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and think, this is my case, so it is with my heart, then behold there is a remedy.
« In Jesu's blood a healing pow'r doth dwell,
He only is the good husbandman, and can turn the wilderness into the garden of God, the flintstone into a springing well. He only knows how to melt and soften the most stupid and hardened state, and turn the heart of stone into a heart of flesh. Turn ye to him, and learn what Job saith, “ It is God that maketh my heart soft;" or the spouse in Solomon's song,
My soul melted while my Beloved spake," Cant. v. 6. He that spake to the rock in the wilderness, when the waters gusbed out, he alone can make you right, dissolve the ice and coldness in your hearts, “ and make the rocks flow at his presence.” Be your bearts never so stupid, hard, and stubborn, be your hearts never so cold or frozen, one drop of the blood he shed will make it happy and tender, and kindle such a flame of divine love there, as " many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown.” Come ye then, come ye to these waters, and you shall be eternally saved, and out of all danger on this account.
But there is yet another danger, and that is, being ashamed of Christ and his gospel. This has gone far with some poor people, they could not follow Jesus out of the camp, bearing his reproach, but rather than be mocked, or laughed at, or counted a fool, they have by and by been seduced from following the Lamb.
Our Saviour has said positively, “ Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed when he comes with his Father's glory, and with the holy angels.” VOL. I.
You know how far it went with Peter in this respect; he had continued several years, a close disciple and follower of our Saviour, till that night when Jesus was arraigned, and then he was really ashamed, and was got warming himself by the fire. He had no business either in the place or in the company, and this became the sad occasion of his fall; for when a silly maid made her game, and called him a disciple of Christ, he denied it, and at last swore he did not know him. How far it would have gone with him I do not know, if Jesus had not turned and looked upon him, and then “ he went out and wept bitterly;" nor did he ever rest till Jesus rose from the dead and pardoned him.
As long as the doctrines and gospel of our Saviour pass unmolested in the world, in a town, or country, it is easy to go among his people; but when it becomes scandalous, when men raise ten thousand lies and slanders upon it and its professors, when none but fools, low-lived people, and mad persons, are said to be its abettors, then many are offended, and they are really ashamed of their Lord Christ. But methinks I hear some say, O no; God forbid that I should be ashamed of Christ. I hope one may go to heaven without making one's self ridiculous, without all this to do. I am not ashamed of the word of God, but only I have no mind to be a fool. Sure if I keep to my place of worship, and do my duty in a creditable way, I shall be accepted.-- Whoever you are, that so reason, take care; I am afraid of the carpenter's Son was now in the flesh among us, and went about with a few poor fishermen and women, you would despise his meapness; should you hear his plain simple discourses, which all men derided, you would be ashamed, and walk no more with him. If you are upright, then do not care if heaven and earth laugh you to scorn; be content to be slighted, abused,
scorned, and count it an honour to suffer shame for his name's sake. Stay a little while, and you will see who will have reason to be ashamed ; not the souls who have followed the Lamb, who have put on his righteousness, and obtained of him the Spirit of adoption, these shall not be ashamed; but those shall be ashamed who have not his white raiment, who were once too wise, too prudent, too proud to be his disciples. The Lord grant you may escape
this danger, that ye may be worthy to stand before the Son of man.
There is yet another danger which those people are in, and that is, when persecution ariseth because of the word. Some despise the shame, and in a philosophical spirit disregard it, but when the persecution comes, when the parents will disown the children, the master turn away his servants, the trader refuse to buy or sell with you ; when threatenings, ill words, blows, disinheriting, and danger of losing a good deal comes, those who before withstood other opposition, now yield, and Satan gains his point. The blessed awakening ceases, the love of the word of God is stifled, and the soul turns to the world, and chuses its portion in this life. Would to God such people would think of " what advantage would it be to them to gain all the world and lose their own souls?" Or how could they bear to hear our Saviour say to them in that day, loved the world, your riches, your company, better than me," or be put in mind, “ Remember, when a little storm arose on my account, ye forsook me and fled.” May this also not happen to us? May this, O God, be far from us all! But here, before I conclude this part of my discourse, let me ask, Why is it that souls can be swayed by such things? How is it a person, who is disposed to be saved, can be turned out of the way and be offended? It is really 2 E 2
46 Ye earth;
because their hearts were never made tender by the blood of Jesus, they wanted a thorough awakening there. Had they ever once seen how God purchased them with his own blood, how he valued and loved them, even so as to die for them: had his love ever melted their hearts, or bad they any depth of love to bim and his merits ; had they ever felt deeply his sword, like a plough-share, break up the fallow ground, and pierce into the bottom of their corrupt and spoiled nature, so that they were deeply sensible of their want, their great need of our Saviour's wounds, and sufferings to make them whole, they would not, they could not have been turned from him by any means; all shame and opposition, all losses and threatenings would be welcome to them, and the sword, and fire, and prison, or whatever hell or wicked men could devise, would be very little, so they might but get or win Jesus Christ. O pray ye, that our compassionate Saviour may break the rock of your hearts in pieces, and give you a new heart and a new spirit, and save you from receiving any longer the seed upon stony ground.
« Those that receive the seed among thorns,” our Saviour says,
" are such as hear the word, but the deceitfulness of riches, the cares of this world, and pleasures of this life, mingle with it and choke it, so that it bears no fruit, but is lost.”
How many are there in the world who easily perceive how dangerous a careless and giddy mind is ; how bad a condition their's is also, where the heart is like a rock, and where shame and persecution have so great sway and influence, but never dream of their own cares, pleasures, or love of money; whereas, dear me! these are in equal danger with them.
I will speak first to you, ye over and above careful people; you who can rise early and late take rest to get the common bread, and provide treasure upon earth; ye cumbered Marthas, who are always busy and industrious, but forget " the one thing needful, the good part which shall not be taken away.
To what purpose are ye so full of cares and thoughts? Why do ye eat the bread of carefulness, and neglect the true Bread thiat came down from heaven, and that raiment which should make you all glorious within, clean and white, ready for the marriage of the Lamb ?
Ye know the persons who made their excuses for not coming to the supper of the King's son, were of your sort; one had bought oxen, and must prove them; another had purchased land, and must see it; another was engaged in his farm, another busy in his trade and merchandise, and yet another was married, had a wife and children to provide for, and so prayed to be excused;" but hear only the answer of the King, when the servants returned and told him, he said, “ Not one of them sball taste of my supper." Let me, advise you a little; Henceforth be industrious and diligent, but only do not forget that you are servants, and not masters. Look upon all you have as if it was not your's, but your Master Christ's. Let losses or disappointments happen, place it to his account, and take you thought about the living Bread, that is, - Christ's flesh, and the living Water, that is, his blood. Make it sure to you that you have a part in these, and that Jesus has prepared a place in his Father's house, and you shall be happy. Ye who have been like Martha, be now like Mary, and sit down at Jesus's feet, and “ hearken and learn of him, and you shall find rest to your busy and careful souls." It is not your having a family to provide for, a farm, a trade, your being a dealer, a master, or a servant, a husband or wife; a child or parent, that can hinder you to be saved, if your heart be but right. 2 E 3