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life on believing, we know He will perform. We believe, for He hath said. “Oh! this is rest to our souls.
I conclude with a solemn illustrative circumstance. I have alluded to a friend who has been called
away by death. As the bar in the games was of no private drawing, and as the truth is of no private starting, but “ holy men were moved by the Holy Ghost;" so, likewise, with the bar of life, it is of no private drawing. - There is a time to be born,” even the beginning of an existence, never to terminate; and “there is a time to die”-a time which lies at the beginning of a great end. Any mention of the time to live is omitted by the wise man—so rapid is it, so evanescent is it, so soon forgotten—for who knows anything of the man that sowed your acres a hundred years ago? What is known of the man who rode
your possession ? What know you of those who owned your property ere you bought it? Many a lost soul may have lived in your house, sat in your carriage, or died in your bed ! Believe me, life is brief, the bar must soon be drawn, and then how will it be? But as I was about to say, one day my friend was at the Westland Row Terminus, and as he reached the door, a lady fell back, as it were in his arms. He said, “Madam, is anything the matter ?” and she said, “Oh, Sir, the door is shut !" by which he understood that she was late for the train — matters of importance demanded that she should go by that train, but now she was late, and was prostrate under the circumstance. Well, my friend said to her, “Do you ever think of a time when another door will be shut ?” She implied she would rather not speak of it, so he left her; but the half-hour elapsed, and they were in the same carriage. He renewed the conversation, but as he thought without effect. About six months after, a servant called and said, there was a lady dying, and she much wished to see him; he went, and when he entered the room, he identified the dying lady as the one who had lost the train. When he came to the couch, she raised her head, and said, “ Only that I lost the train, and the door was shut, this, the heavenly door, would now have been shut;' or words to that effect.
Beloved, the bar may soon be drawn for you and me. Are you treating the Gospel as a myth? or are you thinking that death is a reality, and that when the bar is drawn, you will be in heaven or hell for all eternity? Do you believe in God? have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? You ask, “What is the Gospel ?” The Gospel is that Christ“ died for” (or because of) “our sins, and was raised again for” (or because of) “ our justification.” He emptied the cup
of our woe, and it is now a cup of salvation. Every believing sinner may say, “ God knew me—He judged me worthy of death, and the Gospel is, that either I must die or some other in my stead; that other is Christ, who died. I owe it all to God, who gave Christ; and to Christ, who gave Himself.” This is no myth, but a reality, on which all who rest have life and peace. All you want, sinner, even supposing this is the first time you ever heard it, is simply to believe it. The sinner has but to receive the righteousness of God. Do you wonder at this ?—at its simplicity ? Wonder no more, but know what you are, full of sin and death; and what Jesus is, who became sin, who died; and what now, you are in Him, even complete - complete in Him." May the Lord, by His Spirit, show it to you
" All that I was, my sin, my guilt,
My death was all my own;
My gracious God, alone.
“ The evil of my former state,
Was mine and only mine;
Is thine and only thine."
THE GOD OF GLORY.
“The God of glory appeared unto our father Abrabam, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran : and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on : yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.” - Acrs vii. 2-5.
You will find in these words that there is a beautiful order in Christian life.
Abraham, a simple idolater, dwelling in Mesopotamia, was without God in the world, as is the condition of every
natural man. God it was who appeared to Abraham. found of one who sought Him not.
But the God who appeared to him was a God of glory; One whom the carnal mind could never have seen, but who is revealed by the Spirit as possessing a power to draw to Himself—a power stronger than all obstacles.
Abraham's response to the divine call was at the first hindered by nature; but nature dies, and the response is complete.
God is the genesis—the beginning of everything that is good. God, it is said, appeared unto Abraham. God was at the beginning—the root of things, in the salvation of Abraham.
And if there be any here who have never known salvation, may our blessed God, as He always does, take the initiative; for God is, as I have said, the genesis, the beginning of everything that is good !
Ere the world was created—when as yet chaos spread itself around-it was God who said, “Let there be light," and there was light. And ere the existence of those golden lustres that bespangle the heavenly firmament—when as yet the whole of that firmament was without a particle of that lustre—it was God, in the beginning, who said, “Let there be the starry heavens; the sun by day, and the moon and stars by night;" and all these natural glories sprang into existence.
And when the world shall be new-created, God will be the beginning of it.
And in heaven, the saints are now rehearsing their redemption to be all of God. It was by Him that the Seed of the woman was promised; and by Him Enoch was translated; and the redeemed spirit of Abel, the first from this sin-stricken world, had its glorious conveyance to heaven, and not to hell. Could we summon every redeemed one, from Abel down to the present, we should find that in redemption and salvation it was God who had taken the initiative-who had made the first move in the conversion of the sinner.
And here let me say to every anxious one present, that when God comes and appears to a soul—not in visible form and glory, as He did to the patriarch, but simply through some truth, in some scene, perhaps like the present, He brings Himself into the scene--puts Himself before the sinner, gives conviction of sin, and along therewith a sight of the Saviour, so as to lead the sinner to peace and rest in Him by believing.
But observe how it was that God appeared to Abraham. For remember, when God appears for salvation, He does not come to condemn, or simply as a judge, though God is a judge; or even as a Saviour ; but as a God of glory.” It was as the God of glory that He appeared to Abraham-when He said, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee.” for no slight unsubstantial thing the Syrian was called; it was that he might have a heavenly country, a jasper city,—that he might say, “ Heaven is my fatherland, a golden city is my home."
He, poor Syrian, needed for such a call the God of glory. It was not easy for him to solve the question, - Am I to leave my home and my kindred ? Am I to leave those I love ? Am I to go from the place of my fathers' sepulture ? And to go for what? For a country I have never seen ? for a land never trodden ? for there were no paths in the desert, no finger-posts in the wilderness ! Am I to give up all I value and go out ? Am I to leave all for one I have never seen or known before ?” No, not so God came not to him as a mere naked truth. God came to him with golden city, and in form most inviting and attractive, even as the God of glory, else Abraham, methinks, would never have left his father's house.
Thus it is with the hope of our own calling! When God calls a sinner, it is from darkness into marvellous light,-it is from the power of Satan to the kingdom of His dear Son,-it is from an earthly to a heavenly state,—it is from being a vessel of Satan to share with Christ His throne, that we may sit down with Him on His throne, even as He is now on His Father's throne; it is that when He shall occupy, and on His head shall be many crowns, we may appear with Him, and dwell in the light and lustre of those crowns. For what we were, in our standing before God, He