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like a servant; so far from his being absent only “ a few days," as liis mother proposed, he was absent above twenty years; and at his return he came full of fear of his brother, and trembling for the lives of himself and his children. These were the fruits which they reaped from their own deceit. The blessing they would have had, under any circumstances; and had they sought it properly, they would have had no sorrow with it.
3. But, lastly, it is time that we offer some reflections on the character and conduct of Esau. We saw, in the preceding sermon, how he sold his birthright to his brother, and here we witness the consequence which followed, his loss of the blessing. This was the proper and necessary consequence, and it will be thus with all of ourselves who
imitate his example. The time came, as we have now beard, when he deeply regretted the folly through which he had despised his birthright, and thrown it away for so trifling a price; and the time will come when all who have profanely neglected the great duties of religion, and despised the mercy of Christ, is
and made light of the salvation of their souls, will bitterly bewail the loss of those blessings and the suffering of those miseries which they have brought upon themselves. When once the master of the house hath risen up and hath shut to the door, in vain will it be to stand and knock for admittance. When once the day of
grace past and gone, and men stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive their final doom, in vain will it be to lament their negligence and ungodly lives, and to cry for mercy. It is thus the Apostle himself applies the case of Esau ; “ Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord : looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God ; lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” He found no place of repentance, that is, when the blessing had been solemnly pronounced from him by
his father, he could not recover it. Many years before he had profanely sold it; for many years together, he had shewn his utter unconcern for it ; in one particular instance of great moment he seemed to have absolutely rejected it, for he married the daughters of the inhabitants of the land, who he knew were, with their posterity, to be cast out of it. When therefore, as I say, the blessing had been solemnly given to another, vain were his lamentations, his cries, and his tears. So will it be with ourselves. If we despise the blessing now, if we do not repent of our folly in time, utterly and absolutely useless will be any regrets that we may feel, or entreaties that we may use, after the sentence has once been pronounced. Think not that Esau repented before the day in which his father prophetically and therefore irrevocably disposed of the blessing, and that though a penitent, he was rejected : he had been no penitent before that day; there had been no change of mind or conduct in him. Neither was he a true penitent even then, for there was no self-condemnation or confession of his sin, but much accusation of his brother; there was no contrition, and godly sorrow of heart, but only disappointment and vexation for his loss. Neither was he a penitent afterwards, for his heart was full of rage and enmity, and his determination was, if possible, to slay his brother. And such will finally be both the character and condition of all who contemptuously despise the blessing of salvation through life, and die in their sins impenitent, and suffer the last judgment of God. They will “gnaw their tongues for pain, and blaspheme the God of beaven because of their pains and their sores, and repent not of their deeds."
But the whole tenor of scripture authorizes, nay enjoins, us to say, and we say it most thankfully and gladly, and we pray most earnestly that it may be received and acted upon by every one amongst you, that if
you repent now, truly and sincerely, you will assuredly find mercy through the blessed Jesus. Repentance and remission of sins are preached in his name : repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, if exercised in this day of life and grace, will, beyond all question, secure you the blessing. Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near, and you will not seek and call in vain. While others are seeking and finding the blessing of God, oh ! do
you seek it too, and you too will find it. God has not this blessing for one alone. He has it for you also, and now is the time to gain it. The God of all grace excite your desires, quicken your prayers, and stimulate your endeavours, to possess it. So will he bless you, even you also, with every spiritual blessing in Christ.