Commit your souls, the Apostle writes to such, in well-doing to God as a faithful Creator. If this were wise and practicable, it might avail — for aught we can know; but since He does not do it, we infer that He refrains from some wise reason. Wisdom Literature
Indeed, He only can keep our souls.IV. All outward difficulties, however, would be us nothing, were it not for the incumbrance of lusts and corruptions within. Now the way is this, commit it to God: this many say, but few do. Thus they not only have not faith and seek not after it, but they yield themselves to be bound and fettered in infidelity. This they approve of. God has His providential methods of soul training, and soul enlarging, and soul ripening. God is infinitely ready to forgive them if they will repent; but the great problem is to persuade them to do so. Alas! And as a man protects his house from all enemies, so will God protect His Church and people, and be a wall of fire, and a defence round about them. But the ungodly and sinners have no living faith in Christ at all. Though we may sometimes deem it a mystery we may readily see that it is a mercy — it is according to the will of God — both as to the end to be answered by it, and as to the measure and degree.II. (1) The testimony of Scripture secures it (2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:17; 1 Peter 1:3-5. NOW THIS WELL-DOING MUST BE DISTINGUISHED INTO TWO TIMES.1. Sibbes. That when He sends them good days afterwards, they might have the more taste and relish of His goodness.(R. THE FACT. (Newman Smyth. We propel our street cars, we light our houses, we run our machinery, we multiply our conveniences, because we have found out something about God's regular habit or method of the light and the electricity and the admirable mechanics of the creation, to which from the beginning He has been faithful. What will be your condition in the next world?(J. Besides, sensible things ever surround them, try to press into their souls by every avenue of their senses, and exclusively, fill their affections and engage their thoughts; hence their disinclination to exercise faith would be proportionately increased. Then the believer feels his own helplessness and trusts in God alone.2. For that which is not only hard, but impossible to us, in our own strength, may, by the mighty power of Divine grace, become not only possible but easy to us.III. Satan makes assault. From the testimony of those who are safely landed (Revelation 7:14).II. THE CAUTION OF THIS BOLDNESS. First, I say, in affliction our carriage must be generally good in respect of God, by a meek behaviour under His hand, without murmuring against Him.3. (The Lay Preacher. Braden.Suppose, in the place of God as Creator, we substitute chance, or fate, or law, what a blank we have at once in the highest regions of thought and feeling! There the former trials will contribute to the eternal bliss.(C. (3) Because even when salvation is thus attained, it is not persevered in without the same supernatural aid, and the utmost diligence. Which chiefly happens when a religion appears new, or goes about to reform the old; for then it is sure to meet with all the opposition which the passions and interests and prejudices of partial men can raise against it. The man who is not a Christian has yet to enter upon the way.2. Men who have won the prizes of life have cause to wear their honours meekly when they recall the errors of judgment, the lack of courage, the acts of rashness, the ignorance, the credulousness, the hesitation, which so nearly deprived them of fame and fortune. Poverty; Christ so suffered; so did His disciples; bodily affliction, etc.2. There the difficulties will be ended forever. And if anything be attained, how hard to keep and maintain it against the contrary party! There is a man chained to a wife who is a constant source of temptation and trial to him. This is the simple answer to the question. Sometimes we are quite inadequate to judge of the strength of this attachment, except as we may see what strange and terrible means God is compelled to use to sever it. Their deep and all engrossing desire and purpose to please God was the law of their entire activities. Again, the faith of the righteous is liable to decrease in strength and firmness, through being exposed to attacks from the unbelief of their fallen nature, called in Scripture the evil heart of unbelief. Oh, then, how anxious should sinners be to commence the great work of their salvation!3. Some tempers are more flexible and pliable than others; more capable of hearkening to reason, and more apt to reflect on their own actions; whereas others are naturally stiff and obstinate, who stick fast to an opinion or prejudice which they have once taken up. Clark. This relation of a Creator implies likewise a benign propension and goodwill to the works of His hands. Sibbes. i.e., Christ hath foretold desolation and ruin to come upon the Jewish nation. B. )The difficulties that are to be encountered in the way of salvationBp. He has furnished the world as the fitting nursery and schoolhouse for the family of man that He is educating for an immortal and perfect life.II. They fly with wings tireless, eye dimless, swifter than arrows, deadlier than plagues, cutting like hail, drowning like surges, crushing like rocks. And their exposedness to this may hardly be obviated by the frequent calls they may have to the healthy and invigorating exercises of devotion. From the connection we conclude that the righteous are saved with difficulty because of the strictness of Divine rule.2. Who is like unto Him? Commit your souls, the Apostle writes to such, in well-doing to God as a faithful Creator. All the Christian's foes are marshalled under three sturdy generals — the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. In a word, let them "work out their own salvation with fear and trembling," and "give all diligence to make their calling and election sure."(C. Stillingfleet.That the righteous should scarcely be saved seems hardly reconcilable with the grace and deign and promises of the gospel. Before our suffering. It is a mystery that God should be pleased to subject His people to suffering.2. In the threats which it utters.2. They can shed sin as naturally as a bird his feathers, or a tree its bark. So we can live surely, as we live in accordance with God's method. From sin and the evil consequences thereof. H. Coleman.1. Now, think how very much it means for us to know that God is methodical, whether in the realm of nature or of redemption. (2) That there must be a careful and attentive mind to pursue this design. this life is but a shadow, as it were, nothing. They can shed sin as naturally as a bird his feathers, or a tree its bark. They shall appear at the awful tribunal of God, before His judgment seat. GOD THE CREATOR IS FAITHFUL TO THE GREAT PURPOSE FOR WHICH HE MADE US HIS CREATURES. Those who know the claims of the gospel, the possibilities it offers, and yet despise it and reject it, "do not obey it," must have even severer suffering than Christians who have blundered into error or been overborne by evil, for they at least have. That His children might be best at last.4. Another incentive is special temptation, or trouble, or difficulty, which often besets them, and urges them to look to their Saviour for deliverance or support. Finlayson.). 28-32). THE TEXT SHOWS US WHO ALONE IS QUALIFIED TO BE THE KEEPER OF THIS INVALUABLE TREASURE — OUR IMMORTAL SOUL.1. There is another ground of quietness contained in the first word, which looks back to the foregoing discourse, "Wherefore" — what? H. These sufferings are for the trial of faith (vers. It is asked, Where shall the ungodly appear? I do not mean that for infirmities a Christian ought to be discouraged. Carrying our thought of this character a step further, observe, secondly, that in this Biblical phrase is included the truth that God has some regular method in whatever He does. On account of its Author.2. Mark, also, why Christians are exhorted to spend the time of their sojourning here in fear, and to walk softly and carefully, as before God, through all the meanderings of their pilgrimage. Let the wicked tremble for the consequences of their conduct. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." ANOTHER INFERENCE. You are in the greatest danger of being suffered to continue in impenitence and unbelief. Mark, also, why Christians are exhorted to spend the time of their sojourning here in fear, and to walk softly and carefully, as before God, through all the meanderings of their pilgrimage. 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