« AnteriorContinuar »
the sacrifice for them. In choofing fallen men, and not angels, God gave an amazing instance of the fovereignty of his grace, that he would be merciful to whom he would be merciful; would pass by the superior nature, and choose the inferior; prefer vessels of clay to vefsels of gold! What can we say? Nothing, but wonder at God's free grace!-Unspeakable love! Lord, it had been much if thou hadít provided an angel to mitigate our sufferings in hell, by giving us drops of water to cool our tongue; but that thou thouldst have cor.descended to come and change rooms with us, lie in hell for us, and suffer the very pains and agonies due to us, is love that, pafseth knowledge.
Lord, when I consider thy distinguishing pity, and low stoop, to purchase and recover luch clods of earth and sin with thy blood and agonies, I am amazed at thy love, confounded at my own ingratitude, and a. Thamed at the coldness and hardness of my heart! Oh! was Christ willing to change rooms with the like of me, and shall not I be willing to change rooms with him, and at his demand to part with the filthy rags of my fins, and take on the robe of his rightouiness? O shall not this amazing love of Christ conitrain me to love him again, and live to him that died for me? shall it not constrain' me to think on him? constrain me to clofe with and trust in him ? con train me to commend him? constrairi me to hate and avoid his enemy, fin ? constrain me to adhere to Christ's truths and ways? to perfevere in prayer, praise and holy walking ? Are fallen angels left, and failen men pitched
upon to be the monuments of free
up cant rooms which angels fell from? What ihall I lay to this, but, even so, Father, for jo it pleafed thee ; let thy sovereign free grace be the eternal fong of both men and angels. Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name be the glory. -- Blessed be God, that I hear this joyful found of reconciliation with fallen men, and of a treaty of peace carried on with them : The devils never heard, and never shall hear such news.-But On, if I come not in, and accept of the terms and offers made to me
in the gospel, I'll put myself in a worse cafe than the devils: For it cannot be charged upon fallen angels, as on fallen men, that God was willing to be reconciled to them, and they would not. Now then, when the gospel treaty is proclaimed, God forbid I be found guilty of refusing his terms, scorning his offers, and defying his threatnings. O how fall 1 escape, if I neglect so great and wonderful salvation as is tendered to me? Neglect it, Lord, I dare not, I will not. Lo, I come, I accept, I embrace, I take hold of thy covenant, and the seal of it tendered to me: I renounce the old covenant, I break league this day with all thy enemies, I proclaim war against them: I close with Christ Jefus, both as my righteousness and strength : I make a full and free furrender and resignation of myself unto the Lord, to be his and his only, in all I am, and in all I enjoy, to be ordered and disposed of for his glory and service. Lord, I am thine ; I will not be my own, I will not be the world's, but I'll be thine, thine only, and thine wholly ; thine to love thee, serve and obey thee without reserve : since thou wouldst have no nature but mine, I will have no will but thine. nounce my own will, and take thine for my rule. Lord, I am thine, O save thou me; and I will trumpet forth the praises of free grace and redeeming love for
From Psalm cxlvii. 20.
taken into covenant with God, they had God's word and ordinances, the means of coverfion and salvation; they had the gospel revelation, the knowledge and promises of the Messiah. But we under New-Testment times, and in Britan, are yet more peculiarly privileged with clearer light and discoveries of the Mefliah than the nation of Israel had. They lived under a darker and harsher dispensation of the covenant of grace by Mo whose first miracle
was the turning of water into blood; but we live under the clearer and sweeter dispensation of it by Christ himself, whose first miracle was the turning water into wine, that cheers the heart. The nation of Israel were called a people near unto God; but in gospel times we are allowed yet nearer access - to God than they had. The children of Israel were not allowed fo much as to touch the mount on which the Lord came down: the men of Bethshemish had not liberty to lock into the ark, the place of his residence :-- But, behold, we are allowed to take a near view and steady look of a crucified Jesus in the facrament, who is the image of the invisible God, the brightnefs of bis Father's glory, and the express image of his person ; yea, we have liberty not only to look to him, but also to touch him, handle his wounds, embrace his person, and lodge him in our hearts.
The advantage of a clear revelation of a crucified Christ in the gospel ordinances, and particularly in the Lord's supper, is an invaluable privilege. If the royal Psalmist admired the divine goodness in causing the fun, moon, and stars, to shine in the firmament for man's behoof, and therefore cries, what is man that God is thus mindful of lim? How far greater caufe have we to say so, when we observe how God causes the Sun of Righteousness shine so brightly in the firmament of gospel ordinances, and the day spring from on high to vist us with the light of faving knowledge, and of eternal falvation through him?--Again, if the Plalm. ist exalts God's goodne's so much in his giving the beails of the field, fowls of the air, and fithes of the sea, to be food for inan; what ground have we to admire and praise God's infinite mercy, in giving us the fieth and blood of his own dear Son to preserve the lives of our souls! O what rare gospel-feasts are these which Gud allows us in the land wherein we dwell? and O how wonderful are they preserved and continued with us, from time to time, by the miraculous working of God's mercy and power? while others are visited with cleanness of teeth, and a famine of the word of God, He liath not dealt with every nation as with us.
And, Lord, how distinguishing is thy goodness unto me a most unworthy creature! By thy mercy I was born in a valley of vision? and I dwell in a lightsome Goshen, when multitudes of others, in pagan and popish nations, are covered with Egyptian darkness, and fit in the region of the shadow of death. I hear heaven's free market-days of grace proclaimed, when others have filent Sabbaths: I am invited to a rich banquetinghouse, when others are starving for want of the bread of life. O that I could value my mercies aright! It is a great privilege that I am allowed to speak to the great God in prayer, and to hear Irim speak unto me in his word! But still he puts a greater honour upon me, by calling me to enjoy intimate communion and fel. lowship with himself, yea, inviting me to fit down with him athis table and feast upon the fruits of Christ's death, and benefits of his purchase!--Oh, I am not worthy of the least crumb that falls from the children's table, and far less of being set down at the table with the children to eat of their bread, and share of the dainties provided for them by their heavenly Father; if Peter, after having seen Christ's glory and his own vileness, judged himself unworthy to be in the same ship with Chrift, and therefore cried, depart from, for I am a finful man; how shall I, the chief of finners, adventure to fit at the Tame table with him, and feed upon his flesh and blood? Aamzing condescension !
O what distinction doth God make among nations, in sending the gospel to them, with clear views and prefing offers of a crucified Jesus to perifhing souls! And what cause have we in these natione of admiring the distinguishing goodness of God to us in this respect beyond others! Would we not admire his goodness, if he caused the sun to shine only in our horzion, as he did on Goshen, when other nations were covered with darkness, as the land of Eygpt was?' yet surely the gof. pel-lun is by far a greater mercy.--The gospel is indeed a joyful sound, Psalm lxxxtx 1;. so called, with allusion to the silver trumpets made ute of under the law to call people to the folemn assemblies, and to intimate to them the feast of the paftover, which represented the
love and sufferings of the Messiah. A joyful found the gospel is indeed, if we compare it with the found of the law's curses and threatnings tloundered from mount Sinai against Ginners. But, behold, this joyful sound, bringing salvation, comes from heaven, even to heaven. daring linners, who had openly rebelled against the God of Heaven! Glad news! Blessed are they who know this joyful sound; know it so as to believe it, admire it, entertain it, and comply with it, so as to receive Christ offered therein to loft sinners.
Lord, I make this joyful found welcome; it is music to my ear, and a cordial to my heart. I reckon their feet beautiful who bring such glad tidings to my soul. O how welcome would men make them, who thuold bring them in an invention that would secure their estates from consuming, their houses from burning, or their bodies from dying !-but here we have the fure news of an invention that doth much more for us than all this, even a device that secures us from hell, and ensures us of heaven. Ought I not then chearfully to comply with this joyful found, and fall in with the call thereof? God forbid that I should stop my cars at it; it had been better for me then never to have heard of it at all: How dreadful would my case be at the judgment-day! How would devils, Turks, heathens, and my own conscience, upbraid me in hell to all eternity for my folly in flighting this joyful sound! surely God may fight the mournful found of their prayers in time of distress, who flight the joyful sound of his gos. pel in time of health.--But, Lord, I bless thee for it, I love it, I receive it, I welcome it, I fall heartily in with it, and will admire it for ever.
From 1 John iii. 1.
N the amazing work of our redemption, we are call.
and the love of the Son. Unspeakable love of the Father!