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our own salvation, would be still sweeter to us, if we had a probable hope of sharing it with you. And shall earth and heaven expect and desire it in vain ? and will you, as it were, grieve both; that hell may rejoice in your ruin, and that devils may insult over you, and upbraid you, as having with your own hands thrust away that salvation, of which all their malice and their rage might in vain have attempted to deprive you? You will then, alas, Find no place for repentance, though, like Esau, you seek it carefully with tears*.

Alas, my friends, what more shall I say? Could I find out any more weighty arguments, any more plain, serious, and allecting, forms of address, I would go on, though the discourse should swell beyond its due bounds; though my own strength were impaired by the earnestness of it; and though a vain, wretched, unbelieving world should deride at that earnestness as enthusiasm and madness. Nay, who that knows the importance of immortal souls, would not go on to plead in such a cause, though minutes and hours were to be struck off from his life for every word that he utters in it, could even such an expensive service be sure of success? But that depends upon God, and to him we would look for it. In the mean time, I dismiss you with this one word: Whether you will hear, or whether you will forbear, he in whose name I speak, is witness, that the embassy is delivered; and such words as these remain recorded in the book of his remembrance, and will sooner or later be brought to yours.

5. "Let such as are desirous of coming to God by Christ, take encouragement from the declaration of the text."

We are not altogether Ignorant of satan's devices+: We know, by frequent observation and experience, how soon he can turn the syren's song, into the roaring of a lion; what efforts he makes, to drive the awakened soul into the agonies of despair, and to persuade him that he has thrown himself beyond the reach of mercy. But, if he be practising such cruel artifices on any soul in this assembly, I do, in the name of our Lord and Master, charge the lie on the father of falsehoods. You have perhaps a great many things to plead against yourselves; such as, the number, the enormity, and aggravation of your sins: You will say, they have been committed against the clearest light, against the tenderest love, against admonitions, more serious resolutions, most solemn covenant engagements: But all these pleas, and a

thousand more, are answered in this one word, He is able to save to the uttermost, them that come unto God by him. Is it still matter of doubt? Turn aside then, and more attentively view the trophies of his grace and power, erected in his word, erected on purpose for our encouragement, on whom the ends of the world

are come.

Behold Paul in his unconverted state, A blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious*. He appears to have divested himself, not only of that gentleness of manners, which might reasonably have been expected from a man of so liberal an education, but even of the sentiments of common humanity; furiously breathing out threatnings and slaughters against the saints, without the least regard to innocence of life, or to tenderness of age or sex. Yet at the appearance of an Almighty Saviour, this furious barbarian was melted and subdued: In the full career of his blind and cruel rage, he falls down at the feet of that Jesus whom he persecuted, and cries out the very next moment, with the lowest submission, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? By the power of Christ, the fiend was transformed into an angel; He preached the faith, which just before he endeavoured to destroy§; and quickly learnt such language as this, Neither bonds nor imprisonments move me; nor do I count my life dear unto me, so that I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God ||.

The Corinthians were debauched and abandoned to a proverb, the scandal of their country, and the reproach of their nature. For when the apostle had been reckoning up a catalogue of the most infamous sinners; such, as fornicators, and idolaters, and adulterers, and effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind, and thieves, and covetous, and drunkards, and revilers, and extortioners; he adds surprising words, and oh what surprising grace do they imply! Such were some of you; such, that one would almost have expected, that lightning from heaven should have blasted them, or that the earth should have opened a passage into hell: But instead of this, says the apostle to these very men, ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. The blessed Jesus did not upbraid them with their former crimes, but poured forth his Spirit upon them in

1 Tim. i. 13.

{Gal. i. 23.

+ Acts ix. 1.
Acts xx. 23, 24.

Acts ix. 5, 6.

1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, 11.

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that my Redeemer liveth*; and because he liveth, I shall live also +.' These are sentiments and views, worthy our character, as christians, worthy of those who are the saved of the Lord. Let us Take for our helmet this hope of salvation ‡, and it will guard our head in every danger of life and death; till at length we exchange that helmet for the celestial Crown, which the Lord shall give us in that day§, when in the completest sense he shall save all his people to the uttermost, and they shall all appear with him in the brightest glories of this great and perfect salvation.

*Job xix. 25. + John xiv. 19.

Eph. vi. 17. § 2 Tim. iv. 8.

SERMON VI.

POWER AND GRACE OF CHRIST.

The Tenderness of Christ to the Lambs of his Flock.

İsa. xl. 11.——He shall feed his Flock like a Shepherd; he shall gather the Lambs with his Arms, and carry them in his Bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with Young.

It is well known, that there are three most illustrious offices,

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under which our Redeemer is often spoken of in scripture ; those of the Prophet, the Priest, and the King of his Church. And there are several other characters, either coincident with those, or subservient to them, which are frequently mentioned and are worthy of our regard; amongst which that of a Shepherd is peculiarly remarkable, as often occurring in the word of God, and affording abundant matter, both for the instruction, and the consolation of his people.

I shall not now enumerate all the passages, in which our Lord is described under this character, both in the Old Testament, and the New. It may be sufficient here to remind you, that he was plainly foretold by Ezekiel, as that one Shepherd, whom God would set over his people to feed them, even his servant David, i. e. the Messiah, David's Son; he, says the prophet, Shall feed them, and he shall be their Shepherd*. And Christ accordingly speaks of himself, as The good Shepherd; and is spoken of by one and another of the apostles, as The great Shepherd of the Sheep, and The chief Shepherd§. So that on the whole, if the words of the text had a more immediate reference to the Father, they might with great propriety be applied to Christ, by whom the Father exercises his pastoral care of his people.

The chapter is opened with very reviving words; Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God: And to assure them that these consolations addressed to them were indeed glad tidings of great joy, and worthy to be introduced in a very pompous manner, mention is made of a very remarkable herald sent before, whose Voice was to cry in the wilderness, prepare

*Ezek. xxxiv. 23. + John x. 11.

Heb. xiii. 20. § 1 Pet. v. 4.

that my Redeemer liveth*; and because he liveth, I shall live also." These are sentiments and views, worthy our character, as christians, worthy of those who are the saved of the Lord. Let us Take for our helmet this hope of salvation, and it will guard our head in every danger of life and death; till at length we exchange that helmet for the celestial Crown, which the Lord shall give us in that day§, when in the completest sense he shall save all his people to the uttermost, and they shall all appear with him in the brightest glories of this great and perfect salvation.

*Job xix. 25. + John xiv. 19.

Eph. vi. 17. § 2 Tim. iv. 8.

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