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one of the prisons in London, for a crime which had filled up her course of sad depravity, was visited by several clergymen. With a view to bring her to repentance, they spoke of the guilt of sin, and of the dreadful
punishment which, as an impenitent sinner, awaited her. But it was all without effect
; she only mocked at the threatenings of the law. One, however, who had himself been a special miracle of grace, set before her the love of Christ ; told her of what he had done and suffered to save the chief of sinners; told her also of the freedom of that lovethat there were none so far off as to be beyond its limits, but that whosoever would might freely come. Although the terrors of the Lord made no impression upon her hardened conscience, she could not stand the description of the love of Christ; but bursting into tears, said, “ Ah, sir! if I had heard of this love years ago, I never should have been in this dreadful place ; but, sinner as I am, pray for me, that I may yet be forgiven.” Has, then, any thing of this nature passed between you and the Lord? Can
you recollect any time, within the last month for instance, when in your secret chamber you have been smiting upon your breast, and saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner ?” or, under a sense of the evil of sin, of a law in your members, warring against the law that is in your mind; have you, like the Apostle, been calling out, “Oh, wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ;" grieving over the remains of sin that was in you?
These are amongst the best proofs of the love of Christ having really touched the heart, when the soul is crying out for forgiveness, or panting after conformity to the image of God.
My dear friends, persons may go on for years sitting under the sound of the Gospel, or may run from church to church to have their animal feelings excited ; but the reality is like Mary falling at the feet of Jesus, calling for his aid; and when the heart is so full that the lips cannot move, still by sighs and tears expressing the inward feelings of the soul.
If such a transaction has never yet taken place, let this be the night in which such a course may commence.
Go home with this thought, • Behold how he loved him !" Meditate upon the love of the Son of God, commencing before the world began, exhibited during the days of his humiliation, by his taking our nature upon him, and dying for our sins : still in constant exercise by his continued intercession, and yet to be most gloriously manifested by the complete redemption of his people.
Ah, meditate upon this love until your heart is softened, and you are desirous fully to partake of its blessedness.
And you, my dear friends, who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, shew it forth by acts of love, or by seeking the mind that was in Christ ; and, especially, by a devout attention to his last injunction : “A new commandment I give unto you,
love one another; as I have loved
ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that ye love one another.”
JOHN xi. 38–41.
"Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, cometh
to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh : for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.”
“ BEHOLD how he loved him!” was the expressive language of many of the spectators, when they witnessed the tears of our compassionate Saviour.
The inspired Evangelist seems to have inserted this note of admiration, after recording that brief but most affecting sentence, “ Jesus wept,” that the attention of the readers being drawn to this wonderful proof of our Lord's tender sympathy, they might unite with them in their admiration.
I attempted in the last lecture to promote this, by setting before you some of the manifestations of the love of our blessed Lord to his people, with which this inspired volume abounds. But, oh, how inadequate is all language to express a love which eternity itself will not fully unfold !
“Behold how he loved him!”' will be the note of admiration expressed by the whole angelic host, when his redeemed people, brought out of great tribulation, shall stand before the throne, having “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
It is the contemplation of this glorious result of the tears of our blessed Saviour, or rather of his precious blood-shedding, which,
will strengthen the soul for the patient endurance of one of its greatest sorrows,—the accompanying the friend, the nearest to the heart, to the loathsome tomb, -since it is from the very corruption of the
by Divine grace,