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unlike to that of the blessed above. Ye, whose religious zeal runs into bigotry, and whose spiritual pride has rooted out charity, look up to heaven-see the condescension, the love, the humility which is there, and be ashamed of yourselves. Without something of the same spirit, you absurdiy claim a relation to the household of Christ.
III. In the words of our text, there is another passage, which we will briefly notice. In him we have obtained an inheritance, that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
These words are spoken to the believing Jews. They were the first who trusted in Christ. The word of God was first sent to the Jewish nation ; of that tion were the first believers; and in Jerusalem was the first Christian church. They are said to have obtain. ed an inheritance, teing predestinated according to God's purpose. They were once, as a nation, chosen to be God's distinguished and peculiar people ; but because they generally rejected the Saviour, they as a nation were rejected of God. Those, however, who trusted in Christ, had still a place in God's inheritatice, and enjoyed a portion in his kingdom. They, with the believing Gentiles, were made heirs of God, not only to the privileges of his church on earth, but to an inheritance also in the heavens.
In both these respects believers have obtained an inheritance.
They enjoy the privileges of God's children on earth, such as his word, worship and ordinances, the presence of his Spirit, the protection of his Providence, access to him in prayer, and an interest in his promises. . And they are made meet for, are sealed unto, and become heirs of a glorious inheritance in heaven. This is so clearly made over, and so firmly secured to them by God's gracious promise, that they are said to have already obtained it. They are by faith united to Jesus, and are made joint heirs with him, who, as their Forerunner, has gone to heaven and taken possession of
the inheritance for them. Their life is hidden with Christ in God—the glory is laid up, and the inheritance is reserved for them--they are risen with Christ, and made to sit together with bim in heavenly places.
The Apostle instructs them, that, as they had first obtained an inheritance, and first trusted in Christ, so they should first be to the praise of God's glory.
All Christians are bound to glorify God, and shew forth the praises of him, who has called them out of darkness into his marveilous light. They are to abound in all the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God. But there are some peculiar obligations on those, who first trust. ed in Christ. They, who enjoy superior religious ad. vantages—who through grace have been made partakers of the blessings of the gospel-who have felt the power and tasted the pleasures of religion--who have taken on them the Christian profession and character who have advanced in age and made proficiency in knowledge, they should remember, that, of all men, they are bound to live to the praise of God's glorious grace. They should use their influence for the con. version of sinners, for the confirmation of weak be. lievers, for the advancement of religion, and for the promotion of Christ's kingdom. If they walk accord. ing to the course of the world, they dishonor the name by which they are called, embolden the wicked, and cause the way of truth to be evil spoken of. If they, who profess to have believed in Christ, and to have obtained an inheritance with him, still live, as if their only inheritance and only hope were in this world, they expose the gospel to contenipt.
Let us then, as many as call ourselves Christians, walk worthy of our name and character. Let us be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without re. buke. Let us have our conversation as it becomes the gospel, that none may speak against us as evil doers,
but by our good works, which they behold, may glori. fy God in the day of visitation,
Let us admire and adore that all wise and almighty Being, who works all things after the counsel of his will, and makes them all subservient to the praise of his glory.
God brings forth good out of evil, and overrules to the honor of his great name those things which in themselves have a contrary aspect. The apostasy of man, though in its nature it tended to God's dishonor, has been the occasion of displaying his glory in the brightest lustre. The grace and nercy of God in the salvation of penitent believing souls, appear more glorious, than they would have appeared, in any way at present known to us, if there had been no such worth. less objects in his creation. The holiness and justice of God are more strongly represented in Christ's sufferings for our sins, than in any other way with which we are acquainted. The angels, who dwell in God's presence, know more of his manifold wisdom and unbounded love, by means of the redemption, than they had ever before learned from his other works. The evil of sin is in this dispensation more awfully mani. fested, than in all the prohibitions and threatenings of the law. Though the sins of men tend to disturb the harmony of God's government, and mar the beauty of his creation, yet he can overrule them to a different purpose, and make them subservient to his glory, and to the eventual happiness of his obedient subjects.
Shall we then say, Sin is not an evil; or the evil of it is small ? No: But we will say, God's wisdom is great and his ways unsearchable. Shall we make light of sin, because God can turn it to his own praise? No : Buţ we will admire his goodness, wisdom and power, who does great things, which we know not and cannot com. prehend. Shall we say, that sin is a necessary part of God's plan, because some happy events have followed from particular transgressions ? No: But we will reVoz. 111.
member, that the same infinite wisdom, which could make good to follow from such unpromising and untoward means, can never be at a loss for means to ac. complish the purposes of unbounded benevolence. When we see the mischief and confusion, which wickcd men make in the world, we will rejoice, that God reigns, and that he turns to good the things, which they intend for evil. We will not be anxious and distrustfut in any circumstances, for he who has done so great things for the redemption of fallen men, will nev. er forsake the souls, who love and serve him, but will eause all things to work together for their good.
The Sealing and Earnest of the Spirit.
EPHESIANS i. 13. 14.
In whom ye olso trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the
gospel of your salvation ; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earn. est of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased pos. session, unto the praise of his glory.
In the days of the Apostles, there were Jews scattered through most of the provinces of the Roman Empire. Numbers of them were in Ephesus, where they had a synagogue. When Paul preached the gospel in this city, many of the Jews, as well as Greeks, received it, and both united in one church. One de sign of this epistle is, to guard them against any disu. nion, which might arise between them, on account of former differences of nation and religion. The Aposde tells them, that one purpose for which God had made known the mystery of his will was, that, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather all things together in one body in Christ. In the 11th verse, speaking to the Jews, he says, We have obtain. ed an inheritance in Christ, that we should be to the praise of God's glory who first trusted in Christ. In our text, speaking to the Gentile believers, he says, In him
ye also trusted after ye heard the word of truth