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my brethren, will you not afford the blessed Jesus this pleasure ! It is but little, very little, for all the tortures he bore for you: your sins have given him many a wound, many a pang, and will you not now grant him this satisfaction ? But the cross is not the only place from whence he takes a view of his spiritual seed. He is Dow exalted to his throne in the highest heavens; and from thence be takes a wide survey of the universe. He looks down upon our world : he beholds kings in their grandeur, victorious generals with all their power, nobles and great men in all their pomp; but these are not the objects that best please his eyes. “He sees his seed;" he sees one here, and another there, bought with his blood, and born of his Spirit; and this is the most delightful sight our world can afford him. Some of them may be oppressed with poverty, covered with rags, or ghastly with famine: they may make no great figure in mortal eyes; but he loves to look at them, he esteems them as his children, and the fruits of his dying pangs. And let me tell you his eyes are upon this assembly today, and if there be one of his spiritual seed among us, he can distinguish them in the crowd. He sees you drinking in his words with eager ears; he sees you at his table commemorating his love; he sees your hearts breaking with penitential sorrows, and melting at his cross. And O! should we not all be solicitous that we be of that happy number on whom his eyes are thus graciously fixed ?
But these are not the only children whom he delights to view; they are not all in such an abject, imperfect state. No, he sees a glorious company of them around his throne in heaven, arrived to maturity, enjoying their inheritance, and resembling their divino Parent. llow does his benevolent heart rejoice to look over the im mense plains of heaven, and see them all peopled with his seed! When he takes a view of this numerous oil spring, sprung from his blood, and when he looks down to our world, and we hope to this place among others, and sees so many infants in grace, gradually advancing to their adult age; when he sees some, perhaps every hour since he died upon Calvary, entering the gates of heaven, having finished their course of education upon earth; 'I say, when this prospect appears to him on every
hand, how does he rejoice! Now the prophecy in my text is fulfilled, He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. If you put the sentiments of his benevolent heart into language, methinks it is to this purpose, “ It is enough; since my death has been so fruitful of such a glorious posterity, I am satisfied. If sinners will submit to me, that I may save them, if they will but suffer me to make them happy, I desire no other reward for all my agonies for them. If this end be but answered, I do not at all repent of my hanging on the tree for them.” O Sirs, must not your hearts melt away within you, to hear such language as this? See the strength of the love of Jesus ! if you be but saved, he does not grudge his blood and life for you. Your salvation would make amends for all. He asks no other reward from you than that you will become his spiritual seed, and behave as children towards him. This he would count the greatest joy; a joy more than equivalent to all the pains he endured for you.
And, O! my brethren, will you not afford him this joy to-day? This is a point I have much at heart, and therefore I must urge it upon you; nay, I can take no denial in it. Jesus has done and suffered a great deal for you; and has gratitude never constrained you to inquire how you can oblige him? or what you shall do for him in return? If this be your inquiry, you have an answer immediately: devote yourselves to his service, love and obey him as his dutiful children, that he may save you. If you would oblige him, if you would give him full satisfaction for all the sorrows you have caused him, do this; do this or nothing ; for nothing else can please him. Suppose he
; should this day appear to you in that form, in which he once was seen by mortals, sweating great drops of blood, accused, insulted, bruised, scourged, racked upon the cross; and suppose he should turn to you with a countenance full of love and pity, and drenched with blood and tears, and address you in such moving lan
“ See! sinners, see what I suffer for you : see at what a dear rate I purchase your life ; see how I love you. And now I have only this to ask of you in return, that you would forsake those murderous sins which thus torment me ; that you would love and serve me ; and accept of that salvation which I am now pur
guage as this ?
chasing for you with the blood of my heart; this I ask with all the importunity of my last breath, of bleeding wounds, and expiring groans. Grant me but this, and am satisfied; I shall think all my sufferings well bestowed.” I say, suppose he should address you thus in person, what answer would he receive from this assembly? 0! would you not all cry out with one voice, “ Lord Jesus, thou hast overcome us with thy love: here we consent to thy request. Prescribe anything, and we will obey: Nothing can be a sufficient compensation for such dying love." Well, my brethren, though Jesus be not here in person, yet he makes the same request to you by the preaching of the gospel, he makes the same request by the significant representation of his sufferings, just about to be given by sacramental signs; and therefore make the same answer now, which you would to himself in person. He has had much grief from Hanover ere now: many sins committed here lay heavy upon him, and bruised and wounded him : and 0! will you not afford him joy this day?
Will you not give him the satisfaction he desires ? His eyes are now running through this assembly, and shall he not see of the travail of his soul ? Shall he not see the happy fruits of his death? There is joy in heaven at the conversion of one sinner, and Jesus has a principal share in the joy. And will you endeavor to rob him of it? If you reject his proposal, the language of your conduct is, “ He shall have no cause of joy, as far as I can hinder it; he shall, however, have none from me ; all his sufferings shall be in vain, as far as I can render them so." And are you not shocked at such blasphemy and base ingratitude ? The happiness of his exalted state consists, in a great degree, in the pleasure of seeing the designs of his death accomplished in the conversion and salvation of sinners; and therefore, by denying him this, you attempt to degrade him, to rob him of his happiness, and to make him once more, a man of sorrows. And can you venture upon such impiety and ingratitude ? I tell you, Sirs, it will not do to profess his name, to compliment him with the formalities of religion, and to be Christians in pretence, while you do not depart from iniquity, and while your hearts are not fired with his love. He takes no pleasure in seeing such spurious seed, that have no resemblance to their pretended Father: but he will disown them at last, as he did the Jews, and tell them, Ye are of your Father, the devil, whose works ye do. John viii. 44. The thing in which he would rejoice, and which I am inculcating upon you, is, that as penitent, helpless sinners, you would cast yourselves entirely upon the merit of his atonement, devote yourselves to his service, and submit to him as your Lord; that is, that you would become true, genuine, sincere Christians. This, and nothing short of this, would afford him pleasure; and can you refuse it to him ; especially when it will afford the greatest pleasure to yourselves? Permit me, my dear brethren, to insist upon it, that you rejoice the heart of the blessed Jesus to-day. I request you in his name and stead ; and to which of you shall I make the request with success ? Will you, the freeborn descendants of Britons, gratify him in this ? Or, if you refuse, Behold I turn to the Gentiles. Some of you, poor negroes, have, I hope, rejoiced the heart of Christ, by submitting to him as your Savior; and are there no more among you that will do him this kindness? 0! can any of you bear the thought of refusing ? He bore the black crimes of many a poor negro ; and now he is looking upon you, to see what return you will make him. Come, then, ye that are at once slaves to men, and slaves to sin, let the Son make you free, and you shall be free indeed; he will deliver you from sin and Satan, the worst of masters, and bring you into the glorious liberty of his children.
Here I would, for a while, drop my address to the noble principle of gratitude, and endeavor to work upon that of self-love, which, though less noble, is more strong in degenerate creatures. In affording Christ this pleasure, you will afford the greatest pleasure to yourselves; for it is your happiness, your salvation, that he rejoices in, and therefore in grieving him, you ruin yourselves. Accept of him as your Savior and Lord, and you shall be happy for ever ; but if you reject him, you are for ever undone: he will not save you, and where will you look for a Savior ? To which of the saints, to which of the angels, will you turn ? Alas! they all will cast you off if Christ renounces you. If you will not suffer him to rejoice over you in doing you
good, he will rejoice over you in doing you evil; he will glorify himself in your destruction; he will please himself in the execution of justice upon you. The flames of hell will burn dreadfully bright to reflect the splendors of his perfections. But, on the other hand, if you afford him joy at your conversion this day, he will reward you for ever; he will reward you with all the unspeakable joys of heaven.
Here then is a twofold cord to draw you to Jesus Christ, the love of Christ and the love of yourselves; and one would think such a cord could not easily be broken. Can any of you resist the united force of gratitude and self-interest ? Are you so unnatural as to sin against Christ, and against your own life ; to ruin yourselves rather than to oblige him? Who would think that the once noble nature of man should ever be capable of such a degree of degeneracy? And O! who would have thought that the Son of God would lay down his life, or even entertain one benevolent thought for such base, ungrateful creatures, that care so little for him, or even for their own true interest ? I must bring this matter to a short issue ; and it is this: you must either afford Christ this generous pleasure, by receiving and submitting to him this day, or you will return home under the additional guilt of rejecting him, and doing all you could to reduce him into misery again ; and if you continue such, which, alas! is not improbable, you must feel his eternal resentments, and perish for ever under the weight of his righteous vengeance. Let us now proceed to another part of the text.
The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. It is the pleasure of the Lord that sinners should be saved through the mediation of Jesus Christ ; I say, through the mediation of Jesus Christ : for he is determined they shall not be saved in any other way; he is determined that those who refuse to be saved in this way, shall not be saved at all ; because their salvation in
other way would not be consistent with the glory of his perfections, the honour of his government, and his character as the supreme Magistrate of the universe; and his honor and glory are of more importance than the happiness of all created worlds : and therefore their happiness cannot be obtained in any way inconsistent with it. But through