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Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heary
laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. xi. 28. This is a free invitation to every weary and heavy-laden sinner, made by Him who alone is able to take away the load and guilt of sin. Every person under the pressure of sin, not only may, but must come to Jesus, thus laden with guilt, if he hopes to succeed for pardon! While we endeavour to prepare our way for our holy qualifications, we rather fill it with stumblingblocks, whereby our souls are hindered from attaining to the salvation of CHRIST! CHRIST would have us to believe on him, who justifies the ungodly, and therefore he doth not require us to be godly before we believe : he came as a physician for the sick, and doth not expect they should recover their health in the least degree before they come to him. The vilest sinners are fitly prepared and qualified for this design, which is to shew forth the exceeding riches of his grace, pardoning of our sins, and saving us freely. Eph. ii. 5, 9. It is no affront to CHRIST, or slighting or contemning the justice and holiness of God, to come to God while we are polluted sinners ; but rather it is an affronting and contemning the saving grace, merit, and fulness of Jesus, if we endeavour to make ourselves righteous and holy before we receive CHRIST himself, and all holiness and righteousness in him by faith.
How long the time since Christ began
To call in vain on me,
Through paths of vanity.
As I have heard of old;
His wanderer to the fold.
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant-man
seeking goodly pearls ; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he
had and bought it. Matt. xiii. 45, 46. BLESSED are they to whom the Gospel has made known the unsearchable riches of CHRIST! He is that one pearl of great price, in comparison of whom all other goodly things that men desire are worthless. Without him we are poor and miserable, though we abound in all manner of worldly store; but if we have found him, and discovered the excellency of his name, we are in possession of a treasure that makes us rich indeed, and have reason to be content with our portion, though stript of every earthly comfort ; for the Father gives grace and glory, even eternal life, in his Son Jesus Christ; and he that hath the Son of God hath life. O my soul! thou, like the merchantman, hast been seeking goodly pearls, and eagerly looking here and there for happiness all thy days! Hast thou at length been enlightened to perceive where true joys are to be found ? Then wilt thou be willing to sell all in order to win CHRIST, and be found in him : if there is anything that thou art unwilling to part with for his sake, thou knowest not his value, thou art not worthy of him!
Long did my soul in Jesus' form
No comeliness or beauty see,
Was tasteless still, and dead to me.
That shew'd me wretched, naked, poor,
Where all salvation stands secure.
My moral tarnish'd sinful dress;
And found the robe of righteousness.
God, who commanded the light to shine out of
darkness, hath shined on our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. iv. 6. WITHOUT this saving knowledge, we have no GOD, no CHRIST, no grace, no faith, no union with Christ, no actual justification, pardon of sin, peace, nor eternal life. But whoever has found CHRIST, the pearl of great price, the treasure hid, has found matter of great rejoicing; for he was poor before, and this treasure enricheth him; he was naked before, but finding this treasure, he is gloriously clothed; he was forced before to feed upon husks, but now he feeds on the bread of life; he was far in debt before, but now he sees the debt is paid, that he is justified from all things, and pardoned for ever; he saw he was a child of wrath before, but now he is become a child of GOD; that he was a captive, and in chains before, but now he is set at liberty ; condemned before, but now he sees there is no condemnation to him, nor to any one that is in Christ Jesus; that he was a fool before, but now he is made wise unto salvation. Reader, canst thou set thy seal to the truth and power of such experience? Then thou art wise indeed; if not, thou hast much to learn :-apply with speed, and remember, it is God alone that gives this light and knowledge. Take heed unto the sure word of prophecy, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts. 2 Pet i. 19.
Father of love and grace,
Thy light to me impart;
And beaming on my beart.
This is his commandment, that we should believe on
the name of his son Jesus Christ. 1 John iïi. 23. For God hath sent his Son into the world, that ne might live through him. Chap. iv. 9.
The Father breaks forth, as it were, through the whole Scripture in high praises of his Son; he calls out from heaven, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.” Matt. xvii. 5. Nothing, therefore, can be more agreeable to him than to receive this his Son, and to believe his report, John xvi. 27, and on doing this we shall have life; but by omitting it, we look upon him as a liar. Unbelief, therefore, which refuses to accept of this great gift, is, no doubt, the greatest of all sins. O LORD, teach me this, and grant me faith.
Why art thou so backward, O my poor soul, to believe, like the rest of God's children, in Christ? Hast thou not as good a right to do it as they have? Who can dispute with thee this privilege? It is the express will of the Father ; nay, he commands thee to do it. Has he not given his only Son, by an act of inconceivable love, to die for thee, to the very end that thou shouldst live? O, what a pleasing thing will it be to him, to put thy whole trust upon this his well-beloved Son! This would be the joy of his heart more than anything else : therefore delay no longer to receive what his love has offered thee, but firmly believe that the Father loves thee as well as the Son."
Author of faith, to thee I lift
My weary, longing eyes ;
My soul without it dies 1
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive porer,
and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Rev. v. 12. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour,
and power. Rev. iv. 11. O LORD, how mean and slight notions have I often of thy great power! By these I am discouraged, and thou art robbed of thy praise. Grant, therefore, that though I would always be duly abased and convinced of my vileness, in such a manner as never to ascribe any good to myself, or think myself worthy of the least thing in the way of merit, for at the best I am but an unprofitable servant, yet thy grace and power may at the same time appear to me abundantly greater than all my sins, so that I may have always encouragement enough to believe in and praise thy holy name. And grant that the delusive pleasures of this world may never twine so closely round my heart, that thy glory and thy praise do not always occupy my song.
Come let us join our cheerful songs
With angels round the throne;
But all their joys are one.
“ To be exalted thus !!!
6 For he was slain for us !".
Let all that dwell above the sky,
In air, in earth, and seas,
And speak his endless praise.
The whole creation join in one,
To bless the sacred name
And to adore the Lamb.