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SUCH were the transactions, such the ef- SERMON fects of this ever-memorable hour. With all those great events was the mind of our Lord filled, when he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father! the bour is come.

From this view which we have taken of this subject, permit me to suggest, what ground it affords to confide in the mercy of God for the pardon of sin ; to trust to his faithfulness, for the accomplishment of all his promises ; and to approach to him, with gratitude and devotion, in acts of worship:

In the first place, The death of Christ affords us ground to confide in the Divine mercy for the pardon of sin. All the steps of that high dispensation of Providence, which we have considered, lead directly to this conclusion, He that spared not bis own Son, but delivered bim up for us all, how shall be not with him also freely give us all things *? This is the final result of the discoveries of the Gospel. On this rests that great system of consolation, which it hath reared up for men. We are not

* Rom. viii. 32

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SERMON left to dubious and intricate reasonings,

concerning the conduct which God may be expected to hold towards his offending creatures : But we are led to the view of important and illustrious facts, which strike the mind with evidence irresistible. For, is it possible to believe, that such great operations, as I have endeavoured to describe, were carried on by the Almighty in vain? Did he excite in the hearts of his creatures such encouraging hopes, without any intention to fulfil them? After so long a preparation of goodness could he mean to deny forgiveness to the penitent and the humble? When, overcome by the sense of guilt, man looks up with an astonished eye to the justice of his Creator, let him recollect that hour of which the Text speaks, and be comforted. The signals of Divine mercy, erected in his view, are too conspicuous to be either distrusted or mistaken.

In the next place, The discoveries of this hour afford the highest reason to trust in the Divine faithfulness, for the accomplishment of every promise which remains

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yet unfulfilled. For this was the hour of SERMON the completion of God's ancient covenant.

It was the performance of the mercy promised to the fathers. We behold the consummation of a great plan, which, throughout a course of ages, had been uniformly pursued ; and which, against every human appearance, was, at the appointed moment, exactly fulfilled. No word that is gone out of the mouth of the Lord shall fail. No length of time alters his purpose. No obstacles can retard it. Towards the ends accomplished in this hour, the most repugnant instruments were made to operate. We discern God bending to his purpose, the jarring passions, the opposite interests, and even the vices of men ; uniting seeming contrarieties in his scheme; making the wrath of man to praise him; obliging the ambition of Princes, the prejudices of the Jews, the malice of Satan, all to concur, either in bringing forward this hour, or in completing its destined effects. With what entire confidence ought we to wait for the fulfilment of all his other promises in their due time; even when events are most embroiled, and the prospect is most

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SERMON discouraging? Although thou sayest, Thom

canst not see himi yet judgment is before, him, therefore trust thou in him. Be attentive only to perform thy duty ; leave the event to God; and be assured, that under the direction of his Providence, all things shall work together for a happy issue.

LASTLY, The consideration of this whole subject tends to excite gratitude and devotion, when we approach to God in acts of worship. The hour of which I have discoursed, presents him to us in the amiable light of the Deliverer of mankind, the Restorer of our forfeited hopes. We behold the greatness of the Almighty, softened by the mild radiance of condescension and mercy. We behold him diminishing the awful distance at which we stand from his presence, by appointing for us a Mediator and Intercessor, through whom the humble may, without dismay, approach to Him who made them, By such views of the Divine nature, Christian faith lays the foundation for a worship which shall be at once rational and affectionate; a worship in which the light of the understanding

shall

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shall concur with the devotion of the heart, SERMON and the most profound reverence be united with the most cordial love. Christian faith is not a system of speculative truths. It is not a lesson of moral instruction only. By a train of high discoveries which it reveals, by a succession of interesting objects which it places in our view, it is calculated to elevate the mind, to purify the affections,

nd, by the assistance of devotion, to confirm and encourage virtue. Such, in particular, is the scope of that Divine institution, the Sacrament of our Lord's Supper. To this happy purpose, let it conduce, by concentering, in one striking point of light, all that the Gospel has displayed of what is most important to man. Touched with just contrition for past offences, and filled with a grateful sense of Divine goodness, let us come to the altar of God; and with a humble-faith in his infinite mercies, de vote ourselves to his service for ever.

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