Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

grant that we may be in the Spirit on the Lord's day; that his grace may be sufficient for us—that we may worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness—that we may not be forgetful hearers, but doers of the word—that in waiting upon him our strength may be renewedthat we may mount up with wings as eagles-that we may run and not be weary, and walk and not faint.

Such a sabbath will leave us prepared for the duties and trials of the week. Such a sabbath will lead us to say, “ A day in thy courts is better than a thousand : I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Such a sabbath will be a foretaste of glory, the beginning of heaven. What is heaven ? " There remaineth,” says the apostle, “a rest for the people of God :" it is in the margin, a keeping of sabbath. Such is the representation of the happiness above ; and O how instructive, how endearing is it to those who love sabbaths below! By and by your week-days will be over, and the Saturday evening of life will come. You will lie down and fall asleep, and open your eyes on a sabbath infinitely superior to any we can expect on earth. Here we worship with a fewthere we shall join the general assembly-here we often feel unsuitable frames, and find a want of grace sufficient for our work—there our faculties will be raised to the highest degree of perfection, and we shall “ serve him day and night in his temple.” Here our sabbaths end, and we soon go down again from communion with God into the vexing, debasing things of the worldthere the sabbaths will be eternal ; and we “ shall go no more out: we shall be for ever with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.”

But, should there be in this little assembly one individual who is a stranger to the pleasures of devotion, and who dislikes the employment of God's holy day, let me ask-is he qualified for an eternal sabbath, who is now groaning, as he passes from duty to duty, " What a weariness is it to serve the Lord! When will the sabbath be gone?” Can he enjoy even the thought of being for ever engaged in religious exercises, who at present feels a day, an hour, a few moments employed in them, disagreeable and irksome? The question is awful-may the Lord help you to lay it to heart. Amen.

DISCOURSE IV.

THE EYE OF GOD ALWAYS UPON US.

Thou God seest me.-Gen. xvi. 13. THESE are the words of Hagar, Sarah's maid; and I have read them, hoping that you will individually make the reflection your own. They can easily be remembered, because of their brevity : they should be daily thought of, because of their importance. Let us see whether this reflection be not founded in truth ; and show, by taking several views of it, how instructive and edifying it may be rendered.

Hagar was convinced that God saw her. Indeed he found her in the wilderness of Shur, where no eye saw her. By an angel he admonished her to return and humble herself under the hand of her mistress ; and predicted the character and condition of her child unborn : “ He will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him: and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” On this she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me. But how much more striking is this to us! We are able to compare the accomplishment with the prophecy. The descendants of this poor woman's child are the Arabians, and lo! they continue to this day a wandering uncivilized multitude. They live by treachery and plunder; they are at war with all the world ; no conqueror has ever subdued them: while they spread themselves over a vast country, thirteen hundred miles in length, and twelve hundred in breadth. Can anything be hid from Him who declareth the end from the beginning, and before a babe is born can describe with unerring exactness the disposition and circumstances of his offspring for a number of ages ?

His knowledge of all our concerns may be inferred from his universal presence. Effects prove him to be everywhere ; for everywhere life is given and sustained : and this is the work of God only : now, if he be everywhere, what can be placed out of his sight? Hence we read, “ Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him ? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth ? saith the Lord.”

Besides, how could he judge the world in righteousness, unless he were perfectly acquainted with all our doings? He could not produce what he had never witnessed ; but we know that “ God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing; whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” The scripture, therefore, tells us, that 6. His eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good :" that “His eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings: there is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Human inspection is very limited, and easily interrupted. I now see you—but place between us only a screen or a curtain, and I see you no more. I now behold you—but let the sun go down or this candle be extinguished, and for want of a medium of vision the eye seeks you in vain. Think, then, of a Being of whom it is said, “ Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day : the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

What use, then, should we make of this undeniable truth-Thou God seest me is a reflection very pleasing to good men, very dreadful to sinners, and very edifying to all.

First, it is very pleasing to good men. Hence, when David had been considering the omniscience of God as compassing his path and his lying down, and as acquainted with all his ways, he exclaims, “ How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O Lord! how great is the sum of them !” His meditation of an all-seeing God was sweet, and there. fore it was frequent. How is it with us? If we feel a satisfaction in thinking of this attribute, it is a good evidence of our sincerity. Now this is the case with the Christian : he comes to the light, and instead of shunning scrutiny he invites it. If I am not right, says he, I wish to be set right. I know that he will discover in me many diseases, but he knows that I am willing to have them cured ; and, as he alone can heal, why should I wish to keep my physician ignorant of any part of my complaint ? “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Thou God seest me! This is a pleasing reflection when I fear some hidden corruption, which has hindered the answer of prayer and often deprived me of comfort, but which I cannot after the most faithful investigation detect. He can discern it: “ Show me wherefore thou contendest with me,”

Thou God seest me! This is a pleasing reflection when I feel those infirmities which make me groan. He sees grace, however small; he sees the disadvantages of my situation, the influence of the body over the mind, and of sensible things over the body; he sees that " the spirit indeed is willing, when the flesh is weak.He knoweth my frame; he remembereth that I am dust.”.

Thou God seest me! This is a pleasing reflection with regard to prayer. I often know not what to pray for as I ought, but he always knows what to give. I cannot express myself properly in words, and words are not necessary to inform Him who “ knoweth what is the mind of the spirit :-my desire is before him, and my groaning is not hid from him."

Thou God seest me! This is a pleasing reflection when I am suffering under the suspicions of friends, or the reproaches of enemies. “Behold, now, also my witness is in heaven and my record

« AnteriorContinuar »