Images de page

mercy; yet your sins are continually increasing. God is lengthening out your days and years of peace and comfort on the earth; he is continuing to you the smiles of his providence, and the enjoyment of his bounty, so that every place and scene through which you have passed in the world, or where you have dwelt, bears the memorials of his loving kindness; yet you remain ungrateful and rebellious, and will neither fear him, nor love his Son. Instructions, warnings, counsels, mercies, judgments, all fail to reclaim you, and instead of softening, have only hardened your hearts. Time and opportunity have been lavished and lost upon you, and have only served to render you more inexcusable. You choose the path that leads to death; you resist the strivings of the Spirit; you love the vanities of the world, and will go after them; and though God still calls, you refuse his calls. You might have lived to do good; but instead of this, you have buried your talent in the earth, and are the means of destroying, rather than saving, the souls of men. And are you not sinners? Are you not great sinners? Must you not reproach yourselves? Must not the time come, when your sins will make a very deep impression on your minds; when they will fill you with painful reflection ; when they never can be again forgotten? That day must come. I add,

3. In the third place, how obvious is it from this subject, that we all need an interest in Jesus Christ! If Paul could say, "It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief;" it may be that some of us can say it also. It may be that you yourselves feel that you greatly need the pardoning mercy

of God, and an interest in the atoning blood of his Son. Yes, my friends, you have need of just such a Saviour as the Gospel reveals. Nothing but the blood of the great Atonement can cleanse from such sins as yours. If Paul could not find peace with God, except through Jesus Christ; if the best of Christians never have found it except there; where else, suppose ye, it can be found? Believe me, you stand in great need of him who came to seek and to save that which was lost. You stand in great need of him who came to save the

chief of sinners There will be a great company of sinners, and of great sinners saved by the abounding grace of God in Jesus Christ; and you may be saved as well as they. However far you may be from thinking that God has mercy for you, or that his Son suffered and died to save you; if you see your sins, if you see their aggravations, and feel the burden of them, and would indeed have an interest in that holy and precious salvation; then are you the very sinner to whom he this day offers his free redemption. If you are willing to come to Christ just as you are, and here at his cross part with your sins for him and heaven; be assured, he will not cast you out. Great and aggravated as your transgressions are, they are not so great as the exceeding riches of his grace. Let the greatness of your necessity then, be your plea for the greatness of his mercy. Address the throne like one ruined and undone, and say, " Lord, save or I perish!" Flee to the stronghold as prisoners of hope. Flee to the arms of that Saviour, now as ready to welcome you to his bosom, as they were once so willingly stretched on the cross. There is but one sin so aggravated that he

cannot paraon; and that is the sin which contemns offered mercy, and tramples upon Christ and his salvation, to the last. O may God incline your hearts no longer to oppose your own salvation, and to his name be the praise. Amen!



PSALM XXV. 21. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me.

It is a narrow and miserable policy to expect to be the gainers by doing wrong. It shows very little acquaintance with the government of God, and no confidence in God himself, ever to persuade ourselves that it is unsafe to do that which is right, or better, or happier to neglect our duty than to perform it.

It is stated of the Prince of Condé, a zealous Protestant, that having received a message from Charles IX., the King of France, to choose one of three things,either to attend the mass, or be put to death, or suffer perpetual banishment,--he replied, "The first, God helping me, I never will choose; but for the other two, I leave it to the choice of the king." To do right sometimes requires great self-denial, and greater sacrifices than men are willing to make. Reputation, property, the loss of employment, and of places of honor and profit, and the loss of friends, are sometimes jeoparded by unflinching and unblemished integrity. Men, for the most part, sit down and make their calculations in order to ascertain whether it is safer for them to follow the dictates of an enlightened conscience, in the performance of whatever their duty leads them to perform,

or to pursue the opposite course, and leave it undone. Yet we think we shall be borne out in the declaration, that they never injure themselves so much, as when they swerve from the path of strict rectitude and integrity; and never so hazard their influence, their good name, their property, their friends, and the good-will, confidence, and kind offices of their fellow-men, as by a loose and dispirited morality.

[ocr errors]

It is a beautiful thought of the Psalmist, “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me!" If a man cannot be safe in doing what is right, he had better expose himself to danger; because an approving conscience and an approving God, are worth more to him than all the temporary inconvenience and suffering to which he may be subjected for doing what is right. There is, in the long run of human affairs, no such security in the world, as is found in a man's conscious integrity. Be he ever so wise, his superior wisdom and discretion. are not half so sure a safeguard as his integrity. Be he ever so rich and honorable, his wealth and station can never throw such a shield about him as his integrity. He is never so much at ease, and never feels that he has so little cause for suspicion and watchfulness, as when he has the high and honest consciousness. of personal integrity.

This is a most enviable state of mind. And it is one which may be enjoyed. It is alike attainable by the rich and the poor, by the wise and the unwise, the base and the honorable, seamen and landsmen. And it is attainable by a very simple and intelligible way; and that is, by the performance of acknowledged duty. It is this,—this firm integrity, this strong and bold adherence to what is right, that puts a man beyona

« PrécédentContinuer »