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Be often there, and may God the Holy Ghost fill your souls with all the blessedness of the view, and of your personal, and everlasting interest in it.
1. And now, dear friends, did Jesus Christ thirst for the salvation of those, who without that agony of his soul must have been for ever widowed of happiness and hope, by the just and holy displeasure of God ? What then, should be the language of each of those, who hope that He is theirs, and they are his eternally ?
Surely that of holy David—“My soul is athirst for God, yea even for the living God: when shall I come to appear before God ?” “ As the hart panteth for the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” Shall He thirst, beloved friends, for your souls, and ye but faintly desire Him? Will ye be contented in his service, with a lukewarmness, which He abhors : and shall all the recollections of his incomparable love be traced upon your hearts, like characters in the sand, to be obliterated, or at least covered, by every new seduction, as those characters would be covered by the returning tide ? Shall you think coldly of Him, who gave not only his body to crucifixion, but his soul to the most dreadful anguish for you? If that charity, which can only make a few objects happy, and which performs its ministrations, with little personal toil and suffering, is yet able to gather around it the admiration of men ; what shall you think of Him, whose love aimed at the salvation of millions, and led Him through the pangs of death, to save you? Shall your love to such a Saviour be cold and feeble ? O, may the Spirit of God give you a spark of the love that glowed in his soul, that it may consume the selfishness of the evil heart within you; and make you, in deed, and in truth, give all your affections supremely to Him, who ought to be accounted by each of you
" the chiefest among ten thousands, and altogether lovely.”
2. Did Jesus Christ thirst, under the influ
ence of that temporary suffering which bowed Him down to the grave in anguish ? What then will be the misery, what the woe, what the inconceivable wretchedness, which must befall them, who will not come unto him that they may have life, who turned away from the Lamb of God; and from all the unfathomable mercies of his salvation ; and who, when the hour of their unbelief and impenitence shall reach its awful close, having no union with Him who is, in his people, a well of water, springing up into everlasting life, will then be separated from Him, without hope, and that for ever ?
If He said, “I thirst,” when He had borne the wrath of God for a few hours, what will be their state, who must grapple with it for ever? But, I will not dwell on this dreadful subject. Only consider, my dear hearers, who are thus neglecting Christ, what anguish God's own Son must have borne, when the sins of men were only imputed unto Him. Only consider, what that man deserves to feel, who hath not only merited eternal pain, but who hath despised the remedy, that God gave him, in the blood of Christ, for the salvation of his soul. Consider this; and may the Holy Ghost bless it, to an earnest desire for Jesus Christ, and for the life eternal, that is by faith in his name !
3. Did Jesus thirst upon the cross, to bring in an everlasting righteousness ? Blessed then are they, that do hunger and thirst after righteousness ; for they shall be filled.
If you are thus desiring, your Heavenly Father will not deal with you, as the Jews dealt with the Saviour, He will not give you gall, instead of bread, nor vinegar, instead of water. Come to Him : “ buy wine and milk, without money, and without price.” You may be brought into much trouble, to make you still more earnestly desire the blood of Jesus Christ. But when your souls gasp, like a parched land, and are as far from self-refreshment, as a man can be from drawing water out of the flint, then shall the fountain of salvation in Christ be opened to you ; that you may drink and live for ever. Mercy indeed, to a convinced sinner, seems oftentimes as remote, as rivers from a rock of stone : and perhaps few come near to mercy, who do not at first think themselves far from it. When the Israelites cried, “We are ready to perish with thirst ;” then they stood upon the very ground where rivers were to run for their refreshment, their strength, and their comfort, in the wilderness. The thirsty soul, panting for Christ and his salvation, shall assuredly have them both, for they are inseparable, whatever difficulties may appear to interpose.
" When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them; I will
open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the vallies, I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land