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it enough? Do you know Christ? What do you think to stand in, when you come to die? When the leaf is turned over, and you look back on the past,-on sermons neglected, sermons criticised, sermons that you had no value for, heard, neglected, and turned the back upon, living as if there were no eternity, how think you to meet these things before God? My dear brother, there is but one thing that can cheer the soul in its "upright" position before God; and that is, 'God sees me in the Son of His love.'
But the characters of these "upright," are His delight. My dear hearers, they are the fruit of the Redeemer's mediation, they are the workmanship of the blessed Spirit, they are the reflection of His own image. Will not God delight in the fruit of His own Son's mediation, in the workmanship of His own Spirit, and in the reflection of His own image? He delights in them for all these reasons. But it is especially in reference to them as "upright," that He delights in them. And here I would remark, have you never seen many of God's dear children, who have obscure views on some points of Divine truth, in some of those things-I will not say vital, yet most essential for the glory of the system, and for the unity of the system, and the beauty of the system, that you will find little harmony in it without them; who yet, though they so hold these views, do sometimes, and oftentimes, make us hide our faces, and are always as a lesson to us? I would say, that not holding the Divine truth is most certainly their ignorance; and that, not mere ignorance, but it springs from sinfulness: also it is certainly a wrong state of mind, that causes us to come to diversities of opinion, with regard to Divine truth yet we see how often have I seen with persons that agree not with me, I have some point of disagreement with them, yet I have more intimate communion with these that disagree with me on some points, than with some of those that agree with me! How comes this to pass? Because, I apprehend, though confused in the head, they are sound in heart. That expression in the 119th Psalm, and
eightieth verse, I think throws light here: in Thy statutes, that I be not ashamed."
"Let my heart be sound
Remember, too, beloved, that to be "upright," was the Lord's first command to Abraham. It is in the seventeenth of the Book of Genesis; it was the first command. "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me and be thou perfect ;" or upright and sincere, as it is written in the margin. May God write this marginal reading in the deep recesses of our hearts; for know that this is Christian perfection. Observe too, it was the first commendation that He gave to Job. For after Job is described in the first chapter as a man "perfect and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil," the Lord said to Satan, in the eighth verse-"Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, feareth God and escheweth evil?" Observe, in what it was that He looked at him, and declared of him that there was 66 none like him." My dear hearers, seventeen hundred years passed away, in the interval between the time when these words were uttered, and the living of Noah on the earth; yet, in the fourteenth of Ezekiel, and the fourteenth verse, the Lord said- "Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness." Their memory seems as fragrant as ever. Noah seems to be alive before God, though seventeen hundred years had gone over the memory of his uprightness; for this did peculiarly characterize him : he was a perfect man, a just man, an upright man, a sincere man. Job was marked as the same; and Daniel, we know, had it written out in his life. Yet so fragrant was their memory, that seventeen hundred years pass on, and they seem as if they were alive.
Oh! beloved, the Lord Jesus loves uprightness. He looks to the humiliation of the upright, their broken hearts, their falling tears; He notices them. And even in their desires-" it was well that it was in thine heart," He says to David, sincerely purposing "to build
an house for the Lord." And even the " cup of cold water," inasmuch as it comes from an upright soul, “is accepted according to that the man hath, and not according to that he hath not." Beloved, carry out this train of reasoning when ye go to your homes, on your knees. So precious is this uprightness before God, He seems almost too, as if He did overlook all faults where it is. Who does not see the faultiness of Lot's character, when he sojourned in Sodom, when it had but one recommendation, that it was well watered, like Eden, and fertile? that was all its recommendation. His whole conduct had much of blameworthiness in it; yet we hear of nothing but "just Lot-righteous Lot." No notice seems to be taken of other things, because he was sincere in the midst of all his feebleness; nothing but his sincerity is mentioned. Who does not see in looking at the life of Job, that he makes many wondrously bad speeches? and that concerning God he uttered many things unadvisedly with his lips, who can doubt ? Yet the Lord seems to take no notice of it; he was a sincere follower of God, and God says to his friends, "Ye have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job hath"-yet how many wrong things had he spoken of Him! But look at Sarah. Sarah equivocated; the angel found fault with her" nay, but thou didst laugh." But when the Holy Ghost was writing about her, He, in describing Sarah, only speaks of her obedience, of her "calling her husband, Lord." I was much struck with that instance of Elijah and the seven thousand, that he had no conception of. Who, thought Elijah-full of courage, not expecting that there were any shamefaced saints, not for a moment imagining that there were any hiders and seekers amongst the family of Godwho would imagine that there were any? Yet God takes notice of them. "I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." Still then, they were sincere and upright souls, and though timid souls (as some of you are), yet the Lord did not despise them; though
they ought to be humbled and deeply abased before the living God on account of it. Who would have thought, beloved, when Nicodemus came to our Lord, but what there would have been some reproof for coming in the night-' why do you come in the night? why do you sneak in in the evening? why thus timidly, with false shame?' Is there not one reproof, not one word of censure? not one. The Lord seems to overlook all his faults and misgivings. I love to see the tender heart of our Lord towards His lambs; sincere souls with little light, and little instruction :-"Go, feed My lambs." I love to bear the beloved disciple writing to "little children;" telling the "little children," that their sins were forgiven. He does not say, 'young men, your sins are forgiven'-he does not say, 'fathers, your sins are forgiven;' but he sends to the "little children," because they needed it; sincere souls, with little light, yet sincere and upright before God.
Oh! how the Lord esteems uprightness! What a word of encouragement ought this be to some of you who are honestly seeking Him! Your light is but small; perhaps friends are somewhat cool, perhaps you find straitness and difficulties-thy father may look coldly on thee, thy brother may look coldly, thy sister may look coldly-is it not enough, that "such as are upright in their way, are His delight?" I find in the thirty-seventh Psalm, "the Lord knoweth the days of the upright; and their inheritance shall be for ever." He "knoweth your days," the first day when you turned over your Bible—the first day when your tears were shed for sin-the first day when your heart heaved its first sigh, with, “God be merciful to me a sinner!" He takes notice of it: and all your days of darkness, and cheerlessness, and sadness, and oftentimes discouragement. He "knoweth your days," all your days. Blessed thought! ah! it is a blessed thought, if you and I are realising it. If you are indeed upright, God knows it; and " your inheritance shall be for
Ah! beloved, the Lord does not put us off with a worldly inherit"The upright shall dwell in His presence;" the " pure in heart shall see God;" they that love Jesus shall soon be with Him. It is but a little, a few days, that are as a passing vapour, and you Ishall be with Christ for ever. Oh! happy thought! May the Lord give you and me the hallowed possession of it living and dying; and to a triune God shall be all the glory. Amen.