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number-who are not saved, as if they were marked upon the forehead with an angel's hand? "Yet if men believe not Moses and the prophets, neither would they believe if one rose from the dead!" But all holy men do believe God's Word. They need no additional evidence to convince them of the danger of those who are not saved; and, accordingly, they experience unfeigned sorrow for sinners, and they give the earnest advices, and offer up the sincere prayers, and bestow the affectionate entreaties, which all who believe not God as they do, ridicule as superstition, or despise as hypocrisy !
Let me now assume that there are some of you convinced that you are not saved; that while, on the one hand, there may be some who entertain the hope, rightly or wrongly, of their being saved; there are, on the other hand, some who are persuaded that this cannot be true of them; let me suppose, that even one individual who hears me, secretly confesses, what he would not at present perhaps confess but to himself, and hardly to his God—that he has never had such a concern for his soul, as has led him on his knees to a throne of grace, seeking salvation-that he certainly wants the Scripture evidence of being saved, and possesses the Scripture evidence of being "not saved;" moreover, that he knows and feels his state to be one of evil and of danger; then I ask such an one, 66 are you not saved?" It is true that the summer is past, and that the harvest is ended-that time has fled-life
vanished as a vapour, and seasons of grace departed—
leaving behind this sad result of" not saved." It is
true, that no language can picture the danger of such a state; but why is it not otherwise? Why is not the disease removed, and its awful consequences averted? "Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" Such is the last question suggested by the text, and the one which I would press upon the serious consideration of every upright mind that seeks to know in truth what we should "do to be saved." What replies can you make to this question? What reasons can be given for your continuing in your present state, and not rather obtaining the deliverance which you so much stand in need of?
Do you say, "My disease is incurable. It is inveterate. It cannot be healed." And what let me ask is that disease which the good physician, Jesus Christ, cannot cure? When he was on earth, he healed "all manner of diseases;" he made the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the dumb speak, he even raised the dead. No one was dismissed, by him as incurable. These cures he effected, not merely to do good at the time, or to prove only that He came from God, but also to teach the whole dying world, in all ages, what He could do for the bodies and souls of men; to assure us that He could "restore the soul," and make it see His glory, and hear His voice, and speak His praise, and walk in the way of His commandments-yea, raise it from the very dead. Jesus also cast out demons! You remember, for instance, the case of the demoniac in the country of the Gaddarenes, who lived in the tombs, and wandered naked among the mountains wild, "night and day crying, and
cutting himself with stones." No human hand could bind him, for he was possessed of demons. But Jesus cast them forth, though "they were legion;" and the poor man was found" in his right mind," sitting clothed at Christ's feet; and he who was a demoniac, became a messenger from God, and told his unbelieving countrymen "the great things Jesus had done for him!" Such blessed miracles prove to us the comforting truth, that Jesus is more powerful than Satan. He was so then-is he not so now? "All power has been given to Him in heaven and earth.”
made subject to Him."
Principalities and powers are
You cannot have a worse dis
ease than those poor sinners in Judea had. Therefore, the Physician that was able to save them, is able to save you. I have heard of men who professed to cure with their medicines all diseases which afflict the body. Thousands believed them, and soon found that they believed a lie. But when God offers us this Physician, and medicine to cure our souls, how few put their trust in Him!
"But, I know not," you again say, "if Jesus is willing to heal me. I doubt not his power to heal, for he is omnipotent; but what hope dare I entertain that He will exercise that power in my behalf?" I reply, try Him. Unless you do so, you must perish. If you do so, you may be saved. Granting, for the present, that there is but a chance of salvation; yet, if the only other alternative involves the certainty of destruction, common prudence might lead you to the Saviour. "It may be, he will have mercy." You may have but little hope of relief from him if you go; but you can
have no hope of relief from any one else if you do not go.
But are there no stronger reasons than this to induce you to go to the Physician? Do not His invitations assure you of His willingness? You do not, I trust, think it possible that the Saviour would give an invitation to men which he did not wish, in truth, men to accept of? But He does invite every sinner to come to Him and is consequently grieved, yea angry when they do not go. If an hospital was erected in a city "for the relief of all suffering citizens who came to it," the fact of your being among that number, would be felt to be a sufficient warrant for applying for relief without a more special invitation "Come unto me," says Christ, "all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” But "the Bride" (the Church) also says "Come,” and whosoever will, may take the water of life freely." Do not His commands, as well as his invitations, convince you of His willingness? The commands which are given to men generally, are given to each man particularly. When God gives the general command, "Thou shalt not steal," he commands you not to steal, and wishes you to be honest. "But this is His commandment, that ye believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ;" (1 John, iii. 28.) "This commandment," as much as the ten commandments of the Moral Law, are His, and which you are equally bound to obey. And if He commands you to believe, He wishes you to believe, i. e. to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ, "the Saviour of all men, specially of those who believe."
But let us turn again to the history of the good Physician, and learn from His life, as well as from His words, his willingness to heal every wounded spirit. I read of many who came to Him, weary and heavy laden, for rest, but I read of none who departed without having obtained the desired blessing. No sincere soul ever carried away a burthen from the feet of Jesus, except the pleasant burthen of a weight of gratitude and love. On one evening, we are told, "when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick, with divers diseases, brought them unto Him, and he laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them!" Merciful Physician! how willing was he to heal then! Equally willing is he to heal now; for "He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." Let us take one instance out of many, showing his mercy and love towards the poor and needy, and their ignorance of, and want of confidence in, His mercy and love. When he came down from the mount of Transfiguration, a poor distressed father met him with his sick boy. He had asked the disciples, during their Master's absence, to heal him; but they could not. He now comes to Christ. He gives a touching history of his child's sufferings, telling how he foamed and gnashed with his teeth, and pined away, and how the foul spirit cast him into the fire and water; and then asks the Saviour to help him, saying,
if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us." Now, observe this man's state of mind; he thought the only barrier to his son's recovery, was either the Saviour's inability, or unwillingness, or both; he had tried the servants in vain, and so his confidence in Christ, the Master, is shaken. "If thou canst," &c.