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torrents of rain battering on the roof, the swelling of the waves which bore him up, the bellowing of the dying beasts, and the shrieks of the expiring multitude, create neither disturbance uor fear. He who 'shut him in,' had promised preservation; nnd while all was horror without, within all was safety, aud peace, and praise.
And,who ever trusted in the Lord and was confounded? There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, as Noah was in the ark. The law may thunder out its fearful curse,—Satan unwilling to lose his prey, may rage and roar,—the world, condemned by the believer's faith, as once by Noah's, may frown, and fret, and persecute; but the believer is safe.
O how enviable to the distressed multitude was now the favoured situation of Noah. But, alas! it was too late. The same almighty hand which shut him in, had shut them out. Blessed be God, it is not so yet with any of us! The door of the ark is yet open; and the language of the gospel is, 'Come thou, and all thy house, into the ark.' This is what we are now to consider.
III. God graciously invites sinners to come into the ark.
When the mighty waters were fast increasing,—when no hope appeared from any other quarter, how would it have rejoiced the people to hear such an invitation as this: 'Come, perishing men and women, Come into the ark. Come and bring all your dear little ones with you. Here is room enough, and to spare; and here you shall find a hearty welcome!'
They were not favoured thus ; but we are called. 'Go ye forth into all the world,' said Christ to his disciples, 'and preach the gospel to every creature.' And what is this gospel, but good news of a refuge from the storm, and a covert from the tempest? Pardon, safety, and eternal life to every believer? So Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness : the people, stung by fiery serpents, beheld it and lived. So the Israelites in Egypt sprinkled their doors with blood, and the angel of death, who destroyed their enemies, beheld the peaceful sign, and preserved their lives. To this moment the gracious Redeemer is crying aloud by his word, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,. and I will give you rest.' Come into the ark, thou and all thy house. Parents, come not alone. Ask your sons and daughters to come along with you. They will be welcome, for Jesus still saith, 'Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of fjeaven.' O may God make you and them willing to come into the ark!
How kind is God! Kind, in warning sinners so long beforehand of their dreadful danger. Kind, in providing an ark—in giving his Son to be a Saviour. Kind in inviting perishing men to come and be saved by him. O praise the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever!
But are we aware of the danger? Do we really believe there is a deluge of wrath coming upon sinners? Here most men fail. Sin is so pleasant, they are unwilling to think it destructive. But who shall we believe, the God of truth, or the father of lies? See the fate of these unbelievers. They would not believe God, and were therefore secure ; but the flood came, and took them all away. But Noah believed, was moved with fear, built an ark, and was saved. You have no ark to build —it is built already. Yet a few days the flood will come. Have not some large drops of affliction already fallen, to give you the necessary alarm? Lose no time then. The very beasts will hurry home when a storm is at hand. O seek a shelter in Jesus, and nowhere else! Neither the mountains nor the trees could save the unbelievers of old. Nor is there a saving name in Heaven or earth, but that of Jesus. Come thou then into the ark.
And what say the rest of your house? Shall the husband come, and the wife be shut out? or the wife enter, and the husband be excluded? Or, dear young people; shall your parents be safe in the ark, and you, their children, perish in the water? God forbid! O families be concerned to be saved altogether. Come thou, and all thy house, into the ark; servants, and all. If one be left behind, he perishes for ever. God make you willing to be saved.
O God, we believe that thou wilt come to be our Judge. We believe that the storm of thine anger will burst on an ungodly world. We praise thee that thou dost so long spare thy rebellious creatures. Thou art not slack concerning thy promise, but art long-suffering to us-ward; not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
We thank thee that thou hast provided an ark of safety for perishing men. We account it a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, even the chief. We fly for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us. Gladly and thankfully we enter the ark of salvation, and fain would we bring with us all that is dear to us. O that all here present, husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, neighbours and friends, may come together into this blessed ark. We pray that not one may be left behind.
Thanks be unto God that yet there is room; that yet there is time and space for repentance; that still the preachers of righteousness are in his name inviting all who are ready to perish to enter in and be saved! O let not these repeated invitations be in vain! Let not the present invitation be in vain! Do thou, O Lord, our God, command the blessing, even life for evermore. Amen.
OR, SHOHT AND PLAIN
TOR THE USE OF
FAMILIES, SCHOOLS, AND RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES.
BY GEORGE BURDER.
CONTAINING THIRTEEN SERMONS.
A NEW EDITION.
'Exhort one another daily, while it ia called To-day."—Heb.iii. 13.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY,
SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORY, 56, PATERNOSTER ROW;