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son to their souls. They had rather be door. keepers in the house of the Lord, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. But since the blessings of the gospel are freely given, it must be owing to the self-righteousness of Christians, that they are so distitute of spiritual enjoyment. Being self-righteous they are loath to accept the blessings of the gospel as a free gift. Though they profess to look unto God for mercy, yet they are prone to rely upon their past experiences, or their religious services, or their good frames. Or they are prevented from looking unto God by a consideration of their unworthi. ness and ill-desert. They who come to God in a humble and believing manner, always receive the blessings they ask. God “filleth the hungry with good things.” If Christians would receive and enjoy spiritual favors, they must come unto God without money, and without price, and take the water of life freely. They will then have in themselves a well of water springing up into everlasting life. But all men naturally go about to establish their own right
And a self-righteous spirit is not easily destroyed. It is ever struggling in the breasts of Christians. While self-righteousness prevails, they are unwilling to ask and to receive spiritual blessings on the humbling conditions of the gospel. But on these conditions they must be received by saints as well as. sinners, or they cannot be enjoyed. It is there,
. fore wholly owing to the self-righteousness of
Christians that they have so small a degree of holy and spiritual enjoyment.
6. Since to every one, who will receive the blessings of the gospel, they åre freely given, sinners are able now to do what is necessary to . their salvation. When a gift is offered to a person, and brought to his hand, what can hinder his receiving it ? Is he not as able to receive, as he is to refuse the offered gift? If he refuses the gift, so offered, it is because he is unwilling, and not because he is unable to receive it. Whenever sinners are willing to be saved, nothing can hinder their salvation. And as this salvation is a free gift, nothing can be more easy and more pleasant than a compliance with the conditions of the gospel. Impenitence and unbelief are very difficult and unpleasant. “ The way of transgressors is hard.” But repentance and faith are always easy and pleasant.
The ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” The Lord Jesus Christ says to laboring and heavy-laden sinners, “ My yoke is easy and my burden is light." It is easy and pleasant to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in the first instance ; and so it is to perform all the duties of religion. It is more easy and more pleasant to remember the sabbath day to keep it holy, than it is to profane the holy and blessed day of the Lord. It is more easy and more pleasant to come to the house of God with a holy heart, than it is to come with a sinful heart.
, It is more easy and more pleasant to pray
with the spirit and with the understanding also ; than it is to cast off fear and restrain prayer before God; or to profess to pray while the heart is not right with him. It is more easy and more pleasant to sing with the spirit and with the understanding also, than it is to mock God with a solemn sound upon a thoughtless tongue. It is more easy and more pleasant to hear with faith and love, the great doctrines and duties of the gospel, than it is to hear of these doctrines and duties while the heart is full of enmity and unbelief. It is far more easy and more pleasant to walk in the way to heaven, than it is to walk in the way to hell
. It is more casy and more pleasant in every instance, to do right than it is to do wrong. If, then, sinners can refuse to repent, they can more easily repent of their sins. If they can refuse to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, they can more easily believe on his great and holy name. If they can sin, they can more easily become holy. Sinners are now able to repent of their sins, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, to do what is necessary to their eternal salvation.
7. Sinners are justly required without delay to accept the offers of the gospel. God says to sinners" Come now and let us reason together. Return ye now every one from his evil ways. How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity ? Turn ye at my reproof. Choose you this day whom you will serve. How long halt ye between two opinions ? Bebold, now is the accepted time. Behold, nowy
is the day of salvation. To day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Repent and turn from all your transgressions ; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit, for why will ye die.” You see how plainly and how kindly God teaches you, who are impenitent, your present duty. Now what hinders you from obeying the voice of God ?. Have
you not too long been his enemies? Have you not too long hated the Lord Jesus Christ without a cause ? Have you not too long resisted the Holy Spirit ? Have you not too long rejected the counsel of God against yourselves? Will you still be deaf to the calls of mercy? Will you still harden your hearts in impenitence and unbelief? Have you fully resolved for ever to reject the Lord Jesus Christ and the great salvation he freely offers you in the gospel ? Why then do you not now hear and obey his gracious voice? Will you say that you cannot accept the blessings of the gospel ? But why is it, that you cannot accept these blessings? Is it because you are unable, or because you are unwilling, to take the water of life freely? Let the Lord Jesus, who is your final judge, decide. Long ago did he tell sinners to their face, “ Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life.” Long ago did he say of sinners, " They have hated me without a cause." As he now condemns you for rejecting his salvatiom, so he will condemn you at
the final judgment, unless you repent and be. lieve on his name. Will you then believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved? Or will you reject this great salvation and be damned ? The kingdom of God is now brought nigh unto you. God is witness, and your own soul is a witness, that life and death, heaven and hell, are now offered to your choice. You must now choose salvation or damnation. What then is your choice ? Behold, “the Spirit and the bride say come. And let him that heareth say, come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” AMEN.