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gloomy?-are appearances threatening ?-are we in distress of soul on account of our sins ?—are we drawing near to the grave, and our evidences of heaven obscured? still mercy will rejoice against judgment.

3. To imitate it.-God both gives and forgives; and so should we. Thus, when Christ had been exhorting his disciples to acts of mercy, he concludes by saying, “ Be ye perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

SERMON VI.

ON THE SPECIAL SALVATION OF BELIEVERS.

1 TIMOTHY iv. 10.

Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

It was the angel's message to the wondering shepherds, Unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord.” And what a Saviour Christ is we are told in the words of my text. He is the Saviour of all men, but not in the same sense or manner, for he is specially so of them that believe. Here it may be proper to show, in what sense Christ, or rather, God in Christ, is the Saviour of all men; in what more special sense he is the Saviour of true believers; and then take notice of the superior excellency of this manifestation of his character to the former.

I. I am to show in what sense Christ, or God in Christ, is the Saviour of all men.

1. He saves the whole world, and all the numerous inhabitants of it, from immediate ruin and destruction. As he formed at first, so he, to this day, upholds all things by the word of his power. He preserves all creatures in being, and causes the earth to bring forth its precious fruits for their support and nourishment; and this his goodness extends to his most bitter and irreclaimable enemies, causing his sun to shine upon the just and the unjust, the thankful and the unthankful. Notwithstanding the universal depravity of mankind, and the innumerable provocations the

Almighty receives from the guilty, yet he sustains the whole frame of nature by his omnipotent arm, and endures, as the Scripture expresses it, with much long suffering the vessels of wrath; who, unaffected by his love, and unmoved by the various instances of his lenity and compassion, are fitting themselves for destruction. Thus, “ the heavens and the earth, which are now," are said to be “ kept in store.” (2 Pet. iii. 7.) The sentence passed is not executed; the wrath deserved is not inflicted.

2. He saves kingdoms and societies of men from those desolating judgments which would otherwise fall upon them; and often distinguishes one nation from another by acts of goodness, and the exertions of his Almighty power. Thus he signalised the children of Israel: “ When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” (Hos. ii. 1); and, “ I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms ; but they knew not that I healed them," (ver. 3.) He bore with their iniquities, rebuked their adversaries, and, when they revolted from him, used methods of mercy to reclaim them. And, next to the children of Israel, perhaps there is no nation that has realized greater or more repeated instances of God's providential goodness and care than our own. Witness the early introduction of the gospel, the happy reformation from Popery, the settlement of the present Royal Family on the throne, and the many remarkable interpositions in our favour, when we were apparently on the brink of ruin. Happy art thou, O Britain ! " Who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord, who is the shield of thy help, and the sword of thine excellency!”

3. He saves particular persons from threatening dangers, and extricates them from those afflictions which would be too heavy for them to bear. His providence extends not only to the great and momentous concerns of states and kingdoms, but to the less imposing affairs of private life. All need his saving help, and all meet with it in one instance or another. We are all alike the subjects of

his dominion, and the objects of his care. His powerful arm protects us, and his bountiful hand supplies us; he heals our diseases, restrains our enemies, spreads our tables, and preserves us from numberless accidents at home and abroad; so that all may say, “Who is a God like unto thee?" “ He is good to all," says the Psalmist, “and his tender mercies are over all his works.” He gives us rain and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” I proceed,

II. To show in what more special sense God in Christ is the Saviour of true believers; and this may refer either to the conduct of his providence, or the displays of his grace.

1. To the conduct of his providence. Many good things do others receive from the hand of God; but with these good things the saints have also his good will, which good will sweetens all their comforts, and sanctifies all their afflictions; turns their afflictions into blessings, and makes their blessings, blessings indeed! There is a general providence which attends all mankind, denoted in those words, “ The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Prov. xv. 3): but there is a particular providence that watches over God's people; and therefore it is said, “ He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous.” (Job xxxvi. 7.) And to this David seems to allude, when he puts up those requests,—“ Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people, that I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice with the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance" (Psalm cvi. 4, 5); and in another place says, God, even our own God, shall bless us." (Psalm lxvii. 6.) Common comforts come to the saints as a fruit of covenant-love, and God's severest chastisements are the effects of his paternal affection. Those things that are not good in themselves work for their good ; and dispensations, grievous at the time, are salutary in their issue, for they produce, as the apostle tells Almighty receives from the guilty, yet he sustains the whole frame of nature by his omnipotent arm, and endures, as the Scripture expresses it, with much long suffering the vessels of wrath ; who, unaffected by his love, and unmoved by the various instances of his lenity and compassion, are fitting themselves for destruction. Thus, " the heavens and the earth, which are now," are said to be “ kept in store.” (2 Pet. iji. 7.) The sentence passed is not executed; the wrath deserved is not inflicted.

2. He saves kingdoms and societies of men from those desolating judgments which would otherwise fall upon them; and often distinguishes one nation from another by acts of goodness, and the exertions of his Almighty power. Thus he signalised the children of Israel: “ When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” (Hos. ii. 1); and, “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them,” (ver. 3.) He bore with their iniquities, rebuked their adversaries, and, when they revolted from him, used methods of mercy to reclaim them. And, next to the children of Israel, perhaps there is no nation that has realized greater or more repeated instances of God's providential goodness and care than our own. Witness the early introduction of the gospel, the happy reformation from Popery, the settlement of the present Royal Family on the throne, and the many remarkable interpositions in our favour, when we were apparently on the brink of ruin. Happy art thou, ( Britain ! “ Who is like unto thee, ( people, saved by the Lord, who is the shield of thy help, and the sword of thine excellency!”

3. He saves particular persons from threatening dangers, and extricates them from those afflictions which would be too heavy for them to bear. His providence extends not only to the great and momentous concerns of states and kingdoms, but to the less imposing affairs of private life. All need his saving help, and all meet with it in one instance or another. We are all alike the subjects of

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