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and daily, that we may find grace to help in time of need. With the eye of faith upon the propitiatory offering that was presented to Divine justice by the Son of God upon the cross, let us continually approach the awful Majesty of heaven and earth, saying "God be merciful to me a sinner!"
By way of Exhortation.
LOVE may be enforced upon us by a consideration of,
1. Our own peace and comfort.
We are not to be indifferent to our own happiness; we cannot be man can no more will his own misery, or be careless about his own comfort, than he can cease to exist. To seek for enjoyment is
the first law of our existence-an inherent and inseparable propensity of our nature. In this respect, the angels, and the spirits of the just above, agree with man upon the earth. There is no sin, therefore, in desiring to be happy; we could not do otherwise, if we would. Ever since the entrance of sin, however, the heart is corrupted in its taste, so as to put evil for good; and, mistaking the nature of happiness, man of course mistakes the way to obtain it. All the pursuits of the world, however varying, and however unlawful, are the operations of this propensity of the human mind; they are all but so many efforts to obtain happiness. To this feeling of the human bosom many of the most
comprehensive, beautiful, and encouraging invitations of the Gospel of Christ are addressed; and it is at once the glory and the peculiarity of the Gospel, that it addresses itself first, not to our moral, but to our natural, wants. It meets us, not as craving after holiness, for of this an unen-、 lightened, unconverted sinner knows nothing; but as craving after happiness,-a desire common to every human bosom: this is the meaning of that exquisite language with which the Apostle almost closes the Word of God-"The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." The same view appertains to the language of the Prophet-"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." The thirst here mentioned is not, as has been frequently but erroneously stated, the strong desire of a convinced sinner after the blessings of the Gospel; but that of a miserable creature after happiness. The persons addressed by the Prophet are such as were spending their money for that which was not bread, and their labour for that which satisfieth not; expressions which will not apply to those who are desiring Christ, and the blessings of his Gospel, but to those who are endeavouring to be happy without them: to all these the Lord Jesus is represented as saying, "Hearken diligently unto me. Come unto me: 1 will give you the sure mercies of David; then shall ye eat that which is good, and your soul shall delight itself in fatness. I am the way to happiness. Men shall be blessed in me." The blessing
of the Gospel, by which men are made happy, is not only justification through the righteousness of Christ, but also sanctification by his Spirit. An unrenewed heart can no more be happy in any place or circumstances, than a diseased body can' be rendered easy and comfortable by situation and external advantages. Until the carnal mind, which is enmity against God, be regenerated, and brought to love God supremely, there can be no peace; as long as the heart is under the dominion of predominant selfishness, and all those lusts and passions to which it gives rise, it must be miserable. In the absence of love, the human bosom must be the seat of uneasiness and distress. Happiness does not arise from possessions, so much as from dispositions : it is not what a man has, or where be dwells, but what he is. Whatever be the great source of felicity, the springs of it must be seated in our nature. There are certain tempers, the absence of which would render heaven a place of torment to us; and others, which would raise for us an Eden in the dreariest wilderness on earth.
Love is essential to the happiness of a moral agent. This was the original rectitude of our nature. Man was made for love; to love God supremely, and to love whatever is like God, or related to him. This disposition was not only his temper in Paradise, but it was the very paradise of his soul, in which he held the sweetest communion with God and universal being. This tuned his heart to harmony with his Maker and his fellowcreatures. Every movement of his heart was movement of love; and all his desires so many
aspirations of love: this constituted at once his honour and his happiness. Hence, the implantation of this grace in his soul is the bringing back of man again to his original state, to his "divinely natural condition ;" and, therefore, it is the restoration of him to true complacency and satisfaction. It is true that many, in the absence of this, pretend to some kind of enjoyment, and have it too; for there are pleasures of sin, such as they are: but as to solid happiness,--that which befits and satisfies a rational, moral, and immortal creature,—it may with the greatest truth be affirmed, that the wicked are like the troubled sea, that cannot rest, but is continually casting up mire and dirt.
Let any one consider the passions which love expels from the bosom, or which it keeps in subjection where it does not eradicate them, and ask if that heart can be the seat of comfort, or the region of peace, where they predominate. As well may we expect quietude and comfort in a haunt of ban ditti, or in a den of wild beasts, or in a field of battle, as in a heart where anger, wrath, malice, envy, pride, and revenge, have taken up their abode. On the other hand, how calm, and composed, and cheerful, is that heart, where meekness is the presiding spirit; where love to God has introduced benevolence to man,—a temper which follows it as closely as its shadow, and has subjugated the temper to the dominion of charity! Let any one consult his own experience, and inquire if there be not an ineffable delight in the feelings of benevolent regard; whether such a state do not resemble one of those calm and glowing summer evenings, when