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word, and to yield yourselves to His disposal. You are almost, but not altogether persuaded. You feel that you ought to come to Him: you cannot but think that it would be better for you if you did come. You have a strong inclination to come. But something still keeps you back; some secret obstacle, against which duty, interest, and inclination strive in vain. And what is this obstacle, but unbelief; unbelief, still lurking in the heart, still keeping you from Christ, from Rest, from Happiness? My Brethren, “having a Promise left you of entering in, O, see that you come not short of it.” O, perish not on the very confines of Canaan. Within sight of the Promised Land, provoke not the Lord by your unbelief to swear that you shall never enter in. “Go up at once and possess the land, for you are well able to overcome it.” Trifle not with your own convictions, and with the Lord's mercies. Halt not between two opinions. Pray to Him to help your unbelief; to mix the word with faith in your heart. While I am speaking, may He stir you up to make a vigorous effort for eternity! May you enter in, and find Rest unto
In conclusion, I would say a word to those who have entered in: who have come to Christ for rest and peace, and have found him faithful to His word. You can bear
testimony to His Truth and Power; to the satisfaction and enjoyment which His service yields. But do you bear this testimony so strongly as you ought to bear it? Do you live up to your privileges in the way in which you might and should live up to them? Though you have entered into the Land of Promise, yet do not your thoughts and affections too often return to Egypt, and to the carnal pleasures and employments there? Does not the world, its sinful pleasures, its covetous practices, its pride and vanity, still retain too powerful a hold upon your heart? Do you not too often lose your confidence in God, and give way to fears and doubts; distrust his love, and forget his promises? Alas! my Brethren, if I know any thing of your state, I know that things are so. And whence does it arise? From unbelief; from unbelief still working in your heart. Your faith in itself is right and saving. It unites you to Christ, and interests you in his Salvation. But it is weak, and little. O! pray for greater, for stronger faith. Seek to walk more by faith. It is your duty, your privilege to live above the world. Come not short through unbelief. Make your calling and election sure. Pray with the Apostles, ”Lord, increase our faith."
EXHORTATION TO DECISION AND EARNESTNESS
HEBREWS, xiii. 13, 14. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the
camp, bearing his reproach: for here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to
In order to read this Epistle to the Hebrews with understanding and profit, we must bear in mind three things ; first, the persons to whom it was written, namely, the Hebrews or Jews dwelling in Judea : secondly, the peculiar circumstances of difficulty and temptation, to which the Christian converts among them were exposed, in consequence of the persecutions inflicted on them by their unbelieving countrymen; and thirdly, the continual reference made throughout the Epistle to the laws and usages of the Jewish mode of worship ; with which the writer supposes his readers to be well ace'
quainted. Bearing these things in mind, we shall find this portion of Scripture not less intelligible in itself, nor less full of interest and instruction to us, than any other part of the sacred volume. Let us humbly pray that the Spirit of God will assist us in our consideration of the passage which has been read for the text : “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach, for here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
In discoursing on which passage I purpose,
1. To give a general view of the Admonition contained in it.
II. To specify some Particulars which a compliance with this Admonition involves; and * III. To shew the Motives by which the Admonition is here enforced.
I. I am to give a general view of the Admonition contained in the text. forth unto him without the camp.
The whole Jewish dispensation was only a less clear dispensation of the gospel. The rites and sacrifices prescribed by their law, were all of them types and shadows of Jesus Christ and of the salvation to be wrought out by Him. The different kinds of sacrifices were accompanied with different ceremonies : but these were not unmeaning and insignifieant forms. They were all intended to pre
“Let us go
figure and denote some particular circumstances in the undertaking and mediation of Christ. Thus, in those particular sacrifices which were called sin-offerings, it was directed that the bodies of the animals, instead of being distributed and eaten by the priests and offerers, as was the case in some of the other sacrifices, should be wholly consumed with fire, having been first carried beyond the boundary of the camp, so long as the Israelites were in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents, and without the gate of the city, when the Temple and Jerusalem were built. And what inight this ceremony be intended to teach, but two things ? First, the dreadful evil of sin, which renders him who bears the guilt of it, as the animal typically bore it, accursed and fit only to be cast out: and secondly, the complete nature of that forgiveness which was thus represented, insomuch that the sins transferred from the offerer and imputed to the animal were carried entirely away. Hence, when Christ the true sacrifice for sin was offered up, He exactly answered to these typical circumstances. His blood was not shed within the walls of Jerusalem : but being condemned to die as a malefactor, He was carried to Calvary, the common place of execution, and thus being cast out as accursed, He was crucified without the gate of the city; and there made on the cross a full