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rewards him with the delightful satisfaction of being instrumental to his own happiness.
Since, then, God supplies to every one that principle of righteousness, which, since the fall, is not naturally in man, nor acquirable by any human efforts, and adds, moreover, all the help and assistance which is necessary to bring it to perfection, making that help to depend on the prayer and conduct of his creatures, we see, at once, the foundation of our high calling, and the means by which we are to advance therein, till we bring it to perfection. Having, therefore, it may be presumed, become well-disposed towards God by his preventing grace, and having prayed from day to day for larger and larger communications of his Holy Spirit, whereby we may have grace to serve him acceptably with reverence and godly fear, let us proceed to view the operations and effects of this state of holiness, as they are delineated by our blessed Saviour. Speaking of the mode and the extent of human redemption, he lays down three striking positions, First, No man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Secondly, No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him. Thirdly, Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. These are three very important declarations, and, taken in connection with the subject before us, well deserve our serious attention.
I. The First of these declares his mediatorial character in very distinct terms. St. Paul says,
"There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Our Saviour says, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Both these sentences contain the same striking and impressive doctrine, namely, that our only mode of access to God, our only ground of admittance to his presence, is through his Son Jesus Christ. Now, this important truth is founded on the doctrine I have already maintained, that in man naturally, and as he comes forth from the womb, there is no good thing; but that he owes his very disposition to goodness, his very power to turn and seek after God, his first rise of godliness in the heart, to the pre-disposal of God, who first inclines him to holiness. For if he had this seed and principle of righteousness naturally and necessarily in him; if he were inclined of his own will and self-desire to seek and to serve God; it could scarcely be insisted upon by our blessed Lord, that no man cometh to the Father but by him. Surely, if there was an innate germ of godliness in the heart, it might of itself spring up and bear fruit, and certainly it could not be said of man, that he was conceived and born in sin, nor of children who die before they come to years of discretion, that they had any need of the merits of a Saviour. God would be bound to accept and not for another's sake. teaches us that there is none doeth good perfectly, no not one; that all have sinned and become guilty before God, that is, become liable to the judgment of God; and it says this, that
them for their own, But the Scripture righteous, none that
the righteousness of Jesus Christ, as a Saviour and Deliverer, may be unto all and upon all that believe in him, to render his sacrifice of himself available to all. That such a sacrifice was necessary for every human being without exception, is plainly declared in the words under consideration. "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." And also in another remarkable speech of Christ's, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." There is no truth more plainly, fully, and solemnly inculcated throughout the New Testament than the utter impossibility of man, through his natural and hereditary sinfulness, to approach his Maker otherwise than through a Mediator. It is, as I may say, the cardinal doctrine of that new and better dispensation, and runs through all its pages. And the reason thereof is to be sought in the ruin of the fall; the consequent degeneracy of human nature; the incapacity of a sinful creature to come of himself before a perfect and offended Creator and Governor; and his unfitness to address him. This unfitness to address him arises as well from the want of knowing the proper method, as from the state of sin and degradation in which he is, and which hinders him from being a proper object of notice and affection; and above all, from that unerring rule which obtains throughout all nature, that things once degenerated have a tendency to grow worse, which shows, at once, that no after doings of man could restore his original righteousness, or make him meet, in any sense, for the presence and service of his God. It, therefore, follows,
that if God hears him at all, or helps his wishes, it is for some reason independent of the suppliant himself. Something has been done in another way to dispose the ever-merciful Father of our race to be gracious to him, and to answer his requests. What this is we are all well aware, and it serves to illustrate to us those words of our blessed Saviour, "I am the way, the truth, and the life," your Mediator, Intercessor, and Redeemer.
II. But Secondly, having asserted that the only mode of access to the Father is by him, he farther declares, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him."
This developes to us another particular in the great scheme of our salvation, showing, that if the Son is to introduce us to the Father, we must be drawn by the Father to the Son to be so introduced by him. The expression, "draw him," is very emphatical, and points out clearly, what I intimated above, that the very inclination to serve God and accept of life, must first be given us by God. If man had of himself right dispositions and right notions; if, haply, he could feel after and find out his duty, without any supernatural assistance; if his feeble powers were sufficient to direct his steps, and he had only to follow the dictates of nature and reason to come at the knowledge of the truth,-the way of salvation and remission of sins; it could not be said, because it could not be proved, that man must first be drawn to Christ by the Father's
influence, before he can approach him who is our advocate with the Father. The argument plainly supports the contrary. Man has not the right inclination in himself,-the right leaning towards God. On the contrary, his leaning is to sin, and his passions, with which, at all times, he holds a painful conflict, continually hurry him on to sin and misery. Of himself he would never go right. In order to counteract this baneful tendency of his desires, and to preserve him from inevitable and final ruin, God is pleased, by his Holy Spirit, to draw him towards goodness. The mode of this operation is thus described by our blessed Saviour, "It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." This shows us, that, when men are said to be drawn of the Father, they, in reality, come of their own accord, and that their so coming, is a necessary consequence of listening to divine truth, and desiring to be governed by it. The phrases to be drawn by God, to be given by God, and to come by God, all which our Saviour uses, mean the same thing, and illustrate the agency of the preventing and co-operating grace of God, whereby they voluntarily and readily undertake the duties of a holy life, in consequence of the deep impression which their minds receive of the awful responsibility that rests upon them. The hearing
and the learning are their own acts, though the inclination to both must first be given them from above. How it is given the following passage may