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truth is fatisfied, and centers in him as the way, the truth and the life; righteousness is contented, and declares him to be the Lord our righteousness; peace is perfected, and proclaims him to be the prince of peace. Yea, not only are all the members of the meeting pleased and fatisfied for themfelves, in the advancement of their own particular interefts, but they are infinitely well pleafed in each other, and that the interests of their feemingly oppofite parties are advanced, as well as their own particular claims: Mercy is pleafed that truth hath got all its demands, and truth is pleafed that mercy hath got all her defire, and righteousness is pleafed that peace is proclaimed, and peace is pleafed that righteousness is honoured. Mercy and peace rejoice that they are magnified to the infinite glory of truth and righteousness, and truth and rightecufness rejoice that they are glorified to the infinite pleasure of mercy and peace, and hence they not only meet together, but kifs one another. Here you fee where they meet together: So much for an anfwer thereto more generally.
2dly, More particularly, as to the meeting-time, you may take thefe following particulars for the further clearing of it. Altho' this blessed meeting once taking place is ftill continued, and cannot be faid properly to adjourn from time to time, and from place to place; for this affembly never diffolves: Yet, in a fuitableness to our weak capacity and finite understanding, which cannot rightly conceive of a meeting that never had a time to meet, because they met in eternity, and never fhall have a time to part, because they meet to eternity; we cannot conceive of it, I fay, but by taking it, as it were, into fo many parts, or con
fidering it in so many periods: And there are these eight remarkable periods, wherein mercy and peace meet with truth and righteousness, and kifs each other.
1. The first remarkable period is this, they met together at the council-table of the covenant of redemption from all eternity, before ever the foundation of the world was laid; and ere ever the morning-stars fang together, mercy and truth met together, righteoufnefs and peace kiffed each other: For the council of peace did then meet, Zech. vi. 13. and all was concerted by infinite wisdom, how mercy fhould be magnified, truth cleared, righteoufness vindicated, and peace concluded, and all in Chrift, who according to the tenor of that covenant (whereof the covenant of grace is but a tranfcript) was to give his foul an offering for fin, and then was to fee his feed, and the pleasure of the Lord to profper in his hand. Then it was that this pleasant meeting in him was first constituted, as you may fee, Prov. viii. 30, 31. He being fet up from everlasting, ere ever the earth was, God in all his glorious perfections was delighted in him, and in him his delights were with the fons of men. This was the grand meeting, at which the time and place of all the fubfequent meetings were concerted, and all the other particulars we are to mention are but the refult of this, and as it were emanations therefrom; for it is a meeting that never diffolves, tho' in feveral periods it appears like a new meeting unto us. Therefore,
2. Another remarkable period is their meeting together in the garden of Eden, after man had made himself naked and obnoxious to the flaming fword of divine juftice. Mercy comes walking in
the garden in the cool of the day, and the guilty criminal being examined in open court, behold, mercy and truth meet together in the happy fentence that was pronounced, The feed of the woman Shall bruife the head of the ferpent, Gen. iii. 15. Behold righteoufnefs and peace kiffing one another in the righteous vengeance that was to be executed upon the devil and his works, in order to effectuate a happy peace between God and man. This meeting was gradually cleared up under the old teftament, and in the legal facrifices, pointing out the great propitiatory facrifice.
3. Another remarkable period is their meeting together at Bethlehem-Ephratah, upon Chrift's Incarnation, Micah v. 2, 4, 5, &c.
4. Another remarkable period is their meeting together at the banks of Jordan, when Chrift was baptized, Mat. iii. 13, 16, 17, &c.
5. Another remarkable period is their meeting together in the garden of Gethsemane, when Chrift, being in an agony did fweat great drops of blood, under the preffure of avenging juftice; every drop of blood was an ocean of mercy: And, while he was preft in the wine-prefs of God's wrath, mercy was expreft. No mercy to Chrift; for God spared not his own fon, even when he cried, mercy, mercy, God's mercy; faying, Father, if it be thy will remove this cup from me. No, no, no mercy was fhewn to him, otherwise no mercy had been shown to us: Juftice must have its due from him, that mercy might have vent towards us; and fo here mercy and truth meet together.
6. Another remarkable period is their meeting on mount Calvary, where Chrift was crucified. It was upon the cross of Chrift that, mercy and truth
truth meet together, that righteousness and peace kiffed each other; for there it was that he paid all the elects debt to the laft farthing that truth and righteousness could demand, until he cried with a loud voice, and faid, It is finished. Having done all that the law could enjoin, he fuffered all that the law could threaten, fo as it cannot crave a farthing more. It is finished; all that was ftipulated for with the Father in that federal tranfaction; all that was promised in that eternal compact is finished; every article agreed to in the counsel of peace was finished. The bargain that he had figned with his hand he now fealed with his blood; and in his appearance upon the crofs, or in his obedience to the death, did all the attributes of God meet, as in a centre: And on this account was mount Calvary more glorious than mount Sinai: for in mount Sinai God appeared in his terrible Majefty, making the mountain to tremble, and the earth to fhake; but here in mount Calvary he appeared, not only in his terrible majefty, but in his tender mercy; in his terrible fury against fin, and in his tender favour towards the finner; and now, the controversy betwixt juftice and mercy feems at a crifis. Here was the critical juncture, wherein their different demands behoved to be decided; and it was done with fuch a folemnity, as made the whole univerfe, as it were to tremble and quake: For them did God shake, not the earth only, but also heaven ; for, when Chrift was under the mighty load of this terrible wrath in the finner's room, there was a great earthquake, and the heavens grew black, the fun was eclipfed, and that at a time contrary to the common rules of nature; which made a heathen philofopher, at a distance, cry out, That
either the frame of nature was on the point of dif folution, or the God of nature was fuffering: And indeed he was fuffering unto blood, and unto death. Behold the living and eternal GOD here, in our nature, wounded to death, and bleeding out his life, to be a facrifice for fin, that juftice might be fatisfied, and mercy might be magnified, and all the attributes of GOD glorified to the higheft. O wonder, that Golgotha, the place of a fcull, fhould be fuch a famous meeting-place for the divine perfections? It was a place of the greatest shame and ignominy; but in him who endured the cross, and defpifed the fhame, it was made a place of moft refplendent glory: For, in the crofs of Chrift, mercy and truth, righteousness and peace met and embraced each other. God's attributes did harmoniously join together, fo as the one does not blacken, but illuftrate the glory of the other, while they shined gloriously in the face of Christ crucified, as a beautiful and bright conftellation; for he was fet forth to be a propitiation, to declare the righteoufness and juftice of God, together with his other glorious names.
7. Another remarkable period is their meeting. together at the bar of GOD's great justice-court in heaven, within the vail, whither the forerunner hath for us entered, even Jefus, Heb. vi. laft. When Chrift was upon the cross, the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and a way was made for entering into the holy of holies. And as the priests under the law were not only to offer the facrifice without the camp, but after that were to enter the holiest of all, not without blood, but with the blood of the facrifice, to fprinkle the mercy-feat,Lev. xvi. 14, 15. Even fo Chrift,