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to heaven for me, do pray for those that are in the gall of bitterness, that have no God, no Christ to go to, and if they were to die to-night, would be damned for ever. O poor sinner, where is your glory then; where is your purple and fine linen then ; your purple robes will be turned into purple fire, and instead of calling God your God, will be damned with the devil. O think of your danger! O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord ! If you never have been awakened before, may the arrows of God, steeped in the blood of Jesus Christ, reach your hearts now! Think how you live at enmity with God, think of your danger every day and every hour, your danger of dropping into hell; think how your friends in glory will leave you, and may this consideration, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, excite you to choose God for your God! Though the sun is going down, though the shadow of the evening is coming on, God is willing, O man, God is willing, O woman, to be a sinner's God, he has found out a way whereby he can be reconciled to you. I remember when I saw a nobleman condemned to be hanged, the lord high steward told him, that however he was obliged to pass sentence on him, and did not know that justice would be satisfied but by the execution of the law in this world, yet there might be a way whereby justice might be satisfied and mercy take place in another: when I heard his lordship speak, I wished that he had not only said, there might be a way, but that he had found out the way wherein God could be just, and yet a poor murderer coming to Jesus Christ should be pardoned.
You that can call God yours, God help you from this moment to glorify him more and more: and if God be your God and your glory, I am persuaded, if the love of God abounds in your hearts, you will be willing on every occasion to do every thing to promote his honor and glory, and therefore you will be willing at all times to assist and help as far as lies in your power to keep up places of Worship, to promote his glory in the salvation and conversion of sinners; and I mention this because there is to be a collection this night; I would have chosen, if possible, to have evaded this point, but as this Tabernacle has been repaired, and as the expense is pretty large, and'as I would choose to leave every thing unincumbered, I told my friends, I would undertake to make a collection, that every thing might be left quite clear: remember, it is not for me, but for yourselves. I told you on Wednesday how matters were ; I am now going a thirteenth time over the water, on my own expense, and you shall know at the great day, what little, very little assistance I have had from those who owed, under God, their souls to my being here: but this is for
the place where you are to meet, and where I hope God will meet you, when I am tossing on the water, when I am in a foreign clime. I think I can say, thy glory, O God, calls me away, and as I am going towards sixty years of
I shall make what despatch I can, and I hope, if I am spared to come back, that I shall hear that some of you are gone to heaven, or are nearer heaven than you were. I find there is 701. arrears; I hope you will not run away, if you can say God is my glory, you will not push one upon another, as though you would lose yourselves in the crowd, and say no body sees me; but does not God Almighty see you? I hope you will be ready to communicate, and when I am gone, that God will be with you: as many of you will not hear me on Wednesday morning. O may this be your prayer, O for Jesus Christ's sake, in whose name I preach, in whose strength I desire to come up, and for whose honor I desire to be spent, 0 do put up a word for me; it will not cost you much time, it will not keep you a moment from your business; O Lord Jesus Christ, thou art his God! and, Lord Jesus Christ
, let him be thy glory! If I die in the waters, I shall go by water to heaven; if I land at the Orphan-house, I hope it will be a means to settle a foundation for ten thousand persons to be instructed ; and if I go by the continent, as I intend to do, I hope God will enable me to preach Christ; and if I return again, my life will be devoted to your service.
You will excuse me, I cannot say much more, affection works, and I could heartily wish, and I beg it as a favor, when I come to leave you,
will excuse me from a particular parting with you; take my public farewell; I will pray for you when in a cabin, I will pray for you when storms and tempests are about me; and this shall be my prayer for the dear people of the Tabernacle, for the dear people of the Chapel, for the dear people of London ; O God, be thou their God! and grant, that their God may be their glory. Even so, Lord Jesus! Amen.
THE BURNING BUSH.
Exodus, iii. 2, 3.
And he looked, and behold the bush burned with fire, and the bush was
not consumed ; and Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
It is a common saying, and common sayings are generally founded on matter of fact, that it is always darkest just before break of day; and I am persuaded, that if we do justice to our own experience, as well as consider God's dealings with his people in preceding ages, we shall find that man's extremity has been usually made God's opportunity, and that when the enemy has broke in like a flood, the spirit and providence of God has lifted up a standard against him : and I believe at the same time, that however we may dream of a continued scene of prosperity in church or state, either in respect to our bodies, souls, or temporal affairs, we shall find this life to be chequered, that the clouds return after the rain, and the most prosperous state attended with such cloudy days, as may make even the people of God sometimes cry, all men are liars, and God has forgotten to be gracious.
The chapter in which is our text, is an instance of this. What a glorious day of the Son of man was that when Joseph sent for his father to Egypt; and the good old patriarch, after he had thought his son had been dead many years, agreeably surprised by a message from him to come to him, with all his family, and are by him comfortably settled in Goshen; where the good old patriarch, after many a stormy day, died in peace, and was highly honored at his funeral by Pharaoh and his servants, and attended to the sepulcher of his fathers in Canaan by all his sons. After which, Joseph continued to live in splendor, lord of all the land of Egypt; and his brethren, doubtless, in the height of prosperity : but how sadly did the scene change at Pharaoh's death, soon after which, another king arose that knew not Joseph, verifying the observation, “new lords, new laws,” by whom the descendants of Jacob, instead of reigning in Goshen, were made bond slaves; many, many long years, employed in making bricks, and in all probability, had what we call their Bibles taken from them, by being forced to conform to the idolatry of Egypt, and so were in a worse
state than the unhappy negroes in America are at this day. No doubt, numbers of them either wondered that ever they had been prospered at all, or that God had forgotten them now; but what a mercy it is that a thousand years in God's sight are but as one day, and therefore when God's time is come, the set time he has appointed, he will defeat all the opposition of men and devils—he will come down and deliver his people, and in such a manner, that the enemy shall know, as well as friends, it is the Lord's doings. A deliverer is born and bred in Pharaoh's court, a Moses is brought up in all the learning of the Egyptians, for Pharaoh intended him for a high and exalted post : but when offers of the highest preferment are made to him, he did not catch at them as some folks now do, who are very good and humble till something occurs to take them from God. Young as he was, he refused the highest dignity, and spurned at it with a holy contempt; and chooses rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than enjoy all the grandeur and pleasures of, perhaps, one of the greatest courts on earth.
Forty years continued he in a state of obscurity, in which time he acquired such a competent degree, and variety of knowledge, as qualified him for every thing God intended him for : the occasion of this was his kind attempt to compose a difference between two of his brethren, one of whom accused him of murder, on which he that was to be king in Jeshurun, is forced to fly into a strange land; there he submits to the humble office of servant, marries, and lives in a state of subjection for forty years, as was said before. At length when he was eighty years old, dreaming of no such thing, behold God calls, and commands him to go and deliver his people: as he himself informs us, who is the author of this book, ver. 1. “ Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, priest of Midian.” He might have said, what, such a scholar as I keep a parcel of sheep! such a learned man as I am, employed in such menial service! some proud hearts would break first, but you never knew a truly great man but would stoop; some that are called great men, swell till they burst ; like sturdy oaks, they think they can stand every wind, till some dreadful storm comes and blows them up by the roots, while the humble reed bends and rises again. Moses was one of the latter, he keeps the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, and leads them to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. This shows how persons ought to methodize their time: but however the name of a Methodist is despised, they will never be bad servants and masters; you would be only weathercocks, unless you took care to order things in proper seasons: the devotion and business of a
hand in hand; I will assure you Moses was a Methodist, a very fine one, a very strong one too; he kept his flock, but that did not hinder his going to Horeb, he took them to the desert, and being thus employed in his lawful business, God met him. Some say, we encourage people in idleness; I deny it; we say, people ought to be industrious; and I defy any one to say, a person is called by God that is negligent in his calling. “The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the bush :” some think this angel was Gabriel, but most agree, and I believe with the greatest probability, that it was Jesus Christ, the angel of the everlasting covenant ; and an expositor tells you, that the eternal Logos, longing to become man, often visited this earth in that form, as an evidence of his coming by and by, and dying a cursed death for man. The manner of this angel's appearing is taken particular notice of; it was to Moses when nobody was with him. I do not hear he had so much as a boy, or one companion; and I mention this, because I believe we have often found that we are never less alone than when with God; we often want this and that companion, but happy they that can say, Lord, thy company is enough. Moses was startled at the sight and I do not know that he is to be discommended for it, it was not to gratify a bare curiosity, but seeing a bush burning, it engaged his attention, and made him think that there was something uncommon; the bush burned with fire and yet was not consumed ; this startled him, as it was intended to do: for where God designs to speak, he will first gain attention from the person spoken to; Moses therefore says, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned; he did not know but the bush might take fire by some accident; he saw no fire come from above, he saw no fire around the bush, yet that did not so much startle him, as to see, though it did burn, it was not consumed, or in the least diminished; it was a strange sight, but it was, my brethren, a glorious one; a sight which, I pray God, you and I may behold with faith and comfort this evening; for, my dear hearers, this bush, and the account of it, was given for our instruction; and I will venture to say, could Moses arise from the dead, he would not be angry with me for telling you this is of no private interpretation, but is intended as a standing lesson, as a significant emblem of the church, and every individual child of God, till time itself shall be no more. I would therefore observe to you, that this bush,
In the first place, is typical of the church of God in all ages; the bush was burning ; why might it not be a tall cedar; why might it not be some large or some glorious tree ; why should