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is the firmest of all Friends; to trust in Him as your Saviour, who is not merely a great, a sufficient, an Almighty, but the only Saviour. Is there any thing in all this requisition, which is hard, which is grievous; any thing to which you can reasonably object?
Consider further, why this return is demanded of you ; to what end you are required thus to believe on the Son of God. Not for His benefit, but for yours; not to profit God, but yourselves. It is your own personal salvation which is at stake. It is your own individual misery or happiness which depends upon your compliance with this requisition : and remember, it is your happiness or misery for ever. If you believe not, you perish ; and you perish for ever. The wrath of God will abide on you eternally; and will abide on you the more heavily, because you have rejected his love. If you believe, you will have life, even life for ever and ever. You will be safe and secure in the hour of death. While your body sleeps in the earth, your spirit will be happy in paradise. At the last day, when the trumpet shall sound, you will have a joyful resurrection. Your body will be raised incorruptible. Your soul will be united to it in glory; and both will live together in heaven for ever and ever.
My brethren, can I say any thing more to induce your compliance? If these things will not convince, will not persuade you,
the reason is plain ; you do not give credit x to them. Your heart is shut up in unbelief.
You do not really believe one word which I have been speaking to you: nay, (of what moment is it, that you believe not what I say, you do not really believe one word which Jesus Christ Himself has said in the text, has said to you in the Gospel. You hear his sayings, but do not receive them in faith and love. They sound in your ears, they float in your heads, but they do not sink into your hearts. There other things have possession, and not the word of Christ, There pride, or lust, or the world, or sin, in some shape or other, occupy the chief place, and shut out the things which belong to your real peace: for while any of these works of the flesh have rule within, Christ will not enter, and you cannot believe. Pray then for strength to resist and to overcome this strong man armed, Pray that a stronger than he may come upon him and cast him out. Pray that you may have the will and the power to receive Jesus Christ. If
you have once decidedly the will, it will not be long before you have the power. He, who giveth the will, will give the power. He, who entered into the world to purify and to
save it, will enter into your heart with all His purifying and saving efficacy, and will teach you to know in truth the blessedness of having the Son of God for your Saviour. .
Are there not some who already know this blessedness? Some who have tasted his grace; who have felt his power; who have experienced his love ? Such (as I remarked, at the beginning of this discourse,) will rejoice to hear the glorious truths, which I have been attempting to unfold; those good tidings of great joy, which these gracious words so manifestly proclaim, “ that God so
, loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Tidings of great joy indeed! Blessed and glorious truths! May you, who feel them to be so, live in the full enjoyment of the privileges which they involve; in the faithful discharge of the duties and obligations which they impose! Live as becomes those, who are made partakers of such a benefit; who have experienced such a love; are redeemed at such a price; belong to such a Saviour; are saved from such a death; and are risen to such a life. Walk in faith and obedience. Depend only on the Spirit to work in you to will and to do. Be instant in prayer. Be patient in well-doing. Go through evil report, and good report. And may the
Lord comfort and stablish your hearts ! May He confirm your peace ; invigorate your hopes ; cheer and refresh you by his presence; and cause all things to work together for your present and everlasting good, for His mercy's sake, through Jesus Christ!
THE CALL OF THE GOSPEL TO SINNERS.
EPHESIANS, v. 14.
Wherefore He saith, Awake, thou that sleep
est, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee Light.
These words may be considered as the great Call of God to sinners in the Gospel of his Son. In many ways, and by different persons, He has at different times delivered this Call ; by the Prophets in their preaching and writings ; by John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ ; by Christ Himself; by His Apostles after Him ; by His ministers ever since; by the inspired writings of the New Testament; by the exemplary and holy lives of true Christians in every age; by the secret and continual suggestions of the Holy Spirit. All these, as it were with one voice, proclaim the Call in the Text. By all of them the Lord delivers the same message to mankind.
“ He saith, Awake, Thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead,