Page images

and what are we doing, in withholding them from his service, but refusing the substance, for fear of losing the shadow; disregarding the glories of eternity, for fear of sacrificing the vanities of time; and dashing from our lips the " milk and honey of Canaan," for fear of no longer tasting the vile "fleshpots of Egypt?"

We close with a word of encouragement to those who still keep their post in the field of battle. To such we say, "Dearly beloved, and longed for, our joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord." Yea, brethren, "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance." Our blessed Saviour once put an affecting question to his disciples, when many 66 went back, and walked no more with him" then said Jesus unto the twelve, "Will ye also go away?" Peter an


swered and said, and I trust that your hearts and my own do the same, Lord, whither should we go? Thou hast the words of everlasting life." Is not this your feeling towards him who has done all for you ? Cherish it, I beseech you, in your hearts. It will enable you to "stand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand."

Remember that this cleansing of the church, like the reducing of Gideon's army, is preparatory to a still more trying investigation, when the final judgment shall take place; when the "proclamation" shall be given by sound of the last trumpet; and that sound shall wake the dead. Ah, who can tell the comfort enjoyed by the soul that is patiently enduring unto the end! "looking for, and hasting to, the coming of the day of God!" waxing strong in the faith, by thinking of the sacrifice that Gideon's angel has made, and the peace that he has spoken to his people! viewing him as "the Captain of salvation," who

can give strength and courage to fight, and then will crown the conqueror, according to his own blessed declaration : "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."

The church of Christ may appear small in its militant state, but it shall be large in its triumphant state. Let not the smallness of its number alarm the soldiers of the cross; "it is their Father's good pleasure to give them the kingdom;" yea, "the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."



when that is obtained, the host of God's spiritual Israel shall stand up "a multitude which no man can number." that we may be found among them in that day, when the Lord Jesus Christ "shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe !"

"Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in

the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burthen of the flesh, are in joy and felicity; we beseech thee that it may please thee, of thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of thy holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord."





JUDGES Vii. 4.

And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt

« EelmineJätka »