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. IV. « is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy “ Ghost, which is given unto them.” This Comforter cheers them in sorrow, guides them in darkness, and animates them with the foretastes of future glory. How unreasonable, how iniquitous, how condemnable, for any to be weary of the service of that God, who grants such happiness here, and the prospect of greater hereafter !
Thus it is, my brethren, that God pleads with his people who are weary of him, who have declined in their love, diligence, and faithfulness towards him.
Are there any such here present? The Lord has a controversy with you.
What can you say against God? You who are guilty worms of the dust before him ? His glory brightens the heavens, and fills the earth. Dazzled with the splendour of its beams, angels veil their faces before him, and, with extatic rapture, cry, “ Holy, holy, holy art thou, Lord God Al
mighty.” If he unveil it full on your view, you perish; for no mortal eye can behold it and live. Oh! cast yourselves at the feet of his mercy ; acknowledge your transgressions, lest he swear in his wrath, “ Ye
« shall not enter into my rest.” He charges you with want of suitable respect for him, of uniform obedience to his will, and of devoted attachment to his ways. Are you not guilty ? Remember, he knows the heart ; his eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Can you bear his searching inspection? Approach, then ; draw near, and order your cause before him. He is ready to hear and answer. Testify against him who obscures the sun by his superior radiance, who is without spot, or wrinkle, or blemish; ineffably perfect in his nature, laws, and government. No, you cannot. Struck with amazement at your folly and depravity, in ever becoming weary of his service, or manifesting any disrelish to his ways, you are constrained to lay your hands on your mouths, and your mouths in the dust, and, like the lepers of old, cry, “ Guilty, guilty.” He asks you, “ What have I done unto is thee ?” You readily answer,
« Thou hast “ made us, preserved us, clothed us, and fed
us, redeemed us; thou hast done great " things for us, and glorious. Wo, wo to
us, that we have ever declined in thy sta“tutes !” Instead of testifying against him,
you must testify for him, that he has been to you a most affectionate Father, a tender and compassionate Master, a merciful and kind God. Well, then, repent of
your ways. Be
. watchful over your growth in grace;
be exemplary in your public conduct as Christians; make a sanctified use of the creatures of God in the world; bear afllictions with patience and thankfulness; be diligent in promoting the cause of Christ in the world. Do these things, and do whatever else evinces engagedness in the service of God, and his controversy with you will end. But if you persist in your course, he will rebuke you in his anger,
and chasten you in his hot displeasure. If you continue assimilated to the world, are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm in your Christian course, he will, according to his threatening to the Laodicean professors, spue you out of his mouth. Remember, brethren, you have to deal with God, who is jealous of his honour, and whose glory he will not divide with another. Return unto him, and say, .
« Take away all iniquity, and receive us gra56 ciously; so will we render the calves of
our lips. Asher shall not save us; we “ will not ride upon horses, neither will we
say any more to the work of our hands, “ Ye are our gods; for in thee the fatherless “ findeth mercy"."
God now pleads with you in mercy ; but he will, on another occasion, plead in indignation. He will say,“ What could “ I have done to you which was not 66 done?
Wherefore, when I looked for good fruit, did you bring forth evil “ fruit ?” On the day of judgment he will testify against you, against all who have persisted in displaying weariness in his service. Before him, at that time, we must ere long undergo a strict examination ; every secret work will be brought to light, and every thought of the heart made manifest. The Judge standeth at the door! The time is drawing near. What
hands find to do, do it quickly. Seek to be more and more qualified for heaven. The Lord grant that we may meet there with those who have gone before
and have entered into the rest of their Lord. AMEN.
n Hosea xiv. 2, 3.
THE ONLY SAFETY IN THE HOUR OF
HEBREWS XI. 28.
Through faith he kept the passover, and
the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them.
THESE words refer to a memorable period in the history of God's chosen people. They were in the land of Egypt, and in the house of bondage, sorely afflicted by Pharaoh and his servants. The four hundred years, to which this state of oppression was restricted
a Preached at the administration of the Lord's Supper.