Thus it is a system equal in its pressure, and therefore adapted to fasten on the conscience of every one, whatever his age or circumstances. No one can justly plead exemption from its claims. None can reasonably propose questions of casuistry to shield his bosom from its shafts. None can shake off the convictions of duty it impresses, but by shutting its principles from the mind, or by rousing the heart to resistance. In short, it leaves every man to himself, facing his God, his conscience laid bare to the quenchless rays of truth.
Who will refuse thus systematically to reflect, to feel, to resolve, to give? Will you, professed follower of the self-denying Jesus? Can you, “bought with blood divine,” when looking around on the possessions God has bestowed, have a heart to deny that aid which undying millions demand? Is it not beyond expression inconsistent to profess to give yourself to Christ, and then withhold your property from him?—But what are your relations to him as implied in this profession? and what are his claims upon you, as growing out of it? With the last tribunal and the sorrows of Calvary in view, will you give these a moment’s prayerful reflection?
Go back with me to those delightful scenes so full of gentle joy, of ineffable sweetness, and hallowed peace, when first you cast your all on Jesus, and felt
Applied to cleanse your soul from guilt
And bring you home to God.”
Then, calm and trustful in spirit, transported in the freshness of a new-born life, you could sing with a ravished heart,
“I am my Lord’s,
and he is mine:
He drew me—and I followed on—
Charm’d to confess the voice divine.”
These were precious seasons. “How sweet their mem’ry still!” Then came an hour of tender, impressive, and almost awful interest. You entered the sanctuary of God, and in the presence of men, of angels, and your adored Saviour, avouched the Lord Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be your God, consecrating yourself and all your possessions, unreservedly, to his service. Was this an unmeaning ceremony? No. You remember the occasion, the hopes and fears of your trembling faith, those sweet experiences, those glimpses of your Redeemer’s smiles, which forced the tear to your eye; the solemn and faltering accents of your beloved pastor; and the weeping sympathy of a dear father and mother— now, perhaps, gone to their rest—who had long yearned over a thoughtless child. Or you may remember your soul’s peaceful trust in God, as you stood alone, with no sympathizing kindred; and felt, as you tasted the cup,—the emblem of your Saviour’s blood, and the pledge of the eternal sacrifice of yourself to him,—that you could cheerfully forsake brother and sister, father and mother, all, for Christ. It was a touching scene; and you thought you should never forget it. And, ah! it never has been forgotten in heaven. The eternal Judge, and those blest spirits who affectionately stooped to sustain and strengthen you for the irrevocable vow, remember it.