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with power*. Hence, before he left his disciples, he assured them, “All power is committed to me in heaven " and in earth f."
The sun is, that our Lord Jesus Christ, by virtue of his divine nature, and his voluntary undertaking in our flesh, to fulfil all righteousness for us, both as to obedience and satisfaction, is exalted in that nature wherein he suffered, to be the sovereign Judge and Lord of all 1.. He it is now with whom we have to do. The Holy God, considered without respect to the covenant of grace, is a consuming fire to sinners; and we cannot stand before him. But now he reveals himself; he dwells, as in his temple, in the man Christ Jesus. He has intrusted all his glory and all his grace in his hands'; and to him we are to look, on him we are to depend, for all the blessings we need for time and eternity. For “ all things are delivered to him of the Father." All things is a most comprehensive expression. We may distribute it as referring to all persons, all blessings, and all dispensations.
1. All persons are in his hands. Hence his sublime title, “ King of kings, and Lord of lords g.” He doth what he will among the armies of heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth. Thus Isaiah saw his glory, and spake of him.
Ist, He is Lord over his enemies, and those that hate him. He rules them with a rod of iron, and so disposes their designs as to make them (though against their wills) the means and instruments of promoting his own purposes and glory. They are his servants even when they rage most against him. He has a bridle in their mouths to check and turn them at his pleasure. He can and often does control them, when they seem most sure of success, and always sets them bounds, which they cannot pass. So he showed his power over Pharaoh of old; the haughty king's resistance only gave occasion for a more glorious display of the greatness and goodness of the God of Israel. So he humbled the pride of Herod, and gave him up, in the midst of his guards, a prey to worms *. And thus, sooner or later, all his enemies are brought to lick the dust before him.
* Rom. i. 4. + Matth. xxviii. 18. | Phil. ii. 6-11.
Rev. xix. 16.; Dan. iv, 35.; Isa. vi. compared with John, xii. 41. || Ps. ii. 9.
2dly, But especially he is Lord of his own people. By nature indeed they likewise are his enemies, but he knows them all by name. They have been in a peculiar manner given to him by the Fathert; he accounts them his portion, and he will not lose his own I. He knows where to find them, and when to call them; and when his time is come, one word or look from him can disarm them in a moment, and bring them humbly to to his feet. How soon did he stop and change the persecuting Saulg! When they are thus made willing in the day of his power, he takes them under his especial care; and whoso toucheth them, toucheth the apple of his eye. He guides, and guards, and feeds, and strengthens them; he keeps them night and day, waters them every moment, and will not suffer any to pluck them out of his hand, nor will he himself leave them or forsake them, till he has done all that he has spoken to them of. He gives them likewise a new heart and gracious dispositions, suited to the honourable relation he has brought them into; so that they delight in his precepts, and yield him a cheerful, habitual, and universal obedience, from the constraining sense they have received of his inexpressible love.
+ John, xvii. 6.
John, x. 15, 16.
* Acts, xii, 23, § Acts, ix,
2. All blessings are at his disposal. Is not this a welcome declaration to awakened souls ? What is the blessing you want? Seek to Jesus, and you shall not be disappointed. Hear his gracious invitation, “ Ho,
every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and ye that have no money; come ye, buy and eat, yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without
price.--Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, “ and your soul shall live*.” The promised blessings which he holds in his hands, are the very same that the awakened enlightened conscience must have, and can have only from him.
1st, Pardon. How needful, how valuable is the pardon of sin to those who know what sin is, what it deserves, and what a share they have in it! Such are incapable of taking comfort till they know how God be reconciled, and sin forgiven. These are the persons to whom Jesus says, “ Look unto me, and be ye
saved. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions “ for mine own sake, and will not remember thy “
2dly, Righteousness. By believing in him sinners are not only pardoned, but justified. They are accepted in the beloved, and accounted righteous by his righteousness imputed to them, which we are assured is unto all, and upon all that believe, without any difference or exception 1. Hence his people adore him, and glory in him, by his name, the Lord our Righteousness.
+ Isa. lv. 1.
+ Isa. xlv. 22.; xliii. 25.
Rom. iii. 22.
In him they possess a righteousness answerable to the demands of the holy law, have confidence and liberty of access to God at present, though conscious of innumerable deficiencies in themselves; and they shall stand with boldness before him in this righteousness, and not be ashamed in the great day of his appearance, when he shall come to juze the world. .
3dly, Strength. The forgiveness of sin that is past would little avail, unless there was, provision made for a continual supply of needful grace. Without this we shall quickly grow weary, yield to the force of surrounding temptations, till at length the latter end would be worse than the beginning. But now every sincere soul may be freed from this fear. The
The way of prevention is pointed out, and the success infallibly secured by that one promise, though there are many to the same effect, “ They that wait on the Lord shall re“new their strength*.'
4thly, Healing. This is often necessary; for the spiritual warfare is not to be maintained long without wounds. Our great enemy is so subtle, so watchful, so well provided with temptations adapted to every temper and circumstance; and we are so weak, unpractised, and so often remiss and off our guard, that he will at times prevail to bring us into a dark, barren, backsliding state, despoiled of comfort, and oppressed with fears. But see what a good and gracious Shepherd we have: hear his comfortable words : “ I will seek “ that which was lost, and bring again that which was “ driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, " and will strengthen that which was sick t.”
5thly, Support under trouble. He has engaged to
* Isa, xl. 31.
+ Ezek. xxxiv. 16.
lead his people safely *, through fire and through water. He gives them leave to cast all their care upon him, with an assurance that he careth for them. He has said, “all things shall work together for their good; " that his grace shall be sufficient for them; and that “ in good time he will bruise Satan under their feet, “ make them more than conquerors,” and place them out of the reach of sin and sorrow for ever. Besides the habitual peace which arises from the believing consideration of these truths, he has likewise peculiar seasons of refreshment, when he manifests himself to the soul in a way the world knows not of, and often makes the hour of their sharpest trials the time of their sweetest and highest consolations : “ As the sufferings " of Christ abound in us, so our consolation aboundeth “by Christt."
3. All dispensations are under his direction. He is Lord of all, and does according to his pleasure among the armies of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. He is the supreme disposer,
1st, Of those external dispensations which are distinguished by the name of providential.
(1) Those that are welcome and prosperous, are both his gift and his purchase. To his people they come free: but he paid dear for them. And this gives them their chief value in the judgement of those who know him, to receive them as the pledges and fruits of his redeeming love. When the blessings of common providence are received and enjoyed as the gifts of God reconciled in Christ, they are then, and not otherwise, truly comfortable. It is this thought enables the poor
* Isa. xliii. 2. ; 1 Pet. iii. 17: ; Rom. viii. 28.; 2 Cor. xii. 19. + 2 Cor. i. 5.