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bore the wrath of God for you, that you, believing in Him as the propitiation for your sins, might not perish, but have everlasting life. Come to Him in your true character-not as almost righteous enough, and needing only somewhat more of goodness, but as a sinner, needing to be saved from the wrath of God, which you have deserved: and you will meet with the most gracious reception; you will receive from Him more than you can ask or desire. He may, perhaps, begin by discovering to you defects in your supposed righteousness, and many aggravations of your acknowledged delinquencies, of which before you had no conception; and the discovery may produce painful misgivings and apprehensions, instead of a confidence which you supposed to be well founded. But He will not do this to mock at your calamity, but to deliver you from it. When He wounds, it is that He may heal. He does not, indeed, properly speaking, inflict wounds, but only lays bare those wounds inflicted by sin, which are rankling under a deceitful surface. He is a skilful and faithful Physician; and therefore cannot but give pain to those who come to Him to be healed of desperate diseases: but the pain really proceeds, not from the Physician, but from the disease. Sin is the disease of your nature; it must be cured ;-it
must be rooted out, or you will die of it, and that eternally; that is, you will perish, and be miserable for ever. Come, then, I say, to this Almighty Saviour, in your true character, and He will receive and heal you! He will then love you, not only as He loved this poor young man, with the love of tender compassion, pitying him because he deemed himself worthy of everlasting life, but with the love which He beareth to His chosen;-He will visit you with His salvation. His salvation consists in deliverance, not only from the guilt, but also from the power, of sin. He will say to the conscience, which He has pierced by the convictions of His Word and Spirit, "Go in peace, thy sins are forgiven thee :"and along with forgiveness He will bestow every thing that is necessary to render that gift effectual to the obtaining of everlasting happiness. Especially, He will give you the spirit of adoption and love, to render easy and delightful to you that unreserved obedience to all His commandments which
He requires. In answer to your prayers, He will send His Holy Spirit, to write His law in your hearts to make you feel subjection to it to be the only freedom. You will not then regard the law of God as a system of irksome restraints and rigorous requirements; but as a friendly guide to that
holiness of heart and life, which you will desire supremely. The love of Christ will constrain you to live, not to yourself, but to Him who died for you. You will then, too, be asking, "What lack I yet?"--but then you will make that inquiry, not with a presumptuous confidence that you lack scarcely any thing; nor in the vain hope of purchasing heaven by the reluctant sacrifice of some darling lust or idolized possession; but under a deep sense of infinite obligation to God, who hath given to us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord; and with a sincere desire of doing more and more, while any thing remains to be done, for Him who bought you with His own most precious blood.
This, my dear young friends, is the state to which it is my earnest desire and prayer that God, by His Spirit, would bring you; that so you may indeed be what you were made outwardly at your baptism, and what it was then charitably hoped that you would prove to be-" members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven." But we know, from the infallible Word of God, that it will be vain to look for such fruits as these, unless the foundation be laid deep in your
hearts, of repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And true repentance towards God, right faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, you will not attain to, till you are really pricked in the heart by the sense of your many transgressions of the law of God as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and constrained to cry out, not only as this poor young man did, "What lack I yet?" but, "What must I do to be saved?" When you are brought to ask that question, with a just feeling of your actual need of being saved from the awful condemnation to which you are exposed by your sins, and with the earnestness which the case requires, then, and not till then, will you be in the sure road to eternal life, which consists in the knowledge of the True God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent*. "This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He hath sentt." No man cometh to the Father but by Him; but by Him, whosoever will may come .-Do this, and you shall live. Do this-pray that you may be enabled to do it-and you shall have eternal life.
And now, is there an individual here—is there a young person especially-who is hesitating whether
* John xvii. 3.
† Ibid. vi. 29.
Ibid. xiv. 6.
he shall make any thing which he possesses and values, or hopes to obtain, a reason for refusing cordially to follow Christ? O my friend! endeavour to estimate that, whatsoever it be, as you will estimate it when the short period of time, during which you have the choice proposed to you of accepting Christ and His salvation, shall have passed away! Think what must have been the bitter disappointment of this young man, when he found, as he probably did find, at the point of death, that though he had retained his possessions, he had lost his soul;-that he had kept that which was now of no value to him, but had lost, for ever, that which was incalculably precious! Oh, consecrate your all, while yet you may, to the service of that Divine Redeemer and Gracious Lord, who needs not your possessions or your services, but yet, from love to you, condescends to claim them for His own! Oh, instead of turning away, when He says to you "Follow me;" say-not with self-confidence, but with prayer, that His grace may prevent and help you-" Lord, I will follow thee, whithersoever thou goest."-Does the love of riches make you hesitate? Oh, choose the unsearchable riches of Christ!-Does the fear of reproach keep you back? Oh, rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer