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but a little.; blessed are all they that put “their trust in him."
What is this but a declaration that, if you refuse the salvation of Christ, reject his authority, and deny him the honour due to him, his love will be turned into fiery indignation, and he will glorify his name in taking vengeance on his despisers, as well as in saving and blessing his humble disciples ?-With allusion to the day of judgment it is said, “ The kings of the earth, and the great
men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, “and the mighty men, and every bondman, and
every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and “ in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the “ mountains and rocks fall on us, and hide us from “ the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and “ from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day “ of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to “ stand?”Observe the words, “ the wrath of the
Lamb,” the wrath, not only of an offended King and Judge, but also of a despised Saviour. This will enhance the guilt and condemnation of those who neglect the gospel, and render their condemnation more intolerable than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Our attention should be peculiarly fixed on the expression, “ If his wrath be kindled, yea, but a “ little,”-that is, Should you be found among the more plausible and moderate of those, who refuse submission to the Saviour ; among those who have least provoked his indignation; your doom will yet be very tremendous. This comes home to the
1 Rev. vi. 15–17.
case of multitudes. Many persons readily express their abhorrence of the blasphemies, atheism, and other enormous crimes, which, alas ! have been perpetrated in a neighbouring nation; and with a latent self-flattery they rise in their own good opinion, by comparing their conduct with that of such daring enemies to God and his Christ. Others exclaim against those that deny our Lord's divinity or his atonement; and they seem to feel much inward satisfaction in opposing these dangerous heresies : while some congratulate themselves that they never scoff at religion, but always speak respectfully of its sacred truths and duties. Thus in various ways. men keep up a persuasion that they are Christians : yet, if we insist upon unreserved submission to Christ, according to that view of it which has been stated, they would perhaps acknowledge they had not gone so far in religion. If they have not been avowed opponents, they have in great measure endeavoured to maintain a neutrality: but such persons should recollect that Christ has said, “He that is not with me is against " me;" so that all will be considered enemies, who are not his cordial friends and loyal subjects. -Indeed this is a general cause of men's destruction: they compare themselves with some other characters, fancy themselves better than they, quiet their consciences, and go on in the ways of sin and ungodliness.
But what consolation will it be in the day of wrath, should your condemnation be one degree less heavy than that of your neighbours? Should you approach as near to Christianity as a man can possibly do who is not a true disciple of Christ, what would it avail you? Suppose you hesitate, from love to some lawful earthly comfort, which you prefer to Christ, and refuse to part with for his sake: will not that very circumstance render your feelings most exquisitely poignant, when the doom shall be pronounced against you? This cannot be too closely brought home to conscience: for it was a prevailing delusion even at the time when our Lord was on earth. Know therefore, whether thou art a Judas, betraying Christ for sordid lucre, under the mask of a disciple or a minister; a Pilate, “washing thine hands,” by giving up his cause from fear of man and then pretending to excuse thy conduct; a Herod, that openly insultest him ; a Gallio, that carest for none of these things; or a Felix, who tremblest and stifiest thy convictions: whether thou join the multitude that cry, “Crucify him, crucify him ;
not this man, but Barabbas ;” or, with Agrippa, art “almost persuaded to be a Christian ;” or “de“partest sorrowful, because thou hast great possessions :" whichsoever of these characters
may belong to thee, know assuredly that thou wilt “ perish from the right way,” unless thou repent, and become a believing and obedient subject of the Lord Jesus. And what will it avail thee that numbers will be associated in the same condemnation, or even perish in a still more tremendous manner?
But is not this harsh and uncharitable? Hear the words of Christ himself. “Except a man
deny himself, and take up his cross and follow
me, he cannot be my disciple.” “Except he “ forsake all that he hath, he cannot be my
ple." “ Does charity consist in contradicting “ the true and faithful witness,” yea, the all-merciful Saviour, or “in speaking peace, when there “is no peace?” The case is the same as it was of old. Some daringly blaspheme and openly reject the Son of God: others use respectful language, but their actions shew that they value the pleasures of sin, the friendship of the world, the pride of life, filthy lucre, or the praise of men more than him and his salvation. But all such persons virtually declare, that they who, actuated by various worldly motives, concurred in nailing him to the cross, did right. None, who lived at that time, and might have heard his doctrine or witnessed his miracles, were wholly free from the guilt of his death, except the remnant of his true disciples : and none at present are wholly free from the charge of “ crucifying the Son of God “afresh,” who persist in neglecting his great salvation.
“ Blessed then are all they that put their trust “ in him.” They are blessed in their present security and privileges; and they shall be blessed in their eternal inheritance. To you my brethren, who thus cordially welcome the Saviour, and submit to the King of Zion, with unreserved obedience and fidelity, though with many lamented imperfections; to you belong “peace with God,” peace of conscience, “the adoption of children,” and the consolations of the Holy Spirit. It is your privilege to “rejoice in hope ; to be patient in “ tribulations ;” to find support in trials, safety in all dangers, victory over every enemy, and a rich advantage from all losses and sufferings. Whether
you be rich and prosperous, or poor and afflicted; whatever be your station or circumstances, you are blessed; for God himself hath
pronounced you so: you shall be blessed through life, and in death, and when the Redeemer shall appear to judge the world. “ Lift up then your heads, for your re
demption draweth nigh:” and, when others shall cry to the rocks “ to fall on them, and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb ;" you
shall exclaim with triumphant exultation, “ This is our God, “ we have waited for him, and he will save us ; “this is the Lord ;-we will be glad and rejoice “ in his salvation."