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sent ourselves from the house of God; and, as often as we have an opportunity, let us join in commemorating the dying love of our blessed Redeemer.
And if you would draw nigh to God with acceptance in all the duties of religion, you must draw nigh with sincere and upright hearts. Sincerity is that holy incense that mult persume your spiritual sacrisices. So essentially necessary is sincerity, that, without it, all your prosessions of religion will be to no purpose; your most servent zeal but a solemn mockery; and your most vigorous obedience an abomination in the sight of God. Let us then draw nigh to God with true hearts; for he sees not as man fees: he tries the reins, and delighteth in uprightness.
You must likewise draw nigh to God, under a deep conviction of your own unworthiness, and, at the same time, a lively sense of his glory and excellence. Yqu must have a serious awe and veneration of God on your spirits, and you must come with broken and contrite hearts; for this is a sacrisice which God will not despise.
Finally, you must draw nigh to God, in the prevailing name of the blessed and only Mediator; for he .is the way, the truth, and the lise; and no man cometh to the father but by him. He has made peace by the blood of his cross; and now he is offering up the .prayers of his saints with certain and never-sailing success. "Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to
-enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus, and "having such an High-priest over the house of God; ** let us draw near with a true heart, in the sull assu"ranee of saith, having our hearts sprinkled from an "evil conscience, and our bodies wushed with pure "water." Amen.
SER. SERMON VL
CHRIST THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS.
Haggai iu 7.
THESE words are part of a memorable prophecy respecting the person and coming of the •Messiah. In the preceding chapter, the prophet had reproved the negligence of the Jews in delaying to rebuild the temple of the Lord. "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this "house lie waste? Now, therefore, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Consider your ways." And when they were persuaded to begin the work, they were discouraged, from this consideration, that, from the poverty of their nation, it was not to be expected that the second temple would equal the splendor and magnisicence of the sirst. Hence, the old men among them, who. had seen the glory .of the former house, wept at the remembrance of itthe minds of the people were dejected, and their hands ready to hang down. Wherefore, to comfort and encourage them, the prophet comes to them in the name of the Lord, and tells them, that, however this temple might fall short of the former in external pomp and magnificence;
cence; yet this should be more than balanced by the presence os the Messiah, a greater glory to it than all the riches of Solomon's temple.
"For thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is "a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the "earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will "make all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall "come, and I will sill this house with glory, saith the "Lord of Hosts. The silver and the gold is mine, "saith the Lord of Hosts. The glory cf this latter "house shall be greater than the glory of the former, "saith the Lord of Hosts: and in this place will I "give peace, saift the Lord of Hosts."
The solemn and sublime manner in which this prophecy is delivered, plainly shews, that something of very great importance is foretold in it. Nothing could have been more gracious, and, at the same time, more awsul and sull of majesty. The frequent repetition of the glorious title of Lord of Hosts, was, doubtless, to impress their minds with the high importance ot what was promised, and to assure them of its accomplishment. Accordingly, we sind there were great commotions in the world before the coming of the Messiah. The arms of Greece over-ran the Persian empire in the ravages of Alexander the Great; the Roman armies swallowed up the divisions of the Grecian conquests; afterwards, God gave peace to the nations in the reign of Augustus Cæsar; and then appeared the Messiah, styled here the Desire of all naT tions; during the continuance of the second temple. His presence reflected a much greater glory on it than all the outward splendor of that built by Solomon. He silled it with the glory os the divine Majesty, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father, sull of grace and truth.
But we are' chiesly to consider the character and description here given of this eminent person, as a proper subject for our meditation, in the view of commemorating his dying love in the holy sacrament. He is styled the Desire of all nations, that is, the.glorious rious object, whom the people of God, in all nations of the world, chiefly desire: a name, indeed, which is above every name, and which well becomes the Son. of God, and Saviour of men.
In discoursing on this subject, we propose, through divine assistance, to shew you, First, In what sense, and under what restrictions, Christ may be said to be the desire of all nations: Secondly, That this character ever his been, still is, and ever will be, applicable to him: Thirdly, That he is altogether worthy to be the desire of all nations: and, Lastly, Conclude with a suitable application.
I. We are to shew you in what sense, and under what restrictions, Christ may be said to be the desire of all nations. And here a sew words will be sufficient.
It is evident, at sirst view, that this expression is not to be taken in the most extensive and unlimited fense, as importing that Christ was the desired object of all nations and people in the world, without exception. For, though it be granted that many nations, who have not enjoyed the promises nor the preaching of the gospel, have yet, from their conscious incapacity of pleasing God, or from vague tradition, had some expectation of a Saviour from heaven to be the foundation of their hopes; yet many on the sace of the earth, neither do, nor can be supposed to have desired him. Others, through ignorance and insidelity, despise and reject him. And in all the nations prosessing Christianity, too many are practical despisers of Christ. He is not the desire of the wicked. The unbelieving and- impenitent give him no place in their hearts; and their language is, We will not have this man to reign over us.
But the expression in the text is evidently to be taken in a limited sense. Christ is the desired object of the elect and people of God, dispersed among all kindreds, tongues and nations of the world. Among those who hear the gospel, he is the desire .only of
those those who believe in his name, of those that are chosen, and called, and faithsul among the nations: those only have a faving knowledge of him, they love him, they see their need of him, they discern his beauty, they esteem him in his offices, his perfon and benesits. They desire him, not only as a Saviour from the effects of divine wrath, but as a Teacher, a Sanctisier, and a King. They desire him in his spirit and holiness, as well as in his justifying righteousness; as exaltedby God, a Prince and a Saviour, to grant repentance to Israel, and remission of sin.
II. We are to shew that this character ever has been, still is, and ever will be, applicable to Christ, in the sense, and under the restrictions now mentioned.
We propose to give a short illustration of this fact, by attending to the three distinct periods df time which it presents to us..
I. The Lord, Messiah, or Christ, has been the desire of the nations, from the beginning of the world, unto this day.
The proof of this, must be derived from fo many historical facts contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, that we can oply select a sew for your present meditation.
No fooner did mankind fall from their primitive state of innocence and happiness, than immediately a Saviour was promised as the foundation of their hope and comfort. A blessed and glorious seed was held forth to our sirst parents in that early intimation of lise: " The seed of the woman shall bruise the "head of the serpent." This was the sirst ray of hope that enlightened the fallen and benighted condition of human nature; and this, no doubt, revived their desponding minds, and begat in them an earnest desire of fo great and needsul a blessing. We may well suppose they instructed their children to desire tlie fame promised mercy, and to trust in him for falvation. Accordingly we sind this was the excellency