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of persons. saith Isaiah.
Ho, every one, that thirsteth !'
Come ye to the waters! and he, 'that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat! Yea. 'Come! Buy wine and milk without money and
without price!' Come unto me,' (said the saviour himself,) all ye, that labor and are heavy'laden! and I will give you rest.' And in the text these invitations are abundantly repeated. "The spirit saith-"Come!" For he is continually drawing men by his secret influence upon their minds to the saviour. And the bride' (that is the church, every where represented, as the lamb's wife,) saith-" Come!" For it is the especial office of the church of God upon Earth to invite all sinners into her pale, that she may present them, as penitent believers, to God. And not only does the church herself invite all within her reach to cast away their sins, and come to the saviour. She encourages all, who receive the message, to transmit it, that it may reach the ends of the earth, and all nations may see the salvation of God. Let 'him, that heareth, say-" Come!"-! And even without a special invitation or a delegated messenger 'let him, that is athirst, come,'
though an unbidden, yet not an unwelcome
guest! and, whosoever will, let him take the 'water of life freely!'
There is indeed one qualification joined to the invitation throughout these passages. The invitation is general. But yet in order to avail ourselves of it there must be a sense of weariness, a feeling of thirst, a willingness to come, and be healed: and it is the want of this, that constitutes the great impediment. 'Come unto me, all ye, that labor and are heavy-laden! 'Let him, that is athirst, come! Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely!'
In fact, although it is the declared will of God, that all men should be saved, it is also his declared will, that for that purpose all should come to repentance: and consequently, before all the world can be saved according to his will, all the world must learn to have a true value for the salvation, offered to them in the gospel. Now this must be accomplished by the addition of individual members to the spiritual church, till all mankind shall be enclosed within its pale. The little leaven of the gospel must pervade one grain, and then
another, till the whole is leavened. At present unhappily, as in the days of Christ, many are called, but few are chosen; and, though whole families and nations are admitted by baptism into the visible church, the real efficacy and success of the invitation resembles rather the prophetic declaration of Jeremiah I will 6 take you, one of a city, and two of a family; ' and I will bring you to Zion; and I will 'give you pastors according to mine heart, 'who shall feed you with knowledge and ' understanding.'
My object therefore, now that we are closing this series of discourses, is to convince you all, my beloved brethren, young and old, high and low, rich and poor, learned and illiterate, one with another, of the necessity of a personal application of these truths, which have been addressed to you. We are invited in a mass. But we must be saved individually and every individual among us must come for himself to the fountain, which is opened to all; for no man may deliver his brother, nor make agreement unto God for him. The great question is--Are you in earnest? Are you weary of sin?
Are you heavy-laden under a sense of guilt? Do you know, what it is, to hunger and thirst after righteousness? Are you willing, at whatever sacrifice, to walk in the narrow way, and, forsaking all others, to seek in Christ alone your wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption? These are the first (they are also the indispensable) symptoms of a disposition to come to him, that you may have life and none, that so come to him, shall ever be cast out. May the spirit of God apply these principles with power to the heart of every one, who now hears me, that he may receive the invitation in the text, and take the water of life freely!
Eternity, life and death, Heaven and Hell, the blessing and the curse, all depend on the answer you give to this word- Come!' The spirit and the bride say- Come!' Will you obey the call? Will you come to Christ faithfully, unreservedly, and with a full determination to follow, whithersoever he may lead you? or will you stay away, and perish? This is the question, which each one of you must answer for himself. Oh, that ye were wise, that ye
understood this, that ye would consider your latter end!
And first let me be permitted to address myself to my young friends, for whose sake especially this course was originally taken in hand' It is as necessary for them as for others to come personally to their saviour, that they may have life, spiritual, and eternal. Let them not think, that their tender years screen them from that necessity! Your godfathers and godmothers promised for you, when you were baptized, that you should renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil, and that you should come to Christ, believing in him, and bringing forth fruit to his glory. At that time you were not able to understand this promise: and therefore they made it for you. But now, if you are old enough to know the difference between life and death, blessing and cursing, you are old enough to make choice between them: and those of you, who have comprehended only the general scope of the discourses, which I have now delivered to you, may certainly have not only a hope in Christ, but also a