Sunday, April 30, 2017
 

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon Encouragement to the Tempted ]

ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE TEMPTED 



. Our Text today is James 1:12, ""Blessed is the man who endures temptation for when he has been approved, he will l receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." This passage of scripture tells us much about God, much about the world we live in, and much about the greatest problem we have in this world. The text is a beatitude,for it begins with the the word "Blessed." What a more than golden word is that word blessed in the text. Happiness is the earthly word; blessedness is the heavenly one. Happiness may lie in our own conception of things;; blessedness is God's verdict. In the sermon on the mount Jesus spoke 8 beatitudes, and they reveal the great secret of human happiness on earth. Today we shall study the beatitude that James, the Lord"s brother, gave to the world.: "Blessed is the man who endures temptation for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." What a beatitude! To win the crown of life we must demonstrate in this life to God that we were able endure the temptations and trials of this life for His sake.                                          


If there were no future world, we could not blame people for seeking every kind of pleasure in this world that their hearts might desire. They might use all the means in their power to avoid any affliction, and to say with the ancient Greek Epicureans , "Let us eat and drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Paul said the same thing in I Cor. 15: "If after the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead rise not, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." What is Paul saying here? Just this. If Christ did not rise, if there no general resurrection of the dead, if we all perish forever when we die, if there is no final  judgment day, if there is no heaven or hell, why should I be a Christian and risk my life fighting beasts in Ephesus? However God , Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Apostles and the Holy scriptures assures us us that there is a future world, where the good will be rewarded, and the bad punished. It is a truth worthy of all acceptatin that we humans are placed in this world in a state of trial and testing, and if we are approved by God we will live forever in the angelic and heavenly world. This truth cannot be denied by those who believe in the Holy Scriptures. For this glorious possibility we should cheerfully endure the temptations, afflictions and trials which God, the all-wise Governor of the world either permits or appoints, knowing they will purify us as gold is purified in the furnace and will prepare us for the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him heart, soul and mind. The word of God declares that Christians who endure temptation are blessed.



The word temptation means to be incited, induced or persuaded by anything or anyone to go beyond the bounds and limits God allows in human conduct. It first means to try or test and then to incite, induce, persuade people to disobey God. In this sense God tempts no man The Bible declares that God tempts no man, but He does try us to prove our ir love for Him. I John 2:15 says, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." The passage refers to sinful desires and the inticement or inducement of the natural desires to sin and disobey God laws. In this study let us first consider the afflictions that come to Christians from the trials which God may lay upon us to prove our sincerity and love. God may test Christians as He tested Abraham. We read in the Old King James version, "God did tempt Abraham"(Genesis 22:1). That is a mistranslation because James, the Lord's fleshly brother writes, "Let no man says when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no man"(James 1:13). The New Kings James version renders the passage, "God did try Abraham."  The meaning is God tested him, and He will test you and me if we are Christians. It is right for God to test people He has promised to live forever in His presence. One of the conditions of eternal salvation is God's approval of our lives. God cannot men to do evil, but He does try them to test their love. The word tempt always carries an evil intention.


 The trial, of Abraham, was the command which God gave him to offer up Isaac his son, whom he loved; a trial, which of all others, must have been the most distressing: But he was willing to sacrifice Isaac but God stopped him, but it proved his love for God. He was willing to offer his sone as a human ssacrifrice, and this proof to all people to the end of the world of his sincerity to be a servant of the most high God. God never requires us to do such a thing, but God does allow other trials to come on Christians that He might try and prove their sincerity. Christians have given up sons and aughters by disease, accidents, earthquakes, foods, and other natural tragedies. It is important for Christians to uinderstand that their life on earth is properly called a state of trial, and God, by various methods, often sees it necessary to try Christians. Sometimes, He tries Christians with poverty, hard times, sickness, bodily afflictions. Many Christians at this present time are suffering loss of jobs and loss homes because of a bad economy. At other times God allows the saints to be persecuted. The first century was a time of terrible persecution for Christians. Wicked people are allowed to threaten Christians with destruction. This is another evidence that the present state of man is a state of trial and testing. Jesus warned Christians that they should not fear them who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But they should fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. That is another evidence that there is a future world in which all people will be held accountable for the way they have lived. James refers in the beginning of James, chapter 1 to a trial many Christians were suffering from the Jewish persecution. Many of the first century Jewish Christians suffered the loss of their property and goods. Some of them lost their lives lives. James our teacher in this lesson one of them who gave his life for being faithful to Jesus. He w as cast off of one of highest walls of Jerusalem for his faith and service to Christ. as well as Peter and Paul and many others.. Those were trials that God allowed in the lives of Christians.. They were driven from their habitations and friends, were exposed to hunger, cold, nakedness and were confined in prisons, beaten with stripes, and some of them were put to cruel deaths. They proved by painful experience the truth of Christ's words to his disciples, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of  the world, therefore the worl hates you"( John 15:19). The persecution of Christians is one of the trials God allows to come on good people. We should be gratefully thankful that the persecution of Christians is now restrained in this day and time. Nevertheless, let us not forget that it is possible, that the time may speedily come, when we may again be tried in this way. Strange If so we must prove our love for God. May God mercifully prepare us for every  future event of His providence, and may we prove that His s are true, Let us not misunderstand the trials that God allows to come on Christians. Let us not think that because God permits us to be tested, He is therefore to blame if we yield to an urge to sin. But Satan may well tempt us on the occasions of these trials. We are sadly mistaken if we take these trials to be temptations and blame God if we give in and commit sin. That's enough about the trials God may allow to come upon us.


Le us now consider temptations that come to us from the world and from our fleshly bodies. The world is a powerful source of temptation to us. Its riches, honors, and pleasures, like the forbidden fruit of Paradise, appear "pleasant to the eye, a and to be desired"(Gen. 3:6). They promise much pleasure but afford very little of it.  Solomon, who knew as much of them as any man ever did, said, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity"( Eccles.12:8).. The smiles of men are calculated to put Christians off their guard, and to draw them from God and their duty; and their frowns may produce that degree of fear, which leads to sinful compliances. Riches are a snare to the covetous for they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition" (1Tim. vi, 9). Poverty too is accompanied with danger. The poor man may be tempted ta envy his rich neighbor, and feeling great difficulties to struggle with, he may murmur and complain. His poverty may tempt him to dishonesty; and his affliction, to cause hard thoughts of God and his providence. Who, then, would not offer the prayer of the writer in Proverbs 30:8, "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny You , and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." Perhaps the middle ranks of society are the least exposed, but they have enough to do, to keep a conscience void of offence toward God and man." .


Let us also beware of the temptations that come from the flesh. The word flesh, sometimes refers to the body, with its appetites, and at other times to the depraved isposition of the mind. Through the medium of the body, good men may be tempted to indolence, gluttony, drunkenness, and lust. Their senses may lead them astay; for, " The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing" (Eccles. 1,8). The corruptions of the mind, which remain in some degree, even after conversion, have their correspondent objects in the world, to which they urge; and temptation, in this respect consists chiefly in the restless desire which is felt to  enjoy them. Thus " every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own Just, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: And sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death"(James 1:14,15). Hence, a believer has many inward struggles, which are only known to himself and God, and these will continue till sin is wholly destroyed. It was to believers that the apostle Peter gave the following earnest exhortation: "Dearly beloved , I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims abstain fom fleshly lusts which war against t the soul"( 1Pet. ii, 11). Those, therefore, who maintain that there is no such warfare, after a man is born from above, do not judge according to truth. The devil tempts tempts to evil, from the time a man turns to God, to to the time when he is called to his reward in a better world. Let us carefully guard against our evil desires, follies, and frailties. Happy is the person who is engage  in controversy with his own evil desires and comes off superior; who makes it his endeavour, that his follies and weaknesses may be overcome. and who daily meditates on mortality and immortality.*


  


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE DEVIL



 


In the former discourse last week we considered the trials



of God and the temptations of the world and the flesh.



In this lesson we shall study consider the temptations of



tthe devil. That there is such an invisible wicked spirit,



who has access to the minds of men, and who is



continually seeking their ruin, appears clearly, both from



Scripture and experience. He is called the Devil, Satan, and is , and is represented as



and the Price of devils,



using devices to gain advantage of us. In the days of Job,



he confessed, when interrogated by the Almighty that he



Almighty, that he went to and fro in the earth, and walked



up and down in it. The apostle Peter points out his



business in walking about our world: "Be sober, be



vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring



lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour"( 1 Pet.


5:8). It is no serious objection, that we cannot explain



fully how he works upon the human mind. Probably some


have ascribed too much to his agency, and the blame of



all tsheir abominations have been laid upon him when it



is eveident and all when it has been evident, that the guilt



of the whole rested upon themselves. It is a common



saying in the world, "The devil made me do it." He can



tempt men without their consent , but without their



consent, he cannot overcome. Guilt, therefore, is



properly charged against violations of



of God's laws though he might entice them to sin. It was



no excuse to Eve that the serpent b beguiled her to eat.



 


Let us next notice a few things that is said about this



enemy of God, Christ, and the human race in the



scriptures. Jesus spoke of him as the devil and his angels



and referred to him as the Prince of devils. Peter called



him the adversary of Christians and admonished to



watchful and serious-minded.



 


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The word demon means an evil spirit, a being inferoior to God but superior to man. This name is given to the fallen angels. They were evil spirits because the rebelled and sinned against God influenced by Satan. Satan is the chief demon, the prince or ruler of demons.



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Let us now



consider some temptations of this infernal spirit, as they are



suited to the different states of a religious life. The thirst



thing in a religious life is, the illumination of the



understanding, by which a sinner discovers his fall from



God, and his multiplied transgressions of that law, which



is "holy, and just, and good." Rom. rii, 12. This discovery



produces a godly sorrow. The awakened sinner weeps and



mourns, and, like the jailer at Philippi, trembles in . the



presence of a just God. But the tempter suggests, that he is



mistaken with himself; that his sins have been few, and of



a trifling nature; that his state, upon the whole, is very



goad; and that if he perish, few indeed can be saved.



Those who yield to this temptation, lose their convictions,



and become self-righteous. Then they say, We are rich,



and have need of nothing; though in reality they are



"wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and



naked." Rev. iii, 17. If the mourning penitent overcome this



temptation, his sorrow for sin increases; his soul is humbled



in the dust; and he is prepared for the mercy of an



offended God.



The subtle enemy, finding if impossible to lead the



penitent to pre sumption, endeavours now to drive him to



despair. Hence the next temptation insinuates, that his



sins are too many to be forgiven; that he has sinned



against the Holy Ghost; that his nature is as black as hell,



and cannot be renewed; and that nothing remains for him



but " a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery in



dignation, which shall devour the adversaries."



Heb.10:21.



 


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.



readful apprehensions. They direct him to Jesus, and



repeat the promises which are made to such as "labour



and are heavy laden." Matt, xi, 28. Encouraged by these,



hope springs up in his breast: He sees the sufficiency of



Christ to save ; he ventures upon him; and'is reconciled to



God through the blood of the cross. There is another



There is another temptation, which is often presented to



the mind, when a man first feels trie awakening influences



of the blessed Spirit of God, namely, that religion will



make him melancholy; that it is only fit for the aged, the



sick, and the dying; and that it will be more prudent to put



it off to old age, thaii to live, like a criminal, in perpetual



dread of execution. This temptation too often succeeds.



But, that it may be resisted and overcome, the penitent



must be informed, that his present sorrow will give place



to pure joy ; that when he is reconciled to God, his soul



will be filled with sweet consolation; that religion is the



happiness and honour of man in all conditions; and that



he who, for the sake of present and sinful indulgencies,



puts it off to old age, may not then find the door of mercy open.



We shall now consider the attacks of Satan upon a child



of God. When this high privilege is obtained, by faith in



Christ Jesus, the child of God is so filled with peace and,



and his confidence in the Redeemer is so strong, that he



thinks himself out of the reach of temptation, especially



from the wicked one; but he finds himself mistaken. He is



soon tempted to doubt the reality of his faith; to think it is



nothing but mere imagination; and that he has cedeived



deceived himself with a supposition that God was



reconciled. This temptation, though exceedingly painful,



puts him upon an useful inquiry into the nature of faith, and



the grounds of acceptance with God; and when he finds his



faith accompanied with, love, and followed by obedience,



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he rests securely upon the Rock of Ages. But some have so



far yielded in the dark hour, as to lose their confidence



altogether; and it has not been without great difficulty, that



they have been restored to the favour and the 'peace of God.



When this temptation is over, another, of a very dangerous



tendency, is frequently introduced to the mind; namely, to



trust in what has already been experienced, and to neglect



the means of future improvement. The believer is required



to grow in grace, and, in the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus but the devil tempts him to think that there is no



 


Christ;



need of such a growth; that, being now a child of God, he



may indulge himself in some little things, in which there is



not much harm; and that his former scruples, when he durst



not even think of these things, arose from ignorance and



superstition. If he give way, his heart is soon hardened; he



sinks into a state of dull formality; he loses all the comforts



of religion; and is in great danger of losing his soul. Many



have fallen into this snare, and all have great need of that



caution, "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest



he fall."(1 Cor. 10:12).



If the child of God still pursue his way, Satan will


probably tempt him to piide, on account of some supposed



superiority to others, either in gifts or graces. It is no



matter whether he be superior or not; for, if he can be



induced to think so, his soul is endangered. Pride having



gained some ascendancy, he wishes to fill the highest



place, and to be honoured by peculiar marks of respect.



But, meeting with many vexatious disappointments, he



becomes sour and peevish, and disturbs the peace of the



Church. Under this temptation, it is necessary to



recollect, that we have nothing, either great or good, but



what God has bestowed; and that we are still as much



dependant upon him, as we were the first hour we sought



 


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Again: There are seasons wherein the tempter endeavors



to fill the mind of a good man with doubts respecting the



being of God, the eertainty of providence, the truth of



the Bible, the reality of Christian experience, and the



sincerity of professors. This temptation seldom lasts long;



but it is very painful. It often comes suddenly, and when



least looked for. Some have felt it in a moment, while



engaged in the most solemn and important duties; while



filled with abundant peace, and raised up with sacred joy



 


almost to the third heaven. The best method that can be



taken, in these gloomy moments, is, to imitate the



Israelites in the wilderness, who " cried unto the Lord in



their trouble ; and he delivered them out of their



distresses" (Ps. 107: 6.}



Sometimes this foul spirit represents death to a good man



in its most terrific forms, frightens him with the pain



which he may feel in that awful hour, and suggests, that



his God and Father may forsake him in bis last moments.


But he hides from his view, as much as possible, the


delightful prospect of a blessed immortality ; and the



gracious promises of God, to support his children in that



trying scene. Exposed as we are to this temptation, it is



pleasing to reflect, that Jesus delivers ((them who, through



fear of death, are all their life-time subject to bondage."


Heb. 2: 15.



It would be impossible to enumerate all the temptations


which God's children have to endure from this implacable



foe. I shall only mention one more. He often tempts them



to fear, that they shall not be able to endure to the end; re



minds them of the great difficulties of the Christian life ;



of\ the vast number who have fallen; and of the



probability, that-they may give way in some evil hour, and



so be cast away at last. Under this temptation, they



sometimes think it of no use to contend any longer; that



 


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they might as well give up the Christian warfare now, as at


some future period; and that one grand struggle, in the



last moments of life, may do as well as a continued



warfare. But they should remember, that ii' they leave all



till death, they, in fact, give up the contest, and that their



enemy will triumph. To conquer then, they must conquer



now.



themselves as being under the constant care of Jesus, who,



himself haying "suffered, being tempted, is able to



succour them that are^tempted." Heb. ii, 18.



 


 


FINALLY HOW ARE WE TO ENDURE TEMPTATION?



How we are to endure temptation, and what reward may expect in a future world?. How should good people endure temptation? The word endure conveys the idea of something that is painfuilfu,


.


and all our temptations, of every description, are painful.



We should, however, endure them with patience,



cheerfulness, firmness, and perseverance.



Under all your temptatious, " let patience have her perfect work " James i, 4. For " ye have need of patience, that, after ye have aone the will of God, ye might receive the promise." Heb. x, 36. Patience implies calmness and quietness, and is opposed to violence, murmuring, fretfulness, and complaining. The brightest examples recorded in the 14



word of God, havexercised this grace in the trying hour. Job, in tliis respect, is a pattern to all ages. " Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord." James v, 11. Jesus bore, with perfect patience, both the temptations of the devil, and the insults of.men. That we may be encouraged, let us behold him in the last hours of his humiliation, when " he was oppressed and afflicted, yet opened not his mouth-; but committed himself to him that juelgeth righteously." The saints who are now in glory, exercised patience "in the tribulations and temptations which they endured when on earth ; and we are expressly commanded to follow them in this respect. Patience proves a present blessing, as it blunts the keen edge of affliction; but impatience, by giving a keener edge to our sufferings, proves a curse. We see this remark verified in many instances; and we have often experienced it ourselves. Worldly-minded men patiently endure hardships, when they have a prospect of temporal advantage ; and shall the pious be impatient, with the pleasing prospect of a crown of life ? Besides, this grace shines with peculiar brightness in a suffering saint. We see the excellency of religion realized in his heavenly temper. His countenance discovers the calmness of his mind, and his words convey lessons of wisdom. Thou, Lord, says he, sufferest me to be in the furnace of affliction ; but I dare not complain. Thy hand is upon me; but I am silent. Thou lettcst loose my enemies; but wilt not leave me in their hands. This blessed disposition of the soul silences all our murmurings, and inspires us with confidence and courage. Let us pray, that God may endue us all with this heavenly grace; that we may be able to say after every trial, " I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." Ps. xl, 1.


It is necessary, not only to be patient, but cheerful, in all our trials and temptations; for we are directed to " count it all joy, when we fall into divers temptations." James i, 2. It may, indeed, seem strange to some, that a precept, so contrary to the feelings of mankind, should be given to the afflicted. Joy, it may be argued, implies either the possession or the prospect of some good ; and cheerfulness is quite in character, or a fit thing, when posperity crowns our days. This we allow ; but it proves nothing. We maintain, yea, and will maintain, that all the temptations of a holy man, when rightly endured, prove real blessings in the end ; that, even while he endures the pain which necessarily attends them, he has a large portion of blessedness in his possession ; and that his future prospects of blessedness far exceed those of the highest worldly prosperity. God, whose grace is sufficient, favours him with his special presence, and all works for his good. He can, therefore, " rejoice evermore; pray without ceasing; in every thing give thanks ; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning" him. 1 Thess. v. 16—18; Cheerfulness in trials gives strength to the soul, and enables a good man to endure with manliness. Wicked men often sink under the pressures of life. They have not that support which is necessary to bear them up. All to them is darkness and gloominess; "but light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for tire upright in heart." Ps. xcvii, 11. By faith they see through the dark clouds which hang over them; and



 


ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE TEMPTED.

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by love they mount up to their native heaven. Paul and Silas, under the joyful influences of religion, sang praises to God in prison, though sore with stripes, loaded with chains, and surrounded with the darkness of midnight. The holy apostles were " troubled on every side, yet not distressed ; perplexed, but not in dispair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." 2 Cor. iv, 8, .9.


Cheerfulness will pvodu.ee/irmncss in trials and temptations. If any thing in the world should inspire "men with firmness, it is religion; for nothing else is of equal importance. A man may lose all he has in this world, arid be happy without itj" but if he lose religion, all is lost. Recollect in teinptation, that all is at slake. On the one hand, you have the joys of religion here, and its rewards hereafter; and on the other, the miseries of sin here, and its punishment hereafter. Therefore call forth all your powers; employ them to the best advantage, and be as firm as a' rock. Consider the firmness of suffering saints in former ages. " They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the- sword : They wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy; they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." Heb. xi, 37, 38. But they were not moved from their steadfastness. We observed above, that wicked men often sink under the pressures, of life; but this is not always the case. In their favourite pursuits, they frequently bid. defiance to danger, and disregard pain. See the hardy soldier in a dangerous campaign; view him in the field of battle, surrounded with the dead, and awfully exposed every moment to the shafts of death! See how firmly he proceeds ; no fear or trembling; no wish to retire from danger; only one sentiment inspires his breast, namely, Conquest or death. See him, I say, and stand fast in the Lord thy God.' Resolutely go on thy way in the strength of grace. Thus thou wilt become terrible to thy enemies; they will fell at thy feet, or flee from thy presence.


But all this will not do without perseverance. Many have fought bravely for a time, but have shamefully yielded at last. . In this case, former victories turn up to no good account. " Ye shall be hated," says Christ, " of all men for my name's sake; but he that endnreth to the end shall be saved/' Matt, x, 22. The end, in this passage, refers to death, which ends our probationary state. A good man may imagine, that.the trial under which he nowr labours will be his last, and that he shall enjoy uninterrupted rest in the present world; but he will find himself mistaken: For trial will succeed trial, as wave succeeds wave on the stormy ocean; nor will he enjoy a constant calm till he reaches the desired haven, and lands on ©anaan's happy shore. This leads us to consider,


III.

The promised reward.

The man who endures temptation, is abundantly blessed in the present world; but' shall be much more so in that which is to come. When he is fully proved, he shall receive the crown of life. The crown of life denotes complete victory, and permanent glory. Earthly crowns, however bright, must fade, and those who wear them must die; but the


crown of life fadeth not away, and he who wears it is immortal. This crown denotes not only victory and glory, but also all that blessedness which will crown existence in a future state. There every conquering saint shall be blessed with the glorious presence of God and the Lamb; with the society of angels and the spirits of just men made perfect; and with such employments as shall be calculated to afford the most exquisite and refined pleasures. We are at a loss, indeed, either to express, or even to conceive, the glories and blessedness of that world, but we may be certain that they imply a freedom from all evil; an enjoyment of all good; and endless duration. The inhabitants " are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: And he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to fountains of living water: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Rev. vii, 15—17. The rest we may leave to God, who will make known all we can desire to know, when he has found us faithful unto death. We shall then fully prove, that the glory of crowns, die splendour of courts, and all the unsanc-.tified pleasures of the rich and great, are not worthy to be sought by the candidates of heaven.


The good man will receive the crown of life immediately after death; for then he is fully proved, and his probationary state comes to an end. Lazarus died, and was immediately conducted to Abraham's bosom. The penitent thief on the cross was admitted into Paradise on the very day he died. And the apostle Paul expected, when absent from the body, to be present with the Lord. But it will not be till the resurrection of the dead, that God will give all the glory and happiness which he has prepared for his saints: It is not, therefore, an improbable opinion, lhat those who are now in glory, are looking forward, with pleasing hope, for the full accomplishment of those promises which relate to that glorious event. Then death shall be swallowed up in victory, and Christ will triumph over all his enemies.


The crown is promised to all who love God. Love to God produces obedience, and obedience will be rewarded. Love to God is a most powerful principle in the heart of a believer. Its influence extends to every thought, word, and work. If love wax cold, all the other graces wither and die; but if it continues to burn, they grow and flourish.


God has promised a crown of life, and his promise cannot fail. Heaven and earth must pass away, but his word cannot pass awa}\ Saints may depend upon his word, without either doubt or fear. He has promised, and he will bring it to pass. Commit your souls to him in well-doing, and carefully imitate Moses, who chose " rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; for he had respect unto the recompence of reward." Heb. xi, 25.


And " now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and, majesty, dominion and power, both now and evermore. Amen." Jude 24, 25.

And that they may conquer, let them consider



His face.

It is the duty of ministers to comfort him under these d


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