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2. Though there be many attendants at the feast, yet there is room for you. Christ and believers feast together even in the lower house, at the feast of fat things, which he makes unto all people. And the angels are his attendants, yea, they are ministering spirits unto them that shall be heirs of salvation. But the hallelujahs of angels will not make the King forget the cries of a poor sinner on earth coming to God through him. He will look through the crowd about the throne, and give you a healing look, and make room for you. Look then again towards his holy temple, his heart will be instantly with you, if you can but turn your eyes towards him. His love will make its way through cherubim and seraphim, and lift you up from the lowest gulf of misery. You will be made to say, "Thou Lord hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back." 3. Though you have been very long a coming, yet there is room. Many have come into the world after you, and gone out of it before you to Jesus Christ. You have sat still, while others have been fleeing from the wrath to come. Yet there is room. It is an honourable thing to be among the first to embrace Christ. Paul speaks in this sense of some that were in Christ before him; but our Lord will not shut his door upon the last. As long as there is one wandering sheep looking toward the fold, the door shall not be closed.

4. Though you have sat many calls and given Christ many refusals, yet there is room. He allows you to take your word again. He still says, "Wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be?" How peremptory were the people in their refusal, Jer. ii. 25. "I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. Yet, chap. iii. 1. Yet return again to me saith the Lord." Christ stands at the door and knocks, gives you one offer after another. Why so, but because he would have you yet to be wise and open to him.

5. Though you have been at the door more than once, and yet turned back again, and put an affront on him, by your backsliding, yet there is room. "Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding." Has not the Lord given you convictions of sin and duty, now and then, and have not you thereupon resolved that you would go to Christ and embrace the covenant; yet your goodness has been like the morning cloud and early dew that passeth away. Have not some blossomed fair, whose blossom has afterward gone up like dust? Christ has drawn some half way to heaven, and they have slipt the cord of love and run away from him. Yet he says, I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely.

6. Though you have slighted Christ in your prosperity, yet there is room for you, be your condition as low as it will. "The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity; surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness." It may be you have had days of outward prosperity and neglected Christ in them, and now the case is changed and the world for which you cared so much, cares little for you. Yet there is room for you. He is content to take you when cast off at all hands. He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

7. Perhaps you have grown old in sin, and your grey hairs are found in the way of wickedness, yet there is room for you. He calls even at the eleventh hour. Aged sinners, is your time for repentance and reformation not yet come? When you were young you delayed till you should come to old age. An unhappy resolution! But will you come now, then delay no longer. There is room for old sinners in the house of our everlasting Father. In a day of power a man may be born again even when he is old, and sovereign grace can pluck up by the roots the sin fixed with bands of iron and brass.

8. Though there be less hope of your case than ever there was, yet there is room. The same grace that reached Paul in his way to Damascus, breathing out rage and fury against Christ and his followers, can reach you in your career, and pluck the prey out of the lion's mouth. In a word, whatever your case be, yet there is room. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Come then sinners while yet there is room.

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Consider, It is dear bought room, to be thought so light of. Had not Christ died, and by his precious blood opened the way to the favour of God, which Adam's sin had closed, there had been no more room for fallen men, than for fallen angels. How then shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation. I beseech you by the love of Christ, in dying for sinners, to yield up yourselves to him. Again, Consider, that there will not always be room. The door will be shut ere long, and then you will call in vain for admission; therefore seek the Lord while he is to be found. God has waited long on these sinful nations, his patience with the generation will wear to an end, if we reform not; and there is no appearance of that, but the contrary. He has waited long on sinful us, but he will not wait always. Finally, you cannot tell how soon it may come to that, there will be no more room. Few communions, but they are the last to some one in the congregation. Your life is uncertain, and your enjoyment of gospel ordinances is uncertain,

They who will not come into Christ while there is room, must soon take their room in the pit of destruction, Rev. xxi. 8.

Use 2. Make room then for Christ with you. Room in your hearts, room in your houses. I would call unto all, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his path straight." Christ is coming once more among us in a solemn and awful manner, in the holy ordinance of the supper. O Christians, communicants, make room for his triumphant entry. "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the king of glory shall come in. Make room for him and all his salvation; As made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Be persuaded of your own utter emptiness, your need of all things, that you may take him for your all.

Again, Make room for him, in all his offices, as a prophet, priest, and king. Search out the rebels, lay all your sins before him, that he may remove the guilt of them by his blood, and break the power of them by his Spirit; and thus redeem you from all iniquity, and purify you unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Finally, Make room for him and his cross. Consider what you do, lay your account with all the hardships you may meet with in following him whithersoever he goes. Amen.

Ettrick, August 12, 1722.

[Sabbath before the Sacrament.]

HUNGERING AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS.

SERMON XXI.

MATTHEW V. 6.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.

WE are called to a solemn spiritual feast for the nourishment of our souls. But it is often seen, that many go to it, who yet come away empty. The fault is not in the feast itself, as if the provision were scanty; but in the guests, who often sit down without an appetite. Our text, which is a part of our Lord's sermon on the mount, discovering who are the truly blessed or happy, points out to us the worthy communicants, who shall be entertained at the Lord's table. And in it there are two things.

1. The hungry and thirsty after righteousness, declared blessed, by him who knows exactly, who are blessed and who not, as being the puchaser and bestower of the blessing. The world accounts those the happy ones who are full; Christ accounts them happy who hunger and thirst. But it is not every sort of hunger and thirst, but hunger and thirst after righteousness; those who are longing and earnestly desiring righteousness, as ever a hungry man desired bread, or a thirsty man drink.

2. There is the ground on which they are declared blessed; For they shall be filled. The appetite of their souls shall be satisfied. There is many a gaping mouth in the world, some are gaping for one thing, some for another, and all to satisfy their lusts: they shall never be satisfied, but they who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. The Lord himself shall fill them as the sheep of his pasture.

Doctrine. They who hunger and thirst after righteousness, shall be filled.

In speaking to this, I shall consider,

I. The righteousness for which these happy persons hunger and thirst.

II. Show what this happy hunger and thirst after this righteousness is.

III. Their blessedness, or the fill secured to them. We are then, I. To consider the righteousness for which these happy persons hunger and thirst.

1. It is an imputed righteousness, in which they may stand before God, obtain remission of sin, and the favour of God. "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." The soul sensible of the damning nature of sin, and the naughtiness of all men's own righteousness, and the severity of God's justice, will be pained and scorched, through the apprehension of the want of a righteousness to cover it before the Lord, as ever one was with hunger and thirst. Their great question will be, Wherewithal shall I appear before the Lord? How shall I be in case to stand before the awful tribunal?

2. It is an implanted righteousness, by which they may walk before the Lord in the land of the living and please him. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Deeply sensible of this depravity of nature, they cry with David, each for himself, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." They seek the renewal of their nature, being changed into the image of God, and to be made par

takers of the divine nature. This constitutes a righteousness or holiness of heart and life, that one may speak and act in a holy and righteous manner. "Oh! says David, that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes." This they who shall be filled, hunger and thirst after. In a word, it is a righteousness without them, and within them, a righteousness, upon them and in them. It is righteousness and holiness. This is the object of the desires of the happy soul. We are,

II. To show what this happy hunger and thirst after this righteousness is. There is in it,

1. A sense of want of righteousness. The prodigal's return to his father commenced, when he began to be in want. The hungry soul is cured of the disease of the Laodiceans. Such persons no longer imagine themselves rich and increased in goods, and having need of nothing, but feel themselves wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. However they have slept long, their eyes are now opened, and they see their want of righteousness. They are guilty, and have nothing of their own to cover them before God. They see that they are defiled, corrupted, and all over unclean in heart and life. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we do all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away." Whatever they have thought, they dare no more say to any, I am holier than thou. But with the leper cry out, unclean, unclean.

2. A painful sense of the need of righteousness. I perish, said the prodigal, with hunger. They do not merely see a want of it, and as many self-condemned sinners do; but as the hungry man is pained, and uneasy for want of bread, and the thirsty for lack of drink; so are they for want of righteousness. The hunger for righteousness seizes them, and they find a pressing need of it. The day has been that they have reigned as kings without righteousness, imputed or implanted. But now they can do so no more, they find they must be righteous and holy, or else perish.

3. A sense of utter inability to help themselves. See the case the poor hungry soul is brought to," When the poor and needy, says Isaiah, seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst." There has been a famine of righteousness in the world ever since Adam's fall; were there as little bread as there is righteousness among us, most of us would be starved to death, and all of us would look with pale faces. There is some righteousness indeed, but it is not the produce of our country, it is all imported from the King's country, and they who have got of it have none to spare. The wise virgins could afford none of their oil to the foolish virgins. So

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