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who, coming to the cross and earnestly who makes no effort himself, and of desiring salvation, seek counsel and course very often sinks, very often is direction from you. Their knowledge in distress, never has that prosperity and their faith may be very weak; and enjoyment which he otherwise but remember that your Master re- would have, even in this world. It ceived å thief, helped a thief, sanc- is the same in spiritual things. A tified a thief, and took this thief to cold wish sent up to heaven will never himself, after he had pardoned him, bring much good into our souls: you as a pledge of his grace, and as a may wish, and wish, and wish ; but manifestation of his power.
you will never obtain unless you ask. If we are conformable to his death, We know the sincerity of a man's then we shall manifest great_confi- wishes by his conduct. If a man dence in our heavenly Father. “Father, wishes to be in the society of an ininto thy bands I commend my spirit." dividual whom he loves, he will so And if you, tried and afflicted parent, order his business that he shall have are made conformable unto his death, opportunity to do it. If a man wishes you will not say, " Oh, what will earnestly to rise in his business, and become of my child ?" You who are become honourable in the world, he pressed by difficulties will not say, puts forth his strength, he is conti** See how all these circumstances nually engaged. And do you not are conspiring to bring me into dis- wish to be a Christian in this way? traction and confusion. No; but Then prove the sincerity of your you will say as Abraham did, “ Fa- wishes by your conduct. And do not ther, into thy hands I commend my call this legal ; it is evangelical, full Ishmael. O that Ishmael might live of the Gospel and of the love of the before thee!" You will say, " Father Lord Jesus. “ The love of Christ,” into thy hand I commend my circum- says the Apostle, “ constrains me, stances ; rule and regulate them for not to live to myself, but to Him that thy glory; be my guide and my died for me, and rose again.” friend for ever."
My young friends, be not content This is to be made conformable with any present knowledge or atunto Christ's death. Then, see what tainment which God may have granted you have to do. Take this prayer to you ; but follow on to know the home with you, and say, “ Lord, I feel Lord. Take care of the world. There that my temper is not conformed, that are questions sometimes asked me, my habits are not conformed; and such as, “How far may a Christian the reason of it is my ignorance: I go, and yet not contaminate himself do not know Christ, I do not know with the world! Do you think it the power of his resurrection, I do is right that, when my relatives wish not know the fellowship of his suffer- it, I go into ungodly company, attend ings sufficiently. Lord, increase my card tables, theatres, and so on?" knowledge from this day ; exert in There is one answer to such interrome a desire after this knowledge.” gatories : “ Can a man take fire in Then the sweet fruits will be per- his bosom and not be burned ?" If ceived in all those who, by the power we will turn to the world, and enter of faith and prayer, thus flee to into it, and still hope to be friends him.
with Christ, and make profession of The mediation of Christ's sufferings the knowledge of his name, our souls and death is the only way to make us will be ruined thereby, and be brought holy and to make us happy. Some into confusion and distress. Whereindividual may be saying, “ This has fore let me beseech you, in the name been my prayer, for many years; of my Lord and Master, to present but I find I do not make much pro- your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, gress.” Perhaps you know some per- acceptable unto God, which is your son who is always asking his friends reasonable service. to help him in difficulties in business,
DELIVERED BY THE REV. J. HAMBLEDON,
AT HOLLOWAY CHAPEL, SUNDAY EVENING, AUGUST 18, 1833.
Hebrews, xiii, 14." For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” The world in general treats this text of her, therefore shall she not be as though it were what is called a moved.” He“ loveth the gates of Zion false reading. Look at the conduct more than all the dwellings of Jaof worldly men, and you would al- cob.” Every thing seemed to promost think that the text in their Bibles mise Jerusalem pre-eminence among must read thus, “ Here we have a the cities of the earth; and, yet, continuing city, therefore we seek within seven years from the time none to come.” But, my brethren, when the Apostle wrote this epistle, there is no false reading here ; the Jerusalem was taken by the Romans, text as it stands gives us the mind of her temple destroyed, her palaces the spirit of God. Then what in- levelled, more than a million of ference follows? Worldly men are all Jews perished in the siege, and not wrong, faithful Christians are alone one stone was left standing upon right.
another. Surely the Hebrew ChrisTwo important topics of considera- tians, dispersed as they were among tion are suggested to us by this text. all nations, must often have rememFirst, THAT THERE 18 NOTHING bered the Apostle's words, “Here SATISFACTORY
we have no continuing city." The WORLD EXCEPT IN CONNECTION WITH Apostle, you remember, was also a And
citizen of Rome ; and on two occaSecondly, THAT AN INHERITANCE sions knew how to assert his civil IN HEAVEN IS PERMANENT, SATISFAC- privileges; and Rome was often proTORY, AND WORTHY OF OUR MOST DI- nounced by her poets and orators
“the eternal city," with her Capitol May God grant us his aid, and the founded on an immoveable rock, effectual grace of his Holy Spirit, with her power extended over the while we at this time endeavour to known world: yet the Apostle writing meditate on these things.
this epistle still says, “Here we have Our first topic of consideration no continuing city.” What is now suggested by the text is this, THAT become of the citizenship of Rome? EVERY THING IN THIS WORLD IS HERE Where is its record? What privileges
TO BE UNSTABLE AND does it bring? And where now is what UNSATISFACTORY, EXCEPT IN CONNEC then was Rome? Is it to be found TION
in the mouldering columns, the ruined “Here we have no continuing city.” arches, the broken statues and crumbThe Apostle is writing to the He- ling relics, still discovered by the trabrews whose affection for the city of veller on the banks of the Tiber! Jerusalem is well known. “When I These things did not constitute anforget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my cient Rome. Where are her beroes right hand forget her cunning :" this with their conquering legions--where was the language of every genuine her senators and consuls where her Jew. And to all appearance Jerusa- martial spirit, her liberties, her laws, salem was a continuing city; it was her high-minded children? They are founded on the hills, surrounded by gone ; and they have left us this massy walls, fortified by strong bul- lesson—“Here we have no continuing warks; moreover, it was the city of city.” the great King. “God is in the midst it is remarkable how the provi
dence of God. has brought destruc- mortality ; every journal that appears tion on all the cities, the most famed contains its obituary. for strength and security, which once A city is also a place of great resort gave the fairest promise of continu- and concourse ; there crowd follow ance. Babylon was once the strongest crowd like an ever flowing stream. of cities, with its massy walls so broad The walks of business, the haunts of that six chariots could be driven on dissipation, the balls of justice, the them abreast, and which extended churches of God are continually for at least more than thirty miles- thronged; but the individuals who its temples half a mile in circumfer- compose the throng are ever changence and a furlong in height - its ing. The stream still rolls on, but the hundred brazen gates, that all seemed drops which compose it are changed. once to promise pre-eminence. And Only analyze a single congregation, now what remains of Babylon trace its individual members : a few Broken hills of ruins, long lines and years are found to witness an entire heaps of dust amid a death-like si- change. The same preacher has other lence, interrupted only by the cry of hearers; the same hearers have anodoleful creatures, the wailing of soli- ther preacher. tary owls, and the dancing of wild A city is likewise a place of busisatyrs. And where now is Nineveh? ness and a focus for commerce. But in Its very site is difficult to be ascer this sense also have we“ no continutained, so complete has been its de- ing city.” The business of earthly struction. And what now is Tyre, cities will soon cease to engage our once the crown of cities, whose mer attention or occupy our thoughts. chants were princes, and whose traf- How trilling its importance, how fickers were the honourable of the slight its interest on a dying bed ! earth? It is now, says a modern What a nothingness will rest in it all traveller, a mere Babel of broken the moment after death! walls, pillars, and mountains; its Lastly, while some resort to cities only inhabitants a few miserable for business, others we know frequent fishermen. And so with Carthage, them for pleasure. There every one Troy, and Epbesus-once amongst the can find companions to his taste; fairest cities of the earth, but of whose multitudes keep each other in counsplendour nothing now remains but a tenance; luxuries are there accessifew mouldering fragments to mock ble; fashion reigns; frivolity, vanity, their former splendour, and from time and vice, find there their favourite to time re-echo in the Christian ear. abode. Hence, in large cities, vice " Here we have no continuing city.” and ungodliness commonly abound. And, yet, men, even at this late pe- But in this regard also, there is here riod of the world's history, are as continuing city.” The fashion slow now in learning that lesson, as of this world passes away; the pleathey were in former days. City after sures of the world have a worm at city has come to desolation, ruin their root; the end of all these things looks them in the face on every is death. Men may sin with a high side ; and yet mankind will not per- hand; they may join together to suade themselves but that they may laugh modesty and piety out of counfind some continuing city here. tenance, but there is no continuance
A city, as you all know, is a place of in this course ; it ends abruptly, for it security. Now we have no continuing fails. Some powerful disease treads place of security here. What earthly on the beels of licentiousness—some city, town, valley, or house, is a city lingering consumption follows in of refuge from death? Where is the the train of dissipation-some murcity in which no mourners go about derous violence takes part in the the streets-the inhabitants whereof angry quarrel-some apoplexy lurks never say, “ I am sick ?” I need not among the guests at the sensual feast tell you, for every child of God knows -some miserable end or other is there is no such city in our land- waiting for the drunkard. Oh, if we there is no such city in the world. knew the secrets of large towns--if Every week that comes has its bill of we could see the miserable beings
whom sin is slaying by hundreds—if for a mess of pottage; what think you I could present to your view a pano- of a man who barters the joys of an ramic picture of the hospitals, the inheritance in heaven for the toys, prisons, the work houses, the graves, the trifles, the vanities, and the senwhich intemperance, licentiousness, sualities of this present passing world? and sin, have filled — I think you Yet this is your own case if any would almost long to escape from among you are not acting on the consuch a world and rejoice to know viction, that “ Here we have no conthat, “ Here we have no continuing tinuing city.”.
But if you know any thing of the We have looked then at cities as minds of the Apostles and the first places of security, of resort and con- Christians, then you know and feel course, of business, of pleasure; and, this is not your rest, for it is polluted. yet, in every case, we have uniformly The world treats you with coldness found that," " Here we have no con- and indifference; no state honours, as tinuing city.” We, my brethren, have it ought, your Lord; you are strangers wants for the soul and eternity which and pilgrims on earth as all your no material perishable city can supply. fathers in the Christian life have been The soul is a spiritual principle; and, before you ; you are like Noah's dove, therefore, nothing but spiritual things who flew to and fro and found no rest can satisfy its cravings. A man may for the sole of her foot, till she came bury himself in business till he has back to the ark for refuge. not leisure to think whether he has Come, then, with me to our second a soul; he may plunge into sen- part; and here have I promised to suality till it is hard to see in what bring you good tidings-I announce he surpasses the beasts that perish ; to you the Gospel of Christ. There he may run the whole round of has been, I know, none of this in my gaiety, try every vanity under the first part, for there was none in my sun, drink deep of the cup of plea- subject ; there are no good tidings sure, and, in the midst of all, “ There for those who expect to find their is no peace," no true and solid peace, continuing city here. " saith my God, to the wicked.” We go on to observe, then, that There will be a secret dissatisfaction, THERE IS A CONTINUING CITY TO COME, a frequent remorse, the aching head AND WE, BRETHREN, ARE TO SEEK IT. and the aching heart, the conscious There is a continuing city; we can shame, the dread of death and the find none here, but there is one in hour of judgment. Man has a soul, heaven; heaven itself is that conand that soul must have peace with tinuing city. And by this I uuderGod in order to be happy. Man is stand not a material city like our guilty and he must have pardon ; he earthly cities, with walls and towers is un holy and must have a new na- and temples and streets. Such exture ; he has spiritual appetites which pressions when found in scripture in nought but spiritual food can satisfy. regard to heaven are figurative, and Man is also an immortal creature, are used in condescension to our inand therefore nothing earthly present firmities. You read of its - walls;" or transitory can fill his soul. If he these denote the power and the omwere to live only in this world he nipotence of God encompassing the might say, if he would, “ Let us eat; redeemed. Its “ foundations” refer drink, and be merry, for to-morrow to the depths of the divine counselswe die.” But now, with eternity the firm union of infinite wisdom, before him, and that eternity one of love, and power, which lie as the joy or misery, according to his prin- ground-work of the covenant of grace ciples and habits acquired here, no- made with us in Jesus Christ. We thing can give him solid satisfaction read of the “light” which fills that but that which ministers to his eter- glorious city ; but it is to denote to nal welfare. You would smile at the us the brightness of the presence of folly of the child who should barter God: “ for the glory of God doth a piece of gold for a paltry toy; you lighten it, and the Lamb is the light pity Esau who sold his birth-right thereof." It has no temples like
earthly cities, for there is the living : angels, and Christ himself, for your temple of Christ's body. The “pre- companions in eternity. cious stones” we read of as adorning Earthly cities, we also said, are the heavenly city, intimate the trans- places of business ; but heaven is a parent lustre, the moral beauty, the place of continual occupation, as richness, the brightness, the holy well as of delight, for rest. Does this joys, the clear view of divine things, seein a paradox? They do rest from the perception of the glorious per- sin, from anxiety, from sorrow, from fections of God, wbich are the por- temptation ; they rest not day nor tion of all those who are counted night, praising and blessing God. worthy to see that good land.
We are to become, we are told, like Earthly cities, we said, are places unto the angels; and we know that of security : but heaven is a place of they are full of fervour and obedience, continual security. There no thief never weary in well doing, never can break in and steal; there no foe tired of holy worship. can ever scale the jasper wall; no Earthly cities, we also observed, sorrow, no sickness, no suffering, no are frequented for pleasure; but death, and, above all, no sin and no heaven is the proper, the indigenous, tempter can enter there. Go round the native land. “ In thy presence about our Zion; mark well her bul- is fulness of joy; at thy right hand warks; see the truth, the might, the there are pleasures for ever more." glory of the Triune God, combined Whatever pleasure may here be found for its security: once safely there, in loving God and obeying his comyou are safe for eternity. Earthly mands, will there be found a thousand cities meanwhile may decay, gene- fold increased. The pleasures of rations may come and go, aye the heaven are pure, yet delightful. If whole worid may be dissolved; yet the hope of heaven is a pleasure here, the redeemed in heaven are secure what will be the reality? If the from every danger.
communion of saints on earth, though Earthly cities, we said, are places they have infirmities and corruptions, of resort and concourse, men of all is so refreshing, what must be their nations flock there : but heaven is a communion with each other and the place of continual resort ; there the Lord in glory? Heaven is pre-emitribes of the Lord go up from all nently the reign of spirituality and quarters of the globe ; many go,--a immortality. God is a spirit, and few chosen ones in every age, and can make all the spirits around him in some ages (God grant that it may partakers of spiritual pleasure. He be so in ours !) great numbers are only is immortal, yet he deigns to persuaded to go up and possess the give immortality to all whom he land; but none come away. It is admits into his presence. This is like the sea, into which great rivers called “a continuing city,” for it is a flow, and yet it never overflows. So place of continuing security, resort, heaven is continually being filled with occupation, and pleasure; full of all inhabitants ; never full till the whole that can satisfy a spiritual and imnumber of the elect, a number known
mortal being. only to God, is complete. Therefore It is also a continuing city " to there is yet room; room for many, come.” We have it now in promise room for you. If all of you would from a faithful God; we have it in but faithfully go to Christ, he would many a cheering hope of joyful exin no wise cast out one individual ; pectation : even here on earth our and at the last day, we know, there citizenship and conversation may shall be a great multitude that no man inhabit it; yet, in its fullest enjoycan number of all nations, kindreds, ment it is ever, till we close our people, and tongues. And you that eyes on this world, it is ever a city love good company, mind that you “to come.” · We walk by saith, and go to heaven: you shall have good pot by sight;" and here is a great Cliristians for your companions in difference between a worldly-minded going; you shall have saints, and man and a true believer. The worldly