« EelmineJätka »
“ wondrous works; and men shall speak of the might of
thy terrible acts; and I will declare thy greatness. They “ shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, " and shall fing of thy righteousness.” Let me recommend this particularly to Christians of age and experience. It gives religion a very discouraging aspect to younger perfons, when such have nothing to utter but complaints. On the contrary, where can we behold a more edifying sight, than an aged person ready to bear testimony to the peace and comfort of true religion, dying by necessity to the pleasures and gaities of time, but living above them on the earnest of his future inheritance; and, instead of a fretful spirit arising from the frailties of a tottering frame, preserving a chearfulness and serenity of mind, in the hope of a blessed resurrection. I imagine I hear fome fay, nothing is more true; but, alas! I am not the person : 1 fee nothing in me, but causes of complaint, or grounds of fear. I believe it is so with all; but you have mistaken, or perverted the meaning of the exhortation. I did not advise you to boast of yourself, but to speak to the praise of God. I believe it is good, in most cases, to resist desponding fears, as so many temptations, and send them away, as hinderers of your duty, without a reply. Or, may I not jusly say, admitting the truth of all that you can advance against yourselves, is it not but so much the more reasonable, that you should say with Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 10, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mer“ cies, and of all the truth, that thou haft shewed unto thy servant.”
3. Be frequent and diligent in secret prayer. This is the way to preserve your watchfulness, and to increase your usefulness. The more you converse with God in fecret, you will speak with the more judgment and profit to men in pul·lic. This is the way to dispose of your complaints. What fignifies repeating them to men, who may defpise you, and, at belt, can only pity you, when you may carry them to God, who can effectually help you 1? Speak as much ill of yourselves to him as you pleale; but be fo just as to speak honorably of him, and his service, to others who converse with you. Now, may the Lord
fupply all your wants, from his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus. May he give you the fančtified use of every step of his providence, whether of mercy or of trial. May “ the God of peace, Heb. xiii. 20, 21, that brought again “ from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the
sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, “make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, “ working in you that which is well-pleasing in his fight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and
A VIEW OF THE GLORY OF GOD HUMBLING TO THE
JOB xlii. 5,6.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine
eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,
Y brethren, we can have no experimental know.
ledge; and, indeed, we have not much distinct knowledge at all of the nature of religion, as it takes place among angels, and other intelligent beings, who have kept their first estate, and never were polluted by fin. From some things, however, recorded in fcripture, we have reason to believe that they appear before God with the greatest lowliness and self-abafement, that they are at all times deeply penetrated with a sense of the infinite disproportion between themselves, as derived, depen. dant, limited, imperfect beings, and the eternal, immutable, omnipotent Jehovah. Thus in the vision of Isaiah, in the sixth chapter of that book, verse 1, 2, 3, “ In the
year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord fitting upon
a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the “ temple. Above it stood the seraphims; each one had “ fix wings; with twain he covered his face, and with "twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. “ And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy,
“ is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glo
ry.” But if this is the case with these exalted and happy spirits, how much more muft a deep humiliation of mind be necessary to us, who, by fin, have rendered ourfelves the just objects of divine wrath, and whose hope of falvation is founded only on the riches of divine grace ? We ought never to forget, that every instance of the fa. vor of God to man, is not to be considered as the exercise of goodness to the worthy, nay, not merely as bounty to the needy, or help to the miserable, but mercy to the guilty.
For this reason, as repentance is necessary to every fin. ner, in order to his reconciliation with God, so those Christians preserve the justest views of their present state and character, as well as the foundation of their hope, who frequently renew this salutary exercise. I cannot help faying further, that those make the wiseft provision for the preservation of their inward peace, who frequently water that tender plant with the tears of penitential forrow. To allist you in this exercise, and to point out the proper grounds of it, I have chosen to insist a little on these words, in which you see the effect which a discovery of the glory and majesty of God had upon his servant Job : I have heard of thee by the bearing of the ear; but now mine, суе seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and asbes.
It is not necessary to my present purpose, to enter far into the dispute between Job and his friends, although, no doubt, the words of the text have an evident relation to it. The controversy seems plainly to have turned upon this point. His friends finding him in deep distress, under the most complicated affliction, would needs have it, that no good man could be fo frowned upon by a righteous God; and therefore, that his former profession must have been hypocritical and false. This is evident from the manner in which Eliphaz opens the charge against him, chap. iv. 6, 7, 8, 9. “Is not this thy fear, thy confidence,
thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? Reinember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent ? or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen,