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to the most cruel tortures if they did not immediately enter into his service ? Under all these circumstances would it be necessary to tell these miserable wretches, that it is true their present services are very light, merely nothing in comparison with the service of the prince who had purchased them, but then this prince will punish them all with the most cruel tortures if they do not enter his service without delay? If any thing could possibly opperate to deceive these redeemed ones, and to keep them in slavery it inust be some such deceit. As certain as they should be made to believe such falsehoods, they would make nice calculations not to go into the hated service any sooner than just to escape the tortures threatened. But suppose they should go to this person in consequence of these threatenings, they would not be drawn, they would be driven. Jesus did not say, I will drive all men to me. If we were to judge by some preaching that we hear, we should suppose the preachers were sent to drive us to heaven, in the greatest haste too, for fear our Redeemer should destroy us ?
The Saviour says in the 6th of John, as before quoted; 6 I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger.” What is more drawing to the destitute, foodless poor than the gladsome news of bread without money, and without price? Suppose such a famine as was in Egypt and all the countries round about it should visit the United States, the provisions of the land, after the most prudent measures had been taken, is nearly exhausted, pale bunger makes its appearance on all faces and the wisest know of no relief; at this awful crisis a large fleet from a foreign country arrives with vast quantities of bread as a present to us! how would it draw the people. In what crouds
large fleets of bread as what crou
gladness. Think of a man who monarch who ar
would they rush along the streets; how would every eye and every countenance brighten with gladness. In such a circumstance as this what should we think of a man who should come forward and say; "I am sent by the monarch who has sent you bread, to warn you to apply immediately for his bounty that you may escape his vengeance ? And what should we think of the people who should spend their time to hear these terrors proclaimed ? In such a time of favour and rejoicing, would it be seemly to stop the hungry and tell them they have po right to the free bounty that has arrived unless they really believe in this act of goodness? Would it be thought indispensably necessary to have a creed written, with well studied articles to the number of thirty-nine, for the people all to learn by heart before they sliould be allowed to taste the bread of life? Would it be treating those, who were fainting for want of food, according to the bénévolent designs of the gracious doner of these ample provisions, to prevent their receiving this unpurchased, unconditional favour, by suggesting con. ditions, termıs, and articles of faith to be complied with and believed ? Suppose the articles are all made out according to the wisdom of him, who urges their nécessity, but the people cannot understand them. Some are mysterious, some are in direct opposition to others; one explains them in one way; and another explains them in another way, many profess to believe them because they are told that they cannot obtain favour unless they do. Those who should believe in this case might believe themselves to death, and close their eyes without seeing the salvation which mercy hath sent them: others, whose minds should revolt at à creed which contains contradictions would be turned
away as unbelievers, and fare no better than those who believe.
Jesus says; “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink.” The unfortunate, who have suffered hunger and thirst in sultry climes, inform us the want of drink is vastly more severe than the want of food. Here then the merciful Saviour makes use of a simile which gives the most striking idea of his goodness. Of a number of faint, weary, hungry, and thirsty pilgrims, on burning sands, if one should cry out to his fellows here is water! How quickly would it draw them all together.
The prophet Isaiah, speaking of Jesus, says; A man shall be an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as a river of water in a dry place: as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” How very inviting, how attracting, how drawing are the favours here noticed. The beasts of the field and the fowls of the air seek these favours. When storms and winds beat on them, they seek a shelter; when they are thirsty you find them by the streams; and when a sultry sun is vehement you find them in the shade. Do you ask what these things mean? Do you inquire how you can obtain so great a favour? The word is nigh thee, even in thy heart and in thy mouth, Jesus is made unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. To be drawn to Christ is to be drawn into wisdom, whose ways are pleasantness and all her paths are peace. It is to be drawn into righteousness, which is heaven. It is to be drawn into sanctification, which is holiness. It is to be drawn into redemption, which is freedom from the law of sin and death. O Jesus, how great is thy promise! Thou wilt draw all men unto
thyself. Then shall every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all which are in them; say, blessing and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.
DELIVERED AT THE
JANUARY 17, 1819.
BY HOSEA BALLOU, PASTOR.
Published Semi-Monthly by Henry Bowen, Devonshire-street.
PSALM, cxxvi. 6. “ He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed shall, doubtless,
come again with rojoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” DIVINE wisdom has seen fit, that the comm-nce ment of those affairs which are designed to terminate in great and extensive blessings to mankind, should be distinguished for the hardships, painful labours, extreme difficulties, privations, uncommon sufferings, sorrow and tears which attend thein. This remark will be found to be, generally, appropriate, whether applied to political or religious concerns, and is often justified by the experience of individuals. This sentiment seems symbolically expressed in our text and its introduction. To represent the reverse of condition which Zion experienced by a deliverance from captivity the prophet says; “ When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing : then said they among the heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great tñings