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lieves. The gospel call is, “Come unto me all ye that labour “ and are heavy ladened, and I will give you rest. To as many
as receive him, he gives power to become the sons of God."
Thirdly, Looking unto Christ, implies the most perfect and absolute dependance upon himn for righteousness and eternal life. The lame man mentioned in the Acts, when he beheld Peter and John going into the temple, asked alms, and they said, “ Look "on us." Thus looking unto Jesus, signifies dependance upon him, and hope of mercy from him alone. Jehoshaphet, reduced to the extremity of distress, and in all the anguish of perplexity, cries out, “ We have no might against this great company that “ cometh against us, neither know we what to do, but our eyes « are unto thee.” The prophet Micah, when surrounded with universal calamity, declares, “ I will look unto the Lord ; I will “ wait for the God of my salvation.” Thus poor, undone, and perishing sinners, must turn their eyes to God alone, and look only to Jesus for forgiveness of sin, sanctifying grace, and life and every blessing. The desires of his heart are drawn forth to this glorious Saviour; he renounces his own righteousness as filthy rags ; and looks unto him as his beloved and his friend. His sufficiency charins his heart, and his mediatorial glories captivate all his affections. .
Now the sinner that thus looks to Jesus, though he may apprehend himself at the ends of the earth, and, as it were, beyond hope, yet casting one look of the eye of faith on the precious Redeemer, assures to his soul the infallible promise, that he shall be saved.
This leads to the
Second head, which was to consider the import of the salva. tion here promised and commanded : “ Be ye saved.” · It imports that they who look to Jesus, are delivered from the guilt of sin. By this single believing look, they become united
to Christ. "And there is now no condemnation to them that are “ in Christ Jesus.” However great and heinous their iniquities may have been, yet by his justifying righteousness, they stand in a sure acquittal before God. “ Who shall lay any thing to " the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he " that condemneth. Being justified by faith, we have peace « with God."
It imports a recovery from the dominion and power of sin. Their lasts and corruptions do not habitually triumph over, direct and govern them as formerly. Although there remains in the believer a ground of conflict between the flesh and spirit, between the old and renewed nature. They too often stumble and fall, and are found in anguish to utter the melancholy groan, “ Who “ sball deliver us from this body of sin and death ?" But O christian, always bear in your mind, “ That the old man is crucified, " the body of sin is destroyed, and through Christ you will come “ off more than conquerors.”
It imports that those who look to Jesus, are, in a measure, freed from those awful terrors of conscience, which beset the wicked in times of calamity. The natural man, whose dependance is upon himself, and his supposed duties, his conscience is often flashing horrible conviction in his face, that he must be eternally damned for his imperfections and deficiencies. But he whose trust is not in himself, but his expecting eyes are to Jesus, though he feels himself imperfect, nothing and less than nothing, yet his soul magnifies the Lord, that Christ is his hope, his munie tion of rocks, and he reposes himself at seasons with raptures of joy on the bosom of his beloved.
It imports in a ineasure, deliverance from the wiles and temptations of Satan. This salvation introduces them into the liberty of the sons of God. Satan will harrass them, but he will not prevail. He will throw sinful objects into their way, adapt his suggestions to their corruptions ; take every advantage of their
weakness, usages and constitution'; he will even change himself into an angel of light; fill their hearts with spiritual pride ; though he has no hope of their recovery, yet to molest them, cause them to dishonor God, and bring a reproach upon religion, and restrain others from engaging in it; these gratify him with an hellish satisfaction. But they who look to Jesus have full assurance, that he knows, and is both able, willing, and ready to succour them that are tempted.
This sweet promise and command, “ be ye saved,” imports a deliverance from the sting of death. Though fears of death may at times subject the believer to bondage, yet the king of terrors is disarmed. At seasons they look at the gloomy tyrant and say, “ We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dis. « solved, we have a building of God, an house not made with "hands, eternal in the heavens." What have those to dread, who have fled to Jesus for refuge? He is a hiding place froin the wind, and a covert from the tempest, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. He is the city of refuge, wherein the manslayer is preserved from the avenger of blood.
This salvation imports the possession of comfort in this world, and a certain hope of unspeakable felicity in the next. Even here, they have the consolations and cominunications of divine grace. These charm their souls more than apples of gold in pictures of silver. They have here sweet converse with God in prayer, and in all his holy ordinances. They have times of comfort, that they are ready to say with the disciples at Christ's transfiguration, “ It is good to be here." A Solomon, who had tried pleasure in all its various and extensive forms, yields the preference to the delights of religion : “ Wisdom's ways are “pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” The lowest grade of piety, David exalts above all his royalty and magnificence ; “ I had rather be a door keeper in the house of God, than dwell “ in tents of wickedness.” Moses chose adversity with religion, rather than prosperity in courses of iniquity. “ He chose to suf.
u fer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the “pleasures of sin for a season ; esteeming the reproach of Christ “ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect “ unto the recompence of reward.” But the salvation that is prepared for them in a futare state of existence, when they shall be perfectly freed from all the remains of sin, admitted to the unremite ting fruition of their Saviour, the intimate fellowship of angels, and to unite in all the anthems of praise to him that sitteth on the throne, and to the lamb forever and ever--these employments will be joy unspeakable and full of glory. Yea, the felicity come prehended in this salvation, “ Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, “ neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive.”
Thirdly, To close this discourse, with some motives to urge us to a compliance with this divine counsel, “ Look unto me, and “ be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there “ is none else.” The powerful argument here used, should immediately induce every sinner to fall in with this scheme of salvation: “ He is God and there is none else." Christ Jesus is God, and he has an indefeasable right to lay the plan, and state the terins of saving lost men. Here mercy is spread at the feet of sinners, and salvation reduced as low as possible.
He does not here say, come unto me, lest you should object your weakness, infirmity and impotency, that you can neither rise nor walk; he does not say, lay hold on me for eternal life, Jest you should reply, we dwell in the ends of the earth, and our immense distance makes it impossible; but behold his condescending grace is exactly suited to your helpless and forlorn circumstances; the command is, look unto him and be ye saved. In your perishing and deplorable situation, case your eyes to Jesus, as the stung Israelites looked to the brazen serpent, and obtained life.
There is no other name given under heaven, by which any can
be saved, but the name of Jesus--therefore, we should look to him alone. The law cannot save us, because we are transa gressors; we cannot save ourselves; the prayers of the righteous cannot do it; for though Noah, Daniel and Job stood and made intercession, they could only deliver their own souls.-“ O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in Christ is thy help “ found.” Seeing he is the only Saviour, let us hear and attend to his declarations. “ See now that I, even I am he, and there “is no God besides ; I kill and I make alive, I wound and I “ heal ; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand ; I, “ even I ain the Lord, and besides me there is no Saviour."
Moreover, Christ Jesus will have no partner with him in the glory of our salvation. He must be a whole Saviour, or none at all. Therefore, we should look away from every other consideration, and place all our confidence solely in him. He trod the winepress of his Father's wrath alone, and of the people there yere none with him. So he expects the entire honor of the salvation of his people.
Wherefore, let us deny ourselves, take up our cross and fol. low him ; let us have no confidence in the flesh--but look to, trust and depend on the Lord our righteousness and strength, who is God eternal, and mighty to save.
Lct all be persuaded of every rank, state and condition, to turn their eyes by faith to this great salvation. Let the careless be alarmed, and the secure sinner awake ; let the self-righteous be confounded, and the helpless hear ; let the stupid arouse, and the concerned soul look hither ; let the hypocrite drop kis mask, and the desponding creature raise his eyes. Here is an abundant and overflowing salvation for all who will look unto it-How should the joyful voice, “ look to me,” cause every sinner's heart to leap with pleasure ?
Let the eyes and hearts of the saints ever be turned to this glorious cbject, the God of your salvation.