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pelled by instinctive urgencies, or external force. We are not driven, but “ drawn.” We are conscious, voluntary agents in every step we take; and though drawn powerfully, the will consents to every motion, and the understanding perceives a sufficient motive for every movement in advance. There is no doubt a spiritual influence and a divine power that operates upon the soul, in order to draw men effectually : But without going deeply into inquiries respecting the mode and measure of this operation, we shall refer to some of the methods usually employed for drawing men after Christ; adhering, as we proceed, to experience, and bringing experience itself to be tried by the written word,
1. The Redeemer draws believers after him, by showing them the reality and the greatness of his love, in laying down his own life for them. We know that a generous action has a great influence on the human heart; and that an instance, especially some signal instance of devoted love, tends mightily to excite a corresponding affection in us, towards the person who shows it. But what love appears comparable to the love of a dying Saviour? To see him oppressed and afflicted to see him stricken
and smitten of God to see his visage marred with grief, and his body afflicted with cruel stripes—to see him go forth bearing his cross in silent anguish, like a sheep to the slaughter, and at length to behold him pierced and fixed to the crossa spectacle of derision to the heathen--forsaken by his disciples -forsaken, too, of his God; that he might be made a curse in the sight of heaven and earth! Ah! when our very souls are affected into deepest sympathy for the sufferings of One who did no sin, and had been as eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, and comfort to those who had no help of man; the heart is well prepared for receiving any impression in favour of such a Benefactor to man, expiring in distress.
But when we look a little farther into the case, we perceive something that touches our souls more closely than the general view of unmerited distress had done. For on going on to read the record of God, we learn that “himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree; that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities ; yea, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.”. Astonished at such a dis
covery, and overcome with a grace--a generosity-a love that passeth all knowledge, the believer looks to a Saviour, suffering for him on the cross, and exclaims, “ Thou hast bought me with thy blood !. My Lord, and my God, hast thou endured so much for me, and shall I not follow thee? Yea, let every attachment yield to such love! I will run after thee !" : Thus strongly does the believing view of a suffering Saviour draw us after him. The love of Christ constrains us. It operates with the force of a perpetual and invinci. ble motive. And this is what himself testified, when he said, “ If I be lifted up, I will draw all' men unto me.” A dying Christ, is a drawing Christ. The very sight of a Saviour on the cross sensibly draws. “ Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that, though he was rich, for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” “ I drew them with cords of a man-with bands of love.” Benefits are the cords of a man, which, taking fast hold of the affections, draw them, and where the affections are drawn, the man follows. Now, what can move our affections more tenderly and more powerfully than the belief of
such grace in Jesus, and the knowledge of such love love that led him to die for us, even when we were enemies? Surely, in proportion to the strength of our faith in Christ crucified, will we be drawn to renounce all for his sake.
It was said by the Lord unto the prophet, “ Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Ah! who can resist loving-kindness! Mere power, however absolute in requisition, will not draw us; aspects of majesty overawe, and manifestations of glory without accompaniments of grace, make us afraid. A complex dread, the fear of creatures before God, and the fear of eriminals before a judge, dwelleth in us and drives into distance. But no sooner do the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appear in the records of his mercy, and in the sufferings of the cross, than we feel our whole hearts give way, and we are drawn to follow hard, to run after him, by bands of irresistible grace, constraining our affections, and winning us to devotedness with unreluctant consent. Nothing but blind unbelief can stand on Calvary, and feel no attractions of Christ!
In inquiring in what manner, and by
what means, the Saviour draws men after him, we have begun with the doctrine of his death. For nothing detaches us more powerfully from the holdings of a present evil world; nothing so effectually breaks the cords of natural lusts, and habitual sins, which draw us into distance, and detain us far from God; nothing so disengages our hearts from every unholy tie and entanglement of sensual life, and binds us to Christ-to be drawn after him at his will; as to see Jesus in the grace of his mani. festation in the flesh, loving us, and giving himself for us. Believest thou this, o man! and wilt thou not run after him ? doubtless thou wilt not refuse.
But we need more than to have our affections touched and acted upon by motives adapted to their nature. We are furnished with faculties of a high and intellectual kind, which, to be gained to Christ, require inducements corresponding to their intellectual character. And this leads to remark,
II. That the Redeemer draws believers after him by manifestation of his personal excellence and glory; thereby captivating the understanding to devotion, and winning the superior faculties of the soul into admi.