You heart, in full assurance of faith, having our may go and inform him of all that perplexes, hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and all that alarms, all that distresses you. He our bodies washed with pure water." deems nothing too little for you to spread

We have also "exceeding great and pre- before him. You may tell him what you can cious promises" such as these: “God so tell no earthly friend. And you are not reloved the world, that he gave his only be- quired to keep at a distance, but allowed to gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him come “ even to his seat--to order your cause should not perish, but have everlasting life." I before him to fill your mouth with argu

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