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ralleled calamities which he knew would, in a few years, befal that guilty and devoted city; for, as he in the 43d verse, says 66 the days shall come upon thee that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side; and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children with thee." All this actually came to pass; and the Romans, who besieged Jerusalem, thought it necessary to build a wall, extending nearly five miles, entirely round the city, to prevent its inhabitants from escaping; and by reducing them to famine, and by other means, bringing upon them irretrievable ruin, so that in a course of time, more than a million of Jews were put to death; eleven thousand of them were crucified, and they only stopped crucifying them, because no more wood could be procured to make crosses; while many of these who were not put to death were sold at a penny a man. Our Lord foresaw all this, and he wept. But, doubtless he looked further than to the destruction of Jerusalem; he looked forward to the eternal state of the multitude. Probably, far the greatest part of this multitude, " died in their sins;" and he also looked to the future consequences of this destruction and consequent dispersion of the nation; he foresaw what would befal the devoted race of Judah for 1800 years; during which, the far greater part have died in ignorance and sin. Well might he, who foresaw all this, weep! he wept, amidst his own meek triumphs; far more concerned for others than for himself; and notwithstanding the foresight of his own approaching sufferings, as he afterwards said to some of the women who lamented his fate, "Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children."
Now the case of Jerusalem speaks aloud to us. There are things which belong to our peace; there is a limited season in which we may acquire the knowledge of these things; and there is a worse destruction than that of the Jews awaiting us, if we
finally disregard them. These are the three parts of our intended discourse.
First. There are some things which are absolutely necessary to be known, in order to our eternal peace, "if thou hadst known the things which belong to thy peace."
"That the soul be without knowledge," said the most knowing of mankind, "is not good;" for, indeed, "it is eternal life to know God, and his Son Jesus Christ." What are the things that must needs be known? They are "the things "the things of the Gospel;" "the things of God;" "the things of the Spirit of God," so they are denominated in scripture. These were the things which Christ and his Apostles had set before the Jews: and these are the things which the great God now sets before us; especially, the things which relate to the salvation of our souls by Jesus Christ. It is necessary to know the doctrine of the Gospel, the power of the Gospel, and the practice of the Gospel.But to mention a very few particulars.
It is necessary that we should know our real state and condition as sinners; as being apostate, depraved, polluted, and helpless creatures. Great is the value and utility of self-knowledge, especially in religion. To know ourselves aright, we must know that we are "by nature, children of wrath;" for "the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." We must be convinced of our actual guilt, and that we are under the curse of the broken law; for "it is written-Cursed is every one, that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." We must so know these things that "our mouth must be stopped, and we must become confessedly guilty before God;" we must know that "the wages of sin is death;" we must not plead for sin, as many do, for "the end of these things is death.' We must know our own helplessness, or inability, by any thing within our own power, to relieve ourselves; for "we have destroyed our
selves, and our help is found in God alone." This doctrine of scripture we must understand as applied to ourselves; and we must be sincerely and habitually concerned to be delivered from this state. This must be the grand desire of our souls,—the "one thing needful," so as to induce us from the heart, to cry, "God be merciful to us sinners." It is necessary to our true and spiritual peace, that our natural and carnal peace should be disturbed; that the security we feel through ignorance should be terminated; for "while the strong man armed keepeth the house, and all things remain in peace," we seek not the salvation that is from above; but this peace being happily disturbed, we are glad to seek peace from another quarter.
Besides this, we must have an acquaintance with the gospel of Christ, as affording us the only, and the all-sufficient remedy-we must be acquainted with the Gospel in order to know the way of peace with God, and safety to the soul; and this is abundantly revealed in the Gospel. Christ alone is our peacemaker; he has "made peace by the blood of his cross;" "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their iniquities." Jesus having been "made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we who believe might be made the righteousness of God in him ;" and, as St. Paul tells us in the 5th of Romans, and at the beginning, it is by "being justified through faith, that we come into a state of peace with God," "we have access,' free admission and introduction into an excellent and permanent state of full acceptance with God, as persons acquitted of every charge, and brought into a condition of safety and honour, so that we may "rejoice in hope of the glory of God." These are some of the things that belong to your peace, and things that must be known.
Secondly. There is a certain, limited season, in which the knowledge of these things may be acquired. Our Lord says, in the text, "If thou
hadst known, even in this thy day." The Jews had their day; their season of visitation; for," at sundry times, and in divers manners, did God speak unto them by the prophets; and latterly, he spoke unto them by his Son from heaven." "If thou hadst known," says the Lord, "even thou, Ferusalem! O highly favoured place, distinguished as it was above all the cities upon the earth,”—if thou hadst known-and may not this be applied to our case, as a nation singularly favoured of God, with the means of religious light and information? May it not be said to many a person here present, "If thou hadst known?" May it not be said to those who have had a religious education-who have had opportunities, from their childhood, to become acquainted with the things that belong to their peace" If thou hadst known?" Surely, to such, they should be known, at least, now," after so long a time.' Now, if not before; at least, now!
The Jews had long enjoyed the means of grace; but the season of visitation was then drawing to a close-about forty years, and there would be a complete end. They had treated the Gospel with contempt, and, as our Lord declared, "they should go their way, and should seek him, but they should not find him."
But we may apply the term " day," to peculiar and favourable seasons-" If thou hadst known, in this thy day."
In the first place, LIFE, generally, may be called "a day;" indeed it is but a day; a short day, and a winter's day but it ought to be a working day"If thou hadst known in this thy day." there not twelve hours in which men should work?" how is it then that some continue “idle all the day long," when this is the great business of life-" the one thing needful!" It is said, by the wise man, most emphatically, "the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and, to depart from evil, is understanding:" and Solomon, at the close of his book of Wis
dom, having solemnly and repeatedly declared the vanity of the world, says, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, "-the whole of man (for the word duty is supplied) this is the great concern; the interest, business, and life of man.
I may say likewise that YOUTH is the season in which it is peculiarly proper to attend to the things which belong to our peace; "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth." What can be more reasonable and proper than that the first and chief of all objects, should have the first and chief regard; and doubtless the season of youth is the most suitable and friendly for this purpose. There are infirmities and hindrances which occur to the aged, who are constrained to say of their latter days, "there is no pleasure in them." O young people, consider, I beseech you, these words of Christ as addressed to you,-if thou hadst known even that, in this thy day-the day of youth, and health, and activity, these important things.
Further, let me observe that the SABBATH is a very proper and favourable season for attending to these great concerns. On this holy day, persons have not the same excuses as on other days. There is no pressure of those worldly affairs which must be regarded on other days: but the "things that belong to our peace" are, if I may so say, "the order of the day," and nothing ought to interfere with them; especially when they are presented to our minds by the preaching of the Gospel. They are then brought, as it were, before our eyes, so that as the scripture speaks, we need not say, Who shall ascend into heaven to bring them down, or who shall dive into the deep to fetch them up; "The word is nigh thee; it is in thy mouth, and in thy heart, even the word of faith which we preach." Let the hearer of the Gospel know this, that the kingdom of God is brought near unto him. God,