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We have witnessed the success of the gospel
[Those to whom our Lord spake, saw his ministry despised ,
The great and learned of their nation rejected him
His followers were only a few, and those of the lowest class
But we have seen the “ grain of mustard become a large tree"
The gospel has spread to the remotest corners of the earth
It has triumphed over the prejudices and passions, the interests and powers, of the world
Its influence is yet daily exhibited before our eyes]
Surely our “ sin must be of a crimson or a scarlet die”ADDRESS
1. Those who make excuses for their neglect of Christ
[With what foolish and weak excuses do men deceive themselves!?_
Surely God will not be deceived by these
What cloak for your sin will you find when he shall call you to account?
Will you plead a want of instruction, evidence, warning, or encouragement?-
Know that in that day you will be speechless
Your love of sin and hatred of the light are the true causes of your rejecting Christ"
And this will be the ground of a more aggrava, 'd condemnation--]
2. Those who desire to attain the saving knowledge of him
[It is a great mercy to have such a desire formed in the heart
But beware of cloaking or extenuating your sin
There is a virtue in the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from it all
.' We may notice a few: “ I have not time.” For what is time given? I am not able.” Do you do what you can?- It is time enough yet.” Shall you certainly live, and have the grace you now slight offered you again?-_I have the majority on my side.” Are you not then in the broad road? and will associates mitigate your pain?-—" Professors are hypocrites.” Is that a reason you should not be sincere?-« God is merciful.” To whom? the impenitent? m Matt. xxii. 12. n John v. 40.
• John iii. 19. p Prov. xxviii. 13.
9 1 Johni. 7.
LI. THE FRIENDS AND ENEMIES OF CHRIST CON.
Rev. xvii. 14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the
Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with him, are called, and chosen, and faithful.
THE book of Revelations is confessedly dark and mys. terious
Yet there are many parts of it plain and perspicuous
The prophecy before us is not without its difficul. ties
We cannot doubt, however, but that it declares the downfall of Popery
But we forbear to dwell on those parts which are diffi. cult of interpretation
We confine our attention to what is most obvious in the text: in illustrating which we shall shew 1. Who they are that war against the Lamb
The text speaks of those who should oppose the cause of Christ, and the interests of his gospel-Now this is done by
1. Those who maintain sentiments contrary to the gospel of Christ
[A pårson may err with respect to subordinate matters, and yet have his heart, on the whole, right with God
But an error in the fundamental points argues a depraved state of mind
A man who denies the divinity of Christ, the sufficiency of his atonement, the influences of his Spirit upon the soul, or the necessity of an unreserved devotedness of heart to God, sets aside the whole gospel
He therefore opposes Christ in his most essential interests, and wars against the Lamba-]
2. Those who endeavour to subvert his influence over his peoples hearts
[There is scarcely an unconverted person that does not, like Cain and Ishmael, revile and persecute the children of God
And how many does such, treatment intimidate and subvert!
a Luke x. 16.
Whatever then a scoffing world may think of their conduct, they are really fighting against Christ himself
In touching his people, they touch the apple of his eyeb_]
The enemies of Christ may appear to triumph for a
But he will surely overcome them at the last-
[None are beyond the reach of his armNone are so vile but that he feels compassion towards them
Nor are any so stout-hearted but he is able to subdue them
He who vanquished the persecuting Saul, can and will make others also to be similar monuments of his grace and mercy,
But those who reject all his overtures of mercy, he will break in pieces like a potter's vessel
[His triumphs over them are admirably painted in the second Psalm
And he himself tells us what a sentence he will pass upon them in the day of judgment
However long their conflicts with him may be, this must at. last be the termination of them-]
To impress this on our minds, let us consider III. What assurance we have that such shall be the issue
of it Two pledges of his victory are mentioned in the text 1. His own power
[Were he the first of created beings, his success might be uncertain
But he is “ Lord of lords, and King of kings"
And though he is a Lamb, yet will he shew himself to be the " Lion of the tribe of Judah”—
Whoever shall presume to oppose him, he will go through them, and burn them up togetherd-] 2. His people's constancy
[They have not indeed, of themselves, any strength or constancy
But they have been “chosen” of God from before the foundation of the worlde
b Acts ix. 4. Zech. ii. 8. * Isai. xxvii. 4.
• Luke xix. 27.
They have in due time been “ called” by the effectual ope. ration of his grace
And they are made * faithful” by him, so that nothing can induce them to desert his cause
The least and weakest among them all is more than conqueror through the strength of Christ
And all may adopt the language of triumph, even while conflicting on the field of battleh-] APPLICATION
1. Let us assist you in enquiring whether ye be among the friends or enemies of Christ
[While some are against Christ, others are with him”_ They are with him in sentiment, in affection, in profession, in conduct
How great is the difference between those who in outward appearance are the same!
O search and see whether ye be the friends or enemies of Christi
According as you prove yourselves to be in this life, you will surely be found in the day of judgment] 2. Let us address each of those characters
[To his enemies we say, Consider whose enemies you are Is this the treatment he has deserved at your hands?
Is there not a time coming when he will fearfully resent it?
If you be of the number of his friends, “ walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”
Let nothing, however pleasing, or however formidable, tempt you to forsake him
Be faithful unto death, and he will give you a crown of life ]
f Acts xx. 20.
& Rom. viii,
Eph. iv. 1.
h Rom. viii.
- LII. THE DUTY OF CASTING OUR CARE ON GOD.
1 Pet. v. 7. Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.
INEXPERIENCED Christians are generally partial in their views of religion
They often exalt one duty, to the neglect, if not the exclusion of another
But a proficiency in the divine life will discover itself by the united exercise of the various, and apparently opposite, graces
Faith will not exclude fear, nor meekness fortitude
Every grace will be limited and tempered by some other
The soul must be humbled before God in dust and ashes
Yet should it rely on him with most implicit confidenceI. The duty of Christians
Christians have learned “not to seek great things for themselves"
Hence they are free from the corroding cares of avarice and ambitionBut they still have many grounds of care
[They cannot but feel some concern respecting their bodie ly wants
The casualties of life may also occasion some uneasiness But they have other cares far more weighty and importantThey see many dishonouring their holy profession
They feel within themselves also “ an evil heart of unbeKef”—
Nor are they ignorant of Satan's devices to overthrow them
Thus do they torment themselves with anxious and desponding fears~]
It is their duty, however, to “ cast their care on God”
[To cast their care upon any creature would be fruitlessAnd it would involve them in the deepest guilth God alone is able to sustain their burthenOn him they are commanded to cast it They must do so in the exercise of faith and prayerNor are any cares whatever to be excepted, “ Cast all,” &c.
None are so small but they shall be regarded, none so great but they shall be alleviated ]
There is a backwardness in many to comply with this duty II. Their encouragement to perform it
• Ver. 6,7.
b Jer. xvii. 5.
Ps. lv. 22.
Phil. iv. 6,7.