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entrance for them, into that kingdom of God: that " cometh to the Father but by him,” John xiv. 6. “. Neither " is there any name under heaven given among men, whereby

they must be saved, but the name of Christ,” Acts iv. 12. Hence the hearts of sinäers shall pant after him, as a hart panteth for the water-brooks. And thus we see upon what grounds Chrilt becomes the desire of all nations. The improvement of all followerh, in five several uses of the point; vis,

1. For information. 2. For examinatioa. 3. For consolation. 4. For exhortation. 5. For direction.

First use, for information First, Is Christ the desire of all nations ; how vile a fin is it, then, in any nation, upon whom the light of the gospel hath Joined, to rejeet Jesus Chrift? And say, as those in Job xxi. 14.

Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." To thrust away his worship, government, and servants, from amongst them; and, in effect, to say, as it is Luke xix. 14: " We will not have this man to reign over us.” Thus did the Jews, Acts xiii. 46. they put away Christ from among them, and thereby judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. This is, at once, a fearful fin, and a dreadful fign. How soon did Vengeance overtake them, like the overthrow of Sodom? O let it be for a warning unto all nations, to the end of the world. He would have gathered the children of Israel under his wings, as a hen doth her brood, even when the Roman Eagle was hovering over them, but they would not; therefore their houses were left unto them defolate, their city and temple made an heap.

Secondly, If Jesus Chrift be the desire of all nations, how incomparably happy, then, must that nation be, that enjoys Chrift, in the power, and purity of his gospel-ordinances! If Christ, under a veil, made Canaan a glorious land (as it is called) Dan. xi. 41. what a glorious place must that nation be, that beholds him with open face, in the bright sun-shine of the gospel ! 0 Eng. Jand, know thy happiness, and the day of thy visitation; what others defire, thou enjoyeft : provoke not the Lord Jesus to depart from thee, by corrupting his worship, longing after idolatry, abusing his meffen gers, and oppresling his people, left his foul depart from thee.

Second use, for examination. If Christ be the desire of all nations, examine whether he be

VOL. II.

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the degre of your souls, in particular; else you shall have no benefit by him. Are your desires, after Christ, true, fpiritual desires ? Reflect, I belecch you, upun the frames and tempers of your hearts.

Can you jay, of your delires atrer Chrilt, as Peter did of his love to Christ? Lord, thou knowelt all things; thou knowelt that I delile thee. Try your delires, as to their Gincerity, by the following characters :

First, Are they vehement, and ardent? Hath Christ the fupreme place, in your desires ? Do you esteem all things to be but drots, and dung, in comparison of the excellencies of Jefus Christ your Lord ? Phil. iii. 8. Is he to you, as the refuge-city to the man-layer? Heb. vi. 18, 19. As a spring of water in a dry place, as the Mhadow of a great rock in a weary land ? Ifa. xxxii. 2. Such vehement desires are true desires.

Secondly, Are your defires after Chritt universal; (i.e.) Is every thing in Chiiit defrable in your eyes? The hypocrite, like che harlot, is for a divided Chrift; they would be called by his name, but live upon their own ftock, la. iv. 1. If his holinefs, and government, his cross, and fufferings, be desirable for his fake; luch univerfal desires are right de fires.

Thirdly, Are your defires after Chrift, industrious desires, using all the means of accomplishing what you defire! You say you defire Chrift, but what will you do to obtain your defires? If you seek him carefully, and incetantly, in all the ways of du. ty; it you will ftrive in prayer, labour to believe, cut off right haods, and pluck out right eyes, (i. o.) be content to part with the most profitable, and pleasant ways of sin, that you may enjoy Christ, the desire of your souls ; theu are your defires right defires.

Fourthly, Are your desires after Christ permanent de fires, or only a fudden motion, or fit which goes off again, without effect! If your defires after Christ abide upon your hearts; if your longings be after him at all times, though not in the fame height and degree; then are your desires, right defires. Chrilt always dwells in the desires of his people; they can feel him in their defires, when they cannot discern him in their love or delight.

Fifthly, Will your desires after Christ admit no satisfaction, nor find rest any where, but in the enjoyment of Christ? Then are your desires right desires. The foul that desires Christ, can never be at rest, till it come home to Christ, 2 Cor. v. 2, 6.

The devil can fatisfy others with the riches aod pleatures of this world, as children are quieted with rattles; but if nothing but Christ can rest, and terminate your desires ; surely such reltlets delirts are right desires.

Phil. i. 23

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Jiji 2, 3

Sixthly, Do your desires after Christ spring from a deep sense of your need and want of Chrift! Hath conviction opened your eyes to tee your milery, to feel your burthens, and to make you len able that your remedy lies only in the Lord Jesus? Ther are your desires right defires. Bread and water are made nccelfary and desirable, by hunger and thirst: by these things try the truth of your desires after Christ.

Third use, for confolation. Do you indeed, upon serious trial, find such desires after Christ, as were described above ? O bless the Lord for that day wherein Chrilt, the desire of all oations, became the desire of your souls; and, for your comfort, kaow that you are happy and bleffed souls at present.

First, Blessed in this, that your eyes have been opened to see both the want and worth of Chrift. Had not Christ applied his precious eye-salve to the eyes of your mind, you could never have desired him; you would have said, with them in Ifa.

"He hath no form por comelinefs, and when we shall “ see him, there is no beauty that we should defire him :" Or, as they to the spoise, Cant. V. 9. • What is thy beloved more * than another beloved ?” O bleffed fouls, enlightened of the Lord; to see those things that are hid from them that perish !

Secondly, You are blessed in this, that your desires after Christ are a fare evidence that the defire of Christ is towards you : had he not first desired you, you could never have desired him. We may say of desires, as it is said of love, we defire him because he first desired us : your defires after Christ are inflamed from the delires of Christ after you,

Thirdly, Blessed in this, that your desires thall surely be fitisfied; Mat. v. 6. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirft af“ ter righteousness, for they shall be filled." Prov. 8. 24. “The " defires of the righteous fhall be granted." God never raifed such defires as these in the souls of his people, to be a torment to them for ever.

Fourthly, Blessed in this, that God hath guided your desires to make the best choice that ever was made in the world: wbilst the desires of others are hunting after riches, pleasure, and hopours in the world; toiling themselves, like children, in pursuic of a painted butter-Ay, which, when they have caught, doth but daub their fingers : God, mean while, hath directed your desires to Christ, the most excellent object in heaven or earth. Any good will satisfy some men ; O happy foul, if none but Chrift can satisfy thee! Pfal. iv. 6.

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Fifthly, Blessed in this, that there is a work of grace certainly wrought upon thy soul; and these very desires after Chrift, are a part chereof.

Sixthly, Blessed in this, that these desires after Christ, keep thy soul active, and working after him continually in the ways of duty; Psal. xxvii. 4. “One thing have I desired, that will I “ seek after." Delire will be a continual spring to diligence and industry, in the ways of duty: the desire of the end, quickens to the use of means, Prov. xviii. i. Others may fall asleep, and cast off duty ; but it will be hard for you to do so, whose fouls burn with desire after Christ,

Seventhly, Blessed in this, that your desires after Christ will make death much the sweeter and easier to you ; Phil. i. 23. “ I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, which is far qr better.” When a Christian was once asked, Whether he was willing to die? He returned this answer *, “Let him be “ unwilling to die, who is yowilling to go to Christ.” And much like it, was that of another, Vivere renuo, ut Cbrifto vivam; I refuse this life, to live with Christ.

Fourth use, for exhortation. In the fourth place, let me exhort and persuade all to make Jesus Christ the desire and choice of their souls. And here ! fall in with the nnaio scope and design of the gospel. And 0 that I could effectually press home this exhortation upon your hearts : let me offer fome moving confiderations to you, and may the Lord accompany them to your hearts.

First, Every creature naturally desires its own preservation ; do not you desire the preservation of your precious and immor. tal fouls! If you do, then make Christ your desire and choice, without whom, they can never be preserved, Jude, ver. 1.

Secondly, Do not your souls carnestly defire the bodies they live ip ? How tender are they over them, how careful to prof vide for them though they pay a dear rent for those tenements they live in.

And is not union with Christ infinitely more de: sirable than the union of soul and body? O covet union with him then shall your souls be happy, when your bodies drop off from them, at death, 2 Cor. V. 1, 3. yea, foul and body shall be happy in him, and with him, for evermore.

Thirdly, How do the men of this world de fire the enjoyments of it? They pant after the dust of the earth; they rise early, siç pp late, eat the bread of carefuloess; and all this for very vani py: Shall a worldling do more for earth, than you for heaven

Iliua eft nolle mori, qui nolle ire ad Chriftum.

Shall the creature be so earnestly desired, and Christ neglected ?

Fourthly, What do all your desires in this world benefit you, if you go christess ? Suppose you had the desire of your hearts in thele things, how long shall you have comfort in them, if you miss Christ?

Fifthly, Doth Christ desire you, who have nothing lovely or desirable in you? And have you no desires after Christ, the most lovely, and desirable one in both worlds ? “ His desires are towards you,” Prov. viii. 31. O make him the desire and choice of your souls.

Sixthly, How absolutely necessary is Jesus Christ to your fouls ? Bread and water, breath and life, are not fo necessary as Christ is;

“ One thing is necessary,” Luke X. 42. and that one thing is Christ. If you miss your desires in other things, you may yet be happy ; but if you miss Christ you are undone for

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ever.

Seventhly, How suitable a good is Christ to your souls? comprising whatsoever they want, I Cor. i. 30. Set your hearts where you will, none will be found to match and suit them, as Christ doth,

Eigthly, How great are the benefits that will redound to you by Jetus Christ ! In him you shall have a rich inheritance settled upon you ; all things shall be yours, when you are Christ's, 1 Cor. iii. 22. And is not such a Christ worth desiring?

Ninthly, All your well-grounded hopes of glory are built upon your union with Christ, 1 Cor. ii 21. If you miss Christ, you must die without hope. Will pot this draw your desires to him ?

Tenthly, Suppose you were at the judgment-feat of God, where you must shortly stand, and saw the terrors of the Lord in that day; the sheep divided from the goats; the sentences of ablolution and condemnation passed, by the great and awful Judge, upon the righteous and wicked: would not Christ be then desireable in your eyes ? As ever you expect to stand with comfort at that bar, let Christ be the desire and choice of your fouls now,

Fifth use, for direction. Do these, or any other considerations, put thee upon this enquiry; how shall I get my desires kindled and enflamed towards Christ? Alas! my heart is cold and dead, not a serious desire stirring in it after Christ. To such I shall offer the following directions.

Direct. 1. Redeem fome time every day for medication; get out of the noise and clamour of the world, Pal. iv. 4. and feri

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