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the want of taste for the work of heaven; and confequently, the want of interest in that better world? In that unhappy state, though you could lecure a pass through the gates into the city, heaven and glory would afford no more happiness to you, than palaces to swine, whose groveling element is the mire. But you are not in the way to heaven, you are by no means candidates for glory. Others may, numbers will, be promoied to the work of praise, in the higher house with the ranlomed tribes; but you, dying in your irregeneracy, shall be debarred, excommunicate, and expelled, as reprobate souls. You will, indeed, see the glorious Man with his company, but shall not mingle with them ; you will see the pearly port of Emmanuel's land, but shall not set foot upon it? you will see the crowns of the redeemed, but Thall not wear any of them ; you will see the Fa. ther put this new foog in their mouths, but mall not enjoy the least smile of his countenance. Think then, I think, how galling and tormenting such circumstances must prove, how painful and distresfing such fights. Though no positive punishment was in reserve, would yoų not, in such things, feel the pains of hell, and groan under the weight of damnation ? The design, however, of fcripture, in such representations, is not to introduce despair, or torment before the time; but only to give the alarm, in order to your recovery ere it be too late; for there is hope in Ifracl concerning this thing; it is at least possible, that this new song may be put into your mouths. Though these mouths, made for praise, have been employed as instruments of unrighteousness, in cursing, swearing, lying, foolish talking, and sinful jesting ; employed in de famation, calumny and reproach, and in every thing below the man,--unworthy the Christian; yet God E 2
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is willing to be reconciled, to put you among the children, to hold fellowship with you, to fill your mouths with songs of salvation, to give you grace and glory, and, in every respect, to do you all fav. ing good, in the way of his appointment, through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his grace. Seek him in that channel, implore him for that purpose, and wit upon him, by the mcans, duties and ordinances of his own institution, as you would wish not to be cast off;—and hope he will not put you to shamne.
CH A P. II.
Of the Redeemer's triumph over the hearts of fin
ners upon earth.“ Many Mall see it, and shall “ fear; and small trust in the Lord." ;
T HE subjects of this promise are men in ge
neral, not angels, nor devils. Angels have nothing in their circumstances, known to us, that renders such promises needful, and the Itate of devils puts them abfolutely beyond the reach of the promile, and renders them incapable of interest in any word of grace. Besides, as this promise has a particular relation to Jesus Christ, those, of whofe mature he partook, can only be considered as the subjects of it. Though, in the application of the blessings promised, it is more restricted: yet, in the revelation and cxliibition of the promise itself, the warrant to believe is so unreserved, that mankind fioners in general, may, and should consider themfelves as interested in it: "The promise (said the “ apostle, to a promiscuous multitud) is unto you “ and to your children, and to all that are afar
"off; even to as many as the Lord our God shall " call,” Acts ii. 32. It is impossible to imagine, how a perfon's putting away the promises froin himself, as what he has no right to intermeddle with, can be reconciled with his suitably attending to that remarkable declaration of grace.
But the subjects of this promise are elect men in particular. The opposition of carnal minds to the doctrine of election is such, that at prefent one labours under considerable disadvantage, to insinuate any thing in favour of it. But as it is a scriptural doctrine, a part of the council of heaven, an article of the Christian faith; though counted fools for espousing, we should never be ahamed of it. Did not David speak of elect men, when he faid, “Blessed is the man whom thou chufest and " causest to approach unto thee?" Psal. Ixv. 4. did not Malachi speak of elect men, when by him the Lord said, " Yet I loved Jacob, and “ hated Esau?" Mal. i. 2, 3. did not Paul to the Romans speak of elect men, when he said, " Whom God did foreknow, he also did prede" Alinate?” Rom. viii. 29. to the Corinthians did he not speak of them, when he said, “ God hath * chosen the foolish things of the world ; Gud “ hath chosen the weak things of the world, the " base things of the world ; and things that are " despised hath God cholen ; yea, and the things 66 that are not?” I Cor. i. 28. and did he not to the Ephesians likewise speak of elect men, when he said, “Being predestinated according to the pur. “ pose of him who worketh all things after the “ council of his own will ?” Eph. in II. But why speak of David, the prophets or apostles ? behoia, a greater than either, a greater than all, bears leftimony to this doctrine : our Lord himself ipoke of elect men, when he said, “ All that the Facher
whomans speak Malzeme loved when
“ giveth me, shall come to me,” John vi. 37. And apain, “ I pray for them; I pray not for the world, " but for them which thou hast given me,” John xvii. 5. Upon these and such like grounds, the doctrine of election may be considered as fcriptural: and, on that supposition, elect finners are, int particular, the subjects of this promise; as it is not only exhibit, warranting them, in common with their fellow sinners, to believe and improve it for the ends of infinite wisdom and grace; but, as they fhail eventually be brought under the influence of the promise, be made partakers of promised grace, and inherit the promised salvation. It is for their jakes, and theirs alone, that ever the promise was exhibited; it is owing to them, that ever finners, in general, were bleft with the common tender of mercy; and as soon as they are brought in, as soon as the end of the promise, as to them, is reached, other finners will, at once, but for ever, be depriyed .of that exalted privilege. Other finners may take hoid of the promise; nothing in the external dispensation of the gospel hinders their doing so : but deet finners shall take hold of the promise ; rather, the grace of the promise fball take hold of them.
SE C T. II.
One blefling here promised is, “ They shall see “ it.” If we consider this part of the promise, as it is rendered in the passage under view, the particle it must have a respect to what went before ; and the meaning will be, that sinners shall see what the Father hath done to Christ as Man-Mediator, in .. “ inclining to him and hearing his cry; bringing “ him up out of the horrible pit and miry clay ; “s setting his feet upon a rock, establishing his go
that the ey for that perspecting
"ings, and putting a new song in his mouth ;" that the eyes of their understandings shall be enlightened for that purpose : in other words, that the grace of faith, respecting Christ, as once deat, now alive, once humbled, now exalted, shall be produced, and promoted in them, exercised and practiled by them. But the particle it, being only a supplement, the phrase literally is, “ They "shall see;" which is peculiarly pithy, emphatical and comprehensive. It says, in the strongest terms, that, in a spiritual view, finners are, by nature blind ; and that, until put under the influence of this promise, they fee not. Whence, in the language of inspiration, the unconverted Itate is frequently represented as a state of dai kness; “ For ye were (says the apostle, to the believers " at Ephesus) sometimes darkness,” Eph. v. 8. not only in the dark, but darkness itself. Whatever men know, however bright their talents, pregnant their genius, accurate their obfervations, curious their disquisitions, extensive their reading, and universal their learning; as long as they are unconverted, they are considered, in the eye of the holy Ghost, as not seeing, and, in that state, incapable of it. But,
This part of the promise respects a positive change to be produced in the sinners understanding, the leading, and most noble power of the mind; the avenue through which all spiritual light, faving discoveries, distinguishing knowlege, enter; evident from the repeated testimony of inspiration : “ The commandment of the Lord is pure (says " the Píalmist) enlightening the eyes,” Plal. xix. 8. speaking of the Gentles, our Lord said unto the apostle, “ I send thee now, to open their eyes, and “ turn them from darkness to light,” Acts xxvi. 13. And, as a necessary pre requisite to men's Et