29 DECEMBER (PREACHED NEW YEAR’S EVENING 1774)
Set your faces Zion-ward
‘They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.’ Jeremiah 50:5
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 Timothy 4:9–16
They ask, with their faces thitherward. Too many are content with talking of the way, but they may talk themselves into hell, while they amuse themselves with talking about Zion. They who are sincere will set their faces Zion-ward. That is:
(i) they will give all diligence to make their calling sure, by attending to the means.
(ii) they will abstain from the wicked ways in which they once walked. While the perishing pleasures of sin are desired, and the company of the ungodly chosen, people cannot be in earnest in asking the way to Zion.
(iii) though they meet (as they surely will) discouragements from within and without, they will keep their faces the right way and dread the thoughts of turning back.
Diary, Saturday 18 December 1773:
I desire to be kept from a party spirit but I hope I may and I think ought endeavour to prevent the young ones of the flock from being staggered and puzzled by fine words and artful speech, which are employed to turn them out of the way in which the Lord has led them. Some of my leisure employed in hymn making.
FOR MEDITATION: [Asking the way to Zion, written to be sung after this sermon]
Come, set your faces Zion-ward,
The sacred road enquire;
And let a union to the LORD
Be henceforth your desire!
SERMON: JEREMIAH 50:5 [5/7] [TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE]