Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

a

child accepted. This bringeth, as vast importance, I am persuaded it it were, a sweet savour of the gospel lies at the root of much that is blessed with him, there is that in it which in your walk, and close enjoyment, commends the gospel to others, and abundant fruitfulness, in the There must be something, they say, service of your God. which makes him happy, and gives Many there are that hear me to a substance to his soul which raises whom I might say, where is your haphim above himself. This is no cun- piness ? some of you seek it in your ningly devised fable, but its mer- families. Look at poor David, “ Alchandise is better than the merchan- salom, oh ! Absaloin, my son, my dise of silver, and the gain thereof son : would that I had died for thee, than fine gold.

0 Absalom, my son, my son!” But I might go on exhibiting many some of you seek it in riches," he other effects of this sanctifying prin- that loveth silver shall not be satisfied ciple, but I know scarcely of any with silver.” Point out a man that that seems more to touch the heart, will say, I have found this to be my than the exhibition of its effects in joy, my comfort, in all the trying the second epistle to the Corinthians, moments of life, in sickness, in loss and eighth chapter. The church of friends, in the near prospect of of Macedonia was

very poor eternity. church, but that was a very great Some of you seek it in intellect, blessing to them. Yet though they it is a more dangerous riches, perwere not only poor but deeply poor, haps, than any; yet the 'wise man see what the joy of the Lord did tells us, “ He that increaseth in for them: “Moreover, brethren, we knowledge, increaseth in sorrow." do you to wit of the grace of God Some of you seek it in sinin gross bestowed on the churches of Mace- sin, yet who hath woe?” Prov. donia ; how that in a great trial of xxiii. 29. Many a witness there is affliction the abundance of their joy of this truth amongst us, perhaps and their deep poverty abounded unto at this moment, that the wages of the riches of their liberality:" and sin is present death and misery, what was the source from which “ destruction and misery are in their this arose ? the abundance of their ways." joy in Christ. My dear hearers, Some of you seek it in your own sanctified riches are blessed riches, self-righteousness, though the proI do not profess the principle that phet speaks of it as “ poor filthy rags degrades man from his rank in so- that can never stand the test of God's ciety, I believe it is a principle in holy law for a moment, Isaiah, opposition to the blessed gospel, but Ixiv. 6. and the apostle describes I only state the fact : here was a it as dross, Phil. iii. 8. Oh!: if such church which was remarkable for are come to the end of their miserable its deep poverty, yet through the search, and are made to cry out as abundance of its joy, abounded in some have cried out before, “who great liberality. Oh! ye little flock will shew us any good," Psalm iv. 6. and blessed, would that the Lord, go and ask a dying saint what is it that if it were his blessed will, would bears up his soul-what is it that makes enable me to enter more into this sub- him rejoice, enables him to say, “O ject to day, for your good and spi- death, where is thy sting ? O grave, ritual edification. I know it is of where is thy victory:" this then is bis

answer: the world, self, family, intel- | Lord Jesus Christ to a poor empty lect, money, rank, our own righte- sinner, made willing by God to come ousness, all, all are empty, Christ is and receive it all, as his own mere full. Poor sinner, thou hast never grace in Christ Jesus ! seen thine own emptiness, and con- I believe, my dearly beloved, that sequently hast never known the Sa- the grand secret for maintaining viour's fulness ; but this very mo- habitual joy in the Lord, is to set the ment may be the time when the axe Lord Jesus always before us. The is laid at the root, and thou mayest moment the eye is off the cross we at this moment be down into the dust, sink. Place me doctrine, or precept, and cry to that God for mercy, that or promise, take me away from the no one ever sought in vain.

cross, I sink; place me the lives of And how comes it to pass that so the holiest, place me the example many of his people are strangers of the best, and take away my eyes to this blessed joy of the Lord ? off the cross, I sink. As true is it in Numbers are entangled still in the the new dispensation, as in the old, old covenant-they still cleave to the I can never enter the tabernacle and covenant of works, and though, in approach God, but by the brazer their judgment, they are partially altar. Oh! brethren, as Goodwin convinced that salvation is only by counsels, first wash and then worgrace, that righteousness is only in ship. First plead the sacrifice, and another, yet they have never been then I can work, and not till then. properly divorced from their first Do you desire the joy of the Lord ? husband. They still cleave to the if these were my last words that old covenant, the covenant of doing, came from these lips, I would say, the covenant of works, instead of the place Christ, the crucified man, God covenant of receiving, which is the in our nature, perpetually before covenant of grace. Still they wait to your eyes: one sight of a crucified bring a price in their hand. One has Emanuel will more remove the cobread of a poor dull countryman stand-webs of legality, drive away the ing by the brink of a river, expecting despairings, and despondings, and the time when the river should stop, the distrust which springs from a and he should be able to pass over. legal covenant, than all other prinJust the same is it with numbers of ciples whatever. those, in whom there is a work began Then be very careful and very by the power of the Holy Ghost, prayerful in thy walk. Take goed they see enough of sin to make them heed of not making excuses for deg wretched, they see enough of the lected duty. Oh, may God the Spirit defect in their own righteousness to keep you and me ever bearing this leave them, in their judgment, con- in mind,- that to walk in the joy of vinced they cannot stand before God the Lord, and the comfort of the in them: but still, just like the rind Holy Ghost, we must walk in the that binds the branch to its own dead fear of the Lord. Be very teach stock, still they cleave to them and able when God lays a duty before still hang upon them. Oh, that the you, be careful how you tamper with blessed Spirit this day might sever it or neglect it; when God places a that rind in twain, and lead them to neglect upon your conscience, be see what a full, free, finished, great, ware how you turn from it. It is gracious salvation, there is in the God's blessed messenger to your soul, and you will have reason to on earth or whether we be in heaven. thank him for it to all eternity. May God graciously bless his own Carelessness of walk is the death of words, lay the subject on your hearts spiritual joy. To be holy is to be as far as I have unfolded it in agreehappy. Conformity of will to the ment with his own sacred record, will of God is essential to any real and pardon all its defects, for Jesus enjoyment of him, whether we be Christ's sake.

1

Nos. 3, 9, 10, 35, 36, 53, 68, 69, 96, 112, 119, 123, and 124, contain Sermons by the Rev. J. H. Evans.

The third Sermon by Mr. Evans, on the Growth of Grace, is still unavoidably delayed, but will shortly be published.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A Sermon,

DELIVERED BY THE REV. J. HAMBLETON,

AT THE CHAPEL OF EASE, HOLLOWAY, ISLINGTON, SUNDAY EVENING, OCT. 13, 1833.

Genesis, xvi. 13.-" Thou God seest me.”

|

THESE words, as the history declares, were spoken by Hagar, Sarai's maid, after the angel of the Lord, who appears to have been no other than the angel of the covenant-the Lord Jesus Christ had appeared to her in the wilderness. She had gone there, you will find, in petulance and passion, disgusted with the hard treatment of Sarai: and there was seated in dejection and despondency near a fountain of water. Here it was the angel of the Lord met her; and he came, we are told, with a very searching question" Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?" And she said," I flee from the face of my mistress, Sarai." This answer tells whence she came; but it does not tell whither she was going; for this, like many others under the influence of passion, she, probably, could not tell and did not know. The angel then bid her "return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." Thus GOD, by his angel, established the duty of mutual subjection and subordination. The doctrine is the same with that of St. Peter:- "Servants be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward." The angel of the Lord then promised to Hagar a numerous posterity; also the birth of Ishmael, whose name signified—God shall hear; because the angel told her the Lord had heard her afflictions. He then describes his future character-that of a wild man; with his hand against

every man, and every man's hand against him: and dwelling continually in the presence of his brethren. A description which has been exactly fulfilled, both in Ishmael himself and in his descendants, the wild Arabs of the desert unto the present day. Then after this, it was that "she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her-Thou God seest me for she said, have I also here looked after him that seeth me? wherefore the well, the fountain was called Beer-lahai-roi ;" that is, the well of him, that loveth and seeth me. Here, then, in this, her language at that moment, we have first of all the conviction of one who had been out of the way of duty.

Other thoughts will open upon us as we proceed, but let me first endeavour to urge this-Hagar had evidently done wrong in leaving Sarai's house so abruptly, though she had been harshly used by Sarai, whose conduct towards Hagar was quite unjustifiable, being full of jealousy, envy, and domineering pride. Yet, this and much worse usage than this did not justify Hagar in flying from Abraham's house without permission. She had, it is true, reasonable cause of complaint; she might have told it to Abraham; she might have solicited for her dismissal; she might have poured out her complaint to GOD, and looked to him for deliverance and support; but no, full of passion and pride, which commonly forms the very essence of angry passion, she

comforting grace, are proposed, all is apathy and cold contempt. But not in early life only; up to this day this has too much been our character, wanderers from GOD, neglecting our duty towards him; "we have erred and strayed from thy ways, O GOD, like sheep that are lost." And then when we have been doing wrong we imitate our first parents, and imitate Hagar's conduct described in the context, and flying from his presence, we shunned the thought of GOD; and1 thus, like her, we were in the wilder And surely, my friends, this same ness, though in the midst of this world. ' thought ought to speak conviction to At such a time you hardly knew our own minds, How often have we whither you were going, and at that also been out of the way of duty? season you were in imminent danger some, such as servants and young of perishing both in soul and body. persons, have been guilty of this very There was no food for the soul to be sin of Hagar- of insubordination, found in sin, no sympathizing friend petulance, and passion towards rela- among the worldly minded, no intives and superiors. Did no man ward peace while in a state of reamongst us ever treat parents with bellion against your God, no hope disobedience? Has no one here pre-full of immortality to gild your gloomy sent ever caused a pang of sorrow to a father who watched over him, and to the mother who nursed him? Has there been no such thing as sullenness, no perverseness, no stubborn rebellion, in early life? But whether this be so or not, in regard to GOD we certainly all have been long and much out of the way of duty. I know no stronger proof of the corruption of our nature than the indifference and contempt with which in our early days we too often treated the God of all grace. I can in some way understand the hardened sinner, I can account for the conduct of the hoary headed rebel; but without the doctrine, the Scriptural doctrine, of man being corrupt by nature, I should be quite perplexed on turning to the young, and finding those, who, in other respects, are not insensible to kindly motives, yet, when GOD and his gracious claims-Jesus Christ and his dying mercy, the Holy Spirit and his

path. Oh, had any of us died while afar off from God, we never, throughout eternity, could have been brought nigh. If Hagar had died there in the wilderness the wild beasts would have torn her flesh, and her bones would have lain bleaching in the sand, a monument to travellers of one who perised out of the way of duty. And if any one amongst us had perished whilst wandering from GOD, then he who goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, would have had us for his prey; and then, also, all who knew us, as they passed along the road of life would have seen, or ought to have seen, in our unhappy end, a monument for the traveller of the danger that awaits the soul while wandering, straying from GOD. And, oh, what an inscription for the recording angel to have marked over us-" here lies one who lived and died a sinner-a wanderer from GOD."

flies away-away from her home, her duty, and her GOD, and is here in the wilderness without a friend, a protector, or a guide, Her thoughts at this time could not be thoughts of peace; her prospects could not be bright and good; her whole state of mind was any thing but enviable. As soon then as she is brought to a better mind, her first thought is-" thou GOD seest me," seeth me a wanderer, a sinner, a sheep straying from thy fold, a runaway servant: thou GoD hath seen me all the time..

« ZurückWeiter »