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or sanctify you? or comfort you? or give you I and prospered. Did Pharaoh? Did Belshazan abundant entrance into the everlasting zar? Did the Jews ? kingdom of our Lord and Saviour? What To improve this awful subject, let me ask then can equal the folly of offending and pro- -Whether you are for God or against him! voking Him whose favour is life, and upon Be not surprised-you are either his friends whom you absolutely depend for every thing or his enemies: there is no neutrality here. essential to your happiness in time and eter- In some cases, neutrality is allowable if not nity ?
commendable. In family disputes, or in And therefore, Thirdly, Nothing can be quarrels among neighbours, it may be proper more injurious and ruinous. In striving with to stand neuter. If we can do no good, we hirn, you only resemble the wave that dashes shall do no harm; and this is often a consiagainst the rock, and is driven back in foam; derable point. In the senate of a nation a or the ox that kicks against the goad, and member may waive his vote; things may be only wounds himself; or the thorns and briers balanced in his mind; and nothing for the that should set themselves in battle array time may cause either side of the question against the fire. Hence says God, “ Let the to preponderate. And it is the excellency potsherds strive with the potsherds of the of a representative to be of no party. Two earth.” If you will contend, choose an enemy nations may worry and consume each other, like yourselves, with whom you may claim while a third however pressed, may remain some kind of equality. There is none between neutral and save its wealth and its subjects. you and me. There are cases, in which it But here-we repeat it-and it cannot be remay be proper to wage war, where there is peated too often; here, there is not, and there only a probability, or even a possibility of cannot be a state of indifference. “He that victory. But whạt desperate madness actuates is not for me is against me; and he that you? You strive with an adversary by whom gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. No you know you must be conquered. For “ have man can serve two masters, for either he will you an arm like God, or can you thunder hate the one, and love the other; or else he with a voice like his?" Need you be told, will hold to the one, and despise the other. that he can work immediately upon the mind, Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." and in the twinkling of an eye could produce Are you then the enemies of God; and such terrors in your consciences as would be have you to this hour been striving with your intolerable? Need you be told that he is able to Maker? O! let me admonish you. Let me destroy both body and soul in hell ? Need you address you in the words of Eliphaz to Job: be told that all creatures, from an angel to a “ Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at worm, are under his control, and only wait peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." his signal to fall upon you?
Let me urge you, in the language of the This, you say, only shows what he can do. apostle Peter: “Humble yourself under the Let us thén see what he will do. What has mighty hand of God, and he will exalt you he said ? Read these threatenings : “ If ye in due time.” If you are willing to return, walk contrary to me, I also will walk con- be not discouraged. Behold him stretching trary to you; and will punish you seven times forth the golden sceptre, saying, Touch, and for your iniquity." "He shall be revealed live: “I will be merciful to the unrighteous, from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flam- and their sins and iniquities will I remember ing fire; taking vengeance on them that no more." He is “ in Christ, reconciling the know not God, and that obey not the Gospel world unto himself, not imputing their tres of our Lord Jesus Christ : who shall be pu- passes unto them.” He has established "a nished with everlasting destruction from the ministry of reconciliation," and sends forth presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his ambassadors to “beseech" you to be rehis power. And Enoch also, the seventh from conciled unto God. How wonderful that he Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, should not wait to be solicited, but make the the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his proposal himself, and urge you to aceept of saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to it! Will not such love prevail? Do you convince all that are ungodly among them of still harbour doubts in your minds which keep all their ungodly deeds which they have un- you from him ? Let me if possible dispel godly committed, and of all their hard speech-them by another illustration-for till your es which ungodly sinners have spoken against hope be excited, it is in vain to expect your him."
return. A king may justly punish rebels: " But what reason have we to believe that but suppose from his clemency he has issued all this is true?"- Because it is found in a a proclamation, assuring them that whoever book written by God himself. Because many within a given period will come in and give of these threatenings have already been ac- up his arms, shall be pardoned and released complished. Because it accords with those –What would you think of this prince, evils and miseries which are found to attend if, as soon as one of these rebellious suh wickedness even in this world. And because jects entered his presence to claim the no one ever hardened himself against God privilege, he should have him immediately
executed !-But you say-surely he never DISCOURSE XXVIII. could do this his honour would be at stake. Though he was originally under no obligation to save him, he is now; for he has bound COMMUNION WITH THE SAVIOUR himself by his word. And can God deny INSEPARABLE FROM HOLINESS. himself!-Venture then upon his promise. Go to him with weeping and supplication, and
If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. say, " () Lord, other lords beside thee have
John xiii. 8.' had dominion over us: by thee only will we If the most minute circumstances in the make mention of thy name." But remember, lives of illustrious characters be perused with you have no time to lose the season of all eagerness and pleasure, surely we can never lowed submission is fixed, and will soon elapse. | feel indifferent to any part of the history of “ Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles our Lord and Saviour. He was fairer than thou art in the way with him; lest at any the children of men: he was higher than the time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, kings of the earth: all he did was wise and and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and good : and we are concerned in all. thou be cast into prison.”
Observe the transaction to which the Happy are you who have abandoned the words before us refer—“Jesus knowing that unrighteous struggle, and are now one with the Father had given all things into his God. The enmity of your heart has been hands, and that he was come from God, and slain, the weapons of your rebellion have went to God, he riseth from supper”-Such been thrown down, and many a tear shed a solemn preface raises a high degree of exupon them. Be as zealous for him as you pectation. From such an introduction, who have been against him. He has done much would not look for an illustrious display of for you; and you have much to do for him. his power and glory ?-But he laid aside his Rise up for him against the evil doers, and garments; and took a towel and girded himstand up for him against the workers of ini- self. After that he poureth water into a baquity. Redeem for him the time which you son, and began to wash the disciples' feet, have lost. Honour him with your substance. and to wipe them with the towel wherewith Employ in his service every power you pos- he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon sess, and every blessing you enjoy. Whether Peter: and Peter said unto him, Lord, dost you live, live unto the Lord; or whether you thou wash my feet?" How much was all die, die unto the Lord; so that, living or dy- this in character with Peter !-He was stronging, you may be the Lord's.
ly attached to his Master, and deeply sensiTo conclude. We have been speaking of ble of his own unworthiness; but forward and a striving with God which is unlawful and impetuous; rash in action, and often speaking destructive-but there is a striving with him without due reflection. Therefore · Jesus which is allowable and necessary. It is by answered and said unto him, What I do thou prayer and supplication. Such was the strife knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereof the woman of Canaan under the several | after.” “There is something more in this discouragements she at first received, to try action than you are aware of, and by-and-by her fervency and her faith. “Let me alone,” you will perceive it." The intimation refers said God to Moses; Moses was striving with to the design of this washing, which was twohim in prayer for the preservation of the Is-fold. First, exemplary—to enforce upon them raelites; and God speaks as if he could do condescension, humbleness of mind, brotherly nothing against prayer. “Let me go," said kindness. And secondly, symbolical—to lead the angel to Jacob; Jacob was wrestling with their minds impressively to things of a higher him; and " he said, I will not let thee go, nature. What therefore was perhaps excuexcept thou bless me. And he blessed him sable in Peter before, became censurable now. there."
After such an intimation he should have imAnd when Providence seems to oppose the plicitly acquiesced; instead of which, he promise; when experience seems to disagree saith, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.“ with the word; when we are exercised with Upon which, Jesus answered him in plain delays and rebukes too--then to persevere—to and awful terms, “If I wash thee not, thou pray and not faint-this will be found nothing hast no part with me." less than a wrestling with God. But this is Though this declaration intends nothing a holy violence. This is a pleasing resistance. less than the necessity of obedience in this And in this strife we are sure to prevail. | instance, it surely comprehends much more. He never said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye He therefore now does not mention the washme, in vain. “ Wait on the Lord; be of ing of his feet, but of himself: if I wash good courage, and he shall strengthen thine thee not. And the threatening—thou hast heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. The king-“no part with me," seems too dreadful to be dom of heaven suffereth violence, and the denounced against an unwillingness to comviolent take it by force."
ply with this ceremonial observance, which sprang from something good as well as evil, water upon you, and ye shall be clean : frog in the Apostle; and was therefore a mixed all your filthiness, and from all your idols, action: a sin of infirmity. Besides, we know will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I that our Saviour was accustomed to teach by give you, and a new spirit will I put within facts and imagery; to pass from the body to you, and I will take away the stony heart the mind; to ascend from particular hints to out of your flesh, and I will give you an general truths; and to express more than is heart of flesh. And I will put my Spiri immediately perceived, in order that it might within you, and cause you to walk in my be discovered by repeated meditation, or il- statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, lustrated by subsequent events.
and do them." We do not indeed mean to We deemed these few words necessary to intimate that real Christians are entirely justify ourselves from the deserved reproach freed from all sin here--for then, who coud of those who, as they call it, are always spirit- lay claim to the character? Unmixed purity ualizing the Scriptures, and building import is the privilege of heaven. There alone ant doctrines on historical circumstances, till shall we be - presented faultless before the the word of God becomes contemptible to the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." wise, and unintelligible to the simple ; and | The greatest saints have now their infirmie seems to have no real and determinate sense ties; and groan, being burdened. But let us left. It is high time that this trilling and remember that though this work is completed mischievous mode of teaching should be dis- | in eternity, it is begun in time: that the true countenanced and laid aside.
Christian is the subject of a glorious change, Let us hasten to consider, with all the se- not only as to his actions, but also as to his dis riousness the subject requires, THAT PURIFI positions ; that he is saved from the love of CATION, WITHOUT WHICH ALL Our HOPE OF every sin, and the dominion of every sin; AN INTEREST IN CHRIST IS VAIN. “If I wash that there is no sin unknown which he does thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Of not wish to discover; and no sin discovered this exclusion from Christ, Let us examine which he does not resolve to destroy; and no THE CONDITION—THE DREADFULNESS_and sin which he resolves to destroy, but he THE CERTAINTY.
strives and labours to destroy—“ plucking I. THE CONDITION_“If I wash thee not." out even a right eye, or cutting off eren a
It reminds us that sin is of a defiling qua- right hand; denying all ungodliness, and lity. When God looked down from heaven worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously, upon the children of men, it is said, they were and godly, in the present world.”' “altogether become filthy." Hence, we read But how are we thus cleansed from our inof the filthiness of flesh and spirit.” This iquities, and who has the honour of our delievil hath defiled all our powers and all our verance? He is the grand purifier: his actions; all we possess and all we enjoy ; name is called Jesus, because he saves his and while it pollutes us, it causes us also to people from their sins. “ If I wash thee not." pollute others.
| The work is his, and whatever means are Man may palliate the evil of sin, but in the used, they derive both their being and their view of the Supreme Judge it is unspeakably efficacy from him. There is no other fountvile and hateful—“He is of purer eyes than ain opened for sin and uncleanness than his to behold iniquity.” And when the sinner dying wounds supplied. Ilis · blood," says himself is convinced of sin, he sees it in the the Apostle, “cleanseth us from all sin." same light. As a discovery of the guilt of “ He loved us," says the Church, “and washsin awakens his fear, so a perception of the ed us from our sins in his own blood." impurity of it excites his aversion and disgust. | Let us not look to him for justification only, He sees, he feels that he is unclean, and de- but remember that he is “made of God unto servedly excluded from communion with all us sanctification," also; that he delivers us not holy beings. He cries, “ Behold, I am vile ! only from the curse, but the pollution of sin; wherefore I abhor myself, repenting in dust that he rescues us not only from the burden and ashes." He " loathes himself for all his of condemnation, but the bondage of corrupabominations ;” nor will he be perfectly re tion; and not only gives us the title to heaconciled to himself while any of the hateful ven, but produces in us the meetness for itdefilement is found within him.
He is all in all.” To induce you to seek Now this enables us to determine what our after this state, consider, Saviour means by washing us. It is the II. THE DREADFULNESS of the exclusionsanctification of our nature. It is what the “Thou hast no part with me.” “Thou hast Apostle calls “the washing of regeneration, no real interest in me; and thou canst have and the renewing of the Holy Ghost." As no reasonable expectations from me." There water removes defilement and restores to is something very tremendous in this. Hear purity, so the influences of Divine grace de- ! how the Apostle Paul speaks of a privilege liver us from sin and make us truly holy. from which you are excluded. “But what Hence we find it promised in a fulness and things were gain to me, those I counted loss variety of expression, “I will sprinkle clean for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all
en things but loss for the excellency of the know-l to the deluge, and have no ark. It matters
ledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I not to whom we belong; if we had part with have suffered the loss of all things, and do a king, he could not help us in our most imcount them but dung, that I may win Christ, portant concerns—the concerns of the soul and be found in him, not having mine own and eternity. He cannot give us the true righteousness, which is of the law, but that riches. He cannot deliver us from the wrath which is through the faith of Christ, the to come. He cannot bless us with all spiritual righteousness which is of God by faith; that blessings in heavenly places. And what can I may know him, and the power of his resur- we do without these? "Neither is there. rection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, salvation in any other, for there is no other being made conforınable unto his death: if by name given under heaven among men whereany means I might attain unto the resurrec-by we must be saved." And if we miss saltion of the dead.” The Apostle was a good vation, we are lost for ever. “ What is a .
judge, and you here see that he infinitely man profited, if he should gain the whole - preferred union with Christ to every thing world, and lose his own soul; or what shall
else. But you say, you are not like-minded; a man give in exchange for his soul?” you do not thus value him; you prefer a thou- To have no communion with him in whose sand objects to an interest in him and there- favour is life; to hear him say, I have a fafore to you there seems nothing so very dread-mily, but you are no part of it-you are not ful in this threatening.
a child, nor even a servant; to hear him say, But the question is-whether your judg- I have a plantation, but you are not in itment be a righteous one. A pear) is not the you are not a cedar, no, nor a shrub; to hear less precious because the swine tramples it him say, I have in reserve for my followers, under foot. A toy is not more valuable than thrones of glory, rivers of pleasure, fulness a title to an estate because an infant or an of joy-buit as for you-you-have “neither idiot may give it the preference.
part nor lot in the matter, for your heart is And the question also is, whether you will not right in the sight of God”-if this be not always remain in the same opinion. Will dreadful, nothing can be dreadful. the day of judgment, think you, operate no Especially when we add that there is but change in your sentiments? Will not the one alternative--If you have no part with approach of death after your convictions? | Christ and his people, you must have your What! when all those things which now en-portion with hypocrites and unbelievers, with page and amuse you fail, will you want no the devil and his angels! You have already better portion? If while I am speaking a fixed you destiny; you have chosen the left messenger from the “ king of terrors" should hand; you are already mingling with the seize you, and you were carried to your bed, goats; you are walking the downward road and compelled to look backward upon your -“ As for such as turn aside to their crooked hfe, and forward to your doom-what could ways, the Lord will lead them forth with the succour and relieve you ?-Yea, if conscience workers of iniquity.” Who believes this? were to fill upon you this moment, and the Let us then see whether we cannot establish, terrors of the Almighty troubled you; you III. THE CERTAINTY of this exclusion. would soon find the truth of Solomon's words, There are two ways of proving this. The "The spirit of a man may sustain his in- one is by testimony. “If you receive the wittrinity: but a wounded spirit who can bear?" ness of man, the witness of God is greater." - And then what advantage could you derive And, says not our Lord and Saviour, “If I from all your worldly possessions? They wash thee not, thou hast no part with me?" would be all physicians of no value; misera- One declaration from him renders a thing as le comforters. Your relief could only come certain as a thousand-otherwise I could go on mom another quarter—but from that quarter quoting Scripture—and say—“ They that are ou are forbidden to hope.
Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the afIf our Lord and Saviour was an unimport- fections and lusts.” “If any man be in Christ, int character, your exclusion from him would he is a new creature; old things are passed it be so fatal-but the fact is, that every away, behold, all things are become new." hing you need is found in him, and to be de- " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he Ted only from him. Of what worth Christ is none of his." But where shall I end? 8 to us, is a question, says an old writer, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not which would nonplus all the saints on earth inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deand angels in heaven to answer. One thing ceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor ve are certain of-that no being in the uni- 'adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of fesse can fill his place, and do for us what he themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor
able to do. And therefore, if he will have covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor lothing to do with us, our case is indeed extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of diserable and hopeless. We are wanderers God." The other is reasoning from princi, rithout a guide: we are dying patients with ples. Let us view the Saviour, with whom ut a physician or a remedy: we are exposed we hope to have communion for ever-But
he is pure and holy; his person is pure; his unto a man, but, be assured, the end thereof kingdom is pure-pure are its joys, its ser-are the paths of death!" vices, and its company. If therefore, we are. We may, Secondly, congratulate those who not made pure and holy, we have no likeness are made free from sin. You have "an inin him; and were we in a state of union, heritance among them that are sanctified." such a heterogeneous mass of materials would Yea, you not only share with the saints, but form a body like the image of Nebuchadnez- I also with the Saviour : you have part with zar, where the head was indeed of gold, but Christ ! you partake of his safety and his dig. the breast and arms of silver, and the inferiornity. “When he, who is your life, shall apparts of baser metal, down to the feet, which pear, you shall also appear with him in glory. were part of iron and part of clay. Can this You shall sit with him upon his throne. You be a representation of the Church of the liv- shall enter the joy of your Lord. If children, ing God? If Christ is the head, and Chris- then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with tians are the body, let us remember that the Christ.” head and the body partake of the same na- 1 Can you be poor ?-Having nothing, you ture: and that if Christ be the vine, and possess all things. “For all things are yours; Christians the branches, the vine and the whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the branches partake of the very same qualities. world, or life, or death, or things present, or
What intercourse can there be where no- things to come; all are yours: and ye are thing prevails but a contrariety of inclination Christ's; and Christ is God's." and an opposition of interest ? “How can. Can you be miserable? “Rejoice in the two walk together except they be agreed? Lord always; and again I say, rejoice." .' What fellowship hath righteousness with un- “ troubled on every side"-you are “ not die righteousness? and what communion hath | tressed :" if "perplexed" — you are not in light with darkness? and what concord hath despair: if “ persecuted"_you are “not forChrist with Belial? or what part hath he that saken:" if “cast down,” you are “not debelieveth with an infidel ? and what agree-stroyed." ment hath the temple of God with idols ?" And if you have part with him in his glory,
Indeed without this renovation we should can you be unwilling to share with him 1. be wholly incapable of deriving happiness his reproach ? If you are to “ live with him; from our connexion with him. Our being for cannot you “die with him ?" If you are ever in his presence would only render us | “reign with him," cannot you also “ suter miserable: there would be nothing in the with him ?" According to the Apostle, you praises or in the pleasures of that sacred state ought to " rejoice, inasmuch as you are made to fulfil our desires, or to gratify our taste. partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when Dismiss the Bible, or suppose that God had his glory shall be revealed, you may be glas expressed no determination to exclude “ every also with exceeding joy." thing that defileth" from the abodes of bless- Thirdly. Are there any here whose edness: in this view the case would be the sires are awakened, and who are asking, Can same as it is now; the happiness of an unre-I obtain a portion in Christ, and how is it newed sinner is impossible upon every prin- be obtained? Let me conclude by a word ciple. Wherever he may be placed, while direction and encouragement. And it is the he has sin in him, he has hell with him. From a deep conviction of your need of him,
This train of reflection informs us, First, apply immediately to him. “ Take with you how exceedingly those misurderstand the words," which he himself has furnished, and Gospel, and delude their own souls, who ex- say, “Lord, take away all iniquity. Was pect to be “made partakers of Christ," while me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse they seek not to be sanctified by him. “He me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart, was manifested to take away our sin. He O God; and renew a right spirit within me. gave himself for us, that he might redeem us Exercise faith upon his power, and say, from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a pe- “ Lord, if thou wilt, thou CANST make me culiar people, zealous of good works.” In this clean.” Be persuaded of his willingness every real Christian rejoices; the plan meets Believe that "he waiteth to be gracious, and his wants and his wishes. He gladly embraces is exalted to have mercy upon you." the Saviour in all his offices, and while he What were those who are now so happ! glories in his cross, submits to his sceptre. with him? They were once “ far off: an He seeks after a present salvation from sin, children of wrath, even as others." Behold, as well as a future deliverance from wrath; they all rise up and address you : “O taste and the faith which pacifies his conscience, and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the purifies his heart. But to look for comfort man that trusteth in him.” “That which without holiness, is to separate what God has we have seen and heard, declare we unt unalterably joined together. To depend upon you, that ye also may have fellowship with Christ for pardon and acceptance, so as to us, and truly our fellowship is with the fa encourage ourselves in sin, or reconcile our-ther, and with his Son Jesus Christ." selves to it, is " a way which may seem right Above all, hear their Lord and Saviour,