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four thousand which were redeemed | while in the flesh, have been among from the earth. These are they the followers of the Lamb here below. which followeth the Lamb whitherso- Here then, brethren, is sufficient, ever he goeth." It is true, brethren, amply sufficient, to answer every enthat this also is a characteristic of that quiry which the fainting heart of the future, that happy, that eternal state true child of God can desire to make. which shall succeed the period spoken Shall I be one of the followers ? is of in the text, which in fact regards your anxious enquiry. I would reply, eternity. But is there nothing in this are you striving to be one of the holy, description of the persons that shall humbly, confiding followers of the sing the new song, that may enable Lamb here below? Are you daily, us to determine those persons during by God's grace, separating yourself time? Is there nothing in the nature more and more from an ungodly of that song itself which will help us world? Have you cast in your porin arriving at this determination ? tion with the children of God? Is it Let us examine both shortly by the all your desire to be found clothed with light of God's revealed and written the Saviour's righteousness, sanctified word.
by the Saviour's spirit, and daily and This is the song as we find it written hourly living to the honor of the Sain the fifth chapter of this remarkable viour now? If, through God's mercy, vision. “ They sung a new song, you can reply, “ It is; there is no saying, Thou art worthy to take the wish so near my heart, no desire book and to open the seals thereof; so strongly imprinted on my soul,” for thou wast slain and hast redeemed then take courage, He whom you us to God, by thy blood, out of every now are following will not overlook kindred, and tongue, and people, and or forget you in the day when he nation, and hast made us unto our makes up his jewels. You shall not God kings and priests, and we shall be absent when all are set at the reign on the earth.” And this is the marriage supper of the Lamb. one great peculiarity of the people But you enquire, shall I sing the which sung that song—“They follow new song in the kingdom of my fathe Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” | ther? We must again reply, are you True it is, that when this song shall able to sing it here? If your ear be sung the present state of existence were now open to catch the enchantshall be over. True it is, that when | ing sounds which are filling the courts the Lamb shall gather around him his of heaven; if one note of those sounds glorious company, who shall for ever could be heard on earth; if one line follow his train, time shall have filled of that song could reach your ears at up its limits and sunk into the ocean this moment, that song which says, of eternity. But, can we doubt that, “ Thou art worthy, for thou hast rein the same manner as the new name to deemed us to God by thy blood :" be written in heaven must be preceded would your whole soul, and heart, and by the new name and the new nature mind, and strength, resound, Yes, to be communicated here on earth— thou art worthy—thou alone, O Christ, so also must the new song to be sung art worthy? If you feel assured you in heaven be preceded by the new would, brethren, be at peace, be song to be learned on earth. While happy, be thankful, unceasingly thankthose who sing it there are to be ful. The year which has this mornknown by being in the train of the ing opened upon you, however it may Lamb above, so surely must they, come to others, comes laden with joy to you. Whatever it may bring we angel shall have lifted up his hand, and know it can bring nothing for which, sworn by him that liveth for ever and by the grace of God, you will not be ever, that time shall be no longer. prepared, with which, in the strength No more new sorrows, for God shall of Jesus, you will not be able to meet, wipe away all tears from our eyes. and from which by the power and No more new graves, for there shail presence of the Comforter, you will be no more death. No more new not be able to escape. Not all its sicknesses, for there shall be no more trials, all its sorrows, all its disap- pain. The former things and all that pointments, all its anxieties - nay, resemble them shall have passed away, even death itself shall have no power and the new things shall be pleasures to take from you the new name which for ever new, services for ever new, God himself has given you, to inter- praises for ever new, until the soul rupt the new song which God himself shall be satisfied, even to overflowing has appointed you. A few more of with an eternal weight of glory. May these fleeting periods, and the decla- God of his infinite mercy grant beration of the text shall be fulfilled. | loved brethren, that you and I may He that sitteth on the throne shall be made partakers of that blessing, say, “Behold I make all things new." | and sharers of those glories throughNo more new years indeed, for the out eternity. Amen.
AT CAMDEN CHAPEL, CAMBERWELL, SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 13, 1833.
Isaiah, lvi. 1.-" Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice ; for my salvation
is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.”
Our apprehension of the dealings of ness, and dispatching to them the God to his creatures, may oftentimes message of life. be assisted by comparison with the Now in this, which is a case of the dealings between man and man. We most possible occurrence, we have, are thoroughly aware, that there must as you all know, a feeble and faint lay always an untravelled separation image of what has been done by God between the doings of the Creator, towards our fallen creation. The and the doings of the creature ; but rebellion of man brought him into a we see not that this at all hinders our condition of the most abject wretchedfetching from the inferior illustration, ness; and the Almighty, instead of that which shall tell greatly of the sweeping him away, and overwhelmexcellence of the superior. Weing him with wrath, devised and exmay, for example, suppose that, on ecuted a scheme for his restoration to the earth which we inbabit, a dis- favor and happiness. tinct province of some wide-spread But we wish to carry yet a little empire had thrown off allegiance to further our supposition of the human its anointed sovereign. We may fur- transaction, in order that we may ther suppose that, as a consequence illustrate some points in the divine. of rebellion, misery the most grievous We may still imagine that the earthly had fastened on the traitors, so that king should substitute, in the place of there had reigned among them nothing the rebels who had forfeited their but poverty and wretchedness; and lives, some being, who might be his then, in place of sending out his own son, or his own kinsman, and armies to lay waste the alienated cause him to suffer death in their state, and to hew down the ranks stead ; and he might then send a through which the treason had passed, message to the rebels, that out of his we may just suppose the monarch, wonderful and undeserved compasmoved with compassion towards his sion he had made this mysterious offending but suffering subjects, ar- arrangement on their behalf, and that ranging a scheme for their forgive-there was now no objection on his
part to their entrance again into all the giving up the overt acts of disthe privileges of the loyal and be- loyalty. He deals with man as with loved. But, at the same time, he a being who is destitute of all power might so limit his forgiveness, that it of renewing bis nature, but not desshould not be altogether uncondi- titute of all power of improving his tional. He might say, I have made conduct. He, therefore, couples with this amazing sacrifice, this stupendous his offers of assistance and mercy, arrangement, but you must lay down the demand that there should be a your arms, you must cease from those ceasing from evil and a breaking acts of daring aggression, by which loose from iniquity. He gives no my authority is set at nought. You hint of the possibility of man's prowill adınit that he was demanding curing forgiveness for himself; but he nothing but what was reasonable; gives an intimation, the very broadest, and that he would not one jot over- of some capacity on man's part to task the power of the traitors, if he prepare himself for forgiveness. should require, as a preliminary to Thus his course of proceeding is his applying the worth of the sub- nearly akin to that which we supstitute, that they should abstain from posed of an earthly king, and prodeeds of violence and insult. It nounced to be reasonable. He sends might be asking too much, if he the tidings of a free pardon to his should require that they should make alienated subjects, but he bids them, themselves loyal; this would be de- as it were, get ready for its recepmanding a condition which would be tion. There will be nothing in this more likely to follow from the pos- preparation which will deserve a parsession than the promise of forgive- don, yet he demands the preparation; ness. But to demand that they should the attitude of open defiance being cease from the work of disloyalty ; not that which befits the recipient of this would evidently come within the forgiveness, and being that, morepower of the traitors, and might, over, which may, to a certain extent, therefore, most fairly be prescribed be laid aside. So that the message as the condition on which their pardon of God to man, like that of the supshould be granted.
posed king of the rebel provinces of Now, we think that in the plan, or his empire, is simply this of our text, rather in the application of redemp- Keep ye judgment, and do justice: tion, there is something strictly ana- for my salvation is near to come, and logous to what has thus been sup- my righteousness to be revealed." posed. God does not demand of a Now you cannot avoid perceiving man, when he sends to him the gra- that these words, which though adcious announcement of the Gospel, dressed originally to the Jewish that he should change his heart, in church, must be applicable in every order to his having a share in his generation. God makes his intenproffered mercy. He does not say tion to do much for man, a reason to him, You are now a disloyal sub- why man should do something for ject, and before you can have an in- himself. He announces the near apterest in the blood of my Son, I re- proach of his salvation, and the ushquire you to become loyal. But while ering in of the day when his righGod requires not of the rebel that he teousness, made the free justifying of should win to himself a disposition of the sinner, shall be revealed; but in loyalty, he may, and he does require place of leading man to imagine that of him, that he should set himself to because rescue is at hand, he might renain supine and inactive, he bids him | ground the truth, that outward reset himself to the performance of what formation, if it be at all a token of lay within his reach, and detach our having found pardon with God, himself from habits of injustice and must have its spring in inward regecruelty. We do not understand that neration. We know that out of the “ the keeping of judgment and doing heart are the issues of life; and that justice," was to gain for man any
not the loveliness of an unsullied moright to the approaching mercy. This rality, and not the high bearing of an would be a distinct interference with unflinching integrity, and not the dethe gratuitousness of the Gospel, and votedness of a disinterested charity could only be upheld by the over- can gain favor in the sight of the Althrow of Christianity. But it is quite mighty, if it be ought else than the clear to us, that there was a degree fruit of a living faith, which he himof preparation, which, attainable by self hath implanted in the soul. But, man, was demanded of him by God; at the same time, we hold it to be dot on account of any moral excel- wrong, for we find it to be unlence wbich in itself it might possess, scriptural, to lead the unconverted but simply as a condition which, with into the idea, that the renewal of the out impeachment of the freeness of his heart must necessarily precede all mercy, might be imposed on his reformation of life: so that a change creatures. And we are persuaded that which is not in their power, must go we have here, a much forgotten or over- before a change which, up to a cerlooked point of theology, which is well tain point, is still unquestionably worth all the best of your attention.
within their power.
There is thus We cannot but be aware, that the nothing definite which we can chalk manner in which the doctrines of out for a man to do, and our dread, Scripture are oftentimes propounded, ' (which is for the most part a legitihas a distinct tendency to repress men's | mate dread and a laudable dread) of energies, or, at least, to give them leading men to regard salvation as a an altogether wrong direction. The thing of works, and not a thing of grand difficulty in delivering the in- ' faith, forces us to prescribe a course struction of the Bible, is rightly to to the sinner, in which he can take divide the word of truth, taking heed not a solitary step, unless under the that we give not to one partan
influence of an effectual call of God's tundue preponderance over another. grace. We suppose that all of you, And finding it to be a grand doctrine who have ever concerned yourselves of revelation, that God looks at the with the endeavour of advancing the hrart, and that no action, however spiritual well-being of others, must good in itself, or however comely, be conscious of this difficulty in recan be acceptable in the sight of the gard to the manner in which this Creator, if it spring not from re- ought to be pressed on the unconnewed and purified affections, the verted. You have felt yourselves preacher, by placing this doctrine in hampered with the truths of election ; the front of his argument, might leave or you have been damped by the idea the impression, on the unconverted that in even urging the sinner to pray, of his hearers, that till they have ob- you urge him to a work for which he tained a change of heart, it is idle to hath naturally no power. And, thereset about any change of conduct. fore, you have scarcely known what
Now you may be sure, that we have path to recommend to the unconvertno intention of throwing into the back- ed; and with all the sound advice