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life; slaves to your passions like me ; condemned like me to that frightful night in which death involveth all mankind; ye can relieve neither your own miseries nor mine!

Shew me a government, that supplies these wants: that is the empire I seek. Shew me a king, who will conduct me to the felicity, to which I aspire : such a king I long to obey. My brethren, this empire we are preaching to you : Such a king is the king Messiah. Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called WONDERFUL, because he is the substance and the centre of all the wondrous works of God.

But purify your imaginations, and do not always judge of man as if he were a being destitute if reason and intelligence. When we speak of man, do not conceive of a being of this present world only; a creature placed for a few days in human society, wanting nothing but food and raiment, and the comforts of a temporal life : but attend to your own hearts. In the sad circumstances, into which sin hath brought you, what are your most important wants? We have already insinuated them. You need knowledge; you need reconciliation with God; you want support through all the miseries of life; and you need consolation against the fear of death. Well! all these wants the king Messiah supplies. I am going to prove it, but I conjure you at the same time, not only to believe, but to act. I would, by publishing the design of the Saviour's incarnation, engage you to concur in it. By explaining to you the nature of his empire, I would fain teach you the duties of his subjects. By celebrating the glory of the king Messiah, I long to see it displayed among you in all its splendid magnificence.

You want knowledge. You will find it in the king Messiah. He is the COUNSELLOR. He is the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, John 1. 9. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col. ii. 3. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon him, the Lord hath anointed him to preach good tidings unto the meek, Isa. Ixi. 1. The Spirit of the Lord rests upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord, chap, xi. 2. He hath the tongue of the learned, chap. I. 4. and the wisdom of the wise. Ask him to explain to you the grand appearances of nature, which exercise the speculations or the most transcendent geniusses, and absorb their defective reason, and all his answers will discover the most profound and perfect knowledge of them. Inquire of him whence all the visible creation came, the luminaries of heaven, and the magnificent treasures of the earth, Ask him to reveal to you the God, who hideth himself, Isa. xlv. 15. Ask him the cause of those endless disorders, which mix with that profusion of wisdom, which appears in the world. Ask him whence the blessings come, which we enjoy, and whence the calamities, that amict us. Ask him what is the origin, the nature, the destiny, the end of man. Of all these articles the COUNSELLOR will tell you more than Plato, and Socrates, and all the philosophers, who only felt after the truth, Acts xvii. 27. who themselves discovered, and taught others to see, only a few rays of light darkened with prejudices and errors.

This is the first idea of the king Messiah; this is the first source of the duties of his subjects, and of the dispositions, with which they ought to celebrate his nativity, and with which alone they can



celebrate it in a proper manner.

To celebrate properly the festival of his nativity, truth must be esteemed; we must be desirous of attaining knowledge; we must come from the ends of the earth; like the wise men of the east, to contemplate the miracles, which the Messiah displays in the new world; like Mary, we must be all attention to receive the

doctrine, that proceeds from his sacred mouth; like the multitude, we must follow him into deserts and mountains, to hear his admirable

This is the first duty, which the festival, that you are to celebrate next Wednesday, demands. Prepare yourselves to keep it in this man




for you.

You want reconciliation with God, and this is the grand work of the king Messiah.

He is THE He terminates the fatal war, which sin hath kindled between God and you, by obtaining the pardon of your past sins, and by enabling you to avoid the commission of sin for the future. He obtains the pardon of past sins

How can a merciful God resist the ardent prayers, which the Redeemer of mankind addresseth to him in behalf of those poor sinners, for whom he sacrificed himself? How can a merciful God resist the plea of the blood of his Son, which cries for mercy for the miserable posterity of Adam? As the king Messiah reconciles you to God, by obtaining the pardon of your past sin, so he reconciles you, by procuring strength to enable you to avoid it for time to come. Having calmed those passions which prevented your knowing what was right, and your loving what was lovely, he gave you laws of equity and love. How can you resist, after you have known him, the motives, on which his laws are founded? Every difficulty disappears, when examples so alluring are seen, and when you are permitted, under your most discouraging weaknesses, to approach the treasures of grace, which he hath opened to you, and to derive purity from its source.

Doth gratitude know any difficulties? Is not every act of obedience easy to a mind animated by a love as vehement as that, which cannot but be felt for a Saviour, who in the tenderest manner hath loved us?

This is the second idea of the king Messiah, this is the second source of the duties of his subjects, and of the dispositions essential to a worthy celebration of the feast of his nativity. Come next Wednesday deeply sensible of the danger of having that God for your enemy, who holds your destiny in his mightỳ hands, and whose commands all creatures obey. Come with an eager desire of reconciliation to him. Come and hear the voice of the Prince of Peace, who publisheth peace ; peace to him that is near, and to him that is far off, Isa. lvii. 19. While Moses mediates a covenant between God and the Israelites on the top of the holy mountain, let not Israel violate the capital article at the foot of it. While Jesus Christ is descending to reconcile you to God, do not declare war against God; insult him not by voluntary rebellions, after he hath voluntarily delivered you from the slavery of sin, under which you groaned. Return not again to those sins, which separated between you and your God, Isa. lix. 2. and which would do it again, though Jesus should become incarnate again, and should offer himself every day to expiate them.

You need support under the calamilies of this life, and this also you will find in the king Messiah. He is THE MIGHTY GOD, and he will tell you, while you are suffering the heaviest temporal afflictions, although the mountains shall depart, and the hill. be removed, yet my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, chap. liv. 10. Under your severest tribulations, he will assure you, that all things work together for good to them that love God, Rom. viii. 28. He will teach you to shout victory under an apparent defeat, and to sing this triumphant song, Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ, 2 Cor. ii. 14. In all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us, Rom. viii. 37.

This is the third idea of the king Messiah, and this is the third source of the duties of his subjects, and of the dispositions which are necessary to the worthily celebrating of the festival of his nativity. Fall in, christian soul ! with the design of thy Saviour, who, by elevating thy desires above the world, would elevate thee above all the catastrophes of it. Come, behold Messiah, the king, lodging in a stable, and lying in a manger : hear him saying to his disciples, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests : but the son of man hath not where to lay his head, Matt. viii. 20. Learn from this example not to place any happiness in the possession of earthly good. Die to the world, die to its pleasures, die to its pomps. Aspire after other ends, and nobler joys, than those of the children of this world, and then worldly vicissitudes cannot shake thy bliss.

Finally, You have need of one to comfort you under the fears of death, by opening the gates of eternal felicity to you, and by satiating your avidity of existence and elevation. This consolation the king Messiah affords. He is the everlasting Father,

THE FATHER OF ETERNITY, his throne shall be built up for all generations, Psal. lxxxix. 4. he hath received dominion and glory and a king

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