My soul! wouldest thou, by faith, review some more than ordinary representation of the Lord Jesus, to melt the finer feelings of thy heart, in the contemplation of his unequalled condescension and love? Let this be it, which the evangelist hath here drawn of the Son of God. Behold him, encircled with poor publicans and sinners, alluring them to the arms of his mercy; and behold the self-righteous pharisees and scribes withdrawing from the sacred spot, and with all that indignation and scorn, which marked their character, murmuring at the grace of Jesus, saying, "This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them!" Well is it for thee, my soul, that the Son of God hath received sinners; else how should I have been looked upon by him? And well is it that his table hath been spread for sinners; or how should I have been fed by him? Yea, Lord, is it not the very feature of thy rich dispensation of mercy, that it is for sinners, as sinners, that thou didst come down from heaven, to seek and save them? And who but sinners, should Jesus, the great Saviour of sinners receive, and eat with? Will the Lord allow me, this evening, to dwell upon the sweet subject, and run over some of the blessed thoughts, which arise out of this view of my compassionate and all-loving Lord? Why then, I would say to my soul, remember, when thy Jesus first received thee as a sinner, thou wert hastening on to ruin; and it was then, of all moments the most alarming, when thou didst merit hell, that Jesus received thee, and promised thee heaven. And do not forget how truly seasonable was the mercy; for thou wast then living without hope, without God, and without Christ in the world, when Jesus brought thee nigh by the blood of his cross. And never, surely, was mercy more unexpected, less sought for, or less esteemed, than when Jesus surprised thee with the manifestations of his grace, and made thee willing in the day of his power. Precious Redeemer! the pharisee's reproach shall be my joy; and what they spoke of my Lord in contempt, shall henceforth be the chief note in my evening song to his praise: - 'This man, this God-man, receiveth sinners and eateth with them, for he hath received me, the chief of sinners, and eaten with me.' Lord Jesus! ever receive me, the poorest, the most unworthy of all the objects of thy grace. Come in, Lord, to my poor house, to my heart, and bring me to thine house and to thy table; and there let it be noticed, and known to every beholder, while my soul is feasting itself in the rich enjoyment, that "Jesus receiveth sinners, and eateth with them."
From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.
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