« AnteriorContinuar »
“ come ;” of which every believer may say, They are mine. In this light did Paul behold them, when he said, “ To me to live is “ Christ, and to die is gain.-I desire to de“ part, and to be with Christ, which is far “ better.”—“ While I am at home in the bo“ dy, I am absent from the Lord. I am, " therefore, confident and willing, rather to “ be absent from the body, and present with “ the Lord.”—“O death, where is thy sting? “ O grave, where is thy victory ? The iting “ of death is sin, and the strength of sin is “ the law. But thanks be unto God who “ giveth us the viđory, through Jesus Christ « our Lord.”
But it is the resurrection which shall complete the triumph of the saints, when that which is fown in weakness, in dishonour, and corruption, Ihall be raised in power, in glory, and incorruption. In that day of the manifeftation of the sons of God, when our vile bodies shall be changed and fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body," when this corrup« tible shall have put on incorruption, and “ this mortal shall have put on immortality, " then shall be brought to pass the saying
that is written, Death is swallowed up in “ victory.” But how shall we speak of the glory yet to be revealed, " which eye hath " not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it en“ tered into the heart of man to conceive.” Should I attempt any description of it, I should only “ darken counsel by words with“.out knowledge.”-“ It doth not yet ap“ pear,” saith the Apostle John, « what we “ shall be : but this we know, that when he “ shall appear, we shall be like him ; for we 6 shall see him as he is.” Here, then, let us stop. To be made like the Son of God, to behold his unveiled glory, and to be for ever with him : these particulars must surely include every ingredient which can belong to the highest perfection and happinefs of a creature. With this great obje& in our eye, how well doth it become us to adopt the language of the Apostle Peter, and to say with fervent gratitude, as he did, “ Blessed be the God and “ Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ac“ cording to his abundant mercy hath begot“ ten us again unto a lively hope, by the re“ furrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to
“ an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and “ that fadeth not away.”
These are the peculiar sources from which the godly man derives his joy. And may I not now appeal to you, whether they are not of such a nature, as that no outward distress or calamity can take them away? Even when the heavens shall be rolled together like a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, he will be able to look at the mighty desolation, and say, when all these materials are consumed, I shall have lost nothing ; “ God liveth, blessed be my rock."-" The “ Lord is the portion of mine inheritance," and in him I possess and enjoy all things.
And now, what improvement are we to make of this subject ?- In the
ist place, Let us inquire which of the characters described by the Psalmist belongs to us. Are we among the many that say,“ Who will “ shew us any good ?" or are we among the happy few who seek the light of God's countenance above all things? There is no neutral person in this case. Every man that liveth upon the earth, is either “ carnally minded, 5 which is death; or spiritually minded, which
is life and peace ;” either a child of God, or a drudge and slave to the world. To which party, then, do you belong ? What are your hearts principally set upon, and whither do you bend your chief and most vigorous endeavours ? If you can find but little leisure for the service of God, and the care of your souls; if you can spend whole days without calling upon God, or reading his word; if the Sabbath appears burdensome to you, and you join in your hearts with those profane persons whom the Prophet Amos describes, as saying (viii. 5.), “ When will the new moon be “ gone, that we may fell corn ? and the Sab“ bath, that we may set forth. wheat ?" If you are conscious that it is thus with you, I need scarcely inform you, that you must be claffed with those whose language it is, “Who. “ will shew us any good?” A
2d Use, therefore, which I would make of this subject, is, to exhort you, who are yet carnally minded, to think seriously of your condition. Ye are pursuing what will for ever flee from you. Ye are combating with a decree of him who is Almighty, even that irreversible decree which hath pronounced va
nity on all things below the sun. Ye are opposing the experience of all who ever made the same trial before you ; ye are struggling with the very feelings of your own hearts, which as yet have never found that permanent satisfaction which they require. O then be persuaded to relinquish those false plans of happiness by which you have been hitherto deluded, and to seek the favour of that God who is the only adequate portion of an immortal soul. Listen to that kind expostulation and advice (Isaiah lv. 2. 3.), " Wherefore do ye spend money for that “ which is not bread, and your labour for " that which fatisfieth not? Hearken di“ ligently unto me, and eat ye that which “ is good, and let your soul delight itself “ in fatness. Incline your ear, and come “ unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; “ and I will make an everlasting covenant “ with you, even the sure mercies of Da“ vid.”
Lastly, Let me call on those who have been taught to value the light of God's countenance above all things, to be humble and
: . thankful.