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cumcised in heart and ears, ye do always the grave; they have made their beds in resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, the dust ; where they are saying “to corso do ye.”
ruption, Thou art my father; and to the But, you will observe, persons are not worm, Thou art my mother and my siseager to follow the example of the goddly ter.” They are no longer in a state of who have gone before them. The reason / probation ; they are gone to be judged, is, because those shining examples find according to the deeds done in the body, much within us to counteract them. On whether they are good or whether they the other hand, the example of the wicked, are evil. For you will remember, that finds much within us that is congenial | they are not now in an unconscious with it; and therefore these aid them. state; for there is a spirit in man
There are many of our fellow-creatures which survives the body. 6 Man dieth who are to be really pitied; they never and wasteth away ; yea, man giveth see any good example before them. Even up the ghost ; and where is he?”. their parents, instead of going before Where are they, then? They are somethem in the way everlasting, lead them where now. They are in eternity; they astray; and, instead of drawing them off | are in the world of spirits, towards which from the cares of this world, attach them you are all hastening; for when the dust to it. But if there are any such here this returns to the dust whence it came, the evening, let me remind them, that, how-spirit returns to God who gave it. If they ever trying their condition may be, they died in the faith of Christ, they are now have to withstand such examples and edu- with Him ; they are “for ever with the cation; they are not to be guided by the Lord.” Happy spirits! they have done conduct of others, or of their own immer with sorrow, and, what is better, they diate conrections. The Word of God is have done with sin. “They hunger no the rule of their conduct ; and this they more, neither thirst any more, neither must obey, if they move on alone, and un- does the sun light on them, nor any heat; der a shower of reproaches. And be it for the Lamb which is in the midst of the remembered, that the more we are alone throne feeds them, and leads them unto in such cases, the more we act a singular living fountains of water, and God wipes part-(not from affectation, but from con- 1 away all tears from their eyes.” If they viction)--the more purity there is in the have died in their sius, where He is they motive, the more dignity there is in the cannot come. The rich man died, he was principle, the more does God Himself buried; “ and in hell he lifted up his notice it, and say, “ Those that honour eyes, being in torments." Lazarus died, Me, I will honour; but those that despise and was carried by angels into Abraham's Me shall be lightly esteemed.”
bosom. This could only be perceived
with regard to each of them by the eye of IV. It contains AN APPEAL. “ Your faith : the eye of sense could only fathers, where are they? and the prophets, see their corpses, their coffins, their do they live for ever?" As much as if funerals, and their tombs; the ear of He should say, Before you see what they | sense could only hear the knell, and the once were, consider what they now are ; funeral service; and this left them, perconsider their end before their beginning, haps, “in sure and certain hope of a and their death before their life. Many resurrection unto eternal life." But the of them fell in the wilderness, many in ear of sense could not hear what God the valley ; many fell by the sword ; 1 said unto the disembodied spirit: “ He others have died by accident and disease that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and in a natural way: but they have all gone | he that is unjust, let him be unjust still; the way of all the earth. And whither and he that is righteous, let him be rightedoes this lead ? " The fathers, where are ous still; and he that is holy, let him be they?" You know where they once were, holy still." well enough : they were living in the 6 And the prophets, do they live for same villages, and in the same towns with ever ?” Some suppose that the reference yourselves; they passed and repassed here is to the false prophets, who cried, along the same streets and the same roads; Peace, peace, when there was no peace, they occupied the same dwellings, the and who had died with the blood of souls same warehouses, the same shops : but upon them. They had their day, and, where are they now? They are now in having filled up the measure of their deREFLECTIONS SUGGESTED BY THE NEW YEAR.
lusions, were hurried away to answer for | character. Judas was useful, as well as the the guilt of an unfaithful ministry. But other apostles. It does not depend on his we need not confine it to them ; we may moral feeling. The apostle supposes that extend it so as to take in God's true pro a man may be useful, if he preaches Christ phets. “ The prophets, where are they?”'“ from envy and strife ;' for it is on this Why, even they are “not suffered to con- supposition that he argues-on the thing tinue by reason of death.” They succeed being done. Nor does it depend on the to each other ; Elisha to Elijah ; Moses sufferings of the dispenser. The apostle takes off the robes from Aaron, and im- says, “I suffer as an evildoer, even unto poses them upon Eleazer his son. The bonds; but the Word of God is not apostle says, that those who have the bound.” Nay, sometimes this hath more heavenly treasure in them are “ earthen free course, and has been glorified under vessels ;" therefore they are liable to be their sufferings ; and “the blood of the injured, and broken, and destroyed. Yea, martyrs” has been " the seed of the instead of their living always, they do not church.” Nor does it depend upon his live long ; they often do not live so long life. No, the prophets die ; for “all flesh as others-a very mysterious dispensation is as grass, and all the glory of man as of Divine Providence. But whenever the flower of grass ; the grass withereth, they are removed, it is a solemn event, and the flower thereof fadeth away : but and calls for reflection. It calls for re- the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. flection in preachers themselves : they And this is the Word, which by the Gosshould be admonished by it, and be the pel is preached unto you." more disposed to say with Newton
I wish you to note here, also, that “I'preach as if I ne'er should preach again, men's unbelief and wickeduess do not And as a dying man to dying men.”
make the Word of God of none effect. No; People should think of it, and be more they may oppose it, they may deny it, concerned to improve this season. “Yet a they may ridicule it; but it is coming to little while is this light with you; and pass, it is continually “taking hold” of then they go their way to Him that them. Yes, they may deny the resurrecsent them :" and after having been thus tion of the dead: but see them rising and your instructors, they become your wit-coming forth to the resurrection of damnesses, to witness for you or against you nation. They may ridicule the day of before God. For carry away this with judgment; but see, they are gathering you, if you forget all the rest—that you | together before the judgment-seat of have not done with sermons when you Christ. How was it with the old world ? have heard them; nor with preachers, Did not God's words and statutes “ take when you have buried them.
hold” of them ? How they sneered, how
they scorned, when Noah said that there V. The address contains a TESTIMONY. was a flood coming to destroy them all ! “ But My words and My statutes, which But did it not come? Did not God's I commanded My servants the prophets, Word “take hold” of them, and pull did they not take hold of your fathers ?" them into the gulf ? So it was with Lot. The question is an affirmation : they did Lot warned the people of Sodom and Go".take hold of your fathers." They laid morrah ; and he seemed to them as one hold of them ; the meaning is, as an ar- that mocked. But did not his word rest, as bailiffs take hold of a debtor, and “take hold” of them ? Yes, and drew as the police take hold of thieves. They them into a condition where, as Jude says, tried to get away from God's Word, but they suffer the vengeance of eternal they could not : they tried to get away fire.” Look at the Jews. "Oh !' said from its accomplishment, but these testi- they, "We shall always prosper; we monies and statutes found them out, and shall see no evil.' But did not God's dragged them out into the light, where Word “take hold” of them ? Were they the Saviour himself says, “ As for these not dispersed ? Look at their condition Mine enemies, who would not that I to this very hour, and compare their cirshould reign over them, bring them cumstances with the threatenings of God. hither, and slay them before My face." You should never disregard the execu
You see from hence, that the efficacy | tions of Divine wrath recorded in the of the Word does not depend on the dis- Scriptures; for they are recorded for your penser of it. It does not depend on his use. Our Saviour therefore says, “Re.
member Lot's wife :" and so our text. And though there are no bands in their calls on you to remember how God's death, and their strength is firm, yet soinewords “take hold of these men who have times the wicked are driven away in their disregarded and despised them. If you, wickedness, and truth extorts a confession knowing these, defy the power and wrath from them. Take lıeed that none of you of God, you will be the more inexcusable. cxemplify this. “They mourn at the It was thus, that Daniel addressed Bel- last, when their flesh and their body are shazzar, reminding him of his father's consumed, and say, How I hated instrucgrandeur and degradation. “And thoution, and my heart despised reproof; and his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, thine heart, though thou knewest all nor inclined mine ear to them that inthis.” Mere knowledge is worse than structed me! I was almost in all evil nothing. “To him that knoweth to do in the midst of the congregation and asgood, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” sembly.” And what will be their con
fession when they are in hell—when it VI. It contains A CONFESSION. “They will be said to them, “ What fruit had ye returned, and said, Like as the Lord of then in those things, whereof ye are now Hosts thought to do unto us, according to ashamed ?" Oh ! then they will find that our ways and according to our doings, so religion is a reality, when it is too late ; hath He dealt with us." Every penitent that His Word is true, and that they have now says this : he confesses the truth of been fools. God's Word; he condemns himself, he To conclude justifies God when He speaks, and clears Thiese men, you see, could not be perHim when He judges. But here the con- suaded to say, “ God will be as good as fession is the language of mere conviction, His Word, therefore we will seek and issuing from mournful reflections : just serve Him;" but had to say, “He has been as Pharaoh, under the reproof of Moses as good as His Word, and we feel His and the plague, said, “I have sinned :" veracity in our destruction.” Oh! this and as Saul, when Samuel threatened him after wisdom, brethren-this after wisfor sparing Agag—“I have sinned,” said / dom! Oh! seek to be wise in time! he, " yet honour me this once :" and as Oh! turn at His reproof; for " he that Judas, when he found that the Saviour being often reproved hardeneth his neck, was condemned; he hoped that he should shall suddenly be cut off, and that without obtain the money, and that the Saviour remedy." "Turn ye at His reproof." himself would have escaped by a miracle, “Behold, I will pour out My Spirit upon but when he found that He was condemn- you : I will make known My Word unto ed, he went and cast down the thirty you.” pieces of silver, and said, “ I have sinned,
“ seize the kind promise while it wails, in that I have betrayed the innocent And march to Zion's beaveuly gates. blood,” and he went out and hanged |
Believe, and take the promised rest; himself.
Obey, and be for ever bless’d.” Such acknowledgments as the text, are And then, while others will be held forth therefore not very uncommon. You would to be witnesses for God's truth against often hear them, if you got near the con- themselves, you will be witnesses for the sciences of men; if yoŭ could join them truth of God in favour of yourselves, as in the hour of their solitude, when the de- to what He has done, and will do, for lusions of reasoning, and the noise of pas- your souls. Thus honoured and happy sion, give way to the force of truth. Yes; was Joshua, who, before the assembled and they are often constrained to express people of Israel, says, “Behold, this day themselves in language, too, when they I am going the way of all the earth, and come into circumstances of affliction; / ye know in all your hearts, and in all for affliction has the power of awakening your souls, that not one thing hath failed the conscience, when grace does not of all the good things which the Lord renew it: as you see in the case of your God spake concerning you; all hath Joseph's brethren when they were in the come to pass, and not one thing hath hold; they said, “ We are verily guilty, in failed thereof.” So when you reach Imthat we saw the anguish of his soul when mantiel's land, you will also acknowledge, he besought us, and we would not hear that just and true have been all His ways; therefore is this distress come upon us." that all His dealings have harmonized
THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.-MEEKNESS.
with His Word ; that they have all con- | hear Him say, "I will not leave thee duced to your welfare; that He hath done nor forsake thee: “ Thy shoes shall be all things well. You have set to your iron and brass ; and as thy days, so shall seal that God is true ; you have tried His thy strength be?"' " Fear not, for I am with Word often, and therefore you can now thee : be not dismayed, for I am thy God: trust it; you have experienced it; for I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help “ he that believeth hath the witness in thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the himself.”
right hand of My righteousness.” And Therefore it is, that you, Christians, therefore you can say, “I will go in the looking forward into the year on which strength of the Lord God; I will make you have entered, and not knowing whe- mention of His righteousness, yea, of ther adversity or prosperity, sickness or His only.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy health, life or death, await you; yea, counsel, and afterward receive me to knowing, that in some way or other, bonds glory.” God grant, that this may be the and affiictions abide you, and temptations portion and experience of us all ; and to surround you, and that you must expect Him be the glory. Ainen. pilgrimage and wilderness fare ; yet you!
CHRISTIANS are required to be wise as. They are bone of His bone and flesh of the serpent, harmless as the dove, bold as His flesh. They that "are joined to the the lion, swift as the eagle, and meek as Lord are of one spirit.” “The same mind the lamb. There are three kinds of meek- is in them which was also in Christ Jesus." ness : one is the gift of nature, another is They so live, that it is “ not they that live the effect of cultivation, and the third is but Christ that lives in them.” the product of grace. The latter accom- The Spirit that descended on the Replishes what nothing else can : it esta- deemer when He was anointed of the blishes purity of principle, and then holi-Father, came upon Him like a dove; the ness of life and conduct follow as the cer- emblem of meekness, harmlessness, love tain consequence.
and peace. The same Spirit was to inChristians are Christ-like. They "put fluence the church, and imprint upon each on as the elect of God bowels of inercies, member the same character, according to kindness, humbleness of mind, meek their different measure and capacity. The ness, long-suffering, forbearing one whole mystical body have but one spirit; another and forgiving one another.” the Spirit of God's Son sent forth into They “behold as in a glass, the glory of their hearts. And “if any man have not God, and are changed into the same the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.” image from glory to glory as by the Spirit Christ was the anointed of God; Christians of the Lord.” They are predestinated are anointed ones. “The anointing which to be conformed to the image of the Son ye have received teacheth you all things." of God, that He might be the first-born Christ was anointed with the Spirit beamong many brethren." There is an or- yond measure; Christians are anointed in dained likeness existing between them. a limited degree. As God is said to have The branches are of the same nature as taken of the Spirit that was in Moses and the vine; the same sap pervades both. The put it upon the seventy elders, so He members have the same life as the Head; takes of the Spirit that was in Christ the saine spirit and temper with Christ. I and puts it upon all His disciples.
The oil with which Aaron was anointed, a meek man mansuetis, used to the hand. was first poured in richest profusion upon The allusion is to the taming and reclaimthe head, and thence flowed to the lowesting of creatures wild by nature, and bringborder and fringes of his garment; so the ing them to be tractable and familiar. Spirit was poured out in richest effusionupon “ For every kind of beasts and of birds, Christ Himself, and from Him descended and of serpents and of things in the sea, is to the lowest and least of His followers. tamed and hath been tamed of mankind." Copiously enriched with this heavenly Christianity in a nobler sense produce the unction, they reflect the brightness of His same effect. Where its great and holy radiance, and emit the same sweet and principles have disciplined the soul, and inimitable odours with the Lord their the grace of meekness has taken possession Head. The poorest Christians become of the heart, it subdues the impetuous the jewels of the earth's attire, having disposition, and teaches us, trusting in their all in Christ. “ He is made of God God, to submit and to forgive. unto them wisdom and righteousness and 1. Christian meekness prepares the mind sanctification and redemption.” 66 It to receive instruction. OurLord laid great hath pleased the Father that in Him stress on that docility, which is the unishould all fulness dwell.” All the fulness versal and essential characteristic of His of the Godhead; all the fulness of glory, followers. " Except ye be converted and all the fulness of wisdom, all the fulness become as little children, ye shall not enter of power, all the fulness of grace-par- into the kingdom of heaven.” “Whosoever doning grace—justifying grace-glorify- shall give to drink unto one of these little ing grace—"and of His fulness have we ones a cup of cold water in the name of a all received and grace for grace.” disciple, verily, I say unto you, he shall
in no wise lose his reward.”. “ Take heed " Allied to Thee, our vital Head, We live, and grow, and thrive :
that ye despise not one of these little ones." From Thee divided, each is dead,
“ It is not the will of your Father who is in When most he seems alive.”
heaven that one of these little ones should The Head is the wisdom of the body--the perish.” “ Little children, yet a little dignity of the body-the glory of the while I am with you.” . body; and clothes it with "the ornament Little children are innocent and harmof a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the less, yielding and flexible, conscious of sight of God of great price."
their own ignorance and weakness—have The connection is sometimes expressed neither prepossessions nor prejudice and by terms which are commonly made use present their unfurnished minds to their of to describe both. Thus Christ is the teachers to receive with implicit confiLamb of God that taketh away the sin of dence all that they are taught. They the world. Believers are also lambs. consult their father upon all occasions Jesus said to Peter, “ Feed My lamb s ;” and make him acquainted with all they and to the other apostles, “I send you forth do and all they want. If any difficulty as lambs in the midst of wolves." The arise, they run to him, and his will is their lamb is the essence of meekness. It is law. “ 'he same honour have all the therefore a fit emblem of Christ's disci-| saints." ples, who are meek and lowly of heart.
“ Their sorrows and their tears they pour, 5. The Lord lifteth up the meek.” “ The
Into the bosom of their God; meek will He guide in judgment, and the He hears them in the mournful hour, meek will He teach His way.' "The
And belps them bear the heavy load." meek shall inherit the earth.”
They find it sweet to hold fellowship with Let us contemplate Christian meekness, the Father and with the Son Jesus Christ. in its nature, in its excellency, in its pat To walk with God and listen to the soft terns, and in its advantages.
whisper of His voice, telling them the 1. The nature of Christian meekness. choicest invitations of His love to stay It is a calm serene temper of mind, that is their minds upon Him and enjoy perfect not easily ruffled or provoked. The Greek | peace-to receive with meekness the enword for meekness is praos,easiness ofspirit; grafted Word, that is able to save their it may justly be termed this, for by quietly souls—to have the fallow ground broken acquiescing in the dispensations, and will up for the reception of the heavenly seedof God, it accommodates the soul to every to have the soul with all its affections and occurrence, making a man easy to him-I desires turned towards the Sun of righself and to all about him. The Latins call! usness to have the heart open and to