Sivut kuvina



do a new thing: now it shall spring forth; shall not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls : because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chos.

This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” Better blessings are here promised, blessings more deserving devout attention and regard, than those, which consist in salvation from cruel and potent enemies, or deliverance from the yoke of a tyrant. The subject is still further illustrated, by reviewing the awful declensions, into which the church had fallen, and intimating the glorious deliverance she, in due time, should experience. “But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, Israel.--Yet now hear, O Jacob, my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty,and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. And they shall spring up as among the grass, as wil. lows among the water courses.

One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord,

and surname himself by the name of Israel." In this purified and reformed state the church is addressed ; “ Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins : return unto me, for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it : shout, ye lower parts of the earth ; break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein : for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel." Hence it appears, that the redemption of the church, by which God gets distinguished glory to himself, and on the account of which all nature is summoned to join in one general chorus of praise to God, is a redemption from the worst of all evils, from the tyranny and vassalage of sin, are demption, which applies to the whole body of believers, in all ages of the world. He who was named Jesus, shall save his people from their sins, shall redeem them from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and, in do. ing it, he will cause infinite honoureternally to redound to his name. A redemption, so necessary and so effectual to honour the Godhead, is entitled to our most strict and careful attention, to know the principles and extent of it. A little time may, therefore, be fitly spent in examining it, from its origin. to its maturity, in its root and branches.

1. The author of this redemption. “ Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, and he that form

ed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone ; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” “ As for our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the holy One of Israel." The same God who redeemed Israel, who dwelt in the midst of his people, as their Saviour, in the days of old, is still the Lord our righteousness. It is he who takes up his abode in the church, as his temple, and never departs thence ; but draws men to himself by his Spirit, so that, though they were once enemies, unreconciled, and afar off from God by wicked works, they are made nigh; who guards and protects his saints, and keeps them by his power, through faith unto salvation, and fulfils his promise, that no weapon formed against them shall prosper. Of Christ, who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, it is said, that “ he humbled himself, was made of a woman, made under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” When he became flesh, his testimony was, that he came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. And the apostle honours him, as being the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe ; and declares that

gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto

he is

himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

In another place ; " Christ bath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.' This is that almighty and infinitely glorious Being, who has ev. er stood at the head of the church, its triumphant King and Redeemer, having the keys of hell and of death. By him are the proud abased and the meek exalted. He is "head over all things to the church. Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all things."

2. We will inquire into the meritorious ground of this redemption. Is it a matter of grace or of debt ? and how is the first foundation of it laid ? It is, indeed, a pur. chased privilege according to Ephesians 1, 14. “ Which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." But by whom has this purchase been made, and at what price? not surely by men with sacrifices and oblations of their own offering. “ But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building ; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Paul exhorts the elders of Ephesus " to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Without shedding his blood Christ could not take 2.

way sin ; could not enter into heaven for us; and appear before God a prevailing intercessor, that he might bring us near to God. “ He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteous. ness of God in him." By him we have received the atonement.

And now, if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Fa. ther Jesus Christ the righteous ; and he is the propitiation for our sins.

66 There is redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins ; and by him whosoever believeth in his name shall be justified from all those things, from which we could not be justi. fied by the law of Moses.” This is the only possible foundation of reconciliation and favour with God." There is sala vation in none other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” This is thar foundation of the apostles and prophets, that precious tried corner-stone, which has upheld the church in all ages, and whosoever believeth on him shall not make haste.

3. We will attempt a few observations upon the subject matter of the redemption, by which God glorifies himself in the church. A few hints upon this point have already been given ; but a little more enlargement may not be unprofitable, or out of season. Redemption always supposes the subject to have previously been in some situation, from which it is desirable to escape. That is never termed redemption, which consists in the removal


« EdellinenJatka »