« AnteriorContinuar »
"favour thou bearest to thy people: O visit me with "thy salvation; that I may see the good of thy chosen, "that I may rejoice in the goodness of thy nation, "that I may glory with thine inheritance." When your minds rove through the universe, finding no substitute for Him, 'do you come back and ask, "where is "God my maker, who giveth songs in the night ?" After comparing communion with Him to every other conceivable good, can you say, " whom have I in heaven "but Thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire "besides Thee?" When the ambassadors of a certain nation came to the Romans, offering to be their allies, and were refused, they said, Well, if we cannot be your allies, we will be your subjects; we will not be your enemies. Can you say, Lord, I will be thine; I will not be mine own; if I am not received as a friend, I will be a servant; I never can be thy foe? And you are wishing to be able to " SAY He is my God." Why you have SAID it; having thus chosen Him, be assured he has chosen you; having thus given yourselves to Him, be ussured He has given Himself to you; if you are thus His, be assured He is yours.
Thirdly, Are there none in the divine presence, who are enabled to say, as the language both of devotion and of confidence," my Lord, and my God?" Follow the example of the church, publish the fame of His goodness, and animate others to join you in praising Him. "Behold God is my salvation, I will trust and "not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength "and my song, he also is become my salvation." Plead your interest in Him in all your dangers, troubles, and necessities. Envy none their wordly dis
tinctions; remember your pre-eminence; you are "the sons and daughters of the Lord almighty." Do not complain because they may possess things, of which you are deprived; you have a God, they have none; you can sustain a loss uninjured, they would be undone; it would be taking away their all. If your ta. per be extinguished, you have a sun; but when "the "candle of the wicked is put out," they are involved in darkness, "darkness that may be felt." Honour your God by living upon his fulness, and endeavouring by faith to realize in Him, every thing you seek for, in vain, in yourselves, or in creatures. Observe the address of Moses to the Israelites, "What nation "is there so GREAT, who hath God so nigh unto "them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we "call upon him for?" They were an inconsiderable body, confined in a wilderness, the arts and sciences, and commerce, were all with their enemies; they had the same raiment they wore out of Egypt forty years before; and had no provision for a single day. But their peculiar GREATNESS arose from their nearness to God. In having Him they had all; He possessed, and could immediately produce the supplies their necessities required; they had only to ask and have. When David was plundered, and stripped of all he had in Ziglag; it is said, he "encouraged himself in the "Lord his God"-HE was left. Thus a christian who has nothing, possesses all things. Creatures may abandon him, but his God will never leave nor forsake him. Friends may die, but the Lord liveth. His "heart and "his flesh may fail, but God is the ftrength of his "heart, and his portion forever." "The heavens may
66 pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt "with fervent heat, the earth and the works that "are therein may be burned up"-he stands upon the ashes of a universe, and exclaims, I have lost nothing.
THE YOUNG ADMONISHED.
1 KINGS, xviii. 12.
I FEAR THE LORD FROM MY YOUTH.
THESE are the words of Obadiah. From his situation and office, he appears to have been a person of some distinction, for "he was the governor "of Ahab's house." But what we admire in him, and with which only we have to do, is the piety that marked his character. "He feared the Lord GREATLY;" and gave evidence of it in a season of extreme danger: "for he took an hundred prophets, and hid them by "fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water." And as his religion was superíor in its degree, so it was early in its commencement. For, says he, in his address to Elijah, "I fear the Lord FROM MY YOUTH." And herein, my young friends, we propose him this evening as your example. In your imitation of him, many are concerned, though none are so deeply interested as yourselves.
-The preacher who addresses you is concerned. He longs" after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.” Indeed if ministers desire to be useful, they cannot be M
indifferent to you.
You would prove their best helpers; you would rouse the careless; you would reproach those of riper years; you would decide the wavering young. It is in your power to build up our churches, and to change the moral face of our neighbourhood. "The wilderness, and the solitary place, "shall be made glad for" you, "and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose."
-Behold standing near your preacher, your friends, your relations, your parents, hearing for you with trembling, and prayers, and tears. Thy father is saying, "my son, if thou be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine." The woman who bare thee is saying, “What, my son, and what the son of my womb, and "what the son of my vows!"
-Behold too your fellow-citizens, your countrymen. I imagine all those assembled here this evening, with whom you are to have any future connections by friendship, by alliance, by business; whose kindred you are to espouse, whose offices you are to fill; these I ask, is it a matter of indifference, whether the rising generation be infidel and immoral, or influenced by conscience, and governed by Scripture? Where is the person, who has any regard for the welfare of the nation, for social order, for relative life, for personal happiness, who would not immediately exclaim, "Rid me and deliver me from the hand of strange
children; whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their 'right hand is a right hand of falsehood: that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; and that "our daughters may be as corner stones, polished "after the similitude of a palace."