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ing light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
You must wait upon the Lord in the use of those means of grace, which he hath appointed, - the reading and hearing of his holy word. Believers are born again by the word of God.1
" I have begotten you, through the gospel,” writes St. Paul to the Corinthians, “ Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 3 The Bereans “ received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so: therefore many of them believed.” The Saviour affirmed, that if he were lifted up, (especially in a faithfully-preached gospel, he would “ draw all men unto him." And so it has uniformly been experienced. That which dissolves the icy heart, and transmutes the fint into a fountain of tears, is a believing sight of the Lord Jesus, and of him crucified. As it is written, “ They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn." Accordingly, when the Jews heard St. Peter preach on this very topic, on the day of Pentecost, they were pricked in their heart, and said, “Men and brethren, what shall we do ?”4 Mr. Flavel beautifully defines repentance to be the tear that drops from the eye of faith, while looking to Jesus.'
Be entreated, then, to seek this change forthwith. If, as you have been shown, it would conduce to your happiness, can you be happy too soon ? Remember that awful text, “ He, that
1 i Pet, i. 23.
2 1 Cor. iv. 15.
3 Rom. x, 17.
4 Acts ii. 37.
being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”1 Remember that if, like the sons-in-law of Lot, you linger in Sodom, your judgment lingereth not. If you slumber on in sin, your damnation slumbereth not. Awake then, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Wisely follow the example of David, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments.”. What speed should you make in that affair, whereon depends your welfare throughout eternity! Conversion is the soul's great era; the grand turning-point; the momentous transition from death unto life; the dawn of immortality; the gate of heaven. Several
passages of the inspired volume announce the approach of a great and terrible day, a day different from the last day, one designated the great day of the LORD. That will be " a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness ; La day that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble ; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. Now, “this great day of the Lord is
1 Prov. xxix. 1.
2 Psalm cxix. 59, 60. 3 Zeph. i. 15. See also Isaiah xxxiv. lxiii. 1–6. Obad. 15, 16. Zeph. ii. 8. Ezek. xxxviii.
near; it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD.”
While then the Lord waiteth, that he may be gracious; while he gives you space to repent; to lay down the arms of your rebellion, and touch his golden sceptre— redeem the time;' escape from the city of destruction; flee, flee to Jesus: flee for your life! “ Flee ye to the strong-hold, ye prisoners of hope.”
Be not gainsayers. "The times are very awful,' say we.
• So have they always been,' some rejoin. Let such persons see themselves described and denounced in that passage of the Apostle; “ knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lust, and saying, where is the promise of his coming ?” &c.1 “Now therefore, be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong." Account the long-suffering of the Lord to be salvation: for they who despise the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and longsuffering, only treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who shall render unto every man according to his deeds; and “punish those that are settled upon their lees; that say in their hearts, The LORD will not do good, neither shall he do evil.” Therefore be prevailed upon. “Seek ye the LORD, while he may
be found; call ye upon him, while he is near. Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD's anger come upon you; seek righteousness, seek meekness;
1 2 Peter iii. 3, 4.
2 Zeph. i. 12.
THE DUTY OF BELIEVERS.
“Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and
do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”— Rev. ii. 5.
I AM now to attempt the indication of the duty of those in these times who “ have received Christ Jesus the Lord,” and are in consequence justified and sanctified. On them also repentance seems incumbent. For though they have, through grace, made the grand transition from the territory of Satan into the kingdom of God's dear Son, and are therefore not to lay again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, but to build themselves up on their most holy faith, a spiritual living temple of the Lord,yet, “ what is man, that he should be clean ? and he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ?”1 " There is no man that sinneth not."% Even God's children have their spots. Even them, though the hereditary leprosy of sin is under a process of destruction, still it is not entirely
1 Job xv. 41.
2 1 Kings viii. 46.
3 Deut. xxxii. 5.