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Upon these promises, and they shall, if I may so speak, communicate the sacred treasure which they contain, and, we shall live in the enjo3Tment 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. "Givl6 ail diligence," saith the Apostle, "that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless: Daily walkin* before the Lord, in the paths, of uprightness, continually looking unto Jesus, the Author, till he be the perfecter of aur faith: " Beholding as io a glass, the glory of the Lord, v& are changed into the sarae image, from glory to glory, even 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, *' Co.oi« up hither, 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 dependence 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: Tba: 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 iniiniie mercy and love might he extended to his lost and ruined creatures, and his justice, his unspotted purity and holiness, stall remain inviolate. He remaineth just and holy, apd yet, freely and fully justtfieth the ungodly. His goodness and mercy are also displayed, in pardoning our innumerable offences, freely and graciously, when he might Lave bam'-bfid us from his presence for ever, and justly left us, to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire,
Dot is it possible for any one to have scriptural views of this boundless merry aind infinite love of God, and to experience the inestimable benefits flowing therefrom in his own mind, and yet continue in sin and rebellion against God? Hath he not taken the most effectual way to conquer the perverseness of our will, and the enmity of the carnal mind, and to fill oar whole soul with sacred wonder, v,ith sincere lone, and with grateful praise, through the endless ages of eternity } If the Loi d j«stifieth as, when ungodly, 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 sendin Christ into the world, to do for us, what we could not do for 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 righteousmess which his Law required, and which we in our fallen state could not possibly perform, should, in the exercise of his grace which he hath communicated to us, be constantly performed by us. At such an infinite distance is the doctrine of 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 sight of God shining into his mind, gives him the clearest views of the hateful and detestable nature of sin, and its dreadful consequences, and he must hate and despise this accursed thing. The consideration of the love of God extended to him, in the pardon of his sin, will fill his whole soul with gratitude, and must constrain him to love God, in return. And divine grace communicated, 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 the mind wholly to God, and to everything 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 dothany of us die to himself; but whether we live, we liveunto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord; so that, whetlier we o or die, we are the Lord’s.” Here then, we may admire the riches of his grace, in making the way to 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? sa, if with the Apostle, we are labouring to apprehend that, for which we are apprehended of God, in Christ Jesus. . . . . . it is true, we are called to deny ourselves, and to take up' out cross, as well as to deny all ungodliness and worldly-de
sires^ and to bear the various afflictions and trials of the present life, with patience and resignation to the will of God; hut it is equally true, that, the God whom we serve, will alwavs give usstrcngth according to our dav; and not onlv so, but while we see his hand in all the dispensations of Ins providence, and experience the-sufficiency of his grace, the peace and tranquillitv, the comfort and satisfaction, we shall feel in our mind?, naturally arising from the consideration of our being enabled by grace to fulfil the will of God, will more than over-balance any pain that we may feel while un<|er the cross.
Looking unto Jesus, who hath bought us with his precious blood, and who is now interceding for us at the ri^ht-hand of God, how cheerfully may we s:hg,'
"The smoke of thy atonement lierr,
"Darken'cl tliesun, anil 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 downj'
"And call'd his rebels to a crown.
"He still respects thy sacrifice, . . ,
"Us savour sweet, doth always please;
"Diffusing life, and joy, and peace :' -
"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 him, shall sing his everlasting praises, who hath loved us, and washed ns from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God forever. Let us then, like Moses, h;ive respect unto the recompence of reward; let us remember how highly God Tvil! exalt us, how inconceivably happy he will make. us.
In the experience of such abundant mercy and love, ve may well endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ Je--us, till through faith in his name, we gain a complete victory over sin, death and hell; so shall we triumph with hint through eternal ages. Amen ; even so, Lord Jesusi
300 około - THE WELCOME MESSENGER. A. - SERMON. w
Is AIAH LII. 7.
‘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 faith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth "
one voice of the unmerited mercy and #. of God, ready
to be communicated to one and all, who should 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 accomplish the work of our redemption. He saw 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 Prosped of a glorious out-pouring of the spirit of God upon
mankind, and a blessed enlargement of the spiritual kingdom oi Christ upon earth. He saw, with unspeakable delight, that of the increafe of his government and peace there would be no end; that the gofpel of peace should be published to all nations ; and that the Lord would open a door ot salvation to ihe Gentilrs, as well as Jews, although the Gentiles had been accounted the outcafts of mankind.
In this prospeQ 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 fo 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 gofpel in view is beyond all doubt, feeing these words are quoted by St. Paul, and underftoo*! by him, in this fenfe : fo that whatever might be the primary meaning of the words, and however justly they may be applied to the deliverance of the Jews from the Babylonifh captivity ; yet we are sure, that they have a higher meaning, and relate to a far moie 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 difcourfing from them, it may (by the blessing of God) be profitable to us to confider the following particulars.
First. The feet.of thofe who publish the gofpel of peace ought to be beautiful.
Secondly. They ought to appear fo to thofe 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—i. The feet ot thofe who preach the golpelof Christ ought to be beautiful.
When the prophet speaks of the feet of the ministers of Christ being beautiful, he ifeems to reprefent them as travelling through the world, from town to town, and from one village to another, proclaiming the glad tidings of falvation, in the name of their blefled Mailer: but he more especially 'intend.s us to underftand hereby what the minifters of Christ ought to be ; in what fpirit," and temper of mind, they ought to preach the gospel. When our blefled Lord condefcended to walh the feet of his difciples, Peter said unto him, .'Lord. not only my feet, but also my hands and my head." Jesus answered, "He that is wafhed, needeth not save to wain his