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join in those immortal songs, which, though they cannot fully, shall for ever, celebrate "the unspeakable gift" of God.

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Suffer me, therefore, in a few words, to specify some particulars, in which your estimation of this matchless gift may be displayed, and your gratitude for it proved.

First, then, has God bestowed on us a gift of such inestimable worth? ought we not to imitate his grace, in our conduct, to our fellow-creatures, and in the government of our own minds?" Beloved, "if God so loved us, we ought also to love one ano"ther."* And let us not love in word, neither

"in tongue, but in deed, and in truth." And can any lust be so dear to us, any object of desire so valuable, as the only begotten Son was to the Father? Let us, then, in return, " crucify the flesh, "with the affections and lusts ;" and present ourselves 66 a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God; which is our reasonable service."§ Again, the unspeakable gift," if its worth be duly regarded, and the obligation conferred in it duly felt, will teach us humility. If God condescended to give his well-beloved and eternal Son, to be clothed with the frailty of our nature, and to endure the shame and agony of the cross, for sinful dust and ashes; if that Son condescended to be so given, and to be thus made low; ought we not to be humbled, that our guilt was such as to render all this needful? ought we not, with cheerfulness, to stoop to any act of humility, by which we may benefit ourselves or others?

Farther, if the Saviour be a gift of such incom1 John iv. II. † Ibid. iii. 18. ‡ Gal. v. 24. § Rom. xii. 1.

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parable value, this may serve to shew us, and may teach us to feel for the desperate condition of those, by whom he is rejected. Christ is the Father's best, his last gift to men. To reject him is contempt of God, and scorn of all that his grace can do for their redemption. It is, therefore, deliberately to choose their own destruction, and to set their seal to the sentence of their own condemnation. "He that believeth on him is not condemned; but "he that believeth not on him, is condemned already; because he hath not believed in the name "of the only begotten Son of God."* Should we suppose that men may be saved, while they reject Christ, we must suppose them to be saved, either against their wills, by a salvation and a Saviour whom they will not accept,-which is contrary to the constitution of their nature; or in their sins,which is in opposition to the unalterable laws of the moral universe.-Let us be moved with compassion, then, for those who still neglect "the unspeakable

gift." Let us fervently pray that their eyes may be opened. And let us be jealous over ourselves; let us diligently examine our own state; lest we come into their condemnation. "For if the word spoken "by angels was stedfast, and every transgression "and disobedience received a just recompense of "reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?"+

But the chief purpose, for which we have illustrated this subject, was to excite you to thankfulness, the grace which ought to predominate in your minds, while you commemorate, in the sacrament of the supper, the Father's "unspeakable gift.” + Heb, ii. 2, 2.

↑ John iii. 18.

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And in order to this, I conclude with remarking, that that gift differs from every other bounty of heaven, not only in its intrinsic greatness, but in the manner in which it ought to be received and entertained. In receiving our other mercies, we ought to look to the giver, rather than to them; to fix not on them, but on him, our affections and esteem. And, alas! we are but too apt to, let our views stop short of him, and to permit his gifts to usurp his place in our hearts.-Even the graces of his Spirit given to us are not to be, in themselves only, the subjects of our contemplation and our joy. They would then be apt to fill us with vanity and self-conceit. The glory of them is to be ascribed to the author of every good and perfect gift. "Who," says Paul," maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not "receive?" But of the gift unspeakable you cannot think too constantly; you cannot exalt it too highly, or glory in it too warmly. It is the character of the saints, that, " believing in Jesus, they "rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory."+ Therefore," let not the wise man glory in his wis"dom; neither let the mighty man glory in his "might; let not the rich man glory in his riches ;" "but he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." Yea, "God forbid," exclaims the apostle, "God "forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our "Lord Jesus Christ!" And every one who has felt his obligations, as the apostle felt them, will adopt the saying. Neither is there any reason to fear, that the frequency of our meditations on "the un"speakable gift," or the intensity of the attachment

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I 1 Cor. iv. 7. †1 Peter i. 8. Jer. ix. 23. and 2 Cor. 2, 17. § Gal. vi. 14.

which we entertain towards it, shall lead us to forget, or to neglect its giver: for "he that receiveth "me," said Jesus, "receiveth him that sent me."* And this is the Father's will, "that all men should "honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not "the Father, which hath sent him." While you give thanks unto the Father, therefore, see also that you glorify his gift.-And while we thus exult in the value of that gift, there is no danger to ourselves that we shall be thereby puffed up. For to think highly of Jesus, is to think of ourselves as we ought to think. The more just and exalted our ideas of him, the more clearly we shall perceive, the more strongly we shall feel our own sinfulness and demerit. If, too, it was necessary for our salvation, to give up one so great and good, to the degradation and the misery which we were just contemplating; in a light how striking does that place the guilt and helplessness of our nature! That guilt must have been atrocious, that depravity by every created mean incurable, that state desperate, which could not be atoned for but by such a sacrifice, cleansed but by the streams of the Redeemer's blood, and relieved but by exertions which cost him so dear. "If one died for all, then were all dead."Of this gift, then, infinitely dear and precious, entertain the most exalted esteem; encourage towards it the most rapturous joys. Let your joy give energy to your gratitude; and let your esteem be expressed by your desires to enjoy it, your preference of it, and the fervent adoration with which

you regard it. And on this day magnify it, by

* John xiii. 20.

† Ibid. v. 23.

+ 2 Cor. v. 14.

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celebrating, with affectionate devotion, the memorial of the painful and ignominious, but meritorious sufferings and death, in which the condescension of the giver, and the greatness of the gift, are so eminently displayed.

Now, to God the Father, the independent and self-sufficient Jehovah, who, unmoved by any views of accession to his own felicity, out of his mere goodness, formed man upon the earth, and bestowed on him a rational, an immortal nature, capable of contemplating his Creator, and of tasting divine joys:

To Him, who gave his only Son, the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, a free gift to sinful men, to rescue them from deserved perdition, and endow them with more than the happiness which they had lost:

To Him also, who humbled himself to tabernacle in our nature, and to share the frailties of our fallen state; to suffer the contradiction and the malice of sinners; yea, to bear the wrath, and to experience the dereliction of his eternal Father; that he might raise us rebels to a participation of his royal dignity, of his divine nature, and immortal bliss:

Even to God, infinitely gracious, and to the Saviour, infinitely compassionate, be ascribed glory, blessing, and praise, by all the company of the redeemed, on earth, and in heaven, world without end!

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!" and thanks be to him who condescended to be given! AMEN!

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