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If you have hitherto chosen darkness rather than light, remember, the gospel, which has lightened many a pilgrim to heaven, will only show you the way to hell, and bring you, as it were, to a more horrible precipice, from whence you will fall with a greater violence into the pit. If you perish from under the gospel, it will be with a peculiarly aggravated destruction. Tophet has been prepared of old; and, like a furnace, always supplied, it has been heating more and more for thousands of years, and now, .under the gospel, it is heated more than ever; and the hottest place there is reserved for you, if you still resist the light, and continue in darkness. Oh! remember who it was that made that awful declaration, This is the condemnation; that is, this is the occasion of the most aggravated condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John iii. 19. If the gospel be hid, it is only to them that are lost. 2 Cor. iv. 3.

But I doubt not but sundry of you not only have day without, but within you: God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shined in your hearts, to give you the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Blessed are your eyes, for they see. And oh! what affecting sights have they seen? what vileness and deformity in sin! and what beauty in holiness! what corruption and depravity in yourselves, and what glory and excellency in God! what meanness and unworthiness in yourselves, and what loveliness, what all-perfect righteousness, with attractive glory in Jesus Christ! what vanity in this world, and what reality and importance in the world to come! Well, this day is but the dawn of immortal day, which you shall enjoy in heaven. You are children of light, and you are hastening to that world, where God himself shall be your light, and there shall be

no more night. Therefore, walk as the children of light, and let your light so shine before men, that they, by seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Bless God that the gospel shines around you, and opens such discoveries to your view. To-day it shows you a feast of fat things for hungry souls; it shows you that strange sight, which struck all nature with horror, when it first appeared; I mean the Son of God hanging on a cross, and expiring there for guilty men. This ordinance is a bright ray of evangelical light; and it helps you to see the love and agonies of Jesus, the great atonement he made for sin, and the method of your pardon and salvation. Come then, ye children of light, come and gaze, and wonder at these astonishing sights!

Again, Since it is day-time with us, let us shake off slumber, and rise to work. Awake to righteousness, sinners! Awake, and call upon God, and betake yourselves to work to the important, but long delayed and neglected work of salvation. The night of death is coming, when no man can work: then the Sun of righteousness will be set, and the day of the gospel be over, as to you; and the Lord will cause darkness, and your feet will stumble on the dark mountains, and the shadows of the everlasting shall be stretched out over your heads. Now, therefore, rise and do the work of life: do it now, in this your day; or it must remain for ever undone. And ye, who are children of the light, abound in the work of the Lord, while your day lasts. Never let him find you idle, but always busy in doing good. Do not you sleep, as do others; but watch and be sober. God has distinguished you with his grace, above thousands of his eminent servants; and this lays you under peculiar obligations of duty to him :-Which leads me to add,

VOL. II.-75

II. That the dispensation of the gospel is a day, which good men under former dispensations earnestly desired a sight of.

The most that they generally know was, that religion should be much improved, and the world receive great advantage, by some illustrious persons that should arise; and they desired themselves to share in that improvement and advantage. They had a general persuasion that God was reconcilable; but, oh! to know the person by whom, and the manner in which this reconciliation was to be brought about! They had many intimations that it was to be brought about by sacrifice, or the offering up the innocent for the guilty; but they wanted nearer views of this great mystery. They had ordinances of worship divinely instituted: but these were so expensive, burdensome, and comparatively carnal, that it is no wonder they looked forward with eager eyes to the time of reformation, when a more easy, spiritual and noble method of worship would be introduced: they hoped for happiness beyond the grave, and believed a future state of rewards and punishments; but the sanctions of the dispensations under which they lived, consisted so much in temporal rewards and punishments, as to render those of the world to come less clear and affecting. No wonder, then, they longed for gospel day, by which life alone and immortality are brought fully to light, and all doubts and suspicions entirely removed. In short, so much darkness, uncertainty and perplexity, attended many things of great importance, that are now clearly revealed, that it was natural and unavoidable for every good man that was concerned to please God, and enjoy his favour, to desire farther satisfaction, and look forward with eager eyes to the rising Sun, which should cast a divine light upon these interesting


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Now this happiness, which they so ardently desired, we enjoy and shall we make light of it, and neglect to improve our particular privileges? How would Abraham have rejoiced to hear what we hear this day, and sit down at the sacred table, which is now prepared for us! And shall we dare to neglect it, or attend upon it in a languid, careless, irreverent manner! Abraham would have willingly exchanged his personal converse with Jehovah, and all his privileges as the patriarch of the Jewish church, for the privilege of the meanest Christian among us. And shall not we esteem and improve what he esteemed so very highly, and longed for so ardently! Brethren, if we do not all crowd into heaven in a body, it is our own fault in a peculiar degree. Our external advantages for religion are greater than those of Abraham, the friend of God: than those of Moses, who "conversed with him face to face, as a man with his friend;" of David, the man after God's own heart: and of the many thousands that entered the gates of heaven, before Jesus left it to make his appearance in our world. And did they obtain salvation by a Redeemer so little known, and shall any of us perish, when he is so clearly revealed to us, and so explicitly proposed to our acceptance? God forbid ! Whatever became of sinners in Canaan, or Greece, or Rome, where they had prophets or philosophers, but no Jesus to show them the path of life, oh! let sinners in Hanover press into the kingdom of heaven. For shame, let them seek salvation, lest Jews and heathens,

and all the world, rise up in judgment against them. But

I observed from the text,

III. That good men earnestly desire clear discoveries of Christ and his gospel.

This was not peculiar to Abraham and the Old Testament saints, but it is common to all good men in all ages

and countries: and if you belong to their number, this is your disposition. Oh! how you long to know more of Jesus, and dive deeper into the mysteries of his gospel! How are you mortified and grieved for your ignorance! And how sweet is every beam of heavenly light that breaks in upon your minds and discovers more of the glory of Christ to you, and the wonders of his gospel! This was your end (was it not?) in coming hither to-day; and for this end you intend to sit down at his table, even that you may see the Lord Jesus in an advantageous point of view by faith, and be more charmed with his glories? Is not this what you desire and long for? Well, for your comfort, I can assure you,

IV. That these desires shall be accomplished.

Abraham desired to see Christ's day, and he saw it: his desires were fulfilled. And he was not the only one to whom divine veracity performed its promise, and divine goodness bestowed its bounties. No, the same blessing has been conferred upon every soul, in every age and country, that, like him, earnestly desired Jesus Christ. This desire pre-supposes a deep sense of our guilt and depravity, and of our inability to make atonement for our sins, or to sanctify our nature, and prepare ourselves for heaven, that region of perfect holiness: and it also implies a general conviction of the glory and excellency of Jesus Christ, and his suitableness to our case. Desires proceeding from such a sense of conviction, are lively and operative, and will set us in action to obtain the thing desired. They are not lazy, inactive desires, which persons profess, and yet remain all the day idle, and never exert their utmost strength in earnest endeavours to obtain an interest in Christ, as their supreme good and highest happiness. Such active desires are connected with the promises of eternal veracity, which almighty

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