Imatges de pÓgina
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izpon these promises, and they shall, if I may so speak, communicate the sacred treasure which they contain, and, we shall live in the enjoyinent of it.

To live to God must also imply, that we live in a state of preparation for, and in full expectation of that glory and blessedness, which the Lord hath prepared for us. all diligence," saith the Apostle, “that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless : Daily walking before the Lord, in the paths of uprigbtness, continually looking unto Jesus, the Author, till he be the perfecter of our faith : “Beholding as ia a glass, the glory of the Lord, We are cbanged into the same image, from glory to glory, eyen as by the Spirit of the Lord." And being fully sanctified, and having finished the work which the Lord had given us to do, he will speak us up to himself, saying, "Come up bither, and take thy seat with me;" and we shall be for ever with the Lord.

He who would be saved by Jesus Christ, must first experience this death to the Law, wholly renounce all de.' pendence upon his own righteousness, being convinced by the Spirit of God, that it is utterly insufficient to plead before the Lord, as the ground of his acceptance, and he must be justified by faith in the Redeemer : That being justified freely from all things, be is bound by every possible tie of gratitude and love to glorify God, by living wholly to him, and for him, all the days of his life.

On this consideration, how may we admire the wisdom and goodness of God. His wisdom in contriving a way, in which his infinite mercy and love might be extended to his lost and ruiped creatures, and his justice, his unspotted purity and holiness, still remain inviolate. He remaineth just and holy, and yet freely and fully justifieth the ungodly. His good nesși and mercy are also displayed, in pardoning our innu. muerable offences, freely and graciously, when he might have banished 'us from his presence for ever, and justly left :us, to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

But is it possible for any one to have scriptural views of thiş boundless mercy and infinite love of God, and to experience the inestimable benefits flowing therefrom in bis own mind, and yet continue in sin and rebellion against God?, Hath be not taken the most effectual way to conquer the perverseness of our will, and the enmity of the carnal mind, and to fill our whole soul with sacred wonder, with sincere love, and with grateful praise, through the endless ages of eternity!:. If the Lord justifieth us, when un

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304 godly, it is not that we may remain'so. He does not design we should continue in sin, that grace might abound towards us; but just the contrary: So the Apostle expressly declares, when he had clearly set forth the love of God, in sending Christ into the world, to do for us, what we could not do ter ourselves, by our obedience to the Law. His design was, “that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Is not the meaning of the Apostle evidently this - The design of God, in bringing us into his favour is, that the righteousness which his Law required, and which we in our fallen state could not possibly perform, should, in the exercise of his grace wbich he hath communicated to us, be constantly performed by us. At such an infinite distance is the doctrine ot justification by faith, from having the most remote tendency to encourage licentiousness! As it raises man up from the ruins of the fall, and gives him a capacity to live to the glory of God : so likewise it lays him under the most powerful obligations to do it. The light of God shining into his mind, gives bim the clearest views of the hateful and detestable nature of sin, and its dreadful consequences, and he must late and despise this accursed thing. The consideratian of the love of God extended to bim, in the pardon of his sim, will fill his whole soul with gratitude, and must constrain him to love God, in return. And divine grace come munícated, strikes at the very root of the tree of original corraption, and directly tends to purify the heart from every sinful propensity, and will turn tbe mind wholly to God, and to every thing that is spiritual and heavenly ; it will follow, of course, that the words of the text shall be fulfilled; « We shall live unto God;" or as it is more fully expressed in another place; None of us liveth to himself, neither doth any of us die to himself ; but whether we live, we liveinto the Lord, or whether we die, we'die unto the Lord ; so that whetlier welive or die, we are the Lord's." Here then, we niay admire the riches of his grace, in making the way 10 eternal life not only plain and clear before our face, but also in bringing us into such a state of mind, that it may be the very deligbt of our soul to walk therein, and thus it will be, while we live in the exercise of that measure of divine grace, which the Lord hath given us; and more especially $Q, if with the Apostle, we are labouring to apprehend that, for which we are apprehended of God, in Christ Jesus.

L is true, we are called to deny ourselves, and to take up Qur cross, as well as to deny all ungodliness and worldly dea.


305 sires, and to bear the various afflictions and trials of the present life, with patience and resignation to the will of God; but it is equally true, that the God whom we serve, will always give us strength according to our day; and not only so, but while we see his hand in all the dispensations of his providence, and experience the-sufficiency of bis grace, the peace and tranquillity, the comfort and satisfaction, we shall feel in our minds, naturally arising from the consideration of our being enabled by grace to fulfil the will of God, will more than orer-balance any pain that we may, feel while under the cross.

Looking unto Jesus, who hath bought us with his precious blood, and who is now interceding for us at the right-hand of God, how cheerfully may we sing,

i The smoke of thy atonenient here,

“ Darken'd the sun, and rent ihe veil,
“ Made the new way to heaven appear,

" And shew'd the great Invisible:
« Well pleas'd in thee, our God look'd down,

" And calı'd his rebels to a crown,

He still respects thy sacrifice,

"lis savour sweet, doth always please ;
The offering smokes through earth and skies,

“ Diffusing life, and joy, and peace : -
“ To these thy lower courts it comes,

" And fills them with divine perfumes.” Thus joyfully may we travel to the holy mount of God, where we shall see him eye to eye in his sacred temple, and living in the full enjoyment of bim, shall sing bis everlasting praises, who hath loved' us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto Godi for ever. Let us then, like Moses, have respect unto the recompence of reward ; let us remember how highly God will exalt us, how inconceivably happy he will make us,

In the experience of such abundant mercy and love, we may well endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ Je-us, till through faith in his name, we gain a complete victory óver sin, death and hell, so shall we triumph with him through cternal ages. Amen; even so, Lord Jesus

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• How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that

bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation ; that l'aith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth !"

N order that the wile and gracious designs of the infinitely blessed God towards mankind might be clearly understood, and fully accomplished : He hath, in every age of the church, raised up, and sent forth his servants, to testify of his good. ness, and to make known unto all, who would attend upon their ministry, the unsearchable riclics of his mercy and loving-kindness, in Christ Jesus, to be obtained by faith in the seed of the woman, the Redeemer of loft mankind, who was promised from the unhappy time that fin entered into the world. The ancient patriarchs, the holy prophets, the Redeemer himself, as well as his faithful servants the apostles, all bore witness to the same truth; and have testified with one voice of the unmerited mercy and grace of God, ready to be communicated 10 one and all, who fhould seek to obtain this sacred treasure at the hand of an infinitely gracious God.

The prophet Isaiah was, in his day, a burning and a shining light in the Jewish church; and was favoured with remarkably. clear views of the merciful designs of God, in sending his well beloved Son into the world, to accom. plish the work of our redemption. He faw the day of the Son of Man, with greater clearness than Abraham, the father of the faithful, did ; and he greatly rejoiced in the happy prospea of a glorious out-pouring of the spirit of God upon


mankind, and a blessed enlargement of the spiritual kingdom of Christ upon earth. He saw, with unspeakable delight, that of the increase of his government and peace there would be no end; that the gospel of peace should be published to all nations, and that ihe Lord would open a door of salvation to the Gentiles, as well as Jews, although the Gentiles had been accounted the outcasts of mankind.

In this prospect he breaks out in holy triumph, in the words of the text; and says : How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who shall be so highly honoured of God, as to be appointed, by Him, to bring these glad tidings to Zion.

That the prophet had the ministers of the gospel in view is beyond all doubt, seeing these words are quoted by St. Paul, and understood by him, in this sense : so that wha!ever might be the primary meaning of the words, and however justly they may be applied to the deliverance of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity ; yet we are sure, that they have a higher meaning, and relate to a far more glorious deliverance ; even that of our being delivered, out of the bondage of fin and corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

Viewed in this light, in discoursing from them, it may (by the blessing of God) be profitable to us to consider the tollowing particulars.

First. The feet of those who publish the gospel of peace ought to be beautiful.

Secondly. They ought to appear so to those unto whom they are sent, or among whom they labour.

Thirdly. The important as well as joyful tidings they are appointed to publish in the name of the Lord.

And-1. The feet of those who preach the golpel of Christ ought to be beautiful.

When the prophet speaks of the feet of the ministers of Christ being beautiful, he seems to represent them as travelling through the world, from town to town, and from one village to another, proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation, in the name of their blessed Master : but he more especially intonds us to understand hereby what the ministers of Christ ought to be ; in what spirit, and temper of mind, they ought to preach the gospel. When our blessed Lord condescended to walk the feet of his disciples, Peter said unto him, "Lord not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus answered, “He that is washed, needeth not save to walh bis


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