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still to remain, but the stronger arm of death prevails, and pulls his shuddering, reluctant soul into unknown and unloved regions. How different are the sentiments of him whose soul burns with love to Christ! • Behold me then,' he exclaims, • just ready to touch the object of my hopes and desires; just ready to enter into the presence of that Saviour whoin, though now I see not, I love; beholding whom I shall rejoice with “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Vain world! I quit you without regret; I leave you with joy. My soul is flying to its centre, is returning to its rest. Death ! let the wicked tremble at thee; I hail thee as my friend. Why, why dost thou delay thy stroke? The voice of my beloved calls me, and my heart longs to rest in his embraces! It is with such transports of joy and holy impatience that his soul leaps into the presence of God, that his heart springs into the arms of Jesus.
And when the trump of God shall assemble the world to be judged, oh what pleasure will it afford to remember that our Judge is our friend ! How will this enable us to stand unappalled amidst the shrieks of the despairing, and the dissolution of worlds! Oh! will it be worth nothing to have a warm affection for the Redeemer at that decisive day when we shall feel all the emphasis of that
phasis of that apostolic denunciation, 6. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema-maranatha,” (1 Cor. xvi. 22.) accursed when the Lord comes. The great point of examination for those who have enjoyed the gospel, then, will be, whether they have truly loved the Saviour; and if we be found without this grace, either Omnipotence must be subdued, or we be cast down into hell. But while the doom of those who neglect the Redeemer shall be so awful, his friends shall view him with adoring gratitude, and shout, “ Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” They shall hear from his lips those cheering words, “ Enter ye into the joy of your Lord;" and shall love him throughout eternity without weariness, without intermission, without imperfection.
REMEMBRANCE OF THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
A Sacramental Discourse.
Canticles i. 4.
We will remember thy love.
“ If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,” exclaimed the pious Levite when at a distance from his beloved country, and in captivity at Babylon; “ If I forget thee, O Jerusalem! let my right hand forget her cunning: if I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth: if I prefer not Jerusalem before my chief joy.” With how much greater warmth and energy should Christians, who are here below in a state of exile from their true country, and weighed down by fetters of flesh, pro
nounce similar vows with respect to their Redeemer. Since it is through the blood of his cross that every temporal enjoyment, every spiritual privilege, every eternal hope flows to them ; since from it result all that they have, all that they are, and all that they expect, with what emphasis should they cry, · If I forget thee, compassionate Saviour, let my right hand forget her cunning: if I do not remember thee, bleeding, suffering Jesus, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth : if I prefer not thee before my chief joy! These should be our habitual sentiments; we should never forget the glories or the mercies of that Redeemer who has ransomed us with his blood: but especially on such a season as the present, when we have met together to celebrate a sacrament which was instituted by those tender and solemn words, “ Do this in remembrance of me;" a sacrament whose great design it is to be a memorial of the dying love of Christ; on such a season we should surely drive from our minds all inferior objects, and centre our thoughts and desires solely on the mercy and kindness of our Lord. On such a season we should resolve with the mystical spouse, • We will remember thy love." Be still then, worldly cares, solicitudes, and pleasures, while we meditate on the grace of our Saviour: awake up, every faculty of our soul, whilst we are considering this delightful subject. And do thou, blessed Jesus, assist us by thy grace; give us clearer views and a more feeling sense of thy wondrous love: may it .fill us with admiration, gratitude, and affection, and constrain us to offer ourselves to thee at thy table, a holy and a living sacrifice. Amen.
As it is the spouse of Christ who útters the words of our text, it is plain that the love of which she
speaks, does not mean that general love of benevolence which the Redeemer entertains for all mankind, but that intimate, special, complacential regard which he indulges towards his real followers. Taking the text in this, which is obviously its true sense, we shall,
* I. Inquire into the nature of the Saviour's special love.
II. Prove that it is the duty of Christians to remember it.
III. Show how this remembrance should regulate the sentiments of the heart, the words of the mouth, and the actions of the life.
I. We are to inquire into the nature of the Saviour's special love. And here, my brethren, I so much feel my insufficiency to do justice to this part of my discourse, that fearful of degrading it by my feeble representations, I am almost ready to leave it unhandled. “ The angels” themselves, as the apostle informs us, “ desire to look into it;" in contemplating it, they feel the weakness of created wisdom; they feel that nothing but Divinity can comprehend the full extent of divine love. Standing on the brink of this abyss of mercy, these exalted intelligences cast forth their most penetrative views; but unable to fathom it, are constrained to exclaim with adoring wonder, “O the depths of the riches of the goodness of Christ!" If angels then, who dwell in the source of light, whose capacities are so inconceivably expanded, find nevertheless their conceptions too limited properly to estimate a Saviour's love, and their tongues too weak worthily to celebrate it-o how little can poor ignorant mortals know!
But whilst this reflection would discourage us from proceeding, let a sense of duty and the plea
santness of the task, induce us to follow the guidings of the holy scriptures, and to inquire into the properties of the Saviour's special love.
1. This love is everlasting ; that is to say, it did not commence" in time, but existed from eternity; and it will not terminate while eternity endures : like its divine source, it has neither “ beginning of days nor end of years.
That the special love of Christ towards his children has existed from eternity, is proved by all those texts which speak of the everlasting covenant between the persons of the most sacred Trinity for the redemption of man, and of the consent of the Son to become our pledge and surety. It is proved by all those texts which speak of him, as having his delight with the children of men, and as a Lamb slain in the counsel of God before the foundation of the world. It is proved by all those texts which speak of “ the choice of his people according to the eternal purpose which the Father purposed in him.” I do not enlarge on this part; I merely mention this fact that it may warm and enliven our devotions; for say,
Christians, what strains can rise sufficiently high to celebrate such love as this? Shall a few faint and interrupted emotions of gratitude be esteemed a sufficient return for that rich tide of divine love, which, having no source in time, springing from the abyss of everlastingness, runs parallel with the duration of God? Shall nothing but a few transient remembrances be given for an affection which resided in the heart of the Saviour, before a single note of adoration to his Maker had fallen from the harp of the first-created seraph; before the morning stars had sung together” at the birth of nature; or “ the sons of God," the splendid host of angels