CALEB. BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.

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UMBEBS XIV. 24. But my servant Caleby becanse he had another spirit with him, and hathfollowed msfuUyy him will I brinff into the land whereinto he went j and his seed shall possess it. The example of others is of singolar use. If it be bad, we are wamed by it what evils we should shun; and if it be good^ we are instructed and encouraged by it how to serve and glorify God. In the last exposition we had an example of the former kind. We saw the Tsraelites disbelieving the promise of God, and the punishment with which they were consequently visited, and we were thereby wamed not to sin after the same manner. In the present exposition we shall see the opposite character and conduct of Caleb, and the honour which was put upoH

416 CALEB. him for his trust in God^ and we may leam from him how to fix an entire reliance upon. the promises of God^ and how to remain firm in our faith and obedience, in all drcanistances of trial and danger. You perceive thal the text assigns a reason, arising out of the character of Caleb, why God would distinguish him above all the rest of the people. This character and this dis* tinction shall form the two príncipal divisions of my sermon. I. 1. ow the first part of the descríptioii of the character of Caleb marks a contrast between the spirít of the world^ and the spirít

of a man of God. I need not enter into tfae particular history which caused this contrast to be here drawn ; that appeared in onr last sermon. I wiU therefore speak generally on the difference of the spirit possessed by a mán of God from that which is possessed by the people of the world. The spirít of the people of the world leads them to mind the things of the world. These occupy their attention and regard ; írom these they seek their honour and happiness, and

CALBB. 417 practícallj constitute them their chief good. The spirit which they have, being a fallen and unrenewed spirit, disposes them to love the world, and the things of the world, while the love of the Father is not in them ; it makes them to be lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, and to seek the houour which cometh from mau in preference to that which cometh from God. It forms no right estímate of the value aud importance of the etemal world, or of any divine things. It is not vtdlling to subject itself to any privatíons, or to encounler any difficulties in the fulfilment of the duty which is owed to God. It ís earthly and sensual, unimpressed by any religious motive, impatient of restraint, discontented under sufferíngs, unwilling to receive the yoke of Christ, disbelíeving his promises, and disobedient to his just and righteous commands. But the spirít of a man of God is another spirít. His mind is at all times supremely fixed upon divine things. It is a spirít of faith in the promises of God, of reliance upon his word, and obedience to his command. T5

418 CALEB. it Í8 ever seeking its rest and happiness iu him^ and finds its richest gratification in meditating upon his glorions perfections, contemplating his wondrous and gradoas acts in redemption, enjojring a spiritoal intercourse with him in seasons of private^ social, or public prayer, and in doing his wiU, and glorifying his name, as opportunity may be afibrded. Thus I saj, it is a feelin^ and state of the mind and heart which is supremely devoted to God, ready to sufiier or dare^any thing in his service, and desirous only of honouring and obeying his word, It is a spirit which loves, trusts, and delights in God, and serves him with gladness and willingness of heart. Let me here observe to you that this spirit of a man of God is a divine gifl. It is given by God ; and in consequence of the contrast between it and the spirit of the world, which is the spirit that is natural to fallen man^ and bom with him, it is scripturally called a new spirit. As such it is promised by God unto his people ; " A new heart will I give you, and a new spirít will I put within you.*' So

CALEB. 419 the Apostle speaks of serving 6od in new*. ness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter, and admonishes the Ephesians to be renewed in the spirit of their minds. My brethren, you will not possess this other spirity so different from that of the world, except it bo bestowed upon you bj the converting and renewing grace of God, which jou must leam to call for by diligent prayer. It is the application of his grace which makes this difference in the spirits of men, grace which must be sought^ and which must be cultivated and cherished, grace which is sufficient

to give you as devoted and as courageous a spirit as Caleb had, which can qualify you for auy duty or service to which you may be called, and enable you, as he was enabled^ to glorify God in seasons of fear, of difficulty, and danger. 2. I proceed now to consider a second point in which the character of Caleb is represented as having differed from that of the rest of the people ; he foUowed the Lord fuUy. There were many then^ and tbere are

420 CALEB. many in all ages, who make a profession of foUowing the Lord, or being his servaots^ who nevertheless in reality follow nothing bnt their own wiU and pleasare. There are also manj who render to God a partial obedience, doing some things, or perhaps it mav be, many things, but stopping sbort when severer duties, or a stricter conduct are reqoired, when ease or pleasure are to be renounced, or dangers encountered: and this is often the ease with some who at first have been most forward in their profession of service, as our Lord exemplifies by the character of those stony-ground hearers, who with joy receive the word, but have no root in themselves, aud endure only for a while, for when tríbulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by they are offended. Let me here endeavour briefly to shew you, what is the character of the man who foUows the Lord fuUy. He is one then who has entirely chosen the service of God, aiid is perfectly convinced that it is his first, nay his whole duty, to do his will. He gives himself to God with all his powers and

CALEB. 421 facnlties, and looks upon bis relation to God exactly in tlie light in which the Apostle placed it, '* whose I am, and whom I serve.'" He is one who aims to obej the Lord whoUy, witbout any reserves or limitations whatever. He would not do some things, but all things. He would not stop short at anv one JM>int of Ghristían obedience, but would proceed through the whole compass of it. He would not allow himself in anj one sin, bnt would avoid«every evil way and work. Though any forbidden thing were apparently as necessary for him as a right hand, or dear to him as a right eye, he would renounce and part with it at once for conscience sake. Only let him be instructed what is sinful, and he no longer entertains or allows it, only let him know what is the path of duty, and he no longer hesitates to pursue it. Again, the man who foUows the Lord fully is one who serves him under all circumstances^ at all times, and before all persons. There are often situations in which one who is but half a Cbristian is disposed to keep

422 CALEB. back^ to conceal his religion, and to withhold a faithíul testimony for God. There may be danger or inconvenience in his so doing : he thinks that it is not necessary^ or can answer no end. Bat not so the mau who foUows the Lord fully. He is always mindful of God, is never ashamed of the gospel, nor afraid of speaking decidedly for God. This was peculiarly the case with Caleb in the history before us. His companions^ all except Joshua^ were disheartened, and discouraged the people ; the people themselves were ready to stone him ; but like St.

Paul in after tímes, none of these things moved him; and he remained faithful to God, even at the risk of his life. So he, who follows the Lord fiilly, perseveres in giving honour to God, whether others are with him or against him, through honour and dishonour, through evil report and good report, through favours and frowns, through safety and danger. He adheres firmly to God, and relies upon his promise, well knowing whom he bas believed. He confesses Christ before men, and bears his testimonv for him, even in the midsí

CALEB. 423 of an evil and adulterous generatioii; and remaíns stedfast and uumoveable, when all others are giving way, or declining* — I have not time to follow the description out to its full length. You will yourselves be able to add other particulars. II. I proceed therefore to notice the distinction which God was pleased to put upon this his faithfíil servant, for his firm and courageous adherence to him. This distinction was that he and Joshua alone, who had acted throughout in the same manner as Caleb, should be permitted to enter into the land of Canaan. All the rest of the people, as I stated in the last sermon, who had then attained to the age of twenty years, should wander in the wildemess, tiU they were taken off by death : but he should be permitted to enter in, and obtain his portion of it, which his seed should inherit. The subsequent history informs us that this was accomplished. We read in the fourteenth chapter of Joshua that at the time of the di^ vision of the land, after they had eutered into it, Caleb came to Joshua, reminding him of

that the cities were great and fenced: if so

be the Lord will be with me^ then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said/' So Joshua gave him that mountain, the mount Hebron, wherein there stiU dwelt the sons of Anak^ whose size bad so terrified the other spies, that thej thought themselves as grasshoppers^ when compared with them, and Caleb drove them out from it, and took possession of it as his own. So wiU it be in the world to come with all who have a right spirit, and who foUow the Lord fuUy while they live upon earth. God has promised to give them an entrance into his kingdom^ and that there they shall have their inheritance, and that for ever. It is said by the divine Saviour from heaven, " To him that overcometh I wiU give to sit down witb me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father on his throne." " Be thou faithful unto death," saith he, *^ and I wiU give thee a crown of life." His Apostle says, " Be ye therefore stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know

426 CALEB. that your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord." This Caleb fonnd with respect to God's promise of a portion in the earthlj Canaan ; this you shall find^ if you be of another spirit, and follow the Lord fully^ with respect to his promise of a portion in heaven. The Lord's promises to the Israelites were chiefly promises of earthly and temporal blessings; his promises to Christians are of spiritual and eternal blessings. And not one of them will fail. It may be long before they are íulfílled, but in due time God will make good his word to all his servants. We may well suppose that Caleb^ while wandering those forty years in the wilderness, and seeing his companions, many of them younger than himself, dying round

him, might often have felt an unbelieving fear, that he should surely one day perish in Uke manner. So an ungodly world is prone to say, ^'Where is the promise of his coming, for all things continue as they were since the foundation of the world." So the believer may often be tempt^ ed to think, while sufiering Úie tríals of this

CALEB. 427 present life, that he is not favoured more than others. But let him not listen to this suggestion of the evil heart of nnbelief. As Caleb was distinguished above all the men of that generation, so shall the true and faithiul foUower of Christ be distínguished above all the world of the unbelieving and nngodly. He shall live through faith ; they shall perish in unbelief : he shall have a crown of glory that faideth not awaj ; they sháll rise up to shame and everlasting contempt: he shall live in heaven ; they shall lie down in hell : he shall dwell with God ; they shall be with devils and damned spirits etemally. Such will be the difference between the ríghteous and the wicked^ between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. Let me here then recommend to you the character of Caleb, and exhort you to foUow the Lord fully, as he did. Let your religion be of a decided cast. Settle it in your hearts that God deserves all the trust that you can possibly place in Inm, and all the service that you can possibly render him. Establish it as a settled prínciple that his authoríty is

428 CALEB. infiuitely higher than every other consideration, that bis promises are infinitely superior to every other inducementy and that to honour

him by a faithful and entire obedience in all things is the best and highest distinction to which you can possibly aspire. Let me add, that as a decided religion is the most honourable to your character, so it is also the most satisfactory, and keeps the mind in most peace. He that is continually halting between two opinions, is never satisfied with himself. He that seems ready to foUow the Lord to-day^ and to retum back to the wor]d to-morrow^ never has a mind at peace ; he has no assurance of his state, no answer of a good conscience that in simplicity and godly sincerity he is serving the Lord. But he who foUows the Lord fully has a stability in his mind as well as in his character. He is uniform in his aim and purpose^ and therefore uniformly looks to the end with confidence and joy. He honours God by his fidelity, and doubts not but that God will be faithful to every word which he has spoken respecting his servants.

CALEB. 429 I would hold up this example of Caleb to tbose who are but half resolved for God, and I would entreat them to observe the vigour of mind, the firmness and decision which he manifested in the Lord's service^ and the honourable distinction which he therebj obtained. Praj that jou may have another spirit than that which jou at present possess, and that you maj become whoUy the Lord's servánts. I dare appeal to jourselves that you have neither comfort at present^ nor sufficieut hope for the future, in the state of mind and way of life in which you now are. I exhort you to break out of those trammels in which you are held, and to quit that imperfect kind of service which you render, and to foUow the Lord fuUy. Separate yourselves whoUy from the world. Be it known by you that yóu cannot belong half to the world and half to Christ. Remember how the Lord's

anger was kindled on this occasion, and how he sware that none of these Israelites should see the land promised to their fathers, and for tbis declared reason, because they bad not whoUy foUowed him, as we see in the

430 CALEB. thiity-second chapter. Rememher that it is not sufficient to he ahnost a Christian. Yoii must be a Christian altogether. With purpose of heart therefore give yourselves up to the Lord as faithful servants to ohey him wholly, and without reserve. But there are some who foUow not the Lord at all, but foUow the multitude to do evil* Oh ! consider the end of your waj. It is ruin, destruction, and death ; death not only of the body, but of the soul. If you live with the world, you must perish with the world ; you must die in your sins ; you must have no heaven, no rest, no future happiness and glory ; you must die under the wrath of God, and be consigned for ever to unutterable wretchedness and despair. The carcases of those who died in the wildemess are but a faint representation of those souls which shall lie for ever in hell; and such must be the final condition of those who will not be the servants of God. Oh! let me wam you to flee irom the wrath to come. Acknowledge the duty which you owe to God. 8eek pardon with him, through his Son, for

CALEB. 431 all jour past neglect and disobedience. Repent and be converted to God. Pray for his converting grace, that you may become new creatures. Yield yourselves unto God, .as tbose tbat are made aUve from the dead^ and henceforward follow him fully.

So you wiU have a portion with Caleb and Joshua and all the saints of the most high, and reign with them in the land of promise for ever. Otherwise you will die in your sins, and never see the kingdom of God. Continuing in the world, you will perísh with the world ; for the world is appointed to destruction. Remaining of the same spirít with the men of the world, with them must your present and final portion be. May the Lord in mercy bring you to a better mind, and give you a full determination of soul for himself and his service.

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