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this is God's reasoning; and it destroys all the sophistries of man's systems in one moment. I would address you that hear me, who have heard, it may be, for many a year, sermon after sermon, of Christ and His salvation, and of a good and gracious God; yet you make excuses for your sins, and turn your back on the Gospel, and reject and deny the Son of God in your hearts. Be you assured, the reason wherefore you come not to Christ is, "because your deeds are evil." You are enwrapt in the world, your sins have still the possession of you, and therefore you hate the light, because you know, that if you come to the light your deeds would be reproved. Dying in that state, I say it with affection, without doubt you perish everlastingly. My dear hearers, great numbers claim the character of being sincere and upright; they think they are honest men. So the apostle Paul thought. When he was in his unconverted state, he speaks of himself as blameless: touching the righteousness of the law, blameless." What thought he of this blameless state when he was brought to himself? He tells us in the second chapter of Ephesians, "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind ; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." And again, in that remarkable passage in the third chapter of Titus, where he speaks of his former state: "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another." This was his "blamelessness;" that he was the slave of sin, and that he lived in a deceitful state as it regards God; that he was deceiving his own soul! See, then, beloved, what natural sincerity is. And let this never be forgotten by us, that natural sincerity never comes to one point; it never comes to the cross of Christ, it never comes into God's holy light, it never comes direct to God himself. It can deal with man, it can make excuses before man, it can frame all sorts of devices before men; but there is never that in natural sincerity
which comes before God. You cannot imagine any natural man whomsoever, however sincere, coming before God with "Search me, O God, and try my reins; and see if there be any way of wickedness in me." Is he willing to have the evils of his nature pryed into? is he willing to have them detected?-not he. He never was, in his natural state, and he never will. Self-righteousness forms his riches and his glory; and he glories in his riches, till some one stronger than he comes, and takes away that in which he trusts.
My dear hearers, who, then, are the "upright?" The publican smiting on his breast, was "upright;" the poor returning prodigal was upright;" the poor sinner, that washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, was upright;" Matthew the publican was upright," when "he left all, and followed Christ;" Zaccheus, when he came down from his sycamore tree, was "upright;" and, I would say, the poor cowardly Nicodemus, though he came trembling, yet I doubt not, in every step he took, was "upright," and he came in his uprightness. The weakest, the feeblest believer, is "upright." Beloved, he oftentimes thinks himself otherwise. How many a dear child of God, especially at the beginning, doubts much whether he is not a deceiver; whether he is anything more than a mere professor; whether, after all, "hypocrite" is not written on all his professions! Yet, beloved, he is no deceiver. He mourns over things that others never see; and he more dis-commends himself for those things in which they praise him, than ever he can commend himself. Is this a hypocrite? And sometimes he thinks thus'Am I deceived? I am no deceiver; but am I deceived ?" Yet the desire of his heart is, to know his state: he wants to know of God the true condition of his soul; the very fervent prayer of his spirit is Search me, O God, and show me what I am.' Is this hypocrisy ?-where, then, is honesty? If this be self-deception, how can a man attain self-knowledge? My dear hearers, as the believer stands before God, this is the language of his heart-' I am a poor
weak, wretched, miserable sinner; in myself, lost, ruined, undone, helpless, hopeless. Sin is not my mere confession; it is my burden, and it is my shame and my sorrow; and, most of all, I sorrow, in that I sorrow so little.' Ask this man where his hope is In Christ; in His work, in His atonement, in His person.' It is not in his own work, but in Jesus; it is not in his own power, but in the intercession of Jesus; it is in His work-everything sinks beside it. Behold the "upright man!" My dear hearers, this man mourns over inbred corruptions : " The good that I would, I do not; the evil I would not, that I do. I find a law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." He means what he says. He laments before God his follies, and failures, and short-comings; his misdoings, his ingratitude, his fickleness, his pride-pride in hearing, and pride in preaching; he mourns over it, it costs him many tears, it lays him low. He means what he says; it is the language of his heart. He has, too, "a body of sin and death" within him, that struggles hard to subdue him, and sometimes he thinks it will subdue him; yet the whole bent of his life, and the whole purpose of his soul, and the great object of his desire is, that through grace he may subdue sin, and glorify God as he walks with Him. Is this man a deceived soul?-then where is the honest man?
I would remark, that sometimes a child of God, particularly in some stages of his journey, is brought to doubt. I would not lay down any rule here; some of you may have had, as Newton had, for twenty years never one quarter of an hour's doubt of your election of God; but some of God's people know what it is; and some of you know what it is, perhaps, at this moment. I have lived long enough, beloved, not to take much notice of men's high words; I rather love to see the life and conduct. I rather think I can spell out more of their assurance from what they do, than from what they say. But sometimes a child of God is brought into deep circumstances of trial; and
he is brought to ask himself the question- Am I a believer in Christ? Am I a child of God?' And the accuser puts this accusation before him—' You a child of God!-you do not find sin your burden; you do not find Christ precious; you do not find relief at a throne of grace; you do not find the Word of God your delight; you have no real longing to be holy.' Now, dear hearers, how is it with the "upright man" now? Does he want to be comforted, by hearing a smooth sermon? Does he want to take things easily for granted? Does he listen to fancy, or impressions, or excitements, or determinations to believe and feel assured that he is safe? No; the "upright man" says, nothing can satisfy him but God himself. 'I must have two witnesses to still my fears; I must have God's own Word, and I must have God's own Spirit; and in the "mouth of these two witnesses" shall all be established.'
Here is an "upright man." He is brought into deep emergency; but he is "upright" still, being taught by the Holy Ghost himself. The question, then, is answered, as I conceive, Who are the "upright?" These are the "upright."
II. Now a few remarks, (and they may be but a few,) on the cheering part of our subject-" they who are upright in their way, are God's delight."
Observe, in the first place, it is not said, that He delights in their way-though that be most certainly true; but it soars higher, it comes to a higher point; they are themselves God's delight: "such as are upright, are His delight." My dear hearers, 1 quarrel with no man because he does not take the same view of God's everlasting love as I do. I can only say, my soul exceedingly rejoices, in looking back to that love, that was before all time. I can admire the tem ple in its living stones; but I am always brought back to the quarry whence they came, and to the mighty hand that dug them out, and to the purpose of love, everlasting love, that knows of no disappoint
ment. Therefore, when I see they "are His delight," I rejoice in this-that their persons are His delight, that He loved them before all worlds, and that He loved them before they loved Him, in eter. nity. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Remember, beloved, it comes to this point too, it leads to the great exhibition of God's love, which is, that He communicated His love to us while we were yet His enemies, not when we were friends. How the apostle longs, in the epistle to the Ephesians, to speak of the riches of God's love! "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ." Dear hearers, their persons, then, are His "delight." I love to dwell on the unbought love of God; it is a subject sweet to my taste. Why do I contend for it? any other views, I should lose sight of the tender, loving heart of a Father in Christ. Did I talk of purchased love-I cannot even bring myself to purchased blessings-but did I hold a purchased love, I should lose sight of the fond hand, and the equally fond heart of a Father, flowing to me in all its crystal purity through the Redeemer's blood. Their persons are His "delight."
Did I hold
But He sees us "in His Son," and He sees us without a spot. Ah! dear hearers, the nearer we approach the close of our journey, oh may the Lord the Spirit give us to see more of sin's evil. How little others know of us! and how little we should think of what others know of us; remembering, that "He that judgeth me is the Lord!" There is something in this thought that is unutterably sweet-that though God sees enough cause in your sincerity, and in my sincerity, every day of our lives, to blot out our names from the Lamb's book of life, yet, viewing us in His Son, accepting us in His Son," made the righteousness of God" in His Son, accepted and acceptable in His Son, His "accepted" children "in the Beloved"-oh! this is enough to bear up our souls. Do you not find