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of this character? Are there none within the circle of your acquaintance, who have no esteem for Cbrist, no desires after him, no faith in him, no subjection to him ; in short, who have nothing to do with Christ, and wish that he would have nothing to do with 'them? They are the persons to whom the Apostle refers, when he says, “ If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” This leads me to observe,

III. That all who love not the Lord Jesus Christ, are chargeable with aggravated guilt, and expose themselves to the severest displeasure of God.

“ Let him be accursed.” God best knows the just proportion of guilt and punishment, and he has subjected this sin to this dreadful curse. It is not an arbitrary determination, or without apparent reason : for any one may perceive, that not to love the Lord Jesus Christ, is a crime of the greatest aggravation. Įt is so, in the first place, because he is so dearly beloved of God.

So it was declared of him expressly from heaven: « When there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” So God speaks of him by the prophet Isaiah : “ Behold my servant whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth :” which is as if he had said, “ Behold, ye perishing sinners! I know your guilt and misery; and if I should be strict to

; mark iniquity, none of you could stand. But I am God, and not man. I have designs of mercy towards you; and for this purpose, I consent to part with my only Son for a season; and if you have any regard for me, you will reverence and welcome hiin, and

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gladly receive him into your houses and hearts." “ No," say these same miserable and perishing sinners, with all the indifference and insolence imaginable; “ what is it to us whose Son he is? Because thou lovest him thyself, does it follow that therefore we must be fond of him too? A father may natu. rally be partial to his child; but strangers may not be so easily enamoured.” Harsh as this may sound, it is the language of every heart that is disaffected to Christ. It must surely, therefore, be highly offensive to God, to see his beloved Son so slighted, and by the persons who ought to have loved and honoured him most. It is not, therefore, astonishing that such a curse is thrown out against such daring and presumptuous wretches.

The greatness of his guilt, also appears, because Christ is so lovely and desirable in himself.

He is the most amiable object in the universe, “ Thou art fairer,” says the Psalmist,“ than the chil. dren of men ; grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever." And the Apostle informs us, in the epistle to the Hebrews, that he is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person, and that he upholdeth all things by the word of his power. Now, not to love him, who is so infinitely lovely and glorious, argues great depravity, and lays the sinner open to the severest of judgments. “ For whoso findeth me, findeth life: and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul. All they that hate me, love death."

Consider also, that Christ has given the most astonishing proofs of his love to sinners.

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" Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends; but herein God hath commended his love towards us, in that while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us." He made himself poor, to express his affection for us; and if we feel no suitable return of regard to him, we should be the greatest prodigies of ingratitude. Heaven might blush to look upon us, and the earth bear such transgressors. Love deserves love, though it be from one creature to another. But when God loves his creatures, when Christ loves sinners, what does it not require? To withhold our hearts from the Saviour, were to deprive him of his right. He has been peculiarly concerned for us, and most wonderfully connected with us. “Of old, even from everlasting, his delights were with the sons of men;" and of all creatures, these are they in whom he takes the greatest pleasure. He himself became man for our redemption ; and therefore not to love him, is to disaffect the glory of our nature, to despise the only friend upon whom we can rely, and to reject him who interposed between us and eternal misery. Considering what Christ has done and suffered for us, these words, “ Unto you, O men, I call, and may voice is to the sons of men,' these melting words should overcome us all. If there be any that love not the Lord Jesus Christ, it should not be on earth. Such monsters of ingratitude should be found only among the abandoned fiends below.

I will only add, that the want of love to Christ, will be destructive of religion here, and happiness hereafter.

I say,

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This one defect destroys the excellency and life of all religion. It is like a worm at the root, that spoils the sap; or a little leaven, which renders the whole lump distasteful.“ Though I speak,” says the Apostle, “ with the tongue of men and angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal: and though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.” Other graces without this are either common or counterfeit. Without love, faith is dead, repentance legal, fear slavish; and all duties void of this principle are vain; not more acceptable to God, than cutting off a dog's head, or offering the blood of a swine. As to future happiness, heaven is a place of love; and to entertain one person there who is not a lover of Christ, would disturb the order, and break the harmony, of that blessed society. He would have no capacity for their work, or their pleasures. A perfect mute might as well sing the most melodious notes, or a carcase perform all the functions of life, as one who loves not

the Lord Jesus Christ, be happy in heaven. . . Thus have I suggested what I intended from this interesting and awful subject.' Perhaps you were ready to wonder, why I should use so many arguments to induce you to love the Lord Jesus Christ. “ Do we not all love him, (you are ready to say,) and depend upon him for salvation ?" Would to God you were indeed all lovers of Christ, and that there were less need, or no need, of arguments and persuasions. But verily, it is not saying, that you love Christ, that

prove it. Many with their lips show much love: but their hearts go after their covetousness. If pretensions would avail, Christ would have disciples enough; and heaven would be crowded with inhabitants. There would be foolish virgins as well as wise: for they also took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. There would be Judas as well as Peter; for Judas could say to Christ, “ Hail, Master," and kissed him; though at the very time he was about to betray him to his murderers. But mere professions will not serve. Suppose, however, that you do love him in sincerity, is there no need to have it increased ? I therefore invite you to inquire if you possess a sincere love to Christ; and whether it be languid or lively. For this purpose, I was thinking, at first, of mentioning again the several ways in which this grace discovers itself; and of observing how far we can discern any of them in our selves. Have we any desire after Christ, and delight in him; any zeal for him, or any sympathy with him in his joys and sorrows ? But not to multiply marks, in so plain a case; love to Christ may easily be dis. covered by the current of your thoughts, and the care of your lives.


First, by the current of your thoughts. What persons love, they think much upon; and the pleasant image is continually before them. The miser, let him be where he will, is generally meditating upon his beloved money. The sensualist is thinking of his pleasures; enjoying again in reflection, past scenes, or pleasing himself with schemes of future amusement. If they be diverted for a while by other objects it is a burden to them; and the moment that they are at liberty, their thoughts recur to their



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