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from others, but as expressive of what he feels in his own soul, " thou art indeed my life. How should the branches grow,
but by sap derived from the root? How should the members act, but by influences communicated from the head? Teach me by thy grace to say with thine holy apostle, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me* And may I ever be found in the number of those, who, regarding thee, as the living stone, are by union with thee, As lively stones, builded up together for an habitation of God through the spiritt! Thus let me pass through The wilderness of life, leaning on thee as the beloved of my soulf; and when I have finished my pilgrimage, may I lay down my weary head, in thy gentle faithful bosom, dying as I have lived, in the exercise of faith, and commending My spirit into thine hands!”This is the character of those who come unto God by Christ; and in these respects may. they say, with the beloved disciple, Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christş.
I shall not enter on a laboured argument to prove that these particulars are comprehended in the words which the text uses, to describe those who are interested in the gospel salvation. It is a formality, which may well be spared, to those who consider the natural import of the phrase, and the general tenor of the word of God; and the scriptures which I have introduced under each head, will easily furnish out matter of proof, to those who are capable of judging of a more abstruse kind of argument than I here think it proper to enter upon.
I should rather chuse to dilate on the practical improvements, which might naturally arise from this branch of my discourse ; and address myself to you in such exhortations as these:
-Let us adore the divine goodness, that such a salvation is offered to us, in so reasonable, so easy, and so gracious a way :Let us examine by the hints which have now been proposed, whether we are in the number of those who are interested in it:--Let those who are convinced that they are not, be persuaded seriously to reflect on their present circumstances Let those who are alarmed with a sense of their present danger, be persuaded, in the strength of divine grace, to come unto God through Christ: Let those who are sincerely desirous to do it, be encouraged to pursue so wise and necessary a purpose : And let those who have been enabled to comply with the ex
* Gal. ii. 20.
+ 1 Pet. ii. 4, 6. Eph. ii. 22. Cant. viii. 5. $ 1 John. i. S.
hortation, be excited to peculiar thankfulness, and established in a cheerful hope of that salvation, which they are taught to expect. But that I may not be under a necessity of dispatching these important heads in a few hasty words, or of swelling this discourse to an immoderate bulk, I chuse to refer them to another opportunity, when I shall conclude what I have to offer from the text; nor would it have employed us so long, had it not contained a variety of very weighty and instructive matter. In the mean time, may the hints I have now been giving you, be so recollected and considered, as to prepare your hearts for what is farther to be spoken!
POWER AND GRACE OF CHRIST,
An Exhortation to Sinners to come unto God by Christ.
Heb. vii. 25.--Wherefore he is able also save them to the uttermost, that come
unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to muke Intercession for them.
, I , which I intend from these words. Our meditations upon them had been drawn to a close much sooner, had not many funeral discourses interrupted them; and you know, there were also others of that kind, which did not interrupt them, being preached on week-days. But it is surely most fit, that those awful providences, which for a while diverted our thoughts from this sub. ject, should now awaken our more diligent and lively attention to it. It is not for mortal creatures to trifle with these important truths of christianity, on which the life of their souls does so evidently depend : No, nor to rest in speculative views of them, while heart-application is neglected. The dying, and the dead, look upon these things in another manner; and we shall shortly be numbered amongst them: The Lord awaken us now so to hear the conclusion of the whole matter, as we shall then wish we had heard it! I have already endeavoured,
I. To shew you, what we are to understand by Christ's being able to save to the uttermost.
II. To prove that he is so.
III. To open the doctrine of his intercession, and to consi. der what an argument it is of his saving power. And then,
IV. I have considered the character of those, who shall be interested in this salvation, as described in the text by their coming to God by him.
Under each of the three former heads I have given you several reflections; and I am now to conclude with others which more immediately arise from the fourth, especially when taken
in connection with the foregoing. May each of you know your own concern in them; and may the blessed Spirit of God apply them to your souls with divine efficacy and success! suffer, beseech you, this word of exhortation to address you in these six particulars. 1. “ Let us adore the divine goodness that such a salvation is
offered us, in so reasonable, so easy, and so gracious a way."
Such a salvation in any method might have been joyfully welcome to us; and how much more in this! Let us call in our roving thoughts, and settle them for a while in this one point. Let us stand still and see this salvation of God. Sure when we consider our natural condition, in the view in which the gospel represents it; when we hear the law of God thundering out its curses against us; when we see his justice lifting up its sword to smite us, hell gaping to devour us, and its malicious fiends eying us as their surer prey, and impatient to begin our torment; in such a view it must have appeared a great favour, had God heard the cry of our anguish and despair, so far as to permit the rocks to fall upon us, and the mountains to cover us, though they had crushed us into atoms, and he had, at the same time, extinguished the thinking part of our nature and reduced it to its original nothing : () how gladly would millions, that were once the rich, the great, the learned, the victorious of the earth, meet such a fate as this; ard perhaps be more thankful for the destruction of their beings, than they ever were for any of its enjoyments ? But we hear of being saved.-of being saved to the uttermost ;-hear of it, not merely as a favour conferred on others, but as an offer proposed to us; as a scheme, not merely deliberated upon, or intended, but in a great measure already effected ; and our eyes are directed to the regions of complete and eternal glory, as an abode purchased and prepared for such worthless and guilty creatures as we.
“ Blessed God! did our appointed way to it lie, not only through a wil. derness of thorns, but through a sea of fire, how gladly might we accept the proposals? If the scheme had been to raise us to this heavenly paradise, after the severest course of on earth; or even after we had tasted of the cup of thy wrath in hell, and suffered all but the despair of those doleful regions, for a long succession of years, or of ages : Surely we must then have received the news of such a distant deliverance on our knees, and have mingled thy praises with those groans and tears, which such intermediate discipline had extorted from us.
And dost thou now offer us a complete pardon, in so easy a way, as only to say to us, wash and be clean, as only to call us to come unto thee by Christ ?"-Surely, christians, instead of complaining of this as a hardship, we have reason to own it as a great additional favour.-Whither indeed should we go, but unto God? And where should we dwell safe and happy, but under the shadow of his wings? And how could we have presumed, or indeed how could we have borne, to have come to bim, otherwise than by Christ? It is true indeed, that if we would enter into a treaty with this Prince of Peace, we must give up our sins : But what are these, but the tyrants of the mind, whose reign is our servitude, whose death is our deliverance ! And what though we must give up our own righteousness too, as to any dependance upon it for our justification before God; is there a soul among us, that would dare to stand, or fall according to the perfection of that? And is there an experienced christian, that does not know that there is a secret unutterable pleasure in submitting to the righteousness of God*; and a wise and rational transport of soul, in receiving the rich grace given us in Christ, to make us complete in himt; far beyond the vain joy of that distempered dream which represented us to our own imagination, as rich and honourable, righteous and happy, in the midst of poverty and shame, guilt and misery? Surely If we should hold our peace, when such a salvation is proposed to us in such a method as this, it might almost be expected that the very stones would cry out, to upbraid our ingratitudef. 2. Let us seriously examine, whether we have " come to God
by Christ, and so are interested in this great salvation.”
To each of you, my friends, that hear me this day, is the word of this salvation sents; and that you have received the offers of it, will, on the whole, be matter of everlasting joy, or of everlasting sorrow. The word of God assures us, that there are comparatively few, that reccive saving benefit by it, Many are called, but few are chosen|l. And does it not alarm you ? Methinks, if there were only a few out of a considerable number, that missed it, each should be ready to tremble for himself: If we knew but one soul in all this assembly should finally lose it, we might each of us cry out with great solicitude of spirit, if in any degree unassured with regard to ourselves,
* Rom. x. 3.
+ Col. i. 10.
Luke xix. 40.