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men unto himself. And his testimony concerning those who come to him is as follows: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” By this passage it is evident, that by coming to him, and by believing on him, Jesus meant the same thing. He farther says; “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out-No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 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."
By these passages we learn, that the instructions and the drawings of the Father are the only means by which men can come to Christ. They furthermore teach us, that those who are, by such means, drawn to the Saviour will not be cast off. Thus the evidence issues in a most direct confirmation of the proposition to be proved.
St. Paul, in bis first epistle to Timothy says, that God “ will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” And Jesus said ; “ I came down from heaven; not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Suppose one of you own an hundred sheep, and they all break from your enclosure and go astray, they all enter into your neighbour's pasture. In room of sending them home, he endeavours to retain them, and uses all possible ineans to prevent their return. You direct your shepherd to go and seek and save that which is lost. You tell him, that it is your will that he returns the whole; the shepherd is told by your enemy who retains your flock that he will give up a few of the sheep, but must keep the greatest part. The shepherd replies; I have
not come to negociate for the sheep, I have come to do the will of him that sent me. How can this will be done and yet but a few of these sheep return ?
The will of God is further expressed by St. Paul, as follows ; “ Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both wbich are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” Again he says ;.“ Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given hin a name which is above every name ; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” And furthermore he says ? “For it pleased the Father, that in him should all tulness dwell, and having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things on earth, or things in heaven.” To these we may subjoin the passage we treated of in our last lecture; “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: And hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God: for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." If the hearer will allow these and concurrent passages their natural agreement and signification they must be considered sufficient evidence to prove that the design of the Saviour's grace is the salvation of all men.
Another argument in favour of our proposition, and which is thought to be sufficient of itself to establish it, is drawn from the revealed fact that it is consistant with the holiness of God for him to love sinners and to bestow the greatest possible farours upon them. The scripture informs us that « God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." And again; “ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ." Now if it be consistent with the holiness of God for him to love those who are dead in sin, and to commend his love to such by the death of Christ for them, and to quicken them together with . Christ, it proves beyond all controversy, that sin is no objection to God's granting his grace and salvation to men. Standing in the light of this glorious truth, and feeling the life of the spirit of this grace, who can be so hard hearted as to sentence millions of their fellow sinners to endless darkness and woe? In this spirit of love and grace it seems the divine Redeemer stood, when he said ; “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” It is granted on all hands, that God can never change ; he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. Yesterday and to-day he was and is the friend and lover of sinners. How then is it possible that he should ever cease to love these beings and to do them good ?
This argument provokes the Pharisee to start the old trite objection, that the doctrine leads to licentiousness. This objection, though it has been fairly removed hundreds of times, will never leave
the world as long as a Pharisee remains in it. If the manifestation of the divine love to sinners have a natural tendency to encourage thein in sin, why did God commend his love unto us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us? Why are those blessings of the divine Providence, to which the Saviour adverted for proof that God loves his enemies, continually, and with such profusion scattered down
upon us? Are we serving the cause of religion and moral virtue by persuading people to believe that the goodness of God naturally leads men to sin. My brethren, should you believe me your friend if I persuaded your children to the opinion, that if you love them, notwithstanding their faults, it is no matter what they do, and that it is even better for them to violate all your wholesome laws and to treat your advice and admonitions with contempt? Surely if there be any such thing às á heinous sin in our world, we have it here under consideration. Because our heavenly Father gives us life and all the numerous blessings of life must we improve all his favors to dye our souls in the crimson of sin ! Because Jesus hath loved us and given himself for us, is there no way we can act like reasonable beings only by hating him and disobeying his commands ? O ingratitude ! legitimate child of the Pharisee, rețire, cold and unfeeling, to the frosty bosom from whence thou cảme.
It has already been suggested, that by coming unto Christ is meant, being taught of God and believing in Christ; and this was seen by the words of Christ in the 6th of John, which have been quoted. They therefore, who come to Jesus, come to, him in their understanding ; they receive him as their prophet to teach them, their priest, who offered himself for the sinner, without spot unto God, and as a king to rule them. The blessings enjoyed
in consequence of coming to Christ are expressed in his most gracious words, recorded in Mat. xi.; “ Come unto ine, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” How lovely does the Saviour appear in his gracious invitations and promises. He invites all to come to him; he promises to draw all men to him ; he promises to give them all rest and an easy service; he promises that he will in no wise cast any out.
Well did the dear Redeemer say ; “I will draw all men unto ine.
The doctrine of Jesus is perfectly calculated to draw men. It holds up to view those virtues and those advantages which are powerful attractives. In the passage just recited, those who labour and are heavy laden are promised rest. What can be more inviting to any who have for a long time laboured under an intolerable þurden, than an opportunity to cast it off, and to enjoy rest ? Suppose men were in bondage and hard servitude, as were the Israelites in Egypt, oppressed with severe taskmasters and made to serve with the most cruel rigour; and a humane, benevolent prince should ransom them all, and invite them into his country, where they should have all tbings they wanted without money and without price, where po law but the perfect law of liberty exists, where they would have no service to perform but such in which they should have perfect delight and freedom, would not a clear manifestation of these facts draw them away from the tyrant to their kind deliverer and Saviour ? Would it be necessary to threaten them, and preach up terror to them? Would it be proper to tell them that the person who had ransomed them would come and put them