Page images
PDF
EPUB

and his day; and the lifetime of every individual, is his time of consideration, which God gives him : it is a time which at length ceases.

There have been people before us, who have had their day, their day of life, their time for consideration; it is now over with them, they cannot any more consider that which they ought to have considered.

We have now our day and the present opportunity, and perhaps a few days more, in which we may still attend to what be. longs to our peace. O important season, in which we may still consider what belongs to our peace ! The Jews had only five days longer, as we have already mentioned; their day was then past; they then committed the heinous sin of nailing Christ himself to the cross, and brought upon themselves the heavy judgment of judicial hardness and the consequent desolation. Who can tell us, my dear friends, how long our time of grace, our time of consideration will last? How long the patience of God will still grant us time for amendment ? Who will assure us, (that we shall live to see such another opportunity ? This may be the last to some now present.

0 let us therefore consider on this occasion, in this our day, what belongs to our peace, whilst we still possess time for consideration, the time of our gracious visitation, and are still in a situation to be able to consider it! O how many a one will consider it, when lying on his death-bed, when ability is wanting, when understanding fails, when time is wanting, and who knows, whether grace may not also be wanting, which has been so long despised, so often rejected, so often

spurned! Weought therefore to consider it whilst God still offers his grace to us. “ To day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Heb. iii. 7, 8.)

The Lord finally adds with grief, “ But now it is hid from thine eyes !" O melancholy word! Our dearest Saviour means to say, “I

may preach, I

may do wonders, I may kindly allure, I may sincerely threaten, but it is all in vain; thou takest it not to heart, it is all hidden from thine eyes. It is hidden from thine eyes, what heinous sins are accumulated on thy head; it is hidden from thine

eyes is offered thee, which thou mightest still receive ; it is hidden from thine eyes, the heavy judgment of judicial hardness, the judgment of desolation; it is all hidden from thine eyes; for thou wilfully closest thine eyes, stoppest thine ears, and wilt not hear; thou hardenest thine heart, and wilt not receive it. O lamentable state, from which may God in mercy preserve us!

that grace

III.- let every one therefore think so much the more of himself and of his own heart; let every one examine himself in the presence of Him, whose eyes are a flame of fire, in the presence of the all-seeing God, how it stands with him, and make the requisite application and appropriation to himself of all that we have now said ! Let no one think that this sermon of Christ was intended only for Jerusalem and the Jewish people, or that some one else was meant at present and not he himself. O no !-the words,-“ if thou knowest,” have reference to us all,

and to each in particular, as it is said-even thou ! Even thou therefore, whoever thou art, even thou art meant, when the Saviour says, 6. If thou hadst known in this thy day, the things that belong to thy

peace !

It is not mere knowledge in which many of us are deficient. We have been instructed from our youth up in the word of God; we have read the Bible, we have heard so many sermons, attended so many meetings, and have associated with the pious, so that we are able to speak much of religion, of godliness, and divine things, and manifest great knowledge; but do we know as we ought to know? Do we know so as to consider at the same time, what belongs to our peace ? Have we experienced it in our hearts, or have we it only from reading and hearsay, and are, with all this, still ignorant of our inward state ? O my friends ! let us consider what belongs to our peace! Those are not pronounced blessed, who know, but those who do. O how great will be our responsibility for having known the will of the Lord, and not done it; for having taken his covenant into our lips, and yet hated reproof; for having so often called God our Father, and yet not honoured him in our hearts; for having called him Lord, and yet not feared him in reality! Will it avail us at that day, that we have possessed an outward piety, a specious holiness? Will it avail us then to rely upon our outward religion, in which we have been born and bred, upon our going to church and sacrament, and such like merely external works?

Could not the Jews, as we have been hearing, with respect to their divine service, do the same? Were they not at the same time, children of Abraham ? Were they not chosen to be a peculiar people ? And yet notwithstanding all this, they were an abomination before God. Will not even many say, on that day, Lord I Lord I have we not prophesied in thy name,-have we not cast out devils in thy name, and in thy name done many wonderful works? To whom the Saviour will say, “I never knew you, depart from me ye workers of iniquity !” O that the Saviour might not have to lament over us, as he did over Jerusalem, “ How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not !"Well, what says the Saviour further ? “ Behold your house your temple, which is no longer my house, my temple, because, instead of a house of prayer, ye have made it a den of thieves—is left unto you desolate ?”

O might not the same thing happen to us?

Might not the Lord take away the candlestick of the gospel from us, because we do not walk in its light, because we will not accept the message of peace? Therefore let us reflect what belongs to our peace, and not continue longer in false security with our knowledge, but humble ourselves before him, who is now willing to come to us as a lowly monarch, as a king of peace, in order to make us happy subjects of his kingdom. Let us therefore submit and resign ourselves to him by a true and thorough conversion of the heart, and let ourselves

be induced by the tears which he has shed, by the compassion with which he regards even us, and by the patience with which he still bears with us, to listen to this most gracious preacher of repentance, and obey his voice.

But do those amongst us also consider what belongs to their peace, who experience the operations of grace in their hearts, arousing them from their state of security ? There are many, who have been moved and affected ; they are convinced that all is not right with them; they are convinced that in their present state, they cannot be saved, they are therefore uneasy, they have been disturbed in their natural peace, in their previous security; but they have so many scruples, and do not resolutely follow reproving grace, and the demands of the good Spirit in their hearts; they delay from day to day, and from time to time, to resign themselves to Jesus. They let themselves be restrained by a variety of rational reflections, by their worldly-minded relations, friends, and acquaintances, by fear of contempt, the loss of temporal advantages, or this or that vain delight. O my friends, do consider what belongs to your peace ! Is that which is transitory of more importance to you than that which endureth for ever? Is peace

with the vain world of more value to you

with God? Are those more estimable to you, who can give no peace, because they have none themselves, according to Isa. xlviii. 22, than He, who can bless you with true' peace of heart, who can give you eternal peace? How long will it last with the peace

than peace

« PreviousContinue »