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tigate every particular, to make comparisons, to collect evidences, and to take great pains not to be deceived—the opportunity is gone: our neighbour may not be alive a few days hence, or we may not—and thus by cautious and delayed beneficence, he will lose the relief, and we the honour of the action. Therefore, says Solomon, “ Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go and come again, and to-morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee."
To return. Let us now follow the mother of our Lord to her new residence. Venerable woman, whom all generations have blessed, we rejoice in thy comfort ! Thou hast a certain dwelling-place; thou shalt not want ! With what kindness would John treat the charge of his departed Lord! With what tenderness would he nourish her! How many evenings would they pass together in discoursing of the Saviour, ascended to his Father, and their Father, to his God and their God! How would they dwell upon
his sermons, his miracles, his sufferings! We meet once more with this distinguished woman in the sacred history. In the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, we find the twelve returning from the place of his ascension, and in an upper room; and it is said, “ They continued with one accord, in prayer and supplication with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus.” After this she disappears, and we hear of her no more.
But we shall by and by see her, and derive from her all the interesting particulars relative to the birth, the infancy, the youth of the child Jesus, over which, for wise purposes, a veil is now thrown.
Let me conclude by calling upon you to choose for yourselves the situation of these three women —they were standing by the cross of Jesus.There, by reading the Scripture, by meditation, by the exercises of faith, by the memorials of his death, you may fix yourselves. O! it is a blessed station : take it, and “ determine to know nothing, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Do you wish to contemplate whatever is grand and sublime? Take this station. Behold him on the cross-see the sun of righteousness as he sets gilding the heavens with glory ; see him as he dies, exercising every grace, displaying every perfection!
Does the world prevail over thee? Take this station. Exclaim with the apostle, “ God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
“ His dying crimson like a robe,
Spread o'er his body on the tree,
And all the globe is dead to me."
feel trials and afflictions ? Take this station. Behold a suffering Saviour: “ Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied, and faint in
“ Thousands have found the bless'd effect,
Nor longer mourn their lot ;
Their own are all forgot.” Are ye oppressed with a sense of guilt? Take this station. Bruised by sin, remember Him who was bruised for it. Be of good cheer: "Surely he hath borne our grief and carried our sorrows, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.”' Do
you wish for an example ? Take this ston tion. Behold here not only a sacrifice, but a pattern. While he atones, he instructs. 6. He suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not: but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:" who, full of forgiveness, prayed for enemies, and said, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do ;' who, all affection and concern for his relations, said, “ Woman, behold thy son; son, behold thy mother.” Ye children, admire him. Admire him, ye friends. Admire m, ye disciples, who wear his honoured name- "nor stop at wonder, imitate and live.” May we
66 be planted together in the likeness of his death, that we may be also in the likeness of his resurrection."
THE THRONE OF GRACE.
66 Let us
Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. iv. 16.
PRAYER is of so much importance; it is such an honour, such a privilege, such a means of sanctifying, relieving, enriching the soul—that he who teaches us to pray is our best friend; and there is nothing we should more highly prizsethan those instructions which are designed to regulate and encourage our addresses to God.
And such is the design of the apostle in the words which I have read. He tells us of a throne of grace, and informs us in what manner and for what purpose we are to approach it. come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
The language is metaphorical. When God enacts laws he is on a throne of legislation : when he administers these laws he is on a throne of government: when he tries his creatures by these laws he is on a throne of judgment: and when he receives petitions, and dispenses favours, he is on a throne of grace.
The idea of a throne inspires awe, bordering upon terror. It repels rather than invites. Few of us could approach it without trembling. But what is the throne of an earthly monarch, the greatest earthly monarch that ever swayed a scep
tre? The God we address is "the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” In his eye an Alexander is a worm; yea, “all nations before him are as nothing, less than nothing, and vanity : heaven is his throne," and this earth is only his footstool. How can we enter his presence, or approach his infinite Majesty ? Why, blessed be his name, he fills the mercy-seat ; he is on a throne of grace; and we are allowed, and even commanded to come to it boldly. But
I. It is necessary for us to know what this boldness is.
And we may be assured that it is not audacity, rudeness, or a trifling freedom. We have sometimes heard persons address God, in a manner which they would not dare to use, I will not say to a superior, but even to a fellow-creature of their own level. Such persons would do well to compare scripture with scripture. For what is the language of the Bible in other places ? “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire." They would also do well to remember the nature of the business in which they are engaged: for if we are imploring mercy and grace, common sense will tell us that the boldness we are allowed to indulge, can be only the boldness of a penitent and suppliant. Now an encouragement to beg, is