Imágenes de páginas

pressed the Israelites, and the Medes assaulted them in a time of festivity. "While they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble, fully dry." The Medes besieged the city, and in the space of three years took it. "And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: Who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee." (3rd chap. Nahum. 7th verse.) "Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at thee, saying, Is this the city that men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth i"

Every blessing was given her, but she proved unmindful of them; her merchants were multiplied above the stars of heaven, yet she was unworthy, and the Lord of Hosts declared himself against her, and that he would show future "nations" her " nakedness," and the " kingdoms" her " shame." Nineveh is a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. Not one wreck of her is now visible. The ruins themselves have perished. This shows that not one tittle nor one jot of the law shall fail, until all God's intentions come to pass.

Nineveh's glory has faded—Nineveh's wealth has tumbled into ashes. Her monuments of royalty—her tokens of splendour are departed for ever; nothing of her remains, except her fate, for a warning. The greatness of her kings, the pride of her nobles, the number, and wealth of her merchants, all are no more,—but she will at the sound of God's archangel rise up to give an account of herself; and what an awful disclosure will be made, as her actions, and her total destruction convey some idea of it.

Art them better than populous Nineveh? that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; yet was she carried away. Are you not carried away by every blast of vain doctrine, or the capricious notions of the worldly-minded, who are fond of and ever seeking change? And when thou hast been brought to Repentance, afterwards dost thou fall away as the Ninevites of old?

In concluding, let me earnestly address my christian friends to see how far they are individually following the example of their Lord, so as to ensure the continuance of God's favour and protection. Remember, Nineveh was destroyed in the time of gaiety and festivity; even their King was not exempted: you may also, in joining the pleasures of this world, and living in a thoughtless security be equally overtaken; and when the day of grace is past and gone. Nineveh was not spared twice; therefore we cannot expect it. She abused her privileges, and we in the midst of a sinful and corrupt nation may do the same, to our inevitable ruin. Take warning then by her sad and sorrowful fate, less future generations should be allowed to look upon this nation in a similar manner.— Lest we be dealt with according to our deserts, and visited with utter destruction. God may say to us, as to Nineveh and Babylon of old, "Behold your house is left unto you desolate." Or in the language of our blessed Saviour, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Oh, may he not come and bewail over us, as he did over Jerusalem, which we read of in the 19th chap, of St. Luke's gospel, 41 to 44th verses. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, if thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace 1 but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children with thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Though Nineveh was forgiven and spared once, it is no reason why we are to presume that we shall be. • Say not, like Nineveh, "I am, and there is none beside me :"—her pomp and splendour where are they now? all her earthly baubles have vanished for ever. In the midst of luxury and revelry she fell, her King with her, and in the moment of her imagined security, she was " laid waste," "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." The temptations of the world allured the Ninevites, and do also beguile us. And, unless we look beyond these, Nineveh will rise up and condemn us, for she repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold a greater, even Christ Jesus has warned us. And when we come to die, if we have neglected those things pertaining to a future life, what can console us at that trying moment? If on the other hand we have built on the rock of Jesus Christ, blessed for ever, and have from that erected mountains of righteousness, what a blessed reception we shall meet with from our merciful Redeemer: "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

Such is the promise, and may the Holy Spirit assist you who read, and I who write, to the obtainig of so great and precious reward. May he bless us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. May he induce the worldly-minded, and the careless, to neglect their souls no longer, but earnestly to repent, that they may hereafter shine in pure and refulgent glory in worlds beyond the skies; and inspire and strengthen the godly and faithful in reaching to the haven of everlasting life.

And what remains, but for me to conclude in the words of Him who spake as never man spake :—" If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them!!" Amen!

[ocr errors]

Christ Crucified, the Hope of Future Glory.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greets seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. 1st chap. 1st Corinthians, 22 & 23rd verses.

Every age seems to have some peculiar characteristic. In the present times we unhappily find some minds directed to establish again a slavish system of rites and ceremonies, " which gendereth to bondage rather than to set forth " the glorious liberty of the children of God." This is also an age of freedom of opinion.— Each man thinks himself right, if he chooses a sign, or to have wisdom, what matters it to others, or if he receives the doctrine of Christ crucified and lives by it. Thus it was that the Greeks seeking after wisdom sought all the world's vanities and fell. Again with the Jews they required a sign, not the power and wisdom of God and of course gained it not. For the superstitions of the Jews and Greeks aided in producing the afflictions of a crucified Saviour by them, he was smitten and wounded, and therefore they would seek and require any thing than that which related to the Son of Man. And similar was it with Corinth. Corinth endeavoured to establish signs and wonders of the world, for its inhabitants were very licentious and profligate, and through it, we are told, were great admirers of the sceptical philosophy of the Greeks: but St. Paul went to them and planted a church there consisting chiefly of converts from Heathenism, but alas! for the frailty of man, when the holy Apostle left, the Jews endeavoured, by using artificial ornaments of eloquence, which had great effect upon their minds, to turn them from their good intentions. Hence arose divisions and other irregularities among the Corinthian christians, totally opposite with the genuine spirit of the gospel. The wisdom of the world destroyed any spiritual result from St. Paul's attempt of bringing them into one fold. For the Jews disliked the doctrine of Christ, they thought that he was a man gluttonous, a friend of publicans and sinners, and that God was the only Mediator. The Greeks laboured likewise under a similar mistake. They thought that the doctrine of the Cross was but mere enthusiasm, and capricious; and therefore, to increase the honour of the worship of God was not their aim, but their pretence. Let us then take warning, for Christ is our fortress, and "in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." The doctrine of Christ crucified affords comfort and relief to the desponding sinner, and when his strength fails him, it is his support and guide. It is the preaching of Christ crucified which enables us to know of him and to believe in him, to bear the sign of a regenerate heart uninterrupted by the world; and secures us a hope of everlasting life, bringing us nearer to him every day, "rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith." So important, so all-absorbing did the great Apostle consider this topic, that he makes a solemn asseveration to his Galatian converts not to glory in any thing but in the cross of Christ. (Gal. 6—14th.)— And if it is not such to us, some worldly passion is the hindrance, springing perhaps from a carnal pride, and therefore it may well be to many (like the Jews) a stumbling-block, and (like the Greeks) foolishness; for Christ crucified is in conjunction with the wisdom of God, and the powers that are of God. Our Lord justly said— "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." The Jews wished to carry the sway—they wanted to be first; envy and prejudice gave them a hatred against the doctrine of the Cross: they required a sign to establish it as they thought, that they were to inherit the land of promise by fanaticism and contempt. But the preaching of Christ crucified has flourished; the foolishness and weakness of men are laid aside, and the power of God is manifested by the increasing propagation of his gospel. Why was this doctrine a stumbling-block and hindrance to the Jews? but, because they wished to gratify themselves in mockery or idle curiosity; and the Greeks chose to seek after wisdom in the hope of it helping them and being useful to them; but the wisdom of the world is at enmity

« AnteriorContinuar »