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How transcendent is the Redeemer's glory irr this view!

And how glorious will he appear, when all that he has redeemed from every nation of the earth shall unite in ascribing salvation to him!

The saving of a few from one nation only would not have been a suitable recompence

for his work He might well have complained that he had “spent his strength for nought"

But he will be fully satisfied with the travail of his soul,” because the birth of his womb will be as the dew of the morning"

We shall conclude with a word or two of ADVICE

1. Welcome the Saviour under the characters which are here given him

[We all need him as the light of our minds, and the Saviour of our souls

Let none then boast of the light of reason, or lean to their own understanding”

Nor let us trust in our own goodness to merit, or strength to work out salvation

Let us rather look to Jesus for the teaching of his word and Spirit

And unite our acknowledgments with those of the saints of old

Let us rejoice exceedingly that “help is laid upon One so mighty"

And let us receive him for all the ends for which he is offered to us

Let none say, I am so far off, I can never hope for salvation

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by him

His exhortatian recorded by the prophet yet sounds in our


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Nor shall any be ashamed who put their trust in him-]

2. Do not attempt to separate his characters, but unite them

[In vain shall we hope to be saved by Christ, if he have not enlightened our understandings

Though he gives not to all his people the same degree of knowledge, he invariably instructs them in the most important truths

And if we have no views of the evil of sin, the deceitfulness of the heart, the beauty of holiness, and the suitableness of his salvation, we are still in a lost and perishing condition

q Isai. xlv, 24.

p Ps. cx. 3.
s i Cor. i. 30,

r Ps. Ixxxix. 19.
* Isai. xlv. 22.

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The text itself informs us that Christ becomes our salvation by being our light

On the other hand, let us not rest in a speculative knowledge of these things

We must manifest the practical and sanctifying effects of what we know

We must be delivered from the love and practice both of open and secret sin

Without this, the clearest perception of divine truths will be of no avail

Let us unite in our experience what is thus united in Christ

And seek to grow as well in gracious affections, as in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour"-]

u 2 Pet. iii. 18.

CLXVII. THE EQUITY OF CHRIST'S GOVERNMENT. 2 Sam. xxiii. 144. Now these be the last words of David.

David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet Psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over man must be just, ruling in the fear of God: and he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds: as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. THESE words are generally understood as descriptive of the duty of civil governors, and of the happiness of any people who live under a government that is thus administered. But they have doubtless a further reference, even to Christ himself, whose character they designate in the niost appropriate terms. The very energetic manner in which the prophecy before us is introduced, and the strong profession which the writer makes of his immediate inspiration from God, leave no doubt upon the mind, but that something more must be intended in this passage than a mere direction to earthly magistrates. A very small alteration in the translation will exhibit it in its true lighi

. The passage might more properly be translated thus: David the son of Jesse saith, and the man, &c. saith, The Spirit of the Lord speaketh by me, and his word is in my tongue; the God of Is. rael saith, the Rock of Israel speaketh to me, The Just One ruleth over men; he ruleth in the fear of Gods as the light of the morning a sun shall rise, even a morning without clouds, when the tender grass springeth out of the eartb, &c.

Christ is frequently spoken of in scripture as the Just ONE,' in contradistinction to all others; and as the Sun that enlightens the whole spiritual world. The prophet Malachi, probably having an eye to the very passage before us, combines the two ideas, and foretels the advent of Christ, as “the Sun of righteousness."d In this view of the words, we shall be led to consider I. The nature of Christ's government

[In the sacred oracles, a peculiar stress is laid on the equity of that dominion which Christ exercises over his chosen people. And who that has submitted to his government, must not confirm the truth that is so much insisted on? Behold his laws; is there one which does not tend to the happiness of his creatures? They are all comprehended in one word, Love; love to God, and love to man: and can any thing be conceived more excellent in itself, or more beneficial to man, than such a law? Well does the apostle say of it, that it is “holy and just and good." Behold his administration; is there any one point in which a righteous governor can excel, that is not found, in its most perfect measure, in him? He relieves the needy, succours the weak, protects the oppressed, and executes judgment without any respect of persons: and though none merit any thing at his hands, he dispenses rewards and punishments in as exact proportion to the conduct of men, as if he weighed their merits in a balance. Who ever sought him diligently, without finding him? Who ever did much or suffered much for him, without ample testimonies of his approbation? On the other hand, whoever drew back from him, or violated his holy laws, without “receiving in himself that recompence which was meet?” Whatever inequalities may appear in his government (as when virtue is oppressed, and vice is triumphant) he removes them all, by vouchsafing to the sufferer the consolations of his Spirit, and the prospects of his glory. Thus truly may he be said to "rule in the fear of


If prosperity and happiness result from a righteous administration of civil governments, much more are they the portion of Christ's subjects. This is beautifully illustrated in the words before us; wherein his government is further delineated in II. Its effects

[The sun rising in the unclouded hemisphere, cheers and

Acts iii. 14. & vii. 52. & xxii. 14. c John viii, 12. d Mal. iv. 2. Isai. ix. 7. & xi. 2--5.“ in the fear of the Lord.f Rom. vii. 12.

exhilarates all who behold it: and, when it shines on the earth that has been refreshed with gentle showers, it causes the grass, and every herb; to spring forth almost visibly before our eyes.

And is it not thus with all who submit themselves to Christ? do not new prospects open to them, and, with their more enlarged views, are they not revived with proportionable consolations are they not gladdened with the light of his countenance are they not sometimes almost overwhelmed with the glory of his countenance, or transported with joy unspeakable? yes; to them there is an unclouded sky, except as far as sin prevails: if they were as perfectly obedient to the will of Christ as the saints in heaven are, they would have a very heaven upon earth. If they have any intermission of their joy, it is not owing to any strictness in his laws, or any defect in his administration, but to their own indwelling lusts and corruptions.

What an astonishing effect too does the light of his countenance produce with respect to fruitfulness in good works! let the soul, watered with the tears of penitence, and softened with contrition, once feel the genial influence of his rays, and there will be an instantaneous change in its whole deportment: “it will revive as the corn, and grow as the vine; and the scent thereof will be as the wine of Lebanon.". Every holy affection will be called forth into exercise; and every fruit of righteousness abound to the glory of God.

Such are the effects which the psalmist elsewhere ascribes to Christ's government;h and such, in all ages, have invariably resulted from it.] INFER

1. How earnestly should we desire the universal esta. blishment of Christ's kingdom!

[Little do men consider the import of that petition, “ Thy kingdom come.” In uttering this prayer, we desire that our whole souls, and the souls of

all mankind, may be subjected to Christ. And truly this event would restore the golden age of paradise. Ungodly men indeed would persuade us, that an unlimited submission to Christ would be an occasion of melancholy, and a source of misery. But, if once they were to ex. perience the effects of his government upon their own souls, they would learn, that obedience to him is the truest happiness of 'man. Let us then take upon us his light and easy yoke, as the only, and the certain means of finding rest unto our souls.]

2. What madness is it to continue in rebellion against Christ!

$ Hos. xiv. 7.

Ps. Ixxii. 2-7.

i Acts ii. 41-47.

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[It is not at our option' whether Christ shall be our ruler or not; for “ God has set him upon his holy hill of Zion,” and in due season,

put all his enemies under his feet." If we will not bow before the sceptre of his grace, he will “ break us in pieces with a rod of iron.” Shall we then provoke him to wrath, when we have so much to dread from his displeasure! let us rather “ kiss the sun, lest he be angry, and we perish from the way."" Thus shall we now enjoy the felicity of his chosen; and, in the day that all his enemies shall be slain before him, we shall be made partners of his throne for evermore.]

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k Ps. ii. 1-12.


IN CHRIST. 1 Pet. ii. 6. It is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in

Sion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth in him shall not be confounded.

THE scriptures universally speak the same language with respect to Christ; in every part he is represented as the only Saviour, and the all-sufficient help of sinful manIn this respect the Old Testament prepares us for what is contained in the New, and the New reflects light upon the Old; and thus they mutually illustrate and confirm each other—This observation naturally arises from the frequent appeals made by the apostles to the prophetic writings; and particularly from the manner in which St. Peter introduces the passage before us: he seems to intimate not only that the prophet had been inspired to declare the same truth, but that this prophecy bad been given of God on purpose to prepare the way for the more direct injunctions of the Gospel-His words declare to us. I. The excellency of Christ

Christ is often spoken of as a foundation, because he supports the spiritual temple of God; but here he is represented as a corner-stone laid by the hands of God himself

[The excellency of the chief corner-stone, which lies also at the foundation, consists in this, that while it supports the building, it also connects the different parts of it together Now Christ has united together, not only Jews and Gentiles,

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