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wing his soul overwhelmed with guilt-eternity before him-but no comforter!-Comforter did I say? -the very thought of meeting Christ was his greatest torment.
But why do I speak of others?-What could I have done myself lately, when all hope of standing in this pulpit seemed taken away, and every present comfort seemed to vanish like a dream? "Oh," thought I," that I could tell my hearers at St. John's, what I feel of the worth of Christ, and of the support which his presence alone can afford in extremities!"
Ought I not to be his witness? I ought, though in a lower scene than that of the Apostle, to say, 'He laid his right-hand upon me, saying, Fear not.'
Oh, that "in the hour of death and in the day of judgment," no one of you may know the value of this support by the want of it!
I speak next to those who are RELIGIOUS, BUT YET
HAVE NO DISTINCT AND CONSOLATORY VIEWS OF CHRIST.
But what is Christianity, without communion with the Head? I was much affected once to hear a poor dying creature say--"Ah! sir, you bid me think of God-but who is he? I know not what to think of, when you speak of God; and how can I draw comfort from such thoughts?"
God grant you may never be left in such darkness in your extremity! And, in order that you may not, beg of him this day to grant you his Holy Spirit to open and apply his word. Then you will find one who is Emanuel: God with us.' Then you will learn that 'he, who hath seen him, hath seen the Father.'
Christ is God stooping to the weakness of man, and is nigh to all them that call upon him.' Endeavour, therefore, to obtain more simple and practical views of Christ. In order to this, you must learn from Christ's own word; that, 'He is the bright and
morning star' of this dark world: 'He is the day spring from on high to visit us :'-A light 'to them that sit in darkness, and the shadow of death-To guide our feet into the way of peace.' Or, to come nearer to our text, 'He, that walketh now amidst the golden candlesticks' (his churches) is the Alpha and Omega, -the Almighty, who openeth and none shutteth, and shutteth and none openeth, and hath the keys of hell and of death." Such an one can speak away fear from the heart of his disciple. His right-hand is strength His encouragement more than victory.
Simple views, like these, have met fires and racks, dungeons and death, in every form, in Britain as well as in Patmos, and have overcome them all.
Scholars puzzle themselves and others with large and complicated statements, nice, and often useless distinctions. Brethren! Christianity stoops to the condition and capacities of the weakest, the poorest, the most occupied, and the most illiterate man. Nay --these men have derived the most benefit from Christ. But how? "I am," says the poor man, “no scholar; but I am a sinner. I am afflicted-I am friendless-I am passing from time to eternity-I have but one only hope--The Lord thinketh upon me.' He was anointed to preach his Gospel to the poor. He said, 'Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' I will sit under his shadow. I will stand waiting at the foot of his
'Let me dwell on Golgotha,
And here I know-I know I shall not weep and wait in vain."
My dear hearers! is this the simple religion of a poor man? Can you tell me of a better or a safer, for a rich one? What would Dives in torments now
give for the religion of Lazarus? "In all time of our tribulation-in all time of our wealth-in the hour of death and in the day of judgment," O thou Son of David have mercy on us: lay thy right-hand upon us, and say unto us— Fear not."
But my subject is still more appropriate to those,
WHO ARE CHRISTIANS AND WHO MAY HAVE COME THIS DAY TO THE HOUSE OF GOD IN DEPRESSING CIRCUMSTANCES.
To such I would offer a few general instructions.
Are you a Christian indeed, and not in word only? Imitate the Apostle; and stop not, in your trouble, at the immediate instruments of it. He speaks nothing of the men who adjudged him to this solitude: he does not relate the particulars of his hard and unjust lot. When we look so much at our adversaries, it is because we look so little at that hand in which is the sword. We are continually erring by taking this low ground. 'Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires :? look to him alone, and expect him to walk with you in the fire, and not a hair of your head shall be singed. Honour the faithfulness of your Lord, by expecting his presence when you most need it. Where did Moses receive his first encouraging visitation? When he fled a trembling exile, and led a few sheep in solitude. When was Jacob pronounced 'a prince, and a prevailer with God and man?" In the night of his trouble, when he wept and made supplication to the Angel of the Covenant. When was Abraham specially blessed and supported by the promises? In the mount of trial.
Now it is decreed, 'Them, that honour me, I will honour.' Whatever light, strength, consolation, deliverance comes to man, it is decreed that it shall come out of the fulness of Christ. What then is the inference? Do you wish this week to walk in sunshine of heart? Look unto Jesus. Would you obtain peace and pardon under a wounded spirit? Look
unto Jesus, and your burden shall fall off. Would you lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees? Look unto Jesus. Would you Fun with patience the race that is set before you? It must be done by 'looking unto Jesus.' Have you lost your evidence and comfort? Where can they be recovered but by 'looking unto Jesus.' As you were excellently reminded this day, when a child has spilled the water which it was fetching from the fountain, to the same fountain must it return in order to replenish its pitcher. May God the Spirit enable us to apply these truths.
THE CHRISTIAN CONFLICT, CONQUEST, AND
REV. III, 21.
To him, that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne: even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
We cannot, perhaps, discover a more common error among men than this:-a man found hoping for the end, who does not employ the means. The soul of the sluggard,' saith the Wise Man, 'desireth and hath nothing.
The text is connected with the message sent to the Church at Laodicea. 'And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write, These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. So, then, because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: We continually mistake on this point: we are apt to think that they, who flatter us and humour us in our sins, are