« ÖncekiDevam »
it, because he did God's will. Not, of course, that you can either learn truth or do God's will without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the beginner and the ender of all good within us.
For that Spirit you must therefore always seek. But seeking the Spirit always you must look upon it as your one and only business to do God's will. Then you will hear Moses, and then too you will be persuaded by Him Who rose from the dead.
And last of all remark this, that even if persuasion depended upon evidence and not on will we have had all evidence, for One has come to us from the dead. The rich man thought that his brothers wanted proof, and that if that signal proof which Lazarus could furnish was given to them they would need no more but would repent. That evidence which he wrongly thought would be convincing to his brothers has been vouchsafed to us, because our Lord has risen. Our Lord has risen and has proved the reality of the world
He has come and shown to us Himself, alive again on earth from the dead.
He has come and drawn back the veil which separates from us the world invisible, and has shown to us that these souls and bodies shall live again on earth, to share with Him the glory which He had with the Father from before the worlds were made, or else to endure the curse which shall alight on those who have re isted grace and spurned God's offered mercy. We have all the proof which men can wish for,-full, convincing proof to enlighten the understanding, rich and overflowing grace to touch the heart and influence the will. What could we have more ? What could God do for us that is not done now? What is there in earth or in Heaven to change our natures and renew
our characters if they are not renewed already ? Oh if we are not what we should be, let us be honest, let us not trifle longer with ourselves. If we are not good, if we are not growing unto full perfection, it is not want of light which is the reason of our darkness. Light is ours and knowledge is ours, knowledge enough to make an angel, light enough to dazzle and confound the sight. Away with all complaints against our state and circumstances. These are not to blame for our sins and shortcomings. Our blame is with ourselves. We attend not as we ought to Moses and the Prophets. We are not fully persuaded, though Christ has risen and speaks to us from the dead.
HEAVEN OUR HOME.
HEBREWS xiii, 14.
“ Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”
THERE can be no more true description of the
state of Christians here on earth than that which represents it as a pilgrimage, and language cannot use a fitter image when it would paint the blessedness of Heaven than when it speaks of Heaven as home. Earth is not our home. " Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Here we dwell in tents, like Abraham and the patriarchs, or like the Israelites on their way to Canaan,
and our condition is like a camp, that picture of change and instability, to-day populous as a town, bustling with activity, and noisy with the hum of congregated men, to-morrow lonely as a desert and still as death. But there, in the far-off land to which our footsteps should be tending, there is a city which has sure foundations, 66 whose builder and maker is God.” Here everything is changeful. There whatever is abides. Here we are strangers and pilgrims. There, if we get there, our journey will be over, and we shall be at home.
Home! There is no better, sweeter word than home. How many and how bright are the thoughts which come thronging into the mind as we speak of home. What would become of all happiness and almost of all virtue if there was no such thing as home? A man can only be a savage where he has no home. And multitudes of men can only become a nation when many homes are joined together in that one great home which is our country.
Home is that one abiding place on earth which gives to life a centre on which its changes may revolve. And but for home life would have no stability. Home is that point in life which is fixed and changeless among circumstances which are as fluctuating and changeable as the waves upon the seashore. We go forth from our homes each day upon a little journey into the world which lies around us, or we go out for many days among new and distant soenes, and while we are absent we see different men and new things, and we have to suit ourselves to continual changes, doing one thing to-day and another to-morrow, as if the science of life was the science of change. We come back to our homes when the day is over, or from some distant spot of temporary sojourn, and see again the old dwelling-place to which we have returned so often, the accustomed rooms in which hour after hour has passed, the familiar faces whose look we know and love so well; and we feel that if life is like the motion of a ship on heaving waters, it is the motion of a ship at anchor, because we have a home.
And what home is to our common life on earth, the centre of our interest, the end of our actions, the root of our affections, our anchorage and place of rest,—the same is Heaven to our whole condition here. Look at our whole condition, and we must say that it is a state of change. Even home changes. Men change
their homes, moving from house to house, or from land to land; or if the same home continues, it continues not long the same. New things come and old things go. Our whole condition upon earth is an ebbing and a flowing. There is no such thing as rest. When life is calmest it is in motion. There is swell upon
it even when it seems most still. And thus there is no true home but Heaven. Home is the most stable thing on earth, but the brightest of our homes are but shadows of the heavenly substance. “Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Let us think on that this evening. There could be no more happy thought with which to end this Advent season than the thought of that blessed city which continues ever and has no end.
Heaven is a city. We seek a better, a heavenly country, a land flowing with milk and honey, and in that land there is a city. Our home above is not a desert, to which like hermits we may retire to live apart from men, and feed on high and solitary thoughts, seeing God, but not seeing man; it is a city. The saints will find the reward of their holiness, and the field on which it may be fully exercised in the life of a society.
Man is a social being, and to find the perfection of his nature must have other men around him to cultivate his heart, to sharpen and refine his powers of intellect, and to supply his bodily necessities. He enters
upon the world as member of a family. That family itself is one of many families united by some bond which joins them into one. That village or that town is a greater family, linked in and coupled as in a chain with others like itself which form a country. And all the nations of the earth are one vast family,