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wanting to execute instant vengeance; of that mercy, which sacrifices the Lord of life to save sinners and enemies. In these reflections, admiration of the every-way glorious God cannot but seize us; and entering into the awful sentiments of the prophet, we shall be ready to cry out, “ Truly, O God, thy thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor thy ways as our ways. We cannot find thee out to perfection. But if we may measure thy attributes one by another, and count of thy justice from what we see of thy goodness, and patience, and mercy, that it is altogether infinite and incomprehensible; we must believe, that thou hast some wondrous vengeance in store for sinners. We hear of fames and blackness of darkness for ever; but we can no more measure the extent, than we can fathom the eternity of those torments, thy exact justice hath appointed as the wages of sin. We cannot but tremble, O God, upon the apprehension of thy fearful judgments, even as little as we can conceive of them; and wo were unto us, unless thy mercy were as large as thy justice. But, great God! It is as easy for thee to forgive as to punish; and thy wisdom hath discovered a way, whereby to exercise thy mercy without injuring thy justice. Nor can thy truth fail, more than any other of thy adorable perfections. We will dare avouch it therefore with humble confidence, because thou hast said it: we can no more perish, if we return, than we can escape, if we persist and die in our iniquities, for thy unalterable truth stands engaged for the one, as much as the other.” Such art thou, in whose hands we are; in goodness, pa
tience, justice, mercy, and truth, altogether infinite.
O grant us, heavenly Majesty, from the daily experience we have of thy loving-kindness and patience, to conceive the highest apprehensions of both thy justice and thy mercy! that flying from sin, we may escape thy judgments, and betaking ourselves to Christ Jesus, may inherit thy promises; judgments and promises which, upon the infallible assurance of thy truth, are laid up for the evil and the good.
FAITH IN CHRIST.
John vi. 37.
Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.
Give me leave to hope, that amidst the various concerns which have engaged your attention since we last parted, the important one of your soul's salvation may have had a peculiar place. That you are come hither again, desirous to have " the way of God expounded to you more perfectly;" more perfectly to be informed, how ye may be delivered from your manifold miseries, how made partakers of the saving merits of Christ's atonement. Hear what your Redeemer saith, “ Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.” You must come to Christ. If you do so, you have it from his own mouth, he “ will in nowise cast you out;" and you know, that “ heaven and earth shall pass away, but his word shall not pass away." You would know, what it is to come to Christ. My business is now to explain that matter to you. But I would ask you beforehand, is it out of curiosity you would hear of it, to amuse a critical head? or would you know it, merely to settle you in just notions, and orthodox opinions? Alas! I should but lose my labour upon you. You may hear, you may know, but you cannot understand nor perceive. How should you? You know not, at least you feel not, that you are a sinner; you are whole, you do not need a physician; you neither can nor will come to Christ, that you may be saved. But would you know what it is to come to Christ, because whatever it be, and whatever it may cost you, you are ready to do it? Be assured that you " are not far from the kingdom of God.” It will be a pleasing employment to me, to show you that faith in the Son of God, which it is my present concern to illustrate.
This was the fourth and concluding point. Here,
First, You are undone in yourself; a sinner, and dishonourer of God, liable to his wrath, which you. have no power to avert, fallen from the purity of man's primitive nature, which you have no strength in you to recover. If left to yourself, you must abide under the dominion of your lusts, and at last perish in deserved vengeance. This charge I suppose you to allow.
Secondly, Christ " is able and willing to save you.” You have heard of the inexpressible dignity, of his person, “ God manifested in the flesh.” His victorious satisfying, and reconciling obedience unto death, hath been set forth. You have been shown, that “he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,” amply and eternally he is able to save you. At the same time, his willing
ness hath been evidently set before you. I suppose, therefore, you are also fully assured, that he hath an all-sufficient ability and willingness to apply his salvation to you. Seeing then you are undone in yourself, and seeing you are assured he is able and willing to save you; I ask,
Thirdly, Have you found yourself determined to rest your soul upon him? Are you resolved to venture all your eternal interests with him? And quitting all other confidences, doth your soul hang upon him for all your hopes? We shall be more particular immediately. For the present, hear how the Scriptures de cribe this committing of the soul unto Christ, from a full persuasion of his power, as saving faith in him, and as the means of your acceptance with God. “ We say,” saith St. Paul, “ that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” What faith ? His steadfast dependence upon the promises of God: “ He was fully persuaded, that what God had promised, he was able to perform.” He had the word of promise, “ So shall thy seed be;" and he could trust God for the fulfilling it. It was to no purpose, that all human appearances were against him; “he considered not (did not make any account of) his own body now dead, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb." These were no difficulties with God, and in despite of them all, “ against hope he believed in hope, that (nevertheless) he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken.” Do you " walk in the steps of this faith of your father Abraham ?" Are you fully persuaded, that what Christ hath undertaken (the