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God had made to their fathers, con- | the prophetic instruction of Christ tained in that covenant—"God hath Jesus the Lord, as the Prophet of his fulfilled the same unto us their chil people, that the mind and understanddren, in that he hath raised up Jesus ing become informed in the way of again; as it is also written in the God. Thus it is he establishes his second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this | covenant with the souls of his people. day have I begotten thee. And as He discovers unto them all the treaconcerning that he raised him up from sures of his Father's kingdom. He the dead, now no more to return to shows them all the gold and silver, corruption, he said on this wise, I will and precious stones, and the ointment, give you the sure mercies of David." the holy anointing oil, that is, the “ Be it known unto you therefore, grace by which their souls are saved men and brethren”-he continues -he shows them how it is they are “ that through this man is preached made to differ-he shows them what unto you the forgiveness of sins : and is the influence of his grace upon the by him all that believe are justified heart and conscience, and he leads from all things, from which ye could them to say, Grace, grace unto it-0, not be justified by the law of Moses.” to grace, how great a debtor! He The Apostle here is arguing upon the shows them all—there is nothing he very point that occupies our present does not show that is needful for them attention. When the Lord says, “I to be acquainted with-he unfolds it will establish my covenant,” he says all. He captivates them by the graat what time he will do it. It is in cious discovery of himself-he causes the day of his righteous visitation : them to love and to adore him, by the “ when I am pacified toward thee for display of the character of the God all that thou hast done”-when I with whom they have to do. He pardon thy sins-when I make over shows them what it is to be thus to thee the knowledge of my recon comprehended in the covenant of reciliation, and that thou art reconciled demption, and he constrains them to to me—then will I establish my co- say, Was ever love like unto this love ? venant. “Be it known to you” This is the way in which God reveals says the Apostle Paul to the Chris- his saving mercy to the souls of all tians at Antioch—“ that through the believers. It is in the day of their name of this man is preached unto gracious visitation, when he comes you the forgiveness of sins"—this was home to them in the power of the the day of their visitation—"and by everlasting covenant, when he comes him all that believe are justified from home to them by virtue of the all things, from which ye could not be agreement made in that covenantjustified by the law of Moses.”
that is, by virtue of the love of the Thus it is the Lord establishes his Father flowing through the love of covenant with his Church and people. the Son, in the agreement that is It is the day of their espousals—it is thereby ratified. It is in the fulness the day when personal mercy is mani of time that Christ Jesus the Lord fested unto them—it is the day when passes by—as he said to Saul—"Saul, Jesus Christ passes by and sees them Saul, why persecutest thou me?" in their pollution, in their blood, be- There he established his covenant with holding the abject state and the misery him. So it is with every other inin which they are. And when he dividual who is unconverted to God says to any poor soul, Live that is —there must be a time for them to be the day of his espousals, and that is converted—there is the gracious hour the day when Jesus Christ the Lord for God's visitation. establishes his covenant. He unfolds | Let us examine ourselves, and see it to him-he teaches him what is whether we have any reason to becomprehended in it-he developes the lieve that God has established the cosecret of it-" The secret of the Lord venant of his grace with us. If he is with them that fear him, and he has, we are like-minded with him. will show them his covenant." Christ | Let us cause this to be the subject of shows them all the secret that is con- our meditation and reflection. Let tained in that covenant, as regards us pray over it, bring it before this them individually. It is when under covenant Jesus, and ask him to lead us to the important discovery. - My namely, the manner and character in brethren, it is the one thing needful - which Christ Jesus the Lord is inonly conceive, then, how much joy fusing into his people the blessings of there is in the result. It is sure to his redemption. Taking up the obbe productive of happy consequences, servation of the Prophet Jeremiah, the if you bring your burden to Jesus—if Apostle Paul reminds the Church of you are fearful you have not had the the great and distinguishing privilege covenant of God established with you, of Christianity. “Behold, the days that you are not yet a partaker of the come, saith the Lord, when I will divine life-that your state is not yet make a new covenant with the house safe—that your soul is not yet brought of Israel and with the house of Judahwithin the precincts of his salvation. not according to the covenant that I If, under the influence of God, you made with their fathers in the day are thus brought to bring your case when I took them by the hand to lead before Jesus, the result must be happy; them out of the land of Egypt, because because if you are wrong, so great is they continued not in my covenant, his mercy, he will be sure to put you and I regarded them not, saith the right; and if you are right, he will / Lord. For this is the covenant that I convince you that you are so. What will make with the house of Israel can be the result but inward comfort, after those days, saith the Lord-I and peace, and consolation? I can will put my laws into their mind, and conceive no happiness under the sun write them in their hearts; and I will superior to this to live in the enjoy- be to them a God, and they shall be ment and under the smiles of the to me a people. And they shall not favour of God. How does it animate teach every man his neighbour, and us to press forward through all the every man his brother, saying, Know bustle of life! With what cheerful- the Lord; for all shall know me from fulness can we undertake any task ! | the least to the greatest.” Thus to How is the countenance lighted up know God as a covenant God is the as it were, by the enjoymentof thefavour distinguishing blessing of Christianity; of God! And why have we not this for it is not merely to know God as enjoyment? Not because it is not to the Supreme Jehovah, the Creator of be found in God; but because we seek all things; but it is to know God as too much of our enjoyment in our Immanuel, God with us—as Immanuel, selves—too much of our happiness in God in our nature, redeeming it, sancour own resources. We need to be tifying it, glorifying it. Here we see living more out of ourselves, and more God revealed in the very character in the fulness of Jesus Christ : and that is suitable to our circumstances, when we are thus brought to live in to our sinfulness, and to our infirmi.. him, we shall find the blessed conse- ties. Here we find the way to the quences.
Father by virtue of the union with his This is the way the Lord establishes Son. Here I find God to be the God his covenant. Follow me while I make I need. I find a covenant God to be some few observations, in the second a God of mercy, a God that pardoneth place, on THE CHARACTER IN WHICH iniquity, transgression, and sin. God HE THUS REVEALS IT. “Thou shalt out of Christ is a consuming fire-I know that I am the Lord.”
dare not approach him but in Christ. Thus to know the Lord is to know I find him to be a God of sympathy him as a covenant God to know him and compassion, because I find God as a God in Jesus Christ. Thus to in my nature is the very High Priest know God, to be made acquainted who intercedeth for sinners. God in with him in this endearing relation- my nature can be touched with the ship as a covenant God, is the leading feeling of my infirmities, and knows feature, the first principle of the Chris how to sympathize with me. It is in tian system ; and for that reason it is, this character as God in Christ, that he that we hear the Prophets, under the reveals the blessings of his salvation. inspiration of the Holy Ghost, fre. It is in vain you ask for mercy unless quently alluding to that particular you ask it through Christ-it must be point, to that leading feature of the God in Christ, and without him you glory of the Christian system will find neither pity nor compassion; but God in Christ is all you can re- | THE HEART BY THIS PARDONING quire.
MERCY. “That thou mayest rememThen observe the line of the pro- / ber, and be confounded, and never mise, “ Then thou shalt know, that I open thy mouth any more because of who have established my covenant thy shame, when I am pacified toward with thee-thou shalt know that I am thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord, the covenant God in Christ the Lord.” Jesus, the Jehovah-Jesus, the Author | If there is not a more pure, or a and Finisher of thy salvation." How, more exalted motive to obedience than beloved brethren “I will establish the love of God, there is not a more my covenant with thee;" and then, powerful motive to walking in the when I have established my covenant, ways of God, than the assurance of thou shalt know that I am the Lord, his pardoning love and mercy. We and that I the Lord have done all. have it on the authority of the word of How shall they know it? They shall God, that divine wrath will not move know it powerfully--they shall know the heart of man-anger will not touch it feelingly—they shall know it per him-threats will have no effect upon sonally--they shall know it experi. him. Calamities and affliction may mentally. How? By the effects that cast him down, but unless they are are produced in their hearts, and ma- accompanied by the sanctifying influnifested in their lives. They will be ence of the Spirit of God, they will found amongst those who were walk- leave the heart unbroken and unsubing in the valley of the shadow of dued. The Lord himself testifies death, where no light is, upon whom against his own people, by the prophet tight hath arisen ; and they shall know Isaiah :-“Why should ye be stricken it is the light of the Lord. Then it is any more? ye will revolt more and" they shall be able to say, “ Whereas more : the whole head is sick, and I was blind, now I know I see--no the whole heart faint. From the one can convince me that my eyes are sole of the foot even unto the head, not opened, when I see : before I was there is no soundness in it; but wounds, blind, I could perceive nothing now and bruises, and putrifying sores." I see every thing. The light that is How quickly does it excite the attencommunicated to their souls the tion of a poor trembling sinner to hear change which that has operated the the sound of mercy, when he knows peace and the joy that is communi- that that sound comes from God who cated these are the effects that are can pardon ! How does the heart produced in the hearts of all those to begin to beat in hope, because there is whom Christ Jesus communicates the the expectation of mercy! See the blessings of his salvation. They shall enjoyment of that mercy in the love then not only be enabled to say, that of God shed abroad in the heart by God is in Christ Jesus reconciling the the Holy Ghost, and what will be the world unto himself—but, God has re effect of that. Then, though that conciled me. They shall not only be heart be as hard as adamant, as stubenabled to say, that God, as a cove-born as steel, it will melt it into contrinant God, hath pardoned iniquity- tion, and bring it low in the dust of but, God hath pardoned my iniquity. humiliation before God. View that They shall be enabled to say, Christ effect produced on the Church in the hath given me peace--this Christ is subject before us. The Lord says, my Christ-this God is my God-be-“I will establish my covenant”-I cause they have the enjoyment of that will unfold to thee my grace, I will peace which they knew nothing of reveal to thee my mercy, in the pardon before, that joy which none can give of thy sin I will cleanse thee, and but God, for it is joy unspeakable and wash thee, and impart peace to thy full of glory. This is the character in soul-thou shalt know meI will rewhich God reveals his pardoning mercy veal myself to thee in the character of unto the souls of his people. “ I will thy saving God, as thy portion for establish my covenant with thee, and ever, as thy exceeding great reward. they shall know that I am the Lord.” Thou shalt know me to be this, and
Let us notice in the third place, then shall follow the effect>" that THE EFFECT THAT IS PRODUCED ON thou mayest remember and be con
founded, and never open thy mouth was chastised, as a bullock unaccus. any more because of thy shame, when tomed to the yoke : turn thou me, and I am pacified toward thee for all that I shall be turned, for thou art the thou hast done, saith the Lord God.” | Lord my God. Surely after that I was It is then, and not till then, we begin turned, I repented ; and after that I to discover what sin is. The poor was instructed I smote upon my thigh. convinced sinner begins to feel what I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, the burden and guilt of sin is upon the because I did bear the reproach of my conscience, when he cries for mercy; youth.” Then it is we begin to see but he does not see what is the extent the heinousness of our sins--then it of sin till he is led to the discovery of is that we are overwhelmed with conthe pardoning mercy of God. Then fusion, not so much with the rememit is accompanied with the work of re- brance of the heinousness of our sins, pentance : his eyes turn back to the as with the infinite love that has been path he has been travelling; he calls manifested in the pardon of them. to mind the windings and the turnings, “That thou mayst remember and the sins and the provocations, that have be confounded, and never open thy marked the steps of his past life. Then mouth any more because of thy shame, it is he begins to wonder that God has when I am pacified toward thee for all been so patient-that he should have that thou hast done, saith the Lord been watching over him during the God." Here is an exhibition of Christime he was rebelling against him with tianity. The true Christian under all a high hand. Then he calls his sins trials, and exercises, and afflictions, is to his remembrance, when he sees the the mute Christian. Let us contrast infinite mercy that has been displayed, this with ourselves in former times. and the love thus manifested by the How did we deal with ourselves and compassion of his God.
our sinfulness then ? Were we muté ? * 11 Is not this the feeling that brings No. How prone were we to endeavour you low before God, the feeling of to excuse ourselves ! how prone to exastonishment-the feeling of love and tenuate our offences ! how prone to gratitude the feeling of an awful so- think sin to be a trifling thing! How lemnity, that God should pardon your ready were we to murmur against God, sins, freely pardon them, pardon them and to challenge his justice and his for ever-that he has declared he will equity in his dealings with us! But remember them no more that he has when mercy is revealed unto the soul merged them in the depths of an ever- in the pardon of our sins, it closes our lasting forgetfulness-that, whatever lips, we have nothing to say. they may have been, they are blotted It is this, beloved brethren, that out for ever and ever? Is not the elevates our hearts and our thoughts thought an overwhelming thought, to God-leads us to form high thoughts especially when you consider, that it of Him who has manifested such comprehends not only the sins of your goodness and mercy. And in such youth, but sins that are daily and proportion as our thoughts are high hourly being committed against him, with regard to God, in that same proafter you have come to the knowledge portion are they low with regard to of him, after he has established his ourselves, humbled in the dust of hucovenant with you, and after he has miliation. The clearer ideas we have brought himself to you as your Lord of the purity of God—the clearer disand your God? That patience should covery we have of the pollution of sin still be prolonged—that pardon should the clearer notions we have of the still be multiplied-this is an over- equity and justice of God—the clearer whelming thought. “That thou mayst do we see how much we are indebted remember and be confounded”-it is to his mercy that we rebels should accompanied by a work of humiliation ever escape judgment and condemna--that you may remember and be con- tion. The more, therefore, we see of founded under the remembrance of God, the more we find to love him your shame, like Ephraim of old, of the more we find to delight ourselves whom the Lord said, “ I have surely in him. Thus is human nature laid heard Ephraim bemoaning himself low in the dust, when our hearts are thus-Thou hast chastised me, and I drawn out in admiration of the ways of God. When God, therefore, in his upon your burden-bearer, Christ Jesus infinite mercy through Christ Jesus, -bring it to his cross, and there in brings home to the heart and to the humility argue the point before him, conscience, a well-grounded assurance and declare what the desires of your that our sin is pardoned, then it is we soul are, that you may obtain at his are silent before him—we are humbled | hand the enjoyment of his pardoning under a sense of his mighty hand-we mercy. Be not satisfied till you obtain • vindicate his ways-we rejoice with it. If you go away empty it is your joy unspeakable and then have the own fault. We frequently fail to obloins of our mind braced and strung tain the enjoyment we should receive up, prepared for every duty, and for the from the answer to our prayers, bedischarge of every relative obligation. cause we neglect to wait for it. Now,
If such be the blessedness of ob- whatever be the burden, bring the case taining at the hand of God a sense of before Christ-be particular, enter his forgiving mercy, why is it you into all the minutiæ of it. It is the seek it? Is it not that you may obtain character of our Redeemer, that he merely the pardon of your sins? For will enter into the minutest points : it is too generally the case, that, for There is no trifting circumstance which the most part, Christians are content is not to him, as the Head of is to rest here. They hear that God is Church, of the weightiest imporma good—that there is a fulness of pardon | He knows how to enter into the feel in Christ; and therefore they cast the ing of your infirmities. Beseech him, whole of their hope and dependance then, that he would be pleased to on him, leaving it there undecided as tablish his covenant with you to whether the pardon is obtained for pardoning God and your Saviotoni' their sin or not. But let us allow, shall you know if you follow on to for a moment, that it is true-still, know the Lord. they have not the enjoyment-they! Thus, beloved brethren, be you ett have not the abiding peace of it, nor horted to live in the strength of this the strong consolation of living upon confidence, in the strength of this it ; and therefore they experience joy. What a blessed thing would your the loss of one strong nerve that would religion become, were you to live on enable them to go on their way rejoic- the strength of these daily communiing, that would enable them to fight cations with a throne of grace-to their Christian warfare with more suc- | know that Christ is your's, that you are cess, with more confidence, and with Christ's, and that Christ is God's. more happiness.
This will sustain you under all your It is after this I would urge you to | sorrows and depressions by the way reachnot to be content with know- in which you travel-this will cause ing that God is a God of mercy-but your heart to rejoice, while day by that you may know he is your con- day you are drawing nearer to all this venant God in the pardon of your sin. | in the enjoyment of your God. Seek Try the experiment-bring it before it-seek, and ye shall find-knock, God in prayer-cast all your burdens and it shall be opened unto you.
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