« PreviousContinue »
Third, When should we examine ourselves ? Before we take it for granted that we are Christians, or appropriate to ourselves the children's property. If we claim to be considered Christians, let it be as the result of a close examination of the state of the heart and life ; and of a careful comparing of ourselves with God's word. Before we make a public profession of Christ. If we profess to be Christ's, and publicly take upon ourselves the name of Christ, and identify ourselves with the cause of Christ, we should be prepared to give every one that asketh us, a reason of the hope that is in us, with meekness, and with fear. Faith in Christ, is an essential prerequisite to the profession of Christ. So when we come to the Lord's table, we should examine ourselves whether we be his disci. ples or not; whether we have his yoke on us, his Spirit within us, and can discern his body in the elements set before us. And if laid on the bed of affliction, or tried in any particular way: it is well to search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. When death is in immediate prospect, self-scrutiny is very becoming, that we may be able to rejoice in the Lord, face the foe with dauntless courage,
and move onward towards eternity, looking with confidence to Jesus.
Beloved, haveyou examined yourself? Have you come to a satisfactory conclusion ? If so, let not every little trial or doubt, or sus. picion, lead you to question your standing. On the other hand, if there are dark signs, if you can indulge in any sin, if you can allow the lusts of the flesh to reign, or if you can enjoy the world, its pleasures, pursuits, and vanities, we say to you solemnly, “ Examine yourself.” You are a Christian, or
Every thing depends on the right solution of this question. If in Christ, you will resemble Christ, and are saved by Christ. If you have no resemblance to Christ, you are without Christ, and have neither part nor lot in his salvation.
you are not.
My God, wbat inward grief I feel
BEFORE AND AFTER.
BEFORE DEATH, up to the very last moment mercy is offered to the sinner.
The Gospel still says,
** It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." The Saviour stands by the dying pillow, saying, “Look unto me, and be saved.” God waits to be gracious up to the very
last. He delighteth in mercy still.
But it is not every one that has a friend to present the gospel, to point to the Saviour, and to encourage the soul to believe. Every one therefore should make sure of mercy while they may. They should seek the Lord while they can find him. The accepted time is now.
The day of salvation is now. There is hope for the vilest now. Before death, even from our birth to our death, mercy is offered to us. The mercy of a God. The mercy that will pardon all our sins. The mercy that will make us meet for heaven. The mercy that will give us a title to everlasting life. Reader, God offers that mercy now.
Seek him, he will have mercy, Call upon him, he will have mercy. Ask of him eternal life, he will you?
have mercy, and will save thee with an everlasting salvation.
AFTER DEATH, is the judgment. Then the sinner's doom is fixed. Then the soul's des. tiny is known. As the tree falls so it must lie. As the sinner dies, so he must remain. During life we sow, after death we reap. In time we may be changed; but in eternity there can be no change. Now we may repent, believe, and be saved ; but the there will be no place for repentance, no warrant for faith, no salvation.
Before death, mercy reigns; after death, justice deals to every man according to his works. Friend, how is it with
Have you obtained mercy P Are your sins pardoned ? Is your heart right with God? Slight not God's gracious invi. tations. Neglect not God's great salvation. Do not put from you the offer of mercy. Delay not to seek the Lord, if you have not found him. Trifle not with the solemn concerns of the soul and eternity. Death is often sudden. It comes often when least ex. pected, and cuts those down first whom we thought would stand longest. Think of the wrath to come, and flee from it. Think of the glory that is to be revealed, and secure an interest in it.
Think of death, and prepare to meet it. Think of eternity, and make sure of a part in its happiness and pleasures. Remember, O remember, BEFORE DEATH, MERCY IS OFFERED ; BUT AFTER DEATH, MAN'S DOOM IS IRREVOCABLY FIXED !
HE IS MORE THAN ALL.
The old disciple had lived more than fourscore years : he had borne his living testimony for Christ; he was now about to depart to be with Christ. Kind friends and dear children surrounded him, all ready and desirous to shew kindness to him. Without all was quiet, within all was peace. One of his dear ones had come to take a last look, and bid him a last farewell. For the last time she kissed that venerable forehead, and whispered, " Jesus Christ is all.” This touched a hidden spring, and seemed to rekindle the spark of life; his eyes opened, and he looked around on all present; they were his earthly treasures ; his lips moved, and with an unexpected energy he said, “ MORE THAN ALL." This was his dying testimony. He had precious children, and pleasant friends; he had many comforts, and much inward peace, but Jesus was more than all. Long had he known him, firmly had he trusted him, sweetly had he enjoyed his presence ; occasionally he had suffered for him ; now he was about to depart that he might dwell with him ; and with his last labouring breath, he can testify Jesus is more than all.” More than all the comforts of life, more than all the honours of earth, more than all the attention of friends,