صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني



Let us therefore fear lêst a promise being left us of enter ing into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.-Heb. iv. 1.

FAITHFUL are the wounds of a friend.


said David, let the righteous smite me; it shall be a "kindness and let him reprove me; it shall be an "excellent oil, which shall not break my head for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities."

[ocr errors]

Would you deem a man your enemy because he told you the truth? especially if the intelligence was of importance, and your ignorance of it would be ruinous? Would you blame a person, who seeing your house to be on fire, would wake you from a pleasing dream? Or would you say to one who checked you on the brink of a precipice-"why did you not suffer "me to go on? why did you spoil my reverie ?" Surely, even a blow that saved you from such dreadful jeopardy, would be esteemed an instance of friudship.

But all allusions fail, when we think of the soul and eternity. Every thing is little and trifling, compared with the acquisition of endless life.-Here is a subject which requires infinitely more than any other, fidelity in the speaker; and a disposition open to conviction, and fearful of deception in the hearer. "Let us there"fore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into "his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." Let us consider two things. The first regards the


blessing promised. And the second the state of mind in which we should consider it.

I. The gospel is not only a revelation but a promise; and a promise exceeding great and precious. It not only holds forth to our view, but it proposes to our hope eternal life, and whatever is previously necessary to the acquisition of it. The promise was early made, and was often renewed with enlargements. Thousands in the successive ages of the world have laid hold of it, and it is left for us. Yes, in this blessed book, we have "a promise left us of entering into his rest."

This rest is deservedly called his-because it is entirely of his own providing-is given us freely by his grace and is to be enjoyed only in a state of union and communion with him.-But what is it? we may view this blessedness as it is begun upon earth, or completed in heaven.

Even while the believer is upon earth, this rest is not only ensured, but begun. Hence, says the apostle, "we which have believed do enter into rest." Before he knew the Saviour, he was a stranger to rest-but Jesus had said, "come unto me all ye that labor, and "are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”—he was enabled to believe his word; he ventured upon his promise; made application to him; and found rest unto his soul. Let us observe him.

View him with regard to his understanding-and you will find that he has rest. He is freed from the jealousies and uneasiness which arise from uncertainty of mind with regard to truth. He is no longer the sport of delusion: he is no longer like " a wave of the "sea, driven with the wind and tossed," now urged in one direction, and now in another: he no longer flounders, sinking in the mud and mire-he has found rock; he stands upon it; his goings are established. He knows whom he has believed. He knows that he has not followed cunningly devised fables. He knows the doctrine he has received to be of God-He has the witness in himself.

« السابقةمتابعة »