תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

an open

race, rise up in the judgment and condemn you : for

door is before you. If the Sunday-school cause fails in the support you should give it, then will children, lost through your neglect, stand out in the nakedness of their ruin, and bring on your heads the weight of the malediction, “Forasmuch as ye did it not unto the least of these, ye did it not unto me."

Improve your opportunities, I beseech you, for hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, “ Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name.

Of Laodicea, as I have so lately and so fully considered it, I make but a passing remark in this brief and closing review. In Laodicea is the last and lowest state of spiritual degradation—lukewarmness in the cause of God, a condition which knows no parallel, a condition so abhorrent in the eyes of God, as to demand for its expression the most disgusting terms of our language. And yet, while I tell it, brethren, I feel on my heart the heavy pressure of the fact, it is the most common condition of our present professors of religion, and connected with the formality of Sardis, gives one, though melancholy history. Lukewarm professors, what can I say? God abhors you. You are loathsome in his sight; and while you think that you are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, yet even to

you
the message

is delivered, be zealous, repent, rouse from this state. The Saviour, in a mercy

measured on the scale of his existence, waits to be gracious. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches. What shall I more say—“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

In the discourses to which you have hitherto listened, brethren, and which now are brought to their termination, you have been addressed on every topic which has been essential in doctrine; on every duty which it is incumbent on you to practice. These epistles have given room for every subject of doctrinal and practical Christianity; and I have desired, in the fear and in the help of God, to place these before you line upon line, and precept upon precept." I feel an humble confidence before God, that if I never preached to you on any other topics, or from any other text, I have in these lectures left you without excuse for carelessness, negligence, procrastination, or impenitence; and I take you thus to record, that I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God, and I am free from the blood of all men. But, my brethren, there is a time coming, when, in regard to both you and me, this matter will be thoroughly tested, and wo, ten thousand woes be upon us, if either shall have failed in the discharge of our obligation; every thing is registered on high, and those eyes which now are fixed on your speaker, shall one day read the whole on the page of that book from which we shall be judged. Have you profited ? Have you been brought to repentance ?

Have you been convicted of sin ? Have you fled to Jesus, the precious Savour? Have you been converted? Are you living to God? Are you prepared for his glory? Oh! I beseech you, brethren, receive not the grace of God in vain; turn not the mercies of God into a fearful curse. “To-day, while it is called today, harden not your hearts :" but let them be softened; let them be subdued. Jesus waits for admittance, and who is it that calls ? Let the voice of your speaker be sunk in the grandeur of the God whose weak and inefficient instrument he is. Who is it that calls? Yes, let it ring in your ears now; let it be the subject of your daily remembrance. Who is it that calls you to repent and turn to God? and dare you to refuse? Dare you, will you refuse, when the voice of the eternal God is heard ?>"Hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches.” Refuse not him that speaketh from heaven.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

SERMON X X X.

THE DOOM OF THE SCORNER.

PROVERBS ix. 12.

If thou be wise, thou art wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone

shalt bear it.

The mere explanation of a proverb is necessarily brief, no matter how large the course of instruction

more.

• This was the last sermon ever preached by this eminent man.

It was delivered in St. Andrew's Church, Philadelphia, on Sunday evening, July 6, 1834, the day before he set out upon the journey from which he returned no

The following interesting reference to it is taken from a periodical paper a little subsequent to his death.

DR. BEDELL'S LAST SERMON. “ He felt that every sermon might be his last. He therefore endeavoured to make every sermon what he wished his last sermon to be. His health, during the whole course of his ministry in this city, was very frail: it taught him that his time was short; and led him to think much on his latter end. He preached emphatically as a dying man; and his theme was that which alone becomes the lips that are about to be sealed in death :-it was Christ, Christ crucified : emphatically, Christ and his cross was all his theme.' Thus it was the light of eternity—the beams of glory and the flashes of perditionthat gave vigour to a failing frame, and invested his sermons with an unearthly charm. The sermon which proved his last, however, is said to have heen heard, as well as given, with the conviction that it was a dying testimony. During the progress of the services, introductory to the sermon, he lay on a sofa in the vestry fanned by a friend, and panting for breath. He did not rise

which may be drawn from it. I apply the present text to the all absorbing and vitally important matter of evangelical religion. If it be necessary, as a preliminary step, to put the proverb into different language, I would venture this brief paraphrase:He that is truly wise, will find it to his own personal everlasting advantage. It is his interest as well as his duty to be made wise unto salvation; but he who scorns religion, will find his scorning eventuate infinitely to his disadvantage. In carrying out this idea, the proverb must be analyzed; and this will be one purpose of the present discourse. You will find the discussion extremely plain and practical, and such as I trust, by the help of God, may find its way to the consciences of many of my hearers, who, however wise they may be in matters which affect not the salvation of their souls, are far, very far from · being wise in that which alone is valuable. My subject will be presented in the following order.

I. THE DECIDED SUBJECTION OF THE HEART TO GOD IS THE ONLY TRUE WISDOM.

II. HE WHO ACCOMPLISHES THIS IS HIMSELF AN INFINITE GAINER—“If thou be wise, thou art wise for thyself.”

III. HE WHO SCORNS RELIGION AND NEGLECTS THE

till the moment arrived for him to ascend the pulpit; and when he began, his utterance was so faint that it was difficult, even for those who were near, to hear him; but gathering strength from his subject he rose, and rose, till his weak. ness was forgotten ; and he seemed to stand triumphant above the reach of death, and speak out from the threshold of heaven a last warning to those who had declined the calls of mercy, and turned away from him that speaketh from heaven: If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.' But he had not passed the gates of death : he sank down from his unearthly height: and, unable to stand even during the doxology, he retired from his pulpit, and from his people, to be there seen as an ambassador of the Saviour of sinners no more."

« הקודםהמשך »