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feeling in the soul of every one that is saved that
is in the least satisfactory and soothing is this, a
will to be saved by the mercy of God. The pub-
lican found this when he would not so much as
lift his
up eyes to heaven; though his heart went
in this petition, God be merciful to me a sinner;
In this day of God's power was he made willing
to be saved, as God was willing to save him.
There was then no compulsion, it was free and
spontaneous on each side, and so it is to this day.
All who come to Jesus Christ are drawn of God
to him, and without this no man can come to me,
says our Lord-The want of power that men com-
plain of, is want of will: no power is required in
us to be saved: the want of it therefore cannot
hinder, but help. Why do ye
not understand my
speech? even because ye cannot hear my word,
but why? Ye are of your father the Devil, and
the lust of your father ye will do, he was a mur-
derer from the beginning, and abode not in the
truth. John 8. 43. Both mercy and truth were
ever far from him.

The prodigal far enough off
will arise and go to my Father.

hesitates not, I

Father. And as God delights in mercy, forgiveness is the end of that mercy. And how pleased is he with all them that fear him, and why do they fear him? because there is forgiveness with him. It is this fear which equally between presumption and unbelief keeps the soul

in strong confidence toward him, and nothing but this leads to confession of our sin. It is not the fear of damnation that will bring any soul to God in Christ, it may and will alarm, terrify and drive; but draw it never can, and none can come to Christ except they are drawn, and the thoughts of losing the benefits of so great salvation, and of not being forgiven, (being first made willing to share mercy,) are what this fear of God is kept lively by.

As a kind and indulgent Father he draws us to open all our hearts before him, in much and the fullest confidence in his mercy to implore his forgiveness. So David says, I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Ps. 32. 5. This must be the foundation of every honest confession, and of every successful prayer; it is this which makes the service of God not a matter of constraint, but a pleasing duty. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy, and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Ps. 5. 7.

All true humility begins with God: he must and he does stoop to us before we can or will humble ourselves before him. Who is like unto the Lord our God who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are

in heaven and in the earth. Ps. 13. 6. He does not cast a cold look over the work of his hands to admire his own glory. From all eternity in and thro' his Son he was intent upon this lower world and the creatures of his favour who should be found there in a low estate: and before our Lord humbled himself in human form, he humbled himself in his views, thoughts and delights, in regarding his future family; and in so doing he was promoting the satisfactions of his Father. All this may sound very strange. But it is his own account. The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.-Then was I by him as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, (his own dwelling place, his elect; ) and my delights were with the sons of men. Prov. 8. 22. But the Son humbled himself to that state which no one who is in it will do, that is, to suffer and to die. Man spurns at what he willingly undertook for us, and thought no shame but a glory; and that is, to stand in the place of a sinner, and plead his guilt, and being guilty as our surety, to cry for mercy, and to wait upon God for his salvation according to promise given. But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This E

also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this and be glad, and your heart shall live that seek God. Ps. 69. 32. As it was with the head so it is with his members, they are thro' his Spirit humbled to take the same place, and without it there can be no honour with him. Before honour is humility; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. And he who knows himself, never can bring himself too low. The choice of God. is directed and fixed by love. We never choose what we hate. And I believe that the love of God is personal. Not that he sees any thing in our persons to admire or engage his affections, but that he loves us as individuals in preference to other individuals. Otherwise it is cold and unaffecting. There was no difference between Jacob and Esau, but Jacob have I loved. Every expression of the utmost tenderness is used by our Father and our God, my bowels are troubled for him (my son Ephraim) I will surely have mercy upon hin. How shall I give thee up Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. Hosea 11. 8. And he utters and relieves himself, so to speak, by venting his feelings upon us, and communicating them to us in and thro' the dying love of his son, and we feel his feelings

in tender meltings of soul, the deepest concern for his abused goodness, and the keenest self-reproaches made keener and most keen by love. And he arose and came to his Father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him: and the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: But here is nothing said about being made, a hired servant. Filial or rather fatherly love in its tenderest emotions banished all such thoughts. It is thus then that God and his people meet in the Holy One.

Without obedience, fear, humility and love, which are the things by which a man thro' effectual calling is drawn to Jesus Christ, he cannot become a saint. These may work differently as to time and degree, and do in different persons, for all have not the same stubborn Devil to contend with as some have; see Matth. 17. 21. And in some they are wrought in a few moments, as in the thief; a few days, as in Paul; or in a few years, as the rest of the apostles: but they must be wrought, or there can be no saint. A man may be an apostle, as Judas; a shining professor, as Ahithopel; a ministering servant, as Nadab and Abihu ; a prophet, as Balaam; a martyr for the truth, as those who give their body to be burned, without these; but a saint he never can be. And these things a man

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