صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

How

has eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to feel, and feet to run; here is a live God, the living portion of His people. And therefore He dwells in His own place, reinstated in the heart by the power of the Holy Ghost. Am I ignorant how much there is of secret idolatry still clinging to us all? Beloved, a man can know but little of his own heart, that can deny that solemn truth; in deep humiliation he has to confess it, and lie low before the heart-searching God. But the blessed Spirit prevents; and as in regeneration and the first work within He enables them to say, in a small degree, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth 1 desire in comparison with Thee;" so amidst all their changes, all their temptations, all their allurements, and all their wanderings from God, still He keeps the place of God; and He shall have it to all eternity. Oh! how often does He stain the pride of all created glory, tarnish the beauty of that too much fondled creature! often does He take the charm from that which was so much looked for, but with too much of self in it! How often does He lay the sinner low! and how often make the minister feel-'That child of mine is far above me in the ways of God; I sit at his feet a babe; like Nathanael, he is "an Israelite, in whom is no guile," walking in consistency and godly sincerity-walking out the Gospel! And how often does He apply a primary and elementary truth to a child of God who thinks, Why, I knew this twenty years ago;' and yet he feels it with such power, as if he had never known it before. What s this for? To stain the pride of our glory; that there may be no glorying in one's self, but that we may "glory in the Lord." And thus amidst all the changes of a changing world, in life, in the affection of our families, amidst all that tries us, what is the Spirit's work? He leads us closer and closer to God, as our own God, the best of all, the only God, our Father, our all; and that for ever.

[ocr errors]

My dear hearers, see here our effectual Intercessor. Moses prevailed to a certain extent; the Lord did not cut off the people; but

He plagued them,-as you read in the thirty-fifth verse, "the Lord plagued the people." But our Intercessor does infinitely more than all this. No plague, no curse, all blessing-blessing now and blessing for eternity. Through His intercession the Father is for ever cleansing us from our idols, carrying on His own blessed work within us, preventing a thousand evils day by day, watching over us by night and by day. If He give us to drink of our idols, (and He does give us sometimes to drink of our idols,) it is in tenderness and mercy; and He gives us to drink of the water of life; He makes us "drink of the river of His pleasure" for ever.

But here are yet some truths, I trust the Lord may lay deeply on our hearts.

We perceive that the heart of man is full of idolatry; and if it be so, put no trust or confidence in it. Be assured, there is a world of idolatry in our hearts. It may show itself sometimes in our over anxiety to stand well with the people of God; it may show itsel sometimes in a zeal, that has much of loveliness in it, but when we come to define and analyse it, we find a great deal of self in it. It may show itself in a proud humility. I would caution the saints of God against strong expressions in prayer and in letters; as I believe there is much to be regretted and mourned over in these things. Keep fast to the truth. As the warning is given, so I would deliver it. Let us be careful that as we utter words before God, it may be the very language of our souls. There may be self in deep experience; there may be self in too much care for home and family religion ;-where is the world? where is the Church? where is the concern for the spread of the Gospel? Do you give us your persons, your prayers, your counsels, your best desires? Where is your real attachment to the spread of the Gospel in the world? How much there may be of selfishness, even as a man reads his Bible! Oh! to be conscious of this, that there is in me a tendency to self, and that self wants to be perpetually dethroned; and that, not at one period

only of my journey, but at every stage of my journey; and to be prepared to expect its perpetual dethroning!

Remember, beloved, that the blessed Spirit alone can achieve this. It is His especial work. Oh! then, how earnestly should we pray for His secret movements in our soul; listen to His whispers-the "still small voice"-I think we have oftener heard His "still small voice," than we have heard Him speak loudly to us; pray to be led by Him, to follow after Him, and when He lays truth upon the conscience, to be satisfied with nothing short of an honest aim to live it out and exhibit it, in the power and demonstration of His own might within!

And remember, that with which the Holy Spirit dethrones idols is the manifestation of Christ. He does not reason about Dagon; though I cannot but see, it is but a calf, it can do nothing for me, it cannot counsel me, it cannot sympathise with me, it is but a calf. But the great means by which He works is the manifestation of Christ; and as He is manifested, Dagon falls. It is as we have a clearer view of Christ, and what He is for us, and (what is so precious to me,) of what God is in Himself,-it is in that way He erects a throne in our heart, makes us hate what God hates, love what God loves, and aim to do what God commands.

ls there a stout-hearted sinner that hears me? I say stouthearted, because there may be a great degree of softness in his speech. He can think of a God of mercy, a God who is benignant, ready to forgive, and who overlooks the sins of His people; he can think of God's readiness to blot out. Yes, but the God of the Bible is He who drave Adam out of Paradise; the God of the Bible is He who visited the cities of the plain with His wrath; the God of the Bible is He that says, "It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah" in the great day than for that city which had heard of Christ, and had rejected Him. And I would say, that that God which is before the eyes of men-which they love to think and speak

of-is, I believe, nothing but an idol; it is not the God of the Bible. And is there here some poor, trembling soul, always ready to think the worst of himself or herself, wondering how there is forgiveness in God, thinking austerely of Him, severely of Him, harshly of Him, I would say-My brother, my sister, take heed how thou dost rob God of His greatest glory-that He is a sin-forgiving God, that He delighteth in mercy, that it is His very attribute, that it is Himself; that "to the Lord God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him.”

The God of all truth place these truths with power upon my own soul and your souls; that, knowing God, we may love Him; and loving Him, serve Him, and yield ourselves to Him for Christ's sake.

A SERMON,

BY THE REV. J. H. EVANS, M.A.

PREACHED AT JOHN ST. CHAPEL, KING'S ROAD, BEDFORD ROW ON SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 11, 1846.

"And that will by no means clear the guilty."-Exodus xxxiv. 7.

THE child of God is conscious that there are desires in his soul after God, and after a further acquaintance with Him, that are quite peculiar to himself; and although he be the only one who knows aught of God on this earth,—that is, really knows Him-and although there are times and seasons in which the Lord is pleased more and more to reveal Himself unto him in the Son of His love, yet still he desires to know more-and what he knows, seems to him as nothing. Such appears to have been the mind of Moses-that eminent servant of the Lord. Of all the Old Testament saints, none were brought into such close contact with God as Moses was; and yet it only stirred up in his heart a more longing desire after still further revelations and discoveries of God. Be assured of this, the most spiritual one of those that hear me at this moment, knows the most of the state of mind of Moses. God had answered his prayer for the people; He had, at his request, as we find in the thirty-second chapter and the thirty-second verse, pardoned the iniquity of the people at his bidding, and at his supplication and prayer:-Moses entreated, and said, "Yet now if thou wilt, forgive their sin;-and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written: and the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book." The Lord had pardoned them at his bidding, and He had promised them an Angel, to go with them : "Behold, Mine Angel shall go before thee." But this did not satisfy Moses-although it may have been that he had not that clear perception which we have in these our days, that the promised Angel VOL. XII.-No. 420.-January 15, 1846.

1

2 C

« السابقةمتابعة »