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will perfect it unto the day of Christ,” “that your
hearts shall live that seek God.” 1. In the language of approval our text speaks to these. “ Fear not ye,” it saith, "for ye seek Jesus.” Thus encouraged, the Publicạn no longer lingers on the threshold of the temple, but enters in and pours out his complaint before his God.... thus is the heart of the Prodigal cheered, and the heavenly desire fanned, till thoughts of his father's house no longer suffice, but he is emboldened to arise and come to his Father. The God of Hope breathes His influence on the fearful yet desiring soul, and it cries with Ephraim, “ What have I to do any more with idols ?” it “ believes the love God hath to it;" it cries with Thomas, “ My Lord and my God!" But whilst our text may well be understood, as the language of approval, cheering and encouraging these, it also,
2. Urges them to exertion ; “ be not slothful,” it cries, but“ diligent,” “ strive to enter in at the strait gate," prayer must be yours; and meditation, with your own heart and on the Word of God; and watchfulness, and holy zeal; there are strongholds to be pulled down, conflicts to be maintained (by His mighty power who worketh in you,)—"ye are not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God giveth you.” Onward then, seeking souls! a cloud of witnesses compass you about, and cheer you onward; “ looking unto Jesus," you shall yet run the race and in due time finish your course. There is a day when the words of my
text shall be heard no more by the evil or by the good; the judgment seat proclaims none such, there the language of decision alone speaks, "Depart ye cursed,” or, " Come ye blessed.” He that is not with Christ,” will then be reckoned as " against Him." Those that are "WITHOUT," whether far from, or near to, that kingdom, shall then, be “WITHOUT" for ever! Neither shall these words any longer belong to the children of God; now, believing, you are indeed safe; but then you shall be housed,-folded, -carried home--you shall enter in, through the gates, into the city, that city of which it is written," the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." Gracious God! make us altogether Thine, prepare us for that dwelling place, for “ in Thy presence is fulness of joy, and at Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.'
“A WAY THROUGH IMPOSSIBI.
Exodus xiv. 15. “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."
Such was the command given by JEHOVAH to the many thousands of Israel on that eventful day, when, with the sea before them,—the enemy in their rear,—they were past the help of man. Faith heard and received the startling word, gave glory to God in prompt obedience to the same, trod that mysterious pathway of the deep, and soon broke forth in rejoicing and in praise; “Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea.” Christian brethren! who are asking amidst difficulties and dangers, "Lord, what wilt Thou have us to do?” hear the Lord's word unto Moses, and take it as a word in season unto yourselves, trust your God and go forward ; the prize is worth pursuing, the goal is worth the struggle to reach it: true it is that there are enemies tracking your steps, and dangers in your front; but yet I say, Go forward. In the difficulties of the Israelites you will find much that may remind
your own, and in their success a cheering assurance that faith shall overcome them, in the strength of the Lord. Let us notice
I. The Circumstances of the Israelites.
II. The Command of JEHOVAH.
III. The Victory of Faith.
I. The Circumstances of the Israelites. The children of Israel had set forth from the land of Egypt; under the direction of Moses, by command of the Lord, they encamp between Migdol and the Red Sea ; “And it was told Pharaoh that they fled, and he took six hundred chosen chariots and all the chariots of Egypt and... . pursued after them and overtook them, and the children of Israel lifted up their eyes and behold the Egyptians marched after them.”.... Such was the situation of the Israelites, let us, with an eye to the whole history, consider their circumstances.
1. There was marked mercy as to the past. With a mighty hand, and a stretched out arm, had God delivered them from the land
of bondage; He had owned them as His people, He had taken them under His protection, it was under His guidance that they were now proceeding on their way, His interference in their behalf was too marked to be overlooked. And are there not similar mercies in your case? Brethren! (I address those who have come out from the world, and are resisting sin, looking unto Jesus,) whatever be your difficulties forget not your mercies; forget not Whose hand it is that hath led you forth, from a worse than Egyptian slavery ; forget not Whose eye it is that hath been over you for good; forget not Who it is that hath prepared a place for you, and Who hath promised to you a heavenly inheritance. Oh that we could estimate aright His mercy! Oh that we could comprehend by faith something of the “ breadth and length and depth and height of that love of Christ which passeth knowledge!" It would surely quell our murmurings, it would turn our doubting into praise. But as their circumstances told of marked mercy as to the past, so also of
2. Danger as to the present. They were people unused to war, unable to cope with the power of their enemies; they could not go back, the sea seemed to mock any hope of