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Jude, 20, 21.—" But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying
in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto eternal life.”
BEAUTIFUL as is every page of the / her swollen and tearful eye falls upon Gospel dispensation-crowded as is words which tell her, that He who each book, each chapter, with the spared not his own son, for our sakes, unerring evidence of the power, and can have no pleasure in the death of the wisdom, and the mercy of God in a helpless babe: but only sends us Christ Jesus,-there are some pas- such afflictions, even the most acute, sages, nevertheless, which seem to in love for souls whom He wins to fix themselves with a more than himself by chastening — wounding, usually tenacious hold upon the af- only that he may the more surely sections of the human heart, when heal. She reads there perhaps, that through grace that heart has been it is better to be in the house of convinced of sin, and converted to mourning than in the house of feastGop.
ing, because adversity is safer for a Now, this may be accounted for, man's soul than prosperity. And then, either by the peculiar force with she binds the blessed message to her which these passages display God's bosom-a talisman of comfort and a love for the sinner, while He declares harbinger of hope. In after-time, his hatred of sin, or from some indi- | when the natural grief which had vidual association of pain or pleasure, rent her bosom, has been subdued, which may have fixed them, with the and the bitter tears which she bad seal of the Spirit, on the fleshly tablets shed, have been wiped away by the of the heart itself.
hand of a merciful God, she opens The anxious mother, just bereaved again the Book of Life, at the wellof her tender offspring--disquieted remembered words which had comand alone by the cradle of her dead forted her in her early sorrow, and infant, opens the blessed volume she reads them with a fond and tearin search of that comfort which the ful recollection of the budding hope, world cannot give, but which God has which God had thought it best for promised to the weary and heavy- her soul, should be blighted. laden, who come to him. Mayhap, Again: the young and erring maiden,
who had been listening long and dan-hand on all here present--when many gerously to the poisoned accents of shall have gone down to the dust guilty love, and is just about to plunge from whence they were taken-when into a stream which always hurries the ice of age shall be around the on to misery,-pauses for a moment, hearts of some, and its snow-shower ere she steps across her father's upon their heads-when those who threshold, to listen to the “ still small are now children shall have grown up voice” which seems to whisper near into manhood—when the infant lispher, and which her conscience repeats ings of many yet unborn, shall break in echo. And, if happily she be sud- upon the listening and attentive ear denly and fully awakened to the peril of the anxious parent-it may be that of the brink on which she stands, she the circumstance of the passage just rushes, may be, from the danger of read, having been selected for the her thoughts and the yearnings of her text of the last sermon, wbich, as natural heart, and falls low on her your appointed minister, I am called knees before the throne of Him, who to deliver to a people with whom I never yet looked with unpitying eye must ever blend so many affectionate upon the self-accusing suppliant. associations, shall stand forward on When her first prayer for safety has the wide field of memory, conspibeen uttered and heard, the Spirit cuous among the many from which peradventure guides her to her long- I have been permitted to declare to neglected Bible--she grasps it with a you the counsel of God. It may be, trembling but determined hand : she when the hidden future shall have opens, she reads and she is rescued! unfolded to me the allotments of an When the path of piety and duty has over-ruling Providence—when other been once more sought and trod ; and, scenes and other times may engage at length, around her happy hearth the labours, which with too little of are gathered the olive-branches of a faith, and, consequently, too little of hallowed affection, shall we wonder profit, I have bestowed on you, the that she should love to read to the remembrance of this day, associated partner of her home and the children with the words to which I have called of her bosom, the page that had been your attention, will rise up before blotted with her early tears — the me as a sweet vision of the past, emawakening call by which God had bittered only by the recollection, that aroused her from her early danger? I bade you farewell, ere it had been Shall we wonder, that the sacred vo- permitted me to do more good among lume—her companion in the church you-ere it had pleased God to renand in the closet-though bearing der me more worthy of the sacred, ready evidence in each chapter of the awful charge, which in infinite close and earnest meditation, should love for my own soul, He has condeopen more frequently and more scended to entrust to me. And do Thou, widely, at the page in which a God O merciful Father-whether the way who loved her, had first put it into before me be of sorrow or of joy-do her heart to find deliverance from Thou shower down upon my ministry, the most dangerous and tempting trial wherever it may be appointed, the of her life? And now, to bring the abundant blessings of thy grace association home to ourselves, bre- may the same holy power rest upon thren.
the congregation here present-may In after years, when Time shall Thy good Spirit lead him who ministers have laid a heavy and consuming to them, to know nothing and to preach
nothing but Christ crucified ; and all The text alone is pregnant with inthose who assemble to pray and to be struction : “but ye, beloved, building taught, to look only to Jesus as the up yourselves on your most holy faith, Author and Finisher of their faith ; | praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourand, having no glory save in His cross, selves in the love of God, looking for may the world be crucified to them, he mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and they to the world!
unto eternal life.”—Here is, Having detained you by these few First, THE DUTY ENJOINED : to be remarks, to which I am led by the built up on the faith of Christ's atoneoccasion of my now addressing you, ment, and kept in the love of Gov, we will proceed to the consideration through prayer in the Holy Ghost: of our subject.
Secondly, THE END PROMISED : the Jude, of whom little more is known, mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto than that he was allied to the family eternal life. of our Saviour's earthly parents — I. In the first, then, my dear brethbeing the son of Alpheus or Cleophas, ren, I hope you are not now to be and brother of James the Less, ad-taught, the nature of this holy faithdresses this short but beautiful epistle in whose service it is to be built up, to the general Christian Church. nor on what corner-stone it is to be After saluting them, and asking di- raised. If unhappily one be here vine blessings for them, he exhorts who knows not the blessed truths, his fellow-Christians to contend earn- let me tell them. “ Other foundaestly for the genuine faith as delivered tion can no man lay than that which originally to the saints, in opposition is laid—the Lord Jesus Christ.” You, to the erroneous doctrines taught by my beloved, have often and in vafalse teachers. He reminds the Chris- rious ways, been told, that “ unless tians of the severity of God's judg- the Lord build the house, their laments inflicted on the apostate angels bour is but lost that build it;” neiand unrighteous men of former times; ther are you now for the first time reand from these examples, he warns minded, that when your earthly them against adopting the seducing tabernacle shall decay, there is a principles of those who were endea- house for the redeemed, not made vouring to pervert them from the truth, with hands, eternal in the heavens; and denounces woe against all per- nor that it is only when built on the sons of impious and profligate cha- Rock of Ages that the edifice can stand: racter. He ren
them of the pre- bu that being built on Him, the dictions of the Apostle concerning gates of hell shall not prevail against mockers in the last days, who should it. No,—the winds may howl, the walk after their own ungodly lusts— tempest may beat and the waves may sensual persons, not having the spirit, dash, but, clinging to the cross, the and exhorts them in the words of the persevering, faithful Christian, shall text, to preserve themselves in the be enabled to defy their fury and true faith and love of God, looking withstand their shock! for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. He con- holy faith in Christ, we shall find cludes his epistle by calling on them frequently used by Scripture writers. to use their best endeavours to re- Without occupying your time by recover others—ascribing glory, domi- ferring to them, let it be enough to nion, and power to the only wise know that God has condescended to God and Saviour, for ever and ever! raise His living Temple in our frail
sus This figure of being built up on a
and perishable bodies :—that he has dation to the roof: every princely
health are around us, to remember which we had ignorantly raised it.
That we are justified and mercy of the Lord Jesus than we now freely justified, before God, is true ; do: a day when some shall call upon but it is only in Christ, and by His the mountains to bide them from his blood-nothing else can raise us above wrath. And methinks that wrath the level of our sinful nature; but He must be somewhat greater than we can bring us face to face with God. can conceive, to prompt us to cry out Faith in Him, therefore, must be the for such an alternative. There are mainspring and the root of every re- numbers now who shudder at a thunligious and moral good, or we shall der-clap, and flee in coward terror still remain the workers of iniquity, even from the harvest storm; and and He will not recognize us before His will it be a light thing for them, think Father's throne. We must build all ye, brethren, to look upon the eleon him as the only true foundation, the ments melting with fervent heat, the sure and abiding Rock,—or when the heavens passing away as a scroll, tempest of God's wrath and the hur- and the earth burning with unquenchricane of his power shall beat upon able fire ;-in a word, to be surrounded our temple, it shall be torn up for by all the dreadful apparatus of the ever from the sandy basement on vengeance of an offended God, whose