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Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (or a mercy-scat) through faith
in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are
past, through the forbearance of God. Rom. iii. 25. God hath set forth the propitiation ; from all eternity he proposed Christ
to be the mercy-seat; the spring of all is from the Father, who is love: he proposed, revealed, and made Christ known to Adam, to Abraham, to the Prophets; he proposed the mercy-seat as an object of faith in all the sacrifices that were types of Christ; this mercy-seat is clearly and fully set forth in the gospel dispensation. In this plan the righteousness and justice of God is declared, while he vindicates the honour of his perfections and laws, and maintains the authority of his government, by punishing the offences of “rebel-subjects in the sufferings of the Surety, who was made sin, an offering for sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Whither shall I, a poor sinner, conscious of guilt, and apprehensive of wrath, flee for refuge? Where shall I find it? Where but under the c.vert of atoning bloodl! while others have recourse to refuges of lies, and would establish a righteousness of their own,“ in the Lord, my righteousness, I find rest and safety; having fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before me; in Christ, my hope, I shall have strong consolation.” Does Jehovah from this mercy-seat offer parıon to me, a rebel sinner? Do I hear his voice besceching me to be reconciled to him, through Christ my propitiatory and peace? Shall I not hear this voice of mercy and live, and joy in God through Christ, by whom I receive the atonement? Will God commune with me from this mercy-seat, and bless me with the manifestation of his love? O delightful interview when most alone, retired from the world, but least alone when with my God! O the inexpressible pleasure of secret devotion, of“ a life hid with Christ in God!" If the contemplation of divine love here below be so ravishing, O what shall I experience above! * My God, guide me here by thy counsels, and afterwards receive me to tly glory."
No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love
the other ; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God und Mammon. Matt. vi. 24.
Doth Satan tempt thee, either by pleasures, dignities, or profits ?
O my soul, stand upon thy guard, gird on thy strength with such thoughts as these :- What can the world profit me, if the cares of it choke me? How can pleasures comfort me, if their sting poison me? or, What advancement is this, to be triumphing in honour before the face of men here, and to be trembling with
confusion before the throne of God hereafter? What are the delights of the world to the peace
of my conscience, or the joy that is in the Holy Ghost? What are the
applauses of men to the crown prepared by God? or, What is the gain of the world to the loss of my soul? The vanity of the creature is far beneath the excellency of my soul ; and the things of time not worthy to be mentioned with the things of eternity. Two masters of such opposite principles as God and Mammon, I cannot serve; therefore, Satan, upon the most deliberate consideration, I must give thee and thy service
for thou biddest me to my loss.
Two masters are too much for me;
Then, tempting Mammon, get thee gone,
O taste and see that the Lord is good! Psal. xxxiv. 8. Jesus Christ,
the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. Heb. xiii. 8. THERE is an infinite fulness of all spiritual blessings treasured up in
Christ Jesus for all his people ; and out of his fulness they do receive, even grace for grace. But, alas! we are slow of heart to be. lieve the truth : we please ourselves with small things, and come slowly forward to a daily growth out of that fulness. Young converts, enamoured with what they have in hand, or living upon their feelings, are ready to flee frorn knowledge as something dangerous and destructive of holiness ; and mere professors are apt to deny and even derile those precious feelings, as though the affections had no share in the Christian religion, and that the whole consisted in having a crowded head. Come then, O my soul, divest thyself from the pride of party and the strife of tongues ! Be thou an humble supplicant at the feet of Jesus, for a live coal from off the altar, to purge away thine iniquity, and to warm thy affections; and likewise for the aids of the Holy Spirit, to lead thee into“ the knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” Then shalt thou not only taste but see, not only see but taste, both sweetly taste and clearly see that“ the Lord is good.” O the rich depths of love divine !
On thee alone my hope relies,
Beneath thy cross I fall :
My Saviour and iny AU,
We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained before the world to our glury. 1 Cor. ii. 7. There are some things declared in the gospel, which are absolutely
its own, that are proper and peculiar unto it; such as have no footstaps in the law, or in the light of nature, but are of pure revelation, peculiar to the gospel of this nature are all things concerning the love and will of God in Christ Jesus; the mystery of his Incarnation, of his Offices, and whole Mediation, of the Dispensation of the Spirit, and our Participation thereof, and our Union with Christ thereby, our Adoption, Justification, and effectual Sanctification thence proceeding. In a word, every thing that belongs unto the purchase and application of saving grace, is of this sort. These tidings are properly evangelical, being peculiar to the gospel alone.
Hence the apostle Paul, unto whom the dispensation of it was committed, puts that eminency upon them, that in comparison) he resolved to insist on nothing else in his preaching. 1 Cor. ii. 2: 'And to that purpose doth he describe his ministry. Eph. iii. 7—11.
Reader, Observe these two things :- What God reveals in his word, let thy reason submit unto; - What he proposes as objects or matter of faith, beg of him to enable thee to believe. The hidden wisdom of God's grace
Then help me by the Spirit's light, No reason can explore ;
To see, believe, adore.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed
us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Eph. i. 3. From natural constitution we earnestly expect present gratification.
It is by no means sufficient, therefore, to explain to us our duty, or enforce it by future rewards and punishments. There must be pleasures at hand, to outweigh the enticements of sin, and outbid whatever that sorceress can offer. The religion of Jesus is constituted in this manner: it brings the possession of the best happiness here ; a rich foretaste in this life of heavenly glory. Salvation cometh of the Lord to the sinner upon believing, just as a most ample estate bequeathed to a beggar in diebt; at once it alters his whole condition, pays all he owes, supplies all he wants, gives him rank, figure, and authority, to which before he was a perfect stranger. Such blessedness in the pardon of all my sins, in access to God with confidence, in victory over my spiritual enemies, give me, O my God, to enjoy!
Thou only Sov’reign of
My refuge, my almighty Friend; How can my soul from thee depart,
On whom alone my hopes depend. Eternal life thy words impart,
On these my fainting spirit lives; Here sweeter comforts cheer my heart
Than all the round of nature gives.
Let earth's alluring joys combine,
While thou art near in vain they call : One smile, one blissful smile of thine,
My dearest Lord, outweighs thein all.
Here safety dwells, and peace
For life, eternal life is thine !