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IMPARTED THROUGH CHRIST TO HIS PEOPLE. These blessings are primarily given to Christ for us—“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required : then said I, Lo! I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God : yea thy law is within my heart." He purchased every blessing for his church, and he hath promised to bestow them. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jer. xxxi. 33. God in the fulfilment of his covenant will be as faithful to the weakest of his people, as he was to his own son. Do not think God is as prone to desert you, as you are to desert him. What precious promises are made to the head of this covenant people, and, in being made to the head, they are also made to the members of the spiritual body. God the Father will be as faithful to the Saviour as to his people. There are some promises indeed which could only have been made to Christ: I mean those connected with his kingly prerogative.
Again-With respect to other blessings Christ was first justified, and sanctified, he triumphed
over hell and death, as the covenant head of his brethren, and as such, he also first rose from the grave, a surety and representative of them.
Again-These blessings of the covenant are as certain to the people of Christ as to Christ himself. Well might David comfort himself with the provisions of this covenant, when he said, “ Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow."
Again-Consider what interest we individually have in these blessings.
IV. IN THIS COVENANT WE MUST DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE SECRET PURPOSE AND THE REVEALED WILL of God; and consider in what sense this covenant concerns Christ as God in his essential glory, and Christ, as standing in a new relation to his people.
We must consider, first, the internal operations of the covenant, and, secondly, the external administration of the gospel. We see these two harmonize ; sinners are addressed by God“Incline your ear and come unto me; hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” “Ho, every one that thirsteth
come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread ? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good ; and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Isaiah lv. 1, 2. God must necessarily have a secret will or purpose in every dispensation. This secret purpose never can nor must it be our rule of action, nor indeed must we attempt to pry into it. Again-God's having this secret will or purpose, never can be the cause of any individual perishing.
The grace that saves some must flow from his purpose, but the rejection of himself and the sin in those who perish is not to be traced to his purpose. It is God's secret purpose to withhold his converting grace; in this there is nothing positive on God's part: he purposes to do nothing. I am sure if I perish it is my own doing; it cannot be traced to God's purpose of reprobation.
We become interested in this covenant by Faith in Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit of God that quickens in us this life of faith.
ON THE DIVINE AND HUMAN NATURE OF THE
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he
shall stand at the latter day upon the earth : and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me.- JOB xix. 25–27.
The lethargy which the believer sometimes experiences is one of the most striking proofs of the corruption of human nature; for with the eye of the intellect be sees himself more indebted to God than all the angelic host of heaven, and yet his heart remains insensible. We know but little, whilst on earth, of the awful power of sin, in the bosom of the most eminent believer; sometimes God afflicts him throughout his life to lead him to himself; and had not Job been so severely tried, he would not now
be enjoying the recompence of faith in God as he does : do not then, my brethren, be weary of chastisement: harassed and oppressed by his enemies, we find Job uttering one of the sublimest professions of faith that was ever made; all the enemies of hell and of earth were permitted to try him ; and what does this prove, but that God is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto him by Jesus Christ ? When we are truly wise, and live in close communion with God, we never murmur against him for the removal of any temporal blessing. Job did not look forward to futurity irrespective of the present moment; and to do justice to futurity, we must do justice to the present time. The communion of Christ with his church was as perfect in the days of Job as now ; therefore had he equal confidence in him with the believer of the present day; and he looked forward in the fullest assurance of faith to the coming of Christ to redeem his church. While in the deepest distress Job was living on all the merit, on all the wealth, and on all the love of One who was God. Would we have Job's experience, we must lead a life of faith. In the midst of the severest affliction, Job could say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth ; " this was enough for him. St. Paul experienced the same love, gratitude,