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and all its solemn realities will soon open on your view. Then, careless sinner, it will be with you, " as when a thirsty man dreameth, and behold he drinketh; but he awaketh, and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite." How melancholy the condition of that man who sunk from the ease and affluence of life into the torments of hell! He saw " Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom! And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me; and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame." It seemed a small request; but you know the result: it was not granted. Neither will your thirst of happiness in a future world be gratified, if the way of happiness, made known to you in this world, be refused. Not a drop of this " living water" can be obtained beyond the grave. Here it is that the Gospel is preached, and that its blessings are affectionately urged: reject them, and you are undone: embrace them, and you are blessed for ever. "Behold! now is the accepted time: behold! now is the day of salvation."
2. But all are not ignorant and careless: in some, there is the dawn of desire, the beginning of thirst for this " living water;" and you are ready to adopt the reply of this female to the words of the text: "Give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw." You feel your spiritual necessity; you discover the great Source of supply; you long to partake of the grace which is in Christ, to taste of the refreshing streams that flow from this Fountain. Cherish the desire by all means. It is a token for good. Come to the Saviour, however many and urgent your wants, however large the wishes of your heart: spread all your requests at his feet, and plead
with him thus: "Blessed Jesus! hast thou not £:ven me this desire, and wilt thou disappoint it? Wilt thou not glorify thine own character, and thine own work, and exalt the riches of thine own grace? Shall I thirst for thy salvation in vain? No! Thy word of promise will not permit it: thy tears of pity forbid it: thy wounds, and groans, and blood, convince me of the compassion of thine heart, and assure me of thy readiness to save and to bless."
Come to Jesus with such sentiments as these, and you will find relief; plead with him, in a spirit of humble faith and holy importunity, and you will certainly prevail.
3. Some have drunk of this " living water;" you have " tasted that the Lord is gracious." And what is incumbent on vou?
O be thankful! The liveliest gratitude becomes you, for the distinguished love and kindness of God your Saviour. Let this gratitude be expressed, not in words of praise, and a plausible profession merely; but in the warm affection of your hearts, and by the cheerful obedience of your lives.
Remember also, your constant need of Christ; and daily renew your application to him. The refreshment you have found will not suffice for future days. The stream that flowed to the Israelites in the desert, attended them in all their removes: they still "drank of the rock that followed them; and that rock was" an instructive emblem of " Christ." Now this, believers, is precisely your privilege: the grace of the Saviour, inexhaustible in its fulness, and present in its supplies, is ever accessible; and, in all your journey through the wilderness, invites your most frequent application. Draw near, encouraged by invaluable promises, which give energy to faith, and ensure success to hope.
But keep in mind, that on you rest peculiar obligations to seek the salvation of others. When the eyes of Hagar were opened, " and she saw a well of water," she not only went and took a supply for herself; but she gave to her child, and he also drank.— And are you refreshed with this "living water?" Forget not the condition of your families and of your friends. Are not their necessities similar to your own? And does not the affection you feel prompt you to seek their happiness? What can we think of that parent, that husband, that master, whose only care is for himself, and who seems content, that his nearest connexions should perish in ignorance and sin? Remember also, that your neighbours around you, and the world at large, are all in urgent need of this " living water;" and are you not aiding its universal diffusion? Surely, it is at once your duty and your honour to do so. "Be ready to distribute, willing to communicate" of this inestimable good. It may be dispensed to others, without impoverishing yourselves; rather you hereby become enriched. The blessings of grace, in Christ Jesus, are a fountain; and the wider its streams are diffused, the deeper they become: while the fountain itself remains inexhaustible, ever rising, and "springing up into everlasting life."
THE LIGHT OF TRUTH.
PSALM cxix. 130.
The entrance of thy words giveth light.
J\-lAN is not what he originally was: created in the image of his Maker, the resemblance is gone; knowledge is lost in ignorance, and holiness is sunk in depravity and guilt. In reflecting on our present state and character, we have much cause of grief and shame; for, with all our external advantages, we are strangely unacquainted with what is right, prone to evil, and averse to good: "having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in us, because of the blindness of the heart."
But there is a remedy exactly meeting the disease of fallen man: there is life for the "dead in trespasses and sins:" there is "light for them that sit in darkness, and in the region and shadow of death."—The entrance of thy words giveth light.
Were any of us in a state of natural blindness, deprived of sight, lost to all the beauties of creation, and to the numberless advantages of vision; how welcome would be the news of light? How cheering the thought that the power of enjoying it might be attained! But here is light for the mind; the light of truth and grace beaming on the heart, and diffusing its benign influence through all the faculties of the soul! It is a subject on which we may speculate; but let us desire to feel it: let us pray that our knowledge of it may be personal and experimental.
The text implies—that the words of God are a Lighx—that there are Hindrances To The AdMission of this light into the heart—that these obstructions May Be Removed—and that when removed, the most Beneficial Effects are produced, and must follow.
I. The words of God are a Light.
No effect can rise higher than its cause, and nothing can impart what it does not possess; that which gives light on its entrance into the human heart, must be light, or at least have the property of communicating light. Thus David speaks: "Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Solomon also: " For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and the reproofs of instruction are the way of life." The Apostle Paul mentions with emphasis, "the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ;" and Peter, referring to the same revelation of truth and grace and love, calls it " a light that shineth in a dark place, whereunto we do well that we take heed."
But the words of God are not a light within us, but without us; a visible and external benefit. The sun in the firmament diffuses its beams, it shines abroad, but has no power of giving sight: a man who is born blind, or who has lost the faculty of seeing, is strictly in darkness, notwithstanding the existence of day- In like manner, the holy Scriptures