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dered debtors to Divine Grace, Sovereign Merty; if you are driven from every other dependence for salvation ; if you are enabled to hang about the Lord's hand, in the duties, means, and ordinances, of his appointment: then there is reason to hope good things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation; to hope your interest in these blessings, and those privileges, arising from the Fa
ther's attending to Christ, and hearing his cry, is · real, fcriptural and indubitable.
Are you saying, My experience of a law-work has never been distinct and observable; I know nothing of such awakenings and terrors as others, of whom I have read, with whom I have conversed; and thence, any encouragement I would take from the mediation of Jesus Christ is at once marred; my hopes, arising from thence, are perpetually shaken? The Lord is sovereign as to the degrees of such a law-work : in that respect, he keeps no beaten, cominon tract. The great matter is, to have such experience of your natural obligations to the law, as convinces you of the absolute need of Christ. If that is the case, the end of the law is so far reached ; and you do well to encourage yourselves in the Lord, as having waited for the Father, and cried unto him.
Are you saying, My acquaintance with the comfortable parts of religion, the bright side of the cloud is so small, tranlient and inconsiderable, that I know not what to make, what judgment to form, of the case ? You should remember that gladness is only fown for you ; this is but your feed-time, and, it may be, a feed-time of tears and forrow : the harvest of your joy and consolation will not be fully ripe, how long your connection with mortality lasts. What intervals of joy others have, are only the first fruits; and though these be denied
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 faving finners, groaning under unbelief and unholiness, and aspiring after more acquaintance with the Lord, and conformity to him ; you are, doubtless, fowing in tears, and fhall therefore reap in joy.
Are you saying, I fee such unlikeness in me to Christ, in his waiting for the Father, and crying to him, that my fears are countless and unutterable. Not only do misgivings of heart Ay in my face, but particular blemiches in practice witness against me: my unwatchfulness, untenderness, and unfruitfulness, are fuch, as blaft my confidence, fuck up my comfort, fill me with dread, make me go mourning, and cause me apprehend I shall 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 Chrift; 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 sin, 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 inclin ing to the Mediator, and hearing his cry? Does
your enquiry flow from regret for what you have been and done ? does it. How from a wishfulness and desire after interest in the mediation of Christ ? then, firs, there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Yes; you, who have not hitherto waited for the Father, nor cried to him, in a suitable man. ner; you may, you should, hope in Christ, as the hope and Saviour of Israel. Who knows, but you were amongst thefe, 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 fet 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 fymptom that a reciprocal opening will soon 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, fpue 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 security, that the wrath of God will be warded off a moment longer ; no security, that you shall be another day, or hour, out of hell. 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 him, as an implacable, inexorable, enemy. Though you will pot meet him now, coming in the Father's name to fave; you cannot fhun 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 Jefus Chrift, from the wrath to come. Your duty and interest conspire for enforcing the exhortation.
C HA P. II.
Of the Father's bringing up the Man Christ out
of the horrible pit and miry clay.
HE Father raised up the Man Christ from
the state of the dead, and raised him above the possibility of suffering or dying any more.
He raifed him up from the state of the dead, restored him to life again, reunited his once parted foul 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 molt 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 risen (says the apostle) thco 6 is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain," I Cor. xv. 14.
In his fufferings and death, our Lord was only paying the ransom; 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 resurrection of Christ, and therefore with the falva. tion of finners. 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 thall « be to all peuple; for unto you is born, this day, .“ in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ “ the Lord?” Lukcii. 10, 11. Did the feraphic fongster thus hymn the birth of Jesus Christ, and thall 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 Taftamcnt ; we lball 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 historian, are said to have known him in the village Emmaus, kuown 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 fealed up in the heart of the earth. lo the 34th verf. the eleven