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“ ly exalted hiin,” and “ hath put all things “ under his feet, and hath given him to be “ head over all things to the church." \ Accordingly Christ himself fays (Matth. xi. 27.), « All things are delivered unto ine of my fa
ther;" and (Matth. xxviii. 18.)," All pow“ er is given unto' me in heaven and in “ earthi” - Every good and perfect gift, therefóre, must be conveyed to us through his hands; and it is not only a vain, but I may even call it an impious attempt, to address God immediately for those blessings which he hath already given to his Son, and committed to his disposal as King of Zion, for the behoof of his true and spiritual subjects. · All the promises in Scripture 'must necessarily be explained in a consistency with this great fundamental truth; and when the persons to whom they are addressed are described by any moral qualification, such as righteousness, mercifulness, and the like, it must always be underftood, that they are previously in a state of friend!hip with God; and that these qualifications are mentioned, not as the terms of their acceptance with him, but only as the fruits and evidences of that faith which unites them
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to Christ, in whom all the promises are “Yea and Amen.”
Would any then know, whether they may apply to themselves the gracious and comfortable promise in my text, they must first of all try their relation to Christ. If they are still unacquainted with this great and only Mediator between God and man ; if they have never fled to him as their city of refuge, nor accepted of him as the “Lord their righ“ teousness and their strength;" it is certain that they have no part nor lot in this matter. For nothing can be more express than those words of John the Baptist (John iii. 36.), “ He that believeth on the Son, hath everlast“ ing life ; but he that believeth not the Son, “shall not see life, but the wrath of God " abideth on him.” Whereas, on the other hand, if, from a deep conviction of your guilt and misery, you have cordially accepted the Lord Jesus Christ for all the purposes of a Saviour; if you can say without any known guile, that, renouncing all other grounds of confidence, you depend on him alone for pardon and peace, for grace and glory, and evesy good thing; if you have the evidence of Z 2
your faith in Christ, and of your union to him, which arises from the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost oti your tempers and your lives, determining you to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, and righteously, and godly, in the world; then are you the friends of God, and may lawfully confider yourselves as the persons to whom he hàth said, “I will never leave thee nor for“ fake thee.”* And, for your farther encouragement, I shall now go on to the
Tbird general head, and briefly suggest to you some of those grounds of assurance upon which you may confidently rely for the accomplishment of this promise. Consider, then,
11t, Who he is that hath said this. “He is “ not man, that he should lie, nor the son of “ man, that he should repent." These are the words of God himself, who is incapable of deceit, and with whom “ there is no variable" nefs, neither shadow of turning.”—“ He is " the rock, his work is perfect, for all his * ways are judgment; a God of truth, and “' without iniquity, just and true is he.”— « The mountains shall depart, and the hills
“ be removed; but my kindness shall not de-
curity? What can establish our faith, if this
2dly, Believers in Christ Jesus are the children of God, adopted into his family, and beautifred with his image: -and this is another pledge of his gracious promise ; for surely he will never abandon his own offspring. “ Can a moa "ther forget her fucking child,” faith God, " that she should not have compassion on the “ fon of her womb? Yea, the may forget, yet, “ will not I forget thee.” The affection and
Z 3 tenderness.
tenderness of an earthly parent are but faint resemblances of God's paternal love. In him, love is an infinite overflowing fountain of beneficence. And then his love is as permanent as it is extensive. He is always in one mind, and therefore can never leave nor forsake his people.
3dly, The constant intercession of our glorious High Priest effectually secures the accomplishment of this promise. By his death, he obtained the Holy Spirit to dwell in his people, and to abide with them. This he intimated to his disciples for their comfort and encouragement, when they were about to lose his bodily presence (John xvi. 7.), “ It is ex“ pedient for you that I go away; for if I go “ not away, the Comforter will not come un- · “ to you; but if I depart, I will send him un“ to you.” And, .in another place, “ I will .“ pray the Father, and he shall give you an“ other Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, « who shall abide with you;"—who shall abide with you, and that not for a season only, but “ for ever.” .
With what tenderness did he recommend them to his Heavenly Father, in his last inter