« IndietroContinua »
« reconciling the world unto himself, not “ imputing their trespasses unto them.”+ Here then is a foundation that is able to carry all the weight a believer can lay upon it; for “ if God fpared not his own Son,
but delivered him up for us all, how « shall he not with him also freely give us s all things ?" What can he with-hold from those upon whom he hath already bestowed his own dear Son, and enabled, by his Spirit, thankfully to receive him as the
unspeakable gift” of God to men. How firm then are the grounds of the believer's hope ?. With what humble, but triumphant confidence, may he cast his care- upon God, whose wisdom knoweth all things, whose power can do all things, and whose unbounded goodness doth constantly incline him to bestow every needful blessing upon his people?
As I have made it my business, in every branch of the subject, to keep the persons in your eye to whom the exhortation is addressed, it is almost unnecessary to remind you, in the conclusion, that the comfort of all I have said, must be confined to those
who are Christians indeed. None else are the objects of that peculiar care which the Apostle speaks of ; and therefore to them only the privilege belongs of casting all tbeir care upon God. Permit me now to add, that as it is their privilege, so it is likewise their duty; and they dishonour themselves, and reproach their Father, when they give way to anxious disquieting cares 'upon any account whatsoever. We may justly say to fuch, as Jonadab said to Amnon, Why
art thou, being the king's son, lean from “ day to day?" Carry all
Carry all your grievances to him, who is both able and willing to redress them. Make use of thy birth-right, O Christian ! and cast thy cares upon him who careth for thee. Your very reliance upon him, in the way of duty, your leaning upon his arm, if I may so express it, while you are using the appointed means, insures his protection, according to that gracious promise, I, xxvi. 3. “ Thou wilt keep him in
perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon “ thiee, because he trusteth in thee.”
But what shall those do who are of an opposite character ?" May not they too caft
their care upon God, as the God of nature, the Father of their spirits, and the former of their bodies, in whom they live and move? Doth not his providence extend to all the creatures he hath made? Doth he not clothe the lilies, and feed the ravens, and hear the lions when they cry to him for food ? All this is true; and, in one sense, all men without exception are the objects of his care.
But this can yield no comfort to impenitent unbelieving finners: for the same God who sustains them in life, and gives them what they possess, and most ungratefully abuse, hath expressly declared, “ that though hand join in hand, the wicked « shall not pass unpunished.” I appeal to yourselves, is it reasonable to expect, that God should take the burden of your cares, while
your hearts, and even fight against him with the fruits of his bounty? If you think coolly, upon the matter, I am almost persuaded you will blush to ask it.
How then are you to dispose of your cares ?- What shall I say? I might tell you, that your anxiety will do you no good; and
you deny him
therefore it were best to lay it aside, and take things as they happen, without murmuring. But this were only to amuse you; for the bạrden would still press you with its weight, and all my reasoning would amount to nothing more than a cold unavailing advice to struggle with it as you can. But if your cares be very painful, though I cannot encourage you to go directly to God with them in your present state, yet I shall suggest a hint which by the blessing of God may be of use to
It hath often been observed, that one great care will swallow up many others of smaller importance, and even banish them from the mind altogether. Thus in a storm at lea, the most covetous worldlings have been known to throw their most precious goods overboard with their own hands, when no other means could be found to keep the ship above water, This points out a remedy; and it is the only remedy that occurs to Were
awakened to a proper concern about the life of your souls, this would have a powerful influence to cure your anxiety about lesser things.
brought to cry out with the jailor, « Whar “ shall I do to be saved ?" you would find neither" leisure nor inclination to ask these disquieting anxious questions, « What Thall “ I eat? and what shall I drink and where“ withal shall I be clothed ?" All these would Þe swallowed up in your concern for “ the
one thing needful.” And give me leave to : add, that when this becomes your care,
I shall then be at full liberty to invite you to caft it upon God; nay, I shall be able to affure you, that he will not only accept the charge, but likewife give you what you care for, even a complete and everlasting salvation. O then “ seek the Lord while he is to be “ found; call upon him while he is near."
- MAY God determine and enable you to take this course, and make your worldly cares the means of leading your hearts beyond and above this world, to seek rest and happiness in himself alone. Amen.