And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,…
I. THE TIME OF OUR VISITATION.
1. The country which has given us birth. We are highly favoured in this respect. We enjoy religious freedom.
2. The dispensation under which we live. Full blaze of gospel sun.
3. The revelation which God has been pleased to give us of His will.
4. The ministry, by which the written Word is explained to the understanding and enforced on the conscience.
II. THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH TIMES OF VISITATION ARE GRANTED. They are granted for purposes of the highest consequence to every one of you.
1. First of all, to be instrumental in accomplishing the conversion of your hearts and lives to God.
2. This entire conversion of your hearts and lives to God, is the foundation of all Christian experience and all Christian practice.
3. And then, as to its final and ultimate object, this "time of visitation" looks forward to your everlasting salvation; for the work of religion is not only to be begun, and it is not only to be proceeded with, but it is likewise to be perfected.
III. OUR NEGLECT OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES. How is it that, notwithstanding we are all favoured with the means of salvation, and with many loud calls to secure the purposes for which they are given to us — how is it that so many amongst even you are as yet unsaved, and "know not the time of your visitation"?
1. I suppose that, in reference to some, it is in consequence of your perseverance in the practice of sin.
2. There are others who know net and do not improve "the time of their visitation," by reason of their thoughtlessness and inattention to Divine things.
3. There is another reason to be assigned for your not knowing "the time of your visitation" — and that is, indecision and delay. "He that is not with Me," said Christ, "is against Me."
4. Then, let me say, further, that all those know not "the time of their visitation," who, for any reason whatever, do not come to the Lord Jesus Christ to believe with their hearts unto righteousness.
5. Perhaps I ought to say, there are some who know not "the time of their visitation," by reason of their inconstancy and negligence.
IV. In the last place, we ought to look a little at THE JUDGMENT WHICH, SOONER OR LATER, IS SURE TO OVERTAKE ALL THOSE WHO PERSIST IN DISREGARDING THEIR MEANS AND OPPORTUNITIES.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,