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strength, to enable them to perform the most difficult duties, to overcome the most powersul temptations, and to support them under all their afflictions. "My ** grace," says he, " is sufficient for thee for my "strength is made persect in weakness." Fear not, then, ye who sincerely believe in him; for though your strength be small, and the difficulties you may have to encounter, many and great, your resuge is on high, the mighty God is your strength: He who spoiled principalities and powers, •and made a shew of them openly on his cross, will still maintain the conquest he has gained. You are ready, perhaps, to saint in the performance of duty, or at the prospect of danger; so that you walk in the paths of holiness with a trembling and a seeble heart.' But, hear in what encouraging words he addresses you !" Fear "not, thou worm, Jacob; I will help thee, saith the "Lord, thy Redeemer (a)." Wait, therefore, on die Lord, and be of good courage; for they that wait oii him shall renew their strength; they shall walk, and not weary; they shall run, and not saint.

9. I shall only add, that, in Christ Jesus, there is a sulness of consolation and joy. In scripture, he is styled the Consolation of Israel. "If," says the apostle," there be any consolation in Christ:" the • question amounts to a strong affirmation,-:—as certainly as*there is abundant consolation in him. Whence. do the comforts of the Holy Ghost. proceed? Is it not from Christ, who is the only Fountain of true joy? In him is pure and unmixed consolation; consolation which satissies and gladdens the foul; sills it with joy unspeakable, and enables the Christian to glory in tribulation, and even triumph amidst the flames. .Why, then, believes, art thou sad and dejected? Why do thy hands hang down, and thy knees grow seeble ?" Here is beauty for ashes, and "the oil of joy for mourning,. and the garment of ** praise ser the spirit of• heaviness.. Be glad in the \ J' "Lord,.

faj Isit. sli. 14...

"Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous. Let the children "of Zion be joysul in their king."

II. But I now come, secondly. To mention, and briefly illustrate, a few endearing characters of this mediatory sulness which, it hath pleased the Father, should be in Christ.

1. It appears evident, from the observations we have already made, that this sulness is to be communicated) to all those who sincerely believe in his name, who are the true members of his church or mystical body. Hence, it is represented as an open fountain: "In that day," says the prophet, " there shall be a "fountain opened to the house of David, and to the "inhabitants of Jerusalem {a) ." that is, to all sincere believers, without exception, who, as the spiritual seed of Christ, are os the' house of David, and, as living members of the church, are inhabitants of Jerusalem. Nay,. we are not only allowed, but kindly invited to come to it for pardoning mercy, for lise, strength, and consolation. "Ho, every one," says he, " that thirsteth, come to the waters; and ye that "have no money; come, buy wine and milk, with* "out money, and without price."—" In that last "day," says the evangelist, *\ the great day of the "seast, Jesus stood and cried, If any man thirst, let "him come to me and drink (£)."•

2. It is an abundant and inexhaustible sulness'. This is the sulness, of which all the saints, that ever lived, both under the Old and New Testament dispensations, have been receiving, and of which all the redeemed and glorisied around the throne of God shall receive to eternity. It is so connected with the insinite persections, and everlasting strength of Almighty God, that it flows with an undiminished and unceasing stream of happiness and comfort to all those who are purisied by the blood os Christ. From the influences that flow from this sulness, their happiness is even every moment increased. Thisi

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I*) Zcch. stiii. j, fbj John vii. 37

in a word, is that pure river of the waters of lise, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, the streams whereof continually make glad the city of God.

3. It is an unchangeable sulness. For Christ, in whom it dwells, is'the same Almighty Redeemer today, yesterday, and for ever. Of this sulness, he can neither be deprived by the powers of earth nor hell: " I give to my sheep," says he, "eternal life; "and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck "them out of my hand." At his death, indeed, the powers of darkness endeavoured, by every exertion of malice and strength, to prevent him from possessing it; but he triumphed over them in his crose, and he still triumphs over them in the grace which he communicates to his servants. Let not the Christian, then, be asraid, as if any thing could hinder the communication of this sulness for the support of his spiritual lise. As the union between Christ and believers can never be dissolved; so, there will be constant communications from Him, their exalted Head, to secure their continuance in his love. Thie was the ground of the apostle's triumph, when he exclaims, ** Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? "Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or "nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these ** things, we are more than conquerors, through him "that loved us (a)."

4. To mention no more, the most endearing consideration of all is, that it is a suitable sulness. The Christian can labour undei no necessity or want, in which this sulness will not afford assistance and consolation. Though it be of inestimable value, yet, the poor, as well as the rich, the weak, as well as the strong, the meanest, as well as the greatest, will sind it adapted to their particular case and circumstances. Is the Christian in prosperity or adversity, in health or in sickness, dejected or elated? The sulness of Christ is exactly adapted to his situation. A sovereign

(a) Rom. viii. 35.

reign and universal remedy for the diseases of the body, has been earnestly desired, and anxiously soughtaster by mankind in every age. This remedy has hitherto baffled every attempt to procure it: But I am warranted to declare, with consiiience, that there is, in Christ's mediatorial sulness, a remedy for all the diseases and wants of the foul; nay, surther, a remedy which affords the best support and consolation under all the pains and distempers of the body. What shall we then think of this sulness? It insinitely transcends what we can either express or conceive. It becomes us, therefore, to contemplate it witli the highest admiration. It is the wonder of angels, and will be the subject of praise to the saints, through the ages of eternity.

Thus, I have endeavoured to give you some account, from the word of God, of the fulness which, it hath pleased the Father, should dwell in Christ. I come now to make some practical improvement of this subject.

1. Let us celebrate the praises of God, and admire his wisdom in the scheme of man's redemption! The covenant is indeed well ordered in all tiiings, and sure. In the sirst covenant, the happiness of man was, as it were, placed in his own hand. He; had a power to sulsil the condition, which, if he had employed aright, he, doubtless, would have obtained the lise that was promised. But having forseited all right to the blessing, and lost his power, both he and his posterity would have perished for ever, if this wondersul expedient had not existed in the counsels of God! , It pleased the Father, rhat in Christ should all.sulness' dwell. When. we consider the covenant of grace in, this light, how wondersul does it appear! how wisely ordered for securing the glory of God, and the comfort and happiness of hts people! This sulness of Christ gives us an assurance:. ot. hope and stability, which Adam^ in a state of innotCnce, never enjoyed. He stood upon uncertain ground, his own free will,

whichwhich might be, and was actually, shaken. But here is a foundation laid in Zion, that shall. never be moved. The saithful in Christ will be happy through eternity; for they will be happy,' as long as there i» sulness in their glorious Redeemer. O, the depth "of the riches, both of the wisdom and love os "God!"

2. Let us bless the Lord that. ever he was pleased to reveal this sulness to us. There are many nations on the sace of the earth, yet strangers to the covenant of promise, and without Christ in the world. What reason have we, then, to adore the distinguishing goodness of God, when, instead of sitting in darkness, and under the shadow of death, this Day-spring from on high hath visited us, and the Sun of righteousness hath arisen with healing in his wings? Do not those glad tidings of great joy deserve returns of the warmest gratitude? Without this revelation, it had been the same to ^is, as if no such sulness had ever existed. Have we not reason, then, to say with the Psalmist) " The lines-are sallen to us in pleasant '* places, and we have a goodly heritage?" Have we not reason to shew forth the praises of him, who hath called us out of darkness into this marvellous light?

3. Let it be your sirst and principal concern to know this sulness in a saving and a practical manner. The theory of it is of little importance, unless you can say, from your own experience, that you are assured of the blessing, and have tasted that the Lord is gracious; an effect which can only be produced, in consequence of a spiritual union between Christ and yeur souls. This union to Christ, is the foundation and bond of communion with him. You must be living members of his mystical body, before you can derive influences of grace from the blessed Head. Be persuaded, therefore, you who are yet unbelievers, and, of consequence, have no interest in the sulness of Christ, be persuaded, I intreat you, as you love your

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