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thine own have we given thee: we are unprofitable servants, and have done no more than was our duty to do.”—“ Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace to serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire."
II. I am to offer some reasons why we should all be on the Lord's side.
1. Because it is the side of justice and truth.
It immediately approves itself to our judgment, as the side. of liberty and peace; and conscience declares loudly in its favour. The merits of the cause are fairly exposed to every one's view, and we must be utterly inexcusable if we do not maintain it. Religion, pure and undefiled religion, is entirely composed of truth and wisdom; and therefore forces your approbation, and claims your assistance. In taking the part of a friend, we may often, and easily, run into excess: partiality to his person may make us partial to his cause, and we may espouse it warmly, without considering whether it be right or wrong: and, perhaps, push it further than cooler reflection can justify. But in taking the Lord's part, we are in no such danger : we know our cause to be good ; we know the opposition to it to be malicious and ill-grounded; we know the great Captain of our salvation loves not drones, nor cowards ; we know that he requires, and merits, our most vigorous endeavours; and that, if we tread in his steps, as we can never do enough, so we can never do amiss. Wherefore, since our call is so clear, let us instantly obey it. Let not so just and righteous a cause suffer a moment, through our inattention and negligence. Let us immediately
yield ourselves to God; and consecrate our bodies, souls, and substance to his service, with this humble fixed resolution, “ Lord, we will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”
2. Consider on whose side you are, if you are not on the Lord's side.
God, or Belial : 'there is no alternative; there is no such thing as neutrality in religion: to say nothing for Christ, is in effect to say much against him; and not appearing for the support of his cause, is in effect contributing to its overthrow. Perhaps you may be surprised and offended at being told so, but it is a real fact, that as long as you remain indifferent and undetermined for God and religion, you are actually in league with death, and in covenant with hell ; enlisted under the banner of the prince of darkness, and acting in concert with the devil and his angels.
But, not to enlarge on such a subject, I add,
3. Consider in how many instances God has appeared for you.
Who created you? who called you from nothing into existence ? who gave you that high and distinguished rank which you hold in the scale of beings? who made you but “ little lower than the angels, and crowned you with glory and honour?” to whose gentle and constant care do you owe your preservation amidst ten thousand surrounding calamities and dangers ? who preserves your eyes from tears, your feet from falling, and your souls from death? who " satisfieth your mouth with good things," and your souls with things infinitely better? who opened the gates of heaven, and shut the gates of hell, and threw a covering over destruction? who satisfied
the demands of justice? who provided and applied the balm of Gilead ? who quieted the clamours of conscience ? who stilled the Enemy and the Avenger? who broke down the middle wall of partition ? who left the tribunal of justice for the throne of grace? who abolished Death, and “ him that had the power of death, that is,''the Devil ?" who brought s life and immortality to light by the Gospel?” who pitied the distresses of a sinful world? who gave his Son to die for sinners, to die for you? who * Enough, gracious God! We can hold no more, we can bear no more. The cup of blessing runneth
Thou art indeed loading us with thy benefits: we shall sink under the weight of thine abundant goodness. We own our obligations; we are ashamed of our ingratitude: we cannot forgive ourselves, that we should be so thoughtless, so base, so unnatural, as to fight so long, as to fight at all, against our Protector, our Friend, our Father. We presume not to make terms with thee: we throw down our arms; we disannul all our cursed agreements with sin and Satan ; we cast ourselves on thy mercy, -humbly hoping that thy pardons are not all disposed of; that thy house is not so full but that yet there is room for us; that those bowels of mercy, which yearned so affectionately and effectually towards a Magdalen, a Saul, and a Maó nasseh, and ten thousand Magdalens, Sauls, and Manassehs, will not prove cold and insensible to our distresses. For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon our iniquity, for it is great. “Our goodness extendeth not to thee," but, as the most acceptable present we can make, we present thee with an opportunity of manifesting " the exceeding greatness of thy power to us-ward,” and of “ magnifying thy mercy above all thy name.”
4. Consider that the cause of God shall be assuredly victorious.
“ Who ever hardened himself against God, and prospered ?"" His counsels, they shallstand; and he will do all his pleasure.” “ His kingdom is an everJasting kingdom, and his dominion shall endure throughout all generations ;” “ For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet.” Let the sons of Zion, then, be joyful in their king : let weak and fearful Christians rejoice in their merciful, and faithful, and ever-successful Head and Saviour; and let the young and inexperienced soldiers of Jesus Christ, who have but just buckled on their armour; who are but newly entered into the service of the King of kings: who have but just declared themselves on the Lord's side; who are yet ignorant of Satan's devices, and perhaps tremble at the formidable assaults of principalities and powers—“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid :" " look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith,” who hath said, “I will not leave you comfortless;" “ I will never leave you, nor forsake you."-" Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring it again to mind," " O ye of little faith.” He does not say, Show yourselves angels: he does not expect the purity and fervour of those flames of fire; but only that strength and vigour which it is in your power to exert: only show yourselves men, and he will show himself God. He will give “
power to the faint ; and to them that have no might he will increase strength. He will
enable "one to chace a thousand, and ten 'to put ten thousand to flight.” He will “ arise, and scatter his enemies, and make them that hate him to fly before him."- He will whet his glittering sword --not the flaming sword of vengeance, but the twoedged sword of his Spirit—and will go on, conquering and to conquer, till there shall not be an enemy to the Redeemer left out of hell. When shall it once be! “ Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty : and in thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.” I come now to the
Application. 1. How dreadful the condition of those who oppose the cause of God!
It is dangerous even to remain doubting and unbelieving, when the Lord “ makes bare bis arm, and the triumphs of his grace are so numerous and unquestionable: the example of the unbelieving nobleman in Samaria, mentioned in 2 Kings i. 7. is an awful instance and proof of this. It is dangerous not to appear openly to acknowledge, to rejoice in, and promote, the cause of God, and the interest of the Redeemer: “ Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord: curse ye bitterly the inha. bitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” (Judges v. 23.) But woe! woe! woe! to all those inhabitants of the earth, that " set themselves, and take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us break