صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

of future blessings, and the way in which God fits and trains up his children for the family above.

, Wherever the Gospel is preached, there, to a larger or smaller extent, these blessings are imparted to those who faithfully hear it. But we have hitherto only discoursed of blessings given in this life: let us look forward a little. Blessed are they that do his commandnents, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Rev. xxii, 14.

What then are the happy results of faithful hearing, as they regard eternal life? Let us look at it only in one point-the PERFECT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD WHICH WE SHALL THERE ATTAIN. Now, under the clearest discourses of the ministry, and the fullest privileges of the Gospel, we see through a glass darkly, but then, face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. There is a veil of flesh between us and the world of spirits; there is a body of sin and death that intercepts our view, and obscures our prospect, and hinders our full knowledge. True it is, we have the cheering light of God's holy word; (an inestimable advantage) u light to our feet, and a lamp to our paths, to guide us safe in the way to heaven., Christians are like men travelling along a high road in the night, with a sufficient light in their hands to guide them through to their home; but they can see little or nothing of the beauties and glories of the country through which they pass; the most splendid landscape may be spread before them; the hills, and dales, and rivers, and woods may enrich the scene with diversified beauty; the most curious, and delicate plants and flowers may adorn the whole, and yet the pilgrim be either unconscious of it, or unable to discern it. But, bye and bye, the night will pass away, the morning of the resurrection will

they hear; for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those thing which ye hear, and have not heard them. They were blessed above those around them who disregarded the words of Christ; and above even kings and prophets of former ages, who, though they knew Christ, and trusted in him as a Saviour to come, had yet com paratively very indistinct apprehensions of him, and would have rejoiced to have witnessed what the Apostles did. The particulars of this blessing ar worthy of distinct and full consideration. In what respects is the faithful hearer blessed?

HIS FACULTIES ARE THEN EMPLOYED FOR THE END FOR WHICH THEY WERE GIVEN. Our various senses and abilities, our sight, our hearing our memory, understanding, and affections, were bestowed upon us for the glory of God, and our own present and eternal good. They are then engaged for these ends, and used to the best account, when they are exercised upon discovering and receiving the sacred truths of the Gospel. The Gospel alone sets before us that which can fill and satisfy our immortal souls, and when our faculties are employed on other things, without reference to, or concern about, the will of God, all our powers are wasted and squandered away; we spend money for that which is not bread, and labour for that which satisfieth not. They are not merely unprofitably expended, but lost in a way that will bring upou us future condemnation and final ruin. But let our

faculties be rightly directed to know and do the will of God, and we are so living as he would have us live, n will glorify his name, secure his favour, and our own best happiness.

HIS MANY ADVANTAGES ARE IMPROVED to e purpose for which they have been bestowed. culiar and distinguished are the privileges which we joy in this day, and in this land. We live in a day

much light; and, blessed be God, of increasing ligion and piety. We live in a protestant country, ad have the Bible richly diffused among us. We do bt enough thank God for being born in such an age, id such a country, and that we are spared a combat ith many prejudices of birth, custom, and example, Thich our forefathers sustained, and others still sustain.

is true, that some have to struggle through great ifficulties, before they are brought to see the truth as is in Jesus: if grace has enabled us to do so, we ave only the more cause for gratitude. But there are multitudes who neglect all these advantages, and who vill therefore have a worse doom hereafter than Sodom or Gomorrah. To have been led by divine grace to eize the golden opportunity for eternal life, is a blessng for which we shall thank God through eternity. It was not any wisdom in the Christian, more than in others; it was, God's mercy, and the teaching of his Spirit, that made all the difference. This wonderfully enhances the blessing, and for this our song shall swell the heavenly chorus hereafter, with endless joy and gratitude.

HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TRUTHS IS ENLARGED. It is not merely the reading of good books, or hearing of good sermons, from worldly motives, and in a worldly spirit, that increases divine knowledge. The teaching of God's Spirit is necessary for this end; and that teaching is freely bestowed in a due regard to the preaching of the word. How blessed is it to be thus divinely instructed! ·

[ocr errors]

saving knowledge comes from hence; if you negle: the means which God has appointed, he may le your soul to perish for lack of knowledge, in the mi of the most abundant means. But experience shewste by a bumble, faithful, and regular attendance on ministry of the word, with a spirit of prayer for Go blessing, knowledge of divine things is given to you fre above. Thus every sermon may be the means of ye increasing in heavenly wisdom. It is in this view t Solomon says, Hear instruction, and be wise, a refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth s watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of doors; for whoso findeth me, findeth life, and sha obtain favour of the Lord. A little knowledge, wh it is from above, where it is gracious and saving, bas blessedness above all calculation. At the time that Lord pronounced the Apostles blessed, (Matt. xiii, 16 they knew very little, but they were under his teaching he explained his doctrine to them more fully; and, degrees, they came to the riches of the full assurance ( understanding. Let us then earnestly apply ourselve to this source of instruction. How forcible, in th view, is that address, (Prov. ii, 1–6.) My son, if the wilt receive my words, and bide my commandments with thee,. ...so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding: yea, if thou cries after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understand ing; if thou seekest for her as silver, and searchest fø her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God, ja God giveth wisdom.

[ocr errors]


did predestinate, them he also called. Rom. viii, 30, is is an inestimable privilege. By the preaching of

Gospel we are called out from a world lying in kedness, from the service of sin and Satan, to follow

Saviour and obtain his glory. 2 Thess. ii, 14. In s heavenly calling, (Heb. iii, 1.) we are invited by the ther of all mercies freely to partake of all spiritual essings. Are we doubtful whether we are included ? w can we doubt, when the last lingering words of his vn book again repeat the oft-reiterated (Isa. ly, 1; han vii, 37.) invitation, Whosoever will, let him take of he water of life freely. Rev. xxii, 17. Do you feel so ressed and weighed down with sin, that you think you Fannot be included? you are the very persons specially vited-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy den, and I will give you rest. Matt. xi, 28. Do you et hesitate? ministers are sent on purpose to entreat 70u-We are ambassadors for Christ; as though God lid beseech you by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled. 2 Cor. v, 20. Are you still full of fears that you MAY not believe? nay, rather fear, lest you SHOULD not obey his commands; for this is his commandment, that ye should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ. 1 John iii, 23. Rather fear, lest you incur his final wrath by unbelief-He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. John iii, 36. And as God thus calls all that hear the Gospel by the outward preaching, so he inwardly, by the teaching and internal calling of his blessed Spirit, given with the outward word, disposes his people to attend to his word, and to become partakers of his blessing, and to have fellowship with his Son. 1 Cor. i, 9; 1 Thess. i, 5.


« السابقةمتابعة »