« ForrigeFortsæt »
Twentieth Sabbat;— Evening.
EXHORTATIONS AND PROMISES.
“ Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live;
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."--Is. lv, 3.
EARNEST EXHORTATIONS. My reader, it is Jesus who here pleads with you, for, part of this verse is quoted in the New Testament, and applied to the risen Saviour. He says, “ Incline your ear.” Withdraw your will from the things of time and sense, and give Me a fair hearing. It is true that your will and inclination are after sin and the things of the world, but by the aid of the Holy Spirit, your will must bend, and you must listen to Christ. You cannot become religious by force, or by proxy, but you must voluntarily attend to Him who spake as never man spake. Choose
ye this day whom ye will serve.” Be ambitious of the commendation of Christ, and choose that good part which will not be taken from you, and do not give cause for the complaint, “ Ye will not come unto Me, that ye may have life.” “ Come unto Me.” Let not your soul grovel among the things of earth, but let it approach Jesus, and believe in Him. His invitation is pressing, and gives a sufficient warrant, and there is no barrier in your way. Come all of you, for there is enough, and to spare, and yet there is room.” Come as you are, with all
EXPECTATIONS AND PROMISES.
your sins and sorrows, and He will give you rest. Come now, all things are ready, and there is not a moment to be lost.
“Come ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall :
Not the righteous,
“ Hear.” Jesus speaks, and you must hear what He says. You must hear with attention. Common politeness requires you to hear attentively a neighbour or a friend when he speaks to you, and shall you not hear Christ, when He comes with a saving message to your soul? You must hear with self-application. Though He speaks to all men, yet you must not lose yourself in a crowd, but hear Him, as if you were the only person to whom He was speaking. You must hear with faith. “If I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” You must believe the truth, and take possession of Him, who is the embodiment of all truth, saying, “My Lord, and my God.” And you must hear with resolutions to practise. As the commands of a master or sovereign are to be obeyed as well as heard, so you must no sooner hear Christ than you must obey Him.
“ Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
ENCOURAGING PROMISES “ Your soul shall live.” Your soul is created immortal, but the life here promised is spiritual life, a life of happiness on earth, and a life of eternal blessedness in heaven. How many are careful of their bodies, and neglect their souls! Do not forget that your soul is the precious jewel, while your body is only the casket that contains it. Though your soul is immortal, yet it may be lost, and if the soul is lost, all is lost. Will you not then come to Jesus, and “ your soul shall live?” It shall live happily, and live safely, an endless life.
“ I will make an everlasting covenant with you." This covenant shall bind you for ever to Jesus, and secure you in the possession of His friendship. It will bring you all the good that you require for body and for soul, for time and for eternity. It will fix in your heart holy reverence, holy love, and a holy fear of offending Him to whom you owe so much. And it will ensure your stedfastness to Himself, and the holy cause for which He suffered and died. sure mercies of David.” All who come to Jesus are here made sure of the mercies promised to David, the man according to God's own heart. These mercies include the love, compassion, goodness, and grace of Christ. Whatever promises were made to David, and whatever good things these secured, are endorsed to all the followers of Christ. Believing reader, Jesus confirms these things to you.
THE SWELLING OF JORDAN.
“How wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan ?"_Jer. xii. 5.
This question, doubtless, refers to the miraculov passage of the Israelites through the Jordan, at the time its waters were greatly swollen, when they entered the promised land. As the Israelites, after their wilderness journey had been accomplished, found the river Jordan the only barrier between them and the land of Canaan, so the Christian, at the end of his journey, sees the Jordan of death to be the only barrier between him and heaven, and, therefore, he is anxious to make preparation for overcoming this last obstacle, and this question rightly considered, will help him to solve all his difficulties, and overcome his last enemy.
What does this question suppose? It supposes that the Christian is a traveller. When he begins his journey, he does so, by believing in Jesus— by placing himself under His guidance-and by taking His word, as the map which he is daily to consult in going up through the wilderness of this world. In prosecuting his journey, he has to contend with difficulties and trials. He is wearied in running with the footmen-he is not able to contend with horses-he is tired in the land of peace and rest, after he thought the fighting and the journeying were over. When these difficulties almost overwhelmed him, how can he meet his last enemy? It supposes that at the close of his journey, he reaches the Jordan of death. Jordan, is truly an emblem of death, and the swelling of that river all the time of harvest, indicates that at the close of life we may expect trouble, disease, weakness, swelling-sorrow at parting with dear friends, and great anxiety for the future ; hence in coming to the swelling of Jordan, we greatly need the support and consolations of the gospel. We need, we seek, and we enjoy the presence of Christ, and that presence will dispel all our fears, and convince us that Jordan is but an ordinary river. It supposes that the traveller anxiously desires to reach the land beyond the river. It is a good land and large. Think of its unrivalled grandeur, its spotless purity, its delightful enployments, and its endless enjoyments. These things are promised and secured to the Christian, and if he were only across the river of death, the glories of Canaan are at his feet. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” “I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.”