Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“I see no good done, I fear I am found
" At best but a cumb’rer of God's holy ground."

But who (I would ask,) is permitted to know,
All the good he effects, while he's working below ?
We must wait, till we meet in the regions of light,
Ere the fruits of our labours, all stand in our sight;
'Twould lift us too high, were success always known,
And in pride we might think we've succeeded alone ;
Might forget that we nothing can do without grace,
And deny to Jehovah, our helper-the praise.
-- What then must we do, amid trial and care ?
But wait on the Lord persevering in prayer.
And keep at our post, with a heart full of zeal ;
Then leave it with him to accomplish his will.

Thus, on then dear friends in your labor of love,
With your feet in the path, and your eye fixed above,
And though you may sometimes discouragements find,
You'll oft'ner meet that which will comfort the mind,
Such a meed of success shall your efforts attend,
As will animate onward, e'en unto the end ;
And while the dear souls of the young you would bless,
Your own shall be crowned with the riches of grace.
Then fear not, and faint not, but hold on your way,
And let the firm promise of God be your stay,
" The faithful God,” he, and all that's revealed
Shall be, in his time, completely fulfilled.
Through the past has his faithfulness unfailing stood,
And he still lives as ever, to make his word good ;
May the faithful God bless you, whenere you meet here,
And grant you in thisma happy new year.

Great Wakering.

I. JACOB.

SHEARCROFT, PRINTER, BRAINTREE.

[blocks in formation]

SERMON.

FOR THE PEOPLE HAD A MIND TO WORK-Neh.iv.6.

This was the last historical book that was written.
It is only a continuation of the history of the cap-
tivity of the Jews, and their sufferings in Babylon,
as recorded in the Book of Ezra, which precedes
it. Both Ezra and Nehemiah were distinguished
for their piety and usefulness; the latter, at one
time, sustained the office of cup-bearer to the Per-
sian monarch, Artaxerxes ; but his love for his
countrymen, above all for Israel's God, constrain-

ed him to forego all the honors and emoluments of the court, that he might superintend the building of Jerusalem's wall, and reform the then existing state of things.

Nehemiah was a contemporary with some of the most distinguished men, the records of whose works and lives are found on the page of history -among others were Æschylus and Herodotus, Hippocrates and Thucydides ; but who are these when compared with men whom God delighted to honor, and whom he did honor by making them blessings to the world.

In claiming your attention to the words just read as a text, I would offer a passing observation or two on the narrative of which it forms a part, that we may the more clearly understand the principle it contains, and the force of its application to ourselves. For a long series of years, according to prophecy and fact, the Jews were held captive or in bondage in Babylon. At its close, Cyrus, in the first year of his reign, permitted them to return to their own country. Their first public act was to offer thanksgivings to God, (not in the form of words merely) but by presenting their offerings to the service of the temple, and by building a splendid superstructure in the which they might worship the Lord God of their fathers. This, and many other important things being accomplished, they resolved on the rebuilding the wall around their much-loved city Jerusalem. It is to this, the building of the wall, that our text refers. Of the persons engaged therein, it is said, " For the people had a mind to work.”

We might argue therefrom, the connexion between effort and success, the means and the end. It is, however, our intention this morning,

for our profit and encouragement in the work of God, to consider,

1. The work the Jews had to perform.
II. The obstacles they had to encounter.
III. The spirit in which it was continued.

IV. The success with which it was attended, “ for the people had a mind to work.".

I. We shall consider the work the Jews had to perform.

The workmen engaged on the occasion were not merely artisans, but all classes among the heritage of God; they had sinned and they had been greatly afflicted. The work they had undertaken was one in which it was natural to suppose they felt the deepest possible interest; their wall which had formerly encompassed their City of Habitation, their Zion below, had been overthrown by its enemies, and it was therefore only natural that it should be rebuilt by its friends. Of Jerusalem, you know, glorious things had been spoken in the book of God. It was a city of uncommon excellence of surpassing splendour; the prophet and the priest lived there. The object which the Jews had in view in the erection of this wall was both for defence and security, they regarded the enclosure as sacred, and therefore resolved to leave no means unemployed, nor to spare expence, in order that the end anticipated might be realised.

It will be admitted that the work they had undertaken was a great work, which will appear when the magnitude of that mighty city is considered. But our object will be defeated if we only

dwell on the historical facts before us. Our design is, as we have intimated, to apply its principles to ourselves.

We would appeal to Christians-God's heritage now—and enquire if we have not a great work before us. Let us, then, contemplate the magnitude of the work itself, and who are fit agents to be employed therein.

1. We shall make reference to the work itself.

Its nature and magnitude are the points to which our attention will be directed for a few moments. As to the nature of the work; it is a moral or religious work—a work in which the agency employed is mind, and of course, to mind it is directed ; and be it remembered, to mind opposed to truth-to God's holy truth. “ The carnal mind is enmity against God,” is a truth universal in its application.

Then as to the magnitude of the work, it is indescrivable-inconceivable-of boundless extent - it is in a word, to seek the present and eternal salvation of a guilty, ruined, and perishing world. Nor must good men lose sight of the fact, that this glorious work is to be accomplished, not by miracle, nor by a divine power or agency in the abstract, but by the feeble, and of itself powerless, instrumentality of Christian men, as accompanied with the sanctifying and saving influences of the Holy Spirit of God. We shall next, very briefly refer to the agents to be employed in the accomplishment of so vast a work, as the salvation of a world. The Jews were the persons engaged in the work of rebuilding the wall-none beside could be expected to feel a real and deep interest therein. --And who, we enquire, beside the Christian, can feel, or be expected to feel a genuine interest in

« AnteriorContinuar »