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pluck them out of my hand".'
“ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lordo."
5. The Gospel covenant inflicts a dreadful penalty upon the impenitent, and unbelieving, and disobedient : “ The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power P.” Let all, whom such a denunciation concerns, fly from the wrath to come, by believing in the name of Jesus Christ for salvation, and walking agreeably to his prescribed will 9.
The covenant of works was sealed by the tree of knowledge of goodand evil; as the new covenant made with Abrahain was, formerly, by circumcision and the Passover, but now by Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. These were appointed as signs and figures, to represent the covenant of grace; and as pledges, to assure those who rightly covenant with God, that they shall obtain all the blessings therein promised:
Christ is called “ the Mediator of the new covenant;" because all the mercy which it conveys to men, was purchased by his meritorious death.
Those who enter into covenant with God, receive grace through Christ's mediation, enabling them to observe its conditions, and yield to God that obedience which he demands".
How great, then, are our obligations to the Redeemer! Let his praise be continually on our lips, and his name be glorified by us evermore. 6. Thus we have seen, that the covenant of
grace was devised with a view to save a ruined world. When all was lost by the first transgression, God, who is rich in mercy, manifested his love to guilty man, " that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us, through Christ Jesus.”
Let the Divine goodness be eternally praised, which “pitied us in our low estate," when we deserved to perish beneath the stroke of God's justice. And may his compassion towards us, not only excite a proper shame for our sins, but a cordial desire to live hereafter in the practice of 'universal righteousness.
The Gospel covenant is every way. deserving of our closest attention ; because it offers the niost secure happiness, and gives a pledge of a bright inheritance, to be enjoyed by all who are made partakers of Christ's death. It has abundantly provided for all our spiritual wants. It meets our condition, with all its woes and sorrows. Have we lost, through sin, that glorious possession to which we were once the lawful heirs ? It is regained for us by Jesus, who died to recover it'. Are we liable to the everlasting indignation of God, as transgressors of the covenant of works, and held by it in a state of condemnation? Froin this perilous condition we are delivered, by an experimental knowledge of Christ, our Advocate with GodtDoes the law pursue the unregenerate, with threats of vengeance? Its curse is removed from them that trust in Jesus, who has satisfied its
• Eph. ii. 4-8. "] Pet. i. 8-5. # John viii. 36.
demands for every one of his believing people'. Do we need Divine grace to enlighten and sanctify our minds, and to incline them to holiness? The covenant of mercy deals out these favours to those who rightly seek them. All the spiritual influence which is necessary to quicken our souls, and bias them to a life of righteousness, the Gospel gratuitously furnishes: it has pardon and salvation in store for every repentant sinner who is sensible of his numerous wants.
- The Spirit and the bride say, Come ! and let him that heareth, say, Come! and let him that is athirst, come: and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely *.'
Fervently pray for grace, that you may be able to enter sincerely into covenant with God. Renounce all sin : put on the yoke of Christ, “and learn of him, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
7. And now, poor needy sinners, who pant after true happiness, approach, and feast upon the bounty of your Lord'!* “ All things are ready.” “O taste, and see, how gracious the
Lord is !” for he satisfieth the hungry; but the self-righteous, who are whole in their own eyes," he sends empty away.
u Rom. X. 4. * Rev. xxii. 17. .
y Isa. xxv. 6.
LECTURE XV. MAN'S RESTORATION TO SPIRITUAL LIFE AND HAPPINESS,
BY JESUS CHRIST. John v. 24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my
word, and believeth in Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; but is passed from
death unto life. THOUGH 'man is despoiled of his original glory, and
is exposed to present and future sorrow, yet there i is no cause for despair, if he be but sensible of his
wretchedness, and sincerely desirous to be released from it. Unhappily, the obvious tendency of sin is, to harden the mind, and obscure its vision ; so as to render the transgressor totally unconscious of his misery and danger: but the moment he is roused, by a Divine power, from the fatal lethargy which oppresses him, and is conscious of his wants, there is then hope respecting him, that his " latter end will be better than his beginning.” Such convinced sinners God thus addresses: “Deliver them from going down to the pit; for I have found a ransom for them*.” God hails the return of each contrite prodigal with delight; and rejoices over him, saying, “This my son was dead, and is alive again ; and was lost, and is found 6." Our restoration, therefore, to a righteous state is an event devoutly to be wished; because, so long as we continue estranged from God, we are dead to all that is truly good, without a capacity to serve him in this life, and a hope of enjoying his blissful presence in the next °.
in the next. Our natural desire of happiness should make us anxious to know God, the only source from whence it flows
The spiritual life, of which we are now to speak, is directly opposed to that “ death unto sin” which has been already noticed. The former is the inclination of the soul towards God and his service, from which the highest satisfaction is derived: the latter is the total estrangement of the heart from him, discovering itself in a thorough dislike to his righteous government.
1. In every one who is made a partaker of the benefit, heavenly principles are implanted; which enable the new-born soul to love what God coma Job xxxiii 24.
"Luke xv. 24. c Heb. xii. 14.
& John xvii. 3.
mands, and hate the things which he forbids: so that the spiritual life of Christians is a direct consequence of the renewal of their nature in righteousness and true holiness, or the recovery of that image and likeness to God in which the soul of the first man was created?.
Every faculty of the mind feels the divine impulse given to the soul by the renovating power which makes it “ alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord 8. The understanding, which before was so dark and ignorant, that it could not comprehend "the things of God"," is now enlightened, to know the way, the truth, and the life i.
The will, which was once so perverse as to be easily turned aside from “the right ways of the Lord,” is rectified, and subdued to the obedience of faith. The affections, which formerly sought no gratification but in things which are earthly, sensual, and devilish, are purified, and are made "to savour only the things which are of God.” Conscience, which, in its depraved state, was callous, is now become tender, and feels remorse on account of its deviations from known duty.
The members of the body, also, are animated by the spiritual tone thus given to the soul; with which they all act in concert, as instruments of righteousness, to promote the honour of God.
2. The great importance of this new life will be better understood by its effects. “If any
be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold, all things are become new 'i q** It is reasonable to expect that such a change, which is nothing short of a transition from death unto life, will be productive of its appropriate fruits. We find this • Eph. iv. 24.
Gen. i. 26, 27." * Rom. vi. 11. ni Cor, ii. 14. John xiv. 6.
ii 2 Cor. v. 17.