« PreviousContinue »
"to give repentance and forgiveness of sins," to prepare your souls for meeting him shortly upon his judgment-seat.
But, my brethren, as you value your immortal souls, do not rest satisfied with a mere profession, or a hope grounded upon some general convictions of sin, approbation of evangelical truth, encouragement received under the word, or the good opinion of Christians and ministers. Remember the foolish virgins: they had the lamp of profession, were admitted to the company of the wise virgins, and continued undetected in it; yet had they not the oil of true grace. They had a religion, which satisfied others and themselves, till "the
coming of the Lord;" but utterly failed when they had most occasion for it, and left them in outer and eternal darkness. Oh, examine yourselves, and beg of God to examine you, and shew
you whether you have scriptural evidence that
your sins are forgiven, and your hearts changed by divine grace. That man only, who, abiding in Christ, and looking to him daily, learns to abhor all sin, to love and long after all holiness, to despise the world, and to seek his comfort here, as well as hope of heaven hereafter, from the exercise of grace, and the performance of his duty, will, when Christ shall appear, "have confidence," and "not "be ashamed before him at his coming." In this way, therefore, "give all diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these
things ye shall never fall; but so an entrance "shall be ministered to you abundantly into the "everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour
"Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things " is blind."
And, my Christian brethren, let us make it our business" to have our loins girded, and our lamps "burning, and be like men who are waiting for "the coming of their Lord." Let us watch and labour each in his place and post. Now is the time to do something for the cause of God on earth, among sinners: "the night is coming "wherein no man can work." According to the advice of Solomon, "Whatsoever thine hand find"eth to do, do it with thy might; for there is "no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom "in the grave, whither thou goest."2" Having "then gifts differing according to the grace that " is given unto us, whether prophecy, let us pro"phecy according to the proportion of faith; or
ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he "that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, "on exhortation. He that giveth, let him do it "with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; "he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let "love be without dissimulation: abhor that which "is evil; cleave to that which is good."3 In this way let us daily make preparation for death; and then we need not perplex ourselves with distrustful apprehensions about it: our God will order every circumstance relating to our closing scene, as shall be most for his glory, the edification of others, and our own comfort and advantage: he can, and we may trust he will, illuminate the
1 2 Peter i. 12, 13.
2 Eccl. ix. 10.
gloomy valley, and make even "the king of ter66 rors" wear a smile.
And, as the Lord is depriving his church of those who have been faithful and useful, pray for us, my brethren, who remain, that we may thus preach, labour, live, and die. And, finally, let us all join in earnestly "praying the Lord of the "harvest to send forth labourers into his harvest." Amen, Amen!