Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

the LORD JESUS—your RIGHTEOUSNESS, Jer. xxiii. 6.; you too shall know change; the eyes with which you now view the heavens and the earth shall grow dim, but faith looks forward, with a vision that death itself cannot cloud, to “a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” “Wherefore, beloved ! seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent, that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless." “ Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word (saith Christ) shall not pass away.” Tha word assures you, that your expectation shall not be cut off. Walk worthy of such a hope. Rejoice in Christ Jesus. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. Keep your loins girded, your lamps burning, your lives holy, your conscience pure. Time, and change, and an evil world, and a dying body, shall soon be things which once you knew, but shall then know no more. “ The righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

وو

VII.

"OCCUPY TILL I COME."

St. Luke xix., part of 13th verse.

SOLEMN words are these with which the Lord knocks at the door of our hearts. Well suited are they to arouse us to the responsibilities that are ours. They seem to say, “Busy yourselves,—Trade,—Get gain, but let it be in spiritual merchandize, let it be in the employment of those talents I have committed to you, and in reference to My coming, that day when your Lord shall reckon with His servants, and when each one shall give account of his stewardship. All that ye have are My gifts, I delivered them to you, at My will you hold them, to Me must you account for the use or abuse of them, Occupy till I come.'”

Alas! these truths sound strange to most ears, are not felt by most hearts. Truths nevertheless they are. O God, lighten our eyes, that we may know them to be truths, before the reckoning day comes !

The subject will lead us to consider :

I. The Occupation. II. The Term of its Continuance. III. The Reckoning that will follow. I. The Occupation. Here Man's notions and God's truth are awfully at variance. We shall do well to mark this difference.

I, Look first at Man's notions. Occupation he has, busy he is, but little does he think that it is in being God's servant, consists his most important calling, and that preparing for reckoning to Him, is his most momentous business.

How thoughtless of God their pursuits! They rise in the morning and go forth, they return at evening, preserved by God's sustaining care, but the hand that feeds them and supports them is not owned. It enters not into their thoughts to acknowledge His mercies, or to ask “will this that I am about to do be pleasing in His sight, whose I am and whom I ought to serve ?” their own will and their own pleasure are their guides. “God is not in all their thoughts.”

How wasteful their expenditure! Ofttimes their health, their time, their money, all are sacrificed at the shrine of the god of this world. They are spendthrifts in the worst sense. They spend that which is not really theirs, what God hath lent them they make away with, heedless of the reckoning that is even now at hand.

How joyous too amidst their neglect! They drown reflection. They drive away intruding thoughts of eternity and of the account then to be given in. With some, drink aids them in this, or companions thoughtless as themselves. The busy throng of cares jostle others on their way, if for a moment they stop and consider. There is much to amuse and interest, and they would rather be amused than alarmed. They have their mirth though the end of that mirth is heaviness. Truly madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead, Eccles. ix. 3.

2. Contrast with all this the Truth of God : in those plain words, “Occupy till I come” Responsibility is written, RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS GOD.

He that runs may read it. You cannot honestly put it from you. Oh, rather give heed and prepare for the reckoning, “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily to the Lord and not unto men.”

I would speak of a few things out of many for which you must give account.

For your powers of mind you are responsible. “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Our memory of the past, our forethought as to the future, our reason working out its conclusions, conscience with its balances, affections answering to the call to be happy, our fear of death or rather of that "something after death,"—these are indeed talents, precious talents. To some more are committed, to some less, but with each and every one there is at least that one talent that may well bid us get ready for the day of account.

Time is another loan given that we may gain by trading therewith. Mysterious thing! that is ever passing and ever present, which men seek at one time to kill, at another would give worlds to put the shadow back on the dial ; now shaking, as it were, the hour-glass, that the sand may run the faster ; by and by, counting the grains with jealous watchfulness, awakened to some sense of their value. Will there, think you, be no reckoning for time consumed in sloth, time wasted in false pleasure, for time used and time abused? Yes, Timehath a tongue that speaks unheeded now, but when time itself shall be no more, its very echo shall strike with a hammer that shall wake the once dead conscience with no groundless terror. The recoil on the soul from the remembrance of mis-spent sabbaths, how

« ForrigeFortsett »