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tation and prayer, to endeavour to acquire a correct and enlarged view of that glorious scheme of salvation which is revealed to us in the gospel, and of the beautiful harmony and indissoluble connexion that subsists between the Old and the New Testament dispensations. And let it be deeply impressed upon our minds, that there is no other foundation on which we can safely rest our hopes for eternity, but Jesus Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amen to the glory of God the Father. This is a serious consideration. Death will soon dissolve our connexion with this world, and after death comes the judgment. It is therefore our reasonable and indispensable duty, as intelligent and accountable creatures, whom God has so highly favoured in his providence with clear discoveries of his grace, to call ourselves to a strict account, before the day of our merciful visitation come to an end, as it may do this very night, for the reception which we have given to the glorious gospel of the Son of God. I beseech you then, by all that can be interesting to your present and everlasting welfare, to lay these things seriously to heart, and to consider the awful alternative implied in this solemn question-How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? By many, too many indeed, this solemn enquiry is disregarded. They pass through life without reflecting on the superior advantages which they enjoy. Blessed are our eyes, (if we knew our blessedness,) for they see, and our ears, for they hear, what many prophets and righteous men desired to see and to hear,
but were not permitted! What would Abraham, what would Moses, what would Isaiah, and all the prophets, who enquired and searched diligently what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow-what would they not have given to see the days of the Son of man in which we live! They beheld them only afar off, and yet the sight transported them with joy. They called upon the whole earth to rejoice and break forth into singing, on account of the great things which God would do for his people in the latter days. These are the latter days. God has remembered towards us the mercy promised unto the fathers, and his holy covenant, and has blessed us with the knowledge of salvation, through his tender mercies, whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us. But, though thus predicted, thus enquired after, longed for, and rejoiced in, many of us turn from this heavenly treasure with cold indifference, or at best possess it negligently, as a matter of inferior moment and importance! Were we duly sensible of its value, how should we delight in such researches as that which has now engaged our attention! Whatever contributes to the due understanding of the oracles of truth; whatever tends to exalt the Saviour, and to shew the stability of that foundation which God himself has laid for our faith, is deeply interesting.
Think not, then, that your time is mispent, when a discourse like the present is not so immediately addressed to the conscience as our discourses
in general are, and ought to be. The subject which we have this day been considering, is a subject into which the angels look: and happy will it be for us, if we make that mystery, which was, in a manner, hid from ages and generations, but is now fully revealed in the gospel, the subject of our frequent and serious contemplation.
CHRIST STANDING AND KNOCKING AT THE DOOR OF THE HEART.
REVELATION, III. 20.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
THE addresses of our Saviour to the seven churches of Asia, are, doubtless, intended to furnish reproof, warning, or encouragement, to other churches and individuals, in all future ages, as their cases are found to resemble theirs: and in each address, Jesus Christ, the great Head of the church, assumes a distinct and appropriate character, which will be found to correspond to the character and circumstances of the church addressed.
Thus, for example, the character in which our Lord is represented in addressing the church of Ephesus, is that of one whose countenance is as the sun shining in his strength, and walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks: which seems to imply both encouragement and warning, and to correspond to their character, as partly praiseworthy and partly blameable-chapter ii. 1, &c. The thing for which they are blamed is, that they
had left their first love-a very common case: so much so, that some speak of it as a thing which young Christians may expect as a matter of course. This, surely, is a very improper way of speaking of that conduct which Christ represents as extremely sinful, and which he calls upon the parties concerned to repent of, and to do their first works, or he would remove their candlestick out of its place; that is, he would deprive them of all the privileges and all the comforts and joys of faith. For what is the language of every such declension from the faith and hope of the gospel, but a practical denial of Christ; a declaration, that they have not found that in his religion which they once expected to find in it. And what is the manner in which he remonstrates with persons of this character? He says to them, in the most tender and affecting language that can be conceived, O my people, what have I done unto thee, and wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me! Who, on such a remonstrance as this, is not ready to exclaim, O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night, as I ought, for my sins, my base and ungrateful conduct?
With respect to the lukewarm Laodiceans, the character which our Lord assumes is that of the faithful and true Witness. Your character, as if he had said, is drawn by one who thoroughly knows you; one who narrowly inspects your conduct, and is acquainted with the motives from which you act; one who forms an estimate of your spiritual state very different from that which you