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our persuasions do not move him, we drag him out of danger! When God sent a message to Lot in Sodom, it is said, that he lingered: but the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. It is thus that God frequently acts with respect to us, when we appear to rest : satisfied with the pageant as it passes. It is a merciful dispensation, however severe and mortifying to the feelings, that drives thee, Christian, to' reflection; that rouses thee from thy sleep of death; that prevents thy perishing in thy dream; that preaches to thy heart; that says, This is not your rest: it is polluted.
My Dear Hearers, what practical feeling have you of these truths ? Many of you, I doubt nót, saw the affecting scene that passed through this city the other day. What instruction have you gained from it? If you say, “I know not any. I merely went to gratify my 'curiosity. It was enough for me, that it amused me for the time”then I will tell you a more affecting scene than that which passed before your eyes: the levity and vacuity with which many thousands look upon such a sight, is a more affecting scene to the moral eye!--their minds are like a feather in the wind-no sentiment! no meaning! no wise reflection ! no serious consideration ! not so much as a thought, “ The pageant of this world is also passing by, and will soon be over!”
A scene, however approaches, which will oblige men to think :-A scene to which all other solemnities are as the dust in a balance. 'In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed! And then, Brethren, you will not need the preacher, to demonstrate to you how the pageant of this world passeth by: you will not need the preacher, to shew you how little worldlings know of that world of which they boast to have so thorough a knowledge: neither will you then need to be taught, how gracious it was in God, to meet your wants as a guilty dying creature; nor how infatuated and criminal the worldling is, who sleeps on, under these warnings, in his carnal state: nor will you want any conviction, how merciful it is in God, to drive men, when they will not be drawn; and to bring them to their senses even by the most painful methods; as the Prodigal, when he could not estimate the blessings of his father's house and protection, must be sent to sit with the swine, and to famish, before he came to himself. Then shall it clearly appear, what part was allotted to us to perform; and that it was the right part, provided we performed it aright. We shall see, indeed, that the world passed away;
but we shall see some standing at the right-hand, who knew, while it passed, how to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
That you may have that wisdom, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, afforded to you, may God, of his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus Christ our Lord!
CHRISTIAN CONSOLATIONS ABOUNDING IN SUF
2 COR, i. 5.
As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also
aboundeth by Christ. “HOPE travels on,” says the poet :-“ Hope travels on, nor leaves us till we die:” and this is a distinguishing feature of Christianity.
A vast variety of things raise hope in a man: but they do but beguile him. They excite fond expectations : they promise great things : but they delude him : they leave him in extremity; and, what is worse, they leave him when it is too late to take hold of a better object. In extremity, they scorn his misery, and say, “ We can do nothing."
But Hope travels on with the Christian ; and when every thing else seems to say, “ We can do no more for you,” he lifts up his head with joy, knowing that his redemption draweth nigh.
Christianity, therefore, is the true remedy for trouble. There is no other remedy.
St. Paul bears his testimony to this, in the passage which we have read. It is thus introduced : -Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies, and the God of all Comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. We can tell them our experience: we can prove to them that God, the Father of Mercies, is the God of all Comfort. And, he adds, if we are afflicted, it is, among other reasons, that we may be able, as exercised persons, to shew what God can do in affliction; for, as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
The sufferings of Christ were, in some respects, peculiar. He was a public person: he undertook what none but himself could undertake: therefore there was a peculiarity in his sufferings. But the Apostlé is here speaking of sufferings on account of Christ, which Christians pass through in conformity to him; that, 'as he was, they should be in the world.
I shall, therefore, shew, 1. WHAT ARE THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST,