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and Deity in humanity is seen honouring the law man had violated. This is so glorious a truth, my brethren, the merit of this work is so great, that if I had in my person the accumulated transgressions of all the inhabitants of this metropolis, this filthy weight of corruption would, by the efficacy of the atonement of Christ Jesus, be buried as it were for ever in the depths of the sea. In the election of Christ, the sovereignty of God shines supremely in taking the human nature into the Divine-the nature of that Being who had reduced himself into the very condition of Satan. It would have been an astonishing act of condescension, if Deity had condescended to ally itself with the nature of those glorious spirits who never fell—but what shall we say when he united himself to ours?
Again-the sovereignty of God appears supremely in choosing the Virgin Mary to become the mother of Christ : all the support which Christ derived from the living God, flowed from the election of grace. In speaking of this subject of election, some persons say it matters not what I do if I am not one of the elect. My brethren, mistake not, let us be accurate; election has no more to do with the destruction of the sinner than if there were no election ; your destruction is the conse
quence of your sin; and your own conscience will tell you that you delight in sin, that ye will not seek after God. Every blessing that flows from heaven to earth is the fruit of the election of God, from this all the blessed work of the Holy Spirit flows. .
Again--God in speaking of his Son, says, “Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth,” the inference irresistibly follows, (namely) he delights in all who believe on his Son, in every one who delights in Jesus. Believer, you are sometimes in a state of doubt and spiritual darkness and distrusting your soul's safety ; here is a test, an infallible test, a pledge, an earnest. Do you delight in Jesus Christ? This is the perfection of true religion on earth as it is in heaven-is now, and will be for ever. The Father has committed his own church and his own glory to the care of his Son. Am I disposed to do the same ? then I am truly religious ; the child of God is doing that on earth which God did from all eternity; he chooses Christ, and why? because he is a Saviour to the uttermost. This work of the believer choosing, loving, and honouring the Saviour, will render more glory to God than all the worship of angels. Why do you trust him? because, replies the believer, I know if I did not, 1 should offer the greatest offence against
God, and I dare not. It is a good sign, if the believer says I dare not distrust Christ. What then shall we be engaged in if we thus trust in Christ and choose him ? we shall be viewing in him the perfections of God as displayed in the salvation of the sinner. This is an infallible proof of the believer's election : it is a proof, too, that he will be kept throughout eternity. But you say if you are not taught these truths, and are not one of the elect, it is no fault of yours. Remember your destruction is your own seeking, your own conscience accuses you : the secret purposes of God are no rule for you, -sin is your own choice-you love it. To him in whom the church finds everlasting salvation, and who is all-sufficient here and hereafter be ascribed all glory and praise now and for ever.
October 8, 1820.
THE COUNSEL OR PURPOSE OF GOD TOWARDS
My counsel shall stand, I will do all my pleasure.
ISAIAH xlvi. 10.
The Lord himself, in this chapter, is exposing the vanity of idols, and the vanity of those who trust in them; and at the same time he dwells upon his own perfections, and the blessings he had vouchsafed to the people of Israel : “Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb; and even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”—Isaiah xlvi. 3, 4. Again, he reminds them of this important truth, his omniscience, “ I am God and there is none else ; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not
yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, I will do all my pleasure.” This counsel comprises in it everything, but in this place, (verse 11) the Lord is more particularly alluding to the calling of Cyrus, and then adverts to the salvation of his church and people—“My counsel shall stand, I will do all my pleasure.” All the dispensations of God will in some respect or other, prove to be the hand-maids of the salvation of the chosen church of God. I mean to consider the words of the text according to their spiritual signification, although not so exclusively; for while we are creatures of sight and sense, temporal blessings are needful for us, and these make part of the counsel of God towards his church. “I am God and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”—Isaiah xlvi. 9, 10.
The Lord here in the first place, dwells upon his OMNISCIENCE, and in the next, upon his COUNSEL, PURPOSE, AND GOVERNMENT."
I. The OMNISCIENCE of God does not neces
| God's Government was the subject of a subsequent sermon, infra December 31, 1820.