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who reject Christ, such is the merciful loving kindness of the Lord, that he authorizes us, to whom he hath committed the
grace, to beseech them, even them, not to despair.
Long as the kindness and love of God, your Saviour, have been insulted, they are still graciously offered; for the prophet Jeremiah hath said, “his compassions fail not.” It would be needless indeed to adduce particular passages of scripture to confirm this comfortable truth. It is visible from the whole tenor of revelation ; every page of which contains the language of the divine love towards sinners. Review the history of Jesus, and after you have seen what he hath already done and suffered for the sake of ungrateful and rebellious man, say
if possibly question his tender mercies. Did he condescend to take our nature upon him, and will he disdain to receive the homage of a penitent heart? Did he die in agonies upon the cross for sin, and will he fail to perfect his work in the salvation of sinners ? It was a powerful argument which the apostle Paul employed with Agrippa : “Believest thou the Prophets?" and I now use similar language to you. Do ye believe the history and declarations of your Saviour as recorded by his holy evangelists? What was it that affected him with grief ?- Was it not the hardness of men's hearts?
-What was it that made the blessed Jesus weep? Was it not the view
of the impenitent city of Jerusalem, which knew not, or would not regard, the time of its merciful visitation ? Nay, what was the errand on which he solemnly declared himself to be sent into the world ?_Was it not " to seek and to save them who were lost?" And did he not invite all to come unto him, that they might be saved ? declaring that none who did come, in faith and penitence, would he cast out? And say, who will counteract, by obstinate folly and perverseness, all these gracious intentions? Who will rashly persist in rejecting his grace, until they have provoked his vengeance, which is as a consuming fire? Be not ye, brethren, like these selfdestroyers; but, as ye value your immortal souls, be warned in time. The gracious call still, by my mouth, sounds in your ears: “to-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” And, as an ambassador of Christ, I am charged to “beseech
reconciled to God.”
And now let it be asked, what impression these plain and honest admonitions have made on your hearts ? Gladly would I hope, that, by the blessing of God, and the powerful influence of his Holy Spirit, they have not been altogether in vain. Gladly would I hope that “the love of God may
be shed abroad in your hearts, by the Holy Ghost which is given you ; and that ye will not slight the solemn warning, which, as a
minister of Christ, and “worker together with him,” I now most earnestly give you, to "flee from the wrath to come.” Remember, I beseech you, that the eternal Son of God left the glories of his Father's kingdom, and sojourned in this vale of tears, to “bear our griefs and
carry our sorrows; remember, that the sinless Saviour “bowed his head" upon the cross, to redeem us poor miserable sinners from the punishment due to our offences; and remember, that if we continue wilfully in a course of sin, after we “have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin.” Jesus will die no more; death will have “no more dominion over him.”
Wherefore, consider this present opportunity as the accepted time: ye may now, by the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, obtain an interest in your Saviour's merits; but if
ye neglect to improve the day of grace,—the time mercifully allotted you, “ to work out your salvation,”—remember, that the night of death cometh, when none can work. Yes, the hour is at hand when
shall “ desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but ye shall not see it;" ye shall supplicate with “strong crying of tears to be reconciled to God;" but
shall weep and lament in vain.
“You shall cry unto God, but he will not hear; ye shall pray unto him, but he will not answer.” Yet, God forbid that this should be the dreadful fate of
God forbid that any of you should be found thus fatally to have received his grace “in vain!"
Let us all, then, in the language of our scriptural church,“ beseech that almighty and gracious God, who hateth nothing that he hath made, and doth forgive the sins of all them that are penitent, to create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of him, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
ON THE EQUITY OF GOD'S DISPENSATIONS.
EZEKIEL XXXIII. 11.—“As I live, saith the Lord God, I
have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live."
FROM these words, addressed by the prophet Ezekiel to the Israelites, in vindication of the divine conduct, with which they were dissatisfied, I shall first notice some objections which have been urged against the equity of God's dispensations; and then, by divine aid, prove the truth of the solemn declaration here given by the Almighty himself. In vindicating the ways of God, we cannot but observe with the wise king that “the foolishness of man too often perverteth his way, and his heart fretteth against the Lord.” Thoughtless persons are prone to charge God most unwisely; as if blame could attach to him, who doeth all things well; blame, on account of the apparent unequal distributions of his providence, and the seeming partiality of his government. When such persons experience the just effects of God's displeasure against sin,