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not hate, either his neighbour or his enemy; but love them both.—Every precept that Jesus enjoined, was with him a principle of action. Hearken to the
benign precept which fell from his lips: “Whatsoa forma
ever ye would that men should do to you, do ye
even so to them.” And there is such a sense of ante this religious obligation in the minds of all Chrisiende tians, that they are ashamed, if they are detected in ; this acting contrary to this law.
Paul had passed through the ordeal, represented at tool by the judgment seat. He was brought before the sellel judgment seat of Christ. Behold him on his way
to Damascus, with authority to destroy the disciples of our Lord. He was met by our Saviour. No sheriff was sent to arrest him. The simple question was put, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"_How kindly was this question asked! and yet it brought the persecutor to the judgment seat of Christ! He himself says: “I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” He was apprehended, and tried, and condemned, and slain, by the simple question of the Master! “Why persecutest thou me?" Can a reason be given for this? Yes: he felt the force and power of divine truth that accompanied the question; and he could not resist it. thou, Lord?” “ I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” A very mild way of proceeding with a judgment; but it had the desired effect. “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" And Paul says, in the verse following our text, “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made munifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” And it may be pro
66 Who art
per to remark, that the original word here translated manifest, is rendered appear, in the text. And every one, who is brought to the light and knowledge of the gospel, must appear, or be maderari manifest, at the judgment seat of Christ, in the same way.
I will endeavour more fully to illustrate my meaning, by referring to a few particulars.-Our blessed to Saviour declared, that those who loved father or the mother, wife or children, houses or lands, more than him, were not worthy of him. Christians are obliged din to try themselves by this rule. Do you love any thing more than you love Christ? If you do, you can are not worthy of him, and you stand condemned wita before his judgment seat. To love those around us, is commendable; but nothing should be allowed to alienate our affections from our Redeemer. We are the las required to become his disciples, to espouse his cause, and to follow him through evil report, and
yo through good--and yet there are thousands who do not obey these requirements, although they acknowledge them to be reasonable and just. The vain excuses of men for neglecting the invitation of the villa Saviour, are set forth in the parable of the supper. One said, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke alte of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.” A third said, “I have married a wife, and therefore cannot come.” He did not even pray to be excused.-Now, whoever has heard the invitations of our Lord, and understands the nature, and acknowledges the justice of his requirements, and yet fails to comply with them, stands condemned
before the judgment seat of Christ. In this manner, and at this judgment seat, the professions of men are tested. They who love any thing more than they love Christ, are not worthy of him.
Again. Our Saviour said, “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” When the Jews brought the woman who had been taken in adultery, and desired to know of Jesus what his judgment concerning her was, our blessed Lord used the following language: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” This was the judgment seat of Christ. And the accusers felt the
power and force of our Master's decision. “Being convicted by their own conscience,” by their own sense of the justice of his judgment, “they went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last.” In this way, and at this bar, the judgment of our Lord is pronounced. He who ventures to bring accusations against his fellow men, must beware lest he fall into condemnation himself. “Whatsoever would that men should do to you, do even so to them.” This is the law of Christ and this law constitutes his judgment seat.
Again. Doctrines must be tested by bringing them to the judgment seat of Christ. Our Saviour said, “What man is there of you, whom, if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?” Look at the judgment seat formed by this testimony God is much better to mankind than parents are to their children. Can any doctrine be
true that stands opposed to this statement? No. Can any doctrine be true which supposes that God either hates or will ever eternally torment any of his creatures? No. Is there a parent in the wide world, who could be brought to such a state of enmity against his offspring, as to throw them into eternal flames? God forbid! This, then, is the judgment seat before which the doctrines of men must appear. And every doctrine that does not square with the laws and the precepts of Christ, must and will come to nought. And, thanks be to God! the light of the ! gospel is progressing; and the human intellect is becoming enlightened; and men are becoming more and more philanthropio; and the doctrines which represent God as the enemy of his creatures, are consequently fast sinking into oblivion. They have been tried at the judgment seat of Christ; and they have been condemned.
My hearers, let us submit every thing to the judg. ment seat of Jesus. Let us ever stand before his bar. Let our professions, our feelings, our conduct, our doctrines, be tried by his law. Let every one propose the questions to his own heart, Are my feelings and motives consistent with the directions of the Saviour? Do I love and
for mies? Am I willing to suffer, the just for the unjust?
My hearers, the principles of the Christian religion, properly understood and faithfully practised, are life, and peace, and joy. They afford the purest and most enduring happiness and comfort. But let us remember, that if we would realize those enjoy. ments, we must carefully hearken to the voice of the wisdom from above. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
Delivered in the Lombard Street Church, Sunday Morning,
November 9, 1834.
THE CRAFT AND CRIME OF ABSALOM.
* So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.”—2 SAM. xv. 6.
The language of the text embraces a subject which tures: indicates great ingratitude in a son toward his father. They di It also indicates much subtlety in prosecuting an
ungrateful and wicked design. It furnishes much
admonition that we ought carefully to regard, to be je render us cautious how we are deceived by the false ejore: and artful pretensions of our fellow creatures.
Absalom, son of David, had, in former times,
caused his father much trouble and distress. He dre ff had imbrued his hands in the blood of a brother
on account of which offence he was obliged to fleet mye his country. He journeyed to Geshur, in Syria, unis where he abode, until his father, having become pa-,
cified toward him, was induced to recal him. The
efforts of Joab, and the counsels of a wise woman py of Tekoah, prompted David to this measure. AbsaBut lom returned to Jerusalem; but instead of becoming eni a dutiful son, instead of being grateful for past faDice e vours and present privileges, he undertook to supcavida plant his father in the affections of the people, in order that he might eventually usurp the throne