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liveth, and the Lord reigneth, blessed be the name of the Lord" ? Will you not say, "Whom have I in heaven but thee, and who is there on earth I desire beside thee?" Would you not say in the hour of onset, "If it had not been for the Lord who was on our side when men rose up against us, then they had swallowed us up quickly, when their wrath was kindled against us." Why, then, any change in your affection towards the great God? "Where is then the blessedness ye spake of ?"

II. And what grand change has there been in your views or affections towards the Lord Jesus Christ? It is as true now, as then, that he died for you, and still intercedes for you. His blood is still the basis of your pardon and the ground of your acceptance; and your hope and communion with him is as sweet as ever. The redeemed in heaven have none of them lost their confidence in him. You did not, in the time of your espousals, overrate his merits, or value too highly his love, or confide too firmly in the sureties of the everlasting covenant. Why, then, any change in your affections towards the Lord Jesus Christ? "Where then is the blessedness ye spake of ?"


III. And the children of God, to whom you seemed so much attached, have the same claim to your regard as they had then. True, you might not then have seen all the faults in them you now But have you seen so many that you cannot love them? If so, then we ask if Christ has seen so many that he cannot love them? And cannot you love when he can? Have you not as much in you to cool their affection as they to cool yours? And, with all their faults, are they not in covenant with God? Will they not finally escape to heaven? You once loved them because they loved Christ, and they love him still, and he them. Where, then, has fled that warm Christian affection which led you to say, with the Moabites, "Where thou goest, I will go, and where thou stayest I will stay?"

IV. The souls of ungodly men, that claimed your pity, and draw forth your prayers and exhortations and entreaties, are worth no less now, than at the time of your espousals to the Lord Jesus Christ. Those same beings are some of them here yet, in all their unbelief and impenitence, and their condition, it will be acknowledged, is far more deplorable. If many are gone and lost who affected your hearts in the day when you believed, others are here, in the same ruined condition of guilt and wretchedness. Hence, why any less concern for their souls?

V. And this poor world is the same vanity as when you first.

trampled it under your feet. In what new attitude can it possibly have presented itself so as to win again a supreme attachment? It is a perishing good that can be stolen or moth-eaten, or can take wings and fly away. The cry in your ear still is, "Arise ye, and depart, for this is not your rest. Or has this cry all died away? Well, it is as true as when you first listened to it. This is a poor world, a temptation, a mere vanity.

VI. And the heavenly treasure-how can it have lost its value to a dying man? However highly it may be right to value this world, we must quit it so soon, that wisdom would dictate that we have treasures elsewhere. If heaven implies a freedom from sin, how can the believer not long for it? If in heaven there are more distinct views of Christ than in this life, how can the believer not wish to be in heaven?

VIII. Some of the blessedness of your earliest religious hours consists in the happy seasons of prayer enjoyed; and why has this duty lost any of its sweetness? God is as ready to hear you pray, and as prompt to answer and save, as he then was; and have you not the same occasion to pray? Do not a thousand cares ever press you into a cold, backslidden state? And could you get back to the views and affections you once had, the duty would give you all the pleasure it then did. "Where is then the blessedness ye spake of ?"

VIII. And so far as your early joys were derived from the Bible, why need there have been any change? It is the same book of God, filled with the same precious promises, the same sanctifying doctrines, and the same delightful exhibition of God and heaven. "Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?"


It may be important to inquire, since there would seem to be no cause of the change, of the loss of blessedness to believers from their departure from the spirit of their espousals, what the effect will be ?

1. That the believer is greatly injuring his own soul by his departure, there can be no doubt. He backens his heavenly growth. 2. It is equally sure that he injures his brethren. He holds them back with all the influence he has over them, by all the affection they have for him, and all the forms of his example.

3. And in the mean time he is destroying the world of the ungodly. They will not believe, while they see you live as though

you were sorry you had made a profession of religion, that there can be any great sweetness or richness in that religion.

4. He is preparing himself, probably, for a wretched dying bed. 5. He will have a lower seat in heaven.

No. XI.

PSALM XLV. 10, 11.

Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people and thy father's house: so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty, for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.

To render the text applicable to the present occasion, it needs only to be said, that it constitutes a fragment of a beautiful allegory, in which the union of Christ with his people is represented, under the allusion of a marriage. It is hardly necessary to spend a moment in tracing the features of the allegory. The intended bride is expected to listen to the terms of the compact and well consider it, and then to forget her people and her father's house. Her beloved then promises to take delight in her spiritual beauty, and as her Lord, receive her subjection and homage.

The different features of the allegory will furnish the plan of my remarks.

I. The Lord Jesus has made to you kind and gracious overtures. He offers to unite you to himself in an everlasting covenant, well ordered in all things, and sure. Thus in a parallel passage, he uses the same figure: "I will betroth thee unto me for ever. Yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies-I will betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord." For a consummation of this marriage union between Christ and believers, see Rev. xix. 7, 8. "Christ will furnish you with your marriage apparel and ornaments, so that when adorned for the wedding, you will wear his own beauties." See Is. lxi. 10. We see this circumstance noticed in the history of his ancient Church-" Thy renown went forth among the heathen, for thy beauty, for it was perfect, through my comeliness which I had put upon thee."

Under the gospel dispensation-sobriety, gravity, and temper ance, a meek and a quiet spirit, are the ornaments the soul is expected to wear, which becomes wedded to the Lord Jesus Christ. 41


When he has thus made you beautiful, he will love his own image, which he has put upon you, and he will employ you in his service, and will hold you near him, blessing you with his smiles for ever.

II. The Lord Jesus Christ expects that you will hearken and incline your ear. He deals with sinners as rational, intelligent beings, and makes overtures, in language which they understand. The Bible is the plainest book in the world, and the gospel system so plain, that "the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein." You must not, however, suppose that in securing your assent to the terms of the covenant, the Holy Spirit deals with you as if you were machines-mere passive recipients of his mercy. No he does not thus hold out a premium for stupidity and inaction. If you would be saved, you must hearken and incline your ear, and consider when Christ speaks. You must do as David did. "I thought upon my ways; I turned my feet unto thy testimonies; I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandPs. cxix. 59, 60. Mere hearing, without consideration, will not profit you: as says James, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed."


III. You are required to forget your own people and your father's house. As in marriage, the bride separates herself from her home, so the sinner must disengage himself from every friend, however dear, who would hold him back in the service of Christ. It often happens, that under these circumstances, "a man's foes are they of his own household." Yet, says the Savior, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me is not

worthy of me." You must consequently divorce yourself from all your gay, idle, fashionable, and irreligious companions. There is no alternative but abandonment. The word of God is explicit : "And when he had called the people unto him, with his disciples

a so, he said unto them, whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

IV. When you have equipped yourself for a spiritual union with Christ, he will see in you those beauties that will render you his delight and his glory. They will be his own beauties put upon you, but put upon you so as to be your own.

1. They will adhere to you for ever.

2. They will shine by contrast with your former character. You know how pleasing a thing it is to see what was once deformed made beautiful.

3. They will never tarnish. They do not consist in tinsel, or in jewels which grow old and fade. They do not depend, like the cheek and the sprightliness of youth, on the rapid flow of the life's blood. They do not depend upon the caprices of fashion or


4. They will be beauties which will grow brighter, and shine with more and more brilliancy and glory through all the years of heaven. A full view of the glories of the Lamb will make every face in heaven glow with increasing loveliness for ever.

V. It remains that I speak of your employment in the spiritual house of your Lord. He is thy Lord, and worship thou him.

You are to be employed everlastingly in doing him service-in vindicating his honor and law and government-in contriving new anthems to express your pleasure and confidence and devotionin urging on the angels to louder and sweeter hosannas—in holding on upon the everlasting covenant. Come, my fellow-sinners, will you be wedded to the Lord Jesus? What do you reply? Do you ask me, shall we not tire in the work? No. Jesus will appear more and more lovely for ever.

But will not the world laugh at me? Let them laugh. Can it interrupt your bliss in heaven? But should you, for fear of the world's ridicule refuse? Can their laughter relieve the agonies

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