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“ One cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, the incarnate Redeemer. When he bringeth holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is his first begotten into the world, he saith, full of his glory.” Shall I say that Christians “ Yea, and let all the angels of God worship do resemble all this? Alas! there is too lit-him." When he was born there was “sudtle of it in our churches and assemblies. We denly a multitude of the heavenly host, praismeet together, and apparently unite in the ing God, and saying, Glory to God in the same exercises; but if our voices accord, our highest, and on earth peace, good-will tohearts disagree. One hears with humility, wards men.” John heard them saying with another with captiousness. One finds the a loud voice, “ Worthy is the Lamb that was word and eats it, another goes after his covet- slain to receive power, and riches, and wisousness. One “worships God in spirit and dom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and in truth," another inform and pretence. blessing." And is there a Christian upon What a scene of confusion must one of our earth that does not delight in the same praise congregations present to the eye of Him that —that does not sing, searcheth the heart! Even among those who
" Jesus is worthy to receive are Christians indeed, there is too little of
Honour and power divine: this blessed harmony and concurrence. Yet
And blessings more than we can give there is a degree of it. God has given them
Be, Lord, for ever thine." " one heart and one way.” They agree They are his most heavenly moments, in “ touching the things they should ask of their which he is fullest of this interesting theme, heavenly Father.” They magnify his Name and can breathe out his very soul in saying, together;" and in a little time their mutual “ Unto him that loved us, and washed us from prejudices will be done away, and they shall our sins in his own blood, and hath made us see eye to eye; they “shall all come in the kings and priests unto God, and his Father, unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of to him be glory and dominion for ever and the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the ever. Amen.” measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” | V. WE ARE TO COME TO THEM AS ASSO
It appears in the subject of their study. CIATES, with whom we are to blend our fuThe angels are proverbial for knowledge: we ture being, and from whom we shall derive rend of being “wise as an angel of God.” no inconsiderable part of our happiness. Had we heard only of such exalted beings, It is not good for man to be alone. He is we should be anxious to know what things formed for social enjoyment; and it is a great they deemed most worthy of their attention. source of his present pleasure. The repreBut we are informed. They are “ the suffer- sentation of heaven meets this propensity. ings of Christ and the glory that should fol. We are assured that it is a state of society. low-which things the angels desire to look And there are two classes of beings that will into.” We never read of their being politi- contribute much to our satisfaction and imcians, philosophers, naturalists, astronomers.provement. Doubtless they contemplate the works of cre- The one is endearing.-It takes in those ation and providence, and trace the appear- you loved in life, with whom you took sweet ances of God in them. But as the redemp- counsel together, and went to the house of tion of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ is God in company, your pious friends and rethe greatest display of the divine perfections, lations, who now sleep in Jesus. With what their eyes seem taken off from every other reluctance you yielded them up!-Sorrowing object, and fixed upon this. And they are most of all that you should see their face, and not satisfied to take a transient, superficial hear their voice no more! Memory from view of it, but gaze and examine ; and the month to month renews the anguish, and more they know, the more they wish to know.opens afresh the wounds which time was beAre you like-minded? Is this the most wel.ginning to heal. But wipe away your tears, come subject to your hearts? The most im- | They are not lost. Their separation from portant to your minds? Or are you engrossed you is but temporary. You shall see and hear with trifles? Can you climb the skies, num- them again. You shall know them; and shall ber the stars, fathom the ocean, penetrate the together review all the way by which the bowels of the earth, and—“ neglect this great Lord has led you in the wilderness. salvation ?" In the eye of an angel you are The other is dignifying.-It comprehends a trifler. You disregard what they above all patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs-anthings esteem. You are no Christian-a gels. You shall be introduced to company of Christian is like an angel. This constitutes the very first sort. Angels are the flower of his attraction; and he exclaims, “ I determine the creation; and the poorest, meanest beto know nothing save Jesus Christ and him liever shall enjoy it; and be prepared for it. crucified : God forbid that I should glory, save There are many now whose excellences you in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by venerate, but their pre-eminence confounds whom the world is crucified unto me, and I and embarrasses you. You long to be in their unto the world.”
presence, but shrink from the interview. You It appears in their worship. They adore could wish to be with them without being 252 THE CONNEXION BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND ANGELS. seen or heard, such a sense have you of their , devil is the head-a society that is constantly wisdom and your weakness; their goodness labouring to multiply its victims, and bring and your unworthiness. But nothing of this them into the same place of torment. How perplexity which now often robs us of half many are hastening to mix with it! To how our social enjoyments, shall hereafter be many will the Judge say, " Depart, ye cursed, known. Whatever sense we have of our in- into everlasting tire, prepared for the devil feriority, it will not be disagreeable; we shall and his angels!" Will this be your destiny feel no fear, no reluctance. These glorious in the great day? What! instead of going beings are all generosity, tenderness, and love. with the righteous, will you " be led forth They will receive us with joy. We shall find with the workers of iniquity ?” Instead of ourselves perfectly free and happy. With joining God and his angels, will you have what pleasure will they communicate their your “ portion with the devil and his angels?" knowledge! And with what ecstasy will you! There cannot be a more awful question, receive it! How instructive, how sublime And one would naturally conclude that you will our intercourse be! How delightful to could " not give sleep to your eyes, or slumfind ourselves translated from this bedlam- ber to your eyelids," till you had endeavound world, this Mesech,
| to answer it. But you ask, Is it possible to “ From these low grounds where sorrows grow
answer it? It is: and observe, I beseech you, And every pleasure dies—".
the rule of judgment. It is not an arbitrary to that better, that heavenly country: and to
one. It is founded in justice and reason. It exchange the society of men, vain men, vex
is not impulse, but character. It is not some ing men, sinful men, for “an innumerable
unaccountable impression, but the principles company of angels.”
that govern you, the dispositions of the heart, Let us conclude with two questions.
the habits of the life. By these you are to try First. How can it be said that “ we are
yourselves. To know what you will be in come to" this blessed assembly? Are Chris
another world, you must inquire what you tians already in heaven? Is it possible to
are in this. To decide with whom you will conceive how we are come to this innumera
have your portion in eternity, you must deble company of angels, as friends who are
are termine who are your companions in time. reconciled to us, as attendants who care for us,
“Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for as witnesses to observe, and as examples to
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also stimulate us? All this regards the present
reap: for he that soweth to the flesh shall of state; but to be with them as our eternal as- ||
be the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth sociates, from whom we are to derive so
to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life evermuch of our happiness--this regards a future
lasting." state. How then are we said to be already
| Whom then do you most admire ?-Are come to this glorious community ?-By the!!
that they “the saints, the excellent of the earth, certainty of the event. By promise-and
and in whom is all your delight?" Have you “the Scripture cannot be broken." By hope
taken hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, _and “hope maketh not ashamed.” By an
saying, I will go with you, for I have heard ticipation, by earnests, by foretastes of this that God is with you.” Look forward and exalted felicity. A real Christian needs not
rejoice. As sure as you can appeal to God to be informed that “he that believeth hath when you come to die, and say, “Lord, I everlasting life.” He is often reminded of
of have loved the habitation of thy house, and the words of the Apostle, He “hath raised |
the place where thine honour dwelleth," you you up, and made you to sit together with may with
lith may with confidence and success pleadhim in heavenly places." In the closet, in
“Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my the temple, in the communion of saints he
life with bloody men." Being let go, you knows that heaven is not entirely future; it
will repair to your own company. is already commenced. And whatever the
But are you vain? Are you ambitious! people of the world may think of religion, he
Are you lifted up with pride? You will can look them in the face, and say,
“fall into the condemnation of the devil."
Can you vilify and reproach the good? Can “The men of grace have found
you rejoice in discovering their blemishes, Glory begiin below;
and magnifying their infirmities?-Are you And heavenly fruits on earthly ground From faith and hope may grow.
regardless of truth ?-Do you indulge in false The hill of Zion vields
hood and hypocrisy?-Do you hate your A thousand sacred sweets
neighbour, and harbour in your bosom malice Before we reach the heavenly fields,
and revenge ?-Do you endeavour, by your Or walk the golden streets."
influence or example, to poison the principles, Secondly. To whom are you come? I and sap the morals of those around you ! shudder as I proceed to press this inquiry. I There is already a connexion established, have been speaking of heaven: but remember, that death will only discover and complete; there is another society—a society of wicked your resemblance points out your party and and miserable beings society of which the your doom-you are devils by anticipation,
and must have your portion with him who is " Should worlds conspire to drive me hetice, the “ accuser of the brethren; a liar; a mur
Moveless and firm this heart shall lie:
Resolved, for that's my last defence, derer from the beginning; a roaring lion, If I must perish, here to die!" going about seeking whom he may devour." Have you a no confidence in the flesh?"
Oh! to be-for ever a companion with Ro- No dependence upon your own resources, for bespierre, with Nero, with Judas, with Pha- your happiness? No dependence upon your raoh-with the devil-and his angels !! Sure-l own righteousness, for your justification ? No ly there is enough in the thought, to keep any dependence on your own strength, for your man in his senses all his life long from the sanctification ? No dependence upon your paths of the destroyer, and to induce him to own wisdom, for your guidance ? pray every moment, “ Hide thy face from my! These questions we ask so early in the dissin, and blot out all my transgression. Create course that if you find yourselves to be stranin me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right gers to the character of the Israel of God, you spirit within me. Save me, and I shall be may be affected with your condition; and that, saved; heal me, and I shall be healed; for while you hear of their blessedness, you may thou art my praise." May God inspire you sigh after it:—and if you are able to deterwith these desires, and to him be glory. mine in your favour, and humbly hope, that Amnen.
you have avouched the Lord to be your God, and joined yourselves to him in a perpetual covenant, you may sit and hear, with grati
tude and joy, that you have chosen that good DISCOURSE LXX.
part which shall not be taken away from you.
I. WHAT HAS GOD DONE ? He has made
you. THE AGED SAINT COMFORTED.
II. WHAT WILL HE DO? Carry and deliver And even to old age I am he; and even to your
| III. How LONG ? How FAR? To old age; hoar hairs will I carry you : I have made, to gray hairs. “And even to your old age I and I will beur; even I will carry, and will am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry deliver you.—Isaiah xlvi. 4.
you: I have made, and I will bear; even I
will carry, and will deliver you." Such was the address of God to his pecu II. WHAT HAS GOD DONE FOR YOU ALREADY? fiar people, the Jews. He has a peculiar “ I have made.” This brings him very near. people now; and we need not ascend up into It presents him to us as our Creator ; as the heaven, and examine the book of life, to know Fountain of life. Others have claimed us as who they are. We have a copy of this book children; and we early learned to say, My of life in our possession. It is the Scripture. father; my father. But to them we owe our There we have not only their portion secured, being subordinately, and instrumentally: to but their characters described. Let us take Him we owe it supremely and efficiently. one exemplification only. “We are the cir- They were “fathers of our flesh :" but He is cumcision,” says the Apostle, “ who worship “the Father of our spirits.” God in the spirit; and rejoice in Christ Jesus, I love to realize this relation. Is my body and have no confidence in the flesh.” fearfully and wonderfully made? Do I possess
Do you“worship God”-in public? Alone? reason and immortality? Are matter and Habitually? Do you worship God “in the spirit, clay and thought, strangely united to Spirit ?" Have you only “ a form of godliness gether, to render me the being I am? “His while you deny the power thereof?" Do you hands have made me and fashioned me." I “ draw nigh to him with your mouth, and ho- behold, I feel his wisdom, power, and goodnour him with your lips, while your heart is ness; and at once embrace him and adore ! far from him?" Or do you pray, “ Unite my The view is instructive; it is encouraging. heart to fear thy name ?"
The constitution I possess, limited as it is in Do you “rejoice?" Are you grateful for capacity, and subject as it is to infirmity, he your mercies; or full of murmuring and com- gave me. The degree of health and strength plaining? Is the service of God your pleasure, I enjoy, he assigned me. He knows my as well as your employment? Your privilege frame; and remembers that I am but dust. as well as your duty? Do you“ rejoice He sees that to will is present with me, in Christ Jesus ?" "Do you find conso- though how to perform that which is good I lation in him when the world is a vale of find not: he knows that the spirit indeed is tears? When creatures fail you? Are you willing, though the flesh is weak.” Why encouraged by the thought that there is such does Peter admonish those that suffer accord. a Saviour? That he is so suitable to your ing to the will of God to commit the keeping case? So sufficient to save? Do you, even of their souls to him in well doing, “as unto while unable to claim him, rejoice in hope; a faithful Creator?"-Because he who made and under every dejection, throwing yourself me is perfectly acquainted with all I feel; at his feet, say,
because he who made me is able to save me;
because he who made me has a benign propen- | promise echoes back the prayer, and leads
proper expostulation with God, says, “ Have
other kindred sins, we are peculiarly liable in should thy servant be yet a burden unto my the day of adversity; and it is a distinguished lord the king ?” Such also was the view privilege to be preserved from them, even if David took of the same season: "The days the distress should be continued.
of our years are threescore years and ten: He delivers them by trouble. But for “the and if by reason of strength they be fourthorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to score years, yet is their strength labour and buffet him," Paul would have been “exalted sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly above measure." "Before I was amicted,” away.” But Solomon has given us an ensays David, “I went astray, but now have I larged representation of the decline of life; kept thy word.” It was "the hedge of thorns" and he mentions the disadvantage of it to that restrained the church from “ finding her enforce an important duty: "Remember now paths, and following her lovers.” Who is thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while not more indebted to his trials, than to his the evil days come not, nor the years draw enjoyments?
nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure And this leads us to another view of the in them." Then will you be unable to disdeliverance here promised. Our bodily dan charge the duties of religion; then will you gers are nothing to our spiritual. We should require all its comforts; then how dreadful be chiefly concerned for the safety and wel- to encounter the remorse of reflection, and fare of the soul. Now what are our moral the horror of anticipation! “While the sun, hazards? Is not “our adversary, the devil, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not like a roaring lion, going about seeking whom darkened, nor the clouds return after the he may devour ?" Do we not live in a world rain; in the day when the keepers of the of error ? Are we not surrounded with evil house shall tremble, and the strong men examples ? Are there not “fleshly lusts that shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease war against the soul ?" Is there not “in us because they are few, and those that look an evil heart of unbelief in departing from out of the windows be darkened, and the the living God ?"- Who then can be saved ? doors shall be shut in the streets, when the Who can hope to endure to the end !-No sound of the grinding is low, and he shall one but the Christian; and even his expecta- rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the tion would be no better than presumption, daughters of music shall be brought low; were it not that he has an Almighty De- also when they shall be afraid of that which liverer who is pledged to secure him. To is high, and fears shall be in the way, and him he looks: on him he relies. His defence the almond-tree shall flourish, and the grassis of God, that saveth the upright in heart. hopper shall be a burden, and desire shall He “is able to keep him from falling, and to fail : because man goeth to his long home, present him faultless before the presence of and the mourners go about the streets: or his glory with exceeding joy ;" and he says ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden to him, as David did to Abiathar, “ Abide bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at with me, for he that seeketh thy life seeketh the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cismy life, but with me thou shalt be in safe- tern. Then shall the dust return to the earth
as it was: and the spirit shall return unto III. BUT HOW LONG? How Far will his God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith tenderness and care extend? To old age; to the preacher; all is vanity.” hoar hairs. “ And even to your old age I am Such is the period to which the promise he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: extends; and two things may be observed I have made, and I will bear; even I will concerning it. carry, and will deliver you.”
First. The promise does not necessarily This is a period in which a man is de suppose that you will reach this period. Imprived of many of his relations and friends; mensely the majority of mankind die before is gazed on by a new generation ; feels a time can snow upon their heads. There are thousand infirmities, anxieties, and distress- few comparatively who “come to their grave es; and is reduced to dependence upon in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh those around him. “When thou wast young," | in his season.” The wonder is that there says our Saviour to Peter, “thou girdedst are so many. thyself, and walkedst whither thou would
"Dangers stand thick through all the ground, est : but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt
To push us to the tomb:
And fierce diseases wait around, stretch forth thy hands, and another shall
. To hurry mortals home. gird thee, and carry thee whither thou
“ Our life contains a thousand springs, wouldest not.” Owing to the nature of this
And dies if one be gone; period Barzillai refuses the offers of a palace: Strange, that a harp of thousand strings I am this day fourscore years old: and
Should keep in tune so long!" can I discern between good and evil? Can ! But the meaning is, that if you should thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? reach this period, you need not be afraid of Can I hear any more the voice of singing it; he will be with you, and "a very present men and singing women? Wherefore then help in trouble.”