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had spoken, from the similarity of his experience to my own. “How, or when, (I said) “ or by what means the Lord hath begun the “ work of grace in my heart, I know not: but, “ like the poor man we read of in the Gospel, 6 I trust I can say, that whereas I was blind, - now I see. It is, indeed, but a confused " and ill-formed view of things, which I have 166 at present, in looking at the bright objects “ of Divine truth. I see but indistinctly, men “as trees walking. Yet, I cannot but hope, “ that He who hath graciously touched mine “ eyes, will touch them again, and make me “ see clearly.”
. . « Doubt not (replied the Traveller) the “ Divine faithfulness. The earnest of the “ Spirit becomes no less the earnest of the “ promised inheritance.* And an Apostle says, 166 we may be confident of this very thing, that “ He which hath begun a good work in us, will “ perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. As “ nothing, under Divine grace, will tend to ~ open your apprehensions more clearly, to “ the truth as it is in Jesus, than the possessing
right notions of the Covenant of Grace, on " which the whole system of the Gospel is “ founded; I have brought with me a sermon, " written upon the subject, and which, accord“ ing to my conception, places the doctrine in “ the plainest point of view possible. If it be “ agreeable (he added) I will read it to you."
* Compare 2 Cor. v. 5. with Ephes. i. 13, 14.
“ Nothing.” (I answered).“ can be more de: “ sirable to me.”-He accordingly took it from his pocket, and read as follows:
Isaiah lv. 3. :
It was a very sweet note, which God the Holy Ghost put into the mouth of His servant the Prophet, when commanding him to proclaim salvation in the mountain of Israel; when He called it an everlasting covenant, even the sure mercies of David. In nothing did the LORD more consult the wants and happiness of His people, than in folding the Gospel up under such a cover, and marking it by such distinguishing characters..
Tell me, my brother, do you not feel a very nigh gratification in the consciousness, that salvation is not a work of yesterday, but founded on that everlasting love wherewith the LORD hath loved His people
Besides; an everlasting covenant naturally connects with itself all those properties, which are necessary to its completion and design. There must be included in it everlasting wisdom to guide, everlasting counsel to direct, everlasting strength to secure, and everlasting faithfulness to make good, all its promises. Every attribute stands engaged in its establishment; and it is the consolation of the true believer in Christ, that all the perfections of Jehovah are pledged for the accomplishment of that purpose, which was purposed in Christ Jesus before the world began. The sure mercies of David, imply as much to make them sure. Nothing new to God can ever arise to counteract the Divine purposes concerning them. Neither can any one circumstance occur, for which provision is not already made. In this everlasting covenant, God Himself is the only contracting party. Jehovah answers both for Himself, and for His people. I will: and they shall. Such is the language of it.
Tell me once more, my brother, doth not this consideration also very highly gratify you ? You see, that as nothing of merit on your part, could have given birth to a covenant which is from everlasting : so nothing now of demerit shall arise to defeat its operation, which can owe nothing to you.
The subject opened to our meditation in these words of the Prophet leads to the most delightful view, with which the human mind is capable of being exercised, in the present. unripe state of our faculties. The text indeed contains but five words, but it would furnish a sufficient subject for as many volumes. It is a text in which, as we say, every word tells. I consider it to be a perfectly unnecessary service, to lose time by way of pointing to His Person, who is here called David. No one for a moment can imagine, that it means David the son of Jesse. For, as an Apostle hath observed, this David, after he had served his generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was
gathered to his fathers, and saw corruption, But He of whom the Prophet speaks in the text, who is David's Lord, saiu no corruption ; but when God the Father raised Him from the dead, as if in confirmation of this very subject, and to shew its personal application to Him) He expressed Himself in these very words, I will give you the sure mercies of David.*
In the farther prosecution of this subject, the arrangement I propose shall be as follows: My text, in allusion to this everlasting covenant, calls it the sure mercies of David. I shall first therefore follow up this idea, in shewing, that the redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ, is a system of grace and mercy from the be-, ginning to end. I shall then, secondly, go on to prove that these mercies are the sure mercies of David; being founded on that everlasting covenant, by which grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. May God the Holy Ghost, who first commissioned the Prophet to proclaim, now enable the preacher to explain, those mercies of David; that our Gospel may come not in word only, but in power, and in much assurance of faith,
My first intention is to show, that the redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ is a system of grace and mercy from beginning to end, And nothing can inore decidedly manifest the truth of the observation, than the character in
* Acts xiii. 33, 34.
which the Prophet was commissioned to promulgate it. For when it is distinguished by the property of an everlasting covenant, the 'very term carries with it a most positive testimony, that it must be all founded in grace, unconnected with any human power, or depending upon any human merit. For what first originated in the free and unmerited mercy of God, confirmed as it was by covenant engagements between the Father and the Son before man was created; and is promised to be carried on in all its purposes and effects, by the same Divine power, independently of man's agency after his being brought into being; can come under no other description surely than that of grace. Whatever Gon hath done, or is doing, in the accomplishment of His designs concerning it, must all be referred back into the eternal counsel of His own mind, by virtue of its everlasting nature. To this most evidently is it, that believers owe their being chosen, called, and regenerated. And their establishment in grace, their dependence upon the promises, and all their hopes of eternal glory; all are founded on that everlasting love, wherewith God hath loved His people before the foundations of the world were laid. I have said (is the language of GOD) mercy shall be set up for ever. And the reason follows: I have made a covenant with my chosen.
Look, my brother, into yourself, and into your own experience, for a confirmation of this