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in their own imaginary merits, and despised the offered atonement of a Saviour. My son', istbou wilt incline thine ear unto wisdom , and apply thine heart to understanding: isthouseekesl her as filver, and searches for her as for hid treasures: then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, andf nd the knowledge of God. For the Lord givetb wisdom: out os his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding *. When you have listened to the words of wisdom, recorded from his mouth in the Gospel, strive, through the influence of his Holy Spirit, to obey them as an affectionate child obeys its parent. Let your faith prove itself by its fruits. At the fame time that you are, found in doctrine, be a pattern of every good work. So shall you be the children of wisdom: so shall you justify wisdom. So shall you evince that Christ Jesus is made unto you, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. So shall you glorify God in the way of salvation. So shall you recommend the way of salvation to mankind.
If you thus justify wisdom, behold the hour approaches, when before the assembled world, wisdom shall justify you. . Fear him who can cast both body and soul into
* Prov. ii. I—6.
helL hell. But fear ye not the reproach of men: neither be ye afraid of their revilings. Behold the hour cometh, when Christ shall render to every man according to his deeds. Thenshall the righteous man Jiand in great boldness before the face ossuch as have assisted him, and made no account of his labours. When they fee it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear: and so all be amazed at the srangeness , of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And they, repenting, and groaning for anguish os spirit, shall say within themselves; this was he whom we had sometime in deri/icn, and a proverb of reproach. We fools accounted his life madness; and his end to be without honour. How is he numbered with the children of God: and his lot is among the Saints * /
On coming unto Jesus Christ for life.
John, V. 40.
Te will not come unto me, that ye might have life.
CUPPOSE a legislator, anxious to deter his subjects from the commission of a particular crime, were to annex to it, as a penal consequence, the total confiscation of property. Suppose an individual, forewarned of the impending effects of disobedience,' wilfully to commit the crime. Confiscation ensues. The inheritance designed for his children is intercepted. Suppose the children arrived at manhood, and treading in the steps of their father. Suppose them habitually trampling upon statutes, which they feel themselves bound by ties of duty to obey; and manifesting by efforts of impotent treason inherent a malevolence malevolence against the Legislator. .Suppose .that legislator;" However .rigorous "in justice, equally abundant in mercy : .hovrever resolute to'• rriairitsfiir the honour of ffi's' law;, equally solicitous to remove" every ftepediment t,o the .exercfse of overflowiTig* kindness towards transgressors. Suppose him/however' arduous the task, ici'fiave devised.a method, by which, withdut encroachment on the principles of rectitude," without depreciation of his authority, without encouragement to offences, the forfeited inheritance may be: restored ;.every accession of punishment which has been incur-; red. be averted.j and new possessions, far surpassing the" patrimony which by guilt was lost, be fuperadded. Suppose the a'b-i tainment of these blessings, the gifts of free" mercy, ;to be effectually placed on equitable, and easy conditions within the reach of the offenders. What if you were to hear that the blessings are despised; that the offer Is rejected? Should. you credit the intelligence? iShould you conceive that the annals.of,the world could furnish many examples of similar insanity? Should ybtf apprehend ' that in" the' most enlightened regions similar.insanity is frequent at this hour? Should you believe that it is but .*.',,.,...... .. . iieediiiV needful to cast your eyes round the circle in which you move, to witness many a corresponding spectacle of frenzy? Should you believe that at this hour there may be exhibited a kindred spectacle of frenzy by yourself?
Our Saviour, as we learn from the former part of the chapter before us, had given extreme offence to the Jews by expressions which they justly understood as a distinct affirmation of his divinity. He proceeded therefore to declare to them the glorious and pre-eminent power, with which he was, in his human nature, entrusted by his Father. One branch of this power was to raise all mankind from the grave. As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so 'the Son quickeneth whom he will. Another was to judge the world. The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son: that all men may hononr the Son even as they honour the Father. To these declarations our Lord, after some collateral and explanatory discussion, subjoined the emphatical words of the text; Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life. In these words three facts were implied- First: that the Jews were not at that time possessed of life; nor ca- s
Vol. II. F pable