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(says David,) hast thou done all these things for thy servant.” That is the spring of every blessing. If we can hope that God has appeared for us, in subduing our depravity, in delivering us from temptations, in supporting us under heavy afflictions, in fulfilling promises on which we have rested in the midst of great discouragements; if he has been pleased to reveal his Son in us, and enabled us with full assurance of faith, to say, “ My Lord, and my God," we should look back with gratitude and wonder. On such a review, we may naturally exclaim,“ Whence is all this grace and goodness towards so unworthy a creature; towards a wretch so deserving of ruin? Whence can it be, but from the free and gracious purpose of God ? To this, and this alone, be the praise.” We should look forward too, as David in the words just now mentioned ; “ And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O Lord God; for thou hast spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come.” Or as the Apostle said, “ He that spared not his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how shall he not, with him also, freely give us all things !" Christians, if you have received any mercy, which you can hope to be a fruit of God's special love, whatever it be, look upon it as an earnest and pledge of better blessings in future. The Lord has spoken concerning you, for many years, for many ages, yea, for an eternity to come. He has assured you, that then you shall dwell in his immediate presence; that
shall enjoy the nearest and most transporting communion with him! that then you shall be ever free from sin and sorrow; that then you shall see Jesus, and be with him, and be like him; and
enter into the joy of your Lord, where are pleasures for ever more. Think of all this, and
Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift."
Now, Christians, we have received this unspeak. able Gift, but where are our thanks? If we receive but a trifling present from a fellow creature, especially if he be greatly our superior, and we know that it is accompanied with the sincere love of the giver, we can be very profuse in our acknowledgments. We thank him again and again; and wish for an opportunity to prove our gratitude, by something superior to words. What is the reason, then, that since we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, and are sensible too, that it is the most seasonable, the most suitable, and the most valuable Gift which could possibly be bestowed, we feel an amazing and inexcusable coldness? Do you know how much is contained in this one Gift? What! is the world yours, as much as is necessary and safe for you to possess; life and death
yours, heaven yours, Christ yours; and yet do you continue unthankful? Let us be earnest then with the God of all grace, that to all his other gifts, he would be pleased to add this much needed one, a thankful heart; that so we may go away, praising God for giving bis Son, and Christ for giving himself.
A MEDITATION ON
MATTHEW XX. 32.
And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, " What will
that I shall do unto you???
Ah, gracious Saviour, if thou hadst not stood still, these poor blind men would never have overtaken thee. What could induce thee to stop for them? Or why didst thou not keep on thy way, regardless of the cries of such insignificant wretches? What was their blindness to thee, when thou wast about thy father's business, and multitudes were waiting for thee in other parts of the country? Why wouldst thou suffer thyself to be hindered by the impertinent clamours of these miserable beggars ? But, after thou hadst stopped, if thou hadst not called them, they would hardly have presumed to approach thee, or have believed that thou hadst waited for them. They scarcely could have supposed that a stranger, and one so famous, and followed by all the country, would take notice of such obscure individuals. Even after they were convinced that thou didst call them, they scarcely would have had the courage to speak, if thou hadst not kindly inquired into their complaints; and with a compassion peculiar to thyself, encouraged them, by saying, " What will ye that I shall do unto Christians, we were once as miserable and helpless as they. But Jesus has had compassion upon us; and healed and saved our perishing souls. Never was love like Christ's, who pities all that cry to him for help, and relieves even those who have no mercy on themselves.
In the course of his personal ministry, we are on one occasion informed, that he looked round upon his hearers, and was grieved because of the hardness of their hearts; and at another time, that the impenitence of Jerusalem drew tears from his eyes, in prospect of their future calamities. Happily for us, he carried the same compassion with him to heaven; and highly as he is exalted, he is not unaffected with the miseries of sinners upon earth. Nothing is more encouraging to us in our application to our fellowcreatures for help, than a compassionate disposition in those to whom we apply. Let a person be very well able to assist us, yet, if he be known to be rough, and severe, and hard-hearted, we are always backward to go to him for relief; and that, not merely because we have little or no hope of success, but because our spirits being melted or softened by our distresses, stern treatment would hurt us more than not receiving the favour which we ask. But we have nothing forbidding to fear in our application to Jesus.
Our text says, “ He called them.” Luke says, “ He commanded them to be brought unto him.” They were not able to come by themselves ; but many who were present, were ready to give them assistance, and encouraged them to go to the compassionate Saviour. “ Be of good comfort,” say the
people; rise, he calleth thee.” When they were come to him, he asked them what he should do for them; though he knew before what they most wanted; yet he was willing that they should repeat their request, to show their own sense of their necessity, and to display his power and goodness. He knows the particular circumstances of every one in the present assembly. He is acquainted with all our desires, our sins, our fears, and our burdens ; but he will hear them from ourselves, that it may appear that we know our own wants, guilt, and misery ; what blindness it has brought upon our understanding, what hardness upon our hearts, what insensibility into our affections; what a distance it has caused between God and our souls : and what utter inability to deliver ourselves from our wretched condition.
There are many things that we all need, at all times : but there isoftensomeone thing above all others, which we should make the matter of our special request. But if Christ were now to put the question to us, “ What will ye that I should do to you ; what particular favour would you wish me to bestow ?” I fear that some of us are so sadly unacquainted with the state of our souls, that we should be at present at a loss for an answer. If it were a worldly concern, we could be ready enough. If some prince, or great and rich man, were to come to us, and offer to give or do for us, any thing that we should desire, we
' should be striving who should speak first. “ Sir, I want a large fortune; I want a better trade; I want a finer house;" one and another would be saying : but now, when Christ comes, and offers his blessings to us, some of us are speechless; and most of us are