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quired the whole strength of the Godhead then, and compare it with the state of mat-
You may learn from it that his desire and A more adequate sense of this might not your salvation are most thoroughly at one. only serve to awaken the gratitude which Of his good-will to have you into heaven, slumbers within us, and is dead--it might he has given the strongest pledge and de also, through the aid of the argument in my monstration, by consecrating, with his own text, awaken and assure our confidence. If blood, a way of access, through which sinwhen we were enemies, Christ ventured on ners may draw nigh. And now, that as our an enterprise so painful--if, when loathsome forerunner, he is already there--now that outcasts from the sacred territory of hea- he has gone up again to the place from ven, he left the abode of his Father, and which he arose--now that to the very place exchanged love, and adoration, and con- which he left to die, and that, that the bargenial felicity among angels, for the hatred rier to its entrance from our world may be and persecution of men-is, when the ago- moved away, he has ascended alive and in nies of the coming vengeance were still be- glory, without another death to endure, for fore him, and the dark and dreary vale of death has no more the dominion over himsuffering had yet to be entered upon, and he will ever he do any thing to close that enhad to pass under the inflictions of that trance which it has cost him so much to sword which the eternal God awakened open ?' Will he thus throw away the toil against his Fellow, and he had still to give and the travail of his own soul, and reduce himself up to a death equivalent in the to impotency that apparatus of reconciliaamount of its soreness to the devouring fire, tion which he himself has reared, and at an and the everlasting burnings, which but for expense, too, equal to the penance of many him believers would have borne-if, when millions through eternity? What he died to all this had yet to be travelled through, he begin, will he not now live to carry for. nevertheless, in his compassionate longing ward; and will not the love which could for the souls of men, went forth upon the force a way through the grave to its ac. errand of winning them to himself,-let us complishments--now that it has reached just look to the state of matters in heaven the summit of triumph and of elevation
which he at present occupies, burst forthlity upon that contest, the triumph of which and around the field of that mighty enter- is awaiting him ; but the bitterness of which prise, which was begun in deepest suffering, has passed away. He will not turn with and will end in full and finished glory? indifference and distaste from that very fruit
This is a good argument in all the stages which he himself has fought for. But if for of a man's Christianity. Whether he has guilt in its full impenitency, he dyed his found, or is only seeking---whether he be garments, and waded through the arena of in a state of faith, or in a state of inquiry--- contest and of blood---then should the most whether a believer like Paul and many of abandoned of her children begin a contrite the disciples that he was addressing, or an movement towards him, it is not he who earnest and convinced sinner groping the will either break the prop for which he way of deliverance, and labouring to be at feels, or quench his infant aspiration. He rest, there may be made to emanate from will look to him as the travail of his own the present circumstances of our Saviour, soul, and in him he will be satisfied, and the position that he now occupies, an We know not what the measure of the argument either to perpetuate the confi-sinfulness is of any who now hear us. But dence where it is, or to inspire it where it we know, that however foul his depravity, is not. If, when an enemy, I was reconciled, and however deep the crimson dye of his and that too by his death--if he laid down manifold iniquities may be, the measure of his life to remove an obstacle in the way of the gospel warrant reaches even unto him. my salvation, how much more, now that he It was to make an inroad on the territory has taken it up, will he not atcomplish that of Satan, and reclaim from it a kingdom salvation? It is just fulfilling his own desire. unto himself; that Christ died-and I speak It is just prospering forward the very cause to the farthest off in guilt and alienation that his heart is set upon. It is just follow- amongst you-take the overture of peace ing out the facilities which he himself has that is now brought to your door, and you opened--and marching onward in glorious will add to that kingdom which he came to procession, to the consummation of those establish, and take away from that kingtriumphs, for which he had to struggle his dom which he came to destroy. The freeway through a season of difficulties that are ness of this Gospel has the honour of him now over. It is thus that the believer rea- who liveth and was dead for its guarantee. sons himself into a steadier assurance than The security of the sinner and the glory before--and peace may be made to flow of the Saviour, are at one. And with the through his heart like a mighty river--and spirit of a monarch who had to fight his resting on the foundation of Christ, he way to the dominion which was rightfully comes to feel himself in a sure and wealthy his own, will he hail the returning alleplace---and the good-will of the Saviour giance of every rebel, as a new accession to rises into an undoubted axiom--so as to his triumphs, as another trophy to the might chase away all his distrust, and cause him and the glory of his great undertaking. to delight himself greatly in the riches of But, amid all this latitude of call and of his present grace, and in the brightening | invitation, let me press upon you that altercertainty of his coming salvation.
native character of the Gospel, to which I And this view of the matter is not only have often adverted. I have tried to make fitted to heighten the confidence that is al-known to you, how its encouragements ready formed---but also to originate the con- rise the one above the other to him who fidence that needs to be inspired. It places moves towards it. But it has its correspondthe herald of salvation on a secure and lofty | ing terrors and severities, which also rise vantage ground. It seals and authenticates the one above the other to him who moves the offer with which he is intrusted---and away from it. If the transgressor will not with which he may go round among the be recalled by the invitation which I have guiltiest of this world's population. It en- now made known to him, he will be rivetables him to say, that for guilt even in the ted thereby into deeper and more hopeless season of its most proud and unrepentant condemnation. If the offer of peace be not defiance, did Christ give himself up unto entertained by him, then, in the very pro. the death---and that to guilt even in this portion of its largeness and generosity, will state of hardihood, Christ in prosecution of the provocation be of his insulting treathis own work has commissioned him to goment in having rejected it. Out of the with the overtures of purchased mercy-- mouth of the Son of man there cometh a and should the guilt which has stood its two-edged sword. There is pardon free as ground against the threatenings of power, the light of heaven to all who will. There feel softened and arrested by pity's prevent-i is wrath, accumulated and irretrievable ing call, may the preacher of forgiveness wrath, to all who will not. “Kiss the Son, affirm in his Master's name, that he, who therefore, lest he be angry, and ye perish for the chief of sinners, bowed himself down from the way: when his wrath is kindled unto the sacrifice, will not now, that he has but a little, blessed only are they who put arisen a Prince and a Saviour, stamp a nul- their trust in him."
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It is the most delusive of all calculations sadly and sullenly put away. The free to put off the acceptance of the Gospel, be- proclamation is heard without one accomcause of its freeness—and because it is free panying charm--and the man who refused at all times—and because the present you to lay hold of it through life, finds, that in think may be the time of your unconcern the impotency of his expiring grasp, he and liberty, and some distant future be the cannot apprehend it. And 0, if you but time of your return through that door knew how often the word of faith may fall which will still be open for you. The door from the minister, and the work of faith be of Christ's Mediatorship is ever open, till left undone upon the dying man, nerer death puts its unchangeable seal upon your would you so postpone the purposes of seeternity. But the door of your own heart, riousness, or look forward to the last week if you are not receiving him, is shut at of your abode upon earth as to the convethis moment, and every day is it fixing nient season for winding up the concerns and fastening more closely-and long ere of a neglected eternity. death summon you away, may it at length If you look attentively to the 'text, you settle immoveably upon its hinges, and the will find that there is something more than voice of him who standeth without, and a shade of difference between being reconknocketh, may be unheard by the spiritual ciled and being saved. Reconciliation is ear-and, therefore, you are not made to spoken of as an event that has already feel too much, though you feel as earnestly happened-salvation as an event that is to as if now or never was the alternative on come. The one event may lead to the which you were suspended. It is not other; but there is a real distinction beenough, that the Word of God, compared tween them. It is true, that the salvation to a hammer, be weighty and powerful. instanced in the preceding verse, is salvaThe material on which it works must be vation from wrath. But it is the wrath capable of an impression. It is not enough, which is incurred by those who have siathat there be a free and forcible applica- ned wilfully, after they had come to the tion. There must be a willing subject. knowledge of the truth" when there reYou are unwilling now, and therefore it is maineth no more sacrifice for sin, but & that conversion does not follow. To-mor- certain fearful looking for of judgment and row the probability is, that you will be still fiery indignation, which shall devour the more unwilling--and, therefore, though the adversaries.” Jesus Christ will save us application be the same, the conversion is from this by saving us from sin. He who still at a greater distance away from you. I hath reconciled us by his death, will, by mis And thus, while the application continues lise, accomplish for us this salvation. Rethe same, the subject hardens, and a good conciliation is not salvation. It is only the result is ever becoming more and more portal to it. Justification is not the end of unlikely--and thus may it go on till you Christ's coming it is only the means to arrive upon the bed of your last sickness, I an ultimate attainment. By his death he at the confines of eternity-and what, I pacified the lawgiver. By his life he puriwould ask, is the kind of willingness that fies the sinner. The one work is finished. comés upon you then? Willing to escape | The other is not so, but it is only going on the pain of hell-this you are now, but yet unto perfection. And this is the secret of not willing to be a Christian. Willing that that unwillingness which I have already the fire and your bodily sensations be touched upon. There is a willingness that kept at a distance from each other this God would list off from their persons the you are now, for who of you at present, hand of an avenger. But there is not a would thrust his hand among the flames? willingness that Christ would lay upon Willing that the frame of your animal sen- their persons the hand of a sanctifier. The sibilities shall meet with nothing to wound motive for him to apprehend them is to or torture it—this is willingness of which make them holy. But they care not to apthe lower animals, incapable of religion, prehend that for which they are appreare yet as capable as yourself. You will hended. They see not that the use of the be as willing then for deliverance from new dispensation, is for them to be restored material torments as you can be now-but to the image they have lost, and, for this there is a willingness which you want now, purpose to be purged from their old sins. and which, in all likelihood, will then be This is the point on which they are in still more beyond the reach of your attain- darkness—and they love the darkness ment. If the free Gospel do not meet with rather than the light, because their deeds your willingness now to accept and sub-are evil.” They are at all times willing for mit to it, neither may it then. And I know the reward without the service. But they not, my brethren, what has been your ex- are not willing for the reward and the serperience in death-beds, but sure I am, that vice together. The willingness for the one both among the agonies of mortal disease, they always have. But the willingness for and the terrors of the malefactor's cell, both they never have. They have it not Christ may be offered, and the offer bel to-day--and it is not the operation of time
that will put it in them to-morrow. Nor | reigning and paramount principle of his will disease put it in. Nor will age put it lise, so may it be the reigning and parain. Nor will the tokens of death put it in. mount principle of his death-bed. As it Nor will the near and terrific view of eter- envenomed every breath which he drew, nity put it in. It may call out into a livelier so may it envenom his last-and the spirit sensation than before, a willingness for the going forth to the God who gave it, with reward. But it will neither inspire a taste all the enmity that it ever had, God will nor a willingness for the service. A dis- deal with it as with an enemy. taste for God and godliness, as it was the
"How say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain ?-0 that I had the wings of a dove, that I may
fly away, and be at rest."-Psalm xi. 1. and lv. 6.
To all those who are conversant in the when the sun threw its unclouded splenscenery of external nature, it is evident, dours over a whole neighbourhood, did you that an object to be seen to the greatest ad- I never form a wish that your place could be vantage must be placed at a certain distance transferred to some distant and more beaufrom the eye of the observer. The poor tiful part of the landscape? Did the idea man's hut, though all within be raggedness never rise in your fancy, that the people and disorder, and all around it be full of the who sport on yon sunny bank are happier most nauseous and disgusting spectacles than yourself-that you would like to be yet, if seen at a sufficient distance, may ap-buried in that distant grove, and forget, for a pear a sweet and interesting cottage. That while, in silence and in solitude, the distracfield where the thistle grows, and the facetions of the world—that you would like to of which is deformed by the wild exuber- repose by yon beautiful rivulet, and soothe ance of a rank and pernicious vegetation, every anxiety of your heart by the gentlemay delight the eye of a distant spectator ness of its murmurs-that you would like by the loveliness of its verdure. That lake, to transport yourself to the distance of miles, whose waters are corrupted, and whose and there enjoy the peace which resides in banks poison the air by their marshy and some sweet and sheltered concealment ? In putrid exhalations, may charm the eye of a word, was there no secret aspiration of the an enthusiast, who views it from an adjoin- soul for another place than what you actuing eminence, and dwells with rapture on ally occupied ? Instead of resting in the the quietness of its surface, and on the quiet enjoyment of your present situation, beauty of its outline—its sweet border did not your wishes wander abroad and fringed with the gayest colouring of Na-l around you—and were not you ready to exture, and on which spring lavishes its finest claim with the Psalmist in the text, “O that ornaments. All is the effect of distance. It I had the wings of a dove; for I would fly sostens the harsh and disgusting features of to yonder mountain, and be at rest ?" every object. What is gross and ordinary, But what is of most importance to be obit can dress in the most romantic attrac- served is, that even when you have reached tions. The country hamlet it can transform the mountain, rest is as far from you as ever. into a paradise of beauty, in spite of the As you get nearer the wished-for spot, the abominations that are at every door, and fairy enchantments in which distance had the angry brawlings of the men and the arrayed it, gradually disappear; when you women who occupy it. All that is loath- at last arrive at your object, the illusion is some and offensive, is softened down by the entirely dissipated ; and you are grieved to power of distance. You see the smoke find, that you have carried the same princirising in fantastic wreaths through the pure ple of restlessness and discontent along with air, and the village spire peeping from among you. the thick verdure of the trees, which embo- Now, what is true of a natural landscape, som it. The fancy of our sentimentalist is also true of that moral landscape, which swells with pleasure, and peace and piety is presented to the eye of the mind when it supply their delightful associations to com- contemplates human life, and casts a wide plete the harmony of the picture.
survey over the face of human society. The This principle may serve to explain a position which I myself occupy is seen and feeling which some of you who now hearselt with all its disadvantages. Its vexations me may have experienced. On a fine day, come home to my feelings with all the cer
tainty of experience. I see it before mine actual observation. What is present fills me
realize that sum to which he annexes the
for the play of rivalship and political en. This, in fact, is the grand principle of hu-terprise. In the bosom of a cottage, you man ambition, and it serves to explain both may witness the operation of the very same its restlessness and its vanity. What is pre-principle, only directed to objects of greater sent is seen in all its minuteness, and we insignificance and though a place for my overlook not a single article in the train of girl, or an apprenticeship for my boy, be all little drawbacks, and difficulties and disap- that I aspire after, yet an enlightened obpointments. What is distant is seen under server of the human character will per Á broad and general aspect, and the illu-ceive in it the same eagerness of competisions of fancy are substituted in those places tion, the same jealousy, the same malicious which we cannot fill up with the details of attempts to undermine the success of a more