« PreviousContinue »
candidates for everlasting bliss. Say not, in what. ever circumstances, You have no ground of singing: for, as long as you are out of hell, you ought to praise; and, praising God for this, your notes may infenfibly rise to a wonderful imitation of the new song itself.
You, on the other hand, who are still in a natural state, unacquainted with the power of converting and renewing grace, strangers to the influence of Christ's resurrection on your hearts, and of the doctrines of the gospel upon your lives; who know nothing of a bondage state, nor of that glorious liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free; you, in this doctrine, see glorious privileges and employment's if which you have no part, for which you have no capacity. As far as your present state can forebode, all your singing and gladness will be circumscribed by this life, and confined, absolutely confined, toit: continuing and dying unconverted,
shall never join in the new foog, nor fo much asfee the new Jerusalem ; within the gates of that city, no such unclean things can enter. If
you never, in any degree, enter into the spirit of praise here, is it to be imagined, can it, without impropriety, be alledged, that you are on the way to that land where praise is the chief employment, and worthip all the business of the blest inhabitants ? If you will not so much as join externally in elle praises of God, but be dumb, while all around you join in the song; can it be thought you have any lot in this matter? So far is the contrary the truth; that whatever your employment thro' eternity, praise fhall make no part of it. If you look on public praise with such indifference, as, without necessity, to absent from ordinances until that part of the service is over; and to retire again before praise are offered up; do not your discover
the want of taste for the work of heaven; and consequently, the, want of interest in that better world? In that unhappy state, though you could secure a pass through the gates into the city, heaven and glory would afford no more happiness to you, than palaces to swine, whose groveling element is the mire. But you are not in the way to heaven, you are by no means candidates for glory. Others may, numbers will be promoted to the work of praise, in the higher house with the ranfomed tribes; but you, dying in your irregene. racy, shall be debarred, excommunicate, and expelled, as reprobate fouls. You will, indeed, fee the glorious Man with his company, but shall not mingle with them ; you will see the pearly port of Emmanuel's land, but shall not set foot upon it? you will see the crowns of the redeemed, but shall not wear any of them; you will see the Father put this new song in their mouths, but Mall not enjoy the least smile of his countenance. Think then, I think, how galling and tormenting fuch circumstances must prove, how painful and distresfing such fights. Though no positive punishment was in reserve, would you not, in such things, feel the pains of hell, and groan under the weiglat of damnation? The design, however, of fcripture, in such representations, is not to introduce despair, or torment before the time; but only to give me alarm, in order to your recovery ere it be tog lare; for there is hope in Ifracl concerning this thing; . it is at least possible, that this new song may be put into your mouths. Though these mouths, , made for praise, have been employed as instruments of unrighteousness, in curfing, swearing, lying, foolish talking, and sinful jesting ; employed in defamation, calumny and reproach, and in every thing below the man, -unworthy the Christians, yet God
is willing to be reconciled, to put you among the children, to hold fellowship with you, to fill your mouths with fongs of salvation, to give you grace and glory, and, in every respect, to do you all fav. ing good, in the way of his appointment, through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his grace. Seek him in that channel, implore him for that purpose, and wait upon him, by the means, duties and ordinances of his own instimtion, as you would wish not to be cast off;--and hope he will not put you to shame.
Of the Redeerter's triumph over the hearts of fin
ners upon earth. “ Many fall see it, and soall “ fear; and sball trust in the Lord.”
HE subjects of this promise are men in ge
neral, not angels, nor devils. Angels have nothing in their circumstances, known to us, that renders such promises needful ; and the state of devils puts them absolutely beyond the reach of the promise, and renders then incapable of interest in any word of grace. Befides, as this promile has a particdlar relation to Jesus Christ, those, of whose nature he partook, can only be considered as the subjects of it. Though, in the application of the blessings promised, it is more restricted: yet, in the revelation and exhibition of the promise itlelf, the warrant to believe is so unreserved, that mankind finners in general, may, and should consider themfelves as interested in it: “The promise (faid the “ apoftle, to a promiscuous multitude) is unto you “ and to your children, and to all that are afar
'' off; off; even to as many as we Lord our God shall
call,” Acts ii. 39. It is impossible to imagine, how a person's putting away the promises from himself, as what he has no right to intermeddle with, can be reconciled with his suitably attending to that remarkable declaration of grace.
But the fubjects of this promise are elečt men in particular. The opposition of carnal minds to the doctrine of election is such, that at present one labours under considerable disadvantage, to insinuate any thing in favour of it. But as it is a fcriptural doctrine, a part of the council of heaven, an article of the Christian faith; though counted fools for espousing, we should never be alhained of it. Did not David speak of elect men, when he said, “Eleffed is the man whom thou chuleft and " causest to approach unto thee ?” Pfal. lxv. 4. did not Malachi speak of elect, men, when by him the Lord faid, * Yet I loved Jacob, and " hated Efau?" Mal. i. 2, 3. did not Paul to the Romans speak of elect men, when he said, " Whom God did foreknow, he also did prede" Ninate?” Rom. viii. 29. to the Corinthians did he not speak of them, when he said, “ God hath “ chosen the foolish things of the world ; God “ hath chofen the weak things of the world, the " base things of the world ; and things that are “ despised hath God chofen ; yea, and the things " that are not?” I Cor. i. 28, and did he not to the Ephesians likewise speak of elect men, when he said, “Being predefinated according to the pur“ pose of him who workerk all things after the 6c council of his own will ?” Eph. i. 11. But why speak of David, the prophets or apostles ? benord, a greater than either, a greater than all, bears te ftimony to this doctrine : our Lord himself spoke of elect men, when he said, "All that the Father
giveth me, shall come to me,” John vi. 37. And again, “I pray for them; I pray not for the world, " but for them which thou hast given me,” John xvii. 5. Upon these and such like grounds, the doctrine of election may be considered as scriptu. Tal : and, on that supposition, elect finners are, in particular, the subjects of this promise; as it is not only exhibit, warranting them, in common with their fellow finners, to believe and improve it for the ends of infinite wisdom and grace; but, as they Hall eventually be brought under the influence of the promise, be made partakers of promised grace, and inberit the promised faivation. It is for their fakes, and theirs alone, that ever the promise was exhibited; it is owing to them, that ever finners; in general, were blest with the common tender of mercy; and as soon as they are brought in, as soon as the end of the promise, as to them, is reached, other finners will, at once, but for ever, be depriv. ed of that exalted privilege. Other smers may take hold of the promise; nothing in the external difpenfation of the gospel hinders their doing so : but elect finners ball take hold of the promise ; rather, the grace of the promise ball take hold of thein.
S E C T. 11. One blessing here promised is, “ They shall fee “ it.” If we consider this part of the promise, as it is rendered in the passage under view, the particle it must have a respect to what went before ; and the meaning will be, that finners shall see what the Father hath done to Christ as Man-Mediator, in “ inclining to him and hearing his cry; bringing “ him up out of the horrible pit and miry clay;
setting his feet upon a rock, establishing his go.