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vet.” Som? are not bad enough for Christ yet-we mean in their own apprehension. But when they find and feel that they are entirely lost, and have no other help or hope, they will cordially acquiesce in his recommendation, however mysterious, however humbling, however trying. “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
Let me not think this inquiry was proper for the jailor only. All have sinned. And the soul that sinneth it shall die. It should therefore be the inquiry of every man. O my soul, let it be thine!
What is the answer?
Manch 4.-"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."-Acts xvi. 31.
They overlook his injurious treatment of them. They do not take advantage of his present distress to insult him, as the council did Judas, who, when he cast down the pieces of silver, confessing he had sinned and betrayed innocent blood, said, “What is that to us? See thou to that."' Yea, they hear with delight his exclamation, " What must I do to be saved ?" Such cries as this are music in the ears of those who long to save souls from death—“Your case is bad, but it is not hopeless. You are guilty and condemned, and there is only one way of deliverance-But there is one. We have tried it ourselves, and have found it effectual, and recommend it to vou. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Here is the advantage of knowledge and of experience in those who have to deal with souls in spiritual distress. They can speak readily and clearly ; and with confidence and earnestness—“Lo this, we have searched it; so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.” What could the heathen philosophers have done with this question? Or what the Scribes and Pharisees who sat in Moses' chair? What would a modern infidel make of it? How many called divines, would answer: “Be not too touch distressed. You are not worse than others. All are frail. God knows our frame. He will not be severe to mark what we do amiss. Guard against these gloomy notions which drive people to distraction or despondency. Take exercise. Go into company. Moderately indulge in the amusements of life.” 'Or if any thing more religious be said, it would be, “Reform whatever may have been vicious: and in proper time prepare yourself for a worthy reception of the Lord's Supper." How different was the language of Paul and Silas! "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
This teaches us that awakened souls are to be led immediately to Christ. There are some who are slow to bring forward the glad tidings of salvation, fearing that such persons are not yet distressed and humbled enouglı. But it is obvious that a long process to prepare for an application to the Lord Jesus was not deemed necessary by the Apostles. They presented him at once : through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified. He did the same himself: " Come unto me”_ “Look unto me.” No other recommendation can be available. Every other direction will turn the sinner aside from safety and relief. All the peace obtained by any other means is only a temporary
delusion. “Why should I wait? I want a mediator between me and God, but I do not want a mediator between me and Christ. I must come to him as I am. And I may come all the fitness he requireth is to feel my need of him.""
The answer shows that there is salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that he came into the world to save sinners : and that he is now exalted at God's own right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour. With him is plen teous redemption; free deliverance from the guilt, the pollution, and the consequences of sin; and for ever
The way to realize this is believing. - To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted to him for righteousness." Unless we begin here, we commence at the wrong end. Good works do not produce faiths, but faith produces good works. If we see a fellow creature wrecked and ready to sink, the first thing is to get out the life-boat. It would be absurd to go to the dying bed of a man, and begin to admonish him how he ought to walk and to work— The man is dying. Send for the physician-Bring a remedy. When recovered, admonition will be reasonable and needful. God gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish: and however salvation is represented in the Scripture, we see faith is essential to it. What-) ever Christ may be in himself, he can be nothing to us without it. He is indeed the refuge, but a refuge cannot secure us unless it be entered ; and it can only be entered by faith. He is indeed the bread of life, but food cannot nourish us unless it be eaten ; and it can only be eaten by faith. The grand thing therefore is to believe the record concerning him; and to trust in his name; to rely upon his grace; to apply to him for all the purposes he is revealed to accomplish; and to receive him as he is held forth to us in the gospel,
This course will not fail. Salvation is insured to believing. As without faith we cannot be saved, so with it we cannot perish. * Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent que, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
If therefore you feel your need of salvation, repair to him, and say, “Let this ruin be under thy hand.” He is mighty to save. He is able to save to the uttermost. And while his power enables him to save, his goodness inclines him to save. His soul is the dwellingplace of pity. His heart is made of tenderness; his bowels melt with love. And while his goodness inclines him to save, his promise binds him to save-He cannot deny himself. He has said, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out."
“My soul obeys the Almighty call,
And runs to this relief ;
o help mine unbelier."
March 5.—"And Ekron as a Jebusite.”—Zech. ix. 7. The prophecy in which these words are found shows, that God in judgment remembers mercy; and can punish her enemies without injuring the Church; and can even increase her welfare by means
of it. Desolations were coming upon the Syrians, and Tyrians, and Philistines; but a remnant should be saved and converted, so as to become the worshippers and people of the God of Israel ! This is exemplified in the latter of these powers : “I will cut off the pride of the Philistines: and I will take away the blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite." The Philistines were the most constant and implacable of all the adversaries of the Jews. Ekron was one of their greatest capitals. It was the residence of Beelzebub the chief of the devils; and is put by the poets for hell itself. Jebus is the old name for Jerusalem. Hence we read that “David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land." The meaning of the words therefore is, that the inhabitant of Ekron should become as the denizen of Jerusalem ; no longer an enemy, or a stranger and foreigner, but a fellow-citizen with the saints, and of the household of God. Two remarks arise from this promise.
First,- It is a great thing to be a Jebusite. The Apostle speaks of it as the highest of all privileges, that we “are come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, and to the heavenly Jerusalem;" and that " Jerusalem, which is above, and which is free, is the mother of us all.” Of this city of our God, glorious things are spoken, and they are not vain words. What a governor have these citizens! He is fairer than the children of men; he is the king of glory. What a charter have they! What can equal their defence and safety? What can equal their liberty ? What their commerce and wealth? What their happiness ? Their peace passeth all understanding—Their joy is unspeakable and full of glory-as well the singers, as the players on instruments, shall be there: all my springs are in thee."
Secondly, Jebusites may be derived from Ekronites. Here we have the evidence of fact. The thing has been done; and the most unlikely characters have furnished pious converts. We can make an appeal to Manasseh, who had sinned away all the effects of a godly education, and had become the most daring idolater; and such a murderer, that he made the streets of Jerusalem to run down with innocent blood-yet he, even he, sought and found the Lord God of his fathers. We could appeal to the dying thief, blaspheming with his companion one moment, and praying the next, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” We could appeal to the murderers of Jesus, so soon washed in the blood which they themselves had shed. What could surpass the guilt and depravity of the Corinthians ? Yet they were washed, they were justified, they were sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. And what says Paul of himself ? “I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy”—and " for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ should show forth all long-suffering, as a pattern to them that should hereafter believe on him, to life everlasting."
Here from what he has done, we see what he can do. We see also what he must do; for he has bound himself by his word. And who are the heirs of promise? From whence are they to be brought; and from what materials are the subjects of his grace to be formed ? * Princes shall come out of Egypt.” “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree : and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid." - “ The beasts of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls."
Much of these announcements is indeed highly figurative, but the meaning cannot be mistaken, and the truth of it is perpetually accomplishing. For, blessed be God, these changes are not imaginary representations. The pictures are from real life; and the originals are to be found. We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. We have seen the profligate becoming not only moral but holy—the proud clothed with humility-the niggard and the churl learning to be bountiful and kind-the earthly-minded seeking the things that are above-the curses of the neighbourhood going about doing good. Well may the Author of all good say, “ This people have s formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise" -What displays, what triumphs are they, of the freeness, the riches, and the power of his grace! • Let none despair. However desperate their case is with regard to their own resources, there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.
Neither let us despond with regard to any of our fellow-creatures. * We may be tempted to think some of them beyond the possibility of reclaim. But God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Let us not abandon them, but persevere in the use of means-animated by prayer--and strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.
MARCH 6.-—Do not all go to one place ?"—Eccles. vi. 6. What place? There are four places; and a universality of passengers is approaching each of them. An absolute universality with regard to the two first; and a specific universality with regard to the two second.
There is the grave. Do not all go to this place? Yes. "All go to one place—all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” No one denies this; and yet no one seems to believe it, at least with regard to himself! Who would suppose that thousands around us ever said, “I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.” What a proof is this, that convictions however clear, and belief however firm, may be paralized and rendered uninfluential !
There is the judgment-seat. Do not all go to this place? Yes: “We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.” The high will not be excused; the low will not be overlooked. “I saw the dead,” says John, “small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened.” And the Judge himself tells us, that “ before him shall be gathered all nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; and
he shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on the leftand these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal."
Now therefore a separation takes place, and what before applied to all with regard to nature, will now apply to all only with regard to character.
There is hell. Do not all go to this place ? Yes, all the wicked: • The wicked shall be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God." Their sin is very diversified; and though all go astray like sheep, they turn every one to his own way. The covetous and the cruel, the hypocrite and the profligate, the scoffer and the formalist, the swearer and the slanderer, are all'in various directions going the downward road, and will meet in the same place of torment. There is something inexpressibly dreadful in the thought of mixing with such society. And when we consider the number of the damned, their malignity, their mutual accusations, their hatred of each other, their freedom from all the restraints which check the bad and vile while here, their power to curse and tear each other, under the empire too of the devil and his angels-who would not cry, “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men."
There is heaven. Do not all go to this place ? Yes, all the righteous-all who are justified by faith, and renewed in the spirit of their mind. We need not ask where this place is; it is enough to know that Jesus has said, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am there ye may be also." There, out of every period of time, and out of every kindred, and nation, and people, and tongue, he will gather together in one, the children of God which were scattered abroad. Here they differed in their outward condition, in their religious opinions and usages, and in the degree of their grace; but they were all one in Christ Jesus, and now they are all one with him. Is this candour and comprehensiveness in heaven an excellency? Let us approach it as much as possible; and as we are all going to one place, let us not fall out by the way. Let us pray, “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity ;” and let us show by our freedom froin bigotry, that our prayer is not hypocrisy or formality. Many a persecuting and many a censorious spirit has had liberality enough upon his oily lips, especially at public meetings, who has only scowledge hate or dislike towards his differing brethren at all other times. But the Master says, “ Out of thine own mouth will I condemn thee, thou wicked servant."
MARCH 7.-"Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me." Luke xxii. 28, 29.
The dying Patriarch said of Reuben, “unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.” Stability is essential to excellency. Without it no reputation can be acquired, no confidence can be supported, no usefulness can be insured. Even obstinacy, which is ignorant resolution, is more allied to excellency than versatility. You may build