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reconciled to him by the death of his Son? There are but few points on which I am sanguine enough to think I could argue to the conviction of a person disposed to evade the force of evidence; yet if there is any, I think it is in proof of this sentiment of the apostle, "He that spared not his own Son, but gave him up to the death for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things." Allow me that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might have life through him; and then say, is there another favour so costly that you should think it beyond the reach of his benevolence? You may perhaps say, that he hath already done so much, that you cannot conceive how he should do more. But I will ask you this, Why did he confer the first favour? Was it only to save appearances to his creatures? Do you conceive of it as of that constrained kind of benevolence which we sometimes see in the world-a man paying the debts of another, and then setting him adrift to do as he best can in the world? No; I will tell you what it rather resembles, if a resemblance to it can be found in this selfish world. It resembles a man taking up a helpless orphan. He at first cloths and feeds him; by and bye, he conceives an attachment for him. Having done so much, he is unwilling to leave his work imperfect; he makes him worthy of his care, by instilling good principles into him. In time he adopts him into
his family; at last he makes him his heir, and leaves him all he has. Whoever knows the human heart, knows that this is the natural progress of affection. He that gives, cherisheth his own benevolence by the gift; and to have conferred one favour, is a reason for continuing and adding others. I say not this, as if God's thoughts were to be measured by ours. I have a better warrant for using this comparison-" being confident," as an apostle has expressed it," of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God-and if sons, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ: God' commended his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us-Much more, then, béing now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him: for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." "
But here, my brethren, I find the subject rising and widening beyond the reach of my thoughts, or feeble illustrations. How great; O God, is that goodness which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee, before the sons of men!" ( One other inference from what hath been said D d
we cannot omit, being the inference of the apostle himself in the context. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." I will not inquire whether this is an exhortation to universal benevolence, or an exhortation to Christians to love their brethren; certain it is, that the disciples of Christ are exhorted to both of these amiable dispositions. Of whom are we bold enough to say, that he may not be one of those for whom Christ died; that he may not become, through grace, one of the excellent ones of the earth? If thou art a vessel of mercy, consider who it was that filled thee; and may not the same fountain fill him-fill any of the race of Adam? Let your benevolence then extend to the whole of mankind: but let your love be special towards the household of faith. Love them for the image they bear-love them for the ties by which you are connected together. Let your love to them be fervent and active. Impart to them every assistance of friendship, especially of that friendship which regards the interests of their souls. Exhort one another daily, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Continue together in one accord, in prayer and supplication, forwarding one another in your way to Zion, and singing songs of comfort as you go along.?
On the whole, you see how much the religion of Christ applies itself to the best affections of
the human heart.
To whom does it direct our worship? To the God of love, the God who is love, and who manifested his love to us, in that he sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. What doth it require of us, but that we should love him who first loved us; that we should yield ourselves to be his, and trust in him for all good things. Are ye willing? The pledges of the covenant are at hand, and may God seal them to your souls. Amen.
Preached after the Celebration of the Lord's Supper.
ACTS viii. 39.
and he went on his way rejoicing.
THE person of whom this account is given was a man of Ethiopia, who possessed a place of great trust and authority under the queen of that country. It appears from the history, that he was a proselyte to the Jewish religion; for he had come as far as Jerusalem to attend on the worship of the God of Israel. The manner of his conversion. to Christianity, by the ministry of Philip the Evangelist, is circumstantially related in the preceding verses; and as there are several striking incidents in this passage of history, I shall point out a few of them which are chiefly remarkable.
1st, We are told, that when this officer of the Ethiopian queen was about to take his departure from Jerusalem, God sent his angel to Philip at