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ently discovered and confirmed on sundry passages in the psalm,
Obs, 2. The ground of all hope and expectation of relief in sinners, is mere grace, mercy, and redemption. “Hope in the Lord, for with him there is redemption. All other grounds of hope are false and deceiving.
Obs. 3. Inexhaustible stores of mercy and redemption, are needful for the encouragement of sinners to rest and wait on God. With him is plentiful redemption.” Such is your misery, so pressing are your fears and disconsolations, that nothing less than boundless grace can relieve or support you; there are therefore such treasures and stores in God as are suited hereunto. With him is 'plenteous redemption.”
Obs. 4. The ground of all the dispensation of mercy, goodness, grace, and forgiveness, which is in God to sinners, is laid in the blood of Christ. Hence it is here called 'redemption.' Unto this also we have spoken at large before.
Obs. 5. All that wait on God on the account of mercy and grace shall have an undoubted issue of peace. He shall redeem Israel. Let him,' saith God, ‘lay hold on my arm, that he may have peace, and he shall have peace;' Isa. xxvii. 5.
Obs. 6. Mercy given to them that wait on God, shall in the close and issue, be every way full and satisfying. He shall redeem his people from all their iniquities.'
And these propositions do arise from the words, as absolutely considered, and in themselves. If we mind their relation unto the peculiar condition of the soul represented in this psalm, they will yet afford us the ensuing observations.
Obs. 1. They who out of depths have by faith and waiting obtained mercy, or are supported in waiting for a sense of believed mercy and forgiveness, are fitted, and only they are fitted, to preach and declare grace and mercy unto others.
This was the case with the psalmist. Upon his emerging out of his own depths and straits, he declares the mercy and redemption whereby he was delivered, unto the whole Israel of God.
Obs. 2. A saving participation of grace and forgiveness, leaves a deep impression of its fulness and excellency on the
soul of a sinner; so was it here with the psalmist. Having himself obtained forgiveness, he knows no bounds or measure, as it were, in the extolling of it. There is with God mercy, redemption, plenteous redemption, redeeming from all iniquity; I have found it so, and so will every one do that shall believe it.
Now these observations might all of them, especially the two last, receive a useful improvement. But whereas what I principally intended from this psalm, hath been at large insisted on, upon the first verses of it, I shall not here farther draw forth any meditations upon them, but content myself with the exposition that hath been given of the design of the psalmist, and sense of his words in these last
DOMINION OF SIN AND GRACE,
SIN'S REIGN IS DISCOVERED, IN WHOM IT IS, AND IN WHOM IT IS NOT: HOW THE LAW SUPPORTS IT: HOW GRACE DELIVERS FROM IT, BY SETTING UP ITS
DOMINION IN THE HEART.
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law
but under grace.Rom. vi, 14.
TO THE SERIOUS READER.
ONE of the great gospel inquiries that a Christian
ought to be most critical and curious in resolving to himself, upon the most impartial examination of his own heart, concerning his spiritual state, and standing in grace, is, Whether he be in the faith or no? which doubt can be resolved but two ways; either by faith itself, closing with its true objects as offered in the gospel in its direct act; and so it evidenceth itself, being the evidence of things not seen, as all the natural senses evidence themselves by their own acts upon their proper objects: for he that sees the sun, hath argument enough to himself, that he is not blind, but hath a seeing eye; and faith, therefore, is frequently represented to us by seeing, as John vi. 40, and elsewhere; which evidence is according to the degrees of faith, weaker or stronger, and hence carries lesser or greater assurances with it; but such as are of the highest and best nature, giving the greatest glory to the grace and truth of God, and the firmest stay to the soul in the greatest storms of temptation, being as an anchor fastened within the veil, sure and steadfast. Or else additionally, that our joy may be full; and for farther confirmation, especially in such cases wherein our faith seems to fail us, and we are like Thomas, God hath out of his abundant grace in the gospel provided arguments for us to raise from spiritual sense, to judge of our state and standing by. But this requires the teachings of the Spirit, and thence a spirit of discerning, experience of, and insight into, our own hearts and ways, with senses exercised by reason of use, that