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you, the full harvest will be so much the more ra. vishing and delightful. If you are aiming at falling in with the Lord's device of fiving finners, groaning under unbelief and unholiness, and aspiring after more acquaintance with the Lord, and conformity to him ; you are, doubtless, sowing in tears, and shall therefore reap in joy.
Are you faying, I see such unlikeness in me to Christ, in his waiting for the Father, and crying to him, that my fears are countless and unutrerable. Not only do misgivings of heart fly in my face, but particular blemishes in practice witness against me : my unwatchfulness, untenderness, and unfruitful. Ress, are such, as blast my confidence, fuck up my comfort, fill me with dread, make me go mourning, and cause me apprehend I Thall go to the grave forrowing? Your complaints, in themselves, argue a tenderness of conscience, that is hopeful and promising. Your case has nothing singular in it. You are bound to bless God for such views of your hearts and ways; which are hid from the eyes of others. Your encouragment lies in the perpetuity and perfection of the Meditator's obedience; and, if that is the only quarter from whence you hope, feek, and wish for relief ; there is no fear of a final difappointment.
But, are you still saying, May I, a poor prodigal, a chief sinner, a notorious rebel, against the crown royal and prerogatives of Jesus Christ; may I, who have lived long in the neglect of salvation, many years in the contempt of the gospel ; who have spent my strength, bloom, and vigour, at least much of it, in the slavery of fin, and crying after things of nought : may the like of me entertain any hope from the Redeemer's waiting for the Father, and crying to him; any hope from the Father's inclining to the Mediator, and hearing his cry? Does
your enquiry Aow from regret for what you have been and done? does it flow from a wilhfulness and desire after interest in the mediation of Christ ? then, sirs, there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Yes; you, who have not hitherto waited for the Father, nor cried io him, in a suitable manner; you may, you should, hope in Christ, as the hope and Saviour of Israel. Who knows, but you were amongst these, in whose room he waited, for whose behoof he cried ? who knows, but your present concern is the fruit of his cry being answered by the Father? You have good reason now, though never before, to knock at the door of mercy. Our Lord has been knocking many a day at the door of your hearts; and are you now set a knocking at the door of his grace ? are you? then it is a hopeful sign that a mutual bargain is on foot; a promising symptom that a reciprocal opening will foon take place.
You who neither know, nor care, for these things, dying in your present situation; the Father, instead of inclining to you, will abhor you, lothe you, spue you out of his mouth, and tear you in pieces, when there shall be none to deliver. However neglectful of crying to him now, you shall cry, and not be heard; you shall make many prayers, and not be regarded ; and shall meet with the fame contempt from him, that his calls, offers, and tenders of mercy, now meet with from you. At present you have no fecurity, that the wrath of God will be warded off a moment longer; no se, curity, that you shall be another day, or hour, out of heil. Going down to the grave without interest in the Redeemer's cry, you'll meet him as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, ready to devour and destroy you; you'll meet him with vials of vengeance in both hands ; you will meet him, as the executor of
the the Father's Justice against them who know not God, and obey not the gospel; you will meet hiin, as an implacable, inexorable, enemy. Though you will pot meet him now, coming in the Father's name to fave ; you cannot shun, that future interview with . him, when he shall come in the Father's Name, shall come revealed in flaming fire, to condemn you. Neither rocks nor mountains will then be able to screen your guilty heads; nor men nor devils, to deliver you out of his tremenduous hand.
Saints should, upon the whole, be exhorted to admire and adore the grace of God your Saviour, in his waiting and crying; and the grace of God, his Father and your Father, in his inclining to him, and hearing his cry. Study the imitation of him, and dependence on him. Seek communion with him, and conformity to him.--Sinners should likewise be exhorted to fly to Jesus Christ, from the Wrach to come. Your duty and interest conspire for enforcing the exhortation.
CH A P. II.
Of the Father's bringing up the Man Christ out
of the horrible pit and miry clay.
1 the state of the dead, and raised him above the possibility of suffering or dying any more.
He raised him up froin the state of the dead, reItored him to life again, reunited his once parted soul and body, to be parted no more for ever. The resurrection of Christ, being a doctrine and event
of the highest importance to finners, is clearly taught in the gospel ; and has often been supported by the most accurate and conclusive chain of argument. It is a topic wherein the most masterly pens have been frequently and honourable employed; and a topic, on the belief and improvement of which our whole hope, and all onr comfort, for eternity, hang. “ For if Christ be not rilen (says the apostle) then 66 is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain," i Cor. xv. 14. In his sufferings and death, our Lord was only paying the rantom; and unless he had survived that gloomy period, there could have been no evidence that the price was accepted, or the discharge procured. But lo! the passage under consideration brings good news, news big with the resurrectioa of Christ, and therefore with the salyation of singers. Did the angel, in the hearing of the eastern shepherds, upon our Lord's entrance in to the horrible pit and miry clay, did he say, “ Behold “ I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall “ be to all people; for unto you is born, this day, “ in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ “ the Lord?” Luki ii, 10, 11. Did the seraphic songster thus hymn the birth of Jesus Christ; and fhail we cease to celebrate the memory of his resurrection from the dead? Passing the numberless variety of proofs for this glorious event, through the New Tastament ; we shall only take notice of the 24th chapter of Luke wherein it is once, again and again, mentioned with evidence. In the 31st verf. Cleophas, and another disciple not named by the hislorian, are said to have known him in the vil. lage Emmaus, known him to be the very Jesus whom the Jews and Romans, with wicked hands, cruci. fied and New ; the very Jesus who, the other day, bled, groaned, expired, and was sealed up in the heart of the earth. In the 34th verf. the eleven
aposties, apostles, and others who waited for the confolation of Israel, feem, from the testimony they had heard, to have been persuaded of the truth of this event; for they said, “ The Lord is risen indecu, and hath “ appeared unto Simon.” And in the 36th verf. they are all represented as having seen Christ standing in the midst of them, who, to confirm their faith, and to render their testimony concerning his returrection the more valid, shewed them his hands and his feet, and allowed them to handle and see, that, with greater certainty, they might judge for themselves, and bear witness to others. As this was, doubtless, our Lord's view in being so particular, in causing them survey him with such scrutiny and exactness, to the apostle shews, that the transmiting a proof of his resurrection to posterity, was the end they were chiefly to keep in their eye. For, when about to elect one from amongst the brethren, to fupply Judas's place in the college of the apostles, the reason assigned by Peter for this election was, that he inight be witness with them of the Lord's relurretion, Acts i. 22.
But the Father not only raised up Christ from the dead, but raised him above the capacity of suffering or dying any more. According to the literal import of the figure under view, one might be taken out of such a pit and mire, and yet afterwards fall into the same, or equal danger; or, if a criminal, he might commit such after faults, as should justly expole him to the fame punishment : but as to a risen Christ, neither of these can possible have place. With regard to his falling into such a place of danger, his present abode, in the highest heavens, as Man-Mediator, absolutely fecures him against it; and with respect unto a legal subjection to puniíh. ment again, that is equally impossible; for, “by one s offering,” he has intirely reached all the ends of C 3 : 1