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(4.) Consideration which exalts the greatness of the promises. They are of everlasting duration, and can never fail. When nature itself shall be dissolved, and heaven and earth shall pass away, then the promises shall be established. Not a tittle of them shall suffer in the universal conflagration; but they shall be then in their full extent most gloriously fulfilled. Many of them are reserved for the wonders of that great day. The raising of the body from corruption and mortality, admitting it to the vision of God, putting upon it and the soul never fading glory, a crown of righteousness, and palms of victory; and then bringing them to drink of those rivers of pleasure which are at God's right hand for evermore: these are some of the exceedling great promises which are to be completed at the Lord's coming to judgment. In that day the redeemed of the Lord will find that his divine power will fulll the greatest of all his promises. When the captain of their salvation has brought them to the heavenly Canaan, the promised land of everlasting rest, then he will put them into the acinal possession of all the promises. Like as Joshua, when he had brought the people into the promised land, called upon them to be witnesses for God, that every promise had been fulfilled to them, so may our almighty Joshua say to his redeemed people in the same words, “ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."-Joshua xxiii. 14.

Let these considerations suffice to set forth the greatness of the promises. They are exceeding great in offering to deliver us from all evil, and to bestow upon us all good: the motive for doing this is the infinite love and sovereign grace of God, which advances the greatness of the promise by the freeness of it, and sull farther advances it by what grace has promised to do for" is in glory, even to give us the

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actual possession and eternal enjoyment of all the promises.

And are these things so? If they be, who then would not wish to be an heir of promise? Are the promises thus exceeding great ? Why then do they not appear so to every one of us ? What is the reason that the generality of men had rather be heirs to any other estate than to the promises? The text. tells us the true cause: they know not the preciousness of them : they are exceeding great in themselves, but they are not apprehended to be so without faith. As the apostle says of Christ, “to them that believe, he is precious," so we may say of the promises, to them that believe they are precious, and therefore their greatness does not strike any man, until he by faith tastes something of their preciousness. Christ is the sum and substance of all the promises. Christ himself is the first promise, and all the rest are branches from that radical promise. They are all inade in Christ, and in him they are all completed. God has no good to give to sinners, but in relation to Christ, and all the promises of good are made in him, in consequence of his meritorious life and death, his resurrection and ascension-yea, the spirit of promise is given as the blessed fruit of Christ's intercession. Now no man sces any thing precious in Christ without faith; so neitlier, without it, does he see any thing precious in the promises. Christ has no form or comeliness, that they should desire him, and the promises have no such charms as to persuade him to live upou them. But faith gives a substance, a substantial presence to the things hoped for in the promises, and gives evidence of the believer's interest in the things not seen by the bodily eyes, and thus it enables the soul to experience the reality, and to find something of the value of the good things contained in the promises.

Perhaps you may be convinced of the necessity of faith to discover the preciousness of the promises, but you do not clearly understand how faith acts upon.

them, when it first discovers and afterwards lives upon their preciousness. The word of promise is the established means in the hand of the Spirit of begetting faith and of strengthening it: for a sinner can expect no good from God, unless he vouchsafe to give him a free promise. The scripture is a revelation of God's will, in which he engages, for Christ's sake, to bestow graces and blessings upon his children; but the unawakened sinner sees no want of those graces and blessings, until the Holy Spirit convince him of sin, stir up guilt in his conscience, and make him sensible of his danger. Then he is glad to hear of a promise, and is asking, who will show me any good? The Lord God sends him the gospel, with a free offer of all good, and out of his infinite grace offers him the unsearchable riches of Christ. The Holy Spirit enables him to accept the offer, and to rely and to act faith upon the word of promise. Faith looks at the word, sees what God has promised therein, rests and stays upon him for the fulfilling of it, and by this dependence and reliance upon the word of promise, the believer calls upon and engages the divine power to fulfil it. And the fulfilling of it gives it a peculiar sweetness and preciousness to the believer's soul. Every fresh proof of God's faithfulness to fulfil it strengthens the believer's reliance and dependence upon it, and thereby it grows more precious to all the faculties of his soul. The understanding sees and acknowledges the promises to be important realities, the will chooses them for its inheritance, and the affections love them and live upon them. Thus they become more and more precious. Tried promises are precious promises. Every time the believer goes boldly to the throne of grace, and asks through Christ the fulfilling of any promise, and receives it, then his faith grows, and as his faith grows exceedingly, so the promises grow exceedingly precious.

But all our experience here is only an earnest and foretaste of their future preciousness. The chief part of them is to be fulfilled beyond the grave, and many

of them at the last day, and even then there will be no adequate description of their preciousness. The saints in glory will be able only to set forth half their praise, the promises being still completing through the endless ages of eternity, so that it will require an eternity to show forth all their praise. May it be your happiness, my brethren, now to experience by faith the greatness and preciousness of the promises, and to have reason daily to praise him, in whom they are inade, and by whom they will be all made good for ever and ever! Such are the promises. They are exceeding great and precious. They are certain ly so in themselves, but do they, my brethren, appear so to you at present? If they do not, consider a little what your state is before you are interested in the promises. You are transgressors of that law which has decreed, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Under this sentence you live, subject to whatever is meant by the soul's dying from God. You are liable to the wrath and justice of the Almighty, and to those eternal torments which he has threatened to inflict upon sinners; and, was it not for his long suffering, which of you would have been spared to this hour? And while the long-suffering of God is waiting, he sends his ministers with the glad tidings of the gospel to offer you a free pardon. They invite you in Christ's name and in Christ's words. They assure you of bis readiness to receive you into his favour, and to forgive and to forget all your offences. For your encouragement they relate unto you his promises, which cannot be broken. They earnestly press you to accept of them, and to be happy in the enjoyment of them. But in vain. Their message is ineffectual. You had rather have the realities of sin than the earnests of the promises, And what is this but ab. solute infidelity ? For if you knew what sin is, and believed the divine promises to be so great and precious as they are, you would certainly prefer them to the delights of sin. Whereas you neither believe tho word, nor the oath, nor the covenant of God; which

is really practical atheism: for you are without Christ, you are strangers from the covenant of promise, you have no hope, and you are withont God, absos, atheists in the world. You may not perhaps deny the being of God, but you live without Christ, and without God in the world, and therefore you are practical atheists. While you are in this state you cannot possibly have any true happiness, not in time, because your sins are unpardoned, not in eternity, because then you will receive the punishment of unpardoned sin. And is this a true description of your guilt and of your danger ? You know it is. "The word of God will not suffer you to doubt of it, unless you deny its authority. And how then do you determine to act? What! will you still seek your happiness in the ways of sin? God forbid ! Turn ye, turn ye unto the Lord; certainly he bids higher for your hearts than Satan can. His promises are greater than sin or the world can make. You know they are. And still his promises follow you, although you bave often turned a deaf ear to them. Once more I call and invite you in his name. O that he would speak to your hearts, and call effectually! My brethren, ye are sinners, God offers you pardon. You are guilty, he offers you free justification. He promises you his Son to be your Saviour, his Spirit to be your sanctifier, his grace to be your strength, his glory to be your eternal inheritance. treasury, and invites you to come, and to receive freely of unsearchable and inestimable riches. Come then at the invitation of this gracious God, and hearken no longer to the lying promises of sin. If the Lord has now put it into your hearts to seek the fulfilling of the great things which he has engaged to give his people, may he enable you to seek until you find him faithful and just to fulfil all his promises !

2. There are many of you seeking and waiting for the fulfilling of them. You are convinced of the sinfulness of your hcarts and lives, and are humbled under a sense of your vileness and helplessness, and you

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