« PreviousContinue »
self as others do, but he cannot bear to think of souls perishing in ignorance and sin, with, out making an effort to_save them, and therefore he perseveres. He has been useful, and he is more useful now than he thinks he is ; for God always honours such simple selfdenying labours. Henry Rogers has little learning, small talents, and has but few ad. vantages, but one thing every one that knows him will allow that he has, and that is “ heart that can feel for another."
How many illustrations one might give of this motto, but enough they say is as good as a feast.
And a friend of mine used to say, “Better send the people away longing, than loathing." Few books are too short, but very many are too long; and as with books, so it is sometimes with pieces, of which books are made up, therefore I will close this, but not before I have kindly put the question, Reader, have you“ the heart that can feel for another ?" Can you feel for your fellow creatures in want, and try to supply them? In pain and suffering, and try to soothe them? In poverty and privation and try to relieve them ? Can you ? Do you? Can you feel for your fellow sinners, who are in danger, and try to alarm them ? who are in ignorance, and try to instruct them ? who are careless, and solemn. ly warn them? Can you see sinners all round you, going to hell, and not pity them? Or, pity, and not wish to save them? Or, wish to save them, and not exert yourself to do
so ? Ought you not to deny yourself ease, pleasure, and gratification, in order to save souls from death? If you can go to your own place of worship time after time, and pass your neighbours and acquaintances, who neglect God's great salvation, and despise their own souls, and not invite them, and try to induce them to go with you, can you pos.
"the heart that feels for another ?" This, this is what we want in our churches, to influence and stimulate every member, that so each may use his own individual influence, and personally exert himself, to crowd the house of prayer, lead sinners to the Saviour, and snatch souls from the pit. In vain we write, preach, or profess, unless we have " the heart that feels for another.” In vain we long for a revival, boast of our orthodoxy, pride ourselves in our form of church government, or glory in our various societies, the thing we want, the thing we wish for, the thing we must have, before any thing remarkable is done, is for every individual member to possess, and know that he possesses, THE HEART THAT CAN TEEL FOR ANO
BELIEVERS DEALT WITH AS SONS.
“God dealeth with you as with sons.”—HEB. xii. 7.
AFFLICTED believer, listen. To you is this passage of God's holy word addressed. You have many trials, many temptations, and are at times ready to complain. But what are your trials compared with some that have gone before you? Read the preceding chapter, and see what faith enabled some of the Lord's people to do, and to suffer. And those directly addressed, were stripped of their property, expelled from their homes, and exposed to very painful privations, They suffered for Christ. They suffered with Christ. They suffered out of love to Christ. Their sufferings were not by chance, nor merely of men, the hand of God was in them, and they are told that by appointing, arranging, and limiting their sufferings, God is dealing with them as with sons. Beloved, as believers in Jesus, we are sons of God. What an honour! Let us try to get a little profit for our souls out of the passage, by considering,
First, THE RELATIONSHIP. Sons, sons of God. Those whom he has adopted by his sovereign grace, and regenerated by his Holy Spirit. By the former act, he put us among his children ; by the latter, he communicated to us his nature, and so constituted us his children. For as we receive a human nature from our natural parents, so we receive a divine nature from the Holy Spirit. which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.” We are not more the sons of our natural fathers by generation, than we are the sons of God by regeneration. Our natural parents stamp their image upon us, and we resemble them; and our heavenly Father stamps his divine image upon us, and we resemble him. As his children, he lays us in his bosom, mani. fests his love, and thus endears himself to us. He instructs us by his paternal voice, speaking to us by his providence, by his word, by his ordinances, and by his Spirit. He nourishes and feeds us at his table, which is constantly spread, with milk for the babes, solid food for the young men, and savoury meat for the aged brethren. He leads us by his Spirit, who conducts us from self to the cross from the world to the Church, and from earth to heaven. Every child is the object of special and unintermitted care, and is designed to perpetuate his name and honour both in earth and in heaven. Being his children we are his heirs, invested with the unsearchable
riches of Christ, and appointed to the possession of his infinite wealth. Being thus the children of God we must expect to be treated as his children; and being minors, and many of us mere babes, we must expect to be treated as mere children. We will look therefore,
Secondly, AT THE TREATMENT. “ God dealeth with you as with sons." As sons who need discipline, as we all do. Some of us are conceited, and our pride must be humbled. Some of us are obstinate, and our wills must be subdued. Some of us are wayward, and we must be made meek and tractable. All of us are ignorant, and require to be taught, and there are many lessons, which we should never learn but by the rod. The Lord therefore deals with us wisely, according to our nature, disposition, and circumstances. Different children need different treatment, but all need chastisement, and therefore all receive it; for our heavenly Father never spares the rod, to the spoiling of the child. "He dealeth with us as with sons." Sometimes he corrects by witholding from us, and then we are not indulged with his presence, with the tokens of his love, and the sweet assurance of his favour. Sometimes by taking away what we highly prize, it may be a beloved child, a wife, a husband, or the friend that is as our own soul. Or, it may be our health, our wealth, or our ability actively to serve his cause. Sometimes by set