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griefs, and carried our sorrows, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Chapter liii.-For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, ix. 6, 7. And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth, for the Lord hath spoken it. Chapter xxv. 6, 7, 8.
What says Jeremiah? Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable? For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord, because they called thee an outcast, saying this is Zion whom no man seeketh after. Thus saith the Lord, Behold I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places: and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving, and the voice of them that make merry, and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them and they shall not be small. And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. Chapter xxx. and all this in consequence of the fearful exhibition narrated verse 23. Behold the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind, it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. Either on Jesus Christ who was made sin for us, who is the head of every man, or, finally, on that wicked spoken of by the apostle Paul, in his second epistle to the Thessalonians, ii. 8. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming. Again, Jeremiah, xxxiii. 5, 6, 7, 8. I have slain in mine anger, and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city. Behold I will bring health and cures and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of
peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah, and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me, and I will pardon all their iniquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And, verses 15, 16, In those days, and at that time will I cause the branch of of righteousness to grow up unto David and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely, and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.
But let us inquire of the prophet Ezekiel, who, notwithstanding all that is said of the blind and rebellious people, assures us, chapter xvi. 60, 62, 63, that God remembers his covenant, I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. That thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done saith the Lord God." Ezekiel informs us, xxxiv. 29. "And I will raise up for them a plant of renown and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more." We are told,verse 30, Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God." The prophet Daniel in the second chapter, and fortyfourth verse, asserts positively, that the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and, in his 7th chapter, and 17th verse, we are made acquainted with the nature of this kingdom which is never to be destroyed. "And there was given him a kingdom, dominion, and glory, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." But why, permit me to ask, shall not this kingdom be destroyed? are not sinners threatened with destruction, and is there an individual who liveth, and sinneth not? This illustrious writer, (ix. 24,) furnisheth a ready answer. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness" and again, verse 26, "And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:" This ministry of reconciliation was committed unto the apostles, to wit, God was in Christ reconciling
the world unto himself, not imputing unto them their transgressions: So says the prophet Isaiah. "The Lord laid on him (Jesus) the iniquities of us all, he was wounded for our transgressions." The testimony of Daniel is strongly corroborative. "He shall be cut off, but not for himself, he shall finish the transgression, he shall make an end of sin: after which, adds the apostle, having put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, he shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
My preaching, both in private and publick, amounts to no more than affectionate and devout solicitations to the wandering children of men, to behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, who died for the sins of the world, who was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, who came into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved ; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, who tasted death for every man, and who, by consequence, became indeed, and not in word only, the perfect, unequivocal Saviour of all men. It was this redeeming God who I preached unto you when I first saw you. Your mental agonies were then very great, you did not know that God was your father, your reconciled father. The whisperer had separated between you, and your choice friend, he had persuaded you that he who created you was your enemy, and you therefore feared, but did not love your maker. But when I had the felicity of showing you, that this tender, kind, compassionate father of your immortal spirit, so loved you as to give you his son, and with this son freely gave you all things, you believed this good report, and you had peace and joy in believing. You joined your glad voice, gratefully declaring, We love him, because he first loved us, you continued for a time strong in this faith, giving glory to God.
No, positively no, this was no "dream," no vision of an inflated, or heated imagination. It was a well grounded hope, full of immortality, the self-same hope which Abraham cherished, when he believed, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. No, I did not retail to you a "cunningly devised fable,” but I faithfully delivered the message of my God, I found you in a perturbed sleep, scared by dreams, and terrified by visions, but God directed me to awaken you from sleep, and to point you to the irradiating morning of light, and your eyes were opened, you saw the light, and you joyfully exclaimed, "now I believe, not because
he told me, but because I see for myself, yea, you walked in the light, for you walked by faith, and not by sight, yea, you did cheerfully run the race set before you, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith, even that faith which is not of yourself, which faith, blessed be God, will never fail, no, not even when the faith which is of ourselves becomes the victim of despair. Thus, my friend, you did run well, who hath hindered you? Alas! the inquiry is unnecessary. It is the same who hindered the apostle from visiting his Christian brethren. It is that wicked who sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God, and opposing himself to all that is called God, and worshipped. It is he who, enveloping the mind, preventeth the light of the knowledge of the glorious gospel from shining upon the heart. It is this archdeceiver that hinders you from running the race that was set before you. But, blessed be the name of our God, he that now lets will soon be taken out of the way, he shall be revealed in his time, and with his false spirit of prophecy, who now deceives the nations, shall both be cast into the lake of fire. The nations shall then be deceived no more. The whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. And to know God is life eternal. We shall then see the perfect love of God which perfect love will cast out fear, we shall then feel that in love there is no fear, and of course we shall not then be tormented. It is not the spirit of Emmanuel which gendereth fear. The spirit of Emmanuel is eminently a comforter, but it is the spirit of bondage, which produceth fear, and the fear originating in this spirit, hath torment. While you were looking with a single eye to the Redeemer, and the peace established between the offended, and offending natures, by the blood of the cross, you had no fear, and having no fear you had no torment, and if you would again turn to your redeeming God, you would be rescued from the torment you now endure. O! that you could hear the voice of your beloved saying, return unto me, my poor backsliding daughter, I will heal your infirmities and love you freely. O! that you could hear the voice of your faithful Creator, who says thy maker is thy husband, and who hateth putting away. Yea, he declareth, although you have played the harlot with many lovers, yet return unto me, for I am married unto you, saith the Lord." Could you, I say, thus hear the voice of your God, and even if you be deaf to its language, He still speaketh, you would then know you were beloved of your friend although an adultress, Hosea, iii. 1, you would then listen while VOL. I.
this Almighty friend proclaimeth, in the 13th chapter of this same prophecy. "And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, saith the Lord. Therefore wil! I allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And I will betroth thee unto me forever: Yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord. And I will have mercy upon her that hath not obtained mercy, and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God." Such is the character of the Creator, and such that of the creature, and these the expressive figures made use of to delineate the attributes of the one, and the other. Could you, I repeat, hear the just God, and the Saviour, thus speaking to your nature in the aggregrate, life and peace would result, and you would rapturously exclaim, as when you first catched the soul reviving sound, "O Lord, I will praise thee, for thou hast clothed me with the garments of salvation; and covered me with the robe of righteousness. You would then feel, and confess that your doubts were your infirmities. The voice of omnipotence mildly reproving you, and soothingly questioning, Wherefore didst thou doubt, O ye of little faith! benignly adding, "It is I, be not afraid."This question, and this assurance from the lip of truth, would banish your sorrows, and silence every complaint, your soul would magnify the Lord, and your spirit rejoice in God your Saviour. You would unite with the angels of heaven, saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men; you would hail the era which rescued you from the power of Satan, which emancipated you from the dominion of the law, and placed you under a dispensation of grace. No, assuredly I have not dealt lightly with the sacred word of my God. I was serious when I addressed you as a lost sinner, and when I added that Jesus Christ, coming to seek and save such as were lost, found, and restored all those who were driven away. I was very serious when I told you, the wrath of God was revealed from heaven against all ungodliness, and unrighteousness of men and I was devoutly serious, when I added, that we were delivered from wrath, through