« ForrigeFortsæt »
most perfectly with each other. Instead unfolded-we should witness conscious of obliterating or interfering with each guilt in its state of remorse, and restother in the exercise of their respective lessness, and alarm, till the screen had functions, they reflect on the province of been further unfolded, and then should both, the greatest possible force of il. we see those in the third state, the lustration. In looking towards them way that leadeth to the place of the rewe may say with the Apostle, “ be deemed floating with the signals of hold then the goodness and severity of invitation revealed to the eye of the God,” and instead of being in a state traveller. The two unfolded at once, of conflict, each by every new exer- with the intercepted veil at once lifted cise strengthens the line of demark- away, showed both the danger and ation by which the territory of the the deliverance, and made them palother is guarded from all violence. pable alike to the soul, newly ushered, Should a sinner, pressed by the terrors for the first time, into this scene of of the one, take refuge amidst the pro- manifestation : and no sooner are the mises of the other, he does not there- thunders of an outraged law heard by by defraud the law of its unalienable the spiritual ear than are heard along rights, but renders to it in fact the with them the glad tidings and overgreatest possible homage, by bowing tures of the Gospel. And with both unto Him who, in honour of the law, in full contemplation, at once might bowed down his head unto the sacri- they be urged to a choice between the fice. Or if the sinner stand out in de death and the life that were then set fiance to the threats of the law, and be evidently before the eye of the obalike indifferent to the promises of the server. Now, my brethren, they are Gospel, then does the latter leave him both placed beside each other in the still in the hands of the former. The text, which suggests to the reader, at Gospel does not strip the law of a one and the same time, the greatness single prerogative, and instead of har- of their ruin, and the greatness of their bouring the renegade who would deliverance therefrom-at once to be. trample upon both, it leaves him to the get a dread of the one, and to urge to penalties of an aggravated condem- flee from the wrath to come, for “how nation.
shall we escape if we neglect so great In the Gospel, nature takes no de salvation?” light, and in the law it finds no dis- It is observable, my brethren, that turbance. The voice of menace and the purpose for which the greatness of the voice of mercy are alike unheeded; this salvation is here urged, is to vinthe open gates of hell and of heaven, dicate a heavier doom of those who which lie upon the other side of death, shall live and die in the negligence are hidden as if by an impenetrable thereof. After such an offer being rescreen from the eye of the senses, and sisted; their blood remaineth upon with every man who is still unen- their own head, GOD wipeth his lightened, they are still hidden from his hands of them, and " what,” may spiritual eye. Now one might conceive, he well exclaim, " what could I that by a partial unfolding of the screen, have not done more to my vinethe way which leadeth from this world yard than I have done in it; whereto the place of the accursed, to the gate fore, when I looked that it should bring of hell, opened first to the view of the forth grapes, brought it forth wild beholder, and then should we witness grapes.” Had there been no way of those who are in the second state, to escape pointed out to you, it might whom the screen has been but partially not have been so easy to answer the
complaints of the sinner against God. self that he can be menaced with imBut now that a way, so palpable and punity by a creature so frail and seeble so free has been provided, and pro- as you? Tell me, honestly, whether vided, too, for all under the economy the peace you now experience is that of the Gospel-when in lack of all of a man who has blinked the question righteousness of his own, the righte- of his eternal destiny and so left it ousness of Christ is held out even to unsettled, or that of a man who has the chief of sinners, that he may put sifted and considered the question of it on, and appear before God invested his soul's future well-being in all in its honours, and crowned with its seriousness, and has at length placed everlasting rewards—when plied with it on a footing that will keep him firm the tenderness of a father's love, that and undismayed amidst the agonies of has been made to beam upon the world death? Tell me this, can you stand from the countenarce of the Eternal — the reckoning of a holy God without a when the protestation, and the assu- Gospel, and without a Saviour? Are rance of welcome and good will, and you not aware that sin has separated the wide sounding call of “ Look unto between you and God, and that this is me and be saved, all ye ends of the the delinquency under which you earth, for I am God; and, besides me, would vainly escape? Tell me, is it there is no Saviour"-when these are for Him, or for you, the offender, to all held out to view in the indelible find out the adjustment of your soul's record of God's own testimony—when controversy, and to dictate the terms He hath thus embarked, in the sight of the treaty of reconciliation ? Or of men and of angels, his honour in the should He, in pity to a fallen world, fulfilment of the purpose, that if stoop from the heights of his offended you but close with Christ, and but majesty, and again beckon us to his accept of him as he is offered in own realms of light and purity? Is it the Gospel, you will receive in him for you to quarrel with the path of an unfailing protection on earth, and access which He has prescribed, or to an everlasting blessedness in heaven- say that you want no salvation, and Oh! tell me how you can pass through stand in need of no Saviour ? the ordeal of the coming judgment if We are called to kiss the Son whilst it shall be found that, dead, and list- he is in the way; it is a short and a less, and immoveable in the midst of little while; the season of offered all these encouragements, you still mercy is speeding onward to its close. could grovel in the depths of your own In a few years the youngest of us will sin and your own sordidness, moved be swept from the land of Gospel opby no terror in the threats of ven. portunity. Oh, remember that the geance, and by no allurements in the voice of a beseeching God is upon you offered friendship of God?
only until death, after which the voice And why is it, that you feel so ceases to be heard, and the light of reckless and so secure? Do you really the Sun of Righteousness is lifted up think yourselves in a state in which no longer, and the fountain opened in it will do to die in? Would no mis- | Judah for sin and for uncleaness has giving sense of unpreparedness come an everlasting seal set upon it, and a upon your heart did you but once find dark impassable gulf passes between yourselves in good earnest on the mar- the souls of the impenitent and the gin of eternity? Can you seriously blood of sprinkling. “Kiss the Son imagine of God's law that its honours then whilst he is in the way,” or mark can be compromised-or of God him the alternative, “ his wrath will begin to burn." He who now is all meek- adhere to him through all eternityness, and gentleness, and kind entreaty, that amid the agonies of a misterious will then look upon you with an al- conflict he should have poured out his tered countenance; and oh! it is in- soul, and undertaking for the guilty deed a striking expression—" the millions of our race, should have bcrne wrath of the Lamb !” The wrath the whole weight of their ungodlinessof him who is denoted by that which that during the hour and power of is the emblem of patience, and non- darkness, when the sword of righteresistance, and timidity! A wrath ous vengearce was awakened against then to the excitement of which there Jehovah's fellow, and the vials of an must have been a series of deep incensed and insulted law-giver were and bitter provocations. A wrath, 1 poured out by the Father upon his ye careless and ye worldly, that ye are Son, he should have bowed down his now treasuring up unto the day of its head to the sacrifice—that thus he outpouring, when ye shall call in rain should have put forth all the energies upon the hills and mountains to fall of strength and suffering, that the upon you, and to hide you from the mountain of our iniquity might be wrath of the Lamb—likewise you will be levelled, and that we might pass over made to feel that no indignation burns in peace unto our God—that after more fiercely than the indignation of having made reconciliation he should slighted tenderness, and that there is rise again as the author and finisher no vengeance more overwhelming than of a kingly inheritance—that the overthe vengeance of offended and rejected tures of peace and mercy being promercy! For“ how shall ye escape if claimed through him to the unworthiye neglect so great salvation." est of an alienated species, the tidings
Nor should you marvel at such a of the Gospel should by them be slightdoom when you only think of the way ed, despised, and rejected—think of in which it is brought on. That Christ all this and you will be at no loss to should have so suffered for our sakes, comprehend why he who now stands that he should have descended on our out in the winning gentleness of his miserable world from that eminence of nature, and bends with longing compure and peaceful glory which he be- passion over you, should then come fore possessed—that he should have put forth in vindictiveness and fury on all on the infirmities of our nature, and who have treated lightly such dearshrouded his godhead in a tabernacle bought privileges, and on all who of flesh which he took with him to have trampled on the grace and mercy heaven, and for aught we know will of such an invitation,
( To be continued.)
London: l'ubiisked for the Proprietors, by T.GRIFFITHS, Wellington Street, Strund;
und Solil by all Booksellers in Town and Country.
Printed by Lomonies and White, Crane Couri, Preet Street,
SERMON BY THE REV. DR. CHALMERS.
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 1831.
(The Rev. Dr. Chalmers's Sermon concluded.) Oh, avail yourselves of the precious you will be sure to experience also moment that is now passing over you. that all is grace; that the peace and Christ is offered to you, salvation is purity of the Gospel are ever in alliat your choice, forgiveness through ance; and that they who walk before the blood of a satisfying atonement is the Lord without fear, walk before yours if you will. God does not want him in holiness and righteousness all to magnify the power of his anger, he their days. wants to magnify the power of his I have one concluding remark, my grace upon you. Try to approach brethren, to make, and I shall have him in your own righteousness, and done ; a remark which, to serve the you will find yourselves toiling at an salutary purpose of conviction and immeasurable distance; but come with alarm, ought to be much dwelt upon. the righteousness of Christ as your People are apt to be satisfied, and to plea, and you will indeed be permitted feel themselves safe in their prospects to draw nigh. God will rejoice over for eternity, if they are but free of all you for the sake of Him in whom he flagrantand positive violations of the law is eternally well pleased, and you will of God. They ascribe no such guiltiness find peace, and rest, and comfort to as should disturb the conscience, and no your souls.
such danger as should excite alarm to This is the only way of access unto any thing short of those flagrant viothe Father. Could I state the matter lations; and so if their life be tolerably to you more plainly I would. I want respectable, and tolerably blameless, to bring you into the condition of a they enjoy a peace and a complacency simple receiver of God's pardon-awhich after all, we doubt, will prove simple holder on the truth of his pro- illusory and fallacious. Now it must mises ; it is on this footing, and on be very obvious to you all, that a man this alone, that you can ever be clothed may observe all the common decencies in the garments of acceptance, and of outward conduct, and yet be in a stand firmly and securely on the ground state of utter unconcern about all that of reconciliation before your heavenly is inwardly religious. In regard to Father. Oh, turn theu into this peace all the earthly moralities of the outer ful haven, and in the act of your turn- man, there may be little or nought ing, God will pour out his Spirit upon about him that is positively bad ; but you. As the fruit of your faith you yet in regard to all the heavenly afwill become a new creature, and in fections of the inner man, there may stepping over to that region of sun- be negatively the utter destitution of shine, where all is holiness and peace, all that is good. Now, what is the
lesson which we are to infer from our Now it were well if you took actext in reference to this state of things ? count of yourselves in respect of this. It does not suppose the men, on whom Is it not true, that although not chargeit denounces the unescapable venge- able with gross crime, your life may be ance of God, to have treated with one of hourly and habitual carelessridicule or contemptuous scorn the ness? Do not days and weeks, or great salvation—it simply charges months, or years, pass over your heads them with having neglected it. without the question of your eternity
There is no aggravated hostility to being formally and deliberately taken the Saviour charged upon them, but up and in good earnest entertained ? just a heedlessness of the Saviour. We do not charge you with aught like And yet from this, and many other dishonesty in business, or with any passages of the Bible, the consequences violent infraction of the common duties of this purely negative state, a state so of relationship in society, but we af. often exemplified by men observant of firm, that, combined with all these, all the outward duties of an ordinary there may be the utmost practical inlife, would appear to be most tremen. difference to the realities of an imdous. “ They that forget God,” it is mortal state, and that as to the coming said, “ shall be turned into hell.” death, the coming judgment, the coming “ They that lack the knowledge of and everlasting hereafter, you might Christ shall perish.” They that are live in the profoundest insensibility; under the spirit of a deep slumber shall the habitual aim and pursuit of your at length be awakened, and fearfulness affections might be away from God, shall surprize them. So that without and your affections be altogether set supposing any foul or flagrant delin on a world from which you shall quency
of conduct, simply, it would shortly be everlastingly torn away. appear by your unconcern, by your This is the state from which you need neglect, by your heedlessness of the to be awakened—this is the sleep of things which belong to your everlast- death which needs to be dispelled, for ing peace, by the levity and listlessness if your present course be persisted in, of your minds in regard to God and it will land you in that tribulation, and the soul and the things of faith and wrath, and anguish, from which you eternity, by these alone, and apart al- cannot possibly escape if you neglect together from what is gross and inex. so great salvation.
“ Let us hope cusable in respect to literal transgres- better things of you, even things which sion, you forfeit the high approbation accompany salvation, though we thus of God, and plunge yourselves into the speak, now is the accepted time, now horrors of an everlasting condemna- is the day of salvation!” tion.