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pahle of obtaining it by tbeir own exertions. They were in a state of death. They* were in a state of condemnation as sinners. Eternal destruction hung over their heads: and from, that destruction they were, of. themselves unable^ to deliver- their fouls., Secondly: A method of obtaining' life, was provided and made known unto them -. namely, to come unto Christ. God had openly set forth his Son, from eternity.a partaker, of the Godhead, to be a propitiation for the sins of mankind j. to purchase salva-tion by his blood: to reveal to men the path of righteousness., and to enable them to pursue it. Thirdly: The Jews had the power of coming unto Christ, and of thus obtaining lise.. On another occasion, our Lord affirmed, as an universal truth; No man can come unto mer except, the- Father which hath sent me draw him. But the terms in which, he addressed the multitude, " Ye will not come unto me," prove, thaf to them, as unto all to whom the Gospel was preached, the requisite assistance was vouch-, safed from above; and that their refusal to' seek salvation through Him was their own Voluntary deed.
Do you conceive that these momentoustruths have no other reference than to the
Jews? They relate to all men. All men equally with the Jews have inherited from the common ancestor of all the fame corrupt nature. All men, like the Jews, have incurred the wrath of God, and plunged ther"selves into a state of death and condemnation, by breaking his Law: and are equally incapable of satisfying his justice, and delivering themselves from punishment by* any strength or wisdom of their own. To all men, as unto the Jews, life, an eternal life of happiness, is offered. To all men Jesus Christ is proposed as the Author and only Giver of Salvation. To all men grace is extended from above, to render them capable of coming unto Christ essec-< tually for pardon, for blessedness everlasting. On all men power and assistance' sufficient progressively to incline and enable' them, if they resist not the Holy Spirit, 'to come unto Christ and attain salvation, are mercifully bestowed. And every man, who perishes in consequence of not coming unto Christ, perishes because, though in every respect enabled to come, he will not come unto the appointed Saviour that he might have life.
Perhaps, however, you may be disposed
to conclude that you have already obeyed
F a the the command of coming unto the Lord Jesus. May God grant that you may be warranted in that conclusion 1 But on what grounds have you formed it? Do you conclude that you have come unto Christ, because you were born in a Christian country; were baptised into the Christian Church ;, have been accustomed to attend Christian worship, and to profess yourselves Christians? All these steps may have been taken, and you may still be in a state of death. Were not the Jews outwardly members of the true church of God in their day? Had not they been received into that Church, according to the ordinance of God*; in their infancy? Had not they been trained up in attendance on the Synagogue and the Temple? Were not they zealous for the forms of their religion, and eager to profess themselves the people of God? Yet how does our Saviour address them? As men under the sentence of condemnation. My brethren, to be a real Christian is not to be a Christian in same and profession; but to be in heart and conduct, as becometh the doctrine of Christ. And no man is in heart and conduct a true disciple of our Lord, who has not come unto Him that he might have life.
That you may be assisted in judging, every one for himself, whether you have come unto Christ that ye might have life; or whether, like the Jews, you have hitherto refused to listen to his call; I propose, in the first place, to set before you some of the circumstances which hinder men from coming unto Christ: then to explain the manner in which you are to come unto him effectually for salvation: and afterwards to make a short and practical application of the subject.
I. Among the circumstances by which individuals are restrained from having recourse to Jesus Christ for life eternal the most obvious, is disbelief of the truth of his divine mission; or scepticism, so great as practically to be followed by effects the fame with those of positive unbelief. "And shall a man," we are asked, "be "condemned, because he applies not for u salvation to a person whom he believes * that God has not commissioned to be a "'Saviour?" No. But he, may be condemned for not believing .that God ' has commissioned that person to he a Saviour, fiere new outcries against iincharitablenefs and bigotry are raised. "Shall a man be -;-... p ^ « ton
f' condemned, because an impression of a "certain kind is not wrought upon his "understanding: because the evidence *' adduced in support of an asserted fact *.e proves insufficient to convince his judge"ment?" Yes: if it be through his own culpability that his understanding is steeled against the impression, his judgement biassed against the evidence. Suppose that man standing to receive his final doom, and thus addressed from the throne.— *' Thou wert endowed, while on earth, "with fatuities adequate to the examina*' tion of the evidences of Christianity. *; Thou wert stationed,' not in a region *' still overspread with the corruptions of "darkened ages j but in a land where in "simplicity and truth, the pure doctrines ** of the Gospel were displayed: not in a "region where the oracles of God were "sealed up in an unknown tongue; where "ignorance surrounded the enquirer; *' where persecution cut off the faithful sl worshipper; but in a land of light and *' knowledge, a land of civil and religious, <f freedom. My word was unfolded before "thee, My temples were opened to thee *' My Ministers warned and invited thee, & in vain. The supreme importance of