« PrécédentContinuer »
you not when this service is ended, retire and ask yourselves if these things are so ? Search the scriptures, search them daily, and you will find this statement lamentably true.
8. However hard you have to work now, recollect you will not have to work long: a season of refreshment and reposc will be the happy lot of every industrious workman: it is so, literally, in this present world. Yes my poorer friends, you enjoy more of life than those who roll in their carriages, or are restless on their beds of down; except when disease seizes on your persons, you never possess nights of vanity, or are compelled to exclaim in the shadows of evening, "Would to God "it were morning!" nor are tossed to and fro until the break of day; but I speak of eternal repose as the consequence of your present exertions, for thus He giveth his beloved sleep.
We now go forth to this our high and holy labor until the evening of our lives; shortly our Master shall come and inspect our work-may he find us so employed, that the anticipated commendation may be ours "Well done good and faithful servants "enter ye into the joy of your Lord." You have a pledge and pattern of this rest, in God's ceasing from his work on the sabbath. You have a foretaste of that repose, in the weekly return of the
day of rest, when you suspend all your worldly employments, and repose by the still waters in the fair meadows of Divine ordinances; and you have a disposition and desire created by the operation of the Holy Ghost, and cherished by these means of his appointment, for that rest which certainly remains for the people of God.
Pray suffer not that diligent attention to your common occupation, which is so commendable, to hinder you in preparatory services for perpetual satisfac, tions. Give all diligence in this important work. I fear some consider their industry in temporal affairs, as an apology for the neglect of their souls. Your land should be ploughed; your oxen proved; marriage is honorable and should be encouraged; but have these not often detained you from the house of God? Thus are you calling the retiring curse back again on your fields and families. O do "not any more so exceeding foolishly."
Finally. Ascertain from this subject, the vast extent of your obligation to Jesus Christ, the Lord of life and glory. He was crowned with thorns; sweat great drops of blood, in the stupendous undertaking of man's salvation: he was wearied fre quently in this work, though never tired of it. Under a scorching sun, he walked hungry, thirsty, and faint; and no one gave unto him when thus
fulfilling the gracious purpose of his merciful Father. Oppressed by the load of your sins, he sweat in Gethsemane's garden: for your sakes his temples were wounded with the pointed thorn, and torn with the angry brier; and the grateful results of his meritorious obedience and death, are beheld wherever his gospel and grace have appeared.
Naturally, the whole creation groaneth and travaileth far less in pain where Jesus rules; and spiritually, where he reigns.
"Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field
"Exults to see the thistly curse removed."
"Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, "and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle"tree, and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for "an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off.
The melodious harp of prophecy has been thus sweetly stricken, and already have these prospects been partially realized. Our blessed Lord is tak-' ing to himself his kingdom; as he proceeds, though all before him is like a desolate wilderness, behind him is as the garden of God. He clothes all
climes with beauty: this better man restores our lost Paradise, "the wilderness and solitary place are "glad on his account, the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose."
"No more let sins and sorrows grow,
GOD THE INSTRUCTOR OF HUSBANDMEN.
ISAIAH, Xxviii. 26, 29.
For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and
doth teach him.
the Lord of Hosts.
This also cometh forth from
you cast your eye on the previous verses, you will find the words of the text have reference to the various methods of husbandry, from the ploughing of the land to the grinding of the corn for use, as then practised by the inhabitants of Palestine. Different ages, as well as distinct countries, have their several and separate plans of cultivating the ground; but all these labors have one end in view, to render the earth fruitful; and the knowledge necessary for this service is derived from God: nor are we to suppose that diversity of plan, is at all inconsistent with the wisdom of Deity. Heavy and light lands require and receive a dissimilar treatment from the same farmer. Servants