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compassion of God upon the sufferings of his beloved Son; it was to win our affections, and to gain our hearts, that Christ is set forth in these unerring pages, as, emphatically, “ a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;" as enduring all the extremities of a hard and afflicted lot, of distress, contempt, indignity, and pain. Yes, my brethren, read these records for yourselves: behold there and see, if “any sorrow was like unto his sorrow." The question then is, do you really believe that Chri
really believe that Christ has drunk to the dregs this cup of misery? Do you believe that he bore all his pains and agonies for you? Do you believe and acknowledge him to be your Saviour and your God? What suitableness, then, is there in the measured movements of the lukewarm, to such inconceivable, overwhelming obligations ?
God claims, indeed, the affections of an undivided heart: but what has he not done to win our hearts? What has he not condescended to, that he might gain our confidence and love? What has he not suffered, which could disarm even enmity itself, and turn the heart of stone into a heart of flesh ?
If we still resist these motives—if we still despise God's goodness, his last best means to lead us to repentance -- we have then been brought fairly to the test; the sovereign remedy has been tried, and it has failed; we are weighed in the balance, and are found wanting, and will be lost for ever. And when the final doom of lukewarmness is sealed, how may God appeal to a wondering universe, and say, What means have I neglected to save these 'souls ?-_what could have been done more for my vineyard that I have not done in it? And how may the indignant murmur go round the countless myriads, and pass along all the ranks of the angelic host_“ Lo, these are the dege“ nerate and apostate spirits, for whom God “ delivered up his Son, and for whom the “ Lord of Glory died; but they rejected that “ great salvation, and are now departing into “ everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and “ his angels.”
Upon that tremendous day, a far different generation will appear at Christ's right hand. In their Judge they will behold their Saviour, their Deliverer, and their Friend. The glad tidings of redeeming love had reached their ears in life-- they had ears that heard, and hearts that understood. God's goodness had not been lost on them. Their affections were engaged, their hearts were won—their souls, and all the powers within them, became a willing sacrifice, and whole burnt offering unto God. Their salvation had begun on earth.
Eternity had dawned upon them. The love of God had opened paradise in their souls. Christ was their confidence in life, and at the hour of death. They now can trust him in the day of judgment; and wait in calm repose, and deep tranquillity of soul, to hear his final benediction“ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 66 of the world.”
count the long catalogue of sharp distempers and pains which beset this mortal body; the wearisome nights that heavy sickness brings; the humiliating and unsightly ailments which render us a terror to ourselves; the tortures which even remedies occasion, and which make men of nervous and sensitive constitutions, sometimes dread the surgeon's knife more than death itself. Will it then be a small deliverance to be out of the reach of these? To find ourselves clothed with bodies pure, spiritual, incorruptible, subject to no languor, no heaviness, no pain? To be where there is no pining sickness, no withering old age? Where no poor shall cry for bread, where they shall neither thirst or hunger more?
Neither in heaven will there be any more dying. Here we live in the very region of death. The whole creation, irrational as well as rational, groaneth and travaileth in pain together, under the iron sceptre of this king of terrors. And surely, if life in every other respect yielded the purest happiness, it would be some abatement of it, to see the inferior animals all around, silently submissive to that curse which our sins have brought down upon them. Nor is it possible to survey the cattle upon a thousand hills, the sheep that ornament our fields, innocent, defenceless, and unsuspecting, without some feeling for that allotment, by which they will all be summoned from their pleasant pastures, to die by the hand of slaughter. Into this mysterious arrangement I do not presume to enter fully ; nor would I take upon me, with a late truly excellent minister of the gospel, to lay down as a positive doctrine, (cheering as the prospect may be) that these animals will rise again to a new and blessed life. But this I will say, because the Scripture says it, that the meanest of such creatures is the care of heaven; that God feedeth the young ravens that call upon him; that not even a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Heavenly Father. In these hands we should be satisfied to leave them; assured that they will be considerately and mercifully dealt with. One thing, however, is clear, that while they are the objects of such care, it is a more serious thing than some imagine to trifle with their pains; to make their miseries our sport, or to put them to one moments needless suffering. These sentiments, I am well aware, will pass with many for unmanly, childish weakness : but alas! do we consider how much of that high mettle, which we call manliness, must come down? Do we remember that we must become as little children, if we would enter into the kingdom of heaven? In that world, then, of angelic innocence, of divine simplicity, tenderness, and love, where he, who was himself once led as a lamb to the slaughter, sitteth upon the throne-it