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and will appear new, and fresh, and ravishing, through eter nal ages, to all the blessed inhabitants of the upper world; especially to the BRIDE, the LAMB'S WIFE. The saved from among men will have some ideas and joys peculiar to themselves, that even the elect angels will not intermeddle with; and "sing a new song, that none can learn but those who were redeemed from the earth." Rev. xiv. 3.
5. What infinite madness are the sons of men guilty of, that they can be inattentive to all this glorious grace; go on secure in sin, and persist in their adherence to satan's interest, although they know that satan and his hosts, and all his adherents, are destined to the lake of fire and brimstone?" O poor, blind, infatuated creatures! to adhere to satan, our first enemy, who so maliciously sought our total ruin, deceived the happy pair, and plunged all this world in wo! to be deaf to the kind calls of the son of God, who means to defeat satan's designs, and has died in the cause, and now reigns in heaven with the same views, and invites us all to submit to his government and trust in his blood! And can you still go on, in bold defiance of almighty vengeance, and make a jest of eternal burnings?" Oh, how horrid the thought! infinitely horrid the thought, that so many of the human race are daily imprecating damnation upon themselves; calling upon God to damn their souls to hell! Poor creatures, they little think what damnation means! they little think what it is to fall into the hands of the living God? Who that loves God, or has any compassion for immortal souls, can think of the present blind and miserable state of a fallen world, and not long for the blessed day when satan shall be bound, and the Messiah reign on earth?
6. But let me conclude the whole with an address to the spiritual seed of Jacob.
As Jacob was in great distress, when his son's coat, all besmeared with blood, was brought into his presence, and said, "Surely he is rent in pieces, and I shall see him no more!" and afterwards, when Simeon was left in Egypt, things looked darker still," Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and now will ye take away Benjamin also? All these things are against me!" and yet, in the end, he saw the wisdom,
beauty, and glory of the whole plan which God had laid: So shall it be here. How dark soever the present state of the world is, and how dark soever it has been for long ages past, that it has hardly looked like God's world, but rather like a world where satan reigns; and how impossible soever it may seem that all should issue well; yet we have the greatest réason to believe it will, and to rejoice in the prospect of that blessed day. For this is the very plan which infinite wisdom chose before all other possible plans; the very plan which God himself laid out; all the parts laid out upon design; every thing adjusted by infinite wisdom. The whole, therefore, must be perfect in wisdom, glory, and beauty; and will appear so, when once it is finished.
Look through the lesser parts of God's great and universal plan; his dispensations to Jacob and Joseph, to Moses and the Israelites of old; these, although once very dark, are now full of light, and easy to be understood. And if God's works are wise and beautiful, so far as we can understand them, this argues the whole are so. For doubtless all are of a piece, the Author being the same, and always acting like himself.
Besides, notwithstanding the dreadful state of the world in our day, and in all ages past, there may be time enough yet, before the day of judgment, for such great events as may put quite a new face upon the whole. Nor need we doubt the accomplishment of these great events, because they have been so long delayed. It is God's way to promise, and make his people wait; but he was never known to disappoint their expectations. To Adam he said, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." Adam lived above nine hundred years, and looked, and waited, and died; but it was above eleven hundred years after his death before God ever so much as mentioned his ancient promise. All his posterity on earth, eight only excepted, destroyed, meanwhile, in the general deluge. That some, perhaps, were ready to think God had quite forgot his promise; till, in the days of Abraham, it was renewed. Again they look; but still it does not come; but long, dark ages intervene, and his people are put to wait about two thousand years more. And then, behold,
while, at the same time, the name of God is blasphemed through their unrighteous and ungodly lives. So once there was a mixed multitude came out of Egypt, and joined in the general joy at the side of the red Sea, merely from selfish views; but the Lord knew how to try them, and their joy, ere long, was turned to murmuring. For their hearts were not yet right; and their carcasses fell in the wilderness.
O, ye seed of Jacob! trials, many trials are yet to be expect ed: dark and gloomy days, while the dawning light of the glorious morning comes gradually on. Get ready, therefore, for trials. Be willing that all flesh should be brought low, and that the Lord alone should be exalted. (Isaiah ij. 17.) Seek meekness, ye merk of the earth, for it may be, ye may be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. (Zeph. ii. 3.) For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings, (Mal, iv. 1, 2.) Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Dan. xii. 4.) Many shall be purified and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand. (Verse 10.) Blessed is that man who shall overcome all trials, and be true to the Messiah's interest through all changes; for he shall stand in his lot at the end of the days, in the gene, ral assembly of the just in heaven, (Verse 13.) Watch, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke xxi. 56.)
Humility, self-diffidence, entire dependance on God, the inward source of constant watchfulness and prayer, perfectly become us, and are exactly suited to the state of things in the intellectual system. Satan, a glorious archangel, fell; Adam the father of the human race, fell; all mankind are now in a fallen state; the powers of darkness determined on our ruin. No room, therefore, is left for pride, self-confidence, self-dependance. Hell is our proper due; and free grace, through Jesus Christ, our only hope. Snares and dangers
Watch and pray, therefore, that ye enter
are all around us. not into temptation.
GOD is the only being by nature immutably good. Were we innocent, we might possibly fall; and God would be unobliged to hold us up. Now we are sinners; now we are already fallen creatures; there is no hope in our case, but we shall totally and finally fall, if left to ourselves, and as certainly perish as we now exist. And whither shall we look for help, but to the only immutable Being? And how? but through the means and mediation of Christ; being infinitely unworthy that God should hold us up. And yet our eternal interest lies all at stake.
"O, THOU FATHER of our spirits, amidst ten thousand dangers, apostate, self-ruined, self-destroyed, helpless, hell our due, we look to thee! O, help us! O, hold us up! O, keep us, by thy power, through faith unto salvation; to the glory of thy free grace through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Now to him who loved us and gave himself for us, to him be glory, honour, and praise, for ever and ever. AMEN.