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That all mankind had been put into a Capacity of regaining that Eternal Life, which had been loft by the fall; that this Capacity was the GIFT OF GOD IN CHRIST; that the DIVINE EMANUEL was the Father of a new and fpiritual offspring, which by his own influence and operation, fecret, invifible, and outwardly unknown, were to be gradually called forth, under a variety of difpenfations, till at length, in the fullness of time, the whole mystery should be amply unfolded, and Jews and Gentiles fhould alike be informed and convinced, that they were both created and redeemed by the fame JESUS; that their capacity of entering into an heavenly life, or the first feed and principle of that life, was originally imparted to their fallen progenitors, and through them tranfmitted to their whole race; and that every motion of this Divine Principle within them, was as much the effect of the enlightening ray of the GREAT SUN

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OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, as the motion of vegetative life in the plant, is the immediate effect of the beams of the elementary fun.

Wonder not then, my brethren, why this great mystery was not fooner revealed, or why the revelation of it hath not been more univerfal. The times and

feasons are in the hands of an All-wife GOD, who beft knows, at what time, and in what manner, to reveal himfelf to his creatures. Whilft, therefore, we ought to think ourselves highly favoured, in having this Mystery of Love fo fully difplayed to us, let us not uncharitably fuppofe, that "GOD hath left "himself without a witness," in any human heart; but rather let us indulge the fweet and comfortable reflection, which is warranted by Scripture, that

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many shall come from the east and "from the weft, and fhall fit down " with

VOL. II.

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"with Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, "in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Having, then, proved that CHRIST'S Paftoral Care extends to the whole of his Flock, and that none can be deftitute of their proper food and nourishment, who will open their hearts to receive it; let us now enquire, what is to be understood by his " gathering the Lambs "with his arm, and carrying them in "his bofom."

The peculiar tenderness, which he is here faid to exprefs towards the Lambs, makes us naturally anxious to know, who those persons are, that are marked by this defignation; and a very little attention to the fimilitude itself, will lead us to this knowledge.

Helplefs, meek, and gentle, is the nature of the Lamb; feemingly fenfible of its own weakness, it either keeps clofe

close to the fide of its parent, or else in plaintive, though inarticulate language, folicits the kind protection of the fhepherd's hand. Quiet and harmless itself, it fhrinks from the fiercer and more favage nature of its rude companions. It is a stranger to wrath and resentment: it preserves its meekness under the most cruel treatment. Even, when led to the flaughter, it fawns upon the hand that is ready to shed its blood.

Need I tell you, then, that the Lambs mentioned in my text, are all thofe, who being poffeffed of this gentleness of nature, and from an inward consciousness of their own weak and helplefs ftate, put themselves under the Protection of CHRIST, their Spiritual Parent and Shepherd; who, with meeknefs and unwearied patience, sustain every affront and indignity from without, and every rude affault of temptation and diftrefs within; whofe wills

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"with Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, "in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Having, then, proved that CHRIST'S Paftoral Care extends to the whole of his Flock, and that none can be deftitute of their proper food and nourishment, who will open their hearts to receive it; let us now enquire, what is to be understood by his " gathering the Lambs "with his arm, and carrying them in "his bofom."

The peculiar tenderness, which he is here faid to exprefs towards the Lambs, makes us naturally anxious to know, who thofe perfons are, that are marked by this defignation; and a very little attention to the fimilitude itself, will lead us to this knowledge.

Helpless, meek, and gentle, is the nature of the Lamb; feemingly fenfible of its own weakness, it either keeps

clofe

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