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finally produce the joyful harvest contemplated in ou text, and will load, with ripe sheaves, the blessed Redeemer of the world, who in sorrow went forth and sowed his precious seed.
When the fulness of the different times, which intervene between seed-time and harvest, have passed away, and the hand of labor is abundantly rewarded with a plenteous harvest, then the husbandman realizes the end of his toils, and comes from his field, re joicing, bringing his sheaves with him. So, when the fulness of times shall have passed away, for the perfecting of the work of the gospel ministry, he that sowed in tears shall reap in joy. All shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest; and the knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
As the husbandman, who commits the precious wheat to the bosom of the earth, and waits for the early and the latter rains, receives to his full satisfaction the plenteous harvest, so we are certified that Jesus shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied. O the blessed assurance ! Shall Jesus, who sowed in tears reap as large a harvest as will fill his vast desires ? Yes, “ for by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.” Jesus gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due
He will never be satisfied until his “ ransomed shall all return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Every convert to God, every ransomed soul that returns and comes to Zion, brings a ripe sheaf of the precious grain of love to God and love to man, which Jesus sowed in tears. It should be distinctly understood, that the design of the Saviour in sowing the good seed in the world, was that it might bring forth the fruit of righteousness.
Here then let us examine the argument which the doctrine of limited salvation urges against the final happiness of all men. The argument is this; It is not
right in the sight of God, to bestow the same felicity on the wicked, as he does on the righteous. This is our opposer's argument, but we say it does not, in the least, affect the merits of the subject. This objection only shows that the opposer is totally ignorant of what he endeavors to disprove. The question is, is it just and right in the sight of God to bring sinners to repentance, and convert the ungodly to holiness? This is the question, and our opposer ought to understand it; for if he could see that, in order to disprove the doctrine for which we contend, he must show that it is not right to convert the sinner to God, he would cease to oppose.
Jesus said, as has been before noticed,“ that he came to call sinners to repentance.” St. Paul says, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” But let us keep in mind, that Jesus saves his people from their sins ; not in their sins, as our opposers seem to insinuate that we believe.
There are two particulars respecting the harvest under consideration, which may be distinctly noticed.
First. The quality of the grain to be gathered in. This is righteousness. « Such as a man sows, such shall he also reap.” Jesus sowed the doctrine of love, of faith, of repentance, of hope, of charity, of forgiveness, of doing to others as we would that they should do to us; such will he reap. Had he sown the doctrine of eternal hatred, final impenitence, endless enmity, death and condemnation, he would expect to reap a harvest of the same kind. Those who preach such doctrines now, expect to see such a harvest, and they very often speak of the tremendous day, when the ripe sheaves will be gathered in. But who will come rejoicing bringing in such a harvest ?
Secondly. The extent of the harvest is a subject that claims our notice. Jesus represented the future extent of his doctrine, by the parable of the mustardseed, which a man took and sowed in his field; which indeed is the least of all seeds ; but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree; so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." Also, by the parable of the leaven, “ which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." There is a beautiful indication of the same in the 72d Psalm, as follows : “ There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon; and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.” Isaiah says, “Thy people shall be all righteous." And speaking of the Prince of Peace, he says; “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” David says, “All kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him-All the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's; and he is the governor among the nations." This extensive harvest was seen by St. John, on the isle of Patmos, as he thus describes : “I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” This is the rejoicing of the extensive harvest. And though this vast multitude of all nations, &c. were seen together, there were white robes ” enough for them all.
My hearers-You were all seen in this vision ; the robe of righteousness is ready for you. The time will come when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Though the mustard-seed was despised when the Saviour planted it, and though it lie à long time in the earth, its glory will unfold, and its increase shall satisfy the capacious desires of him who came to call sinners to repentance.
Dr. Watts says ;
“ Though seed lie buried long in dust,
ENTERING INTO LIFE MAIMED; AND BEING CAST INTO
MARK ix. 43, 44.
And if thy band offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched; where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched
Some of the motives which have inclined the speaker to call the attention of this audience to the consideration of this portion of divine truth are the following:
1. There is, perhaps, no passage in the scriptures, that has been more commonly used to lead the minds of people to believe in the doctrine of endless misery, and to be exercised with the fear of such a state, than this. And as one of the objects of these lectures is to disprove such a doctrine, and to show that the passages, which are usually quoted in its support, are misapplied, it seems proper to notice this passage in a way to show the error of its common use.
2. That the opportunity may be embraced to enforce the argument of the text to induce the mind to submit to any privations, which are necessary to the discharge of that christian obedience by which we enter into the spiritual life of the spirit of truth.
We may, in the first place, institute an inquiry, directed to satisfy the mind respecting the usual application of this scripture to a future state of endless misery.
In giving to this inquiry such a form as may tend to