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ishing the rebels, who would not that he should reign over them. Jesus will come as the Judge of all, accomplishing the purpose of his Father, who has decreed, that he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he has appointed. As therefore Jesus will come, and come thus, we ought to be ready for his coming, come when he may; hence his command, “ Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the son of man cometh.”
We ought to be watching. Every day should find us looking
“ for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We ought to be waiting, as it is written of the Corinthians, “ Ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And of the Thessalonians, “Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." We ought to be desiring and endeavouring to hasten the day; as Peter directed, “ Looking for, and hasting of, the coming of the day of God." O beloved, let us think less of death and the grave, and more of the coming of Jesus, and the glory that shall follow! Let us be ready, looking, and longing for the glorious event.
THE WAY OF ACCEPTANCE.
UNDER the law, an Israelite must be clean, or he could not offer a gift acceptably to the Lord. God would accept nothing at his hands, except his sins had been atoned for by blood, and his person had een cleansed in pure water. Just so, under the gospel, God can accept of nothing at our hands, except our sins have been put away by the sacrifice of Christ, and our natures sanctified by the operations of the Holy Spirit.
The good deeds of a sinner, are like the offerings of a condemned, impenitent traitor to his prince, which cannot be accepted; but are consider. ed an insult, so long as he remains in rebel. lion, and refuses a pardon on the terms offer. ed. Now God tells us, that he is ready to pardon all our sins, and accept our persons, whenever we confess our guilt, and exercise faith in his beloved Son, who died that we may live. But, if we come to offer any thing to God, or to ask any thing of God, before we have acknowledged our sins, accepted of Christ, and can plead his precious blood ; though he may pity us, and in some degree excuse us, on account of our ignorance, yet he will never accept us, or be pleased with any thing we do or say, till then. Reader, you must bring Jesus before God,
as the sacrifice for your sin-you must plead his precious blood for your pardon-you must experience the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, before any thing you do or say, can be pleasing to God. The presents of a rebel, cannot be accepted. The deeds of a traitor cannot please the prince. And such are your good works, and religious services, prior to your being reconciled to God through the death of his Son. Your first business therefore is to accept of Christ, as he is presented to you in the gospel; and having accepted of him as God's free gift, to plead his precious blood, and glorious name, for the acceptance of your person and services, at the throne of God. No prayers, no sighs, no groans, no tears, no acts of self-denial, no costly gifts can be accepted of God from you, until you believe on the name of his only begotten Son. You must renounce every thing of your own, and rest on Christ alone-you must renounce every thing of your own and plead the name and perfect work of Christ alone, or you can never be accepted of God, enjoy peace with God, or be saved by the grace of God. And as soon as the eye of the mind is fixed on Christ, on Christ alone, the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit is felt, and you are clean before the Lord. Then you may come and offer your gifts. Then the broken heart, the heart-felt groan on account of sin, the sigh for holiness, or even
the cup of cold water given to a disciple in his name, is pleasant and acceptable to him. God's method is, first to accept our persons for Christ's sake, and then to accept what we present, as the offerings of poor, but wellmeaning, beloved children.
Let us ask then, how is it with me? Am I clean in the sight of God? Are my sins expiated by the death of Jesus? Is my per. son accepted for the sake of Jesus ? Do I come to God only through Jesus, and expect to be accepted of God only for the sake of Jesus? Do I present every prayer I put up at his throne, every hymn I sing to his praise, every penny I give to his cause, and every kind deed I do to his people, only in the name of Jesus, expecting to be heard, accepted, and approved of for his sake, and for his sake alone ? These are solemn and deeply important inquiries.
For a just God must reject both us and our offerings, if we reject Christ; and we do reject him, if we do not make him, what God makes him, and use him for the purposes for which God has set him forth. God is a jealous God, a sin hating God, a sin avenging God; and his jealousy will smoke against the man, his opposition will be shown to the man, and his justice will strike the man, who has the effrontery to come before him, rejecting the propitiation he has provided and set forth. Thanks be to God for Jesus, and for the acceptance of sinners through him!
THE LORD'S WORD TO THE YOUNG.
MAN needs a communication from God. He wants to know his nature, his mind, his will. The heathens felt this, and therefore their priests imposed upon them, pretending that their idols spoke. But their oracles were always in the dark, or in secret, and their pretended utterances were enigmatical and difficult to understand. Not so the God of Israel, he spake publicly and plainly in the days of old; but much more so since he has spoken unto us by his Son. True, and applicable, as were his words to Israel of old, by Isaiah ; they are if possible more so to he says,
I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth, I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.” Isaiah xlv. 19.
The Lord spake to the seed of Jacob, and through them, he has spoken to the young. This was an act of condescension, for they were in a state of rebellion against him ; and what humility majesty displays, when it stoops to speak kindly to rebels. Besides which, it was unsought, they never desired, or requested the Lord to speak to them, but he did so of his mere grace.
He has not