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safety is complete, their interest in the divine favour indefeasible, and their title to endless life unalterably secure.

2. We have here a strong proof, that Christ is unchangeable.

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In Proverbs viii. after giving a variety of testimonies of his compassion for sinners, he informs us, that before the mountains were settled, or the earth was made, he rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth,' in a glorious foresight of the good which he intended to accomplish; and that his delights were' from eternity with the sons of men.' In the indulgence of this divine benignity, though infinitely rich' in the possession of all good, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through him might become rich.' The Word, who was in the beginning with God, and by whom all things were made, became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld his glory (the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.' While he dwelt in this apostate world, he underwent a course of extreme humiliation, labours, and sufferings for the sake of mankind; and in the end purchased for them the regeneration of the soul and a title to everlasting life, with the agonies of the cross.

To the heavens he has gone before, to prepare a place for them, and to receive them to himself.' In that glorious world, amid all the splendours of his exaltation, he forgets not for a moment those worms of the dust whom he came to redeem ; those backsliding, frail, sinning apostates, for whom he poured out his blood on the accursed tree; but, in the strong language of the apostle, ever lives to make intercession for them.' By his intercession, as well as by his government, he secures their continuance in holiness; cleanses them from secret faults; restrains them from presumptuous sins' and thus keeps them 'innocent of the great transgression.' Thus his love is, from everlasting to everlasting, the same boundless love; to himself divinely glorious, to them great beyond example, beneficial beyond degree.

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3. The intercession of Christ most affectingly teaches us the grace of God in the salvation of sinners.

Sinners are originally redeemed, forgiven, and sanctified by the mere sovereign goodness of God. After all these mighty works are accomplished, they are still guilty and undeserving;

they need the intercession as well as the atonement of Christ; and without it could not, so far as we are informed, be with propriety blessed in the heavens. In consequence of this intercession they are preserved from fatal declension, their sins committed after their regeneration are forgiven, and themselves admitted to the presence of God.

In heaven this intercession is continued for ever. Throughout eternity the children of God are thus furnished with the strongest evidence, that their everlasting happiness is the result of mere sovereign goodness and mercy; and that all the glory devising, accomplishing, and bestowing this happiness is to be ascribed to him. The praises of the heavenly world, and the gratitude whence they spring, will from this source derive a more exquisite rapture; their sense of dependence on God be more humble, intense, and lovely; and their perseverance in holiness find the most delightful, as well as the most powerful motives.

4. How wonderful is the love of Christ to sinners!

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It is beyond measure wonderful that he should love them at all. What are they? Guilty, rebellious, odious creatures, opposed to his will, designs, and character; requiting his love with ingratitude, hatred, and contempt; ' crucifying him afresh' by their unbelief; and accounting the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing.' Why did he love them? Not because they were rational beings. With a word he could have created millions of such beings for one of them; and all more rational and more exalted than themselves. Not because of their moral excellence; for they had None because he needed them; for he cannot need any thing, and they possessed nothing which they did not receive from him.


On the contrary, all his conduct towards them sprang from his own boundless good-will; his disinterested love. They were not deserving, but he was pitiful; they were not valuable, but he was bountiful; they were not necessary to him, 'Herein is love; not

but he was infinitely necessary to them. that we loved God, but that he loved us, and gave his Son to die for us.' It was because Christ was superlatively good; and because we were poor, and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked, and in want of all things,' that this glorious person had compassion on us in our apostasy and ruin. He

lived and died, he reigns and intercedes, that we might live, and not die. This great work he began to execute here, and he carries it on in the heavens throughout eternity.

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In that world of glory, although elevated to the throne of the universe, and beholding all things beneath his feet, although loved, obeyed, and worshipped with supreme attachment and homage by the great kingdom of virtuous beings, he assumes and executes the office of an intercessor for the fallen children of Adam. In that world he is not ashamed to call them,' however degraded by their apostasy, and however odious by their guilt, by the endearing names of friends' and brethren.' He is the universal ruler; but he is not ashamed to appear as the elder brother, the first-born,' of this human assembly; nay as a suppliant for those whom he rules. He is a person of infinite dignity and perfection, but he is not ashamed to appear as a companion to those who could originally say to corruption, Thou art our father, and to the worm, Thou art our mother and our sister.' Thus the character which he exhibited on earth, he sustains in heaven. He is still in the same manner meek and lowly of heart;' and still ‹ feeds his disciples and leads them to fountains of living waters.' To him they have been indebted for the atonement of their sins and the salvation of their souls, and to him they will be infinitely indebted for the communication of knowledge, holiness, and enjoyment throughout the endless ages of their being.

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What character can be compared with this? Before it how does all other excellence fade! In it what exaltation and condescension are blended! What greatness and benignity united! What must be the mind in which these majestic and these sweet and lovely characteristics thus unchangeably aud for ever harmonize; a mind supremely great and glorious in the lowly station of a man, a child, a servant to a humble artisan, and divinely meek and condescending in the infinite splendour of universal dominion.

What dishonour is here reflected on the pride of men and fallen angels! Pride, unsatisfied with all present attainments, and making the greatest communications from God of distinction and glory the mere foundations of claiming more, and of murmuring because they are not elevated to higher honours, and replenished with more extensive enjoyments! How poor, how debased, how odious, how guilty is that pride! How

contemptible does it appear, when compared with the Redeemer's condescension! In heaven there is no pride; on Earth and in Hell it is the prevailing character. Men are proud, fallen angels are proud. Christ is meek and lowly of heart.' What would become of the universe, were pride to find a place in the infinite mind?

5. How differently are Christians regarded by Christ, and by evil men!

Christ descended from heaven, and left the glory, which he had with the Father before ever the world was,' to befriend Christians. He became a man, he lived, he laboured through life, he hung upon the cross, and was buried in the tomb, to redeem them from sin and death. He arose from the dead, ascended to Heaven, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,' became head over all things,' governs all things, and intercedes with his Father for ever, for the benefit of Christians. To save and bless them is, in a sense, his professional employment throughout eternity.


How different is the conduct of evil men towards the very same persons! In the eyes of these men, Christians are objects of contempt and hatred; and in their customary language are styled superstitious, enthusiasts, hypocrites, fanatics, and bigots. Men of the same character mocked aud crucified Christ; their followers have ever since exhibited the same spirit; at times in the same, at other times in different manners; but in all its exhibitions the spirit has been the same.

Reason would naturally ask, when contemplating this subject, What evil have Christians done, to merit this treatment? Have they injured these enemies? Have they injured the public? Are they not as industrious, as peaceable, as just, as sincere, as kind, as useful, as other men? Do they not, as parents, children, friends, neighbours, magistrates, and citizens, perform the duties of life as faithfully, as those who are not Christians? Do they transgress the laws, oppose the government, or disturb the peace of society more than their enemies themselves? If they are guilty of such crimes, it can undoubtedly be proved; it ought to be proved; and they ought, accordingly; to be condemned and punished. To this no fair objection can be made even by Christians themselves.

But how far from these dictates of reason has been all the conduct of their adversaries! Have they even attempted any

proof of this nature? Have not their accusations been general and indefinite, like the outcry raised against Paul and his companions, These, that have turned the world upside down, have come hither also:' the mere exclamations of undiscriminating malevolence, not the specific charges of sober conviction.

To this malevolence what an endless train of men, women, and children of men covered with the hoary locks of age, of children, scarcely escaped from the cradle-have been offered up on the altar of persecution! What multitudes by the ancient heathen, what multitudes by the idolatrous apostates from Christianity, what multitudes by the infidels of modern times!

Where law and government have prevented these atrocities, how many private and personal injuries, how many sneers and taunts, how many stings of gall and bitterness, have christians been obliged to endure! How many aspersions have been cast on their doctrines, designs, and characters, merely to load them with shame! How frequently are their best intentions misconstrued, and their most benevolent labours perverted, in this very land, originally peopled by Christians, and consecrated to religion: this land converted by Christians from a wilderness into a habitation of industry, peace, civilization, and happiness: to change which from a howling wilderness into an asylum of persecuted piety, Christians encountered the perils of the ocean, and the sufferings of the desart; sustained all the horrors of savage war, and all the evils of famine, disease, and death. In this very land, how many enemies have risen up to the Church of God, among the descendants of these very Christians, and among the brethren of those who are persecuted! They know not, perhaps, that their curses are directed to the fathers who begat them,' or that their eye is evil towards the mothers who bore them,' nor mistrust, that their scorn is pointed against the source whence, under God, they have derived every enjoyment and every hope.

Against this source of blessings, the religion of Christians, they are more malignant than even against Christians themselves. The Bible is hated more than those who believe it; the doctrines and duties of Christianity more than its professors. What are those duties? They are all summed up

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