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lieved you again by leading you to the same almighty and ever-constant Saviour. When your graces and virtues have withered in the absence of the Sun of righteousness, he has again risen upon you with healing in his wings, and revived your languishing fouls, He has shed abroad his love in your hearts, which has made this wretched wilderness a paradise to you. He has at times afforded you, as you humbly hoped, joy and peace in believing; yea, even caused you to rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. He has met you in your retirements, and allowed you to converse with him in his ordinances, with the heart of a friend. He has, as it were, unlocked his peculiar treasures to enrich you, and given you an unshaken title to the most glorious inheritance of the saints in light. He has made you his own, his own in a peculiar sense; his people, his friends, his children. You are indeed his favourites: you were even so long before time began. He loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness has he drawn you; and having loved you once, he will love you always, and he will continue in his love to all eternity. Neither life, nor death, things present or things to come, Mall ever be able to separate you from his love. Rom. viii. 38, 39. His love to you is an unbounded ocean, that spreads over eternity, and makes it, as it were, the channel or the ocean of your happiness. In you he intends to shew to all worlds what glori. ous creatures he can form of the dust, and of the polluted fragments of degenerate human nature. What is all the profession of kings to their favourites, what are all the benefactions of creatures, nay, what are all the bounties of the divine hand itself within the compass of time, when compared to these astonishing, unparalleled, immortal, infinite, God-like favours ? They all dwindle into obscurity, like the stars of the night in the blaze of noon.
And now I am almost afraid to turn your thoughts to enquire, what returns you have made for all these
favours favours, lest you should not be able to bear the shock. You know you have a thousand times repeated Hezekiah's offence. I need not be particular. Your conscience accufes you, and points out the particulars; and I shall only join the cry of conscience agair.ft you, O' the ingratitude! 0! the base, vile, unnatural, horrid, unprecedented ingratitude ! From you your God might have expected better things; from you, whom he has so peculiarly, so infinitely obliged, and whose hearts he has made capable of ge. nerous sensations. But, O! the shocking, horrid ingratitude !-Let your hearts burft into a flood of forrows at the thought. They may be justly too full to allow us to speak much upon it; but, O! they can never be too full of shame, confusion, and tender relentings for the crime. Methinks the thought must break the hardest heart among us.
Let me now add a consideration, which gives an astonishing emphasis to all that has been said. All this profusion of mercy, personal and relative, temporal and spiritual, is bestowed upon creatures that deserve not the least mercy; creatures that deserve to be stripped naked of every mercy; nay, that deserve to be made miserable in time and eternity ; creatures that deserve not to breathe this vital air, to tread the ground, or drink the stream that runs waste through the wilderness, much less to enjoy all the bleffings which the infinite merit of Jesus could purchase, or the infinite goodness of God can bestow; creatures that are so far from deserving to be delivered from the calamities of life, that they deserve to have them all heightened and multiplied, till they convey them to the more intolerable punishments of hell ; creatures that are so far from making adequate returns, that they are perpetually offending their God to his face, and every day receiving blessings from him, and every day sinning against him. O! astonishing! most astonishing! This wonder is pointed out by Jesus Christ himself, who best knows what is truly marvellous. The most High, says he, is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. Luke vi. 35. Your heavenly Father maketh his fun to risë. on the evil and ort the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjusta.
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It need afford you no surprise, if my subject fo overwhelms me as to disable me from making a formal application of it. I leave you to your own thoughts upon it. And I am apt to think they will constrain you to cry out in a confternation with me,
O! the amazing, horrid, base, unprecedented ingratitude of man! And O! the amazing, free, rich, overflowing, infinite, unprecedented goodness of God! Let these two miracles be the wonder of the whole universe !
One prayer, and I have done. May our divine Benefactor, among his other blessings, bestow upon us that of a thankful heart, and enable us to give .sincere, fervent, and perpetual praise to his name, through Jesus Christ, his unspeakable gift! Amen.
THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, AND THEIR CONSEQUENT
JOYS AND BLESSINGS.
ISAIAH liii. 10, 11. When thou shalt make his foul an
offering for fin, he mall see his feed, he mall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall fee of the travail of his soul, and Shall be fatisfied.* THIS chapter contains a most lively and moving
1 account of very tragical sufferings; and, if we have but a small share of humanity, we cannot hear it without being affected, even though we did not know the person concerned. Here is one fo mangled and disfigured, that he has no form or comeliness ; one despised and rejected of men, a man of forrows, and acquainted with grief; one wounded, bruised, oppressed, afflicted ; one brought as a lamb to the Naughter; cne cut off out of the land of the living. And who is he? Were he an enemy, or a malefactor, we could not but pity him. But this was not his character; for he had done no violence, neither was there guile found in his mouth. And he was so far from being our enemy, that he bath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; he was wounded for our transgressions ; he was bruised for our iniquities, not for his own. Were he a child or a friend that had suffered such things, it would raise all our mournful and sympathizing passions to hear the history.-But what if this should be the man that is God's fellow, the Redeemer, to whom we are bound by the most en
* The Sermon is dated Hanover (a county, if I mistake not, in Virginia) July 11, 1756; and is evidently a Sacramental. Discourse.
dearing obligations! a person of infinite dignity and perfect innocence, our best friend, and only Saviour ! What if it should be he? Would not this move your hearts, and raise all your tender passions ? Or shall he die in such agonies unpitied, unlamented, unbeloved, when even a dying criminal excites our compassion ? What do you think would be the issue, if I should make an experiment of this to-day? If I should make a trial what weight the sufferings of Jesus will have upon your hearts? Do you think the representation of his fufferings and love would have any effect upon you? That they may have this effect is my design in the prosecution of this subject; for that it is Jesus who is the hero of this deep tragedy, or the subject of these sufferings, we may learn from the frequent application of passages quoted from this chapter to him in the New Testament. This chapter has been a successful part of the scriptures ; and there are some now in heaven who were brought thither by it. This is the chapter the Ethiopian eunuch was reading when he asked Philip, Of whom speakest the prophet this? of himself, or some other man? And Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jefus : and he believed with all his heart, and was baptized ; and went on his way homeward and heavenward rejoicing. Acts viii. 32, 35. This was the chapter that opened to the penitent Earl of Rochester the way of salvation through the fufferings of Christ, which alone relieved his mind from the horrors of guilt, and constrained him to hope that even such a sinner as he might find mercy. O ! that it may have the fame effect upon you, my brethren, to-day, that with the eunuch you may return home rejoicing !
The design and method I have now in view is only to illustrate and improve the several parts of my text, especially those that represent how pleasing and satisfactory the conversion and salvation of finners by the death of Christ is to him.