Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

alone. Before the commission of sin-never warn: and after the commission of sin-never condemn. Let him enjoy his crimes. Never mention a judgment to come. Never let him hear that the end of these things is death. Never try to confound those false reasonings, by which he would reconcile his creed to his practice.

Providence! let him alone. Ye afflictions, say nothing to him of the vanity of the world. Let all his schemes be completely successful. Let his grounds bring forth plentifully. Let him have more than heart can wish.

- Does the judge order a man to be whipped, who is going to be hanged?

Does the father correct the child that he is determined to disin-heriti-Is the tree pruned, and manured after it is ordered to be cut down, and the axe is even at the root?

Take a third view of this dreadful sentence: Consider the importance of the Being who thus abandons. It would be much better if all your friends and neighbours; if all your fellow creatures on whom you depend for assistance in a thousand ways, were to league together, and resolve to have nothing to do with you-than for God to leave you, in whom you live, and move and have your being. O! to be abandoned by him, in whose favour is life-to hear him say, As for others, I will teach them, but I will not teach thee; I will sanctify them, but I will not sanctify thee -thee I disown. --O! if the God of mercy will have nothing to do with us, who will? If the God of patience cannot bear with us, who can?

While God is with us, we can spare other things. While passing through the water and through the fire, if he be with us, we need fear no evil. Yea, under the most distressing revolutions in our own affairs, and in the world around us-it is enough if we sing with the church, “ The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge."

But what is every thing else without God!How lamentable was the speech of Saul—“I am sore distressed, for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me!” Oh! when the enemy is approaching; when the day of death draws nigh-and you have no God! every creature to whom you call for assistance, will reply, with the king to the woman, “If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee!" When he goes, away goes all our protection, and our blessedness and our hope. Well, therefore, did he say of old-Wo unto them, when I depart from them!”

For, finally, consider what will be the consequence of this determination.

It will be a freedom to sin: it will be the removal of every hin. derance in the way to perdition; and thus giving the unhappy wretch an unchecked passage along the road to hell. . When God dismisses a man, and resolves he shall have no more assistance from him-he is sure of being ensnared by error, enslaved by lust, and led captive by the devil at his will, down to the regions of everlasting wo.

For what would be the consequence of saying to a blind man approaching a precipicelet him alone! What would be the consequence of saying to a man asleep while the house is in flanies let him alone: -Their destruction would be equally easy and unavoidable. And so it is here. We are such poor insufficient creatures, that it is not necessary for God to do any thing he has only to let us alone. It is not necessary for him to strike a blow—the disease is undermining our frame. We have taken poison, and all that is necessary to its killing us, is not to counteract its malignity.

Such is the judgment here denounced. Let us conclude by remarking, first, the justice of this doom. Why does he say, let him alone? “Because he is joined to idols. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me: so I gave them up unto their own hearts' lusts: and they walked in their own counsels.” All the punishments he inflicts, are deserved; and he never inflicts them without reluctance. 660 that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments? then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. "-But may not God abandon those who have renounced him? Is he compelled to force his favours upon us? Has his

patience no bounds? Is he not righteous, as well as gracious? Is there mercy with him, that he may be feared-or insulted?

Your condemnation entirely turns upon a principle, that will at once justify him, and silence you.

“ Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my coun: sel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh: when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you: then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer;

they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; they would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof; therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”

Secondly. Let me call upon you to fear this judgment. And surely some of you have reason to be alarmed. With some of you the Spirit of God has long been striving; you have had a pious education; you have heard the admonitions of friends; you have seen good examples; you have attended the preaching of the gospel, and have sometimes been deeply affected, and compelled to pray. And after all this you turned again to folly; and have done despite unto the Spirit of

grace.”

know what he has said. “ He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without reinedy." And you know what he has done. You know, that, provoked by the continued rebellions of Israel, he sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest. And you know the master of the feast, incensed by the ungrateful refusal of his kind invitations, gave his servants a new commission, and said, “None of the men that were bidden shall taste of my supper." And what, if, after all your disobedience and perverseness, he should say this of your What, if, remaining the same after all the methods employed for your conversion, he should say, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.--He is joined to idols, let him If f you say you have no forebodings of this, the

Now you

alone.”

symptoms are so much the worse. Spiritual judgments are the most awful, because they are insensibly executed. It is a principal part of them to take away feeling: to luil us to sleep in the very lap that kills; to make us cry, peace, peace, when destruction is coming upon us; to dispose us to embrace error easily; and to delude us so strongly, as to believe a lie.

Thirdly. Perhaps some of you are saying, “Oh! I am afraid this is my doom, already. My convictions seem to have been stifled-The serious impressions I once experienced, are worn offNothing seems to do me any good—I derive no advantage from the Sabbath, or the word”.

Perhaps this is true; and, if so, God forbid that I should say any thing to hinder or weaken your alarm-If any thing can save it must begin with this reasonable, and salutary terror.

But it may be also a groundless apprehensionAnd should this be the case, as the most safe are always the most anxious, I would observe, first, that this fear is a good sign, that he has not yet said this. Secondly, that it will be a good means to keep him from ever saying it. Thirdly, to use the words of an old writer, - It is a blessed proof' that God does not let you alone, if you cannot let Him alone; but continue to pray; and, though discouraged by delays, “Wait for him more than they that watch for the morning; I say, more than they that watch for the morning.?

And, if this be not your unhappy case, be thankful; and cheerfully acquiesce in his dealings with you. Christians! he who has given you so many proofs of his care, 66 will never leave you nor forsake you. His eye is upon the righteous. open unto their

cry.

All his saints are

His ear is

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »