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and ten thousands of rivers of oil, were they at his disposal, but with a sacrifice abundantly more precious than these; Shall I give, says he, my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul*. David speaks of himself as thirsting for pardon, when he says, under a sense of guilt, Whilst I kept silence my bones waxed old, through my roaring all the day long; For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me, my moisture was turned into the drought of summer †. It was like an envenomed arrow shot into his soul, the poison of which diffused itself through all his veins, and even drank up the vital spirits.

Now if any of you have felt, or do now feel, this raging thirst, if you experimentally know that restlessness of mind. which is the inseparable attendant of such a circumstance, it must be matter of joy to hear that the blessed Jesus can allay these eager desires, can sweetly compose the soul in the midst of these painful agonies, by that Blood of sprinkling which speaketh better things than the blood of Abelt. We are expressly told, that In him we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of our sins §; that God hath exalted him to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins; and that by him we may be justified, not only from the slighter irregularities of life, but from the greatest enormities of it, even From all those things from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses ¶; for which that dispensation appointed no expiatory sacrifices, but condemned the offender to Die without mercy **.

2. Do you thirst for the favour of God? Our Lord Jesus Christ is able to introduce you to it.

It is most evident, that this is in its own nature infinitely desirable; and when the eyes of a man's understanding are enlightened, it will undoubtedly appear so. "And is there," will he immediately cry out, "is there indeed a being of infinite perfection and glory, the overflowing eternal fountain of happiness? And will he communicate of himself to mortal and to sinful creatures? Will he not only sheathe the flaming sword of his vengeance, but extend the golden sceptre of his grace? Will he not only sign the pardon of such ungrateful rebels, but even adopt them into the number of his children? How does my soul long to look upwards, and call him my Father! Happy creatures, whom he admits into such a relation to whom he

*Mic. vi. 6, 7. Acts v. 31.

+ Psal. xxxii. 3, 4.
Acts xiii. 39.

Heb. xii. 24. ** Heb. x. 28.

Eph. i. 7.

the apostle, who are in this tabernacle, do groan, being burdened; not that we may be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality may be swallowed up of life*. And if we are thus thirsting for expected glory, To whom should we go but to that Redeemer, who has the words of eternal life +. He is the Lord of both worlds, and heaven as well as earth is subject to his command. All power is given unto him, both in heaven and upon earth ‡. Let him but give forth the sovereign word, and the golden gates, the everlasting doors, shall be lifted up to admit us, and a throne of glory erected, radiant and exalted as he shall ordain. He therefore speaks of it as his peculiar office, and certain care, to prepare seats and abodes of felicity for his people in the invisible world, and at length to translate them thither. In my Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also §.

I hope this may be sufficient to prove, that the Lord Jesus Christ is able to satisfy the most important desires of the soul, and to allay its most eager thirst-for the pardon of sin,-the favour of God,-the communications of the Spirit,-and the happiness of the future state. "It is true," will the humble soul say, "I firmly believe the springs of the most valuable blessings are in him; but have I any encouragement to hope, that he will open them for the relief of so mean, and so unworthy a creature as I?" This is the business of my second general, viz.

II. To prove, that the Lord Jesus is willing to communicate of these living streams with a divine freedom, for the refreshment of every humble soul who sincerely thirsts after them.

Blessed be God, there is a cloud of witnesses to attest a truth in which our hopes for time and for eternity are so nearly concerned. I appeal to the invitations, to the Spirit, to the tears, to the blood of the great Redeemer, and to the experience of every pious soul in heaven and on earth.

1. Let the invitations of Christ witness, that he is ready to relieve thirsty souls.

The gospel-times are described in the prophetic writings, as times of extraordinary plenty, in which the most nourishing and delightful provision should be offered to all, in the most generous and liberal manner. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy wine

and milk without money, and without price*. And if we look into the history of the Evangelists, we shall see the prophecy accomplished in its fullest extent. For we shall there find our blessed Redeemer publishing the free and unlimited offers of his grace, to all that were willing to accept it. You cannot be strangers to the passages I refer to: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest+: Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise, or on no account whatsoever, cast out ‡ : And in the text it is proclaimed, before the most numerous assembly, on a most public occasion, if any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. Can any invitation be more general, more intelligible, more affecting, than these? Hardly should we have imagined it possible, unless we had in some respects seen yet more pathetic declarations than even those I have now recited. Yes, my friends, our Lord Jesus Christ knew the weakness of our minds, and seems to have been aware of a foolish scruple which might possibly arise in them. We might perhaps, have been ready to say, "The blessed Jesus was indeed in a surprising degree tender and compassionate, whilst he dwelt on earth, and was himself surrounded with all the innocent infirmities of our nature: But can we be sure, that he retains the same overflowing tenderness now he is returned to the regions of glory, and surrounded with all the dignity and pleasure of so exalted a station, and all the employments which attend so high an administration?" To obviate even this suspicion, ungrounded as it is, he has been pleased, since his ascension and exaltation, to send us repeated messages of love: and he speaks from the throne of his glory in as condescending and endearing language, as he ever appears to have used in his humblest abasement. And to awaken our attention, and to confirm our faith, he introduces the declaration with a very solemn preface, of which the beloved disciple takes care to give us a particular account. He said unto me, write, q. d. Let it be recorded for the instruction and consolation of the remotest ages; for these words which I am now about to utter are true and faithful, and therefore may be entirely depended upon, as the foundation of the most cheerful confidence. And what are these important words? And he said, it is done: The great work is now accomplished, the redemption is complete: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, whose nature and promises are for ever the same; and in consequence of all this, I will give to him

* Isa, lv. 1.

+ Mat. xi. 28.

John vi. 37.

the apostle, who are in this tabernacle, do groan, being burdened; not that we may be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality may be swallowed up of life. And if we are thus thirsting for expected glory, To whom should we go but to that Redeemer, who has the words of eternal life +. He is the Lord of both worlds, and heaven as well as earth is subject to his command. All power is given unto him, both in heaven and upon earth . Let him but give forth the sovereign word, and the golden gates, the everlasting doors, shall be lifted up to admit us, and a throne of glory erected, radiant and exalted as he shall ordain. He therefore speaks of it as his peculiar office, and certain care, to prepare seats and abodes of felicity for his people in the invisible world, and at length to translate them thither. In my Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be also §.

I hope this may be sufficient to prove, that the Lord Jesus Christ is able to satisfy the most important desires of the soul, and to allay its most eager thirst-for the pardon of sin,-the favour of God,-the communications of the Spirit,-and the happiness of the future state. "It is true," will the humble soul say, "I firmly believe the springs of the most valuable blessings are in him; but have I any encouragement to hope, that he will open them for the relief of so mean, and so unworthy a creature as I?" This is the business of my second general, viz.

II. To prove, that the Lord Jesus is willing to communicate of these living streams with a divine freedom, for the refreshment of every humble soul who sincerely thirsts after them.

Blessed be God, there is a cloud of witnesses to attest a truth in which our hopes for time and for eternity are so nearly concerned. I appeal to the invitations, to the Spirit, to the tears, to the blood of the great Redeemer, and to the experience of every pious soul in heaven and on earth.

1. Let the invitations of Christ witness, that he is ready to relieve thirsty souls.

The gospel-times are described in the prophetic writings, as times of extraordinary plenty, in which the most nourishing and delightful provision should be offered to all, in the most generous and liberal manner. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy wine

and milk without money, and without price*. And if we look into the history of the Evangelists, we shall see the prophecy accomplished in its fullest extent. For we shall there find our blessed Redeemer publishing the free and unlimited offers of his grace, to all that were willing to accept it. You cannot be strangers to the passages I refer to: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest+: Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise, or on no account whatsoever, cast out ‡ : And in the text it is proclaimed, before the most numerous assembly, on a most public occasion, if any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. Can any invitation be more general, more intelligible, more affecting, than these? Hardly should we have imagined it possible, unless we had in some respects seen yet more pathetic declarations than even those I have now recited. Yes, my friends, our Lord Jesus Christ knew the weakness of our minds, and seems to have been aware of a foolish scruple which might possibly arise in them. We might perhaps, have been ready to say, "The blessed Jesus was indeed in a surprising degree tender and compassionate, whilst he dwelt on earth, and was himself surrounded with all the innocent infirmities of our nature: But can we be sure, that he retains the same overflowing tenderness now he is returned to the regions of glory, and surrounded with all the dignity and pleasure of so exalted a station, and all the employments which attend so high an administration?" To obviate even this suspicion, ungrounded as it is, he has been pleased, since his ascension and exaltation, to send us repeated messages of love: and he speaks from the throne of his glory in as condescending and endearing language, as he ever appears to have used in his humblest abasement. And to awaken our attention, and to confirm our faith, he introduces the declaration with a very solemn preface, of which the beloved disciple takes care to give us a particular account. He said unto me, write, q. d. Let it be recorded for the instruction and consolation of the remotest ages; for these words which I am now about to utter are true and faithful, and therefore may be entirely depended upon, as the foundation of the most cheerful confidence. And what are these important words? And he said, it is done: The great work is now accomplished, the redemption is complete: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, whose nature and promises are for ever the same; and in consequence of all this, I will give to him

* Isa, lv. 1.

+ Mat. xi. 28.

John vi. 37.

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