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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 What shall I watch? but clear it. eye, 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.
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.
It is Jesus that comes. He that walked on the sea of Galilee, sat wearied on the well of Sychar, and wept beside the rocky sepulchre of Bethany. He that was surety for sinners, who sweated blood in Gethsemane, who was silent before Pilate, and who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God on Calvary. This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.'
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
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!
III. Observe what he brings with him. 'My 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,
For me a blood-bought free reward,
"'Tis strung and tuned for endless years,
'See the Judge our nature wearing,
Then shall say, This God is mine;
'Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city,' Rev. xxii. 14.
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
This is the Holy Spirit's end in dealing | ments, that they may have right to the tree of with us. It would not be righteous in Him to life, and may enter in through the gates into the dwell in an unjustified soul. It is no rest for city.' Holiness is its own reward. To be holy the dove of heaven. He therefore awakens the is to be happy. God is happy because he is soul-discovers to the man his guilt, depravity, infinitely holy. The devil never can be happy lothesomeness. He glorifies Christ in the man's because he has lost every spark of holiness. The soul-destroys the face of the covering that is first rest of the believing soul is when he comes over the carnal heart. He softens the rocky to Christ and finds pardon. But there is a heart, and inclines and engages the will to cleave further and sweeter rest when he learns of Christ, to the Lord Jesus Christ alone for righteousness. who is meek and lowly in heart, Matt. xi. 28, Then He sees no iniquity in that man. He says 29. Holiness is the river of God's pleasure, and of that soul, This is my rest; here will I dwell, therefore it fills the soul that drinks of it with for I have desired it. He writes all the law in divine joy. But it has a further reward. 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,
II. Let us meditate on the blessedness of the saved. Blessed are they that do his command
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 ne 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 1 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 n cometh unto the Father but by me.' 1 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 t first love, yet this promise is to thee. In Je thou hast a right to the tree of life. He faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' I that myself have a right to a place in hell, in Chi 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 c
Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who
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? Welcome 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;
'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
In these words we have a believing Israelite inviting all his people to come to the same Foun-is compassion to those who deserve no compastain where he has found pardon and peace with sion, but infinite wrath. It was mercy that God. He had been himself awakened by the made God spare fallen man, and not cast the Holy Spirit to feel the awful 'depths' of sin and world speedily into hell. It was mercy that misery in which he was sunk by nature, and by made him give his only begotten Son. It was 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
out of free sovereign mercy. There is none so vile | covered out of sight in a moment.
This is good news for thee, O vilest of men— for thee who hast sinned against light and against convictions. I do not know that God will save thee, but I know that if he does, it will be in perfect accordance with his nature. 'He delighteth in mercy.'
2. With him is plenteous redemption. When the manna fell upon the face of the wilderness round the camp of Israel, there was a plentiful supply for the many thousands of Israel. He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack.' So it is with Christ. He is freely offered to every creature. We are not straitened in Christ, but in our own hearts. "With him is plenteous redemption.' No sinner ever came to Christ, and found the Fountain of forgiveness dried up. One of the texts that was instrumental in the conversion of John Bunyan was this, 'Yet there is room,' Luke xiv. 22. Undone sinner, let this text lead thee to Christ. Many have come to Christ since the days of Abel. Thousands have entered through the strait gate, and are now his believing people on earth, or his glorified people in heaven. 'But yet there is room. There is room for thee under Christ's wings. With him is plenteous redemption.' Brainerd once asked one of his converted Indians, 'Do you see enough in Christ for the greatest of sinners?' She replied, "O enough, enough, for all the sinners in the world, if they would but come.' And when he asked her if she would not tell others of the goodness of Christ; turning herself about to some poor Christless souls who stood by, she said, "O there is enough in Christ for you, if you would but come. O strive, strive to give up your hearts to him.' Sinner, let the words of this poor believing Indian sink into thy heart. There is enough in Christ for thee, for with him is plenteous redemption. O! take up the words of the returning prodigal, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough, and to spare, and I perish with hunger; I will arise to my father.'
3. He redeems from all iniquities. If you drop a pebble into the bosom of the ocean, it is
But if you
were to carry an immense rock and plunge it into the same ocean, it would be equally covered. So is it with the least of sinners, and the chief of sinners, when they come to Christ. There is no difference. The ocean of the blood of Jesus covers both equally. All sinners that come to Christ are equally justified in the sight of God. He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. Christ is no half-saviour. His work is perfect. Dost thou believe in Christ? Then all the transgressions that thou hast committed shall not be mentioned unto thee.' Canst thou say the sweetest words that human lips ever uttered, 'My Beloved is mine? Then on the authority of him who cannot lie, I say to thee, As far as east is from the west, so far hath he removed thy transgressions from thee.' But perhaps thou sayest, However far removed, God's all-seeing eye may still be fixed on them. This cannot be; for thou canst say with Hezekiah, ‘Thou hast cast all my sins behind my back.' Nay, they are not only behind God's back, but out of sight, for it is written, Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.' But are they not to be found in God's book of remembrance? Listen to his own gracious declaration, 'I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins.' But God can remember my sins, even though he has blotted them out of his book. Hear again his own word, 'I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.' But surely if God were to search out my sins he would find them somewhere, and condemn me in the judgment. Fear not, O troubled soul, this cannot be; for it is written, 'The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found.'
For ye are bought with a price: therefore
In these words we have the history of a believer.