Page images

only spoken to the young, but he has spoken publicly. Thus he spake to Israel on Sinai, when he gave them the law; and thus he spake to them at different times, by the prophets. As publicly,

or more so, he has spoken to us of old by his Son, and up to the present time by the preaching of the gospel. He has also spoken to us freely, opening his mind on all important subjects ; especially the most important, the way of escape from the wratlı to come. His addresses to us have been most serious and solemn, warning, exhorting, and inviting us, that we may avoid danger, and enjoy safety. Nor has he spoken to us merely once, but repeatedly; as he said of Israel, “ All the day long, have I stretched forth my hand, to a disobedient and gainsaying people.”. And in the plainest terms has he addressed us, that he that runs may read ; and he that reads aright will run. Ever let us listen to the gospel, as to God speaking to us; and ever let us read the Scriptures, as a record of God's spoken word.

The Lord has spoken to the young, bidding them seek his face, his favour and his love. We are all strangers to him by nature, and live at a distance from him. We shew by our conduct, that we desire not a knowledge of his ways. But he has love in his heart towards us. He pities us. He desires to do us good. He is therefore willing to be found of us. For this purpose, he has come down to us in the person of his Son, and has said,

- Seek ye me, and


He has pro

shall live." He has given us all the means requisite to our seeking him. Hence we have his word, his house, and his ordinances; in addition to which we often feel the strivings of his Spirit within us, and the convictions of conscience prompting us. He desires that we should be happy, but as it is impossible for us to be happy without himself, he bids us seek him. As therefore he is willing, to be found of us, as he has provided all the means necessary for us, as he desires to make us happy, it becomes us to “seek the Lord and his strength, to seek his face evermore.”

The Lord has given the young, every en. couragement to seek him. claimed to us his name, assuring us that he is gracious, merciful, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, but will in no wise clear the guilty.

He has given us his promise, saying, I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me. He has made a solemn oath, swearing, “As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth ; but rather that he turn from his wickedness and live. Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die, O house of Israel.” He has given us his Son, who has taken away all his wrath, and given expression to bis infinite love. O that wondrous testimony, how winning, how inviting, how encouraging it is, God so loved the world that he gave his


only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

He has been found of all who ever sought him in sincerity, and in truth, and has manifested himself to them, as the God that heareth and answereth prayer. If therefore God has given us his name, his promise, his oath, bis Son, and the testimony of all who ever sought his face, we have abundant encouragement to seek the Lord.

The effects of seeking him are precious, unspeakably precious. From seeking the Lord flows purity, or inward holiness ; fitting us to stand before his glorious presence, and enjoy his service above. Nor only holi, ness, but peace, a sweet, inward, delightful calm, arising from a sense of our reconciliation to God, and standing in a pardoned and sanctified state before God. Not only so, but we receive power, power to resist sin, power to overcome the world, power to conquer Satan, and power to serve God. And with power pleasure ; for his ways are pleasantness, and his paths are peace: and in addition to pleasure profit. Who can tell the benefits that flow from true godliness? Who shall describe the blessedness of the man, who seeks the Lord and finds him! He has purity of heart, peace of conscience, power with God, pleasures refined and lasting, and a part in the unsearchable riches of Christ. Let us then listen to the Lord's voice, which bids us seek him ; Jet us believe the testimony of his word, that he

will be found of us ; let us take all the encouragements held forth to us : and let us seek him with full confidence, assured that every one that seeketh findeth. Nor let us put it off, until some future time, but let us seek him at once, to-day; while he waits to be gracious, and continues to call us to his throne. Young friend hear his own sweet word, “I love them, that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me.

Ye hearts with youthful vigour warın,

In smiling crowds draw near,
And turn from every mortal charm,

A Saviour's voice to hear.

[merged small][ocr errors]

What object, Lord, my soul should more,

If once compared with thee?
What beauty should command my love,

Like what in Christ I see?

Away, ye false, delusive toys,

Vain tempters of the mind!
'Tis here I fix my lasting choice,

For here true bliss I find.


EVERY Christian will be known. He cannot long. be concealed. The work of the Holy Spirit within, and the example of Jesus copied without, will be sure to betray him. Nor ought we to wish to be hid. God does not light a candle to put it under a bushel, but that it may give light to all around. Therefore, the Saviour, instead of directing us to hide our light, or keep our religion to ourselves, exhorts us to let our light so shine before men, that they seeing our good works, may glorify our Father which is in heaven. We receive from God, that we may communicate to men: and while we endeavour to communicate what we have, God gives us more. Our light is increased by shining. Our grace is increased by giving. Therefore our Lord says, “ Give, and it shall be given unto you.”. Just so, we learn our way by walking in it; and we learn to know God by walking with him,

- What man is he that feareth the Lord ? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.Ps. xxv. 12.

Fearing the Lord, was the peculiarity of real religion, under the old dispensation. The

« PreviousContinue »