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"Who, of,God, is made unto us, righteousness," i Cor. i. 30.
In sine, the word of promise, emitted by the Father, yea and amen in Christ, recorded in the gospel, and exhibited there, for the obedience of saith, is, in a peculiar manner, the object of this trust. Whatever God has promised, to his. anointed, respecting sinners,—whether as to blessings, common or peculiar, temporal, spiritual, or eternal; every such word of grace and promise is a bottom of trust, to be improved, looked to, leaned on, acquiesced in, by them. The psalmist spoke with a distinguishing relish, of " the word upon which "God had caused him to hope," Psal. cxix. 49. and, by such improvement of the word, men trust in the Lord, whose veracity and other persections are engaged for the accomplishment of it.
The matter of this trust is manifold,—equal in* breadth and length to the new covenant, and the promises of it; it comprehends every thing, wrapped up, conveyed, and secured there; every thing, respecting the being, well-being, and persection of the lise of grace in the soul; every thing needed here, every thing to be enjoyed hereaster. Branching out into particulars, would oblige us to condescend on converting, renewing, pardoning, comforting, establishing, and sealing grace; on furniture for work and warsare; on spiritual wisdom, gracious ability, divine protection, perseverance in the ways of holiness, together with the end of men's saith, the salvation of their souls- In Ihort, all the blessings, benesits, riches, righteousness and redemption, provided for in the covenant, purchased by the Saviour, secured by the promise, exhibited by the gospel, and enjoyed by the laved ones, in foul and body, in time and eternity, belong to .. 'the the matter of this trust, and are comprehended in
The exercise of this trust is peculiar to the soul, as having its feat there: and carries in it thjeir believing the truth of these discoveries, respecting Christ,; andirespecting the promise, which is called b)p* our Lord, a * setting to the leal, that God i&tru^" John iii, 3. «-It carries in it their approbation of the things discovered, as excellent in themselves, suitable to sinners, and glorious in their effects; as these were all David's salvation, so they arc *' all thsir desire." It carries in it, their acceptance of these blessings; their receiving, applying, and, in way of humble endeavour, through grace, making the whole their own, by believing, as Jehovah Redeemer does, by revelation and exhibition: " Be it, or it shall be, unto me, according to "thy word," Luke i. 38. is the language of that divine exercise. It carries in it, their dependence on the Lord, as the object of their trust, for his bestowing the exceeding great and precious blessings, which are the matter of it: their being so . persuaded of his truth, justice, power, and other attributes, that they cannot imagine, how the smallest iotta can sail; and so persuaded of the Lord's security being legal, good and valid, that they look on rhe blessings promised as theirs; and actually enter on duties and trials, in the saith the promise shall be accomplished, and the blessing bestowed: at least, in proportion to the measure and degrees of such trust, this will be the cafe. But, as this exercise is seated in the soul, so it influences the conduct; it leads to -the performance of new and holy obedience, in all its parts; as to heart and Use, principle and practice, word and action.
The security that sinners shall thus see and fear' and trust, lies in the Messiah having said so. They Jhall fee, -6r. (says he) in the passage under view. Though the.fe exc-rciles are incumbent upon sinners, in way of duty; yet, as long al they are unconverted, they are incapable of »ihem and* therefore scriptural calls to the performance of these da-, •ties, are, -in such unhappy circumstances' killing letters, suit of demands, the sinner cannot answer, and big with consequences he can-not bear-. Bur, to the ceaseleis praise of matchless grace, the exercises represented in the foregoing sections, are, in- numberless other scriptures, considered rather as privileges than -duties>• and, therefore, our Lord's words may be considered as a promise ofputting sinners in possession of them.—JehovahRedeemer, foreseeing the wretched circumstances of forlorn men, and being well pleased for his own righteousness sake, .interposed, and interposes, 'in way of promise, that sinners, at least the elect part of them, should comply with his will of grace, in the particulars 'condescended upon. He interposed, and interposes, in such a manner, that regard to his own persections, and zeal for his cwn glory, absolutely secures the accomplishment of the promise, in the experience of sinners. T here are other promises, wherein peace and paidon, life and salvation, are secured; but, in this, and luch like words of grace, the very influence needed toward their discovery and improvement of these blessings, is treasured up, and pointed out; warranting them to expeft, that the Lord will actually cause them see and feqr and trust. .
Promiie», in geneial, are made immediately by the .father, to his anointed; and, thence, according
to the apostle, "yea and amen in Christ;" 2 Cor. i. 20.—whereas this promise is uttered by the Messiah himself; in which, he either acts as God, and ascertains his oneness with, and equality to the Farther and Spirits,in making and performing the promiles «f.«he covenant ; or else he expresses his intire, unshaken confidence in-the Father's veracity, plightSd'-to him, Jey the covenant, for th« ends»of his people's salvation; and does so as a pattern ind encouragement for sinners to aim at the same reliance on the Promiscr, as if they were equally able to believe ; and, as sensible of their own weakness and wickedness, to look to the promise for the grace of saith itself.
SEC T. VI.
The promise under consideration is, as ,to tne subjects of it, vastly extensive; for it is not one, or a few, but many, who shall be put under the influence of it, and enjoy the bltfllngs wrapped up* in it. In this indefinite way, the great number of the saved ones is emphatically pointed out; and though they are few compared with the rest of mankind, they are, in scripture, represented as numerous in themselves. Not to speak of Enoch's prophecy, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh, "with ten thousands of his saints," Jude 14. nor of John's vision, who saw " one hundred and forty "four thousand sealed," Rev. vii 4. we are informed, by the same divine authority, that the sinners, who have been, now are, or shall afterWards be put under the influence of this promise, ere absolutely countless and innumerable; "I be"held (says the apostle) and lo a great multitude, "which no man could number, of all nations, and "kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood be*,
"fore "fore the throne, and before the Lamb," Rev', vii. 9. And, "in my Father's house (said our "Lord) are many mansions;" and, as no heir shall want a mansion, so, no mansion, in Christ's Father's house, shall want an heir, when the mystery of God is finished.
SECT. VII. t
'What a distinguishing mercy is it to us, that there is such a thing as a promise! that ever Jehovah condescended to speak words of grace to sinners! He might have supported the glory of his whole character, though sinners had never heard any thing from the mouth of God, but words of terror and wrath. That, therefore, mount Sinai is changed into mount Zion, is a mercy, whereof we can never have too high thoughts; a mercy we can never enough admire, and for which we can aever enough adore.
How suitable this promise to our circumstances, as sinners! The very grace we need is provided, laid up, and secured there; and that grace is exhibit in such manner,—to such degree, that all our needs may be supplied, all our plagues cured, and all our treasures filled. If we are straitned, it is not in God, but in ourselves. The true eye-salve, the living balm, the mollifying ointment, are stored up here; and if sinners eyes are not opened, their hearts not quickened, nor their diseases healed,—it is owing*to a criminal neglect of this grace of God; by no means, to any defect in the promise itself.'
When men are acquainted with the influence of this promise, in the respects mentioned, their stare is doubtlels gracious, and their frame evangelical. And, though labouring under such uncertain ty as