תמונות בעמוד

from thence sends forth lively spirits, which beat through all the pulses of my soul! Rest, not as the stone that rests on the earth, nor as this flesh shall rest in the grave, nor such a rest as the carnal world desires. O blessed rest! when we rest not day and night saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! When we shall rest from sin, but not from worship; from suffering and sorrow, but not from joy! O blessed day! When I shall rest with God! When I shall rest in the bosom of my Lord! When I shall rest in knowing, loving, rejoicing, and praising! When my perfect soul and body shall together perfectly enjoy the most perfect God! When God, who is love itself, shall perfectly love me, and rest in his love to me, as I shall rest in my love to him; and rejoice over me with joy, and joy over me – with singing, as I shall rejoice in him!

$ 3.“ How near is that most blessed, joyful day! It comes apace. He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Though my Lord seems to delay his coming, yet a little while and he will be here. What is a few hundred years, when they are over? How surely will his sign appear! How suddenly will he seize upon the careless world, even as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth unto the west! He who is gone hence shall so come. Methinks I hear his trumpet sound! Methinks I see hiin coining in clouds, with his attending angels, in majesty and in glory!

s 4. “ O Secure sinners! what now will you do? where will you hide yourselves? what shall cover you? Mountains are gone; the heavens and the earth which were, are passed away; the devouring fire hath consumed all, except yourselves, who must be the fuel for ever. O that you could consume as soon as the earth, and melt away as did the heavens! Ah, these wishes are now but vain! The Lamb himself would have been your friend; he would have loved you, and ruled you, and now have saved you; but you would not then, and now it is too late. Never cry, Lord, Lord, too late, too late, man. Why dost thou look about? Can any save thee? Whither dost thou run? Can any hide thee? 0 wretch, that has brought thyself to this!

$ 5. “ Now blessed saints, that have believed and obeyed! This is the end of faith and patience. This is it for which you prayed and waited. Do you now repent your sufferings and sorrows, your self-denying and holy walking? Are your tears of repentance now bitter or sweet? See how the Judge smiles upon you; there is love in his looks; the titles of Redeemer, Husband, Head, are written in his amiable shining face.Hark, he calls you; he bids you stand here on his right hand; fear not, for there he sets his sheep. O joyful sentence, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world! He takes you by the hand, the door is open, the kingdom is his, and therefore yours: there is your place before his throne; the Father receives you as the spouse of his Son, and bids you welcome to the crown of glory. Ever so unworthy, you must be crowned. This was the project of free redeeming grace, the purpose of eternal love. O blessed grace! O blessed love! O how love and joy will rise! But I cannot express it, I cannot conceive it.

$ 6. “This is that joy which was procured by sorrow, that crown which was procured by the cross. My Lord wept, that now my tears might be wiped away; he bled, that I might now rejoice; he was forsaken, that I might not now be forsook; he then died that I might now live. O free mercy, that can exalt so vile a wretch! Free to ine, though dear to Christ; free grace that hath chosen me, when thousands were forsaken! When my companions in sin must burn in hell, I must here rejoice in rest! Here must I live with all these saints! O comfortable meeting of my old acquaintance, with whom I prayed, and wept, and suffered, and spoke often of this day and place! I see the grave could not detain you; the same love hath redeemed and saved you also.

$ 7. “ This is not like our cottages of clay, our prisons, our earthly dwellings. This voice of joy is not like our old complaints, our impatient groans and sighs; nor this melodious praise like the scoffs and revilings, or the oaths and curses, which we heard on

earth. This body is not like that we had, nor this soul like the soul we had, nor this life like the life we lived. We have changed our place and state, our clothes and thoughts, our looks, language, and company. Before, a saint was weak and despised; but now how happy and glorious a thing is a saint! Where is now their body of sin, which wearied themselves and those about them? Where are now our different judgments, reproachful names, divided spirits, exasperated passions, strange looks, uncharitable censures? Now we are all of one judgment, of one name, of one heart, house, and glory. O sweet reconciliation! Happy union! Now the gospel shall no more be dishonoured through our folly. No more, my soul, shalt thou la. ment the sufferings of the saints, or the church's ruins, nor mourn thy suffering friends, nor weep over their dying beds, or their graves. Thou shalt never suffer thy old temptations from Satan, the world, or thy own flesh. Thy pains and sickness are all cured; thy body shall no more burthen thee with weakness and weariness; thy aching head and heart, thy hunger and thirst, thy sleep and labour, are all gone. O what a mighty change is this! From the dunghill to the throne! From persecuting sinners, to praising saints! From a vile body to this which shines as the brightness of the firmament! From a sense of God's displeasure, to the perfect enjoyment of him in love! From all my doubts and fears, to this possession, which puts me out of doubt! From all my fearful thoughts of death, to this joyful life! Blessed change! Farewell sin and sorrow for ever; farewell my rocky, proud, unbelieving heart; my worldly, sensual, carnal heart; and welcome my most holy, heavenly nature. Farewell repentance, faith, and hope; and welcome love, and joy, and praise. I shall now have my harvest, without ploughing or sowing; my joy, without a preacher, or a promise; even all from the face of God hiinself. Whatever mixture is in the streams, there is nothing but pure joy in the fountain. · Here shall I be encircled with eteruity, and ever live, and ever, ever, praise the Lord. My face will not wrinkle, nor my hair be gray; for this corruptible shall have put. on incorruption, and this mortal, immortality, and death shall be swallowed up in victory! O death, where is now thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The date of my lease will no more expire, nor shall I trouble myself with thoughts of death, nor lose my joys through fear of losing them. When millions of ages are passed, my glory is but beginning; and when millions more are passed, it is no nearer ending. Every day is all noon, every month is harvest, every year is a jubilee, every age is full manhood, and all this is one eternity. O blessed eternity! the glory of my glory! the perfection of my perfection!


§ 8. “Ah, drowsy earthly heart! how coldly dost thou think of this reviving day! Hadst thou rather sit down in dirt, than walk in the palace of God?. Art thou now remembering thy worldly business, or thinking of thy lusts, earthly delights, and merry company? Is it better to be here, than above with God? Is the company better? are the pleasures greater? Comé away; make no excuse, nor delay; God commands, and I command thee; gird up thy loins; ascend the mount; look about thee with faith and seriousness. Look not back upon the way of the wilderness, except it be to compare the kingdom with that howling desert, more sensibly to perceive the wide difference. Yonder is thy Father's glory; yonder, O my soul, must thou remove, when thou departest from this body; and when the power of thy Lord hath raised it again, and oined thee to it, yonder must thou live with God or ever. There is the glorious New Jerusalem, the ates of pearl, the foundation of pearl, the streets and Javements of transparent gold. That sun, which ighteth all this world, will be useless there; even hyself shall be as bright as yonder shining sun: God vill be the sun, and Christ the light, and in his light halt thou have light.

9. “ O my soul! dost thou stagger at the promise fGod, through unbelief? I much suspect thee. Didst hou believe indeed, thou wouldst be more affected with ho Is it not under the hand, and seal, and oath, of God? 'an God lie? Can he that is truth itself be false?-


What need hath God to flatter or deceive thee? Why should he proinise thee more than he will perform? Dare not to charge the wise, almighty, faithful God, with this. How many of the promises have been performed to thee in thy conversion? Would God so powerfully concur with a feigned word? O wretched heart of unbelief! Hath God made thee a promise of rest, and wilt thou come short of it? Thine eyes, thine ears, and all thy senses, may prove delusions, sooner than a promise of God can delude thee. Thou mayest be surer of that which is written in the word, than if thou see it with thine eyes, or feel it with thine hands. Art thou sure thou art alive, or that this is earth thou standest on, or that thine eyes see the sun? As sure is all this glory to the saints; as 'sure shall I be higher than yonder stars, and live for ever in the holy city, and joyfully sound forth the praises of my Redeeiner; if I be not shut out by this evil heart of unbelief, causing me to depart from the living God.

10. “And is this rest so sweet and so sure? Then what means the careless world? Know they what they neglect? Did they ever hear of it, or are they yet asleep, or are they dead? Do they certainly know that the crown is before them, while they thus sit still, or follow trifles ? Undoubtedly they are beside themselves, to mind so much their provision by the way, when they are hasting so fast to another world, and their eternal happiness lies at stake. Were there left one spark of reason they would never sell their rest for toil, nor their glory for worldly vanities, vor venture heaven for sinful pleasure. Poor men! O that you would once cousider what you hazard, and then you would' scorn these tempting baits! Blessed for ever be that love, which hath rescued me froin this bewitching darkness!

11. “ Draw vet vear, O my soul! with thy most fervent love. Here is matter for it to work upon, something worth thy loving. ( see what beauty presents itself! Is not all the beauty in the world united here? Is not all other beauty but deformity? Dost thou now need to be persuaded to love? Here is a feast for thine eyes, and all the powers of thy soul; dost thou neelt

« הקודםהמשך »