Зображення сторінки


O Lord: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.' Or perhaps your reflections on the past have convinced you that you have hitherto been living without God and without Christ in the world ; that you have been so absorbed with the trifles of earth as to have forgotten the attractions of heaven; that, although a responsible being and liable to be summoned at any moment to your final account, you have gone carelessly on in the ways of sin, and have disobeyed the commands of the Most High.

The retrospect, in either case is humbling. Yet, it leads to hope, and peace, and salvation. Both to the troubled Christian and the penitent sinner, the cheering annunciation of the gospel is, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,

+ and thou shalt be saved."I Then, “Though

“ your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." “ Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Full and free forgiveness is offered to all who seek it at his cross. Cast yourself with all your sins, however great their number, or aggravated their guilt, at the Saviour's feet, saying, “Lord, save me: I perish !” and his * Psa. cxliii. 2. † 1 John i. 7. | Acts xvi. 31. § Isa. i. 18.

Matt. xi. 28.



gracious response will be, “ Thy sins are forgiven;-go in peace.

Let the sorrowful and self-abasing remembrance of your iniquity make Christ in your estimation increasingly precious. Your sin is the dark background which throws his love and his atonement into strong relief. Without his sacrifice and intercession, how dark would be life's evening! Not one star of hope would illumine the sky; not one ray of gladness would beam on your spirit. But now the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, casts a lovely and softened radiance on all around you and before you. Oh, as you behold by faith the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world; as you thankfully recognise in him your gracious Mediator and ever prevalent Intercessor, can you not exclaim with the aged and rejoicing sinner, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation ?”

But the consideration of the past should not only awaken penitence, it should excite gratitude. You have been wonderfully preserved

. from many dangers; you have been safely guided through many difficulties; you have been continually enriched with numberless blessings. Surely goodness and mercy have

• Matt. viii. 25; Luke vii. 48, 50. f Luke ii. 29.

followed you all the days of your life. Recall some of the multiplied proofs which you have had of God's tender, parental care over you. It would be impossible to recount every instance of his goodness towards you, for memory, always imperfect, is now sadly impaired; but “forget not all his benefits." Each comfort which you have enjoyed through life, came from his beneficent hand; each impulse to good, and each resistance to evil which you have felt, was through the impartation of his grace. Can you not heartily acknowledge the truthfulness of that charge which the dying servant of the Lord pressed home upon the Israelites around him ? ' Ye know that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass, and not one thing hath failed thereof."* Oh yes! every aged believer will testify to the faithfulness of God in the fulfilment of his promises. You can look back to several points in your history, where, but for the interposition of God's providence, or the aid of his Spirit, you must have been overwhelmed by temptation and sorrow. Many have been the occasions when you have had to set up your stone of remembrance, and to confess that hitherto the Lord hath helped you.

Even as to your trials, you can see now, with regard to some of them

+ Joshua xxiii. 14.


at least, that they were “blessings in disguise;" and you are sure that they were all sent for some wise and loving purpose. With what grateful emotions then should your recollections of by-gone days be accompanied !

And should not gratitude for past mercies be combined with hope for future favours and deliverances ? “He thanked God, and took

When you think of the increased weakness and perhaps suffering which you have yet to bear; of the inevitable separation between yourself and those whom you love, which will soon take place; of the valley of the shadow of death through which you must pass,

, and of the solemn moment when your spirit shall depart from this world; natural feeling shrinks from the scene before


Cast me not off in the time of old age,” is the language of your heart; “forsake me not when my strength faileth.”+ Hearken to the immediate reply of the God of your salvation : “I

will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." I Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Ah! you can read these assurances in the page, not of inspiration only, but of experience. You can infer with certainty from God's conduct in * Acts xxviii. 15. † Psa. lxxi. 9. I Heb. xiii. 5. Isa. xli. 10.

past days, what its complexion will be in future moments. He is the same yesterday, to-day,

. and for ever; and therefore in the lovingkindness which he has hitherto manifested towards you, you have the surest pledge of the continual exercise of his power and goodness. He hath delivered; he doth deliver ; in whom you trust that he will yet deliver.

« The God who hath fed you all your life long,” is your God for ever and ever; and he will be your guide even unto death.

Anticipation. Looking back should be combined with looking forward. The weary pilgrim who recalls with mingled sorrow and gladness the events which have occurred during his journey, will also think of the rest and the welcome which wait for him in his happy home. The Christian traveller, as evening is closing in around him, and the objects of earth are fading from his gaze, loves to let his imagination dwell upon the many mansions in his Father's house, where a place is being prepared for him.

A little while, and every fear

That o'er the perfect day
Flings shadows dark and drear,

Shall fade like mist away;
The secret tear—the anxious sigh,

Shall pass into a smile ;
Time changes to eternity-

We only wait a little while.”

« НазадПродовжити »