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COMPASSION OF CHRIST.
How multiform are the miseries of human life! Yonder stands one, waiting for a hand to guide him. The eye is extinguished; and while day smiles on the face of nature, night gathers for ever round his head. There is another, whose ear never drank in a stream of melody-the organ is closed against strains which steal through that avenue into the heart of his neighbour—“he never heard the sweet music of speech," nor perceived the tones of his own unformed, untuned, unmodulated voice. Here is a third, who appears before me, without the power of utterance—the string of the tongue was never loosed, and he never spake—the organs of speech are deranged, or were never perfectly formed-he hears tones which vibrate on his heart ;--but he cannot impart through the same medium the same pleasurable sensation. These could not escape the compassionate eye of Jesus. He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, limbs to the maimed, health to the sick, strength to decrepitude. -But yonder is the chamber of death. Darker is the cloud that broods there. Where the tongue was silent, the eye was eloquent—when the palsied limb refused to move, the ear heard, and discriminated sounds which melt the passions, and stir the spirit within us : it was sad to tend the couch of sickness—but still we seemed to have some hold upon the sufferer, and he to have some interest in life. But that is the bed of mortality, and the young, the beautiful, the only hope of her family is stretched there-and there is Jesus also, rousing her from death as from a gentle slumber, and restoring her to the arms of her parents. There is yet another class of suffering worse than death. It glares in the eye, it raves in the voice, struggles in the limbs of that man, whose throne of reason imagination has usurped, and over the whole empire of his mind madness reigns in all its accumulated horrors. Visions—horrible visions of unreal and inconceivable objects float before his disordered senses,-while he hears not, he distinguishes not, he regards not the voice of parent, or of wife, or of child, or of friend. The spirit sits surrounded by the ruins of nature, terrified amidst shattered, and useless, or perverted organs; and covered with the midnight of despair. Oh, let the compassionate eye of the Saviour fix upon this object !-and it does he meets him coming from among the tombs—he speaks the word—he calms the tempest—behold “the man sitting at his feet, clothed, and in his right mind." He gave
reason and understanding to the distracted, and release from the power of Satan, to those who were possessed by him."
THE UNSPEAKABLE GIFT. When God gave us his Son, he gave us an infinitely greater gift than the world, the Creator is infinitely more glorious than the creature, and the Son of God is the Creator of all things. God can make innumerable worlds by the word of his mouth; he has but one only Son, and he spared not his only Son, but gave him to the death of the cross for us all.
God's love to his people is from everlasting to everlasting; but from everlasting to everlasting there is no manifestation of it known, or conceivable by us, that can be compared to this. The light of the sun is always the same, but it shines brightest to us at noon; the cross of Christ was the noon-tide of everlasting love; the meridian splendour of eternal mercy; there were many bright manifestations of the same love before; but they were like the light of the morning, that shines more and more unto the perfect day; and that perfect day was when Christ was on the cross, when darkness covered the land.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST. The righteousness wherein we must be found, if we will be justified, is not our own, therefore we cannot be justified by any inherent quality. Christ bath merited righteousness for as many as are found in him. In him God findeth us, if we be faithful; for by faith we are incorporated into Christ. Then, although in ourselves we be altogether sinful and unrighteous, yet even the man who is impious in himself, full of iniquity, full of sin-him, being found in Christ through faith, and having his sin remitted through repentancehim God beholdeth with a gracious eye, putteth away his sin by not imputing it; taketh quite away the punishment due thereunto by pardoning it; and accepteth him in Jesus Christ as perfectly righteous, as if he had fulfilled all that was commanded him in the law. Shall I say, more perfectly righteous than if himself had fulfilled the whole law? I must take heed what I say ; but the apostle saith, “God hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made
the righteousness of God in him.” Such we are in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God himself. Let it be counted folly, or phrensy, or fancy, whatsoever, it is our comfort and our wisdom; we care for no knowledge in the world but this, that man hath sinned, and God hath suffered—that God hath made himself the Son of man, and that men are made the righteousness of God.
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST ALL-SUFFICIENT.
If I had the righteousness of a saint, says one, O how happy should I be! If I had the righteousness of an angel, says another, I should fear no evil. But I am bold to say, that the poorest sinner who believes in Christ, has a righteousness infinitely more excellent than that of either saints or angels. If the law asks for sinless perfection, it is to be found in Christ my divine surety. If the law requires obedience that may stand before the burning eye of God, behold it is in Jesus my Mediator. Should the strictest justice arraign me, and the purest holiness make its demands upon me, I remit them both to my dying and obedient Emanuel. With him the Father is always well pleased, and in him the believer stands complete.
CHRIST A PRESENT FRIEND.
WHILE We wander through the wilderness of this world amid so many wants, how desirable must it be to find a friend, able and willing to furnish the needed supplies ! Amid so many ene
mies and dangers, how, desirable must it be to find a friend able and willing to furnish the necessary protection! Amid so many temptations, to watch over us! Amid so many sorrows, to relieve us; in solitude to be our companion, in difficulties our helper, in despondence our support, in disease our physician, in death our hope, resurrection, and life! In a word, how desirable must it be to find a friend, who, throughout all the strange, discouraging state of the present life, will give us peace, consolation, and joy; and cause all things, even the most untoward and perplexing, to “ work together for our good !"
On a dying-bed, especially when “our flesh” and “our hearts” must “ fail,” of course, our earthly friends yield us little consolation, and no hope, and the world itself retires from our view, how delightful will such a friend be! Then the soul, uncertain, alone, hovering over the form which it has so long inhabited, and stretching its wings for its flight into the unknown vast, will sigh and pant for an arm on which it may lean, and a bosom on which it may safely recline. But there, Christ is present with all his tenderness, and all his power. With one hand he holds the anchor of hope, and with the other he points the way to heaven.
CHRIST AN ALL-POWERFUL FRIEND.
Christ is an all-powerful friend. The ability of a friend to serve us, might fall short of his inclination. However cordially attached to our interests, he might be unable to promote them. But the power of Christ is infinite, as his love is