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solicitude of one whose life was bound up in your
you from every other object to Jesus Christ.
V. In the last place, Guilt, awakened by conscience to a sense of its danger, imagines that it truly longs for this influence, and murmurs because it has not received it.-And is it indeed so ? Does the sinner truly estimate the enormity of his wickedness, and the extent of his danger ? Is he sensible of his entire dependence upon the grace of God, to subdue the dominion of sin within his breast ? Does he honestly and sincerely wish that he may be made happy by being made holy, by being withdrawn in all his affections and desires from those forbidden objects which now occupy his mind and engross his heart ? He complains that he has done all he can do, and yet the grace of God is denied him. Alas! how will this plea fail him at the bar of God? Will he then be prepared to say, that day after day has witnessed his faithful and earnest perusal of those sacred Oracles " which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ ;" his retirement from the world, that he might meditate on the things which belong to his everlasting peace; his frequent prostration of spirit before the throne of God, praying, with strong cries and many tears," God be merciful to me, a sinner.” If he dare not make this plea at the judgment bar, let him not now impeach the justice or the goodness of God. Let him more carefully examine his own heart. Let him see whether he has indeed felt the pressure of his guilt, and whether he has not been striving and hoping all the while to do something which will entitle him to receive the grace of God
not as a free gift, but as a merited reward. Let him, in fine, cast himself without reserve upon the mercy of that Saviour, who is able and willing to save all who come unto him. Then will be no longer oppose the doctrine contained in our text, but from experience realize the truth and delight in the import of these words—“ No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him.'
Thus, my brethren, have I attempted to present to your consideration, some of the repugnancies which the sinner feels against the doctrine of Divine influence, and some of the perversions which he makes of it. You have seen how they all spring from the depravity of the human heart ; that none furnish any extenuation of our guilt, or ground of murmur against the justice or the goodness of God; and that if still embraced and cherished, they will render us more and more worthy of that dreadful doom which awaits the finally impenitent. Let us, then, learn and imbibe this salutary, though humbling truth-that whatever evił we are chargeable with is the result of our own perverse and sinful inclination; and that all that is good within us cometh down from the Source of all good—the Spirit of holiness and truth. No longer, with that Unbelief which doubts the possibility of a Divine influence; that Pride which disdains it ; that Self-righteousness which does not want it ; that Slothfulness which is waiting for it; or that terrified Guilt which imagines it longs for it, and murmurs that it has not
been procured by what it deems so great and unwearied efforts ; no longer let any of us strive with these weapons of sin, against the Holy Comforter : let us cease this unhallowed warfare ; let us prostrate ourselves at the foot of the Cross, and there look unto Him, and be saved, who was “ lifted up, that he might draw all men unto him.”
JOHN vi. 44.
No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath
sent me, draw him.
ERY good reason had our Saviour to utter these memorable words. They were addressed to a multitude of Jews, who refused to believe on him, in spite of the most overwhelming proofs which they witnessed of his Divine mission. They saw what many prophets and kings had desired to see, and had not seen, the glory of this only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and, in him, the clear and striking signature of that Messiah, of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets did write. They heard the instructive lessons of Wisdom, and the gracious invitations of the Gospel from His lips who spake as never man spake. They had just been refreshed to the number of five thousand men, besides women and children, by a wonderful miracle of his power, calculated as well to remove all their doubts concerning Jesus, as to melt their hearts into gratitude and love. Indeed, their doubts seem partially, and for a little while, to have been removed.