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that he who loved us even unto death, and is now the Head over all things for his Church, will not fail to feed us with food that is convenient for us. Let us only follow his directions, and depend on his bounty; and he will open his hand to fill us with plenteousness here, and hereafter he will show us his salvation. From what has been now said, we may infer,

1st. That those who have wilfully transgressed the laws of God, and are determined to presist in their errors, are in a very destitute and dangerous condition. Their deplorable circumstances are thus represented in the figurative language of the prophet" They are "said to have no shepherd; to be scattered upon the "face of the earth; to wander through all the moun

tains, and upon every high hill; to become a prey, "and meat to all the beasts of the field." Obstinate

transgressors may be insensible of their danger, but let them be assured, that destruction threatens them in every step of their unsteady progress. They are wandering in a state of distraction, without any fixed object before them; they are destitute of all those gratifications in which alone a rational soul can acquiesce; they have no dependence upon the good providence of God; they are now a prey to a host of furious and tormenting passions; and Satan, the grand adversary, is ever lying in wait to seize and rend them with unutterable misery. Wonderful infatuation, that wicked men can be unconcerned in the midst of such horrible dangers!

2dly. To those who have been brought to a right sense of the miseries attendant on a life of sin; who view in a proper light their original depravity, and their many actual transgressions; who are impressed with a

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just idea of the value of their souls, of the necessity of religion, and the importance of immortality; who are, therefore, disturbed and anxious about their future welfare-to persons of this description, let the words of the text afford sweet consolation. Behold, the good Shepherd comes to seek that, which was lost, and to bring again that which was driven away; to bind up the broken, and to strengthen the sick. Upon the Gospel plan of salvation, ample provision is made for the relief of all your wants: here is pardon to the penitent for past transgressions; clear instructions for the regulation of their future conduct; grace to assist them in the sincere discharge of their duty; and, in the whole course of their earthly pilgrimage, a cheering confidence in the kind providence of God, and a blessed hope of immortality beyond the grave.

Lastly; let those who have availed themselves of these high advantages, and who live as becometh the Gospel of Christ, be duly sensible of their happy condition, rejoice evermore, and in every thing give thanks. They know, from experience, the import of these figurative expressions of Ezekiel; "I will feed my "flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord "God. I will feed them by the rivers in a good pasture, "and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold "be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat "pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.” And what shall separate you from this love of God? You have, surely, no desire to quit the peace, security, and plenty, which you now enjoy in the faithful performance of all your religious duties, for the vain amusements, or the vicious gratifications of this perishable world. You will not leave the rich pastures, and


seek to satisfy your hungry souls with husks which the swine do eat. You will not turn from the fountain of living waters, and go for refreshment to the broken cisterns which can hold no water.

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Happy would it be, could all who are now present be induced to estimate, in this manner, the joys of a religious life! Let us entertain just notions of our dependent state and condition. Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time. Let us cast all our care upon him, for he careth for us. Let us be sober and vigilant, because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. Thus, by the grace of God, we shall be made perfect, stablished, strengthened, settled in our religion here; and when the chief Shepherd shall appear in the character of our Judge, we shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.


On the Resemblance between Christians and little


MATTHEW xix. 14.

Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

THE Pharisees and Scribes contradicted the doctrines of our blessed Lord, and affected to deride the miraculous works which were performed by him; calling him a Deceiver, and one that was in league with Beelzebub, the prince of devils. But many of the common people, who formed their opinions from the plain dictates of unbiassed reason-who were not under the influence of prejudice and passion, entertained very different sentiments of him, esteeming him as a prophet sent from God, of eminent wisdom and piety, full of grace and truth: they therefore diligently and reverently attend to him. And, as it has been customary in all ages to place a high value upon the prayers and blessings of .wise and holy men; among other marks of respect, they bring young children unto Jesus, requesting him, that he would pray over them, lay his hands upon

them, and bless them. The disciples, seeing their Master thronged with much company, and supposing him to be fatigued with long teaching and exhortation, attempt to repress the eagerness of these people, and rebuke them for their seeming intrusion. But, our gracious Lord, always ready to seize every occasion of conveying some useful instruction, takes this opportunity to inform his disciples and the surrounding multitude, what sort of temper and disposition of heart was indispensably necessary, if they wished either to attain or to enjoy the happiness of heaven-assuring them, that unless they became like those little children, whom they were driving from his presence, they would not be proper subjects of his Gospel-kingdom here, nor would they be prepared to partake of his heavenly happiness in a future world.

It will not, therefore, be an improper employment, from an attentive examination of human nature, to inquire what those distinguishing characters and dispositions of children are, which met with the particular commendation of our Lord; and of the persons possessing which, he declares, that the kingdom of heaven is composed-" Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of "heaven."

We are expressly taught in the holy Scriptures, and our own daily experience confirms the assertions of the word of God, that man cometh into the world under the disadvantage of an original and inherent depravity. Upon this doctrine is founded the whole scheme of Christ's redemption. From this doctrine we argue the necessity, and therefore adore the mercy of a mediating Saviour; who by one oblation of him

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