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swered in the person of the believer's surety. This view affords strong consolation, and puts into the pleadings and praises of the church the ability to ask for blessing by the righteousness of the Divine name. Wonderful argument ! wonderful atonement! that can provide argument such as this for creatures circumstanced as we are! And let it not be objected that doctrines such as these are dangerous : they will not be so to one in whom is the anointing—there is a remarkable passage in Ezek. xvi. 62, 63 : “ And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.” This describes the effect of redeeming love apprebended by the house of Israel. It is humility-selfabasement—very far from presumption. The same is declared in Psalm cxxx. 4. “ There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” Various and sacred are the motives which preserve the child of God from an abuse of his privilege. These we may hereafter examine-let it suffice us at present to be told, that the pardoned wanderer leaves his
Father's house no more, nor ever would willingly wound the honor of that Lord on whose breast of mercy he is privileged to lean. 2 Cor. vii. 10, 11.
It is the peculiar privilege of the Lord's people to be admitted into a relation with their God with which none other are acquainted—they are in an especial sense the children of God. The new-creating Spirit gives them that second birth of which Jehovah alone is the author ; and as partakers of this grace they are the “ sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty." The act of grace is styled 'adoption, and the disposition which accompanies it, accords with the term. There is a mutual understanding between the parent and the child, and an interchange of affection, by which the favoured offspring is assured of protection and peace. The privilege is placed with other covenant designs, as we read in Ephes. i. 5, 6. “ Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his
grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
It is scarcely needful to give an explanation of the term adoption, yet it so aptly delineates the subject before us, that the consideration may provide us with heads from which to derive spiritual instruction or confirmation; therefore we will call to mind the nature of this act in respect of the relation subsisting amongst men. Adoption is an act whereby one who has no rightful claim, by ties of blood, is received into the adopter's family and bosom as a child, and as practised amongst nations of old was legally established by various accompanying forms and regulations, through which the end designed by the contracting parties might be secured. It was necessary in the first place, to clear the way for the arrangement by obtaining the consent of such as had previous right to the child, that all existing claims and rights should be considered annulled. The child too, if of sufficient age to make choice of the proposal, must signify his readiness to relinquish every other relation, and to be subject to his adopter in the spirit of obedience and gratitude: he must forsake his own father's house ; he must assume the name of his adopter ; and must
deport himself on all occasions as one firmly and affectionately united with all the interests of the family into which he was received. The adopter on his part must fulfil all the relation of a father, providing for the support, education, and comfort of the chosen object, and bequeathing to him that inheritance which the terms of the adoption might specify. In order to secure that no after circumstances should invalidate the claims of the adopted, this transaction was of a public nature, before chosen witnesses, entered in the public registers, and a copy of the register delivered into the hands of the child, to which he was privileged to appeal for a witness to his claim, and which was to be considered as conclusive evidence...
The spiritually-minded will be able to realize the Christian privilege hid beneath this veil; but, blessed be the Lord, the veil is drawn aside by the gospel, so as to reveal the glorious distinction and the grace by which it is bestowed; and the voice of the Spirit would awaken every member of the dignified family to exclaim with the Apostle, “Behold wbat manner of love the Father bath bestowed upon us, that we should be called sons of God.” 1 Jobn iii. 1. Our claim to such a distinction