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was created ; and is promised to be carried on in all its purposes and effects, by the same divine power, independently of man's agency after his being brought into being; can come under no other description surely than that of grace. Whatever God hath done, or is doing, in the accomplishment of his designs concerning it, must all be referred back into the eternal counsel of his own mind, by virtue of its everlasting nature. To this most evidently it is, that believers owe their being chosen, called, and regenerated. And their establishment in grace, their dependence upon the promises, and their hopes of eternal glory; all are founded on that everlasting love, wherewith God hath loved his people before the foundations of the word were laid. I have said, (is the language of God,) mercy shall be set up for ever.' And the reason follows: " I have made a covenant with my chosen.'
Look, my brother, into yourself, and into your own experience, for a confirmation of this doctrine. A covenant founded in grace, can derive no aid from worksYou can have no: thing to give but what you have first received. And what you have first received is not in fact your's, but the great Giver's. And what He hath given may, without any impeachment of his justice, be again recalled, Neither can you have any thing to offer, but what God hath a right, as his own, to demand. Even all those sweet effusions of the soul, which appear in the worship of the faithful, when drawing near the mercy seat; as these are wholly the result of the Blessed Spirit's work, who brings them forth into exercise, as the sun by his warm beams. draws forth a fragrant smell from the flower, and have their origin in God's grace, and not in man's merit; so there can be nothing of claim in them before God. The language of such a creature as man, even in his highest attainment, and among the first order of the glo-. rified spirits of just men made perfect,' must still be the same: "by thc grace of God, I am what I am. Every thing that has a reference to salvation, centers in Christ Jesụs ; and may be clearly traced up to its origin in that. everlasting covenant, which God made with Him before this world had being.
Nay, I will advance yet one step further in the argument; and, in ascribing the “ sure, mercies of David' wholly to grace, observe that, it was most unmerited grace which admitted the Lord Jesus to be man's surety and sponsor, to fulfil in our stead the law which he had broken, and in his sacred person to endure the penalty
due to the breach of it. There could have been no impeachment of the divine justice, if God had insisted on the sinner's suffering it himself.
The soul that sinneth shall die.' And was it not then an act of free spontaneous mercy and grace in our God, to admit the substitute ?' - In speaking therefore of our subject in general terms, as applicable to the church of the Lord Jesus 'at large, it must be confessed that the everlasting covenant is very properly called the sure mercies of David. For it is nothing else but a system of grace and mercy from the beginning to end! And I am very confident, that every humble soul in particular, who is the happy subject of such bounty by a personal interest therein, will be ready to join issue with the apostle, and say, " But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith He hath loved me, even when I was dead in sins, hath quickened me together with Christ ; for by grace am I saved.'.
And as the original cause in the conversion sprung from grace, so the preserving and carrying on the great work in the soul since, is wholly owing to the same great principle. When you call to mind, my brother, the coldness and deadness of your best affections ; your wanderings and backslidings from God; the
provocations and sins wherewith your life hath been marked ; (Oh! to grace how great a debtor ;) will you not, with the utmot humility, exclaim with the apostle, Unto him who doth exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us; unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end !'
But while it thus becomes delightful to the soul under divine teachings, to be able to see that redemption's work from the beginning to end is wholly a system of grace; it becomes doubly, sweet at the same time, to have a clear, apprehension, that this grace worketh and (reigneth through righteousness;' that these mercies of David become sure mercies, being made so by virtue of that everlasting covenant of righteousness in Christ Jesus, by which God can be just, and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus;' and the sinner, though in him self nothing but sin and iniquiły, can look up and plead the righteousness of Christ as the foundation of his acceptance before God; because, in that covenant, God made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.'
This was the second point of doctrine I' proposed to prove, and which I now proceed to
illustrate and explain, under a few leading particulars.
: · The mercies of David become sure mercies to the Lord's people, by virtue of that ever. lasting covenant which occupied the divine counsel in the ages of eternity before the creation of the world, in which there were mutual promises made by the high contracting parties: Jesus on his part undertook to answer all the demands of his Father's righteous law, for the objects of his and his Father's eternal love; who, it was foreseen, would subject themselves to everlasting ruin by the breach of it. And God the Father promised on his part to remit that punishment to the person of the sinner, by inflicting it on the person of the Lord Jesus, as the sinner's surety ; and then to entitle the sinner, by virtue of the Redeemer's righteousness, to everlasting life. These were the terms by which each party guaranteed to the other the sure fulfilment of the covenant. Jesus therefore was to assume at a certain period, called the "fulness of time,' our nature, and in that nature to repair God's broken law, and sustain the penalty due to the breach of it. Moved withi unbounded love to our fallen race, all this the Lord Jesus actually performed, when leaving 6 that glory which He had with the Father bes