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be as in the outer darkness, save their souls. It counts while the guests were feast no perils too great, no suffering in the illumined chamber, ings too distressing, no sacrihere too to be shunned fices, too exacting, in order to by those who had been redeem immortal spirits from friends and brothers. This ignorance, selfishness, worldwould have been the Chris- liness, guilt, misery, hell. tian's thoughts as to excommunication in the apostolic age. But beyond all this, the THE PLACE WHERE GOD IS Apostle found a deeper gulf
NOT. and a more terrible sentence. “God is not in all his thoughts.” To be anathema from Christ,
- Psa. X. 4. cut off for ever from that God is everywhere. Heaven eternal life which he had and earth are full of his known as the truest and high- presence. (Psa. cxxxix.) His est blessedness, sentenced for presence suns immensity. ever to that outer darkness, And yet the text tells us the wailing and gnashing of where He is not, and that is teeth this was what he in the thoughts of wicked prayed for, if it might have
"God is not in all for its result the salvation of their thoughts.” (1.) This his brethren.”
patent fact. The Gospel love involves self- millions live from day to abnegation. Self sinks as day, and year to year, and love rises. Christ is the high- scarcely think of God. (2.) est example. He loved
and This is an astounding fact. It Hegave Himself for us. Here is unnatural, impious, and is the cause and the effecte calamitous. Let us inquire for Love is the high priest of the a moment into the reason. soul ; it offers the whole self. Why is God not in the
III. ITS SOUL-SAVING AIM. thoughts of men ? Why did Paul wish to sacri I. NEGATIVELY. (1.) It is fice himself ? What was the not because there can be any grand object he had in doubt in the human mind as view? The spiritual salva to the importance of thinking tion of his countrymen. The about the Creator. All men vicarious love of the Gospel must feel that the greatest endures and craves suffer Being ought to be thought ings, not merely or mainly
There is no subto serve men materially and ject of thought so quickening, temporarily, but chiefly spi- spiritualising, ennobling, and ritually and eternally ; to beatifying as God. (2.) It is
not because there is any want ledge.” The cause is in the of the means of reminding
heart. There are two things men of God. All life is full of in the heart that exclude mementoes. All that is
seen, thoughts of Him. (1.) Fear. or heard, or felt, is full of The guilty conscience assures Him. (3.) It is not because the transgressor that he has of the unbroken regularity offended his Maker, and that of the material world. It is he justly deserves his evertrue that Nature proceeds lasting displeasure. Thought on her march without any
recoils from the terrible. Fear deviation from her wonted repels thought. (2.) Dislike. path. "All things continue as If we fear a being we are sure they were from the begin- | to dislike him. Our imaning,” &c. But this cannot ginations invest him with be pleaded as a sufficient unloveable and hideous attri
Nature in heaven has butes. Those whom we disan unbroken uniformity. Yet like we exclude as much as all minds there are full of possible from our thoughts. God. Nature to the Jews in The subject teaches usthe desert, under Moses, and First: The appalling wickto the Jews in Palestine, edness of men.
What can under Christ, had striking give us a more astonishing miraculous interpositions, and view of man's depravity than yet the millions there did not the fact that he excludes from think of God.
his thoughts his Creator, Prebecause man has no conscious server, and Redeemer, the ness of restraint in action. greatest, best, and the most Man has the power of self-loving of beings? The only motion. He moves when place from which man can soever and whithersoever he exclude his Maker is his pleases, without any feeling of thought; and he avails himpressure from God. He does
self of this terrible power. not feel the Divine finger | If he could banish the Eternal checking or propelling him. from his universe he would. But this is no just cause, for Learnall holy souls are equally free Secondly: The necessity of from any consciousness of Christianity. What system Divine pressure.
can bring God into the world's II. POSITIVELY. Why, then, thoughts ?. No system that do men exclude God from does not remove from the their thoughts? Here is the human breast all dread and answer. They do not like dislike of the Eternal. Christo retain God in their know- / tianity is the only system on
earth that can do this. It not come unto the mount has done so in millions of in that might be touched." stances, is doing so now, and Sinai, a rugged, palpable will continue to do so until mountain, was the emblem it has filled all human souls of that religion to which the with God as the one domi. Jew was brought. Judaism nant subject of thought, and was a religion as palpable by the one grand object of affec its many ceremonies as was tion,
Sinai. But that to which we
come" in Christianity,
is something that “cannot be MAN'S PLACE IN CHRISTIANITY.
the impalpable, “For ye are not come unto the
the spiritual, the eternal. mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire," &c. &c.
“ Ye are come unto Mount But ye are come to Mount Sion," Sion, and unto the city of the &c. &c.—Heb. xii. 18-24.
living God, the heavenly Of all the facts in the history Jerusalem.” Christian men of man, none so important as have to do with things that which concerns his spiri- unseen, not with things that tual locus standi. His phy
are seen, &c. sical standing-his relation II. THAT MAN'S PLACE IN to the material world-is important. His social standing THE ATTRACTIVE RATHER THAN
-his relation to his fellow THE TERRIBLE. men-is more so. His intel Mount Sinai is here de. lectual standing—his relation scribed as a terrible thing. It to the great world of truth burned with fire; there was is perhaps more so. But his blackness, and darkness, and spiritual standing-his rela tempest; there were trumpets tion to God and the spiritual and voices that echoed wrath. universe-is infinitely more No beast could touch it.withimportant than all. If his out instant death, and so terstanding place is wrong here, rible was the sight that Moses he is wrong everywhere. If said, “I exceedingly fear and a planet is right in relation quake.” The religion of the to the sun, it will be right in Jews was a terrible religion ; relation to the whole system, it was full of maledictions and the reverse. We infer and judgments-not so the from this passage
Christian religion. Mount I. THAT MAN'S PLACE IN Sion and the city of the living CHRISTIANITY IS
God are free from clouds and
thunders. They are invested THAN MATERIAL.
“ Ye are in charms, and inspire hope,
CHRISTIANITY IS RELATED TO
and confidence, and trust. stood our words. At my first This subject presents a motive,
answer no man stood with me,
but all men forsook me: I pray First : Forgratitude. How
God that it may not be laid to thankful should Christians be their_charge. Notwithstanding for being brought into such a the Lord stood with me, and benign and glorious system as
strengthened me.”—2 Tim. iv.
9-17. this! A motive, Secondly: For catholicity.
Paul's nature was strongly Heaven is not for a sect. The
and tenderly affectionate. city of the living God is for Many of the passages in his the good of all ages and all
letters to various churches, and worlds. A motive,
the whole of his relationship Thirdly : For self-inquiry.
to Timothy, strikingly prove 6. Are we come" to this
this. He had by nature the system ? How do we “come” capacity, and by character the to it? Not by mere birth, right, of possessing many not by profession, but by a
companions. This paragraph new creation in Christ Jesus.
from a letter of his to his Heaven is not something in
beloved Timothy, reminds us the future. If we are true of some of his experiences as Christians, we are come to it
to companionships. This renow. We are on the celestial
cord of his feelings assures us, mount, we are in the heavenly
I. HUMAN COMPANIONSHIPS city, we are with the supernal | ARE VERY NECESSARY. The intelligences, &c.
ear thirsts for a friend's voice; the heart hungers fora friend's
love. Occasional solitude is COMPANIONSHIP.
a blessing; constant solitari“Do thy diligence to come
soulshortly unto me: for Demas hath
crushing curse. forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed therefore, seek companionunto Thessalonica ; Crescens to ships. So even does Paul, Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. intellectual and moral giant Only Luke is with me. Take
though he be. Hence how Mark, and bring him with thee:
eagerly does for he is profitable to me for the
he entreat ministry. And Tychicus have I Timothy to come to him at sent to Ephesus. The cloak that “Do thy utmost," &c. I left at Troas with Carpus, when
II. HUMAN COMPANIONthou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the
VERY CHANGING. parchments. Alexander the cop All the men whose names are persmith did me much evil: the
here mentioned by Paul had Lord reward him according to his works : of whom be thou ware
been in the inner or outer also; for he hath greatly with
circles of Paul's companion
ship; but how scattered and service to the cause of Christ, separated his companions are so he welcomes him to his at the time he writes! Of companionship. (3.) Timothy the eight here brought before was coming to him. He could us, only one with serve Paul by bringing the Paul. Some had gone to "cloak," the "book," the far-off places- Thessalonica, "parchments.” Such-like serEphesus, &c. Others-Demas vice no candid man will affect and Alexander, wherever their to despise. But far higher joy bodies were were leagues would Timothy's companiondistant from Paul in spirit. ship yield. He was Paul's Such is but an instance of the son in the Gospel. No ties changes continually trans more tender, sacred, piring in companionships. lasting, than those of such Such changes are caused by relationship. distance, death, depravity. IV. HUMAN COMPANIONIII. HUMAN
COMPANION SHIPS SOMETIMES PROVE GREAT SHIPS ARE OFTEN GREAT BLES AFFLICTIONS. It must have SINGS. (1.) Luke was with been on a tear-blotted leaf Paul. This must have been that Paul wrote “ Demas hath a deepjoy to the aged prisoner. forsaken me,” &c. Those For Luke, his future bio tears fell because sin had grapher, was so intimately
so intimately caused the separation. Alexfamiliar with his life, that he ander, too,
in the could keenly sympathize with Church with Paul, grieved him; and, better still, he was him now by becoming a false so intimately familiar with witness against him. So is the Saviour's life, as one of it always. Men suffer most his biographers, that his when a wounded in the house memories must have been the of their friends." richest converse to which Paul V. HUMAN COMPANIONcould have listened. Be SHIPS MUST SOMETIMES FAIL sides, Luke was a cultured US. Paul, waiting now the man-a physician; and to an second stage of his Roman educated man like Paul, this trial, had only one old commust have greatly enhanced panion, Luke, with him. his worth as a companion. (2.) | Worse still, at the first stage Mark was to be brought to “no man stood by him, but all him. There had been a time forsook him." There are often when Paul had differed with in men's lives crises when Barnabas concerning Mark, old companions forsake them. but now Paul saw reason to They are sometimes scared by believe that he would be of | poverty, failure, shame. But