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Tieart a"n(! lise: they shall see "him to be of such inssinite persection, excellences-moral excellence, and glory, that he" dannot but be angry with sinners, as such; «od afigry with them ;every day; nor do otherways than act as a coniuming sire teethe workers of iniquity.
Was this the whole,*their seeing God could only wound, distress, distract, and drive them to. hopeleiness and despair: sor none, in this sense, can lee God. and live. But the promise carries ia •it, their" seeing him also* as gracious. Accordingly, under the influence of it, sinners shall see God as reconciling the worW. unto himself, in Jesus Christ, not imputing to them their treipas-7** ies; as not only merciful, but just, in justifyiag' even the ongodly who believe; as acceflaole by sinners, the chief not excepted; and placable toward them in the way of his appointment by the gospel: they shall see him, as calling, warranting, encouraging, commanding them, whatever they . have been, done, deserved, to return to him; as * revealing, exhibiting and ossering peace and pardon, life and salvation, grace and glory, to the hearers of the gospel; and declaring his willingness they should be saved, his unwillingness they should perish: they shall see him as particularly exalted in the dispensation of eternal lise to sinners, and -wondersully glorisied in their enjoyment of it t they shall fee him, as using every argument for prevailing with men to believe, and to make thuir calling and election sure: and, to cro*n all, they -shall see him as exhibiting his free, gracious, absolute promise, "to work in them the whole go>l '' pleasure of his goodness, and die work of saith "f with power," 2 Thess. L 11.
E 5 SEC X.
., '*S E C T. III.
Another blessing here promised, is, "They "shall sear." As the blessing represented in the preceding section respects the sinner's understanding, so this his a regard to his affections, the proper seat of sear. Under the influence of this promise, sinners shall be made anxious and thoughtful about salvation; shall dread the consequence of abiding in their natural state; shall be apprehensive of perishing under the load of divine wrath; shall become restless, as long as they are sar from God, and his righteousness ; shall not be easy at a distance from Jesus Christ, the only ordinance of heaven for saving sinners; shall forebode a peculiar degree of /nisery, in the event of dying in their sins, after all the means, toward their recovery, they have enjoyed; shall despair of help from themselves, or other creatures; and may labour under some degree of uncertainty, that ever the Lord will interpose in their behalf, or come for their salvation. According to the degrees of this legal sear, they shall read of no threatening, in the whole book of God, and shall heat of no terror, in the application of scripture doctrine, without considering the whole as addressed to them.. It is in this way that the arrows of the Almighty drink up their spirits; that the terrors of the Lord make them afraid; that they seel the sentence of death in themselves; that their consciences are wounded, their peace broken, their salse hopes overturned, the foundations of their former rest entirely lapped, and all their wounds made to wear an incurable aspect. Thus sar sinners my sear, thus sar numbers have seared, without going sarther, without being saved.
But, where the Lord has gracious ^designs upon thefeuljhe leave* them not iu this lui^cri,—forsakes them not in this labyrinth; but makes an evangelical and laving exercise to follow this of a common and legal kind; and makes that law- work* conducive toward their future experience of gospel grace. Wherefore, under the influence of this promise, they shall be made to fear in a filial, as well as in a legal manner; they shall be put among the children of God, as a necessary pre-requisite to their having, and exercising the temper of children; shall, in consequence of their union to Jesus Christ, have interest in God as their Father, and in all the privileges and blessings—arisiftg from that relation, connected with it, and inseparable from it. They shall belong to his samily, not only as creatures, but as renewed and redeemed creatures; not only, as he is the great Parent of mankind, but as he is a God of grace, and Father in Christ. This endearing relation, as to their enjoyment of the fruits and effects of it, commences at conversion, and continues to eternity: "Ye are all the
* children of God (says the apostle to the Galati"ans) by saith in Christ Jesus," Gal. Hi. 26. aud, to the Romans, he speaks " of the glorious liberty "of the children of God," Rom viii 21. Besides this tranflation into the samily of God by conversion, they shall, under the influence of this promise, be animated with the Spirit,—the living Spirit of Jesus Christ, as equally necessary toward the suitable exercise of this holy fear. For, when the Lord promises the effect, it implies his promising iikeways the cause from whence such effect can only flow: "And because ye are sons (says the aoostle, "to the belk vers at Galatia) God hath sent forth
* the Spirit of his Son into your heart," Gal. iv.
6. Moreover, under the influence of this prosnisc, they shall have a holy and conscientious respect- to the authority and law of Godt "Theo shall soot "be ashamed (lays the psalmist) when s have a re"spect* unto all thy commandments," Psal. cxix. 6. They shall, from a principle of love to God, be 'tender of offending him, at any time, in any way, to any degree. They shall be as cautious of incurring satherly displeasure, or subjecting themselves to the discipline of the new covenant, as, under the influence of legal sear, they were of salling under she divine wrath, and bearing the penalty of the covenant of works: they shall entertain a holy jealousy and suspicion of themselves; and, convinced of the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of their own hearts, study a habitual watchfulness against backsliding from the Lord, in heart or way: they shall thence be particularly concerned, that the Lord would "hold up their goings in bis "paths, that their footsteps flip not," Psal. xvii ;. Thus, by Solomon, the holy Ghost represents the man as " happy, that seareth alway," Prov. xxviii. 14. and the man as wretched, who is a stranger to that sear; "For he that trusteth to his own heart, "is a fool," Prov. xxviii. 26.
The last blessing mentioned in this promise is, that they " shall trust in the Lord."—'Upon gospel principles, the object of the sinner's trust must be a God in Christ; a God revealing himsels to men, in the person of Christ, "who is the brightness of "his glory, and the express image of his person," Heb. i. 3. in so much, that "he who hath seen "the Son, hath seen the Father." John xiv. p.—
must be a God revealing himself in the doctrine ,of£hsLst;. wjirch IheWs the divine perfections, and the'harmony pi them, in the salvation of sinners ;— revealingiumself in the obedience of Chrilr, as in which the divine law, however holy, however expensive, was magnified and made honourable ;— and in the death of Christ, as what justice required, and with which Justice was satisfied. Tile object of their trull, is a God well p'tascd with sinners through Jesus Christ; pieaied with their persons, as repreiented by him; and pleased with their performances, as flowing from vital union with him, and influence derived from him; and a God, »glorified in the salvation of sinners, through the mediation of Christ; a God. providing, allowing, dispensing, commanding their salvation in that channel, and doing so, without the least dishonour to any of his perfections, Justice and Truth themselves not excepted. David calls pardoned sinnci%. to " give, thanks at the remembrance of God's ho"liness;" Psal. Nxx. 4.—and the apostle speaks of God's being "just, and the justifier of him which "believeth in Jesus," Rom. iii 26. None doubts, that mercy and goodness shine in the dispensation of grace and glory to sinners; but, as the object of their trust, the, leemingly jining, attributes of the Divine Nature, are all reconciled and celebrated in the same dispensation.—The righteousness of Jesus' Christ, called in scripture the righteousness o£ God, is particularly comprehended in this object of trust; oui Lord's righteousness, being the price osredemptiou, the condition of salvation, is to be leaned unto, by all who need such blessings, and have no perlonal righteousness, by which to procure them: "This is the name wherewith he shall be called, *' The Lord our righteousness," Jer. xxiii. 6. And ^I'ays the apostle, speaking of Jesus Chiist)