Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

every temper, every action, into fubjection to the laws and conformity with the example of your Lord; to love God above all things, and man, in the next place, for the sake of God; and to manifest the stedfastness and fervency of your love to God and man by uniform and unequivocal deeds, by living to the glory of your heavenly King and the good of your fellowcreatures: then may you humbly confide that you are at present one of the people of God; then may you regard yourself as entitled by the mercy of Christ to apply to your own comfort the promises of the Gospel. Remember, however, the ground on which you stand. Remember that, if your obedience begins to flag; if a worldly spirit gains strength in your bosom ; exactly in the same proportion your title to comfort is undermined. The righteousness of the righteous mall not deliver him in the day of bis transgression. When the righteous turn{th from his righteousness and committeth iniquity; he shall even die thereby. Remember that when St. Paul beseeches God to comfort the hearts of the Thessalonians, that petition is connected with a second prayer indispensable to the success of the former; that He would establish them

[ocr errors]

in every good word and work. Blessed are they faith our Saviour, by the mouth of St. John, almost as it were closing the yolume of Scripture with the momentous warning; blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life (2). Brethren ! reinain stedfast in obedience. So fhall the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost (m).

(1) Rey. xxii. 14. (m) Rom. xv. 13.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

PSALM xxxviii. 6. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I

go mourning all the day long. THE eyes of the mind, no less than

those of the body, are incompetent to sustain, without being dazzled and be: wildered, a sudden transition from darkness to light. The objects which Aoat before them, new, dimly viewed, imperfectly. comprehended, are divested of their proper shapes, their native colours, their genuine dimensions, their wonted accompaniments, their obvious use and application; and not unfrequently present themselves as gigantic phantoms, arrayed in imaginary terrors. It is only by collecting the powers which Providence has im

Z 4 ' planted,

planted, by exercising them with discretion, by gradually rendering them familiar with unaccustomed scenes, by resorting to appropriate means for strengthening their debility and rectifying their errors, that the recently awakened organ learns to judge, to discriminate, to understand; to

appreciate the various subjects of its con· templation; to direct them to the ends

which they are severally calculated to answer; to invite affiftance and to derive consolation from every quarter whence by the appointment of Heaven the blessings may be obtained; and, while it distinguishes between real and fancied dangers, and sedulously guards against perils actually supervening, to dismiss groundless alarm.

When persons who have lived not unto Christ who died for them, but unto themfelves; whether immersed in the grossness of open vice, absorbed in the cares of the world, sunk in sluggish indifference, or resting on punctiliousness of moral decorum ; when such persons by the effectual application of the word of God, by fickness, by adversity, by the loss of a dear friend or relative, or by some equally feasonable operation of the visiting hand of

Omnipotence,

Omnipotence, are roused from their spiritual lethargy: when they perceive that their life has been a shadow, a dream, a childish play, a tissue of duties neglected and wilful transgressions: when they survey the holiness and the justice of God whom they have despised, and see themfelves suspended by the thread of mortality over the abyss of eternal condemnation: it is not unusual for their terror and dejection to settle into the bitterness of despondence. · The curses of the broken law, the thunders of inevitable vengeance, found incessantly in their ears. Before their eyes the books are opened: and the long catalogue of their fins written in the books overwhelms them with agonising dismay. Groaning under the anguish experienced by the afflicted Pfalmift, but destitute of the gleam of comfort which, in the humble consciousness of penitence, he ventured to cherish; they are troubled, they are bowed down greatly, they go mourning all the day long. The arrows of the Lord stick fast in them; and His hand preleth them fore. There is no foundness in their flesh because of His anger; neither is there any rest in their bones because of their fin. For their iniquities are gone over their head;

as

« AnteriorContinuar »