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'But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer,' 1 Pet.

iv. 7.

is already given away to Christ. Sit loose to the dearest objects in this world. Brainerd mentions an instance of a poor Indian woman who, after her conversion, was resigned to the divine will in the most tender points. She was asked, What if God should take away your husband from you, how do you think you could bear that?' She replied, 'He belongs to God and not to me. He may do with him just as he pleases.' An old divine says, 'Build your nest upon no tree here; for you see God hath sold the forest to death, and every tree whereon we would rest is ready to be cut down, to the end we may flee, and mount up, and build upon the rock, and dwell in the holes of the rock.'

I. OBSERVE where a believer stands. He stands within sight of the end of all things. He stands upon a watch-tower, high above the noise and the cares of this present evil world. Things temporal are beneath his feet, things eternal are spread out before him. This is the bible description of a believer, 'We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen,' 2 Cor. iv. 18. Consider how short the whole of a lifetime is. From the cradle to the grave is but a few steps. The days of our years are threescore Be sober in the griefs of this world. Weep years and ten, and if by reason of strength they be as though you wept not. This world is the vale fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and of tears. It is a Bochim. There are always sorrow, for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.' some mourning. No sooner is the tear dried up The half of men die before the age of twenty. on one cheek than it trickles down another. Still Even when men lived many hundred years, it the believer should be sober and chastened in his was but a span—a moment, compared to eternity. grief. Weep not for those that died in the Lord; Methuselah lived 969 years, and he died. 'My they are not lost, but gone before. The sun, days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle. My days are swifter than a post. They are passed away as the swift ships. As the eagle hasteth to the prey.'



pains and losses. Murmur not. Be sober. If you are in Christ, these are all the hell you will ever bear. When we win to the presence of Jesus, all our griefs shall look like children's griefs. A day in his banqueting house will make you forget your poverty, and remember your misery no more.'

when it sets, is not lost; it is gone to shine in another hemisphere. And so have they gone to shine like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.' Weep not for those who died out of The time of this world's continuance is short, the Lord. When Aaron lost his two sons, The end of all things is at hand. A littleAaron held his peace.' Weep not over bodily while, and the day of grace will be done. Preaching and praying will soon be over. The last sabbath sun will soon set. My Spirit shall not always strive with men.' Soon ministers will give over wrestling with the unbelieving world. A little while and the number of believers shall be complete. We shall come 'unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.' The parting cry of Christ was, 'Surely I come quickly.' Soon the sky shall open over our heads, and Christ shall come. A little while, and we shall stand before the great white throne. A little while, and the wicked shall not be. We shall see them going away into everlasting punishment. A little while, and the work of eternity shall be begun. We shall serve him day and night in his temple.

'When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o'er life's finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.'

Sit loose to this world's enjoyments. Be sober. In a little while you will be at your Father's table above, drinking the wine new with Christ, you will meet with all your brothers and sisters in the Lord, you will have pure joy in God through ceaseless ages. Do not be much taken with the joys that are here. If ever you are so much engrossed with any enjoyment here that it takes away your love for prayer, or for your bible, or that it would frighten you to hear the cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh-then your heart is 'overcharged.' You are abusing this world.

2. Watch. Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.' Nothing is more difficult than to watch. We are 'Be naturally like him who said, 'a little more sleep, and a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.' One thing is essential to all true watching-the gift of the Holy Spirit. Anoint

II. Observe the duties of a believer. sober, and watch unto prayer.' 1. Be sober. Let nothing dim the eye that is looking on eternal realities. Let nothing engross the heart that

thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see,' Rev. iii. 18. Take out the beam that is thine own

eye. Not only abstain from dimming the spirit


ual but clear it. What shall I watch? Watch the work of grace in thine own soul. Has God cast the seed into the field of thine heart? Then see if the blade appear, or the ear, or the full corn in the ear. Has your soul been made a vineyard of red wine? Then say often to your Beloved, 'Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appears, and the pomegranates bud forth,' Song vii. 12. Watch thine enemies. You have enemies within, and enemies without. Many seek to take thy crown. 'Cast all your care upon the Lord, for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant, for your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.' Watch the Redeemer's cause. The disciples slept while Jesus' body sweated drops of blood. Many disciples do the same in our day. Lie not on a bed of ivory while Joseph is in affliction. Be one of the watchmen over the walls of Jerusalem,' Isa. lxii. Be one of those who watch for the morning.

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3. Watch unto prayer. Some watch and pray not. Right watching quickens prayer. Seest thou the wants, corruptions, infirmities, backslidings, temptations of thine own spirit, the heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, yea, unsearchably wicked to human eye. Watch unto prayer. Let the eye look within, and then above. Seest thou the cause of Jesus bleeding, Israel turning back before their enemies, plants of the Lord's planting withering, many walking no more with Jesus, Ephesus losing her first love, Laodicea turning lukewarm, ministers fainting in the day of adversity, Jonah fleeing from the presence of the Lord, the hands of Moses weary, Amalek prevailing against Israel? Watch unto prayer.'

Seest thou a spring-time of love, Immanuel coming over the mountains of Bether, winter departing, flowers appearing, showers of blessing falling? Watch unto prayer.' Soon Scotland's day of grace will be ended. Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain.' Hearest thou Ephraim bemoaning himself, the dry bones of Israel shaking, saints loving her stones? Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; never hold thy peace day nor night, give him no rest-Watch unto prayer.'


And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be,' Rev. xxii. 12.

THERE is something peculiarly sacred about a parting word. When a father assembles his children round his dying bed, and gives them his last affectionate counsels; you may be quite sure that as long as they have hearts to feel they will remember and often ponder over his parting words. Here are the parting words of the Lord Jesus. Here are the latest accents that fell from the blessed lips of Immanuel. They fell on the ear of the beloved John as he lay entranced on the shore of sea-girt Patmos, 'Behold, I come quickly.' I. Observe the person who comes. 'Behold, I come.' We may say, like the disciples on the lake of Galilee, It is the Lord.' It is the First, and the Last, and the living One, who was dead, and, behold, he is alive for evermore. JehovahJesus is the person who comes. He whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.' He who is the image of the invisible God, by whom all things were created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible.

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It is He who is the righteousness and strength of all his people. He who is our life, He on whom we lean coming up from the wilderness, He who is afflicted in all our afflictions; our tender Shepherd, our elder Brother; He whom, having not seen, we love. It is He that comes. Surely every believer will love his appearing. You may tremble who know not God, and obey not the gospel. This is He. whom you have lightly esteemed. He stood at your door till his head was filled with dew, and his locks with the drops of the night. You despised him and neglected his great salvation. How will you bear to see him coming in the clouds of heaven!

II. Observe the time when he comes. 'I come quickly.' Christians differ widely as to the time when Christ shall come. This diversity is not to be wondered at. Of that day, and that hour, knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are

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IV. Observe what he will do. He will give every man according as his work shall be. Christ is to be Judge of all. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son,' John v. 22. This is part of Christ's reward, that every knee shall bow to him. It is fitting that He that stood silent before the Jews, and at the bar of Pilate, and was buffeted, spit upon, and condemned, should sit on the throne and judge his enemies. It will be greatly to the joy of Christ's people in that awful day, when they receive their reward from the hand that was pierced for them. It will make all unbelievers stand speechless when he to whom they have always said, Depart from us, shall say to them, Depart from me, ye cursed. Oh! that we may obtain mercy of the Lord in that day.

in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father,' Mark | He has authority over ten cities' to give to his xiii. 32. Of the times and the seasons, brethren, own. He has a kingdom prepared for them ye have no need that I write unto you; for your-before the foundation of the world. He has a ́ selves know perfectly that the day of the Lord place beside him on his throne. But He himself so cometh as a thief in the night,' 1 Thess. v. will be our greatest reward, 'I will give him the 1, 2. Take it at the longest calculation, it will morning star.' soon be here. He said, I come quickly, 1800 years ago. Much more now may we say, He comes quickly. A few days, and every eye shall see him. The sun is waxing old-weary of shining on a Christ-despising world. The whole creation groans under the ever-increasing load of guilt and woe. The lines of prophecy are converging to a point. The cup of Popery is nearly full. The time, times, and half a time, are hastening to a close. The souls below the altar are crying with a loud voice, How long, O Lord.' The Euphrates is drying up, that the way of the kings of the East may be prepared. There is a noise and a shaking among the dry bones of Israel. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye' the once crucified, now exalted, but long-despised Jesus shall come. Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.' Oh! believer, let this solemn truth make thee patient under the frown and contumely of an unbelieving world. Hold thy possessions with a slack hand. Take heed, lest at any time your heart be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.' Behold, I come quickly!

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'See the Judge our nature wearing,

Clothed in majesty divine;
You who long for his appearing,

Then shall say, This God is mine;
Gracious Saviour, own me in that day for thine.'


they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city,' Rev. xxii. 14.

III. Observe what he brings with him. MyBlessed are they that do his commandments, that reward is with me.' Christ himself shall be the greatest reward of his people. Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.' Any place would be heaven if we were with Christ. No place would be heaven without Him.

Whom have I in heaven but thee?' Oh to talk with him as Moses and Elijah did on the mount of transfiguration, to hear Him speak gracious words, to lean our head where John leaned his, to hold Him, and not to let him go, to behold that countenance which is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars, to have him turning upon us his eyes of divine tenderness and holy love that will be a reward.

He has many crowns of righteousness to give to them that love his appearing. He has the harps of God'

'Lord, I believe thou hast prepared,
(Unworthy though I be,)

For me a blood-bought free reward,
A golden harp for me.

"'Tis strung and tuned for endless years,
And formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father's ears
No other name but thine.'

I. Let us meditate on the character of the saved. They that do his commandments.' All that are on the road to heaven, are not only a justified people, but a sanctified people. This was God's end in choosing us. 'Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.' If any man be chosen to salvation, it is through sanctification of the Spirit. He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy. This was Christ's great end in dying for us, that he might make us a holy nation. Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water through the word.' He laid down the unspeakable price for this. He became a man, he became a curse for this. He groaned, sweated blood, was bruised, bowed his head, gave up the ghost for this; that He might have liberty to make us free, humble, self-denied, loving, pure as he himself

is pure. This is the Holy Spirit's end in dealing with us. It would not be righteous in Him to dwell in an unjustified soul. It is no rest for the dove of heaven. He therefore awakens the soul-discovers to the man his guilt, depravity, lothesomeness. He glorifies Christ in the man's soul-destroys the face of the covering that is over the carnal heart. He softens the rocky heart, and inclines and engages the will to cleave to the Lord Jesus Christ alone for righteousness. Then He sees no iniquity in that man. He says of that soul, This is my rest; here will I dwell, for I have desired it. He writes all the law in that heart, Jer. xxxi. 33. He does not omit one of the commandments. The man cries out, I delight in the law of God after the inward man,' Rom. vii. 22. And not only does He give him the will, but the ability, to serve God; 'It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,' Phil. ii. 13.


'I have now made a new question,' says Rutherfurd, whether Christ be more to be loved for giving sanctification, or for free justification? And I hold he is more and most to be loved for sanctification. It is in some respect greater love in Him to sanctify than to justify; for he maketh us most like himself, in his own essential portraiture and image, in sanctifying us; justification doth but make us happy, which is to be like the angels only. God be thanked for ever that Christ was a told down price for sanctification. Let a sinner, if possible, lie in hell for ever, if He make him truly holy, and let him lie there burning in love to God, rejoicing in the Holy Ghost, hanging on Christ by faith and hope; that is heaven in the heart and bottom of hell.'

O my soul, art thou one of those that do His commandments? Have I come into the bonds of the new covenant, and got the law put in my inward parts, and written on my heart? Does Christ stretch forth his hand to me, saying, 'Behold, my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother,' Matt. xii. 50. On this my eternity hangs. If I receive an unholy gospel I shall perish. They are ungodly men who 'turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.' The branches that bear no fruit He taketh away. They that are saved are they that do his commandments.

'Had I a throne above the rest,

Where angels and archangels dwell,
One sin unslain within my breast,
Would make that heaven as dark as hell.'

II. Let us meditate on the blessedness of the saved. 'Blessed are they that do his command

ments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.' Holiness is its own reward. To be holy is to be happy. God is happy because he is infinitely holy. The devil never can be happy because he has lost every spark of holiness. The first rest of the believing soul is when he comes to Christ and finds pardon. But there is a further and sweeter rest when he learns of Christ, who is meek and lowly in heart, Matt. xi. 28, 29. Holiness is the river of God's pleasure, and therefore it fills the soul that drinks of it with divine joy. But it has a further reward.

1. They have right to the tree of life. Adam lost us that right when he fell. "God drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.' In vain did Adam strive to find a secret entrance. Perhaps he tried to creep through the embower ing thickets, or through some wooded pass Perhaps he tried to enter under cloud of mid night, or by morning's early dawn, before th birds began their matin praise. But all in vain that flaming sword turned every way, to kee the way of the tree of life.' Adam's childre up to this day, have spent their strength an ingenuity in the same vain attempt. They ha gone about to establish their own righteousnes But all have found—a few on this side of eternit and some, by fearful experience, on the oth side-that the flaming sword of divine justi still turns every way, to keep the way of the tr of life. No-not every way. There is a n and living way, which he hath consecrated us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh.' second Adam came, the Lord from heaven. I gave himself to the flaming sword of justice. voice was heard, 'Awake, O sword, against Shepherd, and against the man that is my fello saith the Lord of hosts.' And now that sk Lamb of God says, 'I am the way; no m cometh unto the Father but by me.' 7 guiltiest may enter in by Jesus. And hear h sweetly he says, 'To him that overcometh wi give to eat of the tree of life, which is in midst of the paradise of God, Rev. ii. 7.


O my soul, like Ephesus thou hast left first love, yet this promise is to thee. In Je thou hast a right to the tree of life. faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and I that cleanse us from all unrighteousness." myself have a right to a place in hell, in Ch have a right to a place under the shadow of tree of life in the midst of the paradise of Go 2. May enter in through the gates into the

Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who
shall stand?' But even in these depths the free
mercy of God was reached forth to him; the
scales were made to fall from his eyes by the
eyesalve of the Spirit, and the glorious discovery
was made to his soul, that there is a way of
forgiveness open to the vilest of men, ver. 4.
'But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou
mayest be feared.' With intensest anxiety did
this believing soul now wait for the Lord. Those
only who have experienced the dawning of the
Sun of righteousness on their own soul, can
know what it is to wait for the Lord more
than they that watch for the morning.' More
anxiously than the sick man on his bed, full
of tossings to and fro,' longs for the first gleam
of morning light coming in at his window;
more anxiously than the weary Levite, keeping
watch upon the temple wall, turned his eye toward
the east, to see if the day began to break over
mount Olivet; more anxiously far did this
believing soul now wait for fuller discoveries of
the fair face of Immanuel, and for a richer experi-
ence of the power of Jesus to purge the con-
science, and purify the heart.

Here we are on our way to the heavenly city. | that his mouth must be stopped,' and that he We are coming up from the wilderness. Some- | could not be just with God,' ver. 3. "If thou, times we have clouds between us and Christdoubts as to our conversion-our union to Christ —our new nature. There all clouds and doubts shall flee away. Here we have diverse temptations from the old man, from the world, from our adversary the devil; there temptations cannot come. The old man will drop off as we enter the pearly gate; the world will then dazzle no more when we look on the golden pavement; the fiery darts will never rise over the battlements of the New Jerusalem. Here we have no city where the most are righteous. We can hardly speak the name of Jesus in the streets, but we are made the song of the drunkard. There the inhabitants are all righteous-there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth.' None but the holy angels, and the brothers and sisters of Christ shall be there. The song of eternity shall be, Worthy is the Lamb. Here we love Christ unseen. Often he withdraws himself and is gone. We seek him and find him not. There we shall be for ever with the Lord. We shall see him as he is. We shall be with him, and behold his glory which his Father gave him. We shall say without another doubt to all eternity, 'I am my Beloved's, and his desire is toward me.' This is the reward of the sanctified. O my soul, is this reward for thee? Wel- | come light afflictions, which are but for a moment. Welcome sweet cross, that I must bear for Jesus. Roll round, swift years. Hasten the day of his espousals—the day of the gladness of his heart and mine, that I may enter with all his redeemed through the gates that are all praise.

'Jerusalem, my happy home,

Name ever dear to me;
When shall my labours have an end
In joy, and peace, and thee?'


Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities,' Psal. cxxx. 7, 8.

But no man can be contented to go to the Well of salvation alone. Joy in Christ is not a selfish joy. A man may have gold without wishing others to share with him. A man may have earthly learning, and be proud to keep it to himself. But the moment a man has found Christ, his cry is, 'Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did.' O! that all I love but knew Him. 'Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."

O sinner, whoever thou art, here are three amazing reasons why thou shouldest hope in the Lord. Satan would drive thee to despair, as if there was no hope that such an one as thou art could be saved. But as God is true, here is a door of hope for thy perishing soul.

1. ، With the Lord there is mercy. God is such a God that with him there is mercy. Mercy dwells in him as in a fountain. All the mercy that is in the universe flows from him. Mercy is compassion to those who deserve no compassion, but infinite wrath. It was mercy that made God spare fallen man, and not cast the world speedily into hell. It was mercy that made him give his only begotten Son.

In these words we have a believing Israelite inviting all his people to come to the same Fountain where he has found pardon and peace with God. He had been himself awakened by the Holy Spirit to feel the awful depths' of sin and misery in which he was sunk by nature, and by practice. On his knees, beneath the heart-search - | mercy that made him choose, awaken, and draw ing eye of God, he felt that he was 'under sin,' any sinner to Christ. He never saved any but

It was

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