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people, and I will give you rest; "--but "ho every one that thirsteth," and, "come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden." The meaning of this is, that men must be sensible of their wants, and so come for relief; all have equal need of God's mercy in Christ, but some will not apply for it, nor will it be bestowed upon those who do not perceive their need of it. This we may learn from our Saviour's text: he was anointed to preach the gospel (the good tidings) to the poor, (the "meek," as it is in the prophet,) that is, to the "poor in spirit," the humble, the unpresuming;-to those who are free from pride and arrogance, and lofty opinions of themselves; to those by whom his doctrines would be valued, and accepted as indeed "good tidings;" -to those who as little children, would submit with teachable minds, to receive instruction, and be heartily thankful for God's goodness in revealing to them the knowledge of his salvation. Again, Christ was sent "to heal the brokenhearted." This does not apply to those, whose hearts are stony, unhumbled, obstinate, impenitent, but only to the softened and contrite sinner, who mourns over his guiltiness, and scarcely dares so much as to lift up his eyes to heaven;-to him "is the word of this salvation sent;"--to him it is said, fear not, for "Christ

hath redeemed thee, though thy sins be as scarlet, they shall be as wool, though they be red like crimson, they shall be white as snow; "—to him is "given beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; "—of him it is said, that the "high and holy one who inhabiteth eternity," dwelleth "with him also who is of an humble and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." So also, when Christ applies to himself the words of the prophet, and says that he was sent "to preach deliverance to the captives," and "to set at liberty them that are bruised," i. e. galled with the chains they have worn, he only addresses himself to those who long for such deliverance, and who have felt the oppression of the sore bondage to sin in which they have lived. It would be in vain to proclaim liberty to those who are the willing captives of the devil. Alas! they have no desire to be free; they do not feel their slavery; they think Christ's yoke to be galling, and his burthen heavy; and they would scoff at those, who should recommend his service to them as one "of perfect freedom."

But with what delight does the poor unhappy being, who has been immured in a dungeon, who has deeply felt all the miseries of his captivity,


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behold his prison doors thrown open, and then rush forth to enjoy the light of the sun, the wonders and beauties of God's creation, and to exercise with freedom those limbs which have so long been bound; a just, but feeble illustration of the joy which he experiences, who, having long groaned under the oppressive dominion of sin, and not knowing how to escape, at length hears the good tidings of his release by Christ, feels his bonds burst asunder, and issues forth unshackled, to partake of the "glorious liberty of the sons of God."


Moreover, Christ was sent to preach recovering of sight to the blind." Not to all the blind, not to those, who, though blind as the rest, think themselves clear-sighted; they say that they see already, "therefore their sin remaineth." It is to those, who are conscious of their blindness, and who come with faith to Christ, praying that they may receive their sight, that he imparts this great blessing. He takes away the veil from off their hearts, he enlightens their ignorance, and adds his effectual assistance to their humble endeavours after the attainment of that best knowledge "which is able to make them wise unto salvation."

Come then, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, ye meek and poor in spirit, ye broken

hearted and sorrowful on account of sin, ye unhappy captives who long to be free, ye blind. who desire the recovery of your sight,―come unto me, (says your merciful Saviour) and I will remove all your griefs, and supply all your wants; -I will heal all your infirmities, I have already borne all your sins in my own body on the tree. "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." "Return unto me, for I have redeemed you." The acceptable year of the Lord is at hand, that happy year of jubilee, when you shall enter upon your forfeited and lost inheritance; when all debts and offences shall be blotted out for ever, and the reign of eternal rest and peace shall begin.

May God give us all grace to see our great need of these proffered blessings, to pray earnestly for them, to be humbly and heartily thankful for them, and to show forth his praise for the same, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to his service, and by walking before him in holiness and righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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