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dropping down most precious streams of blood; they are iron-bound, but his love will break the chain, and stretch them forth to lift nie to his throne! They now are cancelling my deadly debt; my bond of suffering is nailed with them, and torn; I see in the deep wounds of his hands, graven as with an iron pen in a rock, a pardon written with blood. Yes, Lord, I believe the chastisement of my peace is upon thee, and that by these pains I shall be healed. I look upon thy feet, Lord—they cannot as usuacarry thee about doing good, but they tread now on their last weary step, and next will stand upon the everlasting hills; tired with the way, mortality hath often longed for rest; briars and thorns have torn them in the desert, and rugged paths afflicted them : but no thorns so sharp, no path so rugged as this, and no rest so needed as that sleep of death, when pain shall torment no more. How have I trod the dreadful paths of sin; how have my feet carried me from God to every vile indulgence! I see my punishment in thee; and oh that with tears I might bedew those deep and deadly nail-prints, that tell me at once my crime and my forgiveness. What ghastly wound gapes wide beneath the heart, and pours down this crimson torrent of mingled blood and water! That bloody spear declares the cause! how deep it hath gone! indignity offends the corpse, when pain can do no more. It is well. It became him to suffer these things; but why? my guilt hath made it needful; yet, my soul, thou mayest regard with astonishment the sufferer, and with detestation the authors of this black deed ; but if thou wilt see the origin, knock at thy breast,
and there the murderers dwell: this sinful nature, these vile affections, this deep rebellion against the Majesty of heaven—these brought the Lamb of God to such ignominy, torment, and death. Here then at his cross let my indignation rise, here then let an holy revenge burn within my heart, here let not mine eye pity, nor my hand spare ; these his enemies, his murderers, I will bring them forth, and slay them before him. Lord, let me keep back nothing from thee, who gavest thyself to such suffering for me.
HEBREWS vi. 18. That we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before
WHAT grounds of consolation doth the Scripture propose to the afflicted soul. Hunted by the devouring Law, trembling beneath the sword of Justice, unable to escape the stroke. I could not endure, Mercy sets before me an open door, and, like Jael to Sisera, (but with a much more gracious intention,) invites me, faint and weary, to repose my soul under her shadow. The guilty soul, exposed to wrath eternal, here sees a beam of hope arising, and our fears, like morning clouds, pass away. Blessed be he, who hath opened and consecrated this new and living way for the despairing
and desperate, through a Mediator's broken body. To this sure refuge will I fly: Lord, help me to enter in, that I may dwell in safety ; let pardoning love fast bar the gate against an accusing conscience and a condemping law; let thy faithfulness and truth be as a brazen wall around me, that none of my fears may break through, none of my sins, destroy me. Let thy power keep the strong hold of my heart, that no son of violence may hurt me : thus let my city of refuge be kept from every avenger, and under thy shadow let me sit, not only with safety, but great delight. Thou hast spoken, and who shall disannul it? Thou willest me to be comforted, and why shall I refuse the consolation ? Strengthen thou my faith, Lord, that my joy may abound through the power of the Holy Ghost.
HEBREWS X. 38. If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure
in him. The Scriptures are full of warning: take notice, my soul, and with holy jealousy work out thy salvation with fear and trembling. How dangerous to draw back! better never have known the way of righteousness. Yet how common these departures from the faith. How many have I known, who seemed to begin in the spirit, and have ended
in the flesh ! Set up, my soul, these pillars before thee in this our plain of Sodom. Lot's wife may be seen in every street: what is there to engage thee to turn back, or cast a lingering look behind ? The world, from which thou art called, is a vain shadow ; it is unsatisfactory in the enjoyment, it perisheth in the using, and it stands only as some mighty pile of fuel to be destroyed by fire. The creatures of it are vain; its indulgences, what fruit do they bring ? and how like husks do its most gilded baits disappoint our appetite! Count then the cost. Lord, my soul looketh unto thee ; hold me by my hand, that I may not depart from thee. I have such a foolish, such a backsliding heart, that if left but a day to myself, I shali turn aside ; but thou who hast led me so far, wilt not now let me go : by thy Spirit only can I be holden up; my heart is in thine hand; thou shalt preserve me from the power of the enemy, thou shalt teach me the way wherein I should go, thou shalt guide me with thine eye. I know, Lord, none can pluck me out of thy hand; I will trust therefore, and not be afraid ; though thousands fall on every side, thou art my shield and rock of defence. Much have I experienced of thy kindness and care; more I believe thou hast in store. I wait for thy salvation, and I have a good hope, because of thy word; here my anchor fixes. If thou say, "I will put my fear intothine heart, and thou shalt not depart from me;" then may I with confidence rest upon thy grace and love.
1 Cor. vi. 20. For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify
God in your body, and in your spirit, which are
any thing can engage my heart to the dear Redeemer, it must be the views of his amazing love and grace, and the sense of the deep obligations these lay upon me. When I see the price he hath paid for me, how can I except to his claim ? It has cost thee precious blood to redeem me from my state of endless ‘misery, and now thou chal-, lengest the return of service. Lord, I am thy servant; I am thy servant, for thou hast loosed my bands; I will, through thy grace, make thy glory my great aim and end. I have lived long to dishonour thee; henceforth may thy name be exalted in me and by me; my body is for thee, O Lord, it hath served divers lusts and pleasures, but thou hast redeemed it from the guilty service. It shall serve no more ; every sense, every member, let it be an instrument of righteousness unto God. My spirit is thine ; its passions, its vile affections, shall reign no more; let purity be written on my inmost soul, and my thoughts be brought into obedience to thee, O Christ! Yet, Lord, after all, what glory can redound to thee from such worthless services as mine? that thou condescendest to accept them, brings me in more. thy debtor still. Well, Lord, I am more than