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should have been saved, and men condemned to hopeless misery-for man is a weak insignificant creature in comparison of the other, a creature of yesterday; “ whose habitation is in the “ dust, whose foundation is of clay, who is “ crushed before the moth,” at the best a worm, the child of corruption; and after he became the child of sin, a serpent full of deadly poison, grovelling in the dust, and deserving to be crushed under the foot of the divine indignation and displeasure. What then was this sinful, mortal crea: ture that he should be preferred of his Maker ? Angels, on the other hand, were pure spirits, im. mortal natures, heavenly substances; the lively, the bright, the glorious images of the great God, Why then give up and destroy są excellent a piece of workmanship, which would have so gloriously magnified the praises of its deliverer? Does not reason pronounce, that angels should þave been recovered, and men left to perish in their sins?--perhaps human reason may conclude in this manner, but God," whose ways are not

as our ways, and whose thoughts are infinitely “ above ours," judges in a manner widely different, and unquestionably he has by this means more highly magnified both his justice and his mercy--his justice in detroying the rebellious angels, his mercy in the salvation of guilty man; for the more noble and exalted the angelic nature, the more did the divine justice manifest it, self, by punishing them with inflexible severity ; and, on the contrary, the more abject and mean the human race, the more unworthy of the divine care, so much the more glorious is the mercy of God, in making such creatures the objects of his love. Besides, the divine attribute of mercy is farther displayed, if we consider that the salvation of fallen angels would have been only reinstating them in their primitive glory, replacing them in those heavenly regions of which they were originally the inhabitants; and their happiness would have remained the same in kind, though different in degree; but in saving men, God raises them to a state very different from that in which they were at first placed, from a terrestrial to a celestial paradise ; from a state which was liable to change, to one which is immoveable, permanent, eternal; from being men to become as gods, by making them partakers of a divine nature, transforming them into the image of his own son, his great design in the stupendous work of man’s redemption being, as the apostle expresses in the words of the text, to shew “the exceeding riches of his

grace, in his kindness towards us, through Christ "Jesus," Let us then, my friends, enter upon the contemplation of this glorious scheme with gratitude and delight, following our great apostle, the messenger and herald of divine grace; let us mark the holy rapture with which he expresses himself upon this exalted subject, as if just descending from the third heaven, where he had beheld the wondrous treasures of grace and mercy displayed in all their splendor, and that we may, in some degree, enter into his meaning, let us consider the two great objects here presented to us: first, “the exceeding riches of « God's grace," and second, the end of God in this manifestation, namely, that he may shew them “ in his kindness towards us, through Christ 6 Jesus."

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First, let us consider the import of the apostle's expression, “ the exceeding riches of liis grace.” Here, my brethren, we have access to treasures which we are permitted not only to look at, but to take from, a sufficiency to supply all our wants-treasures, not such as those of earthly princes; rarities, not such as those which are to be found in the cabinets of the curious, which we are with difficulty suffered to look at, much less to put forth our hand to abstract from ; but treasures which God opens on purpose for our use, which he requires us to contemplate, dispenses

without measure, and without a grudge; nay, permits us to take by force, and the more eager the more welcome--we should, therefore, be all eyes to behold the excellence of this rich treasure, all desire to carry off as much of it as we possibly can. We cannot but observe, that the apostle in the text has something great, surpassingly great, upon his mind upon the subject of grace; that he wants to communicate to us an idea of it, which shall at once delight and astonish us—he not only speaks to us of grace, but of “ the riches of

grace;” and this phrase in scripture language denotes a very great and large abundance; but he does not rest satisfied even with this aggravation; but, as if unable to express all that he felt, he calls it the “ exceeding riches of his grace,” to signify an abundance, an excellence beyond conception; he wants to represent the grace of God in all its extent, without measure or boundaries, surpassing all thought or expression, such as eye

hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath enz “ tered into the heart of man;" and in order to judge of it as he does, we must with him consider this grace of God, in his “ kindness towards us “ through Christ Jesus;" for we must join these two inseparably together, the grace of God, and his kindness in Christ; they are by no means separate and distinct articles, but one and the

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same thing; the intention of the apostle being to explain the one by the other, and to shew us in what manner God hath testified to us the infinite riches of his grace, namely, “ by his goodness to« wards us in our Lord Jesus Christ.” For it is in this instance, properly, that the grace, the free, unmerited, unsolicited love of God to men is displayed in all its abundance, in all its greatness, in all its excess. He has in many instances, and by various means, discovered his regard for us; but all these are nothing in comparison of his own son Jesus Christ, his greatest best gift, nay, all his other gifts in one. Let us weigh then this grace of God, in the true balance of the sanctuary, and we will find that it truly deserves the epithets which the apostle here gives it:For in the

First place, if we consider the surpassing worth and value of this gift of God, what can equal it, what can come ever near it, what is there like it in all the treasures of eternity?-God, in the beginning, had given us a world by creating and fitting it up for our use and convenience, and no doubt it was an amazing instance of regard to have made so many glorious creatures on our account, so many bright luminaries to answer the purposes of light and heat to mankind-an earth

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