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of salvation.” And further still, to show the unsearchable riches of his grace, the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Here, christians, take the promise of it; and be assured that he who hath formed you for the self-same thing, and who hath also given to you the earnest of his Spirit, and who is only gone a little before to prepare mansions of glory for your reception, will come again; and, in his own time and way, put you in full and delightful possession.
And is this after the manner of men, O Lord God? Is it thus thou treatest traitors and rebels against thy crown and dignity? We are ashamed and grieved; we even hate ourselves; we want words strong enough to express the deep sense we have of our ingratitude, perfidy, and aggravated impiety; of our carriage towards the greatest and the best of Beings. But let not the Lord be angry, if we, who are but dust and ashes, take upon us to speak to the Lord of glory.
Here, christians, see how Jesus loved you. He loved not his life so he might save you from death. He gave
himself for the life of the world. Who can tell how precious is that gift, which carries in it all the unsearchable riches of Christ? Well he knew that no less gift, no other gift would answer our necessity, how much soever they might exceed our deserts; and, therefore, this utmost effort of the Divine benignity was not withheld from us. 0, my soul ! wilt thou not love him that has first loved thee? Canst thou help loving him ? Does not this love constrain thee? Canst thou demur or hesitate a single moment, whether thou shalt love him and give thyself to him, who hath loved thee and given himself for thee, and offers himself to thee.
Behold, what manner of love is this. He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Amazing love indeed! He loved me better than life. What more amazing, except it be thy ingratitude, O my soul, that thou shouldst love every trifle better than thy Saviour ?
He gives us a cup of blessings, full of blessings, good measure, pressed down and running over; nor is there fear of exhausting it. Drink, yea drink abundantly, O beloved !
These are blessings which, for their variety and value, are nowhere to be equalled. If you want pardon, there it is. If you want peace, it is there. If you want humility, patience, light, strength, comfort, there you will have them all - dearly purchased, but freely bestowed.
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. He gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify and cleanse it; and present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. God will give us nothing for our own sake, but he will deny · us nothing for Christ's sake. He giveth grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O! what would fallen angels give for the crumbs which fall from this table !
What is the pool of Bethesda ? What are the waters of Siloam to this blessed fountain, which cleanseth from all sin, and heals all our spiritual maladies ?
O, my soul, what wilt thou render to the Lord for all his gifts to thee? Give him thy love, and faithful services will naturally follow. Blush, O my soul, that thou shouldst be so sparing in thy acknowledgments.
But didst thou not receive gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them ? And is this all ? Must we part again so soon? O thou, the Hope of Israel, and Saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for the night ? Make up the shortness of thy visits by the frequency of them; and grant us faith to expect, and patience to wait for that happy time, when we shall stand before the throne of God, and serve thee day and night in thy temple; and when He that sitteth upon the throne shall indeed dwell among us, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
[August 7, 1757.]
JOHX xx. 28.
MY LORD AND MY GOD.
Only enable me to say that, and I ask no more. A miser looks over his estate, and thinks himself happy that he can say, “ My houses, my lands, my possessions, my treasure.” Blessed Jesus ! I am as rich and as happy as I desire to be, or as
I be, till I get to heaven; if I have faith enough to lay hold on thee, as my Lord and my God. It is this blessed proprietorship wherein my life and happiness consist. Common humanity obliges me to rejoice in thy favours to mankind. But what were I the better that thou art Lord of the universe, if thou art not my Lord ? What comfort could I take in thy being a God to others, if thou art not a God to me? Show me some token for good; something that may support my tottering faith, and assure me of my interest in thee, and thy goodness to me, as really as if I had been permitted to put my finger into the prints of the nails, and thrust my
hand into thy side. And while others are strong in faith, giving glory to God, I look up to thee, blessed Jesus, who art the Author and Finisher of thy people's faith, that thou wilt regard the day of small things; that thou wilt not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax; that thou wilt pity the weakness of my faith, forgive my unbelieving and distrustful jealousy, banish my guilty fears, confirm my wavering hopes, and enable me, before I go away, with a well-grounded confidence, to say, “ My Lord and my God."
Those words are the noble confession of Thomas's faith, after a week of painful uncertainty and doubt. And what are we better than Thomas, to whom He might with the greatest propriety address himself,
“Oye of little faith, wherefore did ye doubt ?” I will, therefore, give a short view of that remarkable story, as it may suggest something that may be of service to ourselves, under the like temptations to unbelief.
The first appearance of the newly-risen Saviour was to Mary, who mistook him for the gardener. It is no uncommon thing for the Saviour to disguise himself, to try the affection and faith of his people. Sometimes he will seem a stranger, as to the disciples at Enimaus; and happy is he that can discover his Saviour in all forms; that receives and loves him in every shape and character. His habit and appearance may ofttimes vary; but his