Skip to main content

Full text of "The sermons of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne"

See other formats

f; {' *"* r ftip'4 ;;-> 
"^<4'~"" - . 

'' -* r'. frtf (-- 5, (t f $ jfZtf ^ ( f f tf . ,; f( ; -, f _ ,. ,, 

^^i^H^^MjgHgnto^ 7 ' ; 

^^f^PJwwVfWw v'^J f ^f f l c t 

^<JU r iViHUWiVt5tWic'r9!^cf^c^ t. i 

X ' < i^ 



Boo*..., L3.... 

Main Topic also Treats of 









No. 530 BROADWAY. 

P R E F -A C E , 

THE very favorable reception which the Christian public has given to the " Me- 
moir and Remains " of the author, by the Rev. Andrew A. Bonar, has induced 
the Editor of this Volume, with the sanction and approbation of a clerical friend 
ot great eminence and piety, intimately acquainted with the author and his writ- 
ings, and by whom the greater part of the work has been revised, to publish 
these Additional Remains, consisting of a selection from the Sermons delivered 
by Mr. M'Cheyne in the course of his ministry. Like those annexed to Mr. 
Sonar's Memoir, they are printed from the author's MS. notes, written as prepa- 
rations for the pulpit, but not intended for publication, or revised bj him with 
that view. 

This volume contains specimens of Discourses delivered in all the years of 
the author's ministry ; and the places and dates of delivery are given at the close 
of each Discourse, wherever they have been marked. The demand for their 
publication by members of his flock and other friends, many of whom own him 
as their spiritual father, has been loud and urgent. To all such the book will be 
acceptable, as helping " to stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance ;" 
and, notwithstanding many imperfections, which, in the circumstances of its 
publication, have been unavoidable, the Editor hopes that, by the blessing of God, 
it may be useful to others also into whose hands it may fall. 

EDINBURGH, Jfovembcr, 1846. 



I. I am the way, the truth, and the life. Join **.t 6 . 9 
II. Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our Profession 

Heb. iii., 1 ........ .14 

III. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. 

Song of Solomon, ii., 2, 3 ....... 20 

IV. It is unreasonable in unconverted persons to make mirth. 

Ezek. xxi., 9, 10 ......... 26 

V. Christ offers himself a Saviour to all the human race Prov. 

viii., 4 ..... ..... 33 

VI. The subject of John's preaching. 1 John i., 1-4 ... 38 

VII. The believer is Christ's garden. Song iv., 12 .. .44 

VIII. The Redeemer's goodness to a believing soul. Song viii., 5-7 46 

IX. John's vision. Rev. vii., 9 to end ... 51 

X. Christ a merciful High Priest. Heb. ii., 16-18 ... 55 

XI. (Ordination Sermon.) Position and duties of Ministers. 2 Tim. 

~iv., 1, 2 ....... . 60 

XII. Perfect love casteth out fear 1 John iv., 18-21 ... 71 

XIII. Glorying in the Cross. Gal. vi., 14 ..... 78 

XIV. The good way of coming before the Lord. Micah vi., 6-8 . 81 
XV. A believer delights in the law of God. Rom. vii., 22-25 . 86 

XVI The broken heart. Psalm Ii., 17 ...... 92 

XVII. The fearful condition of natural men. Psalm Iviii., 3-5 . . 95 

XVIII. The impressions of natural men are fading. Hosea vi., 4 . 99 

XIX. Do what you can. Mark xiv., 8 ..... 105 

XX. Motives for laying hold of Jesus.. Song iii., 4 . . 109 

XXI. Christ in you the hope of glory. Col. i., 27 . . . . Ill 

XXII. A Castaway. 1 Cor. ix., 26, 27 ....... 115 

XXIII. (Communion Sermon.) Christ's Prayer to the Father. John 

"xvii., 24 .......... 120 

XXIV. The voice of my beloved. Song of Solomon ii., 8-17 . 131 





XXV Our duty to Israel. Rom. i., 16 

XXVI Blessed are the dead. Rev. xiv., 13 

. Address on the close of a Communion Sabbath ... 151 

, after the Communion . . . 

XXVII. Turn ye at my reproof. Prov. i., 20-23 

iXVIII. A son honoreth his father. Mai. i., 6 166 

XXIX. The difficulty and desirableness of conversion. Ps. xl., 1-3 . 172 

\\X. The love of Christ constraineth. 2 Cor. v., 14 ... 179 

XXXI. Arise, shine. Isa. lx., 1-3 . 188 

XXXII. Melting the betrayer. John xiii., 21 193 

XX XIII. I the Lord have called thee in righteousness. Isa. xiii., 5-8 . 201 

XXXIV. Return unto me. Isa. xliv., 21, 22 206 

XXXV. I will pour water. Isa. xliv., 3, 4 ... 211 

XXXVI. God let none of his words fall to the ground. 1 Sam. iii., IS . 217 

XXXVII. The work of the Spirit. Gen. i., 2 224 

XXXVIII. Moses and Hobab. Numb, x., 29 . . . 229 

. XXXIX. Comfort ye. Isa. xl., 1,2 234 

XL. Can a woman forget ? Isa. xlix., 14, 15 ... 239 

XLI. Thanksgiving obtains the Spirit. 2 Chron. v., 13, 14 . 244 

XLII. An exceeding good land. Numb, xiv., 7, 8 . . . . 249 

XLIII. Family government. Gen. xviii., 19 '..... 254 

XLIV. And in this mountain. Isa. xxv., 6, 8 .... 257 

XLV. The heart deceitful. Jer. vii., 9, 10 . 262 

XLVI. Trust in the Lord. Prov. iii., 5 ..... 267 

XLVII. Not a Jew which is one outwardly. Rom. ii., 28, 29 . 273 

XLVIII. Jesus's compassion on the multitudes. Matt, ix., 35-38 . . 279 

XLIX. Christ's love to the Church. Eph. v., 25-27 .... 285 

L. Christ became poor for sinners. 2 Cor. viii., 9 . . . 289 

LI. Enemies reconciled through death. Col. i., 22-23 ... 295 

LII. My God, my God. Matt, xxvii., 46 301 

LIU. Death of Stephen. Acts vii., 59 306 

LIV. Time is short. 1 Cor. vii., 29-31 311 

LV. Sir, we would see Jesus. John xii., 20-26 .... 318 

LVI. Thou that dwellest in the gardens. Cant, viii., 13, 14 . . 323 

LVII. Draw water with joy. Isa. xii., 1-3 329 

LVIII. Look to a pierced Christ. Zech. xii , 10, xiii., 1 . . . 334 

LIX. I sleep, but my heart waketh. Cant, v., 2, to the end . . 340 

LX. A thorn in the flesh. 2 Cor. xii., 7-10 346 

LXI. The second advent. Mark xiii., 34-37 350 

LXII. Lot's wife. Gen. xix., 26 355 

LXIII. Happy art thou, Israel ! Deut. xxxiii., 29 .... 362 

LXIV. Entreat me not to leave thee. Ruth i., 16 . 370 

LXV. The vision of dry bones. Ezek. xxxvii., 1-14 . . . 374 

LXVI. Christ the only refuge. Isa. xxxvi, 20 ... 381 

LXVII. Will ye also go away ? John vi., 66-68 . . . 389 

LXVIII Ye will not come to me. John v., 40 - 394 




LXIX. If any man thirst. John vii., 37 400 

LXX. Conviction of sin. John xvi., 8 406 

LXXI. Conviction of righteousness. John xvi., 8 .... 414 

LXXII. My Lord, and my God ! John xx., 26-28 .... 424 

LXXIII. Have I been so long time with you ? John xiv., 9 . . . 429 
"LXXIV. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ. Rom. viii., 

35-37 ... 435 

LXXV. Man that is born of a woman. Job xiv ,1,2. . . . 441 

LXXVI. Christ a law-magnifying Saviour. Isa. xlii., 18-21 . 444 

> LXXVII. The obedience and disobedience of one. Rom. v., 19 . . 450 

LXXVIII. The Lord knoweth how to deliver. 2 Pet. ii., 9 ... 456 

LXXIX. Diligence necessary. 2 Pet. iii., 14 459 

LXXX. Follow the Lord fully. Numb, xiv., 24 463 

LXXXI. The unworthy communicant warned. 1 Cor. xi., 29, 30 . 470 

LXXXII. More blessed to give than to receive. Acts xx., 35 . . 476 

LXXXIII. Christ's silence under suffering. Isa. liii., 7 . . . 482 

LXXXI V. As the hart panteth after the water brooks. Ps. xiii., 1 . 488 

LXXXV. The fight of faith. 2 Tim. iv., 7, 8 . . . . 494 

LXXXVI. Into thine hand I commit my spirit. Ps. xxxi.,5 . . . 497 

LXXXVII. Grey hairs are upon him. Hos. vii., 9 500 

LXXXVIII Grieve not the Holy Spirit. Eph. iv., 30 ... 505 

LXXXIX. Ye will not come to me. John v., 40 ... . 509 

XC. Not ashamed of the Gospel. Rom. i., 15-18 513 



" Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life ; no man cometh to 
the Father but by me." John xiv., 6. 

IT is the saying of an old divine, that God often orders it, that 
when he is in hand with the greatest mercies for us, then we are 
most of all sinning against him ; which he doth to magnify his 
love the more. 

In the words I have read, we find an example of this. At no 
time did the heart of Jesus overflow with a tenderer and a more 
sovereign love to his disciples, than when he said, ' Let not your 
heart be troubled." They were troubled by many things. He 
hid told them that he was going to leave them ; he had told them 
taat one should betray him ; that another should deny him ; that 
*hey should all be offended because of him that very night ; and 
perhaps they thought he was going from them in anger. But, 
whatever the cause of their trouble was, Jesus.' s bosom was like a 
vessel full to overflowing, and these words were the overlipping 
drops of love " Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in 
God, believe also in me." Surely such words of confiding tender- 
ness were never whispered in this cold world before ; and O 
then, think how cold, how dark, how dull is the question with 
which Thomas breaks in upon the heavenly discourse ; " Thomas 
saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how 
can we know the way ?" And yet how condescendingly does 
Jesus bear with their cold-hearted dulness ! How lovingly does 
he begin the very alphabet of salvation with them, and not only 
answers, but over-answers Thomas gives him more than he 
could ask or think. He asked about the way and the place, but 
Christ answers, " I am the way, the truth, and the life ; no man 
cometh unto the Father but by me." Regarding this, then, as a 
complete description of the gospel salvation, let us go over the 
different parts of it. 

I. Christ is the Way. " I am the way ; no man cometh," &c. 
The whole Bible bears witness that by nature we have no way to 


the Father. We are by nature full of sin, and God is by nature 
infinitely holy ; that is, he shrinks away from sin. Just as the 
sensitive plant, by its very nature, shrinks away from the touch 
of a human hand, so God, by his very nature, shrinks away from 
the touch of sin. He is everlastingly separate from sinners ; he 
is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. 

1. This was impressively taught to Adam and the patriarchs. 
As long as Adam walked holily, God dwelt in him, and walked in 
him, and communed with him ; but when Adam fell, " God drove 
the man out of paradise ; and he placed at the east of the garden 
of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way 
to keep the way of the tree of life." This flaming sword between 
the cherubim was a magnificent emblem of God the just and sin- 
hating God. In the bush, he appeared to Moses as a consuming 
fire in the temple, he appeared between the cherubim in the 
milder glory of the Shecinah ; but here he appeared between the 
cherubim as a sword a just and sin-hating God. And I beseech 
you to remark, that this flaming sword turned every way, to keep 
the way of the tree of life. If it had not turned every way, if it 
had left some foot-path unglared across, then Adam might have 
stolen in by that foot-path, and made his own way to the tree of 
life. But no : whatever avenue he tried however secret, how 
ever narrow, however steep and difficult however silently he 
crept along, still this flaming meteor met him, and it seemed to 
say, " How can man be just with God ? by the deeds of the law 
there shall no flesh living be justified." Well might Adam sit 
down, wearied with the vain search for a pathway into life ; for 
man by nature has no way to the Father. 

But Christ says, "lam the way." As he says in the 16th 
Psalm, " Thou wilt show me the path of life." No man could find 
out this path of life ; but Jesus says, " Thou wilt show it me ; in 
thy presence is fulness of joy ; at thy right hand are pleasures foi 
evermore." Jesus pitied the poor SOLS of Adam vainly struggling 
to find out a way into the paradise of God, and he left the bosom 
of the Father, just that he might open up a way for us into the 
bosom of the Father. And how did he do it? Was it by 
escaping the vigilance of the flaming sword ? No ; for it turned 
every way. Was it by exerting his divine authority, and com- 
manding the glittering blade to withdraw ? No ; for that would 
have been to dishonor his Father's law, instead of magnifying it. 
He therefore became a man in our stead, yea, became sin. God 
caused to meet on him the iniquities of us all. He advanced in 
our stead to meet that fiery meteor ; he fell beneath its piercing 
blade ; for he remembered the word of the Prophet, which is 
written, " Awake, O sword ! against my shepherd, ard against 
the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts." 

And now, since the glittering blade is bathed in the side of the 
Redeemer, th^ gniltjpet. of sinners, whoever you be, whatever you 


be, may enter in over his bleeding body, may find access o the 
paradise of God, to eat of the tree of life, and live for ever. Come 
quickly doubt not; lor he says, I am the way. 

2. The same fact that man has by nature no way to the 
Father was impressively taught to Moses and the people of 

When God condescended to dwell among the children of Israel, 
he dwelt peculiarly in the holiest of all the innermost apartment 
of the Jewish temple. There the visible token of his presence 
rested between the cherubim at one time described to us as a 
light inaccessible and full of glory at another time as a cloud 
that filled the temple. But this innermost apartment, or holiest of 
all (or secret place, as it is called in the Psalms), was separated 
from the holy place by a curtain or veil, and through that veil no 
man was allowed to pass, lest he should die, except the High 
Priest, who entered in, once in the year, not without blood. 
Now, no picture could express more plainly that the way into the 
holiest was not made manifest that no sinful man has anyway oi 
coming into the presence of God. 

But Jesus says, " I am the way." Jesus was grieved that we 
were shut out from the holiest of all, from the presence of God; 
for he knew by experience that in that presence there is fulness oi 
joy. But how did he upen the way ? Did he pull aside the veil, 
that we might steal in secretly and easily into the presence of the 
Father ? No : but he offered himself, an offering to satisfy Divine 
justice, and reconcile us to God. " He said, It is finished, and 
bowed his head and gave up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of 
the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom." It is 
finished ; the punishment of the law is borne, the demands of the 
law are answered, the way is finished, the veil is rent, from the 
top to the bottom ! Not a shred of the dreadful curtain now re- 
mains to intercept us. The guiltiest, the vilest sinner of you all, 
has now liberty to enter in through the rent veil, under the light 
of Jehovah's countenance, to dwell in the secret of his tabernacle, 
to behold his beauty, and to inquire in his temple. 

And now, my friends, is this your way of coming to the Father ? 
Christ says, " 1 am the way ; no man cometh unto the Father but 
by me." If, then, you will still keep to your own way, whatever 
it may be, whether it be the way of tears, or penances, or vows 
of amendment, or hopes that God will not deal strictly if you 
will not be warned, you will find in the judgment-day that the 
cherubic sword turned every way, and that you are left a prey to 
the consuming fire. 

But oh ! if there be one soul that can find no peace in any self- 
righteous way, if there be one of you who finds that you are lost 
in yourself, behold Christ says to you, " I am the way," as he 
Bays in another place, " I am the door." It is a full, free, and open 
way, and it is a way for sinners. Why wait a moment longer? 


There wns once a partition wall between you and God ; but 
Christ hath cast it down. God was once angry ; but his anger is 
turned away from the blessed path. In Christ he is ever well 

II. Christ is the Truth. The whole Bible, and the whole of 
experience, bear witness that by nature we are ignorant of the 
truth. No doubt there are many truths which an unconverted 
man docs know. He may know the truths of mathematics and 
arithmetic, he may know many of the common every-day truths ; 
but still it cannot be said that an unconverted man knows the 
truth, for Christ is the truth. Christ may be called the key-stone 
of the arch of truth. Take away the key-stone of an arch, and the 
whole becomes a heap of rubbish. The very same stones may be 
there, but they are all fallen, smothered, and confused, without 
order, without end. Just so; take Christ away, and the whole 
arch of truth becomes a heap of rubbish. The very same truths 
may be there ; but they are all fallen, without coherence, without 
order, without end. Christ may be called the sun of the system 
of truth. Take away the sun out of our system, and every planet 
would rush into confusion. The very same planets would be 
there ; but their conflicting forces would draw them hither and 
thither, orb dashing against orb in endless perplexity. Just so ; 
take Christ away, and the whole system of truth rushes into con- 
fusion. The same truths may be in the mind, but all conflicting 
and jarring in inextricable mazes ; for " the path of the wicked is 
as darkness ; they know not at what they stumble." But let 
Christ be revealed to an unconverted soul, let it not be merely a 
man speaking about Christ unto him, but let the spirit of God reveal 
him, and there is revealed, not a truth, but the truth. You put 
the key-stone into the arch of truth ; you restore the sun to he 
centre of the system. All truth becomes orderly and serviceable 
in that mind. 

Now he knows the truth with regard to himself. Did the Son 
of God really leave the bosom of the Father to bear wrath in our 
stead ? then I must be under wrath. Did the Lord Jesus become 
a servant, that he might obey the will of God instead of sinners ? 
then 1 must be without any righteousness a child of disobedi- 

Again, knowing Christ, he knows the truth with regard to God. 
Did God freely give up his Son to the death for us all ? then, if I 
believe in Jesus, there is no condemnation to me. God is my Fa- 
ther, and God is love. 

My friends, have you seen Christ, who is the truth ? Has he 
been revealed to you, not my flesh and blood, but by the Spirit of 
our God ? Then you know how true it is that in him " are hid all 
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" that he is the " Alpha 
and Omega," the beginning and the ending of all knowledge. But 


if you have not seen Christ, then you know nothing yet as you 
ought to know ; all your knowledge is like a bridge without a key- 
stone, like a system without a sun. What good will it do you in 
hell, that you knew all the sciences in the world, all the events of 
history, and all the busy politics of your little day ? Do you not 
know that your very knowledge will be turned into an instrument 
of torture in hell ? Oh, how will you wish in that day that you 
had read your newspaper less and your Bible more ; that with all 
your getting you had got understanding ; that with all your know- 
ledge you had known the Saviour, whom to know is life everlast- 

III. Christ is the Life. The whole Bible bears witness that by 
nature we are dead in trespasses and sins that we are as unable 
to walk holily in the world as a dead man is unable to rise and 

Both Scripture and experience alike testify that we are by na- 
ture dead in trespasses and sins ; and yet it is not a death in which 
we are wholly inactive, for in it we are said to walk according to 
the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of 
the air. 

This truth is taught us impressively in that vision of the prophet 
Ezekiel, where he was carried out by the Spirit, and set down in 
the midst of an open valley, full of dry bones ; and as he passed by 
them round about, behold there were very many in the open val- 
ley, and lo ! they were very dry. 

Just such is the view which every child of God gets of the 
world. The dry bones are very many, and they are very dry ; 
and he asks the same question which God asked of Ezekiel " Can 
these bones live?" Oh yes, my friends ; and does not experience 
teach you the same thing. True, the dead cannot know that they 
are dead ; and yet, if the Lord touch your heart, you will find it 
out: we prophesy to dry bones ; for this is the Lord's way; while 
we prophesy the breath enters in. Look back over your life then. 
See how you have walked according to the course of this world. 
You have always been like a man swimming with the stream, 
never like a man swimming against the current. Look into your 
heart, and see how it has turned against all the commandments ; 
you feel the Sabbath to be a weariness instead of calling it a de- 
light and honorable. If ever you tried to keep the commandments 
of God ; if ever you tried to keep your eyes from unlawful desires, 
your tongue from words of anger, or gossiping, or bitterness, your 
heart from malice, and envy, and covetousness ; if ever you have 
tried this, and I fancy most unconverted men have tried it : if ever 
you have tried this, did you rvot find it impossible ? It was like 
raising the dead. Did you not find a struggle against ycurself? 
O how plain that you are dead not born again. Marvel not that 
we say unto you, ye must be born again. You must be joined to 

14 1 *ERMON II. 

Christ, for Christ is the life. Suppose it were possible for a dead 
limb to be joined into a living body, so completely that all the veins 
should receive the pjjjale tide of living blood ; suppose bone to 
join on to bone, and sinew to sinew, and nerve to nerve, do you 
not see that that limb, however dead before, would become a living 
limb. Before, it was cold, and stiff, and motionless, and full of 
corruption; now, it is warm and pliable, and full of life and mo- 
tion. It is a living limb, because joined on to that which is life. 
Or, suppose it possible for a withered branch to be grafted into a 
living vine, so completely that all the channels should receive the 
flow of the generous sap, do you not see that that branch, how- 
ever dead before, becomes a living branch ? Before, it was dry, 
and fruitless, and withered ; now, it is full of sap, of life, and viiror. 
It is a living branch, for it is joined to the vine, which is its life. 
Well, then, just in the same way, Christ is the life of every soul 
that cleaves to him. He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 
Is your soul like a dead limb cold, stiff, motionless, and full of 
corruption ? Cleave you to Christ ; be joined to him by faith, nnd 
you shall be one spirit ; you shall be made warm, and vigorous, 
and full of activity, in God's service. 

Is your soul like a withered branch, dry, fruitless, and withered, 
wanting both leaves and fruit ? Cleave you to Christ ; be joined 
to him, and you shall be one spirit. You will find it true that 
Christ is the life ; your life will be hid with Christ in God. You 
will say, I live ; "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life 
which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, 
who loved me, and gave himself for me." 

Remember, then, my unbelieving friends, the only way for you 
to become holy is to become united to Christ. And remembei 
you, my believing friends, that if ever you are relaxing in holiness. 
the reason is, you are relaxing your hold on Christ. Abide in rue, 
and I in you, so shall ye bear much fruit. Severed from me, ye 
can do nothing. 
Dundee, 1836. 


" Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.'' Heb. lii. 1. 

WHEN a traveller passes very rapidly through a country, the eye 
has no time to rest upon the different objects in it, so that, when 
he comes to the end of his journey, no distinct impressions have 
been made upon his mind ; he has only a confused notion of the 
country through which he has travelled. 

This explains how it is that death, judgment, eternity, make so 


ittle impression upon most men's minds. Most people never stop 
to think, but hurry on through life, and find themselves in eternitv 
before they have once put the question, " What must I do to be 
saved ?" More souls are lost through want of consideration than 
in any other way. 

The reason why men are not awakened and made anxious for 
their souls is, that the devil never gives them time to consider. 
Therefore God cries, Stop, poor sinner, stop and think. Consider 
your ways. " O that you were wise, that you understood this, 
that you considered your latter end." And, again, he cries, " Israel 
doth not know, my people doth not consider." 

In the same way does the devil try to make the children of God 
doubt if there be a Providence. He hurries them away to the 
shop and market. Lose no time, he says, but make money. 
Therefore God cries, Stop, poor sinner, stop and think ; and Jesus 
says, " Consider the lilies of the field how they grow ; consider 
the ravens, which have neither storehouse nor barn." 

In the same way does the Devil try to make the children of 
God live uncomfortable and unholy lives. He beguiles them away 
from simply looking to Jesus : he hurries them away to look at a 
thousand other things, as he led Peter, walking on the sea, to look 
round at the waves. But God says, Look here, consider the Apos- 
tle and High Priest of your profession : look unto me, and be ye 
saved ; run your race, looking unto Jesus ; consider Christ, the 
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 

I. Believers should live in daily consideration of the greatness 
and glory of Christ. 

(1.) There was once a time when time was not ; when there 
was no earth, neither sun. nor moon, nor star ; a time when you 
might have wandered through all space, and never found a rest- 
ing place to the sole of your foot ; when you would have found 
no creatures anywhere, but God everywhere ; when there were 
no angels with golden harps hymning celestial praises; bat God 
alone was all in all. 

Question. Where was Jesus then ? Ans. He was with God. 
" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God" 
He was near to God, and in perfect happiness there. " The Lord 
possessed me in the beginning of his way ; before his works of 
old. Then I was by him as one brought up with him ; and I was 
daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." He was in the 
bosom of God ; " The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of 
the Father." He was in perfect glory there : " O Father, glorify 
thou me with thyself, with the glory which I had with thee before 
the world was." 

Ques. What was Jesus then? Ans. He was God. The Word 
was with God, and " was God." He was equal with the Father. 
" He thought it no robbery to be equal with God." He was rich. 


" He was the brightness of his Father's glory and the express 
image of his person." 

Now, brethren, could I lift you away to that time when God 
was alone from all eternity. Could I have shown you the glory 
of Jesus then, how he dwelt in the bosom of the Father, and was 
daily his delight ; and could I have told you " That is the glorious 
being who is to undertake the cause of poor lost sinners ; that is 
he who is going to put himself in their room and stead, to suffer 
all they should suffer, and obey all they should obey ; consider 
Jesus ; look long and earnestly ; weigh every consideration in the 
balance of the soundest judgment ; consider his rank, his near- 
ness, his dearness to God the Father ; consider his power, his glory, 
his equality to the Father in everything ; consider, and say, do 
you think you would intrust your case to him ? Do you think 
he would be a sufficient Saviour ?" O brethren, would not every 
soul cry out, He is enough, I want no other Saviour ? 

(2.) Again, there was a time when this world sprang into 
being ; when the sun began to shine, and earth and seas began to 
smile. There was a time when myriads of happy angels spring- 
ing into being, first spread their wings, doing his commandments , 
when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God 
shouted for joy. 

Ques. What was Jesus doing then ? Ans. " Without him was 
not anything made that was made." " By him were all things 
created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invi- 
sible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or 
powers : all things were created by him and for him." O bre- 
thren, could I lift you away back to that wonderful day, and show 
you Jesus calling all the angels into being, hanging the earth 
upon nothing ; could you have heard the voice of Jesus saying, 
Let there be light, and there was light ; and could I have told 
you, " That is he who is yet to undertake for sinners ; consider 
him, and see if you think he will be a sufficient Saviour ; look long 
and earnestly ;" good news, good news for sinners, if this mighty 
being undertake for us ! I can as little doubt the sureness and 
completeness of my salvation as 1 can doubt the sureness of the 
solid earth beneath my feet. 

(3.) But the work of creation is long since passed. Jesus has 
been upon our earth. And now he is not here ; he is risen. 
Eighteen hundred years and more have passed since Christ was 
upon the earth. 

Ques. Where is Jesus now ? Ans. " He is set down at the 
right hand of the Majesty on high." He is upon the throne with 
God in his glorified body, and his throne is for ever. A sceptre 
is put into his hand, a sceptre of righteousness, and the oil of glad- 
ness is poured over him. All power is given to him in heaven 
and on earth. 

O brethren, could you and I pass this day through these hea- 


vens, and see what is now going on in the sanctuary above, could 
you see what the child of God now sees who died last night ; 
could you see the Lamb with the scars of his five deep wounds in 
the very midst of the throne, surrounded by all the redeemed, 
every one having harps and golden vials full of odors ; could 
you see the many angels round about the throne, whose number 
is ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 
all singing, Worthy is the " Lamb that was slain ;" and were one 
of these angels to tell you, " This is he that undertook the cause of 
lost sinners ; he undertook to bear their curse and to do their 
obedience ; he undertook to be the second Adam, the man in their 
stead, and lo ! there he is upon the throne of heaven ; consider 
him ; look long and earnestly upon his wounds, upon his glory, 
and tell me do you think it would be safe to trust him ? Do you 
think his sufferings and obedience will have been enough ?" Yes, 
yes, every soul exclaims, Lord, it is enough ! Lord, stay thy 
hand ! Show me no more, for I can bear no more. Or rather 
let me ever stand and gaze upon the Almighty, all-worthy, all- 
divine Saviour, till my soul drink in complete assurance that his 
work undertaken for sinners is a finished work. Yes, though the 
sins of all the world were on my one wicked head, still I could 
not doubt that his work is complete, and that 1 am quite safe 
whrn I believe in him. 

/ would now plead with believers. Some of you have really 
been brought by God to believe in Jesus. Yet you have no 
abiding peace, and very little growing in holiness. Why is this ? 
It is because your eye is fixed anywhere but on Christ. You are 
so busy looking at books, or looking at men, or looking at the 
world, that you have no time, no heart, for looking at Christ. 

No wonder you have little peace and joy in believing. No 
wonder you live so inconsistent and unholy a life. Change your 
plan. Consider the greatness and glory of Christ, who has under- 
taken all in the stead of sinners, and you would find it quite impos- 
sible to walk in darkness, or to walk in sin. O what mean, despi- 
cable thoughts you have of the glorious Immanu;-! ! Lift your 
eyes from your own bosom, downcast believer ; look upon Jesus. 
It is good to consider your ways, but it is far better to consider 

/ would now invite anxious souls. Anxious soul ! have you 
understood all the glory of Christ ? Have you understood that 
he undertook for guilty sinners ? And do you doubt if he be a 
sufficient Saviour ? Oh, what mean views you have of Christ if 
you dare not risk your soul upon him ? 

Objection. I do not doubt that Christ has suffered and done 
quite enough, but I fear it was for others, and not for me. If 1 
were sure it was for me, I would be quite happy. Ans. It is no- 
where said in the Bible, that Christ died for this sinner or that sin- 
ner. If you are waiting till you find your own name in the Bible, 


you will wait for ever. But it is said a. few verses before that 
" He tasted death for every man ;" and again, " He is the propi- 
tiation for the sins of the whole, world." Not that all men are 
saved by him. Ah, no ; the most never come to Jesus, and are 
lost ; but this shows that any sinner may come, even the chief of 
sinners, and take Christ as his own Saviour. Come you, then, 
anxi3us soul; say you, He is my refuge and my fortress! and 
then, be anxious if you can. 

II. Consider Christ as the Apostle, or Messenger of God. 

The word Apostle means messenger; one ordained and sent or 
a particular embassy. Now Christ is an Apostle, for God ordain- 
ed and sent him into the world. 

In the Old Testament, the name by which he is oftenest called 
is the Angel of the Lord, or the Messenger of the Covenant. He 
is called God's Elect, chosen for the work ; he is called God's ser- 
vant ; he is called the Messiah, or the Christ, or the Anointed, 
because God anointed him and sent him to the work. In the New 
Testament, over and over again Christ calls himself, the sent of 
God. " As thou hast sent me into the world, so have I sent them 
into the world, that the world may know that thou hast sent me." 
"And these have known that thou hast sent me." All this shows 
plainly that it is not the Son alone who is interested in the saving 
of poor sinners, but the Father also. " The Father sent his Son to 
be the Saviour of the world." 

Objection. True, Christ is a great and glorious Saviour, and 
able to accomplish anything to save poor sinners ; but perhaps 
God the Father may not agree to pour out his wrath upon his 
Sou, or to accept of his Son as a surety in our stead. Ans. Look 
here, Christ is the Apostle of God. It is as much God the Fa. 
ther's work, as it is Christ's work. It occupied as much of the heart 
of God as ever it did of the heart of Christ. God loved the world, 
as much and truly as ever Christ loved the world. God gave his 
Son, as much as Christ gave himself for us. So, God the Holy 
Spirit is as much interested in it as the Father and Son. God 
gave his Son ; the Spirit anointed him and dwelt in him without 
measure. At his baptism God acknowledged him for his beloved 
Son ; the Holy Spirit came on him like a dove. 

O brethren, could I lift you away to the eternity that is past 
could I bring you into the council of the eternal Three, and as il 
was once said, " Let us make man ;" could 1 let you hear the word, 
" Let us save man ;" could I show you how God from all eternity 
designed his Son to undertake for poor sinners ; how it was the 
very plan and the bottommost desire of the heart of the Fathei 
that Jesus should come into the world and do and die in the stead 
of sinners ; how the Holy Spirit breathed sweetest incense, and 
dropped like holiest oil upon the head of the descending Saviour ; 
could I show you the intense interest with which the eye of God 


followed Jesus through his whole course of sorrow, and suffering 
and death ; could 1 show you the anxious haste with which God 
rolled away the stone from the sepulchre while it was yet dark, 
for he would not leave his soul in hell, neither suffer his Holy One 
to see corruption ; could I show you the ecstasies of love and joy 
that beat in the bosom of the infinite God when Jesus ascended to 
his Father and our Fataer; how he welcomed him with a fulness 
of kindness and grace which God alone could give, and God alone 
could receive, saying, " Thou art my son, this day have I begotten 
thee ; thou art indeed worthy to be called my Son ; never till this 
day wast thou so worthy to be called mine; thy throne, OGod, 
is for ever and ever ; sit thou on my right hand until I make thine 
enemies thy footstool." O sinner, will you ever doubt any more 
whether God the Father be seeking thy salvation, whether the 
heart of Christ and of his Father be the same in this one grand 
controversy? O believer, consider this Apostle of God ; meditate 
on these things; look and look again, until your peace be like a 
river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea, till the 
breathing of your soul be, Abba, Father ! 

III. Consider Christ as the High Priest of our profession. 

The duty of the High Priest was twofold 1st, to make Atone 
ment ; 2d, to make Intercession. 

When the High Priest slew the goat at the altar of burnt-offer- 
ings, he did it in presence of all the people, to make atonement for 
them. They all stood around gazing and considering their High 
Priest : and when he gathered the blood into the golden basin, and 
put on the white garments, and passed away from their sight within 
the veil, their eye followed him, till the mysterious curtain hid him 
from their sight. But even then the heart of the believing Jew 
followed him still. Now he is drawing near to God for us, now 
he is sprinkling the blood seven times before the mercy-seat, say- 
ing, Let this blood be instead of our blood ; now he is praying 
for us. 

Brethren, let us also consider our great High Priest. 

(1.) Consider him making Atonement. You cannot look at him 
on the cross as the disciples did you cannot see the blood stream- 
ing from his five deep wounds you cannot see him shedding his 
blood that the blood of sinners might not be shed Yet still, if 
God spare us, you may see bread broken and wine poured out, a 
living picture of the dying Saviour. Now, brethren, the atone- 
ment has been made, Christ has died, his sufferings are all past. 
And how is it that you do not enjoy peace ? It is because you do 
not consider. " Israel doth not know, my people doth not con- 
sider." Consider: has Jesus died in the stead of guilty sinners, 
and do you heartily consent to take Jesus to be the man in your 
stead ? then, you do not need to die. O happy believer, rejoice 
evermore. Live within sight of Calvary, and you will live within 


sight of glory ; and, O rejoice in the happy ordinance that sets a 
broken Saviour so plainly before you. 

(>.) Consider Christ as making Intercession. When Christ 
n-51-ended from the Mount of Olives, and passed through these 
heavens, carrying his bloody wounds into the presence of God . 
and when his disciples had gazed after him, till a cloud received 
him out of their sight, we are told that they returned to Jerusalem 
with great joy. What ! are they joyful at parting with theii 
blessed Master ? When he told them he was to leave them, sor 
row filled their hearts, and he had to argue with them and comfort 
tht m. saying, Let not your heart be troubled ; it is expedient tor 
you that I go away. How, then, are they changed ! Jesus has 
left them, and they are filled with joy. Oh ! here is the secret, 
they knew that Christ was now going into the presence of God 
for them, that their great High Priest was now entering within the 
veil to make intercession for them. 

Now, believer, would you share in the great joy of the disci- 
ples? Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, 
Christ Jesus. He is above yon clouds, and above yon sky. O 
that you would stand gazing ug into heaven, not with the bodily 
eye, but with the eye of faith. Oh ! what a wonderful thing the 
eye of faith is: it sees beyond the stars, it pierces to the throne of 
God, and there it looks on the face of Jesus making intercession 
for us, whom having not seen we love, in whom, though now \ve 
see him not, yet believing we rejoice with joy unspeakable and 
full of glory. 

Oh ! if you would live thus, what sweet peace would fill your 
bosom ! And how many droppings of the Spirit would come 
down on you in answer to the Saviour's prayer. Oh ! how your 
face would shine like Stephen ; and the poor blind world would 
Bee that there is a joy which the world cannot give, and the world 
cannot take away, a heaven upon earth. 

Dundee, 1836. 


" As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple-tree 
among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down un- 
der his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet unto my taste." 
Song of Solomon ii., 2, 3. 

IF an unconverted man were taken away into heaven, where 
Christ sits in glory, and if he overheard Christ's words of admir- 
ing love towards the believer, he could not understand them, he 
could not comprehend how Christ should see a loveliness in poor 
religious people whom he in the bottom of his heart despised. Or 
again, if an unconverted man were to overhear a Christian at his 


devotions when he is really within the yeil, and were to listen to 
his words of admiring, adoring love towards Christ, he could no! 
possibly understand them, he could not comprehend how the be- 
liever should have such a burning affection towards one unseen, in 
whom he himself saw no form nor comeliness. So true it is that 
the natural man knoweth not the things of the Spirit of God, for 
they are foolishness unto him. There may be some now hearing me 
who have a rooted dislike to religious people, they are so stiff, so 
precise, so gloomy, you cannot endure their company. Well then, 
see here what Christ thinks of them, " As the lily among thorns, so 
is my love among the daughters." How different you are from 
Christ ! There may be some hearing me who have no desires after 
Jesus Christ, who never think of him with pleasure ; you see no form 
nor comeliness in him, no beauty that you should desire him ; you 
do not love the melody of his name ; you do not pray to him con- 
tinually. Well then, see here what the believer thinks of him, 
how different from you " As the apple-tree among the trees of 
the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. 1 sat down under 
his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste." 
O that you would be awakened by this very thing, that you are so 
different from Christ, and so different from the believer, to think 
that you must be in a natural condition, you must be under wrath 
Doctrine. The believer is unspeakably precious in the eyes of 
Christ, and Christ is unspeakably precious in the eyes of the be- 

I. Inquire what Christ thinks of the believer " As the lily 
among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters." 

Christ sees nothing so fair in all this world as the believer. All 
the rest of the world is like thorns, but the believer is like a beau- 
tiful lily in his eyes. When you are walking in a wilderness all 
overgrown w^th briers and thorns, if your eye falls upoji some 
lonely flower, tall and white, and pure and graceful, growing in 
the midst of the thorns, it looks peculiarly beautiful. If it were 
in the midst of some rich garden among many other flowers, then 
it would not be so remarkable ; but when it is encompassed with 
thorns on every side, then it engages the eye. Such is the believer 
in the eyes of Christ. " As the lily among thorns, so is my love 
among the daughters." 

(1.) See what Christ thinks of the unconverted world. It is 
like a field full of briers and thorns in his eyes. 1. Because fruit- 
less. " Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" So 
Christ gets no fruit from the unconverted world. It is all one wide, 
thorny waste. 2. Because, when the word is preached among 
them, it is like sowing among thorns. " Break up your fallow- 
ground and sow not among thorns." When the sower sowed, 
some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked 
them ; so is preaching to the unconverted. 3. Because their end 


will be like that of thorns ; -they are dry and fit only for the burning 
"As thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire." " For the 
earth, which is often rained upon and only bears thorns and briers, 
is rejected, and nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned." 
My friends, if you are in a Christian state, see what you are in 
the eyes of Christ thorns. You think that you have many ad 
mirable qualities, that you are valuable members of society, and 
you have a hope that it shall be well with you in eternity. See 
what Christ says you are thorns and briers, useless in this world, 
and fit only for the burning. 

(2.) See what Christ thinks of the believer. " As the lily among 
thorns so is my love among the daughters." The believer is like 
a lovely flower in the eyes of Christ. 1. Because, justified in the 
eyes of Christ, washed in his blood, he is pure and white as a lily. 
Christ can see no spot in his own righteousness, and therefore he 
sees no spot on the believer. Thou art all fair, my love, as a lily 
among thorns so is my love. 2. A believer's nature is changed. 
Once he was like the barrpn, prickly thorn, fit only for burning; 
now Christ has put a new spirit in him ; the dew has been given 
to him, and he grows up like the lily. Christ loves the new crea- 
ture. " All my delight is in them." " As the lily among thorns so 
is my love among the daughters." Are you a Christian? then 
never mind though the world despise you, though they call you 
names ; remember Christ loves you, he calls you " my love." 
Abide in him, and you shall abide in his love. If ye continu- in 
my word, then are ye rny disciples indeed. 3. Because so lonely 
in the world. Observe, there is but one lily, but many thorns. 
There is a great wilderness all full of thorns, and only one lonely 
flower. So there is a world lying in wickedness, and a little rlock 
that believe in Jesus. Some believers are cast down because they 
feel solitary and alone. If I be in the right way. surely I would 
not be so lonely. Surely the wise, and the amiable* and the kind 
people I see round about me, surely, if there were any truth in re- 
ligion, they would know it. Be not cast down. It is one of the 
marks of Christ's people that they are alone in the world, and yet 
they are not alone. It is one of the very beauties which Christ 
sees in his people, that they are solitary among a world of thorns. 
" As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters." 
Do not be discouraged. This world is the world of loneliness. 
When you are transplanted to y>n garden of God, then you shall 
be no more lonely, then you shall be away from all the thorns. 
As flowers in a rich garden blend together their thousand odors 
to enrich the passing breeze, so, in the paradise above, you shall 
join the thousands of the redeemed blending with theirs the odor 
of your praise. You shall join with the redeemed as living flow- 
ers to form a garland for the Redeemer's brow. 

II. Inquire what the believer thinks of Christ. "As the apple- 


tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the 
sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his 
fruit was sweet to my taste.*' 

1. Christ is more precious than all other saviours in the eye ot 
the believer. As a traveller prefers an apple-tree to every other 
tree of the wood, because he finds both shelter and nourishing 
food under it, so the believer prefers Christ to all other saviours. 
When a man is travelling in eastern countries, he is often like to 
drop down under the burning rays of the sun. It is a great relief 
when he comes to a wood. When Israel were travelling in the 
wilderness, they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, 
and seventy palm-trees, and they encamped there by the water. 
They were glad of the shelter of the trees. So Micah says that 
God's people " dwell solitarily in the wood ;" and Ezekiel promises 
"they shall sleep in the woods." 

But if the traveller be hungry and faint for lack of food, then 
he will not be content with any tree of the wood, but he will 
choose out a fruit tree, under which he may sit down and find 
nourishment as well as shade. He sees a fair apple-tree he 
chooses it out of all the trees of the wood, because he can both sit 
under its shadow and eat its pleasant fruits. S j is it with the soul 
awakened by God. He feels under the heat of God's anger ; he 
is in a weary land ; he is brought into the wilderness ; he is like 
to perish ; he comes to a wood ; many trees offer their shade ; 
where shall he sit down ? Under the fir-tree ? alas ! what fruit 
has it to give ? he may die there. Under the cedar tree, with its 
mighty branches ? alas ! he may perish there ; for it has no fruit 
to give. The soul that is taught of God seeks for a complete 
Saviour. The apple-tree is revealed to the soul. The hungry 
soul chooses that evermore. He needs to be saved from hell and 
nourished for heaven. " As the apple-tree among the trees of the 
wood, so is my beloved among the sons." 

Awakened souls, remember you must not sit down under every 
tree that offers itself. " Take heed that no one deceive you ; for 
many shall come in Christ's name, saying, I am Christ, and deceive 
many." There are many ways of saying peace, peace, when 
there is no peace. You will be tempted to find peace in the world, 
in self-repentance, in self-reformation. Remember, choose you a 
tree that will yield fruit as well as shade. " As the apple-tree 
among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons." 
Pray for a choosing faith. Pray for an eye to discern the apple- 
tree. Oh ! there is no rest for the soul except under that Branch 
which God has made strong. My heart's desire and prayer for 
you is, that you may all find rest there. 

2. Why has the believer so high an esteem of Chnst ? 

Ans. (1.) Because he has made trial of Christ. " I sat down 
under his shadow with great delight." All true believers have 
sat down under the shadow of Christ. Some people think thai 


Ihey shall be saved because they have got a head-knowledge of 
Christ. They read of Christ in the Bible, they hear of Christ in 
the house of God, and they think that is to be a Christian. Alas , 
my friends, what good would you get from an apple-tree, if I were 
only to describe it to you ; tell you how beautiful it was, how 
heavily laden with deficious apples ? Or, if I were only to show 
you a picture of the tree, or if I were to show you the tree itself 
at a distance, what the better would you be ? You would not 
get the good of its shade or its pleasant fruit. Just so, dear 
Brethren, what good will you get from Christ, if you only hear 
of him in books and sermons, or if you see him pictured forth in 
the sacrament, or if you were to see him with your bodily eye ? 
What good would all this do, if you do not sit down under his 
shadow ? O my friends, there must be a personal sitting down 
under the shadow of Christ, if you would be saved. Christ is the 
bush that has been burned yet not consumed. Oh ! it is a safe 
place for a hell-deserving sinner to rest. 

Some may be hearing me who can say, " I sat down under his 
shadow." And yet you have forsaken him. Ah ! have you gone 
alter your lovers, and away from Christ ? Well, then, may God 
hedge up your way with thorns. Return, return, O Shulamite ! 
There is no other refuge for your soul. Come and sit down again 
under the shadow of the Saviour. 

Ans. (2.) Because he sat down with great delight. 

1st. Some people think there is no joy in religion, it is a 
gloomy thing. When a young person becomes a Christian, they 
would say, Alas ! he must bid farewell to pleasure, farewell to 
the joys of youth, farewell to a merry heart. He must exchange 
these pleasures for reading of the Bible and dry sermon-books, 
for a life of gravity and preciseness. This is what the world 
says. What does the Bible say 1 "I sat down under his shadow 
with great delight." Ah ! let God be true, and every man a liar. 
Yet no one can believe this except those who have tried it. Ah ! 
be not deceived, my young friends ; the world has many sensual 
and nany sinful delights; the delights of eating and drinking, and 
wearing gay clothes ; the delights of revelry and the dance. No 
man of wisdom will deny that these things are delightful to the 
natural heart ; but oh ! they perish in the using, and they end in 
an eternal hell. But to sit down under the shadow of Christ, 
wearied with God's burning anger, wearied with seeking after 
va.n saviours, at last to find rest under the shadow of Christ, ah ! 
this is great delight. Lord, evermore may I sit under this shadow ! 
Lord, evermore may I be filled with this joy ! 

2d. Some people are afraid of anything like joy in religion. 
They have none themselves, and they do not love to see it in 
others. Their religion is something like the stars, very high, and 
very clear, but very cold. When they see tears of anxiety, or 
tears of joy., they cry out, Enthusiasm, enthusiasm ! Well, then. 


to the Law and to the Testimony. " I sat down under his shadow 
with great delight" Is this enthusiasm ? O Lord, evermore give 
us this enthusiasm ! May the God of hope fill you with all joy 
and peace in believing ! If it be really in sitting under the shadow 
of Christ, let there be no bounds to your joy. O if God would 
but open your eyes, and give you simple, child-like faith, to look 
to Jesus, to sit under his shadow, then would songs of joy rise 
from all our dwellings. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, 
I say, rejoice ! 

3d. Because the fruit of Christ is sweet to the taste. All true 
believers not only sit under the shadow, but partake of his 
pleasant fruits ; just as when you sit under an apple-tree, the fruit 
hangs above you and around you, and invites you to" put out the 
hand and taste ; so, when you come to submit to the righteousness 
of God, bow your head, and sit down under Christ's shadow, all 
other things are added unto you. First, Temporal mercies are 
sweet to the taste. None but those of you who are Christians 
know this, when you sit under the shadow of Christ's temporal 
mercies, because covenant mercies. " Bread shall be given you ; 
your water shall be sure." These are sweet apples from the tree 
Christ. O Christian, tell me, is not bread sweeter when eaten 
thus ? Is not water richer than wine ? and Daniel's pulse better 
than the dainties of the King's table 1 Second, Afflictions are 
sweet to the taste. Every good apple has some sourness in it. 
So it is with the apples of the tree Christ. He gives afflictions as 
well as mercies. He sets the teeth on edge ; but even these are 
blessings in disguise they are covenant gifts. Oh ! affliction is a 
dismal thing when you are not under his shadow. But are you 
Ch. 'stums? look on your sorrows as apples from that blessed tree. 
If you knew how wholesome they are, you would not wish to 
want them. Several of you know it is no contradiction to say, 
these apples, though sour, are sweet to my taste. Third,* The 
gifts of the Spirit are sweet to the taste. Ah ! here is the best 
fruit that grows on the tree : here are the ripest apples from the 
topmost branch. You who are Christians know how often your 
soul is fainting. Well, here is nourishment to your fainting soul. 
Everything you need is in Christ. " My grace is sufficient for 
thee." Dear Christian, sit much under that tree feed much upon 
that fruit. " Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I 
am sick of love." Fourth, Promises of glory. Some of the 
apples have a taste of heaven in them. Feed upon these, dear 
Christians. Some of Christ's apples give you a relish for the fruit 
of Canaan for the clusters of Eshcol. Lord, evermore gi^e me 
these apples ; for oh ! they are sweet to mv taste 

St. Peter's, 1837 



A sword, a sword is sharpened, and a^so furbished : it is sharpened to make 
sore slaughter ; it is furbished that it may glitter ; should we then make mirtrt f 
it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree." Ezek. xxi., 9, 10. 

FROM the second verse of this chapter, we learn that this prophecy 
was directed against Jerusalem ; Son of man, set thy face 
toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, 
and prophesy against the land of Israel." 

We have already told you that Ezekiel, while yet a youth, was 
carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar, and placed, with a number of 
his countrymen, by the river of Chcbar. It was there that he de- 
livered his prophecies during a space of twenty-two years. The 
prophecy I have read was delivered in the seventh year of his 
captivity, and just three years before Jerusalem was destroyed, 
and the temple burnt. From verse 2, we learn that these words 
were directed against Jerusalem, for though God had taken 
Ezekiel away to minister to the captives by the river of Chebar, 
yet he made him send many a message of warning and of mercy 
to his beloved Jerusalem. " Son of man, set thy face toward 
Jerusalem, and drop thy word towards the holy places, and pro- 
phesy against the land of Israel." 

God had already fulfilled many of the words of his prophets 
against Jerusalem. He had fulfilled the word of Jeremiah against 
one of their kings (Jehoiakim). " He shall be buried with the 
burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the walls of Jerusa- 
lem." He had fulfilled the word of the same prophet in carrying 
another king (Jehoiakin) to Babylon with all the goodly vessels of 
the house of the Lord. But still, neither prophecies nor judgments 
would awaken Jerusalem ; so that we are told (2 Chron. xxxvi., 
12) that Zedekiah the next king, "did that which was evil in the 
sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jere- 
miah the prophet, speaking from the mouth of the Lord." V. 14. 
M Moreover, all the chief of the priests and the people transgressed 
very much, after all the abominations of the heathen ; and polluted 
the house of the Lord, which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And 
the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, 
rising up betimes, and sending ; because he had compassion on 
his people, and on his dwelling-place: But they mocked the mes- 
sengers of God. and despised his words, and misused his prophets, 
until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was 
no remedy." 

It was in a time of great hardness and impenitence in Jerusa- 
lem that the prophecy before me was delivered, and just three 
years before the wrath of God was poured on them to the utter- 
most. (1). All was mirth and sensuality in Jerusalem. (2). The 


false prophets prophesied peace, and the people loved to have it 
so. (3.) There was no noise but that of revelry within the devoted 
city. But in the midst of that din and revelry, the lone prophet 
by the river of Chebar heard the muttering of the distant thunder. 
The faithful servant of God saw God arming himself as a mighty 
man for the war, and the glittering sword of vengeance in his 
hand, and he calls aloud to his countrymen, all at ease, with 
awakening thunders, " A sword, a sword is sharpened and also 
furbished ; it is sharpened to make a sore slaughter ; it is furbish- 
ed that it may glitter ; should we then make mirth ?" 

My friends, those of you who are unconverted are in the very 
same situation as Jerusalem was. In the years that are now fled, 
like the mists of the morning, how many messages have you had 
from God ? How many times has he sent his messengers to you, 
rising up early and sending them ? His Bible has been in your 
houses, a silent, but more mighty pleader for God ; his providence 
has been in your families, in sickness and death, in plenty or 
poverty, all, all beseeching you to flee from the wrath to come ; 
all, all beseeching you to cleave to the Lord Jesus, the only, the 
all-sufficient Saviour. All these messages have come to you, and 
you are yet unconverted, still dead, dry bones, without Christ and 
without God in the world ; and you are saying, Soul, take thine 
ease, eat and drink, and be merry. But do, my friends, hearken 
once more, for God does not wish any to perish. I have a word 
from God unto thee, " A sword, a sword is sharpened and also fur- 
bished ; it is sharpened to make a sore slaughter ; it is furbished 
that it may glitter ; should we then make mirth ?" 

Doctrine. It is very unreasonable in unconverted persons to 
make mirth. 

1. It is unreasonable, because they are under condemnation. 
The sword is sharpened and also furbished. It is sharpened to 
make a sore slaughter ; it is furbished that it may glitter. Should 
we then make mirth ? There is a common idea thai' men are 
under probation, as Adam was, and that Christless persons will not 
be condemned till the judgment ; but this is not the case. The 
Bible s:iys, " He that believeth not is condemned already." " He 
that hath not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God 
abideth on him." " Cursed is every one (not shall be) who con- 
tinurth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them." 
Christless souls are at present in the horrible pit, every mouth is 
stopped, and they are guilty before God. They are in prison, 
ready to be brought out to execution. Therefore, when God 
Bends us to preach to Christless persons he calls it " preaching to 
the spirits in prison,"* that is, who are under condemnation. The 

I believe he afterwards understood 1 Peter Hi., 19, to mean " the spirits who 
are now in prison " 


sword is not only unsheathed, it is sharpened and furbished. It is 
held over their heads. 

Should they then make mirth ? It is unreasonable in a con- 
demned malefactor to make mirth. Would it not greatly shock 
every feeling mind to see a company of men condemned to die, 
meeting and making merry, talking lightly and jestingly, as if the 
sword was not over them ? Yet this is the case of those of you 
who are unconverted and yet live lives of mirth. You have been 
tried in the balance arid found wanting. You have been con- 
demned by the righteous judge. Your sentence is past. You 
are now in prison, neither can you break out of this prison ; the 
sword is whetted and drawn over you. And oh ! is it not most 
unreasonable to make mirth ? Is it not most unreasonable to 
be happy and contented with yourself and merry with your friends ? 
Is it not madness to sing the song of the drunkard ? " Eat, drink, 
and be merry, for to-morrow we die." 

2. Because God's instruments of destruction are all ready. 
Not only are Christless persons condemned already, but the instru- 
ments of their destruction are prepared and quite ready. The 
sword of vengeance is sharpened and also furbished. When 
swords are kept in the armory, they are kept blunt, that the rust 
may not hurt their edge; but when work is to be done, and they 
are taken out for the slaughter, then they are furbished and sharp- 
ened made sharp and glittering. So it is with the sword of the 
executioner ; when not in use, it is kept blunt ; but when work is 
to be done, it is sharpened and made ready. It is sharpened and 
furbished just before the blow is struck, that it may cut clean. So 
is it with God's sword of vengeance. It is not sheathed and blunt, 
it is sharpened and furbished, it is quite ready to do its work, it is 
quite ready for a sore slaughter. The disease by which every 
unconverted man is to die is quite ready, it is perhaps in his veins 
at this very moment. The accident by which he is to drop into 
eternity is quite ready, all the parts and means of it are arranged. 
The arrow that is to strike him is on the string, perhaps it has left 
the string, and is even now flying towards him. 

The place in hell is quite ready for every unconverted soul. 
When Judas died, the Scriptures say, " he went to his own 
place." It was his own place before he went there, being quite 
prepared and ready for him. As when a man retires at night to 
his sleeping room, it is said he is gone to his own room, so a place 
in hell is quite ready for every Christless person. It is his own 
place. When the rich man died and was buried, he was imme- 
diately in his own place. He found everything ready. He lifted 
up his eyes in hell, being in torments. So hell is quite ready for 
every Christless person. It was prepared, long ago. for the devil 
and his angels. The fires are all quite ready, and fully lighted 
and burning. 

Ah ! should Christless souls then make mirth ? A malefactor 


might, perhaps, say that he would be merry as long as the scaffold 
was not erected on which he was to die. But if he were told that 
the scaffold was quite ready, that the sword was sharpened, and 
the executioner standing ready, oh ! would it not be madness to 
make mirth ? Alas ! this is your madness, poor Christless soul. 
You are not only condemned, but the sword is sharpened and 
ready that is to smite your soul ; and yet you can be happy, and 
dream away your days and nights in pleasures that perish in the 
using. The disease is ready, the accident is ready, the arrow is 
on the string, the gravels ready, yea, hell itself is ready, your own 
place is made ready ; and yet you can make mirth ! You can 
play games and enjoy company. How truly is your laughter like 
the crackling of thorns under a pot : a flashy blaze, and then the 
blackness of darkness for ever ! 

3. The sword may come down at any one moment. Not only 
are Christless persons condemned already, and not only is the 
sword of vengeance quite ready, but the sword may come down 
at any one moment. It is not so with malefactors ; their day is 
fixed and told them, so that they can count their time. If they 
have many days they make merry to-day at least, and begin to 
be serious to-morrow. But not so Christless persons ; their day 
is fixed, but it is not told them. It may be this very moment. 
Ah ! should they then make mirth ? 

Some malefactors have been found very stout-hearted to the 
very last. Many have received their sentence quite unmoved, 
and with a determined countenance. Some have even gone to 
the scaffold quite unmoved ; some even with a light, careless 
spirit. But when the head is laid down upon the block, when the 
eyes are covered, and the neck laid bare when the glittering 
sword is lifted high in the air, and may come down any one 
moment that is a dreadful time of suspense. It would be very 
horrible to see a man in a light, careless spirit, at that time. Oh ! 
it would be madness to be merry then ? Alas ! this is your mad- 
ness, poor Christless soul. You are not only condemned, and not 
only is the sword ready, but it may fall on you at any one 
moment. Your head is, as it were, on the block. Your neck is 
bared before God, and the whetted sword is held over you ; and 
yet can you make mirth ? Can you take up your mind with 
business and worldly things, and getting rich, building and plant- 
ing, and this night your soul may be required of you? Can you 
fill up your time with games and amusements, and foolish books 
and entertaining companions ? Can you fill up your hours after 
work with loose talk and wanton behavior, adding sin to sin, 
treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath, when you knew not 
what hour the wrath of God may come upon you to the utter- 
most ? Can you go prayerless to your bed at night, your mind 
filled with dark and horrid imaginations not fit to be named, and 


yet you may be in hell before the morning ? A sword, a sword 
it is furbished ! 

4. Because God has made no promise to Christless souls to stay 
Ids hand one moment. All the promises of God are yea and 
amen ; that is, they are true. He always fulfils his promises. 
But the same Scripture says they are " yea and amen in Christ 
Jesus" All God's promises are made to Christ, and to sinners that 
cleave to Christ. I believo that it is impossible, in the nature of 
things, that God would make a promise to an unconverted man. 
Accordingly, all God's promises are made to Christ, and to every 
sinner that cleaves on to Christ. But unconverted persons are those 
who have never come to Christ ; therefore, there are no promises 
made to them. God nowhere promises to make them anxious. 
He nowhere promises to bring them to Christ. He nowhere 
promises to keep them one moment out of hell. " Should they 
then make mirth ?" 

Let me speak to Christless persons who are at ease. Many of 
you hearing me know that you are in a Christless state ; and yet 
you know that you are at ease and happy. Why is this ? It is 
because you hope to be brought to Christ before you die. You 
say, another day will do as well, and I will hear thee again of 
this matter : and therefore you take your ease now. But this is 
very unreasonable. It is not worthy of a rational being to act in 
this way. God has nowhere promised to bring you to Christ 
before you die. God has laid himself under no manner of obliga- 
tion to you. He has nowhere promised tha) you shall see to-mor- 
row, or that you shall hear another sermon. There is a day near 
at hand when you shall not see a to-morrow. If this be not the 
last, there is a sermon yet to be preached which will be the last 
you will ever hear. 

Let me speak to Christless persons who are anxious about their 
souls. Some hearing me know that they are in a Christless con- 
dition, and this made them anxious, and yet it is to be feared some 
are losing that anxiety, and now going back to the mirth of 
the world. Why is this ? This is most unreasonable. If you 
are still out of Christ, however anxious you have been, remember 
God has made no promises to save you. The sword is still over 
you, furbished and sharpened. Ah ! do not then make mirth. 
Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Take the kingdom of heaven 
by violence. Press into it. Never rest till you are in the bonds 
of the covenant. Then be as happy as the day is long. 

5. It is a sore slaughter, " A sword ! a sword !" 

1st, Sore, because it will be on all who are Christless. The 
dreadfulness of the slaughter in Jerusalem was that all were 
slain, both old and young. The command which the prophet 
heard was (ix., 5), "Go ye through the city and smite. Let not 
your eye spare, neither have ye pity. Slay utterly old and young, 
both maids and little children, and women ; but come not neat 


any man upon whom is the mark." Such is the sere slaughtel 
waiting on unconverted souls. All Christless persons will perish, 
young and old. God will not spare, neither will his eye pity. 
Think of this, old grey-headed persons, that have lived in sin, and 
never come to Christ ; if you die thus, you will certainly perish in 
the sore slaughter. Think of this, middle-aged persons, hard- 
working merchants and laborers, who make money, but do not 
sell all for the pearl of price. Think of this, ye Marthas, who 
are careful and troubled about many things, but who forget the 
one thing that is needful, you also will full in the sore slaughter. 
Think of this, young persons, who live without prayer, yet in 
mirth and jollity ; you that meet to jest and be happy on Sabbath 
evenings, you that walk in the sight of your own eyes, you too 
will full in that sore slaughter. Think of this, little children, you 
that are the pride of your mother's heart, but who have gone 
astray from ihe womb, speaking lies. Little children, who are 
fond of your plays, but are not fond of coming to Jesus Christ, 
who is the Saviour of little children, the sword will come on you 
also. Oh ! it is a sore slaughter, that will not spare the young, nor 
the lovely, nor the kind ; the gentle mother, and affectionate 
child ; the widow and her only son. Should you then make 
mirth ? Unconverted families, when you meet in the evening to 
jest and sport with one another, ask this one question, should we 
make mirth ? Is your mirth reasonable ? Is it worthy of rational 
beings? Unconverted companions, who meet so often for mirth 
and amusement, should you make mirth together when you are in 
such a case ? Ah ! how dismal will the contrast be when God 
says, *' Bind them in bundles to burn them !" 

"2d. Sore slaughter, because the sword is the sword of God. If 
it were only the sword of man that is furbished and sharpened for 
the slaughter, it would not be very terrible. But it is the sword 
of Almighty God, and therefore it is very terrible. " Fear not them 
that kill the body, but after that have no more that they can do ; 
but I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear him who, after 
he hath killed the body, is able to cast body and soul into hell. 
Yea, I say unto you, fear him." If it were the sword of man, it 
could reach only to the body ; but, ah ! it is the sword of God, 
and the iron will enter into the soul. It is the same sword that 
appeared in the garden of Eden. " A flaming sword, that turned 
every way to keep the way of the tree of life." It is the same 
sword which pierced the side of Jesus Christ in his agony. 
" Awake, O sword ! against my shepherd, and against the man 
that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts. I will smite the shep- 
herd, and the sheep shall be scattered.'' It is that sword of which 
Christ speaks when he says, " It shall cut him asunder and ap- 
point him his portion with hypocrites ; there shall be wailing and 
gnashing of teeth." 

Dear brethren, it is not a few flesh wounds that that sword 


will make. It will cut asunder, it will be a death-blow ; eternal 
death. It is a death which body and soul will be always dying, 
yet never dead. 

1 . Let me speak to the Old. There may be some hearing me in 
whom these three things meet, namely, that they are old, and 
Christless, and full of mirth. Oh ! if there be such hearing me, 
consider your ways consider if your mirth be worthy of a ra- 
tional being. I have shown you plainly out of the Scriptures 
what your case is : (1.) That you are condemned already. (2.) 
That God's sword is ready. (3.) That it may come down any 
moment. (4.) That God has made you no promise to stay his 
hand. And (5.) That it will be a sore slaughter. Consider, then, 
if it be reasonable to believe a lie, to deceive your own soul, and 
say, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. In the ordinary course 
of things, you must soon go the way of all living you must be 
gathered to your fathers ; and then all that I have said will be 
fulfilled. Should you then make mirth ? Are you tottering on 
the brink of hell, and yet living prayerless and Christless, and play- 
ing yourself with straws, telling over the oft-repeated tale of youth, 
and laughing over the oft-repeated jest? Alas ! what a depth of 
meaning was there in the word of feolomon ! " I said of laughter, 
it is mad, and of mirth, what doth it ? Even in laughter the 
heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness." 

2. Let me speak to the Young. There may be many hearing me 
in whom these three things meet ; They are young in years, far 
from Christ, and yet full of mirth. Now, my dear friends, I entreat 
you consider whether your mirth is reasonable. The sword is 
sharpened for a sore slaughter. Should you then make mirth ? 

Obj. 1. Youth is the time for mirth. Ans. I know well youth 
is the time for mirth. The young lamb is a happy creature as it 
springs about on the green pasture. The young kid leaps from 
rock to rock with liveliest glee. Tne young horse casts its heels 
high in the air, full of life and p.f flvity. But then they have no 
sin, and you have ; they have *,o hell, and you have. If you will 
come to Jesus Christ now, a: d be freed from wrath, ah ! then you 
will find that youth is the time for mirth ; youth is the time for 
enjoying sweet peace in the bosom, and liveliest intercourse with 
God, and brightest hopes of glory. 

Obj. 2. You would have us be gloomy and sad. Ans. God 
forbid. All that I maintain is, that until you are come to Christ, 
your mirth is mad and unreasonable. If you will come to Christ, 
then, be as happy as you will ; there are no bounds to your joy 
there, for you will joy in God. And when you die, you will come 
to fulness of joy in his presence, and pleasures at his right hand 
for evermore. 

Obj. 3. If I be Christless, it will not bring me into Christ to be 
i*ad, and, therefore, I may as well be merry. Ans. True, to be 
sad will not bring you into Christ ; and yet, if you were really 


awakened to cry to God, peradventure, ne would hear your cry. 
If you were striving to enter in, you might find entrance. If you 
were pressing into the kingdom, you might take it by violence. 
Seek meekness, seek righteousness. It may be ye shall be hid in 
the day of the Lord's anger. If you stay where you are, you are 
sure to be lost. If you live on in carnal security, in mirth and 
jollity, while you are out of Christ, you are sure to perish. 

" Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer 
thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine 
heart and in the sight of thine eyes ; but know thou that for all 
these things God will bring thee into judgment." 

Dundee, 1837 


Unto you, men, I call , and my voice is to the sons of man." PHOV viii., 4 

1. These are the words of wisdom; and wisdom in the book of 
Proverbs is no other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
This is evident from chap, i., 23, where he says, ' Behold, I will 
pour out my spirit unto you ;" but it is Christ alone who has the 
gift of the Holy Spirit. And again, from viii., 22, where he says, 
" The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way ;" and verse 
30, " Then I was by him as one brought up with him ; and I was 
daily h : s delight, rejoicing always before him." These words are 
true of none but of Jesus Christ, the Word that was with God, 
and was God, by whom all things were made. 

2. The places he goes to with the invitation. 1. He goes to the 
country . He climbs every eminence, and cries there ; then he 
descends to the highway where many roads meet. 2. He goes 
to the city. He begins at the gates where the people are assem- 
bled to make bargains and hear causes ; then he proceeds along 
the principal avenue into the city, and cries in at every door as he 
passes. He first goes out into the highways and hedges, then 
goes into the streets and lanes of the city, carrying the blessed 

3. Observe the manner in which he invites. He cries aloud , 
he puts forth the voice ; he stands and cries ; he calls and lifts up 
his voice ; he seems like some merchant offering his wares, first 
in the market and then from door to door. Never did busy crier 
offer to sell his goods with such anxiety as Jesus offers his salva- 
tion : verse 10, "Receive my instruction, and not silver; and 
knowiedge rather than choice gold." 

4. Observe to whom the invitation is addressed. Verse 4. " Un- 
to you, O men, I call ; and my voice is to the sons of man." Mer- 


chants only offer their goods to certain classes of the people tha 
will buy ; 'but Jesus offers his to all men. Wherever there is a 
son of Adam, wherever there is one born of woman, the word is 
addressed to him ; he that hath ears to hear let him hear. 

Doctrine. Christ offers himself as a Saviour to all of the 
human race. 

I. The most awakening truth in all the Bible. It is commonly 
thought that preaching the holy law is the most awakening -truth 
in the Bible; that by it the mouth is stopped, and all the world 
becomes guilty before God ; and, indeed, I believe this is the mcst 
ordinary mean which God makes use of. And yet to me there is 
something far more awakening in the sight of a Divine Saviour 
freely offering himself to every one of the human race. There is 
something that might pierce the heart that is like a stone in that 
cry, " Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of man." 

1. Had you lived in the days when Noah built the Ark, had 
you seen that mighty vessel standing open and ready, inviting all 
the world to come into its roomy cavities, would it not have been 
the most awakening of all sights ? Could you have looked upon 
it without thinking of the coming flood, that was to sweep the 
ungodly world away ? 

2. Had you lived in the times when Jesus was on the earth, 
had you seen him riding down the Mount Olivet, and stopping 
when he came in sight of Jerusalem, lying peaceful and slumber- 
ing at his feet, had you seen the son of God weep over the city, 
and say, " If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, 
the things which belong to thy peace ! but now they are hid from 
thine eyes," would you not have felt that some awful destruction 
was awaiting the slumbering city ? Would he shed these tears 
for nothing? Surely he sees some day of woe coming which 
none knows but himself. 

3. Just so, dear friends, when you see Jesus here running from 
place to place ; from the high places to the highways, from the 
highways to the city gates, from the gates to the doors ; when 
you hear his anxious cry, " Unto you, O men, I call," does it not 
show that all men are lost, that a dreadful hell is before them ? 
Would the Saviour call so loud and so long if there was no hell ? 

Apply this to slumbering souls. 

1st, Mark who it is that calls you ; it is Wisdom ! Jesus Christ, 
in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 
" Unto you, O men, I call." Often, when ministers prick youi 
hearts in their sermons, you go home and say, " Oh ! it was only 
the word of a minister; shall I tremble at the words of a man?" 
But here is the word of no minister, but of Christ. Here is the 
word of one who knows your true condition, who knows your 
heart and your history ; who knows your sins done in the light, 
and done in the dark, and done in the recesses of your heart ; 


who knows the wrath that is over you, and the hell that is before 
yon. " Unto you, O men, I call." 

2rf, Mark in how many places he calls you. In the high places 
and the highways, in the gates, in the entries, at the coming in of 
the doors. Has it not been so with you ? Have you not been 
called in the Bible, in the family, in the house of prayer ? You 
have gone from place to place, but the Saviour has gone after you. 
You have gone to places of diversion, you have gone to places of 
sin, but Christ has followed you. You have lain down on a bed 
of sickness, and Christ has followed you. Must not the sheep be 
in great danger, when the shepherd follows so far in search of it? 

3d, How loud he cries. He calls and lifts up the voice. Has 
it not been so with you ? Has he not knocked loudly at your 
door, in warnings, in providences, in deaths ? Has he not cried 
loudly in the preached word ? Sometimes when reading the Bible 
alone, has not the voice of Christ been louder than thunder? 

4th, He cries to all. Had he cried to the old, then the young 
would have said, " We are safe ; we do not need a Saviour." 
Had he cried to the young, the old men among you would have 
said, " He is not for us." Had he called to the good or to the bad, 
still some would have felt themselves excused. But he cries to 
you all. There is not one person hearing but Jesus cries to you. 
Then all are lost old and young, rich and poor. Whatever you 
think of yourselves, Jesus knows you to be in a lost condition ; 
therefore this piercing cry, " Unto you, O men, I call." 

II The most comforting truth in the Bible. When awakened 
persons are first told of Jesus Christ, it generally adds to their 
grief. They see plainly that he is a very great and glorious Sa- 
viour; but then they feel that they have rejected him, and they 
fear that he never can become their Saviour. Very often awak- 
ened persons sit and listen to a lively description of Christ, of 
his work of substitution in the stead of sinners ; but their ques- 
tion still is, " Is Christ a Saviour to me ?'' Now, to this question 
I answer, Christ is freely offered to all the human race. " Unto 
you, O men, I call." If there were no other text in the whole 
Bible to encourage sinners to come freely to Christ, this one alone 
might persuade them. There is no subject more misunderstood 
by unconverted souls than the unconditional freeness of Christ. 
So little idea have we naturally of free grace, that we cannot be- 
lieve tha* God can offer a Saviour to us, while we are in a wicked 
hell-deserving condition. O it is sad to think how men argue against 
their own happiness, and will not believe the very Word of God ! 

All the types showed the Saviour to be free to all. 

(1.) The brazen serpent was lifted up in sight of all Israel, that 
any one might look and be healed ; and Christ himself explains 
this. " So must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever be- 
lieveth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 


(2.) The Refuge City set on a hill, with its gates open night 
and day, showed this. Whosoever will m.'iy flee for refuge to the 
hope set before us. 

(3.) The angels over Bethlehem repeated the same thing ? " Be- 
hold I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all 
people." And the last invitation of the Bible is the freest of all : 
"Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Mark, 
also, in the text before us, " Unto you, O men, I call." This shows 
that he is not free to devils ; but to all men, to every one that has 
human form and human name, the Saviour is now free. It is not 
for any goodness in men, not for any change in them that Christ 
offers himself; but just in their lost condition as men. He freely 
puts himself within their reach. There are many stratagems by 
which the devil contrives to keep men away from Christ. 

1. Some say there is no hope for me. "There is no hope, 
no ; for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go. I have 
committed such great sins, I have sunk so deep in the mire of sin, 
I have served my lusts so long, that there is no use of me thinking 
of turning. There is no hope, no." To you I answer, there is 
hope ; your sins may be forgiven for Christ's sake ; there is for- 
giveness with God. Ah! why should Satan so beguile you? 
True, you have waded deep into the mire of sin ; you have destroyed 
yourself, and yet in Christ there is help. He came for such as you. 
Christ speaks in these words to you you are of the human race, 
and Christ speaks to all of the human race " Unto you, O men, 
I call." 

2. " I have not the least care about my soul. Up to this mo- 
ment I never listened to a sermon, nor attended to a word in the 
Bible. I have no wish to hear of Christ, or God, or eternal things." 
To you I answer: Still Christ is quite free to you. Though you 
have no care for your soul, yet Christ has, and wishes to save it. 
Though you do not care for Christ, yet he cares for you, and 
stretches out his hands to you. Christ did not come to the earth 
because people were caring about their souls, but because we 
were lost. You are only the more lost. Christ is all the more 
seeking you. This day you may find a Saviour. " Unto you, O 
Men, I call." 

3. " If I knew I were one of the elect I would come, but I fear 
I am not," To you I answer : Nobody ever came to L irist be- 
cause they knew themselves to be of the elect. It is quite true 
that God has of his mere good pleasure elected some to everlast- 
ing Lfe, but they never knew it till they came to Christ. Christ 
nowhere invites the elect to come to him. The question for you 
is not, Am I one of the elect ? but, Am I of the human race ? 

4. Some of you may be saying, " If I could see my name in the 
Bible then I would believe that Christ wants me to be saved 
When Christ called Zaccheus, he said, ' Zaccheus, come down.' 
He called him by ijame, and he came down immediately. Now 


if Christ would call me by name, I would run to him immedi- 
ately." Now, to you I say, Christ does call you by your name, 
for he says, " To you, O men, I call." Suppose that Christ had 
written down the names of all the men and women in the world, 
your name would have been there. Now, instead of writing 
down every name, he puts them all together in one word, which 
includes every man, and woman, and child " Unto you, O men, I 
call ; and my words are to the sons of man /" So your name is 
in the Bible. " Go and preach the Gospel to every creature." 

4. " If I could repent and believe, then Christ would be free to 
me, but I cannot repent and believe." To you I say, are you 
not a man before you repent and believe ? then Christ is offered 
to you before you repent. And, believer, Christ is not offered to 
you because you repent, but because you are a vile, lost sinner. 
" Unto you, O men, I call." 

6. " I fear the market is over. Had I come in the morning of 
life, I believe Christ was offered me then in youth, at my first 
sacrament ; but now, I fear, the market-day is done." Are you 
not still a man, one of the human race ? True, you have refused 
the Saviour for years, yet still he offers himself to you. It was 
not for any goodness that he offered himself to you at first, but 
because you were vile and lost. You are vile and lost yet, so he 
offers himself to you still. " Unto you. O men, I call." 

I would here then take occasion to make offer of Christ with 
all his benefits to every soul in this assembly. To every man, 
and woman, and child, I do now, in the name of my Master, make 
fuL, free offer of a crucified Saviour to be your surety and right- 
eousness, your refuge and strength. I would let down the Gospel 
cord so low, that sinners, who are low of stature like Zaccheus, 
may lay hold of it. Oh ! is there none will lay hold on Christ, the 
only Saviour ? 

III. The most condemning truth in the Bibit 

If Christ be freely offered to all men, then it is plain that all 
who live and die without accepting Christ shall meet with the 
doom of those who refuse the Son of God. " He that sinneth 
against me wrongeth his own soul ; all they that hate me love 
death." Ah ! it is a sad thing that the very truth, which is life to 
every believing soul, is death to all others. " This is the con- 
demnation." We are a sweet savor of Christ unto God. When 
the ignorant heathens stand at the bar of God Hindoos, and 
Africans, and Chinese who have never had the offer of Christ 
made to them, they will not be condemned as those will that have 
lived and died unsaved under a preached Gospel. Tyre and 
Sidon will not meet the same doom as Chorazin and Bethsaida, 
%nd unbelieving Capernaum. 

Oh ! brethren, you are without excuse in the sight of G< tf 
you go home unsaved this day. The Gospel cord has beep '* 


down as low as to every one of you this day. If you go away 
without laying hold, your condemnation will be heavier at the last 
day. If Christ had not come to you, you had not had sin, but 
now you have no cloak for your sin. 

Obj. But my heart is so hard that I cannot believe, my heart is 
so set upon worldly things that I cannot turn to Christ. I was 
born this way. Ans. This does but aggravate your guilt. It is 
true you were born thus, and that your heart is like the nether 
millstone. But that is the very reason God will most justly con- 
demn you ; because from your infancy you have been hard- 
hearted and unbelieving. If a thief, when tried before the judge 
on earth, were to plead guilty, but to say that he had always been 
a thief, that even in infancy his heart loved stealing, would not 
this just aggravate his guilt, that he was by habit and repute a 
thief? So you. 

O brethren, if you could die and say that Christ had never been 
offered to you, you would have an easier hell than you are like to 
have. You must go away either rejoicing in or rejecting Christ 
this day ; either won, or more lost than ever. There is not one of 
you but will yet feel the guilt of this Sabbath-day. This sermon 
will meet you yet. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh, 
" How shall we escape if we neglect so gieat salvation ?" 

St. Peter's, 1838 


That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen 
with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the 
Word of life (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, 
and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was mani- 
fested unto us) ; that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that 
ye also may have fellowship with us ; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, 
and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you that your 
joy may be full." 1 John i., 1-4. 

I. The subject of John's preaching. 

It was Jesus Christ, and him crucified. " That which we have 
seen and heard, declare we unto you." This was the preaching 
of John the Baptist " Behold the Lamb of God, which takcth 
away the sins of the world." He pointed to Jesus. This was the 
preaching of Philip. Acts viii., 5, " Philip went down to Samaria, 
and preached Christ unto them." And when he came to the 
Ethiopian Eunuch, " he preached unto him Jesus." This was the 
preaching of Paul. " I determined to know nothing among you, 
but Jesus Christ and him crucified." This was the beginning, and 
middie, and end of the preaching of Paul. This was the preach- 
ing of John. To declare all that he had seen with his eyes, heard 



with his ears, handled with his hands, of Immanuel ; this was th* 
object of his life, this was the Alpha and Omega of his preaching. 
He knew that Jesus was like the alabaster box, full of spikenard, 
very costly ; and his whole labor was to break the box, and pour 
forth the good ointment before the eyes of fainting sinners, that 
they might be attracted by the sweet savor. He knew that 
Jesus was a bundle of myrrh, and his whole life was spent in 
opening it out to sinners, that they might be overcome by the re- 
freshing odors. He carried about the savor of Christ with him 
wherever he went. He knew that Jesus was the Balm of Gilead, 
and his labor was to open out this bruised balm before the eyes of 
sick souls, that they might be healed. 

1. His Eternity. " That which was from the beginning." 
John had often heard Jesus speak of his eternity. " In the be- 
ginning was the Word." " Before Abraham was I am." He 
remembered how Jesus said in prayer in the garden, " Glorify me 
with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." 
" Thou lovedst me before the ibundation of the world." John 
thus knew that he was the Eternal One that he was before all 
visible things, for he made them all. By him God made the world. 
Even at the time John was leaning on his bosom, he felt that it 
was the bosom of the Uncreated One. John always declared 
this ; he loved to make him known. O beloved, if you have come 
to lean on the bosom of Jesus, you have conae to the Uncreated 
One the Eternal One. 

2. Was with the Father. John knew, from Pro>v. viii., 30, that 
Jesus had been with the Father " Then I was by him, aone 
brought up with him, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always 
before him." He had heard Jesus tell many of the secrets of his 
Father's bosom, from which he knew that he had been with the 
Father. " All things that I have heard of my Father, I have 
made known unto you." He had heard Jesus plainly say, " I came 
forth from the Father, and am come into the world." " A.gain I 
leave the world and go to the Father." John felt even when Jesus 
was washing his feet that this was the man that was God's fellow. 
Even when he saw Jesus on the Cross, with his pale lips and 
bleeding hands and feet, like a tortured worm, and " no man," 
he knew that this was the man that was God's fellow. He lived 
to declare this. Do you thus look to Jesus ? Have you beheld 
the glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and 
truth ? O tempest-tossed soul, this is he that comes to save thee. 

3. Eternal Life. John knew that Jesus was the author of aW 
natural life ; that not a man breathes, no beast of the forest roars, 
no bird stoops on the wing, but they all receive the stream ol life 
from the hand of Immanuel. He had seen Jesus raise the Ruler's 
daughter from the dead, and call Lazarus from the tomb. He 
knew that Jesus was the author of all life in the soul. He hau 
heard Jesus say " As the father raiaeth up the deao\ and qillckeD 


etli whom he will, even so the Son quickeneth whom he wi.l.'' 
" My sheep know my voice, and I give unto them eternal life." 
He had heard him say, " I am the way, the truth, and the life." 
Above all, he had felt in his own soul that Christ was the Eterna! 
Life. In that morning, when he sat with his father, Zebedee, in 
the boat, mending their nets, Jesus said, " Follow me !" and the 
life entered into his soul, and he found it a never failing spring of 
life. Christ was his life ; therefore did he make him known as 
the eternal life. Even when he saw him give up the ghost, when 
he saw his pale, lifeless body, the stiff hands and feet, the glazed 
eye, the body cold as the rocky tomb where they laid him, still 
he felt that this was the Eternal Life. O beloved, do you believe 
that he is the life of the world ? Some of you feel your souls to 
be dead, lifeless in prayer, lifeless in praise. Oh ! look on him 
whom John declares to you. All is death without him. Bring 
your dead soul into union with him, and he will give you eternal 

4. Manifested. O beloved, if Jesus had not been manifested, 
you had never been saved. It would have been quite righteous 
in God to have kept his Son in his own bosom to have kept that 
jewel in his own place upon the throne of heaven. God would 
have been the same lovely God ; but we would have lain down 
in burning hell. If that Eternal Life which was with the Father 
if he had remained in his glory as the living one then you 
and I would have borne our own curse. But he was manifested 
" God was manifest in the flesh justified in the spirit seen 
of angels believed on in the world received up into glory." 
J-^hn saw him he saw his lovely countenance he beheld his 
giory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of 
grace and truth. He saw that better Sun veiled with flesh that 
could not keep the beams of his Godhead from shining through. 
He saw him on the Mount, when his face shone like the sun. He 
saw in the Garden, where he lay upon the ground. He saw him 
on the Cross, when he hung between earth and heaven. He 
looked upon him many a time he looked up on his heavenly coun- 
tenance his eye met his eye. He heard him heard the voice 
that said, " Let there be light !" He heard the voice like the sound 
of many waters. He heard all his gracious words his words 
concerning God and the way of peace. He heard him say to a 
sinner, " Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee." He 
handled him he put his hands in his hands, his arms around his 
arms, and his head upon his b6som. Perhaps he handled his body 
when it was taken from the cross touched the cold clay of 
Immanuel. O beloved, it is a manifested Christ we declare unto 
you. It is not the Son in the bosom of the Father that would 
never have saved you. It is Jesus manifested in flesh. The Son 
of God living and dying as man instead of sinners ; him we 
declare unto you. 


Learn the true way of coming to peace. It is by looking to a 
manifested Jesus. Some of you think you will come to peace by 
looking in to your own heart. Your eye is riveted there. You 
watch every change there. If you could only see the glimpse of 
light there, O what joy it would give you ! If you could only see 
a melting of your stony heart if you could only see your heart 
turning to God if you could only see a glimpse of the image of 
Jesus in your heart you would be at peace ; but you cannot 
all is dark within. O dear souls, it is not there you will find 
peace. You must avert the eye from your bosom altogether. 
You must look to a declared Christ. Spread out the record of 
God concerning his Son. The Gospels are the narrative of the 
heart of Jesus, of the work of Jesus, of the grace of Jesus. 
Spread them out before the eye of your mind, till they fill your 
eye. Cry for the Spirit to breathe over the page to make a 
manifested Christ stand out plainly before you ; and the moment 
that you are willing to believe all that is there spoken concerning 
Jesus, that moment you will wipe away your tears, and ch;mge 
your sighs for a new song of praise. 

II. The object John had in view by preaching Christ. 

1. That ye may have fellowship with us. To have fellowship 
with another is to have things in common with him. Thus in 
Acts iv., 32, the first Christians were " of one heart and of one 
soul ; neither said any that aught of the things which he possessed 
was his own, but they had all things in common."" They had al 
their goods in common, they shared what they had with one ano 
ther. This is what John desired in spiritual things, that we 
should share with him in his spiritual things, share and share alike 

1st, Forgiveness. Some people think it impossible to have the 
same forgiveness that the Apostles had that it would be verj 
bold to think of tasting the same. But is it not far boldei 
to say that John is a liar, and that the Holy Spirit is a liar \ 
for he here says plainly, that all his preaching, and all his 
desire was, that you should have fellowship with him. Yes, 
sinner, forgiveness is as open to you as it was to John. Tht- 
blood that washed him is ready to wash you as white as snow. 
John had the same need of Christ that the vilest of you have 
Only look to a declared Itnmanuel ; clear your eye from unbelief 
and look at a freely revealed Jesus, ;md you will find the samf- 
forgiveness is as free to you as t was to John. 

2d, The same love of Jesus. John was the disciple whom Jesun 
loved. Just as Daniel was th" prophet whom he greatly loved 
" a man, greatly beloved." So John was the disciple whom Jesua 
loved. At the last supper which Jesus had in this world, John 
leaned upon his bosom. He had the nearest place to the heart of 
Christ of any in all the world. Perhaps you think it is impossible 
vou can ever come to that. Some of you are trembling afar off| 


but you, too, if you will only look where John points you, if you 
will only believe the full record of God about Jesus, will share the 
love of Jesus with John, you will be one of his peculiarly beloved 
ones. Those that believe most, must get love, they come near- 
est to Jesus, they do, as it were, lay their heads on his breast ; 
arid no doubt you will one day really share that bosom with John. 
If you believe little, you will keep far off from Jesus. 

3d, The same fatherly dealings as John. John experienced 
many wonderful dealings of God. He experienced many of the 
primings of the Father. He was a fruitful branch, and the Father 
pruned him that he might bring forth more fruit. When he was 
very old, he was banished to Patmos, an island in the ^Egean Sea, 
and, it is supposed, made a slave in the mines there. He was a 
companion in tribulation ; but he had many sweet shinings of the 
Father's love to his soul. He had sweet revelations of Christ in 
the time of his affliction ; and he was joyfully delivered out of all 
his troubles. He experienced peculiarly the fatherly dealings of 
God. And so may you do, believer. Look where John looked, 
believe as John believed, and, like him, you will find that you have 
a father in heaven, who will care for you, who will correct you 
in measure, who will stay his rough wind in the day of his east 
wind, who will preserve you unto his heavenly kingdom. 

2. Fellowship with the Father. O beloved, this is so wonderful, 
that I could not have believed it, if I had not seen it. Shall a hell- 
deserving worm come to share with the holy God ? O the depth 
and the length of the love of God, it passeth knowledge ! 

1st, In his holiness. A natural man has not a spark of God's 
holiness in him. There is a kind of goodness about you. 
You may be kind, pleasant, agreeable, good-natured, amiable 
people, there may be a kind of integrity about you, so that you 
are above stealing or lying ; but as long as you are in a natural 
state, there is not a grain of God's holiness in you. You have 
not a grain of that absolute hatred against all sin which God has ; 
you have none of that flaming love for what is lovely, pure, 
holy, which dwells in the heart of God. But the moment you 
believe on a manifested Christ, that moment you receive the 
Spirit, the same spirit which dwells in the infinite bosom of the 
Father d welleth in you, so you become partakers of God's holiness, 
you become partakers of the Divine nature. You will not be as holy 
as God ; but the same stream which flows through the heart of 
God will be given you. Ah ! does not your heart break to be 
holier ! Look then to Jesus, and abide in him, and you will share 
the same spirit with God himself. 

2d, In his joy. No joy is like the Divine joy. It is infinite, 
/ull, eternal, pure, unmingled joy. It is light, without any cloud 
to darken it ; it is calm, without any breath to ruffle it. Clouds 
and darkness are round about him, storms and fire go before him 
but within, all is peace ineffable, unchangeable. Believers in some 


measure share in this joy. We might mention some of the elements 
of God's joy. First, All things happen according to the good plea 
sure of his will. He has fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass 
Nothing comes unprepared upon God. Many things are hateful in 
his sight, yet, looking on the whole, he can delight in all. If you have 
come to Christ, you will have some drops of his joy. You can 
look upon all events with a calm, holy joy, knowing that your 
Father's will and purposes alone shall stand. Second, The Con- 
version of Souls. There is joy in the presence of the angels of 
God over one sinner repenting, more than over ninety-nine who 
need no repentance. 1 have no doubt that this is one of the great 
elements of his joy, seeing souls brought into his favor. God loves 
to save ; he delighteth in mercy ; he delights when he can be a 
just God and a Saviour. If you are come to Christ, you will have 
the same joy. 

3. Fellowship with the Son. 

1st. We share with . the Son in his justification. Once Jesus 
was unjustified, once there were sins laid to his charge, the sins of 
many. It was this that occasioned his agony in the garden, on 
the cross. His only comfort was, " He is near that justifieth me." 
He knew the time would be short. But now the wrath of God 
has all fallen upon him. The thunder-clouds of God's anger have 
spent all their lightnings on his head. The vials of God's wrath 
have poured out their last drops upon him. He is now justified 
from all the sins that were la'i upon him. He has lei* them with 
the grave-clothes. His fellow-men and devils laid all sins to his 
charge ; he was silent. Do you believe this record concerning 
the Son ? Do you cleave to Jesus as yours ? Then you have 
fellowship with hirr in his justification. You are as much justified 
as Christ is. There is as little guilt lying upon you as there is 
upon Christ. The vials of wrath have not another drop for Christ, 
nor another drop for you. You are justified from all things. 

2d, His a \:-;tion. When Jesus went up to heaven, he said, 
" I ;^o to my Father." When he entered heaven, the word of 
God was, " Thou art my Son : sit thou on my right hand until I 
make thine enemies thy footstool." Oh ! it was a blessed ex- 
change, when he left the frowns and curses of this world for the 
embrace of iiis Father's arms, when he left the thorny crown for 
a crown of orlory, when he came from under the wrath of God 
in:<> the fatherly love of God. Such is your change you that 
believe in Jesus. You have fellowship with the Son you share 
in his adoption. He says, ' I ascend to my Father and your 
Father." God is as much your Father as he is Christ's Father 
yr>ur God as Christ's God. O what a change ! lor an heir of hell 
to become an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ, to inherit 
God, to have a son's interest in God ! Eternity alone wi'l teach 
you what is in that word, " heir of God." 

4. Joy full. Other joys n Jt filling. C/eature joys oJ. fill 


a small part of the soul. Money, houses, lands, music, entertain- 
ments, friends these are not filling joys; they are just drops of 
joys. But Christ revealed makes the cup run over. " Thou 
anointest my head with oil : my cup runneth over. Believing in 
a manifested Christ, fills the heart full of joy. " In thy presence 
is fullness of joy." Christ brings the soul into God's presence. 
One smile of God fills the heart more than ten thousand smiles of 
the world. 

You that have nothing but creature joy, hunting after butterflies, 
feeding upon carrion : why do you spend money for that which 
is not bread ? You that are afflicted, tempest-tossed, and not 
comforted, look to a manifested Jesus. According to your faith, 
so be it unto you. Believe none, and you will have no joy. Be- 
lieve little, and you will have little joy. Believe much, and you 
will have much joy. Believe all, and you will have all joy, and 
your joy will be full. It will be like a bowl lipping over good 
measure, pressed down, and running over. Amen. 

St.. Peter's, 1839. 


' A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse ; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." 
Song iv., 12. 

Doctrine. The Believer is Christ's Garden. 

I. The name here given to Believers. " My sicttr, my spouse,' 
or rather, " my sister spouse." There are many sweet names 
from the lips of Christ addressed to believers : " O thou fairest 
among women," i., 8 ; " My love," ii., 2 ; " My love, my fair 
one," ii., 10 ; " O my dove," ii., 14 ; " My sister, my 1. ve, my dove, 
my undefiled," v., 2 ; " O prince's daughter," vii., 1. But here is 
one more tender than all, " My sister, my spouse" iv., 9 ; and 
again, verse 10 ; and here, verse 12. To be spoken well of by 
the world, is little to be desired ; but to hear Christ speak such 
words to us, is enough to fill our hearts with heavenly joy. The 
meaning you will see by what Paul says, 1 Cor. ix., 5, ' Have we 
not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other Apostles ?" 
He means power to marry one who is like-minded, a sister in the 
Lord, one who will be both a wife and a sister in Christ Jesus : 
a wife by covenant, a sister by being born of the same Father in 
heaven. So Christ here says of believers, *' My sister, my spouse ;" 
that they are not only united to him by choice and covenant, but 
are like-minded also. 

.. These two things are inseparable. Some would like to be tke 


spouse of the Saviour, without being the sister. Some would like 
to be saved by Christ, but not to be made like Christ. When 
Christ chooses a sinner, and sets his love on the soul, and when 
he woos the soul and draws it into covenant with himself, it is 
only that he may make the soul a sister ; that he may impart his 
features, his same heart, his all to the soul. Now many rest in 
the mere forgiveness of sins. Many have felt Christ wooing their 
soul, and offering himself freely to them, and they have accepted 
him. They have consented to the match. Sinful and worthless, 
and hell-deserving, they find that Christ desires it that he will 
not be dishonored by it that he will find glory in it ; and their 
heart is filled with joy in being taken into covenant with so glo- 
rious a bridegroom. But why has he done it ? To make you 
partaker of his holiness, to change your nature, to make you 
sister to himself, of his own mind and spirit. He has sprinkled 
you with clean water, only that he may give you a new heart 
also. He brings you to himself and gives you rest, only that he 
may make you learn of him, his meekness and lowliness in heart. 

1. Inseparable. You cannot be the spouse of Christ without 
becoming sister also. Christ offers to be the bridegroom of sin- 
covered souls. He came from heaven for this : took flesh and blood 
for this. He tries to woo sinners, standing and stretching out his 
hands. He tells them of all his power, and glory, and riches, and 
that all shall be theirs. He is a blood-sprinkled bridegroom ; but 
that is his chief loveliness. The soul believes his word, melts 
under his love, consents to be his. " My beloved is mine, and I 
am his." Then he washes the soul in his own blood, clothes it in 
his own righteousness, takes it in with him to the presence of his 
Father. From that day the soul begins to reflect his image. 
Christ begins to live in the soul. The same heart, the same spirit, 
are in both. The soul becomes sister as well as spouse ; Christ's 
not only by choice and covenant, but by likeness also. Some of 
you Christ has chosen : you have become his justified ones. Do 
you rest there ? No : remember you must be made like him 
reflect his image : you cannot separate the two. 

2. The order of the two. You must be first the spouse before 
you can be the sister of Christ ; his by covenant before his by like- 
ness. Some think to be like Christ first, that they will copy his 
features till they recommend themselves to Christ. No : this will 
not do. He chooses only those that have no comeliness, polluted 
in their own blood, that he may have the honor of washing them. 
" When thou wast in thy blood ;" Ezek. xvi., 6. Are there any 
trying to recommend themselves to Christ by their change of life ? 
O how little you know him ! He comes to seek those who are 
black in themselves. Are there some of you poor, defiled, un- 
clean? You are just the soul Christ woos. Proud, scornful? 
Christ woos you. He offers you his all, and then he will change 


III. To what Christ compares Believers : " A garden enclosed* 
The gardens in the East are always enclosed: sometimes by a 
fence of reeds, such are the gardens of cucumbers in the wilder- 
ness ; sometimes by a stone wall, as the garden of Gethsemane ; 
sometimes by a hedge of prickly pear. But what is still more 
interesting is, they are often enclosed out of a wilderness. All 
around is often barren sand ; and this one enclosed spot is like the 
garden of the Lord. Such is the believer. 

1. Enclosed by election. In the eye of God, the world was one 
great wilderness, all barren, all dead, all fruitless. No part was 
fit to bear anything but briers. It was nigh unto cursing. One 
part was no better than another in his sight. The hearts of men 
were all hard as a rock, dry and barren as the sand. Out of the 
mere good pleasure of his will, he marked out a garden of delights 
where he might show his power and grace, that it might be to his 
praise. Some of you know your election of God by the fruit 01 
it, by your faith, love, and holiness, Be humbled by the thought 
that it was solely because he chose you. Why me, Lord ? 
why me ? 

2. Enclosed by the Spirit's work. Election is the planning, ol 
the garden. The Spirit's work is the carrying it into effect. 
Isaian v., 2, " He fenced it/' When the Spirit begins his work, it 
is separating work. When a man is convinced of sin, he is no 
more one with the careless, godless world. He avoids his com- 
panions, goes alone. When a soul comes to Christ, it is still more 
separated. It then comes into a new world. He is no more under 
the curse, no more under wrath. He is in the smile and favor of 
God. Like Gideon's fleece, he now receives the dew when all 
around is dry. 

3. Enclosed by the arms of God. God is a wall of fire. Angels 
are around the soul. Elisha's hill was full of horses of fire. God is 
i ound about the soul, as the mountains stand round about Jerusalem. 
The soul is hid in the secret of God's presence. No robber can 
ever come over the fence. " A vineyard of red wine, I the Lord 
do keep it ; I will water it every moment ; lest any hurt it, I will 
keep it night and day." (Isaiah xxvii., 2, 3). This is sung over 

IV. Well-watered garden. Watered in three ways. 1. By a 
hidden well. It is the custom in the East to roll a stone over the 
mouth of a well, to preserve the water from sand. 2. By a foun- 
tain of living water, a well always bubbling up. 3. By streams 
from Lebanon. 

1. " A spring shut up. This describes the Spirit in the heart, 
in his most secret manner of working. In some gardens there is 
only this secret well. A stone is over the mouth. If you wish to 
water the garden, you must roll away the stone, and let down the 
bucket. Such is the life of God in many souls. Some of you 


feel that there s a stone over the mouth of the well in you. Your 
own reeky heart is the stone. Stir up the gift of God which is in 

2. A well of living water. This is the same as John iv. a well 
that is ever full and running over. Grace new every moment ; 
fresh upspringings from God. Thus only will you advance. 

3. Streams from Lebanon. These are very plentiful. On af 
sides they fall in pleasant cascades, in the bottom unite into broad, 
full streams, and on their way water the richest gardens. The 
garden of Ibrahim Pacha, near Acre, is watered with streams 
from Lebanon. So believers are sometimes favored with 
streams from the Lebanon that is above. We receive out of 
Christ's fulness ; drink of the wine of his pleasures. O for more 
of these streams of Lebanon ! Even in the dry season they are 
full. The hotter the summer, the streams from Lebanon become 
the fuller ; because the heat only melts the mountain snows. 

V. The Fruit. The very use of a garden is to bear fruit and 
flowers. For this purpose it is enclosed, hedged, planted, water- 
ed. If it bear no fruit nor flowers, all the labor is lost labor. 
The ground is nigh to cursing. So is it with the Christian. 
Three remarkable things are here. 

1. No weeds are mentioned. Pleasant fruit-trees, and all the 
chief spices ; but no weeds. Had it been a man that was describ- 
ing his garden, he would have begun with the weeds ; the unbe- 
lief, corruption, evil tempers, &c. Not so Christ. He covers all 
the sins. The weeds are lost sight of. He sees no perversity. 
As in John xvii , " They have kept thy word ; they are not of the 
world." As in Rev. ii., 2, " I know thy works." 

2. Fruits. The pomegranate, the very best ; all pleasant fruits. 
And all his own. " From me is thy fruit found ;" " His pleasant 
fruits ;" verse 16. The graces that Christ puts into the heart and 
brings out of the life are the very best, the richest, most pleasant, 
most excellent that a creature can produce. Love to Christ, love 
to the brethren, love to the Sabbath, forgiveness of enemies, all 
the best fruits that can grow in the human heart. Unreasonable 
world ! to condemn true conversion, when it produces the very 
fruits of paradise, acceptable to God, if not to you. Should not 
this make you stand and consider? 

3. Spices. These spices do not naturally grow in gardens. 
Even in the East, there never was such a display as this. So the 
fragrant graces of the Spirit are not natural to the heart. They 
are brought from a far country. They must be carefully watch- 
ed. They need the stream, and the gentle zephyr. Oh ! I fear 
most of you should hang your heads when Christ begins to speak 
of fragrant spices in your heart. Where are they ? Are there 
not talkative, forward Christians? Are there not self-seeking, 
praise-seeking, man-pleasing Christians? Are there not proud- 

48 SERMON VIil- 

praying Christians ? Are there not ill-tempered Christians ? Are 
there not rash, inconsiderate ones ? Are there not idle, lazy, bad- 
working Christians ? Lord, where are the spices ? Verily, Christ 
is a bundle of myrrh. O to be like him ! O that every flower 
and fruit would grow ! They must come from above. Man 
there are of whom one is forced to say, " Well, they may be Chric 
tians ; but I would not like to be next them in heaven !" Cry fo. 
the wind ; " Awake, O north wind, and come, thou south ; blo7 
upon my garden that the spices thereof may flow out." 


" (Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning upon her beloved ?) 
I raised thee up under the apple-tree ; there thy mother brought thee forth ; 
There she brought thee forth that bare thee. Set me as a seal upon thine heart, 
as a seal upon thine arm ; for love is strong as death ; jealousy is cruel as the 
grave ; the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. 
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would 
give'all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." 
SONG viii., 5, 6, 7. 

WE are introduced to the great Redeemer and a believing soul, 
and are made to hear their converse. 

I. The posture of the Church. 

1. From the Wilderness. To a child of God this world is a 
wilderness. First, Because everything is fading here. Here is 
nothing abiding ; money takes wings and flees away ; friends die. 
All are like grass, and if some are more beautiful, or more engag- 
ing than others, still they are only like the flower of the grass : a 
little more ornamented, but withering often sooner. Sometimes 
a worldly comfort is like Jonah's gourd ; it came up over his head 
to be a shadow to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was ex- 
ceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm, when 
the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it 
withered. So our worldly comfort sometimes grows up over our 
head like a shadow, and we are exceeding glad of our gourd ; but 
God prepares a worm, we faint, and are ready to die. Here we 
have no continuing city ; but we seek one to come. This is a 
wilderness : " Arise, depart, this is not thy rest, for it is polluted." 
An experienced Christian looks upon everything here as not abid- 
ing ; for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that 
are not seen are eternal. Second, Because everything is stainsd 
with sin here. Even the natural scenery of this world is stained 

* This is all that eiists of this Sermon, which wts memorable to many. It i' 
1/ttle more than a s l; -.etcn. 


with sin. The thorns and thistles tell of a cursed earth. Above 
all, when you look at the floods of ungodly men, " We are of God, 
and the whole world lieth in wickedness." The world does not 
know a Christian, and does not love him. Though you love 
them, and would lay down your body that they might pass over 
to glory, yet they will not hear. Above all, the sin in our own 
heart makes us bend down under our burden, and feel this to be u 
valley of weeping. Ah, wretched man ! if we had no body of 
sin, what a sweet glory would appear in everything ; we would 
sing like the birds in spring. 

2. Coming out of it. Unconverted souls are going down into 
the wilderness to perish there. All Christians are coming up out 
of it. Sabbath-days are like milestones marking our way; or 
rather they are like the wells we used to come to at evening. 
Every real Christian is making progress. If the sheep are on the 
shoulder of the shepherd, it is .always getting nearer the fold. 
With some the shepherd takes long steps. Dear Christians, you 
should be advancing, getting higher, nearer to Canaan, riper for 
glory. In the south of Russia, the country is of vast plains, rising 
by steps. Dear friends, you should get on to a higher place, up 
another step every Sabbath-day. In travelling, you never think 
of making a house in the wilderness. So, dear friends, do not 
take up your rest here, we are journeying. Let all your endea- 
vors be to get on in your journey. 

3. Leaning upon her Beloved. It is very observable that there 
is none here but the bride and her beloved, in a vast wilderness. 
She is not leaning upon him with one arm, and upon somebody 
else with the other ; but she is leaning upon him alone. So it is 
with the soul taught of God ; it feels alone with Christ in this 
world ; it leans as entirely upon Christ as if there were no other 
being in the universe. She leans all her weight upon her husband. 
When a person has been saved from drowning, they lean all their 
weight upon their deliverer. When the lost sheep was found, he 
took it upon his shoulder. You must be content then to lean all 
your weight upon Christ. Cast the burden of temporal things 
upon him. Cast the care of your soul upon him. If God be lor 
us, who can be against us ? They that wait upon the Lord shall 
renew their strength. The eagle soars so directly upward that 
poets have fancied it was aiming at the sun. So does the soul that 
waits on Christ. 

II. Christ's Word to the leaning soul. 

1. " / raised thee up? &c. He reminds the believer of his 
natural state. Every soul now in Christ was once like anexrosed 
infant (Ezek. xvi.), cast out into the open field. " Behold I was 
shapen in iniquity." Do not forget what you were. If ever you 
come to forget what you were, then you may be sure you are not 
right with God. Observe when the contrition comes. When 


you arc loaning on Christ, then he tells you of your sin and 
misery. Ezek. xxxvi., 31. 

2. He reminds you of his love, " I raised thee up." He himself 
is the apple-tree, open on all sides round, affording shadow and 
fruit. / raised thee. Christ not only shelters, but draws into the 
shelter. " To him be glory." Are there not some who feel like 
an infant cast out ? Turn your eye to Christ, he only can raise 
up your soul under the apple-tree. 

III. TJie leaning soul cries for continued grace. 

Set me as a seal. It is a sure mark of grace to desire more 
The High Priest had a beautiful breast-plate over his breast, 
adorned with jewels make me one of these. He had also a jewei 
on each shoulder make me one of these. These were bouna 
with chains of gold ; but the believer with chains of love. This 
is a true mark of grace. If you be contented to remain where 
you are, without any more nearness to God. or any more holiness, 
this is a clear mark you have got none. Hide me deeper, bind 
me closer, and carry me more completely. 

1. The love of Christ is strong as death. Death is awfully 
strong. When he comes upon a stout young man, he brings him 
down. So is the love of Christ. 

2. Cruel, or stubborn, as the grave. The grave will not give up 
its dead, nor will Christ give up his own. O pray that this love 
may embrace you. Vehement as hell unquenchable fire. You 
have your choice, dear friends, of two eternal fires " Who shall 
separate us from the love of Christ," &c. Rom. viii. Floods 
cannot drown it afflictions cannot. 

3. It cannot be bought. " If a man would give all the sub- 
stance," &c. You must accept it free or not at all. 

Dundee, 1840. 


' After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number of all 
nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and be- 
fore the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands : and cried 
with a loud v.oice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, 
and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about 
the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and wor- 
shipped God, Saying, Amen : Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, 
and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God, for ever and ever. Amen. 
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are ar- 
rayed in vrhite robes ? and whence came they ? And I said unto him, Sir, thou 
knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribu- 
lation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the 
Lamh. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night 
in his temole : and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They 


hall hunger no n ore, neither thirst any more : neither shall the sun light on 
.them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall 
feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall 
wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev. vii., 9 to the end. 

IT is one thing to read these words with a poet's eye, and another 
thing to read them with the eye of a Christian. O pray, dear 
friends, that the Spirit may tear away the veil from our hearts, 
and show us the grand realities that are here. It is sweet and 

1. For the awakening of the ungodly, that you may see what 
are the exercises of the heavenly world, and how unfit you would 
be for them. I suppose many of you feel that you have not 
washed your robes, and that you could not sing their song. Then 
you must be on the road to hell. 

2. For the instruction of believers. It shows you what are the 
chief employments of that happy world, where we shall so soon 
be ; it gives vou the key-note of the heavenly song ; it teaches 
you to spena much of your time in the same exercises in which 
you shall spend eternity. 

3. For comfort to afflicted believers. It shows you how short 
your trials will be. These light afflictions are but for a moment ; 
you need not murmur nor grieve ; a little while and we shall be 
with Christ, and God shall wipe away all your tears. For this 
end it was given to John. 

I. What John saw and heard. 

1. A great multitude of all nations. When John was on earth 
he saw but few believers ; " we are of God, and the whole world 
lieth in wickedness." The Church was like a lily in a field of 
thorns, lambs in the midst of wolves ; but now quite different ; 
thorns are plucked away ; the lilies innumerable. " Out of all 
nations" Perhaps he could discern his fellow-apostles, his own 
brother James, and holy Paul, and angel-faced Stephen, the dark 
Egyptian, the swarthy Ethiopian, the wool-headed negro, the far 
distant Chinese, the Burman, the Hindoo, the blue-eyed German, 
the dark-eyed Italian, and multitudes perhaps from a distant island 
of the zsea. Every country had its representatives there, some 
saved out of every land. All were like Christ, and yet all retained 
their different peculiarities. Learn that Christ will have a glorious 
crown. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. 
Often, when I look at a large town like Dundee, and see so few 
converted to Christ, my heart sickens with me ; I often feel as if 
we were laboring for naught and in vain. Although there has 
been so much blessing, yet such masses of ungodly families ! But 
O cheer up, Christ shall have his full crown. Though there 
should not be another saved out of this place, Christ will have his 
full reward. We shall be quite satisfied when we soe the whole. 
He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy. Learn the power 


of his blood. Jt blots out the sins of all that multitude, sins oi 
every name and dye. Why not yours ? Oh ! when such a glo 
rious company are saved, why should you be lost? When so 
mony are going out of this place, why should you keep back? 

2. Their position. They stood before the throne, yea, nearer 
than the angels, for they stood round about. The redeemed stood 
next the throne, the angels round them. This marks their com- 
plete righteousness. But the ungodly cannot stand in the judg- 
ment. If God were only to bring an ungodly man into his pre- 
sence, he would die. You greatly mistake if you think God nee<ls 
to put out great strength to destroy you. As a cloud is dried up 
by being in the light of the sun, so you would perish at the pre- 
sence of God as a moth in a candle. But this great company 
stand next the throne, God's eye full upon them. In Christ they 
stand, not in themselves. Nearer than angels ; the angels have 
only creature-righteousness, these have on Creator-righteousness. 
The righteousness of Christ is a million times more lovely than 
that of the highest angel, therefore they stand nearer. The 
righteousness of God is upon them all, who shall condemn ? If 
you are ever to be near God, you may come freely to him now. 
Why keep so far away ? 

3. Their dress; white robes and palms. They have all the 
same dress, there is no difference. It is the garment of Christ. 
One was a far greater believer than another, made far greater ad- 
vances in holiness, yet the same dress. Whiter than the angels, v. 
13. The angels also are represented as dressed in white; yet it 
would appear that their robes were far outshone by the bright 
shining raiment of the redeemed. The angels have on creature 
righteousness, the redeemed the righteousness of God. This is 
what is now offered to you, sinners. Awakened persons are some- 
times led to cry, " O that I had never sinned ;" but here is some- 
thing better than if you had never sinned. Palms are signs of 
victory. The Jews used to take branches of palms at the feast 
of tabernacles, or ingathering, which was a type of heaven. The 
angels have no palms ; for they have fought no light, they have 
gained no victory. Every one that has a white robe has a palm. 
Every one that is in Christ shall overcome. Be not afraid of your 

4. Their song. The substance of it Salvation. They give God 
all the glory. On earth, there are many that cannot befieve in an 
electing God, that God chose them for no good in them ; but in 
heaven they all feel it, and give him all the praise. On earth, 
many speak of making themselves willing ; but in heaven they sing 
"Salvation to God." On earth, many go about to establish their 
own righteousness ; in heaven, "glory to the Lamb." On earth, 
many take Christ as part of their righteousness, and their duties 
as part ; in heaven all give glory to the Lamb. What say you to 
this song ? Does it find an echo in your heart ? Remember you 


must begin it now, if you are to sing it afterwards. The effect of it 

it stirs up the hearts of the angels, verses 11, 12. Often on earth, 
when one believer begins to praise God for what he has done for 
hi.s soul, it stirs up the hearts of others. So in heaven, when the 
angels hear the voice of redeemed sinners, brands plucked out 
of the fire, standing in near the throne, they will obtain a ravish- 
ing view of the glory of God, his mercy and grace ; they will fall 
down and worship God. They will not envy the redeemed their 
place ; but on the contrary, be filled with intense praise by hear- 
ing of what God has done for their souls. How do you feel when 
you hear, of others being saved and brought nearer to God than 
you ? L)o you envy and hate them, or do you fall down and 
praise God for it ? 

II. Their past history, verses 13, 14. 

Two particulars are given. Each had a different history ; still 
in these two they were alike. 

1. They had washed their robes. This leads us back to their 
conversion. Once every one of that company had filthy garments. 
They were like Joshua, their garments were spotted by the flesh. 
It was like a garment with the leprosy in it. Some stained with 
blood, spots of blood upon their garments ; some with adultery ; 
some with disobedience to parents ; some with pride, falsehood, 
evil speaking ; all, all were stained. Every one was convinced 
that he could not make himself clean; he could not wash his 
garments nor throw them off, he was brought to see himself lost 
and helpless. Jesus was revealed to him, and his precious blood 
shed for sinners, even the chief, saying to the heavy laden, " Come 
to me." Of all that company there is not one stands there in any 
otner way. All are washed in blood. It is their only way of 
standing, have you been washed in blood ? You will find not 
one in heaven who went there in any other way. You think to 
go to heaven by your own decency, innocency, attention to duties. 
Well, you would be the only such one there ; all are washed in 
blood. Come and let us reason together. 

2. They came out of great tribulation. Every one that gets to 
the throne must put their foot upon the thorn. The way to the 
crown is by the cross. We must taste the gall if we are to taste 
the glorv. When justified by faith, God led them into tribulations 
also. When God brought Israel through the Red Sea, he led them 
into the wilderness ; so when God saves a soul he tries it. He 
never gives faith without trying it. The way to Zion is through 
the valley of Baca. You must go through the wilderness of Jor- 
dan if you are to come to the Land of Promise. Some believers 
are much surprised when they are called to suffer. They .thought 
they would do some great thing for God ; but all that God permits 
them to do is to suffer. Go round every one in glory, every one 
has a different story, yet every one has a tale of suffering. Ono 


Was persecuted in his family, by his friends and companions 
another was visited by sore pains and humbling disease, neglect- 
ed by the world; another was bereaved of children; another had 
all these afflictions meeting in one; deep called unto deep. Mark, 
all are brought out of them. It was a dark cloud, but it passed 
away ; the water was deep, but they have reached the other side. 
Not one of them blames God for the road he led them ; " salvation" 
is their only cry. Is there any of you, dear children, murmuring 
at your lot ? Do not sin against God. This is the way God leads 
all his redeemed ones. You must have a palm as well as a white 
robe. No pain, no palm ; no cross, no crown ; no thorn, no 
throne; no gall, no glory. Learn to glory in tribulations also. 
"I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy 
to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." 

III. Future history. 

1. Immediate service of God. Here, we are allowed to spend 
much of our time in our worldly callings. It is lawful for a man 
to win his bread, to plough, sow, reap, to spin and weave. Then, 
all our strength will be put forth in the immediate service of God. 
We shall stand before him and he shall dwell among us. It \\ill 
be a perpetual Sabbath. We shall spend eternity in loving God, 
in adoring, admiring, and praising God. We should spend much 
of our present time in this. Some people imagine that they are 
not serving God unless they are visiting the sick, or engaged in 
some outward service ; whereas the highest of all service is the 
love of adoration in the soul. Perhaps God gets more glory by a 
single adoring look of some poor believer on a sick bed, than from 
the outward labors of a whole day. 

2. Not in the wilderness any more. At present we are like a 
flock in the wilderness, our soul often hungry, and thirsty, and 
sorely tried. Often we feel as if we could go no further,but must 
lie down and die. Often we feel temptations too much for us, or 
persecutions too strong for us to bear. When we are with 
Christ we shall hunger no more, all our pains shall be ended. 
Learn to glorify him in the fires, to sing in the wilderness. This 
is the only world where you can give God the glory. 

3. Father, Son, and Spirit will bless us. The Lamb shall feed 
us he that died for us. We shall always see our security before 
us in our Surety ; no trembling shall ever come over our soul. 
He shall be one like us a lamb like the least of us : we shall 
learn of God from him. The Spirit will be like "living fountains 
of water." Here, we never have enough ; there, without mea- 
sure. The Father will be a father to us. He will wipe away 
tears ; the tears we shed in dying ; wilderness tears ; the tears 
over lost friends, and a perishing world. " What manner of 
persons ought we to be 1" 

Dundee, 1840. 



* For verily he took not on him the nature of angels : but he took on him the seea 
of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his 
brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertain- 
ing to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he 
himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are 
tempted." Heb. ii., 16-18. 

Doctrine. Christ a merciful High Priest. 

I. The sovereign mercy of Christ in becoming man. ;< For 
verily he took not on him the nature of angels ; but he took on 
him the seed of Abraham." We read of two great rebellions in 
the history of the universe the rebellion of the angels, and the 
rebellion of man. For infinitely wise and gracious purposes God 
planned and permitted both of these, that out of evil he might 
bring forth good. The first took place in heaven itself. Pride 
was the sin by which the angels fell, and, therefore, it is called 
" the condemnation of the devil." " They kept not their first 
estate, but left their own habitation." " God spared them not, but 
cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of dark- 
ness, to be reserved unto judgment." The next fall took place on 
earth. Satan tempted, and man fell ; believed the devil rather 
than God, and so came under the curse. " Thou shall surely 
die." Both of these families came under the same frown, under 
the same condemnation, both were condemned to the same 
" everlasting fire." But the glorious Son of God resolved, from 
all eternity, to die for sinners. Now, for which of the two shall 
he die ? Perhaps the angels in heaven would long that he should 
die for their once brother angels. The angelic nature was 
higher than that of man. Men had fallen deeper into sin than the 
rebel angels. Will he not die for angels ? Now, here is the 
answer " Verily he took not on him the nature of angels ; but he 
took on him the seed of Abraham." Here is sovereign mercy 
passing by one family and coming to another. Let us wonder and 
adore the sovereign mercy of Jesus. 

1. Do not be surprised if Jesus passes many by. The Lord 
Jesus has been riding through our country in a remarkable m;m- 
ner, seated on his white horse, and wearing many crowns. He 
has sent out many arrows and pierced many hearts in this place 
and brought many to his feet ; but has he not passed many by 
Are there not many given up to their own hearts' lust, and walk 
ing in their own counsel ? Be not surprised. This is the verf 
way he did when he came to this earth ; he passed the gate o; 
hell. Although his bosom was full of love and grace, although 
" God is love," he felt it not inconsistent to pass fallen angels by 
and to come and die for men. And so, though Jesus is love still 


yet he can save some, and leave others to be hardened. " Many 
widows were in Israel in the time of Elijah the prophet ; but unto 
none of them was Elijah sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Zidon, 
.unto a woman that was a widow." And many lepers were in 
Israel at the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was 
cleansed, saving Naarnan, the Syrian. 

2. If Christ has visited your soul, give him all the glory. " Not 
unto us, Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory." The 
only reason why you are saved is the sovereign compassion of 
Jesus. It is not that you are better than others, that you were 
less wicked, of better dispositions, more attentive to your Bible. 
Many who have been left have been much more blameless in their 
life. It is not that you have sat under a peculiar ministry. God 
has made the same ministry a means of hardening multitudes. It 
is the free grace of God. Love God for ever and ever, because 
he chose you of his own free will. Adore Jesus, that he passed 
by millions, and died for you. Adore the holy Ghost, that he came 
out of free sovereign mercy and awakened you. It will be matter 
of praise through eternity. 

3. If Christ is now visiting your soul, do not trifle with him. 
Some persons, when Christ begins to knock at the door of their 
heart, put him oft' from time to time. They trifle with their con- 
victions. They say, I am too young yet, let me taste a little more 
pleasure of the world ; youth is the time for mirth ; another time 
I will open the door. Some say, I am too busy ; I have to pro- 
vido for my family ; when I have a more convenient season I will 
call for thee. Some say, I am strong and healthy ; I hope I have 
many years to live ; when sickness comes, then I will open the 
door. Consider that Christ may not come again. He is knock- 
ing i:ow ; let him in. Another day he may pass by your door. 
You cannot command convictions of sin to come when you like. 
Christ is entirely sovereign in saving souls. No doubt, many of 
you have had your last knock from Christ. Many of you that 
were once concerned, are not so now ; and you cannot bring it 
back again. There is no doubt a time in every man's liie when, 
if he opens the door, he will be saved ; if he does not he will 
perish. Probably this may be that time to many of you. Christ 
may be giving last knocks to some to-day. 

II. Christ made like us in all things. Christ not only became 
man, but it behooved him to be made like us in all things. He 
suffered, being tempted. 

In my last lecture, I showed you the only two points in which 
he was different from us. 1. In being God as well as man. In 
the manger at Bethlehem, there lay a perfect infant, but there also 
was Jehovah. That mysterious being who rode on an ass's colt, 
and wept over Jerusalem, was as much a man as you are, and as 
much God as the Father is. The tears he shed were human tears, 


yet the love of Jehovah swelled below his mantle. That pale 
being that hung quivering on the cross was indeed man, it wag 
hun an blood that flowed from his wounds, but he was as truly 
God. 2. In being without sin. He was the only one in human 
form of whom it can be said, He was holy, harmless, undented 
and separate from sinners ; the only one on whom God could look 
down from heaven and say. This is my beloved Son in whom I 
am well pleased. Every member of our body and faculty of our 
mind we have used as the servants of sin. Every member of his 
body and faculty of his mind were used only as servants to holi- 
ness. His mouth was the only human mouth from which none 
but gracious words ever proceeded. His eye was the only hu- 
man eye that never shot forth flames of pride, or envy, or lust. 
His hand was the only human hand that never was stretched forth 
but in doing good. His heart was the only human heart that was 
not deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. When 
Satan came to him, he found nothing in him. Now, in these two 
things it behooved him to be unlike his brethren, or he could not 
have been a Saviour at all. In all other things it behooved him to 
be made like us. There was no part of our condition that he did 
not humble himself unto. 

1. He passed through all the terms of our life from childhood 
to manhood. 1st, He was an infant of days, exposed to all the 
pains and dangers of infancy. " Ye shall find the babe, wrapped 
in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." 2d, He bore the trials 
and pains of boyhood. Many a one, no doubt, would wonder at 
the holy boy in the carpenter's shop at Nazareth. He grew in 
wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man. 3d, He 
bore the afflictions and anxieties of manhood, when he began to 
be about thirty years of age. 

2. He tasted the difficulties of many situations in life. The first 
thirty years, it is probable, he shared the humble occupation of 
Joseph the carpenter ; he tasted the trials of working for his daily 
bread. Then he subsisted on the kindness of others. Certain 
women, which followed him, ministered unto him of their sub- 
stance. He had not where to lay his head. Many a night he 
spent on the Mount of Olives, or on the hills of Galilee. Then, 
he bore the trials of a gospel minister. He preached from morn- 
ing till night, and yet with how small success ; s% that he could 
say, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught 
and in vain." How often he was grieved by their unbelief ; he 
marvelled at their unbelief ! " O faithless generation ! how long 
shall I be with you, how long shall I suffer you ?" How often he 
offended many by his preaching ! " Many said, this is an hnrd 
saying ; who can bear it?" " From that time many of his disciples 
went back, and walked no more with Jesus;" John vi., 66. How 
often they hated him for his love ! " For my love they are my 
adversaries : but I gave myself unto prayer ;" Ps. cix., 4. How 


his own disciples grieved him by their want of, faith ! " ye of 
little faith, have I been so long time with you !" The unbeliei 
of Thomas their sleeping in the garden forsaking him and 
fleeing Peter denying Judas betraying him ! 

3. What trials he had from his own family ! Even his own 
brothers did not believe on him, but mocked. The people of his 
town tried to throw him over the rocks. What pain he suffered 
from his mother, when he saw the sword piercing her fond heart ! 
Now he said to John, " Behold thy mother !" and to his mother, 
* Behold thy son !" even in the midst of his dying agonies. 

4. What trials from Satan ! Believers complain of Satan, but 
they never felt his power as Christ did. What an awful conflict 
was that during forty days in the wilderness ! How fearfully did 
Satan urge on Pharisees, and Herod, and Judas, to torment him ! 
What an awful hour was that, when he said, " This is your hour, 
and the power of darkness !" What an awful cry was that, " Save 
me from the lion's mouth !" (Psalm xxii., 22) when he felt his soul 
in the very jaws of Satan ! 

5. What trials from God ! Believers often groan under the 
hidings of God's countenance, but ah ! they seldom taste even a 
drop of what Christ drank. What dreadful agony was that in 
Gethsemane, when the blood gushed through the pores ! How 
dreadful was that frown of God on the cross, when he cried, 
" My God, my God !" In all these things, and a thousand more, 
he was made like unto his brethren. He came into our place. 
Through eternity we shall study these sufferings. 

1st, Learn the amazing love of Christ, that he should leave glory 
for such a condition. 

2d, Learn to bear sufferings cheerfully. You have not yet suf- 
fered as he did. 

III. The end That he might be a merciful and faithful High 
Priest. The work of Christ as an high priest is here laid down 
as two-fold. 1. To make an atonement for our sins ; 2. To suc- 
cor his people under temptations. 

1. To make atonement. This is the great work of Christ as 
our high priest. For this it was needful that he should become 
man, and die. Had he remained God alone in the bosom of his 
Father, he might have pitied us, but he could not have died for 
us, nor taken our sins away. We must have perished. Every 
priest in the Old Testament was a type of Jesus in this : every 
lamo that was slain typified Jesus offering up his own body a 
sacrifice for our sins. 

Let your eye rest there if you would be happy. Those few 
dark hours on Calvary, when the great high priest was offering 
up the amazing sacrifice, give light for eternity to the believing 
soul. This only will cheer you in dying. Not your graces, nor 
your love to Christ ; not anything in you, but only this ChrisJ 


Hath died. He loved me, and gave himself for me. Christ hath 
appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 

2. To succor the tempted. All believers are a tempted people. 
Every day they have their trials ; every time is to them a time 
of need. The unconverted are little tempted ; they are not in 
trouble as others, neither are they plagued like other men. They 
do not feel temptations rising in their heart ; nor do they know 
the power of Satan. Before conversion, a man believes as little 
in the devil as he believes in Christ. But when a man comes to 
Christ, then he becomes a tempted soul. " poor and needy, seeking 
water, and there is none." 

He is tempted by God. God did tempt Abraham ; not to sin, 
for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any 
man. Still, God always tries his children. He never gives faith, 
but he brings his child into a situation where it will be tried. 
Sometimes he exalts him, to try if he will turn proud and forget 
God ; sometimes he brings him low, to see if he will murmur 
against God. Blessed is the man that endureth temptations. 
Sometimes he brings them into a strait, where the trial is, whether 
they will believe in him alone, or trust to flesh and blood. 

The world tempts a child of God. They watch for their halting 
They love nothing better than to see a child of God fall into sin ; 
it soothes their conscience to think that all are equally bad. 
They frown, they smile. 

Tkeir own heart is a fountain of temptation. Sometimes it 
says, What harm is there in that? it is a little sin ; or, I will just 
sin this once, and never again; or, I will repent after and be 

Satan hurls his fiery darts. He terrifies them away from 
Christ, disturbs them at prayer, fills their mind with blasphemies, 
hounds on the world against them. 

Ah ! believers, you are a tempted people. You are always 
poor and needy. And God intends it should be so, to give you 
constant errands to go to Jesus. Some may say, it is not good to * 
be a believer ; but ah ! see to whom we can go. 

We have a merciful and faithful High Priest. He suffered be- 
ing tempted, just that he might succor them that are tempted. 
The high priest of old not only offered sacrifice at the altar, his 
work was not dune when the lamb was consumed. He was to be 
a faiher to Israel. He carried all their names, graven over hia 
heart ; he went in and prayed for them within the veil. He came 
out and blessed the people, saying, " The Lord bless thee, and keep 
thee. The Lord make his face shine," &c. ; Numbers vi., 24-26. 

So it is with the Lord Jesus. His work was not all done on 
Calvary. He that died for our sins lives to pray for us, to help 
in every time of need. He is still man on the right hand of God. 
He is still God, and therefore, by reason of nis divinity, is present 
here this day as much as any of us. He knows your every sor 


row, trial, difficulty ; every half breathed sigh he hears, and bringi 
in notice thereof to his human heart at the right hand of God. Hia 
human heart is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever ; it pleads 
for you, thinks on you, plans deliverance for you. 

Dear tempted brethren ! Go boldly to the throne of grace, to 
obtain mercy and find grace to help in your time of need. 

Are you bereaved of one you loved ? Go and tell Jesus ; 
spread out your sorrows at his feet. He knows them all ; feels 
for you in them all. He is a merciful high priest. He is faithful, 
too, never awanting in the hour of need. He is able to succor 
you by his word, by his spirit, by his providence. He gave you 
all the* comfort you had by your friends. He can give it you 
without them. He has taken away the stream that you may go 
to the fountain. 

Are you suffering in body ? Go to this high priest. He is in- 
timately acquainted with all your diseases ; he has felt that very 
pain. Remember how, when they brought to him one that was 
deaf and had an impediment in his speech, he looked up to heaven 
and sighed, and said. Ephphatha ! He sighed over his misery. 
So he sighs over you. He is able to give you deliverance, or 
patience to bear it, or improvement by it. 

Are you sore tempted in soul ; put into trying circumstances, so 
that you know not what to do ? Look up ; he is able to succor 
you. If he had been on the earth would you not have gone tc 
him? would you not have kneeled and said, Lord help meT Does 
it make any difference that he is at the right hand of God ? He 
is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 



Jit the Ordination of the Rev. P. L. Miller, Wallacetown, Dundee, 1840. 

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the 
quick and the dead at his appearing, and his kingdom ; preach the word ; be in- 
stant in season, out of season ; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering 
and doctrine." 2 Tim. iv., 1, 2. 

I. Where faithful ministers stand " Before God and the Lora 
Tesus Christ" There is not a more awfully affecting situation in 
ihe whole world than that in which a faithful minister stands. 

1. Before God. This is true in two ways: 

1st, As a sinner saved by grace. He was once far off, but rs 
now brought nigh by the blood of Jesus. Having " boldness to 


enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living 
way which he hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to 
say his flesh," he draws near. He stands within the veil, in the 
holiest of all, in the love of God. He is justified before God. A 
faithful minister is an example to his flock of a sinner saved. God 
says to him as he did to Abraham, " Walk before me and be thou 
perfect." He can say with Paul, " I was a blasphemer, and a 
persecutor, and injurious, but I obtained mercy." A faithful 
minister is like Aaron's rod that was laid up beside the ark of God, 
and budded there. 

2d, As a servant. In the East, servants always stand in the 
presence of their master, watching his hand. The Queen of 
Sheba said to Solomon, " Happy are these thy servants which 
stand continually before thee and hear thy wisdom." So it is 
said of the angels that " they do always behold the face of my 
Father which is in heaven." Even when most engaged in the 
service of the saints, they feel under his all-seeing, holy, living 
eye. So ovglit faithful ministers to feel. They should feel con- 
stantly in his presence, under his soul-piercing, gentle-guiding, 
holy, living eye. " I will guide thee with mine eye." " The 
eyes of the Lord are over the righteous." Ah ! how often we feel 
we are before man. Then all power withers, and we become 
weak as other men ; but oh ! how sweet to feel in the presence 
of God, as if there were no eye on us but God's. In prayer, how 
sweet to feel before Him : to kneel at his footstool, and to put our 
hand upon the mercy-seat no curtain, no veil, no cloud between 
the snul and God. In preaching, how sweet to say, like Elijah, 
when he stood before Ahab, " I stand before the Lord God of 
Israel." To stand at his feet, in his family, in his pavilion, O 
believers, it is then we get above the billows. The applause of 
men, the rage and contempt of men, then pass by us like the idle 
wind which we regard not. Thus is a rninisterjike a rock in the 
ocean ; the mountain-billows dash upon its brow7 and yet it stands 

2. Before Jesus Christ. This is also true in two ways : 
1st, The faithfal minister has a present sight of Christ as his 
Righteousness. He is like John the Baptist, " Seeing Jesus com- 
ing unto him he saith, Behold the Lamb of God !" Or like Isaiah, 
"He saw his gl'ry and spake of him." His own soul is ever 
watching at Gethsemane and Golgotha. O brethren, it is thus 
only we can ever speak with, or with power, or with 
truth, of the unsearchable riches of Christ. We must have the 
taste of the manna in our mouth, *' Milk and honey under our 
tongue," else we cannot tell of its sweetness. We must be drink- 
ing the living water from the smitten rock, or we cannot speak 
of its refreshing power. We must be hiding our guilty souls in 
the wounds of Jesus, or we cannot with joy speak of the peace 
and rest to be found there. This is the reason why unfaithful 


ministers are cold and barren in their labor. They speak, like 
Balaam, of a Saviour whose grace they do not feel. They speak 
like Caiaphas, of the blood of Christ, without having felt its 
power to speak peace to the troubled heart. This is the reason 
why many good men have a barren ministry. They speak from 
clear head-knowledge, or from past experience, but not from a 
present grasp of the truth, not from a present sight of the Lamb 
of God. Hence their words fall like a shower of snow, fair and 
beautiful, but cold and freezing. The Lord give us to stand in 
the presence of the Lord Jesus. 

2d. The faithful minister should feel the presence of a living 
Saviour. A minister should be like the bride in the song, " Lean- 
ing upon her beloved." This was Jeremiah's strength (i., 8), 
" Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee 
saith the Lord." So it was with Paul (Acts xviii., 10), " Be not 
afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace : for I am with thee, and 
no man shall set on thee to hurt thee ; for I have much people in 
this city." So Jesus told all the disciples, " Yet a little while 
and the world seeth me not, but ye see me. Because I live 
ye shall live also." And again he says expressly, " Lo, I am with 
you alway, even to the end of the world." Yes, brethren, Christ 
is as truly walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, 
as truly in this place to-day, as if you saw him with your bodily 
eyes. His humanity is at the right hand of God, appearing in the 
presence of God for us. His Godhead fills all in all. Thus he is 
with us, standing at our right hand, so that he cannot be moved. 
It is sweet to know and feel this. Thus only can we be sustained 
amid all the trials of the ministry. Are we weary ? we can 
lean, like John, upon his bosom. Are we burdened with a sense 
of sin ? we can hide in the clefts of that rock of ages. Are we 
empty? we can look up to him for immediate supply. Are we 
hated of all men ? we can hide under his wings. Stand before ths 
Lord Jesus Christ, and then you may smile at Satan's rage, and 
face a frowning world. Learn here also the guilt of refusing a 
gospel ministry. " He that refuseth you refuseth me ; and he that 
refuseth me refuseth Him that sent me." 

3. Within sight of judgment, " Who shall judge the quick and 
dead." Ministers and their flocks shall meet together before the 
throne of the Lord Jesus. That will be a solemn day. They 
have many solemn meetings on earth. An Ordination day is a 
solemn day. Their meetings from Sabbath to Sabbath are solemn 
meetings ; and Sacrament days are very solemn days. But their 
meeting at the judgment seat will be by far the most solemn of 
all. Then, 

1st, The minister will give in his account either with joy or with 
grief. He will no more meet to plead with the people, or to pray 
with them, but to bear witness how they received the word. O" 
come he will give account with a joyful countenance, that they 


received the word with all readiness of mind, that they were con- 
verted and became like little children ; these will be his joy and 
crown. Of most with grief, that he carried the message to them, 
but they would not come, they made light of it ; or perhaps they 
listened for awhile, but drew back into perdition. He will be a 
swift witness against them in that day. " Depart, ye cursed." 

2d, Then the people will give in their account of the minister. 
If he was faithful ; if he made it his meat and drink to do the will 
of God ; if he preached the whole truth with seriousness, urgency, 
iove ; if he was holy in his life ; if he preached publicly, and from 
house to house : then that minister shall shine like the stars. If 
he was unfaithful ; if he fed himself but not the flock ; if he did 
not seek the conversion of souls ; did not travail in birth ; if he 
sought his own eas?, his own wealth, his own praise, and not their 
souls : then shall the loud curses of ruined souls fall on that wretched 
man, and God shall say, Take the unfaithful servant, and bind him 
hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness. O believers, it 
is the duty of ministers to preach with this solemn day in their 
eye. We should stand, like Abraham, looking down on the smoke 
of Sodom ; like John, listening to the new song and golden harps 
of the New Jerusalem. Would not this take away the fear of 
man? Would not this make us urgent in our preaching? You 
must either get these souls into Christ, or you will yet see them 
lying down in everlasting burnings. O brethren, did I not say 
truly that the place where a minister stands is the most solemn 
spot in all this world ? 

II. The grand business of the faithful minister Described in 
two ways: 1. Generally Preach the Word. 2. More in de- 
tail Reprove, rebuke, exhort. 

1. Preach the Word. The grand work of the minister, in which 
he is to lay out his strength of body and mind, is preaching. Weak 
and foolish as it may appear, this is the grand instrument which 
God has put into our hands, by which sinners are to be saved, and 
saints fitted for glory. It pleased God, by the foolishness of preach- 
ing, to save them that believe. It was to this our blessed Lord 
devoted the years of his own ministry. Oh ! what an honor has 
he put upon this work, by preaching in the synagogues, in the 
temple, and by the blue waves of Galilee, under the canopy of 
heaven. Has he not consecrated this world as preaching ground ? 
This was the grand work of Paul and all the apostles ; for this 
was our Lord's command, "Go ye into all the world and preach 
the Gospel." O brethren, this is our great work. It is well to 
vis^t the sick, and well to educate children, and clothe the naked. 
It is well to attend Presbyteries. It is well to write books or read 
them ; but here is the main thing Preach the Word. The pulpit 
is, as George Herbert says, " our joy and throne." This is our 
watch-tower. Here we must warn the people. The silver 


trumpet is put into our hand. Woe be unto us if we preach not 
the Gospel. 

The Matter the Word. It is in vain we preach, if we preach 
not the word the truth as it is in Jesus. 

1st, Not other matters. " Ye are my witnesses." " The same 
came to bear witness of that light." We are to speak of nothing 
but what we have seen and heard from God. It is not the work 
of the minister to open up schemes of human wisdom or learn- 
ing, nor to bring his own fancies, but to tell the acts and glories of 
the Gospel. We must speak of what is within the Word of God. 

2d, Preach the Word ; the most essential parts especially. If 
you were with a dying man, and knew he had but half an hour 
to live, what would you tell him ? Would you open up some of 
the curiosities of the Word, or enforce some of the moral com- 
mands of the Word ? Would you not tell him his undone condi- 
tion by nature and by wicked works ? Would you not tell him 
of the love and dying of the Lord Jesus ? Would you not tell 
him of the power of the Holy Spirit ? These are the essential 
things which a man must receive or perish. These are the great 
subject-matters of preaching. Should we not preach as Jesus did 
when he went to Emmaus, when he began at Moses and all the 
prophets, and expounded to them the things concerning himself? 
Let there be much of Christ in your ministry, says the excellent 
Eliot. Rowland Hill used to say, See there be no sermon with- 
out three R's in it : Ruin by the fall, Righteousness by Christ, and 
Regeneration by the Spirit. Preach Christ for awakening, Christ 
for comforting, Christ for sanctifying. " God forbid that I should 
glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'' 

3d, Preach as the Word. I would humbly suggest for the con- 
sideration of all ministers, whether we should not preach more in 
the manner of God's Word. Is not the Word the sword of the 
Spirit ? Should not our great work be to take it from its scab- 
bard, to cleanse it from all rust, and then apply its sharp edge to 
the consciences of man ? It is certain the fathers used to preach 
in this manner. Brown, of Haddington, used to preach as if he 
had read no other book than the Bible. It is the truth of God in 
its naked simplicity that the Spirit will most honor and bless. 
" Sanctify them through thy truth : thy Word is truth." 

2. Reprove, rebuke, exhort. The first work of the Spirit on the 
natural heart is to reprove the world of sin. Although he is the 
Spirit of love, although a dove is his emblem, although he be 
compared to the soft wind and gentle dew, still his first work is 
to convince of sin. If ministers are filled with the same Spirit, 
they will begin in the same way. It is God's usual method to 
awaken them, and bring them to despair of salvation by their own 
righteousness, before he reveals Christ to them. So it was with 
the jailor. So it was with Paul ; he was blind three days. A 
faithful minister must lay himself out for this. Plough up the fal- 


low-grouna, and sow not among thorns. Men must be brought 
down by law work to see their guilt and misery, or all our preach- 
ing is beating the air. O brethren, is this our ministry ? Let us 
do this plainly. The most, I fear, in all our congregations, are 
sailing easily down the stream into an undone eternity, unconvert- 
ed and unawakened. Brethren, they will not thank us in eterni.y 
for speaking smooth things for sewing pillows to their arm-holes, 
and crying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. No ; they 
may praise us now, but they will curse our flattery in eternity. 
O for the bowels of Jesus Christ in every minister, that we might 
long after them all ! Exhort. The original word means to com- 
fort, to speak as the Comforter does. This is the second part of 
the Spirit's work, to lead to Christ, to speak good news to the 
soul. This is the most difficult part of the Christian ministry. 
Thus did John, " Behold the Lamb of God." Thus did Isaiah, 
" Comfort ye, comfort ye." Thus did our Lord command, "Go, 
preach the gospel to every creature." It is true this makes the 
feet of the gospel messenger beautiful on the mountains. He has 
to tell of a full, free, Divine Saviour. 

And here I would observe, what appears to me a fault in the, 
preaching of our beloved Scotland. Most ministers are accustomed 
to set Christ before the people. They lay down the gospel clearly 
and beautifully, but they do not urge men to enter in. Now, God 
says, exhort, beseech men, persuade men ; not only point to the 
open door, but compel them to come in. O to be more merciful 
to souls, that we would lay hands on men, and draw them into the 
Lord Jesus ! 

III. The manner. 

1. With long-suffering. There is no grace more needed in the 
Christian ministry than th s. This is the heart of God the Father 
towards sinners ; " he is long-sufForing to usward, not willing that 
any should perish." This is the heart of the Lord Jesus. How 
tenderly does he cry, " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would 
I," &c. This is the mind of the Holy Spirit in striving with men. 
He will not always strive, but, oh ! how long he does strive with 
men ! Dear believers, had he not striven long with us, we would 
this day have been like Lot's wife, monuments of grace resisted. 
Now, such ought ministers to be. Above all men we need "love 
that suffers long and is kind." Sometimes, when sinners are ob- 
itinate and hard-hearted, we are tempted to give up in despair, 
or to lose temper and scold them like the disciples calling down 
fire from heaven. But, brethren, we must be of another spirit. 
The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Only 
be filled with the spirit of Christ, and it will make us patient 
toward all. It will make us cry, " How often would I," &c. 

2. With doctrine. Some good men cry, Flee, flee, without 
bowing the sinner what he is to flee from ; and again, they cry, 


Come, come, without showing plainly the way of pardon and 
peace. These men act as one would do who should run through 
the streets crying. Fire, lire, without telling where. In the preach- 
ing of the Apostles, you will observe the clear and simple state- 
ment of the truth preceding the warm and pathetic exhortation. 
This has always been followed by the most judicious and success- 
ful divines. 

It behooves ministers to unite the cherub and the seraph in their 
ministry the angel of knowledge and the angel of burning zeal. 
If we would win souls, we must point clearly the way to heaven, 
while we cry, Flee from the wrath to come. I believe we cannot 
lay down the guilt of man, his total depravity, and the glorious 
gospel of Christ, too clearly ; that we cannot urge men to embrace 
and flee too warmly. O for a pastor who unites the deep know- 
ledge of Edwards, the vast statements of Owen, and the vehement 
appeals of Richard Baxter ! 

3. With urgency. If a neighbor's house were on fire, would we 
not cry aloud and use every exertion ? If a friend were drown- 
ing, would we be ashamed to strain every nerve to save him ? 
But alas ! the souls of our neighbors are even now on their way to 
everlasting burnings they are ready to be drowned in the depths 
of perdition. Oh ! shall we be less earnest to save their never- 
dying souls, than we would be to save their bodies ? How anxious 
was the Lord Jesus in this when he came near and beheld the 
city, he wept over it ! How earnest was Paul, " Remember that 
by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night 
and day with tears." Such was George Whitfield ; that great 
man scarcely ever preached without being melted into tearw. 
Brethren, there is need of the same urgency now. Hell is as 
deep and as burning as ever. Unconverted souls are as surely 
rushing to it. Christ is as free pardon as sweet as ever ! Ah ! 
how we shall be amazed at our coldness when we do get to heaven ! 

4. At all times. Our Lord went about continually doing good ; 
ne made it his meat and drink. " Daily in the temple." So should 
we. Satan is busy at all times ; he does not stand upon ceremony, 
he does not keep himself to Sabbath-days, or canonical hours. 
Death is busy. Men are dying while we are sleeping. About 
fifty die every minute ; nearly one every second entering into an 
unchangeable world ! The Spirit of God is busy. Blessed be 
God, he hath cast our lot in times when there is the moving of the 
great Spirit among the dry bones. Shall ministers then be idle, 
or stand upon ceremony ? O that God would baptize us with 
the Holy Ghost and with fire, that we might be all changed as into 
a flame of fire, preaching and building up Christ's Church till our 
latest, our dying hour. 


MY DEAR BROTHER It is not many years ago since you and J 


played together as children, and now, by the wonderful providence 
of God. I have been appointed to preside at your ordination to the 
office of the holy ministry. Truly His way is in the sea, and His 
path in the deep waters. Do not think, then, that I mean to as- 
sume an authority which I have not. I cannot speak to you as a 
father, but, as a brother beloved in the Lord, let me address a few 
words of counsel to you. 

1. Thank God for putting you into the ministry. " I thank 
Christ Jesus my Lord for that he counted me faithful, putting me 
into the ministry." " To me who am less than the least of all saints," 
&c. O brother, thank God for saving your soul for sending His 
spirit into your heart, and drawing you to Christ. But this day you 
have a new cause of thankfulness in being put into the ministry. It is 
the greatest honor in this world. " Had I a thousand lives, I would 
willingly spend them in it ; and had I a thousand sons, I would gladly 
devote them to it." True, it is an awfully responsible office : the 
eternity of thousands depends on your faithfulness ; but ah ! the 
grace is so full, and the reward so glorious. If, said the dying 
Payson, " If ministers only snvv the prcciousness of Christ, they 
would not be able to refrain from clapping their hands with joy, 
and exclaiming, I am a minister of Christ ! I am a minister of 
Christ ! " Do not forget, then, dear brother, amid the broken ac- 
cents of confession from a broken heart, to pour out a song of 
thankfulness. Thanks be to God, for my own part, during the few 
years I have been a minister, I can truly say, that I desire no other 
honor upon earth than to be allowed to preach the everlasting 
gospel. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. 

2. Seek the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The more anointing 
of the Holy Spirit you have, the more will you be a happy, holy, 
and successful minister. You remember the two olive trees that 
stood close by the golden candlestick, and emptied the golden oil 
out of themselves. These represent successful ministers, anointed 
ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. The Lord make 
you like one of them. Remember John the Baptist " He shall 
be filled with the Holy Ghost, and many of the children of Israel 
shall he turn to the Lord their God." The Lord fill you in like 
manner, and then you will be a converting minister. Remember 
the Apostles ; before the day of Pentecost they were dry, sapless 
trees they had little fruit ; but when the Spirit came on them 
like a mighty rushing wind, then three thousand were pricked to 
the heart. 

Oh ! brother, plead with God to fill you with the Spirit, that you 
may stand in his counsel, and cause the people to hear His words, 
and turn many from the evil of their ways. You know that a 
heated iron, though blunt, can pierce its way even where a much 
sharper instrument, if cold, could not enter. Pray that you may 
be filled with the fire of the Spirit, that you may pierce into the 
hard hearts of unconverted sinners. 


3. Do not rest without success in your ministry. Success is the 
rule under a living ministry ; want of success is the exception. 
" The want of ministerial uccess," says Robinson, " is a tremendous 
circiunstance, never to be contemplated without horror." Your 
people will be of two kinds: 

(1st,) The Lord's people. Those who are already in Christ, 
seek for success among them. He gave some pastors and teach- 
ers for the perfecting of the saints. Never forget Christ's words, 
"Feed my sheep, feed my lambs." Be like Barnabas, a son of 
consolation. Exhort them to cleave to the Lord. Do not say, 
M They are sate and I will let them alone." This is a great mis- 
take. See how Paul laid out his strength in confirming the dis- 
ciples. Be a helper of their joy. Do not rest till you get them to 
live under the pure, holy rules of the Gospel. 

(2d.) The great mass you will find to be unconverted. Go, 
brother, leaving the ninety-nine, go after the one sheep that was 
lost. Leave your home, your comforts, your bed, your ease, your 
all, to feed lost souls. The Lord of Glory left heaven for this : it 
is enough for the disciple to be as his Master. It is said of Alleine, 
that "he w is infinitely and insatiably greedy of the conversion of 
souls." Rutheriurd wrote to his dear people, "My witness is 
above, that your heaven would be two heavens to me, and the sal- 
vatiun of you all as two salvations to me." The Lord give you 
this heavenly compassion for this people. Do not be satisfied with- 
out conversion. You will often find that there is a shaking among 
the dry bones, a coming together bone to his bone ; skin and flesh 
come upon them, but no breath in them. Oh ! brother, cry for the 
breath of heaven. Remember a moral sinner will lie down in the 
same hell w,th the v.lest. 

4. Lead a holy life. I believe, brother, that you are born from 
above, and, therefore, I have confidence in God touching you, that 
you will be kept from the evil. But, oh ! study universal holiness 
of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this. Your sermon 
on Sabbath lasts but an hour or two; your life preaches all the 
week. Remember,. ministers are standard-bearers. Satan aims 
his fiery darts at them. If he can only make you a covetous min- 
ister, or a lover of pleasure, or a lover of praise, or a lover of good 
eating, then he has ruined your ministry for ever. Ah ! let him 
preach on fifty years, he will never do me any harm. Dear brother, 
cast yourself at the feet of Christ, implore his Spirit to make you 
a holy man. Take heed to thyself and to thy doctrine. 

5. Last of all, be a man of prayer. Give yourself to prayer 
and to the ministry of the Word. If yor do not pray, God will 
probably lay you aside from your ministry, as he did me, to teach 
you to pray. Remember Luther's maxim, " Bene orasse est bene 
ttuduisse." Get your texts from God, your thoughts, your words, 
from God. Carry the names of the little flock upon your breast 
like the High Priest, wrestle for the unconve '*d. lather spent 


his three best hours in prayer. John Welch prayed seven or eight 
hours a day. He used to keep a plaid on his bed that he might 
wrap himself in it when he rose during night. Sometimes his wife 
found him on the ground lying weeping. When she complained, he 
would say, " O, woman ! I have the souls of three thousand to 
answer for, and I know not how it is with many of them." Oh ! 
that God would pour down this spirit of prayer on you and me, 
and all the ministers of our beloved Church, and then we shall sre 
better days in Scotland. I commend you to God, &c. 


DEAR BRETHREN I trust that this is to be the beginning of 
many happy days to you in this place. Gifts in answer to prayer are 
always the sweetest. I believe your dear pastor has been given 
you in answer to prayer, for I do not think your wonderful unani- 
mity can be accounted for in any other way. 

1. Love your pastor. So far as I know him he is worthy of 
your love. I believe he is one to whom the Lord has been very 
merciful, that God has already owned his labors, and I trust, will 
a thousand times more. Esteem him very highly in love for his 
work's sake. You little know the anxieties, temptations, pains, 
and wrestlings, he will be called to bear for you. Few people 
know the deep wells of anxiety in the bosom of a faithful pastor. 
Love and reverence him much. Do not make an idol of him ; 
that will destroy his usefulness. It was. said of the Erskines that 
men could not see Christ over their heads. Remember, look be- 
yond him and above him. Those that would have worshipped 
Paul were the people who stoned him. Do not stumble at his in- 
firmities. There are spots upon the sun, and infirmities in the best 
of men. Cover them, do not stumble at them. Would you re- 
fuse gold because it was brought you in a ragged purse ? Would 
you refuse pure water because it came in a chipped bowl ? The 
treasure is in an earthen vessel. 

2. Make use of your pastor. He has come with good news 
from a far country. Come and hear. 

(1st,) Wait patiently on his ministry. He does not come in his 
own name. The Lord is with him. If you refuse him, you will 
refuse Christ ; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. 

(2rf,) Welcome him into your houses. He is coining, like his 
Master, to seek that which was lost, and to bind up lhat which is 
broken ; to strengthen that which was sick, and to bring again 
that which was driven away. You have all need of him, whether 
converted or not. Remember there is an awful curse against 
those who receive not gospel messages. He will shake the dust 
off his feet against you, and that dust will rise against you in judg- 

(3d,) Do not trouble him about worldly matters. His grand 


concern is to get your soul saved. He is not a man of business, 
but a man of prayer. He has given himself to prayer, and to the 
ministry of the Word. 

(4M,) Go freely to him about your souls. " The minister's house 
was more thronged than ever the tavern had wont to be.'' These 
were happy days. There is no trade I would like to see broken 
in this place but that of the taverners. It is a soul-destroying 
trade. I would like to see the taverns emptied, and the minister's 
house thronged. Do not hesitate to go to him. It is your duty 
and your privilege. It is your duty it will encourage him, and 
show him how to preach to your souls. It is your privilege 1 
have known many get more light from a short conversation than 
from many sermons. 

(5th,) Be brief. Tell your case. Hear his word and be gone. 
Remember his body is weak, and his time precious. You are 
stealing his time from others or from God. I cannot tell you what 
a blessing it will be if you will be very short in your calls. The 
talk of the lips tendeth to penury. 

3. God's children pray for him. Pray for his body, that he 
may be kept strong, and spared for many years. Pray for his 
soul, that he may be kept humble and holy, a burning and a shining 
light, that he may grow. Pray for his ministry, that it may be 
abundantly blessed, that he may be anointed to preach good tidings. 
Let there be no secret prayer without naming him before your 
God, no family prayer without carrying your pastor in your hearts 
to God. Hold up his hands, so Israel will prevail against Amalrk. 

4. Unconverted souls, prize this opportunity. I look on this or- 
dination as a smile of heaven upon you. God might hare taken 
away ministers from this town instead of giving us more. I be- 
lieve the Lord Jesus is saying, " I have much people in this city." 
The door is begun to be opened this day. The Spirit is beginning 
to shine. O that you would know the day of your visitation ! 
This is the market-day of grace beginning in this end of the town, 
and you should all come to buy. O that you knew the day of your 
visitation ! Some, I fear, will be the worse of this ministry, and not 
the better. The election will be saved, and the rest be blinded. 
Some will yet wish they had died before this ch'urch was opened. Be 
sure, dear souls, that you will either be saved, or more lost, by this 
ministry. Your pastor comes with the silver trumpet of mercy. 
Why will ye turn it into the trumpet of judgment ? He comes 
with glad tidings of great joy. Why should you turn them into 
sad tidings of endless woe ? He comes to preach the acceptable 
day of the Lord. Why will ye turn it into the day of vengeance 
f our God ? 

\Qth Dee., 1S40. 



* There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out fear ; because fear hath tor- 
merit. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he 
first loved us. If a man say, Move God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar ; for 
he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God 
whom he hath not seen ? And this commandment have we from him, That h 
who loveth God loves his brother also." 1 John iv., 18-21. 

Doctrine. Perfect love casteth out fear. 

I. The state of an awakened soul. " Fear hath torment" 
There are two kinds of fear mentioned in the Bible very oppo- 
site from one another. The one is the very atmosphere of heaven, 
the other is the very atmosphere of hell. 

1. There is the fear of love. This is the very temper of a little 
child : the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This was 
the mind of Job. " He feared God and hated evil." Nay, it is the 
very spirit of the Lord Jesus. On him rested " the spirit of the 
fear of the Lord, and made him of quick understanding in the fear 
of the Lord." 

2. There is the fear of terror. This is the very temper of 
devils ; " the devils believe and tremble." This is what was in 
Adam and Eve after the fall ; they fled from the voice of God, and 
tried to hide themselves in one of the trees of the garden. This 
was the state of the Jailor when he trembled, and sprang in and 
brought them out, and fell at their feet, saying, " Sirs, what must 
I do to be saved ?" This is the fear here spoken of; tormenting 
fear. " Fear hath torment." Some of you have felt this fear that 
hath torment. Many more might feel it this day ; you arc within 
reach of it. Let me explain its rise in the soul. 

1st, A natural man casteth off fear, and restrains prayer before 
God. " They have been at ease from their youth, and settled 
down upon their lees, they have not been emptied from vessel to 
vessel ; therefore, their taste remains in them, and their scent is 
not changed." They are like fallow-ground, that has never been 
broken up by the plough, but is overrun with briers and thorns. 
Are there not some among you that never trembled for your 
soul? You think you are as good as your neighbors. Ah! well, 
your dream will be broken up one day soon. 

2rf, When the Spirit of God opens the eyes, he makes the 
stoutest sinner tremble. He shows him the number of his sins, or 
rather that they cannot be numbered. Before, he had a memory 
that easily forgot his sins ; o;i.ths slipped over his tongue and he 
knew it not; every day added new sins to his page on God's 
book, yet he remembered not. But now, the Spirit of God sets 
all his sins straight before him. All unpardoned, long-forgotten 
enormities, rise up behind him. Then he begins to tremble. 
" Innumerable evils have compassed me about." 


3d, The Spirit makes him feel the greatness of sin, the exceed- 
ing sinfulness of it. Before, it seemed nothing ; but now, it rises 
like a flood over the soul. The wrath of God he feels abiding on 
htm ; a terrible sound is in his ears. He knows not what to do ; 
his fear hath torment. Sin is seen now as done against a holy 
God, done against a God of love, done against Jesus Christ and 
his love. 

4th, A third thing which awfully torments the soul is, corrup- 
tion working in the heart. Often persons under conviction are 
made to feel the awful workings of corruption in their heart. 
Often temptation and conviction of sin meet together, and awfully 
torment the soul, rending it in pieces. Conviction of sin is piercing 
his heart, driving him to flee from the wrath to come, and yet at 
the same moment some raging lust, or envy, or horrid malice, is 
boiling in his heart, driving him towards hell. Then a man feels 
a hell within him. In hell there will be this awful mixture ; there 
will be an overwhelming dread of the wrath of God, and yet cor- 
ruption boiling up within, will drive the soul more and more into 
the flames. This is often felt on earth. Some of you may be 
feeling it. This is the fear that hath torment. 

5th, Another thing the Spirit convinces the soul of is, his in- 
ability to help himself. When a man i-s first awakened, he says, I 
shall soon get myself out of this sad condition. He falls upon 
many contrivances to justify himself. He changes his life ; he 
tries to repent, to pray. He is soon taught that " his righteous- 
nesses are filthy rags ;" that he is trying to cover rags with filthy 
rags ; he is brought to feel that all he can do signifies just nothing, 
and that he never can bring a clean thing out of an unclean. This 
sinks the soul in gloom. This fear hath torment. 

6th, He fears he shall never be in Christ. Some of you perhaps 
know that this fear hath torment. The free offer of Christ is the 
very thing that pierces you to the heart. You hear that he is 
altogether lovely, that he invites sinners to come to him, that he 
never casts out those that do come. But you fear you will never 
be one of these. You fear you have sinned too long or too much, 
you have sinned away your day of grace. Ah ! this fear hath 

Some will say, " It is not good to be awakened then." 

Ans. 1. It is the way to peace that passeth understanding. It 
is God's chosen method, to bring you to feel your need of Christ 
before you come to Christ. A' present your peace is like a 
dreai : when you awake you will find it so. Ask awakened 
souls if they would go back again to their slumber. Ah ! no ; if 
I die, let me die at the foot of the cross ; let me not perish un- 

Ans. 2. You must be awakened one day. If not now, you will 
afterwards, in hell. After death, fear will come on your secure 
souls. There is not one unawakened soul in hell ; all are trem- 


bling there. The devils tremble ; the damned spirits tremble. 
Would it not be better to tiemble now, and flee to Jesus Christ 
for refuge ? Now, he is waiting to be gracious to you. Then, he 
will moc-.k when your fear cometh. You will know to all eternity 
that " fear hath torment." 

II. The change on believing. " There is no fear in love." 
" Perfect love casteth out fear." 

1. The love here spoken of is not our love to God, but his love 
to us ; for it is called perfect love. All that is ours is imperfect. 
When we have done all, we must say, " We are unprofitable ser- 
vants." Sin mingles with all we think and do. It were no comfoit 
to tell us that, if we would love God perfectly, it would cast oui 
fear ; for how can we work that love into our souls ? It is the 
Father's love to us that casteth out fear. He is the Perfect One. 
All his works are perfect. He can do nothing but what is perfect. 
His knowledge is perfect knowledge : his wrath is perfect wrath ; 
his love is perfect love. It is this perfect love which casteth out 
fear. Just as the sunbeams cast out darkness wherever they fall, 
so does this love cast out fear. 

2. But where does this love fall ? On Jesus Christ. Twice 
God spake from heaven, and said, " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am well pleased." God perfectly loves his own Son. He 
sees infinite beauty in his person. God sees himself manifested. 
He is infinitely pleased with his finished work. The infinite heart 
of the infinite God flows out in love towards our Lord Jesus 
Christ. And there is no fear in the bosom of Christ. All his fears 
are past. Once he said, " While I suffer thy terrors I am dis- 
tressed ;" but now he is in perfect love, and perfect love casteth 
out fear. Hearken, trembling souls ! Here you may find rest to 
your souls. You do not need to live another hour under your tor- 
menting fears. Jesus Christ has borne the wrath of which you 
are afraid. He now stands a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in 
the time of trouble. Look to Christ, and your fear will be cast 
out. Come to the feet of Christ, and you will find rest. Call 
upon the name of the Lord, and you will be delivered. You say, 
you cannot look, nor come, nor cry, for you are helpless. Hear, 
then, and your soul shall live. Jesus is a Saviour to the helpless. 
Christ is not only a Saviour to those who are naked, and empty 
and have no goodness to recommend themselves, but he is a Sa- 
viour to those who are unable to give themselves to him. You 
cannot be in too desperate a condition for Christ. As long as you 
remain unbelieving, you are under his perfect wrath ; wrath 
without any mixture. The wrath of God will be as amazing as 
his love. It corncs out of the same bosom. But the moment you 
look to Christ, you will come under his perfect love love with- 
out any coldness, light without any shade, love without any cloud 
or mountain between. God's love will cast out all your fears. 


HI. His love gives boldness in the Day of Judgment, verse 
17. There is a great day coming, often spoken of in the Bible 
the Day of Judgment the day when God shall judge the secrets 
of men's hearts hy Christ Jesus. The Christless will not be able 
to stand in that day. The ungodly shall not stand in the judg- 
ment. At present, sinners have much boldness ; their neck is an 
iron sinew, and their brow brass. Many of them cannot blush 
when they are caught in sin. Amongst ourselves, is it not amaz- 
ing how bold sinners are in forsaking ordinances ? With what a 
brazen face will some men swear ! How bold some ungodly men 
are in coming to the Lord's Table ! But it will not be so in a little 
while. When Christ shall appear the holy Jesus, in all his glory, 
then brazen-faced sinners will begin to blush. Those that never 
prayed will begin to wail. Sinners, whose limbs carried them 
stoutly to sin and to the Lord's Table last Sabbath, will find their 
knees knocking against one another. Who shall abide the day of 
his coming, and who shall stand when he appears ? When the 
books are opened the one the book of God's remembrance, the 
other the Bible then the dead will be judged out of those things 
written in the books. Then the heart of the ungodly will die 
within them ; then will begin " their shame and everlasting con- 
tempt." Many wicked persons comfort themselves with this, that 
their sin is not known, that no eye sees them ; but in that day the 
most secret sins will be all brought out to the light. " Every idle 
word that men shall speak they shall give an account thereof in 
the Day of Judgment." How would you tremble and blush, O 
wicked man, if I were now to go over before this congregation 
the secret sins you have committed during the past week ; all 
your secret fraud and cheating ; your secret uncleanness ; your 
secret malice and envy ; how you would blush and be confounded ! 
How much more in that day, when the secrets of your whole life 
shall be made manifest before an assembled world ! What eternal 
confusion will sink down your soul in that day ! You will be 
quite chop-fallen ; all your pride and blustering will be gone. 
All in Christ will have boldness. 

1. Because Christ shall be Judge. What abundant peace will 
it give you in that day, believer, when you see Christ is judge ! 
He that shed his blood for you. He that is your surety, your 
shepherd, your all. It will take away all fear. You will be able 
to say, who shall condemn, for Christ hath died. In the very hand 
that opens the books, you will see ihe marks of the wounds made 
by your sins. Christ will be the same to you in the judgment that 
he is now. 

2. Because the Father himself loveth you. Christ and the Fa- 
ther are one. The Father sees no sin in you ; because as Christ 
is, so are you in this world. You are judged by God according 
to what the surety is ; so that God's love will be with you in that 


day. You will feel the smile of the Father, and you will hear the 
voice of Jesus saying, " Come, ye blessed of my Father." 

Learn to fear nothing between this and judgment. Fear not, 
wait on the Lord and be of good courage. 

IV. The consequences of being in the love of God. 

1. " We love him because he first loved us ;" v. 19. When a 
poor sinner cleaves to Jesus, and finds the forgiving love of God, 
he cannot but love God back again. When the prodigal returned 
home and felt his Father's arms around his neck, then did he feel 
the gushings of affection toward his father. When the summer 
sun shines full .down upon the sea, it draws the vapors upward to 
the sky. So when the sunbeams of the Son of Righteousness fall 
upon the soul, they draw forth the constant risings of love to him 
in return. 

Some of you are longing to be able to love God. Come into 
his love then. Consent to be loved by him, though worthless in 
yourself. It is better to be loved by him than to love, and it is 
the only way to learn to love him. When the light of the sun 
falls upon the moon, it finds the moon dark and unlovely, but the 
moon reflects the light, and casts it back again. So let the love 
of God shine into your breast, and you will cast it back again. 
The love of Christ constraineth us. " We love him because ho 
first loved us." The only cure for a cold heart is to look at the 
heart of Jesus. 

Some of you have no love to God because you love an idol. 
You may be sure you have never come into his love : that curse 
rests upon you, " If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let 
him be Anathema maranatha." 

2. We love our brother also. If you love an absent person you 
will love their picture. What is that the sailor's wife keeps so 
closely wrapped in a napkin, laid up in her best drawer among 
sweet smelling flowers ? She takes it out morning and evening, 
and gazes at it through her tears. It is the picture of her absent 
husband. She loves it because it is like him. It has many imper- 
fections, but still it is like. Believers are the pictures of God in 
this world. The spirit of Christ dwells in them. They walk as 
he walked. True, they are full of imperfections ; still they are 
true copies. If you love him, you will love them. You will 
make them your bosom friends. 

Are there none of you that dislike real Christians ? You do not 
like their look, their ways, their speech, their prayers. You call 
them hypocrites, and keep away from them. Do you know the 
reason ? You hate the copy, because you hate the original ; vou 
hate Christ, and are none of his. 

St. Peter's, 1840. 



ACTION SERMON. October 25, 1840. 

" But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Chrift, bj 
whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Gal. vi., 14. 

Doctrine Glorying in the Cross. 

I. The subject here spoken of by Paul. The Cross of Christ. 
This word is used in three different senses in the Bible. It is 
important to distinguish them. 

1. It is used to signify the wooden cross ; the tree upon which 
the Lord Jesus was cruciried. The punishment of the cross was 
a Roman invention. It was made use of only in the case of 
slaves, or very notorious malefactors. The cross was made of 
two beams of wood crossing each other. It was laid on the 
ground and the criminal stretched upon it. A nail was driven 
through each hand, and one nail through both the feet. It was 
then lifted upright, and let fall into a hole, where it was wedged 
in. The crucified man was then left to die, hanging by his hands 
and feet. This was the death to which Jesus stooped. " He 
endured the cross, despising the shame." " He became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the cross." Matt, xxvii., 40, 42 ; 
Mark xv., 30, 32; Luke xxiii., 26; John xix., 17, 19, 25, 31; 
Eph. ii., 16. 

2. It is used to signify the way of salvation by Jesus Christ 
crucified. So 1 Cor. i., 18, " The preaching of the Cross is to 
them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved it is the 
power of God ;" compared with verse 23, " We preach Christ 
crucified," &c. Here it is plain the preaching of the Cross and 
the preaching of Christ crucified are the same thing. This is the 
meaning in the* passage before us, " God forbid that I should 
glory, &c." It is the name given to the whole plan of salvation 
by a crucified Redeemer. That little word implies the whole 
glorious work of Christ for us. It implies the love of God in giv- 
ing his Son (John iii., 16) ; the love of Christ in giving himself 
(Eph. v., 2) ; the incarnation of the Son of God ; his substitution, 
one for many ; his atoning sufferings and death. The whole work 
of Christ is included in that little word, the Cross of Christ. And 
the reason is plain ; his dying on the cross was the lowest point 
of his humiliation. It was there he cried, It is finished ; the work 
of my obedience is finished ! my sufferings are finished ; the work 
of redemption is complete ; the wrath of my people is finished ; 
and he bowed the head and gave up the ghost. Hence his whole 
finished work is called the Cross of Christ. 

3. It is used to signify the sufferings borne in following Christ. 


" If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take 
up his cross and follow me," Matt, xvi., 24. When a man deter- 
mines to follow Christ, he must give up his sinful pleasures, his 
sinful companions ; he meets with scorn, ridicule, contempt, 
hatred ; the persecution of early friends ; his name is cast out as 
evil. " He that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer perse- 
cution." Now, to meet all these is " to take up the cross." " He 
that taketh not up his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy 
of me." 

In the passage before us the words are used in the second 
meaning ; the plan of salvation by a crucified Saviour. 

Dear friends, it is this that is set before you in the broken 
bread and poured out wine ; the whole work of Christ for the sal- 
vation of sinners. The love and grace of the Lord Jesus are all 
gathered into a focus there. The love of the Father ; the cove- 
nant with the Son ; the love of Jesus ; his incarnation, obedience, 
death ; all are set before you in that broken bread and wine. It 
is a sweet, silent sermon. Many a sermon contains not Christ 
from beginning to end. Many show him doubtfully and imper- 
fectly. But here is nothing else but Christ and him crucified. 
Most rich and speaking ordinance ! Pray that the very sight of 
that broken bread may break your hearts, and make them flow to 
the Lamb of God. Pray for conversions from the sight of the 
broken bread and poured out wine. Look attentively, dear souls 
and little children, when the bread is broken and the wine poured 
out. It is a heart-affecting sight. May the Holy Spirit bless it. 
Dear believers, look you attentively, to get deeper, fuller views of 
the way of pardon and holiness. A look from the eye of Christ to 
Peter broke and melted his proud heart ; he went out and wept 
bitterly. Pray that a single look of that broken bread may do the 
same for you. When the Roman centurion, that watched beside 
the cross of Jesus, saw him die, arid the rocks rend, he cried out, 
Truly this was the Son of God ! Look at this broken bread, and 
you will see the same thing, and may your heart *>e made to cry 
after the Lord Jesus. When the dying thief IOOKC I on the pale 
face of Irnmanuel, and saw the holy majesty that beamed from his 
dying eye, he cried, Lord, remember me ! This broken bread 
reveals the same thing. May the same grace be given you, and 
may you breathe the cry, Lord remember me ! 

O get ripening views of Christ, dear believers. The corn in 
harvest sometimes ripens more in one day than in weeks before. 
So some Christians gain more grace in one day than for months 
before. Pray that this may be a ripening harvest day in your 

II. Pants feelings towards the Cross of Christ : " God forbid" 

1. It is implied that he had utterly forsaken the way of right- 


cousness by deeds of the law. Every natural man seeks salvation 
by making himself better in the sight of God. He tries to mend 
his life ; he puts a bridle on his tongue ; he tries to command his 
feelings and thoughts, all to make himself better in the sight of 
God. Or he goes further ; tries to cover h's past sins by religious 
observances ; he becomes a religious man ; prays, weeps, reads, 
attends sacraments, is deeply occupied in religion, and tries to get 
it into his heart, all to make himself appear good in the eye of 
God, that he may lay God under debt to pardon and love him. 
Paul tried this plan for long. He was a Pharisee, touching the 
righteousness in the law blameless ; he lived an outwardly blame- 
less life, and was highly thought of as a most religious man. 
" But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss Tor Christ." 
When it pleased God to open his eyes, he gave up this way of 
self- righteousness for ever and ever; he had no more any peace 
from looking in : " we have no confidence in the flesh ;" he bade 
farewell for ever to that way of seeking peace. Nay, he trampled 
it under his feet. " I do count them but dung that I may win 
Christ. Oh ! it is a glorious thing when a man is brought to tram- 
ple under feet his own righteousness ; it is the hardest thing in 
the world. 

2. He betook himself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul got 
such a view of the glory, brightness, and excellency of the way 
of salvation by Jesus, that it filled his whole heart. All other 
things sunk into littleness. Every mountain and hill was brought 
low, the crooked was made straight, the rough places smooth, and 
the glory of the Lord was revealed. As the rising sun makes all 
the stars disappear, so the rising of Christ upon his soul made 
everything else disappear. Jesus suffering for us filled his eye ; 
filled his heart. He saw, believed, and was happy. Christ for us, 
answered all his need. From the Cross of Christ a ray of heavenly 
light flamed to his soul, filling him with light and joy unspeakable. 
He felt that God was glorified, and he was saved ; he cleaved to 
the Lord with full purpose of heart. Like Edwards, " I was un- 
speakably pleased." 

3. He gloried in the Cross. He confessed Christ before men ; 
he was not ashamed of Christ before that adulterous generation ; 
he gloried that this was his way of pardon, peace, and holiness 
Ah ! what a change ! once he blasphemed the name of Jesus, and 
persecuted to the death those that called on his name ; now it is 
all his boast, " Straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, 
that h^ is the Son of God." Once he gloried in his blameless 
life when he was among Pharisees ; now he glories in this, that 
he is the chief of sinners, but that Christ died for such as he. Once 
he gloried in his learning, when he sat at the feet of Gamaliel; 
DOW he glories in being reckoned a fool for Christ's sake, in being 
a little child led by the hand of Jesus. At the Lord's table, among 
his friends, in heathen cities, at Athens, at Rome, among the wise 


or unwise, before kings and princes, he glories in it as the only 
thing worthy of being known ; the way of salvation by Jesua 
Christ and him crucified. 

Dear friends, have you been brought to glory only in the Cross 
of Christ? 

1. Have you given over the old way of salvation by the deeds 
of the law ? Your natural heart is set upon that way. You are 
always for making yourself better and better till you can lay God 
under obligation to pardon you. You are always for looking in 
for righteousness. You are looking in at your convictions, and 
sorrow for past sins, your tears and anxious prayers ; or you are 
looking in at your amendment, forsaking of wicked courses, and 
struggles after a new life ; or you are looking at your own religious 
exercises, your fervency, and enlarged heart in prayer or in the 
house of God ; or you are looking at the work of the Holy Spirit 
in you, the graces of the spirit. Alas ! alas ! The bed is shorter than 
that you can stretch yourself on it, the covering is narrower than 
that you can wrap yourself in it. Despair of pardon in that way. 
Give it up for ever. Your heart is desperately wicked. Every 
righteousness in which your heart has anything to do is vile and 
polluted, and cannot appear in his sight. Count it all loss, filthy 
r;igs, dung, that you may win Christ. 

2. Betake yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe the love 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. He delighteth in mercy ; he is ready 
to forgive ; in him compassions flow ; he justifies the ungodly. 
Have you seen the glory of the cross of Jesus? Has it attracted 
your heart ? Do you feel unspeakably pleased with that way of 
salvation ? Do you see that God is glorified when you are saved ? 
that God is a God of majesty, truth, unsullied holiness, and inflexi- 
ble justice, and yet you are justified ? Does the cross of Christ fill 
your heart ? Does it make a great calm in your soul, a heavenly 
rest ? Do you love that word, " the righteousness of God;" ' the 
righteousness which is by faith," the righteousness without works ? 
Do you sit within sight of the cross ? Does your soul rest there ? 

3. Glory only in the Cross of Christ. Observe, there cannot be 
a secret Christian. Grace is like ointment hid in the hand, it be- 
wrayeth itself. A lively Christian cannot keep silence. It you 
truly feel the sweetness of the Cross of Christ, you will be con- 
strained to confess Christ before men. " It is like the boet wine, 
that goeth down sweetly, causing lips to speak." Do you confess 
him in your family ? Do you make it known there that you are 
Christ's ? Remember, you must be decided in your own house. 
It is the mark of a hypocrite to be a Christian everywhere except 
at home. Among your companions, do you own him a friend 
whom you have found ? In the shop and in the market, arc you 
willing to be known as a man washed in the blood of the lamb ? 
Do you long that all your dealings be under the sweet rules of the 
gospel ? Come then to the Lord's Table and confess him that hat 


saved your soul. Oh ! grant that it may be a true, free, and full 
confession. This is my sweet food, my lamb, my righteousness, 
my Lord and my God, my all in all. " God forbid that I should 
glory save in the cross." Once you gloried in riches, friends, 
lame, sin ; now in a crucified Jesus. 

III. The effects. " The world is crucified to me, and I unto the 
world." " If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature," &c. 
When the blind beggar of Jericho got his eyes opened by the 
Lord, this world was all changed to him, and he to the world. So 
it was with Paul ; no sooner did he rise from his knees, with the 
peace of Jesus in his heart, than the world got its death-blow in 
his eyes. As he hurried over the smooth stones of the streets of 
Damascus, or looked down from the flat roof of his house upon the 
lovely gardens on the banks of the Abana, the world and all its 
dazzling show seemed to his eye a poor, shrivelled, crucified thing. 
Once it was his all. Once its soft and slippery flatteries were 
pleasant as music to his ear. Riches, beauty, pleasure, all that 
the natural eye admires, his heart was once set upon ; but the 
moment he believed on Jesus all these began to die. True, they 
were not dead, but they were nailed to a cross. They no more 
had that living attraction for them they once had ; and now every 
day they began to lose their power. As a dying man on the cross 
grows weaker every moment, while his heart's blood trickles from 
the deep gashes in his hands and feet, so the world, that was once 
his all, began to lose every moment its attractive power. He 
tasted so much sweetness in Christ, in pardon, access to God, the 
smile of God, the indwelling spirit, that the world became every 
day a more tasteless world to him. 

Another effect was, " / to the world." As Paul laid his hand 
upon his own bosom he felt that it also was changed. Once it 
was as a mettled race-horse that paces the ground and cannot be 
bridled in ; once it was like the fox-hounds on the scent impatient 
of the leash ; his heart thus rushed after fame, honor, worldly 
praise ; but now it was nailed to the cross, a broken, contrite 
heart. True, it was not dead. Many a fitful start his old nature 
gave that drove him to his knees and made him cry for grace to 
help ; bijt still, the more he looked to the cross of Jesus, the more 
his old heart began to die. Every, day he felt less desire for sin ; 
more desire for Christ, and God, and perfect holiness. 

Some may discover that they have never come to Christ. Has 
the world been crucified to you ? Once it was your all; its praise, its 
riches, its songs, and merry-makings ? Has it been nailed to the 
cross in your sight ? Oh ! put your hand on your heart. Has it lost 
its burning desire after earthly things ? They that are Christ's have 
crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. Do you feel that 
Jesus has put the nails through your lusts ? Do you wish they 
were dead ? What answer can you make, sons and daughters of 


pleasure, to whom the dance, and song, and the glass, and witty 
repartee, are the sum of happiness ? Ye are none of Christ's. 
What answer can you make, lovers of money, sordid money- 
makers, who had rather have a few more sovereigns than the 
grace of God in your heart ? What answer can you make, flesh- 
pleasers, night-walkers, lovers of darkness ? Ye are not Christ's. 
Ye have not come to Christ. The world is all alive to you, and 
you are living to the world. You cannot glory in the cross, and 
love the world. Ah ! poor deluded souls, you have never seen 
the glory of the way of pardon by Jesus. Go on ; love the world ; 
grasp every pleasure ; gather heaps of money ; feed and farten on 
your lusts ; take your fill. What will it profit you when you lose 
your own soul ? 

Some are saying, O that the world was crucified to me and I 
to the world ! O that my heart were as dead as a stone to the world, 
and alive 1o Jesus ! Do you truly wish it? Look, then, to the 
cross. Behold the amazing gift of love. Salvation is promised to 
a look. Sit down like Mary, and 'gaze upon a crucified Jesus. 
So will the world become a dim and dying thing. When you 
gaze upon the sun, it makes everything else dark ; when you 
taste honey, it makes everything else tasteless ; so when your 
soul feeds on Jesus, it takes away the sweetness of all earthly 
things ; praise, pleasure, fleshly lusts, all lose their sweetness. 
Keep a continued gaze. Run, looking unto Jesus. Look, till the 
way of salvation by Jesus fills up the whole horizon, so glorious and 
peace-speaking. So will the world be crucified to you, and you 
unto the world. 


" Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God ? 
shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old ? Will 
the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of 
oil ? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for 
the sin of my soul ? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good ; and what doth 
the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly 
with thy God .'" Micah vi , 6 8 

Doctrine. The good way of coming before the Lord. 

The question of an awakened soul. " Wherewith shall I come 
before the Lord ?" An unawakened man never puts that question. 
A natural man has no desire to come before God, or to bow him- 
self before the high God. He does not like to think of God. He 
would rather think of any other subject. He easily forgets what 
he is told about God. A natural man has no memqry for divine 



things, because he has no heart for them. He has no desire to 
come before God in prayer. There is nothing a natural man 
hates more than prayer. He would far rather spend half an hour 
cvciy morning in bodily exercise or in hard labor, than in the 
presence of God. He has no desire to come before God when he 
dies. lie knows that he must appear before God, but it gives him 
no joy. He had rather sink into nothing ; he had rather never see 
the face of God. Ah! my friends, is this your condition? How 
surely you may know that you have " the carnal mind which is 
enmity against God." You are Pharaoh ; " Who is the Lord 
that 1 should obey him ?" You say to God, " Depart from me, for 
I desire not the knowledge of thy ways." What an awful state it 
is to be in to have no desire after him who is the fountain of living 
waters ! 

I. Here is the piercing question of every awakened soul. 

1. An awakened soul feels that his chief happiness is in coming 
before God. This was unfaUen Adam's happiness. He felt like 
a child under a loving father's eye. It was his chief joy to come 
before God, to be loved by him, to be like a mote in the sunbeam, 
to be continually basked in the sunshine of his love, no cloud "or 
veil coming between. This is the joy of holy angels, to come 
before the Lord, and bow before the high God. In his presence 
is fulness of joy. "The angels do always behold the face of my 
Father." On whatever errand of love they fly, they still feel that 
his eye of love is on them ; this is their daily, hourly joy. This is 
the true happiness of a believer. Hear David (Psalm xlii.), "As 
the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after 
thee, O God : my soul thirsteth for God, for the living God : when 
shall I come and appear before God ?" He panted not after the 
gifts of God, not his favors or comforts, but after himself. A 
believer longs after God, to come into his presence, to feel his 
love, to feel near to him in secret, to feel in the crowd that 
he is nearer than all the creatures. Ah ! dear brethren, have 
you ever tasted this blessedness ? There is greater rest and 
solace to be found in the presence of God for one hour than 
in an eternity of the presence of man. To be in his presence, 
under his love, under his eye, is heaven wherever it be. God 
can make you happy in any circumstances. Without him no- 
thing can. 

2. An awakened soul feels difficulties in the way. " Where- 
with," &c. There are two great difficulties. 

1st, The nature of the sinner. " Wherewith shall I," &c. 
When God really awakens a soul, he shows the vileness and 
hatefulness of himself. He directs the eye within. He shows 
him that every imagination of his heart has been only evil con- 
tinually : that every member of his body he has used in the 
ervice of sin ; that he has treated Christ in a shameful man- 


ner ; that he has sinned both against law and love ; thht he 
has kept the door of his heart harred against the Lord Jesus, till 
his head was filled with dew, and his locks with the drops of 
the night. O brethren, if God has ever discovered yourself to you, 
you would wonder that such a lump of hell and sin should have 
been permitted to breathe so long ; that God should have had 
patience with you till this day. Your cry will be, " Wherewith 
shall I come before the Lord ?" Though all the world should 
come before him, how can I ? 

2d, The nature of God." The high God." When God really 
awakens a soul, he generally reveals to him something of his own 
holiness and majesty. Thus he dealt with Isaiah (vi.), " I saw 
the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and his train 
filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim ; one cried to 
another, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is 
filled with his glory. Then said I, Woe is me, for I am undone." 
When Isaiah saw that God was so great a God, and so holy, 
he felt himself undone. He felt that he could not stand in the pre- 
sence of so great a God. O brethren ! have you ever had a disco- 
very of the highness and holiness of God, so as to lay you low at 
his feet ? O pray for such a discovery of God as Job had, " I 
have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine 
eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust 
and ashes." Alas ! I fear that most of you will never know 
that God with whom you have to do, till you stand guilty and 
speechless before his great white throne. O that you would 
pray for a discovery of him now, that you may cry, " Where- 
with shall 1 come before the Lord, and bow myself before the 
high God !" 

3d, The anxiety of the awakened soul leads to the question, 
" Wherewith ?" Ah ! it is a piercing question. It is the ques- 
tion of one who has been made to feel that " one thing is 
needful." Anything he has he would give up to get peace with 
Goa. If he had a thousand rams, or ten thousand rivers of 
oil, he would gladly give them. If the life of his children, the 
dearest objects on this earth, would attain it, he would give 
them up. If he had a thousand worlds, he would give all 
for an interest in Christ. Woe to you that are at ease in 
Zion. Woe to those of you that never asked this question, 
Wherewith shall I come before the Lord ? Ah ! foolish triflers 
with eternal things ! Poor butterflies, that flutter on from flower 
to flower, and consider not the dark eternity that is before you ! 
Prepare to meet thy God. O Israel ! Ye are hastening on to 
death and judgment, yet never ask. What garment shall cover 
me when I stand before the great white throne? If you were 
going to appear before an earthly monarch, you would ask before- 
hand, Wherewith shall I be attired ? If you were to be tried at 
an earthly bar, you would make sure of an advocate. How is it 


you press on so swiftly to the bar of God, and never ask the 
question, Wherewith shall I appear? " If the righteous scarcely 
are saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ?" 

II. The answer of peace to the awakened soul. " He hath 
showed thce, O man, what is good." Nothing that man can bring 
with him will justify him before God. The natural heart is 
a-lways striving to bring something to be a robe of righteous- 
ness before God. There is nothing a man would not do, no- 
thing he would not suffer, if he might only cover himself before 
God. Tears, prayers, duties, reformations, devotions the heart 
will do anything to be righteous before God. But all this right- 
eousness is filthy rags. For, 

1. The heart remains an awful depth of corruption. Every- 
thing in which that heart has any share is polluted and vile. 
These very tears and prayers would need to be washed. 

2. Supposing this righteousness perfect, it cannot cover the 
past. It answers only for the time in which it was done. Old 
sins, and the sins of youth, still remain uncovered. 

Oh ! dear brethren, if Jesus is to justify you, he must do as he 
did to Joshua (Zech. t iii., 4), " Take away the filthy garments 
from him ;" and, " I will clothe thee with change of raiment.'* 
The hand of Jesus alone can take off your filthy garments. 
The hand of Jesus alone can clothe you with change of raiment. 

Christ is the good way. " He hath showed thee," &c. " Stand 
ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths where is the 
good way, and walk therein, and ye shalf find rest for your souls." 
Christ is the good way to the Father. 1. Because he is so suit- 
able. He just answers the case of the sinner ; for every sin of 
the sinner he has a wound, for every nakedness he has a cover- 
ing, for every emptiness he has a supply. There is no fear but 
he will receive the sinner, for he came into the world on purpose 
to save sinners. There is no far but the Father will be well 
pleased with us in him, for the Father sent him, laid our iniquity 
upon him, raised him from the dead, and points you to him. " He 
hath showed thee, O man, what is good." 2. He is so free. 
" As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by 
the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." As far as 
the curse by Adam extends, so far does the offer of pardon by 
Jesus extend. Here is good news to the vilest of men. You may be 
covered just as completely and as freely as those that have never 
sinned as you have done. " He hath snowed thee, O man, what 
is good." 3. He is so God-glorifying. All other ways of salva- 
tion are man-glorifying, but this way is God-glorifying ; therefore, 
it is good. That way is good and best which gives the glory to 
the Lamb. The way of righteousness by Jesus is good, on this 
account, that Jesus gets all the praise. To him be glory. It is 
of faith that it might be by grace. If a man could justify him- 


self, or if he could believe of himself and draw the righteousness 
of Christ over his soul, that man would glory. But when a man 
lies dead at the foot of Jesus, and Jesus spreads his white robe 
orer him, out of free sovereign mercy, then Jesus gets all the 

Have you chosen the good way of being justified ? This is 
the way which God has been showing from the foundation of the 
world. He showed it in Abel's lamb, and in all the sacrifices, and 
by all the prophets. He shows it by his spirit to the heart. Has 
this good way been revealed to you? If it has, you will count 
all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of it. 
Oh, sweet, divine way of justifying a sinner ! Oh, that all the 
world but knew it ! Oh, that we saw more of it ! Oh, that you 
could make use of it ! " Walk therein and ye shall find rest unto 
your souls." 

III. God's requirement of the justified. When Jesus healed the 
impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, he said to him, " Behold 
thou art made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing happen 
unto thee." And again, when he covered the sin of the adul- 
teress, John viii., he said, " Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin 
no more." So here, when he shows the good way of righteous- 
ness, he adds, " And what doth the Lord require of thee ?" 

1. God requires his redeemed ones to be holy. If you are his 
brethren, he will have you righteous, holy men. 

1st, He requires that you do justly, to be just in your dealings 
between man and man. This is one of his own glorious features. 
He is a just God. " Shall not the judge of all the earth do right ?" 
" He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." Are 
you come to him by Jesus? he requires you to reflect his image. 
Are you his child ? you must be like him. O brethren, be exact 
in your dealings. Be like your God. Take care of dishonesty ; 
take care of trickery in business. Take care of crying up your 
goods when selling them, and crying them down when buying them. 
" It is naught, it is naught, sayeth the buyer, but when he is gone 
his way he boasteth." It shall not be so among you. God re- 
quires you to do justly. 

2</, He requires you to love mercy. This is the brightest fea- 
ture in the character of Christ. If you are in Christ, drink deep 
of his spirit ; God requires you to be merciful. The world is seli- 
ish, unmerciful. An unconverted mother has no mercy on the 
soul of her own child. She can see it dropping into hell without 
mercy. O the hellish cruelty of unconverted men. It shall not 
be so with you. Be merciful, as your father in heaven is merciful. 

3d, He requires you to walk humbly with thy God. Christ 
gays, " Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart." If God 
has covered all your black sins, rebellions, backslidings, out- 
breakings, then never open your mouth except in humble praise. 


God requires this at your hand. Walk with God, and walk burn, 

2. Remember tins is God's end in justifying you. He loved tho 
Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse 
it. This was his great end, to raise up a peculiar people to serve 
him, and bear his likeness, in this world and in eternity. For this 
he left heaven ; for this he groaned, bled, died, to make you holy. 
If you are not made holy, Christ died in vain for you. 

3. Whatever he requires, he gives grace to perform. Christ is 
not only good as our way to the Father, but he is our fountain of 
living waters. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 
There is enough in Christ to supply the need of all his people. 
An old minister says, a child can carry little water from the sea 
in its two hands, and so it is little we get out of Christ. There 
are unsearchable riches in him. 

Be strong m the grace that is in him. Live out of yourself, 
and live upon him. Go and tell him, that since he requires all 
this of thee, he must give thee grace according to your need. 
My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory 
by Christ Jesus. He hath showed you one that is good, even the 
fair Immanuel ; now lean upon him, get life from him that shall 
never die, get living water from him that shall never dry up. Let 
his hand hold you up amid the billows of this tempestuous sea; 
let his shoulder carry you over the thorns of this wilderness. Look 
as much to him for sanctification as for justification. 

So will your walk be close with God, 

Calm and serene your frame ; 
So purer light shall mark the road 

That leads you to the Lamb. 


" For I delight in the law of God after the inward man ;'but I see another law in 
my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity 
to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am ! who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death ? I thank God through Jesus Christ 
our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the 
fiesh the law of sin." Rom. vii., 22-25. 

A BELIEVER is to be known, not only by his peace and joy, but 
by his warfare and distress. His peace is peculiar : it flows 
from Christ ; it is heavenly, it is holy peace. His warfare is as 
peculiar ; it is deep-seated, agonizing, and ceases not till det^h. 
If the Lord will, many of us have the prospect of sitting down 
next Sabbath at the Lord's Table. The great question to be an- 
swered before sitting down there is, Have I "fled to Christ or no ? 


'Tis a point I long to know, 

Oft it causes anxious thought, 
Do I love the Lord or no ? 

Am I his, or am I not ? 

To help you to settle this question, I have chosen the subject of 
the Christian's warfare, that you may know thereby whether you 
are a soldier of Christ whether you are really fighting the good 
Eght of faith. 

I. A believer delights in the law of God. Verse 22, "I delight 
in the law of God after the inward man." ' 

1. Before a man comes to Christ, he hates the law of God, his 
whole soul rises up against it ; viii. 7, " The carnal mind is enmi- 
ty," &c. (1.) Unconverted men hate the law of God on account 
of its purity : " Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant 
loveth it." For the same reason worldly men hate it. The law is 
the breathing of God's pure and holy mind. It is infinitely op- 
posed to all impurity and sin. Every line of the law is against 
sin. But natural men love sin, and therefore they hate the law, 
because it opposes them in all they love. As bats hate the light, 
and fly against it, so unconverted men hate the pure light of God's 
law, and fly against it. (2.) They hate it for its breadth. " Thy 
commandment is exceeding broad." It extends to all their out- 
ward actions, seen and unseen ; it extends to every idle word that 
men shall speak ; it extends to the looks of their eye ; it dives 
into the deepest caves of their heart ; it condemns the most secret 
springs of sin and lust that nestle there. Unconverted men quar- 
rel with the law of God because of its strictness. If it extended 
only to my outward actions, then I could bear with it ; but it con- 
demns my most secret thoughts and desires, which I cannot pre- 
vent. Therefore ungodly men rise against the law. (3.) They 
hate it for its unchangeableness. Heaven and earth shall pass 
away, but one jot or one tittle of the law shall in nowise pass 
away. If the law would change, or let down its requirements, or 
die, then ungodly men would be well pleased. But it is unchange- 
able as God : it is written on the heart of God, with whom is no 
variableness nor shadow of turning. It cannot change unless God 
change ; it cannot die unless God die. Even in an eternal hell its 
demands and its curses will be the same. It is an unchangeable 
law, for He is an unchangeable God. Therefore ungodly men 
have unchangeable hatred to that holy law. 

2. When a man comes to Christ, this is all changed. He can 
say, " 1 delight in the law of God after the inward man." Ho 
can say with David, "O how I love thy law : it is my meditation 
all the day." He can say with Jesus, in the 40th. Psalrn, " I 
delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within mv 

There are two reasons for this : 


1st, The law is no longer an enemy. If any of you who are 
trembling under a sense of your infinite sins, and the curses of the 
law which you have broken, flee to Christ, you will find rest. You 
will find that he lias fully answered the demands of the law as a 
surety for sinners that he has fully borne all its curses. Yon 
will be able to say, " Christ hath redeemed me from the curse of 
the law, being made a curse for me, as it is written, * Cursed,' " &c. 
You have no more to fear, then, from that awfully holy law : you 
are not under the law, but under grace. You have no more to 
fear from the law than you will have after the Judgment Day. 
Imagine a saved soul after the Judgment Day. When that awful 
scene is past ; when the dead, small and great, have stood before 
that great white throne ; when the sentence of eternal woe has 
fallen upon all the unconverted, and they have sunk into the lake 
whose fires can never be quenched ; would not that redeemed 
soul say, I have nothing to fear from that holy law ; I have seen 
its vials poured out, but not a drop has fallen on me? So may 
you say now, O believer in Jesus. When you look upon the soul 
of Christ, scarred with God's thunderbolts ; when you look upon 
his body, pierced for sin, you can say, He was made a curse for 
me ; why should I fear that holy law ? 

2d, The Spirit of God writes the law on the heart. This is the 
promise ( Jef. xxxi., 33), " After those days, saith the Lord, I will 
put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and 
will be their God, and they shall be my people." Coming to Christ 
takes away your fear of the law, but it is the Holy Spirit coming 
into your heart that makes you love the law. The Holy Spirit is 
no more frightened away from that heart ; he comes and softens 
it ; he takes out the stony heart and puts in a heart of flesh ; and 
there he writes the holy, holy, holy law of God. Then the law 
of God is sweet to that soul ; he has an inward delight in it. " The 
law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." 
Now he unfeignedly desires every thought, word and action, to be 
according to that law. "Othat my ways were directed to keep 
thy statutes : great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing 
shall ofiend them." The 119th Psalm becomes the breathing of 
that new heart. Now also he would fain see all the world sub- 
mitting to that pure and holy law. " Rivers of waters run down 
mine eyes because they keep not thy law." O that all the world 
but knew that holiness and happiness are one ! O that all the 
world were one holy family, joyfully coming under the pure rules 
of the Gospel! Try yourselves by this. Can you say, "I de- 
light," &c. ? Do you remember when you hated the law of God ? 
Do you love it now? Do you long for the time when you shall 
live fully under it holy as God is holy, pure as Christ is pure? 

O corne, sinners, and give up your hearts to Christ, that he may 
write on it his holy law ! You have long enough had the devil's 
law graven on your hearts : come you to Jesus, and he will both 


shelter you from the curses of the law, and he will give you the 
Spirit to write all that law in your heart ; he will make you love 
it with your inmost soul. Plead the promise with him. * Surely 
you have tried the pleasures of sin long enough. Come now, and 
try the pleasures of holiness out of a new heart. 

If you die with your heart as it is, it will be stamped a wicked 
heart to all eternity. " He that is unjust, let him be unjust still ; 
and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still," Rev. xxii., 11. O come 
and get the new heart before you die ; for except you be born 
again you cannot see the kingdom of God ! 

II. A true believer feels an opposing law in his members. 
Verse 23, " I see another law," &c. When a sinner comes first 
to Christ, he often thinks he will now bid an eternal farewell to 
sin : now I shall never sin any more. He feels already at the gate 
of heaven. A little breath of temptation soon discovers his heart, 
and he cries out, " / see another law." 

1. Observe what he calls it, " another law ;" quite a different 
law from the law of God, a law clean contrary to it. Verse 25, 
he calls it a " law of sin" a law that commands him to commit sin 
that urges him on by rewards and threatenings : viii., 2, " A law 

of sin and death" a law which not only leads to sin, but leads to 
death, eternal death : "the wages of sin is death." It is the same 
law which in Galatians is called " thejlesh" Gal. v., 17, " The 
flesh lusteth against the spirit," &c. It is the same which, in 
Eph. iv., 22, is called " the old man" which is wrought according 
to the deceitful lusts. The same law which, in Col. iii., is called 
" your members" " mortify, therefore, your members, which are," 
&c. The same which is called (v. 24) " a body of death." The 
truth then is, that in the heart of the believer there remains the 
whole members and body of an old man, or old nature : there 
remains the fountain of every sin that has ever polluted the 

2. Observe again what his law is doing " warring." This 
law in the members is not resting quiet, but warring always 
fighting. There never can be peace in the bosom of a believer. 
There is peace with God, but constant war with sin. This law 
in the members has got an army of lusts under him, and he wages 
constant war against the law of God. Sometimes, indeed, an 
arrny are lying in ambush, and they lie quiet till a favorable mo- 
ment comes. So in the heart the lusts often lie quiet till the hour 
of temptation, and they war against the soul. The heart is like 
a volcano ; sometimes it slumbers, and sends up nothing but a 
little smoke ; but the fire is slumbering all the while below, and 
will soon break out again. There are two great combatants in the 
believer's soul. There is Satan on the one side, with the flesh and 
all its lusts at his command ; then, on the other side, there is the 
Holy Spirit, with the new creature all at his command. And so 


" the flesh lustcth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh ; 
and these two are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot 
do the things that ye would." 

Is Satan ever successful ? In the deep wisdom of God the law 
in the members does sometimes bring the soul into captivity. 
Noah was a perfect man, and Noah walked with God, and yet he 
was led captive. " Noah drank of the wine, and was drunken." 
Abraham was " the friend of God," and yet he told a lie, saying 
of Sarah his wife, " She is my sister." Job was a perfect man, 
one that feared God and hated evil, and yet he was provoked to 
curse the day wherein he was born. And so with Moses, and 
David, and Solomon, and Hezekiah, and Peter and the Apostles. 

1. Have you experienced this warfare ? It is a clear mark of 
God's children. Most of you, I fear, have never felt it. Do not 
mistake me. All of you have felt a warfare at times between 
your natural conscience and the law of God. But that is not the 
contest in the believer's bosom. It is a warfare between the Spirit 
of God in the heart, and the old man with his deeds. 

2. If any of you are groaning under this warfare, learn to be 
humbled by it, but not discouraged. 

1st, Be humbled under it. It is intended to make you lie in the 
dust, and feel that you are but a worm. Oh ! what a vile wretch 
you must be, that even after you are forgiven, and have received 
the Holy Spirit, your heart should still be a fountain of every 
wickedness ! How vile, that in your most solemn approaches to 
God in the house of God in awfully affecting situations, such as 
kneeling beside the death bed, you should still have in your 
bosom all the members of your old nature. Let this make you 
lie low. 

2d, Let this teach you your need of Jesus. You need the blood 
of Jesus as much as at the first. You never can stand before God 
in yourself. You must go again and again to be washed ; even 
on your dying bed you must hide under Jehovah, our righteous- 
ness. You must also lean upon Jesus. He alone can overcome 
in you. Keep nearer and nearer every day. 

3d, Be not discouraged. Jesus is willing to be a Saviour to 
such as you He is able to save you to the uttermost. Do you 
think your case is too bad for Christ to save ? Every one whom 
Christ saves had just such a heart as you. Fight the good fight 
of faith ; lay hold on eternal life. Take up the resolution of 
Edwards, " Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my 
fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be" 
" Him that overcometh will I make a pillar," &c. 

III. The feelings of a believer during this warfare. 

1. He feels wretched. Verse 24th, "O wretched man that I 
am '" There is nobody in this world so happy as a believer. He 
has come to Jesus, and found rest. He has the pardon of all his 


sins in Christ. He has near approach to God as a child. He hag 
the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. He has the hope of glory. In 
the most awful times he can be calm, for he feels that God is with 
him. Still there are times when he cries, O wretched man ! 
When he feels the plague of his own heart, when he feels the 
thorn in the flesh, when his wicked heart is discovered in all its 
fearful malignity, A h, then he lies down, crying, O wretched man 
that I am ! One reason of this wretchedness is, that sin discover- 
ed in the heart takes away the sense of forgiveness. Guilt comes 
upon the conscience, and a dark cloud covers the soul. How can 
I ever go back to Christ ? he cries. Alas ! I have sinned away 
my Saviour. Another reason is, the loathsomeness of sin. It is 
felt like a viper in the heart. A natural man is often miserable 
from his sin, but he never feels its loathsomeness ; but to the new 
creature it is vile indeed. Ah ! brethren, do you know anything 
of a believer's wretchedness ? If you do not, you will never 
know his joy. If you know not a believers tears and groans, you 
will never know his song of victory. 

2. He seeks deliverance. " Who shall deliver me ?" In ancient 
times, some of the tyrants used to chain their prisoners to a dead 
body ; so that, wherever the prisoner wandered, he had to drag a 
putrid carcass after him. It is believed that Paul here alludes to 
this inhuman practice. His old man he felt a noisome, putrid 
carcass, which he was continually dragging about with him. His 
piercing desire is to be freed from it. Who shall deliver us ? 
You remember once, when God allowed a thorn in the flesh to 
torment his servant a messenger of Satan to buffet him Paul 
was driven to his knees. " I besought the Lord thrice; that it 
might depart from me." O this is the true mark of God's children ! 
Th<i world have an old nature ; they are all old men together. 
But it does not drive them to their knees. How is it with you, 
dear souls ? Does corruption felt within drive you to the throne 
of grace ? Does it make you call on the name of the Lord ? 
Does it make you like the importunate widow, " Avenge me of 
mine adversary 1 Does it make you like the man coming at mid- 
night for three loaves ? Does it make you like the Canaanitish 
woman, crying after Jesus ? Ah, remember, if lust can work in 
your heart, and you lie down contented with it, you are none of 
Chnst's ! 

3. He gives thanks for victory. Truly we are more than con- 
querors through him that loved us ; for we can give thanks before 
the fight is done. Yes, even in the thickest of the battle we can 
look up to Jesus, and cry, Thanks to God. The moment a soul, 
groaning under corruption, rest* the eye on Jesus, that moment 
his groans are changed into songs of praise. In Jesus you dis- 
cover a fountain to wash away the guilt of all your sin. In Jesus 
you discover grace sufficient for you, grace to hold you up to the 
end, and a sure promise that sin shall soon be rooted out alto- 


gether. " Fear not, I have redeemed thee. I have called thta 
by my name ; thou art mine." Ah, this turns our groans into 
songs of praise ! How often a psalm begins with groans, and ends 
with praises ! This is the daily experience of all the Lord's 
people. Is it yours ? Try yourselves by this. O if you know 
not the believer's songs of praise, you will never cast your crowns 
with them at the feet of Jesus ! Dear believers, be content to 
glory in your infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon 
you. Glory, glory, glory to the Lamb ! 



" The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : a broken and a contrite heart, God, 
thou wilt not despise." Psalm li., 17. 

No psalm expresses more fully the experience of a penitent believ- 
ing soul : 1st, His humbling confession of sin, verses 3, 4, 5 ; 2d, 
His intense desire for pardon through the blood of Christ, v. 7 ; 
3d, His longing after a clean heart, v. 10 ; 4th, His desire to 
render something to God for all his benefits. 1. He says, I will 
teach transgressors thy ways ; 2. My lips shall show forth thy 
praise ; 3. He will give a broken heart, verses 16, 17. Just as, 
long ago, they used to offer slain lambs in token of thanksgiving, 
so he says he will offer up to God a slain and broken heart. 
Every one of you, who has found the same forgiveness, should 
come to the same resolution offer up to God this day a broken 

I. The natural heart is sound and unbroken. 

The law, the gospel, mercies, afflictions, death, do not break the 
natural heart. It is harder than stone ; there is nothing in the 
universe so hard. Isaiah xlvi., 12, " Ye stout-hearted, that are 
far from righteousness." Zech. i., 11, " We have walked to and 
fro through the earth, and behold all the earth sitteth still, and is at 
rest." Zeph. i., 12, " I will search Jerusalem with candles, and 
punish the men that are settled on their lees." Jer. v., 3, " They 
nave made their faces harder than a rock." Isaiah xxxii., 10, 
" Careless women ;" verse 11, " women that are at ease." 

Why? 1st, The veil is upon their hearts. They do not 
believe the Bible, the strictness of the law, the wrath to come the 
face of a covering is over their eyes. 2d, Satan has possession. 
Satan carries the seed away. 3d, Dead in trespasses and sins. 
The dead hear not, feel not ; they are past feeling. 4th, They 


build a wall of untempered mortar. They hope for safety in some 
refuge of lies that they pray, or give alms. 

Pray God to keep away from you the curse of a dead, unbrokec 
heart. 1st, Because it will not last long you are standing on 
slippery places the waves are below your feet. 2d, Because 
Christ will laugh at your calamity. If you were now concerned 
there is hope. Ministers and Christians are ready, Christ is ready 
but afterwards he will laugh. 

II. The awakened heart is wounded, not broken. 

1. The law makes the first wound. When God is going to save 
a soul, he brings the soul to reflect on his sins. " Cursed is every 
one," &c. " Whatsoever things the law saith," &c. " I was 
alive without the law once," &c. Life and heart appear in awful 

2. The majesty of God makes the next wound. The sinner is 
made sensible of the great and holy being against whom he has 
sinned. " Against thee" Psa. li., 4. 

3. The third wound is from his own helplessness to make himself 
better. Still the heart is not broken ; the heart rises against God. 
1st, Because of the strictness of the law ; 2d, Because faith is 
the only way of salvation, and is the gift of God ; 3d, Because 
God is Sovereign, and may save or not, as he will. This shows 
the unbroken heart. There is no more miserable state than this. 

Learn. It is one thing to be awakened, and another thing to be 
saved. Do not rest in convictions. 

III. The believing heart is a broken heart two ways. 

1 . It is broken from its own righteousness. When the Holy 
Spirit leads a man to the Cross, his heart there breaks from seek- 
ing salvation by his own righteousness. All his burden of per- 
formances and contrivances drops. 1st, The work of Christ 
appears so perfect the wisdom of God and the power of God 
divine righteousness. " I wonder that I should ever think of any 
other way of salvation. If I could have been saved by my own 
duties, my whole soul would now have refused it. I wonder that 
aJl the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation by 
the righteousness of Christ." (Brainard, p. 319.) 2d, The grace 
of Christ appears so wonderful. That all this righteousness 
should be free to such a sinner ! That I so long neglected, 
despised, hated it, put mountains between, and yet that he has 
come over the mountains ! Ezek. xvi., 63, " That thou mayest 
remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any 
more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for 
all that thou hast done." Have you this broken heart broken 
within sight of the Cross ? It is not a look into your own heart, 
or the heart of hell, but into the heart of Christ that breaks the 
heart. Oh, pray fo/ this broken heart! Boasting is excluded 


To him be glory ! Worthy is the Lamb ! All the struggles of a 
self-righteous soul are to put the crown on your own head instead 
of at the feet of Jesus. 

2. Broken from love of sin. When a man believes on 
Christ, he then sees sin to be hateful. 1st, It separated between 
him and God, made the great gulf, and kindled the fires of hell. 
2d. It crucified the Lord of Glory ; weighed down his soul ; made 
him sweat, and bleed, and die. 3d, It is the plague of his heart 
now. All my unhappiness is from my being a sinner. Now he 
mourns sore like a dove, that he should sin against so much love. 
" Then shall ye remember your ways, and nil your doings where- 
in ye have been defiled, and shall ioathe yourselves in your own 

IV. Advantages of a broken heart. 

1. It keeps you from being offended at the preaching of the Cross 
A natural heart is offended every day at the preaching of the 
Cross. Many of you, I have no dout>t, hate it. The preaching 
of another's righteousness that you must have it or perish 
many, I have no doubt, are often enraged at this in their hearts. 
Many, I doubt not, have left this church on account of it, anJ 
many more, I doubt not, will follow. All the offence of the Cross 
is not ceased. But a broken heart cannot be offended. Ministers 
cannot speak too plainly for a broken heart. A broken heart 
would sit for ever to hear of the righteousness without works. 

Many of you are offended when we preach plainly against sin. 
Many were offended last Sabbath. But a broken heart cannot be 
offended, for it hates sin worse than ministers can make it. Many 
are like the worshippers of Baal " Bring forth thy son that he 
may die," Judges vi., 30. But a broken heart loves to see the 
idol stamped upon and beaten small. 

2. A broken heart is at rest. The unconverted heart is like the 
troubled sea " Who wili show us any good ?" It is going from 
creature to creature. The awakened soul is not at rest ; sorrows 
of death, pains of hell, attend those who are forgetting their rest- 
ing-place. But the broken heart says, " Return unto thy rest, O 
my soul." The righteousness of Christ takes away every fear 
" casts out fear." Even the plague of the heart cannot truly dis- 
turb, for he casts his burden on Jesus. 

3. Nothing can happen wrong to it. To the unconverted, how 
dreadful is a sick bed, poverty, death tossed like a wild beast in 
a net ! But a broken heart is satisfied with Christ. This is 
enough he has no ambition for more. Take away all, this re- 
mains. He is a weaned child. 



" The wicked aie estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they b 
born : speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent ; they are 
like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear, which will not hearken to the voice of 
charmers, charming never so wisely." Psalm Iviii., 3-5. 

IT has been supposed by some interpreters that this psalm was 
written as a prophetic description of the unjust judges who con- 
demned our Lord Jesus Christ. 1. It begins by reproving them 
for their unjust judgment. Verse 1, " Do ye indeed," &c. 2. It 
opens up the dark recesses of their heart and history ; verse 3, 
" The wicked are estranged from the womb ;" &c. And 3. It 
shows their coming destruction ; verse 10, " The righteous shall 
rejoice when he seeth the vengeance ; he shall wash his feet in the 
blood of the wicked." However this may be, they were of the same 
nature with us. The Scribes and Pharisees who condemned our 
Lord had hearts of the same kind as ours, so that we may learn 
this day the awful depravity of the heart of man. 

I. Original depravity. Verse 3, " The wicked are estranged 
from the womb." The expression, " from the womb," occurs fre- 
quently in Scripture, and means from the very first period of our 
existence. The angel of the Lord said to the wife of Manoah, 
Judges xiii., 5, " The child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the 
wornb;" that is, from the very first point of existence. God says 
to Jeremiah (i. 5), " Before I formed thee in the belly I knew 
thee ; and before thou comest forth out of the womb I sanctified 
thee ; and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 
was set apart as a prophet before he was born. Paul says, 
Gal. i., 15. " But when it pleased God, who separated me from 
my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son 
in me.' Paul was set apart by God for the work of the ministry 
from the very first. So, in the words before us, it is declared that 
from the very first we are estranged from God. Now, this 
estrangement is twofold. 

1. Of the head. The whole mind is estranged from God. u At 
that time ye were without God." The natural man is ignorant of 
God from the very womb. God is a stranger to him, so that he 
docs not know him. He has no true discovery of God's infinite 
purity, of his immutable justice, and of the strictness of the law. 
lie does not know the love of God, nor haw freely he has provided 
a Saviour. He is mainly ignorant of God. Psalm x. 4, ' God is 
not in all his thoughts." Either he does not turn his mind upon 
God at all, or else he thinks him altogether such an one as himself. 
" There is none that understandeth." Psalm xiv., 2. 

2. Of the heart. A new born child will naturally feel after it* 
mother's breast : it naturally seeks the breast. But it does not in 


the same manner seek after God. " There is none that seeketh 
after God." From the very first we dislike God. A child soon 
comes to relish the presence of its earthly parents, and of other 
children. It does not relish the presence of God. The natural 
tendency of the heart is to go away from God, and to remain out 
of his sight. A natural man does not like the presence of a very 
en>inent saint. If he has full liberty, he will leave the room, and 
seek other company more suited to his taste. This is the very 
way he treats God. God is too holy for him ; he is too pure, and, 
therefore, he does all he can to leave his company. This is the 
reason you cannot get unconverted men to pray in secret. They 
would rather spend half an hour in the tread- mill every morning 
than go to meet God. This is the true condition of every one oi 
you who is now unconverted ; indeed it was the condition of us 
all, but some of you have been brought out of it. From the time 
you were in the womb, till now, your whole head and heart have 
been turned away from God. Gen. viii., 21, "The imagination 
of man's heart is evil from his youth," &c. Job xiv., 4, " Who 
can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, not one ?" Your whole 
nature is totally depraved. You are accustomed to think that 
you have some parts good ; that though some part was depraved, 
yet some part sick, the whole heart is faint. Your whole history 
remained sound ; but learn that the whole head is covered with 
sin. You are accustomed to think that great part of your life has 
been innocent. You admit that some pages of your life are stain- 
ed with crimson and scarlet sins ; some pages you blush to look 
back upon ; but surely you have some fair leaves also. Learn 
that you are " estranged from the womb." Every moment you 
have spent without God, and turning away from God ; every page 
has got this written at the top of it, This day God was not in all 
his thoughts, he did not like to retain God in his knowledge. 
Genesis vi., 5, "Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart 
was only evil continually." 

II. Actual sin ; " They go astray" fyc. There are two paths 
from which every natural man goes astray as soon as born. 

1. The way of God's commandments. This is the pure way of 
light in which holy angels walk. They do his commandments, 
hearkening to the voice of his word, Ps. ciii. It is a pure way, 
having ten paths in which the feet of the upright love to go. 
" Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of 
the Lord." " Make me to go in the path of thy commandments ; 
for therein do I delight." From this we go astray as soon as 
born, speaking lies. One of these paths says, "'Thou shalt not 
bear false witness against thy neighbor ;" but this is one of the very 
first that is forsaken ; speaking lies ; Isaiah liii., 6, " We all like 
sheep have gone astray, turning every one to his own way." 

2. The way of pardon. Jesus saith unto him, " I am the way " 


and again, " Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth 
unto life." The same, Isaiah xxxv., 9, " The redeemed shall walk 
there." From this way also " they go astray as soon as born, 
speaking lies." Life is given to sinners just that they may enter 
upon this way, but they spend it in going further and further 
away. The parable of the lost sheep shows the true state of 
every unconverted soul wandering away from the good shepherd. 
He is seeking to save the lost; you are wandering further nnd 
further away. Romans iii., 12, " They are all gone out of the 
way." " Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way 
of peace have they not known." And oh ! what fearful meaning 
does this give to the declaration " speaking lies !" for it is written, 
1 John ii., 22, " Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the 
Christ?" And again, "He that believeth not God, hath made 
God a liar." No man can go away from Christ without speaking 

Learn, the fearful condition of those of you who are natural men. 
1st, From the day you were born you have gone astray from 
the path of God's commandments. Every year, month, week, 
day, hour, minute, has been filled up with sin. Every day has 
seen you go further from holiness^ further from God. nearer to 
hell. You are treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath. 
Oh ! what a treasure ; keeping up fuel to burn you through eter- 
nity. If any of you live in drinking or swearing, or any one sin, 
you are heaping up fuel for your eternal hell. You are getting 
further on in your sin. You are wreathing your chains more and 
more round you. By a law of human nature, every time you sin, 
the habit becomes stronger, so that you are every day becoming 
more completely like the devil. It is every day more hard to 
turn. Experience shows that most people are converted when 
young. Dear young people, every day you live in sin it will be 
more impossible to turn. " They that seek me early shall find 

2</, From the day you were born you have gone astray from 
Christ. The good shepherd has been seeking you. Every day 
you remain unsaved, you are wandering -iway from him. Every 
day you are getting nearer to hell and further from Christ. Un- 
belief gets stronger every day. 

III. The deadly enmity of natural men to God " Their poison." 
&c. For two reasons : 

1. Because they are the children of the old serpent, the devil. 
All natural men arc the seed of the serpent. See Gen. iii , 15. 
All who oppose and dislike the children of God, do so because 
they are the seed of the serpent, and the poison of the old serpent 
remains in them. John the Baptist calls the Pharisees a genera- 
tion of vipers, Matt, iii., 7, " O generation of vipers." In a still 
more dreadful manner did our blessed Lord, Matt, xxiii., 33, " Ye 



serpents, ye generation of vipers." The Pharisees and Sad 
ducees were not of a diflbrent nature from us ; they had the same 
flesh and blood, and the same wicked heart ; they were children 
of their father, the devil, and the lusts of their father they would 
do: "Their poison was like the poison of a serpent." 

2. Because they have a mortal enmity to God. The poison of 
the serpent is deadly poison. When it darts its envenomed sting 
into a man it seeks to kill him. Such is the cruel venom of the 
natural heart against God. He is a mortal enemy to God's holy 
government. It has been said, " If the throne of God were within 
your reach, and you knew, it would not be safe one hour." He 
is a mortal enemy to the very being of God. Psalm xiv., 1, " The 
fool has said in his heart there is no God." It is in his heart he 
says this ; this is the -secret desire of every unconverted bosom. 
If the breast of God were within the reach of men, it would be 
stabbed a million of times in one moment. When God was mani- 
fest in the flesh, he was altogether lovely ; he did no sin ; he went 
about continually doing good : and yet they took him and hung 
him on a tree ; they mocked him and spit upon him. And this is 
the way men would do with God again. 

Learn 1st, The fearful depravity of your heart. I venture to 
say there is not an unconverted man present who has the most 
distant idea of the monstrous wickedness that is now within his 
breast. Stop till you are in hell, and it will break out unrestrained. 
But still let me tell you what it is ; you have a heart that would 
kill God if you could. If the bosom of God were now within your 
reach, and one blow would rid the universe of God, you have a 
heart fit to do the deed. 2d, The amazing love of Christ ; " While 
we were enemies, Christ died for us." 

IV. Deaf -to the voice of the Gospel. It is a well known fact 
that many kinds of serpents can be tamed by the power of music. 
This is referred to in Ecclesiastes x., 11, and Jeremiah viii., 17. 
Many travellers in Egypt and India have seen tnis. But there is 
said to be one kind of serpent which is either deaf, so that it can- 
not hear the music, or it has the power of making itself deaf for 
the time, so that it is not charmed. So it is w ; th unconverted 

Christ is the great charmer. His voice is like the sound of 
many waters. Never man spake like this man. When Andrew 
and Peter heard it, they left all and followed him ; so did James, 
and John, and Matthew. When the bride hears him, she cries, 
The voice of my beloved ! When the sheep hear his voice, they 
follow him ; when the dead hear his voice, they live ; when the 
heavy laden hear it, they find rest. 

But unconverted men will not hear. They are like Manasseh 
they will not hearken ; they are like the Jews when Stephen 
preached, they stopped their ears and ran. 


Ah, how many of you are doing this very thing, stopping your 
ears ? How many of you stop your ears with the noise of the 
world, its business and care; some with a favorite lust? The 
voice of the great charmer has been often heard in this place, and 
some have heard it and followed him ; and why are you left behind ? 

Learn 1st, The folly of this. He is charming you to bless 
you, to bring you to peace, pardon, holiness. " There is no other 
name given among men whereby you can be saved." 2d, The 
guilt of this. It is the highest sin of all, to refuse him that speak- 
eth from heaven. Heb. xii., 25. It is put last here. It is un- 
pardonable. All manner of sin and blasphemy may be forgiven 
to you, but if you will not hear the voice of Christ you must 
perish. Christ is knocking at your door and saying, " If any man 
hear my voice I will come in." Oh, think of the guilt of letting 
the Son of God stand at your door? Some would fain lay the 
blame orT ihemselves, but God washes himself clear of the unbe- 
liever's guilt. It is you that stop your ear; -ye do always resist 
the Holv *host. You will one day find that he that believeth not 
s\cJ' be !* uned. 


" On ' iraim, what shall I do unto thee ? Judah, what shall I do unto thee ? 
for yW goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away." 
Hiaea vi., 4. 

Doctrine. The impressions of natural men are fading 

In these words, God complains that he did not know what to 
do with Israel, their impressions were so fading. He says, 
verse 5. that he had hewed them by the prophets, and slain them 
by the words of his mouth : and their judgments were as the 
light that goeth forth. At one time he sent them severe awakening 
messages of coming wrath ; then messages of love and grace, as 
bright and as many as the beams of the sun. They were a little 
impressed by them ; the cloud of distress began to gather on 
their brow, the dew of grief seemed to start to their cheek, but it 
soon dried up. It was like the morning cloud and early dew that 
goeth away. So it is with all the unconverted persons in this 
congregation, who will finally perish. God has sent them awak- 
ening messages, hewed them by the prophets, and slain them by 
the words ot his mouth. He has sent them also sweet encourag- 
ing messages ; his judgments have been like the light that goeth 
forth. They think, and are impressed for a little, but it soon dies 
away. " O Ephraim, what shall I do," &c. 


I. The fact that the impressions of natural men fade away. 

1. Prove the fact from Scripture. The Scriptures abound will. 
examples of it." 1st, Lot's wife. She was a good deal awakened 
The anxious faces of the two angelic men, their awful words, 
and merciful hands, made a deep impression on her. The anxiety 
of her husband, too, and his words to his sons-on-law, sunk into 
her heart. She fled with anxious steps ; Lut as the morning 
brightened, her anxious thoughts began to wear away. She 
looked back, and became a pillar of salt. 2d, Isratl at the Red 
Sea. When Israel had been led through the deep \i iter in 
safety, and when they saw their enemies drowned, theu they sang 
God's praise. Their hearts were much affected by this deliver- 
ance. They sang, " The Lord is my strength and song, ho is also. 
become my salvation." They sang his praise, but soon forgot his 
works. In three days they were murmuring against God because 
of the bitter waters. 3d, Once a young man came running to 
Jesus, and he kneeled down, saying, " Good Master, what good 
thing shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ?" A flash cf con- 
viction had passed over his conscience ; he was now kneeling at 
the feet of Christ, but he never kneeled there any more ; he wen!, 
away sorrowful. His goodness was like a morning cloud. 4th, 
Once Paul preached before Felix, the Roman Governor ; and as 
he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, 
Felix trembled. The preaching of the gospel made the proud 
Roman tremble on nis throne, but did it save his soul ? Ah, no ! 
" Go thy way for this time, when I have a more convenient sea- 
son I will send for thee." His goodness was like the morning 
cloud. 5/A, Again, Paul preached before King Agrippa gnu his 
beautiful Bernice, with all the captains and chief men of the City. 
The word troubled Agrippa's heart, the tear started into hisr^yil 
eye, for a moment he thought of leaving all for Christ. "Almost 
thou persuadest me to be a Christian." But ah ! his goodness 
was like a morning cloud arid early dew. In ail these the cloud 
gathered over them, for a moment the dew glistened in their 
eye, but soon it passed away, and left the hard rock) 7 heart 

2. Prove the fact from experience. Most men under a preached 
gospel have their times of awakening. If the impressions of 
natural men were permanent, then most would be save'*., but we 
know that this is not the case. Few there be that find it. Per- 
haps 1 would not go far wrong if I were to say, that there may 
not be ten grown up men in this congregation who have never 
experienced any concern for their soul, and yet I fear there may 
be hundreds who will finally perish. 

\yt, How many have had a time of awakening in childhood, 
when they were prayed over by a believing mother, or \\a. ^ed 
by a believing father, or taught by a faithful Sab x iath-sd'r ~1 
eacher ? How many have had deep impressions made at. the 


Sabbath-school ? But they have passed away like the morning 
cloud and early dew. 

2d, At their first communion, when they first spoke to a minis- 
ter about their soul, and heard his piercing questions and faithful 
warnings, when they got their token from his hand, when they first 
received the bread and wine, and sat at the table of the Lord, 
they trembled, the tear dimmed their eye, they went home to 
pray. But soon it wore away. The world, pleasure, cares, 
involved the mind, and all was gone like the cloud and the dew. 

3d, A first sickness. How many, laid down on a bed of sick- 
ness, are made to look over the verge of the grave ? They 
tremble as they think how unprepared they are to die ; and now 
they begin to vow and resolve, if the Lord spare me, I will avoid 
evil companions, I will pray and read my Bible, &c. ; but no 
sooner are they better than the resolutions are forgotten, like the 
cloud and dew. 

4th. First death in a family. What a deep impression this 
makes on a feeling heart. That lovely circle is broken round the 
fire, and never will be whole again. Now they begin to pray, to 
turn to him that smites. Perhaps kneeling beside the cold body, 
they vow no longer to go back to sin and lolly. Or, following the 
body to the grave, while the big tear stands in the eye, they pro- 
mise to bury all their sins and follies in the grave of their beloved 
one. But soon a change comes over them, the tears dry up, and 
the prayer is forgotten. The world takes its place again and 
reigns. Their goodness is as the morning cloud. 

5th, In a time of awakening, many receive deep impressions. 
Some are alarmed to see others alarmed that are no worse than 
they. Many have their feelings stirred, their affections moved. 
Many are brought to desire conversion, to weep and to pray. Mr. 
Edwards mentions that there was scarcely an individual in the 
whole town unconcerned ; there were tokens of God's promise in 
every house. So here ; and yet, when the time is past, how soon 
they sink back into former indifference. Their goodness is as the 
morning cloud. 

Dear friends, ye are my witnesses. I do not know, bat I believe 
I am not wrong in stating, that by far the greater number of you 
have been under remorse at some time or another, and yet God 
and your own consciences know how fading these impressions 
have been. Just as the morning cloud passes off the moun- 
tain's brow, and the dew is dried up from the rock, and leaves 
it a rock still, so your impressions have passed away, and left 
you a rocky heart still. So it is in those that perish. The way 
to hell is paved with good intentions, and hell is peopled with 
those who once wept and prayed for their souls. " O Ephraim, 
what shall I do unto thee ?" 

3. Let us show the steps of impressions fading away. When a 


natural man is under concern, he begins to make a very diligen* 
asc of the means of grace. 

1st, Prayer. When a man is under the fear of hell, he begins 
to pray, and often he has very melting and sweet affections in 
pravcr. As long as his impressions last, he may be very con- 
stant in his duty. But will he always call upon God ? When his 
concern ceascsj his praying in secret gradually ceases also. Not 
all at once, but by degrees he gives up secret prayer. Once he 
has been out in company, another time kept long at business, ano- 
ther time he is sleeping, and so by degrees he gives it up altoge- 
ther. " O Ephraim," tec. 

2d, 'Hearing the word. When a man is first awakened, he 
comes well out to the preaching of the word. He knows that blesses especially the preaching of the word that it pleases 
God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that beli-evc. 
He is an arrested hearer ; he drinks in the words of the minis- 
ter ; he is lively in his attendance on the word ; if there be 
preaching in the week evening, he puts by his work in order to be 
there. But, when his concern wears away, he begins to weary 
first of the week-day service, then of the Sabbath, then perhaps 
he seeks a more careless ministry, where he may slumber on 
till death and judgment. Ah, this has been the course of thou- 
sands in this place. ' O Ephraim," &c. 

3d, Asking counsel of ministers. When souls are under 
remorse, they often ask counsel of the under shepherds of Christ. 
" Going and weeping, they come to seek the Lord their God ; they 
ask the way to Zion." They go to the watchman, saying. Saw 
ye him whom my soul loveth '{ This is one of the duties of the 
faithful pastor, for " the priest's lips should keep knowledge ; and 
they should seek the law at his mouth ; for he is the messen- 
ger of the Lord of Hosts." But when concern dies away, this 
dies away. Many come once that never come again. " O 
Ephraim," &c. 

4th, Avoiding sin. When a man is under convictions, he always 
avoids open sin, flees from it with all his might. He reforms his 
life ; his soul is swept and garnished. But when his concern dies 
away, his lusts revive, and he goes back like a dog to his vomit, 
and like the sow that was washed to its wallowing in the mire. 
If there was anything saving in the impressions of natural men, 
they would turn holier : but, on the contrary, they turn worse 
and worse. Seven devils enter into that man, and the lattei 
er*l is worse than the beginning. " O Ephraim," &c. 

II. Peasons why the impressions of natural men die away. 

1. They never are brought to feel truly lost. The wounds of 
natural men are generally skin deep. Sometimes it is just a flash 
of terror that has alarmed them. Often ;t is the sense of some 
one great sin they have committed. Sometimes it is only sympa 


thy with others fleeing because others flee. They are often 
brought to say, I am a great sinner ; I fear 'there is no mercy for 
me. Still they are not brought to feel undone, their mouth is not 
stopped, they do not cover the lip like the leper. They think a 
little prayer, sorrow, repentance, amendment, will do. If they 
:/uuld only change their way. They are not brought to see that 
all they do just signifies nothing toward justifying them. If they 
were brought to feel their utterly lost state, and their need of 
another's righteousness, they never could rest in the world again. 

2. They never saw the beauty of Christ. A flash of terror may 
bring a man to his knees, but will not bring him to Christ. Ah"! 
no ; love must draw. A natural man. under concern, sees no 
beauty nor desirableness in Christ. He is not brought to look to 
him whom he pierced, and to mourn. When once a man gets a 
sight of the supreme excellence and sweetness of Christ ; when 
he sees his fulness for pardon, peace, holiness, he will never draw 
back. He may be in distress and in darkness, but he will rise and 
go about the city to seek him whom his soul loveth. The heart 
that has once seen Christ is smit with the love of him, and never 
can rest nor take up with others short of him. 

3. He never had heart-haired of sin. The impressions of na- 
tural men are generally of terror. They feel the danger of sin, 
not the filthiness of it. They feel that God is just and true, that 
the law must be avenged, that the wrath of God will come. They 
ee that there is hell in their sins ; but they do not feel their sins 
to be a hell. They love sin ; they have no change of nature. 
The Spirit of God does not dwell in them ; and therefore the im- 
pression wears easily away, like as on sand. Those that are 
brought to Christ are brought to see the turpitude of sin. Tb,ey 
cry not, Behold I am undone, but, behold I am vile. As long as 
sin is in their breast, they are kept fleeing to the cross of Christ. 

t. They have no promises to keep their impressions. Those 
who are in Christ have sweet promises. " I will put my fear ir 
their hearts." Jer. xxxii., 40. "Eeing confident that he whicft 
hath begun a good work in you will perform it." Phil, i., 6. But 
natural men have no interest in these promises ; and so, in the time 
of temptation, their anxieties easily wear away. 

III. Sadness of their case. 

1. God mourns over their case. "OEphraim." It must be a 
truly sad case that God mourns over. When Christ wept over 
Jerusalem, it showed it was in a desperate case, because that eye 
that wept saw plainly what was coming ; and accordingly, in a 
few years, that lovely city was a ruined heap, and multitudes of 
those then living were in hell, and their children vagabonds. 
When Christ looked round on the Pharisees with anger, being 
grieved at the hardness of their hearts, it showed a desperate 
2ase ; he would not grieve for nothing. So here you may be sure 


the case of natural men who lose their impressions is very despo- 
tic, from these words of God, "O Ephraim." 

j. (/,)(/ ha* no /aw method of awakening. God speaks as even 
ai :i loss what to do, to show "you that there remaineth no more 
sacrifice for sins. You have heard all the awakening truths in 
tho Bible, and all the winning, comforting truths. You have been 
at Sinai, and at Gethsemane, and at Calvary: what more can I 
do unto thee ? These have been pressed home upon you by Di- 
vine providences, in affliction, by the bed of death, and in a time of 
\\ idt> awakening. You have passed through a season when it was 
ti ! f. Id more likely that you would be truly converted than at any 
other time. You are sunk back. Ah ! the harvest is past, the 
summer is ended, and you are not saved. God has no more 
arrows in his quiver, no new arguments, no other hell, no other 

3. No good by your past impressions. When the cloud is dried 
up oft' the mountain's brow, and the dew offthe rock, the mountain 
is as great as before, and the rock as hard ; but when convictions 
fade away from the heart of a natural man, they leave the mountain 
of his sins much greater, and his rocky heart much harder. It is 
less likely that that man will ever be saved. Just as iron is hard- 
ened by being melted and cooled again ; just as a person recover- 
ing from fever relapses, and is worse than before. 

1st, You are now older, and every day less likely to be saved ; 
your heart gets used to its old ways of thinking and feeling ; the 
old knee cannot easily learn to bend. 

2d, You have offended the Spirit ; you have missed your op- 
pcrtunity; you have vexed the Holy Spirit; convictions are not 
in your own power ; the Spirit hath mercy on whom he will have 

3<f, You have got into the way of putting aside convictions. 
The eyelid naturally closes when any object is coming against it, 
so does the heart of a practised worldling close and shut out con- 

4/A, When you come to hell, you will wish you never had had 
convictions, they will make your punishment so much the greater. 

I would now entreat all who have any impressions, not to let 
them slip. It is a great mercy to live under a gospel ministry ; 
still greater to live in a time of revival ; still greater to have God 
pouring the Spirit into your heart, awakening your soul. Do not 
Mfgl'-ct it, do not turn back, remember Lot's wife. Escape for 
thy life ; look not behind thee ; tarry not in all the plain. Escape 
to th> mountain lest thou be consumed. 



1 Sne hath dorw what she could ; she is come aforehand to anoint my body to tlie 
ourying." Mark xiv., 8. 

Doctrine. Do what you can. 

From the gospel of John (xi., 2) we learn that this woman was 
Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha. We have already learned 
that she was an eminent believer": "She sat at the feet of Christ 
and heard his word." Jesus himself said of her, " Mary hath 
chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." 
Now, it is interesting to see this same Mary eminent in another 
way, not only as a contemplative believer but as an active believer. 

Many seem to think, that to be a believer is to have certain feel- 
ings and experiences ; forgetting all the time that these are but 
the flowers, and that the fruit must follow. The engrafting of the 
branch is good, the inflowing of the sap good, but the fruit is the 
end in view. So faith is good, and peace and joy are good, but 
holy fruit is the end for which we are saved. 

I trust many of you, last Sabbath, were like Mary, sitting at 
the Redeemer's feet, and hearing his word. Now I would per- 
suade you to be like Mary, in doing what you can for Christ. If 
you have been bought with a price, then glorify God in your 
body and spirit, which are his. I beseech you by the mercies of 

I. These are things which we can do. 

1. We could love Christ, pray and praise more. What this 
woman did, she did to Christ. Jesus had saved, her soul, had 
saved her brother and sister, and she felt that she could not do 
too much for him. She brought an alabaster b- x of ointment 
very costly, and brake the box and poured it on his head. No 
doubt she loved his disciples, holy John and frank Peter, yet 
still she loved Christ more. No doubt she loved Christ's poor, 
and was often kind to them, yet she loved Jesus more. On his 
blessed head, that was so soon to be crowned with thorns ; on 
his blessed feet, that were so soon to be pierced with nails, she 
poured the precious ointment. This is what we should do. If 
we have been saved by Christ, we should pour out our best affec- 
tions on him. It is well to love his disciples, well to love his 
ministers, well to love his poor, but it is best to love himself. We 
cannot now reach his blessed head, nor anoint his holy feet, but 
we can f ;il down at his footstool and pour out our affections towards 
him. It was not the ointment Jesus cared for: what does the 
King of Glory care for a little ointment? but it is the loving heart 
poured out upon his feet ; it is the adoration, praise, love, and 


prayers of a believer's broken heart, that Christ cares for. The 
new lu-art is the alabaster box that Jesus loves. 

Oh, brethren, could you not do more in this way ? could you 
not give more time to pouring out your heart to Jesus breaking 
die box and filling the room with the odor of your praise ? Could 
vou not pray more than you do to be filled with the Spirit, that 
the Spirit may be poured down on ministers, and God's people, 
and on an unconverted world ? Jesus loves tears and groans 
from a broken heart. 

J. We could live holier lives. The Church is thus described in 
the song of Solomon, " Who is this that cometh out of the wilder- 
ness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, 
with all powers of the merchant ?" The holiness of the believer 
is like the most precious perfume. When a holy believer goes 
through the world, filled with the Spirit, made more than con- 
queror, the fragrance fills the room, i; 'tis as if an angel shook his 
wings." If the world were full of believers it would be like a bed 
of spices ; but, oh ! how few believers carry much of the odor of 
heaven along with them. How many you might be the means of 
saving, if you lived a holy, consistent life if you were evidently 
a sacnfice bound upon God's altar. Wives might thus, without 
the word, win their husbands, when they see your chaste conver- 
sation coupled with fear ; parents might in this way save their 
children, when they saw you holy and happy ; children have often 
thus saved their parents. Servants, adorn the doctrine of God 
your Saviour in all things ; let your light shine before men. The 
poorest can do this as well as the richest, the youngest as well as 
the oldest. Oh, there is no argument like a holy life. 

3. You could seek the salvation of others. If you have really 
been brought to Christ and saved, then you know there is a hell, 
you know that all the unconverted around you are hastening to it ; 
you know there is a Saviour, and that he is stretching out his 
hands nil the iay long to sinners. Could you do no more to save 
sinners than you do ? Do you do all you can ? You say you 
pray for them; but is it not hypocrisy to pray and do nothing? 
W ill God hear these prayers ? Have you no fears that prayers 
without labors are only provoking God ? You say you cannot 
speak, you are not learned. Will that excuse stand in the judg- 
ment? Docs it require much learning to tell fellow-sinners that 
they are perishing '>. If their house was on fire, would it require 
much learning to wake ..he sleepers ? 

Begin at home. Could you not do more for ihe salvation of 
those at home ? If there are children or servants, have you done 
all you can for them ? Have you done all you can ic bring the 
truth before them, to bring them under a living ministry, to get 
thsm to pray and give up sin ? 

Do you do what you can for your neighbors ? Can you pass 
your neighbors for years together, and see them on the broad 


way, without warning them ? Do you make a full use of tracts, 
giving suitable ones to those that need them ? Do you persuade 
Sabbath-breakers to go to the house of God ? Do you do any- 
thing in Sabbath Schools ? Couid you not tell little children the 
way to be saved ? Do you do what you can for the world? The 
field is the world. 

4. Feed Christ s poor. I am far from thinking that the wicked 
poor should be passed over, but Christ's poor are our brothers and 
sisters. Do you do what you can for them ? In the great day, 
Christ will say to those on his right hand, "Come, ye blessed, for 
I was an hungered and ye gave me meat." They stand in the 
place of Christ. Christ does not any more stand in need of Mary's 
ointment, or Martha's hospitality,or the Samaritan's drink of water. 
Ke is beyond the reach of these things, and will never need them 
more ; but he has left many of his brothers and sisters behind in 
this world, some diseased, some lame, some like Lazarus, all 
covered with sores ; and he says, What ye do to them ye do to 
me. Do you live plainly, in order to have more to give away ? 
Do you put away vain and gaudy clothes, that you may be able 
to clothe the naked ? Are you thrifty in managing what you have, 
letting nothing be lost ? 

II. Reasons why we should do what we can. 

1. Christ has done what he could for us. Isaiah v., 4, " What 
could have been done more to my vineyard, that 1 have not done 
in it ?" He thought nothing too much to do and to suffer for us. 
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Greater love than 
this hath no man. All his life, between the manger at Bethlehem 
and the cross of Calvary, was spent in labors and infinite suffer- 
ings for us. All that we needed to suffer, he suffered ; all that we 
needed to obey, he obeyed. All his life in glory he spends for us. 
He ever liveth to make intercession for us. He is head over all 
things for us makes everything in all worlds work together for 
our good. It is all but incredible that each person of the Godhead 
has made himself over to us to be ours. The Father says, " I am 
thy God ;" the Son, " Fear not, for I have redeemed thee ;" the 
H"|y Ghost makes us a temple, " 1 will dwell in them and walk 
in them." Is it much that we should do all we can for him that 
we should g've ourselves up to iiim who gave himself for us? 

2. Satan does all he can. Sometimes he comes as a lion. Your 
adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom 
he may devour ; sometimes as a serpent, " as the serpent beguiled 
Eve ;" sometimes as an angel of light. He docs all he can to 
tempt and beguile the saints, leading them away by false teachers, 
injecting blasphemies and polluted thoughts into thj.i minds, cast- 
ing liery darts at their souls, stirring up the world to hate and per- 
secutf* them, stirring up father and mother against the children, 
and brother against brother He does all he can to lead captive 

108 SERMON XI*. 

wicked men, blinding their minds, not allowing them to listen to the 
gospel, steeping them in swinish lusts, leading them into despair. 
When he knows his time is short, he rages all the more. O should 
not we do all we can, if Satan does all he can ? 

3. We haw done all we could the other way. This was one of 
Paul's great motives for doing all he could " I thank Christ Jesus 
our Lord for putting me into the ministry, for 1 was a blasphemer, 
and persecutor, and injurious." He never could forget how he 
had persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it ; and this made 
him as diligent in building it up, and hailing men and women to 
Christ He preached the faith which once he destroyed. So with 
Peter, " Let us live the rest of our time in the flesh, not to the lusts 
of men, but to the will of God ; for the time past of our lives may 
suffice to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked 
in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and 
abominable idolatries." So with John Newton, " How can the old 
African blasphemer be silent ?" So with many of you ; you ran 
greedily after sin ; you were at great pains and cost, and did not 
spare health, or money, or time, to obtain some sinful gratification- 
How can you now grudge anything for Christ ? Only serve 
Christ as zealously as you once served the devil. 

4. Christ will own and reward what we do. The labor that 
Chriet blesseth is believing labor. It is not words of human wis- 
dom, but words of faith, that God makes arrows. The word of a 
little rnaid was blessed in the house of Naaman the Syrian. " Fol- 
low me," was made the arrow to pierce the heart of Matthew. It 
is all one to God to save, whether with many, or with them that 
have no might. If you would do all you can, the town would be 
filled with the fragrance. Christ will reward it. He defended 
Mary's work of love, and said it should be spoken of, over all the 
world, and it will yet be told in the judgment. A cup of cold 
water he will not pass over. " Well done, good and faithful ser- 

5. 'If you do not do all you can, how can you prove yourself a 
Christian ? " Pure religion, and undefiled before God the Father, 
is this. To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and 
to keep himself unspotted from the world." You are greatly mis- 
taken if you think that to be a Christian is merely to have certain 
views, and convictions, and spiritual delights. This is all well ; 
but if it leads not to a devoted life, I fear it is all a delusion. If 
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. 

III. Let us answer objections. 

1. The world will mode at us. Ans. This is true. They mocked 
at Mary, they called it waste and extravagance ; and yet, Christ 
said it was well done. So if you do what you can the "world will 
laugh at you. but you will have the smile of Christ. They mocked 
at Christ when he was full of zeal ; they said he was mad, and 


hr.d a devil. They mocked at Paul, and said he was mad ; and 
so with all Christ's living members. " Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are 
partakers of the sufferings of Christ." " If ye suffer with him ye 
shall also reign with him." 

2. What can I do, I am a woman. Mary was a woman, yet 
she did what she could. Mary Magdalene was a woman, and yet 
she was first at the sepulchre. Phebe was a woman/ yet a suc- 
corer of many, and of Paul also. Dorcas was a woman, yet she 
made coats and garments for the poor at Joppa. I am a child 
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings God perfects praise. 
God has often used children in the conversion of their parents. 

3. / have too little grace to be good. " He that watereth others, 
shall be watered himself." " The liberal soul shall be made 
fat." " It pleased the Father that in Christ should all fulness dwell." 
There is a full supply of the Spirit to teach you to pray, a full 
supply of grace to slay your sins and quicken your graces. If 
you use opportunities of speaking to others, God will give you 
plenty. If you give much to God's poor, you shall never want a 
rich supply. " God is able to make all grace abound toward you ; 
that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to 
every good work." " Bring all the tithes unto my storehouse, 
and prove r-^ now herewith." "Honor the Lord with thy sub- 
stance, ar d v. til the first fruits of all thine increase ; so shall thy 
barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with 
new wine." 

April ^6, 1842. 


It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul'h ; 
I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my motLcr's 
house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me." Song iii., 4. 

HAVE you found him whom your soul loveth ? Have you this day 
seen his beauty, heard his voice, believed the record concerning 
him. sat under his shadow, found fellowship with him ? then hold 
him, and do not let him go. 

I. Motives. 

1 . Because peace is to be found in him. Justified by faith we 
have peace with God, not peace with ourselves, not peace with 
th<; world, with sin, with Satan, but peace with God. True Divine 
peace is to be found only in believing, only in keeping fast hold of 
Christ. If you let him go, you let go your righteousness ; for this 
is his name. You are then without righteousness, without a cover- 


ing from the wrath of God, without a way to the Father. The 
law will again condemn you; God's frown will again overshadow 
you; you will again have terrors of conscience. Hold him then, 
:m.l \\Q not let him go. Whatever you let go, let not Christ go - 
for he is our peace, not in knowledge, not in feeling, but trust :n 
Jliiii alone. 

J. Holintss /lows from Him. No true holiness m this world, 
but it pprir.^s from him. A living Christ is the spring of holiness 
to all his members. As long as we hold him, and do not let him 
go, cur holiness is secure. Ho is engaged to keep us from falling. 
He loves us too we'l to let us fall under the reigning power of sin. 
His word is engaged,"! will put my spirit within you." His 
honor would be tarnished if any that cleave to him were suffered 
to live in sin. If you let him go, you will fall into sin. You have 
no strength, no store of grace, no power to resist a thousand ene- 
mies no promises. If Christ be for you, who can be against 
you ; but if you let go his arms, where are you ? 

3. Hope of glcry is in Him, We rejoice in hope of the glory 
of God. If you have found Jesus this day, you have found a way 
into glory. A few steps more, you can say, and I shall be for 
ever with the Lord. I shall be free from pain and sorrow ; free 
from sin and weakness ; free from enemies. As long as you 
hold Christ, you can see your way to the judgment seat. " Thou 
wilt guide me with thy counsel, and receive me to* thy glory." 
This gives such joy, such transporting desires after the heavenly 
world. But let Christ go, and this will be gone. Let Christ go, 
and how can you die? The grave is covered with clouds of 
threatening. Let Him go, and how can you go to the judgment 
where can you* appear ? 

IT. Meant. 

1. Christ promises to keep you holding Him. If you are really 
holding Christ this day. you are in a most blessed condition, for 
Christ engages to keap you cleaving to him. " My soul followeth 
hard after thee, and thy right hand upholdeth me." He that is the 
Creator of thi world is the upholder of it, so he that new creates 
the scu'. heeps it in being. This is never to be forgotten. Not 
only d.:es the Church lean on her beloved, but he puts his left 
hand under her head, and his right hand doth embrace her. " I 
taught Ephraim how to go, taking them by their arms." It is 
good for a child to hold last by its mother's neck, but ah ! that 
would be a feeble support, if the maternal arm did not enfold the 
child, and clasp it to her bosom. Faith is good, but ah ! it is no- 
thing without the grace that gave it. " I will put my fear in your 

2. Faith in Christ. The only way to hold fast is to believe 
more and more. Get a larger acquaintance with Christ : witn his 
person, work, and character. Every page of the Gospel unfolds 


a iv w feature in his character ; every line of the Epistles discloses 
new depths of his work. Get more faith, and you will get a firmer 
hold. A plant tbat has got a single root may be easily torn up by the 
hand, or crushed by the foot of the wild beast, or blown down by 
the wind; but a plant that has a thousand roots struck down into 
the ground can stand. Faith is like the root ; many believe a little 
concerning Christ ; one fact. Every new truth concerning Jesus 
is a new root struck downwards. Believe more intensely. A 
root may be in a right direction, but, not striking deep, it is easily 
torn up. Pray for deep-rooted faith. Pray to be stablished, 
strengthened, settled. Take a long intense look at Jesus ; often, 
often. If you wanted to know a man again, and he was going away, 
you would take an intense look at his face. Look then at Jesus ; 
deeply, intensely, till every feature is graven on your heart. 
Thomas Scott overcame the fear of death by looking intensely at 
his dead child, who had died in the Lord. 

3. Prayer. Jacob at Bethel. Isaiah xxvii., 5, " Take hold of 
my strength." You must begin to pray after another fashion than 
you have done. Let it be real intercourse with God, like Heze- 
kiah, Jacob, Moses, &c. 

4. By no 4 , offending Him. 1st, By sloth. When the soul turns 
sleepy or careless, Christ goes away. Nothing is more offensive 
to Christ than sloth. Love is an ever-active thing, and when it is 
in the heart it will keep us waking. Many a night his love to us 
kept him waking. Now, can you not watch with him one hour? 
Song v., 2. 2d, By idols. You cannot hold two objects. If you 
are holding Christ to-day, and lay hold of another object to-morrow 
he cannot stay. He is a jealous God. You cannot keep worldly 
companions and Christ too. " A companion of fools shall be de- 
stroyed." When the ark came into the house of Dagon, it made 
the idol fall flat. 3d, By being unwilling to be sanctified. When 
Christ chooses us, and draws us to himself, it is that he may sanc- 
tify us. Christ is often grieved away, by our desiring to reserve 
one sin. 4th, By an unholy house. " I brought him into my 
mother's house." Remember to take Christ home with you, and 
let him rule in your house. If you walk with Christ abroad but 
never take him home, you will soon part company for ever. 


" To whom God would make known what t the riches of the glory of this mystery 
among the Gentiles ; which is Christ in you the hope of glory." Colossians i., 27. 

THE gospel is here described as " Christ in you the hope of glory." 
There are two distinct senses in which these words may be taken, 


and I cannot positively determine which is the true one. It M 
possible that both may be intended. I shall open up both. 

I. Christ in you, means Christ embraced by faith as our right- 
eousness ami strength ; and this is the sure ground upon which we 
hope for ^lory. In this sense it appears to be used, Ephes. Hi., 17, 
" That Christ' may dwell in your hearts by faith." When a sin- 
nrr's hnari is opened by the Holy Spirit, when the beauty arid 
excellence of the Saviour is shown to him, the heart inwardly 
embraces and cleaves to Christ. Every new discovery of Chris't 
to the soul renews this act of inward cleaving to the Lord Jesus. 
Every reu/oach, every temptation, every fall into sin, every be 
reavemeat, ni'ikes the soul more really, firmly, and fully embrace 
.he Lord Jesu? : -and so, by continual faith, Christ may be said to 
dwcil in the heart ; as in Ephes. iii., 17, " That Christ may d y;ell in 
your heart by faith." Chiist thus embraced is the hope of giory. 
It is this constant abiding faith ; this close embracing of Christ as 
all our righteousness ; it is this which gives a calm, sweet, full, 
peaceful hope of glory. The soul that can say, Christ is mine, 
can also sav, i^iory is mine; for we need nothing but Chnst to 
shelter us in the judgment-day. Can you say that Christ is thus 
in you the hope of glory 1 If you have not got Christ, you have 
no good hope ff glory. 

II. Christ formed in the soul by the Spirit. See Gal. iv., 19. 
Christ formed in the soul is also the hope of glory ; and this I 
take to be the full u.eauing of this verse. So, John xv., 4. " Abide 
in me and I in you ;" John xvii., 23, " I in them and thou in me ;" 
v., 26, " And I in them." 

1. The mind of Cnrist is formed in the soul; 1 Cor. ii., 16, 
" We have the mind of Christ." By the mind I understand the 
thinking powers of man. Now, every believer has the mind of 
Christ formed in him. He thinks as Christ does, " This is the 
spirit of a sound mind," 2 Tim. i., 7. This is being of the same 
mind in the Lord. I do not mean that a believer has the same 
all-seeing mind, the same infallible judgment concerning every- 
thing as Christ has ; but up to his light he sees things as Christ 

He sees sin as Christ does. Christ sees sin to be evil and bitter. 
He sees it to be filthy and abominable ; its pleasures all a delusion. 
He sees it to be awfully dangerous. He sees the inseparable con- 
nexion between sin and suffering. So does a believer. 

He sees the Gospel as Christ does. Christ sees amazing glory 
in the Gospel. The way of salvation which he himself has wrought 
out. It appears a most complete salvation to him, rfost free, most 
glorifying to God and happy for man. So does the L.-i'ever. 

He sees the world as Christ does. Christ knows what is h 
man. He looked on this world as vanity, compared with the 


imi/e of his Father. Its riches, its honors, its pleasures, appeared 
not worth a sigh. He saw it passing away. So does the believer. 

He S30i: Lime as Christ did. " I must work the work of him that 
sent me while it is day ; the night cometh," " I come quickly." So 
does a believer look at time. 

He sees eternity as Christ docs. Christ looked at everything in 
the light of eternity. " In my Father's house are many manrioi.s." 
Everything is valuable in Christ's eyes, only as it bears on eternity. 
So with believers. 

2. The heart of Christ. By the heart I mean the affections, that 
part of us that loves or hates, hopes and fears. We have Christ's 
heart formed in us, " I will put my spirit within you," " I in you," 
" My words abide in you." 

1st. The same love to God. -What intense delight Jesu* had in 
his father ' "Righteous Father, the world hath not known thec, 
but I have known thee," " 1 am not alone, for the Father is with 
me,"." I thank thce, O Father," " Abba Father." " Father, into thy 
hand I commend my spirit." So with every believer. 

2d, The same aversion to God's frown. Psalm x~ii., !, " Why 
hast thou forsaken me?'' verse 15. "Thou hast brought me into 
the dust of death ;'' Psalm Ixxxviii., 7, " Thy wrath lieth hard upon 
me ;" Psalm cii., 10, ' Thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down." 
So with the children of Go I. Psahn xlii. 9, "I will say irtoGod 
my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me ?" 

3d. The same love to saints. Psalm xvi., 3, " To the saints 
that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my 
Jolight ;" John xiii., 1, " Having loved his own which were in the 
world, he loved them to the end;" John xv., 13, " Greater love 
hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends ;" 
John xiv., 3, " I will come again, and receive you to myseif ;" 
Acts ix., 4, " Saul, Saul, why persecutes! thou me ?" So it L* 
with all true believers. Every one that loveth is born of God. 

4th, Compassion to sinners. This was the main feature of 
Christ's character. This brought him from heaven to 'lie. This 
made him weep over Jerusalem, long to gather her children. This 
makes him delay his coming, not willing that any should pevish. 
2 Peter iii., 9. All Christ's own are like him in this. The ijime 
heart throbs within them. 

5th, Tenderness to the awakened. "He will not break the 
bruised reed." O the tenderness of the lips that said. " Come 
unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden." Such are all 

3. The life of Chnst They live the same life in the main that 
Christ did in the world. Though they have many falls, wax cold, 
&c , still the main current of their life is Christ living in them 
Gal. ii., 20, " Christ liveth in me ;" 2 Cor. vi., 16, " I will dwell in 
them, and walk in them." 

Bearing reproaches. 1 Peter ii., 23, " When he was reviled, 


he reviled not again ; when he suffered, he threatened not. 
Christ irlt reproach keenly, " Reproach hath broken mine heart. 
Still he reviled no man, but prayed for them. So believers. 

In doing good. "He went about doing good." He made th.s 
his meat and drink. So will nil who have Chris! formed ia 
them. They do good, and to communicate forget not. The) 
a p.- the almoners of the world. " They parted to all men,' 
Acts ii., 45. 

In being separate from sinners. Christ walked through the 
midst of sinners undcfilcd. Like a beam of light piercing into a 
foul dungeon, >r like a river purifying and fertilizing, itself untaint- 
ed, so did Chnst pass through this world ; and so do all his ovvnr 
Ps. ci., 4, "1 will nrt know a wicked person." 

J>ut how is it thai Christ forme, in us is the hope of glory ? 
1st, Not legally. Christ in the seal is not our title to glory. We 
must have a complete righteousness to be our title ; but Christ in 
the soul is not complete. Most are der-.eient in many ^f the 
main features of Christ. It is Christ for u.*. .'^id hold on by faith, 
that is our title to glory. Christ our wedding garment the Lord 
our righteousness ; this, and this alone, can give us boldness in the 
day of judgment. 2d, Still really it is so. (1.) It is evidence 
that we have believed on Christ. A man may know that he has 
believed on Christ without any evidences. " He that believes has 
the witness in himself." But if a man has believed, the effects will 
soon be seen. Christ will be formed in him, and then he will have 
double evidence that Christ is his. " He thai lacketh these things 
is blind," 2 Pet. i., 9. (2.) It is meetness for glory. A holy be- 
liever feels heaven begun. " The kingdom of God is within you." 
He can say, Now 1 know I shall soon be in heaven, for it is 
already begun in me. Christ lives in me. I shall soon be for ever 
with the Lord. 

IMPROVEMENT. 1. Have you got the legal title to glory ? 
Christ dwelling in you by faith. You have heard how those who 
are enlightened by God embrace Christ, and put him on abidingly 
fc r righteousness. Have you done so ? Have you put on Christ ? 
This is the only legal title to glory. If you have not this, your 
hope is a dream. 

2. Havs ynu got the meetness for glory ?- -Christ formed in you. 
Does live in you, and wal'. in you I " Without holiness no 
man shd! see the Lord." 

Dundte, 1843. 
He writes at the close % Us n tes a;t;>r senr.on--" Very sweet and s ileran night * 




I therefore so run, not as uncertainly ; so fight I, not as one that beateth the lir 
Hut I keep un>\er my body, and bring it into subjection ; lest that by any iiieans 
when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Cor. In 
26, 27. 

OBSERVE, 1. How earnestly Paul sought the kingdom of heaven. 
Verse 26, " I therefore so run, not as uncertainly ; so fight I, 
not as one that beateth the air." It was long after his conversion 
that Paul writes in this manner. He could say, " To me to iive 
is Christ, and to die is gain." He felt it better to depart and be 
with Christ. He knew there was a crown laid up for him ; and 
yet see how earnest he was to advance in the divine life. He 
was like one at the Grecian games running for a prize. This is 
tl:e way all converted persons should seek salvation. " So run 
that ye may obtain." It is common for many to sit down aitei 
conversion, and say, I am safe, I do not need to strive any more. 
But Paul pressed toward the mark. 

2. One particular in which he was very earnest. " I keep under 
my body, and bring it into subjection." He had observed in the 
Grecian games, that those who were to run.and fight, were very 
attentive to this, verse 25, " And every man that striveth for the 
mastery is temperate in all things." This was one thing that 
Paul strove for, to be temperate in all things, especially in eating 
and drinking, " I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection." 

S. His reason for all this earnestness. " Lest when I have 
preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Not that 
Paal had not an assurance of his salvation ; but he felt deeply that 
his high office in the Church would not save him, although he was 
one of the Apostles the Apostle of the Gentiles one that had 
labored more than all the rest ; though many had been converted 
under his ministry, he knew that still that would not keep him from 
being a castaway. Judas had preached toothers and yet was cast 
away. Paul felt also that if he lived a wicked life he would surely 
be cast away. He knew there was an indissoluble connexion 
between living in sin and being cast away : and. therefore, it was 
a constant motive to him to holy diligence. What he feared was 
being " a castaway." The word is frequently translated " re- 
probate." It is taken from the trying of metals ; the dross, or part 
that is thrown away, is said to be reprobate or cast away. 

What is it to be cast away ? 

I. Wicked men shall be cast away from God. Mat. xxv., 41, 
" Depart from me, ye cursed ;" 2 Thess. i., 9, ' Who shall be 
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the 
I. <'<!, and from the glory of iiis power." 


1. Away from Christ. At present ungodly men are often near 
to Christ. Christ stands at their door and knocks. He stretches 
out his hands to them all the day long. He speaks to them in the 
Bible and the preached gospel. He says, Come unto me, and 1 
will give you rest. Him that cometh unto me I will in nowise 
cast out. But when Christ pronounces that sentence, "Depart 
from me, ye cursed," there will nut be one knock more, not one 
invitation more, not one sweet offer more. Christ is the only way 
to the Father ; but -it shall then be closed for ever. Christ is the 
only door ; but it shall then be shut for ever more. It is the 
blessedness of the redeemed that they shall be with Christ. " To- 
day shall thou be with me." Having a desire to be absent froni 
the bodv and present with the Lord. So shall they be ever with 
the Lord. His servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face. 
Jt is this that maintains the eternal calm in the bosom of the re- 
deemed. But the ungodly shall be cast away from all this 
"Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into utter darkness." 

2. Away from God. True, the wicked can never be cast away 
from the presence of God. Ps. cxxxix., 8, " If I make my beci 
in hell, behold thou art there." Job says, " Hell is naked before 
him, and destruction hath no covering." (xxvi., 6.) His almighty 
power creates it; His breath kindles it. Isaiah xxx., 33, " The 
breath o'f the Lord, Jike a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it/' 
But they shall be banished. 

1st, From the fruition of God. God said to Abraham, " I am 
thy shield and thine exceeding great reward." God makes him- 
self over to the believing soul, saying, I will be thy God. David 
says, God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever 
Who can tell the joy of those who enjoy God, who have God 
the infinite God, as their portion 1 From this the Christless shall 
be cast away. You will have no portion in God. God will not 
be your God. His attributes will be all against you. 

2d, From the favor of God. "In thy favor is life." The favor 
of God is what believers feel on earth. A beam of God's coun- 
tenance is enough to fill the heart of a believer to overflowing. 
It is enough to light up the pale cheek of a dying saint with 
seraphic brightness, and make the heart of the lune widow sing 
for joy. From all this the Christless shall be casl away for ever; 
and instead of it Jehovah's frown shall light on them for ever 
" It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." 

3d, Cast away from the blessing of God. God is the fountain 
of all blessing. No creature is good or pleasant any more than 
God makes it to be so. The sun warms us, our food nourishes 
us, our friends are pleasant to us ; because God makes them so. 
All the joys in the world are but beams from that uncreated light ; 
but separate a man frcm God, and all becomes dark. God is the 
fountain of all joy ; separate a mar. from God finally, and no 
creature can give him joy. Thic is to be cast away, cut off, from 


God for ever. Though there were no lake of fire, this of itself 
would be hell. 

II. Wicked men shall be cast away by the Holy Spirit. It is not 
often thought of, but it is true, that the Holy Spirit is now dealing 
and striving with natural men. All the decency and morality of 
unconverted men is to be attributed to ihe restraining gr^c? of the 
Holy Spirit. 

1. The Holy Spirit works on natural men through tkt ordinan- 
ces. The ordinance of family worship is often greatly blessei to 
restrain wicked children, so that they are kept from vicious 
courses and outbreaking sins. The ordinance of the read and 
preached Word is also greatly blessed in this way to restrain 
wicked men. The awful threatenings of the Word, the sweet 
invitations and promises of the gospel, have this effect on uncon- 
verted men, that they are greatly restrained from going to extreme 
lengths in wickedness. 

2. The Holy Spirit also works through providences in restrain- 
ing wicked men. He places them in such circumstances that they 
cannot sin as they would otherwise do. He often reduces them to 
poverty, so that they cannot run into the vices they were inclined 
unto ; or he lays sickness on their body, so that their keen relish 
for sin is greatly blunted ; or he terrifies them by bereavements, 
so that they are kept in the bondage of fear, and dare not sin with 
so high a hand as they would otherwise do. 

3. The Holy Spirit also restrains through convictions of sin. 
Many men have deep wounds of conviction who are never saved. 
Many are pierced with arrows of the Word from time to time, 
and thus are driven away from their wicked companions and 
scared from open sin. Restraining grace is an amazing work of 
God. It is more wonderful than his setting a bound to the sea 
that it cannot pass over. Think what a hell every unconverted 
bosom would become, if the Spirit were to withdraw and give 
men over to their own hearts' lusts. Think what a hell an uncon- 
verted family would become, if the Spiri* v/;re to withdraw his 
bands. What hatreds, strifes, murders, parricides would take 
place ! Think what a hell this town would become, if every 
Christless man were given over to the lusts of his own heart. 

Now this is to be a castaway. Gen. vi., 3, " My Spirit shall 
not always strive with man." The IIo!y Spirt, I believe, strives 
with all men ; Acts vii., 51, " Ye do always resist 'he Holy Ghost ;" 
but he will not always strive. W u en the day of giace is done, 
when the sinner sinks into hell, the Spirit will strive no more. 

1st, The Spirit will strive n<" :.: ore through ordinances. There 
will be no family worsb.v in hell, no Bible read, no Psalms sun^r. 
There will be no Sabbath in hell, no preached gospel, no watch- 
men to warn you of your sin and danger. The voice of the 


watchman \vill he silent, the danger has come, your doom will be 
past, and no room for repentance. 

2rf, The Spirit will no more strive through providences. There 
will be no more poverty or riches, no more sickness or bereave- 
ments, no kindly providences restraining the soul from sin, 
nothing but anguish and despair unutterable. 

3d, There will be no more convictions by the Spirit. Con- 
science will condemn, but it will not restrain. Your hearts will 
then break out. All your hatred to God, the fountains of con- 
tempt and blasphemy in your heart will be all broken up. You 
will blaspheme the God of Heaven. All your lusts and impurities 
that have been pent up and restrained by restraining grace arid 
the fear of man, will burst forth with amazing impetuosity. You 
will be as wicked and blasphemous as the devils around you. 

O the misery ot this! it is an evil thing and bitter. The way 
of transgressors is hard. Ah ! sinners, you will yet find sin the 
hardest of all masters ; you will yet find your grovelling lusts to 
be worse than the worm that never dies. ' He that is unjust, let 
him be unjust still ;" Rev. xxii., 11. 

III. Wicked men shall be cast away by all the creatures. The 
state of^ unconverted men at present, although a very dreadful 
one, is yet not hopeless. The angels watch the unconverted, to 
see if there is any sign of repentance. It is believed that the 
holy angels are present in the assembly of God's worshippers. 
1 Tim. v., 21. And if so, no doubt they watch your laces, to see 
if a tear starts into your eye, or a prayer trembles on your lip. 
There would be joy this day among the angels, if one sinner was 
to repent. 

The redeemed on earth are peculiarly interested in unconverted 
souls. They pray for them night and day, many of them with 
tears ; many a child of God wets his pillow with tears in behalf 
of perishing souls. Jeremiah wept in secret places for their pride. 
David says, Rivers of waters run down mine eyes. They seek 
your conversion more than any personal benefit. Ministers are 
set apart to seek after lost and perishing souls. " Go rather to the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel." If ministers are like their 
Master, this will be their great errand, that by all means we may 
save some. But when the day of grace is past, all holy creatures 
will cast you away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, for 
the Lord hath reacted them. 

The angel; will no longer take any interest in you. They will 
know that u is not fit they should pity you any more. You will 
be tormented in the presence ot !iie holy angels, and in the pre- 
sence of the Lamb. 

The redeemed will no longer pray for you, nor shed another 
tear for you. They will see you condemned in the judgment 
tnd not put in one word for you. They will see you depart into 


everlasting fire, and yet not pray for you. They will see the 
smoke of your torments going up for ever and ever, and yet cry. 
Alleluiah ! 

Ministers will no more desire your salvation. It will no more 
be their work. The number of the saved will be complete with- 
out you ; the table will be full. Ministers will bear witness 
again'.t you in that day. 

Even devils will cast you off. As long as you remain on earth, 
the devil keeps you in his train ; he flatters you, and gives you 
many tokens of his friendship and esteem ; but soon he wul cast 
you off. You will be no longer pleasant to him ; you wil. be a 
part of his torment ; and he will hate you and torment you, 
because you deceived him, and he deceived you. 

IV. Wicked men shall be cast away by themselves. It is said, 
they shall wish to die, and shall not be able. They shall seek 
death, and death shall flee from them. I believe that some sui 'ides 
experience the beginnings of hell. I believe Judas did; he co'ild 
not bear himself, and he tried to east himself away. This wil! be 
the feeling of lost souls. They will not be able to bear the sight 
of themselves ; they will be weary of being; they will wish they 
had never been. At present, unconverted men are often very 
self-complacent. They love to employ their faculties ; the wheels? 
of their life go smoothly ; their affections are pleasant. Memory 
has many pleasant green spots to look back upon. How different 
when the day of grace is done ! 1. The understanding will be 
clear and full to apprehend the real nature of your misery. Your 
mind will then see the holiness of God, his alrnightiness, his ma- 
jesty. You Will see your own condemned condition, and the 
depth of your hdl. 2. T/ie will in you will be all contrary to 
God's will, even though you see it add to your hell ; yet you will 
nate all that God loves, and love all that God hates. 3. Youi 
conscience is God's vicegerent in the soul. It will accuse you of 
all your sins. It will set them in order and condemn you. 4. 
Your affections will still love your kindred, "I have five bre- 
thren," you will say. Earthly lathers who are evil know how to 
give good u'ilts to their children. Even in hell you will love your 
own kindred ; but ah ! what misery it will cost you, when you 
hear them sentenced along with you. 5. Your memory will be 
very clear. You will remember all your misspent Sabbaths, 
your sermons heard, as if you did not hear ; your place in tho 
house of God, your minister's face and voice, the bell ; through 
millions of ages alter this, you will remember these, as if yester- 
day. (>. Your anticipations. Everlasting despair. O how yop 
will wish you had never been ! How you will wish to tear out 
your memory, these tender affections, this accusing conscience ! 
You will seek death, and it will flee from you. This, this is to be 
oat ! This is everlasting destruction ! This is to be a castawav. 


LI-.SSONS.I. Let believers learn Paul's earnest diligence. A 
wicked life will end in being a castaway. These two are linked 
tt'iM'ther, and no man can sunder them. 

j. Hell will be intolerable. I have not spoken of the lake of 
fire, of the utter darkness, and the worm that never dies. I have 
spoken only of the mental facts of hell ; and yet these by them- 
selves are intolerable. who can tell what it will be \vh..;:a both 
meet, and meet eternally ? " Who knows the power of thine 
anger ?" do not keep away from Christ now. Now he says, 
Come ; soon, soon he will say, Depart. O do not resist the Holy 
Spirit now. Now he strives, but he will not always strive with 
you. Soon, soon he will leave you. O do not despise the word" 
of ministers and godly friends. Now they plead with you, weep 
for you, pray for you. Soon, soon they will be silent as the grave, 
or sing halleluiah to see you lost. O do not be proud and self-admir- 
ing. Soon you will loathe the very sight of yourself, and wish 
you had never been. 

3. The amazing love of Christ in bearing all this for sinners. 
Christ is a wrath-bearing surety. All that is included in being 
a castaway he bore. Amen. 

January, 1843. 




" Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am . 
that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me 
before the foundation of the world. John xvii., 24. 

I. The manner of this prayer. " Father, I will." This is the 
most wonderful prayer that ever rose from this earth to the throne 
of God, and this petition is the most wonderful in the prayer. No 
human lips ever prayed thus before " Father, I will." Abraham 
was the friend of God, and got very near to God in prayer, but he 
prayed as dust and ashes. " I have taken upon me to speak unto 
God that am but dust and ashes." Jacob had power with God, and 
prevailed, yet his boldest word was, " I will not let thee go except 
thou bless me." Daniel was a man greatly beloved, and got im- 
mediate answers to prayer, and yet he cried to God as a sinner 
" O Lord, hear ! O Lord, forgive ! O Lord, hearken and do !" 
Paul was a man who got very near to God, and yet he says. " I 
bow my knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." 
But wh_n Christ prayed, he cried, " Father, I will." Why did he 


pray thus ? He was God's fellow. " Awake, O sword, againsi. my 
s! ^pherd, against the man that is my fellow." He thought it no 
robbery to be equal with God." It was he that said, " Let there 
be light, and there was light." So now he says, " Father, I will." 

He spoke as the Intercessor with the Father. He ielt as if his 
work were already done " I have finished the work which thou 
gavest me to do." He felt as if he had already suffered the cross, 
and now claims the crown. " Father, I will." This is the inter- 
cession now heard in heaven. 

He liad one will with the Father. " I and my Father are one." 
One God one in heart and will. True, he had a holy human 
soul, and, therefore, a human will ; but his human will was one 
with his divine will. The human string in his heart was tuned to 
the same string with his divine will. 

Learn how surely this prayer will be answered, dear children 
of God. It is impossible this prayer should be unanswered. It is 
the will of the Father and of the Son. It'Christ will? ; t, and if the 
Father wills it, you may be sure nothing can hinder it. If the 
sheep be in Christ's hand, and in the Father'-s hand, they shall 
never perish. 

II. For whom he prays. " They also whom thou hast given 
me." Six times in this chnpter does Christ call his people by this 
name " They whom thou hast given me." It seems to have been 
a favorite word of Christ, especially when carrying them on his 
heart before the Father. The reason seems to be that he would 
remind the Father that they are as much the Father's as they are 
his own ; that the Father has the same interest in them that he 
has ; having given them to him before the world was. And so 
he repeats it in verse 10, " All mine are thine, and thine are 
mine." Before the world was, the Father chose a people out of 
this world ; he gave them into the hand of Christ, charging him 
not to lose one, to bear their sins on his own body on the tree, to 
raise him up at the last day. And, accordingly, he says, ' Of all 
whom thou hast given me have I lost none." Is there any mark 
on those who are given to Christ 1 They are no better than 
others. Sometimes he chooses the worst. A. Yes. " All that 
the Father giveth me shall come to me." One of the sure marks 
of all that were given to Christ is that they come to Jesus " They 
all come to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the 
blood of sprinkling." Are you come to Christ? Has your heart 
been opened to receive Christ ? Has Christ been made precious 
to you ? then you may be quite sure you wen; given to Christ 
before the world was. Your name is in the Lamb's Book of Life, 
and your name is on the breastplate of Christ. It is for you he 
prays, " Father, I will that that foul be with me." Christ will 
never lose you. The Father which gave you to him is greater 
than all, and none is able to pluck you out of the Father's hand. 


Ill The Argument " For thou lovest me" He reminds ihe 
Father of his love to him before the world was. When there was 
no earth, no sun, no man, no angel when he was by him then 
thou lovest me. Who can understand this love, the love of the 
uncreated God to his uncreated Son ? The love of Jonathan to 
Ihivid was very great, surpassing the love of women. The love 
of a believer to Christ is very great, for they see him to be alto- 
gether lovely. The love of a holy angel to God is very ardent, 
for they are like a flame of fire. But these are all creature loves ; 
these are but streams ; but the love of God to his Son is an ocean 
of love. There is everything in Christ to draw the love of his 
Father. Now discern his argument If thou love me do this for 
my people. 

Just as he said Jo Paul, " Why persecutes! thou me?" he felt 
himself one with l;;s afflicted members on earth, Just as he will 
say at the last day, " Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least of 
these, m} brethren, ye did it unto me." He reckons believers a 
part v-l himself what is done to them is done to him. So here, 
when he carries them to his Father, this is all his argument, 
" Thou lovedst me." If thou love me, love them, for they are part 
of me. 

See how surely Christ's prayer will be answered for you, be- 
loved. He does not plead that you are good and holy ; he does 
not plead that you are worthy ; he only pleads his own loveliness 
in the eyes of the Father. Look not on them, he says, but look on 
me. Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 

Lcam to use the same argument with God, dear believers. 
This is asking in Christ's name for the Lord's sake this is the 
prayer that is never refused. See that you do not come in your 
own name, else you will be cast out. 

Come thus to his table. Say to the Father, accept me, for thou 
lovedst him from the foundation of the world. 

IV. The prayer itself. Two parts. 

1. " That they may be with me" (1.) IVTiathe does not mean. 
He does not mean that \ve should be presently taken out of this 
world. Some of you that have come to Christ may this day be 
f ivored with so much of his presence, and of the love of the Father 
so much of the joy of heaven, and such a dread of going back 
to betray Christ in the world that you may be wishing that this 
house were indeed the gate of heaven you may desire that you 
might be translated fror:; the table below at once to the table 
above. " I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart 
and be with Christ." Still Christ does not wish that. " I pray 
not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but thou shouldst 
keep them from the evil." " Whither I go thou canst not follow me 
nn\v." (Like that woman in Brainerd's journal " O blessed 
Lord, do come ! O do take me away ; do let me die and go te 

SF.;MON X..III. 123 

Jesus Christ. I am afraid if I iuv I Jiall sin again.") 2. What 
fie Joes mean. He me:t-.js iluit when our journey is done we 
should co*ne to be with hiui. E\ - ery one that comes to Christ has 
a journey to perform in this world. Some have a long and some 
a short one. It is through a wilderness. Still Christ prays that 
at the end you may be with him. Every one that comes to Christ 
hath his twelve hours to fill up for Christ. I must work the works 
of him that sent me while it is day. But when that is done, Christ 
prays that you may be with him. He means that you shall come 
to his Father's house with him. " In my Father's house are many 
mansions." You shall dwell in the same house with Christ. You 
are never very intimate with a person till you see them in their 
own house till you know them at home. This is what Christ 
wants with us that we shall come to be with him at his own 
home. He wants us to come to the same Father's bosom with 
him. " I ascend to my Father and your Father." He wants us 
to be in the same smile with him, to sit on the same throne with 
him, to swim in tne same ocean of love 'with him. 

Learn how certain it is that you shall one day soon be with 
Christ. It is the will of the Father; it is the will of the Son. It 
is the prayer of Christ. If you have really been brought to 
Christ, you shall never perish. You may have many enemies 
opposing you in your way to glory. Satan desires to have you, 
that he may sift you like wheat. Your worldly friends will do all 
thi-y can to hinder you. Still you shall be with Christ. We shall 
see your face at the table of glory. You have a hard heart, an 
unbelieving heart, a heart deceitful above all things, and despe- 
rately wicked. You often think your heart will lead you to betray 
Christ. Still you shall be with Christ. If you are in Christ to- 
day, you shall be ever with the Lord". You have lived a wicked 
life. You Hve dreadful sins to look back upon. Still if you are 
come to Jesus, this is his word to thee, " Thou shall be with me 
in paradise." In truth, Christ cannot want you. You are his 
jewels, his crown. Heaven would be no heaven to him, if you 
were not there. This may give you courage in conrna in thu 
Lord's table. Some of you lear to come to this tablu oecausi , 
though you cleave to Christ to-day, you fear you may betray KIT. 
to-morrow. But you need not fear. " He that hath begun a good 
work in you, will perform it till the day of Jesus Christ." Vou 
shall sit at the table above, where Christ himself shall be at the 
head. You need not fear to come to this table. 

2. To behold my glory which thou hast given me. There are 
three stages in the glory of Christ. It will be the employment of 
heaven to behold them all. 

1st. The origin n I glory of Christ This is his uuderivcd, un- 
cr<-aled glory, as tae equal of the Father. It is spoken of in Prov. 
vhi., 39, " Then I was by him as one brought up with him ; I was 
dailv his delight, rejoicing always before him." And, again, in 

i J4 SEK:*ON AMU. 

this prayer, verse 5,. <; Th .A iry which I had with thcc lefc. ., 
the world was." Of thi& tfv-r/ xio n.jn can speak no angel no 
arrhangel. One thii.g '-lone we know, that wo are to honor thi 
Son even as we honor the Father. He shared with the Father i:i 
being the all-perfect one, when there was none to admire, none to 
adore, no angels with golden harps, no seraphs to hymn his praise, 
no cherubim to cry, Holy, holy, holy. Before <til creatures were, 
he was. One with the "infinitely perfect, good and glorious God. 
He was then all that he afterwards showed himself to be. Crea- 
tion and redemption did not change him. They only revealed 
what he was before. They only provided objects for those beams 
of glory to rest upon, that were shining as fully before, from all 
eternity. Eternity will be much taken up with praising God that 
ever he revealed himself at all ; that ever he came out from the 
retirement of his lovely and blissful eternity. 

2d, When he became flesh. " The Word was made flesh.'' 
Christ did not get more glory by becoming man ; but he mani- 
fested his glory in a new way. He did not gain one perfec- 
tion more by becoming man ; he had all the perfections of God 
before. But now these perfections were poured through a human 
heart. The almightiness of God now moved in a human arm. 
The infinite love of God now beat in a human heart. The com- 
passion of God to sinners now glistened in a human eye. God 
was love before, but Christ was love covered over with flesh 
Just as you have seen the sun shining through a colored win 
dow. It is the same sunlight still, and yet it shines with t 
mellowed lustre. So in Christ dwelt all the fulness of the 
Godhead bodily. The perfection of the Godhead shone through 
every pore, through every action, word and look the same per- 
fections ; they were only shining with a mellowed brightness. 
The veil of the temple was a type of his flesh ; because it cover- 
ed the bright light of the holiest of all. But just as the bright 
light of the shechinah often shone through the veil, so did the 
Godhead of Christ force itself through the heart of the man 
Christ J'-sus. There were many openings of the veil when the 
bright glory shone through. 

(1.) When he turned the water into wine. He manifested forth 
tis slory, and his disciples believed on him Almighty power 
spoke in a human voice and the love of God, too, shone in it ; for 
he showed that he came to turn all our water into wine. 

(2.) When he wept over Jerusalem. That was a great outlet 
of his glory. There was much that was human in it. The 
feet were human that stood upon Mount Olivet. The eyes 
were human eyes that looked down upon the dazzling city. The 
tears were human tears that fell upon the grourj. But oh, there 
was the tenderness of God beating beneath that mantle. Look 
and live, sinners. Look and live. Behold your G d. He that 
hath seen a weeping Christ hath seen the Fathe*- This is Jod 


manifest in the flesh. Some of you tea; that the Father does 
n^t wish you to come to Christ and be saved. But see here, G-nu 
is manifest in the flesh. He that licnh rreen Christ hath seen the 
Father. See here the heart of the Father and the heart of the 
Son laid bare. O wh&rcfore should you doubt. Every one of 
these tears trickles from the heart 01 God. 

(3.) On the cross. The wounds of Christ "vere the greatest 
outlets of his glory that ever were. The Divine glory shone 
more out of his wounds than out of all his life before. The veil 
was then rent in twain, and the full heart of God allowed to stream 
through. It was a human body that writhed* pale and racked, 
upon the accursed tree ; they were hurnW hands that were 
pierced so rudely by the nails ; it was human flesh that bore that 
deadly gash upon the side ; it was human blood that streamed 
from hands, and feet, and side ; the eye that meekly turned to his 
Father was a human eye ; the soul that yearned over his mother 
was a human soul. But O, there was Divine glory streaming 
through all ; every wound was a mouth to speak of the grace and 
love of God. Divine holiness shone through. What infinite 
hatred of sin was there when he thus offered himself a sacrifice 
without spot unto God 1 Divine wisdom shone through ! all 
created inte'Ugencee could not have devised a plan whereby 
God wouid have been just, and yet the justifier. Divine love : 
every drop of blood that fell came as a messenger of love from 
his heart to tell the love of the fountain. This was the love of 
God. He that hath seen a crucified Christ hath seen the Father. 
O, look on the broken bread, and you will see this glory still 
streaming through. Here is the heart of God laid bare, God is 
manifest in flesh. Some of you are poring over your own heart, 
examining your feelings, watching your disease. Avert the eye 
from all within. Behold me, behold me ! Christ cries. Look to 
me, and be ye saved. Behold the glory of Christ. There is 
much difficulty about your own heart, but no darkness about 
the heart of Christ. Look in through his wounds ; believe what 
you see in him. 

3d, Christ's glory above. I cannot speak of this. I trust I 
shall soon one day see it. He has not laid aside the glory which he 
had on earth. He is still the Lamb slain from the foundation of 
the world. But he has got more glory now. His humanity is no 
more a veil to hide any of the beams of his Godhead. God shines 
all the more plainly through him. He has got many crowns now, 
the oil of gladness now, the sceptre of righteousness now. 

Heaven will be spent in beholding his glory. We shall see the 
Father eternally in him. We shall look in his face, and in his 
human eye shall read the tender love of God to us for ever. 
Wo shall hear from his holy human lips plainly of the Father. 
u In that day I shall no more speak to you in parables, but show 
you plainly of the Father." We shall look on his scars, healed, 


yet plain and open on his hands, and feet, and side, and heaven 
Origfat brow, and shall read eternally there the hatred of >:-d 
against sin, and his love to us that made him die for us. And 
sometimes, perhaps, we may lean our head where John leaned 
his, upon h'.s holy bosorn. 'Oh ! if heaven is to be spent thus, 
\\ hat will you do who have never seen his glory ? 

O beloved, if your eternity is to be spent thus, spend much f 
your time thus" If yqu are to be thus engaged at the table 
above, be thus engaged now at the table below. 

Communion Sabbath, Jan. 19, 1S40 


" But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a poss<>ssion, ar ! 
kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brougi.i a certai j 
part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan 
filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back^arf of the price of 
the land ? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own ? and after it wis sold was 
it not in thine own power ? why hast thou conceived thi thing in ti.ine heart ? 
thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias, hearht?. these words, 
fell down, and gave up the ghost ; and great fear came on all fh-iu that heard 
these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, 
and buried Aim. And it was about the space of three hours alter, when his 
wife, not knowing' what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto liei, 
Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much ? And she said, Yea, for so 
much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to 
tempt the Spirit of the Lord ? Behold, the feet of them which have 
buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell slie 
down straightway at his feet and yielded up the ghost; and the young men came 
in, and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And 
great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things 
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among 
the people (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of 
the rest durst no man join himself to them ; but the people magnified them 
And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both, of men and 
women)." Acts v., 1-4. 

THERE have been hypocrites in the Church of Christ from the 
beginning. There was one, Judas, even among the twelve Apos- 
tles : anil in the Apostolic Church there was an Ananias and a 
Sapphira. Attend, 1. To their sin a lie. When so much of 
the spirit was given, all were of one heart and one soul. Those 
that had estates sold them, and brought the price and laid it at 
the Apostles" feet. It was a lovely sight to see. Among the 
rest came one Ananias ; he was rich. From some worldly mo- 
tive, he had joined himself to the Christians, husband and wife, 
both Christless, graceless souls. He sold his possessions to be 
like the rest, and brought a part and said it was his all ! He pre- 
tended to be a Christian, he pretended that grace was in his 
heart. It was not a lie to man only, but to the Holy Ghost ; 
for he was declaring that God had wrought a change" upon his 
soul, when there was none, he was still old Ananias. 2. Their 
punishment. They fell down and gave up the ghost. Oh ! it is 
an awful thing when sinners die in the act of sin, with the lie ic 


their mouth, with the oath on their tongue. So it was with poor 
Ananias and his wife. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, 
they were in the place where all liars go. 3. The effect great 
fear came upon them all. None dare to join themselves to the 
Apostles' company. 

Dear friends, these things are written for our learning. Are 
there none come up here to-day with Ananias' lie in their heart. ? 

The broken bread and poured out wine represent the broken 
body and shed blood of Christ. Oh ! it is enough to men the 
heart of the stoutest to look at them. To take that breua and 
that wine is declaring that you do close with Christ, that yuu take 
him to be your Saviour, that God has opened your heart to be- 
lieve. In marriage, the acceptance of the right hand is a solemn 
declaration, by sign, that you accept the bride or bridegroom : 
and so in the Lord's supper. If it is not so with you, then it 
is a lie ; and it is a lie to the Holy Ghost. Ananias came de- 
claring that he had got the 3pirit's work upon his heart. It was 
a time when much of God's spirit had been given, verses 31, 
32. It is likely he and his wife had some convictions. But 
since it was false, since he was not really what he pretended to 
be, it was said, " he lied 10 the Holy Ghost.'' So, dear friends, 
the Holy Ghost is peculiarly present in this ordinance. He glo- 
rifies Christ. He has converted many in this place. To sin 
to-day is to lie against the Holy Ghost. By coming to the table, 
you profess that you are under the Spirit's teaching. If you are 
not, you lie unto the Holy Ghost ! 

Now, do you know that you have not come to Christ ? Do you 
know that you are unconverted? And will you sit down there 
and take the bread and wine ? Take heed, Ananias ! Thou art 
not lying to a man but unto God. 

Perhaps there is one among you who is secretly addicted to 
drinking, to swearing, to uncleacness. Will you come and take 
the bread and wine ? Take heed, Ananias ! 

Perhaps there are two of you, husband and wife, who know 
that neither of you were ever converted. You never pray toge- 
ther, and yet you agree toge.hor to come here. Take heed, Ana- 
nias and Sapphira ! 

Is there none of you a persecutor ? Suppose a father, whose 
children have come to Christ, but in your heart you hate their 
change ; you oppose it with bitter words ; and yet, with a smooth 
countenance, you come to sit beside them at the sarr2 table ! O, 
hypocrite, take heed lest you drop down dead ! Draw back that 
hand lest it wither ! If we should see the cup drop from your 
hand, and the eye glaze, and ine feet become cold. Oh ! where 
would your soul be f 

Dear children of God, (lo not be discouraged from coming to 
this holy table. Il is spread for sinners that have come to 
Jesus " O, come *nu dine." Some of you say, " I do not 


know the way to this table." Jesus says, " I am the way." 
Some of you say, " I am blind, I cannot see my sins, nor my 
Saviour."' Go wash in the pool of Siloam. Some of you say, 
M I am naked." Jesus says, " I counsel thee to buy of me white 
raiment that thou maycst be clothed." You are polluted in 
your own blood ; but has Jesus thrown his skirt over you ? 
Then, do not fear; come with his robe on you. Come thus, 
and you come welcome. 


(The only specimen of his Table Services, found in his own handwriting, but 
without date.) 

" My beloved is mine, and I am his" 1. " In the arms of my 
faith he is mine." I was once of the world, cold and careless 
about my soul. God awakened me, and made me feel I was lost. 
I tried to make myself good, to menc mr life; but I found it in 
vain. I sat down more lost than bcio-e, I was '.hep told to be- 
lieve on the Lord Jesus So I tried to :i;a 1 :* rr.y:.plf believe. I 
read books on faith, and tried to bend my sou) to b^.eve, that so 
I might get to heaven ; but still in vain. I found it \vrinen, " Faith 
is the gift of God." " No man can call Jesus Lord, but by the 
Holy Ghost." So I sat down more lost than ever. Whilst I was 
thus helpless, Jesus drew near, his garments Jippedin blood. He 
had waited long at my door, though I knew it not. " His head 
was filled with dew, and his locks with the drops of the night." 
He had five deep wonnds ; and he said, " I died in the stead o* 
sinners ; and any sinnzr may have me for a Saviour. You are a 
helpless sinner, will you have' me ?" How can I resist him ! he is 
all I need ! " I held him, and would not let him go." " My be- 
loved is mine" 

2. In the arms of my love, he is mine. Once I did not know 
what people meant by loving Jesus. I always wished to ask how 
they could love one whom they had never seen, but was an- 
swered, "whom not having seen, we lov?." But now that I have 
hidden in him, now that I am cleaving to him, now I feel that I 
cannot but love him ; and I long to see him that I may love him 
more. Many a time I fall into sin, and that takes away my feel- 
ing of safety in Christ. Darkness comes, all is cloudea, Christ is 
away. Still even then I am sick of love. Christ is not light and 
peace to me ; but I fo'.icw hard siLer him amid the darkness he is 
precious to rr.e ; and even though I be in darkness, he is my be- 
loved still. " This is rt:/ ;,3k 7ij, and this is my friend." 

.3. fls is mine in the Sacrament. Many a time have I said to 
him in prayer, Thou art mine. Many a time when the doors were 
shut, and Jesus came in showing his wounds, saying, " Peace be 
unto you," my soul clave to him, and said, " My Lor.d and my 
God !" My beloved thou art mine ! Many a time have I try sled 
with him in lonely places, where there was no eye of man. JNIanv 


a time have I called to the rocks and trees to witness that I took 
him to be my Saviour. He said to me, " I will betrothe thee unto 
me for ever ;" and I said to him, " My beloved is mine." Many 
a time have I gone with some Christian friend, and we poured out 
our trembling hearts together, consulting one with another as to 
whether we had liberty to close with Christ or no, and both toge- 
ther we came to this conclusion, that if we were but helpless sin- 
ners we had a right to close with the Saviour of sinners. We 
clave to him. and called him ours. And now have we come to 
take him publicly, to call an ungodly world to witness, to call 
heaven and earth for a record to our soul, that we do close with 
Christ. See he giveth himself to us in the bread ; lo ! We accept 
of him in accepting this bread. Bear witness, men and angels, 
bear witness, all the u averse " My beloved is mine." 

(The communicants then partook of the broken bread and the cup of blessing.) 

(It was his custom, after they had communicated, to speak briefly 
on a few suitable texts, before dismissing them from the tables. 
On Sabbath. January 19, the texts were "Love one another;" 
" Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it ;" 
" In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in me ye shall have 


" Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless 
bcfure thv. presence of his glory with exceeding joy." Jude 24. 

There is no end to a pastor's anxieties. Our first care is to get 
you into Christ ; and next, to keep you from falling. I have a 
good hope, dearly beloved, that a goodly number of you have this 
day joined yourselves to the Lord. But now a new anxiety be- 
gins, to get you to walk in Christ, to walk after the Spirit. Here 
we are to tell you of what God our Saviour is able to do for you: 
1st, To keep you from falling all the way; 2d, To present you 
faultless at the end. 

I. To keep you from falling. 

1. We are not able to* keep you from falling. Those that lean 
on ministers lean on a reed shaken with the wind. When a soul 
has received saving good through a minister, he often thinks that 
he will be kept from falling by the same means. He thinks, " O 
if I had this'friend always beside me to warn me, to advise me." 
\o ; ministers are not always by, nor godly friends. Your fathers, 
where are they ? and the prophets, do they live for ever ? We 
may soon be taken from you, and there may come a famine of the 
bread. And, besides, our words will not always tell. Wi *.T 
tomptation and passions are stron-g, you would not givR heed 
to us. 



2. You are not able to keep yourselves from falling. At present 
y.'u know littl.' <>i the weakness or wickedness of your own heart 
There is nothing more deceitful than your estimate of your own 
strength. O if you saw your soul in all its infirmity ; if you saw 
how every sin has its fountain in your heart; if you saw what a 
mere reed you ;ire, you would cry, " Lord, hold up my goings." 
You may be at present strong, but stop till an inviting company 
occur; stop till a secret opportunity. O how many have fallen 
then ! At. present you feel strong, your feet like hind's feet. So 
did Peter at the Lord's table. But stop till this burst of feeling 
has passed away ; stop till you are asked to join in some unholy 
game; stop till some secret opportunity of sinning all unseen, til). 
some bitter provocation rouses your anger, and you will find that 
vou are weak as water, and that there is no sin that you may not 
fall into. 

3. Our Saviour-God is able. Christ deals with us as you do 
with your children ; they cannot go alone. You hold them, so 
does Christ by his Spirit. " I taught Ephraim also to go, taking 
them by their arms." Hosea xi., 3. Breathe this prayer " Lord, 
take me by the arms." John Newton says, When a mother is 
teaching her child to walk on a soft carpet, she will sometimes let 
it go, and it will fall, to teach it its weakness ; but not so on the 
brink of a precipice. So the Lord will sometimes let you fall, 
like Peter on the waters, though not to your injury. The shep- 
herd layeth the sheep on his shoulder ; it matters not how great 
the distance be, it matters not how high the mountains, how rough 
the path ; our Saviour-God is an Almighty Shepherd. Some of 
you have mountains in your way to heaven, some of you have 
mountains of lusts in your hearts, and some of you have moun- 
tains of opposition ; it matters not, only lie on the shoulder. Hn is 
able to keep you ; even in the dark valley he will not stumble. 

II. To present you faultless. 

1. Faultless in Righteousness. As long as you live in your 
mortal body, you will be faulty in yourself. It is a soul-ruining 
error to believe anything else. O if ye would be wise, be often 
looking beneath the robe of the Redeemer's righteousness to see 
your own deformity. It will make you keep faster hold of his 
robe, and keep you washing in the fountain. Now, when Christ 
brings you before the throne of God, he will clothe you with his 
own fine linen, and present you faultless. O it is sweet to me to 
thLk how soon you shall be the righteousness of God in him. 
What a glorious righteousness that can stand the light of God's 
face ! Sometimes a garment appears white in dim light : when 
you .^ring it into the sunshine you see the spots. O prize, then 
th.o Divine righteousness, which is your covering. 

2. Faultless in holiness My heart sometimes sickens when 
i think upon the defects of believers ; when I think of one Chris 


tian being fond of company, another vain, another given to evi! 
speaking. O aim to be holy Christians, bright, shining Christians. 
The heaven is more adorned by the large bright conrtellations 
than by many insignificant stars ; so God may be more glorified by 
one bright. Chrictian than by many indifferent ones. Aim at being 
tb'it one. 

on we shall be faultless. He that begun will perform it. We 
shall be like him, fcr we shall see him as he is. When you lay 
down this body, you may say, Farewell lust for ever, farewell my 
hateful pride, farewell hateful selfishness, farewell strife and envy- 
ing, farewell being ashamed of Christ. O this makes death sweet 
indeed. O long to depart and to be with Christ 

III. To him be glory. 

1. O if anything has been dene for your soul, give him the glory. 
Give no praise to others ; give all praise to him. 2. And give him 
the dominion to<j. YieM yourselves unto him, soul and body. 



* The voice of my beloved ! behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skip- 
ping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart : behold he 
standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, showing himself 
through th". l''tice. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my 
lair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone"; 
the flowers appear on the earth ; the time of the singing of birds is come, and 
the voice of the turtle is heard in our land ; the fig-tree putteth forth her green 
figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, i/iy love, my 
fair one, and come away. my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the 
secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice ; 
for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Take us the foxes, the 
little foxes, that spoil the vines; for our vines have tender grapes. My beloved 
i mine, and I am his ; he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and 
the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe, or a young hart, 
upon the mountains of Bether." Song of Solomon ii., 8-17. 

THERE is no boo)- of the Bible which affords a better test of the 
depth of i man s Christianity than the Song of Solomon. (1.) If 
a man's religion be all in his head a well set form of doctrines, 
built like mason work, stone above "stone but exercising no in- 
fluence upon his heart, this book cannot but offend him ; for there 
are no stiff statements of doctrine here upon which his heartless 
religion may be built. (2.) Or, if a man's religion be all in kit 
fancy if, like Pliable in the Pilgrim's Progress, he be taken with 

* Auruat 14, 1836, when he preached as candidate the first day he preach* 
in St. liter's 

X x.xiv. 

the outward beauty of Christianity if, like the seed sown upon 
;he n (!<-. ground, his religion is fixed only in the surface faculties 
of the mind, while the heart remains rocky and unmoved though 
In- will relish this 1-ook much more than the first man, still th, re 
is a mysterious breathing of intimate affection in it, which cannot 
but stumble and offend him. (3.) But if a man's religion be heart. 
religion if he hath not only doctrines in his hsad. but love to 
Jesus in his heart if he hath not only heard and read of the Lord 
Jesus, but hath felt his need of him, and been brought to cleave 
unto him, as the chiefest among ten thousandj and the altogether 
lovely, then this book will be inestimably precious to his soul ; 
for it contains the tenderest breathings of the believer's heart" 
toward the Saviour, and the tenderest breathings of the Saviour's 
heart again towards the believer. 

It is agreed among the best interpreters of this book (1.) Tha* 
it consists not of one song, but of many songs; (2.) That theso 
songs are in a dramatic form ; and (3.) That, like the parables oi, they contain a spiritual meaning, under the dress and orna- 
ments of some poetical incident. 

The passage \\ hich I have read forms one of these dramatical 
songs, and the subject of it is, a sudden visit which an Eastern 
bride receives from her absent lord. The bride is represented to 
us as sitting lonely and desolate in a kio'i, or Eastern arbor, a 
place of safety and of retirement in the gardens of the East, 
described by modern travellers as " an arbor surrounded by a 
green wall, covered with vines and jessamines, with windows of 
lattice work." 

The mountains of Belher (or, as it is on the margin, the mount ; 
of division), the mountains that separate her from her beloved, 
r.Mpenr almost impassable. They look so steep and craggy that 
hr fears he will never be able to come over them to visit her any 
more. Her garden possesses no loveliness to entice her to walk 
forth. All nature seems to partake in her sadness ; winter reigns 
without and within; no flowers appear on the earth; all the 
singing birds appear to be sad and silent upon the trees ; and the 
turtle's voice of love is not heard in the land. 

It is whilst she is sitting thus lonely and desolate that the voice 
of her beloved strikes upon her ear. Love is quick in hearing the 
vo;ce that is loved; and, therefore, she hears sooner than all her 
jr.aidens. and the song opens with her bursting exclamation, 
" The voice of my beloved !" When she sat in her solitude the 
mountains between her and her lord seemed nearly impassable, 
they were so lofty and so steep ; but now she sees with what 
swiftness and ease he can come over these mountains, so that she 
.an compare him to nothing else but the gazelle, or the young 
hart, the loveliest and swiftest creatures of the mountains. " My 
beioved is like a roe, or a young hart." Yea, while she is speak 
ing, already he his arrived at the garden wall, and now, behold 


" he looketh in at the window, showing himself through the lattice/ 
The bride next relates to us the gentle invitation, which seems to 
have been the song of her beloved as he came so swiftly over the 
mountains. While she sat alone all nature ssemed dead winter 
reigned ; but now he tells her that he has brought the spring-time 
along with him. " Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. 
For To, the winter is past, the rain is over and jjone ; the flowers 
appear on the earth ; the time of the singing birds is come, and 
the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig tree putteth 
forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a 
good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." 
Moved by this pressing invitation, she comes forth from her place 
of retirement into the presence of her lord, and clings to him like 
the tinTTOus dove to the clefts of the rock; and then he addresses 
ner in these words of tenderest and most delicate aflection, " O my 
dove, that art in the cklts of the rock, in the secret places of the 
precipice, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice ; 
for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." Joyfully 
agreeing to go forth with her lord, she yet remembers that this is 
the season of greatest danger to her vines, from the foxes which 
gnaw the bark of the vines ; and, therefore, she will not go forth 
without leaving this command of caution to her maidens, " Take 
us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines, for our vines have 
tender grapes." She then renews the covenant of her espousals 
with her beloved, in these words of appropriating affection: "My 
beloved is mine, and I am his ; let him feed among the lilies." 
And last of all, because she knows that this season of intimate 
communion will not last, since her beloved must hurry away again 
over the mountains, she will not suffer him to depart without be- 
seeching him that he will often renew these visits of love, till that 
happy day dawn when they shall not need to be separated any 
more " Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, 
my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart, upon the 
mountains of Either." 

We might well challenge the whole world of genius to produce 
in any language a poem such as this, so short, so comprehensive, so 
delicately beautiful. But, what is far more to our present purpose, 
there is no part of the Bible which opens up more beautifully 
some of the innermost experience of the believer's heart. 

Let us now, then, look at the parable as a description of one of 
those visits which the Saviour often pays to believing souls, when 
he manifests himself unto them in that other way than he doeih 
unto the world. 

1 . When Christ is away from the soul of the believer, he sits 
alone. We saw in the parable, that, when her Lord was away, 
the bride sat lonely and desolate. She did not call for the young 
and the gay to cheer her solitary hours. She did not call for the 
har,j of the minstrel to soothe her in her solitude. There was no 


pip , p'-r tabret, r.-r vine at her feasts. No, she sat alone. The 
ii">i mains seemed nil but impassable. All nature partook of her 
sadness. Ii she r ould not be glad in the light of the Lord's coun- 
tenance, she wi.3 resolved to be glad in nothing else. She sat 
lonely and desol'te. Just so it is with the true believer in Jesus. 
"Whatever be the mountains of Bether that have come between 
his soul and Chriil ; whether he hath been seduced into his old 
sins, so that '* his iniquities have separated again between him and 
his God, and his sins have hid his face from him, that he will 
hear;" or whether the Saviour hath withdrawn for a season the 
comfortable light of his presence for the mere trial of his servant'^ 
faith, to see if, when he ' walketh in darkness and hath no light, 
he will still trust in the name of the Lord, and stay hin.self upon 
his God ;" whatever the mountains of separation be, it is the sure 
mark of the believer that he sits desolate and alone. He cannot 
laugh away his heavy care, as worldly men can do. lie cannot 
drown it in the bowl of intemperance, as poor blinded men can do. 
Even the innocent intercourse of human friendship brings no balm 
to his wound, nay. even fellowship with the children of God is now 
distasteful to his soul. He cannot enjoy what he enjoyed before, 
when they that feared the Lord spake often one to another. The 
mountains between him and the Saviour seem so vast and impas- 
sable that he fears he will never visit him more. All nature par- 
takes of his sadness winter reigns without and within. He sits 
alone, and is desolate. Being afflicted, he prays ; and the burden 
of his prayer is the same with that of an ancient believer " Lord, 
if I may not be made glad with the light of thy countenance, grant 
that I may be made glad with nothing else ; for joy without thee 
is death." 

Ah ! my friends, do you know anything of this sorrow ? Do 
you know what it is thus to sit alone and be desolate, because 
Jesus is out of view ? If you do, then rejoice, if it be possible, 
even in the midst of your sadness ; for this very sadness is one 
of the marks that you are a believer; that you find all your peace 
and all your joy in union with the Saviour. 

But ah! how contrary is the way with most of you? You 
know nothing of this sadness. Yes. perhaps you make a mock 
at it. You can be happy and contented with the world, though 
you have never got a sight of Jesus. You can be merry with 
your companions, though the blood of Jesus has never whispered 
i-ea^e to your soul. Ah ! how plain that you are hastening on to 
the place where ') there is no peace, saith my God to the wicked !" 

II. Chrisfs coming to the desolate believer is often sudden and 
iin-nderful. We saw in the parable, that it was when the bride 
was sitting lonely and desolate that she heard suddenly the voice 
of her lord. Love is quick in hearing ; and she cries out, " the 
voice of my beloved !" Before, she thought the mountains all but 


impassable ; but now she can compare his swiftness to nothing 
but that of the gazelle or the young hart. Yea, whilst she speaks, 
he is at the wall, at the window, showing himself through the 
lattice. Just so is it oftentimes with the believer. Whilst he sits 
alone and desolate, the mountains of separation appear a vast 
and impassab'e barrier to the Saviour, and he lears he may never 
come again. The mountains of a believer's provocations are 
often very great. " That I should have sinned again, who have 
been washed in the blood of Jesus. It is little that other men 
should sin against him ; they never knew him, never loved him 
as I have done. Surely 1 am the chief of sinners, and have 
sinned away my Saviour. The mountain of rny provocations 
hath grown up to heaven, and he never can come over it any 
more." Thus it is that the believer writes bitter things against 
himself; and then it is that oftentimes he hears the voice of his 
beloved. Some text of the Word, or some word from a Christian 
friend, or some part of a sermon, again reveals Jesus in all his 
fulness, the Saviour of sinners, even the chief. Or it may be that 
he makes himself known to the disconsolate soul in the breaking 
of bread, and when he speaks the gentle words " This is my 
body broken for you ; this cup is the ISew Testament in my biood 
shed for the remission of the sins of many ; drink ye all of it :" 
then he cannot but cry out, " The voice of my beloved ; behori 
he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills." 

A\ my friends, do you know anything of this joyful surprise? 
If you d ,\ why should you ever sit down despairingly, as if the 
Lord's hand -were shortened at all that he cannot save, or as if 
his ear were grown heavy that he cannot hear ? In the darkest 
hour say, " Why art thou cast down, O my soul ? and why art 
thou disquieted within me ? Still trust in God, fur I shall yet praise 
him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Come 
expectingly to the word. Do not come with that listless indillur- 
ence as if nothing that a fellow-worm can say were worth your 
hearing. It is not the word of man, but the word of the living 
God. Come with large expectations, and then you will find the 
promise true, that he rilleth the hungry with good things, though 
he sends the rich empty away. 

III. Christ's coming changes all things ttt the believer, and his 
love is more tender than ever. We saw in the parable that when 
the bride sat desolate and alone, all nature was steeped in sadness. 
Her garden possessed no charms to Jraw her forth, for winter 
reigned without and within. But when her Lord came so swiftly 
over the mountains, he brought the spring along with him. All 
nature is changed as he advances, anil his invitation is, " For the 
winter is past, the rain is over and gone ; arise, my love, my fair 
one, and come away." Just so it is with the believer when 
Christ is away ; all is winter to the soul. But when he comes 
again over the mountairs of provocation, he brings a gladsome 


yjn-iric:-.-!.!!:? :.ior.g wi.V him. When that Sun of Righteousness 
crises n'resh upon the soul, not only do his gladdening rays fall 
upon the believer's soul, hut all nature rejoices in his joy. The 
n-oii!. tains and hills bur.: forth before him into singing, and all the 
trr.-s of the field clip their hands. It is like a change of season 
i" the soul. It is like tint sudden change from the pouring rains 
of n. dreary winter to the full blushing spring, which is so peculiar 
to the climes of the Sun. 

The world of nature is all changed. Instead of the thorn comes 
up l he fir tree, and instead of the brier comes up the myrtle tree. 
Every tree and field possesses a new beauty to the happy soul. 
The world of grace is all changed. The Bible wr.s ail dry and 
meaningless before ; now what a flood of light is poured over its 
pages ! how full how fresh, how rich in meaning, how its simplest 
phrases touch the heart ! TJie house of prayer was all sad and dreary 
before, its services W3i*e dry and unsatisfactory ; but now when 
the believer sees the Saviour, as he hath seen him heretofore 
within his holy place, his cry is ' How amiable are thy taberna- 
cles. Lord of Hosts ; a day in thy courts is better than a thou- 
sand." The garden of the Lord was all sad and cheerless before ; 
now tenderness towards the unconverted springs up afresh, and 
love to the people of God burns in the bosom ; then they that fear 
the Lord speak often one to another. The time of singing the 
praises of Jesus is come, and the turtle voice of love to Jesus is 
once more heard in the land ; the lord's vine flourishes, and the 
pomegranate buds, and Christ's voice to the soul is, " Arise, my 
L> - e, rny fair one, and come away." 

As the timorous dove pursued by the vulture, and well nigh made 
a prey, with fluttering anxious wing, hides itself deeper than ever 
in the clefts of the rock, and in the secret place of the precipice, 
so the backslidden believer whom Satan has desired to have that 
he might sift him as wheat, when he is restored once more to the 
all-gracious presence of his Lord, clings to him with fluttering, 
anxious faith, and hides himself deeper than ever in the wounds 
of his Saviour. Thus it was that the fallen Peter, when he had 
so grievously denied his Lord, yet when brought again within 
sight of the Saviour standing upon the shore, was the only one of 
the disciples who girt his fisher's coat unto him and cast himself 
into the sea to swina to Jesus ; and just as that backslidden 
ap.-stle, when again he had hidden himself in the clefts of the 
Rc.Cn. of Ages, found that the love of Jesus was more tender 
tc words him than ever, when he began that conversation which, 
more than all others in the Bible, combines the kindest of reproofs 
with the kindest of encouragements, " Simon, son of Jonas, lovest 
thou rne more than these ?" just so does every backslidden believer 
find, that when again he is hidden in the freshly opened wounds 
of his Lord, the fountain of his love begins to flow afresh, und 
the stream of kindness and affection ': fuller and more overflow- 
ing than ever, fox his word i?. Ol , ay dove, that art in the 


clefts of the rock, in tnc secret places of the precipice, let me so? 
thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for swe< : is thy voice 
and thy countenance is comely." 

Ah, my friends, do you know anything of this ? Have you ever 
experienced such a coming of Jesus over the mountain of your 
provocations as made a change of season to your soul ? and have 
you, backslidden believer, found, when you hid yourself again 
deeper than ever in the clefts of the rock, like Petei girding his 
fisher's coat unto him and casting himself into the sea, have you 
found his love tenderer than ever to your soul ? Then should not 
this teach you quick repentance when you have fallen? Why 
keep one moment away from the Saviour? Are you waiting 
till you wipe away the stain from your garments? Alas! what 
will wipe it off, but the blood you are despising? Are you wait- 
ing till you make yourself worthier of the Saviour's favor ? Alas ! 
though you wait till all eternity, you can never make yourself 
worthier. Your sin and misery are your only plea. Come, and 
you will find with what tenderness he will heal your backslidlngs, 
and love you freely ; and say, " Oh, my dove," &c. 

IV. I observe the threefold disposition of fear, love, and hope, 
which this visit of the Saviour stirs up in the believer's besom. 
These three form, as it were, a cord in the restored believer's 
bosom, and a threefold cord is not easily broken. 

1. First of all, there is fear. As the bride in the parable would 
not go forth to enjoy the society of her lord, without leaving the 
command behind to her maidens to take the foxes, the little foxes, 
that spoil the vines, so does every believer know and feel that the 
time of closest communion is also the time of greatest danger. 
It was when the Saviour had been baptized, and the Holy Ghost, 
like a dove, had descended upon him, and a voice saying, " This 
is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," it was then 
that he was driven into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil ; 
and just so it is when the soul is receiving its highest privileges 
and comforts, that Satnn and his ministers are nearest, the foxes, the 
little foxes, that spoil th.3 vines. J. Spiritual pride is near. When 
the soul is hiding in the wounds of the Saviour, and receiving great 
tokens of his love, then the heart begins to say, Surely I am some- 
body, how far I am above the everyday run of believers. This is one 
of the little foxes that eats out the life of vital godliness. 2. There 
is making a Christ of your comforts, looking to them, and not to 
Christ, leaning upon them, and not upon your beloved. This is 
another of the little foxes. 3. There is the false notion that now 
you must surely be above sinning, and above the power of tempta- 
tion, now you can resist all enemies. This is the pride that goes 
before a fail ; another of the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the 
vines. Never forget, I beseech you, that fear is a sure mark of a 
believer Even when you feel that it is God that worketh in you, 


3ti!l the word saith, work out your salvation with fear and trem- 
b! $; even when your joy is overflowing, still remember it is 
w; u:cn, " rej-~ i o with trembling ;" and again, " be not high-minded, 
bul fear." II member the caution of the bride, and say, " Take 
us tiie foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines, for our vines 
have tender grapes." 

2. But if cautious fear be a mark of a believer in such a season, 
still more is ppropriating love. When Christ comes anew over 
mountains c. provocation, and reveals himself to the soul free and 
full as ever, in another way than he doth unto the world, then the 
soul can say. " My beloved is mine, and I am his." I do not say 
that the believer can use these words at all seasons. In times of* 
darkness and in times of sinfulness the reality of a believer's faith 
is to be measured rather by his sadness than by his confidence. 
But I do say, that, in seasons when Christ reveals himself afresh 
to th^ scul, shining out like the sun, from behind a cloud, with the 
beams of sovereign, unmerited love ; then no other words will 
satisfy the true believer but these, " My beloved is mine, and lam 
his." The soul sees Jesus to be so free a Saviour; so anxious 
that all should come to him and have life ; stretching out his 
hands all the day ; having no pleasure in the death of the wicked ; 
pleading with men, " Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die ?" The 
soul sees Jesus to be so fitting a Saviour ; the very covering 
which the soul requires. When first he hid himself in Jesus, he 
Tound him suitable to all his need ; the shadow of a great rock in 
a weary land. But now he finds out a new fitness in the Saviour, 
as Peter did when he girt his fisher's coat unto him, and cast him- 
self into the sea. He finds that he is a fitting Saviour for the back- 
slidden believer ; that his blood can blot out even the stains of him 
who, having eaten bread with him, has yet lifted up the heel 
against him. The soul sees Jesus to be so full a Saviour ; giving 
to the sinner not only pardons, but overflowing, immeasurable 
pardons ; giving not only righteousness, but a righteousness that 
is more than mortal, for it is all divine; giving not only the Spirit, 
but pouring water on him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry 
ground. The soul sees all this in Jesus, and cannot but choose 
him and delight in him with a new and appropriating love, saying, 
*' My beloved is mine'' And if any man ask, How darest thou, 
sinful worm, to call that divine Saviour thine ? the answer is here. 
For lam his: He chose me from all eternity, else I never would have 
chosen him. He shed his blood for me, else I never would have 
shed a tear for him. He cried after me, else I never would have 
breathed after him. He sought after me, else I never would have 
sought after him. He hath loved me, therefore I love him. He 
hath c hosen me, therefore I evermore choose him. " My beloved is 
aiine. and I am his " 

3. But, lastly, if love be a mark of the true believer at such a 
eason, so also is jwayerful hope. It was the saying of a true 


believer in an hour of high and wonderful communion with Jesus, 
" Lord, it is good for us to be here." JMy friend, you are no be- 
liever if Jesus hath never manifested himself to your soul in your 
secret devotions, in the house of prayer, or in the breaking >i 
bread, in so sweet and overpowering a manner, that you hav-j 
cried out, " Lord, it is good for me to be here.*' But though it be 
good and very pleasant, like sunlight to the eyes, yet the Lord 
sees that it is not wisest and best always to be there. Peter must 
come down again from the mount of glory, and fight the good 
fight of faith amid the shame and contumely of a cold and scorn- 
ful world. And so must every child of God. We are not yet in 
heaven, the place of open vision and unbroken enjoyment. This 
is earth, the place of faith, and patience, and heavenward-pointing 
hope. One great reason why close and intimate enjoyment of the 
Saviour may not be constantly realized in the believer's breast is, 
to give room for hope, the third string that forms the threefold 
cord. Even the most enlightened believers are walking here in a 
darksome night, or twilight at rncst; and the visits of Jesus to 
the soul do but serve to make the surrounding darkness more 
visible. But the night is far spent, the day is at hand. The dc.y 
of eternity is breaking in the east. The Sun of Righteousness is 
hasting to rise upon our world, and the shadows are preparing 
to flee away. Till then, the heart of every true believer, that 
knows the preciousness of close communion with the Saviour, 
breathes the earnest prayer, that Jesus would often come again, 
thus sweetly and suddenly, to lighten him in his darksome pilgrim- 
age. Ah, yes, my friends, let every one, who loves the Lord 
Jesus in sincerity, join now in the blessed prayer of the bride 
" Until the day break and the shadows flee away, turn, my be- 
loved, and be thou like a roe or a voung hart upon the mountains 
of Bether." 


" To the Jew first." Rom. i., 16 

MUST people are ashamed of the Gospel of '>hrist. The wise are 
ashamed of it, because it calls men to believe and not to argue ; 
the great are ashamed of it, because it brings ail into one body ; 
the rich are ashamed of it, because it is to be luU without money 
and without price ; the gay are ashamed of it, because they fear 

Preat ;ed Nov. 17,1839, after returning from the Mission to the Jew? 


it will destroy all their mirth ; and so the good news of the glori 
ous Son of God having conic into the world a surety for lost sin 
i:cij>, is despised, uncared for men are ashamed of it. Who arc 
; ot ashamed of it ? A little company, those whose hearts the 
;-it of God has touched. They were once like the world and 
. 1' it, but He awakened them to see their sin and misery, and that 
Christ alone was a refuge, and now they cry, None but Christ, 
none but Christ ! God forbid that I should glory save in the cross 
of Christ. He is precious to their heart ; he lives there ; he is 
often on their lips, he is praised in their family; they would fain pr- 
cluim him to all the world. They have felt in their own experience > 
that the gospel is the power of Cod unto salvation, to the Jew, and also to the Greek. Dear friends, is this your experience ? 
Have you received the Gospel not in word only but in pc v er? 
Has the power of God been put forth upon your soul along with 
the word? Then this word is yours ; I am not ashamed of the 
Gospel of Christ. 

One peculiarity in this staiement I wish you to notice. He 
r!ories in the Gospel as the power of God unto salvation to the 
Jew first, from which I draw this DOCTRINI,, That the Gospel 
should be preached first to the Jews. 

1. B*i<:use judgment will begin with them. Rom. ii., 6-10. 
"' Indignation and wrath, to the Jew first." It is an awful thought 
that the Jew will be the first to stand forward at the bar of God 
to be judged. When the great white throne is set, and He sits 
down upon it from v/hose face the heavens and earth flee away ; 
\\hen the dead, small and great, stand before God and the books 
are opened, . - .nd the dead '.re judged out of those things that are 
written in th, ; books, is it not a striking thought that Israel, poor 
blinded Israel, will be the first to stand in judgment before God ? 

When the Son of Mat: shall come in his glory, and all the holy 
angels with him, when he shall sit upon the throne of his glory, 
and before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate 
them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the 
goats ; when the awful sentence comes forth from his holy 
lips, depart ye cursed ; and when the guilty many shall move 
away from before him into everlasting punishment ; is it not 
enough to make the most careless among you pause and consider, 
that the indignation and wrath shall first come upon the Jew ; that 
their faces will gather a deeper paleness, their knees knock more 
against each other, and their hearts die within them more than 
others ? 

Why is this? Because they have had more light than any 
other people. God chose them out of the world to be his witness- 
es. Every prophet was sent first to them ; every evangelist and 
apostle had a message for them. Messiah came to them. He 
said, " I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 
The word of God is still addressed to them. They still have it 


pure and unadulterated in their hand ; yet they have sinned against 
all this light, against all this love. " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou 
that killest the prophets, and stonest them which 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 !" 
Their cup of wrath is fuller than that of other men, their sea of 
wrath is deeper. On their very faces you may read in every 
clime that the curse of God is over them. 

Is not this a reason, then, why the gospel should first be preach- 
ed to the Jew? They are ready to perish, to perish more dread- 
fully than other men. The cloud of indignation and wrath that 
is even now gathering above the lost, will break first upon the 
head of the guilty, unhappy, unbelieving Israel. And have you 
none of the bowels of Christ in you, that you will not run first to 
them that are in so sad a case ? In a hospital, the kind physician 
runs first to that bed where the sick man lies who is nearest to 
die. When a ship is sinking, and the gallant sailors have left the 
shore to save the sinking crew, do they not stretch out the arm 
of help first to those that are readiest to perish beneath the waves ? 
And shall we not do the same for Israel ? The billows of God's 
anger are ready to dash first over them ; shall we not seek to bring 
them first to the rock that is higher than they? Their case is 
more desperate than that of other men ; shall we not bring the 
good physician to them, who alone can bring health and cure ? foi 
the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first 
and also to the Greek. 

I cannot leave this head without speaking a word to those of 
you who are in a situation very similar to that of Israel ; to you 
who have the word of God in your hands, and yet are unbelieving 
and unsaved. In many respects, Scotland may be called God's 
second Israel. No other land has its Sabbath as Scotland has 
no other land has the Bible as Scotland has ; no other land has 
the gospel preached free as the air we breathe, fresh as the stream 
from the everlasting hills. O then, think for a moment, you who 
sit under the shade of faithful ministers, and yet remain uncon- 
cerned and unconverted, and are not brought to sit under the 
shade of Christ, think how like your wrath will be to that of the 
unbelieving Jew. And think, again, of the marvellous grace of 
Christ, that the gospel is first to you. The more that your sins are 
UK scarlet and like crimson, the more is the blood free to you that 
washes white as snow ; for this is still his word to all his ministers, 
Begin at Jerusalem. 

8. It is like God to care first for the Jews. It is the chief ,i, r l<>ry 
and joy of a soul to be like God. You remember this was the 
glory of that condition in which Adam was created. " Let us 
make man in our image, after our likeness." His understanding 
was without a cloud. Ke saw. in some measure, as GoJ sceth. 
His will flow&i in the same channel with God's will. His affec- 


lions fastened on the same objects which God also loved. When 
man fell, we lost all this, and became children of the devil, and 
not children of God. But when a lost soul is brought to Christ, 
and receives the Holy Ghost, he puts off the old man, and puts on 
the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true 
holiness. It is ow true joy in this world to be like God. Too 
many rest in the joy of being forgiven, but our truest joy is to 
be like him. O rest not, beloved, till you are renewed after His 
image, till you partake of the Divine nature. Long for the day 
when Christ shall appear, and we shall be fully like him, for we 
shall see him as he is. 

Now, what I wish to insist upon at present is, that we should 
be like God, even in those things which are peculiar. We should 
be like hm in understanding, in will, in holiness, and also in his 
peculiai affections. " Love is of God, and every one that loveth 
is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth 
not God, for God is love." But the whole Bible shows that God 
has a peculiar affection for Israel. You remember when the Jews 
were in Egypt, sorely oppressed by their taskmasters, God heard 
their cr , and appeared to Moses " I have seen, I have seen, the 
affliction of my people, and I have heard their cry, for I know 
their sorrows." 

And, again, when God brought them through the wilderness, 
Moses tells them why he did it; Deut. vii., 7. "The Lord did 
not set his love upon you, nor choose you because ye were more 
in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people, 
but because the Lord loved you." Strange, sovereign, most pe- 
culiar love. He loved them because he loved them. Should we 
not be like God in this peculiar attachment? 

But you say God has sent them into captivity. Now, it is true 
God hath scattered them into every land. " The precious sons of 
Zi<n, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen 
pitchers !" Lam. iv., 2. But what says God of this ? "I have 
left mine house, I have forsaken mine heritage, I have given ike 
dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies." Jer. xii., 
7. It is true that Israel is given, for a little moment, into the hand 
of her enemies, but it is as true that they are still the dearly beloved 
of his soul. Should we not give them the same place in our heart 
which God gives them in his heart? Shall we be ashamed to 
cherish the same affection which our heavenly Father cherishes ? 
Shall we be ashamed to be unlike the world, and like God in this 
peculiar love for captive Israel ? 

But you say God has cast them off. Hath God cast away his 
people which *he foreknew ? God forbid ! The whole Bible 'con- 
tra iicts such an idea. Jer. xxxi., 20, " Is Ephraim my dear son ? 
is he a pleasant child ? for since 1 spake against him, I do earnestly 
remember him still. Therefore my bowels are troubled fur him 
I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord." " I will plan! 


them again in their own land assuredly, with my whole heart and 
with my whole soul." ' Zion saith, the Lord hath forsaken me, 
and my Ltfrd hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her suck- 
ing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her 
womb ? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Isaiah 
xlix., 14. ' And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written, There 
shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodli- 
ness from Jacob." Now the simple question for each of you is, 
and for our beloved Church, Should we not share with God in his 
peculiar affection for Israel ? If we are filled with the Spirit ot 
God, should we not love as he loves ? Should we not grave Is- 
rael upon the palms of our hands, and resolve that through our 
mercy they also may obtain mercy. 

3. Because there is peculiar access to the Jews. In almost all 
the countries we have visited this fact is quite remarkable ; in- 
deed it seems in many places as if the only door left open to the 
Christian missionary is the door of preaching to the Jews. 

We spent some time in Tuscany, the freest state in the whole 
of Italy. There you dare not preach the Gospel to the Roman 
Catholic population. The moment you give a tract or a Bible, it 
is carried to the priest, and by the priest to the Government, and 
immediate banishment is the certain result. But the door is open 
to the Jews. No man cares for their souls; and therefore you 
may carry the Gospel to them freely. 

The same is the case in Egypt and Palestine. You dare not 
preach the Gospel to the deluded followers of Mahomet; but you 
may stand in the open market place and preach the Gospel to the 
Jews, no man forbidding you. We visited every town in the 
Holy Land where Jews are found. In Jerusalem and in Hebron 
we spoke to them all the words of this life. In Sychar we rea- 
soned with them in the synagogue, and in the open bazaar. In 
Chaifa, at the foot of Carmel, we met with them in the synagogue. 
In Sidon also we discoursed freely to them of Jesus. In Tyre 
we first visited them in the synagogue and at the house of the 
Rabbi, and then they returned our visit ; for when we had lain 
down in the khan for the heat of mid-day, they came to us in 
crowds. The Hebrew Bible was produced, and passage after 
passage explained, none making us afraid. In Saphet, and Tibe- 
r ias, and Acre, we had the like freedom. There is indeed perfect 
liberty in the Holy Land to carry the Gospel to the Jew. 

In Constantinople, if you were to preach to the Turks, as some 
have tried, banishment is the consequence; but to the Jew you may 
carry the message. In WaWtchia and Moldavia the smallest at- 
u.-mpt to convert a Greek would drawdown the instant vengeance 
of the holy Synod and of the Government. But in every to\vn 
wo went freely to the Jews in Bucarest, in Foxany, in Jassy 
and in many a remote Wallachian hamlet, we spoke without hin 
drance the message to Israel. The door is wide open. 

144 SERMON xxv. 

Iii Austria, \\here no missionary of any kind is allowed, stil. 
we found the Jews willing to hear. In their synagogues we 
always found a sanctuary open to us, and often when* they knew 
tlu-y could have exposed us, they concealed that we had been 

In Prussian Poland, the door is wide open to nearly 100 000 
Jews. You dare not preach to the poor Rationalist Protestants. 
Even in Protestant Prussia this would not be allowed ; but you 
may preach the Gospel to the Jews. By the law of the land 
every church is open to an ordained minister ; and one of the 
missionaries assured me that he often preached to 400 or 500 
Jews and Jewesses at a time. Schools for Jewish children are' 
also allowed. We visited three of them, and heard the children 
taught the way of salvation by a Redeemer. Twelve years ago 
the Jews would not have come near a church. 

If these things be true, and I appeal to all of you who know 
these countries if it is not ; if the door in one direction is shut, 
and the door to Israel is so widely open ; O do you not think that 
God is saying by his Providence as well as by his Word, Go 
rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ? Do you think 
that our Church, knowing these things, will be guiltless if we do 
not obey the call? for the Gospel is the power of God unto salva- 
tion, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

4. Because they will give life to the dead world. I have often 
thought that a reflective traveller, passing through the countries 
of this world, and observing the race of Israel in every land, 
might be led to guess, merely from the light of his natural reason, 
that that singular people are preserved for some great purpose in 
the world. There is a singular fitness in the Jew to be the mis- 
sionary of the world. They have not that peculiar attachment 
to home and country which we have. They feei that they are 
outcasts in every land. They are also inured to every clime ; 
they are to be found amid the snows of Russia and beneath the 
burning sun of Hindostun. They are also in some measure ac 
quainted with all the languages of the world, and yet have one 
common language the holy trngue in which to communicate 
with one another. All these things must, I should think, suggest 
themselves to every intelligent traveller as he passes through 
other lands. But what says the Word of God? 

Zechariah viii., 13. " It shall come to pass, that as ye were a 
curse among the heathen, O h^tise of Judah and house of Israel ; 
so will I save you, and he shall be a blessing." To this day they 
are a curse among the nations, by their unoelief ; by their covet- 
ousness ; but the time is coming when they shall be as great a 
blessing as they have been a curse. 

Micah v., 7. " And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst 
of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the 
grass, tha' tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.' 


Just as we have found, among the parched hills of Jadah, that the 
evening dew, coming silently down, gave life to every plant, 
making the grass to spring, and the flowers to put forth their 
sweetest fragrance, so shall converted Israel be when they come 
as dew upon a dead dry world. * 

Zech. viii., 23. " In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men 
shall take hold, out of all languages of the nations, even shall take 
hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; 
for we have heard that God is with you." This never has been 
fulfilled ; but as the Word of God is true, this is true. Perhaps 
some one may say. If the Jews are to be the great missionaries of 
the world, let us s> % nd missions to them only. We have got a new 
light let us call back our missionaries from India. They are 
wasting their precious lives there in doing what the Jews are to 
accomplish. I grieve to think that any lover of Israel should so 
far pervert the truth, as to argue in this way. The Bible does not 
say that we are to preach only to the Jew, but to the Jew j?rsf. 
" Go and preach the gospel to all nations," said the Saviour. Let 
us obey his Word like little children. The Lord speed our beloved 
missionaries in that burning clime. The Lord give them good 
success, and never let one withering doubt cross their pure minds 
as to their glorious field of labor. All that we plead for is, that, in 
sending our missionaries to the heathen, we may not forget to 
begin at Jerusalem. If Paul be sent to the Gentiles, let Peter be 
sent to the twelve tribes that are scattered abroad ; and let not a 
by-corner in your hearts be given to this cause let it not be an 
appendix to the other doings of our Church, but rather let there be 
written on the very front of your hearts, and on the banner of 
our beloved Church, " To the Jew first," and " Beginning at 

Lastly, Because there is a great reward. Blessed is he that 
blesseth thee ; cursed is he that curseth thee. Pray for the peace 
of Jerusalem ; they shall prosper that love her. We have felt 
this in our own souls. In going from country to country, we felt 
that there was one before us preparing our way. Though we 
have had perils in the waters and perils in the wilderness, perils 
from sickness, and perils from the heathen, still from all the Lord 
has delivered us ; and if it shall please God to restore our revered 
companions in this mission, in peace and safety to their anxious 
families,* we shall then have good reason to say, that in keeping 
his commandment there is great reward. 

But your souls shall be enriched also, and our Church, too, if 
this cause find its right place in your affections. It was well said 
by one who has a deep place in your affections, and who is now 
on his way to India, that our Church must not only be evangelical, 
but evangelistic also, if she would expect the blessing of God. She 

Drs. Black and Keith were at this time still detained by sickness abroad 


must not only have the light, but dispense it also, if she is to be 
continued as a steward of God. May I not take the liberty of add- 
ing to this striking declaration, that we must not only be evange 
listic, but evangelistic as God would have us to be-~nol only dis- 
pense the light on every hand, but dispense it first to the Jew. 

Then shall God revive his work in the midst of the years. 
Our whole land shall be refreshed as Kilsyth has been. The 
cobwebs of controversy shall be swept out of our sanctuaries, the 
jarrings and jealousies of our Church be turned into the harmony 
of praise, and our own souls become like a well-watered garden 



1 Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth Yea, saith the 
Spirit, that they may rest from their labors : and their works do follow them." 
Rev. xiv, 13 

THERE are two remarkable things in the manner in which these 
words are given to us. 

I. They are the words of the Father echoed back by the Spirit. 
" I heard a voice from heaven." " Yea, saith the Spirit." John's 
eye had been riveted upon the wondrous sight mentioned in 
verse 1. A Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and one hundred and 
forty-four thousand redeemed ones following him whithersoever 
he goeth, when suddenly a still small voice broke upon his ear, 
saying, " Write, blessed are the dead ;" and then the Holy Spirit 
breathed Amen, " Yea, saith the Spirit." 

It is written in the law that the testimony of two witnesses is 
true. Now here are two witnesses the Father of all and the 
Holy Spirit the Comforter, both testifying, that it is a happy thing 
to die in the Lord. Is there any of you, God's children, who 
tremble at the thought of dying? Does death appear a monster 
with a dreadful dart, ready to destroy you? Here are two sweet 
and blessed witnesses who declare that death has lost its sting 
that the grave has lost its victory. Listen, and the frown will 
disappear from the brow of death : the valley will be filled with 
light ; the Father and the Holy Spirit both unite in saying, 
" Blessed are the dead." 

II. " Write" Whatever is written down is more durable, and 
lesf liable to be corrupted, than that which is only spcken from 

Preached in the summer of 1840 


mouth to mouth. For this reason God gave the Israelites the Ten 
Commandments, written with his own finger on two tables of 
stone. For the same reason he commanded them, on the day they 
passed over Jordan, to set up great stones, and plaster them with 
plaster, and write upon them all the words of that law. For the 
same reason, God commanded his servants, the prophets, to write 
their prophecies, and the apostles to write their gospels and 
epistles, so that we have a permanent Bible instead of floating 
tradition. For this reason, did Job wish his words to be written. 
" O that my words were written ! O that they were printed in a 
book ! That they were graven with an iron pen, and with lead in 
the rock for ever ! I know that my Redeemer liveth." Job. xix.. 
25. It was one of his precious, ever memorable sayings, a saying 
to comfort the heart of a drooping believer in the darkest hour 
" I know that my Redeemer liveth" For the same reason did the 
voice from heaven say, " write" do not hear it only but write it 
print it in a book, grave it with an iron pen, with lead in the 
rock for ever. 

" Blessed are the dead." Learn the value of this saying. It is 
a golden saying, there is gold in every syllable of it. it is sweeter 
than honey and the honeycomb ; more precious than gold, yea, 
much fine gold. It is precious in the eyes of God. Write it deep 
in your hearts ; it will solemnize your life, and will keep you from 
being led away by its vain show. It will make the syren songs 
of this world inconvenient, and out of tune ; it will sweetly soothe 
you in the hour of adversity ; it will rob deatfi of its sting, and the 
grave of its victory. Write, write deep on your heart, " Blessed 
are the dead which die in the Lord." 

Now, consider the words themselves. 

1. Blessed are the dead" The world say, " Blessed are the 
living ;" but God says, " Blessed are the dead." The world judge 
of things by sense, as they outwardly appear to men ; God judges 
of things by what they really are in themselves ; he looks at things 
in their real color and magnitude. The world say, " Better is a 
living dog than a c:ead lion." The world look upon some of their 
families, coming out like a fresh blooming flower in the morning, 
their cheeks covered with the bloom of health, their step bounding 
with the elasticity of youth, riches and luxuries at their command, 
long, bright summer days before them. The world say, " There 
is a happy soul." God takes us into the darkened room where 
some child of God lately dwelt. He points to the pale face where 
death sits enthroned, the cheek wasted by long disease, the eye 
glazed in death, the stiff hands clasped over the bosom, the friends 
standing weeping around, and he whispers in our ears, " Blessed 
are the dead." Ah, dear friends, think a moment ! whether does 
God or you know best ? Who will be found to be in the right at 
last? Alas, what a vain show you are walking in ! Disquieted 
in vain. " Man that is in honor and understandeth not, is like the 


beasts that perish." Even God's children sometimes sav 
" Blessed are the living." It is a happy thing to live in the favoi 
of God, to have peace with God, to frequent the throne of grace, 
to burn the perpetual incense of praise, to meditate on his word, 
to hear the preached gospel, to serve God ; even to wrestle, and 
.run. and fiirht in his service is sweet. Still God says, " Blessed 
are the dead." If it be happy to have his smile here, how much 
happier to have it without a cloud yonder ! If it be sweet to be 
tlu- growing corn of the Lord here, how much better to be gathered 
into his barn ! If it be sweet to have an anchor within the veil, 
how much better ourselves to be there, where no gloom can come ! 
" In thy presence is fulness of joy ; at thy right hand are pleasures 
for evermore." Even Jesus felt this God attests it. " Blessed 
are the dead" 

1. Not all the dead, but those that "die in the Lord. 9 ' It is 
truly amazing the multitudes that die. " Thou earnest them away 
as with a flood." Seventy thousand die every day, about fifty 
ev( j ry minute, nearly one every second, passing over the verge. 
Life is like a stream made up of human beings, pouring on, and 
rushing over the brink into eternity. Are all these blessed ? Ah, 
no. " Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." Of all that vast 
multitude continually pouring into the eternal world, a little com- 
pany alone have savingly believed on Jesus. " Strait is the gate 
and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be 
that find it." It is not all the dead who are blessed. There is no 
blessing on the Christless dead ; they rush into an undone eternity, 
tmpardoned, unholy. You may put their body in a splendid 
coffin; you may print their name in silver on the lid ; you may 
bring th<? well-attired company of mourners to the funeral in suits 
of solemn black ; you may lay the coffin slowly in the grave ; you 
may spread the greenest sod above it ; you may train the sweet- 
est flowers to grow over it ; you may cut a white stone, and grave 
a gentle epitaph to their memory; still it is but the funeral of a 
damned soul. You cannot write blessed where God hath written 
" cursed" " He that believeth shall be saved ; he that believeth not 
shall be damned." 

Consider what is 'mplied in the words, " in the Lord." 
J. That they were joined to the Lord. Union to the Lord has 
a beginning. Every one that is blessed in dying has been con- 
verted. You may dislike the Word, but that is the truth. They 
were awakened ; began to weep, pray, weep as they went to seek 
the Lord their God. They saw themselves lost, undone, helpless ; 
that they could not be just with a holy God. They became 
babes. The Lord Jesus drew near, and revealed himself. " I 
am the bread of Life." " Him that cometh unto me I will in no- 
wise cast out." They believed and were happy ; rejoiced in the 
Lord Jesus ; counted everything but loss for Christ. They gave 


themselves to the Lord. This was the beginning of their being 
MI Christ. 

Dear friends, have you had this beginning ? Have you under- 
gone conversion, the new birth, grafting into Christ ? Call it by 
any name you will, have you the thing? Has this union to Christ 
taken place in your history ? Some say, I do not know. If at 
any time of your life you had been saved from drowning, if you 
were actually drowned and brought to life again, you would 
remember it to your dying hour. Much more if you had been 
brought to Christ. If you had been born blind, and by some 
remarkable operation your eyes were opened when you were full 
grown, would you ever forget it ? So if you have been truly 
brought into Christ, you may easily remember it. If not, you 
will die in your sins. Whither Christ has gone, thither you cannot 
come. " Except ye repent and be converted, ye shall all likewise 

2. Perseverance is implied. Not all that seem to be branches 
are branches of the true vine. Many branches fall off the trees 
when the high winds begin to blow ; all that are rotten branches. 
So in times of temptation, or trial, or persecution, many false 
professors drop away. Many that seemed to be believers went 
back, and walked no more with Jesus. They followed Jesus ; they 
prayed with him; they praised him, but they went back, and 
walked no more with him. So is it still. Many among us doubt- 
less seem to be converted, they begin well and promise fair, who 
will fall off when winter comes. Some have fallen off, I fear, 
already ; some more may be expected to follow. These will not 
be blessed in dying. O of all death beds, may I be kept from 
beholding the death-bed of the false professor ! I have seen it 
before now, and I trust I may never see it again. They are not 
blessed after death. The rotten branches will burn more fiercely 
; n the flames. O think what torment it will be to think that you 
spent your life in pretending to be a Christian, and lost your 
opportunity of becoming one indeed ! Your hell will be all the 
deeper, blacker, hotter, that you knew so much of Christ, and 
were so near him, and found him not. Happy are they who 
endure to the end, who are not moved away from their hope of 
the gospel, who, when others go away, say, Lord, to whom can 
we go ? In prosperity, they follow the Lord fully ; in adversity, 
they cleave to him closer still, as trees strike their roots deeper in 
storms. Is this your case? endure it to the end. Be not moved 
away from the hope of the gospel ; Coloss. i., 23. We arc made 
partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence 
steadfast unto the end ; Heb. iii., 15. Even in the dark valley you 
will cling to him still. Come to him as ye came at first, a guilty 
creature, clinging to the Lord our Righteousness. Thou wast 
made my sin. This is to die in the Lord, and this is to be blessed. 


I1J Reasons why they are bl:ssed. 

1. Because of the time, "From henceforth." The time of the 
persecutions of Popery \v;is coming on. He was to wear out the 
saints of the Most High ; he was to overcome and slay the follow 
ers of the Lamb. Happy are they that are taken from the evil t.c 
come. The righteous perish and no man layeth it to heart. 
Merciful men are taken away, none considering that he is taken 
away from the evil to come. This is one reason why it is better 
to be with Christ. Persecutions and troubles are not easy to flesh 
and blood. If in our day we be called to them, we must beai 
them boldly, knowing that a good reward is provided for those 
that overcome ; see Rev. ii., 3. " And hast borne, and hast 
patience, and for my name's sake hast labored and hast not faint- 
ed." But if it be the will of God to call us away before the day 
of trial come, we must say, "Blessed are the dead who die in the 
Lord from henceforth." There will be no persecutions there 
All are friends to Jesus there, every one contending who shall 
cast their crowns lowest at his feet, who shall exalt him highest in 
their praise. No discord there. None to rebuke our song there. 

2. They rest from their labors. That which makes everything 
laborious here is sin; the opposition of Satan and the world, and 
the drag of our old nature. Some believers have a constant 
struggle with Satan. He is standing at their r.ght hand to resist 
them; he is constantly distracting them in prayer, hurling fiery 
darts at their soul, tempting to the most horrid S'n. Their whole 
life is labor. But when we die in the Lord, we shall rest tivrn 
this labor. Satan's work will be clean done. The accuser of the 
brethren will no more annoy. No lion shall be there, ne.thei 
shall any ravenous beast go up thereon, but the redeemed shall 
walk thewe. But above all, the wicked heart, the old man. the 
body of sin, makes this life a dreadful labor. When we wake in 
the morning, it lies like a weight upon us. When we would run 
in the way of God's commandments, it drags us back. When we 
would fly, it weighs us down. When we would pray, it fills our 
mouth with other things. "O wretched man that I am." But to 
depart and be with Christ, is to be free from this. We shall drop 
this body of sin altogether. No more any flesh, all spirit, all new 
man ; no more any weight or drag ; we shall rest from our labors. 
Oh, it is this makes death in the Lord blessed. We shall not rest 
from all work ; we shall be as the angels of God ; we shall serve 
him day and night in his temple. We shall not rest from our 
work, but from our labors. There will be no toil, no pain, in our 
work. We shall rest in our work. Oh, let this make you willing 
to depart, and make death look pleasant, and heaven a home. 
" We shall rest from our labors." It is the world of holy love, 
where we shall give free, full, unfettered, unwearied expression to 
our love for ever*." 

3. Works Jillow. Our good works done in the name of Jesus 


shall then be rewarded. 1st, Observe, they shall not go before 
the soul. It is not on account of them we shall be accepted. We 
must be accepted first altogether on account of him in whom we 
stand. 2d, Our evil works shall be forgotten, buried in the depths 
of the sea, forgotten, not more mentioned. 3d, All that we have 
done out of love to Jesus shall then be rewarded. We may forget 
them, and say to Jesus, " When saw we thee sick or in prison, and 
came unto thee ?" But he will not forget them : " Inasmuch as 
ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have 
done it unto me." A cup of cold water shall not go unrewarded. 
Look to the recompense of reward, dear friends, and it will take 
the sting from death. 

IV. What followed. The Lord Jesus "put in his sickle and 
reaped." See verses 14, 15. 

1. Learn that the Lord Jesus gathers his sheaves before a 
storm, just as farmers do ; so when you see him gathering ripe 
saints, be sure that a storm is near. 

2. Learn that Jesus gathers his saints in love. When Jesus 
gathers his own, he does it in love. Do not mourn for them as 
those who have no hope. Jesus has gathered them into his 
bosom. They shall shine as the sun. 



" What have I to do any more with idols ?" Hosea xiv., 8. 

EVERY one who has been truly united to Christ, and has this day 
confessed him before men, should now take up these words, and 
solemnly, in the presence of God, declare, ' What have I to do 
any more with idols?" Two reasons are given. 

I. Verse 4. God loves you freely. If you are this day come 
to Jesus, God loves you freely. If you believe on him that justi- 
fieth the ungodly, your faith is counted for righteousness. As 
long as you came to God in yourself, you were infinitely vile, 
loathsome, condemned ; mountains of iniquity covered your soul ; 
but blessed, blessed, blessed be the Holy Spirit who has led you 
to Jesus. You have come to God's righteous servant, who by his 
knowledge justifies many, because he bears their iniquities. Your 
sins are covered, God sees no iniquity in you ; God loves you 
freely, his anger is turned away from you. What have you to do 
then anv more with idols? Is not the love of God enomrh for 


thee ? The loving and much loved wife is satisfied with the lov 
of her husband ; his smile is her joy, she cares little for any other. 
So, if you have come to Christ, thy Maker is thine husband ; his 
free love to you is all you need, and all you can care for ; there is 
no cloud between you and God ; there is no veil between you and 
the Father ; you have access to him who is the fountain of hap- 
piness, of peace, of holiness ; what have you to do any more with 
idols ? Oh ! if your heart swims in the rays of God's love, like a 
little mote swimming in the sunbeam, you will have no room in 
your heart for idols. 

II. The Spirit, like dew, descends on your souls. Verse 5, " I 
will be like the dew." If you are this day united to Jesus, the 
Spirit will come like dew upon your soul. The Spirit is given to 
them that obey Jesus, " I will pray the Father." When all nature 
is at rest, not a leaf moving, then at evening the clew comes 
down, no eye to see the pearly drops descending, no ear to hear 
them falling on the verdant grass, so does the Spirit come to you 
who believe. When the heart is at rest in Jesus, unseen, unheard 
by the world, the Spirit comes, and softly fills the believing soul, 
quickening all, renewing all within. ' If I go away I will send 
him unto you." Dear little ones, whom God hath chosen out of 
this world, you are like Gideon's fleece, the Lord will fill you 
with dew when all around is dry. You are his vineyard of red 
wine ; he says, I will water it every moment, silently, unfelt, un- 
seen, but surely. But, ah ! that Spirit is a holy Spirit. " I the 
Lord thy God am a jealous God." He cannot bear an idol in his 
temple. When the ark of God was carried into the temple of 
Dagon, the idol fell flat before it ; much more when the Holy 
Spirit comes into the heart will he cast out the idols. 

" When Christ came into the temple, he found those that sold 
oxen, and 'sheep, and doves, and the changers of money, sitting ; 
and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all 
out of the temple." John ii., 15. So when the Holy Spirit comes 
into any heart, he drives out the buyers and sellers. If you have 
received the Spirit, you will be crying now in your heart, Lord, 
take these things hence ; drive them out of my h^art. What 
have I to do any more with idols ? Some of the idds to be cast 
away are. 

1. Self -righteousness. This is the largest idol of the human 
heart, the idol which man loves most and God hates most. Dear- 
ly beloved, you will always be going back to this idol. You are 
always trying to be something in yourself, to gain God's favor by 
thinking little of your sin, or by looking to your repentance, tears, 
prayers ; or by looking to your religious exercises, your frames, 
&c. ; or by looking to your graces, the Spirit's work in your heart. 
Beware of false Christs. Study sanctification to the utmost, but 
make not a Christ of it. God h'ates this idol more than all others 


becauoe it comc-s in the place of Christ ; it sits on Christ's throne. 
Jusl '*s the woiship of the Virgin Mary is the worst of ail kinds 
of idolatry, because it puts her in the place of Christ, so self-right- 
eousness is the idol God hates most, for it sits on the throne of 
Christ. Dash it down, dear friends; let it never appear airain. 
It <s like Manasseh's carved image in the holiest of all. When 
Manasseh came home an altered man to Jerusalem, would not hia 
first visit be to the holiest of all? With eager hand he would 
draw the veil aside ; and when he found the carved image, he 
would dash it down from the throne of God. Go and do likewise. 
If you feel God's love freely by the righteousness without works, 
then why would you go back to this grim idol ? What have I to 
do any more with idols ? 

2. fjyrling Sins. Every man has his darling sins. Long they 
kept yr.u from the Lord Jesus. You have this day declared that 
you were willing to leave them all for Christ. Go home, then, 
-%nd perform your vows. After Hezekiah's passover, when they 
ngd enjoyed much of the love and spirit of God, " All Israel that 
nere present went home, and broke the images in pieces, and cut 
*own the groves, until they had utterly destroyed them all." 
Vou might have seen them entering the shady groves and dash- 
ng down the carved images. Go you and do likewise. Dash 
lown family idols, unholy practices that have spread through your 
family. Dash down secret idols in your own heart. Leave not 
one. Remember, one Achan in the camp troubled Israel, and 
they were smitten before their enemies. So, one idol left in your 
heart may trouble you. Let Achan be slain if you would go on 
your way rejoicing. What have I to do any more with idols ? 
" If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off." 

3. Unlawful attachments. There is not a more fruitful source 
of sin and misery than unlawful attachments. How much of the 
poetry and music of our country are given over to the 'worship of 
the idols of a foolish heart ! How many are given over to wor- 
ship a piece of clay that will soon be eaten of worms ! O my 
friends, have you felt the love of God ? Do you feel the sweet, 
full beams of his grace shining down upon your soul ? Have you 
received the dew of his Spirit? How can you, then, any more 
love a creature that is void of the grace of God? What hive 
you to do any more with idols ? Dear young persons, abhor the 
idea of marriage with the unconverted. Be not unequally yoked 
together with unbelievers. Marry only in the Lord. Remember, 
if it be otherwise, it is a forbidden marriage. There may be none 
on earth so kind or faithful as to forbid the banns. Earthly friends 
may be kind and smiling; the marriage circle may be gay and 
lovely : but God forbids the banns. But may there not be a law- 
ful attachment ? I believe there may ; but take heed it be not an 
idol. I believe they are happiest who are living only for eternity, 
who have no object in this world to divert their hearts from Christ. 


" The time is short ; it remaineth that they who have wives be as 
though they had none." " What have I to do any more with 
idols ?" 

4. Ministers. You have good reason to love ministers, and to 
esteem them highly for their works' sake. They love you ; they 
watch for your souls as they that must give an account ; they bear 
you on their hearts ; they travail in birth till Christ be formed in 
you ; they spend and are spent for you ; they often endure amaz 
ing temptations, agonies, wrestlings, for your sake. 

Some have been your spiritual fathers. This is a holy tie that 
will never be broken. You have good reason to love your spiri-, 
tuaJ father. You may have ten thousand instructors in Christ, 
&c. ; but ah ! make not an idol of them. The people that would 
have worshipped Paul, were the very people that stoned him, and 
left him for dead. O I wish that this day may bring you so near 
to Christ, and so much under the love of God and the dew of Israel, 
that you shall no more glory in man ! What have I to do any 
more with idols ? 

5. Earthly pleasures. This is a smiling, dazzling idol, that has 
ten thousand worshippers, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of 
God. What have you to do any more with this idol ? Some- 
times it is a gross idol. The theatre is one of its temples, there it 
sits enthroned. The tavern is another, where its reeling, stagger- 
ing votaries sing its praise. What have you to do with these ? 
Have you the love of God in your soul, the Spirit of God in you? 
How dare you cross the threshold of a theatre or a tavern any 
more ? What ! the Spirit of God amid the wanton songs of a 
theatre, or the boisterous merriment of a tavern ! Shame on such 
practical blasphemy ! No ; leave them, dear friends, to be cages 
of devils and of every unclean and hateful bird. You must never 
cross their threshold any more. What shall I say of games, cards, 
dice, dancing? I will only say this, that if you love them you 
have never tasted the joys of the new creature. If you feel the 
love of God and the Spirit, you will not lightly sin these joys 
away amid the vain anxieties of cards, or the rattling of senseless 
dice. What shall I say of simpering tea-parties, the pleasures of 
religious gossipping, and useless calls, without meaning, sincerity, 
or end ? I will only say, they are the happiest of God's children 
who have neither time nor heart for these things. I believe there 
cannot be much of the Spirit where there is much of these. What 
sh:ill I say of dress? A young believer, full of faith and joy, was 
offered a present of flowers for her hair. She would not take 
them. She was pressed to accept them ; still she refused. Why 
will you not ? Ah, she said, how can I wear roses on my brow, 
when Christ wore thorns on his ? The joy of being in Christ is 
p sweet, that it makes all other joys insipid, dull, lifeless. In his 
right hand are riches and honors ; in his left are length of days. 


His ways are ways of pleasantness. What, then, have I to do any 
more with idols? 

6. Money. Dear souls, if you have felt the love of God, the 
dew, you must dash down this idol. You must not love money. 
You must be more open-hearted, more open-handed. To the poor 
" He that gives to the poor lends to the Lord." " Inasmuch as 
ye did it to the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me." 
You must build more churches. God be praised for what has been 
done ; but you must do far more. I have as many in this parish 
who go nowhere as would' fill another church. You must give 
more to missions, to send the knowledge of Jesus to the Jews, and 
to the Gentile world. O how can you grasp your money in hand 
so greedily, while there are hundreds of millions perishing? You 
that give tens must give your hundreds. You that are poor must 
do what you can. Remember Mary, and the widow's mite. Let 
us resolve to give the tenth of all we have to God. God is able 
to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always having all- 
sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 

7. Fear of man. Grim idol, bloody mouthed ; many souls he 
has devoured and trampled down into hell ! His eyes are full of 
hatred to Christ's disciples. Scoffs and jeers lurk in his eye. The 
laugh of the scorner growls in his throat. Cast down this idol 
This keeps some of you from secret prayer, from worshipping 
God in your family, from going to lay your case before ministers, 
from openly confessing Christ. You that have felt God's love and 
Spirit, dash this idol to pieces. Who art thou, that thou shouldst 
be afraid of a man that shall die? Fear not, thou worm Jacob. 
What have I to do any more with idols ? 

Dearly-beloved and longed-for, my heart's desire for you is, to 
sec you a holy people. How much longer my ministry may be 
continued among you God only knows ; but if God give me health 
and grace among you, I here willingly devote my all to him. No 
moment, no pleasure, no ease, no wealth, do I wish for myself. I 
feel that he has bought me, and I am his property. O come, give 
yourselves to the Lord with me. Bind yourselves to the horns ot 
God's altar. Time past is enough to have been the devil's, the 
world's, our own. Now, let us be Christ's alone. Are you wil- 
ling ? Lord, bear witness ; seal it in heaven ; write it in thy 
book. Bear witness, angels, devils, scowling world, bear witness, 
sun and moon, bear witness, stones and timber, bear witness, Jesus, 
Lamb of God ! We are thine now, and thine for ever. What 
have we to do any more with idols ? 

'25th Oct., 1840. 




" But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in th 
Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our 
Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life " Jude 20-21. 

I. Those that have been built on Christ have need to build them- 
selves still more on Christ. If you come rightly to this table, you 
have been hewn out of the rock, and carried, and laid on the sure 
foundation. Others set at naught that stone, but to you it is the 
only name under heaven. You have been built on Christ alone 
for righteousness. Think not all is done, forget what is behind. 
You have begun salvation, work out your salvation. 

1. Build yourselves more simply on Christ, on Christ alone, his 
blood and righteousness. Some are like a stone resting half on 
the foundation and half on the sand. Some take half their peace 
from Christ's finished work, and half from the Spirit's work within 
them. Now the whole of our justification must be from Christ 
alone. Other foundation can no man lay. 

2. Build yourselves more surely on Christ. Some stones do not 
lie smoothly on the foundation, they are apt to totter. Seek, bre- 
thren, to get a sure founding on the Lord Jesus Christ. " If ye 
continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away 
from the hope of the gospel." It is easy to sail with a gentle sea 
and the wind in the west, but the gale tries whether the ship be 
rightly balanced. It is easy to believe in a sunny day like this, 
when broken bread and poured out wine have been in your hands; 
but slop till you are in the wilderness, or afar at sea alone, stop 
till fresh guilt lies on the conscience, stop till a strong temptation 
blows ; O then to rely on Christ alone for righteousness ! Under 
a sight of sin, Satan grappling with the soul ; O then to look up 
into the face of Christ and say, Thou art my robe, my righteous- 
ness, my shield, thy blood, thy obedience is enough for me ! this 
is to believe. 

II. Pray in the Holy Ghost. When a believer prays he is not 
alone, there are three with him, the Father seeing in secret, his ear 
open ; the Son blotting out sin, and offering up the prayer ; the 
Holy Ghost quickening and giving desires. There ca"n be no true 
prayer without these three. Some people pray like a parrot, re- 
peating words when the heart is far from God. Some pray with- 
out the Father. They do not feel. They are speaking to the back 
of their chair, or to the world, or to the empty air. Some pray 
without the Son. They come in their own name ; in their own 
righteousness That is the sacrifice of fools. Some pray with- 
out the Holy Ghost. These are not filled with divine breath- 
ings. Dear friends, if you would live, you must pray ; and if you 


would pray with acceptance, you must pray to the Father in the 
name of Jesus, and by his Spirit quickening. 

1. Get the Holy Ghost. Many seem not to know if there be a 
Holy Spirit. Jesus being raised by the Father, has obtained the 
Spirit. Ask him. 

2. Let him breathe within you. Do not vex him. 

3. Pray without ceasing. Whatever you need, ask him imme- 
diately. Have set times of approaching God solemnly Let 
nothing interfere with these times. Take your best time. 

III. Keep yourselves in tlie love of God. It is when you are 
built on Christ, and praying in the Holy Ghost, that you keep 
yourselves in the love of God. There is one glorious Being whom 
God loves infinitely. " I am not alone, for the Father is with me." 
He loved him from eternity, for the pure, spotless image of him- 
self. He loved him for laying down his life. He is well pleased 
for his righteousness' sake. The eye of the all-perfect One rests 
with perfect complacency on him. Have you this day come into 
Christ this day come under his shield are this day found in 
him ? If you are in the love of God, keep yourselves there. 

1. Care not for the love of the world. If you were of the world, 
the world would love its own. Its best smiles are little worth.' 
The world is a dying thing a crucified man to them that are in 

2. Prize the love of God. Oh it is sweet to be in the garden 
of spices to have God for your refuge God rejoicing over you. 
1st, This takes all the sting away from affliction. God is love to 
me. The hand that wounds is the gentlest and most loving. 
2d, This takes their sting from the world's reproaches. 3d, This 
makfs death sweet. It is a leap into the arms of infinite love, 
though to some a leap into a dark eternity. O keep yourselves in 
the love of God. 

IV. Looking for mercy. You will be incomplete Christians if 
you do not look for the coming again of the Lord Jesus. If the 
Table has been sweet to-day, what will it be when Jesus comes 
again to receive us to himself ? If his love-letters and love-tokens, 
sent from a far country, be so sweet, what will the Bridegroom 
himself be when he comes and takes us by the hand to present us 
to himself, and acknowledge us before an assembled world ? 

1. You will gel an open acquittal on that day. Now he gives 
us sweet acquittal at the bar of conscience : he says, " Peace be 
unto you." But when it is open, we shall wear the blood-washed 
robe. It will need to Be mercy even at that day. 

2. Perfect deliverance from sin. Now he gives us the victory 
by faith. He gives us to feel the thorn, and to look up for grace 
sufficient. Then he will take the thorn away. We shall be like 
Jesus in soul and body. O be casting sweet looks of love towardi 


that day. When a child is expecting an elder brother's return 
when he is to bring some gift, how often he runs to the windovf 
and watches for his coming. Your elder brother is coming with 
a sweet gift. O cast your eye often towards the clouds, to see if 
they will break and let his beautiful feet through ! Shorten }he 
time by anticipation. 

3. Jesus no more dishonored. Honor to the Lamb is a sweet 
mercy to a believing soul. A high day like this, when Jesus gets 
many a crown cast at his feet, is sweet to a believing soul. How 
much more the day when we shall wear his full crown, and when 
the slain lamb shall be fully praised ; and when he shall come to 
be glorified, who once came to be spit upon. That truly shall be 
mercy to our poor soul. Our cup shall run over. 

3d January, 1841. 



M Wisdom crieth without ; she uttereth her voice in the streets : she crieth in the 
chief places of concourse, in the openings of the gates : in the city she uttereth 
her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity ? and the 
ecorners, delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge ? Turn you at my 
reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my 
words unto you." Prov. i., 20-23. 

THAT none other than our Lord Jesus Christ is intended to be 
minted to us under the majestic figure of Wisdom in the Book of 
Proverbs, is evident from the passage before us. Of whom but 
the Saviour could it be said so truly that he stood with outstretch- 
ed hands in the streets, in the markets, and in the openings of the 
gates, crying after the simple ones the publicans and sinners ; 
and the scorners the Scribes and Pharisees ; and those haters of 
knowledge the Jewish priesthood ? And again, of whom but 
the Saviour could it be said, with any truth at all, that he offered 
to " pour out his Spirit upon the returning sinner, and to make 
known his words unto him ?" Christ alone " hath ascended up on 
high, leading captivity captive ; and hath received gifts for men, 
yea, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among 

Before pressing home upon you, brethren, this earnest and soul- 
piercing call of the Saviour, there are two explanations which I 
anxiously desire you to bear in mind First, That the call of the 
Saviour, in the words before us, and the promise with which it is 
accompanied, are addressed to sinners, and not to saints. Nay 
more, they are not addressed to all sinners promiscuously ; they 

sriuioN xxvn 159 

are not addressed to those who have been awakened to know their 
sin and danger, and are crying out, " Men and brethren, what 
ghall we do?" but they are addressed to the simple ones, who are 
loving their simplicity to the scorners, who delight in their scorn- 
ing to the fools, that hate knowledge. The Bible is full of most 
precious promises to Christ's " hidden ones," his peculiar people, 
his body, his bride ; and there are many pressing calls and most 
winning encouragements to those in whom God hath begun the 
good work by convincing them of sin. But the words before us 
belong to neither of these ; they are addressed to those who are 
lead in trespasses and sins ; to those who are so much lost that 
they do not know that they are lost ; to those who are happy and 
comfortable in their sins ; to those who have not a doubt as to the 
sufficiency of their worldly decency and respectability as a 
righteousness before God, and who do not so much as move the 
question whether they are saved or unsaved ; the simple ones loving 
their simplicity, the scorners who delight in scorning, the fools who 
hate knowledge. 

Is there none of you who has a secret suspicion that he may be 
iust one of these characters which we have described ? I would 
beseech that man to feel that HE, then, is this day addressed by the 
Saviour, not in the accents of wrath, but of tenderest kindness. 
It is to you that Jesus stretches out these beseeching hands. It is 
to you that Jesus speaks these gentle wowds. Oh ! how blinded 
you are to the bowels and compassions of the Saviour. Oh ! how 
you dishonor him every day by your hard and blasphemous 
thoughts of him. You think that because you delight in going 
away from him, therefore he hath nothing but messages of anger 
and of coming judgment for you. But, oh ! how much wiser to 
gather his thoughts toward you from his own words : " Turn you 
at my reproof. Behold I will pour out, not judgment, but my Spirit 
unto you, I will make known my words unto you." 

My second explanation is, That the call of Christ is to an im- 
mediate conversion. He doth not say : WHY will ye love your 
simplicity ? but, " How long will ye love your simplicity ?" And 
again, he doth not say, Turn at any time, and I will pour out my 
Spirit unto you ; but, " Turn at my reproof ;" that is, Turn this 
day while I am reproving you. Immediate turning unto God 
immediate application to the blood of Christ immediate accept- 
ance of the righteousness of God a movement this day conver- 
sion this day this, and nothing but this, is the doctrine of the text. 
Let none of you say, I will take the gracious offer into considera- 
tion I will take up the question some day soon with all due de- 
liberation I will set apart some future day for the very purpose 
of settling it. That man of you is as effectually casting a mockery 
on the words of the Saviour, as if he were to say, I will have 
neither part nor lot in this matter. It is not resolutions for the 
future that Christ asks of you, and to which he attaches the pro. 

160 SERMON xxvn. 

misc of the Spirit : it is a turning this ilay conversion this day, 
whilst he is reproving you. 

Having premised these things, it is now my desire to press 
home upon you the call of the Saviour by means of three argu- 

I. The call of the Saviour ought to be obeyed by you, because of 
the rich promise with which it is seconded. " Turn you at my re- 
proof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make 
known my words unto you." 

Often in the Bible are sinners entreated to turn and believe on 
Jesus, for the sake of the peace and the pardon to be found in be- 
lieving ; but the argument here is a more rare, and perhaps a still 
more moving one. Here you are besought to turn and believe, 
that you may be made new creatures : " Turn you at my reproof: 
behold I will pour out my Spirit unto you." 

1. Think how essential such a change is to your well-being: 
" Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 
' Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." To dwell in the 
new heavens and the new earth, we must be made new creatures. 
There will be exquisite scenery in heaven, when the pearly gates 
of the New Jerusalem appear ; but a blind man could not enjoy 
it. There will be exquisite melody in heaven, from the golden 
harps of angels and the redeemed ; but a man without an ear for 
music could not enjoy it. And just so there will be spotless holi- 
ness in heaven it will be the very atmosphere of heaven how, 
then, could an unholy soul enjoy it? " Marvel not that I said unto 
you, Ye must be born again." But if this be an essential change 

2. Think how impossible it is with man. Search every sect 
and system of philosophy, search every plan of education, search 
from one end of the earth to the other, where will you find a power 
to make you holy ? 

" The depth saith, It is not in me : 
And the sea saith, It is not with me. 
It cannot be gotten for gold, 

Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. 
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pears : 
For the price of Wisdom is above rubies." 

A man may be able to change his sins, but, ah ! what man can 
change his heart? The reason why this is utterly impossible with 
man, is, that he is not only fond of the objects of sin, but he is fond 
of his sinful heart ; he is not only simple, but he loves his sim- 
plicity ; not only scornful, but delights in scorning ; not only a 
fool, but he hates the very knowledge that would make him wise 
unto salvation. Which of you, then, does not feel the power of 
the Saviour's tenderness in ti e offer which he makes this day to 
the most careless and unawakened of you all : " Turn you at my 
reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you." If you will 


only turn and accept of Christ this day, he offers to give you that 
Spirit which alone can make you a new creature which alone 
can give you a heart that will do for heaven. 

You utterly mistake the matter, if you think that Christ here 
offers to put you under a system of strictness and restraint. Yon 
utterly mistake the matter, if you think the gift of the Spirit is to 
make you walk in ways of preciseness and of pain ; for the whole 
Bible testifies that' the ways 'in which the Spirit leads us are ways 
of pleasantness and peace. Suppose a man happened to be so 
foolish and inconsiderate as to have an invincible relish for some 
poisonous drug, because of the sweetness and agreeableness of 
the taste ; and had formed the habit of making such constant use 
of it that death would, through time, be the inevitable consequence. 
I can imagine two ways in which the friends of that inconsiderate 
man, anxious for his life, might cure him of his strange and most 
destructive appetite. \st, They might forcibly restrain and keep 
him away from the use of the poison, forbidding it even to be 
brought within his sight. This would be the system of restric- 
tion ; the appetite would remain, but it would be crossed and de- 
nied. Or, %dly, Instead of forcibly taking away the poison, they 
might bring new and wholesome objects before him, the taste of 
which was far more agreeable and excellent ; so that, when 
once he had tasted these, there would be no fear of his so much as 
desiring the poison any more. A new taste has been introduced, 
so that the drug which seemed sweet and agreeable before, seems 
now no longer palatable. Now, though this parable be a very 
imperfect one, yet it shows distinctly the one feature in sanctifica- 
tion which I wish to bring into view, namely, its pleasantness. 
The Spirit which Christ oners sanctifies us never in the first way, 
but always in the second way ; not by restraining us, but by 
making us new. By nature we love sin, the world and the things 
of the world, though we know that the wages of sin is death. 
Now to cure this I can imagine a man setting himself down 
deliberately to cross all his corrupted passions, to restrain all his 
appetites, to reject and trample on all the objects that the natural 
heart is set upon. This is the very system recommended by Sa- 
tan, by anti- Christ, and the world. But there is a far more excel- 
lent way, which the Holy Ghost makes use of in sanctifying us ; 
not the way of changing the objects, but the way of changing the 
affections ; not by an external restraint, but by an internal renew- 
ing. As it is said in Ezekiel : " A new heart also will I give you, 
and a new spirit will I put within you ; and I will take away the 
stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you an heart of nesh ; 
and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my 
statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them." AM 
then, brethren, if there be one poor sinner here who has been de- 
ceived by the detestable heresy of the world as if the keeping 
of the commandments by the saints were a grievous and unwilling 



service let that man. this day, open his eyes to the true nature 
of Gospel holiness t'nat God does not offer to work in you to do 
without first working in you to will He does not offer to pluck 
from you your favorite oVjects ; but he offers to give you a new 
taste for higher objects ; and just as the boy finds it no hardship to 
cast away the toys and trifles that were his bosom friends in child- 
hood, so the saint feels no hardship in casting away the wretched 
playthings that so long amused and cheated the soul ; for behold a 
new world hath been opened up by the Spirit of God, to the ad- 
miring, enamored gaze of the believer in Jesus. 

Behold, then, ye simple ones, that are loving your simplicity, 
what an argument is here to move you to immediate conversion ; 
to immediate acceptance of Jesus ! If you will only put on Christ, 
behold he offers this day to begin the work of creating you anew ; 
not of crossing and restraining you, and tying you down to services 
which you loathe, but of giving you a taste and a delight in ob- 
jects which angels, which every holy and happy being delights in. 
" Turn you at my reproof." 

II. The call of the Saviour to TURN NOW ought to be obeyed by 
us, because conversion becomes every day harder. There is no law 
of our nature that works with a surer und more silent power than 
the law of habit. That which at nrst we find the utmost difficulty 
in accomplishing, becomes easier upon every trial, till habit be- 
comes as it were, a second nature. Thus, in learning to read 
how slow and how gradual is the progress made ! until, trained 
by oft-repeated trial, the stammering tongue becomes the tongue 
of grace and fluency. Nay, so easy does the art become, that we 
at length forget to notice the very letters which compose the 
words we read. Just similar is the growth of habit in sinning. 
Depraved as is the natural heart, yet the ingenuous mind of youth 
finds something painful and revolting in acquiring the first oath 
which fashion or companionship obliges him to learn. The loose 
jest and the irreligious sneer, will generally summon up the blush 
of indignation in the cheek of the simple-hearted boy, newly usher- 
ed into the busy world. But who does not know the power of 
habit in rubbing off the fine varnish of the delicate mind ? who 
has not within a few months, heard the oath drop as if with native 
vivacity from the tongue ? who has not seen vice and profanity 
pass unreproved, even by the silent blush of shame ? As it is 
with these sins, so it is with the greatest sin of which humanity is 
guilty ; the sin of rejecting the Saviour. There is a time in youth 
when the mind seems peculiarly open to the reception of a Saviour. 
There is a time when the understanding and the affections sud- 
denly burst forth into maturity, like the rose-bud bursting into the 
full-blown rose ; a time when all the passions of our nature spurn 
contrr.'. and break forth with a reckless impetuosity; and all . x- 
perience testifies that that is the time when conviction of sin may 


most easily be wrought in the soul ; the time when the work ano 
sufferings of the Saviour may with greatest hope of success be 
presented to the mind. It is then that the whole scene of Gospel 
truth flashes upon the mind with a freshness and a power which, 
in all human probability, it never will do again. The tenderness 
of a Saviour's love, if resisted then, will everyday lose more of its 
novelty and of its power to touch the heart ; the habit of resist- 
ance to the word and testimony of a beseeching God will every 
day become more predominant ; the stony heart will every day 
become more a heart of adamant; the triple brass of unbelief will 
every day become more impenetrable. Oh ! my friends, it is fear- 
ful to think how many among us are every hour subjecting our 
hearts to this sure and silent process of hardening. Look back, 
brethren, as many of you may do, to the time when Christ and his 
sufferings had first an awakening interest to your soul. Look 
back to the first death in your family, or the first time you pre- 
pared to sit down at the holy sacrament. Were there not arous- 
ing, quickening feelings stirred in your breast, which now you 
have not ? Had you not some struggle of conscience ; something 
like a felt kicking against the pricks, in rejecting Christ, in putting 
away the tenderness of the tenderest of beings ? But you were 
successful in the struggle, you smothered every disquieting whis- 
per, you lulled every pang of uneasiness. The Spirit was striv- 
ing with you ; but you quenched his awakening influences. And 
now, do you not feel that these days of feeling are well-nigh past ; 
that spirit-stirring seasons are becoming every year rarer and 
rarer to you ? Deaths are more frequent around you ; but they 
speak with less power to your conscience. Every sacrament 
seems to lose something of its affecting energy ; every Sabbath 
becomes more dull and monotonous. It is true you may NOT feel 
all this. There is a state of the conscience in which it is said to 
be past feeling. But if there be any truth in the Bible, and any 
identity in human nature, this process of hardening is going on day 
after day in every unconverted mind. Oh ! it is the saddest of all 
sights that a godly minister can behold, to see his flock, Sabbath 
alter Sabbath, waiting most faithfully on the stirring ministrations 
of the Word, and yet going away unawakened and unimpressed ; 
for well he knows that the heart that is not turned, is all the more 

How simple and how mighty an argument is here to persuade 
you to turn to God this day. This day we hold out to you all the 
benefits to be found in Christ ; forgiveness through his blood, ac- 
ceptance through his righteousness, sane tificat ion by his Spirit. 
Rejoct them, and you add not only another act of sin to the burden 
of your guilt, but you add another hardening crust to your im- 
penetrable heart. Phis day refuse Christ, and, by all human calcu- 
lation, you will more surely refuse him the next day ; so that, 
A/..uKii at all meaning to question the sovereignty of the Spirit of 


God, who workcth whensoever and on whomsoever it pleaseth him, 
the only conclusion that any reasonable man has a right to come to, 
is, that this day, of all days between this and judgment, is the best 
and likeliest for your conversion ; and your dying day that sad 
season of tossings and heavings, before the spirit is torn from its 
earthly tenement is, in all human calculation, the worst day of 
your life for turning unto God. When the minister of Christ pulls 
aside the curtains of your bed, to speak the word of Jesus Christ, 
the ear that for a whole lifetime has heard the glad message of 
salvation all unmoved, will, in that hour, hear as if it did not hear. 
The heart that has so long turned aside the edge of the Word of 
Life, will then be like the nether millstone. " To-day, then, if ye 
will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." 

III. The call of the Saviour to turn now ought to be obeyed by 
us, because the Saviour will not always call. " My Spirit will not 
always strive with man," was the warning of God given to the 
antediluvian world. " Now they are hid from thine eyes" was a 
similar warning given by the Saviour to Jerusalem. And the pas- 
sage immediately following the text, expresses the same sentiment 
in still more fearful language. And who does not see the solem- 
nity and power which it gives to the call of the Saviour, that the 
time is at hand when he will not call any more ? 

Behold yon majestic figure bearing on his body the marks of 
the Man of Sorrows ; but bearing in his eye and words the aspect 
of Him " who liveth, and was dead, and behold he is alive for ever- 
more." Behold, how he stands in an attitude of unmingled tender- 
ness to sinners, even the chief! Behold, how the beseeching 
hands are stretched out ! Hearken to the soft accents of mercy, 
of invitation, of promise : " / will pour out my spirit unto you." 
But remember that attitude of mercy is but for a time: these be- 
seeching hands are stretched out only for a time; these accents of 
gentleness are but for a time. The day is at hand when he shall 
come " with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also 
which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because 
of him." This is Christ's attitude of judgment. No more are the 
inviting hands stretched out beseechingly ; for the rod of iron is 
in his right hand, and his enemies are before him as a potter's 
vessel. His right hand teacheth him terrible things ; his arrows 
are sharp in the hearts of the King's enemies, whereby the people 
fall under him. And oh ! how fearfully shall his accents of ten- 
derness be changed ! 

" I also will laugh at your calamity ; 
I will mock when your fear cometh ; 
When your fear cometh as desolation ; 
And your destruction cometh as a whirlwind ; 
\V hen uidireas a, d anguish cometh upon you." 

Oh ! what a day will it be, when the tender-hearted iy> 


that wept at the grave of Lazarus, shall laugh at your cala- 
mity, and mock at your terrors ! The contrast between these 
two representations is so striking, that it cannot escape the 
notice of any one. But what I wish you to observe is, that it is 
not only a very striking change, but a very sudden one. The 
transition from kindness to indignation is here not gradual, like 
the change from day into night. There is no twilight, as it were ; 
the transition is sudden as it is terrible. May not this be intended 
to teach us that God frequently ceases to strive with men, not 
gradually, but suddenly? not only that death is frequently sudden, 
and that the coming of the Son of Man shall surely be sudden, as 
a thief in the night, but that the withdrawing of the beseeching 
Saviour from living men who long resist his call, is often sudden 
and irremediable ? Awake, then, brethren, those of you who 
think it is all one when you repent and embrace the Saviour, 
provided it be done before you die. Awake, those of you who 
say : " A little more sleep, and a little more slumber ; a little 
more folding of the hands to sleep." The sun of grace may set 
not like the sun of nature ; there may be no calm and tranquil 
twilight, when thou mightest bethink thee of the coming darkness, 
and flee to Him who is the light of the world. However this may 
be, there is enough surely in the fact, that the Spirit withdraws 
from those who resist him, whether suddenly or gradually, to 
move every one of you this day to immediate conversion. It 
must be now, or it may be never. 

On a winter evening, when the frost is setting in with growing 
intensity, and when the sun is now far past the meridian, and 
gradually sinking in the western sky, there is a double reason why 
the ground grows every moment harder and more impenetrable 
to the plough. On the one hand, the frost of evening, with 
ever-increasing intensity, is indurating the stiffened clods. On 
the other hand, the genia! rays, which alone can soften them, are 
every moment withdrawing and losing their enlivening power. 
Oh ! brethren, take heed that it be not so with you. As long as 
you are unconverted, you are under a double process of harden- 
ing. The frosts of an eternal night are settling down upon your 
souls; and the ,Sun of Righteousness, with westering wheel, is 
hastening to set upon you for evermore. If, then, the plough of 
grace cannot force its way into your ice-bound heart to-day, what 
likelihood is there that it will enter in to morrow ? Amen. 

Larbert, JVov. 15, 1835. 




" A *on honoreth hi3 father, and a servant his master : if then I be a father, w h*.re 
is mine honor ? and if I be a master, where is my fear ? saith the Lord of 
hosts unto you." Mai. i., 6. 

THE first conviction that is essential to the conversion of the soul, 
is conviction of sin ; not the general conviction that all men are. 
sinful, but the personal conviction that I am an undone sinner: 
not the general conviction that' other men must be forgiven or 
perish, but the personal conviction that I must be forgiven or 
perish. Now, there is no greater barrier in the way of this truth 
being impressed on the soul, than the felt consciousness of pos- 
sessing many virtues. We cannot be persuaded that the image 
of God has so completely been effaced from our souls as the Bible 
tells us, when we feel within ourselves, and see exhibited in others, 
what may almost be termed godlike virtues. The heroes of 
whom we have read in history, with their love of country, and 
contempt of death, their constancy in friendship, and fidelity in 
affection, seem to rise up before us to plead the cause of injured 
humanity. And what is far more baffling, our every-day expe- 
rience of the kindness of hospitality, the flowings of unbounded 
generosity, the compassion that weeps because another weeps ; 
and all this among men that care not for Christ and his salvation, 
seems to raise a barrier impregnable against the truth, that man 
is conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity. When we enter one 
cottage door, and see a whole company of brothers and sisters 
melted into tears at the sight of a dying sister's agonies ; or when 
we enter another door, and see the tenderness of a mother's 
affection toward the sick infant in her bosom ; or when we see, in 
a third family, the cheerful obedience which the children pay to 
an aged father ; or, in a fourth family, the scrupulous integrity 
with which the servant manages the affairs of an earthly master, 
we are ready to ask, Is this indeed a world of sin 1 is it possible 
that the wrath of God can be in store for such a world ? It will 
be very generally granted, that there are some men so utterly 
worthless and incorrigible, so far gone in the ways of desperate 
wickedness, that nothing else is to be expected for them, but "an 
eternity of hopeless misery. There is a crew of abandoned 
profligates, who scoff at the very name of God and religion. 
There are Atheists, who openly deny his very being ; Infidels, 
who openly deny that Christ came in the flesh. There are cold- 
blooded murderers, and worse than murderers, who are confessed 
by all to be a disgrace to the name of man. For these, few 
would dare to plead exemption from the awful vengeance that 


awaits the ungodly. So that there is a felt reasonableness in the 
dreadful words : "The abominable, and murderers, and whoremon- 
gers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their 
part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." But 
that the obedient child, and the faithful servant, the tenderly 
affectionate mother, the hospitab'e and generous neighbor, the 
man of intelligence and good feeh ig, that all these should ever 
be bound up in the same bundle of uestruction, and consigned to 
the same eternal flames, merely because they do not believe in 
Jesus : this is the rock of offence on which thousands stumble 
and fall, to their inevitable loss. 

There is. perhaps, no way more commonly used by man, to 
repel all the personal convictions of sin which the Word of 
God would cast on us. For do I not feel within me all the 
tender affections of humanity, all the honesties and integrities of 
our nature ? Do I not feel pleasure in being honest and fair deal- 
ing, in being compassionate, and generous, and hospitable ? How 
plainly, then, may I say to my soul : " Soul, take thine ease ?" 
These virtues of thine are a sure token that thou art born for a 
blessed eternity. Ah ! my friends, is it not a most blessed thing 
that, in the passnge now before us, God wrests from our hand the 
very weapon wherewith we would defend ourselves, and turns 
it with a shaft to pierce our worldly consciences? And, oh! 
if we had minds as intelligent as when Adam walked with God 
in Paradise, nothing more would be necessary to carry to our 
hearts the overwhelming conviction of sin than the repetition of 
the words : " A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master ; 
if then I be a father, where is mine honor ? and if I be a master, 
where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you." There is 
a power and a pathos in this argument, which might well break 
down the hardest and most unfeeling mind ; it is as if God had 
said, as he elsewhere doth : " Come and let us reason together." 
You say that you have many excellent virtues, that you have 
tender and beautiful affections; you say that filial and parental 
love occupy a master-place in your bosom, that integrity and un- 
sullied honesty beat high in your breast. And do I deny all th's ? 
Shall I detract from the glory of my own handiwork, so beautiful, 
even in ruins ? No, it is all true ; the son does honor his lather, 
the servant is faithful to his master ; all is beautiful, when I 
look only to the earthly relationships. But that is the very thing 
which shows the utter derangement of all the heavenly relation- 
ships; for, "if I then be a father, where is mine honor? if 1 be 
a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you." 
I see that you honor your earthly fathers, and serve faithfully 
your earthly masters ; but that is the very thing which shows 
me that I am the exception. I see that there is not a father in the 
whole universe that is deprived of the loveof his children, but me 
there is not a master under heaven that is robbeti of the honor 


and service of his domestics, as I am. If, brethren, you and 1 
wore sunk into ;irtu;il brutality, if we had no love for parents, nc 
honesty to masters, then God might have had cause to say of us, 
that nothing better could be expected from such wretches, than 
that we should forget our heavenly Father and Master. But, oh ! 
when there are such tender and beautiful affections in our bosoms 
towards our earthly relations, is not our sin written as with an 
iron pen, and with lead in the rock for ever, that we make God 
the exception, that we are godless in the world ? 

I would now, with ail affection and tenderness, beseech every 
one of you to search his own heart, and see if these things be not 
so ; see if that which you generally take for the excuse of your 
sins, be not the very essence of your sin. What would you not 
do, what would you riot suffer, for the sake of an earthly parent? 
and yet you will not expend so much as a thought, or the 
breathing of a desire, for your heavenly Parent. God is not in 
all your thoughts. You will toil night and day in behalf of an 
earthly master; yet you will not do a hand's turn for your hea- 
venly Master. God is the only parent whom you dishonor ; God 
is the only master whom you wrong. " If you were blind, you 
should have no sin ; but now it is plain you see, therefore, your 
sin remaineth." If you were incapable of affection or fidelity, 
then you should have no sin ; but now it is plain you are capable 
of both, therefore, your sin rcmaineth. Imagine a family of 
brothers and sisters all bound together by the ties of the closest 
amity and affection. Oh ! it is a good and pleasant sight to see 
brethren dwell together in unity. " It is like precious oint- 
ment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's 
beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments. It is as the 
dew of Hermon, that descended upon the mountains of Zion." 
What will they not do for each other? what will they not suffer 
for each other? But, imagine again that all this unity, which 
is so much like the temper of heaven, was maintained among 
them, whilst all the while they were united in despising the tender 
mother that bore them, in turning away from, and forsaking the 
grey-haired father that had brought up every one of them. 
Would not this one feature in the picture change all its beauty 
and all its interest? Would it not make their unity more like that 
of devils, than that of angels ? Would you not say, that their 
affection for one another was the very thing which made their 
disaffection to their parents hateful and most unnatural? Oh-! 
brethren, the picture is a picture of us: "A son honoreth his 
father, and a servant his master : if then I be a father, where is 
mine honor ? and if I be a master, where is my tear ? saith the 
Lord of hosts unto you." 

Oh ! it is a fearlul thing, when our very virtues, to which we 
flee for refuge against the wrath of God, turn round most fiercely 
to ondemn us. What avail your honesties, what avail your 


filial attachments, what avail your domestic virtues, which tht 
world so much admire, and praise you for, if, in the sight of God, 
these are all the while enhancing your ungodliness ? Let no man 
misunderstand me, as if 1 had said that it was a bad thing to be 
honest, to be faithful, and just, and affectionate to parents. Every 
sensible man knows the value of these earthly virtues, and how 
much they are invigorated and enlarged, and begin a new life, as it 
were, when the worldly man becomes a believer. But this I do 
say, that if thou hast nothing more than these earthly virtues, 
they will every one of them rise in the judgment only to condemn 
thee. I say only what the mighty Luther hath said before me, 
that these virtues of thine, whereby thou thinkcst to build thy 
Babel tower to heaven, are but the splendid sins of humanity ; 
and that they will only serve to cast thee down into tenfold 
deeper condemnation. God doth not charge you, brethren, with 
dishonesty, with disobedience to pn rents. The only charge which 
he brings against you here is, the one long sin of the natural 
man's life, ungodliness. God is not in all your thoughts. He 
admits that you have earthly virtues ; but these just make blacker 
and more indelible your sins against heaven. 

I. I infer from this passage, that our worldly virtues will not 
atone for sin, or make us acceptable in the sight of God. 
Humanity is a ruin ; but it is beautiful even in ruins. And 
just as you may wander through some magnificent pfie. over 
which the winter storms of whole centuries have passed, and 
stand with admiring gaze beside every fluted column, now broken 
and prostrate, and luxuriate with antiquarian fimcy amid the 
half-defaced carving of Gothic ages, as you may do all this with- 
out so much as a thought of the loss of its chief architectural 
glory, the grand proportions of the whole towering majestically 
heavenward, with bastion and minaret, all now lying buried in 
their own rubbish, so may you look upon man; you may wan- 
der from one earthly affection and faculty to another, filled with 
admiration of the curious handiwork of Him who is indeed the 
most cunning of artists ; you may luxuriate amidst the exquisite 
adaptations of man to man, so nice as to keep all the wheels of 
society running smoothly and easily forward ; you may do all 
this, as thousands have done before you, without so much as a 
thought of the loss of man's chiefest glory, the relation of man 
to his God, that while many amid the rubbish of this world are 
honest, and fair-dealing, and affectionate to parents, theie is not 
one that seekelh after God. 

Let us imagine for an instant that these worldly virtues could 
take away sin; and just loqk to the consequences. Where would 
you find the man altogether destitute of them? where is salvation 
to stop? If honesty and generosity are to blot out one sin, why 
not all sin ? In this way you can fix no limit between the saved 


and the unsaved ; and, therefore, all men may live as they please, 
for you never can prove that one man is beyond the pale of sal- 
vation. Again : if worldly virtues could blot out sin, Christ is 
uYud in vain. He came to save his people from their sins. An- 
gels ushered him into the world as the Saviour of sinners. John 
bade men behold in him the Lamb of God that taketh away the 
sins of the world; and the whole Bible testifies, that " through 
this man is preached unto you the remission of sins." But if the 
every-day honesties, and kindnesses, and generosities of life, could 
avail to take away sin, what needed Christ to have suffered ? If 
anything so cheap and common as earthly virtues are, could avail 
to the blotting out of sin, why needed so inestimably precious a 
provision to be made as the blood of the Son of God? If, with all 
our honesties, and all our decencies and respectabilities in the world, 
we do not stand in need of everything, why doth Christ counsel 
us to buy of him gold tried in the fire, that we may be rich? 
Nothing that is imperfect can make us perfect in the sight of God. 
Hence the admirable direction of an old divine ; " Labor after 
sanctification to the utmost ; but do not make a Christ of it ; if so 
it must come down, one way or other. Christ's obedience and 
sufferings, not thy sanctification, must be thy justification." The 
matter seems a plain one. God is yet to judge the world in right- 
eousness ; that is, by the strictest rule of his holy law. If we 
are to be justified in his sight on that day, we must be perfect in 
his sight. But that we cannot be. by means of our own sancti- 
fication, which is imperfect. It must be through the imputing of 
a perfect righteousness, then, even the perfect obedience of Christ, 
that we are to be justified in that day. We are complete only in 
Christ ; we are perfect only in Christ Jesus. But ah ! brethren, 
if our sanctification will not do for a righteousness in that day, 
much less will our worldly virtues do. If your honesties and 
worldly decencies are to be enough to cover your nakedness, 
and make you comely in the sight of God, why needed Christ to 
have fulfilled all righteousness, as a surety in the" stead of sinners? 
Why does he offer to make poor sinners the righteousness of God 
in him? Why does he say of his saved ones: "Thou wast per- 
fect in beauty, through my comeliness which I put upon thee?" 

II. I infer from this passage that earthly virtues may accom- 
pany a man to kell. I desire to speak with all reverence, nnd with 
all tenderness upon so dreadful a subject. The man who speaks 
of hell should do it with tears in his eyes. But, oh ! brethren, is it 
not plain, that if the love of earthly parents, and honesty to earthly 
masters, be consistent with utter ungodliness upon earth, they may 
also be consistent with the ungodliness of hell ? Which of you 
does not remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus ? 
When the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell, being in torments, 
and when he prayed Abraham to send Lazarus to dip his finger 


in water, and cool his tongue, what was the one other desire 
which in that fearful hour racked the bosom and prompted the 
prayer of the wretched man? was it not love for his brethren? 
" I pray thee, therefore, father, that thou wouldst send him to my 
father's house ; for I have five brethren ; that he may testify unto 
them, lest they also come into this place of torment." Luke xvi., 
27. Ah ! my brethren, does not this one passage remove a dread- 
ful curtain from the unseen world of woe ? does it not reveal to 
you some eternal pains which you never dreamed of. There will 
be brotherly affection in hell. These parching flames cannot burn 
out that element of our being. But, oh ! it will give no ease, but 
rather pain. The love of children will be there ; but, oh ! what 
agonies shall it not cause, when the tender mother meets the chil- 
dren on whose souls she had no pity, the children whom she nevei 
brought to the Saviour, the children unprayed for, untaught to 
pray for themselves! Who shall describe the meeting of the 
loving wife and the affectionate husband in an eternal hell ? those 
that never prayed with one another, and for one another; those 
that mutually stifled each other's convictions ; those that fostered 
and encouraged one another in their sins? Ah! my friends, if 
these, the tenderest and kindest affections of our nature, shall be 
such fierce instruments of torture, what shall our evil affections be? 
1 would now speak a word to those of you who are counting 
upon being saved, because you are honest and affectionate to pa- 
rents. Oh ! that you would be convinced this day by Scripture 
and common sense, that these, if you be out of Christ, and there- 
'fore not at peace with God, do but aggravate your ungodliness, 
and will add torment inexpressible to your hell. If, then, our 
very virtues condemn us, what shall our sins do ? If the ungodly 
shall meet with so fearful a doom, where shall the open sinner 
appear? But there is a fountain opened up in Zion, to which both 
the ungodly and the sinner may go; and if only you will be per- 
suaded to believe that you are neither more nor less than one of 
these lost and undone creatures, I know well how swiftly you 
will run to plunge yourself into these atoning waters. But if you 
will still keep harping upon the theme of your many excellent 
qualities, your honesty, your uprightness, your filial and parental 
affection, your exactness in equity, your kindness in charity, and 
\vill not be convinced by the very words of God, that though the 
son honor his father, and the servant his master, these do but add 
a deeper and more diabolical dye to your forgetfulness and con- 
tempt of God. If you still do this, then we can only turn away 
from you with sadness, and say: "The publicans and harlots 
enter into heaven before you." 

Lurbert, .Yov. 22, 1835. 




* I waited patiently for the Lord ; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry 
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set mj 
feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my 
mouth, even praise unto our God : many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust ir 
the Lord." Ps. xl., 1-3. 

THERE can be little doubt that the true and primary application 
of this psalm is to our Lord Jesus Christ ; for though the verses 
we have read might very well be applicable to David, or any other 
converted man, looking back on what God had done for his soul, 
yet the latter part of the psa!m cannot, with propriety, be the 
language of any but the Saviour ; and, accordingly, the 6th, 7th, 
and 8th verses are directly applied to Christ by the apostle in the 
10th chapter of Hebrews: "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest 
not ; but a body hast thou prepared me : in burnt-offerings and 
sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I 
come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, 
O God." The whole psalm, therefore, is to be regarded as a 
prayerful meditation of Messiah when under the hiding of his 
Father's countenance ; for, how truly might he who knew no sin, 
but was made sin for us, he on whom it pleased the Father to lay 
the iniquities of us all, how truly might he say, in the language of 
verse 12, ''Innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine 
iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that 1 am not able to look 
up ; they are more than the hairs of mine head ; therefore my 
heart faileth me." 

According to this view, verses 1-3 are to be regarded as a re- 
calling a former deliverance from some similar visitation of dark- 
ness, in order to comfort himself under present discouragement. 
And who can doubt that he who was a man of sorrows, and ac- 
quainted with grief, experienced many more seasons of darkness 
and of heaven-sent relief than that which is recorded in the gar- 
den of Gethsemane ? His so frequently retiring to pray alone, 
seems to prove this. But as it is quite manifest that his description 
of his iniquities laying hold upon him, is expressed in words most 
suitable to any burdened but awakened sinner, so the verses of 
my text are every way suitable to any converted soul looking 
back on the deliverance which God hath wrought out for him. 
" Waiting, I waited for Jehovah" (as verse 1 may be most literal- 
ly rendered), expresses all the intense anxiety of a mind aroused 
to know the danger he is in, and the quarter whence his aid must 
come. " And he inclined unto me," expresses the oodily motion 
of one who is desirous to hear, bending forward attentively. " And 
he heard my cry." 


" He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, 

Out of the miry clay, 
And 8et my feet upon a rock ; 

He established my goings. 
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, 

Even praise unto our God : 
Many shall see it, and fear, 

And shall trust in the Lord." 

He expresses the state of an unconverted man under the striking 
imagery of one who is in an horrible pit, and sinking in miry 
clay ; while the change at conversion is compared to setting his 
feet upon a rock, and establishing his goings, and putting a new 
song in his mouth. Regarding, then, my text as a true and faith- 
ful picture of that most blessed change in state and character 
which, in Bible language, is called conversion, I proceed to 
draw from these words two simple but most important conclu 
sions : 

I. The difficulty of conversion. So difficult and superhuman is 
the work of turning a soul from sin and Satan unto God, that God 
only can do it ; and, accordingly, in our text, every part of the 
process is attributed solely to him. " He brought me up out of 
an horrible pit, he took me from the miry clay, he set my feet 
upon a rock, he established my goings, and he put a new song in 
my mouth." God, and GJod_alone, then, is the author of conver- 
sion. He who created man at first, alone can create him anew in 
Christ Jesus unto good works. And the reason of this we shall 
see clearly by going over the parts of the work here described. 
The first deliverance is imaged forth to us in the words : " He 
brought me up out of an horrible pit ;" and the counterpart or cor- 
responding blessing to that is, "He set my feet upon a rock" 
There can hardly be imagined a more hopeless situation than that 
of being placed, like Joseph, in a pit, and especially an horrible 
pit, or a pit of destruction, as the Psalmist calls it. Hemmed in 
on every side by damp and gloomy walls, with scarce an outlet 
into the open air, in vain you struggle to clamber up to the light 
and fresh atmosphere of the open day ; you are a prisoner in the 
bowels of the earth, the tenant 6f a pit of horrors. Such is your 
state, if you be unconverted ; you are lying in a pit of destruc- 
tion ; you are dead while you live buried alive, as it were ; 
dead in trespasses and sins, while yet you walk in them. You 
cannot possibly ascen^J to the light of day, and the fresh atmo- 
sphere above you ; for the pit in which you are, is indeed your 
prison-house; and except you be drawn up from it by the cords 
of grace, it will usher you into that yawning pit which the Bible 
says is bottomless. Such is your state, if you be unconverted. 
You are under the curse ; for " cursed is every one that continueth 
not in all things written in the book of the law to do them ;" and 
you have never continued in any of these things, doing them from 


the heart, as unto the Lord, which only can be called doing them. 
You have never savingly believed on the Son of God ; and there- 
fore you are " condemned already" you have never been lifted 
out of the pit of condemnation. " He that believeth on the Son 
hath everlasting life ; but he that believeth not the Son shall not see 
lite, but the wrath of God abideth on him ;" that is, it is never 
lilted oil* him. The pit of wrath and destruction, in which you are 
by nature, is never exchanged by you until you leave it for the 
pit of wrath eternal. Since this horrible pit, then, represents the 
state of wrath and condemnation in which we are by nature, how 
impossible is it that we can extricate ourselves from it ! To 
escape from the prison-house of earthly kings is a hard and daring 
enterprise ; but who shall break loose from the prison-house of the 
eternal God ? Who shall clamber up from the pit of condemna- 
tion in which he confines the soul ? or who can work out a pardon 
for past offences ? Who can blot out the sin of his past life? 
Look back upon your lives, brethren, spent in forgetlulncss of God, 
in desires and deeds contrary to God ; and then remember he is 
infinitely just, he cannot lie, he cannot repent, and say if you 
think it an easy thing, or a possible thing, to save yourselves from 
the feariul pit in which you are now reserved for his wrath ? 

Bo* il you cannot save yourself from the pit, and set your feet 
upon ? rock, much less can you extricate yourself from the miry 
clay ir.d establish your own goings. The pit of destruction re- 
pres' nts the wrath you are in by nature ; the miry clay represents 
the corruption you are in by nature. To be standing in a dry pit, 
as Joseph was, is bad enough ; but, ah ! how hopeless and wretch- 
ed, when you are standing in miry clay ! To be under condem- 
nation for past sins, one would think to be misery sufficient ; but 
your case is far more desperate, for you are also sinking daily 
under the power of present corruptions. Every struggle which 
you make to get up from your wretched condition, only makes 
you sink deeper in the miry clay ; and every hour you remain 
where you are, you are sinking the deeper ; your ever getting out 
becomes more hopeless. How truly does the growth of sinful 
habits in you resemble the sinking of your feet in miry clay ! 
Which of your habks does not grow inveterate by exercise ? 
How does the habit of swearing grow upon a man until he is 
absolutely its slave ? and so with those more refined sins whose 
seat is in the heart. Every day gives them new power over the 
soul every new indulgence binds your feet more indissolubly 
than ever in the evil way ; and though ^rou may, nay, in the 
course of nature you must, change your lusts, your passions and 
desires, yet every change is but like extricating one foot from the 
miry clay, only to set it down again, in another spot to sink again. 
Ah ! the undoneness of an unconverted heart ; what imagination is 
bold enough to paint all its horrors ? Look in upon your own 
hearts, ye who are unchanged in heart and life ; and. oh ' if the 


Spirit of grace may but use the passage we are speaking of to 
convince you this day of your sin, you shall see how truly there 
is within you a dark chamber of imagery, a depth of spiritual 
wretchedness, and inability, either to forgive your own self, or 
to make your heart new either to set your feet upon a rock, 
or to establish your goings ; which can be described only by 
such ideas as those of an horrible pit, and sinking in miry clay. 

A third step in conversion you cannot take lor yourself; and 
that is, the putting a new song in your mouth. A song is the 
sign of gladness and light-heartedness, and hence James saith : 
" Is any merry ? let him sing psalms." And the spoilers of Jeru- 
salem, when they would put mockery on the sorrows of the 
exiled Israelites, required of them mirth, saying : " Sing us one 
of the Songs of Zion." But to sing a new song, even praise to 
our God, is a privilege of the believer alone. To be merry and 
glad in heart, whilst a holy God is before the thoughts, that is a 
privilege only of him whose feet are settled on the Rock, Christ. 
It is true the unconverted world have a mirth of their own ; and 
they, too, can sing the song of gladness. But here lies the differ- 
ence : They can be glad and merry only when God is not in all 
their thoughts, only when a veil of oblivion is cast over the 
realities of death and judgment. Keep away all serious thought 
of these things, and then they can revel, like Belshazzar and his 
thousand lords, when they drank wine, and praised the gods of 
gold and of silver. But unveil to their eyes the grand realities of 
a holy and omnipresent God, of death at the door, and after death 
the judgment, and then is their countenance changed (as was 
Belshazzar's at the appearance of the mysterious hand) ; their 
thoughts trouble them, so that the joints of their loins are loosed, 
and their knees smite one against another. 

But to the believer a holy God is the very subject of his 
song, praise to our God ; and the view of death and judgment do 
not break in upon this divine melody. On his dying bed he may 
begin the song which shall be finished only when he wakes up 
in glory. Now, what unconverted man has the power to put 
this supernatural song in his mouth, this strange joy in his heart? 
Gladness cannot be forced, and least of .all this, the Christian's 
gladness. If thou be unforgiven, unjustified, still at enmity with 
God, how canst thou raise one note of praise to him ? In the 
14th chapter of Revelation, where the redeemed sing, as it were, 
a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts and the 
elders, it is added : " ATid no man could learn that song, but the 
hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from 
the earth." None but new creatures can learn this new song. 
Angels cannot join in it; for it is the hymn of the redeemed, of 
those who were sinners, and have been made new. And, oh ! if 
angels cannot, how much can unconverted, unredeemed sinners 
join in that eternal harmony. In every way, then, how unspeak 


ably hard a work is conversion ! How impossible with man 
But with God all things arc possible. He hath provided the 
Rock, Christ ; and his ear is not heavy that it should not hear, if 
we but cry ; his arm is not shortened that it cannot save, if only 
we will inquire of him for this. But, 

II. From this picture of a true conversion I deduce, not only 
the difficulty, but also the desirableness of conversion. 

If you can imagine the delight of being lifted out of the horrible 
pit, where wrath only awaited us, and having our feet set upon 
the Rock, where our foundation is firm and solid as the everlast- 
ing hills, and we are raised high above the reach of enemies, for ' 
our defence is the munition of rocks, then, my friends, you have 
some notion of what it is to be taken out of wrath into peace, 
to be translated from being under the curse to the privilege of 
standing on the righteousness of Christ, standing on which you 
are justified, so that neither man, nor angel, nor devil, can bring 
accusation against you. 

And, again, if you can imagine the delight of being carried out 
of the miry clay, where your feet were continually sinking deeper 
and deeper every hour, and of having your goings established, 
a straight path set before you, and solid ground beneath you, then 
you have some notion of what it is to be taken out of your worldly 
lusts, and desires, and cares, and thoughts, and anxieties, and habits 
of sin, in which every new day found you sinking deeper and deeper, 
and always with less hope of recovery ; and to be enabled to love 
God and the things of God, " to set your affection on things above," 
" to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." 

And still further, if you can imagine the delight of exchanging 
the groan of the prisoner bound in affliction and iron, for the song 
of the captive who has been set free, the emancipated slave, then 
you have some notion of what it is to exchange the sullenness and 
cheerlessness of an unrenewed spirit for the joy and light-hearted- 
ness, and the new song of praise sung only by the redeemed. 

But when you have imagined all these things, you will have a 
notion merely, and nothing more, of the desirableness of conver- 
sion. The riches of Christ are unsearchable. I might ransack 
all nature for images. I might bring all conditions of misery and 
sudden peace and happiness into contrast ; yet would I fail to give 
you a just idea of the blessings received in conversion ; for, indeed, 
"eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the 
heart to conceive, the things which God hath prepared (in this 
world, aye, in the hour of believing) for all them that love him." 
But leaving images borrowed from nature, which may only con- 
fuse, let me simply lay before you the realities which these images 
ignify. The first thing to be had in conversion is peace with 
God: " Justified by faith we have peace with God." This is the 
immediate effect of standing on the Rock, Christ. Sin-laden man 


dost thou see no desirableness in peace with an offended, forgotten, 
despised God ? Art thou so enamored of the horrible pit of en- 
mity and condemnation, that thou hast no desire to be out of it ? 
Then, indeed, it is in vain to tell you of a Saviour ; you see no 
beauty in Christ. The second thing to be had in conversion is a 
holy life : " To as many as receive Christ, he giveth power to 
become sons of God." Depraved man, whose heart is wrinkled 
with habitual sins, dost thou see no desirableness in a holy life ? 
I do not ask thee if it would be pleasant to thee this moment to 
restrain and cross all thine appetites, and desires, and indomitable 
lusts ; I know it would appear to thee intolerable ; but I do ask 
thee if thou seest no desirableness in having these very appetites 
and desires changed or taken away in their power, so that strict- 
ness and holiness of life would no longer appear irksome, but 
pleasantness and peace. Art thou so delighted, not with the ob- 
jects which gratify thy passions, but with these very passions 
themselves, that thou hast no wish to be made new ? Then, 
indeed, it is needless to tell thee of the Sanctifier. 

The third good thing to be had in conversion is a joyful and 
thankful heart : " We joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.'* 
This is the song of the redeemed. The mirth of heaven is thank 
fulness and praise. The mirth of heaven upon earth that is, of 
the converted mind is the same, even praise to our God. If, 
then, cheerfulness and thankfulness of m nd, which will endure 
even amid all the gloominess of the death-bed, and the dark val- 
ley, and the awful insignia of judgment ; if these be desirable 
gifts of mind, these form parts of the desirableness of conver- 

But to many of you I know it is in vain that I talk of the desira- 
bleness of conversion ; for you do not yet feel the misery of being 
unconverted the wretchedness of being a child of wrath, and a 
slave of corruptions. When we tell you that the unjustified are 
in an horrible pit, that the unsanctified are sinking in miry clay, 
you tell us that you never felt any horror about your situation. 
Nay, you have many pleasures, and you are comfortable and at 
ease. Ah! most wretched of all unconverted men, you are in 
the horrible pit ; yet you are insensible to its horrors. You are 
in the miry clay, sinking every step you take ; yet you feel no 
alarm. You know that you never savingly believed in Christ ; 
yet you have no horror when the Bible tells you you are " con- 
demned already" You know that your heart has never been 
made new born again ; and yet you do not tremble when the 
Bible tells you that " without holiness no man shall see the Lord." 
You remind me of nothing so much as of a man travelling in a 
snow storm, wandering far from home or shelter, and every step 
he takes his feet sink the deeper in the drifted snow ; but a strange 
insensibility creeps over his mind. Death itself has lost its hor- 
rors. As his danger increases, his fears diminish. A deep slum- 


her is quickly descending on every faculty, till he sinks down 
quietly to sleep, but never to rise again. 

In like manner, your insensibility, instead of being a sign that 
there is no danger, increases the danger and horror of your situa- 
tion a thousand fold. As the Bible is true, the state of every un- 
converted man is so awful, that could you see it as God sees it, the 
words, "an horrible pit and miry clay? would seem too feeble to 
express it. " The sorrows of death and the pains of heW might, 
perhaps, come nearer your view of it. Ah ! then, strive hard to 
know the misery of being unconverted. Be determined to know 
the worst of yourself; for thus only will you see the desirableness 
of conversion, the excellency of Christ. 

And now, then, laying together the two conclusions which I 
have drawn from our text the difficulty of conversion, so great 
that God himself must be the author; and the desirableness of 
conversion, so great that peace, and holiness, and joy. all depend 
upon it suffer the word of exhortation, to seek it in the only way 
in which the Psalmist found it: " Waiting, I waited for Jehovah" 
that is, / waited anxiously, " and he inclined unto me, and heard 
my cry" He is more ready to hear, than thou to ask. The Rock 
is already laid. Christ hath died, and thou art this day besought 
to stand upon his righteousness ; and being in Christ, you shall 
every day become more a new creature ; and being a new 
creature, you shall sing a new song of praise to Him who hath 
loved us. 

One word to those of you who can look back upon an experi- 
ence like that described in my text ; who can say that God hath 
brought you out of an horrible pit and the miry clay, and set your 
feet upon a rock, and established your goings, and put a new song 
in your mouth. Take you heed that the following words be also 
realized : " Many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the Lord" 
How many on every hand of you are yet unconverted, both in 
the pit and in the clay ! Let them see, then, how great things God 
hath done for your soul, that they may fear lest they db uncon- 
verted ; lest this glorious change never come to them ; lest they 
die old creatures, tenants of the horrible pit, to remove only to 
the pit eternal ; lest they be altogether swallowed up in the miry 
clay ; and thus, moved by fear, they may be persuaded to trust 
in God, as you have done to rest on the Rock, Christ, for 'right- 

" Let your light so shine before men, that they, seeing your 
good works, may glorify your father which is in heaven." Amen. 

Dunifacc, Jiug. 2, 1635. 




For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus Judge, that if one (lied 
for ail, thep were all dead." 2 Cor. v., 14. 

OF all the features of St. Paul's character, untiring activity was 
the most striking. From his early history, which tells us of his 
personal exertions in wasting the infant Church, when he was a 
blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious, it is quite obvious 
that this was the prominent characteristic of his natural mind. 
But when it pleased the Lord Jesus Christ to show forth in him 
all long-suffering, and to make him a pattern to them which should 
afterwards believe on Him, it is beautiful and most instructive to 
see how the natural features of this daringly bad man became not 
only sanctified, but invigorated and enlarged ; so true it is that 
they that are in Christ are a new creation : " Old things pass away, 
and all things become new." " Troubled on every side, yet not 
distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not for- 
saken ; cast down, but not destroyed ;" this was a faithful picture 
of the life of the converted Paul. Knowing the terrors of the 
Lord, and the fearful situation of all who were yet in their sins, 
he made it the business of his life to persuade men ; striving if, by 
any means, he might commend the truth to their consciences. 
" For (saith he) whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God ; or 
whether we be sober, it is for your cause." Verse 13. Whether 
the world think us wise or mad, the cause of God and of human 
souls is the cause in which we have embarked all the energies of 
our being. Who, then, is not ready to inquire into the secret 
spring of all these supernatural labors ? Who would not desire 
to have heard from the lips of Paul the mighty principle that im- 
pelled him through so many toils and dangers ? What magic spell 
has taken possession of this mighty mind, or what unseen planet- 
ary influence, with unceasing power, draws him on through all dis- 
couragements, indifferent alike to the world's dread laugh, and the 
feai of man, which bringeth a snare ; careless alike of the sneer 
of the sceptical Athenian, of the frown of the luxurious Corinthian, 
and ihe rage of the narrow-minded Jew ? What saith the apostle 
himself? for we have his own explanation of the mystery in the 
words before us : " The love of Christ constraineth us." 

That Christ's love to man is here intended, and not our love to 
the Saviour, is quite obvious, from the explanation which follows, 
where his dying for all Is pointed to as the instance of his love. 
It was the view of that strange compassion of the Saviour, mov- 
ing him to die for his enemies, to bear double for all our sins, to 
taste death for every man ; it was this view which gave him the 


impulse in every labor, which made all suffering light to him. and 
every commandment not grievous. He ran with patience the 
race that was set before him? Why? Because, looking unto 
Jesus, In- lived a man crucified unto the world, and the world cru- 
cified unto him. By what means? By looking to the cross of 
Christ. As the natural sun in the heavens exercises a mighty and 
unceasing attractive energy on the planets which circle round him, 
so did the Sun of Righteousness, which had indeed arisen on Paul 
with a brightness above that of noon-day, exercise on his mind a 
continual and an almighty energy, constraining him to live hence- 
forth no more unto himself, but to him that died for him and rose 
again. And observe, that it was no temporary, fitful energy, which 
it exerted over his heart and life, but an abiding and a continued 
attraction ; for he doth not say that the love of Christ did once con- 
strain him ; or that it shall yet constrain him ; or that in times of 
excitement, in seasons of prayer, or peculiar devotion, the love of 
Christ was wont to constrain him ; but he said simply, that the love 
of Christ constraineth him. It is the ever-present, ever-abiding, 
ever-moving power, which forms the main-spring of all his work- 
ing ; so that take that away, and his energies are gone, and Paul 
is become weak as other men. 

Is there no one before me whose heart is longing to possess just 
such a master-principle? Is there no one of you, brethren, who 
has arrived at that most interesting of all the stages of conversion 
in which you are panting after a power to make you new? You 
have entered in at the straight gate ot believing. You have seen 
that there is no peace to the unjustified ; and therefore you have 
put on Christ for your righteousness ; and already do you feel 
something of the joy and peace of believing. You can look back 
on your past life, spent without God in the world, and without in the world, and without the Spirit in the world ; you can 
see yourself a condemned outcast, and you say : " Though 1 should 
wash my hands in snow water, yet mine own clothes would abhor 
me." You can do all this, with shame and self-reproach, it is true, 
but yet without dismay, and without despair ; for your eye has 
been lifted believingly on him who was made sin for us, and you 
are persuaded that, as it pleased God to count all your iniquities 
to the Saviour, so he is willing, and hath always been willing, to 
count all the Saviour's righteousness to you. Without despair, did 
I say? nay, with joy and singing; for if, indeed, thou bclievest 
with all thine heart, then thou art coine to the blessedness of -the 
man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works; 
which David describes, saying : "Blessed are they whose iniqui- 
ties are forgiven, and whose sins are covered Blessed is the man 
*o whom the Lord imputeth not sin." This is the peace of the 
justified man. But is this peace a state of perfect blessedness ? 
Is there nothing left to be desired? I appeal to those of you, who 
know what it is to be just by believing. What is it that still 


clouds the Drow, tnat represses the exulting of tne spirit ? Why 
might we not always join in the song of thanksgiving ; " Bless 
the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits : who forgiveth 
all thine iniquities !" If we have received double for all our sins, 
why should it ever be needful for us to argue as doth the Psalmist : 
" Why art thou cast down, O my soul : and why art thou disquiet- 
ed within me?" Ah ! my friends there is not a man among you, who 
has really believed, who has not felt the disquieting thought of 
which I am now speaking. There may be some of you who have 
felt it so painfully, that it has obscured, as with a heavy cloud, the 
sweet light of the Gospel peace, shining in of the reconciled 
countenance upon the soul. The thought is this : " I am a justified 
man ; bat, alas ! I am not a sanctified man. I can look at my 
past life without despair ; but how can I look forward to what is 
to come ?" 

There is not a more picturesque moral landscape in the universe 
than such a soul presents. Forgiven all trespasses that are past, 
the eye looks inwards with a clearness and an impartiality un- 
known before, and there it gazes upon its long fostered affections 
for sin, which, like ancient rivers, have worn a deep channel into 
the heart, its periodic returns of passion, hitherto irresistible and 
overwhelming, like the tides of the ocean ; its perversities of temper 
and of habit, crooked and unyielding, like the gnarled branches 
of a stunted oak. Ah ! what a scene is here, what anticipations 
of the future ! what forebodings of a vain struggle against the 
tyranny of lust ! against the old trains of acting, and of speaking, 
and of thinking ! Were it not that the hope of the glory of God 
is one of the chartered rights of the justified man, who would be 
surprised if this view of terror were to drive a man back, like the 
dog to his vomit, or the sow that was 'washed to wallow again in 
the mire ? Now it is to the man precisely in this situation, crying 
out at morning and at evening, How shall I be made new ? what 
good shall the forgiveness of my past sins do me, if I be not deliver- 
ed from the love of sin 1 it is to that man that we would now, with 
all earnestness and affection, point out the example of Paul, and the 
secret power which wrought in him. " The love of Christ" (says 
Paul) " constraineth us." We, too, are men of like passions with 
yourselves ; that same sight which you view with dismay within 
you, was in like manner revealed to us in all its discouraging 
power. Nay,ever and anon the same hideous viewof ourownhearts 
is opened up to us. But we have an encouragement which never 
fails. The love of the bleeding Saviour constraineth us. The 
Spirit is given to them that believe ; and that almighty agent 
hath one argument that moves us continually THE LOVE OF 

My present object, brethren, is to show how this argument, in 
the hand of the Spirit, does move the believer to live unto God ; 
how so simple a truth as the love of Christ to man, continually 


presented to the mind by Holy Ghost, should enable any man 
to live a life of Gospel holiness ; and if there be one man among 
you whose great inquiry is : How shall I be saved from sin, how 
shall I walk as a child of God ? that is the man of all others, 
whose ear and heart I am anxious to engage. 

1 The love of Christ to man constraineth the believer to live a 
holy life, because that truth fakes away all his dread and hatred 
O f Q d, When Adam was unfallen, God was everything to- his 
soul ; and everything was good and desirable to him, only in so 
far as it had to do with God. Every vein of his body, so fearfully 
and wonderfully made, every leaf that rustled in the bowers of 
Paradise, every new sun that rose, rejoicing like a strong man to 
run his race, brought him in every day new subjects of godly 
thought and of admiring praise ; and it was only for that reason 
that he could delight to look on them. The flowers that appeared 
on the earth, the singing of birds, and the voice of the turtle heard 
throughout the happy land, the fig tree putting forth her green figs, 
and the vines with the tender grapes giving a good smell, all these 
combined to bring in to him at every pore a rich and varied tribute 
of pleasantness. And why? Just because they brought into the 
soul rich and varied communications of the manifold grace of 
Jehovah. For just as you may have seen a child on earth devoted to 
its earthly parent ; pleased with everything when he is present, 
and valuing every gift just as it shows more of the tenderness of 
that parent's heart, so was it with the genuine child of God. In 
God he lived, and moved, and had his being ; and not more surely 
would the blotting out the sun in the heavens have taken away 
that light which is so pleasant to the eyes, than would the hiding 
the face of God from him have taken away the liyht of his soul, 
and left nature a dark and desolate wilderness. But when Adam 
fell, the fine gold became dim, the system of his thoughts and lik- 
ings was just reversed. Instead of enjoying God in everything 
and everything in God, everything now seemed hatel'ul and dis- 
agreeable to him, just in as far as it had to do with God. 

When man sinned, then he feared, and hated Him whom he 
feared ; and fled to all sin just to flee from Him whom he hated. 
So that, just as you may have seen a child who has grievously 
transgressed against a loving parent, doing all it can to hide that 
parent from its view; hurrying from his presence, and plunging 
into other thoughts and occupations, just to rid itself of the thought 
of his justly offended father in the very same way when fallen 
Adam heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in 
the cool of the day, that voice which, before he sinned, was hea- 
venly music in his ears then did Adam and his wife hide themselves 
from the presence of the Lord, among the trees of the garden. 
And in the same way does every natural mnn run from the voice 
and presence of the Lord, not to hide under the thick embower- 
ing leaves of Paradise, but to bury himself in cares, and business 


ana pleasures and revellings. Any retreat is agreeable, where 
God is not ; any occupation is tolerable, if God be not in the 
thoughts. Now I am quite sure that many of you may hear this 
charge against the natural man with incredulous indifference, if 
not with indignation. You do not feel that you hate God, or 
dread his presence ; and, therefore, you say it cannot be true 
But, brethren, when God says of your heart, that it is " desperate- 
ly wicked," yea, unsearchably wicked, who can know it? when 
God claims for himself the privilege of knowing and trying the 
heart ; is it not presumptuous in such ignorant beings as we are, 
to say that that is not true, with respect to our hearts, which God 
affirms to be true, merely because we are not conscious of it? God 
saith that " the carnal mind is enmity against God" that the very 
grain and substance of an unconverted mind is hatred against God, 
absolute, implacable hatred against him in whom we live, and 
move, and have our being. It is quite true thai we do not feel 
this hatred within us ; but that is only an aggravation of our sin 
and of our danger. We have so choked up the avenues of sell- 
examination, there are so many turnings and windings, before we 
can arrive at the true motives of our actions ; that our dread and 
hatred of God, which first moved man to sin, and which are still 
the grand impelling forces whereby Satan goads on the children of 
disobedience ; these are wholly concealed from our view, and you 
cannot persuade a natural man that they are really there. But 
the Bible testifies, that out of these two deadly roots dread of 
God and hatred of God grows up the thick forest of sins with 
which the earth is blackened and overspread. And if there be 
one among you, brethren, who has been awakened by God to know 
what is in his heart, I take that man this day to witness, that his 
bitter cry, in the view of all his sins, has ever been : " Against thee, 
thee only have I sinned." 

If, then, dread of God, and hatred of God, be the cause of all our 
sins, how shall we be cured of the love of sin, but by taking away 
the cause ? How do you most effectually kill the noxious weed ? 
Is it not by striking at the root ? In the love of Christ to man, 
then in that strange, unspeakable gift of God, when he laid down 
his life for his enemies, when he died the just for the unjust, that 
he might bring us to God ; do not you see an object which, if 
really believed by the sinner, takes away all his dread and all his 
hatred of God ? The root of sin is severed from the stock. In 
His bearing double for all our sins, we r,- < j the curse carried away, 
we see God reconciled. Why should we fear any more ? Not 
fearing, why should we hate God any more ? Not hating God, 
what desirableness can we see in sin any more ? Putting on the 
righteousness of Christ, we are again placed as Adam was, with 
God as our fri 3nd. We have no object in sinning ; and, therefore, 
we do not care to sin. In the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul 
; leeus to speak of the believer sinning, as if the very proposition 


were absurd. " How shall we, that are dead to sin;' that is 
who in Christ have already borne the penalty, "how shall we 
live any longer therein .'" And again he saith very boldly : " Sin 
shall ?iot have dominion over you" it is impossible in the nature 
of things " for ye are not under the law, but under grace ;" ye 
are no longer under the curse of a broken law, dreading and 
haling God; ye are under grace; under a system of peace and 
friendship with God. 

But is there any one ready to object to me, that if these things 
be so, if nothing more than that a man be brought into peace with 
God is needful to a holy life and conversation, how comes it .that 
believers do still sin? I answer, it is indeed too true that believ-- 
ers do sin ; but it is just as true that unbelief is the cause of their 
sinning. If, brethren, you and I were to live with our eye so 
closely on Christ bearing double for all our sins, freely offering to 
all a double righteousness for all our sins ; and if* this constant 
view of the love of Christ maintained within us, as assuredly it 
would, if we looked with a straightforward eye ; the peace of God 
which passeth all understanding ; the peace that rests on nothing 
in us, but upon the completeness that is in Christ, then, brethren, I 
do say, that, frail and helpless as we are, we should never sin ; we 
should not have the slightest object in sinning. But, ah ! my 
friends, this is not the way with us. How often in the day is the 
love of Christ quite out of view ! How often is it obscured to us ! 
sometimes hid from us by God himself, to teach us what we are. 
How often are we left without the realizing sense of the complete- 
ness of his offering, the perfectness of his righteousness, and with- 
out the will or the confidence to claim an interest in him ! Who 
can wonder, then, that, where there is so much unbelief, dread 
and hatred of God should again and again creep in, and sin should 
often display its poisonous head ? The matter is very plain, 
brethren, if only we had spiritual eyes to see it. If we live a life 
of faith on the Son of God, then we shall assuredly live a life of 
holiness. I do not say we ought to do so ; but I say, we shall, as 
a matter of necessary consequence. But in as far as we do not 
live a life of faith, in so far we shall live a life of unholiness. It is 
through faith that God purifies the heart ; and there is no other 

Is there one of you, then, brethren, desirous of being made 
new, of being delivered from the slavery of sinful habits and affeo 
tions ? We can point you to no other remedy but the love of 
Christ. Behold how he loved you ! See what he bore for you ; 
put your finger, as it were, into the prints of the nails, and thrust 
your hand into his side ; and be no more faithless, but believing. 
Under a sense of your sin, flee to the Saviour of sinners. As the 
timorous dove flies to hide itself in. the crevices of the rock, so do 
you flee to hiile yourself in the wounds of your Saviour ; and 
when you have found him, like the shadow of a great rock in a 


weary land ; when you sit under his shadow, with great delight ; 
you will find that he hath slain all the enmity ; that he hath 
accomplished all your warfare. God is now for you. Planted 
together with Christ in the likeness of his death, you shall be also 
in the likeness of his resurrection.- Dead unto sin, you shall be 
alive unto God. 

2. The love of Christ to man constraineth the believer to live a 
holt/ life ; because that truth not only takes away our fear and 
hatred, but stirs up our love. When we are brought to see the 
reconciled face of God in peace, that is a great privilege. But 
how can we look upon that face, reconciling and reconciled, and 
not love him who hath so loved us ! Love begets love. We can 
hardly keep from esteeming those on earth who really love us, 
however worthless they may be. But, ah ! my friends, when we 
are convinced that God loves us, and convinced in such a way as 
by the giving up of his Son for us all, how can we but love him, 
in whom are all excellences everything to call forth love? I 
have already shown you that the Gospel is a restorative scheme; 
it brings us back to the same state of friendship with God which 
Adam enjoyed, and thus takes away the desire of sin. But now 
I wish to show you, that the Gospel does far more than restore us 
to the state from which we fell. If rightly and consistently em- 
braced by us, it brings us into a state far better than Adam's. It 
constrains us by a far more powerful motive. Ad;im had not this 
strong love of God to man shed abroad in his heart; and, there- 
fore, he had not this constraining power to make him live to God. 
But our eyes have seen this great sight. Before us Christ hath 
been evidently set forth crucified. If really we believe, his love 
hath brought us into peace, through pardon ; and because we are 
pardoned and at peace with God. the Holy Ghost is given us. 
What to do? Why, just to shed abroad this truth over our 
hearts, to show us more and more of this love of God to us, that 
we may be drawn to love him who hath so loved us, to live to him 
who died for -us and rose again. 

It is truly admirable to see how the B ble way of making us 
holy is suited to our nature. Had God proposed to frighten us 
into a holy life, how vain would have been the attempt ! Men 
have always an idea, that if one came from the dead to tell us oi 
the reality of the doleful regions where dwell, in endless misery, 
the spirits of the damned, that that would constrain us to live a 
holy life ; but, alas ! brethren, what ignorance does this not show 
of our mysterious nature ! Suppose that God should this hour un- 
veil before our eyes the secrets of those dreadful abodes where 
nope never comes ; nay, suppose, if it were possible, that you 
were actually made to feel for a season the real pains of the l;ike 
of living agony, and the worm that never dies ; and then that you 
were brought back again to the earth, and placed in your old 
ituation, among your old friends and companions ; do you really 


think that there would be any chance of your walking with God 
as a child ? I doubt not you would be frightened out of your 
positive sins ; the cup of godless pleasure would drop from your 
hand ; you would shudder at an oath, you would tremble at a 
falsehood, because you had seen and felt something of the torment 
which awaits the drunkard, and the swearer, and the liar, in the 
world beyond the grave ; but do you really think that you would 
live to God, any more than you did ; that you would serve him 
better than before? It is quite true you might be driven to give 
larger charity ; yea, all your goods to feed the poor, and your 
body to be burned; you might live strictly and soberly, mos\ 
fearful of breaking one of the commandments, all the rest of your 
days : but this would not be living to God ; you would not love 
him one whit more. Ah ! brethren, you are sadly blinded to your 
curiously formed hearts, if you do not know that love cannot be 
forced ; no man was ever frightened into love, and, therefore, no 
man was ever frightened into holiness. 

But thrice blessed be God, he hath invented a way more power- 
ful than hell and all its terrors ; an argument mightier far than 
even a sight of those torments ; he hath invented a way of draw- 
ing us to holiness. By showing us the love of his Son, he calleth 
forth our love. He knew our frame, he remembered that we were 
dust, he knew all the peculiarities of our treacherous hearts ; and, 
therefore, he suited his way of sanctifying to the creature to be 
sanctified. And thus, the Spirit doth not make use of terror to 
sanctify us, but of lore : " The love of Christ constraineth us." 
He draws us by " the cords of lov<>,, by the bands of a man" What 
parent does not know that the true way to gain the obedience of a 
child, is to gain the affections of the child ? And think you, God, 
who gave us this wisdom, doth not himself know ? Think you he 
would set about obtaining the obedience of his children, without 
first of all gaining their affections ? To gain our affections, bre- 
thren, which by nature rove over the face of the world, God hath 
sent his son into the world to bear the curse of our sins. 
** Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we, 
through his poverty, might be made rich." 

And oh ! if there is but one of you who will consent this day, 
under a sense of undoneness, to flee for refuge to the Saviour, 
to find in him the forgiveness of all sins that are past, I know 
well, that from this day forth you will be like that poor woman 
which was a sinner, which stood at Christ's feet behind him, 
weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wip 
them with the hairs of her head ; and kissed his feet, and 
anointed them with the ointment. Forgiven much, you \\ill 
love much ; loving much, you will live to the service of 
Him whom you love. This" is the grand master-principle of 
which we spoke ; this is the secret spring of all the holiness of 
the saints. The life of holiness is not what the world falsely 


represents it, a life of preciseness and painfulness, in a 
man crosses every affection of his nature. There is no such 
thing as self-denial in the Popish sense of that word in the reli- 
gion of the Bible. The system of restrictions and self-crossings 
is the very system which Satan hath set up as a counterfeit of 
God's way of sanctifying. It is thus that Satan frightens away 
thousands from Gospel peace and Gospel holiness ; as if to be 
a sanctified man were to be a man who crossed every desire of 
his being, who did everything that was disagreeable and uncom- 
fortable to him. My friends, our text distinctly shows you that it 
is not so. We are constrained to holiness by the love of Christ ; 
the love of him who loved us, is the only cord by which we are 
bound to the service of God. The scourge of our affections 
is the only scourge that drives us to duty. Sweet bands and 
gentle scourges ! Who would not be under their power ? 

And, finally, brethren, if Christ's love to us be the object which 
the Holy Ghost makes use of, at the very first, to draw us to the 
service of Christ, it is by means of the same object that he draws 
us to persevere even unto the end. So that if you are visited 
with seasons of coldness and indifference, if you begin to be 
weary, or lag behind in the service of God, behold ! here is the 
remedy : Look again to the bleeding Saviour. That Sun of 
Righteousness is the grand attractive 'centre, round which all his 
sai:its move swiftly, and in smooth harmonious concert, " not with- 
out song" As long as the believing eye is fixed upon his love, 
th path of the believer is easy and unimpeded ; for that love 
always constraineth. But lift off the believing eye, and the path 
becomes impracticable, the life of holiness a weariness. Whoso- 
ever, then, would live a lit'.' of persevering holiness, let him keep 
his eye fixed on the Saviour. As long as Peter looked only to 
the Saviour, he walked upon the sea in safety, to go to Jesus ; 
but when he looked around, and saw the wind boisterous, he 
was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried, " Lord, save me !" 
Just so will it be with you. As long as you look believingly to 
the Saviour, who loved you. and gave himself for you, so long 
you may tread the waters of life's troubled sea, and the soles 
of your feet shall not be wet ; but venture to look around upon 
the winds and waves that threaten you on every hand, and, 
like Peter, you begin to sink, and cry, " Lord, save me !" How 
just y, then, may we address to you the Saviour's rebuke to Peter : 
" O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ?" Look 
ag iin to the love of the Saviour, and behold that love which 
constraineth thee to live no more to thyself, but to him that died 
for thee and rose again. 

Cullegf Church, August 30, 1335 




Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; 

but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And 

the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." 

-Isa. lx., 1-3 

THESE words are yet to be fulfilled in Jerusalem. It has been 
long trodden down by the Gentiles, its walls are desolate, its tem- 
ple burnt, and the Mosque of Omar raised over it in cruel mock- 
ery. The ways of Zion do mourn ; because none come to the 
solemn feasts. No sunbeam pours upon the dark brow of JudaK ; 
no star of Bethlehem sparkles in their sky. But another day is 
at hand. The time is coming when a voice shall be heard jay- 
ing to Jerusalem ; " Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the 
glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." 

Observe, 1. It shall be a time when the world is in darkness ; 
" For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross dark- 
ness the people." The whole Bible bears witness that the time 
when the Jew is to be enlightened is to be a time when the world 
is dark and unenlightened. Paul says plainly that the world will 
be dead, one great dead mass, when God gives life to the Jews : 
" If the casting away of them has been the reconciling of the 
world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead ?" 

2. In that time of darkness, the Lord Jesus shah 1 reveal him- 
self to the Jews, the veil shall be taken away, and that glori- 
ous Bridegroom shall come for h to them : " The Lord shall 
arise upon thee, and his glory sh- 1 be seen upon thee." Like the 
rising sun appearing above theh ,1s, tinging all Mount Olivet with 
living gold, then pouring down upon the prostrate ruins of Jeru- 
salem, till the holy hills smile again in his cheering ray ; so shall it 
be with desolated Judah. Christ shall arise upon their souls, 
the day shall dawn, and the day-star arise on their hearts. 
Christ shall appear beautiful and glorious, and they shall submit 
with joy to put on his imputed righteousness. His glory, his 
beauty, his comeliness shall be seen upon them. 

3. Observe the command of God to the enlightened Jews : ' 
" Arise, shine." Hitherto they have been sitting on the ground, 
desolate, in darkness ; but when Christ is revealed to them, they 
shall give life to the dead world, they shall be the lights of a dark 
world. The word is, " Arise, shine." As Christ rises upon them. 
so they must rise on the dark world ; as Christ shines upon them, 
so they must reflect his beauty and his brightness all P round. 
Even as the moon, in itself dark and desolate, does not r ink in 


the rays of the sun, but arises and shines, reflecting his beams on 
the dark earth ; so shall it be with the enlightened Jews. 

4. The effect : " The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings 
to the brightness of thy rising." When the songs of the ransomed 
Israelites are heard in their native mountains, their mouth filled 
with laughter and their tongue with singing, then shall the nations 
say : " The Lord hath done great things for them." Ten men 
cut of all languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt 
of him that is a Jew, saying : " We will go with you ; for we have 
heard that God is with" you." When the psalms of Israel itse 
from under their vine and their fig-tree, even kings shall lay by 
their crowns, and come to learn of them the way to peace. 
Dear brethren, pray for the Jews, pray for the peace of Jeru- 
salem. Oh ! hasten the happy day. The Lord will hasten it 
in his time. 

Doctrine. Chrfst arises and shines upon souls, in order that 
they may arise and shine. 

I. By nature men are in a state of darkness. Verse 2 : " Dark- 
ness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people." When 
Christ arises upon a soul, he finds it in utter darkness. 

1. He does not know himself. A man in the dark cannot see 
himself, he cannot see his own hand before him, he cannot tell 
whether his hands are filthy or clean ; so is it with all of you who 
are in an unconverted state. You do not know yourselves. 
Yo'ir fingers are defiled, your garments are stained ; but you 
know it not. Impure desires are written in your heart ; but 
you cannot read what is there. You say : " Peace, peace, 
when there is no peace." 

2. A natural man shrinks from the light. A person who has 
been long in a dark dungeon, cannot bear the glaring light ; it 
hurts the eyes ; he starts back into his darkness ; so is it with 
all unconverted souls. You love the darkness rather than the 
light ; because your deeds are evil. When the light of God's holy 
law is brought upon you, you shrink back from it. When Jesus, 
who is the light of the world, is preached unto you, you shut your 
eyes closer than before. Is there none of you who has felt that 
when Christ is fully preached to you, when you have been com- 
pelled for a little to bear the light of his lovely countenance shin- 
ing through the Word, when you have gone home, did you not 
creep back with delight to other thoughts of sin and worldlines.s ? 
The more that sun shone, the more you have closed your ey^s. 
Oh ! how plainly you are in darkness, and a lover of it. 

3. A natural man gropes after salvation. A man in the d;irk 
gropes like the blind. If he wants to find the door, he is obliged 
to feel for it ; he gropes about, not knowing where to place his 
hand ; often he goes in the very opposite direction : so is it with 
natural men seeking salvation, they grope for it in the dark. " Wo 


irrope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no 
eves : we stumble at noonday as in the night ; we are in desolate 
places as dead men." Isa. lix., 10. Do you not remember a time 
whrn you were alarmed about your soul ? a sudden threatening of 
doath, or the near approach of a sacrament, awakened you to 
tremble for your soul. And where did you go for peace ? You 
did not know where to go ; you groped for it ; you did not know 
where to turn yourself. You were directed to Jesus ; but you 
could comprehend him : " The darkness comprehended it not." 
How plain that you are in gross darkness ! 

4. They know not at what they shall stumble. A man in the 
dark does not know what he may come against. His next step 
may be over a precipice, or upon dark mountains ; so is it with 
Christless souls : " The path of the wicked is as darkness ; they 
know not at what they shall stumble." Oh ! poor blinded souls, 
that walk so boldly in sin; ye know not whafye do. You that 
know you have never come to Christ, and yet walk with a light, 
confident step, as if you were to walk on a smooth carpet for ever, 
awake, dear souls. Do not rush on in the dark ; for fear, arid the 
pit, and the snare are in the way, and many bold sinners have gone 
down quick into hell. Give glory to the Lord before your feet 
stumble on the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he turn 
it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. 

II. Learn how a soul is brought into light and peace ; " The 
Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." 

1. It is hy Christ rising upon the soul. The image here is taken 
from the rising of the sun. When the sun rises, then all is light ; 
so when Christ rises upon the soul, all is light. When God first 
awakens a soul, he finds himself sitting in gross darkness and the 
shadow of death ; he fears he shall soon be cast into outei 
darkness. He says, I must make my way to light ; so he strug- 
gles to justify himself, he tries to blot out his past sins by repent- 
ance, he tries to mend his life ; but he is met by the word : " Be- 
hold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with 
sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks that ye 
have kindled ; this shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down 
in sorrow." So he sits down in agony, in more midnight dark- 
ness than before ; but man's extremity is God's opportunity. The 
soul is sitting, as it were, in a dungeon ; he sees no way of peace. 
The Spirit opens the Word, and Christ shines through, Christ the 
Son of God, the Lord our Righteousness. The heart of Christ 
is revealed, his love to the lost, his undertaking for them, his surety- 
ship obedience, his suretyship sufferings. Glorious Christ ! pre- 
cious Christ ! He shines like a new sun, the soul gazes and says : 
" Truly light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to be- 
hold the sun." Has Christ risen upon you ? Has he been re- 
vealed to you, that better Sun ? Oh ! if not, you are of all men 


most miserable ; you are sitting "n darkness and the shadow of 
death. Oh ! what are all the sparks of worldly pleasure, what 
are all the fires and torches of the world's kindling? They are 
like the glowworm's deceitful blaze, they are leading you to ruin ; 
they will soon go out, and leave you to the blackness of darkness 
for ever. 

Anxious souls, learn to look out for peace, Oh ! how anxiously 
you search that bosom, to see if there is any change there which 
may give you peace. Now, change your plan. No more gaze 
into that foul dungeon ; but look out upon the glorious Sun, look 
upon Christ : one look to him gives peace. 

Learn to wait for light. Be like those that wait for the morn- 
ing. You can no more bring yourself into peace than you can 
change the course of the sun. Feel your vileness, feel your help- 
lessness, and wait on his hand to take the veil away. " I wait for 
the Lord ; my sonl doth wait, and in his word do I hope ; my 
soul \vaiteta lor the Lord more than they that watch for the morn- 

2. C*iri~t's gjory is put upon the soul: "His glory shall be 
soer upon th: e.' 1 It has long been discovered that color is nothing 
in the object, but is all thrown upon i> 77 the suli, and reflected 
back again. Th' Leaatiful colors with whi^h this lovely world 
is adorned, all proceed fron< t'le s'.a. His glory is seen upon the 
earth. It is all the gilt of tne sm that the grass is of that refresh- 
ing green, and the rivers arc hnes of waving blue ; it is all the 
gift of the sun that the flowers are tinged with their thousand 
glories ; that the petal of the rose has its delicate blush, and the 
lily, that neither toils nor spins, a brightness that is greater than 
Solomon's. Now, my dear souls, this is the way in which you 
may be justified. You are dark, and vile, and worthless in your- 
selves ; but Christ's glory shall be seen on you. 

Observe it is His glory. If you only consent to take Christ for 
your surety, his divine righteousness is all imputed to you ; his 
sufferings, his obedience are both yours Tell me, anxious soul, 
what are you seeking? "lam seeking to make myself appear 
better in the sight of God." Well, then, do you think you will 
ever make yourself appear as lovely and glorious as Jesus Christ 
in the eyes of God ? " No, I have no hope of that." Ah ! then, 
look here. Christ himself is offered you for a covering ; put on 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Oh ! 
that God would open some heart to believe the word concerning 
Jesus. Oh ! to see dust and ashes clothed in the brightness and 
beauty of Christ ! Oh ! to see a weary sinner perfect in beauty, 
through Christ's comeliness ! This is the loveliest sight in all the 
world. " His glory shall be seen upon thv." 

III. The command to all in Christ "Arise, shine" There never 
yet was a man saved for himself. God never yet made a Chria- 


tian to be a selfish being. " Ye are the salt of the earth." But 
salt is not for itself, but to be used. A city set on a hill cannot 
be hid ; so a Christian is set upon God's holy hill not to be hid. 
No man lighteth a candle and putteth it under a bushel or a bed. 
but on a candlestick, and then it gives light to all that are in the 
house. But here is a more wonderful comparison still : " Arise, 
shine." Christians are to become like Christ little suns, to rise 
and shine upon the dark world. He rises and shines upon us, 
and then says to us, " Arise, shine." This is Christ's command to 
all on whom he has arisen : " Arise, shine." Dear Christians, ye 
are the lights of the world. Poor, and feeble, and dark, and sin- 
ful, though you be, Christ has risen upon you for this very end, ' 
that you might " Arise and shine." 

1. Be like the sun, which shineth every day, and in every place. 
Wherever he goes he carries light ; so do you. Some shine like 
the sun in public before men, but are dark as night in their own 
family. Dear Christians, look more to Christ, and you will shine 
more constantly. 

2. Shine with Christ's light. The moon rises and shines, but 
not with her own light, she gathers all from the sun ; so do you. 
Shine in such a' way that Christ shall have all the glory. They 
shine brightest who feel most their own darkness, and are most 
clothed in Christ's brightness. Oh ! wherever you go, make it 
manifest that your light and peace all come from him ; that it is 
by looking unto Jesus that you shine ; that your holiness all comes 
from union to him. " Let your light so shine before men." 

3. Make it the business of your life to shine. If the sun were 
to grow weary of running his daily journey, and were to give 
over shining, would you not say it should be taken down ? for did 
not God hang it in the sky to give light upon the earth ? Just so, 
dear Christians, if you grow weary in well-doing, in shining with 
Christ's beauty, in walking by Christ's Spirit, you, too, should be 
taken down and cast away ; for did not Christ arise upon you for 
this very end, that you might be a light in the world ? Ah ! think 
of this, dark, useless Christians, who are putting your candle under 
a bushel. I tremble for some who will not lay themselves out for 
Christ. Ah ! you are wronging yourselves and dishonoring 
Christ. Your truest happiness is in shining; the' more you shine* 
for Christ, the happier you will be. "To me to live is Christ; 
and to die, gain." 

4. Shine far and near. You are this day besought to help your 
brethren in the colonies ; to send them the Gospel, that the Sun of 
Righteousness may rise upon them. Obj. Better help the heathen 
at home. Ans. It is quite right to help the heathen at home ; bt 
it is just as right to help the heathen abroad. Oh! that God 
would free you from a narrow mind, and give you his own divine 
Spirit. Learn a lesson from the sun. It shines both far and near ; 
*t does not pour its beams all into one sunny valley, or on one 


bright land. No ; it jpurneys on from shore to shore ; pours its 
rich beams upon the wide ocean ; on the torrid sands of Africa 
and the icy coasts of Greenland. Go you and do likewise. 
Shine as lights in the world. 

Shine in your closet in secret prayer. Ah ! let your face shine 
in secret communion with God. Shine in your family ; that with- 
out the word you may gain their souls. Shine in your town ; 
that, when you mingle with the crowd, it may be as if an angel 
shook his wings. Shine in the world ; embrace every shore with 
the beams of living love. Oh ! let your heart's desire and prayer 
be, that every soul may be saved. Be like Christ himself, who is 
not willing that any should perish. And whenever a soul sinks 
into the dark lake of eternal agony, may you be able to lift up 
your tearful eyes and say: Father. I have prayed to the last, and 
spoken to the last. "Even so. Father; for so it seemed good in 
thy sight." 



" When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and saia, Ve- 
rily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." John xiii., 2) . 

THERE are many excellent and most Christian men who think 
that the feast of the Lord's Supper should never be sullied or 
interrupted by allusions to those who may be eating and drinking 
unworthily. They think that when men have, by their own 
solemn act and deed, deliberately seated themselves at the table 
of the Lord, that table to which none but believers in Jesus are 
invited, they think that, for the time being, at least, it is the part 
of that charity which hopeth all things, to address them as if all 
were the genuine disciples of Jesus, and children of God. These 
good men know well that there are always many intruders into 
that holy ordinance ; they know that many come from mere 
custom, and a sense of decency, and from a dislike to be marked 
out as openly irreligious and profane ; and though they feel, in 
addressing the whole mass as Christians, many a rise of conscience 
within, many a sad foreboding that the true guests may be the little 
flock, while the intruders may be the vast majority ; yet they do 
not feel themselves called upon to disturb the enjoyment of the 
believing flock, however few they may be, by insinuating any 
such dark suspicion as that there may be some there who have 
already sold their Lord for their sins ; some who, though they 
may eat bread with him, yet lift up the heel against him. 


Now, a most complete answer to the scruples of these good 
men is to be found in the example of our blessed Lord. In that 
niirht, so much to be remembered, in which he instituted the 
Lord's Supper, a night in which nothing but kindness and ten- 
derness flowed from his blessed lips, we find that no fewer than 
five times over did he begin to speak about his betrayer. In 
many respects thnt was the most wonderful evening that ever was 
in the world, and that upper room in Jerusalem the most wonder- 
ful room that ever was in the world. Never did the shades of 
evening gather round a more wonderful company, never did the 
walls of an upper chamber look upon so wonderful a scene. Three 
strange events were crowded into thai little space. 1st, There 
was the washing the disciples' feet; the Lord of glory stooping as 
a servant to wash the feet of poor worms ! 2d, There was the last 
passover, eating of the lamb and the bitter herbs, which had been 
the memorial of the dying Saviour to all believing Jews, but which 
wa now to come to an end. '3d, There was the first Lord's 
Supper, the breaking of bread und pouring out of wine, and the 
giving and receiving of it, which was to be the memorial of his 
dying love even to the end of the world. Oh ! what an as- 
semblage of love was here ! what a meeting together of incidents, 
each one more than another picturing forth the inexpressible love 
of Jesus ! Oh ! what an awfully tender hour was this ! Oh ! 
what an awfully tender joy was now thrilling through the bosoms 
of his believing disciples ! Oh ! brethren, what an exulting glad- 
ness would now fill the- bosom of the courageous Peter ! what an 
adoring love the breast of the Israelite indeed, the simple-hearted 
Nathaniel ! and what a breathing of unspeakable affection in the 
heart of the beloved John, as he leaned on the dear Saviour's 
bosom ! Oh ! who would break in on such an hour of holy joy with 
harsh and cruel words about the betrayer? who would dare to 
ruffle the -lalm tranquillity of such a moment by one word of dark 
suspicion? Hush ! brethren, it is the Saviour that speaks: " Ve- 
rily, verily, I say unto you that one of you shall betray me" 

I trust, then, my friends, you see plainly, from the example of our 
blessed Lord, that the awfully solemn warning of the text, instead of 
being a rash and unwarrantable intrusion upon the joyous feelings 
with which every true disciple should encompass the table of the 
Lord, is, of all other Scriptures, the most appropriate, and the 
most like what Jesus would have us to say upon this solemn 
occasion. It is not, then, with the harshness of unfeeling man, 
but it is with the tenderness of the compassionate Jesus, that we 
repeat these words in your hearing : " Verily, verily, I say unto 
you, that one of you shall betray me." 

There is a cruel kindness, almost too cruel, one would think, 
for this cruel world, which is sometimes practised by the friends 
of a dying man, when from day to day they mark the approaches 
of death upon his pallid cheek, and yet they will not breathe a 


whisper of his danger to him. They flatter him with murderous 
lies, that he is getting better, and will yet see many days, when 
his days are numbered. But ten thousand times more cruel, more 
base and unfeeling, would that minister be, who, set over you by 
God to care for your never-dying souls, should yet look upon 
those of you who surround so willingly the table of the Lord, but 
whose whole life, and walk, and conversation, proclaim you to 
be the betrayers of that Lord, and not once lift up the warning 
crv : " Ye are not all clean. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that 
one of you shall betray me." 

Ques. What could be Christ's reason for so often and so 
solemnly speaking of his betrayer ? 

Ans. I can see no other reason for it but that he might make 
one last effort to melt the heart of his betrayer. 

Doctrine. Christ is earnestly seeking the salvation of those 
unconverted persons who sit down at his table. 

There are two arguments running through the whole of this 
scene by means of which Jesus tried to melt the betrayer. 1st, 
His perfect knowledge of him. As if he had said : I know thee, 
Judas ; I know thy whole life and history ; I know that thou hast 
always been a thief and a traitor ; I know that thou hast sold me 
for thirty pieces of silver ; I know all thy plans and all thy crimes. 
Jri this way he tried to awaken the traitor, to make him feel 
himself a lost sinner. 2d, His anxious love for him. As if he 
had gaid, I love thee, Judas ; I have left the bosom of the r'ather 
just for lost sinners like thee ; I pitied thee before the world was; 
I am quite willing still to be a Saviour to thee. In this way he 
tried to win the traitor, to draw him to himself. 

I. All the Saviour's dealings with Judas were intended to con- 
vince him that he knew his whole heart : " I know thee, Judas, 
and all thy crimes." 

1. This was plainly his intention when washing the disciples' 
feet, and telling them, that if they be bathed in his blood, they 
need nothing more than to have their feet washed, their daily 
sins wiped off daily: " Ye are clean every whit." He then adds, 
but " Ye are not all clean" This was evidently intended as a hint 
to Judas, to awaken his guilty conscience. 

2. And then, when he had sat down again to partake of the 
passover with them, and had sent round the cup of the passover, 
saying, as we are told in Luke, *' Take this, and divide it among 
yourselves," he would not let Judas slumber, as if he were un- 
known to him ; but declares more plainly than before, "I know 
whom I have chosen ; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He 
that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 1 * 
This was evidently intended as a plainer intimation to Judas, that, 
ho'wever concealed he might be to others, he was naked and laid 
open to the eyes of the Saviour, with whom he had to do. 


3. And, thirdly, when he was about to put the bread and wine 
into tlu-ir hands, 'to institute the holy ordinance of the supper, he 
would not do it without a still more convincing proof to the con- 
science of Judas that he knew him perfectly, " As they did eat, 
he said, Verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me : 
and they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of 
tlu'in to say unto him, Lord, is it I ? And he answered, lie it 
is thatdippeth his hand with me in the dish ; he it is that betrayeth 
me. And Judas answered and said, Lord, is it I ? He said unto 
him, Thou hast said." Here we find the Saviour no longer deals 
in hints and intimations, but tells him plainly he is the man. 
Oh ! my friends, if we did not know the deceitfulncss of the 
natural heart, how it evades the most pointed declarations of the 
Word, we would be amazed that the heart of Judas was not 
overwhelmed with the conviction, " Thou, Lord, seest me." But 
no ; the arrows of the Saviour, so faithfully directed, yet strike 
off from his heart as from a flinty rock, and Judas still sits at the 
table of the Lord, still secure, to receive with his bloody hands 
(those hands which had so lately received the thirty pieces of silver, 
the price of blood) the symbols of the Saviour's broken body, which 
he himself was to betray. Ah ! my friends, are there no hearts 
here like Judas', from which the plainest arrows of conviction, 
having written on them, " Thou art the man," glance off", without 
even wounding ? Are there none of you who sit, Judas-like, with 
unclean hands to receive the memorials of the Saviour whom you 
are betraying ? 

4. And, last of all, when the feast of love was over, when Ju- 
das, with unaffected conscience, had swallowed down the bread 
and wine, whose sacred meaning he did not, and could not, know; 
Jesus, deeply affected, " being troubled in spirit," made one last 
effort, more pointed than all that went before, to thrust the arrow 
of conviction into the heart of Judas. When the beloved John, 
lying on Jesus' breast, saith unto him : " Lord, who is it? Jesus 
answered, He it is to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped 
it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it" (unseen, it 
would appear, by all the rest) " to Judas Iscnriot, the son of Simon. 
And Jesus said unto him, That thou doest, do quickly." That this 
pointed word of the Lord was intended to awaken Judas, and for 
no other reason, is plain from the fact that " no man at the table 
knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them 
thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, 
Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that 
he should give something to the poor." So secretly, but so power- 
fully, did the Saviour seek to awaken the slumbering conscience 
of the traitor. How was it possible he could miss the conviction 
that Christ knew all the thoughts and ir'ents of his heart ? how 
did he not fall down and confess that God was in him of a truth ; 
or, like the Samaritan woman : " Come, see a man that told me 


all things t'-at ever I did. Is not this the Christ?" But Satan had 
his dark, mysterious hold upon him; and not more dark was the 
gloomy night which met his eyes as he issued forth upon his mur- 
derous errand, than was the dark night within his traitorous breast. 
Now, brethren, the same Saviour is this day in the midst of us. 
He walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, his eyes 
are like a flame of fire, and he searcheth the reins and the hearts. 
Think of this, you that are open sinners, and yet dare to sit down 
at the table of Christ swearers, drunkards, Sabbath-breakers, un- 
clean. Ministers and elders may not know your sins : they are 
weak and short-sighted men. Your very neighbors may not 
know your sins ; you may hide them from your own family. It is 
easy to deceive man ; but to deceive Christ is impossible. He 
knows your whole history ; he is present at every act of dishonesty, 
of filthiness, of folly. The darkness and the light are both alike 
to him. Think of this, you that live in heart sins, rolling sin be- 
neath your tongue as a sweet morsel ; you that put on the outward 
cloak of seriousness and sobriety, that you may jostle and sit 
down among the children of God ; you that have the speech of 
Canaan in your lips, but hatred and malice, and the very breath of 
hell in your hearts; you that have the clothing of sheep, but in- 
wardly are ravening wolves : you that are whited sepulchres, 
beautiful without, but within full of dead men's bones and all un- 
cleanness. Think of this, you that know yourselves unconverted, 
and yet have dared to sit down at the table of Christ. Christ 
knows you, Christ could point to you, Christ could name you, 
Christ could give the sop to you. You may be hidden to all the 
world, but you are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom 
you have to do. Oh ! that you would fall down beneath his pierc- 
ing glance, and say : " God be merciful to me, a sinner !" Oh ! 
that every one of you would say : " Lord, is it I ?" 

II. The second argument which Christ made use of to melt and 
win the heart of Judas was his love : I have loved thee, Judas, 
and came to save thee. 

1. This was plainly his intention when washing the disciples' 
feet. He did not shrink from the traitor's feet ; yes, he not only 
stooped to wash the feet of those who were to forsake him and 
flee ; he noc only washed the feet of Peter, who was, before cock- 
crow, to deny him with oaths and curses ; but he washed also the 
feet of Judas, the very feet which had gone, two days before, to 
the meeting of priests in Caiaphas' palace, where he sold the Sa- 
viour for thirty pieces of silver, the value of a slave ; and .t wag 
in his hearing he spoke the gentle words : " If I wash thee not, 
thou hast no part with me." If, then, the Saviour's washing the 
feet of the eleven was so blessed a proof of his tenderness to his 
own disciples, how much more is his washing the feet of him who 
The knew) had betrayed him a proof of his love to sinners, even 


the chief! lie willed not the death of Judas, he wills not the death 
of any one of you. You think that, because you have betrayed 
the Saviour, and come to the feast without any warrant or title, 
an unbidden intruder, therefore Jesus cannot love you. Alas ! 
this shows your own heart, but not Christ's heart. Behold Jesus 
washing the feet of Judas, and wiping them with the towel where- 
with he was girded ; behold his anxiety to awaken and to win the 
heart of the traitor Judas ; and then think how, the more you are 
a traitor and a betrayer, the more doth Jesus pity you, and wait 
upon you, willing still to wash and to save you, saying : " Turn 
ye, turn ye, why will ye die ?" 

2. The second instance of Jesus' love to the traitor is, when he 
had sat down again, and was eating the passover along with the 
twelve, he did not shrink from eating meat with the traitor. 
Yes; he not only sat down to eat with the eleven who 
were to forsake him and flee, he not only allowed John to 
recline on his bosom, and Peter to sit at the table, but he suffered 
Judas to dip his hand in the very same dish with him, even when 
he knew that he was fulfilling that prophecy which is written : 
" He that eateth bread with me, hath lifted up his heel against 
me." It was a blessed proof of the Saviour's love to his believ- 
ing disciples, as is recorded by Luke, when he said : " With 
desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suf- 
fer." One would have thought that'to the eye of the Saviour this 
passover must have appeared covered with threatening clouds, 
involved in the deep gloom of the garden of Gethsemane, and 
the bloody cross from which the sun himself hid his beams. You 
always find, that when you are in immediate expectation of some 
calamity, it renders gloomy and uninviting every event that 
bespeaks its near approach. You would have thought, then, that 
the human soul of Jesus must have shrunk back Irom this pass- 
over with horror. But no ; he felt the shrinking of humanity 
which more plainly showed itself in the garden, but his love for 
his own disciples was stronger than all beside, and made him look 
forward to this passover, when he was to picture out to them his 
dying love more clearly than ever, with intense desire : " With 
desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suf- 
fer.'' But how much more wonderful is the proof of the Saviour's 
love to the unbelieving, to those who care not for him, but are his 
betrayers and murderers when, with such divine complacency, 
he dips his hand in the same dish with Judas, and tells him, at the 
same time, that he does it not through ignorance, but that the 
prophecy might be fulfilled : " He that eateth bread with me, 
hath lifted up the heel against me." 

Ah ! my unbelieving friends, I know well the dark suspicions 
that lurk in your bosoms. Because you have done everything 
against Christ, you think that he cannot have any love for you ; 
*ut behold, dark and proud sinners, how lovingly, how tenderly 


he tries, if it may be, to awaken and to win over the heart of 
Judas ! and then think how anxious he is this day to win and 
awaken you, though you are of sinners the chief, to bow that 
brazen neck, to break that heart of adamant, to wring a tear from 
those eyes that never wept for sin. 

3. The third instance of Jesus' love to the traitor is, his faith- 
ful declaration of his danger to him : " The Son of Man goeth. 
as it is written of him ; but woe unto that man by whom the 
Son of Man is betrayed ! It had been good fur that man if 
he had never been born." In the two former instances Jesus 
had shown his love, by showing how willing he was to save him 
to* the very uttermost, that be would bear all things to save 
him ; but now he uses another way, .he shows him the terror of 
the Lord, that if he will persist, " it had been good fur him that 
he had not been born." As a mother, when she wishes her child 
to take some wholesome medicine, first wins upon its love, and 
then, if that will not do, tries to win upon its fears ; with the 
same more than mother's tenderness did Jesus first try to win 
upon the affections, and now upon the fears of Judas. And he is 
the same Saviour this day in the upper chambers of the universe 
that he was that night in the upper chamber at Jerusalem ; and he 
sends his messengers to you to carry the same messages of kind- 
ness and of love. It is only in love that he threatens you. And, 
oh ! that in love we might speak the threatening to you, that if 
you have no part in Jesus, and yet, by sitting down at his table 
are becoming guilty of the body and blood of our Lord, it were 
better for you that you had not been born. It is a happy thing to 
live ; there is a blessedness which cannot be expressed in having 
life. The fly that lives but fur a day, the veriest worm or insect 
that crawls upon the ground, has an amount of blessedness in 
the very fact that it lives, which it is far beyond the skill of 
man to calculate. To breathe, to move, to feel the morning 
sun and the evening breeze, to look out upon the green world 
and the blue sky ; all this is happiness immense, immeasurable. 
It never can be said of a fly or worm, that it had better never 
been born ; but. alas ! it may be said of some of you : If you 
are living, but not living united to Christ, if you are sitting at 
the table of Christ and yet unconverted, it had been good for 
you that you had not been born. Ah ! my friends, there was 
once a heathen man who always wept, and got the name of 
the Weeping Philosopher. One would almost think that he had 
known this truth which we preach unto you, that if that union 
which you make with the bread and wine at the holy table be 
not a picture and a seal of the union between your soul and the 
Saviour of sinners, you had far better never have bee'n born. 
Better not to be, than to be only in hell. " They shall wish to 
die, and shall not be able ; they shall seek to die, and death shall 
flee from them." 


4. The fourth and last instance of Jesus' love to the traitor ia 
ihr must touching of all. After the supper was over, Jesus was 
li't.uMt'd in spirit, and testified and said: "Verily, verily, I sa^ 
unto you, that one of you shall betray me." It was but a few 
days before that he came riding down the declivity of Mount 
Olivet upon an ass's colt ; and his disciples, behind and before, 
\\ i TO all rejoicing and praising God, crying " Hosanna !" and Jesus 
what was he doing? He was weeping: " When he came near. 
he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, 
even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy 
peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." He wept over, 
the very city which he doomed to destruction. And just so here ; 
when his disciples on every hand were filled with a holy joy, and 
John most of all rejoicing, for he lay in the bosom of Immanuel, 
what was Christ doing the author of all their joy? He was 
heavy and troubled in spirit. He was always the man of sorrows, 
and acquainted with grief, but now a ruffle of deeper sorrow 
came over the placid calm of his holy features : he was troubled 
in spirit, and said : " Verily, verily, I say unto you, One of you 
shall betray me." He had tried all arguments to move his 
betrayer ; he had unbosomed the tenderness of his love ; he had 
shown the dreadfulness of his anger ; but when he saw that all 
would not do to move his hard heart, when he saw the heartless 
unconcern with which Judas could swallow down the bread, and 
share in the blessed cup, the spirit of the Saviour sank within him; 
and the last effort of his love to awaken the impenitent murderer 
; vas, to unbosom the depth of his sorrows, and to breathe out, 
with many sighs, the words : " Verily, verily, I say unto you, that 
one of you shall betray me." 

My friends, there may be some within these walls with a heart 
as hard as that of Judas. Like Judas, you are about to partake 
of the most moving ordinance the world ever saw; like Judas, 
you may eat of the bread and drink of the wine ; and like Judas, 
your heart may grow harder, and your life more sinful than ever. 
And you tltink, then, that Jesus is your enemy? But what does 
the Bible say ? Look here ; he is troubled in spirit ; he weeps, as 
he did over Jerusalem. Yes ; he that once shed his blood for 
yeu, now sheds his tears for you. Immanuel grieves that you 
will not be saved. He grieved over Judas, and he grieves over 
you. He wept over Jerusalem, and he weeps over you. He has 
uo pleasure that you should perish ; he had far rather that you 
would turn and have life. There is not within these walls one of 
you so hard, so cruel, so base, so unmoved, so far from grace and 
godlines^, so Judas-like, that Jesus does not grieve over your 
hardness; that you will still resist all his love; that you will stil 
fove death, and wrong your own souls. Oh! that the tears which 
the Saviour shed over your lost and perishing souls might fall 
upon your hearts like drops of liquid fire ; that you might no more 


sit unmelted under that wondrous love which burns with so 
vehement a flame, which many waters cannot quench, which all 
your sins cannot smother, the love which passeth knowledge. 

t, Aug., 1836. 



' Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out ; 
he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it ; he that giveth 
breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein : I the 
Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep 
thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles ; to 
open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that 
ait in darkness out of the prison-house. I am the Lord ; that is my name : ami 
my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." 
Isa. xlii., 5-8. 

IN this passage we have some of the most wonderful words that 
ever were uttered in the world. It is not a man speaking to a 
man, it is not even God speaking to a man, it is God speaking to 
his own Son. Oh ! who would not listen ? It is as if we were 
secretly admitted into the counsel of God as if we stood behind 
the curtains of his dwelling-place, or were hidden in the clefts of 
the rock, and overheard the words of the Eternal Father to the 
Eternal Son. Now, sometimes when you overhear a conversa- 
tion on earth, between two poor, perishing worms, you think it is 
worth treasuring up you remember what they said you repeat 
it over and over again. Oh ! then, when you overhear a conver- 
sation in heaven when God the Father speaks, and God the Son 
stands to receive his words, will you not listen ? will you not lay 
up these sayings in your heart ? 

God tells the Son : 1. That he had called him to his service 
had passed over all his angels, and chosen him for this difficult 
work. 2. He tells him that he is not to shrink from the difficulties 
of it. There is an ocean of wrath to wade through, but fear not ; 
I will hold thee by the hand I will keep thee. 3. He tells him 
that he must be given as a covenant Saviour. However dear to 
his heart, still, says God, " I will give thee." 4. He encourages 
him by the great benefit to be gained that he would be a light to 
whole nations of poor, blind, captive sinners. 5. That in all this 
he would have his glory : " My glory will I not give to another, 
nor rny praise to graven images." 

Doctrine. God has provided the Saviour, and alone can reveal 
him ; and he will keep this glory to himself. 


T. God provided the Saviour. He snys here : " I have called 
tluv in ri^htoousiicsss." The meaning is : I have called thee to 
do this work of righteousness to work out this salvation, which 
shall show me to be a righteous God. God did, as it were, look 
round all the creatures, to see whom he would call to this great 
work, of being a Saviour of lost sinners. He looked upon the 
earth, through all its families ; but there was none that understood, 
there was none that did seek God. Every man had his own curse 
to bear ; no rnan could give a ransom for the soul of his brother, 
for the ransom of the soul was precious. He looked round all the 
blooming angels, as if to say. Who will go for me ? Seraphim 
and Cherubim all stood, veiling their faces with their wings ; but 
he saw that none of them could bear infinite wrath. They are 
only creatures ; they would be crushed eternally under the weight 
of my wrath. These will not do. He looked into his oicnbosom. 
There was his eternal Son his dear Son his well-beloved Son. 
Oh ! this will do. I have found a ransom ; I have laid help on one 
who is mighty. My Son, I have called thee in righteousness. 

Learn how complete a Saviour Christ is. God did not choose 
a man to this great work he did not choose an angel ; he passed 
by them all, and chose his Son. Why ? Because he saw none 
other would be a sufficient Saviour. If Christ had not been 
enough, God never would have called him to it. God knew well 
the weight of his own wrath ; and, therefore, he provided an 
almighty back to bear it. Trembling sinner, do not doubt the 
completeness of Christ. God knew all your sins and your wrath 
ivhen he chose Christ that they were both infinite ; and therefore 
he chose an almighty, an infinite Saviour. Oh ! hide in him, and 
you are complete in him. 

II. God upheld the Saviour : " I will hold thine hand, and will 
keep thee." The figure here seems taken from a father and his 
little child. When a little child has to go over some very rough 
road, or to travel in the darkness, or to wade through some deep 
waters, he says to his father : I fear I shall be lost ; I shall not be 
able to go through. Nay, do not fear, the father answers : " I 
will hold thine hand ; I will keep thee." Such are the words o' 
the Father to his dear Son. I would not have dared to have 
imagined them, if I had not found them in the Bible. When God 
called his Son to the work, it could not but be a fearful work in 
his eyes. Christ knew well the infinite number of men's sins ; for 
he is the searcher of hearts and trier of reins. He knew also the 
infinite weight of God's anger against these sins ; he saw the dark 
clouds of infinite vengeance that were ready to burst over the 
head of sinners ; he saw the infinite deluge of eternal wrath that 
was to drown for ever the guilty world ; and, oh ! how dreadful 
his Father's anger was in his eyes ; for he had known nothing but 
his infinite love from all eternity. Oh ! how could he bear to lie 


down under that wrath ? How could he bear to excnange the 
smile of his Father's love for the dark power of his Father's 
anger ? How could he bear, for the sake of vile sinners, to ex 
change the caresses of that God who is love, for the piercings and 
bruisings of his almighty hand ? Surely the very thought would 
be agony. God here comforts his Son under the view : Yon sea 
of wrath is deep its waves are dreadful ; but " I will hold thine 
hand ; 1 will keep thee." 

1. Learn from this how dreadful the sufferings of Christ were. 
He needed God to hold his hand ; he was God himself; thought 
it no robbery to be equal with God ; he had the Spirit given to 
him without measure: " I have put my Spirit upon him ;" but all 
that would not do : God the Father must hold his hand too. Oh ! 
think what a weight must have been crushing and bruising the 
Lamb of God, when Father, Son, and Holy Ghost combined their 
force to hold him up. Oh ! think what a depth of agony must 
have been upon him, when he cried : " What shall I say ? Father, 
save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 
My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Take away 
this cup from me" and when the Father answered him: "I will 
hold thine hand I will keep thee." Oh ! my friends, this is a 
great deep. Cry, " O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God ! How unsearchable are his judgments, 
and his ways past finding out !" 

2. Learn the greatness of your sins. Remember Christ had no 
sins of his own ; no wrath was due to himself; all that wrath he 
bore was ours. You that are believers, you have but a small 
sense of the greatness of your sins. Oh ! look here ; see God 
holding the hand of his Son, while he wades through that sea of 
wrath ! Oh ! surely a look at a suffering Christ should keep you 
in the dust for ever. You must never open your mouth any 
more. And, oh ! will you not love him who so loved you 
who lay down under these surges and billows of God's wrath for 
you ? 

You that are unconverted, see here the dreadful wrath that is 
over your souls. You think your sins are very few, and God 
will not be very angry. This is natural ; all natural men think 
this ; and yet see here how dreadful the wrath is that is over you. 
Even Christ trembled and started back when he came to bear it; 
and how will you do ? You are not the Son of God ; you have 
no divinity within you, as Christ had; how will you be able to 
bear the bruisings ami lashings of God's infinite angor? You 
h iv not the Spirit of God given to you, as Christ had, without 
m a<ure ; how will you be able to stand under the outpourings of 
his eternal indignation? You have not God to take you by the 
hand. God is not your God, not your friend; he has nowhere 
said that he will hold you by the hand ; ah 1 how will you wade 
through an eternal and bottomless sea of wrath? How will you 


contend and fight against the fiery billows, where there is no crea- 
ture, in heaven or in earth, to hold you by the hand ? Oh ! my 
friends, it is because you are blind, that you have no fears. Christ 
saw all that is before you, and it made him tremble ; you do not 
see it, and therefore you do not tremble. You can be happy, and 
smile, and sleep, and enjoy yourselves ; but your day of trembling 
is at hand. Ah ! woe is me ! how will you stand upon the shore 
of that fiery sea ? how you will hang back, and wish that you had 
some one to hold you by the hand ; but it will be all in vain. Oh ! 
that you were wise, that you would remember your latter end ; 
that you would consider this. 

3. Learn God's great hand in Christ's work. When a fathei 
guides his child through some dark part of the road, or through 
some rapid stream, holding him by the hand, this shows that the 
father is interested in the journey of the child ; so, when God 
says, " I will hold thee by the hand," this shows that God has a 
great hand in Christ's work. In writing, if you hold the child's 
hand, and guide the pen, then you have a great hand in the writing. 
Just so did God hold the hand of the Saviour. The work is God';; 
as much as Christ's. Oh ! that we might give him all the glory '. 
Remember, he will not give his glory to another. 

III. God gave Christ for a covenant : " I will give thee for a 
covenant of the people." " God so loved the world, that he gave 
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not 
perish." " Herein is love ; not that we loved God.'' God i.ot 
only provided the Saviour, and upheld him, but he gave him, gave 
him away, to be a covenant Saviour of the people, and a light to 
lighten the Gentiles. When Abraham bound his son Isaac upon 
the altar, and lifted up the knife to strike, this was giving away 
his son at the command of God. This is just what God did. He 
took his son out of his bosom, and gave him away to be bound, to 
be a covenant Saviour of the people. There are not more won- 
derful words in the whole Bible than these ; " / will give thee" 
' God spared not his own Son, but freely delivered him up to the 
death for us all." The Son was infinitely dear to the Father. God 
cannot but love that which is perfectly holy and beautiful. Now, 
such was Christ. From all eternity there had been the outgoings 
of love and infinite admiration from the bosom of the Father to- 
wards his well-beloved Son. Canst thou part with me ? Canst 
thou give me up to the garden and the cross ? " / will give 
thee." Sinners were infinitely vile in the sight of the Father. 
God cannot but hate that which is enmity and rebellion to himself. 
" He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity." How loathsome 
and hateful this world must have been in his eyes, where every 
heart was enmity against him ! Canst thou give me up for such 
sinners, for the sake of such vile worms ! " Yes, / will give thee' 

1. Learn the intense love of God for sinners. He spared not 


.us own Son. Herein is love. He loved the nappiness of his 
Son; but he loved the salvation of sinners more. He loved to 
have his Son in his bosom ; but he loved more to have sinners 
brought into his bosom. He cast out his Son, in order to *ake us 
m. Oh ! sinner, how will you escape, if you neglect so great a 
salvation ? 

2. Learn that God must have the glory of this. He will not 
give his glory to another. Some awakened persons look to God 
as an angry, inexorable judge ; but to Christ as a smiling Sa. 
viour, that comes between us and an angry Father. Now, re 
member, you will never come to peace as long as you think this. 
This is robbing God of his glory. You must believe in Christ and 
believe in God. God wishes you to honor the Son even as you 
honor the Father ; but not more than you honor the Father. You 
will never come to peace till you look to Christ as the gift of God, 
till you see that the heart of God and Christ are one in this matter, 
till God open a window in his breast, and show you the love 
which provided, upheld, and gave up the Son. 

IV. God gave Christ for a light : " I will give thee for alight." 
It is God that causes the sun to rise every morning, so that the 
dark shades of evening are scattered before him ; so it is God that 
makes Christ rise upon the soul of a sinner. 

1. By nature, men have blind eyes. They do not know the 
beauty of Christ. They read of him in the Word, hear him 
preached ; talked of; they see no form nor comeliness in him ; no 
beauty that they should desire him. They have eyes, but they 
see not. 2. By nature, men are bound in prison. They serve 
divers lusts and pleasures ; they are bound to selfishness and pride, 
and luxury, and lust ; these things compass them about as with a 
chain. 3. By nature, men sit in a dark prison-house. They are 
bound, but do not see that they are bound ; they do not see their 
misery ; they sit they do not strive to get free, but sit contented 
and hnppy in their darksome dungeon. Oh ! unconverted souls, 
what a picture this is of your condition ! Blind in prison con 
tented in the dark dungeon. You will say, I feel it not ; I an 
contented and happy. Ah ! does not this just show that this word 
is true : You are blind, you do not see your misery ? When a 
blind man is in darkness, he feels no pain from it. You are 
chained ; you do not struggle ; you sit still in the prison-house. I 
have often thought that your very ease and contentment might 
awaken you to think that all is not right. 

Now, learn, how a change comes : " I will give thee for a light 
of the Gentiles." It is all the gift of God. Oh ! I fear, we little 
understand this. There is much robbing God of his glory, even 
among Christians. When God causes the sun to ris<;, then nothing 
can make darkness. The mists and fogs cannot keep back the 
beams of the sun ; so, when God causes Christ to rise on the sool 


then there is light. Revealing Christ docs the whole work for tha 
soul. It awakens, it wins, it draws, it makes free, it makes holy. 

Qnes. Has Christ been made to rise upon your soul ? If not, 
then you are still blind, still in chains, and in the dark dungeon; 
you have neither peace nor holiness. Oh! seek it from God cry 
to him, that Christ may give you light. 

But, if Christ has been made to rise on your soul, happy are 
you. You were sometime darkness, but now you are light in the 
Lord. Walk as children of the light. Now, see who did it, and 
give him the praise. It is the Lord. God gave Christ to be a 
light to thy soul. Give him, and him alone, the glory. "My 
glory I will not give to another." 1. Do not give the praise to 
yourself; do not say, My own wisdom or my own prayers have 
gotten me this. It was all undeserved mercy to the chief of sin- 
ners. " My glory I will not give to another. 2. Do not give the 
glory to ministers. They are often the instruments of bringing 
souls to Christ, but they cannot make Christ arise on the soul, 
any more than they can make the sun to rise on the earth. 
We can point to the sun, though we cannot make it rise ; so, 
we can point you to Christ, but cannot make him rise on your soul. 
The work is God's, and he will have the glory. I believe the 
work is greatly hindered amongst us from the cause mentioned. 

Last. Plead with God to fulfil his word, that Christ may be a 
light to the nations. It is as easy with God to make Christ rise on 
many souls as upon one. Show him that it is for his glory that a 
nation be born in a day. Give him no rest till he pour down the 
Spirit on all our families, till there be a great looking unto Jesus, and 
rejoicing in him. Take thine own glory, O Lord, give it to no 
other ; neither thy praise to graven images. 

Sf. Peter's, Jan. 7, 1838. 



' Remember these, Jacob and Israel ; for thou art my servant : I have form? i 
thee; thou art my servant: Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I 
have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins : 
return unto me ; for I have redeemed thee." Isa. xliv., 21, 22. 

IN these words God contrasts the happy condition of his chosen 
people with that of the poor blind idolaters whom he had been 
describing in the verses before. Ah ! my friends, to the eye of 
man, there may be little difference between the children of the 
wicked one and the children of God ; but, to the eye of God, they 
are as different as the chaff from the wheat, as the lily from the 


thorn. Of you that arc Christless, God says, " He feedeth on 
ashes" (verse 20) ; but Jo you that are his children, " Remember 
these, O Jacob." May God open our eyes to see wonders out of 
this Scripture ! 

I. All that have come to Christ are forgiven : " I have blotted 
out.'' Verse 22. 

1. Observe the completeness of their forgiveness : " I have blotted 
out as a thick cloud." This complete forgiveness is many ways 
showed forth in the Bible. 1st, It is compared to the change 
produced on clothes by washing or dyeing them : " Though thy 
sins be as scarlet, yet shall they be white as snow" (Isa. i., 18) ; 
and again, " Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our 
sins in his blood." 2d, Again, to something covered over: 
" Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin 
is covered." And Jesus says, " Buy of me white raiment, that 
thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do 
not appear." 3d, Again, it is compared to something lost. He- 
zekiah says, " Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back ;" Micah, 
" Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." But 
still they may be near at hand ? No : " As far as east is distant 
from the west." Ps. ciii., 12. But if God were to seek for them ? 
"In those days, and in that time, shall the iniquity of Israel be 
sought for, and there shall be none ; and the sins of Judah, and 
they shall not be found." Jer. 1., 20. 4th, To something for- 
gotten : " Thy sins and thine iniquities will I remember no more." 
" All his transgressions that he hath done, they shall not be men- 
tioned unto him." 5th, To something blotted out. Although 
they be washed, covered, lost, forgotten, yet they will still remain 
in God's record, yes, they will ; but how ? Blotted out. 

Any of you that believe in Jesus, do you take the Son of God 
as your Surety ? Take this word to yourself. See what the page 
will be like on which thy sins are written. It will be one great 
blot ; one thick cloud. When you look on the clouds, can you 
read anything written there ? no more can God read any of thy 
sins, O believer in Jesus. 

2. Observe, it is present forgiveness. It is not, I will blot out ; 
but, " I have blotted out." Some say, I hope God will forgive me. 
Ah ! my friends, you greatly mistake the Bible : a present forgive- 
ness is offered to you. The moment a soul closes with Christ, 
that moment is this word true of him : " I have blotted out." 
" There is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ 

Ques. Has God blotted out your sins ? 1st, Most say I don't 
know ; I never inquired. Oh ! sinner, if you never inquired, then 
I will answer for you ; There is not one of them blotted out 
Every evil thought, and word, and deed you have done, is written 
gainst you ; you will meet them all another day. A deceived 


heart hath turned thee aside, and thou dost not know that there is 
a lie in thy right hand. 2d, Some say, It is impossible to tell ; I 
never saw the book of God's remembrance; how can I tell? 
True, you never saw the book of God's remembrance, and yet 
there is another book, and if you would search it much, and be- 
lieve the word concerning Jesus, you would come to know that 
you are forgiven. Oh, yes ! it is quite possible. David tasted it, 
and thousands since David have blessed God for forgiving all their 
iniquities. The woman that touched the hem of Christ's garment 
felt in herself that she was made whole. She was no physician, 
and yet she knew that she was well. When a man has a burden 
on his back, if you lift it off, he knows it at once ; so does the heavy ' 
laden soul that comes to Jesus, he finds rest. 

3. Observe who blots: "I, even 'I, am he that blotteth out thy 
transgressions." Isa. xliii., 25. 1st, Some try to blot out their own 
sins ; I will be grieved, and sorry for my sins, says one. I will 
blot them out with tears. I will pray to God, and cover my past 
sins with my earnest prayers, says another. I. will mend my life 
and cover my naked soul with good deeds, says another. But no ; 
this is all vain ; God alone can blot out. Either he will do it, or 
it will not be done : " I, even I, am he." 2d, Some hope that 
Christ will blot out their sins, unknown to the Father. They think 
that Christ is very willing to be a Saviour, but not so the Father. 
But no ; Christ and the Father are one. If you come to Christ, 
God himself will do it, and will tell you, " I have done it." 

Speak to unforgiven souls : Unhappy man ! You have many 
pleasures and many friends ; but one thing you want the forgive- 
ness of sins. Do you think you would not be happier, lighter in 
heart, if you were forgiven ? Oh ! how miserable are all your 
daily employments and pleasures, when you know that hell is open- 
ing its mouth for you. God has never blotted out your sins ; yet 
you might be forgiven : " Unto you, O men, I call ; and my words 
are to the sons of men." Come to Christ, and God will abun- 
dantly pardon. 

II. All that have come to Christ are God's servants. " Thou art 
my servant, thou art my servant." Two reasons are given : 1. " I 
have redeemed thee ;" 2. " I have formed thee." 1st, Because 
redeemed. When a man consents that Christ shall be his Surety, 
he feels that he is not his own, but bought with a price. So David 
felt : " Truly I am thy servant ; I am thy servant, and the son of 
thine handmaid : thou hast loosed my bonds." So Paul felt, when 
he lay gasping on the ground : " Lord, what wilt thou have me to 
do ?" Before conversion, the unconverted thinks that he is his 
own : May I not do what I will with mine own ? He was the 
willing slave of the devil. But when he sees the price laid down 
for him, he feels that the Lord has redeemed him out of the house 
of bondage. Now he says, I am the Lord's. Now he is more 


the servant of the Lc.a than ever he was of the devil. Oh ! dear 
Christians, would that I could see more of this among you, a de- 
voting of yourselves unto the Lord ; " for thou art my servant , 
thou art my servant." 2d, Because formed by God : " I made 
thee, and formed thee from the womb." Isa. xliv., 2. The whole 
work of grace is the Lord's doing, and wondrous in our eyes. 
Paul says : " It pleased the Lord, who separated me from my 
mother's womb, to reveal his Son in me ;" and God to Jeremiah: 
" Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee ; and before thou 
earnest out of the womb, I sanctified thee." God marks his own 
from their mother's womb. When infants, God treasures up every 
prayer for them. Every mother's tears he puts into his bottle, her 
sighs into his book. In boyhood, he preserves their souls from 
death, gives them times of awakening, fixes words in their me- 
mory : " I girded thee, though thou hast not known me." When 
his time comes, he guides them to some fitting ministry ; or, by 
some sore trial, awakens, leads to Christ, draws, wins, comforts, 
builds the soul. He is a faithful Creator. " Sing, O heavens ! 
for the Lord hath done it." That soul becomes a servant in- 

Some of you know that God has formed you. You can trace 
liis hand, guiding you ever since you were born, girding you when 
you did not know him, in the mother that wrestled for you, in dear 
ones that prayed for you, now in their lonely grave, in the minis- 
ters that you have been brought to, in the texts they have been 
guided to. O be the Lord's servant ! let him bore thine ear. Bear 
in your body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 

III. Souls in Christ shall not be forgotten of God : " Thou shalt 
not be forgotten of me." The children of God. often think their 
God has forgotten them. Often, when they fall into sin and dark- 
ness, they feel cut off from God, as if his mercies were clean gone 
for ever. But learn here that God never forgets the soul that is 
in Christ Jesus. 

1. So it was with Moses in the land of Midian. For forty 
years he thought God had forgotten his people. He wandered 
about as a shepherd in the wilderness for forty years, sad and de- 
solate. But h;id God really forgotten his people ? No ; he ap- 
peared in a flaming fire in a bush, and said : " 1 have seen, I have 
seen the affliction of my people, and I have heard heir groaning, 
and am come down to deliver them ; for / know iheir sorrows." 
God knows thy sorrows, O soul in Christ. 2. So it was with Du- 
vid, in Ps. Ixxvii., xiii., and xxxi. 3. So it was with Hezekiah, 
when God told him he must die. Hezekiah wept sore : " Like a 
crane or a swallow so did I chatter ; I did mourn is a dove : mine 
eyes fail with looking upward : O Lord, I am oppressed ; under- 
take for me." Isa. xxxviii., 14. Did God forget him ? No ; God 
aid this word to him : " I have heard thy praver, I have seen thy 


ti ars; I will add unto thy days fifteen years." God never forgets 
the soui in Christ. 4. So shall it be with God's ancient people: 
" Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath for- 
gotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she 
should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? yea, they 
may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Isa. xlix. 14, 15. 5. So 
it is in the words of the text : " Thou shall not be forgotten of 
me." The world may forget thee, thy friends, thy father, thy 
mother, may forsake thee ; yet " thou shalt not be forgotten of 

A word to souls in Christ. The Lord cannot forget you. If 
you stood before God in your own righteousness, then I see how" 
you might be separated from his love and care ; for your frames 
vary, your goodness is like the morning cloud and early dew. 
But you stand before him in Christ : and Christ is the same yes- 
terday, to-day, and for ever. You shall be held in everlasting 
remembrance. The world may forget you, your friends may for- 
get you, for this is a forgetting world, you may not have a tomb- 
stone over your grave ; but God will not forget you, Christ will 
put your name beside that of his faithful martyr, Antipas. In life, 
in death, in eternity, thou " shall not be forgotten of me." 

IV. A redeemed soul should return unto God : " Return unto me." 
The sin and misery of every natural soul is in going away from 
God. Adam hid himself from the presence of God. So Isaiah 
complains ; " They have provoked the Holy One of Israel to an- 
ger : they are gone away backward." And God says : " What 
iniquity have ycur fathers found in me, that they are gone far from 
me ?" " Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire ? 
yet my people have forgotten me days without number." But 
when a soul has come to Christ, there is no more reason why he 
should return unto God. " Return unto me, for I have redeemed 
thee." " Through Jesus, we both have access by one Spirit unto 
the Father." " I am the way ; no man cometh unto the Father, 
but by me." 

Dear brethren in Christ, let me entreat you to return unto the 

1. Come into the arms of his love. When God has redeemed 
a soul, he wants to have him in his arms, he wants to fall upon his 
neck and kiss him. See how he tries to win the soul ! tells all 
that he has done for him, all that he will do ; and adds : " Return 
unto me ; for I have redeemed thee." Oh ! why are ye fearful, 
ye of little faith ? Why do you hang back, and will not venture 
near to God ? Why do you not run to him ? Some say : I am 
afraid of past sins. Oh ! but hear his word : " I have blotted out. 
Return unto me, for I have redeemed thee." Some say : I am 
afraid he cannot wish such a sinful, weak thing as I beside him. 
Oh 1 foolish, and slow of heart to believe his own word. Does he 


not speak plain enough and kind enough? " Return unto me, for 
I have redeemed thee." 

2. Come into communion with him; daily walk with him 
Enoch walked with God. Once Adam walked with God in pa- 
radise, as easily, Herbert says, "as you may walk from one room 
to another." He talked with him concerning his judgments. Oh ! 
come unto thy God, redeemed, forgiven soul. Acquaint thyself 
with God, and be at peace. Come to him ; do not rest short of 
him. You think it a great thing to know a lively Christian ; oh . 
how infinitely better to know God. It is your infinite blessedness. 
You will get more knowledge in one hour with God, than in all 
your life spent with man. You will get more holiness from im- 
mediate conversing with God, than from all other means of grace 
put " together. Indeed, the means are empty vanity, unless you 
come to God in them. " Return unto me ; for I have redeemed 

3. To the backslider. Guilty soul, you have been within the 
veil ; you know the peace that Jesus gives ; you know the joy of 
the smile of God. But you have left all this, and gone away 
backward. Guilty soul, you have done worse than the world. 
Worldly men never served Christ as you have done. They have 
spit on him, and buffeted him, and crucified him ; but you have 
wounded him in the house of his friends: "It was not an enemy 
that reproached mo; then I could have borne it; but thou, my 
friend and mine acquaintance." Guilty soul, what says God unto 
thee ? " Depart thou cursed ?" No : " Return unto me : for I 
have redeemed thee." "Return, O backsliding daughter; for I 
am married unto you." Return, sinner, thy God calleth thee ; the 
God that chose thee, the Saviour that died for thee, the Comforter 
that renewed thee. " Return unto me ; for I have redeemed thee." 

St. Peter's, July 8, 1838. 



" For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground : I 
will pour my Spirit upon thy Seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: and 
they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses." Isa. 
Xliv., 3, 4. 

THESE words describe a time of refreshing. There are no words 
in the whole Bible that have been oftener in my heart, and oftener 
on my tongue than these, since I began my ministry among you. 
And yet, although God has never, from the very first day left us 


without some tokens of his presence, yet he has never fulfilled thi> 
promise ; and I have taken it up to-day, in order that we ma) 
consider it more fully, and plead it more anxiously with God. 
For, as Rutherford said, "My record is on high, that your heaven 
would be like two heavens to me ; and the salvation of you all. 
like two salvations to me." 

1. Who is the author in a work of grace ? It is God : " I will 

1. It is God who begins a work of anxiety in dead souls. So 
it is in Zech. xii. : " I will pour out the Spirit of grace and sup- 
plications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced 
and mourn." And so the promise is in John xvi. : " When he is 
come, he will convince the world of sin ; because they believe not 
on me." And so is the passage of Ezek. xxxvii. : " Come from the 
four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may 
live." If any of you have been awakened, and made to beat upon 
the breast, it is God, and God alone that hath done it. If ever we 
are to see a time of wide-spread concern among your families, 
children asking their parents, parents asking their children, people 
asking their ministers, " What must I do to be saved ?" if ever we 
are to see such a time as Mr. Edwards speaks of, when there was 
scarcely a single person in the whole town left unconcerned about 
the great things of the eternal world, God must pour out the Spi- 
rit : " I will pour." 

2. It is God who carries on the work, leading awakened 
persons to Christ. "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,' 
"and whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be 
delivered." Joel ii., 28, 32. And again, in John: "He shall 
convince the world of righteousness." Jf ever we are to see souls 
flying like a cloud, and like doves, to Jesus Christ, if ever we are 
to see multitudes of you fleeing to that city of refuge, if ever we 
are to see parents rejoicing over their children as new-born, 
husbands rejoicing over their wives, and wives over their husbands, 
God must pour out the Spirit. He is the author and finisher of a 
work of grace : " I will pour." 

3. It is God who enlarges his people. You remember, in 
Zech. iv., how the olive trees supplied the golden candlesticks 
with oil they emptied the golden oil out of themselves. If there 
is little oil,* the lamps burn dim ; if much oil, the lamps begin 
to blaze. Ah ! if ever we are to see you who are children -of 
God greatly enlarged, your hearts filled with joy, your lips filled 
with praises ; if ever we are to see you growing like willows 
beside the water-courses, filled with all the fullness of God God 
must pour down his Spirit. He must fulfil his word ; for he is 
the Alpha and Omega the author and finisher of a work of grace * 
" I will pour." 

First Lesson. Learn to look beyond ministers for a work of 


grace. God has given much honor to his ministers ; but not 
the pouring out of the Spirit. He keeps that in his own hand 
" I will pour." " It is not by might, nor by power, but by my 
Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Alas ! we would have little 
hope, if it depended upon ministers ; for where are our men of 
might now 1 God is as able to do it for to-day as he was at 
the day of Pentecost ; but men are taken up with ministers, and 
not with God. As long as you look to ministers, God cannot 
pour ; for you would s<iy it came from man. Ah ! cease from 
man, whose breath is in his nostrils. One would think we would 
be humbled in the dust by this time. In how many parishes of 
Scotland has God raised up faithful men, who cease not day 
and night to warn every one with tears ! and yet still the heavens 
are like brass, and the earth like iron. Why 1 Just because 
your eye is on man, and not on God. Oh ! look off man to him, 
and he will pour ; and his shall be all the glory. 

Second Lesson. Learn good hope of revival in our day. 

Third Lessor. Learn that we should pray for it. We are 
often for preaching to awaken others ; but we should be more 
upon praying for it. Prayer is more powerful than preaching. 
It is prayer that gives preaching all its power. I observe that 
some Christians are very ready to censure ministers, and to 
complain of their preaching of their coldness their unfaithful- 
ness. God forbid that I should ever defend unfaithful preaching, 
or coldness, or deadness, in the ambassador of Christ ! May my 
right hand sooner forget its cunning ! But I do say, where lies 
/he blame of unfaithfulness ? where, but in the want of faith- 
ful praying ? Why, the very hands of Moses would have fallen 
down, had they not been held up by his faithful people. Come, 
then, ye wrestlers with God ye that climb Jacobs ladder 
ye that wrestle Jacob's wrestling strive you with God, that he 
may fulfil his word : " I will pour." 

II. God begins with thirsty souls : " I will pour water upon him 
that is thirsty." 

1. Awakened persons. There are often souls that have been^a 
long time un ler the awakening hand of God. God has led them 
into trouble, but not. into peace. He has taken them down into 
the wilderness, and there they wander about in search of re- 
freshing waters ; but they find none. They wander from moun- 
tain to hill seeking rest, and finding none ; they go from well to 
well, seeking a drop of water to cool their tongue ; they go from 
minister to minister, from sacrament to sacrament, opening their 
mouth, and panting earnestly ; yet they find no peace. These are 
thirsty souls. Now, it is a sweet thought that God begins with 
such : " I will pour water upon him that is thirsty." The whole 
Bil>le shows that God has a peculiar tenderness for such as are 
thirsty. Christ, who is the express image of God, had a peculiar 


tenderness lor them : " The Lord God hath given me the tongue 
of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season 
to him that is weary." " Come unto me, all ye that are weary 
and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." " If any man thirst, 
let him come unto me and drink." Many of his cures were in- 
tended to win the hearts of these burdened souls. The woman 
that had spent all upon other physicians, and was nothing better 
but rather worse, no sooner touched the hem of his garment, 
than she was made whole. Another cried after him, " Lord, help 
me," yet he answered not a word ; but at last said : "O woman, 
great is thy faith ; be it unto thee even as thou wilt." Another 
was bowed down eighteen years ; but Jesus laid his hands on her, 
and immediately she was made straight. 

Weary sinner, (1.) This is Jesus ; this is what he wants to do 
for you : " I will pour water upon him that is thirsty." Only be- 
lieve that he is willing and able, and it shall be done. (2.) Learn 
that it must come from his hand. In vain you go to other physi- 
cians ; you will be nothing better, but rather worse. Wait on 
him ; kneel and worship him. saying : " Lord, help me." (3.) Oh ! 
long for a time of refreshing, that weary souls may be brought 
into peace. If we go on in this every-day way, these burdened 
souls may perish may sink uncomforted into the grave. Arise, 
and plead with God, that he may arise and fulfil his word : "I will 
pour water upon him that is thirsty." 

2. Thirsty believers. All believers should be thirsty; aias! 
few are. Signs: 1. Much thirst after the Word. When two 
travellers are going through the wilderness, you may know which 
of them is thirsty, by his always looking out for wells. How 
gladly Israel came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, 
and seventy palm trees ! So it is with thirsty believers ; they 
Dve the Word, read and preached, they thirst for it more ant 
more. Is it so with you, dear believing brethren ? In Scotland 
long ago, it used to be so. Often, alter the blessing was pro 
nounced, the people would not go away till they heard more 
Ah ! children of God, it is a fearful sign to see little thirst in you 
I ,do not wonder much when the world stay away from GUI 
meetings for the Word and prayer ; but, ah ! when you do, 1 
am dumb, my soul will weep in secret places for your pride. 
I say, God grant that we may not have a famine of ihe Word ere 
long. (2.) Much prayer. When a little child is thirsty for its 
mother's breast, it will not keep silence ; no more will a child of 
God who is thirsty. Thirst will lead you to the secret well, 
where you may draw unseen the living water. It will lead you 
to united prayer. If the town were in want of water, and thirst 
staring every man in the face, would you not meet one with another, 
and consult, and help to dig new wells ? Now, the town is in 
want of grace, souls are perishing for lack of it, and you your- 
selves are languishing. Oh! meet to pray. "If two of you 


ghall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, 
it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." 
(3.) Desire to grow in grace. Some persons are contented 
when they come to Christ. They sink back, as it were, into ac 
easy chair, they ask no more, they wish no more. This must not 
be. If you are thirsty believers, you will seek salvation as much 
after conversion as before it. " Forgetting those things which 
are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are 
before, press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of 
God in Christ Jesus." 

To thirsty souls. Dear children, I look for the first drops of 
grace among you, in answer to your prayers, to fill your panting 
mouths. Oh, yes, he. will pour. " A vineyard of red wine, I the 
Lord do keep it ; I will water it every moment : lest any hurt it, 
I will keep it night and day." Isa. xxvii., 2, 3. " With joy shall 
ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isa. xii., 3. 

III. God pours floods on the dry ground. The dry ground 
represents those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Just as 
you have seen the ground, in a dry summer, all parched and dry, 
cracking and open, yet it speaks not, it asks riot the clouds to fall ; 
so is it with most in our parishes. They are all dead and dry, 
parched and withered, without a prayer for grace, without even 
a desire for it. Yet what says God ? ' I will pour floods upon 
them," Marks : 

1. They do not pray. I believe there are many in our parishes 
who do not make a habit of secret prayer, who, neither in 
their closet nor in the embowering shade, ever pour out their 
heart to God. I believe there are many who are dropping into 
hell who never so much as said : " God be merciful to me, a sin- 
ner." Ah ! these are the dry ground. Oh ! it is sad to think that 
the souls that are nearest to hell are the souls that pray least 
to be delivered from it. 

2. They do not wish a work of grace in their souls. I believe 
many of you came to the house of God to-day who would rather 
lose house, and home, and friends, than have a work of grace 
done in your heart. Nothing would terrify you so much as the 
idea that God might make you a praying Christian. Ah ! you 
are the dry gtound ; you love death. 

3. Those who do not attend to the preached Word. I have 
heard anxious persons declare that they never heard a sermon 
in all their life till they were awakened, that they regularly 
thought about something else all the time. I believe this is 
the way with many of you. You are the dry ground. What 
will God pour out on you ? Floods, floods of wrath ? No ; 
floods of grace, floods of the Spirit, floods of blessing. Oh ! the 
mercy of God, it passes all understanding. You deserve the 
flood* that came on the world of the ungodly: but he offers 


floods of blessing. You deserve the rain of Sodom ; but, behold 
he offers floods of his Spirit. 

First Lesson. Learn how much you are interested that there 
should be a work of grace in our day. You are the very persona 
who do not care about lively preaching ; who ridicule prayer- 
meetings, and put a mock on secret prayer ; and yet you are the 
very persons that are most concerned. Ah ! poor dry ground 
eouls, you should be the first to cry out for lively ministers ; you 
should go round the Christians, and, on your bended knees, entreat 
them to come out to our prayer-meeting. You, more than all the 
rest, should wait for the fulfilment of this word ; for if it come 
not, oh ! what will come of you ? Poor dead, dead souls, you ' 
cannot pray for yourselves ! One by one, you will drop into a 
sad eternity. 

Second Lesson. Learn, Christians, to pray for floods. It is 
God's word, he puts it into your mouth. Oh ! do not ask for drops, 
when God offers floods. " Open thy mouth and I will fill it." 

IV. Effects. 

1. Saved souls will be like grass. They shall spring up as 
grass. So, in Ps. Ixxii.: " They of the city shall be like grass of 
the earth." Many will be awakened, many saved. At present, 
Christ's people are like a single lily amongst many thorns ; but in 
a time of grace they shall be like grass. Count the blades of 
grass that spring in the clear shining after a rain ; so many shall 
Christ's people be. Count the drops of dew that come from the 
womb of the morning, shining like diamonds in the morning sun ; 
so shall Chri-sit's people be in a day of his power. Count the stars 
that sparkle in night's black mantle ; so shall Abraham's seed be. 
Count the duet of the earth ; so shall Israel be in the day of an 
outpoured Spirit. Oh ! pray for an outpoured Spirit, ye men of 
prayer, that there may be many raised up in our day to call him 

2. Believers shall grow like willows. There is nothing more 
distressing in our day than the want of growth among the chil- 
dren of God. They do not seem to press forward, they do not 
seem to be running a race. When I compare this year with last 
year, alas ! where is the difference ? the same weaknesses, the 
same coldness ; nay, I fear, greater languor in divine things. 
How different when the Spirit is poured out ! They shall be like 
willows. You have seen the willow, how it grows, ceases not 
day or night, ever growing, ever shooting out new branches. 
Cut k down, it springs again. Ah ! so would you be, dear Chris- 
tians, if there were a flood-time of the Spirit, a day of Pentecost. 
(1.) Then there would be less care about your business and your 
workshop, more love of prayer and sweet praises. (2.) There 
would be more change in your heart, victory over the world, the 
devil, and the flesh. You would come out, and be separate. (3.) 


In affliction, you would grow in sweet submission, humility 
meekness. There was a time in Scotland when Sabbath-days were 
growing days. Hungry souls came to the Word, and went away 
filled with good things. They came like Martha, and went away 
like Mary. They came like Samson, when his locks were shorn, 
and went away like Samson when his locks were grown. 

3. Self-dedrcation. " One shall say, I am the Lord's.'' Oh ! 
there is no greater joy than for a believing soul to give himself all 
to God. This has always been the way in times of refreshing. 
It was so at Pentecost. First they gave their ownselves unto the 
Lord. It was so with Boston, and Dodd ridge, and Edwards, and 
all the holy men of old. " I have this day been before God," says 
Edwards, "and have given myseif all that I am and have to 
God ; so that I am in no respect my own. I can challenge no 
right in myself, in this understanding, this will, these affections. 
Neither have I right to this body, or any of its members ; no 
right to this tongue, these hands, these feet, these eyes, these ears. 
I have given myself clean away." Oh ! would that you knew the 
joy of giving yourself away. You cannot keep yourself. Oh ! 
this day try and give all to Him. Lie in his hand. Little children, 
O that you would become like him who said : " I am God's boy 
altogether, mother !" Write on your hand ; " I am the Lord's." 
St. Peter's, July 1,1838. 




Samuel grew and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the 
ground!" 1 Sam. iii., 19 

IT has long been a matter of sad and solemn inquiry to me, what 
is the cause of the little success that attends the preaching of the 
Gospel in our day, and, in particular, in my own parish. Many 
reasons have risen up before me. 

1. There are reasons in ministers. (1.) The flocks are too 
large to be cared for by the shepherd. My own flock is just four 
times the size a flock used to be in the days of our fathers ; so that 
I am called upon to do the work of four ministers, and am left, like 
Issacliar, couching down between two burdens. ' (2.) Again, there 
is little union in prayer among the ministers. Heartburnings and 
jealousies, and cold suspicions, seem to put a sad bar in the way to 
this so necessary union. (3.) Again, comparing ministers now with 
ministers long ago, it is to be feared there is not that longing 
for the conversion of their people which there used to be ; little 


weeping between the porch and the altar ; little wrestling with 
God in secret for a blessing on the Word ; little travailing in birth 
till Christ be formed in their people the hope of glory. It is said 
of the excellent Alleine, that he was " infinitely, insatiably greedy 
of the conversion of souls." It is to be feared there is little of this 
greediness now. Matthew Henry used to say : " I would think it 
a greater happiness to gain one soul to Christ, than mountains of 
silver and gold to myself." We have few Matthew Henrys now 
Samuel Rutherford used to say to his flock : " My witness is above, 
that your heaven would be two heavens to me ; and the salvation 
of you all as two salvations to me."* Oh that God would give us 
something of this Spirit now ! 

2. There are reasons in Christians. (1.) There seems little 
appetite for the word among Christians. I do not mean that there 
is little hearing oh, no this is an age for hearing sermons ; but 
there is little hearing the Word for all that. " One says : I am of 
Paul ; and another, I of Apollos ; and I of Cephas ; and I of 
Christ." You come to hear the word of man, but not the word 
of God. You go away judging and criticising, instead of laying 
it to heart. Oh, for the time when Christians, like new born 
babes, would desire the sine 3re milk of the Word, that they might 
grow thereby ! (2.) Little prayer. Two farmers possessed two 
fields that lay next to each other. The one had rich crops, the other 
very scanty ones. " How comes it," said the one to the other, " that 
your fields bear so well, and mine so poorly, when my land is as 
good as yours T " Why. neighbor," said the other, " the reason is 
this, you only sow your field, but I both sow mine and harrow in the 
seed." Just so, my dear friends, there is little fruit among Chris- 
tians, because there is little harrowing in by prayer. I think I 
could name many Christians among you who do not know one 
another and never pray with one another. What wonder that 
ther 3 is little fruit ! 

3. Reasons in unconverted. (1.) There is much keeping away 
from the house of God. I suppose there are at least a thousand 
persons in my parish who never enter the house of God. Ah ! 
how shall we catch these souls, when they keep so far from the 
net ? (2.) Again, many come only in the afternoons. The very 
souls that have the most need to hear are those which come but 
once. How do you expect a work of God, when you cast such 
open contempt upon his ordinance ? (3.) Again, how many keep 
out of the way when we visit in your houses, lest some word 
should strike upon your conscience, and you should convert and 
be healed ! How often, when I preach in your houses, do I find 
ten women for every man ! Have the men no souls that they keep 
away from God's holy ordinance ? (4.) Again, there is an awful 
profaning of the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper. 

Robert Bruce John Welsh. Revivalist, No. 74. 


The whole Bible declares that they are intended only for those 
who have been born ngain ; yet how many rush forward to them 
with mad and daring hand, drawing down the curse of a seared 
conscience and a stony heart ! 

These are painful truths enough to break the heart of any 
Christian man that labors among you. Ah ! where is the wonder 
that God should be a stranger in the land, and like a wayfaring 
man, that turns aside to tarry for a night ? And yet this word 
comes like a beam of sunshine in a storm ; God be praised for it ! 
" Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did~let none of 
his words lall to the ground." Samuel was young in years, and 
it pleased God to cast him in days just as wicked as ours ; and 
how did God encourage him ? In two ways. 1st, God was with 
him. God stood at his right hand, so that he could not be moved. 
2d, God did let none of his words fall to the ground. May the 
Lord give us both these encouragements this day ! 

Doctrine. God will not let one word of his ministers fall to the 

I. The Word often works visibly. 

In most cases a work of grace is very visible. 1. When the 
Spirit awakens the soul to know its lost condition, there are very 
generally evident marks of awakening. The jailor trembled, and 
sprung in, and fell down, and said : " What must I do to be saved ?*' 
So it is commonly. This is not to be wondered at. If a man be 
m danger of losing all his money, or his wife, or child, he wi'.l 
often weep, and tremble, and wring the hands, and cry, Woe ie 
me, I am undone. And is there less cause for weeping and 
vrernbling, if a man be in danger of losing his own soul ? 2. When 
the soul is brought to peace, there is in general an evident change. 
" The woman stood behind Christ's feet weeping. She washed 
them with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, 
and kissed them." So it is commonly. The bosom is brought to 
rest ; the eyes are filled with tears of joy ; there is a lively at- 
tendance on the Word of God ; an exultation in singing his praises ; 
the Sabbath is now plainly honored and kept holy ; sinful com- 
panions are forsaken. Ah ! my dear friends, it is my heart's de- 
sire and prayer, that these outward marks of a work of grace were 
more common in the midst of you. I fear there can be no exten 
give work of grace, where these are wanting. 

II. The Word may be working unseen. 

In some cases the work of grace is quite invisible. I believe 
that God, for wise reasons, sometimes carries on a work of grace 
in the heart, secretly and unknown to all the world but to himseJf. 
There are three things make me think so: 

1. Christ compared the kingdom of heaven in the heart to leaven 
and to seed : " The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which 


a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole 
was leavened." Now, you know that the process of leavening 
goes on a long time in the heart of the meal quite unseen ; so may 
the work of grace. Again : " So is the kingdom of God as if a 
man should cast seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise 
night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knowefh 
not how." Mark iv., 6. Now you know the growing of the 
seed beneath the cloud is all unseen ; so is it often with the work 
of grace. 

2. Who is the workman in conversion ? It is the Spirit of God. 
Now he works unseen, like the wind : " The wind bloweth where 
it listcth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell 
whence it cometh, or whither it goeth ; so is every one that is 
born of the Spirit." He works like the dew : " I will be as the 
dew unto Israel." Now, no man ever yet heard the dew falling. 
He works like the well. " The water that I shall give him shall 
be in him a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life." 
If the Spirit work so secretly, no wonder if his work is sometimes 

3. So it has been in fact: Elijah cried, "I, even I, am left 
alone." How surprised was he to find seven thousand who had 
never bowed the knee to Baal ! So shall it be in the latter day : 
" Then shall thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, 
seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and 
removing to and fro ? and who hath brought up these ? Behold 
I was left alone; these, where had they been ?" Isa. xlix., 21. 

Encouragement to godly parents, and teachers, and ministers. 
I know some of you have long been watching for a work of grace 
in your children's hearts. Learn this day that God will not let 
one word fall to the ground. His word shall not return to him 
void. But you say, Alas ! I see no marks of grace. Go to the 
dough when the leaven has been thrust in, and it is covered up. 
Do you see any marks of leavening? No, not one. Still the 
work is going on beneath. So it may be in your child. Go to 
the field when the seed has been covered in. Do you see any 
marks of growing ? No, not a green speck. Still the work is 

g)ing on. Turn up the clod, and you will see the seed sprouting. 
ave patience ; weary not in well-doing. Be instant in prayer. 
God will be faithful to his promise. He will not let one word fall 
to the ground. 

III. The Word may take effect another day. 

1. It is a curious fact in natural history, that seeds may be 
preserved for almost any length of time. Seeds that have been 
kept in a drawer for many years, yet, when sown in their proper 
season, have been known to spring up, as if they had been but 
a year old. So it may sometimes be with the seeds of grace. 
They may be kept long in the soul without in the least affecting 


it, and yet may be watered by the Spirit, and grow up many days 

2. In general it is not so. It is the testimony of an old divine, 
who was indeed a master in Israel : " That the main benefit 
obtained by preaching is, by impression made upon the mind at 
the time, and not by remembering what was delivered."* And 
what says the Scripture : " Is not my Word like as a fire, and 
like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces ?" Now you 
know that if the fire burns not when it is applied, it will not burn 
afterwards. If the rock does not break when the hammer strikes, 
it is not likely to break afterwards. Oh ! my dear friends, to-day, 
while it is called to-day, harden not your hearts. If your hearts 
do not break under the hammer to-day, I fear they will never 
break. If they melt not now, under the fire of his love, I fear 
they will never melt. 

3. In some cases, the Word takes effect another day. One 
faithful man of God labored in his parish for many a Jong 
year; and though greatly blessed elsewhere, yet died without, I 
believe, knowing one of his people brought to the knowledge of 
the Saviour. Another servant now stands in his room ; and 
souls have been gathered in in crowds, every one declaring that 
it is the word of their departed minister that comes up into their 
heart, and makes them flee. Ah ! God is a faithful God. He 
will not let any of his words fall to the ground. 

The excellent John Flavel was minister of Dartmouth, in Eng- 
land. One day he preached from these words : " If any man love 
not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha." The 
discourse was unusually solemn, particularly the explanation of 
the curse. At the conclusion, when Mr. Flavel rose to pronounce 
the blessing, he paused, and said, <; How shall I bless this whole 
assembly, when every person in it who loves not the Lord Jesus 
is ;mathema maranatha?" The solemnity of this address deeply 
affected the audience. In the congregation was a lad named 
Luke Short, about fifteen years old, a native of Dartmouth. 
Shortly after he went to sea, and sailed to America, where he 
passed the rest of his life. His life was lengthened far beyond 
the usual term. When a hundred years old, he was able to 
work on his farm, and his mind was not at all impaired. He had 
lived all this time in carelessness and sin ; he was a sinner a 
hundred years old, and ready to die accursed. One day, as he 
sat in his field, he busied himself in reflecting on his past life. 
He thought of the days of his youth. His memory fixed on Mr. 
Flavel's sermon, a considerable part of which he remembered. 
The earnestness of the minister, the truths spoken, the effect on 
the people, all came fresh to his mind. He felt that he had 
not loved the Lord Jesus ; he feared the dreadful anathema ; he 

Edwards, 394. 


\vas deeply convinced of sin, was brought to the blood of sprink- 
ling. He lived to his one hundred and sixteenth year, giving 
every evidence of being born again. Ah ! how faithful God is 
to his word. He did let none of his words fall to the ground. 

Be of good cheer. Christian mothers, who weep over your un- 
awakened children. They may be going far from you, perhaps 
across the seas, and you tremble for their souls. Remember God 
can reach them everywhere. A believing mother never prayed ii. 
vain. Be instant in prayer. God will not forget his word. He 
will let none of his words fall to the ground. 

IV. The Word may harden. In some cases, I believe, the Word 
of God is sent to harden souls ; and so it will not return void, but 
prosper in the thing whereto he sent it. That was an awful mes- 
sage God sent by his prophet : " Hear ye indeed, but understand 
not ; and see ye indeed, but perceive not." Isai. vi., 9. I fear 
there are many such messages in our day. 

Ques. Does God not wish men to be saved? Ans. O yes ; God 
willeth all men to be saved. I believe there is not one soul that 
the Saviour does not yearn over as he did over Jerusalem ; and 
the Father says, " O that they had hearkened unto me, and Israel 
had walked in my ways !" But still, when Jerusalem resisted the 
word of Christ, Christ said, "Now they are hid from thine eyes." 
And if you refuse the Word of Christ, and neglect this great 
salvation, I firmly believe that he shall soon come to you with 
Isaiah's dreadful message, " Hear ye indeed, but understand not." 

Oh ! how dreadful a thought it is, that though we be the savor 
of life unto life to some, We are the savor of death unto death to 
most How dreadful, that the very words of love and mercy 
which we bring, should be making some souls only more fit for 
the burning ! And yet it must be so. How often have I heard 
men of God complain that their greatest fruit was when they 
entered first upon their ministry ! I do begin to fear that it is 
going to be so with us, that God hath chosen out his first-fruits, 
and the rest are to be hardened. Why was this ? Because the 
people are hardened by the constant preaching of the truth. 

My dear friends, remember this word : " God did let none ot 
his words fall to the ground." I have gone among you for more 
than a year, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. Remember, 
the word was not mine, but His that sent me. I would have been 
ashamed to stand up and speak my own words. If the hammer 
does not break, it makes the iron into steel. Every blow makes 
it harder. If the fire does not melt, it hardens the clay into brick, 
as hard as stone. If the medicine does not heal, it poisons. If the 
word concerning Christ does not break your heart, it will make it 
like the nether millstone. 

V. For a witness. That is an awful word in Matt, xxiv., 14 


" And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the 
world, for a witness unto all nations." Ah ! my dear friends, 
God's word cannot return unto him void. Every drop of rain 
has its errand Irom God. These driving showers of snow are all 
fulfilling his word. And do you really think that the word con- 
cerning his Son shall be spoken without any end ? Ah, no ! even 
though not one soul should be saved by it. It shall be for a wit- 
ness. When Moses lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, 
if the Israelites had been unwilling to look, I can easily imagine 
the haste with which he would go round the camp, crying to every 
dying man : Look here, look there. Two things would be in his 
mind ; 1st, To get his people healed ; 2d, To give glory to his 
God, by beaming witness to them of the love of God ; as if he hud 
said : Now, if you perish, it is your own blame ; God is clear of 
your blood. So is it with the Christian minister. You remember 
Paul, how he was " instant, in season and out of season," " teach- 
ing publicly, and from house to house, warning every one day 
and night with tears ;" " in labors more abundant ; in stripes 
above measure ; in prisons more frequent ; in deaths oft." W hy 
all this? Ans. For two reasons: 1st, He wanted souls to be 
saved. " He was infinitely and insatiably greedy of the conver- 
sion of souls." 2d, He sought the honor of God. He wanted to 
preach th^ Gospel for a witness ; to leave every man without ex- 
cuse for remaining in his sins ; as if he had said : Now if you 
perish, it >s your own blame ; God is clear of your blood. 

Ah ! my dear friends, such is our ministry to many of you. It 
is for a witness. God, who knows my heart, knows that I seek 
your salvation night and day. " My record is above, that your 
heaven would be two heavens to me ; and your salvation as two 
salvations to me." Yet if you will not learn, I will be a witness 
against you in that day. The words that we have spoken in 
weakness, and much trembling, will rise to condemn you in that 
day. How fain would 1 see you gathered with the ransomed 
flock, on the right hand of the throne ! How fain, in that day, 
would I see you smiled on by the lovely Saviour, whose smile is 
more bright than the summer sun ! But, if it may not be, I will 
say with the angels, " Hallelujah !" " Even so, Father ; for so it 
B^emed good in thy sight." Amen. 

/. Peter's, Feb 25, 1838. 



" And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Gen. i., 2. 

THERE is, perhaps, no subject upon which there is greater igno- 
rance than that of" the Spirit of God. Most people, in our day, if 
they answered truly, would say as those twelve men of Ephesus: 
" We have not so much as heard if there be any Holy Ghost." 
Acts xix. And yet, if ever you are to be saved, you must know 
him ; for it is all his work to bring a poor sinner to Christ. A 
little boy, when dying, said : " Three persons in the Godhead. 
God the Father made and preserved me ; God the Son came into 
the world and died for me ; God the Holy Ghost came into my 
heart, and made me love God and hate sin." My dear friends, if 
you would die happy, you must be able to bear the same dying 
testimony. You know it is said in John, that " God is love." This 
is true of God the Father in his giving up his Son for sinners ; this 
is true of God the Son, in his becoming man and dying for sin- 
ners ; this is true of God the Holy Ghost, in his whole work in the 
heart of sinners. At present I wish to show you the love of the 
Spirit, by observing all that he has ever done for men in the 
world. To-day I will show you his work at creation ; at the 
flood ; in the wilderness. 

I. At creation : " The Spirit of God moved upon the face of 
the waters." Gen. i., 2. The expression is taken from a dove 
brooding over its nest. " Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are 
created ; and thou renewest the face of the earth." Ps. civ. 
Here the Spirit is said to have renewed the face of the earth. 
He made every blade of grass to spring, every flower to open, 
every tree to put forth blossoms. " By his Spirit he hath gar- 
nished the heavens." Job. xxvi., 13. Here God does, as it were, 
lead us forth to look upon the midnight sky ; and when we gaze 
upon its spangled maze, studded with brilliant stars, he tells us 
lhat it was the loving Spirit that gave them all their brightness 
and their beauty. Observe, then, that whatever beauty there is 
in the glassy sea, in the green earth, or in the spangled sky, it 
is all the work of the Holy Spirit. God the Father willed all, 
God the Son created all, God the Holy Ghost garnished, and gave 
life and loveliness to all. Oh ! what a lovely world that unfallen 
world must have been, when God the Son walked with Adam in 
Paradise, when God the Holy Ghost watered and renewed the 
whole every moment, when God the Father looked down well 
pleased on all, and said that all was very good. 

Learn, 1. The love of the Spirit. He did not think it beneath 


his care to beautify the dwelling-place of man. He wanted our 
joy to be full. He did not think it enough that we had a world 
to live in, but he made the waters full of life and beauty. He 
made every green thing to spring for man, and made a shining 
canopy above, all for the joy of man. Whatever beauty still 
remains on earth, or sea, or sky, it is the trace of his Almighty 
finger. You should never look on the beauties of the world with- 
out thinking of the Holy Spirit that moved upon the face of the 
waters, that renewed the face of the earth, that garnished the hea- 
vens with stars. 

2. The holiness of the Spirit. From the very beginning he 
was the Holy pirit, of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. It 
was a sinless world. The sea had never been defiled by bearing 
wicked men upon its bosom. The green earth had never been 
trodden by the foot of a sinner. The spangled sky had never 
been looked upon by the eye of one whose eye is full of adultery, 
and cannot cease from sin. It was a holy, holy, holy world, a 
temple of the living God, the lofty mountains were the pillars of it ; 
the glittering heavens its canopy. The far-resounding ocean 
sang his praise. The hills brake forth into singing, and all the 
trees of the field clapped their hands. As the cloud which so 
filled Solomon's temple that the priests could not stand to 
minister by reason of the cloud ; so the Holy Spirit filled this 
world, a holy, sinless temple to the Father's praise. When man 
fell into sin, and the very ground was cursed for his sake, then 
the Holy Spirit in great measure left his temple ; he could not 
dwell with sin. And never do you find him coming back, as 
before, till he lighted on the head of a sinless Saviour ; for the 
Holy Ghost descended upon him like a dove, and abode upon him. 
Just so is it with the soul. As long as your soul is guilty, 
polluted, vile, in the sight of the Spirit, he cannot make his abode 
in your heart. He is a loving Spirit, full of a tender desire to 
make you holy. But as long as you are guilty in his sight, it is 
contrary to his nature that he should dwell in you. But come to 
the blood of Jesus, sinner ; come to the blood that makes you 
white as snow, then will the Spirit see no iniquity in you, and he 
will come and dwell in your heart, as he dwelt at first in the sin- 
less world. As he moved on the face of the waters, like a dove 
over its nest, so he will make his nest in your heart, and brood 
there. As he renewed the face of the ground, so will he renew 
your heart. As he garnished the heavens, so will he beautify 
your soul, till he make you shine as the stars for ever and ever. 

II. At the flood. " My Spirit shall not always strive with man. 
for that he also is flesh (fading) : yet his days shall be an hundred 
and twenty years." Gen. vi., 3. What a different scene we have 
here ! Yet here also we shall learn that the Holy Spirit is a lov- 
ing Spirit. At the creation we found him beautifying the world 


dwelling in it as in a temple ; the earth, the sea, the sky, all pro- 
claiming that it was a sinless world. But now fifteen hundred 
years had passed away, and the whole earth was covered with a 
race of godless men, giants in body and giants in wickedness. 

* God looked upon the earth, and it was" It was all 
one putrid mass. " From the sole of the foot to the crown of the 
head there was no soundness in it ;" for all flesh had corrupted his 
way. Just as a putrid body is loathsome in the sight of man, so 
the earth was loathsome in the sight of God. Nay, more ; the 
earth was filled with violence. The few children of God that re- 
mained were hated and persecuted, hunted like the partridge on 
the mountains. It repented the Lord that he had made man, and 
it grieved him at his heart. How is the Holy Spirit engaged ? 
Ans. 1. He does not dwell with sinful men. He cannot dwell 
with unpardoned sinners ; for he is the Holy Spirit. 2. But still 
he strives with men, and strives to the very end. The men were 
giants in sin. Every imagination of their heart was only evil con- 
tinually. But this is the very reason he strives. He sees the flood 
that is coming, he sees the hell that is beneath them ; therefore 
does he strive. In the preaching of Noah he pleaded with them; 
he pricked their hearts, made them think of their danger, their sin, 
their misery. In the preparing the ark he pleaded with them, 
showed them the way of safety, and said : " Yet there is room." 
He made every stroke of the hammer go to their hearts. *' The 
Spirit and the Bride said, Come." 

Learn, 1. That he is a striving Spirit. O ! let those of you that 
are living in sin, learn what a loving Spirit is now striving with 
you. Some of you, who are living in sin, think that God is nothing 
but an angry God ; therefore you do not turn to him. True, " he 
is angry with the wicked every day ;" still he is striving with the 
wicked every day. He sends the Holy Spirit to strive with 
you. Oh ! what a loving Spirit he is, that does not at once 
turn you into hell, but pleads and strives, saying : " Turn ye, turn 
ye ; why will ye die ?" 

Some may say : I am a giant in wickedness, I am corrupt, I am 
violent against God's children. True ; yet still see here how he 
strove with giants in wickedness. The whole earth was corrupt, 
and filled with violence ; yet he strove. So he strives with you 
in whatever state you are. He is a loving Spirit. He strives by 
ministers, Bibles, providences. Sometimes, when you are all alone, 
that Spirit wrestles with you, brings your sin to remembrance, and 
makes you tremble ; or, like the angels at Sodom, strives to make 
you flee from destruction. Oh ! what love is here, to strive with 
hell-deserving worms. " Oh ! ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in 
heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost : as your 
fathers did, so do ye." 

2. A long-suffering Spirit. One hundred and twenty years he 
trove with the men before the flood. He never ceased till the 


flood came. Some of you remember a time when God's Spirit 
was striving with you at the Sabbath school, or your first sacra- 
ment. You wept for your soul, and prayed ; but the world has 
come on you since then, and now you fear he strives no more. 
Learn, he is a long-suffering Spirit, he strives with you yet. " He 
that hath ears, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches. 
3. He will not always strive. Observe, the Spirit strove till the 
flood came, but no longer ; for the flood came, and carried them 
all away. So it is with you, my dear friends. As long as our 
ministry lasts, he strives with you ; but when death comes, or 
when the Saviour comes, he will strive no more. Ah ! yo'.i will 
have no awakening, inviting, striving sermons in hell, not one in- 
vitation more. Oh ! how sad it is to think that so many, who have 
the Spirit of God striving with them, should perish after all. 

III. In the wilderness. Nearly one thousand years after the 
flood, we find God choosing a peculiar people to himself, and keep- 
ing them separate from all people, in the wilderness. Here the 
Spirit shows himself still more as the loving Spirit. 

1. Tfie glorifier of Christ. Bezaleel and Aholiab, by his guid- 
ance, make the tabernacle, the mercy seat, the altar, the high 
priest's garments. Exod. xxxi., 1-11. All these typify Christ. 
The Spirit here enables these men to show forth the Saviour to 
the many thousands of Israel. Although they often vexed the 
Holy Spirit, and grieved him in the desert, yet, see here how lov- 
ingly he sets forth Christ in the midst of them, that he may lead 
them to peace and holiness ! This is exactly what Christ said of 
him afterwards: " He shall glorify me ; for he shall receive of 
mine, and shall show it unto you." 

Dear friends, has the Spirit glorified Christ to you? He is still 
the great revealer of Christ. He shines into our heart, to give us 
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of 
Christ. Has he led you to the altar, to the Lamb of God, that 
taketh away the sin of the world ? Has he clothed you in the 
high priest's garments ? Has he brought you within the veil, to 
the mercy seat? This is his delightful work. Oh ! it is a sweet 
work to be the minister on earth that leads souls to Christ, that 
points, like John, and says : " Behold the Lamb of God." But O 
how infinitely more loving in th;it Holy Spirit of God to lead 
trembling souls to Jesus ! Oh ! praise him that has done this for 
you. Oh ! love the Spirit of GoH. " Thy Spirit is good : lead me 
to the land of uprightness." 

2. He purifies all that believe : " Thou shall set the laver 
between trie tent of the congregation and the altar." Exod. xl., 
6v 7. This brazen laver, containing water, was set up in the 
wilderness to typify the Holy Spirit ; and observe the place where 
it was put, between the altar nrnl the tabernacle of God. The 
first thing that the sinner came up to w;is the ;i!tar with the 


bleeding lamb. He laid his hands upon the head of the lamb 
and confessed his sins ; so that they were carried all away in the 
blood of the lamb. Forgiven and justified, he advanced a few 
paces further to the brazen laver ; there he washed his feet and 
hands. This represented the Holy Spirit washing and -enewing 
his heart, and then he entered into the holy place of God. 

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for 
our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scrip- 
ture, might have hope." Dear friends, has the Holy Spirit purified 
you? If you have laid your sins upon the Lamb of God, have 
you come to this laver of living water ? are you really washing 
there, and preparing to enter into the holy place, made without 
hands, eternal in the heavens ? " Without holiness no man can 
see the Lord ;" and without the Spirit you will have no holiness. 
Oh ! is he not a loving spirit who thus delights to prepare the be- 
liever for glory, who comes into our vile heart, and " creates a 
clean heart, and renews a right spirit within us?" Oh ! love him 
who thus loves you ; and ask for him, you that are his children. 
The Father delights to give him. " If ye, being evil, know how 
to give good gifts to your children, much more will your heavenly 
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?" 

3. He upholds the life of believers : " They all drank of that 
Rock which followed them ; and that Rock was Christ." 1 Cor. 
x.. 4. This was a third way in which the Spirit showed himself 
in the wilderness. (1.) A river. This was to show Israel how 
refreshing and supporting he is to the weary soul, and that there 
is abundance in him. Drink, and drink again ; you will not drink 
a river dry ; so there is infinite fulness of the Spirit. (2.) Flowing 
from a smitten rock. This shows that he is given by a wounded 
Saviour ; that it is only when we hide in that Rock that we can 
receive the Holy Ghost. "I will send him unto you." (3.) It 
followed them. This was to show that, wherever a believer goes, 
the Holy Spirit goes with him. "I will pray the Father, and he 
will give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for 
ever;" a well within, springing up into everlasting life. 

My dear friends, have you received the Holy Ghost, since you 
believed? It appears to me that few Christians realize this river 
flowing after them. Oh ! what inexpressible love and grace there 
is in this work of the Spirit. Is there any of you weak and faint, 
and ready to perish under a wicked heart, and raging lusts ? or, 
have you got a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet 
you ? and are you driven to pray that it may be taken from you ? 
See here the answer to your prayer. A river of living water 
flows from Christ. There is enough here for all your wants. 
" My grace is sufficient for thee ; for my strength is made perfect 
in weakness." Some of you are afraid of the future ; you fear 
some approaching temptation ; you fear some coming contest. 
See here the river flows after you ; the Spirit will abide with you 


for ever. Oh ! what love is here ! Notwithstanding all your sin- 
fulness, and weakness, and unbelief, still he abides with you, and 
will for e'ver. He is " a well of water springing up into everlas- 
ting life." John iv., 14. 

Oh ! love the Spirit, then, who so loves you. Grieve net the 
Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of 

St. Peter's, Dec. 16, 1838. 



" And Moses said unto Hobab the Son of Raguel, the Midianite, Moses' father-in- 
law, We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it 
you : come thou with us, and we will do thee good : for the Lord hath spoken 
good concerning Israel." Numb, x.,29. 

THE children of Israel had been nearly a year encamped in the 
wilderness that surrounds the rocky peaks of Mount Sinai. But 
now the cloud rose from off the tabernacle the signal that God 
wished them to depart and so Israel prepared for the march in 
regular order. Upon a rocky eminence, that overlooked the mar- 
shalled thousands of Israel, stood Moses and his brother-in-law, 
Hobab. The heart of Moses grew full at the sight, when he 
looked upon their banners floating in the wind, when he looked 
at the pillar-cloud towering over them like some tall angel beck- 
oning them away, when he thought of God's good words concern- 
ing Israel, and the good land to which they were hastening. He 
felt that his loins were girt with truth, and on his head the helmet 
of salvation, and in his hand the sword of the Spirit. He could 
not bear that any he loved should leave them now ; and, therefore, 
while Hobab stood lingering, uncertain which way to go, Moses 
spake thus : " We are journeying toward the place of which the 
Lord hath said, I will give it you : come thou with us, and we will 
do thee good." 

Such are the feelings of God. Whenever a soul is brought to 
Jesus Christ, to wash in his blood and to stand in his righteousness, 
he is brought to feel two things : first, That now he is journeying 
to a good land, his sins are blotted out, the Spirit is within him, 
God is his guide, heaven is before him ; second, He wishes all he 
loves to come along with him. 

Doctrine. The children of God are on a journey, and \v^h all 
they love to come along with them. 

I. This world is not the home of a Christian. 


When Israel was travelling through the wilderness, they did 
not count it their home. Sometimes they came to bitter places, 
like Marah, where the waters were bitter ; they would' not rest 
there. Sometimes they came to sweet, refreshing places, like 
Eiim, with its seventy palm trees and twelve wells of water; and 
yet they would not sit down and say : " This is my rest." It was 
sweet when the manna fell round the camp every morning, ;md 
when the water followed them ; yet it was a wilderness, and a 
land of drought, and the shadow of death. " We are journeying," 
said Moses. So is this world to a true Christian, it is not a home. 
Sometimes he meets with bitter things disappointments, losses, 
bereavements and he calls the waters Marah ; for they are bit- 
ter. Sometimes, too, he comes to refreshing spots, like Elim ; 
yet he does not rest in them. 

1. There are the sweet joys of home and of kindred, when the 
family ring is still unbroken, when not a chair is empty by the 
hearth, when not a link is wanting in the chain, when not even a 
lamb is carried off from the flock. These are verv pleasant and 
lovely to the child of God ; yet he does not. he cannot, rest in 
them. He hears a voice saying: "Arise, depart, this is thy rest; 
for it is polluted." 

2. Christian friends are sweet to the Christian. Those that 
are sharers of our spiritual secrets, those who mingle prayer with 
us before the throne, those who never forget us when within the 
veil r-oh, there is something cheering in the very light of their 
kindly eye ! It is an intercourse of which the world knows no- 
thing. We have them in our heart, inasmuch as they are partak- 
ers of one grace, washed in one fountain, filled with the same 
Spirit, having one heart, members one of another; yet our rest is 
not among these. This is a taste of heaven, but not heaven. 
They often disappoint us, go back and become colder, or they are 
taken from us before, and leave us to journey on alone. " We 
are journeying." 

3. Ordinances are sweet to the Christian. They are the manna 
and the waters in the wilderness, the rain that tills the pools in 
the Valley of Baca. How sweet is the Sabbath morning ! The 
sun shines more brightly than on any other day. How amiable 
are thy tabernacles, O Lord ! the singing of psalms, how plea- 
sant ! the prayers, how solemn, when we stand within the veil ! 
the doctrine, how it distils like the dew ! the blessing, how full of 
peace ! the sacraments especially, how sweet to the Christian 
wells of salvation, Bethels, trysting-places with Christ ! what 
sweet days of pleasure, love, and covenanting with Jesus. Still 
not our home, not our rest. (1.) They are defective ; always 
son et,.'n ? human about them to mar the sweetest ordinances 
There is a bunch of grapes, but oh ! it is not e ough to satisfy 
(2.) Thoy are polluted ; always some fly to xil the fragrant 


ointment; always so much sin in the minister and in the hearer. 
" We are journeying unto the place." 

Learn, 1. To look with a traveller's eye upon the world. When 
a traveller is journeying, he sees many fine estates, and beautiful 
houses, and lawns and gardens ; but he does not set his heart on 
them. He admires, and passes on. So must you do, dear Chris- 
tians. Ye are a little flock, travelling through the wilderness. 
Twine not your affections round any one thing here. Do not set 
your affections on home, or on kindred, or houses, or lands. Be 
[ike Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, who lived in tents, declaring 
plainly that they sought a better country. " If ye be risen 
with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sit- 
teth." " Set your affections on things above, not on the things ot 
the earth." 

Learn, 2. Not to mourn over the loss of Christian friends, as 
those who have no hope. Some of you have lost little children, 
who died in the Lord. Some of you have lost rear friends, who 
fell asleep in Jesus. Some of you have lost aged parents, who 
have committed their spirit into the hand of Jesus. Now, you 
cannot but weep ; and yet, if they were in Christ, you need not. 
They have gut to their journey's end, and we are on the way. 
A voice seems to rise from their grave, saying : " Weep not for 
me, but weep for yourselves and your children." They are at 
rest, and " we are journeying." 

II. The Christian's home is nearer every step. When Israel 
was travelling the wilderness, they came nearer to the good land 
every step they took. They had a long wilderness to pass through, 
still every day's journey brought them nearer to the end. So it 
is with all that are in Christ Jesus. Every step is bringing them 
nearer to heaven. Every day they are coming nearer and nearer 
to glory. " Now it is high time to awake out of sleep ; for now 
is our salvation nearer than when we believed." " The night is 
far spent, the day is at hand." Every sheep that is really found, 
and on the shoulder of the shepherd, is coming nearer to the hea- 
venly fold every day. Every soul that is carried on the wings ot 
the eagle is flying towards the rest that remaineth. The hours 
fly fast ; but as fast flies that divine eagle. In running a race, 
every step brings you nearer to the end of it, nearer to the prize 
and the crown. 

Question. Are you fitter for heaven every day ? Ah ! my 
dear Christians, I tremble for some of you who are on your way 
to gl<ry, and yet are not turning fitter for glory. Oh! that you 
would forget the things that are behind, and reaching forth to those 
that are before, press towards the mark for the prize of the high 
calling of God in Christ Jesus. Some of you are just beginning 
the journey to heaven. Dear little children, wax stronger and 
stronger ; pray more, read more, hear more, love more, do more 


every day. Let your sense of sin grow, like the loots of trees, 
downwards, deeper and deeper. Let your faith grow, like the 
branch of the vine, stronger and stronger every year. Let your 
peace grow, like a river, broader and broader. " We are jour- 

1. Some are wellnigh through the wilderness. Some of you aro 
on the top of Pisgah. The time draws nigh when you must die. 
Dear aged Christians, how soon your eyes will see Him whom, 
having not seen, you love ! How soon your heart will love Him 
as you wish to do ! . How soon you will grieve him no more for 
ever ! Do not be afraid, but meekly rejoice. Live more above 
the world ; care less for its pleasures. Speak plainer to your 
friends, saying, " Come ye with us." Be oftener within the veil. 
Soon you shall be a pillar, and go no more out. 

2. Unconverted. You are nearer hell every day. You, too, 
are journeying to the place of which God hath said : " I will give 
it you." " For the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, 
and murderers, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and idolaters, 
and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with 
fire and brimstone, which is the second death." 

Oh ! stop, poor sinner, stop and think. Wherever you are, and 
whatever you are engaged in, you are travelling thither. The 
most go in at the wide gate. When you are sleeping, you are 
posting thither. When you take a journey of pleasure, you are 
still advancing on that other journey. When you are laughing 
and talking, or in the full enjoyment of your sin, you are still hur- 
rying on. You have never stopped since you began to live. You 
never stand a moment to take breath. You are nearer hell this 
afternoon than in the forenoon. O stop and think ! " Come thou 
with us, and we will do thee good." 

III. This journey is the great concern of a Christian. Their 
journey was the great concern of Israel. They did not care 
much for doing anything else. They did not take to another oc- 
cupation. When they came to a green spot, they did not take to 
the plough, to try and cultivate it. Their journey was their 
great concern. So it should be with those of you who are children 
of God. Your journey to heaven should be your great concern. 
Dear friends, judge of everything in this way, whether it will 
help you on your journey or no. In choosing a profession, or 
trade, choose it with regard to this. Will it advance or hinder 
your heavenward journey? Will it lead you into sore tempta- 
tions, or into wicked company ? Oh ! take heed. What is the 
use of living, but only to get on in our journey to heaven ? 
Choose your abode with regard to this. Christian servants, 
choose your place with regard to this. Remember Lot. He 
chose the plain of Jordan, because it was well watered ; but 
his soul was all but withered there. In choosing connexions or 


friends, O choose with regard to this will they help or hinder 
your prayers ? will they go with you, and help you on your 
journey ? or will they be a drag upon your wheels ? In going 
into companies, in reading books, choose with regard to this 
Will they fill your sails lor heaven ? If not, go not near them. 
In yielding to your affections, especially if you find them hin- 
dering your journey, drop them instantly. Never mind the con- 
sequences. " If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast 
it from thee. It is better to enter into life maimed, than having 
two hands to be cast into hell fire." " Wherefore, let us lay 
aside eve-y weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, 
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking 
unto Jesus." 

IV. All true Christians wish others to journey along with them : 
" Come thou with us, and we will do thee good." So it was with 
Moses. Hobab had been his friend for forty years, in the land of 
Midian, where Moses married his sister, and lived in his father 
RaguePs house. In that time, I doubt not, Moses had told him 
much of Israel's God and Israel's coming glory. Many a time, 
while they fed their flocks in this very wilderness, Moses had 
reasoned with him of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to 
come, till Hobab trembled. Still it would seem Hobab was not 
quite convinced. He doubted he lingered, He had been awed 
by the terrors of Sinai, but not won by the love of Calvary. He 
did not know whether to go or stay. But the hour of decision 
came. He must decide now. Now was the heart of Moses 
stirred in him : " Come thou with us. and we will do thee good ; 
for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel." So it was with 
Paul, when he himself had tasted the joy and peace of believing; 
then says he: " My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, 
that they might be saved." So it was with Andrew: " Andrew 
first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have 
found the Christ." So it was with the poor maniac whom Jesus 
healed : " Go h )me, tell thy friends how great things the Lord 
hath done for thee, and how he hath had compassion on thee." 
So it was with the poor slave in Antigua, who used to pray that 
there might be a full heaven and an empty hell. 

Question. Is it so with you ? Have you asked your friends to 
come with you ? Have you a father whom you love a mother 
that carried you at her breast? Have you a brother or a sister ? 
Are they lingering like Hobab ? Oh ! will you not put in a word 
for Christ, and say : " Come thou with us, and we will do thee 
good." Have you a friend whom you love much who knows 
nothing of Christ and of God who is willing to die in the wilder- 
ness ? Oh ! will you not win him to go with you to Israel's God 
and Israel's glory ? 

Word to lingering souls. Some of you, like Hobab, are haK 


persuaded to go with Israel. " Almost thou persuadest me to be 
a Christian." Some of you see your children converted, and you 
not ; and yet you are not determined to go with them. Oh ! why 
halt ye between two opinions? Go with them now. 

Observe, 1. This may be the deciding day. It was so with 
Hobab. God is pleading hard with you to-day. He has spoken 
to you by most solemn providences by the Bible, by his minis- 
ters, and by the tender persuading voice of those you love. 
*' Come thou with us." " Choose you this day, then, whom you 
will serve." Remember this may be the deciding day : to-morrow 
it may be too late. 

2. You will share in their joys : " We will do thee good." 
What makes them so anxious for you to go with them, if rt be not 
for your good ? You know they love you tenderly ; they would 
not have a hair of your head hurt. You will taste their forgive- 
ness their peace with God their joy in the Word and prayer ; 
you will know their God ; you will know their heaven. Oh ! that 
God would put it into your heart to cleave to them like Ruth to 
Naomi, saying : " Whither thou goest I will go ; and where thou 
lodgest I will lodge ; thy people shall be my people, and thy God 
my God." 

St. Peter's, July 22, 1838. 



Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to 
Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity 
is pardoned : for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." 
Isa. xl., 1, 2. 

THESE words are a blast of the silver trumpet of the Gospel. 
Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound. They are like 
the words of the angel at Bethlehem ; " I bring you good tidings 
of great joy, which shall be to all people." This is the voice of 
the shepherd, which all his flock know and love. 

I Believers have received double punishment for all their sins : 
"She hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." 
Vt rse 2. There are two ways in which sinners may bear the 
punishment of their sins. 

1. In themselves On their own body and soul for ever. This 
is the way in which nil unconverted men. who finally perish, will 
bear their sins. " These shall go away into everlasting punish- 
ment." " Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Not 


that they will be able to bear their punishment : " My punish- 
ment is greater than I can bear." " The great day of his wrath 
is come, and who shall be able to stand T' They shall say tc 
one another, " Who among us can dwell with the devouring 
flame ? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings ?" 
And God will say : " Can thine heart endure, or thine hands be 
strong, in the day that I shall deal with thee?" This is not 
the way spoken of in the text ; for, (1.) It would be a message 
of woe, and not of comfort Woe, woe, woe, and not Comfort 
ye, comfort ye. When God really takes in hand to punish sin- 
ners, there will be no comfort in that day. The heart of sinners 
will sink under insupportable gloom. (2.) Sinners never can bear 
double in themselves. When a poor sinner dies Christless and 
goes to bear the punishment of his sins, he never can bear 
enough. He has sinned against an infinite God ; and his punish- 
ment, if it be just, must be infinite his stripes must be eternal 
the gnawing worm must never die the burning flame must 
never be quenched. In this way, poor Christless souls can never 
satisfy the justice of God. God will never say it is enough. He 
Will never pour water on the flames of hell, nor send a drop' 
to the parched tongues that are tormented there. Instead of 
suffering double, they will never receive enough at the Lord's 
hand lor all their sins. Oh ! dear friends, it is easy talking of this 
now ; but many of you will probably feel it soon. 

"2. In Christ the surety. It is according to justice, that sinners 
may bear their sins in Christ the Surety. (1.) This was the very 
errand that Christ came upon. He thought upon this from all 
eternity. For this end he came into the world for this end he 
became man. " He himself bare our sins in his own body on the 
tree." If it were not a just and righteous thing, that sinners 
should bear their sins in another, and not in themselves, Christ 
never would have undertaken it. This is the very way here 
spoken of. (2.) All the sufferings of Christ were at the hand of 
his Father : " It pleased the Lord to bruise him : he hath put him 
to grief. The Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all." 
We generally look at the wicked hands that crucified and slew 
Christ ; but we must not forget that it was by the determinate 
counsel arid foreknowledge of God, and that they would have had 
n<> )>owcr at all against him, except it had been given them from 
above. Through all the crowd of scoffing priests and bloody 
oldiers, you must see the Lord's hand making his soul an offering 
for sin. This shows that Christ is a Saviour appointed of the 
Father. Awakened souls are afraid of the avenging hand of God ; 
but in Christ there is a refuge. And you need not fear but Christ 
will shelter you ; lor there was an agreement between them, that 
Christ should suffer these things for sinners, and enter into his 
glory. Christ finished the work which the Father gave him to do. 
(3.) When sinners take refuge in Christ, the law takes its course 


against their sins not upon their soul, but upon Christ. All their 
sins, whether they be many or few, are reckoned his, and he is 
made answerable ; and he has already borne double for them all 
How was it just that Christ should bear double? Ans. He could 
not suffer at all, without bearing double for all our sins, by reason 
of his excellency and glory. The sufferings of Christ for a time, 
were, in God's eye, double the eternal sufferings of sinners, by 
reason of the infinite dignity of his person. God is well pleased 
for his righteousness' sake ; for he magnified the law, and made 
it honorable. In the death of Christ, the angels saw God to be 
holy, infinitely better than if all mankind had perished for ever. 

Come freely, then, to Jesus Christ, O awakened sinner. There 
you will find a shelter from the wrath due to your sins. Your 
sins are, indeed, infinite, and the wrath of God intolerable ; but in 
Jesus you may find safety. He came upon this very errand. 
You need not fear but he will receive you ; his heart and his arms 
are open for you. His Father is willing you should come. Be 
your sins many or few, it is all one ; in Christ you will find thai 
they are all borne, suffered for, in a way glorifying to God and 
safe to you. 

II. All believers are therefore in a truly blessed condition. 

1. Their iniquity is pardoned. <- A soul in Christ is a pardoned 
soul. It matters not how many his sins have been. The iniquity 
of Jerusalem was very great. The people of Jerusalem had sin- 
ned against light and against love. All the prophets had beer, 
sent them ; yet they were stoned or killed. The Son of God 
came there ; they cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 
Their sins had grown up to heaven ; yet, no sooner do they be- 
take themselves to Christ than God says : " Her iniquity is par- 
doned." And, observe, 1st, It is a present pardon. He does not 
say, Her iniquity shall be pardoned, but, " Her iniquity is pardon- 
ed." No sooner does a guilty, heavy laden soul betake himself to 
Christ, than this sweet word is heard in heaven : " His iniquity is 
pardoned." " There is now no condemnation to them that are in 
Christ Jesus." Oh ! it is no future or uncertain pardon that is 
offered in the gospel ; but a sure and present pardon ; pardon now, 
this instant, to all who believe in Jesus. You are as completely 
pardoned in the moment of believing as ever you will be. Oh ! 
haste ye, and receive pardon from Christ. Oh ! that ye knew the 
day of your visitation. Observe, 2d, It is a holy pardon. Your 
iniquity is pardoned ; for another has died for your sins. Oh ! it 
is an awful way of pardon. " There is forgiveness with God, that 
he may be feared." It is a pardon to make you tremble, and hate 
gin with a perfect hatred. Oh ! can you ever love that which 
nailed him to the tree, which bowed down his blessed head ? Will 
you take up sin again, and thus put the spear afresh into the side 
of Jesus ? Some say : I am too vile. Ah ! are you viler than 


Jerusalem ? When you take a pebble, and cast it into the deep 
sea, it sinks, and is entirely covered ; so are the sins of those who 
take refuge in Christ : " Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths 
of the sea." 

2. Their warfare is accomplished. (1.) With the law. An 
awakened soul has a dreadful warfare with the law of God. Tho 
law of God is revealed to his conscience, armed with a flaming, 
glittering sword. It demands the obedience of his heart and life. 
The sinner tries to obey it, he tries to bring his life up to its re- 
quirements ; but in vain. The law lifts up its sword to slay him ; 
it hurls its curses at him. This is a dreadful warfare in every 
awakened conscience ; but when the sinner runs into Jesus Christ, 
his warfare is accomplished. " The name of the Lord is a strong 
tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." In Christ Jesus, 
the demands of the law are satisfied ; for he was made under the 
law. Its curses are borne ; for he was made a curse for us. The 
glittering sword pierced the side of Jesus. Oh ! do you know 
what it is to have this warfare accomplished ? (2.) With the 
devil. We wrestle not with flesh and blood. An awakened soul 
has often an awful warfare with Satan. Satan fights against him 
in two ways : 1st. By stirring up his corruptions, and making his 
lusts to flame and burn within him in a fearful manner. 2d, By 
accusing him. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He accuses 
him in his conscience, in order to drive him away from Christ, to 
drive him to despair, and to give up all hope of salvation. He 
says to him : " Thou art. a vile wretch, not fit for a holy Saviour : 
see what raging lusts are in thy heart, thou wilt never be saved." 
Ah ! when the poor sinner runs into Christ, he finds rest there ; his 
warfare is then accomplished. He sees all the accusations of Satan 
answered in the blood of the Lamb. (3.) With sin. The 
awakened soul has a dreadful warfare with his corruptions. His 
heart appears just full of raging lusts, all tearing him to pieces. 
He is driven hither and thither; but when he comes to Christ this 
warfare is accomplished. Indeed, in one sense the battle is not over, 
but just begun ; but now victory is sure. God is now for him. 
Greater is He that is for him than all that can be against him. "If 
God be for us, who can be against us ?" The Spirit of God is 
now within him ; he will abide with him for ever. The Spirit 
now reigns in him. Christ now fights for him, covers his head 
in the day of battle, carries him on his shoulder. He is as sure 
to overcome as if he were already in glory. He says to him: 
' Fear not, thou worm Jacob : fear not, for I have redeemed 
thee ; I have called thee by thy name ; thou art mine. I will 
never leave thee, nor forsake thee." That word, never leave thee. 
reaches through the darkest hours of temptation, the deepest waters 
of affliction, the hottest fires of persecution ; it reaches unto death, 
through death and the grave, into eternity. 


III. Believers should take the comfort of their condition. 

1. God commands it. Some say, It is a dangerous thing to be 
happy. They are afraid of too much joy. They say, It is betler 
to be in deep exercises, better to have deep wadings ; it is not 
good to be of too joyful a spirit. What says the Word of God ? 
" Comfort ye, comfort ye." If your joy flow from the cross of 
Christ, you cannot have too much joy. " Rejoice in the Lord 
alway; and again I say, Rejoice." When Christ truly rises on 
the soul, he should be like a morning without clouds. If it be true 
that Christ came into the world to seek and save that which was 
lost ; if you see his freeness and preciousness, I ask, how can you 
do otherwise than rejoice and be comforted ? " Whom, having 
not seen, we love ; in whom, though now we see him not, yet be- 
lieving, we rejoice w r ith joy unspeakable and full of glory." May 
the God of Hope fill you brimfull with joy and peace in believing ! 

2. Examine from whence your comfort flows. All true Gospel 
comfort flows from the cross of Christ, from the Man of Sorrows. 
The comfort of hypocrites flows from themselves. They look to 
themselves for comfort ; they look to the change on their life, they 
see some improvements there, and take rest from that; or, they 
look deeper to their concern, their mourning over sin, their con- 
victions, their endeavors after Christ ; or, they look to their de- 
votions, their delight in prayer, their flowing of affection ami 
words ; or to texts of the Bible coming into their minds ; or, they 
look to what their friends or ministers think of them, and they take 
comfort from these. All these are refuges of lies, false Christs, 
that must be cast away, or they will ruin your soul. Christ's blood 
and righteousness, and not any work in your own heart, must be 
your justification before a holy God. True Gospel comfort comes 
from a sight of Christ's bearing double for all our sins. " Behold 
the Lamb of God !" Gospel comfort is a stream that flows direct 
from Calvary. 

3. See how false the comfort of Christ-neglecting souls. This 
sweet word of comfort is only to those who are under the wings 
of Christ. That little flock alone have got rest for their souls. 
But most neglect this great salvation. You do not feel your need 
of an atoning Saviour, you think you can justify yourself before 
God ; you do not feel your need of an almighty Sanctifier. Christ 
is a tender plant in your eyes, you have not betaken yourself to 
Christ. Ah ! my friend, woe to you. Your warfare is not ac- 
complished. The law, with its curses and its flaming sword, 
stands in your way. Satan also accuses you, and you have 
nothing to answer him. Sin rages in you, and you have no power 
against it. v Your iniquity is not pardoned, not one sin is blotted 
out. All is naked and laid open to the eyes of Him with whom 
you have to do. Your comfort is all a lie, your peace is Satan's 
peace, it is the slumber that ends in perdition. You will yet bear 
Vour own sins. When the great day of his wrath is come, you 


sometimes feel that he fulfils that word ; " I will not leave you 
orphans ; I will come to you." The Father is the refuge of his 
own. They feel his everlasting arms underneath them, they feel 
his eye watching over them, they feel his love pouring down upon 
(hem like a stream of light from heaven. The Holy Spirit is 
within them. They sometimes feel his breathing, they sometimes 
feel that they have the Spirit within them, crying, " Abba, 
Father." Oh ! this heaven upon earth, full, satisfying joy. Some- 
times it pleases God to withdraw from the soul, chiefly, I believe, 
1st, To humble us in the dust ; 2d, To discover some corruption 
anmortified ; 3d, To lead us to hunger more after him. Such was 
/he state of David when he wrote the 42d psalm : "I will say 
dnto God, my Rock, Why hast thou forgotten me ? As with a 
word L" 1 my bones, mine enemies reproach me, while they say 
laily unto me, Where is thy God ?" " As the hart panteth after 
the water- brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Ah 1 
far more than the natural thirst of the wounded deer for the 
clear-flowing brook, is the spiritual thirst of the deserted soul 
after God. Such was the feeling of Job when he cried ; " The 
arrows of the Almighty are within me ;" and again : "O that 1 
knew where I might find him ; O that it were with me as in 
months past !" He has a bitter remembrance of his past enjoy- 
ment, a bitter sense that means cannot bring his soul back again 
to rest. Such was the feeling of the bride : " By night on my bed 
I sought him whom my soul loveth : I sought him, bvjt I found 
him not.'' Song i., 1. Ah ! brethren, if ever you have known 
anything of this you will know the wretched feeling of distance 
from God, of having mountains between the soul and him, implied 
in these words : " The Lord hath forsaken me, and my God hath 
forgotten me." 

II. God cannot forget a soul in Cf>* ' "Can a woman for- 
get her sucking child, that she shouK v^e compassion on the 
son of her womb ? yea, they may -et will I not forget 

1. It is like a mother's love. ^'s world like 

a mother's love. It is a free, i However 

much pain she has suffere'' ^ver 

many troubles she has to ' V 4t 

hangs upon her brea. c 
is a something in he 1 
even to her idiot b<~ 
than this love, 
a fafcher pitk 
him." ' 


not account for it. You cannot change it. You must break to 
pieces the mothers heart before you can change her love to her 
child. And yet there are some poor souls so disfigured by Satan, 
their hearts *so brutalized, that they forget their children. 
The Indian mother can dance over her infant's grave, and the 
murderess can lift her hand against the life of her little one : 
"They may forget; yet will 1 not forget thee." 

The love of God to a soul in Christ is a natural love. It is a 
love engrained in his nature. The Father loveth the Son ; and it 
is the same love with which he loves the soul that is in Christ. 
He cannot forget him. He loves him because he is altogether 
lovely, he loves him because he is worthy to be loved, he loves 
him because he laid down his life for the sheep. All that is in 
God binds him to love his Son, his holiness, his justice, his truth ; 
and so all that is in God binds him to love the soul that is in 

Be not cast down, brethren, in affliction. Deserted souls, God's 
love cannot change unless his nature change. Not till God cease 
to be holy, just and true, will he cease to love the soul that hides 
under the wings of Jesus. 

2. The Father's love is full love. A mother's love is the fullest 
love which we have on earth. She loves with all her heart. But 
there is no love full but that of God toward his Son ; God loves 
Jesus fully ; the whole heart of the Father is, as it were, conti- 
nually poured down in love upon the Lord Jesus. There is 
nothing in Christ except what draws the infinite love of God. In 
him God sees his own image perfect, his own law acted out, his 
own will done. The Father loves the Son fully ; but when a soul 
comes into Christ, the same love rests on that soul : " That the 
love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them." John xvii., 
26. True, a creature cannot receive the love of, God as Jesus 
can; but it is the sai ^^e that shines on us and him ; full, sa- 
tisfying, unbounded i T Vhen the sun pours down its beams 
on the wide ocean a v *le flower at the same time, it is the 
same sunshine tl : nto both, though the ocean has 
vastly large'* its glorious beams ; so, when the 
Son of ^ his Father, and a poor guilty 
wor r love that comes both on the 
" able to contain more. 

s? If God fully loves 

forget thee. A crea- 

",lay vessel, a breath 

1 again. But the 

bject infinitely 


Back, he finds his aged mother changed, her head is grey, her 
venerable brow is furrowed with age ; still he feels, while she 
clasps him to her bosom, that her heart is the same. But, ah ! far 
more unchanging is the love of God to Christ, and to a soul in 
Christ : " I am the Lord ; I change not." The Father that loves 
has no variableness. Jesus, who is loved, is the same, yesterday, 
to-day, and for ever. How can that love change ? It flowed 
before the world was ; it will flow when the world has passed 

If you are in Christ, that love shines on you : " I have loved thee 
with an everlasting love." " I am persuaded that neither deatfi, 
nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things pre- 
sent, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other 
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which 
is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

(1.) Comfort downcast believers. Many of you may be cast 
down, and your souls disquieted. You think God has dealt 
bitterly with you; he has written you childless ; he has met you 
as a lion and as a bear bereaved of her whelps ; or he has blasted 
your gourd ; or he has deserted you, so that- you seek him, and 
find him not. Look'still to Jesus ; the love of God shines on him ; 
nothing can separate Jesus from that love ; nothing can separate 
you. At the very time when Zion was saying," "My God hath 
forgotten me ;" at that moment God was saying: " I will not forget 

Your afflictions and desertions only prove that you are under 
the Father's hand. There is no time when the patient is an object 
of such tender interest to the surgeon, as when he is under his 
knife ; so, you may be sure, if you are suffering from the hand of 
God, his eye is all the more bent on you. " The eternal God is 
thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.'' 

(2.) Invite poor sinners to come and taste of this love. It is a 
sweet thing to be loved. I suppose the most of you have tasted 
a mother's love. You know what it is to be rocked in her arms, 
to be watched by her gentle eye, to be cheered by her smile ; but, 
oh ! brethren, this is nothing to the love of your God. That dear 
mother's eye will lose in death ; that cjear mother's arm will 
moulder in the dust. Oh ! come and share the love of Him who 
cannot die. There is one spot alone on -tfhich the love of God 
continually falls unclouded ; it is the head #f Jens : The Father 
loveth the Son." He loves him from his t ery nature ; so that the 
perfections of God must change before thj love can change. He 
loves him fully. The whole treasures of love that are in the 
infinite bosom of Jehovah are pouring (VHitinually into the bosom 
of the Son He loves unchangingly J /io cloud can ever come 
between; no veil, no distance. But v^it is this to me? Every- 
thing to you, sinner. Jesus stands 'o lefuge for sinners, ready to 
receive even thee. Flee into him,"iinner; abide in him, and that 


love shall abide on you. You are a worm ; but you may cntei 
into the joy of your Lord. You may share the love of God with 
Jesus in a way that holy angels cannot do. Oh ! sinner, had you 
rather remain under the wrath of God ? "He that believeth not 
the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him." 
" God is angry with the wicked every day ;" but, ah ! " This is a 
faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus 
came into 'the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." 

Oh ! it is sweet to pass from wrath to love, from death to life. 
That poor murderess would leap in her cell, when the news came 
that she was not to die the murderer's death ;* but, ah ! ten thou- 
sand times sweeter would it be to you, if God were, this day, to 
nersuade you to embrace Christ freely offered in the Gospel. 



' It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one 
sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord ; and when they lifted up 
their voice with the trumpets, and cymbals, and instruments of music, and 
praised the Lord, saying, For he is good ; for his mercy endureth for ever : that 
then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord ; so that the 
priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud : for the glory of the 
Lord had filled the house of God." 2 Chron. v., 13, 14. 

THE day here spoken of appears to have been a day of days. It 
seems to have been the day of Pentecost in Old Testament 
times, a type of all the glorious days of an outpoured Spirit that 
ever have been in the world, a foretaste of that glorious day when 
God will fulfil that amazing, soul-satisfying promise, " I will pour 
out my Spirit upon all flesh." 

My dearly beloved flock, it is my heart's desire and prayer that 
this very day might be such a day among us, that God would 
indeed open the windows of heaven, as he has done in times past, 
and pour down a blessing, till there be no room to receive it. 

Let us observe, then, how thanksgiving brings down the Spirit 
of God. 

I. How the people, were engaged: " In praising and thanking 
the Lord." Yea, you have their very words: " For he is good ; 
for his mercy endureth frr ever." It was thus the people were 
engaged when the cloud \me down and filled the house. They 
had been engaged in m_.jy other most affecting duties. The 

* Alluding to a recent occurrence. 


Levites had been carrying the ark from Mount Zion and placing 
it under the wings of the cherubim ; Solomon and all his people 
had been offering sacrifices, sheep and oxen, which could not be 
told for multitude, still no answer came from heaven. But when 
the trumpeters and singers were as one in praising and thanking 
the Lord, when they lifted up their voices, saying, " For he is 
good ; for his mercy endureth for ever ;" then the windows of 
heaven were opened, then the cloud came down and filled the 
whole temple. 

My dear flock, I am deeply persuaded that there will be no full, 
soul-filling, heart-ravishing, heart-satisfying, out-pouring of the 
Spirit of God, till there be more praise and thanking the Lord. Let 
me stir up your hearts to praise. 

1. He is good. Believers should praise God for what he is in 
himself. Those that have never seen the Lord cannot praise him. 
Those that have not come to Christ, have never seen the King in 
his beauty. An unconverted man sees no loveliness in God. He 
sees a beauty in the blue sky, in the glorious sun, in the green 
earth, in the spangling stars, in the lily of the field ; but he sees 
no beauty in God. He hath not seen him, neither known him ; 
therefore there is no melody of praise in that heart. When a 
sinner is brought to Christ, he is brought to the Father. Jesus 
gave himself for us, " that he might bring us to God." Oh ! what 
a sight breaks in upon the soul, the infinite, eternal, unchangeable 
God ! I know that some of you have been brought to see this 
sight. Oh ! praise him, then, for what he is. Praise him for his 
pure, lovely holiness, that cannot bear any sin in his sight. Cry, 
like the angels, " Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." Praise 
him for his infinite wisdom, that he knows the end from the begin- 
ning. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 
Praise him for his power, that all matter, all mind, is in his hand. 
The heart of the king, the heart of saint and sinner, are all in 
his hand. Hallelujah ! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. 
Praise him for his love ; for God is love. Some of you have been 
at sea. When far out of sight of land, you have stood high on 
the vessel's prow, and looked round and round, one vast circle of 
ocean without any bound. Oh ! so it is to stand in Christ justified, 
and to behold the love of God, a vast ocean all around you, with- 
out a bottom and without a shore. Oh ! praise him for what he 
is. Heaven will be all praise. Jf you cannot praise God, you 
never will be there. 

2. For his mercy, for what he has done for us. The Lord has 
done much for me since we parted. We were once in perils of 
water ; but the Lord saved the ship. Again and again we were 
in danger of plague; we nightly heard the cry of the mourner; 
yet no plague came near our dwelling. Again and again we were 
in pr-rils of robbers ; the gun of the murderous Arab has been 
levelled at us ; but the Lord stayed his hand. I have been at the 
gates of death since we parted. No man that saw me would 


have believed that I could be here this day ; yet he nath healed oui 
diseases, and brought me back to open once more to you the un- 
searchable riches of Christ. I, then, have reason to praise him ; 
for his mercy endureth for ever. The Lord has done much tor 
you since we parted. My eyes filled with tears when I left you ; 
for I thought he had done it in anger. I thought it was anger to 
me, and I thought it was anger to you ; but now I see it was all 
love it was all mercy to unworthy you and to unworthy me. 
The Lord gave you my dear brother to care for your souls ; and 
far better than that, for to give you a man only would have been 
a poor gilt, but he has given you his Holy Spirit. " Bless the 
Lord, O my soul !" Praise him, O my people ! for he is good ; 
for his mercy endureth for ever. Are there not some of you brands 
plucked out of the burning ? You were in the burning ; the pains 
of hell were actually getting hold on you. You had a hell in your 
own hearts ; you had a hell yawning to receive you ; but the Lord 
snatched you from the burning. Will you not praise him? Are 
there not some of you whom I left blind, and deaf, and dumb, and 
dead ? You saw no beauty in Him who is fairer than the children 
of men; you saw no glory in Immanuel God manifest in the 
flesh. But the Lord has said : " Go, wash in the pool of Siloam ;" 
and whereas you were blind, now you see. Oh ! praise him that 
hath done it. In heaven, they praise God must of all for this : 
" Worthy is tha Lamb that was slain." Oh! have you no praise 
for Jesus for all his love for the Father for the Spirit? Some 
of you cannot sing ; " No man could learn that song but those that 
were redeemed from the earth." Some of you are worse than 
when I left you. You have resisted me ; you have resisted my 
brother ; and, oh ! worse than all, you have resisted the Holy 
Ghost. You are prayerless yet, Christless yet. Ah ! unhappy 
souls, unredeemed, unrenewed, remember it will be too late to learn 
to praise when you die. You must begin now. I will tell you 
what a dear friend of my own once said before dying. She de- 
sired all the servants to be brought in, and she said very solemnly : 
"There's nothing but Christ between me and weeping, and wail- 
ing, and gnashing of teeth. Oh ! Forrest, if you have not Christ, 
then there is nothing between you and weeping, and wailing, and 
gnashing of teeth." You that will not praise Christ now, shall 
wail because of him soon. 

II. The manner of their praise. 

As one. Their hearts were all as one heart in this exercise. 
There were a thousand tongues, but only one heart. Not only 
were their harps, and cymbals, and dulcimers, all in tune, giving 
out a harmonious melody, but their hearts were all in tune. God 
had given them one heart, and then the blessing came down. The 
same was the case on the day of Pentecost; they were all with 
one accord in one place ; they were looking to the same Lamb of 
God The same thing will be the case in that day prophesied of 


in the 133d psalm : "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for 
brethren to dwell together in unity !" " There God commands the 
blessing, even life for evermore." This is the very thing which 
Jesus prayed for in that prayer which none but. God could have 
asked, and none but God could answer: "Neither pray I for these 
alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their 
word ; that they all may be one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and 
I in thee, that they also may be one in us : that the world may 
believe that thou hast sent me;" and then follows the blessing: 
** And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them ; that 
they may be one, even as we are one : I in them, arid thou in me, 
that they may be made perfect in one ; .and that the world may 
know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast 
loved me." 

Dear children cf God, unite your praises. Let your hearts no 
more be divided. You are divided from the world by a great 
gulf. Soon it will be an infinite gulf; but you are united to one 
another by the same spirit ; you have been chosen by the same 
free, sovereign love ; you have been washed in the same precious 
blood ; you have been filled by the same blessed Spirit. Little 
children, love one another. He that loveth is born of God. Be 
one in your praises. Join in one cry : " Worthy is the Lamb that 
was slain ; thou art worthy to open the book ; thou art worthy to 
reign in our hearts." And, oh ! be fervent in praise. Lift up 
youi voices in it ; lift up your hearts in it. In heaven they wax 
louder and louder. John heard the sound of a great multitude ; 
and then it was like many waters, and then it was like mighty 
thunderings, crying : " Hallelujah ! hallelujah !" 1 remember 
Edvvards's remark, that it was in the singing of praises that his 
people felt themselves most enlarged, and then that God was wor- 
shipped somewhat in the beauty of holiness. Let it be so among 
yourselves. Learn, dearly beloved, to praise God heartily ; to 
sing with all your heart and soul in the family, and in the congre- 
gation. But, oh ! remember that even your praises must be 
sprinkled with blood, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 

III. Effects. 

1. The cloud filled the house. This cloud is the very same which 
led them through the Red Sea, and went before them forty years 
in the wilderness. It was a pillar of cloud by day, to shade them 
from the heat ; it was a pillar of fire by night, to guide Israel on 
their way to the promised rest; and now it came and filled the 
holiest of all and the holy place. Such was the wonderful effect 
which followed their united fervent praises. God himself came 
down, and filled every chamber of the house with his presence. 
" This is my rest for ever ; here will I dwell ; for I have desired 
it." Now, my dear friends, we are not now to expect that God 
will answer our pi ayers, or follow our praises with a pillar of 

248 SERMON XL1. 

cloud or a pillar of fire. These were but the shadows ; now we 
receive the realitv, the substance. If ye will but unite in unani- 
mous and heartfelt praises, then am I persuaded that God will give 
his Holy Spirit to fill thjs House, to fill every heart in the spiritual 
temple. How glorious this will be ! 

(1.) For the children of God. Are there not some of you who 
have come to Christ, and nothing more ? Guilty, weary, heavy 
laden, you have found rest ; redemption through his blood, even 
the forgiveness of sins. Oh! do not stop there. Do not rest in 
mere forgiveness ; cry for the indwellings of the Holy Ghost, the 
Comforter. Forgiveness is but a means to an end. You are justi- 
fied in order that you may be sanctified. Remember, without 
holiness, you will never see the Lord ; and without this indwelling 
Spirit, you never will be holy. 

Are there not some of you groaning under a body of sin and 
death, and crying, with the apostle : " Oh ! wretched man, who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Do you not feel 
the plague of your own heart ? Do you not feel the power of your 
old nature ? How many in this state lean upon themselves, trust 
in their resolutions, attempt, as it were, by force, to put down their 
sins : but here is the remedy. Oh ! cry for the flood-tide of God's 
Spirit, that he may fill every chamber of your heart ; that he may 
renew you in the spirit of your mind. 

Are there not many who are cold, worldly Christians, those who 
were long ago converted, but have fallen sadly back, under the 
power of the world, either its gaiety or its business, its mirth or its 
money, and they have got into worldly habits, deep ruts of sin ? 
Ah ! see what you need. He that created man in his own image 
at first, must create you over again. You need an almighty in- 
dwelling Comforter. Oh ! it is he only who can melt your icy 
heart, and make it flow out in love to God, who can fill you with 
all t'he fulness of God. 

Are there not some who read the Bible, but get little from it? 
You feel that it does not sink into your heart, it does not remain 
with you through the week. It is like the seed cast in the way- 
side, easily plucked away. Oh ! it is just such an outpoured Spirit 
you require to hide the Word in your heart. When you write 
with a dry pen, without any ink in it, no impression is made upon 
the paper. Now, ministers are the pens, and the Spirit of God is 
the ink. Pray that the pen may be filled with that living ink, that 
the Word may remain in your hearts, known and read of all men 
that you may be sanctified through the truth. 

(2.) For the unconverted. So it was in the day of Pentecost- 
the Spirit came first on the small company of disciples, and then 
on the ihree thousand. You have seen the hills attracting the 
cjouds, and so drawing down the shower into the valleys ; so do 
God's children, having their heads within the veil, obtain the Spirit 
of God in fulness, and dispense it to all around. You have seen 


some tall tree or spire catching the lightning, and conveying it 
down into the ground, so does the fire of God's Spirit come first 
upon the trees of righteousness, and from them descends to the 
dead souls around them. 

A word to dead souls. Keep near to God's children at such a 
time as this. Do not separate from them do not mock at them ; 
you may yet receive the grace of God through them. Dear be- 
lievers, for the sake of the dead souls around you, for the sake of 
this great town, full of wickedness, for the sake of our land, filled 
with formality and hypocrisy, oh ! unite in prayer, and unite in 
praise, and prove the Lord, if he will not pour out a blessing. Not 
for your own sakes only, but for the sake of those perishing around 
you, let us wrestle and pray for a fuller time of the Spirit's work- 
ing than has ever been seen in Scotland yet. 

2. The priests could not stand to minister. Before the cloud 
came down, no doubt the priests were all busily engaged burning 
incense, and offering sacrifices ; but when the cloud came down, 
they could only wonder and adore. So it ever will be when the 
Lord gives much of his Spirit; he will make it evident that it is 
not the work of man. If he were to give only a little, then mi- 
nisters would begin to think they had some hand in it ; but when 
he fills the house, then he makes it plain that man has nothing to 
do with it. David Brainard said, that when God awakened his 
whole congregation of Indians, he stood by amazed, and felt that 
he was as nothing that God alone was working. Oh ! it is this, 
dear friends, that we desire and pray for, that the Lord, the Spirit, 
would himself descend, and with his almighty power tear away 
the veil from your hearts, convince you of sin, of righteousness, 
and of judgment, that Jesus himself would take his sceptre, and 
break your hard hearts, and take all the glory that we mav cry 
out : " i\ot unto us, Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name gtve 

St. Peter's, JVov. 24, 1339 (after returning from Palestine). 



M And they spake rnto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The lanf 1 
which we passed through to search it is an exceeding good land. If the Lord 
delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us, a land that 
floweth with milk and honey." Numb, xiv., 7, 8. 

WHEN the children of Israel arrived at the border of the promised 
land, Moses, at the command of God, sent twelve men to spy out 
the good land. They searched it for forty days from the one end 


to the other, and then returned, bringing a bunch of grapes, borna 
between two, on a staff, from the fruitful Valley of Eschol. But 
ten of the spies brought an evil report of the land. The land, 
they said, was good ; but the inhabitants were giants, and the 
cities walled up to heaven ; and the conclusion they came to was: 
" We are not able to go up against the people, for they are strongei 
than we." Verse 31. 

Joshua and Caleb alone tried to still the people. They did not 
deny that the men were tall, and that the cities were walled ; but 
they pointed to the pillar-cloud to answer all objections : " The 
Lord is with us," and we shall subdue the people as easily as we 
eat bread. " The land which we passed through to search it is an 
exceeding good land." 

Doctrine. If God delight in a soul, he will bring it into the 
good land. 

I. Show who they are that God delights in. 

1. God has no delight in a natural soul. " If thou shouldest 
mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?" " Thou art not a God 
that delighteth in wickedness ; neither shall evil dwell with thee.' 
" Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look 
on iniquity." " Surely thou wilt slay the wicked. O God." Eli's 
sons hearkened not unto the voice of their father ; for the Lord 
would slay them. It is God's very nature to loathe and turn 
away from that which is sinful. A person with a fine ear for 
music cannot delight in a jarring discord. It is impossible in his 
very nature. So it is impossible in God to delight in a naked sin- 
ner. A person covered with sin is quite contrary to God's nature; 
and therefore, when naked sinners and God meet in the judgment, 
God will have no mercy, neither will his eye spare. He will say : 
" Bind them hand and foot, and cast them into outer darkness." 

Oh ! you that are covered over with sin, think of this. You 
that are uncovered in the sight of God, prepare to meet your God. 
How will you come into the presence of one who abhors sin, 
when he puts your 'most secret sins in the light of his countenance, 
when he brings to light all the hidden works of darkness, when 
you shall give account of every idle word ? Ah ! where wUI you 
appear ? 

2. He delights in one sprinkled with the blood of Christ. When 
a hell-deserving sinner is enlightened in the knowledge of Christ, 
wheii he believes the record that God hath given concerning his 
Son, and joyfully consents that the Lord Jesus be his surety, then 
the blood of Christ is, as it were, sprinkled over that soul. When 
Aaron and his sons were set apart for the priesthood, the blood of 
the ram was put upon the tip of their right ear. and the thumb of 
their right hand, and the great toe of their right foot, to signify 
that they were dipped in blood from head to foot ; so when God 

ooks upon a soul in Christ, he sees it dipped in the blood of the 


Saviour. He looks upon that soul as having suffered all that 
Christ suffered ; therefore he delights in that soul. His sense of 
justice is pleased. God has an infinite sense of justice. His eyes 
behold the things that are equal ; now when he sees the blood of 
his Son sprinkled upon any soul, he sees that justice has had its 
full satisfaction in that soul, that that man's sins have been more 
fully punished than if he had borne them himself eternally. 

His sense of mercy is pleased. He delighteth in mercy. Even 
when justice was crying out, " Thou shall surely slay the wicked," 
his mercy was yearning over sinners, and he provided a ransom. 
And now when the sinner has laid hold on the ransom, mercy is 
poured down in forgiveness. God delighteth in mercy ; he de- 
lights to forgive the soul. It is sweet to notice how Jesus loves to 
forgive sins. In the woman that washed his feet, how he seems 
to dwell on it ! " Her sins, which are many, are forgiven." And 
again he said unto her : " Thy sins are forgiven thee ;" and again, 
a third time : " Go in peace." And so God loves to forgive : 
" There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth." 

Invite trembling sinners to come to Jesus. Some of you are 
trembling under a sense of being exposed to God's wrath. Which 
of his commandments have you not broken ? Your case is, in- 
deed, a dismal one, your fears are most just and reasonable ; and 
if you saw your condition fully, they would be ten thousand times 
greater. Yet here is a fountain opened for sin and for unclean- 
ness. If only you are willing to come to the Lord Jesus, you do 
not need to remain another moment but of God's favor. You see 
how completely safe you would be, if you would take this blood. 
A just and merciful God would rejoice over you to forgive you. 
It is all in vain that you try your own righteousness ; it will never 
make God delight in you, for it is filthy rngs in his sight. But 
the blood of atonement, the blood of the Lamb, speaketh peace. 

3. God delights in the sanctified. You remember, in the Book 
of Revelation, how often Jesus says, "I know thy works." He 
says it with delight in the case of Smyrna : " I know thy works, 
and tribulation, and poverty ; but thou art rich." When God 
brings a soul into Christ, he makes him a new creature ; then God 
loves the new creature. Just as when God made the world, he 
saw all that he had made, and smiled, for all was very good : so, 
when God makes a new creation in the heart, God delights in it. 
He says it is all very good. 

()!>j. iVIy graces are all imperfect. They do not please rue, 
how c;m they please God ? 1 cannot do the things that I would. 

Ans. All true ; yet God loves his own workmanship in the soul. 
His Sp.rit prays in you, lives in you, walks i'n you. God loves 
the work of his own Spirit. Just as you love flowers of your own 
planting, as you love a spot that you have laid out much on : so 
God loves his children, not for anything of their own, but for what 
he has done foi them, and in them. They are dear-bought, he has 


bought them with his own blood. He waters them every moment, 
lest any hurt them ; he keeps them by night and by day, and how 
can he but love them ? He loves the place where his Spirit dwells. 
Just as God loved the temple: "This is my rest: here will 1 
dwell, for I have desired it," not for any good in it, but because it 
was the place of his feet ; because he had done so much for it ; so 
God loves his Christians, just because he dwells in them, and has 
done so much for them. Just as it was with Aaron's rod : it was 
a dry stick, like any other rod ; but God made it bud forth, ana 
bloom blossoms, and bear ripe almonds ; and therefore he caused 
it to be laid up in the holiest of all. So is a Christian a dry tree ; 
but God makes him bear fruit, and loves the work of his own 
hands. Dear Christians, walk after the Spirit, and please God 
more and more. He saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. His 
countenance doth behold the upright : " I love them that love me." 

II. God will bring all his people to glory. There are many 
difficulties in the way. 1. So it was with Israel. The cities were 
walled and very great ; the inhabitants were gigantic and strong ; 
they fell before them like grasshoppers. 2. So it is with God's 
children : they have many and great enemies the devil, and his 
angels, once the brightest and highest of created intelligences, now 
the great enemy of souls. He is against the Christian. The world 
is full of giants, all opposing God's children. The persecutions of 
the ungodly, the allurements of pleasure, these are great enemies 
in the way. There are giant lusts in the heart: the lust of praise, 
the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life. Before 
these the soul feels like a grasshopper, without strength : " We 
ace not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger 
than we." 

Arg. If he delight in us, he will bring us into this land. 

He is able; "If God be for us, who can be against us?" 1. 
God is stronger than Satan. Satan is nothing in his hand. It is 
easier for God to crush Satan under our feet, than for you to 
crush a fly. God is infinitely stronger than Satan. Satan can no 
more hinder God from carrying us to glory than a little fly can, 
which you crush with your foot. " He shall bruise Satan under 
your feet shortly." Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil, 
and he will flee from you. 2. Stronger than the world. The 
world often comes against us like armed men ; but if God be for 
us, who can be against us ? " The people shall be like bread." It 
is as easy to overcome all opposition when God is with us, as for 
a hu.igry man to eat bread. It was God that girded Cyrus, though 
he did not know him. So he does still : worldly men are a rod 
in God's hand. God puts it this way or that way, to fulfil all his 
pleasure ; and when he has. done with it he will break it in pieces, 
and cast it into the fire. ' So fear not them that kill the body, 
and after that have no more that they can do." Oh ! Christian, if 


you would live by faith, you might live a happy life ! 3. Strongei 
than our own heart. There is many a Jericho in our own heart 
walled up to heaven, many a fortress of sin, many giant lusts 
which threaten our souls. " O wretched man that I am, who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death?" "If the Lord 
delight in us, he will bring us into the good land." By faith the 
wails of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven 
days. God made the walls of Jericho fall flat, by a mere breath 
of wind a noise ; so he is able still. Settle it in your hearts ; 
there is no Jericho in your hearts which God is not able to make 
fall in a moment. You have seen a shepherd carrying a sheep on 
his shoulder ; he meets with many a stone on the way, many a 
thorn, many a stream ; yet the sheep feels no difficulty ; it is 
carried above all. So it is with every soul that yields itself to 
God ; the only difficulty is to lie on his shoulder. 

Apply to young Christians. Learn where your sanctification 
lies in God : " With thee is the fountain of life." " Your life is 
hid with Christ in God." Your holiness does not depend on you, 
but on him* It is a hard lesson to learn, that you cannot sanctify 
yourself, that you cannot overcome these giants, and scale these 
walls. You have learned one humbling lesson, that you have no 
righteousness ; that nothing you have done or can do will justify 
you. Now, learn another humbling lesson, that even when par- 
doned you have no strength. It is the most humbling of all things 
to lie like a sheep on his shoulders ; but, oh ! it is sweet. Be lik- 
Aaron's rod, a dry stick in yourself, till he shall make you bud 
and blossom, and bear fruit. Say like Ephraim : " I am a green 
fir tree ;" and hear God say : " From me is thy fruit found." 

To fallen Christians. Some of you may have fallen into sin. 
The reason was just this : you forgot where your strength Jay. 
It was not the force of passion nor the power of Satan, nor the 
allurement of the world that made you tall, it was unbelief; you 
did not lie in his hand. 

To aged Christians. You have come to the border of the 
promised land, and still your enemies seem giants, and the cities 
walled up to heaven, and you feel like a grasshopper. Still, if 
the Lord delight in you, he will keep you in the love of God. He 
that saved you out of the mouth of the lion, and out of the paw 
of the bear, will save you out of the hand of this Philistine. Trust 
God to the end. 

Even in the valley of the shadow of death, look back over all 
your deliverances ; look over all the Ebenezers you have raised, 
and say : 

After so much mercy past, 
Canst thou let me sink at last ? 




"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household alter him 
and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment ; that the 
Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." Gen 
xviii., 19 

THERE are three things very remarkable in these words. 1. 
That Abraham used parental authority in governing his family : 
" I know him, that he will command his children and servants 
after him." He did not think it enough to pray for them, or to 
teach them, but he used the authority which God had given him, 
he commanded them. 2. That he cared for his servants as well 
as his children. In chap, xiv., verse 14, we learn that Abraham 
had three hundred and eighteen servants born in his house. He 
lived after the manner of patriarchal times ; as the Arabs of the 
wilderness do to this day. His family was very large, and yet 
he did not say, " They are none of mine." He commanded his 
children and his household. 3. His success : " They shall keep 
the way of the Lord." It is often said that the children of good 
men turn out ill. Well, here is a good man, and a good man 
doing his duty by his children, and here is the result. His son 
Isaac was probably a child of God from his earliest years. There 
is every mark of it in his life. And what a delightful specimen of 
a believing, prayerful servant was Eliezer. Gen. xxiv. 
It is the duty of all believers to rule their houses well. 

I. The springs of this duty. 

1. Love to souls. As long as a man does not care for his own 
soul, he does not care for the souls of others. He can see his 
wife and children living in sin, going down to hell, he does not 
care. He does not care for missions, gives nothing to support 
missionaries. But the moment a man's eyes are opened to the 
value of his own soul, that moment does he begin to care for the 
souls of othir?. F/om that moment does he love the missionary 
cause. He wiIJRy spares a little to send the Gospel to the Jew 
and the perish:/) ,> Hindus. Again, he begins to care for the 
Church at home, 'or his neighbors, all living in sin. Like the 
maniac at Dec^.poli?, he publishes the name of Jesus wherever 
he goes. And now he begins to care for his own house. He 
commands his chiMren and his household after him. How is it 
with you? Do you rule well your own house? Do you worship 
God, morning and evening, in your family? Do you deal with 
your children and servants touching their conversion? If not, 
you do not love th-.-ir souls. And the reason is, you do not lovo 


your own. You may make what outward profession you please ; 
you may sit down at sacraments, and talk about your feelings, 
&c., but if you do not labor for the conversion of your children, 
it is all a lie. If you but felt the preciousness of Christ, you 
could not look upon their faces without a heart-breaking desire 
that they might be saved. Thus Rahab, Josh, ii., 13. 

2. Desire to use all talents for Chj-ist. When a man comes to 
Christ, he feels he is not his own. 1 Cor. vi., 19. He hears 
Christ say, "Occupy till I come." If he be a rich man, he 
uses all for Christ, like Gaius. If a learned man, spends all 
for Christ, like Paul. Now, parental authority is one talent, the 
authority of a father and master is a talent, for the use of which 
men will be judged. He uses this also for Christ. He commands 
his children and his household after him. How is it with you? 
Do you use this talent for Christ? If not, you have never given 
yourself away to him, you are not his. 

II. Scripture examples of it. 

1. Abraham. The most eminent example of it, the father of all 
believers. Are you a child of Abraham? Then walk in his 
steps in this. Wherever Abraham went, he built an altar to the 

2. Job. Upon every one of his sons' birth-days Job offered sa- 
crifice, according to the number of them all. Chap, i., 5. 

3. Joshua : " As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 
Chap, xxiv., 15. 

4. Eunice. From a child, little Timothy knew the Scriptures ; 
and the reason of this you understand, when you read of the faith 
of his mother Eunice. 2 Tim. iii., 15, with i., 5. Such was the 
manner in Scotland in the days of our fathers ; and if ever we 
are to see Scotland again a garden of the Lord, it must be by the 
reviving of family government. 

III. The manner of it. 

1. Worship God in your family. If you do not worship 
God in your family, you are living in positive sin ; you may 
be quite sure you do not care for the souls of your family. If you 
neglected to spread a meal for your children to eat, would it not 
be said that you did not care for their bodies ? And if you do not 
lend your children and servants to the green pastures of God's 
Word, and to seek the living water, how plain is it that you do 
not care for their souls ! Do it regularly, morning and evening. 
It is more needful than your daily food, more needful than your 
work. How vain and silly all your excuses will appear, when 
you look back from hell ! Do it fully. Some clip on the psalm, 
and some the readin-g of the Word ; and so the worship of God is 
reduced to a mockery. Do it in a spiritual, lively manner. Go 
to it as to a well of salvation. There is, perhaps no mean of 


grace more blessed. Let all your family be present without fail, 
let none be awanting. 

2. Command, use parental authority. How awfully did God 
avenge it upon Eli, 4< because his sons made themselves vile, and 
he restrained them not !" Eli was a good man, and a holy man ; 
and often he spoke to his two wicked sons, but they heeded not 
But herein he tailed, he did not use his parental authority, he did 
not restrain them. Remember Eli. It is not enough to pray for 
your children, and to pray with them, and to warn them ; but you 
must restrain them. Restrain them with the cords of love. From 
wicked books, from wicked companions, from wicked amusements, 
from untimely hours, restrain them. 

3. Command servants as well as children. So did Abraham. 
Remember you are in the place of a father to your servants. 
They are come under your roof; and they have a claim on your 
instructions. If they minister to you in carnal things, it is but fair 
that you minister to them in spiritual things. You have drawn 
them away from under the parental roof, and it is your part to see 
that they do not lose by it. Oh ! what a mass of sin would he 
prevented, if masters would care for their servants' souls ! 

4. Deal with each as to the conversion of his soul. I have 
known many dear Christian parents who have been singularly 
neglectful in this particular. They worship God in the family, 
and pray earnestly in secret for their children and servants, and 
yet never deal with them as to their conversion. Satan spreads 
a kind of false modesty among parents, that they will not inquire 
of their little ones, Have you found the Lord, or no ? Ah ! how 
sinful and foolish this will appear in eternity. If you should see 
some of your children or servants in hell, all because you did not 
speak to them in private, how would you look ? Begin to-night. 
Take them aside and ask, What has G*od done for your soul ? 

5. Lead a holy life before them. If all your religion is on your 
tongue, your children and servants will soon find out your hy- 

IV. The blessing. 

1. You will avoid the curse. You will avoid Eli's curse. Eli 
was a child of God, and yet he suffered much on account of his 
unfaithfulness. He lost his two sons in one day. If you would 
avoid Eli's curse, avoid Eli's sin. " Pour out thy fury on the fami- 
lies that have not called on thy name" Jer. x., 25. If you do not 
worship God in your house, a curse is written over your door. If 
I could mark the dwellings in this town where there is no family 
prayer, these are the spots where the curse of God is ready to fall. 
These houses are over hell. 

2. Your children will be saved So it was with Abraham. His 
dear son Isaac was saved. What became of Ishmael I do not 
know. Only I remember his fervent cry : " O that Ishmael might 


ive before thee !" Such is the promise : " Train up a child in the 
way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." 
Such is the promise in baptism. Ah ! who can tell the blessed- 
ness of being the saved father of a saved family ? Dear believ- 
ers, be wise. Surely if anything could mar the joy of heaven, it 
would be to see your children lost through your neglect. Dear 
unconverted souls, if one pang can be more bitter than another in 
hell, it will be to hear your children say : " Father, mother, you 
brought me here." 



" And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat 
things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on thi 
lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering 
cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow 

up death in victory ; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; 
and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth ; for the 
Lord hath spoken it." Isa. xxv., 6-8. 

THESE words are yet to be fulfilled at the second coming of the 
Saviour. It is true that the Lord of hosts has long ago prepared 
this feast, and sent out his servants, saying : " Come, for all things 
are ready." But it is just as true, that the veil that is spread over 
all nations is not yet taken away ; and Paul tells us plainly, in 1 
Cor. xv., 54, that it is in the resurrection morning that these 
words shall be quite fulfilled : " He hath swallowed up death in 

Still these words have been in some measure fulfilled wherever 
there has been a peculiar outpouring of the Spirit upon any place. 
Often at sacrament seasons in our own land, these words have 
been fulfilled. God has made Christ a feast of fat things to hun- 
gry souls. The veil of unbelief has been torn from many hearts, 
and the tears wiped away from many eyes. It is my humble but 
earnest desire that next Sabbath day may be such a day in this 
place.* I want to engage all of you who are the children of 
God to secret and united prayer that it may be so; and I have 
therefore, chosen these words by which to stir you up to pray. 

I. Consider the Feast. II. The tearing away of the veil. III. 
The effects of it. 
]. The Feast. 

* The Communion Sabbath. 


1. Where is it? Any. " In this mountain." (1.) Moriah? Ah! 
it was here that Abraham offered up Isaac. It was here that the 
passovcr lamb used to be slain. It was here that Jesus stood and 
cried, " If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink." (2.) 
Mount Olivet? It was here that Jesus said, ' I am the true vine. ' 
It was here that Jesus had the cup of wrath set down before him, 
ic that night in which he was betrayed. (3.) Mount Calvary? 
It was ht re that they crucified Jesus and two thieves, one on 
each hand. It was here that the passers-by wagged their heads, 
the chief priests mocked, and the thieves cast the same in his teeth. 
It was here that there was three hours' darkness. It was here 
they pierced his hands and feet. It was here that God forsook 
his own Son. It was here that .infinite wrath was laid upon an 
infinite Saviour: "In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make 
unto all people a feast of fat things." 

To anxious souls. The world tries to cheer you ; they bid you 
go into company, see more of the world, enjoy pleasure, and drive 
away these dull thoughts. They spread a feast for you in some 
lighted hall, with brilliant lamps ; and the pipe and the tabor, and 
wine are in their feasts. Oh ! anxious soul, flee these things : 
remember Lot's wife. If you are anxious about your soul, flee 
from the feasts of the world. Stop your ears, and run. Look 
here how God tries to cheer you: he, too, prepares a feast; but 
where ? On Calvary. There is no light ; it is all darkness round 
the cross ; no music, but the groan of a dying Saviour : ' Eli ! 
Eli ! my God ! my God !" Oh ! anxious soul, it is there you will 
find peace and rest. " Come unto me, all ye that labor and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The darkest hour that 
ever was in this world gives light to the weary soul. The sight 
of the cross brings within sight of the crown. That dying sigh, 
which made the rocks to rend, alone can rend the veil, and give 
you peace. The Place of a Skull is the place of joy. 

2. Wliat is it ? A feast of fat things, of wines on the lees. . 

(1.) A feast. It is not a meal, but a feast. At a meal, it is well 
if there be enough for all who sit round the table : but at a feast, 
there should be more than enough ; there is a liberal abundance. 
The Gospel is compared to a feast : " Come, eat of my bread, and 
drink of the wine that I have mingled." Prov. ix. 

Again, in the Song of Songs : " He brought me to the banquet- 
ing house, and his banner over me was love." " Stay me with 
flagons, comfort me with apples; for I am sick of love." Again, 
in Matt. xxii. : " Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have pre- 
pared my dinner ; my oxen and my fallings are killed, and -all 
things are ready : come unto the marriage." 

So it is in Jesus ; there is bread enough and to spare. He 
came that we might have life, and might have it more abundantly. 
There is a feast in a crucified Jesus. His dying in the stead of 
sinners is enough, and more than enough, to answer for our sins. 


It is not only equal to my dying, but it is far more glorifying to 
God and his holy law, than if I had suffered a hundred deaths. 
" Comfort ye, comfort ye ; ye have received at the Lord's hand 
double for all your sins." His obeying in the stead of sinners is 
enough, and more than enough, to cover our nakedness. It is not 
only equal to my obeying, but it is far more glorifying to God than 
if I had never sinned. His garment not only clothes the naked 
soul, but clothes from head to foot ; so that no shame appears ; 
only Christ appears, the soul is hid. His Spirit is not only 
enough, but more than enough, to make us holy. There is a well 
in Christ which we never can exhaust still rivers of grace which 
we never can drink dry. 

Christians, learn to feed more on Christ : " Eat, O friends ! 
drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved !" When you are asked 
to a feast, there is no greater affront you can put upon the enter- 
tainer than by being content with a crumb below the table. Yet 
this is the way the Christians of our day affront the Lord of glory. 
Oh how few seem to feed much on Christ ! how few seem to put 
on his white flowing raiment ! how few seem to drink deep into 
his Spirit ! Most are content with now and then a glimpse of 
pardon, a crumb from the table, and a drop of his Spirit. Awake, 
dear friends ! " These things have I spoken unto you that your joy 
may be full." 

(2.) A feast of fat things, of wines on the lees. 

The fat things full of marrow are intended to represent the rich- 
est and most nourishing delicacies ; and the wines on the lees 
well refined, to represent the oldest and richest wines ; so that, not 
only is there abundance in this feast, but abundance of the best. 
Ah ! so it is in Christ. First, There is forgiveness of all past sins. 
Ah ! this is the richest of all delicacies to a heavy laden soul. As 
cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. 
A good conscience is a. perpetual feast. Oh ! weary sinner, taste 
and see. " I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and 
his fruit was sweet to my taste." These are the apples that a 
weary soul cries out for: "Comfort -me with apples; for I am 
sick of love." Second, There are the smiles of the Father. The 
Father himself loveth you. Oh, to pass from the frown of an angry 
God into the smile of a loving Father ! this is a feast to the soul ; 
this is to pass from death unto life. Third, The droppings of the 
Spirit into the soul ah ! it is this which comforts the soul. This 
is the oil of gladness that makes the face to shine. This makes 
the cup run over. This is the full well rising within the soul, at 
once comforting and purifying. Dear friends, be not filled with 
wine, wherein is excess ; but be filled with the Spirit. These are 
the flagons that stay the soul. May you be in the Spirit on the 
Lord's-day ! 

3. For whom is it ? Unto all people. " The Gospel is the 
power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth ; to the 


Jew first, and also to the Greek." " Go ye into all the world, ana 
preach the Gospel to every creature." Ah ! there is not a crea- 
ture under heaven for whom the feast is not prepared. There is 
not a creature from whorn" we can keep back the message : 
" All things are reudy ; come to the marriage." 

Dear anxious souls, why do you keep away from Christ? you 
say Christ is far from you ; alas ! he has been at your door all 
day. Christ is as free to you as to any that ever came to him. 
Come hungry, come empty, come sinful, come as you are to feed 
on glorious Jesus. He is a feast to the hungry soul. 

Dear dead souls, that never felt one throb of anxiety, that never 
uttered one heartfelt cry to God, th s message is for you. The 
feast is for all people. Christ is as free to you as to any other : 
" How long, ye simple ones, will ye love your simplicity ?" " The 
Spirit and the bride say, Come." 

II. The tearing away of the veil. 

1. Observe there is a veil over every natural heart, a thick im- 
penetrable veil. (1.) There was a veil in the temple over the 
entrance to the holiest of all, so that no eye could see the beauty 
of the Lord within. (2.) There was a veil over the face of Moses 
when he came down from the mount, for something of the bright- 
ness of Christ shone in his countenance. When the veil was down 
they could not see his glory. (3.) So there is a veil upon the 
hearts of the Jews to this day, when Moses and the prophets are 
read to them. (4.) So is there a veil over your hearts, so many 
of you as are in your natural state ; a thick, impenetrable veil ; 
its name is unbelief. The same veil that hid the beauty of the 
promised land from Israel in Kadesh-barnea " for they could 
not enter in, because of unbelief" that veil is over your hearts 
this day. 

Learn the great reason of your indifference to Christ. The veil 
is upon your heart. God may lay down all the riches of his 
bosom on the table the unsearchable riches of Christ ; yet so 
long as that veil is over you, you will not move. You see no form 
nor comeliness in Christ : " And when we shall see him. there is no 
beauty that we should desire him." Isa. liii., 2. " The natural 
man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for they are 
foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, because they are 
spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. ii., 14. 

2. Who takes the veil away ? Ans. The Lord of hosts : he 
that makes the feast is he that tears the veil away. Ah ! it is a 
work of God to take away that covering. We may argue wrth 
you till midnight, telling you of your sin and misery we may 
brin<r all the sweetest words in the Bible to show you that Christ 
is fairer than the children of men ; still you will go home and say, 
We see no beauty in him. But God can take away the veil ; 
sometimes he does it in a moment sometimes slowly ; then Christ 


is revealed, and Christ is precious. There is not one of you so 
sunk in sin and worldliness so dull and heartless in the things of 
God but your heart would be overcome by the sight of an un- 
veiled Saviour. Oh ! let us plead this promise with God 
" He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering casi 
over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations/ 
Come and do it, Lord. " I will pour out my Spirit unto you." 
Pour quickly, Lord. 

3. Where ? " In this mountain" in the same place where he 
makes the feast ; he takes the soul to Calvary. Ah, yes ; it is 
within sight of the crucified Saviour that God takes every veil 

Anxious souls, wait near the cross. Meditate upon Christ* and 
him crucified. It is there that God tears the veil away. Be often 
at Gethsemane be often at Golgotha. Oh ! that next Sabbath he 
may reveal himself to all in the breaking of bread. As easy to 
a thousand as to one soul ! 

III. Effects. 

1. Triumph over death. (1.) Even here this is fulfilled. Often 
the fear of death is taken away in those who trembled before. 
The soul that has really had the veil taken away can go through 
the valley, if not singing, at least humbly trusting, and can say at 
the end, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Ah! nothing but a 
real sight of Christ can cheer in death. Worldly people can die 
stupidly and insensibly ; but the unveiled Christian alone can feel 
in death that the sting is taken away. (2.) In resurrection. When 
we stand like Christ in body and soul " When the sea has given 
up the dead that are in it, and death and hell the dead that are in 
them" " When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption 
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is 
swallowed up in victory." 

Dear friends, what solemn scenes are before us ! Ah ! nothing 
but a sight of Christ as our own Surety and Redeemer can uphold 
us, in sight of opening graves and reeling worlds. We shall re- 
member his own words, and be still : " I will ransom them from 
the power of the grave : I will redeem them from death. O death, 
I will be thy plagues ; O grave, I will be thy destruction." "Father, 
I will that they also whom thou hast given me may be with me, 
where I am, that they may behold my glory." 

2. Triumph over sorrow. (1.) Even here, God wipes away the 
tears of conviction, the tears of sin and shame, by revealing Christ. 
A work of grace always begins in tears ; but when God takes the 
soul to Calvary look here : Tuere are thy sins laid upon Irn- 
inanuel ; there the Lamb of God is bearing them ; there is all the 
hell that thou shalt suffer. Oh, how sweetly does God wipe away 
the tears ! Anxious souls, may God do this for you next Sabbath- 
day ! (2.) Complete fulfilment after. There will always be lean 


nere, because of sin, temptation, sorrow ; but there " they shaft 
hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; neither shall the sun 
light on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb which is in the midst 
of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto livin^ 
fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their 

a. Triumph over reproaches. Even here God lifts his people 
above reproaches ; he enables them to bless, and curse not : ' Love 
your enemies ; bless them that curse you, do good to them that 
hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and per- 
secute you." But there shall be full triumph yonder. He will 
clear up our character. Here we may endure reproaches all the 
way! Christians are slighted, despised, trampled on, here ; but 
God will acknowledge them as his jewels at last. The world will 
stand aghast. 



" The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked : who can know 
it ? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man accord- 
ing to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." Jer. xvii., 9, 10. 

I. The state of the natural heart. Verse 9. This is a faithful 
description of the natural heart of man: The heart of unlallen 
Adam was very different. " God made man upright." His mind 
was clear and heavenly. It was riveted upon divine things. He 
saw their glory without any cloud or dimness. His heart was 
right with God. His affections flowed sweetly and fully towards 
God. He loved as God loved, hated as God hated. There was 
no deceit about his heart then. It was transparent as crystal. 
He had nothing to conceal. There was no wickedness in his 
heart; no spring of hatred, or lust, or pride.. He knew his own 
heart. He could see clearly into its deepest recesses ; for it was 
just a reflection of the heart of God. When Adam sinned, his 
heart was changed. When he lost the favor of God he lost the 
image of God. Just as Nebuchadnezzar suddenly got a beast's 
heart, so Adam suddenly got a heart in the image of the devil. 
And this is the description ever since. "The heart is deceitful 
above all things, and desperately wicked." Verse 9. 

1. It is " deceitful above all things" Deceit is one of the prime 
elements of the natural heart. It is more full of deceit than any 
other object. We sometimes call the sea deceitful. At evening 
the sea appears perfectly calm, or there is a gentle ripple on the 


waters, and the wind blows favorably ; during the night a storm 
may come on, and the treacherous waves are now like mountain 
billows covering the ship. But the hoart is deceitful above all 
things : more treacherous than the treacherous sea. The clouds 
are often very deceitful. Sometimes, in a time of drought, they 
promise rain ; but they turn out to be clouds without rain, and the 
farmer is disappointed. Sometimes the clouds appear calm and 
settled ; but, before the morning, torrents of rain are falling. But 
the heart is deceitful above all things. Many animals are de- 
ceitful. The serpent is more subtle than any beast of the field : 
sometimes it will appear quite harmle>s, but suddenly it will put 
out its deadly sting and give a mortal wound. But the natural 
heart is more deceitful than a serpent ; aboce all things. It is 
deceitful in two ways ; in deceiving others and itself 

(1.) In. deceiving others. Every natural man is a hypocrite. 
He is different in reality from what he appears to be. I undertake 
to say, that there is not a natural man present here to-day in his true 
colors. If every natural man here were to throw off his disguise, 
and appear as he really is, this church would look more like the 
gate of hell than the gate of heaven. If every unclean man were 
to lay bare his heart, and show his abominable, filthy desires and 
thoughts ; if every dishonest man were now to open his heart, and 
let us see all his frauds, all his covetous, base desires ; if every 
proud, self-conceited one were now to show us what is going on 
below his coat, or below that silk gown ; to let us see the paltry 
schemes of vanity and desire of praise ; if every unbeliever among 
you were openly to reveal his hatred of Christ and of the blessed 
Gospel, O what a hell would this place appear ! Why is it not so ? 
Because natural men are deceitful ; because you draw a cloak over 
your heart, and put on a smooth face, and make the outside of a 
siint cover the heart of a fiend. Oh ! your heart is deceitful above 
all things. Every natural man is a flatterer. He does not tell 
other men what he thinks of them. There is no plain, honest 
dealing between natural men in this world. Those of you who 
know anything of this world, know how hollow the most of its 
friendships are. Just imagine for a moment that every natural man 
were to speak the truth, when he meets his friends; suppose he 
were to tell them all the bitter slanders which he tells of them 
a hundred times behind their back ; suppose he were to unbosom 
himself, and tell all his low, mean ideas of them ; how worldly and 
selfish they are in his eyes ; alas ! what a world of quarrels this 
would be. Ah, no! natural man, you dare not be honest; you 
dare not speak the truth one to another; your heart is so vile that 
you must draw a cloak over it ; and your thoughts of others so 
abominable that you dare not speaK \hern out: " The heart is de- 
ceitful above all things." 

(2.} It shows itself in another way. in sell-deceit. Ever since 
my Doming among you I have labored with all my might to sepa 

264 SERMON X^V. 

rate between the precious and the vile. I have given you many 
marks, by which you might know whether or not you have un- 
dergone a true conversion, or whether it has only been a deceit 
of Satan whether your peace was the peace of God or the peace 
of the devil whether you were on the narrow way that leads to 
life, or on the broad way that leads to destruction. I have done 
my best to give you the plainest Scripture marks by which you 
might know your real case ; and yet I would not be in the least 
surprised, if the most of you were found at the last to have de- 
ceived yourselves. Often a man is deeply concerned about his 
soul ; he weeps and prays, and joins himself to others who are 
inquiring. He now changes his way of life, and changes his no- 
tions ; he talks of his experience, and enlargement in prayer ; 
perhaps he condemns others very bitterly ; and yet has no true 
change of life, walks after the flesh still, not after the Spirit. Now, 
others think this man a true Christian, and he believes it himself; 
yea, he thinks he is a very eminent Christian ; when, all the time, 
he has not the Spirit of Christ, and is none of his. Ah ! " the 
heart is deceitful above all things." 

2. " Desperately wicked" This word is borrowed from the 
book of the physician. When the physician is called to see a pa- 
tient past recovery, he shakes his head and says : This is a despe- 
rate case. This is the very word used here. " The heart is des- 
perately wicked," past cure by human medicine. Learn that you 
need conversion, or a new heart. When we speak of the necessity 
of a change to some people, they begin to be affected by it, and so 
they put away some evil habits, as drinking, or swearing, or lying; 
they put these away, and promise never to go back to them ; and 
now they think the work is done, and they are in a fair way for 
heaven. Alas, foolish man ! it is not your drinking, or your 
swearing, or your lying, that acre desperately wicked, but your 
heart. You have only been cutting off the streams, the heart 
remains as wicked as ever. It is the heart that is incurable. It 
is a new heart you need. Nothing less will answer your need. 
Learn that you must go to Christ for this. When the woman had 
speet her all upon physicians, and was nothing better, but rather 
worse, she heard of Jesus. Ah ! said she. if I may but " touch 
the hem of his garment I shall be made whole." Jesus said to 
her : " Daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee 
whole." Come, then, incurable, to Christ. The leprosy was al- 
ways regarded as incurable. Accordingly, the leper came to 
Jesus, and worshipping, said: "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst 
make me clean. Jesus said, I will, be thou clean ; and immedi- 
ately his leprosy was cleansed." Some of you feel that your 
heart is desperately wicked ; well, kneel to the Lord Jesus, and 
say : " Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." You are 
a leper incurable ; Jesus is able he is also willing to make yru 


3. Unsearchably wicked: "Who can know it?" No man ever 
yet knew the badness of his own heart. We are sailing over i 
sea the depths of which we have never fathomed. (1.) Unawak* 
enedpersons have no idea of what is in their heart. When Elijah 
told Hazael what a horrible murderer he would be, Hazael said . 
"Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?" The seeds of 
it were all in his heart at that moment; but he did not. know his own 
heart. If I had tpld some of you, when you were little children 
playing beside your mother's knee, the sins that you were afterwards 
to commit, you would have said : " Am I a dog, that I should do this 
thing?" andyet you see you have done them. If I could show each 
of you the sins that you are yet to commit, you would be shocked 
and horrified. This shows how ignorant you are of your own heart. 
I suppose that the most of you think it quite impossible you should 
ever be guilty of murder, or adultery, or apostasy, or the sin 
against the Holy Ghost ; this arises from ignorance of your own 
black heart : " Who can know it?" (2.) Some awakened persons 
have an awful sight given them of the wickedness of their own 
hearts. They see all the sins of their pnst life, as it were, con- 
centrated there. They see that their past sins all come out of 
their heart and that the same may come out again. And yet 
the most awakened sinner does not see the ten thousandth part 
of the wickedness of his heart. You are like a person looking 
down into a dark pit ; you can only see a few yards down the 
side of the pit ; so you can only see a little way down into your 
heart. It is a pit of corruption which is bottomless : " Who can 
know it?" (3.) Some children of God have amazing discoveries 
given them of the wickedness of their own hearts. Sometimes 
it is given them to see that the germs of every sin are lodging 
there. Sometimes they see that there never was a sin commuted, 
in heaven, in earth, or in hell, but it has something corresponding 
to it in their own heart. Sometimes they see, that if there were 
not another fountain of sin, from which 'the fair face of creation 
might be defaced, their own heart is a fountain inexhaustible, 
enough to corrupt every creature, and to defile every fair spot in 
the universe. And yet even they do not know their own hearts. 
You are like a traveller looking down into the crater of a volcano; 
but the smoke will not suffer you to look far. You see only a few 
yards into the smoking volcano of your own heart. 

Learn to be humbled far more than you have ever been. None 
of you have ever been sufficiently humbled under a sense of sin; 
for this reason, that none of you have ever seen fully the plague 
of your own heart. There are chambers in your heart you have 
never yet seen into. There are caves in that ocean you have 
never fathomed. There are fountains of bitterness you have 
never tasted. When you have felt the wickedness of youi 
heart to the uttermost, then lie down under this awful truth, that 
you have only seen a few yards into a pit that is bottomless, thai 


you carry about with you a slumbering volcano ; a heart whosi 
wickedness you do not and cannot know. 

II. The witness of the heart. 

1. " /, the Lord. We have seen that we do not know one ano- 
ther's hearts ; for "the heart is deceitful." Man looketh on tho 
outward appearance. We have seen that no man knows his own 
heart, that the most know nothing of what is there ; and those who 
know most, see but a short way down. But here is an unerring 
witness. He that made man knows what is in man. 

2. Observe what a strict witness he is : " I, the Lord, search the 
heart, I try the reins." It is not said, I know the heart but, I 
search it. The heart of man is not one of the many objects upon 
which God turns his all-seeing eye, but it is one which he singles 
out for investigation : " I search the heart." As the astronomer 
directs his telescope upon the very star which he wishes to ex- 
amine, and arranges all his lenses, that he may most perfectly look 
at it, so doth God's calm eye pore upon the naked breast of every 
man. As the refiner of silver keeps his eye upon the fining-pot, 
watching every change in the boiling metal ; so doth God's eye 
watch every change in the bosom of man. Oh ! natural man, 
can you bear this? How vain are all your pretences and coverings ; 
God sees you as you are. You may deceive your neighbor, 01 
your minister, or yourself, but you cannot deceive God. 

3. Observe he is a constant witness. He does not say I have 
searched, or I will do it but, I search I do it now, and always. 
Not a moment of our life but his pure, calm, searching eye ha_ 
been gazing on the inmost recesses of our hearts. From childhood 
to old age his eye rests on us. The darkness hideth not from him. 
The darkness and the light are both alike to him. 

4. Observe his end in searching : " Even to give every man 
according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." 
Verse 10. In order to know the true value of an action, you must 
search the heart. Many an action that is applauded by men, 
is abominable in the sight of God, who searches the heart. To 
give an alms to a poor man, may either be an action worthy of 
an eternal reward, or worthy of an eternal punishment. If it be 
done out of love to Christ, because the poor man is a disciple of 
Christ, it will in no wise lose its reward ; Christ will say ; " Inas- 
much as ye did it to the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto 
me." If it be done out of pride-or self-righteousness, Christ will cast 
it from him: he will say, "Depart ye cursed ye did it not unto me." 
The reason, then, why Christ searches the heart is, that he may 
judge uprightly in the judgment. Oh, sirs ! how can you bear this, 
you that are Christless ? How can you bear that eye on your 
heart all your days, and to be judged according to what his pure 
eye sees in you ? Oh ! do you not see it is a gone case with you ? 
' Enter not into judgment with thy servant ; for in thy sight shall 


no flesh living be justified." Oh ! if your heart be desperately 
wicked, and his pure eye ever poring on it, what can you expect, 
but that he should cast you into hell ? Oh ! flee to the Lord Jesus 
Christ for shelter, for blood to blot out past sins, and righteousness 
to cover you. " See, God, our shield." 

Learn the amazing love of Christ. He was the only one that 
knew the wickedness of the beings for whom he died. He that 
searches the hearts of sinners died for them. His eye alone had 
searched their hearts ; aye, was searching at the time he came. 
He knew what was in man ; yet he did not abhor them on that 
account he died for them. It was not for any goodness in man 
that he died for man. He saw none. It was not that he saw 
little sin in the heart of man, that he pitied him and died for him. 
He is the only being in the universe that saw all the sin that is in 
the unfathomable heart of man. He saw to the bottom of the 
volcano, and yet he came and died for man. Herein is love ! 
When publicans and sinners came to him on earth, he knew what 
was in their hearts. His eye had rested on their bosoms all their life, 
he had seen all the lusts and passions that had ever rankled there ; 
yet in no wise did he cast them out. So with you. His eye hath 
seen all your sins ; the vilest, darkest, blackest hours you have 
lived, his pure eye was resting on you ; yet he died for such, 
and invites you to come to him ; and will in no wise cast you 
out. Amen. 



" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart ; and lean not unto thine own understand- 
ing." Prov iii., 5. 

WHEN an awakened soul is brought to God to believe on Jesus, 
he enjoys for the first time that calm and blessed state of mind 
which the Bible calls peace in believing. The sorrows of death 
were compassing him, and the pains of hell getting hold on him ; 
but now he can say : " Return unto thy rest, O rny soul." It is 
not to be wondered at, that when this heaven upon earth is first 
realized in the once anxious bosom, the young believer should often 
imagine that heaven is already gained, and that he has bid fare- 
well to sin and sorrow for evermore. But, alas ! it may need but 
the passing away of one little day to convince him that heaven is 
not yet gained, that though the Red Sea may be passed, yet there 
is a wide howling wilderness to pass through, and many au euemy 


to be overcome, before the soul can enter into the land of which 
it is said, that " the people are all righteous." 

The first breath of temptation from without, or the first rise of 
corruption from within, awakens new and strange anxieties within 
the believing bosom. He had just put on the breastplate of the 
Redeemer's righteousness, but these noxious vapors tarnish and 
bedim its burnished steel. Alas ! he cries, what good will it do 
me to be rid of all accusations from past sins, if I am not secure 
from raising up new accusers in the days to come ? What good 
will the forgiveness of past sins do me, if, every step of my life, I 
am to fall into new sin f 

The young believer in this state of mind is just like a traveller 
in the midst of a dangerous wood. He has been brought into a 
place of perfect security for the present. He can hear the cry 
of the wolves behind him without the least alarm, for he is brought 
into a fortress, a strong tower, where he is safe ; but when he 
thinks of his further journey, when he remembers that he is still 
in the midst of the wood, and still far from home, alas ! he knows 
not how to move ; he knows not which path will lead him right, 
and which will lead him wrong. When the lost sheep was found 
by the good shepherd, it was safe in that moment, as safe as if it 
were already in the fold ; and yet it was doubtless in great per- 
plexity how to get back again, it had wandered so far over the 
mountains, and down into the valleys, and across the brooks, and 
through the thorny brakes, that it was impossible the bewildered 
sheep could find its way back ; and therefore it is said that the 
good shepherd laid it on his shoulder rejoicing. 

And just so it is with the soul that is found by Christ. Washed 
in his blood, he may feel as secure and as much at peace as if he 
were already in heaven ; but when he looks to the thousand en- 
tanglements in the midst of which he has wandered, the evil 
habits, the evil companions that lay snares for him on every hand, 
alas ! he is forced to cry : How shall I walk in such a world as 
this ? I thought I was saved ; but, alas ! I am only saved to be 
lost again. So real and so painful is this state of mind, that some 
young believers have actually wished to die that they might be rid 
of these tormenting anxieties. But there is a far more excellent 
way pointed out in the words before us : 

" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: 
And lean not to thine own understanding 
In all thy ways acknowledge him, 
And he shall direct thy paths." 

This is a word in season to the bewildered believer ; and " a word 
poken in due season, how good is it !" 

First of all, Consider what this grace is that is here recom- 
mended : " Trust in the Lord with all thine heart." 


When the Philippian jailer cried out : " What must I do to be 
saved ?" the simple answer was : " Believe on the Lord Jesua 
Christ, and thou shall be saved." His great anxiety was to escape 
from under the wrath of the God of the earthquake ; and, there- 
fore, they simply pointed to the bleeding Lamb of God. He looks 
to Jesus doing all that we should have done, and suffering all that 
we should have suffered ; and while he looks, his anxiety is healed; 
and a sweet heavenly peace springs up within, the peace of be- 
lieving. But the inquirer who is spoken to in the text is one who 
already enjoys the peace of a justified man, but wants to know 
how he may enjoy the peace of a sanctified man. A new anxiety 
hath sprung up within his bosom, as to how he shall order his steps 
in the world ; and unless this anxiety also can be healed, it is to 
be feared his joy in believing will be sadly interrupted. How 
seasonable then, is the word which points at once to the re- 
medy ! and how amazing is the simplicity of the Gospel method 
of salvation, when the sou! is directed just to look again to Jesus: 
" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart." When you came to us 
weary and heavy laden with guilt, we pointed you to Jesus ; for 
he is the Lord our righteousness. When you come to us again, 
groaning under the power of indwelling sin, we point you again 
to Jesus ; for he is the Lord our strength. It is the true mark of 
a false and ignorant physician of bodies, when to every sufferer, 
whatever be the disease, he applies the same remedy. But it is 
the true mark of a good and faithful physician Oi souls, when, to 
every sick and perishing soul, in every stage of t..e disease, he 
brings the one, the only remedy, the only balm in Gilead. 

Christ was anointed not only to bind up the broken-hearted, but 
also to proclaim liberty to the captives ; so that, if it be good and 
wise to direct the poor broken-hearted sinner, who has no way of 
justifying himself, to Jesus, as his righteousness, it must be just as 
good and wise to direct the poor believer, groaning under the 
bondage of corruption, having no way to sanctify himself, to look 
to Jesus as his wisdom, his sanctification, his redemption. Thou 
hast once looked unto Jesus as thy covenant head, bearing all 
wrath, fulfilling all righteousness in thy stead, and that gave thee 
peace ; well, look again to the same Jesus as thy covenant head, 
obtaining by his merits gifts for men, even the promise of the 
Father, to shed down on all his members ; and let that also give thee 
peace. " Trust in the Lord with all thine heart." Thou hast 
looked to Jesus on the cross, and that gave ihee peace of con- 
science ; look to him now upon the throne, and that will give thee 
purity of heart. I know of but one way in which a branch can 
be made a leafy, healthy, fruit-bearing branch ; and that is by be- 
ing grafted into the vine, and abiding there. And just so I know 
of but one way in which a believer can be made a holy, happy, 
fruitful child oi' God ; and that is by believing in Jesus, abiding iu 
him, walking in him, being rooted and built up in him. 


And observe it is said ; " Trust in the Lord with all thine heart* 
When you believe in Jesus for righteousness, you must castaway 
all your own claims for pardon ; your own righteousness must be 
liltliy rags in your eyes ; you must come empty, that you may go 
a\\ay full of Jesus. And just so, when you trust in Jesus for 
strength, you must cast away all your natural notions of your 
own strength ; you must feel lhat your own resolutions, and vows, 
and promises, are as useless to stem the current of your passions, 
as so many straws would be in stemming the mightiest waterfall. 
You must feel that your own firmness and manliness of disposi- 
tion, which has so long been the praise of your friends and the 
boast of your own mind, are as powerless, before the breath of 
temptation, as a broken reed before the hurricane. You must feel 
that you wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with spirits of 
gigantic power, in whose mighty grasp you are feeble as a child ; 
then, and then only, will you come with all your heart to trust in 
the Lord your strength. When the believer is weakest, then is 
he strongest. The child that knows most its utter feebleness, 
intrusts itself most completely into the mother's arms. The young 
eagle that knows, by many a fall, its own inability to fly, yields 
itself to be carried on the mother's mighty wing. When it is 
weak, then it is strong ; and just so the believer, when he has found 
out, by repeated falls, his own utter feebleness, clings with sim- 
plest faith, to the arm of the Saviour leans on his Beloved, com- 
ing up out of the wilderness, and hears with joy the word : " My 
grace is sufficient for thee ; my strength is made perfect in weak- 

But secondly, Consider how this grace of trusting hinders the 
believer from leaning to his own understanding. 

" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; 
And lean not to thine own understanding." 

Well may every soul that is untaught by the Spirit of God ex- 
claim: "This is a hard saying, who can hear it ?" and, indeed, 
there is perhaps no truth lhat calls forth more of the indignant op- 
position of the world than this blessed one that they who trust 
in the Lord with all their heart, do not lean to their own under- 
standing. The understanding, here, plainly includes all the ob- 
serving, knowing, and judging faculties of the mind, by which 
men ordinarily guide themselves in the world ; and, accordingly, 
it is with no slight appearance of reasonableness that the w r orld 
should brand with the name of fanatics a peculiar set of men, who 
dare to say that they are not to lean upon these faculties, to guide 
them in their every-day walk and conversation. 

But surely it might do something to moderate, at least, the op- 
position of the world (if they would but listen to us), to tell them 
that we never refuse to be guided by the understanding, although 


we altogether refuse to lean upon it. Every enlightened believer 
however implicitly he depends upon the breathing of the Holy 
Ghost, without whose almighty breathing he knows that his under- 
standing would be but a vain and useless machine, leading him 
into darkness, and not into light, yet follows the guidance of the 
understanding as scrupulously and as religiously as any uncon- 
verted man is able to do ; and, therefore, it ought never to be said 
by any man who has a regard for truth, that the believer in Jesus 
casts aside the use of his understanding, and looks for miraculous 
guidance from on high. The truth is this, that he trusts in a di- 
vine power, enlightening the understanding, and he therefore fol- 
lows the dictates of the understanding more religiously than any 
other man. 

When a man comes to be in Christ Jesus, he becomes a new 
creature, not only in heart, but in understanding also. The his- 
tory of the world, the history of missions, and individual experi- 
ence, fully prove this ; and it may not be difficult to point out 
what may be called natural reasons for the change. 

1. When a man becomes a believer, a new and untried field is 
opened up for the understanding to penetrate into. It is true that 
unconverted men have made dives into the character of God, his 
government, his redemption. But the unconverted man never 
can gaze on these things with the love of one interested in them ; 
and, therefore, he cannot know them at all ; for God must be loved 
in order to be known. But reconcile a man to God, and the intel- 
ligence springs forward with a power unfelt before, and feels that 
this is life eternal, to know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath 
sent. And, 

2. When a man becomes a believer, he enters into every pur- 
suit impelled by heavenly affections. Before, he had none but 
earthly motives to impel him to gather knowledge ; but now a 
holy inquisitiveness is instilled into his mind, and a retentiveness 
which he never had before. He looks with new eyes upon the 
fields, the woods, the hills, the broad resplendent rivers, and says : 
" My Father made them all" 

But if these are natural reasons for the change, there is one 
supernatural reason which is greater than all. The believer's un- 
derstanding is new ; for the Spirit of God is now a dweller in his 
bosom. He leans upon this almighty guest trusts in the Lord 
the Spirit with all his heart, and leans not to his own under- 
standing. In the Prophet Hosea, the gift of the Spirit is compared 
to dew: " I will be as the dew unto Israel." Now, it is peculiarly 
true of the dew that it moistens everything where it falls ; it leaves 
not one leaf unvisited ; there is not a tiny blade of grass on wi.,ch 
its diamond drops do not descend ; every leaf and stem of the 
bush is burdened with the precious load ; just so it is peculiarly 
true of the Spirit, that there is not a faculty, there is not an affec- 
tion, a power, or passion of the soul, on which the Spirit does not 


descend working through all, refreshing, reviving, renewing 
recreating all. And if we are really in Christ Jesus, abiding in 
him by faith, we are bound to expect this supernatural power to 
work through our understanding ; for if we be not led by the 
Spirit, we are none of his. But the more implicitly we lean on 
this loving Spirit, is it not plain as day that we all the more im- 
plicitly follow the guidance of our understanding ? We do not 
lean upon our own understanding; for we lean upon the Spirit of 
grace and of wisdom, who is promised to guide us into all truth, 
and guide our footsteps in the way of peace. But we do not 
throw away our own understanding ; because it is through that 
understanding alone that we look for the guidance of the Spirit. 

In a mill where the machinery is all driven by water, the work- 
ing of the whole machinery depends upon the supply of water. 
Cut off that supply, and the machinery becomes useless. Set on 
the water, and lite and activity is given to all. The whole de- 
pendence is placed upon the outward supply of water ; still, it is 
obvious that we do not throw away the machinery through which 
the power of the water is brought to bear upon the work. Just 
so in the believer, the whole man is carried on* by the Spirit of 
Christ, else he is none of his. The working of every day depends 
upon the daily supply of the living stream from on high. Cut off 
that supply, and the understanding becomes a dark and useless 
lump of machinery ; for the Bible says that unconverted men 
have the understanding darkened. Restore the divine Spfri 4 ., and 
life and animation is given to all the understanding is made a 
new creature. Now, though the whole leaning or dependence 
here is upon the supply of the Spirit, still it is obvious that we do 
not cast away the machinery of the human mind, but rather honor 
it far more than the world. 

Now, however difficult it may be to explain all this to the 
world, it is most beautiful to see how truly it is acted on by the 
simplest child of God. 

If you could overhear some simple cottage believer at his 
morning devotions how simply he brings himself in lost and 
condemned, and therefore cleaves to Jesus, the divine Saviour ! 
how simply he brings himself in dark, ignorant, unable to know 
his way unable to guide his feet, his hands, his tongue, through- 
out the coming day ; and, therefore, pleading for the promised 
Spirit to dwell in him to walk in him to be as the dew upon 
his soul ; and all this with the earnestness of a man who will not 
go away without the blessing you would see what a holy con- 
tempt a child of God can put upon his own understanding, as a 
refuge to lean upon. But, again, if you could watch him in his 
daily walk in the field and in the market-place among the 
wicked world, and see how completely he follows the guidance of 
a shrewd and intelligent mind, you would see with what a holy 
confidence a child of God can make use of the faculties which 


God hath given him ; you would see the happy union of the 
deepest piety and the hardest painstaking ; you would know the 
meaning of these words : " Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: 
and lean not unto thine own understanding." 

Dundee Presbytery, 1836 



?e is rot a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is 
outward in the flesh : but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly : and circumcision 
a that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter ; whose praise is not of 
nen, but of God." Rom. ii., 28, 29. 

I 1 JRMALITY is, perhaps, the most besetting sin of the human mind. 
It is found in every bosom and in every clime ; it reigns trium- 
phant in every natural mind ; and it constantly tries to re-usurp 
the throne in the heart of every child of God. If we were to seek 
for proof that fallen man is " without understanding," that he hath 
altogether fallen from his primitive clearness and dignity of intel- 
ligence ; that he hath utterly lost the image of God, in knowledge, 
after which he was created ; we would point to this one strange, 
irrational conceit by which more than one-half the world is 
befooled to their eternal undoing ; that God may be pleased with 
mere bodily prostrations and services ; that it is possible to wor- 
ship God with the lips, when the heart is far from him. It is 
against this error, the besetting error of humanity, and pre-emi- 
nently the besetting error of the Jewish mind, that Paul directs 
the words before us ; and it is very noticeable, that he does not 
condescend to argue the matter. He speaks with all the decisive- 
ness and with all the-authority of one who was not a whit behind 
the very chiefest of the apostles, and he lays it down as a kind of 
first principle to which every man of ordinary intelligence, provid- 
ed only he will soberly consider the" matter, must yicJd his imme- 
diate assent, that " he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly ; 
neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh ; but he 
is a Jew, which is one inwardly ; and circumcision is that of the 
heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of 
men, but of God." 

In the following discourse I shall show very briefly, 1st, That 
pxternal observances are of no avail to justify tho sinner; and, 2d, 
That external observances can never stand in '.he stead of gano 
tification to the believer. 



T. External observances are of no avail to justify the sinner. 

In a former discourse I attempted to show several of the refuges 
of lies to which the awakened soul will run, before he can be 
persuaded to betake himself to the righteousness of God ; and in 
every one of them we saw that he that compassed himself about 
with' sparks of his own kindling, received only this of God's hand, 
to lie down in sorrow. First of all, the soul generally contents 
himself with slight views of the divine law, and says : " All these 
have I kept from my youth up ;*' but when the spirituality of the 
law is revealed, then he tries to escape by undermining the whole 
fabric of the law ; but, when that will not do, he flies to his past 
virtues to balance accounts with his sins ; and then, when that 
will not do, he begins a work of self-reformation, in order to buy 
off the follies of youth by the sobrieties of age. Alas ! how vain 
ire all such contrivances, invented by a blinded heart, urged on 
by the malignant enemy of souls. 

But there is another refuge of lies which I have not yet de- 
scribed, and to which the aw r akened mind often betakes itself with 
avidity, to find peace from the whips of conscience and the scor- 
pions of God's law ; and that is, a form of godliness. He will 
become a religious man, and surely that will save him. His 
whole course of life is now changed. Before, it may be, he ne- 
glected the outward ordinances ot religion. He used not to kneel 
by his bedside ; he never used to gather his children and servants 
around him to pray ; he never used to read the Word in secret, 
or in the family ; he seldom went to the house of God in company 
with the multitude that kept holy day ; he did not eat of that bread 
which, to the believer, is meat indeed, nor drink of that cup which 
is drink indeed. 

But now his whole usages are reversed, his whole course is 
changed. He kneels to pray even when alone ; he reads the 
Word with periodical regularity ; he even raises an altar for mor- 
ning and evening sacrifice in his family ; his sobered countenance 
is never awanting in his wonted position in the house of prayer. 
He looks back, now, to his baptism with a soothing complacency, 
and sits down to eat the children's bread at the table of the Lord. 
His friends and neighbors all observe the change. Some make a 
jest of it, and some make it a subject of rejoicing ; but one thing 
is obvious, 4hat he is an altered man ; and yet it is far from ob- 
vious that he is a new man, or a justified man. All this routine 
of bodily exercise, if it be entered on before the man has put on 
the divine righteousness, is just another way of going about to 
establish his own righteousness, that he may not be constrained 
to submit to put on the righteousness of God. Nay, so utterly 
perverted is the understanding of the unconverted, that many men 
are found to persevere in such a course of bodily worship of God, 
while, at the same time, they persevere as diligently in some 
course of open or secret iniquity. Such men seem to regard 


external observance not only as an atonement for sins that are 
past, but as a price paid to purchase a license to sin in time to 
come. Such appears to have been the refuge of lies which the 
poor woman of Samaria would fain have sat down in, when the 
blessed Traveller, sitting by the well, awakened all the anxieties 
of her heart, by the searching words : " Go call thy husband, and 
come hither." Her anxious mind sought hither and thither for a 
refuge, and found it. Where? In her religious observances: 
" Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say that in Jeru- 
salem is the place where men ought to worship ?" She thrusts 
away the pointed conviction of sin by a question as to her outward 
observances ; she changes her anxiety about the soul into nnxiety 
about the place where men ought to worship ; whether it should 
be Mount Zion or Mount Gerizim. Oh ! if he would only settle 
that question ; if he would only tell her on which of these moun- 
tains God ought to be worshipped, she was read}' to worship all 
her lifetime in that favored place. If Zion be the place, she would 
leave her native mountain and go and worship there, that that 
might save her. Oh ! how fain she would have found here a re- 
fuge for her anxious soul. With what divine kindness, then, did 
the Saviour sweep away this refuge of lies, by the answer; 
" Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, and now is, when ye shall 
neither in this mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 
God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in 
spirit and in truth." 

Now it is with the very same object, and with the very same 
kindness, that Paul here sweeps away the same refuge of lies 
from every anxious soul, in these decisive words : " He is not a 
Jew, which is one outwardly ; neither is that circumcision, which 
is outward in the flesh : but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; 
and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the 
letter ; whose praise is not of men, but of God." 

Is there any of you whom God hath awakened out of the deadly 
slumber of the natural mind? has he drawn aside the curtains, 
and made the light of truth to fall upon your heart, revealing the 
true condition of your soul ? has he made you start to your feet 
alarmed, that you might go and weep as you go to seek the Lord 
your God ? has he made you exchange the careless smile of 
gaiety for the tears of anxiety the loud laugh of folly, for the 
cry of bitter distress about your soul ? are you asking the way 
to Zion with your face directed thitherward ? then take heed, I 
beseech you, of sitting down contented in this refuge of lies. 
Remember he is not a Jew which is one outwardly ; remember 
no outward observances, no prayers, or church-going, or Bible- 
reading, can ever justify you in the sight of God. 

I am quite aware that when anxiety for the soul enters in, then 
anxiety to attend ordinances will also enter in. Like as the 
stricken deer goes apart from the herd to bleed and weep alone, 


BO the sin-stricken soul goes aside from his merry companions, to 
weep, and read, and pray, alone. He will desire the preached 
Word, and press after it more and more : but remember, ne finds 
no peace in this change that is wrought in himself. When a map 
goes thirsty to the well, his thirst is not allayed merely by going 
there. On the contrary, it is increased every step he goes. It is 
by what he draws out of the well that his thirst is satisfied. And 
^ust so it is not by the mere bodily exercise of waiting on ordi- 
nances that you will ever come to peace ; but by tasting of Jesus 
in the ordinances whose flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink 

If ever, then, you are tempted to think that you are surely safe 
for eternity, because you have been brought to change your treat- 
ment of the outward ordinances of religion, remember, I beseech 
you, the parable of the marriage feast, where man} were called ; 
many were invited to come in, but few, few were found having on 
the wedding garment. Many are brought within the pale of ordi- 
nances, and read and hear, it may be, with considerable interest 
and anxiety about all the things that are ready the things of the 
kingdom of God ; but of these many, few are persuaded to abhor 
their own filthy rags, and to put on the wedding garment of the 
Redeemer's righteousness. And these few alone shall sit still to 
partake of the feast the joy of their Lord ; the rest shall stand 
speechless, and be cast out into outer darkness, where shall be 
weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. You may read 
your Bible, and pray over it till you die ; you may wait on the 
preached Word every Sabbath-day, and sit down at every sacra- 
ment till you die ; yet, if you do not find Christ in the ordinances , 
if he do not reveal himself to your soul in the preached Word, in 
the broken bread and poured-out wine ; if you are not brought to 
cleave to him, to look to him, to believe in him, to cry out with 
inward adoration : "My Lord, and my God" " how great is his 
goodness ! how great is his beauty !" then the outward obser- 
vance of the ordinances is all in vain to you. You have come to 
the well of salvation, but have gone away with the pitcher empty ; 
and however proud and boastful you may now be of your bodily 
exercise, you will find in that day that it profits little, and that you 
will stand speechless before the King. 

II. External observances can never stand in the stead of sancti- 
ficution to the believer. 

It' it be a common thing for awakened minds to seek for peace 
in their external observances, to make a Christ of them, and rest 
in them as their means of acceptance with God, it is also -a 
common thing for those who have been brought into Christ, 
and enjoy the peace of believing, to place mere external observ- 
ances in the stead of growth in holiness. Every believer among 
you knows how fain the old heart within you would substitute 
the hearing of sermons, and the repeating of prayers, in place of 


that faith which worketh by love, and which overcometh the 
world. Now, the great reason why the believer is often tempted 
to do this is, that he loves the ordinances. Unconverted souls 
seldom take delight in the ordinances of Christ. They see no 
beauty in Jesus, they see no form nor comeliness in him, they 
hide their faces from him. Why should you wonder, then, that 
they take no delight in praying to him continually, in praising him 
daily, in calling him blessed ? Why should you wonder that the 
preaching of the cross is foolishness to them, that his tabernacles 
are not amiable in their eyes, that they forsake the assembling of 
themselves together? They never knew the Saviour, they never 
loved him ; how, then, should they love the memorials which he 
has left behind him ? 

When you are weeping by the chiselled monument of a de- 
parted friend, you do not wonder that the careless crowd pass 
by without a tear. They did not know the virtues of your 
departed friend, they do not know the fragrance of his memory. 
Just so the world care not for the house of prayer, the sprinkled 
water, the broken bread, the poured-out wine ; for they never 
knew the excellency of Jesus. But with believers it is far other- 
wise. You have been divinely taught your need of Jesus ; and 
therefore you delight to hear Christ preached. You have seen 
the beauty of Christ crucified ; and therefore you love the 
place where he is evidently set forth. You love the very name 
of Jesus, it is as ointment poured forth ; therefore you could 
join for ever in the melody of his praises. The Sabbath-day, of 
which you once said, " What a weariness is it !" and, " When 
will it be over, that we may set forth corn ?" is now a " delight," 
and " honorable," the sweetest day of all the seven. The ordi- 
nances, which were once a dull and sickening routine, are now 
green pastures and waters of stillness to your soul; and surely 
this is a blessed change. But still you are in the body, heaven 
is not yet gained, Satan is hovering near ; and since he cannot 
destroy the work of God in your soul, therefore he tries all the 
more to spoil it. He cannot stem the current ; therefore he tries 
to turn it aside. He cannot drive back God's arrow; and there- 
fore he tries to make it turn awry, and spend its strength in vain. 
When he finds that you love the ordinances, and it is in vain to 
tempt you to forsake them, he lets you love them : aye, he helps 
you to love them more and more. He becomes an angel of light, 
he helps in the decoration of the house of God, he throws around 
its services a fascinating beauty, hurries you on from one house 
of God to another, from prayer-meetings to sermon-hearing, from 
sermons to sacraments. And why does he do all this ? He does 
all this just that he may make this the whole of your sancti- 
fication, that outward ordinances may be the all in all of your 
religion, that in your anxiety to preserve the shell, you may let 
fall the kernel. 


If there be one of you, then, in whose heart God hath wrought 
the amazing change of turning you from loathing to loving his 
ordinances, let me beseech you to be jealous over your heart with 
godly jealousy. Pause this hour, and see if, in your haste and 
anxious pursuit of the ordinances, you have not left the pursuit of 
that holiness without which the ordinances are sounding brass and 
a tinkling cymbal. I have a message from God unto thee. It is 
written, " He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly ; neither is 
that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh : but he is a Jew, 
which is one inwardly ; and circumcision is that of the heart, in 
the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of man, but 
of God." He is not a Christian which is one outwardly, neither 
is that baptism which is merely the outward washing of the body ; 
but he is a Christian which is one inwardly, and true baptism 
is that of the heart, when the heart is washed from all filthiness 
of the flesh and of the spirit ; whose praise is not of men. but of 

Remember, I beseech you, that the ordinances are means to an 
end; they -are stepping stones, by which you may arrive at a 
landing-place. Is your soul sitting down in the ordinances, and 
saying, It is enough? Are you so satisfied that you can enjoy the 
ordinances of Christ, that you desire no higher attainments ? Re- 
member the word that is written : " This is not your rest." 
Would you not say he was a foolish traveller, who should take 
every inn became to for his home who should take up his settled 
rest, and instead of preparing himselt for hard journeying on the 
morrow, should begin to take the ease and enjoyment of the house 
as his all? Take heed that you be not this foolish traveller. The 
ordinances are intended by God to be but the inns and refectories 
where the traveller Zion-ward, weary in well-doing, and faint in 
faith, may betake him to tarry for a night, that, being refreshed 
with bread and wine, he may, with new alacrity, press forward 
on his journey home as upon eagles' wings. 

Take, then, this one rule of life along with you, founded on these 
blessed words: " He is not a Jew which is one outwardly" that 
if your outward religion is helping on ycur inward religion, if 
your hearing of Christ on the Sabbath-day makes you grow more 
like Christ through all the week, if the words of grace and joy 
which you drink in at the house of God lead your heart to love 
more, and your hand to do more, then, and then only, are -you 
using the ordinances of God aright. 

There is not a more miserably deceived soul in the world than 
that soul among you who, like Herod, hears the preached Gospel 
gladly, and yet, like Herod, lives in sin. You love the Sabbath- 
day, you love the house of God, you love to hear Christ preached 
in all his freeness and in all his fulness ; yes, you think you could 
listen for ever if only Christ be the theme ; you love to sit down 
at sacraments, and to commemorate the death of your Lord 


And is this all ; is this all your holiness ? Does your religion end 
here ? Is this all that believing in Jesus has done for you ? Re- 
member, I beseech you, that the ordinances of Christ are not means 
of enjoyment, but means of grace ; and though it is said that the 
travellers in the Valley of Baca dig up wells, which are filled with 
the rain from on high, yet it is also said : " They go from strength 
to strength." Awake, then, my friends, and let it no more be said 
of us, that our religion is confined to the house of God and to the 
Sabbath-day. Let us draw water with joy from these wells, just 
in order that we may travel the wilderness with joy and strength, 
and love and hope blessed in ourselves, and a blessing to all 
about us. And if we speak thus to those of you whose religion 
seems to go no further than the, what shall we say to 
those of you who contradict the very use and end of the ordi- 
nances in your lives ? Is it possible you can delight in worldliness, 
and vanity, and covetousness, and pride, and luxury ? Is it pos- 
sible that the very lips which are so ready to sing praises, or to 
join in prayers, are also ready to speak the words of guile, of 
malice, of envy, of bitterness ? Awake, we beseech you ; we are 
not ignorant of Satan's devices. To you he hath made himself an 
angel of light. Remember, it is written : " If any among you 
seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth 
his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion, and un- 
defiled before God and the Father, is this, To visit the fatherless 
and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from 
the world." " For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly ; 
neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh : but he 
is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the 
heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter ; whose praise is not of 
men, but of God !" Amen. 

Preached before the Presbytery of Dundee, JVov. 2, 1836. 



* And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogue*, 
and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every 
disease among the people But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with 
compassion on them, because they fainted and were scattered abroad,, as sheep 
having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plen- 
teous, but the laborers are few ; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that 
he will send forth laborers into his harvest " Matt, ix., 35-38. 

I. " When Jesus saw, he was moved with compassion." 1 From 
Matt, iv., 23, we learn that when Jesus first entered on the minis- 


try, Galilee was the scene of his labors: "He went about al. 
Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel 
of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner 
of disease among the people." And we learn also (verse 25), that 
great multitudes followed him. Chapters v., vi., and vii., contain 
a specimen of what he taught and preached ; chapters viii. and ix., 
of the manner in which he healed : and now, at verse 35, we are 
told that he had gone over all the cities and villages of Galilee 
he had finished his survey ; and "when he saw the multitudes, he 
was moved with compassion." Galilee was at that time a thickly 
peopled country ; its towns and villages swarmed with inhabit- 
ants ; so that it got the name of " Galilee of the nations," or popu- 
lous Galilee. What I wish you to observe, then, is, that it was an 
actual survey of the crowded cities, of the over-peopled villages, 
of the crowds that followed him ; it was an actual sight and sur- 
vey of these things, that moved the Saviour's compassion. His 
eye affected his heart: "When he saw, he was moved with 

1. This shows that Christ was truly man. The whole Bible 
shows that Christ was truly God, " that he was with God and was 
God," that he was " God over all, blessed for ever." But this 
event shows that he was as truly man. It is the part of a man to 
be overcome by what he sees. When you sit by the fire of a 
winter evening, when you hear the pelting of the pitiless storm, 
the rain and the sleet driving against the window, when you think 
of some houseless, homeless wanderer ; your heart is a little 
moved, you heave a passing sigh, and utter a passing expression 
of sympathy. But if the wanderer comes to your door if you 
open the door, and see him, all wet and shivering, the sight affects 
the heart your heart flows out in a thousandfold greater com pas*- 
sion, and you invite him in to sit before the fire. 

When the full bloom of health is upon your cheek, if you hear 
of some sick person, you are a little affected ; but if you go and 
see, if you lift up the latchet of the door, and enter in with quiet 
step, and see the pale face, the languid eye, the heaving breast ; 
then does the eye affect the heart, and your compassion flows like 
a mighty river. This is humanity, this is the way with man, this 
was the way with Christ : " When he saw, he was moved with 
compassion." Once they brought him to the grave of a dearly 
loved friend. They said : " Come and see ;" and it is written : 
" Jesus wept." Another time he was riding on an ass's colt across 
Mount Olivet the hill that overhangs Jerusalem ; and when he 
carne to the turn of the road, where the city burst upon the view, 
" when he came near, and beheld the city ; he wept over it." 
And just so here. He had gone round the cities and villages of 
Galilee ; he had looked upon the poor scattered multitudes, hast- 
ening on to an undone eternity : " And when he s/iw the multitudes, 
he was moved with compassion." 


Let me speak to believers. Jesus is your elder brother. He 
says to you as Joseph said to his brethren : " I am Joseph, your 
brother." In all your afflictions, he is afflicted. For he is not an 
high priest which cannot be touched with a feeling of your infir- 
mities ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 
Some of you have little children pained, and tossing in fever. Jesus 
pities them ; for he was once a little child. Little children, if you 
would take Jesus for a Saviour, then you might carry all your griefs 
to him ; for Jesus knows what it is to be a little child. Grown be- 
lievers, you know the pains of weariness, and hunger, and thirst ; 
and nakedness. Tell these things to Jesus ; for he knew them 
too. You know the pains of inward heaviness, of a drooping 
heart, exceeding sorrowful, even unto death of the hidden face 
of God; Jesus knew them too. Go to Jesus, then, and he will 
heal them all. 

2. This shows that Christians should go and see. Many Chris- 
tians are content to be Christians for themselves ; to hug the 
Gospel to themselves ; to sit in their own room, and feast upon it 
alone. This did not Christ. It is true he loved much to be alone. 
He once said to his disciples : " Come into a desert place, and rest 
awhile." He often spent the whole night in prayer on the lone 
mountain side ; but it is as true that he went about continually. 
He went and saw, and then he had compassion. He did not hide 
himself from his own flesh. You should be Christ-like. Your 
word should be : " Go and see." You should go and see the poor ; 
and then you will feel for them. Remember what Jesus says to 
all his people : " I was sick, and in prison, and ye visited me." 
Be not deceived, my dear friends ; it is easy to give a cold pittance 
of charity at the church door, and to think that that is the religion 
of Jesus. But, "Pure religion and undefiled, before God and the 
Father, is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, 
and to keep yourself unspotted from the world." 

II. What it was that Jesus saw. 

1. He saw the multitudes. He had gone through the crowded 
cities and villnges of populous Galilee ; and O how many laces he 
had looked upon ! This made him sad. There is something very 
saddening to a Christian to look upon a multitude. To stand in 
the crowded streets of a. Inrge metropolis, and to see the current 
of human beings flowing onward to eternity, brings an awful sad- 
ness over the spirit. Even to stand in the house of God, and look 
upon the dense mass of assembled worshippers, fills the bosom of 
every true Christian with a pitiful sadness. 

Why is this ? Because the most are perishing souls. Ah ! it 
was this that filled the bosom of the Redeemer with compassion. 
Of all the bustling crowds that hurry through the streets of your 
town of all the teeming multitudes that issue forth from your 
crowded factories ah ! how few will stand on the right hand of 


Jesus. Nay, to come nearer still, of the hundreds now before us 
in this house of God souls committed to my care and keeping 
willing and anxious as you are to hear, yet how few believe our 
report, how few will be to me a crown of joy and rejoicing in the 
day of the Lord Jesus ! 

Just think how dreadful, my friends, if there be one soul he-re 
that is to perish one body and soul with us, in health and strength 
to-day, that is to be with devils in a short while, feeling the worm 
and the flames, and the gnashing of teeth. If there were but one 
in the whole town, I do think it would be enough to sadden the 
soul. But, ah ! does not the Bible say : " Many are called, but 
few are chosen ?" Ah ! then, you will know why Jesus was 
moved with compassion ; and surely you will never look upon a 
crowd, but the same feeling will rise in your breast. 

2. He saw the multitudes fainting. Perhaps for hunger poor, 
weak, frail men ! There is something most moving in the sight 
of weak men, when they are in an unconverted condition. What 
would a spider be, if it were thrown into one of your great blast- 
furnaces ? It would be as it were nothing ; so weak, so miserable, 
so unable to resist the scorching flame. Just such was the sight 
Jesus saw, poor, frail men, fainting for lack of food, and yet 
perishing for lack of knowledge; and he thought, Alas ! if they 
be unable to bear a little bodily want, how will they bear my 
Father's anger, when I shall tread them in mine anger, and tram- 
ple them in my fury ? Oh ! no wonder Jesus was sad. Think of 
this, you who are very feeble and frail, unable to bear hunger or 
a little sickness. Think what a poor thing you are in a fever, 
when you need some one to turn you in your bed ; how will you 
bear to die Christless, and to fall into the hands of the living God ? 
If you cannot contend with God now, how do you think you will 
contend with him after you die ? 

3. He saw them scattered abroad. When the sheep have been 
driven away from the fold, they do not all go in a flock ; but they 
are scattered over the mountains ; they run every one to his own 
way. This is what Jesus saw in the multitudes ; they were all 
scattered, turning every one to his own way. In the cities and 
villages he saw men going every one after different things. One 
set of men were going after money, making it their chief good, 
toiling night and day over their work ; yet not enjoying the money 
they made. Another set went after pleasure the dance, the song, 
the pipe, and the tabor. Another set went after the joys of the 
deep carousal their bellies were their god, and they gloried in 
their shame. Like the leech, they said : " Give, give." Another 
set went after still darker and more abominable things, of which 
it is a shame even so much as to speak. Jesus saw all the hearts 
of all and had compassion ; because they were all thus scattered, 
none seeking after God. Observe, Jesus was not angry ; Jesus 
did not threaten ; Jesus was moved with compassion. 


Let me speak to the unconverted. You are thus scattered, 
every one to his own way. Each of you have got your favorite 
walk in life, your favorite footpath. You all go different ways ; 
and yet all away from God. I do not know what it is that your 
heart loves most ; but this I know, that you love to go away from 
Christ and from God. Christ's eye is upon you all, your histories, 
your heai'ts. He knows every step you have taken, every sin you 
have committed, every lust that reigns in your heart. His eye is 
now on this assembly. I will ask you a question. What does Jesus 
feel when he looks upon you? Some will say, Anger, some will 
say, Revenge. What does the Bible say ? Compassion. Christ 
pities you, he does not wish you to perish. Oh ! the tender pity 
of Jesus. He would often have gathered you, as a hen gathers 
its chickens ; but you would not. 

4. As sheep having no shepherd. This was the saddest thing 
of all. If the sheep be driven away from the fold, fainting and 
scattered upon the mountains, and if there be a number of shep- 
herds to seek the lost, and bring them back to the fold, the sight 
is by no means so painful ; but when they are sheep that have 
no shepherd, then the case is desperate. So it was with the 
people of Galilee in Christ's day. If they had had pastors after 
God's own heart, then their case would not have been so bad ; 
but they were like sheep that had no shepherd. This made Jesus 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Just 
as he went through the towns and villages of Galilee, beholding 
the multitudes, so does he now go through the towns and vil- 
lages of our beloved land ; and, oh ! if his heart was moved 
with compassion over the thousands of Galilee, surely it must be 
breaking with intensest pity over the tens of thousands of 
Scotland. There may be some of you who can look coldly and 
carelessly on the fifty thousand of Edinburgh that never cross 
the threshold of the house of God. There may be some of you 
who can hear unmoved of the eighty thousand of Glasgow who 
know neither the melody of psalms nor the voice of prayer. 
There may be some of you who can look upon the haggard and 
vice-stricken countenances of the mill-population of your own 
town, thousands of whom show, by their dress, and air, and open 
profligacy, that they are utter strangers to the message of a 
preached Saviour. Some of you may look on them, and never 
shed one tear of pity, never feel one prayer rising to your 
lips ; but there is One above these heavens, whose heart beats 
in his bosom at the sight of them ; and if there could be tears in 
heaven, that tender Saviour would weep; for he sees the multi- 
tudes fainting and scattered, and, oh ! worst of all, as sheep that 
have no shepherd. 

Some of you have no compassion on the multitudes. Some 
of ycu think we have enough of ministers. See here, how 


unlike you are to Christ. You have not the Spirit of Christ in 
you, yo'u are none of his. Some of you know the Lord Jesus, 
and tremble at his Word. Learn this day to be like-minded to 
Jesus : " Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ 
Jesus." Christ had compassion on the multitudes ; and, oh ! will 
you have none ? Christ gave himself for them ; what will you 
give? Surely the stones of this house will rise against you in 
judgment, and condemn you, if you be not like Christ in this : 
" Freely ye have received, freely give." 

III. The remedy. 

1. More laborers. " The harvest truly is plenteous, but the 
laborers are few." Christ looked upon the towns of Galilee as 
upon a mighty harvest, field after field ready for the sickle. He 
and his apostles seemed like a small band of reapers. But what 
are they to such a harvest? The ripe corn will be shaken, and 
shed its fruit upon the ground, before it can be cut down and 
gathered in. The word of Christ, then, is, " Pray ye, therefore, 
the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into 
his harvest." 

There is a striking resemblance between this day and Christ's 
day.' (1.) Our cities and villages are crowded like those of 
Galilee, and the little band of faithful ministers are indeed nothing 
to such a harvest. (2.) The people are willing to hear. Wherever 
men of God have been sent, they have gathered around them 
multitudes, eager to hear the words of eternal life. The harvest 
is ripe, ready to be gathered in. Oh ! then, do not say it is a 
scheme of man's devising, do not say we are seeking to enrich 
ministers, do not say we are seeking our own things. We are 
doing what Christ bids us do : " Pray ye the Lord of the 

2. Laborers sent of God. (1.) This shows we should seek 
ordained ministers, men sent out or thrust out by God. Some 
well-meaning people are satisfied if we can get private Christians, 
or unordained men, to do the work of the ministry. This is a deep 
snare into which Satan leads good men. Does not the whole 
Bible bear witness that no man taketh this honor to himself, but 
he that is called of God, as was Aaron? and even Christ glorified 
not himself to be made an high priest. Woe be to them that run 
unsent ! It was a good wish in Uzzah to hold up the ark ; yet 
Uzzah died for it. 

2. Converted ministers. If men may not run without an out- 
ward call, far less without an inward call. There were crowds 
of ministers in Christ's day. At every corner of the street you 
might have met them. But they were blind leaders of the blind. 
So we may have plenty of ministers raised amongst us, and yet be 
as sheep that have no shepherd. 

Ah ! you that know Christ, and love him ; ye Jacobs who 


wrestle with God till morning light, wrestle ye with God for this. 
Give him no rest until he grant it. I have a sweet persuasion in 
my own breast, that if we go on in faith and prayer, building up 
God's altars that are desolate, God will hear the cry of his people, 
and give them teachers according to his own heart, and that we 
shall yet see days such as have never before shone upon the 
Church of Scotland when our teachers shall not be removed into 
corners any more ; when the great Shepherd shall himself bless the 
bread, and give it to the under shepherds, and they shall give to 
the multitudes, and all shall eat, and be filled. 
St. Peter's, JYov 12, 1337. 



" Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave him- 
self for it ; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by 
the Word, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having 
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing ; but that it should be holy, and without 
blemish." Eph. v., 25-27. 

IN this passage the apostle, under the guidance of the Spirit, is 
teaching wives and husbands their duties to one another. To the 
wives, he enjoins submission a loving yielding to their husbands 
in all lawful things ; to the husbands, love ; and he puts before 
them the highest of all patterns Christ and his Church. 

I. Christ's love to his Church. 

1. The object of his love.. The Church all who are chosen, 
awakened, believing, justified, sanctified, glorified all who are 
finally saved all who shall stand with the Lamb, the hundred and 
forty and four thousand redeemed ones, all looked on as the brigh. 
company; the Church all who are awakened and brought to 
Christ, all who shall sit down at the marriage supper. I believe 
Jesus had compassion for the whole world. He is not willing 
that any should perish. He willeth all men to be saved. He 
shed tears over those who will finally perish. Still, the peculiar 
object of his love was the Church. He loved the Church. On 
them his .eye rested with peculiar tenderness before the world 
was. He would often say : These shall yet sit with me on my 
throne ; or, as he read over their names in his book of life, he 
would say : These shall yet walk with me in white. When they 
lived in sin, his eye was upon them. He would not let them die, 
and drop into hell J " I have much people in this city." I have no 
doubt, brethren, Christ is marking some of you, that are now 


Christlcss, for his own. When they came to Christ, he let out l; : a 
love towards them on the land where they dwelt; a delightsome 
land. His eye rests on the houses of this town, where his jewels 
live. Christ loves some streets far better than others some spots 
of earth are far dearer to him than others. 

Christ loved his Church. Just as a husband at sea loves ihe 
spot where his dear wife dwells, so does the Lord Jesus : " I hrjre 
gmven thee upon the palms of my hands." Isa. xliii., 4. He 
loves some in one house lar more than others. There are some 
apartments dear to Christ, where he is often present, where his 
hands are often on the door : " Open to me, my love." 

2. The state of the Church when first loved. (1.) They were 
all under the curse of God, under condemnation, exposed to the 
just wrath of God, deserving nothing but wrath ; for " he gave 
himself for it." The Church had no dowry to attract the love of 
Jesus, except her wrath and curse. (2.) Impure. For he had to 
'sanctify and cleanse it;" unholy within, opposed to God, no 
beauty in the eye of Jesus : I am black, spotted, and wrinkled. 
(3.) Nothing to draw the love of Christ. Nothing that he coulo 1 
admire in them. He admires whatever is like his Father. He 
had eternally gazed upon his Father, and was ravished with that 
beauty ; but he saw none of this, not a feature, no beauty at all. 
Men love where they see something to draw esteem, Christ saw 
none. (4.) Everything to repel his love : " Polluted in thine own 
blood," cast out, loathsome (Ezek. xvi.) ; yet that was the time 
of his love. Black, uncomely : " Thou hast loved me out of the 
pit of corruption." (5.) Not from ignorance. Men often love, 
where they do not know the true character, and repent after. But 
not so Christ. He knew the weight of their sins, the depths of 
their wicked heart. 

Nothing is more wonderful than the love of Christ. Learn the 
freeness of the love of Christ. It is unbought love. " If a man 
would give all the substance of his house lor love, it would be 
"tterly contemned." Song viii., 7. He drew all his reasons from 
nimself : " 1 knew that thou wast obstinate." You have no cause 
to boast. He loved you, because he loved you, for nothing in 
you. O what a black soul wast thou, when Christ set his love 
upon thee ! 

3. The greatness of that love : " He gave himself." This is un- 
paralleled love. Love is known by the sacrifice it will make. In 
a fit of love, Herod would have given away the half of his king- 
dom. If you will sacrifice nothing, you love not. Hereby we 
know that men love not Christ, they will sacrifice nothin'g for him. 
They will not leave a lust, a game, a companion, for Christ 
' Greater love than this hath no man." But Christ gave himselC 
Consider what a self. If he had created ten thousand millions of 
worlds, and given them away, it had been great love, had he given 
a million of angels ; but he gave the Lord of angels, the Creatoi 


of worlds. "Lo, I come." He gave the pearl of heaven. O 
what a self! Jesus ! all-loveliness ' 

4. What he gave himself to. He gave himself to be put in their 
place, to bear their wrath and curse, and to obey for them. We 
shall never know the greatness of this gift. He gave himself to 
bear the guilt of the Church. There cannot be a more fearful 
burden than guilt, even if there be no wrath. To the holy soul 
of Jesus, this was an awful burden. He was made sin : " Mine 
iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look 
up." Ps. xl. " Mine iniquities are gone over mine head ; as a 
heavy burden, they are tpo heavy for me." Ps. xxxviii. He en- 
dured the cross, despising the shame. He laid his soul under their 
guilt, shame and spitting ; silent like a lamb. 

To bear their wrath. A happy soul shrinks from suffering. 
Ask one that has always been in the love of God, what would he 
give to cast himself out of that love, to bear as much wrath as he 
is bearing love, to receive the lightning instead of the sunshine ? 
Not for ten millions of worlds. Yet this did Jesus. He became 
a curse for us : Pour it out on me. See how he shrunk back from 
it in the garden. Yet he drank it. 

" God commendeth his love to us, in that, while we were yet 
enemies, Christ died for us." Pray to know the love of Christ. 
It is a great ocean, without bottom or shore.* In the broken 
bread you will see it set forth, so that a child may understand : 
" This is my body, broken for you ;" " This is my blood, shed for 

II. His purpose in time. Verse 26. Christ's work is not done 
with a soul when he has brought it to pardon, when he has washed 
it in his own blood. Oh, no ! the better half of salvation remains, 
his great work of sanctification remains. 

1. Who is the author? He that gave himself for the Church, 
the Lamb that was slain. God having raised his Son Jesus, sent 
him to bless you, in turning every one of you away from your 
iniquities. He is exalted by the right hand of God, and, having 
obtained the promise of the Father, sheds him down. There is 
no hand can new create the soul, but the hand that was pierced. 
Many look to a wrong quarter for sanctification. They take par- 
don from Christ, then lean on themselves, their promises, &c., for 
holiness. Ah, no ! you must take hold of the hand that was 
pierced, lean on the arm that was racked, lean on the Beloved 
coming up from the wilderness. You might as well hold up the 
sun on its journey, as sanctify yourself. It needs divine power. 
There are three concerned in it. The Father, for this is his will ; 
the Son, he is the Shepherd of all he saves ; the Holy Ghost. 

* " It is as if a child could take the globe of earth and sea in his two short arnn.' 1 
Samuel Rutherford 


2. The means : " The Word." I believe he could sanctify 
without the Word, as he created angels and Adam holy, and as 
he sanctifies infants whose ear was never opened ; but I believe 
in grown men he never will, but through the Word. When Jesus 
makes holy, it is by writing the Word in the heart: "Sanct'fy 
them through thy truth." When a mother nurses her child, she 
not only bears it in her arms, but holds it to her breast, and feeds 
it with the milk of her own breast ; so does the Lord. He not 
only holds the soul, but feeds it with the milk of the Word. The 
words of the Bible are just the breathings of God's heart. He 
fills the heart with these, to make us like God. When you go 
much with a companion, and hear his words, you are gradually 
changed by them into his likeness ; so when you go with Christ, 
and hear his words, you are sanctified. Oh, there are some whom 
I could tell to be Christ's, by their breathing the same sweet 
breath ! Those of you that do not read your Bible, cannot turn 
like God you cannot be saved. You are unsavable ; you may 
turn like the devil, but you never will turn like God. Oh, believ- 
ers, prize the Word ! 

3. The certainty of it. Some are afraid they will never be holy : 
"I shall fall under my sin." You shall be made holy. It was for 
this Christ died. This was the grand object he had in view. 
This was what was in his eye ; to build a holy Church out of a 
world of lost sinners ; to pluck brands out of the fire, and make 
them trees of righteousness ; to choose poor, black souls, and 
make them fair brothers and sisters round his throne. Christ will 
not lose this object. 

Look up, then be not afraid. He redeemed you to make you 
holy. Though you had a million of worlds opposing you, he will 
do it : " He is faithful, who also will do it." 

III. His purpose in eternity twofold. 

1. Its perfection : " A glorious Church." At present believers 
are sadly imperfect. They have on the perfect righteousness that 
will be no brighter above ; but they are not perfectly holy ; they 
mourn over a body of sin, spots and wrinkles. Neither are they 
perfectly happy. Often crushed ; waves go over them ; like the 
moon wading. But they shall be perfectly glorious. Perfect in 
righteousness White robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb. 
Perfect in holiness Filled with the Holy Spirit. Perfect in hap- 
piness This shall be. It is all in the covenant. 

2. He will present it to himself He will be both Father and 
Bridegroom. He has bought the redeemed, he will give them 
away to himself. The believer will have great nearness, he shall 
see the king in his beauty. Great intimacy, walk with him, speak 
with him. He shall have oneness with him, " All that I have is 

St. Peter's, Jan , 1841. (Action Sermon.) 

SERMON L. 289 



" For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet 
' for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich " 
2 Cor. viii., 9. 

IN these words, there is brought before you the amazing grace of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. In the broken bread and poured out wine 
you will this day see the same thing brought before your eyes. 
Before your eyes Jesus Christ is this day to be evidently set forth 
crucified. It is the most awakening sight in all this world. Oh ! 
pray that many secure sinners may this, day be brought to look 
on Him whom they have pierced, and to mourn. It is the most 
peace-giving sight in this world. Oh ! pray that the Holy Spirit 
may be poured upon awakened souls, that they may look to a cru- 
cified Jesus and be saved. It is the most sanctifying sight in this 
world. Oh ! pray that all God's children may look upon this gra- 
cious Saviour, till they are changed into his image. 

I. The Lord Jesus was rich. 

The riches here spoken of are not the riches which he now 
possesses as Mediator, but the riches which he had with the Father 
before the world was. He was full of all riches 

1. He was rich in the love and admiration of all the c, ic.tures. 
All holy creatures loved and adored him. This is shown in Isa. 
vi. : " I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted 
up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: 
each one had six wings ; with twain he covered his face, and with 
twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one 
cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts ; 
the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door 
moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with 
smoke." John (xii., 41) tells us ; "These things said Esaias when 
he saw his glory, and spake of him." 

It was from all eternity the will of God that every creature 
should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. The bright- 
est seraphs bowed down before him. The highest angels found 
their chief joy in always beholding his face. He was their Cre- 
ator: "By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and 
that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or 
dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created 
by him, and for him." Col. i., 16. And, therefore, it was little 
wonder that they poured out their perpetual adorations before 
him. Now there is great joy in being loved by one holy creature ; 
it fills the heart with true joy ; but every holy creature loved Je- 


290 SERMON L. 

sus with their whole heart and strength. This, then, was part of 
his riches part of his infinite joy. 

2. He was rich in the love of the Father. This is shown in 
Prov. viii., 22, 30 : " The Lord possessed me in the beginning of 
his way, before his works of old. Then I was by him, as one 
brought up with him : and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always 
before him." To be icvcd by God is the truest of all richu s. 
The love of the creatures is but poor love, may soon die ; but the 
.'eve of God is undying, unchanging love. The creatures may 
ove us, and yet not be able to help us ; but God's love is a satisfy- 
ing portion. 

But none ever enjoyed the love of God as Jesus did. True, 
God's love to the holy angels is infinite ; and \ e says, in John xvii., 
26, that he loves believers with the same love with which he loves 
Christ : " That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in 
them ;" still there is this infinite difference between believers and 
Christ, that they can contain but a few drops of the love of God ; 
they are but vessels, they cannot open their mouth wide enough. 
But Jesus could contain all the infinite ocean of the love of God. 
In the Son there was an object worthy of the infinite love of the 
Father; and if the Fathers love was infinite, so the bosom of the 
Son was infinite also. From all eternity there was the flowing of 
infinite love from the bosom of the Father into the bosom of the 
Son: " The Father loveth the Son" "Rejoicing always before 
him." This wr.s the greatest riches of the Lord Jesus. This 
w-as the infinite treasure of his soul. If a man has the love ol 
God, he can well want all other things. If a man want food and 
raiment ; if he be like Lazarus at the rich man's gate, full of sores ; 
still, if he be lying in the love of God, he is truly rich. Much 
more the well-beloved Son of God, the only begotten of the Fa- 
ther, was rich in the full outpouring of the Father's love from all 

3. ffe was rich in power and glory. He was the Creator ot 
all worlds : " Without him was not anything made that was made." 
He was the Preserver of all worlds : " By him all things consist," 
and hang together. All worlds, therefore, were his domain ; he 
was Lord of all. lie c:uli say : ' Every beast of the forest is 
mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls 
of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If 
I were hungry, I would not tell thee : for the world is mine, and 
the fulness thereof." Ps. L, 10-12. All lands sang aloud to him : 
the sea roared his praise- -the cedars bowed before him in lowly 
adoration. Nay, he could say : " All things that the Father hath 
are mine" (John xvi., 15) ; and he could speak to his Father of the 
glory which he had with him before the world was. Whatever 
of power, glory, riches, blessedness, the Father had, dwelt with 
equal fulness in the Son ; for he was in the form of God, and though: 

SERMON L. 291 

it no robbery to be equal with God. This was the riches of the 
Lord Jesus. 

Oh, brethren ! can you trust your salvation to such an one ? 
You hear it was he that undertook to be the surety of sinners, 
and died for them. Can you trust your soul in the hands of such 
an one ? Ah ! surely if so rich and glorious a being undertake for 
us, he will not fail nor be discourager, "till he have set judgment 
in the earth ; and the isles shall wait for his law." 

II. Christ became poor. 

He was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be 
equal with God ; but he made himself of no reputation ( *&>* ), 
and took upon him th" form of a servant, and was made in the 
likeness of men : and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled 
himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the 
cross. He became poor in all those things wherein he had been 

1. At his birth. (1.) He laid aside the adoration of the creatures. 
He left the hallelujahs of the heavenly world for the manger at 
Bethlehem. No angel bowed before the infant Saviour ; no seraph 
veiled his face and feet before him. The world knew him not. 
A few shepherds from the fields of Bethlehem came and kneeled 
to him, and the wise men saw and adored the infant King ; but the 
most despised saw him. His mother wrapped him in swaddling 
clothes and laid him in a manger, for there was no room for them 
in the inn : " He became poor." (2.) He left the love of God. 
The moment that babe was born, he became the surety of a guilty 
world. He was born of a woman, made under the law. The law 
took hold of him, even in infancy, as our surety. From the cradle 
to the cross he was bearing the sins of many ; and therefore he 
says : *' I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up ; while 
I s'uffer thy terrors, I am distracted." Ps. Ixxxv., 15. Ah! what 
a change was here, from the infinite joy of his Father's love to the 
misery and terror of his Father's frown : " He became poor." 
(3.) He left the power and glory that he had. Instead of want- 
ing nothing, he became a helpless baby in want of everything. 
Instead of saying: " If I were hungry, I would not tell thee," he 
needed now the milk of his mother's breast. Instead of holding 
up worlds with his arm, he needed now to be supported to be 
wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger, watched by 
a mother's tender eye : " He was rich, and became poor." 

2. In his life. He that was adored by the myriads of heaven 
was lightly esteemed. Few believed on him ; they called him 
glutton, wine-bibber, deceiver. Once they sought to cast him 
over the rocks, often they plotted to kill him. He that before re- 
ceived the full love of God, now received his full frown. The 
cloud became every day darker over his soul. Many of the hills 
nd valleys of this world re-echoed with his cries and bitter agony. 

292 SERMON L. 

Gethsemane was watered with his blood. He that had all things 
as his domain, now wanted everything. Certain women minister- 
ed to him of their substance. Luke viii., 3. He had no money 
to pay the tribute, and a fish of the sea had to bring it to him. 
Matt! xvii.. t>7. The creatures of his hand had a wanner bed 
than he: " The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 
nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head." Matt, 
viii. Every man went to his own home Jesus went to the Mount 
of Olives. And again, we are told, as they sailed, Jesus was 
asleep on a pillow. Another time he sat wearied at the well, and 
said : " Give me to drink." He that was God over all, blessed 
for ever, could say, " 1 am a worm, and no man :" " He became 

3. In his death most of all he became poor. 
(1.) Once his ear was filled with the holy songs of angels, 
hymning their pure praises:-" Holy, holy, hofy ;" now his ears 
are filled with the cry of his creatures : " Not this man, but Barab- 
bas," "Crucify him, crucify him." Once every face was veiled 
before him ; now rulers deride him, soldiers mock him. thieves rail 
on him. They shoot out the lip, they wag the head, they give him 
vinegar to drink. "He became poor" indeed. (2.) Once God 
loved him without a cloud between ; now not a ray of divine love 
fell upon his soul : but instead of it a stream of infinite wrath. 
He that once said : " The Lord possessed me : I was daily his 
delight," now cried : " Eloi. Eloi, lama sabacthani" Ah ! this was 
poverty indeed. (3.) Once he gave being to unnumbered worlds, 
gave life to all he was the Prince of life ; but now he bowed his 
head, and gave up the ghost. He lay down in the grave among 
worms. He became a worm, and no man. 

Ah ! this is what is set before you in bread and wine to-day : The 
Ron of God became poor. He lakes simple bread, to show you 
it is a poor man that is set before you broken bread, to show 
that he is a crucified Saviour. Ah ! sinners, whilst you gaze on 
these simple elements, remember the sufferings of him who was 
Lord of glory, and who died for sinners. " This do in remem- 
brance cf me." 

III. For what end ? " For your sakes, that ye through his 
poverty might be rich." 

The persons for whom : " For your sakes." Corinth was one 
of the most wicked cities that ever was on the face of the world. 
It lay between two seas ; so that luxury came flowing in from the 
east and from the west. These Corinthians had been saved from 
the deepest abominations, as you learn from 1 Cor. vi., 11 :" Such 
were some of you ;'' and yet it was for the sake of such that the 
Lord of glory became poor " for your sakes." In like manner, 
Paul, writing to the Romans, says (v. 6) : " When we were with- 
out strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Ah ! see 

SERMON L. 293 

\vhat names are here given to those for whom Christ died : 
" Without strength" unable to believe, or to think a right thought ; 
" ungodly" living as if there were no God ; " sinners" breaking 
God's holy law ; " enemies" hating and opposing a holy God of 

Oh, brethren ! this is good news for the most wicked of men. 
Are there some of you who feel that you are like a beast before 
God, or all over sin, like a devil ? Some of you have lived in the 
abominations of Corinth. Some of you are like the Romans 
without strength, ungodly, sinners, enemies ; yet for your sakes 
Christ became poor. He left glory for souls as vile as you. He 
left the songs of angels, the love of his Father, and the glories 
of heaven, for just such wretches as you and me. He died 
for the ungodly. Do not be afraid, sinners, to lay hold upon him. 
It was for your sakes he came. He will not, he cannot cast you 

Oh, sinners ! you are poor indeed ; but he will make you rich. 
All the riches he left he is ready to raise you to. He will make 
you rich in the love of God rich in the peace that passeth all 
understanding, if you truly lay hold on him. The wrath of God 
will pass away from you, and he will love you freely. The love 
wherewith God loves Christ shall be on you. He will make 
you rich in holiness. He will fill you with all the fulness of 
God. He will make you rich in eternity. You will behold his 
glory ; you will enter into his joy ; you will sit with him on his 

IV The grace in all this : " Ye know the grace." 
There is much to be seen in this amazing work. There is deep 
wisdom " the wisdom of God the hidden wisdom, which God 
ordained before the world unto our glory ;" there is power, the 
power of God unto salvation ; but most of all, grace is to be seen 
in it from beginning to end. " Ye know the grace of the Lord 

When Jesus washed the disciples' feet, when he came to Peter, 
Peter said : " Lord, dost thou wash my feet ?" Three things 
amazed him : 1. The glorious being that knelt down before him : 
" Thou." 2. The lowly action he was going to perform : " Dost 
thou wash ?" 3. The vile wretch whose feet were to be washed : 
" My feet." He was amazed at the grace of the Lord Jesus. So 
in this amazing work you may see a threefold grace: 1. The 
glorious being that undertook for sinners : " He who was rich." 
2. The depth to which he stooped : " He became poor." 3. The 
wretches whose souls were to be washed : " For your sakes." 
Ah ! well may you be amazed this day, and cry out : " Dost thou 
wash my soul ?" 

Lastly, The sin and danger of not knowing. 

294 SERMON L. 

1. I would speak to those who do not know the grace of the Lord 
Jesus. I fear the most of you are still ignorant of Christ : " The 
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ; for 
they are foolishness unto him." Ah, brethren ! think this day who 
it is you arc lightly esteeming. Did you ever see the son of a 
king lay hy his robes, and his glory, and become a poor man, and 
die in misery ; and all this for nothing? Do you think the Lord 
Jesus left his Father's love, and the adoration of angels, and be- 
came a worm, and died under wrath, and all for no purpose ? Js 
there no wrath lying upon you ? Have you no need of Christ ? 
Ah ! why, then, do you not flee unto him ? 

" Ungrateful sinners ! whence this scorn 

Of God's long-sufFring grace ? 
And whence this madness, that insults 
Th' Almighty to his face ?" 

Ah ! remember, as long as you come not to Christ, you are 
despising the grace of the Lord Jesus, and sinning against the love 
of God. What though you make a show of coming to Christ ? 
What though you pretend it by coming to his table, and doing 
honor to the poor bread and wine I The poor Papist adores the 
bread, while he denies the Saviour ; and so you may waste your 
honor on the bread and wine, while you are all the time rejecting 
and despising the grace of the Lord Jesus. 

2. / would welcome poor sinners to Jesus Christ. He became 
poor for such as you. He did not come for those " who are rich 
and increased in goods, and stand in need of nothing." Do not 
say you are too vile for such a Saviour. If you have all the pol- 
lutions of a Corinthian, all the wicked heart of a Roman, he came 
on purpose for such as you. You are the very souls he came to 
seek and save. His salvation is all of grace. Free favor to those 
that deserve hell ! Do not deny the grace of the Lord Jesus. It 
is false humility that keeps any back from Christ ; for, " there is 
no difference between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord 
over all is rich unto all that call upon him." " Ho, every one that 
thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money come ; 
let him buy wine and milk without money and without price." 

3. To you that know Jesus, and his grace. Oh ! study him 
more. You will spend eternity in beholding his glory ; spend 
time in beholding his grace. That you may know your own vile- 
ness, that you may abhor yourself, that you may see what a poor 
hell-deserving creature you are, oh ! study the grace of the Lord 
Jesus. That your peace may be like a river, full, deep, and last- 
ing, learn more of the grace of the Lord Jesus. Come and 
declare with joy at the Lord's table all that he has done for your 
soul. Oh ! learn more. Few know much of Christ. You have 
infinitely more to learn than you have ever known. 

St. Peter's, April 18, 1841. (Action Sermon.) 




' And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wickec 
works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to pre- 
sent you holy, and unblamable, and unreprovable in his sight : if ye continue in 
the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gos- 
pel." Col. i., 21-23. 

I. Tlie past condition of all who are now believers : " You that 
were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked 
works." When two families have quarrelled with one another, 
they become alienated from one another : they do not visit one 
another any more ; their children are not allowed to speak together 
as formerly ; if they meet in the street, they look another way. 
So it is with unconverted sinners and God ; they are alienated 
from God ; they do not visit God ; they do not seek his presence ; 
they do not love to meet his children ; they do not like their words 
nor their ways. When God meets them in a pointed sermon or 
providence, they try to look another way, that they may not meet 
God's eye. 

1. Alienated. This word is used three times : " Ye were aliens 
from the commonwealth of Israel." Eph. ii., 12. "Alienated 
from the life of God." Eph. iv., 18. And again here. In all, it 
paints to the life the true character of every unconverted man. 
It is vain to conceal it, dear unconverted brethren. You may 
pretend the greatest love to ministers, to sacraments, to meetings 
of Christians ; still the true state of your heart is estrangement 
from God. Ah ! I fear there are many of you come to the church, 
and even to the sacrament, with the name of Christ on your lips, 
and a cold, estranged heart in your breast: " Thoy did flatter him 
with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues ; for 
their heart was not right with God." Psalm Ixxviii., 36. 

2. Enemies in your minds. This is more than estrangement. 
You may be strange to a man, and yet not hate him ; but uncon- 
verted souls hate God. The whole Bible bears witness that all 
unconverted men hate God. In Rom. i., 29, it is said : " They did 
not like to retain God in their knowledge ;" so that God gave them 
up to a reprobate mind, so that they became ' HATERS OF GOD." 
In Exod. xx., 5, God says : " I the Lord thy God am a jealous 
God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the 
third and fourth generation of them that hate me." And again : 
" Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity against 
God ? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, must 
be the enemy of God." James iv., 4. 

Would God say this if it were not the case ? God knows besl 


\vluit is really in the heart of man. It is true you may not shovf 
this hatred in your words, or in your manner ; you may not curse 
God, not even in a whisper ; but God says it is in your mind. It 
is at the bottom of that muddy pool. In hell, where all restraints 
a iv lifted away, you will curse God through all eternity. 

The most amazing trial of this that could be, was when God 
came into this world. God was manifest in the flesh. In him 
u\\ t It all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. All the perfections 
of God flowed through his bosom. There was not a feature of 
God but it was shining through his glorious countenance, yet soft- 
ened to human eyes by all the perfections of his manhood. Did 
men love him when they saw him ? Let Isaiah (liii.) answer : 
" He is despised and rejected of men." Or, hear his own words : 
" The world cannot hate you ; but me it hateth, because I testify 
of it that the works thereof are evil." John vii., 7. And, again : 
" He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. If I had not done 
among them the works which none other man did, they had not 
had sin ; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my 
Father." John xv., 23, 24. How did they deal with him ? They 
slew him, and hanged him on a tree, they buffeted him and spat 
on him, they scourged and crucified him, they nailed and pierced 
him. They were no worse than other men ; men of like passions 
as \\e are : and yet the opportunity showed what is in man. 

It is vain for you to conceal it, dear unconverted brethren, that 
your heart is full of enmity to God ; that you are haters of God 
Although it is fearful to think of, yet it is true, that all of you who 
are friends of the world are enemies of God ; and though I believe 
in my heart there is not one of you here present that would wan- 
tonly. till a fly or a worm, yet I fear there are many who, if you 
could, would kill God. 

What is the reason of this enmity 1 Ans. " By wicked works." 
It is the love of their sins that makes men hate God. Jesus himseli 
tells you this : " Me it hateth, because I testify of it that the works 
thereof are evil." You could hardly imagine it possible that any 
one could .bate the Lord Jesus. " He is altogether lovely." There 
is no perfection in God but it dwelt in him ; there is no loveliness 
in man but it shone in him. And then his errand was one of 
purest love. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. 
He healed all that came ; spoke lovingly to all. Even his threat- 
enings were mingled with tears of compassion. How could they 
hate him ? He told them of their sins ; that these sins were sink- 
ing them to hell. He said : " Ye shall die in your sins, and whither 
1 go ye cannot come." He offl-red to save them from their sins' ; 
to give them rest ; rest from the weary load of guilt ; rest from 
the tossing of a wicked heart. It was this which enraged them. 
Thsy loved their wieked works ; they did not want to be saved 
out of them ; therefore, they hated Jesus. 

So is it still. Many of you, when you first heard the Gospel 


said ; " This is very fine ; we will hear thee again of this matter.* 
The offer of pardon and heaven, a crown and a harp, and freedom 
from hell all this sounded well ; but when you found out thai you 
must " break off your sins by righteousness," that Christ " will 
save his people from their sins," then you began to linger, to 
ponder, to hesitate, to turn back and hate God. When you saw 
that Christ would part you from your glass, from your oaths, from 
your cards and dice, from your lusts then you hated him. Alas ! 
what a sad choice you have made ! loved your sin, and hated 
the Saviour ! " They that hate me love death." 

Children of God, this was your state. Eat bitter herbs with 
your passovor this day. Oh ! do not forget your sin. You were 
sometime alienated and enemies of God by wicked works. Can 
you look back without being confounded ? 

II. The reconciliation : " Yet now hath he reconciled in the 
body of his flesh through death." Verse 21. This is the amazing 
work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is the blessed state into 
which he brings every saved soul. 

1. He took on him a body of flesh. Out of pure love to hell-de- 
serving worms, " he that was in the form of God, and thought it 
DO robbery to be equal with God, emptied himself, and took upon 
him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." 
In order to be the Saviour of sinners, he must obey ths law, which 
we had never obeyed he must live a lifetime of sinless obe- 
dience ; but how shall the great God who made the law do this ? 
He was made of a woman, made under the law, that he might re- 
deem them that were under the law. Again: if he will save sin- 
ners, he must drink their cup of suffering, he must bear their 
stripes, their sins on his owi>body. But how shall the infinitely 
h\)!y, happy, and unchangeable God, suffer this ? Because the 
children were of flesh, he himself likewise took part of the same. 
He became united to a weak, frail, human soul and body ; so that 
he could suffer, weep, groan, bleed, die. " Great is the mystery 
of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh." Again : if he will 
be the Saviour and elder brother of sinners ; if he will know their 
sorrows, and be their tender shepherd ; he must have a human 
heart ; a breast filled with all the milk of a mother's tenderness. 
But how can this be, when he is infinitely holy, wise, just, and 
true ? Ah ! he became bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh 
" When all the tribes of Israel came to David to Hebron, they 
said, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh" (2 Sam. v., 1) ; and 
so can we in going to Christ : " He is one that can be touched 
with a feeling of our infirmity." Ah ! to all eternity the incarna- 
tion of Jesus will be the theme of our wonder and praise. Bre- 
thren, you will all see that face. Some of you will wail when 
vou see it. When that lovely countenance gleams through the 

i*y8 SERMON LI. 

clouds, you will call on rocks and mountains to cover you. It is 
the Saviour you have rejected and despised. 

2. He died : " Through death" The death of Christ is the 
most ama/.ing event that ever took place in the universe ; and 
therefore the^Lord's supper is the most amazing of all ordinances. 
The angels desire to look into it. I doubt not that angels hover 
round the communion table, and sing their sweetest praises to the 
Lamb, when they see that bread broken, and that wine poured out. 
If the incarnation of Jesus was wonderful, far more wonderful 
was his dying. This was the highest summit of his obedience : 
" Obedient unto death." It was the lowest depth of his humilia- 
tion. He stood silent under our accusations ; he lay down under 
our curse ; he bore our hell, and died our death. He was the great 
Lawgiver the Judge of all before whom every creature must 
stand and be judged ; and yet he consented to come and stand at 
the bar of his wieked creatures, and to be condemned by them ! 
He was adored by every holy creature ; their sweetest praises 
were poured out at his feet ; and yet he came to be spit upon and 
reviled to be mocked, and nailed, and crucified, by the vilest of 
men ! "In him was life." He was the Prince of life the author 
of all natural and spiritual life ; he gave to all life and breath, 
and all things ; and yet they killed him. He gave up the ghost 
lie lay in the cold grave. The Father loved him infinitely, eter- 
nally without beginning, or intermission, or end ; and yet he was 
made a curse for us bore the same wrath that is poured upon 
damned spirits. 

Ah ! brethren, herein was infinite love. Infidels scoff at it 
fools despise it ; but it is the wonder of all heaven. The Lamb 
that was slain will be the wonder of eternity. To-day Christ is 
evidently set forth crucified among you. Angels, I doubt not, 
will look down in amazing wonder at that table. Will you look 
on with cold, unmoved hearts ? It is a sight of the Lamb slain 
that moves the hosts of heaven to praise. Rev. v., 8. When 
that Lamb, as it had been slain, appears, they fall down before 
him, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of 
odors. Will you not praise him ? 

3. He hath reconciled us : " Yet now hath he reconciled.' 1 
Sinners, we are not reconciled in the day of our election, nor at 
the death of Christ, but in the hour of conversion. Oh ! that is 
a precious now : " Now hath he reconciled." It is a happy mo- 
rm nt, when the Lord Jesus draws near to the sinful soul, and 
washes him clean in his precious blood, and clothes him in his 
white raiment, and so reconciles him to God. There is a double 
reconciliation takes place in the hour of believing. (1.) God be- 
comes reconciled to the soul. When the soul is found in Christ, the 
Father says : "I will heal his backsliding, I will love him freely, 
for mine anger is turned away from him." Hos. xiv., 4. The soul 
replies *o God : " I will praise thee : though thou wast angry with 


me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me." Goc 
does not impute to that soul his trespasses ; he reckons to him the 
obedience of the Lord Jesus. God justifies him : " He will save 
he will rejoice over thee with joy ; he will rest in his love ; he will 
joy over thee with singing." Zeph. iii., 17. (2.) The soul is re- 
conciled to God. The Holy Spirit, who bends the soul to submit 
to Jesus, changes the heart to love him. When the beasts came 
into the ark, their natures were changed ; they did not tear one 
another to pieces, but lovingly entered two and two into the ark ; 
the lion did not devour the gentle deer, nor did the eagle pursue 
the dove. So, when sinners come to Christ, their heart is changed 
from enmity to love. 

Dear brethren, has he reconciled you to God ? You were some- 
time afar off; have you been brought nigh ? You were sometime 
darkness ; have you been made light in the Lord ? You were 
sometime alienated and enemies in your mind ; has he reconciled 
you ? has he brought you into the light of God's reconciled coun- 
tenance ? Is God's anger turned away from you ? Can you sing ; 
" O Lord, I will praise thee : though thou wast angry with me, 
thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me" (Isa. xii.) ; 
or, ' Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me bless 
his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his 
benefits : who forgiveth all thine iniquities ; who healeth all thy 
diseases ; who redeemeth thy life from destruction ?" Ps. ciii. 
Have you been changed to love God ? Do you love his Word, 
his people, his way of leading you ? 

III. The future object in view : " That he might present you 
holy, and unblamable, and unreprovable in his sight." 

Sacrament days are solemn days : but there is a more solemn 
day at hand, even at the door. Here we meet to teach you and feed 
you, and get you to meet with Christ, and to live upon him ; there 
we shall meet to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. In that 
day Christ will take those of you whom he has redeemed and 
reconciled, and present you to himself a glorious Church. He 
will confess your name before his Father, and present you fault- 
less before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. There 
is a double perfection the saints will have in that day. 

1. You. will be perfectly righteous. You will be " unreprova- 
ble.'* Satan will accuse you, and the world, and conscience ; but 
Christ will say : " The chastisement of their peace was upon 
me." Christ will show his scars, and say: "I died for that soul." 

2. You will be perfectly holy : " Holy and unblamable." The 
body of sin you will leave behind you. The Spirit who dwells 
in you now will complete his work. You will be like Jesus ; for 
you will see him as he is. You will be holy as God is holy, pure 
as Christ is pure. 

Every one whom Christ reconciles he makes holy, and con 


fcsses before his Father : " Whom he justified, them he glorified." 
If Christ has truly begun a good work in you, he will perforrr it 
to the day of Christ Jesus. Christ says : " I am Alpha and Omega, 
the beginning and the ending." Whenever he begins, he will make 
an end. Whenever he builds a stone as the foundation, he will 
preserve it unshaken to the end. Only make sure that you are 
upon the foundation, that you are reconciled, that you have true 
peace with God, and then you may look across the mountains and 
rivers that are between you and that day, and say : " He is able 
to keep me from falling." You have but two shallow brooks to 
pass through sickness and death ; and he has promised to meet 
you, to go with you, foot for foot. A few more tears, a few more 
temptations, a few more agonizing prayers, a few more sacra- 
ments, and you will stand with the Lamb upon Mount Zion ! 

IV. Perseverance is needful to salvation : " If ye continue in 
the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the 
hope of the Gospel." Verse 23. All whom Christ reconciles 
will be saved ; but only in the way of persevering in the faith. 
He grounds and settles them in the cleft rock, and keeps them from 
being moved. 

Dear believers, see that you continue in the faith. Remember 
you will be tried. 

1. You may be tried by false doctrine. Satan may change him- 
self into an angel of light, and try to beguile you by another Gos- 
pel. " Hold fast the form of sound words." 

2. You will be tried by persecution. The world will hate you 
for your love to Christ. They will speak all manner of evil 
against you falsely. 

3. You will be tried by Jlattery. The world will smile on you. 
Satan will spread his paths with flowers ; he will perfume his bed 
with myrrh, and aloes, and cinnamon. 

Will you continue in the faith ? Will you not be moved away ? 
Can you withstand all these enemies ? Remember, perseverance 
is needful to salvation ; as needful as faith, or as the new birth. 
True, every one that believes in Christ will be saved ; but they 
will be saved through perseverance : " If a man abide not in me, 
he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered ; and men gather 
them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." Behold, 
in Jesus there is strength for perseverance. This bread and wine 
to-day are a pledge of that. Seek persevering grace to-day. Ask 
this when you take that bread and wine. 

Hypocrites ! you will one day be known by this. Many of you 
seem to be united, who truly are not. All who have had convic- 
tions of sin which have passed away, all who have the out- 
ward appearance of Christians, but within an unconverted heart, 
all who attend ordinances, but live in some way of sin, you will 
oon be discovered. You put on an appearance, you pretend that 


you do cleave to Christ, and get grace from Christ, oh ! how soon 
you will be shown in your true colors. Oh ! that the thought 
may pierce your heart, that even now, though you came with a 
lying profession in your right hand, you may be persuaded to 
cleave to Jesus in truth. Amen. 
St Peter's, Aug. 1, 1S41. (Action Sermon.) 


" My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" Matt, xxvii., 46. 

THESE are the words of the great Surety of sinners, as he hung 
upon the accursed tree. The more I meditate upon them, the 
more impossible do I find it to unfold all that is contained in them. 
You must often have observed how a very small thing may be an 
index of something great going on within. The pennant at the 
mast-head is a small thing; yet it shows plainly-which way the 
wind blows. A cloud no bigger than a man's hand is a small 
thing; yet it may show the approach of a mighty storm. The 
swallow is a little bird ; and yet it shows that summer is come. 
So is it with man. A look, a sigh, a half-uttered word, a broken 
sentence, may show more of what is passing within than a long 
speech. So it was with the dying Saviour. These few troubled 
words tell more than volumes of divinity. 

May the Lord enable us to find something here that will feed 
your souls ! 

I. The completeness of Christ's obedience. 

1. Words of obedience: "My God, my God." He was obedi- 
ent unto death. I have often explained to you how the Lord Jesus 
came to be a doing as well as a dying Saviour, not only to suffer 
all that we should huve suffered, but to obey all that we should 
have obeyed ; not only to suffer the curse of the law, but to obey 
the commands of the law. When the thing was proposed to him 
in heaven, he said : " Lo, I come to do thy will, O my God !" 
" Yea, thy law is within my heart." Now, then, look at him as a 
man obeying his God. See how perfectly he did it, even to the 
last ! God says : Be about my business, he obeys : " Wist ye not 
that I must be about my Father's business ?" 

God says : Speak to sinners for me, he obeys : " I have meat to 
cat that ye know not of; my meat is to do the will of him that 
sent me, and to finish his work." God says: Die in the room of 
winners, wade through a sea of my wrath for the sake of enemies, 

302 v SERMON LIl. 

hang on a cross, and bleed and die for them, he obeys : " No man 
takcth my life from me." The night before he said : " The cup 
which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" But per- 
haps he will shrink back when he comes to the cross? No ; fo t 
three hours the darkness had been over him, yet still he says: 
" My Go I, my God." Sinner, do you take Christ as your surety ? 
See how fully he obeyed for thee ! The great command laid 
upon him was to die for sinners. Behold how fully he obeys ! 

J. Words of faith: " My God, my God." These words show 
the greatest faith that ever was in this world. Faith is believing 
the word of God, not because we see it to be true, or feel it to be 
true, but because God has said it. Now Christ was forsaken. 
He did not see that God was his God, he. did not feel that God 
was his God ; and yet he believed God's word, and* cried : " My 
God, my God." (1.) David shows great faith in Ps. xlii., 7,8: 
"Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water spouts: all thy 
waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will 
command his loving kindness \n the daytime, and in the night his 
song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." 
He felt like one covered with a sea of troubles. He can see no 
light, no way of escape ; yet he believes the word of God, and 
says : " Yet the Lord will." This is faith, believing when we do 
not see. (2.) Jonah showed great faith: "All thy billows and 
thy waves passed over me : then I said, I am cast out of thy sight ; 
yet I will look again towards thy holy temple." Jonah ii., 3, 4. 
He was literally at the bottom of the sea. He knew no way of 
escape, he saw no light, he felt no safety ; yet he believed the 
word of God. This was great faith. (3.) But, ah ! a greater 
than Jonah is here. Here is greater faith than David's, greater 
faith than Jonah's, greater faith than ever was in the world, before 
or after. Christ was now beneath a deeper sea than Jonah's. 
The tossing billows of God's anger raged over him. He was for- 
saken by God he is in outer darkness, he is in hell ; and yet he 
believes the word of God : " Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." 
He does not feel it, he does not see it, but he believes it, and cries : 
" My God." Nay, more, to show his confidence, he says it twice : 
" My God. my God." " Though he slay me, yet will 1 trust in 
him." Dear believer, this is your surety. You are often unbe- 
lieving, distrustful of God ; behold your surety, cling to him, you 
are complete in him. 

3. Words of love. "My God, my God." (1.) Those were 
words of sweet submission and love which Job spake, when God 
took away from him property and children : " Naked came I out 
of my mother's w r omb." Sweet, that he could bless God even in 
taking away from him. (2.) Words of sweet submissive love 
which old Eli spake, when God told him that his sons should die ; 
"It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good." (3.) The 
same sweet temper in the bosom of the Shunamite who lost her 


child, when the prophet asked : " Is it well with thee ? is it well 
with thy husband ? is it well with the child ? And she answered, 
It is well." (4.) But, ah ! here is greater love, greater, sweeter 
submission, than that of Job, or E|i, or the Shunamite, greatei 
than ever was breathed in this cold world before. Here is a be- 
ing hanging between earth and heaven, forsaken by his God, 
without a smile, without a drop of comfort, the agonies of hell 
going over him ; and yet he loves the God that has forsaken him. 
He does not cry out, Cruel, cruel, : Father ! no, but with all the 
vehemence of affection, cries out, "My God, my God." 

Dear, dear souls, is this your surety? Do you take him as obey- 
ing for you ? Ah ! then, you are complete in him. You have very 
little love for God. How often you have murmured, and thought 
God cruel in taking things away from you ; but, behold your sure- 
ty, and rejoice in him with exceeding joy. All the merit of his 
holy obedience is imputed to you. 

II. The infinity of Christ's sufferings. He was forsaken by 
God ; " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" The 
Greek Liturgy says : " We beseech thee by all the sufferings of 
Christ, known and unknown." All the more we know of Christ's 
sufferings, the more we see they cannot be known. Ah ! who can 
tell the full meaning of the broken bread and poured-out wine? 

1. He suffered much from his enemies. (1.) He suffered in all 
parts of his body. In his head ; that was crowned with thorns, 
and smitten with the reed. In his cheeks ; for they smote him on 
the face, and he gave his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: 
" I hid not my face from shame and spitting." In his shoulders, 
that carried the heavy cross. In his back ; " I gave my back to 
the smiters." In his hands and feet : " They pierced rny hands 
and my feet." In his side ; a soldier thrust a spear into his side. 
Ah ! how well he might say, " This is my body, broken for you." 
(2.) He suffered in all his offices. As a prophet : " They smote 
him on the face, and said, Prophesy who smote thee?" Asa 
priest, they mocked him when offering up that one offering for 
sins. As a king, when they bowed the knee, and said, " Hail ! 
king of the Jews." (3.) He suffered from all sorts of men, from 
priests and elders, from passers by and soldiers, from kings and 
thieves : " Many bulls have compassed me ; strong bulls of Ba- 
shan have beset me round" "Dogs have compassed me" 
" They have compassed me about like bees." (4.) He suffered 
much from the devil : " Save me from the lion's mouth." His 
whole suffering was one continued wrestling with Satan ; for he 
"spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them 
openly, triumphing over them in his cross." 

2. From those he afterwards saved. How bitter would be the 
scoffing of the thief who that day was to be forgiven and accept- 


ed ! How bitter the cries of the three thousand who were so 
soon brought to know him whom they crucified ! 

3. From his own disciples. They all forsook him and fled. 
John, the beloved, stood afar off, and Peter denied him. It is said 
of the chamomile flower, that the more you squeeze and tread upon 
it, the sweeter is the odor it spreads around. Ah ! so it was in our 
sweet Rose of Sharon. It was the bruising of the Saviour that 
spread sweet fragrance around. It is the bruising that makes his 
name as ointment poured forth. 

4. From his Father. A1J other sufferings were nothing in com- 
parison of this : " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" 
Other sufferings were finite this alone was infinite suffering. It 
was little to be bruised by the heel of man or devils ; but, ah ! to 
be trodden by the heel of God : " It pleased the Father to bruise 

Three things show the infinity of his sufferings. 

1. Who it was that forsook him. Not his people Israel, not 
Judas the betrayer, not Peter his denier, not John that lay in his 
bosom, he could have borne all this ; but, ah ! it was his Father 
and his God. Other things little affected him compared with that. 
The passers by wagged their heads ; he spoke not. The chief 
priests mocked him ; he murmured not. The thieves cast it in 
his teeth ; he was as a deaf man who heareth not. God brought 
a three hours' darkness over him the outward darkness being an 
image of the darkness over his soul ah ! this was infinite agony: 
" My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" 

2. Who it' was that was forsaken : "Me." (1.) One infinitely 
dear to God. Thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world, 
yet thou hast forsaken me. I was always by thee ; rejoicing al- 
ways before thee. I have basked in the beams of thy love. Ah ! 
why this terrible darkness to me ? " My God, my God." (2.) 
One who had an infinite hatred of sin. How dreadful to an inno- 
cent man to be thrust into the cell of a condemned criminal ! but, 
ah ! how much more dreadful to Christ, who had an infinite hatred 
of sin, to be regarded by God as a sinner. (3.) One who had an 
infinite relish of God's favor. When two friends of exalted minds 
meet together, they have an intense relish of one another's love. 
How painful to meet the cold averted looks of one in whose favor 
you find this sweet joy ! But, ah ! this is nothing to Christ's pain. 

3. What God did to him -forsook him. Dear friends, let us 
look into this ocean through which Christ waded. (1.) He was 
without any comforts of God no feeling that God loved him ; no 
feeling that God pitied him ; no feeling that God supported him. 
God was his sun before ; now that sun became all darkness. Not 
a smile from his Father, not a kind look, not a kind word. (2.) 
He was without God ; he was as if he had no God. All that God 
had been to him before was taken from him now. He was God- 
less ; deprived of his God. (3 ) He had the feeling of the con- 


demned, when the Judge says : " Depart from me, ye cursed," 
" who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the pre- 
sence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." He felt that 
God said the same to him. Ah ! this is the hell which Christ suf- 
fered. Dear friends, I feel like a little child casting a stone into 
some deep ravine in the mountain side, and listening to hear it fall 
but listening all in vain ; or like the sailor casting the lead at 
sea, but it is too deep the longest line cannot fathom it. The 
ocean of Christ's sufferings is unfathomable. 

III. Answer the Saviour's why ? 

Because he was the surety of sinners, and stood in their room. 

1. He had agreed with his Father, before all worlds, to stand 
and suffer in the place of sinners: Every curse that should fall on 
them, let it fall on me. Why should he be suprised that God 
poured out all his fury ? " Why hast thou forsaken me ?" Be- 
cause thou didst covenant to stand in the room of sinners. 

2. He set his face to it: " He set his face like a flint." " He set 
his face steadfastly." God set down the cup before him in the 
garden, saying : Art thou willing to drink it, or no ? He said : 
" The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it ?" 
" Therefore it pleased the Lord to bruise him." Why ? Be- 
cause thou hast chosen to be the surety ; thou wouldst not draw 
back '. 

3. He knew that either he or the whole world must suffer. It was hii* 
pity for the world made him undertake to be a Saviour : " He saw 
that there was no man, and wondered that there was no interces- 
sor. Therefore his arm brought salvation unto him, and his 
righteousness it sustained him." Why ? Either thou or they ; 
hell for thee or hell for them. 

1. Lesson to Christless persons. Learn your danger. Wher- 
ever God sees sin he will punish it ; angels, Adam, old world, 
Sodom. He saw sins laid on Christ, and forsook his own Son. 
You think nothing of sin. See what God thinks of it. If so much 
as one sin upon you unconverted you cannot be saved. Though 
thou wert the signet on my right hand ; though thou wert the son 
of my bosom ; yet would I pluck thee thence. Oh, let me per- 
suade you this day to an immediate closing with Jesus Christ ! 

2. Lesson. Admire the love of Christ. Oh, what a sea of 
wrath did he lie under for you ! Oh, what hidings did he bear 
for you, vile, ungrateful soul ! The broken bread and poured-out 
wine are a picture of his love. Oh, when you look on them, may 
your heart break for longing towards such a Saviour ! 

3. Lesson. Say to all who close with Jesus Christ, he was for- 
saken in the room of sinners. If you close with him as your 
surety, you will never be forsaken. From the broken bread 
and poured-out wine seems to rise the cry : " My God, my God, 
why hast thou forsaken rne ?" 



For me for me. May God bless his own Word ! 
(Action Sermon ) 



"And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and sa /ing, Lord Jesus, receive mj 
spirit." Acts vii., 59. 

STEPHEIV was the first to die as a martyr in the cause of Christ ; 
and he seems to have resembled the Saviour more than any that 
followed after. His very face appeared like the face of an angel. 
His irresistible wisdom in arguing with the Jews was very like 
Christ's ; his praying for his enemies with his dying breath nearly 
in the same words as the Saviour, and his recommending his 
soul into the hands of the Lord Jesus, were in the same spirit 
of confidence as that in which Christ said, ' Father, into thy 
hands I commend my spirit." There cannot be a doubt that it 
was by looking unto Jesus that he became thus Christ-like ; and 
the last view which he got of Christ seems especially to have 
given him that heavenly composure in dying, which is so much 
above nature. 

Two things are to be noticed: 1. That it was a sight of 
Christ at the right hand of God. 2. That it was a sight of 
Christ standing there. Christ being at the right hand of God 
is mentioned sixteen times in the Bible ; thirteen times he is 
described as seated there ; twice as being there ; but here only is 
he spoken of as standing. This appears to have made a deep and 
lively impression on the mind of Stephen, for he cries out, " Be- 
hold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on 
the right hand of God ;" and then, with a sweet assurance that 
Christ's hands were stretched out to receive him, he cried, " Lord 
Jesus, receive my spirit." 

Doctrine. Since Christ is at the right hand of God, and since 
he rises up to receive the dying believer, believers should com- 
mend their spirit to the Lord Jesus. 

I. If Christ beat the right hand of God, the believers sins must 
be pardoned, so that he can peacefully say, " Lord Jesus, receive my 
spirit." If the grave had closed over the head of Christ for ever, 
if the stone had remained at the mouth of the sepulchieto this 
day, then we might well be in doubt whether he had suffered 
enough in the stead of sinners. " If Christ be not risen, your 
faith is vain, you are yet in your sins." But is it true that Christ 


is at the right hand of God ? then the stone has been rolleq 
away from the sepulchre. God has let him go free from the 
curse that was laid on him. The justice of God is quite satis- 
fied. If you saw a criminal put into prison, and the prison doors 
closed behind him, and if you never saw him come out again, 
then you might well believe that he was still lying in prison, 
and still enduring the just sentence of the law ; but if you saw 
the prison doors fly open, and the prisoner going free, if you saw 
him walking at large in the streets, then you would know at once 
that he had satisfied the justice of his country, that he had suffered 
all that it was needful to suffer, that he had paid the uttermost 
farthing. So with the Lord Jesus ; he was counted a criminal, 
the crimes of guilty sinners against God were all laid at his door, 
and he was condemned on account of them. He was hurried 
away to the death of the cross, and the gloomy prison-house of 
his rocky sepulchre, the stone was rolled to the mouth of the 
grave. If you never saw him come out, then you might well 
believe that he was. still enduring the just sentence of the law 
But, lo ! " he is risen, he is not here," " Christ is risen indeed. 
God, who was his judge, hath raised him from the dead, and set 
him at his own right hand in the heavenly places : so that you 
may be quite sure he has satisfied the justice of God. He has 
suffered everything that it was needful for him to suffer, he 
has paid the uttermost farthing. Now is there any of you hear- 
ing me, who cleaves to the Lord Jesus ? is this the Saviour whom 
you take to be your surety ? " Be of good cheer, thy sins are 
forgiven thee." For if your surety is free, then you are free. It 
was this which gave such a tranquil peace to the dying Stephen. 
He had the same vile nature which you have, he had committed 
the same sins as you have, he had the same condemnation 
over him which you have ; but when he saw Jesus Christ, whom 
he had taken as his surety, standing free at the right hand of 
God, then he felt that the condemnation had been already borne, 
that God's anger was quite turned away from his soul ; and thus 
being inwardly persuaded of pardon, he committed his spirit into 
the hand of Christ : " Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 

Oh ! brethren, cleave to the same Lord Jesus ; he is still as free as 
he was when Stephen died. He always will be free ; death hath 
no more power over him ; for he hath suffered all. Take him as 
your surety ;. cleave to him as your Saviour, and you may this 
day have the same peace that Stephen had, and may die with the 
same peaceful breast, saying : " Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 

II. If Christ be at the right hand of God, then the believer if 
accepted with God, and may peacefully say with Stephen : "Lord 
Jesus, receive my spirit" 

The Son of God came to be a surety for men in two respects : 
1, In suffering the wrath which they deserved to suffer; and, 2. 


In rendering the obedience which men had neglected to render. 
If he stood as surety in suffering, then every dying sinner that 
cleaved to him was to be freed from the curse of God. If he 
stood as surety in obeying, then he and every sinner that cleaved 
to him was to be rewarded with a place in glory. Now if Christ 
had not risen from the dead, then it would have been manifest that 
God had not accepted his obedience as worthy of eternal life. 
But if Christ is risen, and not only so, but if he be at the right 
hand of God, the place of highest glory in heaven, where are 
pleasures for evermore, then I am quite sure that God is satisfied 
will) Christ as a surety for man. If you saw some peer of the 
realm sent away by the king upon a distant and hazardous under- 
taking, with the promise that, if he succeeded, he should be ad- 
vanced to the seat nearest the throne if you never saw that peer 
return to claim his reward, then you would say at once that he 
had failed in his undertaking. But if you saw him return, amid 
the applause of assembled multitudes, and if you saw him received 
into the palace of the king, and seated on the right hand of ma- 
jesty, then you would say at once that he had succeeded in that 
which he undertook, and that the king upon the throne was well 
pleased with it. 

Just so, dear brethren, if you had been in heavrn on that most 
wonderful day that ever was, of which the Christian Sabbath is 
an ever-enduring monument, when Christ ascended to his Father 
and our Father, had you seen the smile of ineffable complacency 
wherewith God received back into glory the surety of men, say- 
ing : ' Thou art my Son, this day have 1 begotten thce ;" as if he 
said, "Never till this day did I see thee so worthy to be called 
my Son ;" and again, " Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy 
enemies thy footstool," had you seen all this, then you would have 
kri"\vn how excellent the obedience of Christ is in the eyes of the 
Father. But all this obedience was endured, not for himself, but 
as a surety for men. He was accepted himself before he left 
heaven He \vr.s infinitely near and dear to the Father, and did 
not rued to become man, to obey for himself. Everything that 
Jesus Christ did or suffered w r as as a surety in the stead of sin- 
ners. Do you take him for your surety ? Do you cleave to the 
Lord Jesus, because you have nothing of your own to recommend 
you to God ? Then look up with the eye of faith, and see him at 
the right hand of God. If you cleave to him, you are as much 
accepted with God as Christ is, you are as near to God as your 
surety is. Ah ! it was this that gave the dying Stephen such 
calm tranquillity. He had the same vile nature that you have, 
he had as little obedience to God as you have, he was a naked 
sinner as }ou are; but. he took the Lord Jesus to be his surety, 
the man in his stead ; so that, when he saw him at the right hand 
of God, he felt that Christ was accepted, and that he, also, was 
accepted in the Beloved. And thus being inwardly persuaded 


that in Christ he had a safe way to the Father, he cried, with dy- 
ing breath, " Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 

Oh ! trembling, naked sinner, cleave to the Lord Jesus. He is 
as much offered to you as he was to Stephen. Take him as your 
surety cleave to him as your Saviour, and you may this day 
have the same sense of acceptance which Stephen had, and you 
may die with the same sweetly confiding cry : " Lord Jesus, re- 
ceive my spirit." 

III. If Christ stands up to receive the dying believer, this gives 
the believer great confidence, so that he may peacefully say : " Lord 
Jesus, receive my Spirit." 

When believing souls seek for peace and joy in believing, they 
do very generally confine their "iow to Christ upon the earth. 
They remember him as the good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep ; 
they look to him sitting by the well of S-amaria ; they remember 
him saying to the sick of the palsy : " Be of good cheer, thy sins 
are forgiven thee ;" but they too seldom think of looking where 
Stephen looked to where Jesus is now at the right hand of God. 
Now, my friends, remember if you would be whole Christians, 
you must look to a whole Christ ; you must lift your eye from the 
cross to the throne, and you will find him the same Saviour in 
all " the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." I have 
already observed, that wherever Christ is mentioned as being at 
the right hand of God, he is spoken of as seated there upon his 
throne ; here, and here only, are we told that he is standing. In 
other places he is described as enjoying his glory, and entered 
into his rest ; but here he is described as risen from his throne, 
and standing at the right hand of God. 

1. He rises to intercede : "He is able to save to the uttermost 
all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make in- 
tercession for them." How often would a believer be a cast- 
away, if it were not for the great intercessor ! How often faith 
fails ! " flesh and heart faint and fail ;" but see here, Christ never 
fails. On the death-bed, often the mind is taken off the Saviour, 
by pains of body, and distress of mind ; but, oh ! happy soul that 
has truly accepted Christ. See here, he rises from his throne to 
pray for you, when you cannot pray for yourself. Look up 
to him with the eye of faith, and cry : "Lord Jesus, receive my 

2. He rises to defend. (1.) The world is a sore enemy to the 
believer by temptation on the one hand, and persecution on the 
other. Oh ! how hard it strives to cast him down. Happy be- 
liever, you are safe in a dying hour ! 1st. Because the world 
cannot reach beyond death. The sneering tongue cannot spit its 
venom beyond the grave. The stone of violence may kill tho 
body, but it hath no more that it can do. 2d. Even if it were pos- 
sible that some arrow of the world might reach beyond the grave 


Jesus hath risen up to defend. His everlasting arms are under- 
neath the departing soul. (2.) The devil is a worse enemy in 
that hour. He stands close by the dying bed. He often molests, 
but he cannot destroy, if you be cleaving to Jesus. Christ has all 
power in heaven and in earth, and he rises up to defend your soul. 
" Be not afraid," he says, " it is I." Ah ! dear brethren, cleave to 
the Lord Jesus now, if you would have him to stand up for you 
in a dying hour if you would cry with confidence : " Lord Jesus, 
receive my spirit." 

3. He rises to receive the departing soul. This is the sweetest 
of all comforts to the godly. It is a sweet thought, that the holy 
angels are wailing to receive the believing soul. When Lazarus 
died, the good angels carried him into Abraham's 1>osom. But, 
oh! it is sweeter far, to think that Jesus looks down upon the 
dying bed, 'and stands up to receive the soul that loves him. 

Oh ! dear brethren, he is the same kind Saviour in death that he 
is through life. (1.) Once you lived without prayer without God 
without Christ, in the world ; did Christ not stretch out the 
hands all the day, even then? (2) Once you were lying under 
convictions of sin ; you felt yourself worthy of hell, and that God 
would be just if he never had mercy on your soul ; did not Christ 
draw near to your soul, saying: " Peace be unto you ?* (3.) Again, 
you were groaning under the power of temptation, crying against 
indwelling sin : " O wretched man ! who shall deliver me from the 
body of this death ?" did not Christ draw near and say : " My 
grace is sufficient for thee ; my strength is made perfect in weak- 
ness ?" (4.) Once more : you may yet groan under the we ght 
of dying agonies. The last enemy is death it may be a hard 
struggle it may be a dark valley; yet lo^k where Stephen 
looked; and, lo ! Jesus is standing at the right hand of God, wait- 
ing to receive you to himself. Ofi ! sweet death, when God is with 
you, the Spirit within you. and Christ waiting to receive you. 
Behold ! he stretches out his hands to receive your departing 
spirit. Breathe it into his hand, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my 

1. Learn that death is no death to the Christian: "He that 
liveth and believeth on me, shall never die." It is only giving the 
soul into the hand of Christ. He knows its value ; for he died for it. 

2. Learn that to die is, to the believer, better than to live. If 
Christ rises up to receive the soul, then the soul goes to be with 
Jesus. But to be with Christ, is to be in glory ; therefore it is far 
better. Oh! be willing, Christians, to be absent from the body, 
and present with the Lord. There you shall be free from pain 
of persecuting stones; no more sneering, cruel friends, no more 
doubts about your soul, no more sin within your heart. ' Oh. that 
I had the wings of a dove, that I might Jlee away and be at real '" 

8. Learn the dreadlulncss of having no interest in Jesus Christ. 
You must die ; and yet, how w r ill you die, poor Christless soul 1 


To whom will you commend your dying spirit? (1.) There will 
be no good angels waiting round your bed ; no gentle hands of 
ministering spirits stretched out to receive your trembling soul. 
(2.) You will have no Christ rising up to receive you. You never 
washed in his blood ; you would not come to him to have life ; he 
often stretched out the hands, but you pushed them away ; ami 
now he will have no pity for you. (3.) You will have no God ; 
God will not be your God ; he will not be your friend ; you have 
always been his enemy. Your pr.oud heart will not be reconciled 
to him ; and now you will find him an enemy indeed. 

Where will you go ? Die you must. Your breath must cease. 
These eyes that look on me this day, mus.t close in death ; that 
heart you feel beating in your bosom, must cease to beat. And 
what will you do with your soul ? to whom will you commend it, 
a naked, guilty, shivering thing, with the wrath ot God abiding on 
it? None of the angels will dare to shelter it. No rocks, or 
caves, or mountains, can hide it. Hell itself will not be a hiding- 
place from the just wrath of God. Oh ! be wise now : Turn ye, 
turn ye, why will ye die ?" 

4. *Learn, if you have lost any friends in Christ, to be comforted 
over them. It is true they are gone from you ; but remember 
they have gone into far tenderer hands. You stood up to bend 
over their dying body ; but the Lord Jesus stood up to receive 
their undying soul. Your feeble, but affectionate hands, were 
stretched out to smoothe their dying pillow ; but the Almighty 
hands of the Saviour formed a sweeter, softer bed for their depart- 
ing soul. Follow their faith ; look to the same Saviour ; and 
when you come to die, you will use the same sweet words : " Lord 
Jesus, receive my spirit." 

St. Peter's, Dundee, Aug. 13, 1837. 



" But this I say, brethren, the time is short : it remaineth, that both they that have 
wires b as though they had none ; and they that weep, as though they wepfc not, 
and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not ; and they that buy, as though 
they possessed not ; and they that use this world, as not abusing it : for the fash- 
ion of this world passeth away." 1 Cor. vii., 29-31. 

T iv this chapter the apostle is discoursing concerning marriage. 
The mind of God upon this subject seems to be, 1. That in ordi- 
nary times marriage is honorable in all, provided it be in the Lord, 
There are some who seem to imagine that there is peculiar 


holiness about an unmarried life ; but this seems quite contraiy to 
the Word of God. In the sinless world, before man fell, God 
said : " It is not good for man to be alone ;" and the closest walke? 
with God in Old Testament times was a married man Enoch 
walked with God three hundred years, and begat sons and daugh- 
ters. 2. That in a time of distress and trouble to the Church it is 
better not to marry : " I suppose therefore that this is good, for the 
present distress." Verse 26. When the ark of God is in danger, 
as at present in our Church, it seems the mind of the Spirit, that 
all who can, should keep themselves as much as possible disen- 
tangled from earthly engagements. When the wife of Phinehas 
heard that the ark of God was taken, she travailed in birth, and 
died, calling her child Ichabod, The glory is departed. So, bre- 
thren, it does not become those who love Zion to be marrying and 
giving in marriage when the ark of God is in danger. 3. That 
even in such times it is lawful to marry : " But and if thou marry, 
thou hast not sinned." Verse 28. I doubt not, brethren, the days 
are near when they shall say : " Blessed are the barren, and the 
wombs that never bare, and the paps that never gave suck." Still, 
if any will venture to meet these times, and if you think the faith 
of two may bear you up better than the faith of one, "/ spare 
you" I would lay no snare upon you. You have not sinned. 

Having opened up this subject, the apostle proceeds with this 
affecting statement, suitable to all, married or unmarried : " But 
this 1 say, brethren, the time is short; it reinaineth, that both they 
that have wives be as though they had none ; and they that weep, 
as though they wept not ; and they that rejoice, as though they 
rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 
and they that use this world, as not abusing it ; for the fashion of 
this world passeth away." In these words there is 1. A state- 
ment made : " The time is short ;" and, again : " The fashion of 
this world passeth away." The time to be spent in this world is 
very short ; it is but an inch of time a short half-hour. In a very 
little, it will be all over ; and all that is here is changing the very 
hills are crumbling down ; the loveliest face is withering away ; 
the finest garments rot and decay : " The fashion of this world 
passeth away." 2. A lesson drawn from this. Believers should 
sit loose to everything here. Believers should look on everything 
in the light of eternity value nothing any more than you will do 
then. Sit loose to the objects, griefs, joys, occupations of this 
world ; for you must soon change them tor eternal realities. 

Doctrine. The shortness of time should make believers sit 
loose to all things under the sun. 

I. Show the shortness of time. True in two respects. 

1. The time a believer has to live in this world is very short. (1J> 
The whole lifetime is very short. From the cradle to the grave is 
but a short journey : " The days of our years are threescore 


years And ten ; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore 
years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow ; for it is soon cut 
off, and we fly away." The half of men die before the age of 
twenty. Even when men lived for many hundred years, it was 
but a short life a mogient, compared to eternity. Methuselah 
lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died. Men are 
short-lived, like the grass. " All flesh is as grass ;" and the rich 
and beautiful are like the flower of the field a little fairer and 
more delicate. " The grass withereth, the flower fadeth ; because 
the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it.'' Isa. xl., 7. "For what 
is your life ? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time,, 
and then vanisheth away." James iv., 14. You know how 
swiftly a weaver's shuttle flies ; but your life flies more swiftly : 
" My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle." Job vii., 6. 
" My days are swifter than a post ; they are passed away as the 
swift ships ; as the eagle that hasteth to the prey." Job ix., 25, 26. 
(2.) How much is already passed away. Most believers spend 
their first days in sin. Many hearing me gave their best days to 
sin and the world. Many among you have only the lame, and 
the torn, and the sick, to give to God. All of you can look on the 
past as a sleep, or as a tale that is told. The time since I came 
among you appears to me just like a dream. (3.) What remains 
is all numbered. All of you hearing me have your Sabbaths num- 
bered the number of sermons you are to hear. The last one is 
already fixed upon. Your years are numbered. To many this i? 
the last year they shall ever see in this world. Many will cele 
brate their next new year in glory. The disease is now in the 
body of many of you that is to lay you in the dust ; and your 
grave is already marked out. In a little while you will be lying 
quietly there. Yes. dear brethren, " the time is short." 

2. The time of this world 1 s continuance is short: " The end of 
all things is at hand." " The fashion of this world passeth 
away*." A believer stands on a watch-tower things present are 
below his feet things eternal are before his eyes. A little while, 
brethren, and the day of grace will be over; preaching, praying 
will be done. Soon we shall give over wrestling with an unbe- 
lieving world soon the number of believers shall be complete, 
.ind the sky shall open over our heads, and Christ shall come. 
His parting cry was : " Surely, I come quickly." Then we shall 
see him " whom, having not seen, we loved." A little while, and 
we shall stand before the great white throne a little while, and 
the wicked shall not be ; we shall see them going away into ever- 
lasting punishment a little while, and the work of eternity shall 
be begun. We shall be like turn, we shall sec him day and night 
in his temple, we shall sing the new, without sin and without 
weariness, for ever and ever. In a little moment, brethren, all 
this shall be: " For a small moment have I hid rny face from 
thee ; but with everlasting mercies will I gather thee." 


II. The believer should learn from this to sit loose to all thingi 
under the sun. 

1. To the dearest olyects of this world: "It remaineth. there- 
fore, that they who have wives be as though they had none." 
Marriage is honorable in all. Husbands should love their wives, 
even as Christ loved the Church : " So ought men to love their 
wives as their own bodies." Still it must not be idolatry. A 
married believer should be, in some respects, as if he were 
unmarried, as it he had no wife. " Honor thy father and thy 
mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord 
thy God giveth thee." You cannot be too kind, too gentle, too 
loving, to the parents whom God has given you ; yet be as though 
you had none. Parents, love your children, and bring them up in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord ; yet feel that the time is 
short. They are only a loan from the Lord. Be not surprised 
if he take his own. Esteem your ministers highly in love, for 
their work's sake ; yet be as if you had none. Lean as entirely 
on Christ as if you had never seen nor heard a minister. Brainerd 
mentions an instance of one woman, who, after her conversion, 
was resigned to the divine will in the most tender points : " What 
if God should take away your husband from you, how do you 
think you would bear that?" She replied, "He belongs to God, 
and not to me ; he may do with him just what he pleases." 
When she longed to die to be free from sin, she was asked what 
would become of her infant ; she answered, " God will take care 
of it ; it belongs to him, he will take care of it." Rutherford says, 
" Build your nest upon no tree here ; for you see God hath sold 
the forest to Death, and every tree whereon we would rest is 
ready to be cut down, to the end we may flee and mount up, and 
build upon the rock, and dwell in the holes of the rock." Set not 
your heart on the flowers of this world ; for they have all a 
canker in them. Prize the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the 
Valley more than all ; for he changeth not. Live nearer to 
Christ than to the saints, so that when they are taken from you, 
you may have him to lean on still. 

2. Sit loose to the griefs of this world. They that weep should 
be as though they wept not. This world is the vale of tears. 
There are always some mourning. No sooner is the tear dried 
up on one cheek than it trickles down another. No sooner 
does one widow lay aside her weeds, than another takes them up. 
Those that are in Christ should weep as though they wept not ; 
' tf lbr the time is short." Do you weep over those that died in the 
Lord? It is right to weep; "Jesus wept." Yet "weep as 
though you wept not ;" for " the time is short." They are not lost, 
but gone before. The sun, when it sets, is not lost ; it is gone to 
shine in another hemisphere ; and so have they gone to shine in a 
brighter world. It is self-love that makes you mourn for them ; 
for they are happy. You would not mourn if they were with a 


distant friend on earth, why do you mourn that they are with the 
sinner's friend ? " They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any 
more, neither shall the sun light upon them, nor any heat ; for the 
Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and 
shall lead them unto fountains of living waters ; and God shall 
wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev. vii., 16, 17. "The 
time is short ;" and you will follow after. A few days, and you 
may be leaning together on the bosom of Jesus ; you are nearer 
them to-day than you were yesterday. " The time is short ;" and 
you will meet with all the redeemed at the right hand of Christ, 
we "shall mingle our voices in the new song, and wave together 
the eternal palm ! " Weep as though you wept not." 

Do you weep over those that died out of the Lord ? Ah ! 
there is deeper cause for weeping here ; and yet the time is short, 
when all this will be explained to you, and you will not be able to 
shed a tear over the lost. A little while, and you will see Jesus 
fully glorified, and you will not be able to wish anything different 
from what has happened. When Aaron lost his two sons, he held 
his peace. 

Do you mourn over bodily pain, and poverty, and sickness, and 
the troubles of the world? Do not murmur: "The time is 
short.'' If you have believed in Christ, these are all the hell you 
will ever bear. Think you the dying thief would complain of his 
pains when he was within a step of paradise ? So it is with you. 
Your hell is dried up, and you have only these two shallow 
brooks to pass through, sickness and death ; and you have a 
promise that Christ shall do more than meet you, go with you, 
foot for foot, and bear you in his arms. When we get to the 
presence of Jesus, all our griefs shall look like children's griefs, a 
day in his presence will make you remember your miseries no 
more. Wherefore take courage, and run with patience. 

3. To the enjoyments of this world. 

It is quite right for a believer to use the things of this world, 
and to rejoic- in them. None has such a right as the believer has 
to rejoice and be happy. He has a right to use the bodily com- 
forts of this world ; to eat his meat " with gladness and singleness 
of heart, praising God." He has a right to all the joys of home, 
and kindred, and friendship. It is highly proper that he should 
enjoy these things. He has a right to all the pure pleasures of 
mind, of intellect, and imagination ; for God has given him all 
things richly to enjoy. Still, he should " rejoice us though he re- 
j >ic-'d not, and use this world as not abusing it;" for " the time 
is short." In a little while, you will be at your Father's table 
above, drinking the wine new with Christ. You will meet with 
all your brothers and sisters in Christ ; you will have pure joy in 
God through ceaseless ages. Do not be much taken with the joys 
that are here. I have noticed children when they were going out 
to a feast, they would eat but sparingly, that they might have a 


keener appetite for the coming dainties ; so, dear friends, you are 
going to a feast above, do not dull your appetite with earthly joys, 
sit loosely to them all, look upon them all as fading. As you walk 
through a flower garden, you never think of lying down, to make 
your home among its roses ; so, pass through the garden of this 
World's best joys. Smell the flowers in passing ; but do not tarry. 
Jesus calls you to his banqueting house ; there you will feed 
among the lilies on the mountains of spices. Oh ! it ill becomes a 
child of God to be fond of an earthly banquet, when you are look- 
ing to sitting down so soon with Jesus ; it ill becomes you to be 
much taken up with dress and show, when you are so soon to ee 
the face that was crowned with thorns. Brethren, if you are ever 
so much taken up with any enjoyment that it takes away your 
love for prayer or for your Bible, or that it would frighten you to 
hear the cry : " The Bridegroom cometh ;" and you would say : 
Is he come already ? then you are abusing this world. Oh ! sit 
loose to this world's joy : " The time is short." 

4. To the occupations of the world. It is right for Christians to 
be diligent in business. I often wonder how unconverted souls 
can be so busy ; how, when you are bustling along, filling up all 
your time with worldly things, it never occurs to you that there 
will be none of this in eternity. How can I be so busy for my 
oody, \vhen my poor soul is unprovided for ? But those in Christ 
may well be diligent. (1.) They have good conscience ; that oils 
the wheels. " A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." A 
light heart makes easy work. (2.) They love to honor their 
Lord. They would not have it said that a believer in Jesus was 
an idler or a sluggard ; the love of Jesus constrains them to all 
that is lovely. And yet a believer should buy as though he pos- 
sessed not ;" for " the time is short." Oh ! believers, ye cannot be 
misers ; for you are but stewards. All that you possess here is 
your Lord's ; and the day is at hand when he will transfer you to 
take care of another property in a brighter land. You are but 
servants. It would not do if you were to set your hearts on the 
things of this lower room ; for in a few days the Master is to call 
you to serve in his own dear presence. Dear believers, be ready 
to leave your loom for the golden harp, at a minute's warning ; be 
ready to leave your desk for the throne of Jesus ; your pen fur 
the palm of victory ; be ready to leave the market below, for the 
street of the new Jerusalem, where the redeemed shall walk. If 
you were in a sinking ship, you would not cling hard to bags of 
money ; you would sit loose to all, and be ready to swim. This 
world is like a sinking ship, and those who grasp at its possessions 
will sink with it. Oh ! " buy as though you possessed not ;'* lor 
" the time is short." 

III. What the unconverted should learn from the. shortness of 


1. Your folly in losing the past. Although life be very short, 
ji is all saving time. This is the reason for which God has given 
it to us. The long-suffering of God is intended for our salvation. 
God gives men time to hear the Gospel, to pray, to get saving 
conversion. But unconverted souls have wasted all the past. 
Think how much time you have lost in idleness. How many 
golden opportunities for prayer, and hearing the Word, and medi- 
tation, have you lost ! how much time have you spent uselessly in 
your bed, or idle talk, or in loitering about your doors ! If you 
saw how short your time is, and how death and hell are pursuing 
you, you would have fled to Cnrist ; but you have not. Think 
how much you have spent in sin, at the tavern, or in vain com- 
pany, or in dances, or in night walking, or in sins of which it is a 
shame even to speak. God gave you time for saving your soui. 
and you have spent it in ruining your soul. God gave you time 
to flee tu Christ, and you have spent it in fleeing towards hen 
Think how much time you have spent in business without ouo 
thought for eternity. Th nk how you have lost your best time. 
Youth is your best time for beinjj saved. Many of you have lost 
it. Time of awakening, Sabbaths, holy time, years of Saooaths 
have now gone over many of you, "The harvest is past, the 
summer is ended ; and we are not saved." 

2. Consider what value they put on time who are now in keti. 
Once, brethren, they cared as little for it as you ; once, they 
could see their years pass away without caring; and they 
cou'd let their Sabbaths slip away ; but now they see their folly. 
What would they now give, brethren, for such an opportunity as 
you have this day ? What would they give for another year of 
grace, for another week, for another day ? It is provable that 
some of your friends or companions now in hell, are wishing they 
could come back to tell you how precious is an inch of saving 
time ! 

Oh ! brethren, be wise. " Why stand ye all the day idle ?" It 
has come to the eleventh hour with some, your unconverted head 
is grey, your feet are tottering. If you saw a man condemned to 
die, lying in chains, who had but three hours to live ; if you saw 
that man playing at dice, or singing wanton songs, would you not 
be shocked ? \ ou would say he was a hardened wretch. Ah ! 
are there none among you thr: same ? You are condemned 
already, your days are numbered.' you are hanging by a thread 
over the mouth of hell ; and yet you are cutting and slashing at 
the hand that holds you. In a little moment, brethren, it will be 
all over. Throughout the never ending nges of eternity you will 
remember the few days we spent together. Ah ! the remem- 
brance will add fuel to the flame, and be a never-dying worm in 
your poor soul. Amen. 

fi\8 SERMON LV. 



* And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to w orship at the feast 
the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and de- 
sired him, saying, Sir, We would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew : 
and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, 
The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say 
unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, itabideth alone": 
but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it ; 
and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any 
man serve me, let him follow me ; and where I am, there shall also my servant 
he : if any man serve me, him will my Father honor." John xii., 20-26. 

I. The manner in which these Greeks sought the Lord Jesus. 

1. They came not direct to Christ, but in a round-about manner : 
" The same came to Philip." Verse 21. Had they felt the into- 
lerable burden of sin that lay upon them, or had they seen the 
grace and suitableness of the Lord Jesus, they would have run to 
his feet ; but their concern was very slight indeed. When the 
publicans and sinners were Awakened about their souls, it is said 
they drew near to Jesus. They did not go to Philip, or to Andrew, 
or to any man, but they pressed near to Christ. They saw that 
he was the fountain for their guilty souls, and all the world could 
not keep them back from him. When the woman which was a 
sinner knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, she 
came to his feet. She did not ask leave, she could not stay, but 
cast her guilty soul at his feet, washed them with her tears, and 
wiped them with the hairs of her head. So it is still. If you felt 
the burden of sin as you ought to feel it, if you felt the free grace 
of Christ as you ought, you would press through the crowd to 
come to Jesus. You would say : Make a lane, that I may come 
to him. He calls me, he calls the chief of sinners. Here, Lord, 
am I ; wash me in thy blood, or else I die. If you feel the crim- 
son color of your soul, and believe the freeness and fulness of the 
fountain, you will ask no man's leave, but go direct to Jesus. 

2. They asked only to see Jesus : " Sir, we would see Jesus." 
This shows how little they were in earnest to be saved by Christ. 
For the same cause Zaccheus climbed up into the sycamore tree, 
to see Jesus, who he was. For the same cause Herod wished 
long to see Jesus ; for he hoped to see some miracle done by him ; 
just as you would like to see some juggler or fortune-teller, out of 
an earthly, worldly curiosity. Some are spoken of: "Ye seek 
me, because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." John vi., 
26. Ah ! how different when men are truly awakened by the 
Spirit. When Job was under soul concern, his cry was : " Oh ' 
that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to 
his seat." How different the cry of the Bride : " I held him, and 


would not let him go. My Beloved is mine, and I am his !" How 
different the cry of Paul : " I count all things but dung, that I may 
win Christ, and be found in him." Oh ! brethren, if you are under 
the teaching of the Spirit, no mere outward sight of Christ will 
satisfy your soul. You must have a heart sight and heart relish 
of him. You must taste and see that the Lord is gracious. Many 
of you like to hear about Jesus, you like to be entertained by fine 
descriptions of Jesus ; but if you are under the teaching of the 
Spirit, nothing will satisfy you but to sit down under his shadow, 
to be found in him, to be the dove hidden by his own hand " in the 
clefts of the rock and in the secret places of the stair," to be 
washed in his blood, and new created by his Spirit. 

3. One reason of their little concern was fear of man. The 
rage of Christ's enemies was waxing hotter and hotter, a few 
days before they had come to the solemn resolution of putting him 
to "death. Nay, we are told they consulted how they might put 
Lazarus also to death, so bloodthirsty were they grown. Verse 
10. We are told that many of the chief rulers also believed on 
him ; but because of the Pharisees they durst not confess him 
(verse 42) ; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise 
of God. There can be no doubt, then, that the heat and anger 
of Christ's enemies greatly damped the concern of these Greeks- 
It was probably this that made them apply first to Philip. It made 
them cautious in their words: "Sir, we would see Jesus." How 
truly is it said, " The fear of man bringeth a snare !" The roar- 
ing of the lion has driven many a soul away from Christ. Is this 
not the case among you? What will my family say; what will 
my companions say ; what will the world say, if I should go to 
Christ, and give up all for him ? These three roars of the lion 
have ruined many souls. How many of you have felt a real de- 
sire sometimes to be saved ? Perhaps you fell on your knees and 
prayed sincerely to be delivered. But some companion came in, 
some merry-making was proposed, and you had not courage 
to say, No. You wished to say, I have begun to seek the Lord, 
I have been on my knees, I have been praying that I may be 
saved; but you could not say it, your tongue stuck to your jaws ; 
and so you went back to your vomit, and to wallow in the mire. 
Alas ! you loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. 
" How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and 
seek not the honor that cometh from God only ?" What a foolish 
thing it is to fear the frown of a worm of the dust more than the 
frown of the infinite God ! to fear the laugh of the scorner more 
than the sentence of Christ, " Depart, ye cursed !" " Fear not them 
who can kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather 
fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." 

II. Christ's answer. 

1. He shows them that he must die before men will seek htm in 


earnest: " The hour is come that the Son of man should be glo 
rifled." Verse 23. There is something very deep and solemn in 
this answer of Christ. He saw that these Greeks had no piercing 
sense of their need of him ; and he explains to the disciples that 
it is only a discovery of him as a crucified Christ that will draw 
men to him. As if he should say, I am like a corn of wheat, if 
it be not put into the earth and die, it will abide alone; but if it 
be sown, and die, it bears much fruit. So if I die not, no men 
will be drawn to me ; but if I die for sinners, and lie down in the 
grave for them, then they will be drawn to me. 

(1.) The dying of the Lord Jesus is the most awakening sight 
in the world. Why did that lovely One that was from the begin- 
ning the brightness of his Father's glory, and express image of 
his person, degrade himself so mucl'i as to become like a small 
corn of wheat, which is hidden under the earth and dies? why 
did he lie down in the cold rocky sepulchre ? Was it not that 
there was wrath infinite and unutterable lying upon men? Would 
Christ have wept over Jerusalem if there had been no hell beneath 
it? Would he have died under his Father's wrath if there were 
no wrath to come ? Oh ! secure sinners, triflers with the Gospel, 
polite hearers who say often, "Sir, we would see Jesus," but who 
never find him, go to Gethsemane, see his unspeakable agonies ; 
go to Golgotha, see the vial of wrath poured upon his breaking 
heart ; go to the sepulchre, see the corn of wheat laid dead in the 
ground. Why all this suffering in the spotless One if there be no 
wrath coming on the unsheltered, unbelieving head ? Oh ! the 
corn of wheat in the ground is the most awakening sight in the 

(2.) It is the most drawing sight : " I, if I be lifted up from the 
earth, will draw all men unto me." These poor Greeks did not 
feel much their need of Christ, but still less did they see his suit- 
ableness to their need. Had they but seen what shelter there 
was to be in his wounds for sinners had they seen how much 
room there would be for the chief of sinners they would have 
burst through every difficulty to come to Jesus. Nothing in the 
world would have kept them back from Christ. The fear of man 
would have been like a straw ; they would have cried, not, " Sir, 
we would see Jesus," but, " Draw me, and I will run after thee" 
" Hide me in the clefts of the rock" " Cause me to sit under 
the shade of the apple tree." It was this sight that drew three 
thousand to Jesus on the day of Pentecost. The corn of wheat 
dying for us, is the true loadstone to draw iron hearts after him. 
In the natural loadstone the iron may be drawn away again, but 
the soul once drawn to Christ can never be drawn away any 

Oh ! pray for a drawing discovery of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Some of you are in this condition. The Lord Jesus is on one side 
of you, and Satan on the other, and you in the midst, and bot* f~ 


drawing at your soul. Oh ! pray that the Lord Jesus may 
overcome. His open arms on the cross are drawing you his 
wound in the side is inviting you. " In me ye shall have peace." 

2. That men must cleave to him at whatever cost. Verse 25. 
These poor Greeks were under the fear of man. They were 
afraid they would be put out of the synagogue, or perhaps they 
would be called Galileans or Nazarenes, or perhaps they would 
be laughed at, and lose the praise of men ; and this made them 
very cautious in their approach to the Saviour. Now, the Lord 
Jesus shows them this is not the way that awakened souls must 
seek him. As if he should say, Go and tell them that in coming 
to me they are coming for eternal life, and therefore every other 
consideration must be laid aside. I am the one thing needful 
I am the pearl of great price. They that seek me must push aside 
everything that stands in the way. Even if they lose their life in 
coming to me, they would find life eternal. " He that loseth his 
life for my sake shall find it." Those that know the real worth of 
Christ will make everything subordinate to their finding him. 
Those who will not, never will find him. 

(1.) Consider how precious Christ is : " In him is life eternal." 
In him there is pardon for the vilest of sinners. In hjm there is 
sweet peace of conscience peace with God. In him there is rest 
for the weary soul the way to the Father an open door into the 
fold of God. In him there is a fountain of living waters un- 
searchable riches full supplies of grace and truth for weak and 
weary souls. In him there is acquittal at the judgment-day, and 
a glorious crown. Oh ! should you not leave all for this? Shall 
a lust, or a pleasure, or a game, or the smile of a friend, keep you 
from all this ? " Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it 
entered into the heart of man to conceive, the things which God 
hath prepared for them that love him." 

(2.) Consider how tad your case without him. The number 
of your sins is infinite : " Innumerable evjls have compassed me 
about." Your heart is as full as ever ready to gush out with 
sin to all eternity. God is angry with you every day. There is 
no refuge but Christ. If you do not get into him, you will never 
be saved. You will be outside the ark when the flood comes. 
You will knock, and cry, Lord ! Lord ! but it will betoo late. 
God will be your enemy. The great day of his wrath will be come, 
and who will be able to stand ? Some of you have felt a little 
touch of concern ; you have never felt the millionth part of what 
is the truth. Oh ! then, will you let some poor lust, or pride, or 
love of dress, some Herodias, keep you out from Christ? 

Be entreated to cleave to him at whatever cost If any business 
comes between, takes up too much time, disturbs your Sabbaths, 
hinders you from coming to Christ let it go. If any pleasure 
comes between, lulls your convictions, deadens you at prayer and 
Bible, quickens your desire for the world and sin let it go. If 


any friend comes between you and. Christ, if their company in- 
disposes you for seeking Christ, takes off your mind, if their ridi- 
cule or vain talk brings you back to the world let them go. 
Never mind though they laugh and sneer, think you odd, ridicu- 
lous, call you methodist ; it matters not ; one thing is needful, 
Christ is precious eternity is near. If you do not, you will lose 
your soul. Like Paul, I count all things but loss. 

3. If we would be Christ's, we must give up ourselves to his 
service for ever. The poor Greeks said : " Sir, we would see 
Jesus." Jesus here tells them that a mere sig-ht of him will not 
do: "If any man serve me, let him follow me." Many people 
are willing to be saved from hell ; but they are not willing to give 
themselves up to Christ to be his servants and followers ; but 
every one who is under the teaching of the Spirit, gives himself 
up to be the Lord's. So Matthew. The Lord said: "Follow me; 
and he arose and left all, and followed Jesus." One who is truly 
taught of God feels indwelling sin a greater burden than the fear 
of hell : " In me, that is in my flesh, there is no good thing." " O 
wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this 
death ?" Therefore, that soul is willing to be Christ's servant for 
ever willing to have his ear bored to the door of Christ's house 

This will discover hypocrites. Are you willing to be Christ's 
servant, to follow him in .hard duties, to be brought under the 
rules of the Gospel ? If- not, you are a hypocrite. Count the 
cost of coming to Christ. 

III. The reward. 

1. You will be with Christ. You may be cast out by men 
father and mother offscouring of all things : " To-day shalt thou 
be with me in paradise" be with the Lamb on Mount Zion. Sit 
with me on my throne : " Father, I will that they also whom thou 
hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my 

2. The Father will honor. You will lose the praise of men, 
perhaps of some you esteem ; but you will gain the honor of 

(1.) In this world. Ye shall be a peculiar treasure. He will 
guide you with his eye, hear your prayer, be with you in 
trouble, fill you with his Spirit, give his angels charge over you, 
be with you in death. 

(2.) In eternity. He will receive you, show you his salvation, 
wipe off tears from your eyes, be your God and portion. Jesus 
will confess you before his Father : This soul followed me. 




u Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice : cauM 
me to hear it. Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young 
hart upon the mountains of spices." Song viii., 13, 14. 

I. The description of the Church, or of the believing soul : " Thou 
that dwellest in the gardens." This is true of the believer in two 

1 . He is enclosed and separated from the world : " A garden 
enclosed is my sister, my spouse." Song iv., 12. All believers 
dwell within an enclosure. Just as the gardens in the East are 
enclosed with a fence of reeds, or of prickly pear, or by a stone 
wall, so all that are Christ's are enclosed out of the world. Jesus 
says : " If ye were of the world, the world would love its own : 
but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out 
of the world, therefore the world hateth you." Paul says, he was 
" separated unto the Gospel of God." And again, John says : 
" The world knoweth us not, even as it knew him not." Great 
mistakes are made here. There are many hedges that are none 
of Christ's planting. Many are separated, but not unto the Gos- 
pel of God. (1.) Some are separated by education. They are 
brougnt up far away from the noise and bustle of the world. 
They see little of its vices, and hear little of its profanity. They 
are never allowed to come within its magic ring. They are a kind 
of separated people. But, ah ! they have a world in their own 
heart. (2.) Some, again, are separated from the world by worldly 
griefs and distresses, or by sickness of body. Their proud spirit 
is broken. Their heart used madly to follow the world ; but now 
it sickens and dies within them ; desire fails. They have no more 
heart for their idols. These are a kind of separated people. But, 
ah! they dwell not in the gardens; that is the separation of na- 
ture, not of grace. (3.) Some have a haughty separation from 
the world, like those that said : " Stand back, for I am holier than 
thou : like the Pharisees, who would not speak to a publican. 
These are known by their little compassion for the world. Ah ! 
these do not dwell in Christ's garden. (4.) There is a nominal 
separation from the world. These people have a name to live, 
and are dead. They belong, it may be, to a peculiar congrega- 
tion, and to a peculiar prayer-meeting; they have a Christian 
name and a Christian appearance ; they often speak as Christians, 
and are spoken of as Christians ; the world are afraid of them, 
and treat them as if they were believers ; but all the time beneath 
that mantle there beats an unchanged, unbelieving, ungodly heart. 
Ah ! brethren, this is a separation of Satan's making. 


But all that are truly Christ's are dwellers in the gardens. 
They are separated from the world by an infinite, impassable 

1st, By blood. Just as the houses of Israel were separated from 
the houses of the Egyptians by having the doors sprinkled with 
blood : so there are a set of men in this world, the doors of whose 
hearts have been sprinkled with blood. The blood of Christ upon 
their conscience marks them out as pardoned men. They had 
the same nature as other men ; the same enmity to God, and des- 
perate departure from him ; they had the same love of idols as 
other men ; they spent their youth in the same sins as other men ; 
many of them went into the lowest depths of sin ; but the Lord 
Jesus loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own 
blood. " Justified by faith they have peace with God." These 
are they who dwell in the gardens. Ah ! brethren, have you 
been separated by blood ? have you got the red blood of Jesus, 
making your soul different from the rest of men ? 

2d, By his Spirit. All that are truly Christ's are separated 
from the world by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. " If any 
man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature." He has got new 
desires given him. Once he desired what other men do ; praise 
of men, a name, power, money, pleasure. These were the chief 
objects set before him. Now these have lost their power over 
him. The world is become crucified. Now he desires more 
nearness to God ; more complete change of heart ; he desires to 
spread the knowledge of Jesus over the world. He is separated 
unto the Gospel of God. He has got new sorrows. Once all his 
sorrows were worldly sorrows ; he wept at the loss of friends or 
this world's possessions ; but now these sorrows are light afflic- 
tions. His heaviest grief now is, when he is deserted of God ; 
when he wants the presence of God and the smile of God ; or per- 
haps the absence ot the Spirit and the burning of corruption with- 
in, or sin abounding around him, makes him sigh and cry ; or the 
ark of God makes his heart tremble. That man is separated he 
dwells in the gardens. 

Dear souls, have you been thus separated from the world ? 
" We are bound always to thank God for you, beloved : because 
he hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sancti- 
fication ot the Spirit and belief of the truth." Ah! brethren, does 
the blood of Christ separate you from the unpardoned world ? 
Does the Spirit of Christ separate you from the unregenerate 
world ? Is there a real, eternal separation made between you and 
the world? If not, you will perish with the world. 

2. Dwelling in the gardens seems also to mean dwelling in de- 
light. When God made man at the first, he planted a garden 
eastward in Eden ; and out of the ground made the Lord God to 
grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food 
the tree of life also in the midst of the garden. And the Lord God 


took the man and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress and 
to keep it. That garden was a sweet type of the delight of 
Adam's soul ; and there, day by day, he heard the voice of God 
walking in the garden, in the cool of the day. When Adam fell, 
God drove him out of the garden into this bleak world, covered 
with thorns and thistles, to earn his bread by the sweat of his 
brow. Man no more walked with God in a garden of delights. 
But when a sinner is brought to Christ, he is brought into Christ's 
garden : " We, who believe, do enter into rest." He says : " I 
sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was 
sweet to my taste." He becomes one that dwells in the gardens. 
True, he is one coming up from the wilderness. This world is a 
wilderness to the believer full of pain, sickness, sighing, death 
a world that crucified his Lord, and persecutes him ; a cold, un- 
believing, ungodly world. Still, the soul dwells in the gardens: 
" His soul shall dwell at ease." True, a believer has his times 
of desertion, and clouds, and doubts, and deep waters. At such 
times, his cry is ; " O wretched man !" Still, when his eye rests 
on Jesus, his soul dwells in a garden of delights. 

Oh ! brethren, have you been brought into Christ's garden ; 
have you found great delight in him ; a better Eden a right to 
the tree of life that is in the midst of the paradise of God? Many 
of you think it a dull thing to become a Christian. You look upon 
their outside, their quiet, humble walk, through the world. You 
think them dull, morose, severe. But, O man ! you are only 
looking at the shell : could you see what is felt within could you 
see the sunshine of heaven that rests upon that soul, could you 
tai.e for a moment the pleasure of being at peace with God, you 
would feel that all your pleasures are but the husks which the 
swine are eating. 

" Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, 
And the man that getteth understanding. 
She is more precious than rubies ; 

And all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 
Length of days is in her right hand ; 
In her left hand riches and honor. 
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, 
And all her paths are peace. 

She's a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her : 
And happy is every one that retaineth her." 

Ah ! brethren, go and learn the hymn that begins 

" Shall men pretend to pleasure 

That never knew the Lord ? 

Can all the worldling's treasure 

True peace of mind afford ?" 

II. The complaint of Christ : " The companions hear thy 

1. The soul in Christ has many sweet companions, brothers and 


sisters in Christ Jesus. The soul that is united to the vine tree ia 
united to all the branches : " We know that we are passed from 
death unto Hie, because we love the brethren" " I am a com- 
panion of all them that fear thee." 

Believers have many things to say to one another ; as John 
says to Gaius : " I had many things to write unto thee, but I 
will not with ink and pen write unto thee: but I trust I shall 
shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face/' So did believ- 
ers in the days of Malachi : " Then they that feared the Lord 
spake often one to another : and the Lord hearkened and heard." 
And so do believers still. They may tell of their past expe- 
riences modestly, humbly, with self-loathing, and for the glory of 
Christ ; as Jesus told the maniac : " Return to thine own house, 
and show how great things God hath done unto thee" (Luke 
viii., 39) ; and as David speaks : " Come and hear, all ye that 
fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul." 
Ts. Ixvi., 16. 

They speak to one another in their distresses, as it is written, 
" Wherefore comfort one another with these words." Not com- 
fort yourselves, but comfort one another. It is God's ordinance 
that comfort should be ministered by believer to believer ; that 
the gentle hand of love should bring the cup of consolation. They 
speak to one another of Jesus : " Saw ye him whom my soul 
loveth ?" " Whither is thy Beloved gone, O thou fairest among 
women ? whither is thy Beloved turned aside, that we may seek 
him with thee?" They exhort one another daily, while it is 
called to-day. 

Ah ! this is a true mark of all true believers. " The companions 
hearken to thy voice." How many of you may know that you 
are not in Christ by this, that you have never learned the pure 
language of Canaan. True, there are many have the outward 
phrase of Christians, and have much talk, who will turn out to 
be clouds without rain, foolish virgins, having a lamp, and wick, 
and flame no drop of oil within ; still, if you have not the speech 
of Canaan, if you have not a word for those that are journeying 
towards glory, I fear you belong not to that company. 

2. Hear the complaint of Christ. " Cause me to hear it." 
Christ complains that we speak more to one another than to him. 
This is too often the case, especially with young believers. 
.When the bosom is filled with joy. the believer pours it out 
before his companions, rather than before the Lord. In sorrow, 
when clouds have covered the soul, Christ is forgotten, and 
some companion sought out to hear your complaints. In difficulty, 
how often the believer runs first to some companion on earth for 
counsel ! Now the word of Christ is, " Cause me to hear it" Run 
l.rst to me. 

(1.) Because Christ is a jealous Saviour: "I, the Lord thy 
God, am a jealous God." When Christ took us to himself he 


said, " Thou shall call me Ishi, and shall call me no more Baali ; 
for I will lake away ihe names of Baalim oul of her moulh." 
Remember how he said, " Lovesl ihou me more lhan ihese ?' 
And we said lo him, " Whal have I lo do any more wilh idols ?'' 
Now, ihe Lord Jesus cannol bear lhal we should have a nearer 
friend lhan himself. He musl be our nexl of kin. We musl lean 
on ihe Beloved. " Cause me lo.hear it." 

(2.) Because in him is the full supply of all our need. True, 
the companions are lovely and pleasanl in iheir lives; bul where 
did ihey gel all the grace thai made ihem so? Was il nol from 
Chrisl ? Perhaps we love their gentleness and meekness ; their 
holy wisdom, to advise us in difficult circumslances ; bul ah! 
where did they get all thai? from Jesus. They are bul cisterns; 
Christ is the fountain. They are bul crealures ; Chrisl is ihe 
Crealor. We musl leave them, and belake ourselves to him. 
" Cause me to hear it." 

(3.) Communion with Christ is always sanctifying. Comrpu- 
nion with men, even .with good men, often hardens and hurts the 
soul. Are you telling experiences? you are apt to be man-pleas- 
ing, to seek to appear somelhing wonderful, very humble, or very 
believing ; you are apl lo seek ihe praise of men more than the 
praise of God. Are you seeking comfort ? you are apt to lean on 
the creature, and to forget the only Comforter ; but communion 
with Christ is always sanctifying. Oh ! it is good for the soul to 
meet with Jesus. Oh ! if you would go to Jesus and tell him all ; 
if you would cause him to hear it, how much happier lives you 
would lead ! Let there be the utmosl frankness between your soul 
and Chrisl. Cover no sin before him ; pour oul every joy, unbo- 
som every grief, seek counsel in every perplexity. See here, he 
bids you come and lell him all : "Cause me to hear it." 

III. The believer's prayer. 

1. He prays for a swift return of Christ to his own soul. It is 
the presence of Christ wilh ihe soul lhal gives Irue peace and Irue 
holiness. It is not circumstances, nor ministers, nor place, nor 
time, but Jesus present. To sil under his shadow, gives great 
delight. To lean upon the Beloved alone supports his faltering 
steps. A true believer cannot be satisfied while Chrisl is away ; 
" Make haste, my beloved." One thai is not a wife may be con- 
tent with other lovers ; but the faithful wife longs for the return 
of her Lord. The ordinances are all cold and barren til! he 
return. Ministers speak, bul nol lo the heart. The companions 
cannol give rest nor ease. Oh, brethren ! do you'know what it is 
to long for himself; to cry, " make haste, my Beloved ?" 

2. He prays for a swift return of Christ lo the Church. It is 
the presence of Christ thai makes a sweet time of refreshing in a 
Church. When he comes leaping on ihe mounlains, skipping 
upon ihe hills, ihe flowers immediately appear on Ihe earth. The 


Lord's people are quickened in all their graces ; the}' begin to sing 
songs of deliverance ; anxious souls spring up like the grass ; and 
the whole garden of the Lord sends out spices. Ah ! if the Lord 
Jesus were to come in here with power, I would preach and you 
would hear in another way than we do. I could not be so hard- 
hearted, and you would be melted under his Word. Oh ! will 
you not pray, " Make haste, my Beloved, and be thou like to a roe, 
or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices/' Is not such a 
time desirable ? 

3. He prays for the second glorious coming of Christ. It is the 
real visible coming and presence of Jesus, the king, in his beauty, 
that will perfect the joy of his believing people. (1.) The love 
of the soul will then be satisfied. At present we are tossed with 
many doubts. Am I really converted ? Am I in Christ ? Will 
I persevere to the end ? The soul has oftentimes a hungering 
after Christ, and cannot get its fill. But when we shall see him 
as he is, the shadows will all flee away. We shall never have 
another doubt for ever; we shall be ever with the Lord. (2.) 
Jesus shall then be fully glorified. At present he is scorned and 
spit upon. His enemies have the upper hand. Kings despise 
him, and most men lightly esteem him. But then he shall come 
to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe. 
All his saints shall then bless him. " Men shall be blessed in him. 
All nations shall call him blessed." 

Ah ! my friends, can you honestly say you long for that day 
Is it a blessed hope to you ? Those only who can say, " My 
Beloved," can desire his coming. " Woe unto you that desire the 
day of the Lord ! To what end is it for you? The day of the 
Lord is darkness, and not light." Ah ! brethren, when Jesus 
comes in the clouds of heaven, every eye shall see him ; and most 
of you, I fear, will wail because of him. Ah, there he is ! the Sa- 
viour we rejected, neglected all our life, despised ; there he comes 
to take vengeance on us that know not God, and obey not the 
Gospel. Those of you that can say, " My Beloved " are not in 
darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Your 
prayer is : " Make haste, my Beloved, and be thou like to a roe 
or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices." 




" And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee : though thou wast 
angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, 
God is my salvation ; I will trust, and not be afraid : for the ^ord Jehovah is my 
strength and my song ; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall 
ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isa. xii., 13. 

THESE words do first apply to God's ancient people, the Jews ; but 
they are no less applicable to ourselves. 

1. Observe the time spoken of: " In that day," the day spoken of 
in the chapter before : " It shall come to pass in that day, that the 
Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the rem- 
nant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from 
Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Gush, and from Elam, and from 
Shinar, and from Hamat-h, and from the islands of the sea. And 
he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the 
outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from 
the four corners of the earth." Verses 11, 12. It is in the day 
when God restores the Jews to their own land, and converts their 

2. Observe what they will do: " I will praise thee." They will 
then be a praising people. At present they are a melancholy 
people. There is no joy in their service, they are like a company 
of dry bones ; but in that day their voices will be loud in God's 

3. Observe the ground of it : " Though thou wast angry with 
me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Be- 
hold, God is my salvation ; I will trust, and not be afraid : for the 
Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song ; he also is become my 
salvation." The ground of their joy is, that God's anger is turned 
away from them, they have found a divine Saviour : " Behold, 
God is my salvation." They have found a divine Sanctifier : "The 
Lord Jehovah is my strength and song." Ah ! this is the truest 
ground of joy and praise in the whole world. 

4. Observe the consequences: " Therefore with joy shall ye draw 
water out of the wells of salvation." Verse 3. The wells of sal- 
vation appear to be the divine ordinances, God's Word and sacra- 
ments. The saved Jews will now find all their springs in Zion, 
they will be joyful hearers of God's Word, they will be joyful par- 
takers in the Lord's supper. With joy shall they draw water out 
of the wells of salvation. 

Doctrine. Saved souls draw water with joy out of the wells 
of salvation. 

Many among ourselves find no joy in ordinances. Some despise 


them altogether. They come not at all. They spend the Sab- 
bath morning in their bed, the Sabbath evening in the pleasures of 
idleness. The most in this parish have no joy in drawing water. 
Some come to the house of God ; but, oh ! it is a weariness, when 
will it be over? If it were a game of cards, or a merry com- 
pany, you would not weary ; but you know not what it is to have 
joy in drawing water. Multitudes come to the Lord's table for a 
name, for custom, for decency, or to obtain baptism to their chil- 
dren. Alas ! alas ! they are strangers to drawing water with joy. 
Some weary souls, anxious about their eternity, go from sermon to 
sermon, from sacrament to sacrament, seeking rest, but finding 
none. They go to one well, but they find it bitter, to another, but 
it is dry, to another, but it is deep, and they cannot draw. These 
are always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of 
the truth. They never draw water with joy out of the wells of 
salvation. Here is the error : in one and all of these, they do not 
come as saved souls, they do not come to Christ to get God's anger 
away. Saved souls alone draw water with joy. 

I. State of the unconverted: " Thou wast angry with me." 
Every redeemed soul can look back to a time when they were 
under the anger of God. God is at present angry with every un- 
converted soul. Observe, 

1. Whose anger it is : " Thou." It is the anger of God. If all 
the men in the world were angry with a soul, it would be in a sad 
condition. If every man you met were full of rage and anger 
against you, the rich and the poor, kings and captains, you would 
think yourself in a bad case. If all the wild beasts of the forest, 
the lions, and wolves, and tigers, were to be enraged against you, 
and you were in their power, you would be in a desperate case. 
But these are but creatures. Every unconverted soul among you 
is under the wrath of the Creator. He that made you is angry 
with you. 

2. He is always angry : " God is angry with the wicked every 
day," Whatever day of the week it be, week-day or Sabbath- 
day, God is angry with unconverted souls. Their sins are con- 
tinually before him, and, therefore, he is continually provoked by 
them. The smoke of their sins is continually rising into his nos- 
trils. He that believeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth 
on him. Not only is God angry every day, but every moment 
of the day. There is not a moment of an unconverted man's life, 
but God's wrath abideth on him. When he is at his work or at 
his play, sleeping or waking, in church or at market, the sword of 
God's wrath is over his head. Unconverted souls walk and sleep 
over hell. 

3. It is increasing anger. Unconverted men are treasuring up 
wrath against the day of wrath. Some unconverted persons 
think they wipe off many sins by coming to the Lord's table, 


whereas, if they knew the truth, they would see that they are 
heaping up wrath. God's anger is like a river dammed up. It 
is getting higher and higher, fuller and deeper, every day against 
every soul that is out of Christ. Every Sabbath your cup is get- 
ting fuller ; it will soon be full. 

4. It is insufferable. Unconverted men sometimes say that if 
they must go to hell, they will just bear it ; but it cannot be borne. 
If you saw a spider about to be crushed under a great rock, and 
it should swell out its body in order to bear the shock, it would 
be miserable folly. Such is the folly of unconverted men saying 
they will bear the anger of God. How can you bear the anger 
of your Maker ? How can you bear the heel of Omnipotence ? 
" Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the day 
that I shall deal with thee ?" 

Learn from this to flee from the wrath to come. Oh ! sirs, if 
ye but knew your condition, you would rise and flee. I declare to 
you that I sometimes think myself an Infidel, from the cold man- 
ner in which 1 speak to unconverted souls. This is the state of 
every one of you who is unborn again. However amiable, and 
gentle, and irreproachable in the sight of man ; whatever experi- 
ences you have gone through ; though you may have attended 
ordinances and kept up prayer; yet, if you are unconverted, God 
is angry with you every day. 

Learn that anxious, souls should be ten thousand times more 
anxious than they are. This is the day of grace, this is sav- 
ing time. God has infinite pity for you. His anger is infinite 
against you, and yet his compassion is also infinite. The more 
he is angry with you the more he has pity for you. Although 
his justice cries out for vengeance, sword and bow on your soul ; 
although his holiness demands that you should be cast out of his 
sight into the blackness of darkness ; yet his compassion cries, 
Let him alone this year also. There is still room for you under 
the wings of Christ: "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye 
perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Bless- 
ed are all they that put their trust in him." 

II. The way of salvation : " Thine anger is turned away." 
1. Pardon. (1.) There is abundant provision for the pardon 
and peace of the sinner ; for God's anger is turned away on the 
head of Christ. The thing which troubles the conscience of awak- 
ened souls is the anger of God. It is this which makes them trem- 
ble, by night arid by day, in public and in secret. An awakened 
soul feels that he has broken God's law, and is exposed every mo- 
ment to his wrath. He can find no rest in his bed, no peace at 
his meals, no j<>y in his friends; the heavens are black above his 
head, the earth is ready to open and devour him. If God be a 
just and holy God, he will pour out his anger. If he be a true 
God, ho will fulfil all his threatenings. If such u soul would take 


Christ as his surety, he would find abundant peace. Thi, anger 
of God has already been turned away on the head of Christ. All 
the clouds of wrath have been directed, like a water-spout, upon 
that one head. If you are willing that Christ be your surety, you 
do not need to fear. The law has had its course, and God docs 
not demand a second punishment. There is no reason for youi 
standing trembling, when there is such a glorious way of pardon. 
Christ offers himself as a surety to every one of you; and if you 
accept of him, your wrath is past, it will never fall on you to all 
eternity. (2.) This will be still more evident, if you consider 
that Christ is a divine person: "Behold, God is my salvation." If 
trembling sinners only knew the person who has undertaken to be 
a Saviour, it would dispel all their fears. He is the brightness of 
God's glory, and the express image of his person. He is the 
peerless, matchless Son of God that has undertaken to stand for 
us. He is the maker of the world, he that sees the end from the 
beginning. " By him were all things made." He made the sun, 
moon, and stars ; he made the solid earth ; he upholds all things 
by the word of his power. Do you think he would fail in any 
undertaking ? Do you think, if he engages to be a shield for sin- 
ners, that he will not be enough to cover them? Oh ! be asham- 
ed of your unbelief, and come under this infinite Shield. "Behold, 
God is my salvation," "I will trust and not be afraid." Come, 
trembling soul, under this divine Shield, and you will find divine 
peace. Come under this Rock, and you will find rest for your 
weary souis. It matters not what sins you have ; if you come 
under Christ, you shall have peace. 

2. Holiness. " Thou comfortedst me." " The Lord Jehovah 
is my strength and my song." When a soul comes first to Christ, 
he does not know that he needs any more comfort ; he feels such 
joy, he thinks he shall never be sad again. Soon he is made to 
feel his wants. He feels innumerable enemies within and without. 
His heart he feels to be a very hell within him ; corruptions 
whoe black faces he never saw before, now raise their heads ; 
his breast appears full of hissing serpents. The man shudders at 
himself; he feels on the brink of a precipice ; the smallest breath 
of temptation he feels will throw him down. In despair of help, he 
looks above ; to Jesus at the right hand of God, able to save to the 
uttermost. In Jesus it hath pleased the Father that all fulness 
should dwell. He sends the Comforter ; the Holy Spirit comes 
into the heart of the trembling, tempted one. " I will trust and 
not be afraid : for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my 

Ah ! do you know anything of this Comforter, of this strength, 
of this song? Tell me what do you rest on for holiness. Do you 
rest on your good thoughts of yourself? Ah ! this is like Hazael : 
" Is thy servant a 'dog, that he should do this thing?" and yet he 
was the ver, dog he so much disclaimed. " A haughty spirit 


goeth before a fall." Do you rest on your promises to man, or 
your vows to God ? Ah ! this is like Peter : " Though all men 
forsake thee, yet will not I ;" and yet his promise was like a breatb 
of wind. No. nothing short of Jehovah can be the strength of 
thy soul nothing short of the Lord Jehovah. Creatures cannot 
hold up creatures. The hand that guides the stars alone can hold 
thy feet from falling. Is he your strength ? Then he is able to 
keep you from falling. Though the world had ten thousand times 
more temptation than it has ; though your heart wero ten thou- 
sand times more full of lusts ; though Satan and his angels had ten 
million times their power ; they cannot cast down the soul that 
leans upon Jehovah. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and 
he shall strengthen thine heart. The same hand that holds the 
sun in his journey holds up the soul of his people. Sing, then, 
weak, trembling, tempted disciple sing aloud : " I will trust, and 
not be afraid." 

III. Joy in ordinances : " Therefore with joy shall ye draw 
water out of the wells of salvation." Verse 3 How changed 
are all the wells of salvation to a poor sinner come to Christ ! 

1. The Bible, Once it was a dull, wearisome book ; you 
looked to the end of the chapter when you began it, to see when 
it would be done. But have you come to Christ ? now the well 
is a well of salvation a well of living water. 

2. Prayer. Once it was wholly neglected by you, or a cold 
form, which you hurried over ; now it is a sweet well of delight. 
Ah ! there is no better test of the soul than delight in secret prayer, 
unobserved and unknown by man. 

3. The house of prayer. Once you despised it, or came for 
show to show your best clothes, or to see your companions ; 
now you can say : " I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go 
into the house of the Lord." 

4. The Lords Supper. Once you sat there, another Judas, with 
stony heart and dry eyes ; now you find it a well of salvation in- 
deed. It is a pledge that Christ is yours. When you see the 
elements, your heart begins to burn : when you touch them, your 
bands are loosed ; when you taste them, your eyes are enlightened ; 
when you eat them, your whole soul is strengthened. As surely 
as that bread arid wine are yours, you feel that Christ is yours. 
Oh ! come, then, with simple faith, sinners that have come to 
Christ, and then you will draw water with joy out of this well of 
salvation. But, ah ! have you no saving change in your heart ; 
no faith in Christ ; no union to him ; no Comforter ? Ah ! then it 
will be a sad day to you. You will sit down at the table with the 
wrath of God abiding on you ; the well of salvation will be a poi- 
soned well to you ; the bread of life be the bread of death to you ; 
the cup of blessing be the cup of cursing. 




" And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
the spirit of grace and of supplications ; and they shall look upon me whom they 
have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, 
and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. 

In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and 

to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." Zech. xii., 10 
xiii., 1. 

IN these words you have a description of the conversion of the 
Jews, which is yet to come ; an event that will give life to this 
dead world. But God's method is the same in the conversion of 
any soul. Conversion is the most glorious work of God. The crea- 
tion of the sun is a very glorious work ; when God first rolled him 
flaming along the sky,scatteringout golden blessings on every shore. 
The change in spring is very wonderful ; when God makes the 
faded grass revive, the dead trees put out green leaves, and the 
flowers appear on the earth. But far more glorious and wonder- 
ful is the conversion of a soul ! It is the creation of a sun that is 
to shine for eternity ; it is the spring of the soul that shall know 
no winter ; the planting of a tree that shall bloom with eternal 
beauty in the paradise of God. 

I. The source of conversion. The hand of Christ : " I will pour 
upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem 
the spirit of grace and of supplications ; and they shall look upon 
me whom they have pierced." The Holy Spirit comes from the 
very hand that was pierced by the nail to the accursed tree. In- 
deed, the innermost source of the Spirit seems to be the heart 
of the Father. Jesus calls him " the Spirit of Truth which 
proceedeth from the Father;" and in 1 Cor. ii., 11, he is said 
to bo in the heart of God, as the spirit of a man is in the heart 
of man. He is the friend that dwelt from eternity in the bosom 
of the Father and of the Son. But still it is as true that the Father 
has given the Spirit to Christ : " It hath pleased the Father that 
in him should all fulness dwell." Jesus has obtained the gift of 
the Holy Spirit as a reward of his work. It is fitting that he that 
died for sinners should have the Spirit to dispense to whom he 
will ; and so one of his last words to his disciples was : " I will 
send him unto you ; and when he is come he will convince the 
world of sin." 

1. This teaches awakened souls where their convictions come 
from. Do any of you feel that you have been awakened to con- 
cern about your souls ? you have been pierced through with an 


nrrovv of conviction. Look at the arrow ; it came out of the 
bow of Christ. It was Christ that took it out of his quiver 
Christ aimed it at your heart ; Christ made it pierce your heart. 
The feather is marked with the blood of the pierced hand. That 
arrow came from the hand of love ; from the hand that was nailed 
to the cross. Ah ! then, take it as a proof that Chiist wants to 
save you. He is beginning to deal with you. Ah ! do not turn 
away : do not tear out the arrow ; do not heal the wound 
slightly. Go to himself, and the same hand that pierced you 
will heal. Lord, if I may not have peace from thee, grant I may 
get it from nothing else. 

2 When you see others sorely wounded, you should acknowledge 
the hand of Christ. I find that some acknowledge the hand of the 
minister, but not the hand of Christ. This is a sore dishonor to 
our glorious Immanuel ! It was said of the Erskines, the fathers 
of the Secession, that God took away great part of the blessing 
from their labors, because the people could not see Christ over 
their heads. I find much of this amongst yourselves. The Lord 
teach you to look above the heads of ministers, to our glorious 
Redeemer, riding on his white horse ; sending out his arrows of 
conviction ! 

3. Pray to Christ to do this. If he pours out the Spirit, then 
who can hinder? I have no doubt many of you have come up to 
day, who would have stayed away if you thought Christ would 
this day convert your soul. I fear there are some among you who 
have shut your eyes, and stopped your ears, and made your heart 

?-oss, lest ye should be converted, and Christ should heal you. 
ou would not like to be made a weeping, praying, lowly believer 
in Jesus. But, oh ! if Christ pours out* the Spirit to-day, then 
even you will be melted ; even you will be made to weep and to 
cry : " What must I do to be saved ?" 

In a time when Christ is not pouring the Spirit down, ministers 
speak and strive, but in vain ; it is like speaking to the winds, or 
the wild waves of the sea. But when Christ rises from his throne 
and pours the Spirit down, then the weakest means are infinitely 
mighty. The Word does not come in word only. The jaw-bone 
of an ass was a very weak sword to kill men with ; and yet in 
the hand of Sair.son it was mighty. He slew a thousand men 
with it. A sling and a stone was a very weak weapon to oppose 
an armed giant ; and yet when David slung the stone, it sank into 
the forehead of the giant, and he fell upon his face to the earth. 
Oh ! pray, dear believers, that the sling and the stone may this day 
be in the hand of our glorious David ; that the Word may sink 
into the hard hearts of this people ; that even giants in sin may be 
brought down to the very dust. Ah ! I fear that many of you are 
armed to the teeth against the Word of God ; you are armed 
cap-a-pie armed to all points. You are mocking, perhaps, in 
your security ; yet, look up, dear friends, to the arm of Immanuel ; 


he can bring down the proudest. Pray that he would pour down 
the Spirit. I believe that the lowly prayers of a single believer 
may obtain a deep and pure work of God in a town. If there 
were men among us like Noah, Job, and Daniel, we might expect 
showers of blessings. 

II. The Spirit who converts. 

1. The Spirit of Grace He is so called, because his coming 
to any soul, and all that he does in the soul, is of free grace. 
When the Spirit of God first visits a soul, he finds nothing to in- 
vite him to come or to stay ; he finds the soul like the dry bones 
in the open valley without any form or comeliness without any 
desire for life. Every natural man has no more comeliness than 
a dry skeleton no more desire for grace than a dead carcass. 
Nay, more, there is everything to drive the Spirit away. He is a 
holy Spirit; but he finds the heart a sink of corruptions, full of 
the most loathsome lusts and passions. He is a loving Spirit ; but 
he finds the man's heart full of rebellion and horrid enmity against 
God. He is a jealous Spirit; but he finds the man's heart a 
chamber of imagery, full of abominable idols. Oh ! I can imagine 
the Holy Spirit looking into some of your hearts, and saying : 
" Why should I come to such a soul ? He does not want me to 
convert him. He wants to be let alone. He had rather serve his 
lusts : why should I disturb him ? I will let him alone." Stay, 
stay, blessed Spirit of grace ! Come, out of free grace. Come, 
not because he wants thee, but because thou art gracious. Come, 
and make even these dry oones to rise a.nd call upon the name oi 

Some of you know it was thus he came to you. He found you 
a rebel, and he has made you an obedient child. Oh, will you 
ever despair of any, since he turned your heart ! There are some 
among you, dear friends, of whom man would despair men and 
women who have lived long in sin old formalists, to whom be- 
traying the Lord at his table is an old trade. Oh, let us not des- 
pair of such ! The Spirit is the Spirit of free grace. Invite him 
to come, poor dead soiil. 

2. Of supplications. Because he teaches to pray. A natural 
man can hardly be said to pray. True, he has often a form 
often a cry in the time of distress ; but " will he always call upon 
God ?" An anxious soul cannot pray with a form ; for he says. 
None was ever like me. But a man prays in reality when the 
Spirit comes to his soul. He drove an ungodly Manassah To his 
knees. Manasseh had often bowed the knee in youth at his godly 
father's knee ; he had often prayed to his bloody idols ; he had 
often prayed to the devil ; but now, when the Spirit came, he 
began to pray indeed. He drove a blaspheming Paul to his 
knees. Often Paul had prayed at the feet of Gamaliel. In the 
synagogue, and at the corners of streets, he had made long pray 


ers, for pretence ; but now. awakened by the Spirit of God, 
' behold, he prayeth" 

Have you been taught to pray by the Spirit of God ? You 
once had a form, or you prayed for a pretence, or you prayed 
to idols ; but have you been driven to pray by the Holy Spirit ? 
Then, you may be sure he has begun a work in your heart. If 
any of you have not been driven to pray in secret, you may be 
quite sure that you are in the "gall of bitterness and the bond of 
iniquity." A prayerless soul is an unawakened soul very near 
to the burning. Some pieces of wood will burn much more easily 
than others ; some pieces are green, and do not readily catch the 
blaze, but a dry piece of wood is easily kindled. Prayerless 
souls are dry pieces of wood they are ready for the burning. 

111. Where the soul looks in conversion: " They shall look 
upon me whom they have pierced." When the Spirit of God is 
really working in the heart, he makes the man look to a pierced 
Christ. Wherever he goes, this is the prominent object in his 
eye Christ whom he has pierced. Satan would make a man look 
anywhere rather than to Christ. There is such a thing as false 
conversion. Satan sometimes stirs people up to care about their 
souls. He makes them look to ministers, or books, or meetings, 
or duties to feelings, enlargement in prayer, &c. ; he will let 
them look to anything in the universe except to one object " the 
cross of Christ." The only thing he hides is the Gospel the 
glorious Gospel of Christ. When it is the Spirit of God, he will 
not let the soul look to anything else but to Christ a pierced 

What does an awakened soul see there ? 

1. That he has pierced the Son of God by his sins. This gives 
him an awful sense of ihe infinite greatness of sin. A natural 
man thinks nothing of sin. An oath or a lie is as light as a feather 
on many of your consciences. You feel it no burden, even if 
there were a million of them lying upon your soul. You can 
sleep easily under all your sins. But if your eyes were opened to 
look at a pierced Christ, you would see that the load is infinite. 
Ah ! see there God did not spare Christ. Though he had no 
sin of his own nothing but imputed sin yet see what infinite 
wrath was poured upon him ! see what arrows pierced his holy 
soul ! The nails pierced his spotless hands and feet ; but all the 
urows of God were drinking up his spirit. Will God spare you, 
*hcn, if you die under your own sins, when these sins are your 
own act and deed ? 

Think again : Christ was God. That pale sufferer is the " mighty 
God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace ;'* yet sec how 
he sinks under the load ; see, in Gethsemane, how he lies trembling, 
sweating great drops of blood ; see him on Calvary, how his bonei 
are out of joint how his head is bowed in dying agony. You 



arc but a worm. Can you bear that wrath ? " Can thine heart 
endure, or can tjiine hands be strong in the day that I shall deal 
with thec ?" Oh ! look to Christ, sinners look to a pierced Christ, 
and mourn. Nothing will break your heart but a sight of Christ 
pierced by your sins. 

2. That he has pierced the Son of God by unbelief. When the 
Spirit reveals Christ to the soul, this is generally the bitterest pang. 
An una\vakened man thinks nothing of unbelief he does not care 
that he has rejected Christ times without number. Ministers have 
preached till their breath is spent, beseeching him to turn and 
live ; Christ hath stood all the day long with his hands stretched 
out ; God hath wailed upon that man, has delayed casting him 
into hell ; still he is an unmelted rebel. Ah ! when the Spirit 
awakes that man, what a sight he sees in a pierced Christ ! Some 
of you are saying this day : I have despised that glorious One. 
He would often have gathered me, and I would not. God has 
been waiting on me for years. Jesus hath been knocking at my 
door, and I would never let him in : and now I fear he is gone for 
ever. Yea, some of you may feel that your heart is unwilling to 
take him, it is so hard and dead. All the more lovely he appears, 
the more your heart is pierced, because you have rejected him. 
Ah, there is no grief like that of looking to a pierced Christ ! 

(1.) It is a bitter grief. Did you ever see parents mourning 
the loss of their only son, or of their first-born ? It is an un 
speakable sorrow. Such is the anguish of those who look to a 
pierced Christ. Indeed, some have deeper agony than others ; 
but all who truly look to Christ are in bitterness. 

(2.) It is a lonely grief. Indeed it will not be restrained any- 
where ; and they are wrong who condemn rashly intense anxiety 
breaking forth even in public ; but this grief seeks the shade 
the stricken soul seeks to be alone with God, or with a few like- 
minded. David Brainerd mentions, that on one occasion, when 
he was preaching a pierced Christ to his Indians, the power of 
God came down among them like a mighty rushing wind : " Their 
concern was so great, each for himself, that none seemed to take 
any notice of those about him. They were, to their own appre- 
hension, as much retired as if they had been alone in the thickest 
desert. Every one was praying apart, and yet altogether." 

Oh ! dear friends, if you would really look to a pierced Christ, 
you would be in anguish of soul to obtain an interest in him. 
Oh ! see how you have slighted him in the days gone by. In 
youth at the Sabbath school, as little children, how you have re- 
fused him ! When you first came to the Lord's table, he stood a 
pierced Saviour before your eyes ; yet you neglected him, and 
trampled him below your feet. And are you coming this day to 
pierce him over again to drive the nails again into his hands 
the spear into his side the thorns into his brow ? Oh, stop, sin- 
ner ! you are piercing one who loves you, killing the Prince of 


Life, neglecting the only Saviour. If you reject him to-day, you 
may never see him again till you see him in the clouds of heaven, 
and wail because of him. 

Dear believers, remember how you pierced him ; let bitter herbs 
sweeten your passover let a bitter remembrance of past sin make 
Christ the more precious. 

IV. A fountain is seen in a pierced Christ. 

The first look to Christ makes the sinner mourn ; the second 
look to Christ makes the sinner rejoice. When the soul looks first 
to Christ, he sees half of the truth, he sees the wrath of God 
against sin, that God is holy, and must avenge sin, that he can by 
no means clear the guilty, he sees that God's wrath is infinite. 
When he looks to Christ again, he sees the other half of the 
truth, the love of God to the lost, that God has provided a surety 
free to all. It is this that fills the soul with joy. Oh, it is strange, 
that the same object should break the heart and heal it ! A look 
to Christ wounds, a look to Christ heals. Many, I fear, have only 
a half look at Christ, and this causes only grief. Many are slow 
of heart to believe all that is spoken concerning Jesus. They 
believe all except that he is free to them. They do not see this 
glorious truth, " That a crucified Jesus is free to every sinner in 
the world" that Christ's all is free to all. 

When the Spirit is teaching, he gives a full look at Christ, a 
look to him alone for righteousness. What does the sinner see? 
The wounds of Christ, a fountain for sin and for uncleanness. 
Oh, trembling sinners, come and get this look at Christ ! come 
and see a fountain for sin and for uncleanness, opened on Calvary 
eighteen hundred years ago. " I cannot, for my sins are very 
great." Are you all sin and uncleanness, nothing but sin, a lump 
of sin ? in your life, in your heart, are you one bundle of lusts ? 
Here is a fountain opened for you ; look to a pierced Christ, and 
weep ; look to a pierced Christ, and be glad. " I cannot wash." 
To look is to wash. No sooner is the eye turned than the filthy 
garments fall. 

The fountain is opened up in this house of God to-day. At the 
very entrance to the tables, Jesus stands and says, " Whosoever 
will, let him take the water of life freely." Are you willing? do 
you look to him alone for righteousness ? Then, come thus 
washed to the Lord's table, in the very garment you shall wear in 
glory. Sit with your eye upon the fountain. Oh, prize it highly ! 
What do you not owe to him who saves you from being cast 
away ! 

Some would go past the fountain to the table. Take heed, 
ungodly man ! Will you dare to sit there with unpardoned sin 
upon you ? will you venture to touch the bread, and your soul 
unwashed ? Ah, you will bitterly rue it one day ! Some, I trust 


will remember this day in glory ; some, I fear, will remember this 
day in hell. 

& Peter's. April 19, 1840. (Action Sermon.) 



* I sleep, but my heart waketh : it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, say- 
ing, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled : for my head is 
filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night," &c. Song v., 2, to 
the end. 

THE passage I have read forms one of the dramatical songs of 
which this wonderful book is composed. The subject of it is a 
conversation between a forsaken and desolate wife and the 
daughters of Jerusalem. First of all, she relates to them how, 
through slothfulness, she had turned away her lord from the door. 
He had been absent on a journey from home, and did not return 
till night. Instead of anxiously sitting up for her husband, she 
had barred the door, and slothfully retired to rest : " I slept, but 
my heart was waking." In this half-sleeping, half-waking frame, 
she heard the voice of her beloved husband : ' l Open to me. my 
sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled ; for my head is filled with 
dew, and my locks with the drops of the night." But sloth pre- 
vailed with her, and she would not open, but answered him with 
foolish excuses : " I have put off my coat ; how shall I put it on ? 
I have washed my feet ; how shall I defile them ?" 

2. She next tells them her grief and anxiety to find her lord. 
He tried the bolt of the door, but it was fastened. This wakened 
her thoroughly. She ran to the door and opened, but her beloved 
had withdrawn himself, and was gone. She listened, she sought 
about the door ; she called, but he gave no answer. She followed 
him through the streets ; but the watchmen found her, and smote 
her, and took away her veil ; and now with the morning light she 
appears to the daughters of Jerusalem, and anxiously beseeches 
them to help her: "I charge you, if ye find him whom my soul 
loveth, that ye tell him that I am sick of love." 

3. The daughters of Jerusalem, astonished at her extreme 
anxiety, ask : " What is thy beloved more than another beloved ?" 
This gives opportunity to the desolate bride to enlarge on the 
perfections of her lord, which she does in a strain of the richest 
descriptiveness, the heart filling fuller a"nd fuller as she proceeds, 
till she says : " This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O ye 
daughters of Jerusalem !" They seem to be entranced by the 
description, and are now as anxious as herself to join in the search 


alter this altogether lovely one. " Whither is thy beloved gone, 
O thou fairest among women ? whither is thy beloved turned aside, 
f hat we may seek him with thee ?" 

Such is the simple narrative before us. But you will see at 
once that there is a deeper meaning beneath ; that the narrative is 
only a beautiful transparent veil, through which every intelligent 
child of God may trace some of the most common experiences in 
the life of the believer. (1.) The desolate bride is the believing 
?oul. (2.) The daughters of Jerusalem are fellow-believers. (3.) 
The watchmen are ministers. (4.) And the altogether lovely one 
is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I. Believers often miss opportunities of communion with Christ 
through slothfulness. 

1. Observe, Christ is seeking believers. It is true that Christ is 
seeking unconverted souls. He stretches out his hands all the 
day to a gainsaying and disobedient people ; he is the Shepherd 
that seeks the lost sheep ; but it is as true that he is seeking his 
own people also, that he may make his abode with them, that their 
joy may be full. Christ is not done with a soul when he has 
brought it to the forgiveness of sins. It is only then that he be- 
gins his regular visits to the soul. In the daily reading of the 
Word, Christ pays daily visits to scnctify the believing soul. In 
daily prayer, Christ reveals himself to his own in that other way 
than he doth to the world. In the house of God Christ comes in 
to his own, and says : " Peace be unto you !" And in the sacra- 
ment he makes himself known to them in the breaking of bread, 
and they cry out : " It is the Lord !" These are all trysting times, 
when the Saviour comes to visit his own. 

2. Observe, Christ also knocks at the door of believers. Even 
believers have got doors upon their hearts. You would think, 
perhaps, that when once Christ had found an entrance into a poor 
sinner's heart, he never would find difficulty in getting in any 
more. You would think that as Samson carried off the gates of 
Gaza, bar and all, so Christ would carry away all the gates and 
bars from believing hearts ; but no, there is still a door on the 
heart, and Christ stands and knocks. He would fain be in. It is 
not his pleasure that we should sit lonely and desolate. He would 
fain come in to us, and sup with us, and we with him. 

3. Observe, Christ speaks: "Open to me, my sister, my love, 
my dove, my undefined." O what a meeting of tender words is 
here ! all applied to a poor sinner who has believed in.Christ. (1.) 
" My sister ;" for you remember how Jesus stretched his hand 
towards his disciples, and said : " Behold my mother and my bre- 
thren ;" for whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is 
my brother, and my sister, and my mother." (2.) " My love." for 
you know how he loved sinners, left heaven out of lovn, )< r ed, 
died, rose again, out of love, for poor sinners ; and ^ her im 


believes on him, he calls him "my love. (3.) "My dove;" foi 
you know that when a sinner believes in Jesus, the holy dove-like 
Spirit is given him ; so Jesus calls that soul " My dove." (4.) 
" My undefiled ;" strangest name of all to give to a poor defiled 
sinner. But you remember how Jesus was holy, harmless, and 
undefiled. He was that in our stead ; when a poor.sinner believes 
in him, he is looked on as undefiled. Christ says : " My undefiled." 
Such are the winning words with which Christ desires to gain an 
entrance into the believer's heart. Oh, how strange that any 
heart could stand out against all this love ! 

4. Observe, Christ waits : " My head is filled with dew, and my 
locks with the drops of the night." Christ's patience with uncon- 
verted souls is very wonderful. Day after day he pleads with 
them : " Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die ?" Never did beggar 
stand longer at a rich man's gate, than Jesus, the almighty Sa- 
viour, stands at the gate of sinful worms. But his patience with 
his own is still more wonderful ; they know his preciousness, and 
yet will not let him in ; their sin is all the greater, and yet he 
waits to be gracious. 

5. Believers are often slothful at these trysting times, and put 
the Saviour away with many vain excuses. (1.) The hour of daily 
devotion is a trysting hour with Christ, in which he seeks, and 
knocks, and speaks, and waits ; and yet, dear believers, how often 
you are slothful and make vain excuses ! You have something 
else to attend to, or you are set upon some worldly comfort, and 
you do not let the Saviour in. (2.) The Lord's table is the most 
famous trysting-place with Christ. It is then that believers hear 
him knocking, saying : " Open to me." How often is this oppor- 
tunity lost through slothfulness, through want of stirring up the 
gift that is in us ; through want of attention ; through thoughts 
about worldly things; through unwillingness to take trouble 
about it ! 

" I have put off my coat ; how shall I put it on ? 
I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them ?" 

Doubtless, there are some children of God here, who did not 
find Christ last Sabbath-day at this table; who went away unre- 
freshed and uncomforted. See here the cause : it was your own 
slothfulness. Christ was knocking ; but you would not let him in. 
Do not go about to blame God for it. Search your own heart, 
and you will find the true cause. Perhaps you came without de- 
liberation, without self-examination and prayer, without duly stir- 
ring up faith.' Perhaps you were thinking about your worldly 
gains and losses, and you missed the Saviour. Remember, then, 
the fault is yours, not Christ's. He was knocking ; you would not 
let him in. 

II. Believers in darkness cannot rest without Christ. 


In the parable we find that, when the bride found her husband 
was gone, she did not return to her rest. Oh, no ! her soul failed 
for his word. She listens, she seeks, she calls. She receives no 
answer. She asks the watchmen, but they wound her, and take 
away her veil ; still she is not broken off from seeking. She sets 
the daughters of Jerusalem to seek along with her. 

So is it with the believer. When the slothful believer is really 
awakened tc feel that Christ has withdrawn himself, and is gone, 
he is slotnful no longer. Believers remain at ease only so long 
as they flatter themselves that all is well; but if they are made 
sensible, by a fall into sin, or by a fresh discovery, of the wicked- 
edness of their heart, that Christ is away from them, they cannot 
rest. The world can rest quite well, even while they know that 
they are not in Christ. Satan lulls them into fatal repose. Not 
so the believer ; he cannot rest. 1. He does all he can do him- 
self. He listens, he seeks, he calls. The Bible is searched with 
fresh anxiety. The soul seeks and calls by prayer ; yet often all 
in vain. He gets no answer, no sense of Christ's presence. 2. 
He comes to ministers God's watchmen on the walls of Zion. 
They deal plainly and faithfully with the backslidden soul take 
away the veil, and show him his sin. The soul is thus smitten 
and wounded, and without a covering ; and yet it does not give 
over its search for Christ. A mere natural heart would fall away 
under this ; not so the believer in darkness. 3. He applies to 
Christian friends and companions; bids them help him, and pray 
for him ; " I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find 
him whom my soul loveth, tell him that I am sick of love." 

Is there any of you, then, a believer in darkness, thus anxiously 
seeking Christ? You thought that you had really been a believer 
in Jesus ; but you have fallen into sin and darkness, and all your 
evidences are overclouded. You are now anxiously seeking 
Christ. Your soul fails for his Word. You seek, you call, even 
though you get no answer. You do search the Bible, even though 
it is without comfort to you. You do pray, though you have no 
comfort in prayer, no confidence that you are heard. You ask 
counsel of his ministers, and when they deal plainly with you, you 
are not offended. They wound you, and take away the veil from 
you. They tell you not to rely on any past experiences, that they 
may have been delusive, they only increase your anxiety ; still 
you follow hard after Christ. You seek the daughters of Jerusa- 
lem, them that are the people of Christ, and you tell them to pray 
for you. 

Is this your case ? As face answers to face, so do yofe see your 
own image here ? Do you feel that you cannot rest out of Christ ? 
then do not be too much cast down. This is no mark that you 
are not a believer, but the very reverse. Say : 

" Why art thou cast down, my soul .' 
Why art tbou disquieted in me? 

344 SERMON L1X. 

Still trust in God : for I shall yet praise him, 

Who is the health of my countenance, an i my God." 

Is tnere any of you awakened since last Sabbath-day, by some 
fall into sin, to feel that Christ is away from you? Doubtless, 
there must be some who, within this little week, have found out 
that, though they ate bread with Christ, they have lifted up the 
heel against him. And are you sitting down contented without 
anxiety? Have you fallen, and do you not get up and run, 
that if possible, you may find Christ again ? Ah, then ! I stand 
in doubt of you ; or rather, there is no need of doubt ; you never 
have known the Saviour you are none of his. 

III. Believers in darkness are sick of love, and full of the com- 
mendation of Christ more than ever. 

In the parable, the bride told the daughters of Jerusalem that 
she was sick of love. This was the message she bade them carry ; 
and when they asked her about her beloved, she gave them a rich 
and glowing description of his perfect beauty, ending by saying : 
" He is altogether lovely." 

So is it with the believer in time of darkness : " He is sick of 
love." When Christ is present to the soul, there is no feeling of 
sickness. Christ is the health of the countenance. When I have 
him full in my faith as a complete surety, a calm tranquillity is 
spread over the whole inner man ; the pulse of the soul has a 
calm and easy flow ; the heart rests in a present Saviour with a 
healthy, placid affection. The soul is contented with him ; at rest 
in him : " Return unto thy rest, O my soul." There is no feeling 
of sickness. It is health to the bones ; it is the very health of the 
soul to look upon him, nnd to love him. But when the object of 
affection is away, the heart turns sick. When the heart searches 
here and there, and cannot find the beloved object, it turns faint 
with longing : " Hope deferred maketh the heart sick." When 
the ring-dove has lost its mate, it sits lone and cheerless, and will 
not be comforted. When the bird that hath been robbed of its 
young, comes back again and again, and hovers with reluctant 
wing over the spot where her nest was built, she fills the grove 
with her plaintive melodies she is " sick of love." These are the 
'earnings of nature. Such also are the yearnings of grace. 
When Jesus is away from the believing soul it will not be com- 
forted. When the soul reads, and prays, and seeks, yet Jesus is 
not found, the heart yearns and sickens he is " sick of love. 5 * 
" Hope deferred maketh the heart sick." 

Did yon ever feel this sickness ? Did you ever feel that Christ 
was precious, but not present ; that you could not lay hold on 
Christ as you used to do, and yet your soul yearned after nim, and 
would not be comforted without him ? If you have 1. Remem- 
ber it is a happy sickness ; it is a sickness not of nature at all. but 
of grace. All the struggles of nature would never make you " .f'ck 


of love." Never may you be cured of it, except it be in the re- 
vealing of Jesus ! 2. Remember it is not best to be " sick of 
love ;" it is better to be in health, to have Christ revealed to the 
soul, and to love him with a free, healthy love. In heaven, the 
inhabitants never say they are sick. Do not rest in this sickness ; 
press near to Jesus to be healed. 3. Most, I fear, never felt this 
sickness ; know nothing of what it means. Oh ! dear souls, re- 
member this one thing: If you never felt the sickness of grace, 
it is too likely you never felt the life of grace. If you were told 
of a man, that he never felt any pain or uneasiness of any kind all 
his days, you would conclude that he must have been dead that 
he never had any life ; so you, if you know nothing of the sick 
yearnings of the believer's heart, it is too plain that you are dead ; 
that you never have had any life. 

Last of all, the believer in darkness commends the Saviour. 
There is no more distinguishing mark of a true believer than this. 
To the unawakened there is no form nor comeliness in Christ ; no 
beauty that they should desire him. Even awakened souls have 
no true sense of Christ's perfect comeliness. If they saw how 
Christ answers their need, they could not be anxious. But to be 
lievers in darkness there is all comeliness in Christ ; he is fairer 
than ever he was before. And when the sneering world, or cold- 
hearted brethren, ask : " What is thy beloved more than another 
beloved?" he delights to enumerate his perfections, his person, 
his offices, his everything ; he delights to tell that " he is the chief- 
est among ten thousand" "his mouth is most sweet" yea, "he 
is altogether lovely." 

A word to believers in darkness. There may be some who are 
walking in darkness, not having any light. Be persuaded to do as 
the bride did ; not only to seek your beloved, but to commend 
him, by going over his perfections. 

1. Because this is the best of all ways to find him. One of the 
chief reasons of your darkness is your want of considering Christ. 
Satan urges you to think of a hundred things before he will let 
you think about Christ. If the eye of your faith be fully turned 
upon a full Christ, your darkness will be gone in the instant. 
" Look unto me, and be ye saved." Now, nothing so much en- 
gages your eye to look at Christ as going over his perfections to 

2. Because you will lead others to seek him with you. Oh ! 
dear brethren, the great reason of our having so many dark Chris- 
tians nowadays, is, that we have so many selfish Christians. Men 
live for themselves. If you would live for others, then your dark- 
ness would soon flee away. Commend Christ to others, and they 
will go with you. Parents, commend him to your children ; chil- 
dren, commend him to your parents, and who knows but God may 


bless the word, even of a believer walking in darkness, that they 
shall cry out : 

" Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women ? 

Whither is thy beloved turned aside, that we may seek him with thee ?" 

St. Peters, 1837. 



" And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the reve- 
lations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to 
buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the 
Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is 
sufficient for thee : for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly 
therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest. 
upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, 
in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake : for when I am weak, then am I 
strong." 2 Cor. xii., 7-10. 

WHAT is contained in this passage ? I. PauTs wonderful privi- 
lege ; caught up into the third heaven, and into paradise ; got a 
day's foretaste of glory ; saw and heard wonderful things. II. 
Paul's humbling visitation ; a thorn in the flesh. He had been in 
the world of spirits, where is no sin ; now he was made to feel 
that he had a body of sin to cry, " O wretched man that I am ! 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?" He had been 
among the inhabitants of heaven ; now one from hell is allowed 
to buffet him. III. His conduct under it ; fervent repeated prayer. 
*' I besought (marking his earnestness) thrice ;" no answer ; still 
he prayed. Before, he was more engaged in praise, or thinking 
of telling others ; now he is brought to cry for his own soul, lest 
he should be a castaway. The answer : " My grace is sufficient 
for thee." God does not pluck the thorn away ; does not drive the 
devil back to hell ; does not take him out of the body. No ; but he 
opens his own breast, and says, Look here ; here is grace enough for 
thee ; here is strength that will hold up the weakest. IV. PauFs 
resolution ; to go on his way glorifying in his infirmities. He is 
contented to have infirmities, to have a body of sin, in order that 
Christ may be glorified in holding up such a weak vessel : That 
the power of Christ may rest continually on my soul ; that his 
mighty hand may have one to hold up to his own praise. 1 take 
pleasure in all humbling dispensations ; for they teach me that I 
have no strength, and then I am strongest. 

I. PauTs wonderful privilege. 


He had gained a glorious foretaste of heaven given to him. It 
was a wonderful season to his soul. He was caught up to the 
third heaven, or to paradise. He was taken up to the Father's 
house with many mansions. He was taken up to be with Jesus and 
the saved thief in paradise. Much he could not tell. How it was, 
whether he was in the body or out of the body, he could not tell. 
The words he heard, the words of the Father, the words of Je- 
sus, the songs of the redeemed, and of the holy angels, they were 
unspeakable. Still, he could never forget that day. Fourteen 
years had gone over his head, and yet it was fresh in his remem- 
brance. The sights he saw, the words he heard, he never could 
forget. It was just a day of glory, a foretaste of heaven. 

Dear believers, you also have wonderful privileges. You also 
have your foretastes of heaven. You may not have the miracu- 
lous visions of paradise which Paul here speaks of; yet you have 
tasted the very joy that is in heaven ; drunk of the very river of 
God's pleasures. If you have known the Lord Jesus, you know him 
who is the pearl of heaven, the sun and centre of it. If you have 
the Father's smile, you have the very joy of heaven. Above all, 
if you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, you have the earnest 
of the inheritance. On such days as last communion Sabbath, 
are not the joys of a Christian unspeakable and full of glory? 
" Whom having not seen we love." Are not such days to be 
looked back upon ? Even fourteen years after, when many will be 
gone to the table above, some will look back to last Sabbath as a day 
spent in his courts, better than a thousand. To those of you who 
get no joy on such occasions, what can we say, but that you would 
get no joy in heaven f If you are not made glad at the table be- 
low, you will never, I fear, be made glad at the table above. 

II. Paufs humbling visitation. Verse 7. 

1. What was given him. 

The thorn in the flesh here spoken of is variously understood 
by interpreters. (1.) Some understand it to have been a bodily 
disease ; some sharp-shooting pains which were given him. Pain 
and disease are very humbling. They are often used by God to 
bring down the lofty spirit of nan. (2 ) Some understand by it 
some remarkable temptation to sin immediately from the hand of 
the devil. A messenger from Satan which was like a thorn in his 
soul. (3.) Some understand it to have been some besetting sin, 
some part of his body of sin of which he complains so sore 
(Rom. vii.) some lust of his old man stirred up to activity by a 
messenger of Satan. It seems most probable that this was the 
thorn that made him groan. 

Whatever it was, one thing is plain, it was a truly humbling 
visit. It brought Paul to the dust. A little before, he had beer 
m the sinless world, he felt no body of sin, saw the pure spirits 
before the throne, and the spirits of just men made perfect ; now, 


he is brought down to feel that he has a body of sin and death, 
he has a thorn in the flesh. A little before, he was among holy 
angels, trampling hell and the grave below his feet ; now, a mes- 
senger from hell is sent to buffet him. " O wretched man !" 

Ques. Wliy was this given him ? Ans. Lest he should be ex- 
alted above measure. This is twice stated. What a singular 
thing is pride ! Who would have thought that taking Paul into 
paradise for a day would have made him proud ? and yet God, 
who knew his heart, knew it would be so, and therefore brought 
him down to the dust. The pride of nature is wonderful. A 
natural man is proud of anything. Proud of his person, although 
he did not make it, yet he prides himself upon his looks. Proud 
of his dress, although a block of wood might have the same cause 
for pride, if you would put the clothes on it. Proud of riches, 
as if there were some merit in having more gold than others. 
Proud of rank, as if there were some merit in having noble blood. 
Alas ! pride flows in the veins ; yet, there is a pride more wonder- 
ful than that of nature pride of grace. You would think a man 
never could be proud who had once seen himself lost ; yet, alas ! 
Scripture and experience show that a man may be proud of his 
measure of grace ; proud of forgiveness : proud of humility ; 
proud of knowing more of God than others It was this that was 
springing up in Paul's heart when God sent him the thorn in the 

Dear friends, some of you last Lord's day were brought very 
near to God, and filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 
Some, I am persuaded, have since then had Paul's humbling expe- 
rience. You thought that you were for eve'r away from sin, but 
a thorn in the flesh has brought you low. You have fallen into 
sin during the week ; or something has brought you low indeed. 
"O wretched man !" Why do you thus fall after a communion sea- 
son 1 1. To make you humble ; to teach you what a vile worm you 
are, when you can go to the Lord's table, and yet fall so low ; this 
may well teach you that you are vile. You thought, perhaps, that 
sin was clean away, but here you see it is again. What constant 
need you have of Jesus' blood ! 2. To make you long for heaven. 
There we shall sin no more for ever. Nothing but holiness there. 
No unclean thing can enter. Oh, press forward to it! Do not 
sit down by the way. Look forward to glory. 

III. PauFs remedy prayer* 

Here is the difference between a natural man and a child of 
God. Both have the thorn in the flesh ; but a natural man is con- 
tented with it. His lusts do not vex and trouble him. A child of 
God cannot rest under the power of temptation. He flies lo his 
knees. The moment Paul felt the bufferings of Satan's messenger, 
he fell upon his knees, praying his Father to take it away from him. 
No answer came. Again he goes to the throne of grace. Again 


no answer. A third time he falls on his knees, and will not let 
God go without the blessing. The answer comes : " My grace is 
sufficient for thee." Not the thing he asked. He asked : Take 
this thorn away. God does not pluck it out of his flesh, does not 
drive Satan's messenger back to hell. He could have done this, 
but he does not. He opens his own bosom, and says : Look here. 
It hath pleased the Father that in me should all fulness dwell ; 
" My grace is sufficient for thee." Here is the Holy Spirit for 
every need of thy soul. Oh, what a supply did Paul then see in 
Christ ! What unsearchable riches ! He had seen much in the 
third heaven, but here was something more, an almighty Spirit 
waiting for the need of poor weak sinners. 

Dear friends, have you found out this remedy of the tempted 
soul ? 1. Have you been driven to your knees by temptation ? 
I said, the week before the communion should be a week of prayer ; 
but if you have had Paul's experience, the week after has been 
one of prayer also. 2. Oh, tempted soul ! be importunate, take 
no denial. Men ought always to pray, and not to faint. Be like 
the importunate widow, the Canaanitish woman. If you lie down 
contented under sin, you may well tear that there is no grace in 
you. 3. Take Paul's answer. God may not pluck out the thorn. 
This is the world of thorns. But look into his breast. There is 
enough in Jesus to keep thy soul. The ocean is full of drops, but 
Christ's bosom is more full of grace. Oh ! pray either that your 
lusts may be taken away, or that you may believe the grace that 
is in Christ Jesus. 

IV. PauVs determination. Verses 9, 10. 

" Most gladly." When Paul was caught up into paradise lie 
thought he would never again feel his body of sin ; but when he 
was humbled and made to know himself better, and to know the 
grace that is in Christ, then his glory ever after was, that he had 
a weak body of sin and death, and that there was power enough 
in Christ to keep him from falling. From that day he gloried not 
that he had no sin in him, but that he had an almighty Saviour 
dwelling in him and upholding him. He took pleasure now in 
everything that made him feel his weakness ; for this drove him 
to 'Jesus lor strength. 

Learn, dear brethren, the true glory of a Christian in this world. 
The world knows nothing of it. A true Christian has a body of 
sin. He has every lust and corruption that is in the heart of man 
or devil. He wants no tendency to sin. If the Lord has givon 
you light, you know and feel this. What is the difference, then, 
between you and the world? Infinite! You are in the hand of 
Christ. His Spirit is within you. He is able to keep you from 
Calling. " Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous ; and shout for joy all 
yc that are upright in heart." 

St Peter't, April 26, 1840 




For the Son >f Man is a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gavt 
authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the portei 
to watch. Wateh ye therefore : for ye know not when the master of the house 
cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning : lest 
coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, 
Watch." Mark xiii., 34-37. 

The Church on earth is Christ's house : " Who left his house." 
Verse 34. This parable represents the Church on earth as 
Christ's house or dwelling. 

1. Because he is the foundation stone of it Just as every stone 
of a building rests on the foundation, so does every believer rest 
on Christ. He is the foundation rock upon which they rest. If 
it were not for the foundation, the whole house would fall into 
ruins the floods and winds would sweep it away. If it were not 
for Christ, all believers would be swept away by God's anger ; 
but they are rooted and built up in him, and so they form his 

2. Because he is the builder. (1.) Every stone of the building 
has been placed there by the hands of Christ ; Christ has taken 
every stone from the quarry. Look unto the rock whence ye 
were hewn, and the hole of the pit whence ye were digged. A 
natural person is embedded in the world just as firmly as rock in 
the quarry, the hands of the almighty Saviour alone can dig out 
the soul, and loosen it from its natural state. (2.) Christ has car- 
ried it, and laid it on the foundation. Even when a stone has been 
quarried, it cannot lift itself; it needs to be carried, and built upon 
the foundation. So when a natural soul has been wakened, he 
cannot build himself on Christ ; he must be carried on the shoul- 
der of the great master builder. Every stone of the building has 
been thus carried by Christ. What a wonderful building ! Well 
may it be called Christ's house, whea he builds every stone of it. 
See that ye be quarried out by Christ ; see to it, that ye be car- 
ried by him, built on him ; then you will be an habitation of God 
through the Spirit. 

3. Because his friends are here. Wherever a man's friends are, 
that is his home ; wherever a man's mother and sisters and 
brothers dwell, that is his home ; this, then, must be Christ's home, 
for he stretched forth his hand towards his disciples, and said : 
" Behold my mother and my brethren ; for whosoever shall do the 
will of my father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and 
sister, and mother." As long as this world has a believer in it, 
Christ will look upon it as his house. He cannot forget, even in 
glory, the well of Samaria the garden of Gethsemane the hill 


of Calvary. Happy for you who know Christ, and who do the 
will of his Father; wherever you dwell, Christ calls it his house. 
You may dwell in a poor place, and still be happy ; for Christ 
dwells with you, and calls it his dwelling, he calls you " My brother, 
sister, mother." 

II. Christ is like a man who has gone afar journey, Verse 34. 
Although the Church on earth be his house, and although he 
has such affection for it, yet Christ is not. here, he is risen Christ 
is risen indeed. 

1. He has gone to take possession of heaven in our name. When 
an elder brother of a family purchases a property for himself and 
his brothers, he goes a far journey, in order to take possession. 
So Christ is an elder brother. He lived and died in order to 
purchase forgiveness and acceptance for sinners. He has gone 
into heaven to take possession for us. Do you take Christ for 
your surety? Then you are already possessed of heaven. 

Ques. How am I possessed of heaven when I have never been 
there ? 

Ans. Christ your surety has taken possession in your name. If 
you will realize this, it will give you fulness of joy. A person may 
possess a property which he has never seen. 

Look at your surety in the land that is very far off, calling it 
all his own, for the sake of his younger brethren : " These things 
have I spoken unto you, that your joy may be full." 

2. He has gone to intercede for us. (1.) .He has gone to inter- 
cede for unawakened, barren sinners : " Lord, let it alone this 
year also." Oh, sinner ! why is it that you have not died a sudden 
death ? Why have you not gone quite down into the pit ? How 
often the Saviour has prayed for some of you ! Shall it be all in 
vain ? (2.) To intercede for his believing people, to procure all 
blessings for them. Often an elder brother of a family goes into 
a far country, and sends back rich presents to his younger bre- 
thren at home. This is what Christ has done ; He has gone far 
above all heavens, there to appear in the presence of God for us, 
and to ask the very things we need, and to send us down all the 
treasures of heaven. Of his fulness have we all received, even 
grace for grace. " I will pray the Father, and he shall give you 
another comforter." Oh, Christians ! believe in a praying Christ, 
if you would receive heavenly blessings. Believe just as if you 
saw him, and open the mouth wide to receive the blessings for 
which he is praying. 

3. He has gone to prepare a place for us. When a family are 
going to emigrate to a foreign shore, often the elder brother goes 
before to prepare a place for his younger brethren. This is what 
Christ has done. He does not intend that we should live here 
always ; he has gone a far journey in order to prepare a place for 
us: " I go to prepare a place for you ; and if I go and prepare a 


place foi you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that 
where I am, there ye may be also." Oh, Christians ! believe in 
Christ preparing a place for you. It will greatly take away 
the fear of dying. It is an awful thing to die, even ibr a forgiven 
and sanctified soul ; to enter on a world unknown, unseen, untried. 
One thing takes away fear ; Christ is preparing a place quite 
suitable for my soul ; he knows all the wants and weaknesses of 
my frame : I know he will make it a pleasant home to me. 

III. All Christ's people are servants, and have their work as- 
signed them. Verse 34. 

1. Ministers are servants, and have their work assigned them. 
T\\o kinds are here mentioned. (1.) Stewards. These seem to 
be the servants to whom he gave authority. All ministers should 
be stewards; rightly dividing the Word of life: giving to every 
one of the family his portion of meat in due season. Oh! it is a 
blessed work, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased 
with his own blood ; to give milk to babes, and strong meat to 
grown men ; to give convenient food to every one. Pray for 
your ministers that they may be made stewards. There are few 
such. (2.) Porters. He commanded the porter to watch. It is 
the office of some ministers to stand at the door and invite every 
sinner, saying ; " Enter ye in at the strait gate." Some ministers 
have not the gift of feeding the Church of God and watering it 
Paul planted A polios watered. Some are only door-keepers ir 
the house of my God. Learn not to despise any of the true ser 
vants of God. Are all apostles ? Are all prophets ? He has ap 
pointed some to stand at the door, and some to break the chh 
dren's bread despise neither. 

2. All Christians are servants, and have their work assign**- 
them. Some people think that ministers only have to work k^ 
Christ: but see here: ** He gave to every man his work." la *t 
great house, the steward and the porter are not the only servar./j ; 
there are many more, and all have their work to do. Juyr so 
among the people of Christ. Ministers are not the only sex v.ints 
of Christ : all that believe on him are his servants. 

(1.) Learn to be working Christians. " Be ye doers if the 
Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own souls." It is 
very striking to see the uselessness of many Christian- Are 
there none of you who know what it is to be selfish ir. your 
Christianity ? You have seen a selfish child go into a secret 
place to enjoy some delicious morsels undisturoed by his 
companions ? So is it with some Christians. Thf.v feed upon 
Christ and forgiveness : but it is alone, and all for themselves. 
Are there not some of you who can enjoy being a Christian, while 
your dearest friend is not ; and yet you will not speak to him ? 
See, here you have got your work to do. When Christ found 
you, he said : " Go, work in my vineyard." What were you hired 


for. if it was not to work ? What were you saved for, if it was not 
to spread salvation ? What blessed for ? Oh, my Christian friends ! 
how little you live as if you were servants of Christ ! how much 
idle time and idle talk you have ! This is not like a good servant. 
How many things you have to do for yourself! how few for 
Christ and his people ! This is not like a servant. 

(2.) Learn to keep to your own work. In a great house every 
servant has his own peculiar work. One man is the porter to 
open the door ; another is the steward to provide food for the 
family ; a third has to clean the rooms ; a fourth has to dress the 
food ; a fifth has to wait upon the guests. Every one has his 
proper place, and no servant interferes with another. If all were 
to become porters, and open the door, then what would become 
of the stewardship? or, if all were to be stewards, who would 
clean the house ? Just so is it with Christians. Every one has 
his peculiar work assigned him, and should not leave it. " Let 
every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called." 
Obndiah had his work appointed him in the court of the wicked 
Ahab. God placed him as his servant there, saying : " Work 
here for me." Does any of you belong to a wicked family ? 
Seek not to be removed Christ has placed you there to be his 
servant work for him. The Shunamite had her work. When 
the prophet asked: " Wilt thou be spoken for to the king?" she 
said : " I dwell among mine own people." Once a poor demoniac 
whom Jesus healed, besought Jesus that he might follow after