« EdellinenJatka »
words. I will give them one heart and one way that they may fear me for ever. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them to do them good but I will put my fear in their heart that they shall not depart from me. I Here then lies the security; and which no other source beside can give, neither any motives of moral persuasions enforce. God undertakes for the accomplishment of the whole, in answering both for himself, and for his people. I will not, (saith God) and they shall not,
And what is the real matter of fact, as it is found in the experience of mankind. Look I beg of you abroad into the world, and see, whether among those who profess their conviction in this doctrine: they are at the same time, less devout towards God, less just, or friendly to their neighbours; or whether, they are immoral in themselves. You know the reverse to be the case. For if they are true to their principles, they are on the contrary, examples to believers in word in conversation in charity in spirit in faith in purity. They know, and their lives bare testimony to that knowledge, that the grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men teaching them that denying ungodliness and worldly lust they should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our C.2
Saviour * Jeremiah 32. 39. 40.
Saviour Jesus Christ. And this is, and must be, the one uniform desire, of their hearts, that he who gave himself for them that he might redeem them from all iniquity might purify them unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good
I have only in conclusion to beg of God the Spirit, to make our subject profitable, both to Şaint and Sinner, under his blessed influence.
To the former, I would say, do not forget my Brother, to seek grace from God upon every occasion in life to accustom yourself to trace all your mercies up to this fountain head. Depend upon it, that you will find a double sweetness therefrom, in every one of them. Even the most common providence, will then appear to you, not without some special commission from Him, whose wisdom is everlastingly employed for you, and whose faithfulness assures you, that all things how trifling soever they may seem, or how unpromising soever they may appear, work together for good to them that love God and who are the called according to his purpose. And tell me if you can, what life can be so pleasant, as that life of faith, which is for ever living on the unchangeable purposes of God in Christ, issuing as they are, from an everlasting love, and manifesting themselves in all the multiform methods of his grace.
And $ Titus 2: 12. 13. 14
And to the latter, I would very affectionately observe, that however unconcerned you may at present fancy yourself to be, in all the grand interests of this doctrine, do not depart my Brother without taking with you a short observation to correct those ideas.
As it is the divine favour, and not our merit, which directs God in the choice of his people, so is it from the same free, and sovereign cause, all mercies flow. It is his grace, and not your worth, which hath fixed the bounds of your habitation. It is from the same grace, that your lot is cast in this blessed land, where God is truly known. It is equally from the same predisposing grace, that you are this day brought under a preached gospel. Is it not then reasonable to infer, that if so much grace hath been displayed, in providing the means, may not the whole be displayed, on purpose to the accomplishment of the end? Ask your own heart a few questions, Do you bless God, that you were born in those highly favored climes, where the pure gospel is preached? Is it a matter of thankfulness with you that you are brought under the sound of it this day? And would it be the joy of your heart, to know the truth that the truth may make you free? If your heart can truly say yes, to these enquires; depend upon it, though you know it not, you are not far, from the kingdom of God, You see this day around you many, that were
once, as you are : and who are now, the happy partakers of God's unspeakable gift. You may behold them in the enjoyment of this rich mercy, reading their pardons on their knees, in transports of rejoicing. Beg of God, then to be made receivers of the same grace. Say to the Father of mercies in that sweet scripture the companions hearken to thy voice cause me to hear it. * In a word, let a man of this description, make the same experiment in spiritual things, which is done in ' natural concerns. Suppose a company of beggars, at the gate of a Prince, waiting for a supply, without which, they must perish for ever: and suppose, that he hath not only bestowed the mercy to thousands, and tens of thousands, yet his bounty is not at all diminished, but remains the same, in an endless profusion: and suppose moreover, that he hath caused it to be proclaimed, that all that come he will in no wise cast out! Would any poor perishing creature depart, while such a proclamation of mercy is sounding? Would he despair, under such encouraging circumstances?
I add no more, but an earnest prayer, that God the Holy Ghost, may awaken many a heart and send home many a humble mind, under the pleasing assurance, of being personally interested, in the words of the Apostle : Ye are à chosen generation a royal priesthood an holy nation a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light which in time past were not a people but are now the people of God which had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. +
* Cant. 8. 13.