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when a fire shall devour before him and it shall be very tempestuous round about.” He shall come to judge the world by that law which was given with so much terror and majesty on Sinai. How will you as a sinner stand when he appeareth? Before this holy and terrible Lord God, who shall be able to stand ? See your need of a Mediator, “even Jesus who delivereth us from the wrath to come.” There is a Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; " and he is the propitiation for our sins.” Have recourse to him by faith, or you perish. Accept his mediation, and you are safe. Moses, as the mediator of the law, spake peace to trembling Israel. “ And Moses said unto the people, Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” Jesus, as the mediator of the Gospel, will speak peace to you.
He has satisfied the law for you, and has thus “ made peace by the blood of his cross. In Him God can be reconciled to you ; but out of Him, “our God is a consuming fire.”
While I exhort you, my dear reader, to accept the mediation of Jesus, I exhort you to do this at once. Already is the sentence of death come forth against you as a transgressor. Already has God whetted his “ glittering sword,” and his " hand taken hold on judgment,” to “render
vengeance to his enemies." Already “ has He bent his bow” to direct his arrow to
heart. But yet He o waits that He may be gracious.” Before he strikes, he invites you to lay hold on his strength and be at peace with him.” “ Today then, if ye will hear his voice, harden not
“Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation." If you defer till to-morrow it may be too late; God may to-day say, “ Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee.”
SAUL WITH THE WITCH OF ENDOR.
“ There is no peace saith my God to the wicked.” “The wicked is like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” No language could more accurately describe the state of Saul at this juncture. His whole history shows, both that he was wicked man, and that to him there was no peace. He had long gone on in the way of his heart, and now desolation was coming on him like a whirlwind. “The Philistines,” the natural enemies of Israel, “had gathered themselves and came and pitched in Shunem.” David, who had been his champion, and had fought triumphantly his battles, was banished from his country, and was now an exile in a foreign land. Samuel, who had been his friend and counsellor, was now dead, and had left him, like a ship at sea without a rudder or a chart, to run his heedless course. As he had forsaken God, so God had forsaken him, “ and answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” Distressed on every side, with his heart trembling for fear, as he could not obtain relief from heaven, he madly resolved to seek it from hell. " Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.” O the unspeakable misery of wicked men! Whither can they go for succour when God forsakes them ? In vain they look for peace who have God for their enemy.
It is a part of our misery as fallen creatures that we have frequently to learn the worth of persons and things only from their loss. Samuel had once been the faithful adviser of Saul, but Saul had too little regarded him and his instructions. Though Ramah, where Samuel lived, was but a small distance from Gibeah, the residence of Saul, yet we read not that Saul, during the latter part of his life, applied to him for advice and direction. The more he departed in his heart from the Lord, the more did he become alienated from the Lord's prophet. But now Samuel was dead, and he himself overwhelmed by affliction ; he discovered that he had lost a father and a friend, and now would he have given half his kingdom to have enjoyed his advice. Hence to the inquiry of the woman, " Whom shall I bring up unto thee?” he answered, “Bring me up Samuel.” How many children are there who never know the worth of parents till they are numbered with the dead ! How many churches never discover the value of faithful ministers till heaven has removed them. It is the folly and misery of many sinners never to know the worth of heaven till its gates are closed against them; of gospel opportunities till they have bid them an eternal adieu ; and of their own souls till they are lost for ever.
In the application of Saul to the witch of Endor, we see illustrated the truth of a common remark, that God infatuates those whom he designs to destroy. If Saul had not been infatuated, he would never have thought of seeking from the living to the dead. He would have considered, that He who holds in his hands the keys of the invisible world, could never delegate authority to a wicked woman to bring back the departed dead, just to gratify the whim of a wicked man like himself; and therefore that if this woman were permitted to bring any one from the invisible state to converse with him, it must be, not happy Samuel from the heavenly