« AnteriorContinuar »
of the triumph of conquerors, of the thrones of monarchs.
Let Us meditate on these representations. Our thoughts have been turned to the endearments of a family, the pleasures of a feast,. the joys of society, the splendors of royalty; to wealth's command of enjoyments, to rest after fatigue, to safety after danger, to the success of enterprize, to the rewards of industry, to the glory of war. After separating from these, as enjoyed on earth, all that is mean, base, deceitful, precarious and perishing: after adding all that is great, is genuine and permanent: after recollecting the unspeakably superior satisfactions of the spiritual life; when the exercises of piety were performed; when you entered fully into the spirit of the worship of God; when the mind was composed, enlarged and comforted; when the works of faith and the labours of love were performed ; when all fears and suspicions were dispelled; when the lov^ of God was shed abroad in your hearts; when you rejoiced in hope, rejoiced with a joy unspeakable and full of glory; you will exclaim, How precious must their enjoyY y 2 ments mcnts be who are admitted into the regions of perfect maturity, of bliss immortal!
And now, my friends, what do you say to these things? To all that we have said of this contrasted view of earth and heaven, do you readily subscribe? But, more is necessary than to say, These things are so. Consider, I beseech you, what is your state and character, in relation to the world of perfection and felicity.
Is this the answer of truth and of conscience, in any of you? Of this future world, with all its superior knowledge and society, and employments and blessedness, we live unmindful: from other, from opposite sources, we seek and expect our happiness? Is it true, that any of you live in careless uncertainty whether you shall arrive at this state of perfection and felicity?
. Your admission that this state does exist, and the view presented to you, however imperfect, suggest severer reproof to you than I can utter, and supercede expostulation and condemnation.
By all your desire of information; by all your love of society; by all your ambition for worthy distinction ; by all your thirst and relish of pleasure; you are reproved and condemned, who look not at the things that are revealed, proposed and offered in the Gospel; who seek not glory, honour and immortality, and to enjoy eternal life. Your just reproofs and severe condemnation of ignorance, insensibility, inactivity and folly, in yourselves, or in others, are as the breath of the zephyrs, or the whisper of friendship, compared with the loud and awful criminations of conscience, to those who live by sense, and not by faith; which accusations are the preludes of the more terrible and tremendous condemnation to be pronounced by the Judge of the world, when he shall be " revealed from heaven, with his "mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking ven"geance of them that know not God and "obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus "Christ; who shall be punished with ever"lasting destruction from the presence of "the Lord, and from the glory of his power: "when he shall come to be glorified in his "saints, and to be admired in all them that "believe, in that day."
In a very different manner are you to be addressed, Christians, who have good hope, through grace, that yours is this future perfection and felicity. While I rejoice in your' joy, and congratulate you on your attainments and your prospects, you will not be offended with me for suggesting, in so many words, a few advices and directions in relation to your dispositions and exercises and conduct, as the confident expectants of the perfection and bliss of heaven.
Rejoice that the Gospel has come to you: that your eyes lee, and your ears hear the glorious things obscurely revealed of old; that you enjoy the days of the Son of Man; that your Lord hath abolished death and brought life and immortality to light. Rejoice in the ordinances and institutions of Christ, which are so excellently fitted for assisting our faith, encouraging our hope, impressing and affecting our hearts, and preparing us for the exercises and joys of heaven. Wait upon God in his ways. Let your conversation be in heaven. Commune with your hearts. Let your fellowship be with the Father and the Son, Let your fruit be
unto holiness. Keep yourselves in the love of God. Beware lest, being led away by temptation and the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own stedfastnefs, but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall, for so an entrance shall be ministered to you, abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And, may the God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make you perfect, strengthen, stablilh, settle you!
To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.