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· Finally, look to Christ on the cross, and learni how to die.
He died with full resignation. When nature recoiled, and wished, if it were possible, to be saved from the dreadful hour, he thought on the cause for which he came to that hour--he thought on his Father's will, and said, “Thy will be done-Father, glorify thy name.” He died in the exercise of benevolence, in love to mankind, in the forgiveness of, and in intercessions for his enemies. He died, committing his spirit into the hands of the God of truth, and contemplating the joy that was set before him. As we should live like him, so like him we should die with resignation to God—with benevolence to men—with forgiveness of injuries, with prayers for our enemies, with faith in God's promises, and with heaven full in our view. .
Thanks to our gracious Redeemer, who has giv. en us such an example to conduct us through the paths of life, and to guide us through the valley of death. O send thy good Spirit into our hearts, to form us according to thine amiable pattern-to direct us in the way of peace-to comfort us in all our troubles and to strengthen us in our last conflict. And when it shall be thy will to call us hence, enable us to die like thyself, and receive us to thyself in glory.
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REVELATION XV. %
Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty ; junge
and truc arc thy ways, thou King of saints.
HIS is a part of the song of those, who, having adhered to the purity of religion, in times of great persecution, are now brought forth from their sufferings into a state of security and peace. Taking a review of God's dispensations toward his church, and his judgments upon her enemies, and contemplating the happy, but unexpected result of all, in the advancement of true religion, they are filled with admiration of his wisdom and goodness, and especially of his providence toward his saints, which had long been mysterious, but was now open. ing to their view. And, in the gratitude of their hearts, they break forth into this hymn of praise, a part of which has been read-Great and marvellous are thy works-thou King of Saints—Who shall not fear and glorify thy name? For thou art wors
thy. All nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
God is here acknowledged in the character of King of saints.
His providential kingdom is universal and ever. lasting. His dominion is without bounds, and without end. All creatures are under his care ; all events under his direction. Even ungodly men and apostate spirits are, in some sense, his subjects. Though they obey not the laws of his kingdom, they are under the restraints of his power; and their actions and disigns, though tending to mischief and confusion, are overruled to serve the great purposes of his government. “ The wrath of man will praise him, and the remainder of it he will restrain.” In this sense wicked men are called his servants. They are used, in his providence, as instruments to accomplish the purposes of his wisdom.
But he is King of saints in a more special and pe. culiar, sense.
They yield a voluntary obedience to his govern. ment. And he administers his government in an immediate reference to their interest. They are the objects of his peculiar care, and he causes all things to work for their good.
And his works, as King of saints, are great and marvellous. Such indeed are all his works; but more eminently such are the works, which respect his saints. .: We will illustrate this important and pleasing thought. .
I. The work by which the saints are redeemed, is great and marvellous.
For the human race, fallen into guilt and ruin, and lying under a sentence of everlasting death, What remedy can created wisdom find ? —Who can expiate their guilt? Who can reverse the sentence of God's law? Who can ransom them from
misery, and restore them to forfeited life? In the view of all wisdom, but the divine, their case must appear desperate ; be sure, when it is considéred, that a superiour order of beings, having rebelled against their Sovereign, are cast down to hell, and reserved, in everlasting chains, under darkness, to the judgment of the great day.
When we behold the glorious Majesty of heav. en, whose justice spared not offending angels, now moved with compassion to fallen men-providing for their recovery-appointing his son to be their Redeemer-sending him into the world clothed in their flesh-laying on him their iniquities—subject. ing him to death as a sacrifice for them, and raising him from the dead to be their advocate ; we can. not but adopt the language of the inspired Psalmist -This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.
Every step in this divine work increases our ad. miration. It is wonderful that we should be redeemed, when apostate spirits were left unregarded ; that a divine person should be constituted the Redeemer—that he should assume humanity and dwell on earth—that, instead of appearing in worldly dignity and power, he should make himself of no reputation that he should submit to all the pains and dishonours of a most infamous and cruel death
that he should suffer death from the hands, as well as for the sins, of men that he should make bis grave with the wicked in his death---that he should ascend to heaven with the body in which he suffered, and with this body should appear in the presence of God, as a continual advocate for us !
This is a scheme which angels behold with won. der, and which men should contemplate with greatful astonishment.
Yon will ask, perhaps, Why did God choose such a method for the redemption of men ? But tell me first, why he chose to redeem them at all. You will say, He redeemed them because he is merciful. I will add, He redeemed them in this method, because he is wise. If we cannot discern the particular reasons of this dispensation, then let us acknowl. edge, that the counsels of infinite wisdom are too deep to be fathomed by the line of human under. standing. The Apostle says, Christ crucified is to the Greeks foolishness ; but to them who are called, he is the wisdom of God; because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
The humble saint, convinced of his fallen state, feels his need of mercy; and the mercy offered, he gratefully receives. He waits not to explore all the reasons of the gospel plan of grace, before he con. sents to take the benefit of it. He thinks it enough for him, that mercy is offered to unworthy men. He esteems it a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He adores that wisdom which has devised so marvellous a plan of salvation,a plan which human wisdom could not have devised, nor can fully comprehend, even now when it is revealed.
Some will ask, How can we place our dependence on a scheme of redemption, which is to us incomprehensible ? But, let me ask, How can you depend on any thing else, which is beyond your comprehension ?- Can you tell, how your clothes warm you, or how your food sustains you? Can you tell, how the grain, which you sow in your field, springs up and bears fruit ? —Will you neglect your husbandry, or abstain from the use of food and raiment, until you can unfold these natur. al mysteries? If not, then go, and, with humble gratitude, submit to the terms of the gospel-go accept of, and rejoice in, that great salvation which is offered you through the Redeemer, whose name, as well as work, is called Wonderful.