« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
more be feared by the ransomed of the Lord. Oh, what a burst of hallelujahs will they raise in honour of their Redeemer! and how feeble is earthly joy compared with the rapturous delight with which they will hymn forth the anthem of the redeemed ! “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever!” Rev. v. 12, 13.
When an indulgent father, after much forbearance and forgiveness, has to correct an offending child, he rebukes him mildly and affectionately by word of mouth ; and if that does not effect his purpose, he sends him to stand alone in a corner. Should the young urchin still rebel, the next course is to take him and shake him ; and if even then he be not obedient, out comes the stick, which is laid across his shoulders. It is a bad case, indeed, if none of these modes of chastisement answers the end, and that things come to such a pass, that the reprobate son is cast out of his father's house.
It is in a way somewhat similar to this, that our heavenly Father frequently rebukes his children? He often bears long with them, but increases his punishments as needful, when they harden themselves in iniquity. The returning prodigal is willingly received, but the obstinate are visited with stripes.
If we have been convinced of our errors by his holy word, happy are we; and if the hiding of his countenance has been necessary, and we have been left alone for a season, it is well for us, if, through Divine grace, our proud hearts are humbled. Even if we are shaken by losses and crosses, we have reason to be thankful, if thereby God has taught us to acknowledge our iniquity. Nay, if we have rendered it necessary that He should inflict the stripes of bodily affliction, we ought still to rejoice, if the chastisement of our bodies has been sanctified to the benefit of our souls ; but if we have carried our rebellion so far as to be given over, cast out and abandoned to our own reprobate hearts, then indeed is our case forlorn.
If you are bearing the merciful rebukes of God, ask him not, by your stubbornness, to withdraw himself from you. If you are standing alone in a corner, tempt him not to visit you with trials and anxiety. If you are being shaken by losses and bereavements, constrain him not to smite you
with severe afflictions; and if you are stricken by painful infirmities, O call not down on your guilty head the fearful sentence of eternal banishment from his Almighty presence.
• STAND YOUR GROUND !"
It is only an hour ago that I heard Gideon Hawkes say to a tempted Christian, “Stand your ground, Deborah, stand your ground! When Satan takes up one arrow to annoy you, always meet him with two, drawn from the heavenly quiver, the word of God. When he throws at you your state as
lost sinner, throw at him, 'I have found a ransom,' Job xxxii. 24. Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,' Luke xix. 10. When he flings at you the accusation that you are a rebel, and therefore cannot be pardoned, fling at him the pointed arrows, “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him,' Dan. ix. 9.
•Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,' Gal. iii. 13. And when, enraged, he hurls at you a double dart, the blood-red character of your sins, and the infinite number of your iniquities, hurl back the triple-headed arrow in return, Though your sins be as scarlet, they