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of Christ's salvation, that they do not at present so much as seek after it. Let me here apply myself to you in some expostulatory interrogations. 1. Shall so many prophets, and kings, and righteous men, have their minds so much taken up with the prospect, that the purchase of salvation was to be wrought out in ages long after their death ; and will you neglect it when actually accomplished 3 You have heard what great account the church in all ages made of the future redemption of Christ; how joyfully they expected it, how they spoke of it, how they studied and searched into these things, how they sung joyful songs, and had their hearts greatly engaged about it, and yet never expected to see it done, and did not expect that it would be accomplished till many ages after their death, 1 Pet. i. 10, 11, 12. How much did Isaiah and Daniel, and other prophets speak concerning this redemption | And how much were their hearts engaged, and their attention and study fixed upon it! How was David's mind taken up in this subject ' He declared that it was all his salvation, and all his desire ; 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. How did he employ his voice and harp in celebrating it, and the glorious display of divine grace therein exhibited ' And all this although they beheld it not as yet accomplished, but saw that it was to be brought to pass so long a time after their day. And before this, how did Abraham and the other patriarch’s rejoice in the prospect of Christ's day, and the redemption which he was to purchase ! And even the saints before the flood were affected and elated in the expectation of this glorious event, though it was then so long future, and it was so very faintly and obscurely revealed to them. Now these things are declared to you as actually fulfilled. The church now has seen accomplishéd all those great things which they so joyfully prophesied of; and you are abundantly shown how those things were accomplished : Matth. xiii. 17. “Verily I say unto you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen ; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” And yet when these things are thus abundantly set before you as already accomplished, how do you slight them . How light do you make of them : How little are they taken notice of by you ! How unconcerned are you about them, following other things, and not so much as feeling any interest in them Indeed your sin is extremely aggravated in the sight of God. God has put you under great advantages for your eternal salvation, far greater than those saints of old enjoyed. He has put you under a more glorious dispensation ; has given you a more clear revelation of Christ and his salvation ; and yet you neglect all these advantages, and go on in a careless course of life, as though nothing had been done, no such proposals and offers had been made you. 2. Have the angels been so engaged about this salvation which is by Christ ever since the fall of man, though they are not immediately concerned in it, and will you, who need it, and have it offered to you, be so careless about it ! You have heard how the angels at first were subjected to Christ as mediator, and how they have all along been ministering spirits to him in this affair. In all the great dispensations which you have heard of from the beginning of the world, they have been active, and as a flame of fire in this affair, being most diligently employed as ministering spirits to minister to Christ in this great affair of man's redemption. And when Christ came, how engaged were their minds! They came to Zacharias, to inform him of the coming of Christ's forerummer. They came to the Virgin Mary, to inform her of the approaching birth of Christ : They came to Joseph to warn him of the danger which threatened the new born Saviour, and to point out to him the means of safety. And how were their minds engaged at the time of the birth of Christ : The whole multitude of the heavenly host sang praises upon the occasion, saying, “ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will towards men.” And afterwards from time to time, they ministered to Christ when on earth; they did so at the time of his temptation, at the time of his agony in the garden, at his resurrection, and at his ascension. All these things show, that they were greatly engaged in this af
fair ; and the scripture informs us, that they pry into these things: 1 Pet. i. 12. “Which things the Angels desire to look into.” And how are they represented in the Revelation as being employed in heaven in singing praises to him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb. Now shall these take so much notice of this redemption, and of the purchaser, who need it not for themselves, and have no immediate concern or interest in it, or offer of it; and will you to whom it is of fered, and who are in such extreme necessity of it, neglect and take no notice of it 2
3. Was it worth the while for Christ to labor so hard, and do and suffer so much to procure this salvation, and is it not worth the while for you to be at some labor in seeking it? Was it a thing of so great importance, that salvation should be procured for sinners, as that it was worthy to lie with such weight on the mind of Christ, as to induce him to become man, and to suffer such contempt, and labor, and even death itself, in order to procure it, though he stood in need of nothing, though he was like to gain no addition to his eternal happiness, though he could get nothing by those that he saved; though he did not need them ; was it of such importance that sinners should be saved, that he might properly be induced to submit to such humiliation and suffering ; and yet is it not worth the while for you who are one of those miserable sinners that need this salvation, and must perish eternally without it, to take earnest pains to obtain an interest in it after it is procured, and all things are ready ?
4. Shall the great God be so concerned about this Salvation, as so often to overturn the world to make way for it ; and when all is done, is it not worth your seeking after How has the Lord of heaven and earth been as it were engaged about this affair | What great, what wonderful things has he done from one age to another, removing kings and setting up kings, Faising up a great number of prophets, separating a distinct Ration from the rest of the world, overturning one nation and kingdom, and another, and often overturning the state of the world; and so has continued bringing about one change and revolution after another for forty centuries in succession, to
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make way for the procuring of this salvation? And when he has done all ; and when, at the close of these ages, the great Saviour comes, and becoming incarnate, and passing through. a long series of reproach and suffering, and then suffering all the waves and billows of God's wrath for men's sins, insomuch that they overwhelmed his soul: After all these things done to procure salvation for sinners, is it not worthy of your taking so much notice of, or being so much concerned about, though you are those persons who need this salvation, but that it should be thrown by, and made nothing of in comparison of worldy gain, or gay clothing, or youthful diversions, and other such trifling things 2
O ! that you who live negligent of this salvation, would consider what you do | What you have heard from this subject, may show you what reason there is in that exclamation of the Apostle, Heb. ii. 3. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?” And in that, Acts xiii. 41. “Behold ye despisers, and wonder, and perish ; for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” God looks on such as you as great enemies of the cross of Christ, and adversaries and despisers of all the glory of this great work. And if God has made such account of the glory of Salvation as to destroy many nations, and so often overturn all nations, to prepare the way for the glory of his Son in this affair ; how little account will he make of the lives and souls of ten thousand such opposers and despisers as you that continue impenitent, in comparison of that glory when he shall hereafter come and find that your welfare stands in the way of that glory? Why surely you shall be dashed to pieces as a potter's vessel, and trodden down as the mire of the streets. God may, through wonderful patience bear with hardened, careless sinners for a while ; but he will not long bear with such despisers of his dear Son, and his great salvation, the glory of which he has had so much at heart, before he will utterly consume without remedy or merev.
I WILL conclude with a second use, of encouragement to burdened souls to put their trust in Christ for salvation. To all such as are not careless and negligent, but do make seeking an interest in Christ their main business, being sensible in some measure of their necessity of an interest in Christ; being afraid of the wrath to come ; to such, what has been said on this subject holds forth great matter of encouragement, to come and venture their souls on the Lord Jesus Christ : And as motives proper to excite you so to do, let me lead you to consider two things in particular. - 1. The completeness of the purchase which has been made. As you have heard, this work of purchasing salvation was wholly finished during the time of Christ's humiliation. When Christ rose from the dead, and was exalted from that abasement to which he submitted for our salvation, the purchase of eternal life was completely made, so that there was no need of anything more to be done in order to it. But now the servants were sent forth with the message which we have account of in Matt. xxii. 4. “Behold, I have prepared my dinner : My oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready : Come unto the marriage.” Therefore all things being ready, are your sins many and great Here is enough done by Christ to procure their pardon. There is no need of any righteousness of yours to obtain your pardon and justification : No, you may come freely, without money and without price. Since therefore there is such a free and gracious invitation given you, come ; come naked as you are ; come as a poor condemned criminal ; come and cast yourself down at Christ's feet, as one justly condemned, and utterly helpless in yourself. Here is a complete salvation wrought out by Christ, and through him offered to you. Come, therefore, accept of it and be saved. 2. For Christ to reject one that thus comes to him, would be to frustrate all those great things which you have heard that God brought to pass from the fall of man to the incarnation of