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lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset you? Haying found the pearl of great price, are you prepared to sell all that you have and buy it? Many, who receive the word with joy, in time of tribulation, when the sincerity of their professions is put to the trial, fall away. Many who for a season have walked with Christ, have at last forsaken him, having loved this present world. Beware of imitating these examples. Beware of retaining a secret, unsuspected attachment to the things of the present life. Pray for faith. Pray for singleness of heart. Pray that being rooted and grounded in love, yoù may follow the Lord fully. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus.

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This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O Daughters of Jerusalem!

WHAT think ye of Christ? is one of the most important inquiries which can be addressed to us. For, on our just conceptions and accurate knowledge of this divine person, not only our usefulness, our consistency, our comfort, but even our very existence, as Christians, depends. This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent*. Blessed is the man who can truly adopt the declaration of the church in the text; and speaking of Christ can exclaim, in the language of triumphant faith, This is my Beloved, and this is Friend,


* John, xvii, 3.

In discoursing on these interesting words, I shall consider them as descriptive of two important particulars;-of the character and of the privilege of true Christians. They love Christ: that is their character. They have Christ for a friend: that is their privilege.

I. Christ is the Beloved of his people. Whatever sentiments other persons may entertain of Christ, his people love him. Το them which believe, he is precious*. It is the. distinguishing characteristic of true Christians, that they are devoted to the service of a master, whom having not seen, they love †. Are they occupied in patient, laborious, self-denying exertions? The love of Christ constraineth them. On him their desires are supremely and habitually fixed. They have no conceptions of happiness, of peace, or of safety, with which he is not associated. He is the sun who cheers and gilds their prospect. If he hideth his face they are troubled. Nothing they deem so dreadful as a separation from him. To be with him, and to behold his glory, constitutes, in their estimation, the sum of heavenly felicity. In a word, does Christ inquire of St. Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? The heart of every true Christian vibrates in unison with the apostle's answer, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee ‡.

* 1 Peter, ii, 7.

+1 Peter, i. 8.

‡ John, xxi. 16,

But the love which Christians bear to Christ, will more fully appear from considering the grounds of it. Why do his people love him? What is their beloved more than another beloved ?

They love him for his own great and glori, ous perfections. Christ in himself is altogether lovely. In him all beauty centers. In him, whatever qualities excite admiration, or engage esteem, whatever excellence adorns, dig, nifies, or endears the character, unite without diminution or alloy. The mysterious glory of his person, the unsearchable riches of his grace, his wonderful condescension, his unspeakable majesty, his love which passeth knowledge, his compassion and faithfulness, his justice, his wisdom, and his holiness, form altogether a bright assemblage of perfections, before which every created excellence sinks into obscurity. From the unbelieving world, indeed, these perfections are awefully concealed. The God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them*. In their sight, Christ hath no form nor comeliness; and when they see him, there is no beauty that they should desire him. But while these things are hidden from the wise and prudent, they are revealed unto babes. Christmani

* 2 Cor. iv. 4.

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fests himself unto his people. On them he has bestowed a spiritual sight. To them he has communicated a spiritual taste. In their eyes how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! * What is the language of their admiring love? It was a true report that we heard of thy acts and of thy wisdom; howbeit we believed not the words until we came, and our eyes have seen it; and behold! the half was not told us.—Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which delighteth in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king to do judgement and justice †.

But the people of Christ not only love him for his own great and glorious perfections; they y also love him for his suitableness to their necessities. Great and numerous are the wants of his people; but in Christ they discover an ample supply provided. For it hath pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness dwell. Are they in a lost and perishing condition? Christ is a Saviour and a great one. Are they blind and ignorant? In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Are they tied and bound with the chain of their sins? Christ proclaims liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prisons

Zech. ix. 17.

† 1 Kings, x. 6, 7, 9.

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