« ForrigeFortsæt »
not recollect that they are dealing with God! but 0, will they not be destroyed by his anger, and consumed by his fury, since they are offering the Lord strange fire, which he commanded them not?
O that the great God we worship would himself convince us, and impress us with the truth, that we
every act of prayer and praise, dealing with “the King eternal, immortal, and invisible."
2. We have to do with God in the hour of death. To that solemn hour, every pulse we tell brings us
The youngest may say, Soon this hand will cease to move, this throbbing heart be still. And O, as soon as we have drawn our last gasp, and uttered our last sigh, we shall have to do with God, in a way we never had before ! Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel :” thy God must be met, and terrible indeed will he appear to thee in that dread moment, unless thou hadst before had dealing with him, through Christ, as the God of salvation, the Hearer and Answerer of prayer ! Yes, we shall have to do with him ; for he is coming to stop the warm current of existence, and call us to himself: we shall have to do with him; for yet a little while, and he will call our spirits to his bar, and take them kindly to himself, or assign them their lot with the wretched beings on whom his wrath is poured out for ever, without the least mixture of mercy. In the hour of death, let every soul solemnly recollect, he shall have to do with God; may it be to say,
• Into thine hands I commit my spirit.” “ I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.” May the exchange be this : for me to give him a spirit redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and renewed by the Spirit of God; and for him to give me heaven and himself for my everlasting portion. Then I shall not regret, that in
death he will appear the God with whom I have to do.
Once more, we shall particularly have to do with God
3. At the last judgment. “ For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." We shall then have to do with him : for he is coming in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, sitting upon the throne of his glory ; before him shall be gathered all nations : “ for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Is there not a day appointed in which the God with whom we have to do, will judge the world in righteousness, by that Man whom he has ordained ?” Yes, he will in that day “ judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” “Why then dost thou judge thy brother ? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ." “ For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So that every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” The dead, small and great, shall stand before God, the books shall be opened, and the dead shall be judged out of those things which are written in the books. We shall all have to do with God as our King, our Lawgiver, and our Judge: we shall all stand before him either pale, trembling, and in despair, or in all the ecstacy of holy joy. Each of us shall hear the voice, done;" or the sound,“ Depart.” Thus shall we have to do with God at the last day.
II. Glance at his penetrating omniscience, as connected with such a view of him. For "all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." All things are naked and open to his view.
He beholds the whole universe, and every thing done in it. He knows all that passes in heaven,
for there he displays his glory, and sees his servants ever before him, standing to hear his wisdom, or occupied in singing his praise. T'he dark abodes of despair, too, are inspected by him. Hell is naked before him, and destruction is without a covering. But his minute attention to individuals, is what I wish to enforce upon you now,
that you may see how every mortal is immediately concerned in the omnipresence and omniscience of Jehovah ; for "all things are naked and opened eyes
of Him with whom we have to do." They are exposed to his view, they are marked by him. All the things we did in our infancy, in our youth, and all we are doing now. This shows us, I remark, by way of distinction and impression, that he is acquainted-with our state-our feelings—and our characters.
1. He knows well our state. It is naked and open before him. The God with whom we have to do, perceives accurately the circumstances of our condition. At once he knows, whether we are“ in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity,” or whether we have been “ translated into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” “ Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." A hypocrite's heart always lies naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Christ's members and ministers inay be deceived, in the estimation they form of a man's personal religion, but God cannot be deceived. As he looks now upon this assembly, he knows, to the nicest certainty, who fears him, and who fears him not; he recognises the men that have been in their closets in prayer to-day; he sees the sincere worshipper, and distinguishes him from the cold formalist, and the pharisaical professor. The state of every one of us, as a child of God, or an heir of hell, is “ naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."
2. So also he knows and is privy to all our feelings. Those not excepted, which we foolishly think are locked up in our own hearts, and hidden from perception; he knows them altogether. The secret desires any of you may entertain after sinful gratifications, and unballowed pleasures, are all witnessed by him, and recorded in his book. Your desires to check conviction, to flee from remorse, to kill time, to obtain worldly honors; all
are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." All your hopes, whether well founded, or resting on false foundations, are known to God. All your attempts at self-deception, or to deceive others. Ah! he know's them all. All your fears of dying, your dread of hell, these things are ever before him. The sensations of your mind, the feelings of your heart, which prompt you to the performance of the actions you accomplish, he detects, he sees even afar off. No wonder, then, that,
3. All our characters are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." What we are at home, and what we are abroad, what we are in the closet, what we are in the family, what we are in the church, and what we
are in the world. The proportion of what is called virtue, and what is styled vice, that forms our character, is “all known by Him with whom we have to do ;” and hence “ there is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves from his view."
“ Almighty God, thy piercing eye
Strikes through the shades of night,
All open to thy sight.
Nor wicked word we say,
Against the judgment-day.”
III. Deduce from the subject some suitable reflections. And O! how this voice of God may be heard to urge us
1. To evince holy reverence. A being, like Jehovah, privy to every thought, acquainted with all our ways, understanding even the secrets of our minds, should be looked up to and addressed with holy awe. His name is so holy and reverend, that when we approach him, we ought even to rejoice with trembling. O let us never dare trifle before him : let us entertain for him the highest sentiments of veneration : let us not even mention his name,
but with the most solemn feelings of holy reverence; for we are not worthy even to take his name upon our polluted lips. He is in heaven, and we are upon earth ; all things we do, and say, and think, are naked and open before him. Let us think on him, then, with all reverence and awe.
2. Learn hence to practise devout circumspection. Watch over your heart, and guard against