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of the Scriptures being read-never to sleep till some about him had read them to him. Luther gave himself with great ardour to the study of the Scriptures. Bishop Ridley says, “ The wall and trees of my orchard, could they speak, would bear witness that there I learned by heart almost all the epistles ; of which study, although in time a greater part was lost, yet the sweet savour thereof, I trust, I shall carry with me to heaven." The Hon, and Rev. W. B. Cadogan, who studied the Bible day and night in the original languages, said, “I have no patience now to read Homer, Virgil, or Horace, whom I used to idolize." The Rev. James Hervey said, “ We fail in our duty and thwart our comfort, by studying God's holy word no more. I have, for my part, been too fond of reading everything elegant and valuable that has been penned in our own language ; and been particularly charmed with the historians, orators, and poets of antiquity. But were I to renew my studies, I would sit at my Divine Master's feet, and desire to know nothing but Jesus and him crucified. This wisdom, whose fruits are peace in life, consolation in death, and everlasting salvation after death, I would trace—this I would seek, this I would explore, through the spacious and delightful fields of the Old and New Testament."
Reader, love, and search, and study the sacred Scriptures ; then you shall feel the quickening, enlightening, and comforting influence of the truth in your own mind, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Then shall Christ be exceedingly precious to you, all your salvation, and your joy: you will love him much who loved you, and gave himself for you, and now ever lives to make intercession for you. Then you will grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ the Lord. Then you will stand fast in the truth. Above all, then you will be preparing for those blessed mansions which Christ provides for his people, where you shall see face to face, and know even as you are known.
The Spirit breathes upon the word,
And brings the truth to sight;
A sanctifying light.
Majestic, like the sun ;
It gives, but borrows none.
The gracious light and heat :
They rise, but never set.
“He that received the seed into good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty," Matt. xiii. 23.
A MESSAGE TO THEE. As Ehud the Benjamite said to Eglon king of Moab, so would I address you, reader: “I have a message from God unto thee,” Judges iii. 20. The message that Ehud bore was one of bitterness; mine is full of consolation. Ehud plunged a dagger into Eglon's body,-I would provide a cordial for your soul.
Are you well provided with worldly goods, or not? However this may be, you are hastening on to the end of life, to the valley of death, and to an eternal world.
Now, life has many cares ; death has many fears; and eternity is a state of overwhelming interest. Have you, then, that faith in God's mercy through Christ which lessens the cares of life, removes the fear of death, and lights up eternity with everlasting sunshine ? The question may be put to the rich as well as to the poor; for with this humble confidence the poor are rich, and without it the rich are poor indeed. The question may be
put to the living as well as to the dying; for without this dependence the living are in a state of death, and with it the dying shall live for ever.
But what is the message that I have to deliver? It is to be found in God's word, in the 45th chapter of Isaiah and at the 22nd verse, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved."
Men either believe in God, or they deny him; they either receive his holy word, or they reject it. Oh, how blind is the mind, how hard is the heart, how desolate the state, of him who is living without God in the world! If there be one on the earth who has cause to sing for joy, it is he who is trusting in Christ for salvation. If there be one in the world who has just reason to mourn with anguish, it is the sinner who is despising the invitations of a Saviour.
Let me speak with earnestness, as befitting the end I have in view. The things of time may be treated lightly, but the concerns of eternity require our greatest attention.
Mark the words, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved.” What a merciful invitation is here! what compassion! what kindness ! what love! Can you read the words without emotion? Or rather, do you not yearn to bind them to your heart?
But who gives the invitation?' Observe the words, “I have a message from God unto thee.” It comes from the Lord of life and glory. From him who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last. Hearken to his words:-" There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else," Isa. xlv. 21, 22.
This invitation is given to all the ends of the earth, and therefore it is given to you. To you who are a sinner ; to you who have an immortal soul that will endure for ever in light or in darkness, in happiness or in misery, in heaven or in hell, and who are, as I said, hastening on to the end of life, to the valley of death, and to an eternal world. To you is the invitation given, to you is the message sent, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved."
It is either true or false that there is “a just God and a Sa. viour"- that he made man from the dust of the earth—that he has declared, “ the soul that sinneth, it shall die"—that “the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”— that all have sinned, but that God has found a ransom—that Jesus Christ died for sinners on the cross, and that those who believe in him shall be saved. If these things are false, how can we believe that anything is true? And if these things are true, "how
A MESSAGE TO THEE.
Shall a man doubt that the sun is in the sky, when its beains are cheering his eyes? Shall he say there is no storm abroad, when the thunder-clap is shaking the solid earth? As well may he do this, as call in question the manifold mercies and the terrible judgments of Almighty God. If you will believe in creation, and doubt revelation,-if you will admire the grass, and the flower of the field, and deny the holy word of God, know this, that “the grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever," 1 Peter i. 24, 25.
Who are we, frail creatures of the dust, who have nothing that God has not given, and who can hope for nothing but what his bounty must bestow,—who are we, who are but of yesterday, and know nothing, that we should dare to doubt the word of the Most High, and proudly to despise or neglect the offered mercy of the Redeemer? We are playing with edged tools, standing on the brink of a precipice, trifling with eternity, and tempting the judgments of the Lord our Maker. “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, and of his Divine compassion that we have still offered to us the invitation, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved."
Is it not better to be drawn by love, than to be driven by fear?to be won by kindness, than to be compelled by severity ?-o be invited to salvation, than to be hurled to destruction? There must be something wrong in us when we prefer the brier to the rose, the thorn to the flower; and equally so, when, by refusing a proffered kindness, we bring on ourselves a fearful calamity.
Receive this gracious invitation graciously, and it will be to you a token for good, a dove-like messenger of mercy, whose wings are covered with silver, and her feathers of yellow gold ;but if rejected, it will prove to you an omen of evil, a barbed arrow, a two-edged sword, and a sharp-pointed spear. Trifle not, tarry not, hesitate not; but gladly accept the offered blessing. If the Lord has said unto you, “ Seek ye my face," answer, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek." If the Lord has said, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved," let your instant reply be, “I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation,” Micah vii. 7.
Suppose another message should be sent to you altogether of a different character-a message not of mercy, but of judgment ! Have you forgotten the parable of the Great Supper? “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many; and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse." But was the excuse listened to; or was the supper put off till another time? No. “ The master
of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper,” Luke xiv. 16.
If you make excuses, why should you not be treated in the same manner? How would the words sound in your ears, “ Ye have refused to look unto me, and now ye shall not be saved?" Once more I say, how blind is the mind, how hard is the heart, how desolate the state, of him who is living without God in the world! If there be one on the earth who has cause to sing for joy, it is he who is trusting in the God of his salvation. If there be one in the world who has just reason to mourn with anguish, it is the sinner who is despising the invitations of a Saviour !
Well is it for us, that we have to do with one who has not “ dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities,” Psa. ciïi. 10. “ To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him," Dan. ix. 9. Though, then, you have till now neglected the merciful invitations of the Lord, still are they offered for your acceptance. As Ehud the Benjamite said to Eglon king of Moab, so, reader, again say I unto thee, “I have a message from God unto thee.” Not a life-taking weapon of destruction, but a soul-reviving message of salvation from the Lord: “ Look unto me, and be ye saved.”
Think not, however, that this message, this merciful invitation, is to stand over until you choose to accept it. “ There is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die," Eccles. iii. 1. A time for the humble soul to be accepted, and a time for the impenitent sinner to be rejected. Holy Scripture says not to-morrow, but “ To day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts,” Psa. xcv. 7, 8. To-day you are in time; to-morrow you may be in eternity. To-day the door of heaven is open to you; to-morrow it may be shut against you for ever.
For the last time, then, I say, listen to the Divine message, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved." The words are kind, merciful, and gracious, full of love and bliss. The invitation is from the Saviour, to you who are a sinner. Oh, receive it gladly; for if you accept it, you will enjoy light, hope, joy, peace, and eternal life; but if you despise it, you will receive darkness, fear, anguish, destruction, and eternal woe.