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than the children of men?" And will you reject— despise-and forfeit such grace?
On the third head I shall not enlarge, namely
III. THE GLORY OF HIS REWARD, for this excellent holiness, and this condescending grace. "Therefore (saith David) God hath blessed thee for ever;" thus, in the fulness of faith, describing that as done, which was as yet only promised. The Apostle Paul, writing after the fulfilment had taken place, more largely states the extent of the Redeemer's reward: and with the reading of his words, I shall close this part of my discourse. "God hath highly exalted him, aud given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."' And now, Christian brethren,
WHAT THINK YE OF HIM, who has this day "prepared a table for you in the wilderness?" Is not he "wonderful?" and that not only in his Majesty, but much more so in his Mercy? Oh then put your whole trust in him! Accept the grace which he so condescendingly offers! And let your "soul magnify the Lord, and your spirit rejoice in God your Saviour!"
WHAT WILL YOU ASK OF HIM, who is so “ highly exalted?" This is a day of grace-and your petitions should not be scanty, so as to dishonour bis liberality. Let his own excellent beauty, therefore, suggest the Psalmist's prayer—“ "Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.'
1 Phil. ii. 9-11.
2 Isa. ix. 6.
3 Psalm xc. 16, 17.
MARK vi. 56.-And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
"He went about doing good!"-Yet it is not from single instances of his miraculous agency, that we can estimate the good which he did: we must realize the scenes thus rapidly alluded to in my text, if we would form any adequate conception of our Saviour's habitual employment on earth. "Whithersoever he enters," the place forthwith becomes one vast hospital. The applications for relief are so numerous, that, in order to shorten his labour of attending to them, they ask only the privilege of touching his clothes, as he passes down the street. And not a single failure! The thought is overpowering to the mind: and many a sick man, when he hears or reads, doubtless exclaims within himself, - Oh that I had been so happy, as to witness one of those days of the Son of Man!' 2
Was Jesus Christ, then, guilty of partiality, in granting such favours to that age, and to that nation only? No, my friends: for he never considered these as his most valuable favours; he gave them expressly as tokens of his ability and inclination to bestow far richer blessings. His miracles of healing were types 1 Acts x. 38.
2 Luke xvii. 22.
and pledges of that spiritual cure which, in every age and country, he is ready to work on the perishing soul of man-whenever man can be induced to apply to him for it. It is of this spiritual healing that I shall now discourse; and the text will lead me to point out
I. THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH AN APPLICATION TO CHRIST. It was bodily disease which brought these multitudes to seek his aid it is disease of soul which renders a similar application necessary in our
Have you no such disease? Perhaps you are not conscious of it. But do you not know, that even bodily disease came into the world by sin? and do you think that sin has injured the body, without harming the soul? That would indeed be strange, when you consider, that the soul is itself the source of all sin that ever was committed.—Ah! brethren; sin has brought on your soul diseases, less observed, perhaps, but quite as real, and far more dangerous, than any of those which shorten your earthly life.—I might name many; but they may all be summed up in these two.
1. You have a disease of Guilt upon you. You are on bad terms with your Maker and Judge. He gave you a righteous law, which you have broken; and therefore he has already condemned you to woe everlasting. You may possibly deny this, and affect to make light of your case. But you cannot get over the express word of God, which has declared--" The soul that sinneth, it shall die!" 1 True-the worst symptoms of your case do not yet appear; you do not yet hear the trump of judgment, nor feel the flames of hell: but it is no less true that the disease is begun, which, unless a remedy be found betimes, will infallibly bring your soul to that place of torment.
1 Ezekiel xviii. 4.
2. You have a disease of Corruption upon you. You not only have sinned, but you go on sinning, and you will continue so to do, unless some cure be obtained for your corrupt and depraved heart. The fear of hell may sometimes frighten you into temporary struggles against sin; but those struggles only shew how weak you are. Sin still "works in your members, to bring forth fruit unto death."1 "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength?" 2 Does not the very idea seem strange? Are you not sometimes inclined to think those hypocrites who pretend to it? What is this but a confession, that your own heart is wrong, and that you have no power to change it? And oh what a dreadful disease must that be, which hinders you from cordially loving the Lord your God!
Surely then I have completely proved the Necessity of an application to the great Healer, Jesus of Nazareth. Whosoever thou art, I cannot err in directing thee to Christ. As there were in every place diseased bodies for him to cure, when on earth; so, "whithersoever he enters" by the preaching of his gospelwhether they be "villages, or cities, or country "— there are multitudes dying from this universal contagion; laden with guilt, and disabled by corruption. And who can heal but Christ? who, like him, can wash away either the guilt or the defilement of sin?
If such be the urgent necessity for an application to the great Physician of souls, let my text now instruct you respecting
II. THE MANNER OF IT.
you feel your sickness to be real, serious, and
1 Romans vii. 5.
2 Mark xii. 30.
fatal, it will be your wisdom to imitate the conduct of those sick persons who are here spoken of.
1. They persuaded themselves that Christ was able to do this thing for them.-They had indeed every reason to believe it. And so have you every assurance, that Jesus" is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him." 1 He no longer indeed visibly "goeth about doing good:" but his absence is for your greater advantage; for "he is at the right hand of God," ever living to "make intercession" 2-to do the work of a Mediator, for guilty and perishing souls. You must, therefore, expect great things from Christ. Never for one moment question his power, both to remove your guilt and to sanctify your heart.
2. They put themselves in his way. We may do the same, by attending upon the ordinances which he has appointed. This house of God is the "street" through which the Healer passes. You may be here, it is true, and get no healing-because you seek none; but if you come in simplicity, you shall find Christ not far off. His sacramental table is another place, where the Healer of souls is to be met with. Your own closet he has himself named, as a place for you to resort to. Brethren! you have none but yourselves to blame, for the continuance of your disease, if you shun the Physician's approaches.
3. Those who could not come of themselves, sought the help of their stronger neighbours; none of whom were so unfeeling as to refuse the needful aid. Thus ought you to value the advice and the prayers of spiritual Christians. They have already obtained healing; and may become "helpers of your joy," s 4. They earnestly prayed for the blessing which 1 Hebrews vii. 25. 2 Rom. viii. 34..
3 2 Cor. i. 24.