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our soul loveth; we have found him, and will not let him go!" their exulting hearts break out into strains of thanksgiving, joy, and praise.


Thus I have shown you, my brethren, the nature of true love to Christ. I pray you to apply the tests which have been given, to your own consciences; to suffer this matter no longer to be in suspense; to form an immediate decision of this question, Do I love Christ, or do I not?" It is too important a matter to be in suspense, for heaven or hell hangs upon its determination. Be impartial, since yours is not the final nor supreme judgment; since your judgment must be reversed, if it be not according to truth. Do you still hesitate whether to form this decision? Attend to the

IId. head of our discourse,

In which we will give you some motives to this love; motives which are sufficiently powerful, if you will act as a reasonable being, to induce you no longer to protract a decision on this point.

From the variety of motives which occur to me, I select only two: love to Christ is reasonable and plea


1. Love to Christ is a reasonable duty. When we urge you to the practice of piety, we urge you to nothing but what can be defended upon the principles of the coolest reason, but what is incumbent upon you as rational beings. It is essential to the heart to love; it must cease to beat before it can cease to love: the only question then is, what shall be the object of its supreme attachment, the things of earth or the great Redeemer? I reply, it is reasonable that the Redeemer should possess this attachment, because he has incomparably greater excellences, has conferred upon us inconceivably greater bene

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fits, and can do for us infinitely more than the things of earth. These three ideas are so many proofs of the reasonableness of a supreme love to Christ.

He has incomparably greater excellences. Accumulate, heap one upon another all the qualities which can captivate a feeling heart, they are all perfectly combined in him. He is "the brightness of his Father's glory, the express image of his person." Every perfection is found in him in a degree far beyond the conception of the most exalted seraph; the splendid host of glorified immortals can devise no higher source of felicity than to behold, admire, and serve him. Summon up all the objects of earth on which your heart is fixed; place them by his side; do you not see that they diminish, that they contract to a point, to a nothing, when compared with him. On what article will you institute a comparison between these idols who possess your affection, and the mighty Saviour? On that of power? His arm upholds the universe; upon it universal nature fixedly hangs. On that of wisdom? His eye at one glance pervades all being, and runs through the past, the present, and the future. On that of permanence? "From everlasting to everlasting he is God." On that of mercy? Angels confess that their faculties are too weak to comprehend his goodness, and their tongues too feeble worthily to celebrate it. Yes, if excellence and perfection be the ground of attachment, Jesus must have our hearts.

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But besides this, he also demands your attachment from the consideration of what he has done for you. Think of his benefits, and then tell me, is it not reasonable you should love him? should love him? A few years ago you did not exist; a few years ago this body which is so admirably constituted, this soul which

is endowed with such noble faculties, were not in being: who then called you from the womb of nonexistence and made you what you are? Who but Christ," without whom not any thing was made, that was made?" Having created us, he also preserves us. This nice and complicated machine which he has formed, would soon run into disorder if he did not continually touch its springs. If he were at this time to withdraw his supporting influence, in an instant, in the " twinkling of an eye," the voice of him who speaks to you would falter, would expire in death, and the ears of you who hear me, would be closed by the touch of dissolution. Is this all that he has done for us? No, he paid the price of our redemption; he submitted to woes unutterable to raise us to glory. Behold him in the garden crushed down under the weight of our sins, and experiencing agonies unutterable: see him on Calvary; justice can find nothing in him to condemn, yet " he is smitten for us, and afflicted:" the cross is red with his blood; our iniquities encompass him and stab him to the soul; the vials of divine indignation are poured out upon his sacred head, and he exclaims in agony, "My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" Which of those earthly objects, which steal away your soul from Christ, has done as much as this for you?

And finally, what can they do for you in comparison to what Christ can and will do, if you give him your affections? They can bestow on you only trifling gratifications whilst you are on earth, and they make no provision for that eternity which lies beyond the grave. All those things which you here love, and eagerly pursue, cannot, when you leap the gulf of time, interpose between you and eternal

misery. The delicacies of Dives, the full barns of the rich fool, the great possessions of the young ruler, have long since ceased to delight them. The pomp of Herod, and the rhetoric of Tertullus, have not been able to hinder the flames from enwrapping their tortured bodies. Foolish men! had they fixed upon the Saviour those affections which were given to the world, they had now been triumphing in the regions of glory, instead of lamenting their misery in the dungeons of despair! Foolish men! while they now cast a mournful look across the impassible gulf which separates them from heaven, they are obliged to confess that the world mocks its followers with delusive promises of happiness, while Jesus alone affords a felicity commensurate with the faculties, coeval with the existence of the soul. Unite all these ideas, and you cannot hesitate to acknowledge that it is reasonable for you to love the Saviour, I present you with a

Second Motive: It is pleasant. Ye mortals, who in search of pleasure are pursuing airy phantoms which cannot satisfy you, are embracing vain shadows which elude your grasp, come and learn where true delight is to be found. The exercise of a true love for Christ, and nothing short of this, will render you happy. If earthly love affords delight, how much more rapturous must be the sensations resulting from divine love! What joy springs from the interchange of affection between the soul and its Redeemer! What joy, to behold his smiling face and pour out before him the warm effusions of the heart! Yes! in every situation of life the exercise of love to Christ affords the purest satisfaction; but its effects are more especially seen in those seasons

when earthly loves can profit us little-in affliction, in death, in judgment.

When adversity presses hard upon us, and the clouds of affliction lower around, he who has placed his supreme affection upon the earth, must be unhappy. When worldly enjoyments are wrested from him, he must cry out with the Danite, "Ye have taken away my gods, and what have I more ?" How different the situation of him whose soul glows with love to Christ! Like Job, when bereft of every temporal delight, he can look upward and behold his Redeemer living: he can exclaim, I have still a friend to go to, who has wisdom to guide me in my perplexities, who has mercy to solace me in my sufferings, who has power to deliver me from my distresses, and who has engaged to deliver me so soon as it shall be best for me. This tender friend beholds me contending with sorrows, and he mingles with them the consolations of grace; why should I repine or be dejected? I have always found that his help is nearest, that his sympathy is greatest, when earthly supports have been torn from me. In such seasons I have often found him charming my griefs to rest, and causing me to rise above the pressure of outward sorrows. The remembrance of his past goodness inspires me with confidence in my present sufferings, and knowing that he loves me better than I love myself, I lean without disquietude on his promises, his providence, and his grace.'

Pass from the season of affliction to the hour of death. When the man who has no love for the Saviour comes to this eventful hour, his situation is indeed dreadful. He is about to be torn from all that he loved and valued: earth recedes from his eyes, and with it recede all his enjoyments: he struggles

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