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NEW YEAR.

NEW YEAR.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. N. P. KNAPP



"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." — Jeremiah viii. 20.
BY REV. N. P. KNAPP



"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." — Jeremiah viii. 20.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 20, 2013
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EW YEAR.BY REV. . P. KAPP"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." — Jeremiahviii. 20.This was the mournful cry of the Jews, who were weary withwatching for deliverance from the just judgments of God, which,they had brought on themselves by wilful and obstinate rebel-lion. The lapse of time was marked by the successive seasonsof the year, as determined by the earth's motion in space, aswell as by its products under the hand of culture. And thepathetic allusion to the harvest, which preceded the summer,and to the fading away of summer into sad and dreary winter,betokening the gloom of hopelessness, affords a picture of theirdistress which calls for deep commiseration. They had lookedfor salvation from the miseries for which they were not prepared,and had looked eagerly in vain. And as they watched thecoming and going of year after year, and yet discerned no signsof rescue, their hearts sank in despair, and the wail was heardfrom many voices, " The harvest is past, the summer is ended,and we are not saved."So may the captive in his dungeon mark with painful exact-ness the years of his sad and helpless thraldom, or the afflictednote the duration of the sorrow which God's chastening handhas laid upon him. And so may they who are held in bondageto Satan, review year by year, the time past of their lives whichhas been suffered to pass unimproved, with a sad lamentation fortheir waste of precious moments, the casting away of means of grace and offers of salvation.The beginning of a new year is a fit time to take a retrospect
 
S88 SERMO XLVI.of our lives. Few can look back upon a bygone year with per-fect satisfaction. Many find way marks of folly, wickedness orsuffering," upon which the mind reluctantly rests, and from whichit would gladly bound onward with eager anticipation of a betterand happier year to come. But conscience lays her hand uponthem, and stays them, till they have read the lesson of the past.We shall all do well to heed this lesson, whether we have pro-fessed to seek that best of all man's hopes, a title to eternal life,or have preferred to this the joys which perish with the body.If during the year that has just gone to mingle its notes of warn-ing with the voices of the past, we have failed to make gooduse of the privileges of our calling in Christ Jesus, we shouldbe reminded, by the lapse of time, of our approach to the end of our term of probation, and to the judgment after death, for themisused opportunities which we mourn. And the memento of life's fleeting character will serve to quicken our diligence, andwarm our zeal in the pursuit of that holiness which should bethe constant and highest object of life. To the professed discipleof Christ, time is a talent, for which he must answer before theLord in the great day of account. But to the sinner who hasnot laid hold on Christ, the Saviour, time is precious opportunitythat should be prized above all things which time measures.All its sands are golden, more precious than rubies. The mo-ments which make up years, of which man has few indeed, whenviewed as the term of his probation, may be regarded as strandsof a rope on which he is suspended over an abyss of ruin. Theirgradual untwisting leaves, year after year successively, a lessen-ing cord, till but a single slender thread separates him fromdestruction.Yet few sinners estimate their time with reference to eternalretribution. one surely can do so, who do not strive to winthe hope of salvation, which is set before them in the gospel.And yet the word of God bids us count "our life as a vapour,which soon vanishes away," and " so to number our days as toapply our hearts unto wisdom." While, therefore, it behoovesthe believer to devote the first day of the new year to a carefulreview of the past, in order that he may make a better use of 
 
the time to come, the unbeliever should mourn over a lost por-tion of that season of grace, which once past can never return,and which may be found at last too short for the great work of SERMO XL VI. 389his salvation. And we mean by " unbelievers," all who havenot em'fraced the hope of salvation, through a settled and avowedfaith in Christ, All such persons may well take up, at the pre-sent season, the lamentation in our text, and say, "The harvestis past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." This maywith ^ood reason be done, first, by persons of any age, who arestill living in sin, with reference to tlie loss of a large portionof their term of trial. For one year is a large, very largeportion of the term of trial allotted to some men. The un-pardoned sinner should consider that he has lost a full year of grace, that his moral responsibility has increased in a fearfulratio, that he is more sinful, and of course more deeply guiltyin the sight of God, than he was when he began the year justpast, and that while he has more to repent of, he has less timefor repentance, that while his condemnation is greater his hopeof salvation is more feeble, because his evil habits are strongerand more unyielding in consequence of the indulgence affordedthem. Reflections of this kind he may reasonably pursue, evenif he has had no special awakening, no remarkable visitings of God's Spirit, whose power has been resisted and goodness de-spised. But if the retrospect which his conscience holds up tohim, shows any seasons of peculiar religious movement, if he canremember that while many around him were brought to a know-ledge of salvation, he had been almost persuaded to be a Chris-tian in faith and hope, and consistent profession, but had fallenback into sin, through hardness of heart, he may well fear thatthe harvest of souls is indeed past, and that he will be cast outamong the tares for the final burning. The young, whose mindsare active, and affections fresh, and who of course embracewarmly what they fasten upon, should regard their youth as theharvest season in spiritual things, and should therefore give theirbest days to religion. Let them not spend their strength in

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