Images de page
PDF
ePub

BY REV. J. B. FIGGIS.

Keswick Convention-Continued.

the world.” All through the ritual of the nation,

all through the history of the ages, similar emblems FUNERAL SERMON.*

teach, until at last, in the end of the age, the great " HE BEING DEAD YET SPEAKETH." Father Himself lays His own dear Son on the altar,

and there was no angel to stay the sacrifice. I SHOULD have liked to have taken such a text as His blood must wash away our sin, His righteous“My Father, my Father, the chariot of Israel and ness cover our nakedness, that we may be "perfect the horsemen thereof,” for he whom we have lost was through His comeliness put upon us." His voice such a defence to the people of God; or as the keeps saying, “Where is the lamb for the burntsolemn warning from the prophet, “ Howl fir tree, offering ?” Without it, vain is the fire of your the cedar hath fallen,” for surely he flourished like religiousness, or the wood of your morality; with it

= the palm tree and grew like a cedar in Lebanon ; or you are ready, "justified from all things.”

; the description of the priesthood in its purity by In order to be ready, we must be renewedMalachi, “He walked before Me in peace and “except a man be born again he cannot see the equity, and did turn many from iniquity.”

kingdom of God”—but do not think this is But perhaps the simplest words suit our sorrows any hardship, or as if God wanted to exclude any best, so let me take some of the simplest in all the soul of any of His creatures. Look at it in this Scripture, words that lie very near to those on the light, What man among you, with a life of sin to mourning cards that most of us hold in our hands, look back upon, poisoning the fountain of peace, “He being deal yet speaketh” (Heb. xi. 4). and making memory a haunted chamber, would not

Surely he doth speak! Surely the parishioners give anything for his flesh to come again to him amongst whom he went in and out for thirty-two | like the flesh of a little child? Well, this is what years have heard his voice as distinctly in death as I understand by conversion, God makes all things in life; surely the visitors who have come together new, takes away the heart of stone, and gives a to this Christian feast of tabernacles have seen heart of flesh, purifies the channels of desire and him, though not with bodily eyes, heard him though enables us to start anew. Is this restriction? Is it not with outward ears. Yes; “He being dead, yet not the greatest blessing that can come to our sinspeaketh." What doth he say? and to whom doth stricken life? Thus "justification," as the old divine he speak ?

said, " is what God does for a man; regeneration is He speaketh to the sinner of the solemnities of what God does in a man, but at the same time." death, and saith, Be ready.He speaketh to the A man who had been an infidel had learnt this saint of the sanctities of life, and saith, " Be holy," when he wrote these lines, which were found in his

.| He speaketh to all of the certainties of cternity, desk after his death. and saith, “Be earnest."

“ I've tried in vain a thousand ways BE READY. As I saw the coffin lowered into

My fears to quell, my hopes to raise, its flower-paved resting place I thought, “ We shall

But all I need, the Bible says,

Is Jesus,
all want to be ready before it comes to that; we
shall want to have everything made very firm under

“My soul is right, my heart is steel,
I cannot I cannot feel,

For light, for heat, I must appeal,
But how shall we this? The text teaches us

To Jesus. partly,-in order to be ready we must be righteous.

“He died, He lives, He reigns, He pleads,

There's love in all His acts and deeds, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent

All, all a guilty sinner needs, sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness

In Jesus. that he was righteous.See the shepherd selecting

Though some will mock and some will blame; “the wbitest lamb in all the fold," and bearing it

In spite of fear, in spite of shame,

I'll go to Him, because His name, away, and offering it to his God, believing in some

Is Jesus." unrecorded word in which God appointed this

We do not know when these stupendous changes symbol of“ the Lamb slain before the foundation of

took place in our beloved and revered friend, blessed * The substance of one of the Funeral Sermons delivered in the Tent at the close of the Convention.

exchanges of sin for righteousness, of a state of

see,

[ocr errors]

our feet."

66

а

[ocr errors]

nature for a state of grace were made : and we do grasp like a drowning man; nay, not an oar, that not need to know.

is too much like what we have been making it. Happy the life in which the flowers of piety havo We have seen the good land, the land of holiness ; bloomed so long that it cannot be told when they flowers growing there — morality for which men were planted ! But we can tell you something of his sigh and God sighs too-fruits of righteousness to heart history when we come to the second point we the praise and glory of God, the fruit of the Spirit, spoke of, “the sanctities of life," and hear him say, full and fair and free-fields of waving corn—all “ BE HOLY, BE HOLY."

labours of the hands, works of love, and usefulI shall never forget the scene at perhaps the greatest ness. We want to be there, we want to get these of all these Conferences that have been held this precious things; but meanwhile how to reach them. decade, at the testimony meeting in the Corn A river flows between us and them. Here upon its Exchange at Oxford, which lasted from four in the bank we stand; we plunge, dashing dangerously afternoon till past nine at night, service after service into the tide, and catching at any word spoken, as we being put aside, so blessedly and ceaselessly did the might at an oar of any passing boat, or branch of any waves of testimony break upon the shore. We trec. But meanwhile one shouts in our earswere much struck, specially wo of the younger "Joy, joy, there is a bridge !” “A bridge ! the ministry there, with the way in which, with evident difficulties are all over, a child may lead me now." effort but with a sense of duty and of joy too, grave Nay, better, Jesus says “I am the way.” and gray-haired men, rose to tell what God had

“This is the way I long have sought done for their souls. Amongst them, many will

And mourned because I found it oot, remember how our departed friend bore testimony

My grief and burden long had been to the Word of His grace, and to his interest in the

Because I could not cease from sin. subject of holiness, and the way it was pressed upon

“The more I strove against its power the people of God in these days, and then to his own

I sinned and stambled but the more, reception of the truth in his heart and life. It

Till late I heard the Saviour say, may interest you to know the very words of God

Come bither soul, 'I am the Way.'” that were made a blessing to him, from which he The way of holiness is a way of faith--of Christnever swerved. They were, I believe, the words of control as distinguished from self-control, as illusJohn iv. 50: “The man believed the word that trated in the young shop-woman who would ask Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” Jesus to help her to serve her customers, and when This word of Jesus,—“Go thy way, thy son liveth," there was great bustle and stir and she had time -as has often been said, was the bridge over which for no more she would just say, “Jesus," and this the nobleman at Capernaum passed from seeking quieted her. Suppose we try it in business life, and faith to resting faith, and the elucidation of this home life too, not as a shibboleth or talisman, but incident was just such a bridge to him. Why as really expecting our Captain to appear, to fight should it not be the same to you? Why should

Give up self and call in Jesus. In the you not take Jesus at His word, and, waiting for same moment we shall give up fear and bring in no feeling, believe what He has spoken, and go on hope. And whereas the predominating thought your way rejoicing ? The nobleman didn't see his

may have been : Satan comes and I must yield; the son recover; he didn't see anything; he only heard uniform experience now shall be, "Thanks be unto Jesus speaking to him, and that was enough for God who giveth us the victory through our Lord him, and it ought to be enough for you; for surely Jesus Christ.” Conflict is not done with, you see. Jesus has spoken unto your soul, saying, “I am thy Indwelling sin is not done with. Temptation is not salvation,” and God has spoken making Jesus unto done with. But conflict, indwelling sin, temptayou sanctification. Many such words there are, and tion, need none of them njean defeat, but victory, any one of them ought to be enough to set this ques-Christ wins it, and hands it over to us. tion at rest for ever, and to give you an assured convic- Everything says to the Christian, "Be Holy." tion that Jesus means to save--and of course to save His God is the Holy One of Israel. His Saviour fully-to sanctify, yea, to sanctify us wholly. Any is the Holy Child Jesus. The other Comforter is one such word ought to be as an oar whịch we may the Holy Spirit. His chart is a Holy Bible ; His

for us.

• Follow peace

6

with us.

charter a Holy Gospel ; His home a Holy Heaven. model ? The first-born of Earth or the first-born of His companions Holy Angels. “The Temple of the Heaven? Cain or Christ? If we would not follow Lord is Holy, which Temple ye are.”

the murderer we must seek to win souls and to turn with all men, and holiness, without which no man them to God," The remnant of Israel shall be as a shall see the Lord.” I don't suppose this means that dew from the Lord,” gentle, reviving, refreshing. none but perfect people will get into heaven. It They shall be also “as a lion," brave, true, outwould be an empty heaven, I fear, if it meant that. spoken ; sec to it that you are both. We say to Christ, and well may we say it, “Thou But how shall we witness for Jesus? Do incononly art Holy.” But it does demand separation sistencies seal our lips? But inconsistencies are not from sin. Let every one that nameth the name of the only seal that are set upon them. They are Christ depart from iniquity, and this we must do. sealed from want of fervour-want of tho fulness

I remember the last time I was privileged to of the Spirit--and the presence and power of tho see him whom we mourn to-day. It was at the Spirit is the only thing that will break the sea). Glasgow Convention. There he said, “ My trust, “ He that believeth on Me, out of him shall flow indeed, has not been perfect," and the shadow rivers of living waters." chased the smile as he said it; but the smile came Charles Simeon said that he placed the picture of back as he added, “But as far and as often as I Henry Martyn on his mantel-piece that it might did trust Him He always proved true-He did stir him to activity. It seemed to say to him, “Do keep."

not trifle. Be earnest, be earnest.” Shall not the You amongst whom he lived for so many years, memory of him we have lost be a monitor as urgent know that “ a holy man of God” has been among you, and

you, who saw him in every relation of life- But we must exercise this urgency this very felt that holiness was his very breath, and that he morning. Our yearning hearts go back to you lived among the everlasting hills.

unsaved friends. And now if he could speak to us from Heaven, As we stood among the crowd on Friday, we he would not less urgently but more, press upon us found ourselves standing side by side with one the divine command "Be ye holy, for the Lord from our own town-one who had been brought your God is holy.”

up under dear Edmund Clay. Remembering how But there is one more word that comes to us from he had been laid in the grave with somewhat similar those lips which to the outward ear are closed for love, we could not forbear to ask, “Do you remem. ever. He speaketh of the certainties of Eternity ber Mr. Clay's funeral ?” and saith, BE EARN EST. He says that it is certain “ I should think I did," was the answer, “it was that every one of you must give account of himself perhaps my first religious impression.” And why, to God.

parishioners of Keswick, should not these mournful It is certain that all human interests will dwindle days be days of impression, nay, days of salvation, in comparison with Eternal realities—that sin will with you? scem exceeding sinful—that pleasure will seem, and As we visited the grave, in the quiet afterwards will be felt to be, madness and folly.

of Friday, and watched children looking at the Then with all this he charges every sinner to be wreaths, we could not forbear asking, “Would not in carnest in seeking salvation.

you have liked to have laid a wreath here?” You But his voice cannot cease its urgency without may do it. “ A flower when offered in the bud is pressing upon us Christians to be earnest too. Earn- no vain sacrifice.” You can do that, you can give

God est in seeking and saving the lost. We, too, “must dear Pastor would rather have you do that, than

your heart, and you know very well that your all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ," and send in the very richest wreath that anyone, howone of the things of which we must give account, is ever honoured, has laid on his coftin. our relation to the world about us.

So “ he being dead yet speaketh.” There is another of whom the mention of Abel

He saith, and continues saying,

Be earnest. must remind us. Cain answered God saying, “ Am

Be holy. I my brother's keeper ?” and shall we Christians ask

Be ready this same question ? Whose life shall we take as our / But do we hear? What do we answer?

a

BY REV. C, A. FOX.

from you

FAILURE AND FAITH.*

After He had bid them push out, saying, “ Launch out into the deep," Simon answered and

said, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and (LUK V. 1.10.)

have taken nothing." Observe that here is the There was a great crowd round the Lord Jesus, first thing to say on the road to blessing—"ve just as there is here to night, and He was so pressed have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing." by the people thronging about Him to hear His There must be confession of failure ; we must words, that He got into an empty vessel which was

confess that our vessels are utterly empty. My lying there, and prayed Simon that he would thrust | brother, if you want blessing, this is the very out a little from the land. That is just what He first thing to be done : look back on your past,

, wants now—an empty vessel for Christ to step into.

and say, “I have taken nothing, my vessel is Is there any one here to-night, into whom He may empty.” Is that it? Is that what you have to enter and preach the best sermon He ever preached

say ? “ There is nothing in our vessel, we have u ?

toiled ourselves out: we have been out all night, But do you know what makes a vessel ompty ?

we have toiled all night, and we have taken It must be made empty by failure. They had

nothing; and the day has been as dark as night been toiling all the night in vain; and you must find that there is no use staying any longer, and be year after year. We have been to church, we have find that there is no use staying any longer, and be prayed, we have toiled, but still we have taken driven out of yourselves by failure. And then the

, Lord comes, and often finds us by the great eternal nothing - still the midnight darkness prevails,

Egyptian darkness is over us." Yes, and you sea, mending our nets. But God has got a better hear of others rejoicing, and getting blessing, and way for us than that. He does not want us to go

you hear their songs while you are still in the on always mending our nets. Only let Him in; dark, just as the Egyptians were prisoners in their because you are utterly exhausted and empty in

own houses while Israel had gone out free. lIow yourself. Let Him enter, and push out into the many an imprisoned soul can hear afar the happy sea of His great love, and He shall speak from your treble voices of God's free children gathering flowers empty vessel words full of

power,

that
you
shall

in the open fields of the Word, out in the meadows never repent having admitted Him. You shall

of His deep love gathering the flowers of His grace, look at Him, and be filled with Go:l-power, and while they are still in the bondage of night, bankHe will work miracles from your emptied self.

rupt and empty. I want to say a few simple words to-night. There

You knot what it means : you know the dark are many ways of taking this

passage;
but we will

night of toil, and how year after year you have take a very simple way, a child-way, now.

been adding to your misery. O God, there are As soon as He had preached He wanted to pay those here who know what deep midnight means ! for His pulpit, and said, “ Launch out into the what it is to be out on the deep, toiling in vain, to deep, and let down your nets for a draught." That I have no success day nor night; toiling on, and to was what He always did. He would never be in

come home and be looked at as men who have failed. debt to any one. He had His purse ready, for my O God, speak to them to-night! Is there any outcast Lord has plenty of ready money, and He always here, who is looked at as hopeless? Oh, outcast ! pays at once. That was what He did in His own

God is here for you ; His heart has been broken distress, when they came to llim for the tribute

open for you and it cannot be shut again ; His money, He knew IIo had His purse in the sea.

wounds are the open doors of your home. Come in He pays at once, and grandly, and if you give Him to-night. Outcast, you are cast in here for blessing. . the use of your empty vessel, though you may be Christ is here. He is the Saviour. Do you know the poorest pulpit Ile ever had, only the commonest Him? I know Him, and I would rather have weakest wood, He always has ready money, and will Christ than a whole heaven. Nay, Christ is my pay for the use of you bandsomely, even down here, heaven! Oh, when He shall take me by the hand, and afterwards you shall be a crowned king by and lead me right in, and show me the shining Flis hand in the presence of the King of kings.

streets, and the windings of the river of God, and • Delivered at the K-swick Convention,

I shall see its crystal glancings, and the sparkling of

,

[ocr errors]

and

[ocr errors]

are your

its singing waters - Shall I see them? Nay, I'll His life for you. O child of God, have done with turn

away from all, and look at Him. I'll see Him your past, and confess, “We have toiled all the alone, and say to Him, " I would rather have Thee, night, and have taken nothing." my Lord, than all; I would rather have none of There is something bettor for you, thank God. these without Thee, and with Thee want no more; The Lord knows your vessel is empty; He knows Thy wounds are my gates of glory, I enter in and your fruitless toil, and He has come down to see. I am lost in Thee!” There is nobody like my Jesus! He might have only looked and pitied, and gone Like the poor negro woman when an infidel helped away, and left you in your misery ; but my Lord lier across the icy street, she turned and said, “Do enters your little vessel. Christ gets on board Himyou know my Jesus ?” and he went on his way, self, and puts out to sea with you, and it will not do but it soon became God's way to him henceforth. to put to sea without Jesus. Many would have

Yes, we have something better than heaven to give looked on, and then left, leaving you with your you, we have the Lord of Heaven, and that is better sorrows; but He gets in with you, and He says, than heaven-nay, it is heaven to have Him, and “ Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets He is here for you to-night if you will have Him. for a draught !” And when Simon hears it, le Will you ? You have been toiling all the night, says, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and

you have taken nothing, and you know it. On, have taken nothing; nevertheless at Thy word I will you look down your past with the searching will let down the net." Oh, blessed step! From eyes

of

memory now? Look down the long avenues the "we have ” of confession of failure he turns to of the miserable years behind you, dwindling the "I will” of faith. This is the next step on the insignificantly away into the darkness. Those are road to blessing ; our will with His word. Shall it your years, my brother. See, gaze down. Those be so now ! - a clinging to His Word

" Neversins that you saw and shuddered at, and theless, at Thy Word I will !” leaning your left, and then met again. Don't they stare at you whole weight on one of His words, simple childwith

eyes of fire out of the darkness. See! there word though it be. Now we have got away is your guilt, there are your sins. You thought from the confession of failure to the determi. they were gone ; but there they are, and you hated nation of faith. Neverthcless, though hitherto I them, and then went and clasped them again ; sins have been a failure, hitherto only disaster; though that you rejected, but loved them all the time. They I have known it all for years, and there has been no are not gone, they are not dead; there they are, conquering experience, no realising of His power and looking at you out of the darkness of the misery of grace, nevertheless, at Thy word I will let down the your miserable past. I speak what I know. I net! Let every heart now respond, “I will ! I know there are icy souls who know nothing of such will !” “Wilt thou go with this man?” “I will go ! torments; I know there are cold hearts which have I will !” He wants no sound, but He wants your never been thrilled with the passion of life, and heart. He hears your soul. Will you say it? It know nothing of the toil, and the terror of sin ; may be the last time you will ever have the opporknow nothing of sin-sickness ; icy souls, who do not tunity of answering, will you speak now? Jesus, understand. But I know too, there are some who are precious Jesus, stay, go not back to Thy home yet; burning in their own flames, in their own hell—I here is some poor soul who cannot yet frame his cannot say less, I cannot cxaggerate; it is so - and lips to say it, but he is going to say it-stay, my the flames are so terribly real that they brought God Lord, I beseech Thec—"Nevertheless, at Thy word down from heaven to put them out, for nothing but I will." Listen! It is what Thou didst die to the blood of God can put out the flames of sin. hear; it is sweeter than the music of heaven to Yes, and God has done it! You know it was hell | Thee. Thou didst come down from heaven to hear begun, and you were on fire with it, and then He the music of dying souls saying, “I will !" and came down, and at the cost of Ilimself He put out claiming Thee by faith, clinging on to Thee. Yes, the flames, like the mother with her child in the I will let myself down, down into the deep sea of burning house. "We cannot save both," they cry, God's compassion and abounding love. We have so she casts her child into the fire-escape, and come here to do business with God. We have perishes herself; 50 He dies a Substitute, and loses ome for a celinite transaction with Him. IIcre is

а

а

« PrécédentContinuer »