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Christ, not reconciled to God, in every such case this agreement does not exist, but one of the parties is not disposed to the reconciliation, because, if it were not so, no such case could exist here. The reconciliation would be universal, if the disposition to be reconciled were so.
Now there are in this house such persons. There is no question about it. Are all of you Christians in the Scriptural sense of that word, followers of Jesus Christ, servants of God, penitents, believers, subjects of regeneration, children, and heirs of the Most High ? No, by no means. The fact is otherwise. The reason of the fact, then, I affirm to be, that there does not exist that concurrence of wills, of which I have been speaking. There is unwillingness somewhere. I do not say where now, but somewhere. One of the parties, either God or the sinner, is indisposed to reconciliation. Either
Either you, hearer, are not willing that Christ should save you, or else Christ is not willing to save you. Which is it that is unwilling? You or Jesus Christ ? If you say that it is not you, you, in effect, say that it is he, since it must be he, if it is not you. Is it he? Is it Christ? You are not disposed to take that ground. You hesitate to lay the blame on him. And yet how can it be you, if you are indeed a rational being ? How can you be unwilling to accept of such a gratuity as salvation ? unwilling to have all your sins pardoned, and to be made an object of the divine favor, to be delivered from the wrath to come and from the slavery of sin, and to become an heir of heaven, how
can you be? I do not wonder that you hesitate to acknowledge that it is you. The presumption on many accounts is that the unwilling one is Christ, rather than you. It seems easier to suppose that, for some good and wise reasons, he is not willing to save you, than that you should be unwilling to let him save you. When a negotiation is on foot to bring about a reconciliation between two parties, and there is a reluctance in one of the parties, the presumption always is, that the reluctant party is not the inferior, the necessitous, the offending, the suffering party, the guilty, the one that is to gain every thing by the reconciliation. No, we say he cannot be the reluctant party, the one that hesi
it must be the other. And, as in the case in hand, you are the inferior, offending, guilty, necessitous one, and the one that is to be the gainer, the presumption is that the unwillingness is not on your part, but rather on that of Christ. This is the presumption, but not the fact. The fact is just the reverse of the anticipation. Christ is the willing and well-disposed party. That language of lamentation is his. That interjection of grief expresses the deep sorrows of his bosom. It is not those ill-fated inhahitants that we hear lamenting over their doom, but it is Christ that laments over it. The concern and the grief are all on his part. It is not they that say, “ How often would we;" but he that says, “How often would l." It was not he, but they that would not. And he can most sincerely adopt the same affecting language in reference to all in this house
that are unsaved, “Oh ! how often would I, and ye would not.” He can exculpate himself in regard to every one of you. Your condition is not what it is to-day in consequence of any unwillingness on the part of Christ to make it better, but purely because you have been unwilling that he should im
There is no one here to whom Christ has not signified his willingness to save him, and that often. How often, he says, meaning very often; how often ! he calls upon us to see and admire how often; “how often would I have done that for you, which the hen does for her brood ; have comforted and cherished and protected you ; how often !"
Has he not signified his willingness to save you? Was not his coming, in your nature, to your world for the single purpose of saving sinners, a testimony of his willingness to save? Does not his uniform language, while he was on earth, express even more than willingness, anxiety to save? Can he be unwilling to save those whom he died to save? If you should make any very great sacrifice to benefit another, could it be doubted that you were disposed to benefit him? If Christ is willing to save some, why not you? Has he excepted you? Does he not say, “ Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" -“If any man thirst, let him take the water of life freely” “Whosoever will, let him come ?” Has he not given as many testimonies of his willingness to save you, as of his willingness to save any others ?
Has he not called you to him? Is he not always calling you by his word ? Has he not often called you by his providence ? and sometimes has he not stood at the door and knocked, and waited for you to open it and admit him ? Has not the Spirit of Christ sometimes striven with you? Do you think if you were to go to him now, that he would reject you?
Then why are you not saved? The answer is easy. 66 Ye would not.” When heretofore Christ would, ye would not, and now while he will, "ye will not come unto him that ye might have life. This expresses the true state of the case in regard to every unsaved person here. He is the reluctant party. He the unwilling one. The sinner declines the proffered terms. He will not consent to the reconciliation. I do not say that you are unwilling to be happy, to be saved from such a place as hell is described to be, or to go to some sort of heaven. Christ does not say this. But you are unwilling to be holy, to be a follower of Jesus Christ, to be saved in the only way in which you or any can be saved. You are unwilling to be and to do what the Christian Scriptures require of you.
What an affecting contrast is here presented ! "How often would I, and ye would not." The Saviour willing; the sinner unwilling. God saying, "Hear, oh ! my people, and I will testify unto thee, oh! Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me. Oh! that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways. But ny people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of
me.” The contrast ! Look at it; look attentively. God willing to be reconciled to you, and you unwilling to be reconciled to him. He offering you his friendship, and you unceremoniously declining it. He giving his Son to die for you, and you refusing to accept of him. Just see the figure you make in this contrast. See, and blush, and tremble; be ashamed and be afraid. And oh! that you might be differently affected too; that you might be grieved and weep.
Just think, sinner, think here, and go home and think, why you are not now a child of God and an heir of heaven, a Christian ; that it is because you have no disposition to be so; no inclination to it in you, that is at all worthy of that name. Let your reflection be now, what, if you go on in your present course, it will forever be, “ I perish because I would not go to Christ. I fall by my own hand." Every subject of the second death will hereafter appear to have been a suicide. Will you be one? Will you sink to hell under the infamy and self-reproach of having been a self-soul murderer? Oh! turn from your murderous intent; stay the hand you have lifted against yourself. Spare, oh! spare your soul ! Be willing.
Shall that obstacle remain, when every other is removed out of the way? Shall your will oppose, when nothing else opposes? Resolve that that shall not remain to obstruct.
It is characteristic of Christians that the same mind which was in Christ, is also in them. They symyathize with him. Then do ye sympathize with