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Father? Who but He has removed all the dark coverings of ignorance, and superstition, and sin, which, till He came, had hidden, as it were, God
, out of man's sight, and revealed Him to us in all His gracious perfections — a God that cares for His creatures, and can feel for His creatures, and that delights in His creatures' happiness, giving us all things richly to enjoy ?
Who but Jesus Christ has made it plain that our God is a God of mercy and love? not a God to be approached with sacrifice and meatofferings, and offerings for sin, but to be approached as a most kind Father, with the offering of loving hearts, with deeds of justice, and mercy, and truth?
If, then, any man is athirst for God -- if there be, as there needs must be in
every thinking soul, a desire to know God as He really is, and to be acquainted with Him, this is the way to have that desire fulfilled.
Go unto Jesus Christ. Study His words, study His works; for He is the image of the invisible God. When we have seen Him we have seen the Father!
Again, what soul does not thirst to have the cord of its sin untied ? to be set free from that most cruel bondage, to be delivered from the power of darkness, to know itself to be forgiven ? There is no thirst more deep than this, no thirst so hard to bear unsatisfied; and what is the remedy for it? Surely it is to be sought in the same quarter —even in Jesus Christ. If any man thirst — thirst to be forgiven all sin, let him go unto Christ and drink. There is no exception, no limitation, no restriction. The invitation is for all, and always. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ! Come ye unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood !
Drink, and drink again, O sinner, from the fountain that issues from the wounded side! For He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all !
Once more. Apply the words before us to that great longing of the heart of man—the longing for another life when this is over. We all feel that longing. We all desire to have our existence prolonged beyond the short span of the days of our human pilgrimage. We all shrink and shudder at the bare thought of annihilation. We think
We comfort ourselves amid our present cares and trouble with a hope of a better world hereafter,
any life better than no life at all.
in which there shall be no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain !
But what ground have we for this ? What right have we to suppose that we shall survive the grave ? Who has set before us the blessed hope of an everlasting life?-given it to us for an anchor for our soul, sure and stedfast ?
Why, the same Lord Jesus Christ. To His great word of promise we turn, what time the fear of death falls heavy upon our spirit, and we do not turn to it in vain. The cold shadow of the grave, like a morning cloud, is driven away before the great utterance-I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die !
You see then, brethren, that it is as I have said that in Jesus Christ we have all that we require; that He is, in very truth, an all-sufficient Saviour. You see that with Him is the well of life-a well deep and never-failing, from which we may drink to the satisfying of our soul, to the fulfilling of its greatest and most pressing needs.
Oh, if you have not made proof of this already, delay not longer so to do. Oh, taste and see how gracious the Lord is! Oh, come, as He invites you, and drink of what He offers you--drink of the fountain of the water of life freely! Come to
Him -come to Jesus Christ to have
sins forgiven you —come to Him to be quickened into a new life, to see and know how beautiful a thing goodness is, and to have the desire of it, the desire to be good, awakened in your own hearts. Come to Him that you may be confirmed in your belief of a resurrection, that you may read your title to an eternal inheritance— may have, and hold fast, never to be parted with, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which is God's great gift to mankind in Christ Jesus !
In a word, whatever your want,— whatever your deepest and sorest need, that which your soul most thirsts after, most pressingly demands, take that want to Jesus Christ. Pray Him to satisfy it. Remind Him of His promise, how He has said in His Gospel, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink !
CHRIST TEACHETH TO PRAY,
Sr. LUKE, xi. 1, 2.
And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certuin
place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And He said unto theni, When ye pray, say, Our Father.
THERE is much matter in these words for our thoughtful consideration, much in the heading of the chapter from whence they are taken, Christ teacheth to pray.
For, first of all, notice what is told us in the opening words of my text — And it came to pass, that, as He was praying. Who is it that thus made it a habit of His life to pray ? Of whom we read, not as if it were any novelty, but only that which was usual and customary with Him, that He was praying? Why, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God, the equal of