Sermon 886. A Safe Prospective
Delivered on Lord's-day Evening, JULY 8, 1869, by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
"At the time appointed the end shall be."- Daniel 8:19.
Human nature anxiously desires to know something of the future. If we were told tonight that we could repair to a certainspot where we might lift the veil of our own history and foresee the course of our own lives during the next few years, Iam afraid very few of us could be trusted to absent ourselves from such a place, or miss such an opportunity. This anxietyto know the future and that strange credulity which gives heed to every species of so-called "prophets" and omens, has causedmen and women to be the easy dupes of designing impostors in all ages-from the ignorance of the unlettered Egyptian, up tothe cleverness of modern professors.
I might almost mention learned doctors who practice divinations, prophecy concerning things to come and bring in Holy Scriptureto back up their prognostications. Everywhere that kind of spirit which leads men to amuse themselves with light literatureleads them, also, to read the Bible with a view to espy the future and would lead them to resort to any kind of inventionby which they might hope to have a glimpse of the unfolded scroll. Be persuaded, however, my Brothers and Sisters, that withthe exception of some grand feature, some magnificent outline which God has revealed, the future is absolutely shut from humaneye!
And as to the details which concern your life or mine, it is utterly impossible that we should ever become acquainted withthem by any manner of horoscope, or soothsaying, or bibliomancy. We shall know them soon enough by the gradual developmentof experience, but it is idle and mischievous to attempt to know them till they transpire. Why is it that the future is thusshut out from our view? Is it not because the present is enough to occupy our talents? Rightly to serve our God in this presenthour will take all the strength we have and all the strength we can obtain from Him. Sufficient unto the day is not only theevil thereof, but the service thereof.
Men who live too much in the past and go beyond that which is rightly conservative become of little service in the world.And men who are tempted to regulate their movements by forecasts of the future will always become abstracted, speculative,empirical-full of sentiment and void of diligence-but certainly of no service whatever in the stern battle of today. Believeme, Man, all your manhood is needed for the all-engrossing now! Use it. Your best way to ensure a happy, a holy and a gloriousfuture is to mind the present and to keep your eye fast on your Master's will concerning you in this, the hour which is flittingover your head, molding your character and working out your destiny.
God has concealed the future from us, probably, with a view to relieve our career through the world of dull monotony and infuseinto it new phases of stirring interest. Life would not wear such a lively aspect if it were all spread out in a map beforeus on the day of the commencement of our pilgrimage. Much of the pleasantness of a journey lies in unexpected views and sceneswhich burst upon the traveler as he climbs a hill or descends into a dale. If he could see all at once-one long, unvarigatedavenue-it would become weary walking for him. But the very freshness and novelty of the events-adventures and contingenciesconstantly occurring-help to make life exciting, if not happy.
I thank God for many a mercy which has come to me fresh from the mint of His Providence. I could not have imagined that sucha well-timed godsend could have come to me in such an unexpected manner-it had all the marks of novelty about it-as if theLord had been pleased to coin it and put it into my hand. Has not God also hid the future from us that we may not labor underthe sense of being like "dumb driven cattle," who have no will and no freedom, but both do and suffer what they are compelledby an irresistible agency?
Now, I believe in predestination, yes, even in its very jots and tittles. I believe that the path of a single grain of dustin the March wind is ordained and settled by a decree which cannot be violated. I believe that every word and thought of man,every flittering of a sparrow's wing, every flight of a fly, the crawling of a beetle, the gliding of a fish in the depthof
the sea-that everything, in fact-is foreknown and foreordained. But I do equally believe in the free agency of man, that manacts as he wills, especially in moral operations-choosing the evil with a will that is unbiased by anything that comes fromGod-biased only by his own depravity of heart and the perverseness of his habits.
I believe in man's free agency in choosing the right, too, with perfect freedom-though sacredly guided and led by the HolySpirit-but in such a way that his disposition is trained to choose and prefer the right and the true, not violently drivenin the teeth of his own reluctance. He is free in his agency, for the Son of God has made him free. I believe that man isas free as if everything were left to chance and that he is as accountable as if there were no destiny whatever. Where thetwo Truths of God meet I do not know, nor do I want to know. They do not puzzle me, since I have given up my mind to believingthem both.
They are thought by some to be antagonistic, the one contrary to the other. I believe them to be two parallel lines. Theyrun side by side and perhaps even in eternity there is no point of contact between these two grand Truths. But if the predestinationwere a revealed thing and we could see it, it would then become utterly impossible for human nature to receive the idea offreedom, or to believe itself to be at all independent in its action. Man would, to repeat the line of Longfellow's, feelhimself to be but one of a herd of "dumb, driven cattle," made to do, whether he willed or not, just what had been ordained.
Moreover, Brothers and Sisters, is it not to be counted for a thousand mercies in one that all the future is concealed fromus, since that future is of a very checkered character, casting, as one has said, beams of hope and shadows of fear over thestage both of active and contemplative life? Some of it is bright with pleasure-much of it is dim with sorrow. What, then,if we knew the pleasure would come, should we not begin to reckon upon it? Surely the current of time would flow on heavilyuntil the pleasant day arrived! Perhaps we would be really drawing bills at a very heavy discount upon the future if we knewit sufficiently to forestall the season of prosperity-so that when it did come we should be already satiated with it by foretasteand so fail to enjoy the good when present which we had gloated on in prospect.
And as for the troubles, the perils and the afflictions that await us-if we knew of them beforehand-we should be pretty sure,with our natural tendency to graceless unbelief and morbid anxiety, to begin to carry the burden before the day came for usto carry it. We should be crossing all the bridges between here and Heaven long before we came to them. We should be reefingall the sails before the storm came. We should be escaping indoors before the first drop of rain fell. We should be so constantlyengaged in making anxious provision for the future that the comforts of today would glide away and the joys and opportunitiesof the present would be despised. We should foster the weakness we lament and cherish the cowardice we disdain. Our sinewswould be slackened, our limbs disjointed, our hearts would be frightened with terror.
No, my Lord, it would be a fatal gift if You would bestow upon any one of us the power to know his own future. It were anunhappy thing for any one of us to be able to look beyond this present time. We need not distress ourselves, however, forwe shall not receive such a gift of prophecy-we shall not be permitted to lift the veil that hides the morrow. We shall haveto go on praying, "Give us this day our daily bread." We shall have to continue living upon the manna that drops by the dayand upon the strength which shall be sufficient for the daily need. It is as we often sing-
"Day by day the manna fell;
Oh, to learn this lesson well!
Still by constant mercy fed,
Give me, Lord, my daily bread.
'Day by day,' the promise reads-
Daily strength for daily needs.
Cast foreboding fears away-
Take the manna of today."
It is, however, important for us to remember two or three things with regard to the future. First, that all in the futureis appointed-that especially those desirable ends we are looking for are the subjects of appointment. And that in connectionwith those ends and those events, there are certain appointments of mercy which should, tonight, give us comfort.
I. First, then, dear Friends, it is well for us to remember that EVERYTHING IN THE FUTURE IS APPOINTED. Nothing shall happento us which God has not foreseen. No unexpected event shall destroy His plans-no emergency shall transpire for which He hasnot provided. No peril shall occur against which He has not guarded. There shall come
no remarkable need which shall take Him by surprise. He sees the end from the beginning and the things that are not as thoughthey were.
To God's eye there is no past and no future. He fills His own eternal now. He stands in a position from which He can lookdown upon the whole and see the past, the present and the future at a single glance. All, all, all of the future is foreseenby Him and fixed by Him. We may derive no small comfort from this fact, for, suppose one goes to sea under the most skillfulcaptain-that captain cannot possibly know what may occur during the voyage and with the greatest foresight he can never promisean absolutely safe passage. There may be dangers which he has never yet encountered- Atlantic waves, tornadoes and hurricanesthat may yet sweep the good ship away and they that sailed out of port merrily may never reach the haven.
But when you come into the ship of Providence, he who is at the helm is the Master of every wind that shall blow and of everywave that shall break its force upon that ship! And He foresees, as well, the events that shall happen at the harbor for whichwe make, as those that happen at the port from which we start. He knows in His own soul every wave with its height and breadthand force. He knows each wind. Though the winds seem to be left without control, He knows each wind in all its connectionsand the speed at which each shall travel. How safe we are, then, when embarked in the good ship of Providence, with such aCaptain who has forearranged and foreordained all things from the beginning even unto the end!
And, furthermore, how much it becomes us to put implicit confidence in His guidance! Hold your peace, Man, even from counsel-foryour thoughts are vain where your understanding is baffled-
"When my dim reason would demand
Why this or that You do ordain,
By some vast deep I seem to stand,
Whose secrets Imust ask in vain.
Be this my joy, that evermore
You rule all things at Your wiil
Your sovereign wisdom I adore,
And calmly, sweetly, trust You still." It should always be remembered in connection with this subject that we are no believersin fate-seeing that fate is a different doctrine altogether from predestination. Fate says the thing is and must be-so itis decreed. But the true doctrine is-God has appointed this and that, not because it must be, but because it is best thatit should be. Fate is blind, but the destiny of Scripture is full of eyes. Fate is stern and adamantine and has no tears forhuman sorrow, but the arrangements of Providence are kind and good. The greatest good for the greatest number and the Gloryof God above all, are the ends that are in it subserved.
Do not imagine that God has simply out of His own arbitrary will determined this and that. He does as He wills, but He alwayswills to do that which is in conformity with His high and glorious Nature. He never wills an unjust thing. He never willsa really unkind thing. All the appointments of His Providence, especially towards His people, are ruled in mercy, in tenderness,in love and in wisdom and all are conducive to their highest interest and their greatest happiness. Oh, but this is a blessedTruth of God!
Oh, it is sweet, to be able to say, "From this day forth, whatever happens to me, be it little or be it great, I am content.Though I am altogether unaware what it shall be, I am not sorry that I am unaware of it-for this one thing I know-there shallhappen nothing but what God permits. I shall be left to no demon's power. I shall not be cast away like an orphan. I shallnot be beyond my Father's eyes and my Father's hands-all shall come and last and end as shall please Him-and it shall alwaysplease Him that everything that comes shall work for my good if I am one of His people. I may not see it at the time, butit will be so whether I see it or not! All shall happen, every event, in its proper place, every pain according to its propermeasure. Everything that makes me sing, and cry and groan. Every loss and every cross. Every slander. Everything that seemsto hinder me or to thwart my wishes-all shall come and be ruled and managed to make the end which God has promised to bringsalvation to my soul and Glory to Himself."
O Beloved, I do not know where those go for comfort who have not accepted this Truth, but I do know that after you have doneall you can in toiling for your daily bread, or, as in my case, you have done all you can in the discharge of Christian service,it is a blessed thing, in times of serious difficulty and perplexing dilemma, to fall right back into the
arms of the ever-ruling God, and say, "You do all things well. Though things go ill according to my judgment, yet Your judgmentis better than mine and You do all things right and let Your name be glorified." If one could think that there was somewhereone grain of dust floating in the atmosphere that was not under Divine superintendence, one might wish to escape from it asfrom a plague!
If one could believe that there was an hour of the night, or say a single second throughout the year in which the hand ofGod was withdrawn from Nature, or a single event in which God was not concerned, and His will was not consulted, one mighttremble till that black storm had passed, or till that dread event, like a vial full of evil, had been effectually pouredout and put away. But now each hour is safe, for God has made it so! Each place of difficulty and of danger shall still besecure to the faithful servants of the Lord. Each time of peril shall still be a time of blessed safety to the man that restsbeneath the wings of the eternal God. He who learns to see God in calm and in storm, in either and both, cares not much whichit is, but leaves it to his God to choose. He who sees the giving hand of God as well as the taking hand, will not repineat either, but will say, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away and blessed be the name of the Lord."
I would, with special earnestness, beg you to believe that God is in little things. It is the little troubles of life thatannoy us the most. A man can put up with the loss of a dear friend, sometimes, better than he can with the burning of hisfingers with a coal, or some little accident that may occur to him. The little stones in the sandal make the traveler limp,while great stones do him little hurt, for he soon leaps over them. Believe that God arranges the littles! Take the littletroubles as they come-remember them to your God because they come from Him. Believe that nothing is little to God which concernsHis people. To Him, indeed, your greatest concerns may be said to be little, and your little anxieties are not too mean forHis notice.
The very hairs of your head are all numbered! You may, therefore, pray to Him about your smallest griefs. If not a sparrowlights upon the ground without your Father, you have reason to see that the smallest events in your career are arranged byHim and it should be your joy to accept them as they come and not make them causes of offense either to others or to yourselves.This is a Truth of God on which you may rely implicitly, and exercise yourselves continually, until you lull the sharpestpains, calm the most feverish excitements and obtain the sweetest repose that a spirit weary, but restless, can indulge in.It is the antidote of fear.
I commend this positive certainty to you with the utmost confidence. Everything in the future is appointed by God. As menyou will account it reasonable. As disciples you will believe it, for it its plainly revealed, and as Christians I trust youmay rejoice in it heartily, for it must be a theme of rejoicing that all is in the hands of the great King. The Lord is King!Let His people rejoice!-
"The Lord is King; who then shall dare
Resist His will, distrust His care,
Or murmur at His wise decrees,
Or doubt His royal promises?
Oh, when His wisdom can mistake,
His might decay, His love forsake,
Then may His children cease to sing,
The Lord Omnipotent is King." II. But now, secondly, there is A SPECIAL APPOINTMENT WITH REGARD TO CERTAIN ENDS. I am notgoing to pursue the connection, but the text itself will suffice me, for it says, "at the time appointed the end shall be."Now, there are certain "ends" to which you and I are looking forward to with great expectancy. There is the end of the presenttrouble-let us think of that. I do not know what your particular trouble may be, but this I know-as surely as you are in thefurnace you will be anxious to be delivered out of it. Whatever submission we may have to the Divine will, it is not naturalfor us to love affliction-we desire to reach the end and come forth from the trial. "At the time appointed the end shall be."
You have been slandered in your character-a very frequent trial to God's servants-and you are irritated and vexed and in agreat haste to answer it-to rebut the calumny and to vindicate your reputation. Be still. Be very quiet and patient. Bearit all. Stand still and see the salvation of God, for light is sown for the righteous and He will bring forth your righteousnesslike the light and your judgment as the noonday. "At the time appointed the end shall be." When the
dogs are tired they will leave off barking and when the Lord bids them be still, they shall not dare to move a tongue againstyou. "At the time appointed the end shall be."
You are in poverty. It is some time since you had a situation in which you could earn your daily bread. You have been walkingwearily up and down those hard London streets-you have been searching the advertisement sheet-you have looked everywhere forsomething to do. You gaze upon the dear wife and pitiful children with ever-increasing anxiety. Are you a child of God? Haveyou learned to cast your burden upon the Lord? Then, "at the time appointed the end shall be." There shall yet be deliverancefor you. "Trust in the Lord and do good and so shall you dwell in the land and verily you shall be fed." The ravens are fedat this day, as they were in David's day-and He that feeds the ravens will not let His children starve. Patiently wait theappointed time. Industriously seek to find it, but still with patience submit to the Divine will.
It may be, dear Friend, that you are passing out of another trial which it shall not be possible for me to describe. Indeed,it is one which you cover up and keep to yourself. And of all sorrows, those are among the most severe when the heart knowsits own bitterness and a stranger intermeddles not with it. You have been seeking in prayer for help out of this trial andyou have believed that the help would come, but it has been long delayed. It is now month after month that you have put upstorm signals and yet the blessed lifeboat of your heavenly Father's mercy has not come out to your almost wrecked vessel.Be still and know the salvation of God. "At the time appointed the end shall be."
The time is not for you to appoint. To set times for God to answer prayer is always wrong. He who gives has the right to choosethe time of the gift. Beggars must not be choosers. God has appointed the time of your visitation and at the time appointedlet Hell and earth do what they may, it shall surely come! Only be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of theLord and in the quiet confidence of faith possess your soul-for the end of your trial and trouble shall surely come at thetime appointed.
It may be, Brethren, that the end you are desiring is greater usefulness and you have been panting after this for years. Inthat class, or in that village chapel-or whatever other form of labor it is that you have undertaken-you have been groaningout your very soul, asking the Lord that He would give you the Holy Spirit more plenteously. You have tried to get rid ofeverything that might hamper you in your work, or that would prevent the Lord's using you. You have pleaded to be deliveredfrom all wrong motives and all gross and carnal desires and yet, for all that, the blessing tarries. Do not give up the work!Do not play the Jonah! There have been many who have done it who have found no whale to swallow them, or if the whale swallowedthem there has been an end of them. You keep to your work, still, for "at the time appointed the end shall be."
God will not suffer the faithful worker to work in vain. Your labor of love shall not be in vain in the Lord. You know notwhen the prosperity is to come. Some do not live to see their own work. If so they may take up the language of Moses and say,"Let Your work appear unto Your servants"-let us do the work-"and Your glory unto their children." Let our children live tosee the result of our work and the Glory of God through it and we shall be well content. "At the time appointed"-to everyhonest and earnest servant of Christ-"the end shall be."
Beloved Friends, you are looking forward, some of you, to the end of your life's battle. Life is to the genuine Christianan incessant fight. The moment we are converted the battle begins. We think, sometimes, that corruption will be destroyedand that we shall find no indwelling sin to beset us. I have heard some of God's servants talk about indwelling sin beingdestroyed in them. I only wish I could have any hope that it would be so in me-instead of this I find that to will is presentwith me, but how to perform that which I would, I find not.
When I would serve God, still there is an evil heart of unbelief that checks me in it all. And I believe that if men couldsee their own hearts right, that is about the experience of every child of God. It is a warfare from the first to the lastand until we get to Heaven we may never talk about putting up our sword into its scabbard and taking our rest. But, glorybe to God, "in the time appointed the end of this warfare shall be." It is war with Amalek in perpetuity, according to theoath of God, "Because the Lord has sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." But oncelet us enter into the true Canaan and it shall be war with Amalek no more, for the Lord shall tread Satan, himself, underour feet, while inbred sin shall be cast far away and we shall be without fault before the Throne of God!
No temptation arising from the world shall reach us. No suggestion from Hell shall grieve us. No angry temper shall disturbus. No thought of pride. No suggestion of the flesh shall come in to mar our matchless purity, but we shall serve
God day and night in His Temple! The beauty of holiness shall be upon us-in the time appointed the blessed end shall be. So,too, with the service of our lives. I think no servant of God is tired of serving his Master. We may be tired in the service,though not tired of it. I have heard a story of the celebrated Mr. William Dawson who used to call himself "Billy" Dawson,much to the point.
On one occasion, when he and some other Methodist friends were spending the evening together, a dear friend of mine happenedto be present and heard what passed. They were praying that Mr. Dawson's life might be spared for many years to come, thatsuch an earnest man might be kept in the Church for the next 20 or 30 years. At last, as they were just in the middle of prayer,William Dawson said, "Lord, don't hear 'em! I want to get my work done and go Home! I don't want to be here any longer thanthere is need to be!" And the Brethren stopped their prayers-thunderstruck as they witnessed his emotion!
Now I believe that feeling will often pass over the earnest working Christian. "Oh," he says, "I am not lazy. I am not idle.But still, I would like to get my work done." 'Tis your lazy workmen that are all the day long getting through their job,but the industrious man would just as soon make a good day of it and get a great deal done in a short time. Well, lest thatfeeling should ever grow into impatience, the text whispers into our ears, "At the time appointed the end shall be." You shallgo out to reap for the last time. There shall be a last sermon and a last prayer and there shall be a last look of anxietyover backsliders. There shall be a last tear of sorrow over the impenitent. There shall be a last motion of the soul overthose that have deceived you and disappointed your hopes. It shall be all finished. The top stone of your life-work shallbe brought out with shouting of, "Grace, Grace," unto it! You shall lay your crown at His feet from whom you received it andyou shall hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." "In the time appointed theend shall be."
With many a child of God life is not merely a warfare spiritually and a work for God outwardly, but it is attended with muchsuffering. I speak not now of martyrs, men so little esteemed in their own age that they fell by the hand of the public executioner,yet so honored by posterity that a bright halo encircles their memory. I rather refer to those whose heroic faith has enduredan agony of physical suffering with a sacred composure of mind. Have you ever heard of the infirmities under which RichardBaxter labored? He was a man whose vigorous sermons were supplemented by such voluminous writings that his works are a prodigyof toil! Or need I remind you of Robert Hall? He, almost within our own memory, was accounted the prince of modern preachersfor his eloquence.
Why, it has been said that he would be no mean proficient in medical pathology who could describe the complicated diseasesof either of these men. Yet they ceased not to toil! Pain was, to their idea, no excuse from service. They found recreationsfrom their own groans in warning sinners of the more dreadful groans of lost souls. But my heart's pity is towards full manya dear saint for whose complaint there is no remedy but patience. Ah, I know many servants of God whose every breath seemsto be a pang-their poor bodies are in such a condition that life is like protracted death! Sometimes in the long and wearynight, especially when poverty is associated with sickness and friends become fewer and fewer every year, it is no wonderthat the sufferer cries, "Why is His chariot so long in coming? Where is my Beloved gone? Why does He not admit me into thepastures of rest?"
Well, weary sufferer, "in the time appointed the end shall be." I think we may put all together and say that we would notwish to postpone that day. What folly to wish to be longer out of Heaven than we must! But we would not wish to antedate thatperiod, for the Master must know best and for us to be there an hour before His time-if such a thing were possible-would notbe to be in Heaven at all, for to be in Heaven is to be in perfect conformity with the Divine will. A good soul who was askedwhether she would live or die, said she would rather leave it with God. "But," they said, "if the Lord permitted you to choose,what would you do?"
"Why," she said, "I think I would not choose, but I would ask God to be good enough to choose for me and then I would choosewhat He chose for me." And that is the best state of heart to be in. The end is appointed. The very day and hour of deathare settled. And the means by which we shall receive the death-shock-whether we shall drop dead in the street, or whetherwe shall die in the pew-such a thing has happened in this Tabernacle-or whether we shall lie in protracted weakness, the tenementbeing gradually taken down and the soul gazing steadfastly into the excellent Glory by the month together before she takesher flight. Whichever it is to be, God has settled it all and He has settled it all for the best.
Sometimes in thinking of it, if one might make the choice, it seems that it must be delightful to have a sudden death-to shutone's eyes on earth and open them in Heaven. I could never understand that prayer in the Litany which many people think veryexcellent-it may be so and it may be that my idea of it is wrong in which they pray to be delivered from sudden death. I wouldnever think of praying such a prayer and never shall! I do not know of any privilege that seems to be greater than that ofsudden death. One gentle sigh and away you are gone! Like a dear servant of God, Mr. Watts Wilkinson, who prayed that he mightnever know death and he died in his sleep-his prayer was heard and he was taken Home in the midst of slumbers soft and sweet.
How blessed, like Isaac Sanders, of St. Ann's, Blackfriars, and Dr. Beaumont, the Wesleyan minister, to expire in the pulpit,to be in your Master's service and called away! Well, you have not got your choice, so that whichever form you might mostdread you need not encourage any timid apprehensions, for you shall not have the disposal of the matter. The Lord will becareful to take you Home in a heavenly way, for He will send such a chariot for His servants as shall be most suitable tothem. I do not think they go to Heaven in a beggarly procession, but that God fetches the guests who are to dwell with Himforever, each one of them, in a suitable manner and so shall you be taken up to dwell with God in the way which your own heartwould choose if infinite wisdom were to counsel you.
III. One more thought before we close. All things are appointed and especially these sacred and blessed ends. But rememberthat besides the ends, ALL THE MEANS TO THE ENDS are also appointed-all that intervenes is appointed, too. Balance this thoughtwith the other. My trouble appointed! Yes, but there is an appointed portion of Divine Grace that shall sustain me under it-Graceexactly according to the measure of my necessity while under the tribulation.
Temptation appointed! Yes, but there is appointed extraordinary help to deliver the soul from going down into the Pit andto pluck the foot out of the net, lest by any means one sheep of Christ should be devoured by the lion of Hell. You fear sickness,because that may be appointed-but it is also appointed, "I will make all his bed in his sickness," and that appointment carriesyou over the other. It is appointed, perhaps, that you should be in need-but then it is appointed that better should be yourdinner of herbs than the stalled ox of the wicked.
You know it is appointed unto you to die, at least, unless the Lord should suddenly come in His Glory-but then it is appointedunto you to rise again and the death appointed is not the death of common men! It is when sleeping in Jesus the trumpet ofthe archangel shall awaken you! And what of the Divine Grace appointed? Is it not appointed that up from the grave you shouldrise in a nobler image than that which you now wear, even in the image of your Lord and covenant Head? What if it is appointedthat the body should lie among the clods of the valley? Yet it is equally appointed that these very hands should strike thecelestial strings of the golden harp and these very eyes should see the King in His beauty! Rejoice, then, that the appointmentsof God concerning every one of His children are sure and effectual. You must be with Christ where He is to behold His Glory.You must be a partaker of His everlasting blessedness. He will not suffer you to perish, nor will He leave you to be castaway. If all the other matters are appointed, so are these great and glorious things appointed-they shall come about in theirappointed time and so shall your heart give to God constant praise!
And now, dear Friends, there is nothing in this Truth of God that can give any comfort to those who are not reconciled toGod. It is a great and terrible Truth to those who are not God's friends. At the time appointed the end shall be. What a windingup awaits those who will encounter the doom of the impenitent, no tongue can describe. There will be an end to haughty andcontemptuous skepticism and an end to careless apathetic unbelief. There will be an end to the indulgence of fleshly lustsand an end to the enjoyment of creature comforts. There will be an end to the longsuffering with which God has borne withyou so patiently and an end to the sound of Mercy's voice ringing in your ears, admonishing you to repent.
Who among you can foresee that time appointed? Ah, I would you went reconciled to God, poor Sinner, for if not, living anddying as you are, the events that shall transpire will grow blacker and blacker to you. All that shall happen in the future,especially in eternity, will bring you only woe after woe and you will forever have to cry, "One woe is past and behold anotherwoe comes and yet another!" Like Job's messengers, your miseries will follow at each other's heels. Why rebel against theKing of Heaven? Why set your will against the Divine will? He speaks to you tonight-in the cool of the evening He appealsto you, and He says, "Return unto Me. Arise and seek your Father's face."
And if you would be reconciled, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! Trust Christ with your soul. Trust Him implicitly! TrustHim sincerely! Trust Him now, and you are reconciled at once and then, from now on, the great and terrible wheels of Providencehave no terror for you-for all things work together for good to them that love God-to them that are the called according toHis purpose. May the blessing of God abide with you evermore.