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in a similar case. “ Thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin is purged.”
In a word some may be complaining that though they have been careful in attending to all preparatory means, prayer, self-examination, hearing the word, con.fession of sin, &c. yet Jesus has left them to walk under much darkness, and in want of present comfort. Consolation in the way of duty is exceedingly desirable, and believers may aspire after it; they are not, however, to regulate the performance of duty by it. The command of Christ is the rule of duty, and must not be given up whether obscurity prevail or not. He has promised consolation to his people in the way of duty, but has not limited himself to any time; they must therefore persevere and wait on him. His command is explicit; “ This do in remembrance of me; Go ye up unto this feast:" but his manner of dealing with some of you says, “I go not up yet." You must, therefore, be obedient, as he has left you no discretionary liberty, and let him come when he shall judge proper. You need not be afraid that he will not be there. The feast is his. He has made provision: And he wishes to eat the passover with his disciples. But although the preparatory steps you have taken have not been equal to your expectations and desires of comfort, they .may have been profitable, in preparing you to receive consolation. They that sow in tears reap - in joy. Have you had an affecting discovery of your sins, and is your sorrow truly genuine? Is your hatred of sin
you feel it as a heavier weight on your souls than formerly? Are your desires after Jesus quickened? Do you feel your wants more sensibly? And are you strongly inclined to obey the last and dying command of your Lord? Then your consolation
stronger, and do
awaits you. Jesus has been preparing you for it. He left his disciples for a time and sorrow filled their hearts; but he promised to see them again, that their hearts might rejoice. He regards the humble and sorrowful soul, and promises to manifest himself to it.“ To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
8. Permit me now to conclude with a word of exhortation in the way of caution and encouragement to all.
Ler it be your great object to find Christ. This is the greatest acquisition you ever can make; for by hav. ing him you have all things, and by wanting him you bave nothing. Seek his Spirit and learn the knowledge of him from his word.' Presume not to think that you shall have communion with him until you have discerned his worth. Let such as do not yet know him beware of seeking him in an unwarrantable manner, by coming to his table: such a presumptive step will be attended with danger, and will obstruct the end which is pursued. In the dispensation of the word his blood is exhibited for pardon, and his Spirit for communicating light and life to the soul. When these are obtained
is prepared to approach the holy table with safety.
Let such as have already received Christ beware of indifference in respect to the work before them. A lukewarm frame is, of all things about believers, the most displeasing to Jesus: nor can any thing more effectually disqualify them for communion with him. Hence his declaration to the Laodicean church, .“ Be. cause thou art lukewarm, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Believers, Jesus is anxious to manifest his love and open his rich treasures that you may have all
the valuable blessings you desire. He wishes to have you near to himself, to behold his glory: but he will have you prepared to enjoy such a favour, by a proper acquaintance both with yourselves and with him. You have nothing, but are in want of all things; and it is of the last importance that you know this, otherwise you can never esteem him, nor have any anxiety to enjoy him. You must see him as possessing all fulness suited to your Decessities, ere you can make application to him for a supply. Let it be your first study to find Christ; he is the true light which will discover, without any deception, all other objects. In vain shall you think to learn your own character, to know the plagues of your own hearts, and to see your own wants without light from him. Be assured then that you will find in Jesus all you can desire; and on making application to him you will find that he is more ready to communicate, than you are to receive. Seek from him an heart to love him, and strength to follow him whithersoever he goeth. Bring your lusts and all your enemies to be destroyed. Bring all your wants to be filled up; and all your languishing graces to have them revived. Entertain no doubt of your success in applying to him: His love is great;
grace is free; he requires no condi, tion in you but what he produces; he desires much to have your company, and to give you an experience of his love. He shed his blood to open your way to all divine blessings: beware then of undervaluing this blood by refusing to commemorate his death. He wishes to see, in you, the travail of his soul, and the pleasure of his Father prospering in his hand. If you refuse obedience, you deny him all this. He has told you where you shall certainly meet him. “ In all places where I record my name, I will come unto you and bless you."
His name is recorded in the holy supper; there you have the visible symbols of his broken body; and there you may see him, and meet with him. He is giving you the same call and invitation he gave to the spouse; “ Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away-let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely."
MESSIANI'S LORDSHIP OVER HIS CHURCH.
PSALM xlv. 11. -He is thy Lord, and worship thou him. THIS psalm is evidently an Epithalamium, or nuptial song. It can have no relation to any of David's marriages, or to that of Solomon with Pharaoh's daughter; as the characters described cannot apply to any of these parties. The celebration of the nuptials of Christ and his church' is evidently the subject of the psalm; as to these characters alone will the descriptions agree. The Mediator is introduced, more particularly, in his royal character, as king and head of his church, subduing his enemics, converting sinners, and extending his conquests. His kingdom was to be formed of such persons as were, naturally, his enemies, being in a state of subjection to Satan; and actively employed in supporting his kingdom; it was to exist long in the world, to be widely extended, and to be protected against the designs and attacks of numerous and mighty enemies, to which it was to be continually exposed; hence consummate wisdom and almighty power became necessary qualifications in Zion's king. These he possesses in the utmost possible perfection. “ Grace is poured into his lips, and he is ancinted with the oil of gladness above his fellows." The holy Spirit is given him without measure, and “ Rests upon him, as a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and might, and a spirit of knowledge,” &c. " His