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tired-out mercy had at length been feeling, of interest, and of affection, laid aside for the weapons of his ter- between a pastor and his flock, of rible justice. The thunder-clap then more than usual strength, and my shall be heard indeed,-forit shall tear heart must indeed have been seared asunder the bowels of the earth, and and hardened, did I not experience lay prostrate the palaces of kings—it it and acknowledge it now, in parting
all burst open the tombs and with you. I cannot be insensible to shall awake the dead! At the trumpet much kindness you have shewn mesound there shall be a gathering to- much affectionate regard—I cannot gether from every quarter of the fall be otherwise than gratified at the ing world: myriads long forgotten, willingness with which some of you and ages yet unborn, shall be hurried have been led to receive my message. forward into the Almighty's presence. I cannot view our separation with cold And, then, when the awful assembling or careless feelings : and from my has been made, and silence-deep, heart, brethren, I will address to you solemn silence, shall precede the a few parting words, which I pray business of that dread assize, think, God may be blessed to your souls. O think, my beloved, of the agony of It is an awful thought, that though we those who have refused to take the may never meet again on earth, a day Saviour for their advocate-who have to which I have been alluding will thought to redeem their souls by their come, when we must meet once more own deeds, instead of throwing them- -a day when the cry shall go forth selves, guilty, ruined sinners, before that the bridegroom is approaching. that cross where his body was offered We must meet when every grave and his blood poured out. Think of shall be loosed—the jaws of every the misery of those on whom He will tomb be rent-the marble magnifinot even look, and who may not so cence of every sepulchre shall be much as touch the hem of his garment torn and defaced, and “the boast of as he passes by. Think of these things, heraldry and pomp of power," be beloved brethren, and ask your own levelled with the dust: when the hearts, whether it is nothing to neglect earth and the sea shall restore the and despise the mercy of our Lord dead they had swallowed; and wben Jesus Christ; whether it is nothing to all tribes, and nations, and languages, throw away the blessings of eternal and all human creatures shall stand life, exchanging them for the pangs in one huge concourse before the of an everlasting hell!
Judge upon the throne—the tribunal And now, brethren, I am reminded ready and the book opened. This, that in having brought you to the last brethren, is the day to which GOD scene in the history of this perishable calls your attention, and for which we world, that I have also come to the beseech you, from time to time, in close of my ministrations in this Tem- his Son's name, to prepare, and yet ple. Believe me, my beloved friends, too many of you go on, day by day, I cannot speak to you, probably for and Sabbath by Sabbath, unthankful the last time, I cannot address to for his mercies, and unmindful of his you the last words which it may be threats. We follow the steps of those permitted me to address to you on who go before us-tread in their earth, without experiencing that heavi- beaten path, and seldom trouble ourness of sorrow which would be selves to pause and examine whether naturally consequent on such an oc- we are progressing in the right way, currence. There is a connection of or whether we are preparing in readi
ness to make up the items of our wind and the covert froin the tempest. account in the end. But that account Has there been any improvement must be made up, brethren, and we since we have been associated tomay meet no more till it is called for. gether in this holy service? Have Let us, then, pause for awhile, under we been living more to the glory of this sacred roof, where we have been God, and of Him who redeemed us? permitted to meet often, and let us Have we been separating ourselves thank him we are here—let us re- from the society of the carnal-minded member our privileges, and examine and the vicious, and living apart with ourselves that we may improve them. those who seek Christ? Oh! it is We have been permitted to enjoy easy, brethren, to come here with the many seasons of Christian worship-- bended knee and the serving lip-it to come together within these walls, is easy to come to God's house and around and without which are re-call ourselves Christians. But have corded the memorials of the departed we not been bringing our faith and dead; and we have mingled our practice to a higher standard. Are we praises and prayers, which we trust in spiritual matters no nearer God, at bave gone up to the mercy-seat. We this moment, than the day on which have been permitted to hear and to we first became connected by the bond preach God's holy Word : if that which unites the shepherd and his Word has been scattered on good fock? Do we know more of Him and ground, it will bring forth abundant His will, and are we more earnest and fruit; if otherwise, it will perish, be- devoted in our obedience to it?-are cause it lacketh the means of nourish- we living more by faith in the Son ment. If, when bowed down by afflic of God, and becoming more zealous tion and distress, you have come hither, in promoting his cause? No!—then to bim who refreshes the weary and these things shall rise up against us heavy laden, and have had your bur- at the dread tribunal; and the Gospel den lightened and your cloud removed; has been to us the “savour of death if you have found yourselves growing unto death, and not of life unto life.” in grace and in the knowledge of If we have not been gaining ground, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we must have been losing ground, and you have abundant cause of thankful are now farther off from God than ness : if some doubts have been re- since we first came together. Believe moved, and bright and spiritual know- me, my beloved brethren, the Gospel ledge more amply imparted, it has never can leave us as it found us: we been God's work, and to him be must be the better for it or we must given the praise. But let us not be the worse. Every sermon preached forget to examine oursel/es whether -every prayer offered—every chapit has been so. Alas! on my own ter of the Bible read, are means of part, brethren, I feel a heavy burden grace, which, if they have not been of responsibility, nor do I know that improved, are gone up against us to I may say with the Apostle, that I swell the list of our numberless ofam free from your blood. Weakly fences and our despised mercies. and unworthily have I declared to These are questions, brethren, which you the truths of the ever blessed I beg and implore you to put daily to Gospel, though I have prayed and your hearts, that you may ascertain sought to teach you nothing but how far you have been going backChrist crucified, and to bring you to ward in the great work of salvation, him only as the hiding place from the or how far forward.
In looking around me, I am blessed | torment! It is not the formal attend in the belief that I leave among you, ance on the means of grace-the outsome who are treasuring up the pre-ward participation in Gospel privicious truths of the Gospel of Salvation leges, that can save us in that day : we —some who are living a life of faith, must have exchanged a heart of stone making their light shine before men, for a heart of flesh-we must have and looking for the coming of the become converted, new creatures, Lord Jesus. It need not that I de- born again, or we cannot enter into clare to you whether such form the the kingdom of God. majority of those over whom my Let us pray then, brethren, that heavenly Master had called me to the power of God may be with us, keep my shepherd-watch, or whether to build us up on our most holy faith, they be comparatively few, compared keeping us in the love of God. with those who are living a life of Prayer in the Holy Ghost is the forgetfulness and sin: their names channel through which covenant are all written in the Lamb's book of mercy flows. Let us pray, then, withlife, or in the register of wrath! out ceasing, both for ourselves and
But alas! I must also grieve, that others: though time and place may there are many among you who take part us, let us meet often at the throne little pains or care to improve the of grace, remembering one another, means of grace so liberally and mer- in the church, at the altar, and when cifully administered to you-many who we go to the secret closet to commune have sat under the sound of the Gos- with the Redeemer alone. Let us pray pel, Sabbath after Sabbath, and year that we may have our conversation in following year, till hoary age has Heaven—that whatever we may do, succeeded the elasticity of youth,
-may be done to the glory of GoDwho have never yet been the free and that we may grow in grace and all acknowledged disciples of the Lord knowledge, holiness and love that Jesus-who have never truly seen in we may be engrafted on the true Him, their only, their all-important vine, and bear much fruit unto the Saviour ; who, with the form of god- Lord—that we may serve him in liness, have been contented to lack its things temporal, looking for the power; having the lamps of profession mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto in their hands, but no oil of grace in eternal life ; and in the mansions of the vessel of their hearts. Such per- the blessed may we meet, serving sons, my beloved brethren, may have him there with un aried worship, a high character in the world, and be without spot or blemish or any such looked upon by their fellow-creatures thing,-ministering with holy angels, as children of the bright promise; but day and night, in His Temple. where shall they stand at the judg- And now, beloved brethren, the ment day? Shall they not be among feeting moments compel me to say the goats-among those who will call the saddest word we can ever utter upon the hills, to hide them from an farewell! I dare not dwell upon itoffended God? Every secret sin shall, it would linger too long upon my in that day, be detected and revealed, lips. But ere I pronounce it for no veil shall shade the wicked from the last time, let me briefly leave a the penetrating eye of God, and no parting word, and may it, through hand shall be raised to molest the grace, be made a parting blessingdestroyer as he hurries the unre
nre- to parents and to children. O, my deemed to the lake of ever-burning beloved friends, you who are mo
thers and fathers in our Israel, pray / youth, and not to delay it till the evil constantly that you may be led more days come, when you can find no and more, to see the awful respon- pleasure in them. Let not the silver sibility of the talent committed to your cord be loosed, nor the golden bowl parental keeping. Remember that it broken, ere your spirit has been fitted has been said by the wise man, that to be rendered to the God who gave a child trained up in the way he it, so soon as your dust may return should go, will not depart from that to the earth from which it sprang. way. Remember that your children Give the best of your days to Him have souls to be saved or to be lost, who is giving all His days and nights as well as bodies to be cared for or to you: and may He guard, sanctify neglected. A day is coming when and keep you, in your infancy, your you will have to stand side by side manhood, and even to your hoar with them at the tribunal of God, hairs may He carry you! may you not then be charged with And now, beloved friends, as the leading them, either by precept or last tribute of my affection, I comexample, into the broad way of de- mend you to God and to His holy struction-may they not have to say, Word, which is able to build you up, should they be cast from the pre- and to give you an inheritance among sence of God, that they have to thank all them that are sanctified. May He, their father or their mother for their the God of peace, make you perfect eternal damnation! And you, my dear in every good work to do His will, young friends, for whom many an working in you that which is wellanxious tear has fallen, and many a pleasing in his sight, through Jesus swelling bosom grieved—let me once Christ; and may we all meet togemore, ere I leave you to another's ther, accepted and redeemed by Him, ministry, call upon you to remember at the last great day!-Amen. your Creator in the days of your
DELIVERED BY THE REV. W. B. LEACH,
MARCH 10, 1833.
1 Pet. i. 3, 4.-"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, accord
ing to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth
not away, reserved in Heaven for you.” I have long and often admired the | in his way to the kingdom of Heaven contents of this and of the ensuing throngh this vale of tears. The auchapter. They exhibit a rich fund thor of this epistle, as the title imof evangelical sentiment and spiri- ports, was the Apostle Peter, who was tual consolation, and are well calcu- one of the first Disciples of our Lord, lated to cheer the Christian traveller and was distinguished among his brethren, by an ardent, zealous, and love, and mercy-with the infinite impetuous mind. And the persons to merits of the Saviour and the exwhom it was addressed were con- tensive provisions of the Gospelverted Jews, and probably believing with His unlimited power to turn the Gentiles, who were scattered abroad hearts of mankind like the rivers of by the iron rod of persecution through water whithersoever he pleases-and various provinces of the Lesser Asia. with the general character of his But though denominated, “ Stran- | kind dispensations in providence and gers” in those places in which they in religion, there is every encouragesought an asylum, Peter congratu- ment to believe that the election of Jates them as “the elect and sanc- Grace, far from being so limited as tified of God,” to whom he presents some contracted minds .would insithe affectionate salutation of “grace nuate, is wide and munificent. And and peace.” Viewed in this light, it when, in addition to the height, and is evident that whatever they were depth, the length and breadth of its to the world which despised and re- benevolent range, you distinetly mark jected them, they were neither stran- the purifying and practical objects gers, to Christ, to themselves, nor to which it determines to secure, you the consolations of the Gospel. This will see that so far from leading to is the solace of the true believer. illiberality, and rigidity of opinion Wherever he goes, wherever he on one hand, or to laxity and licendwells, though the world knows him tiousness of manners on the other, it not," he is not alone, for the Father is intended, by its Divine Author, to is with him."
produce just the opposite result. For In touching upon the doctrine of example : As it selects its objects Election, at which we have glanced, without their merit or desert, instead from the tenour of the context, I am of fostering their pride, self-conceit quite aware of the diversity of opi- and dogmatism, (defects which are nion to which that profound topic has too often betrayed by those who given rise. But though denied by abuse the doctrine,) it should make some, and misunderstood or abused them humble, meek and modest. As by others, yet, when surveyed in the it springs from love on the part of its benevolence of its source, and in its beneficent Author, instead of promotpractical tendency and influence, so ing illiberality, and selfishness, cenfar from presenting a lowering and soriousness, and indolence, it should forbidding aspect, and investing the cherish the graces of affection, geneAlmighty with the character of an rosity, and benignity. And as every arbitrary and despotic ruler, it ex- exhibition of it is connected with hibits an act of sovereign love and sanctification and Christian obedience, mercy to the fallen and helpless chil- far from becoming licentious Antinodren of men, but for which none would mians, we ought to adorn it by every have been saved. That the doctrine holy temper, habit, and act. This is appears somewhat mysterious when the design of the doctrine of Elecplaced in association with some other tion; and wherever it is not thus exarticles of divine revelation, we readily emplified, you may safely conclude admit. It is one of the secret things that the person espousing it, assumes which belong to the Lord our God," it only as a stolen garment, to which but which is to be judged of by its ef- he is not at all intitled, to conceal fects. Still, when we view it in con- a defective character, or an erronection with His infinite goodness, neons creed, as the God of infinité