« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
in any circumstance of real hazard. Does God preside with his watchful providence over the seasons, day and night, over the minutest parts of nature, and over events, the most trivial; and can he fail of accomplishing his greatest work, in which his heart is ultimately engaged, and to which all his other works, even the incarnation and sufferings of the WORD, are but subordinate ?
3d. If all the attributes of God are employed, and most fully illustrated in the building up of Zion, then we may rely that when completed, it will be a most fair, and most glorious building. The philosopher admires the structure of the material system. And full of wonder indeed it is. The structure of minds is still more admirable. But how much more glorious must that work of God be, when completed, which is the fulness of him who filleth all in all! With propriety is it styled by the sacred penman, and undoubtedly to all who have a rectified moral discern. ment it will appear, ' the perfection of beauty.'
4th. If God have undertaken to build up Zion, and his glory appears in so many, and in such important respects as it rises, then Christians have the greatest inducements to pray much and earnestly, and believingly, for the effusion of the Holy Spirit, and extensive revivals of religion, Christians certainly may pray with importunity and with great expecta. tions, for the progress of that work in which God is eminently glorified. The manifestation of God's glory must be very desirable to them. That his name may be declared and exalted throughout all the earth, must be the fondest wish of their hearts. The supreme good is realized when the spirit is abundantly given, and religion, in the power, and purity of it spreads farther and farther in the world. Let this then be the great subject of the christians daily prayer. Let him here fill his mouth' with arguments drawn from the purposes and plans of God, from the provi.
sions of his grace, and the promises of the gospel. Let him wrestle with Jacob, and prevail with Israel.
5th. If God be the builder of Zion, and his glory is eminently illustrated as it rises, then we ought to notice with gratitude and praise all those events that come to our knowledge, which are peculiarly auspicious to the interests of pure christianity. The multiplication of the means of salvation ; the selfdenial and zeal with which numerous pious youth are devoting themselves to the ministry; the establishment and successful labors of missionary societies; the translation of the scriptures into different languages, and the revivals of religion which are taking place in different parts of our country and world, are events signally in favor of pure christianity. They indicate good to the Zion of our God. Let christians eye his hand in these events, and glorify his name.
Finally, let us all bring home to ourselves the solemn inquiry. Has distinguishing grace taken us out of the world, subdued us to the gospel, and put us as living stones into that glorious building which Goch is erecting upon earth ? Have we been united by a living faith to Christ and his people? Are we built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles .
Happy are they, indeed, who are citizens of this heavenly city. Their place of defence shall be the mu. nition of rocks, bread shall be given them to the full, and their waters shall be sure. The lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. But with out are dogs, sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Here is the Sodom of the world, from which sinners must flee, to the city which God redeems, or perish in their iniquities. Now to him who sit- . teth between the Cherubim, who is the Jehovah of Israel, be glory and thanksgiving and praise forever.
THE SINNER WARNED,
Paftor of a Congregational Church-Wethersfield, Connecticw.
GENESIS, xix. 17.
HEARERS, it is written, Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord, shall be safe. It is also written, But the expectation of the wicked shall be cut off. The hope of unjust men perisheth.'
Lot was a righteous man, and therefore, the Lord snatched him from that destruction, in which his fel low citizens of polluted Sodom and Gomorrah, were for their wickedness, overwhelmed. God know. eth how to deliver,' and he will deliver from final evil,' them that,' in heart, are his.' He will never deliver them, however, but by their escaping from a situation which sin renders dangerous. This was the fact with righteous Lot. He must fly from the place destined to ruin, or he must perish in the com. mon perdition. To him, safety was brought by the hands of the same angels, that were ministers of des. truction to the wicked. His danger was, neverthe less, great and alarming. The command, pointing to him the way of deliverance was, of course, urgent Escape for thy life."
But is not the danger of every impenitent sinner as great as Lot's was, when the cities, in which he dwelt,
were by a stroke of wrath, to be turned suddenly into an everlasting monument of God's indignation against sin? Yea, sinners, is not your danger, this moment, infinitely greater than his was? The evil which threatened him, and from which, heaven warned him instantly to escape, was temporal. It pertained to the concerns of a world, whose • fashion passeth away.' The evil which threatens you, is eternal. And from a situation, which exposes you to eternal evil, you are, by this message of God, admonished immediately to escape.
Hear, therefore, in the text, God's warning to every soul yet uninterested in Christ : Escape for thy Life.
First. The sinners duty is expressed : · Escape.'
Secondly. A motive to the performance of duty is urged. For thy Life'
First. The sinners duty is expressed. Escape Something must be done. A change of condition must be experienced. The very nature, as well as manner, of the command implies, that the subject of it is interesting and deserves speedy attention.
But, here sinners, you are, perhaps, saying in your hearts; • Is it not sufficiently well with us, as we are? Escaping belongs indeed to those who are in danger. But who is he that shall disturb our peace. With what terrors shall any make us afraid ? We perceive no danger. What occasion then, have we of escaping-of seeking a condition different from our pre sent? Shall we not have quietness, though we walk after the imaginations of our own hearts--yea, though we pass through life, and die, without concern, on the matters, about which you speak ?,
Such feelings and such language are the fruits of a seared conscience. They are the very often observed dictates of a heart that is far from God; of a heart which is hardened by irreligious habits, into a fatal stupidity about the concerns of the soul. .