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throne of grace, where majesty and mercy dwell together; from thence will the Lord meet you, from thence will he commune with you, from the mercyseat, from between the cherubim, upon the ark of the testimony. Lo, the Lord cometh out of his pavilion, the mighty God from Zion. Selah. His glory covereth the heavens, the earth is full of his praise. Α. fire of love goeth before him, mercy and truth are round about him, righteousness and peace are the habitation of his throne; he rideth on his horses and chariots of salvation, the covenant of life and peace is in his mouth.
Rejoice, ye heavens, make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Let the sea roar, the floods clap their hands, and the multitudes of the isles rejoice. Stand forth, the host of heaven, prepare your harps, cast down your crowns, be ready with your trumps, bring forth your golden vials full of odors; for our voices will jar, our strings will break, we cannot reach the note of our Maker's praise.
Yet let them that dwell in the dust arise and sing. Bear your part in this glorious service, but consider and attend. Call out your souls, and all that is within you. Lift up your voices, fix your eyes, enlarge your hearts, exert all their powers; there is work for them all. Be intent and serious, you cannot raise too high a strain.
Come forth, ye graces, beset the way, be all in readiness. Stand forth, faith and hope; flame, O love; come, ye warm desires, and break with longing. Let fear with all veneration do its obeisance. Joy, prepare thy songs, call up all the daughters of music to salute the Lord as he passeth by. Let the generations of the saints appear, and spread the way with boughs and garments of salvation, and songs of deliverance. Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God, your captains, your elders, your officers, with all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the stranger that is within thy camp, from the hewer of wood to the drawer of water—that thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: that he may establish thee to-day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn. Deut. 29:10–13.
I have done my errand. The messenger of the morning disappeareth; when the orient Sun cometh forth out of his chambers, I vanish. I put my mouth in the dust. The voice of the Lord! The soft and still voice! O my soul, wrap thy face in thy mantle, and bow thyself to the ground, and put thee in the cleft of the rock, while Jehovah proclaimeth his name, and maketh all his goodness to pass before thee.
THE VOICE OF THE LORD.
Hear, 0 ye ends of the earth, the mighty God, the Lord hath spoken: Gather my saints unto me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. Behold, I establish my covenant between me and you. By my holiness have I sworn, that I will be your covenant friend. I lift up my hand to heaven, and swear that I live for ever; and because I live, you shall live also. I will be yours--yours to all intents and purposes : your refuge and your rest; your patron and your portion; your heritage and your hope ; your God and your guide. While I have, you shall never want; and what I am to myself, I will be to you. And you shall be my people, a chosen generation, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a peculiar treasure unto me above all people. I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I take you for mine for ever. My name shall be upon you, and you shall be pillars in the temple of your God, and shall go no more out.
My livery shall you wear, and the stamp of my own face shall you carry; and I will make you my witnesses, and the epistles of Christ unto the world, and you shall be chosen vessels to bear my name before the sons of men. And that you may see that I am in earnest with you, lo, I make with you an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; and do here solemnly deliver it to you as my act and deed, sealed with sacred blood, and ratified with the oath of God, a God that cannot lie, that knows no place for repentance. Come, ye blessed, receive the instrument of your salvation; take the writings, behold the seals; here are the conveyances of the kingdom. Fear not, the donation is free and full. See, it is written in blood, founded on the all-sufficient merits of your Surety, in whom I am well pleased; whose death makes this testament unchangeable for ever; so that your names can never be put out, nor your inheritance alienated, nor your legacies dimin
ished; nothing may be altered, nothing added, nothing subtracted, no, not for ever. Happy art thou, O Israel! Who is like unto thee, 0 people ? Only believe, and know your own blessedness. Attend, O my children, unto the blessings of your Father; and hear and know,
I. THE GLORIOUS IMMUNITIES and THE ROYAL PREROGATIVES that I here confirm upon you. 1. THE GLORIOUS IMMUNITIES.
Here I seal you your pardon. Though your sins be as many as the sands, and as mighty as the mountains, I will drown them in the deeps of my bottomless mercies. I will be merciful to your unrighteousness; I will multiply to pardon; where your sins have abounded, my grace shall superabound; though they be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Behold, I declare myself satisfied, and pronounce you absolved. The price is paid, your debts are cleared, your bonds are cancelled.
Whatever the law, or conscience, or the accuser hath to charge upon you, here I exonerate you, I discharge you. I, even I, am He that blotteth out your transgressions, for my name's sake. Who shall lay any thing to your charge, when I acquit you? Who shall impeach or implead you, when I proclaim you guiltless ? Sons, daughters, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you. I will sprinkle your consciences, and put the voice of peace into their mouths, and they shall be your registers, in which I will record your pardon, and the voice of guilt and wrath and terror shall cease.
Here I sign your release from the house of bondage. Come forth, ye captives, come forth, ye prisoners of hope, for I have found a ransom, I proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Behold, I have broken your bonds, and shaken the foundations of your prisons, and opened the iron gates. By the blood of the covenant have I sent forth the prisoners out of the pit wherein there is no water. Arise, O redeemed of the Lord, put off the raiment of your captivities, arise and come away.
The dark and noisome prison of sin shall no longer detain you. I will loose your fetters, and knock off your bolts. Sin shall not have dominion over you. I will heal your backslidings, I will subdue your iniquities, I will sanctify you wholly, and will put my fear in your hearts, that you shall not depart from me. Though your corruptions be strong and many, yet the aids of my Spirit, the cleansing virtue of my word and of my corrections, shall so work together with your prayers and endeavors, that they shall not finally pre.vail against you, but shall surely fall before you.
From the strong and loathsome jail of the grave do I deliver you. O death, I will be thy plague; 0 grave, I will be thy destruction; my beloved shall never see corruption. I will change your rottenness into glory, and make your dust arise and praise me. What is sown in weakness, I will raise in power; what is sown in corruption, I will raise in incorruption; what is sown a natural body, I will raise a spiritual body. This very flesh of yours, this corrupt