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ry feature of the landscape, every tree my Son was stretched to deliver you of the forest, every flower of the gar- from death : you were too busy, or too den, every joint and every muscle of proud, or too unbelieving, to give ear my frame, all are gifted with energy in to the invitation; and I pleaded in vain, proclaiming that there is a Supreme though I pleaded as the conqueror of Being, infinite in wisdom and goodness your every foe. And in many an hour as well as in might; and through each, of temptation, in many a moment of therefore, may this Being be affirmed guilty pleasure, amid the noise of buto knock at the heart, demanding its siness and in the retirements of solilove and allegiance. And God knocks, tude, I have knocked so loudly, through as you will all allow, by the visitations the instrumentality of conscience, that of his Providence: he knocks, more you could not but start, and make some over, by the suggestions of conscience faint promise of admitting me hereafand the strivings of the Spirit. Who ter; but, alas, when I looked for the is there of you who will presume to say opening of the door, you have but barthat he never heard this knocking ? red it more effectually against me. We know better. We know that, in Ah, if it be by such a reference to the worst storm and mutiny of passion, the modes in which he has knocked at when the heart itself has been the scene your hearts, but knocked in vain, that of conflict and turmoil, the wild and God conducts his side of the controbattling inmates have often been star- versy, what can you have to plead ? It tled by an appeal from without; and is in very moving terms that he urges that, for a moment at least, there has his accusation. I have long and tenbeen the hush as of shame or of fear, derly watched you. I have spared no so that there has been space for an en- pain's to turn you from evil. By merergetic remonstrance, a remonstrance cies and by judgments, by promises which, if it failed to produce perma- and by threatenings, I have striven to nent order, left a heavier condemnation fix your thoughts on the things which on the wretched slave of the flesh and belong to your peace. I counted noits lusts. It is not then difficult for thing too costly to be done for your God, or for Christ, to show that this rescue: I spared not mine own Son; has indeed been his course with you and I have borne, year after year, with all—"I stand at the door and knock.” your waywardness and ingratitude, not But you have opened the door to a willing that you should perish, though thousand other guests; you have re- you have acted as if resolved that you ceived them into the recesses of the would not be saved. And now testify heart; but Him you have coldly re- against me.” " What could have been pulsed, or superciliously neglected. O, done more to my vineyard that I have we fear that he may say to too many not done in it ï Wherefore, when I of you, I stood, and knocked in the looked that it should bring forth grapes, hour of prosperity, but ye gave no heed brought it forth wild grapes ?” Is it to a message delivered in the form of that you have not been warned, though abundance and gladness. I came in I have sent my servants to publish my the darkness and stillness of adversity, terrors? is it that you have not been thinking that you might open to me entreated, though I have charged them when you were careworn and sad; but with the tidings of redemption ? This, you chose other comforters, and I ask- to sum all, is my accusation against ed you in vain to receive "the Lord of you. Ye have derived your being from peace.” I called you through all the me, ye have been sustained in being glories and all the wonders of the visi- by me, ye have been continually the ble universe; but it availed nothing objects of my bounty, continually the that I wrote my summons on the firma- objects of my long-suffering; and nement, and syllabled it alike in the voices vertheless, ye are still unmindful of my and the silences of immensity : "ye hand, still living " without God in the have set at nought all my counsel, and world,” still walking in ways of your would none of my reproof.” I gave you own devising, still crucifying my Son my word, I sent to you my Gospel; afresh, and putting away from you the but it was to no purpose that I knock- offer of everlasting life. ed with the cross, the cross on which What have you to say against this
accusation? we do not believe that those who rendered him hypocritical you will attempt to say any thing: We service, " your new moons, and your are persuaded, that, as it was with the appointed feasts, my soul hateth; they man who had not on the wedding-gar- are a trouble unto me, I am weary to ment, you will be speechless. Ay, but bear them ?” We will not then dissolve God shall not want an answer, he shall the court. It is so startling a considnot want a verdict, because, self-con- eration, that we should be actually able demned, you have no word to utter. to weary God; the thing, if done, must Not in vain hath he summoned the entail so terrible a condemnation, that mountains and the strong foundations we may well remain yet a few moments of the earth to be present at his con- longer within the august chamber which troversy with you. The very hills have was built for the controversy, to ponwitnessed his loving-kindness towards der our state, and examine what has you, clothed as they have been with been proved by these judicial proceedthe corn, and crested with the fruits, ings. It is very clear, that, if God may which he has bountifully provided for be wearied, we may exhaust his payour sustenance. And on one of these tience, so that he may be provoked to mountains of the earth was the altar leave us to ourselves, to withdraw from erected on which his Son died; and so us the assistance of his grace, and to fearful was the oblation, that Calvary determine that he will make no further shook at the cry of the mysterious effort to bring us to repentance. And victim. And now, therefore, whilst he on this account especially it is, that charges you with ingratitude, whilst there is such emphasis in the words of he arrays against you the continued our Savior, "agree with thine adverprovocations, the insult, the neglect, sary quickly, while thou art in the way which he has received at your hands; with him.” Try not his patience too whilst he speaks of abused mercies, of far; venture not actually into court despised opportunities, of resisted en- with him; but quickly, without any treaties; and you remain silent, unable further delay, seek to compose your to refute the charge, and yet unwilling difference, "lest at any time the adverto acknowledge its truth-there is a sary deliver thee to the judge, and the sound as of heaving rocks, and of foam- judge deliver thee to the officer, and ing torrents, and of bursting volcanoes; thou be cast into prison." It is this nature, which became vocal when a counsel which we would pray God Mediator died, utters a yet deeper might be imprinted by our discourse groan now that a Mediator is reject- on those of you who have not yet been ed: and hill and forest, and rock and reconciled to their Maker. You have flood, send forth one mighty cry, the indeed come this night into court, and cry of amazement that men should you have been altogether cast in your
neglect so great salvation,” the cry suit. But the trial has not been that of acknowledgment that the Almighty which will fix your portion for eternihas made good his accusations. ty. It has only been with the view of
And are we here to dissolve the alarming you, of bringing you to see court? Man has failed to show where the perils of the position in which you in God has wearied him ; but God has stand, that God has now entered into drawn a verdict from the inanimate controversy with you, and summoned creation that he himself has been wea- you to plead with him before the mounried by man. It is a strange expression tains of the earth. And the verdict to use ; but it is quite consistent with against you, which has been delivered the language of Scripture, that we by hill and forest, is but a solemn adshould speak of God as wearied by our monition, a warning which, if duly and sins. "Ye have wearied the Lord,” instantly heeded, shall cause a wholly we read in the prophet Malachi, "yet different decision, when you appear at ye say, wherein have we wearied him ?" that tribunal whose sentences must be
Hear,” saith Isaiah," O house of Da- final. vid; is it a small thing for you to wea- The mountains and the strong founry men; bụt will ye weary my God dations of the earth, yea, the whole vialso ?" And did not God himself say, sible creation, may again be appealed by the mouth of the same prophet, toto: they may again be witnesses, when
God shall arise to judgment, and calling that its rich juices were distilled quick and dead to his bar. It gives a to produce a false joy. The precious very sublime, though awful, character metals of the earth are all stamped to the last assize, thus to regard it as with accusation, for they were sought imaged by the controversy in our text. with a guilty avidity; the winds of I see a man, brought to the judgment- heaven breathe a stern charge, for they scat of Christ : the accusation against were never laden with praises; the him is, that he lived a long life in ne- waves of the great deep toss themglect and forgetfulness of God, enjoy- selves into witnesses, for they were ing many blessings, but never giving traversed by ships that luxuries might a thought to the source whence they be gathered, but not that christianity came. Who are witnesses against him? might be diffused. Take heed, man of Lo, the sun declares, every day I wak- the world, how thou dost thus arm all ened him by my glorious shinings, nature against thyself. Be warned by flooding the heavens with evidences of the voice which the inanimate creation a God: but he rose without a prayer is already uttering, and make peace from his couch; and he made no use with thine adversary "whilst thou art of the light but to prosecute his plans in the way with him.” Thine adverof pleasure or gain. The moon and sary! and who is this? Not the sun, the stars assert that "nightly, to the not the moon, not the troop of stars, listening earth” they repeated the story not the forests, not the mountains of their origin; but that, though they these are but witnesses on the side of spangled the curtain which was drawn thine adversary. The adversary himround his bed, he lay down, as he rose, self-oh they are words which almost with no word of supplication, and that choke the utterance !- the adversary often were the shadows of the night himself is the everlasting God. Yet be used only to conceal his guiltiness from wishes to be your friend: he offers to man. Hills and valleys have a voice : be your friend : there is nothing but forests and fountains have a voice : your own determination which can every feature of the variegated land keep you at enmity. By the terrors of scape testifies that it bore the impress the last judgment, by all the hopes, of a God, but always failed to awaken by all the fears of eternity, do I conany reverence for his name. There is jure such of you as have not yet not an herb, there is not a flower, which made peace with their God, to turn at will be silent. The corn is asserting once to the Mediator Christ: "God that its ripe ears were gathered with was in Christ, reconciling the world out thankfulness: the spring is mur- unto himself ;” and now he beseeches muring that its waters were drawn you through us, "Be ye reconciled unwithout gratitude: the vine is testify to God."
HE A VEN.
“* And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God
giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."-Revelation, 22: 5.
Our position upon earth is repre- sight : if inclined for a moment to sented, as you well know, in Scripture slacken, he had but to turn his eye as that of combatants, of beings en on the coronet, and he pressed with gaged in a great struggle, but to whom new vigor towards the goal. It should is proposed a vast recompense of re- be thus with the christian, with the ward. The imagery which St. Paul spiritual competitor. He should have delights to use, when illustrating our his thoughts much on heaven: he condition, is derived from the public should refresh himself with frequent games so famous in antiquity. The glimpses of the shining inheritance. competitors in a race, the opponents By deep meditation, by prayerful stuin wrestling, are the parties to whom dy of the scriptural notices of another he loves to liken himself and other fol- world, he should strive to prove to lowers of Christ. And the imagery is himself more and more that it is inemployed not only as aptly depicting deed a good land towards which he a state of struggle and conflict; but journeys. He should not be content because they who entered the lists in with a vague and general belief, that the public games were animated by the the things reserved for those who love hope of prizes which success was to God must be worth all the efforts and procure ; and because, in like manner, sacrifices which attainment can deit is the privilege of christians to know mand. This will hardly suffice, when that, if they be faithful to the end, conset against the pleasures and alluretest will issue in an exceeding and ments of the world: he must be able eternal weight of glory.” Shame upon to oppose good to good, and to satisfy the spiritual combatants, the apostle himself on the evidence, as it were, of seems in one place to say, if they can his own affections, that he prefers what be languid in exertion. A paltry re- is infinitely best in preferring the fucompense will urge the wrestler, or ture to the present. the runner, to submit to painful train- And certainly he may do this. Withing, and to strain every muscle. Shall out speaking unadvisedly, or enthusiwe then, with heaven full in view, astically, nay, speaking only the words grudge the toil, or spare the effort, of soberness and truth, we may safely which may be needful to secure a por- say that those who muse much on heation in its joys? "They do it to ob- ven, who ponder its descriptions, and tain a corruptible crown, but we an strive to image its occupations and incorruptible."
enjoyments, are often privileged with If however the prize is to produce such foretastes of what God hath preits just influence in animating to exer- pared for his people, as serve, like the tion, it must be often surveyed, that clusters of Eshcol, to teach them pracwe may assure ourselves of its ex- tically the richness of Canaan. With cellence, and therefore long more for them it is not altogether matter of reits possession. The competitor in the port, that the inheritance of the saints games had the honored garland in is transcendently glorious: it is alrea
dy true in part, that, "as they have to-night, no reproaches, no threatenheard, so have they seen in the city of ings. We are about to speak to you of their God.” They have waited upon the New Jerusalem, the celestial city, the Lord, until, according to the pro- into which "shall enter nothing that mise of Isaiah, they have been enabled defileth,” but whose gates stand open to "mount up with wings as eagles;" to all who seek admission through the they have gazed for a moment on the surety ship of Christ. street of gold, and have heard the harp- We select one verse from the glowings of the innumerable multitude. ing account which St. John has left us
Now if it be thus of exceeding im- of the vision with which he was favorportance to the christian that he should ed, after tracing, in mystic figures, the often meditate upon heaven, it must be history of the church up to the general the duty of the minister to bring be- resurrection and judgment. The two fore him occasionally those descrip- last chapters of the book of Revelations of the world to come, which God tion, inasmuch as they describe what has been pleased to furnish in his word. was beheld after the general judgment, And a very delightful part this is of must be regarded as relating strictly ministerial duty. We are often con- to the heavenly state. The book of strained to set forth the terrors of the Revelation is a progressive book: it Lord, though natural feeling would goes forward regularly from one pemake us shrink from dwelling on the riod to a following; and this should be vengeance which will surely overtake always borne in inind when we strive the careless and unbelieving. We are to fix the meaning of any of its parts. obliged to insist very frequently on the It has so much the character of a hisfirst principles of christianity, " laying tory, that the dates, so to speak, of its the foundation of repentance from dead chapters will often guide us to their · works, and of faith towards God.” And just interpretation. And since the it is not a rare thing, that sermons twentieth chapter closes with the sethave to take a reproachful character, ting up of the great white throne, and exhibiting the sins and inconsistencies the judgment of every man according of professors of godliness, upbraiding to his works, we conclude that what the defective practice of those who remains of the book belongs to that name the name of Christ, and urging final condition of the saints, which we them, in no measured terms, to "walk are wont to understand by heaven and worthy of the vocation wherewith they its joys. This being allowed, we may are called.” But it were a great mis- go at once to the examining the assertake to imagine that the preacher con- tions of our text, applying them withsults his own inclination, in selecting out reserve to our everlasting inheritsuch topics of discourse. Far more ance. The assertions are of two kinds, agreeable to him would it be to dilate negative and positive. They tell us upon privileges, to address his hearers what there is not in heaven, and what simply as heirs of immortality, and to there is. Let these then furnish our exhaust all his energy on the lively topics of discourse, though in treathope to which they are begotten. But ing of the one we shall perhaps find it this must not always be, whilst con- needful to trench on the other. Let us gregations are composed of the be- consider, in the first place, that there lieving and the unbelieving, whilst pro- is no night in heaven, no candle, no bably the majority is with the latter, light of the sun : let us consider, in the and whilst even the former come far second place, that there the Lord God short of "adorning the doctrine of Almighty shall give the saints light, God the Savior in all things.” Still, and that "they shall reign for ever as we have already said, the clergy- and ever." man is not only permitted, he is bound, Now we may begin by observing to to take heaven occasionally as his you, that, with our present constitutheme: and a very refreshing thing to tion, there would be nothing cheering him it is, when he may devote a dis- in an arrangement which took away course to the joys which are in reserve night from our globe. The alternation for the righteous. Come then, men and of day and night, the two always makbrethren, we have no terrors for you ing up the same period of twenty-four