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name, he is as willing as he is able. Continue steadfast in the use of the means appointed for your recovery, and he will make them efficacious. Yes, these sick souls of yours shall yet be as healthy and vigorous as an angel; and you shall ere long be advanced to the region of immortal health, where the inhabitants no more say, I am sick; where you shall breathe a pure, salubrious air, agreeable to your delicate constitutions, and be vigorous and lively for ever.
Do not think much of it, that a disease so inveterate and mortal should be painful and difficult in the cure. The operation will not last long; and if it does but succeed, the pain and self-denial will be infinitely more than compensated.
The deep sense of your disorder is often discouraging to you; Oh! you are afraid it will at last prove mortal. But this very thing ought to encourage you. The persons that I cannot speak one comfortable word to, are not of your character; they are the secure, whole-hearted sinners; but for you there is strong consolation; so strong that it may bear down all your fears before it. The sense of your disorder qualifies you for the Physician, and renders you proper objects of his care. The poor, the maimed, the halt, the blind, the broken-hearted, are the character of the persons that he has to do with, and who are recovering under his hands.
And are not these your characters? They are, indeed, humbling and mortifying; but, oh! they are encouraging, as they prepare you for Christ's healing care.
But as for you, whole-hearted sinners, I must pronounce you lost and dead souls. Jesus himself has declared, that he has no business with such as you. And if he casts you off, oh! what other physician can you employ! Alas! you will die in will die in your sins! Die in your
dreadful! better to die in a ditch, or a dungeon, than die in your sins! Therefore now labour to be sensible of your disorder, while it is curable; for all that are not healed in this life, are given up as incurable for ever. Now apply to Christ as a Physician, for he is willing to undertake your cure.
A SIGHT OF CHRIST THE DESIRE AND DELIGHT OF SAINTS IN
John viii. 56.— Your Father Abraham rejoiced [earnestly
desired] to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.
When we see the crowd, the unthinking majority of mankind in our day, neglecting the Lord Jesus, we see nothing new. This neglect is indeed stupid, ungrateful, criminal, and extremely affecting and lamentable; but in this respect as well as others, there is no new thing under the sun.
The blessed 'Jesus has been despised and rejected of men in every age, ever since sin first entered into the world, and raised enmity against him in the mind of man.
But, blessed be God, such excellency has attracted love and admiration in every age. He has been loved and adored, not only by the angels who knew him best, and are spectators of his glory in his native heaven, where he keep:s his court in conspicuous splendour, but also by some poor sinners of the race of man, in every period of time, since his glory first dawned upon the world in that early promise, “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head.” Gen. iii. 15. John and his cotemporary Christians, who lived upon earth when the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among men, beheld his glory, God-like glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John i. 14.
* A Sacramental Sermon.
In these dregs of time, when iniquity abounds, and the love of many wares cold, there are some, nay, there are many scattered here and there through the world, who believe in and love an unseen Saviour; and while they believe and love, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Pet. i. 8. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob also, and all the pious patriarchs, who lived in the early dawn of the gospel-light, looked forward with eager eyes to the promised and expected rising of the Sun of righteousness. His beams were but faintly reflected upon them; yet they could distinguish his light from that of every inferior luminary. They foresaw some illustrious
personage, superior to themselves, and all the ordinary messengers of God, about to appear in the world; and though it does not appear to me that they distinctly knew who he should be, or what should be the peculiarities of his office, and how he should perform it,' yet they expected him under the welcome character of a Deliverer, and that in some way which Divine wisdom would appoint he should bring salvation to penitent sinners. Thus Jesus congratulates his disciples upon their peculiar privilege, above the best men of the preceding times; “Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear; for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them;
* It is evident, that the apostles before Christ's resurrection, though they enjoyed the light not only of the ancient types, promises, and prophecies, but also of many instructions from his own lips, yet were ignorant of his death and resurrection, the nature and extent of his kingdom, and many other important peculiarities of the gospel. And much more so, may we suppose, were the prophets and good men of ancient times. Several great divines have, I think, represented their faith as much more particular and distinct than it appears to have been.
and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matt. xiii. 16, 17. Their desiring to hear and see these things, which the gospel reveals, implies that they had some general imperfect knowledge of them; for there can be no desire at all of a thing entirely unknown; but their knowledge was indistinct and obscure, and not satisfactory to their pious curiosity. Therefore, as St. Peter informs us, the prophets did not fully understand their own prophecies, but inquired and searched diligently concerning the salvation and grace now brought to us; searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not they, but we, should fully enjoy the advantage of their own prophecies, or that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you, by them that have preached the gospel unto you, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things, not only the prophets, but even the angels of heaven, those superior intelligencers, desire to look into and study. 1 Pet. i. 10–12.
To the same purpose St. Paul speaks concerning Abraham, Noah, and other pious patriarchs : These all died in faith, not having received the promises; that is, the accomplishment of them, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them; that is, they saw by faith, though afar off, at the distance of thousands of years, the blessings contained in those early promises, particularly that great, all-comprehending blessing, the Messiah; and were persuaded they would be fulfilled in due time, and embraced them with eager affection and confidence, as their highest hope and happiness.
This is the influence which even the faint discovery of a Saviour had upon good men many ages ago; but St.