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own bitterness, and a stranger inter-, Corinthians, sixth chapter and sixteenth meddleth not with it; but the Lord verse, you read, “And what agreement knoweth it altogether; yet in the midst hath the temple of God with idols? for of all, the Lord pleadeth at the right ye are the temple of the living God: as hand of God as our great intercessor; God hath said, I dwell in them, and I when we have ceased to pray, his walk in them; and I will be their God prayers go up as much incense, and and they shall be my people.” Oh I hope his boundless merit pleadeth louder for never to forget that truth of that dear us than all our evil ingratitude can man of God Goodwin, describing all ever plead against us.
the blessings of the covenant, he says, The Lord has a people; and if he • The covenant has all fulness, granhas a people he will try them, and they deur, and glory, yet the greatest of shall not be found summer flies just all is, that God is the God of his resting on the surface of things, but people—that he has made himself over they shall be found to be those that as their God—that he not only has know the truth in the power of it, and taken their nature—that he not only they shall be made to feel and experi- watches over them by night and by day, ence the worth of it. It shall not be but that he has made himself over as enough for them to say I am a sinner, their God—that there is not a perfection but they shall feel the wretchedness of of his nature but what is their bulwark being a sinner, they shall not only that there is not an attribute of his confess that Christ is precious, but name but what is that wall of fire that they shall be placed where they shall surrounds them night and day.” know him to be precious. Be assured, My dear hearers, if you have God my dear hearers, there is nothing that for your God I will suppose you poor, lies more upon my heart at this present and empty, and tried, and outwardly moment when I am preaching, than wretched—I will suppose you friendthe full consciousness that when the less and homeless“I will suppose the Lord cometh he will find numbers that most destitute case that ever has been, have thought themselves Christians, or ever can be in this world, and yet it who have thought that they shall seeand when you go to your cheerless residence that they now know Christ, and when you have God as your God, I would that solemn hour shall come, their pro- say with abasement and reverence of fession shall be found to be nothing but soul, you have more cause to bless a mere empty lamp in their hand. Oh, God, you have more cause to adore bim, there is something deeply affecting in all you have more cause to shout for joy this! God will try his own work-he than the highest angel or archangel will put his own people in trials and that is now surrounding his throne. temptations, and there shall not be a Talk not of your wretchedness and grace of his spirit but what shall be your poverty and your disease-talk tried. He will put his gold into the not of your weakness and nothingness, furnace-he will put his people into if God be your God not only heaven is the valley of humiliation in order that your home but you have that without they may know and feel the worth of which heaven would not be worth the the great deliverer.
having. The Lord has a people; and it is a God has a people—no wonder then most blessed consideration to reflect he comforts them—his eye is upon that while he has a people, he is their them from the beginning of the year to God. If you turn to the epistle to the the end of the year. They are the salt of the earth to him, and he that touches | David had his courtiers-- David had his them touches the apple of his eye. An harp-David was a man of taste and a unkind word to them is an unkind man of war, but what did David es. word to himself, and every cup of cold teem to be that which made him blesswater given to them is the same as if ed? Look to the thirty-second Psalm : they gave it to the God of heaven. “ Blessed is he whose transgression is Jesus himself tells you so—he himself forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessproclaims it—" inasmuch as you have ed is the man unto whom the Lord done it unto the least of these my imputeth not iniquity, and in whose brethren, ye have done it unto me." spirit there is no guile.”
My dear But now observe the Lord's MES- brethren, the great contest Satan has SAGE UNTO HIS MINISTERS. “Com- with our consciences is about the parfort ye, comfort ye, my people." don of our sins, be assured of it. When
The great cause of comfort to a child you and I draw near to death, or think of God may be summed up in a little we draw near to death, when something sentence, through eternity he never shall of a cold shiver comes on us that recome to the close of it. Christ is his minds us—thou mayst be summoned portion; and if you turn to the first from time into eternity-this may be epistle of the Corinthians, third chap-God's message to thy soul—this may ter, twenty-second and twenty-third be that moment when thy soul may be verses, you find, that as he who required of thee, be assured that Satan's has the cabinet has all that is in the great controversy with us will be about cabinet, so he that has Christ, who the pardon of our sins. And I would is the rich gift of the Father's love say, what can render a man peaceful to his church, he has all in him. at that moment? Do you want to Observe “Whether Paul, or Apollos, weigh the world—bring out the scales or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, of it-place a man under a wretched or things present, or things to come; agonizing conscience, and then put beall are yours; and ye are Christ's, fore him all that is in the world—put and Christ is God's.” The Lord the wife of his bosom, put his children does not say, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, weeping, put his estates, put his momy people,” without giving them cause ney, his titles, his rank, his influence, for comfort. They have Christ the and he will tell you that they are all as consolation of Israel as their portion; the bubble that bursteth ; but one view they have all things because they have of God's pardoning love, a drop of that Christ, whether things presentor things blood sprinkled on his heart, a sense of to come, all are yours because Christ God's love shed abroad on his spirit by is yours. The weakest believer has the Eternal Spirit, and how quietly Christ, and he that has Christ has God, can he then lay his head upon his piland he has every blessing in Christ low, how quietly can he commend whether it be for time or for eternity. himself into the arms of his Father
And now let me point out some few when he can realize that truth “blessed of those great and glorious and stu- is he whose iniquity is forgiven and pendous mercies that flow to a child whose sin is covered.” Well might of God in consequence of his having the people of God then be comforted Christ as his portion. He has that by this truth that their sins have all which made David glad. Look at the been blotted out as a cloud, and as a thirty-second Psalm. See what it was thick cloud their transgressions—that that Davidcounted blessing. Just by the though their sins be as scarlet, yet inasway remark, David had his throne much as they have received Christ, they
have received all forgiveness in him, and But, my dear hearers, David found by one drop of his blood they are another cause of comfort; and if you washed as white as snow.
turn to the seventy-third Psalm and Do you ask us for another ground the last verse, you shall find in what of comfort? See it in a covenant, or- he found it-a Throne of Grace: “It dered in all things.-2 Sam. xxiii. 5. is good for me to draw near to Precious verse. Those fathers must love God." There is no mercy on earth it, I think, who have the love of God in greater than to have a God in hea. their heart.“ Although my house be ven, and to have that God as oursnot so with God”—I do not see what to have an intercessor at the right I wish to see altogether—I see some hand—to have an intercessor in my things that affect me, and some things own soul-to have the heart of God that abase me, and some things that to have the promise of God to have afflict me; but “although my house the covenant of God—to have Jehovah be not so with God, yet he hath himself as my portion. Oh, blessed made with me an everlasting cove- happiness ! high and exalted mercy! nant, ordered in all things and sure: “ It is good for me,” says David, “to for this is all my salvation, and all draw near to God." I feel persuaded, my desire, although he make it not and I humbly thank God for it, that I to grow.” Though where one has am addressing numbers that have felt expected sunshine, all is darkness— the mercy that I am speaking of. You where one has expected things straight, know the worth of the throne of God, all have been crooked—where one has you have known what it is to turn to been prepared for a smooth path, all the wall and pray-you have known has been found rough ; yet has the what it is to shed tears down your Lord made with me an everlasting co-cheeks and to take them to the Lord venant ordered in all its minute details, you have known what it is to go with Jesus the great stay of it, the great a sinking spirit, and place your sinking Mediator of it, having all the blessings spirit in the hands of a tender Saviour of it not only in his hand but in his —you have known what it was when heart. He is the blessed Eliakim on others have said, why do you feel so whom hang all the vessels great and much? You can say, I can take my small, and hanging there, they hang fluttering heart and place it in the bofor eternity. Oh, you that are build- som of my Father and my God. And ing on this world's sandy foundation, have you found it so to day? Oh, is you that have nothing better to go to there a mercy like it? whether it be in your homes with than the smiles of the street or in our houses—whether friends, and the welcomes of affection it be at our homes—whether it be with -you that can see your comforts the world or with the saints—wherever thick around you but are strangers to God places us—not where we place these truths I am speaking of, re- ourselves—but wherever God places us, member what must be the bliss of that is it not good my brother, is it not good soul who can look at a trouble and say, my sister, to draw near to God? When God has ordered it for my mercy-and the Spirit taketh away thy unbelief, who can look at a deliverance though reproving thy hard thoughts, thy misit be but as a hair of the head, or a givings, thy lack of expectation, giveth sparrow that falleth to the ground, and thee freedom in the presence of thy say, It is my Father, my Father. It was Father, and thou canst go and lay this that made David's heart glad, when thy request on his altar, and leave the prospect was black around him. it there, and then look up and expect
a blessing. “ It is good to draw near cannot tell any one besides ; and for to God.”
this reason, that you may know what But I ought not to omit one comfort is in his heart, and what is in his more-God forbid that I should, though mind; not only what is in his word, I am so apt to overlook it in my own but that you may see what is in his heart and life, yet I would not overlook heart towards you. Oh, happy trait in my judgment—I cannot-I would vellers ! strangers and pilgrims upon not in my speech, nor would I in my earth often-times learning in a way the spirit—and that is, the bright and most painful to your nature-instructbeamy prospect that is before the child ed quite in a way opposed to your flesh of God. This state of being is the and your blood, yet travelling on in the worst of his existence. If he has spent best way—the right way—the narrow the happiest moment that God can
way turned up by the footmake him spend on earth—if God smile steps of the flock, and soon to end in on him, and take him up into the pastures ever verdant, meadows ever porch of heaven, and give him to look green, where the sun shall go down no into the porch of heaven, yet com- more for ever. pared with what shall be, it is the Oh, my dear hearers, when I think worst part of his existence. Every how many there are amongst those step that he takes is a progress towards that hear me of whom we have too the perfection of his being. This is much cause to say, in their present what cheered David, I fear no evil; state, in their present condition, Woe! for thou art with me though I pass Woe!-"for there is no rest, saith my through the valley of the shadow of God, to the wicked: they are like the death.” It was this that made Job troubled sea whose waters cast up mire rejoice, as he said,
I know that my and dirt;" you, who may cajole your Redeemer liveth." It was this that consciences, and lull them to sleep made Paul write in the fulness of his with Satan's lullaby, that you attend heart, “Our light affliction, which is a preached Gospel, and calm and quiet but for a moment, worketh for us a far your fears, and hope all will be well, more exceeding and eternal weight of till some sudden stroke come upon glory; while we look not at the things you, and then you shiver to the very which are seen, but at the things which root-let me not deceive your souls, I are not seen: for the things which are think of the day of judgment—I think seen are temporal; but the things of the day of separation-I think of the which are not seen are eternal.”. awful day of decision, when the Lord 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18.
will put on his right hand his sheep, Now the Lord in his tender mercy and on his left hand the goats—when and boundless grace lay this subject the foolish virgins shall be severed from powerfully and effectually upon our the wise when they that are uncon. hearts. Many of you
I doubt not are verted, unholy, shall be found wofully knowing something of the path of af- deceiving their souls. Is there a state Aiction-many of you, I doubt not, more solemn than another-I would are treading the path of the vale of not think of the heathen, I would not tears. Perhaps you have never opened think of the Hindoo, I would not think your heart nor told your sorrows to of the Mahomedan-but I would think any one upon earth ; at least, you of that man, of that woman who comes can say, there are things in my sor- and sits under the sound of the Gospel row that I could not unfold to any one and assents to it, and in a sense conupon earth. Gou loves your secret. sents to it, and yet lives in the world and He loves you to tell him what you lives in sin, and dies in the world and dies in sin; and yet because they have to the mind of God, the more we shall some good notions, something of an be brought to this, I desire to be found accurate creed, will knock and say, in the way of comfort, that my heart may " Lord, Lord, did I not attend thy be surrendered up to God-that knowpreached word, did not I many ing that comfort which winneth from things ?" Awful answer. “ I never earth-experiencing that peace which knew you, depart from me ye workers detacheth from sin, I may live nearer of iniquity.” Oh, solemn, solemn and nearer to that God who is the thing to deceive others, but most so- source of all happiness and joy. lemn to be deceived oneself—to go to Let no careless livers dream of com. eternity with a lie in one's mouth-to fort. It is but a dream. You know go with a lamp in one's hand self-de- you have no solid comfort. You may ceived, and therefore deceiving ! May appear to be excited--you may appear the Lord show you that while you as if you were happy, but you are not reject the Gospel, you reject the only happy. Happiness and carelessness source of comfort, and that the reason never were united and never can be. wherefore you reject it is to be found A prayerful close walk with God is as in your self-deception, in your love of much united to happiness as the light sin, that God alone can give you a is united to the sun from whence it heart to believe in Him; and if it becomes; and therefore be assured of so, oh, that you may be led to pray this, that many there are who comthis day for that Holy Spirit, for which plain of their lack of happiness, and I no one ever asked and asked in vain. would say as Cecil did, talk not of
And you that are the people of God, happiness—you have a sin that you called of his grace, remember, if you indulge-there is an Achan in the are God's people, God will make you camp that God will have out of the to know that you are his people; and camp, and until he be brought out of if you ask how? He will treat you as the camp, you shall never know solid his people; and if you ask how he peace or happiness. You do not-you will treat you as his people ? He will can not. May the Lord say this of all try all the work in your hearts; he your hearts-show you that all fulness will make the gold to be known as is in Christ-take you off from selfgold, and he will show you that power-take you off from self-deceitit is not all gold that glitters. Amic- take you off from self-resolution-distion is his crucible : do not then close to you Christ in the fulness of his turn away from affliction, it may at blood-in the fulness of his righteoustimes try us sore—when faith is weak ness—in the fulness of his grace, and it does-it must-but do not turn in the tenderness of his heart. One away from it. I look upon it in my look of love from him will send thee sober judgment as the most costly out of this chapel, and thou wilt go period of a man's life; and while we and cast forth thy Achan and say, pray, as we ought, for support and com- Now will I return unto my first husfort, yet most of all should we pray that band, for then was it better with me the great end may be answered, which than now. God has in view, that is, our profit, Oh, that this may be in your heart that we may be made partakers of his and my heart. Pray for me that what holiness: Comfort is not to be de- I have been preaching I may be living sired for its own sake. The churches -and what I may be living on, I when they walked in the comfort of may be living out, to the praise and the Holy Ghost, they walked in the fear honour of Him who is the source of of the Lord. The more we are brought | all happiness and glory.