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ther, and it sufficeth us;' and both requests were only the echo of a universal desire; a desire of the mind for something to sustain it in its most etherial of efforts, its endeavors to think of God.

Another necessity requiring to be met, was the exaggerated fears of the penitent sinner, when interpreting the rectoral office of the Father in the covenant of grace,

into proof of his avenging inexorableness. In the ministry of the Gospel, the constant reference which is necessarily made to his just requirements in maintaining the rights of Deity, is extremely liable to produce on a mind, perturbed with guilt, an impression of dread, which no mere abstract descriptions of the love of God can effectually remove; which makes it impossible to speak of that love in terms of excess. Now, of both these necessities, the Savior took special cognizance; against each of them he fully provided when, standing forth before the eye of the world, he proclaimed himself the perfect representative of the Father; and in that capacity, challenged for the Father, the confidence, and affection, and cordial allegiance of mankind. 'I am in the Father, said he, and the Father is in me;'.... * from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?.... the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.' • I and my Father are one.',

Instead of leaving our faith to apprehend an infinite abstraction, he has, in his own person, invested the Deity with that power over our minds which a definite object alone can


exercise. Instead of claiming our affections merely for the invisible and impalpable cause of mercy, he wrestles with our fears, and challenges our embracing affections, by protesting that there is no feature to be loved in himself, which is not equally to be loved in the character of God; that if we admire the tenderness and compassion of his character, we are admiring the very same qualities in the Father; that we do injustice to his representative character, if we do not receive it entire as a perfect reduplication of the mind of God. He would have us to believe, and to act on the belief, that so far from attempting to bribe and beguile our affections for God, by expressing for us a kindness to which the heart of God does not respond, he could not have omitted a single expression of that kindness without giving us a defective idea of the divine benevolence; that so utterly impossible would it be for him to give us an exaggerated conception of that benevolence, that could we by any process collect and concentrate all the varied expressions of his grace to a focal point, and receive the effect of the whole entire, and at once, that effect, after all, would be a bare and inadequate expression of the love of God to man.

Whatever doctrine of grace he propounds, whatever promise he gives, whatever deed of love he performs, whatever divine attractions he exhibits, every

such attraction in him is to be regarded as an index to the same quality indefinitely greater in the character of God. The conduct of Christ is a copy, a living map of the immense expanse of the divine perfections, reduced from its infinite dimensions, and subdued to a scale studiously adapted to the feeble vision of man. The character of God, so infinitely reduced, is to be seen in the life of Christ; the excellences of Christ, if infinitely magnified and restored to their original proportions, are to be found in the perfections of God. The character of Christ is


the conception of a being of infinite amiableness, seeking to engage the heart of a world that reasons by analogy, and to enamour it of divine excellence. How often did he authenticate the life of Jesus, and give it currrency as a copy of his own. Had the Almighty Father veiled his glories, and dwelt among us, the history which now belongs to Christ would have related, word for word, his own condescending grace; so that, in every word and act of Jesus, we are to recognise, in effect, the voice and movements of paternal love. In the person

of Christ we behold the eternal God engaged in an enterprise of boundless mercy. To aid our conceptions of his being, he clothes his spirituality in the vestments of humanity. To convince us that an unlimited concern for our souls may coexist with the utmost hatred of our sins, he shows that the river of the water of life takes its rise from under his throne; he plants a cross, and provides a sacrifice, and enacts before the world a prodigy of mercy, of which this is the only adequate solution, that he so loved us.

That no unwarranted apprehensions of his greatness might efface this impression of his love from our minds, that all suspicion and distrust might be made impossible, he shows us that he can stoop from an act which saves a world, to number the very hairs of our head; that his regard for the whole comprises a regard for each infinitesimal part; so that whatever has the power of raising an emotion in our breast, acquires, by that circumstance, if by nothing else, sufficient importance to receive his sympathetic attention. Disrobed of his essential glory, unattended by the train and state of heaven, as if earth was to be henceforth his adopted home, he came evidently attired for a purpose of love; mingled in our common cares, and inscribed his name on every object which speaks to the human heart.


cup of sorrow never passed him untasted; often did he exhaust the distasteful draught himself, and return the cup of gladness in its stead. The human heart, in his hands, might have become a sacred harp, every chord of which should have sent forth none but heavenly music, The history of his labors of love, is the shame and condemnation of unbelief, the argument of faith and hope, the standing memorial of his claims on the undoubting trust of a dependent world: for it presents him, not barely fulfilling the conditions of our redemption, but far exceeding them; going beyond the complement of grace; overflowing in supererogatory acts of beneficence; and anticipating the tender offices proper to heaven, by beginning even here to wipe away all tears from all faces.

VIII. Having restored our confidence in the divine character, the Savior sought to complete our love to God, by teaching us to address him by a new name; a name which should be at once a sign of our affection to him, and a pledge of his tender regard and relationship to us. He knew that the name which is entwined with the dearest associations of the human heart, is also the name which hath most music in the ear of God and therefore he selected and encouraged us to employ it—the endearing appellation of Father. And that we might not be deterred from taking it into our lips by the fear of presumption, he continues to repeat it, again and again, until it has become familiar to our ear. Thus instructed and encouraged, he leads us through a new and living way, every step of which is hung with emblems of paternal love, adorned with memorials of redeeming grace; conducts us into the holiest of all, even to our Father's throne; reveals him there surrounded with all the heaped and opulent resources of infinite grace; and then, in order that our confidence and

love might find speech, and our poverty loose itself in boundless wealth, he adds, “Ask, and ye shall receive.'

If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him.'

It will then, I think, be conceded that the character of the Supreme Being, as it came from the hands of Christ, was an original subject, a new gift to the world. It was new in the universal aspect of benevolence which it bears towards man; as opposed to those limited conceptions of his goodness which were cherished, if not propagated, by the Jewish economy: new in its mode of exemplification; for it was seen, not in the works of nature, the operations of providence, or the rites of religion, but in the living incarnation, the real and visible person of his only begotten Son: new in its bestowments; for hitherto, however rich his gifts to his church had been, he had always accompanied them with an assurance that he had yet a gift in reserve in which all good would be summed up; and however various they had been, they all bore some resemblance and relation to each other, in value, at least, if in nothing else; but now in the person of Christ he bestowed the promised gift, eclipsed his former grace, and conferred a donation, which, as it was perfectly original, so it can never be repeated or equalled; since every subsequent donation is only a consequence and part of the gift, and eternity itself will be necessary for the full development of all it contains : new in its paternal aspect; not merely representing him as our Father, but teaching us to address him as such; to regard him as the fountain of all that parental affection which has flown down, generation after generation, through the channel of human hearts; and to believe that all the pity, compassion, and love, which he has ever poured through parental natures, are as nothing compared with what re

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