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of promise! To be kept in a steadfast profession thereof, walking in the happy enjoyment of its blessings. To God's people it will ever be both a shield and a buckler, as well as a light unto their feet and a lamp to their path; and shall be settled in heaven in their eternal glorification.
I now beg leave to set before you some substantial human testimony; for, although I have before said that all human testimony is for ever to be rejected which contradicts or opposes the word of God; yet such as accords therewith, and is founded thereon, I receive and admire, as I am sure you will also.
In my opinion, neither this nor any other country ever produced two abler divines than the Rev. William Huntington and the Rev. Augustus Montague Toplady; the former of whom, in reference to our subject, speaks thus, in a letter to a friend.
“I received yours of the first instant, and have reason to conclude that God has heard my prayer in your behalf. The throne of grace, or mercy-seat, is the large room that electing and redeeming love has opened as a common receptacle, or meeting place, for all believing, hoping, praying and praising souls to meet at. Here all prevalent petitions and grievances are cast in; and it is from hence that all favours are dispensed, and all grievances redressed. It is here that every chosen vessel's name appears ; here every believer's case is considered ; and from hence are all the angels sent with their charges and messages unto them that are, or ever shall be, heirs of salvation. From hence comes the blessed Spirit of God, like a dove of swiftest wing, with the olive leaf of gospel peace, emblematical of a final closure of the flood gates of an ireful deluge by covenant; and of an eternal peace, proclaimed through the sweet savour of an immortal and ever-available sacrifice! From hence comes, by the Holy Ghost, the everlasting love of God, to be shed abroad in the troubled and disquieted heart of the coming sinner. This love is the immutable and eternal bond of union, which goes from the Father through the Son to us; and runs through every circumcised heart in all the world; and through every human spirit now made perfect in heaven ; and holds all the lively or living stones of mercy's fabric fast together, as united to Christ the chief cornerstone; and through him to God the Father, as the decretive and glorious fabricator of the whole building. God laid the foundation; and it was he that made our Lord the head stone of the corner: surely this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. All glory to the first founder, and equal glory to
the foundation!. Amen and Amen, says the most rugged stone in all the building.-W. H.” Epist. of Faith, Letter xix. ... Though Mr. Toplady's testimony is rather long, I shall quote it verbatim.
“ In front of all religious mysteries St. Paul places the miraculous and supernatural incarnation of Jesus Christ: “God was manifested in the flesh.” God the Son, who in the covenant of redemption had taken upon him to deliver man, became man to accomplish that deliverance. The truth of his divinity is demonstrable from the whole current of scripture; and the truth of his human nature, or the reality of his manifestation in the flesh, is evident from his being liable, in general, to the sinless infirmities incident to men. He slept; he shed tears; he experienced hunger, thirst, and weariness; he was acquainted with pain of body, and distress of mind. In one respect, indeed, he seems to have been exempted from the common lot of other human beings : we no where find, to the best of my remembrance, that he ever, so much as once, experienced any attack of sickness or disease. The reason of this extraordinary circumstance was, no doubt, owing to the sinless formation of his humanity, by the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost. Sin was that which introduced every kind of atatia into the human system,
and disease among the rest. But the man Christ Jesus was formed and conceived totally without stain. Hence he was like our first pa rents before the fall, NATURALLY IMMORTAL! Nor could be have died, had he not, by an act of gracious susception, taken the guilt of man upon himself, and became responsible to diyine Justice for the utmost payment of their penal debt. And, even under those circumstances, we read that his death, though violent, was voluntary. His resignation of life is constantly represented in scripture as his own act and deed. For, exclusively of his union with the second person in the Godhead, his absolute freedom from sin would of itself have been a certain security from dying. Hence the evangelists express themselves thus: “He dismissed, or let go, his spirit,” Matt. xxvii. 50. “ He resigned, delivered up, or made a surrender of his spirit,” John xix. 30. As Christ was manifested in the flesh, so was he justified in the Spirit: not only justified as to the divinity of his person and mission, and proved to be the Son of God by the miracles he wrought in conjunction with the Holy Spirit; but, likewise, spiritually justified, by God the Father, from all those sins, which, as the dying surety of his people, he had taken upon himself to expiate. He was thus spiritually, or mystically, justified, and received his open
discharge, as a sin-bearing and sin-atoning Saviour, when he was raised from the dead, and released from the prison of the tomb; when the Sun of Righteousness emerged from his sad, but short eclipse; and rose to set no more.” 1st Sermon on “Jesus seen of Angels,” pp. 13-15, edit. 1770. Again, “Though he was tempted in all points, tempted even to idolatry and self-murder, yet he was totally without sin. He came forth brighter, but not purer, from the furnace: brighter, because his graces were rendered more conspicuous by the fiery trial; but not purer, because he had no moral dross to lose;" p. 24.
Speaking of the transfiguration of Christ on the mount, he further remarks, “On this occasion angels saw his human nature brighten into glory superior to theirs. An earnest and a foretaste of the majesty with which he should be invested' when his sufferings (then at hand) should be accomplished;" p.30. Upon Christ's saying, “It is finished,” he thus speaks, “I have suffered enough. The types and the prophecies are accomplished. My covenant engagements are fulfilled. The debts of my people are paid. I have finished transgression; I have made an end of sin; I have wrought out and brought in everlasting righteousness. The law is magnified. Justice is satisfied. My warfare is over. My conflicts are past;” p. 37.