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Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our Gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. Whilst it may refer as I conceive to a future period; yet, it by no means sets aside the present grace and use of the passage. When we are wrought upon, in a day of the Lord's power, and are actually under the operation of divine grace, the same effects are produced in our minds. A sinner having received the knowledge of Christ, and the pardon of sin into his mind, from the testimony of the Spirit of God, cries out with self-abhorrence, and self-renunciation, I renounce all reliance in whole, and in part, in all the works of my hands. God be merciful to me a sinner, through the propitiatory sacrifice of the holy and immaculate Lamb.-Asshur shall not save us; neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods. This is the language of all repenting sinners: of every broken and contrite heart; of all the spiritual mourners in Zion; of the outcasts of Israel; of such as are bound and oppressed in their minds, in consequence of the acquaintance and knowledge they have of the plague of their own hearts : it is such as those whose cases have been described, to whoin thegrace of Christ, as expressed in the gospel, is most exactly suited. The great and glorious Mediator is pleased to express himself, respecting his grace, work, and office, thus:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me: because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 1xi, v. 1-3. Surely all these spoken of here, must with one heart and soul, be divinely constrained to say, Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses, as expecting the Egyptians will be able to save us. No; we will have no further expectation from them; we will for ever more renounce them, and give up all expectation of salvation and assistance from them ; we will say no more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods. No more will we make mention of these; we have found of a truth, our whole salvation is in the Lord alone; we will therefore rest and centre alone in him, and make him our all: this is our reason for so doing, and which we express, even before his gracious and glorious Majesty, and utter it to the praise of the glory of his grace: For in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I conceive that on a retrospective view of what hath been expressed, as the outline of the former, and included in the presentverse, it will be acknowledged as most truly expressive of true repentance, even of that which is after a godly sort, as also of a true penitent; by which I mean, such as the Lord the Holy Spirit hath wrought upon, and let in such knowledge and apprehensions of God the Father's free grace, and everlasting love in Christ Jesus, towards poor backsliders, upon the heart, as of, and from itself alone, produces these most gracious effects. I am now brought to the conclusion of the present subject. I come, therefore Thirdly
--To shew, and give the reason, which is assigned for what is expressed in the former part of these words. It is this: For in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. This is the very emphasis of the whole. It contains the very essence of all, and may be said to be the original of all contained in the whole of the past expressions of the grace of God to his backsliding Israel: the sinfulness of whom could not be expressed; neither could the riches of grace, as expressed by the Lord in his own word, be fully fathomed ; yet the sense and impression made of all this upon the mind of the subjects of the same, is here in the words now before us, thus emphatically expressed: For in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. Mercy is in the Lord. It is inherent in him. It is a perfection of his glorious nature. In the display and manifestation of it he takes delight; so that the prophet Micah personating the Jews, at the very time these great acts of grace shall be displayed towards and upon them, breaks forth, saying, Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. .
Micah vii, v. 18. It will be necessary for us to carry all these views of God's mercy, to the close of the present subject, by which I mean, the close of the present verse: for though the subject of the grace of this chapter does not end here; yet, this closes the three first verses, of which the two last more immediately contain the sense and apprehension the pardoned ones in Christ Jesus, express concerning the subject. To shew the full and clear truth of this, let us for the last time have the subject fully before us, by the recital afresh of all the three verses. O Israel, return'unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses : neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. The very perfection of Israel's return to the Lord, will be their casting off, laying aside, and rejecting all creature confidences,
It is so with us, when we see that in Christ which satisfies our minds; and, when we receive such conceptions of God's free pardon of all our transgressions, as give our minds the most full and perfect satisfaction, it is then, and thereby we do from our very hearts, cast away all creatures and all works, with regard to any thing they can do for us, or be unto us: and in so doing, we prove the truth of our conversion to the Lord; and are enabled to give the reason before God and man, why we so do: it is, because in the Lord alone we have salvation. It springs solely from his own sovereign mercy and compassions; and what we know and experience of the same, is the fruit thereof. We cannot put into words our conceptions of it; for they are always weak, and far below the subject. We feel more of the subject than we can at any time express; and a warming sense of it kept up in our minds, is a great part of our spiritual life, holiness, and spirituality; which the more it is increased in us, and we are brought under its sacred influences, the more spiritually minded we are, and the more disposed to walk before the Lord, unto all well-pleasing. Renouncing the work of our hands, may respect our casting off all reliance on our own legality, in our former prayers, religious services, and all. which is sometimes expressed by old Adam's religion; as also on all past and present dependences in frames and feelings, convictions, sor