صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

deemer that is, as one who has redeemed you from the penalty of death, the wrath of God, and from being an outcast, a prisoner to the devil, and, but for Him, doomed to destruction-Oh, that we can, that we may, always say in such sense, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." This will be found the most permanent knowledge-the one thing needful for us in this life for the attainment of the life to come. But we must know Him as our hope of a resurrection to life eternal: it is not enough to know that there shall be a general resurrection in the last day; but we must know that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Martha said to Jesus, who told her that her brother Lazarus should rise again, "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day : (but) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die believest thou this?" This is the doctrine of life, that Jesus Christ, even though we were dead, will not permit us to be lost; but will not only raise us up from the grave, but provide for us that we shall never die eternally. He will justify us before God and take us unto His everlasting kingdom. Well may I ask if such is the character of your you faith? We are told that we shall see Christ descend from heaven even as He went up-that every eye shall behold Him-that He shall stand upon the earth; and, though after our skin worms destroy this body, yet hereafter we shall see Him in our flesh, as Job declares, "Whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me." Wonderful as it may

seem to us that we shall each see Christ for ourselves with our own eyes-yes, with the self-same eyes which we may call our own, and the very same body, though our reins be consumed within usyet so it is to be-so must it be-so is it declared, not only three thousand years ago, but in the very latter times of the Gospel. We know that the seed sown in the earth springs up into a green plant-it is produced from the very identical body—and that, unless it were planted in the earth, it could not assume that new green body and bring forth fruit. So our body is sown in the earth a natural body, and raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body: and so it is written, "The first man Adam was made a living soul: the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. Howbeit, that was not made first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy-the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly: and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor. xv.)

This is the doctrine of the resurrection, with which I pray God our minds may be fortified for a sublimer or more heavenly subject cannot come under human contemplation. Only see that no man deceive you in this matter, or persuade you that you shall not give account to Him who is ready to judge the quick and the dead. I am well assured

that as sinners we must one and all tremble at the thought of that awful day when the secrets of all hearts shall be opened. Pray God earnestly and sincerely that we may then have no secrets to be disclosed- -no sins which have been hidden in the depths of our souls and thought lightly of as if they would never be heard anything more of-never be noticed in judgment. By every concealed sin, I do not mean concealed from me, my neighbour, the priest, deacon, or bishop; but confess your sins to God every one of you: conceal them not by saying, "Tush, God does not see them." Oh, let not such foolishness destroy your comfort! Every sin concealed and unrepented of will torment you at the last, and rise up in judgment with you when you behold your God. But sins truly repented of whilst yet your day of grace is not past—whilst yet the hour of repentance is your own-while with an honest and true heart you bring it before the Lord and ask forgiveness for His dear Son's sake-is blotted out, is forgiven, and the blood of Christ cleanseth you from all sin. This is the doctrine I would sound in every ear, and, if I could therewith, I would prepare both you and myself for judgment. If you have wronged one another confess your faults one to another-pray for one another: but, if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him? Jesus Christ only! Know, therefore, that your Redeemer liveth, and that you shall see Him coming in the clouds of heaven : though after your skin worms destroy your body, yet in your flesh shall you see God, whom you shall see and whom your eyes shall behold, and not another, though your reins be consumed within you. It is said that I do not sufficiently hold forth the terrors

of the Lord to persuade men to repentance. It is for me to preach Jesus and the resurrection. Let God be the judge-not man—whilst we lay before you the doctrine of eternal life. If I can win you with His word, and persuade you to flee from the wrath to come by imploring you to hide yourselves under the shadow of His wings-by preaching salvation unto you-I am content to leave the wicked to their own condemnation, only praying that God may turn them from their sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Believe me your affectionate friend,
THE COMFORTER.

ADDRESS XXII.

ALMIGHTY GOD, who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but that he should repent and live, cleanse us, we pray thee, from all wickedness, that we may read thy word without terror and receive the truth of thy salvation into our souls, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The triumphing of the wicked is short; and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment.—Joв xx. 5.

MY DEAR FRIENDS-There is a triumphing which is permanent and lasting and which shall endure for ever; and there is a joy both in the present life and the life to come, which is certain and to be possessed as assuredly as that I now preach the word before you. But no wicked person can have that triumph, be he the proudest warrior upon earth, and gain, by the help of others' hands, the strongest cities: nor can any hypocrite have any joy whatever, for him there is no joy! Honesty, only truthful honesty of purpose and intention, can be said to have joy even in this transitory state of probation in which we now live. Of the wicked and the hypocrite God only can have a strict knowledge; for all may be apparently righteous in the sight of their fellow-men and have no real communion with God; and, on the other hand, men may seem to be

« السابقةمتابعة »