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monstrance of the zealous vicar prevented them from making any considerable progress in that neighbourhood."
Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good
will towards men.-LUKE ii. 14.
INTROD.-How delightful to kuow the theme of angels' songs. Ministers are called angels, and should be so in flesh, Allow me to take the song of angels for the subject of this day,
1. . Glory be to God on high.'
Angels looking into the inystery of the incarnation, see the perfections of God in a new light, and ascribe glory to him. Justice had appeared in the condemnation of fallen angels.
Mercy was hid still in the bosom of God. Truth must not be violated. The law must be vindicated. God incarnates himself. Glory to justice, truth, merey, faithfulness. These words were spoken to excite man. Give glory to God on high, ye sons of earth. Raise your hearts and voices. Give God glory for all his attributes shining in Christ. God is on high. The high and lofty one-how low has he stooped !
II. 'Peace on earth.'
God hath the glory, man the benefit. Peace, in the Hebrew, means all good things. Peace be multiplied.The God of peace is come to reconcile the world unto himself.
1. Man, a rebel agaiust God, an enemy: This enmity by nature, in thoughts, words, actions, confederacy.
2. God is offended, and yet stoops to propose, to bring, to make PEACE by the blood of the cross.'
3. Man cannot, will not go to God in heaven. God comes to man on earth.
4. Peace is now proclaimed. Angels are all heralds. Peace on earth. Down with your arms, sons of the earth. Peace, ye troubled souls, who tremble before the Most High. Peace, ye guilty souls. Peace, ye tempted souls. Multiplied peace, ye believing souls. The God of peace is now Emmanuel, God with us. Know the heavenly peace on earth.' Enjoy the consequences of peace, 'rest, quietness, assurance for ever,' uvion, communion, gifts, plenty.
IIJ. Good will towards man.'
God and angels well pleased with men in Christ. Full of good will as well as peace.
Ev av pWTOLS, among men,' complacence, forbear ance, forgiving, harmony, love, mutual congratulations, and good offices. Mephibosheth and Ziba.
APPLICATION.-Sinners.--Do you give glory to God in profaning, &c. ?
Uubelievers.—Believe or you cannot give glory.
Rebels.—“What have you to do with peace?” O accept it.
Mourners. We proclaim it still: Peace to you.
Prepare to meet thy God.- Amos vi. 12.
INTROV.-God had sent famine, (verse 6,) withheld raiv, (7,) had sentinsects, (9,) pestilence, (10,) Sodom's plague, (11,) yet have ye not returned unto me.
J. When we shall meet our God ?
1. At death.—The officer will come, break open the prison, take the prisoner to his just doom.
2. In the day of judgment. The great assize.
'II. What preparation is needful to meet him with joy?
1. A sight of our sinful and lost condition. (Luke xiii. 3.) Repenting, or pleading guilty and undone.
2. Making interest with the Judge.
By applying to him in time, as a Saviour for mercy, pardon, and a new heart.
As Benhadad came to Ahab. (1 Kings xx. 31, 32.) As the poor harlot at Jesus's feet. (Luke vii.)
As the publican. In all the means till he meets you. (Exod. xx. 24 ; James vi. 8.)
III. When we are to prepare ? 1. Not on a death-bed.
We may never come there. Or we may be delirious, or oppressed with pain and weakness,
2. Not in old age.
Not when we have settled all things on earth. Not to-morrow.-- Thou fool.'
3. But today. When you have life and health. When God calls you by mercies and judgments. When messengers invite, and death suddenly snatches our neighbours. Now is the accepted time,' &c.-Meet God as your God.
JV. Motives to engage you to prepare.
1. If you are found unprepared, it will be too late to do it when the last summons comes : Foolish virgins. You will have eternity to repent in, and in vain. I have seen some dying unprepared. Shocking sight!
2. When prepared, you are in peace.
Death hath no sting. Christ is your friend. 'To live is Christ, to die is gain.'--You have one heaven, and are sure of another,
3. Consider, that Christ is come to meet you in mercy, Thy God,
4. How soon he may meet you in judgment.
APPLICATION. -1. Young sinners. — Prepare. - It cannot be too soon, * Remember thy Creator,' &c.
2. Busy worldlings.-Your field, house, rent, is prepared. Is your soul so? If you had a cause to be tried, you would prepare.
3. Old people.-Your hoary heads and wrinkled foreheads show, that death comes. Your body is preparing for the tomb. Is your soul ready for God ? End your follies with the year.
4. Relatives,-prepare. The call is to all, doubly to you. Oh seek manger, look at Christ's tomb,though this by faith. Mix your souls with Jesus, as you will mix your dust with
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him
be Anathema, Maranatha.-1 Cor. xvi. 22.
INTROD.-Devoted to destruction, execrable.
1. The Lord Jesus is infinitely worthy of our love.
If supreme beauty demands love, Christ does. All beauty his.
If goodness in creatures, Christ hath more.
If love demands love.—Behold what love.--Helen, Rachel. Name is Jacob.
If kindness, presents for body and soul, letters, messengers, parting with his glory, assuming our nature, coufined for our crimes, leaping into the sea of to save as, driuking the cup of death to make us live, pleading our cause, he wept for Lazarus, he bleeds and dies for us.
This is heightened by the consideration of our unworthiness, our wretchedness, guilt, pollutiou, baseness.
II. Some do not love the Lord Jesus.
They slight his letters, messengers, members, saints, doctrines, commands, and pledges of dying love.
II. Not to love Christ, is a detestable and destrnctive sin.
It makes us execrable, accursed, Maranatha. 1. It is the highest ingratitude. The basest of sins.
2. It attacks the Blessed Triuity, God so loved.Lovest thou me ?
The Spirit makes us understand the length, breadth, &c.
3. Sin worse than that of Adam, Capernaum, Sodom.
4. Worse than the sin of the Scribes. We reject a glorious Redeemer.
5. Worse than murder, &c. He is our Lawgirer, Redeemer.
6. It spoils all duties and works. Give me thy heart. 7. It breaks the whole law at once. 8. It unfits for heavenly love, Fits for hell, unbelief.
APPLICATION. Lovers of the world.--Ye are adulterers: The love of the Son is not in you. You are dead. Your object will fail you. As you would not forfeit a double heaven, get Christ's love. Pray for Christ's love, for the Holy Spirit, and a new heart. Sin not against so much love, aud against your interest, duty. Come, and taste how loving, how good Christ is.
Mourners.—'We love him, because he first loved us.' Believe, view, remember his love.-- Blessed are the mourners.'