« 이전계속 »
redeeming the captive, and releasing the debtor.
1. Let every man ask himself, whether the Gospel hath, in any sense, been truly considered by him as GLAD TIDINGS.
If he believe not that he is Los's, and that Christ is come as a RANSOM, the Gospel is no Jubilee to him. He is yet in his bondage. He is yet “ tied and « bound with the chain of his sins," whether he feel that chain or not; and he will remain thus bound, until he begins to be sensible of his captivity. But when “ the day-spring from e on high shall have visited him," then will he contemplate, with joy, the power and willinga ness of him who came “ to deliver the captives, " and to set at liberty them that are bound." And that era of his life, when these salutary reflections first occupied his mind, will be to him as the year of release ; " the ACCEPTABLE YEAR of as the Lord.”
There are men who say, that they need no ransom! But the voice of the human race is against them: Almost all nations look out for a Redeemer ;--and, in this respect, some in the heathen world will rise up in judgment, at the great day, against 66 Chorazin and Bethco saida.” In the pride and strength of life, men may say, they need no ransom : But, when they come to die, they are sometimes permitted to see their need of it; and, their
THE WRATH TO COME.
having slighted or rejected the Redeemer, is the real cause of that depression of spirits and ultimate despair, which often assail the soul, on its being summoned to enter into the invi. sible world.
Let us then believe this solemn and eternal truth, that Christ is come, TO DELIVER US FROM
Let us pray, that, in this our day of health and strength, we may be enabled to see our souls as God sees them; that we may feel our need of a ransom, and “ flee for refuge to the hope set before us."
2. We are also to apply this subject to our improvement in a practical way, by endeavouring to imitate the example of Christ in redeeming the captive, in releasing the debtor, and in forgiving the trespasses of our brethren. .
Would, then, a man know whether he hath a just sense of Christ, as giving his life a ransom for his soul ; let him ask himself whether he hath any concern about the souls of others; whether he hath ever done any thing, or means to do any thing, for the soul of his neighbour. For his concern about the spiritual welfare of others, will be proportionate to the solicitude he hath felt about his own soul.
Again, would the Christian know whether « God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven him his “ debts;" let him ask himself, whether he hath forgiven the debts of others. First, whether he hath forgiven injuries received in word and in deed, and, especially offences that wound his pride. And these, perhaps, are the debts most difficult to forgive. But these debts must be forgiven; for our Lord hath said, “ If ye forgive not men their trespasses, “ neither will your heavenly Father forgive
* 1 Thess. i. 10.
your trespasses.” Secondly, whether he hath forgiven debts of money and obligation, in cases where the debtor could not pay, or could only pay with extreme difficulty. If the penitent sinner hath ever had any just sense of the mercy of Christ to himself, he will be merciful to his brother. If his Lord " hath for
given him his ten thousand talents,” he will not take his brother by the throat, and say,
pay me that thou owest." My brethren, there are many excellent persons, we apprehend, who do not sufficiently consider their obligations in this respect. But it ought to be remembered, that the law of the Jubilee, for the release of the debtor, was merely a TYPE of that generous compassion which should animate every true Christian under the grace of the GOSPEL.
Let every man, then, who is a possessor of land in Britain, remember the words of God to the Israelites; The land is MINE; and
“ YE are sojourners and strangers." And surely these days of revolution may well fix the solemn truth deeply in every heart. Who, amongst us, can say, that the land he possesses is his, and that it will descend to his heir ? “ For, here we have no continuing city, but « seek one to come."-" We are strangers « and pilgrims on the earth." And we, alas, live at a period, when the pilgrimage is frequently soon ended! How many of our contemporaries, both rich and noble, have been lately cut off in the youth of life? Let those, therefore, who survive and enjoy wealth and ease, consider their responsibility; for they also will soon be called to account for the TA LENTS which have been committed to them. If religion hath acquired a due influence over their minds, they will begin to consider themselves as “ stewards of God ;” and their desire will be to dispose of their means in such a manner as shall be most agreeable to his will. For the highest praise of the good man, in a practical sense, is, that he is a DISPENSER OF THE BOUNTY OF GOD.
Let the season, therefore, of the approaching Jubilee be employed, chiefly, in cultivating these noble principles and affections. May there be peace, and joy, and forgiveness, in every house at this time. Let it be a Jubilee to the Lord in the heart of every man, who
looks, himself, for mercy and forgiveness. Let him endeavour, in this day of temporal account, to prepare for the great day of eternal account, which will soon arrive.
So that, when the LAST TRUMPET shall sound, and the time which God hath fixed “ for the redemp« tion of the purchased possession,” shall be fully come, he may have “ an entrance minis6 tered unto him abundantly, into the ever" lasting kingdom of our Lord and Savionr 56 Jesus Christ."