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"Who, of God, is made unto us, righteoufnefs,"
1 Cor. i. 30.
In fine, the word of promife, emitted by the Father, yea and amen in Chrift, recorded in the gofpel, and exhibited there, for the obedience of faith, is, in a peculiar manner, the object of this truft. Whatever God has promised, to his anointed, refpecting finners,-whether as to bleffings, common or peculiar, temporal, fpiritual, or eternal; every fuch word of grace and promife is a bottom of truft, to be improved, looked to, leaned on, acquiefced in, by them. The pfalmist spoke with a diftinguishing relifh, of "the word upon which "God had caufed him to hope," Pfal. cxix. 49. and, by fuch improvement of the word, men truft in the Lord, whofe veracity and other perfections are engaged for the accomplishment of it.
The matter of this truft is manifold,-equal in* breadth and length to the new covenant, and the promises of it; it comprehends every thing, wrapped up, conveyed, and fecured there; every thing, respecting the being, well-being, and perfection of the life of grace in the foul; every thing needed here, every thing to be enjoyed hereafter. Branching out into particulars, would oblige us to condefcend on converting, renewing, pardoning, comforting, eftablishing, and fealing grace; on furniture for work and warfare; on fpiritual wifdom, gracious ability, divine protection, perfeverance in the ways of holinefs, together with the end of men's faith, the falvation of their fouls. In short, all the bleffings, benefits, riches, righteousness and redemption, provided for in the covenant, purchased by the Saviour, fecured by the promife, exhibited by the gospel, and enjoyed by the faved ones, in foul and body, in time and eternity, belong to
the matter of this truft, and are comprehended in it.
The exercife of this truft is peculiar to the foul, as having its feat there and carries in it their believing the truth of thefe difcoveries, refpecting Chrift, and refpecting the promise, which is called by our Lord, a fetting to the feal, that God is true" John iii. 3. It carries in it their approbation of the things difcovered, as excellent in themfelves, fuitable to finners, and glorious in their effects;" as thefe were all David's falvation, so they are "all their defire." It carries in it, their accep tance of these bleffings; their receiving, applying, and, in way of humble endeavour, through grace, making the whole their own, by believing, as Jehovah Redeemer does, by revelation and exhibition : "Be it, or it shall be, unto me, according to "thy word," Luke i. 38. is the language of that divine exercise. It carries in it, their dependence on the Lord, as the object of their truft, for his bestowing the exceeding great and precious bleffings, which are the matter of it: their being fo perfuaded of his truth, juftice, power, and other attributes, that they cannot imagine, how the fmalleft iotta can fail; and fo perfuaded of the Lord's fecurity being legal, good and valid, that they look on the bleffings promised as theirs; and actually enter on duties and trials, in the faith the promise fhall be accomplished, and the bleffing beftowed: at leaft, in proportion to the measure and degrees of fuch truft, this will be the cafe. But, as this exercife is feated in the foul, fo it influences the conduct; it leads to the performance of new and holy obedience, in all its parts; as to heart and life, principle and practice, word and
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The fecurity that finners thall thus fee and fear and trust, lies in the Meffiah having faid fo. They fball lee, &c. (says he) in the paffage under view. Though thefe exercites are incumbent upon finners, in way of duty; yet, as long as they are unconverted, they are incapable of them; and therefore fcriptural calls to the performance of thefe du-, ties, are, in fuch unhappy circumstances, killing letters, full of demands, the finner cannot anfwer, and big with confequences he cannot bear. But, to the ceafelefs praife of matchless grace, the exercifes reprefented in the foregoing fections, are, in numberlefs other fcriptures, confidered rather as privileges than duties; and, therefore, our Lord's words may be confidered as a promise of putting finners in poffeffion of them.-JehovahRedeemer, foreseeing the wretched circumstances of forlorn men, and being well pleafed for his own righteousnefs fake, interpofed, and interpofes, in way of promife, that finners, at least the elect part of them, should comply with his will of grace, in the particulars condefcended upon. He interpofed, and interpofes, in fuch a manner, that regard to his own perfections, and zeal for his own glory, abfolutely fecures the accomplishment of the promife, in the experience of finners. There are other promifes, wherein peace and pardon, life and falvation, are fecured; but, in this, and such like words of grace, the very influence needed toward their difcovery and improvement of these bleffings, is treafured up, and pointed out; warranting them to expect, that the Lord will actually caufe them fee and fear and trust.
Promifes, in general, are made immediately by the Father, to his anointed; and, thence, according
to the apoftle, yea and amen in Chrift;" 2 Cor. i. 20.-whereas this promife is uttered by the Meffiah himself; in which, he either acts as God, and afcertains his oneness with, and equality to the Fa ther and Spirit, in making and performing the promifes of the covenant; or elfe he expreffes his intire, unshaken, confidence in the Father's veracity, plighted to him, by the covenant, for the ends of his people's falvation; and does fo as a pattern and encouragement for finners to aim at the fame reliance on the Promifer, as if they were equally able to believe; and, as sensible of their own weaknefs and wickedness, to look to the promise for the grace of faith itself.
SE C T. Ví.
The promife under confideration is, as to the fubjects of it, vaftly extenfive; for it is not one, or a few, but many, who shall be put under the influence of it, and enjoy the bleffings wrapped up in it. In this indefinite way, the great number of the faved ones is emphatically pointed out; and though they are few compared with the rest of mankind, they are, in fcripture, reprefented as numerous in themselves. Not to speak of Enoch's prophecy, faying, "Behold, the Lord cometh,
with ten thoufands of his faints," Jude 14. nor of John's vifion, who faw "one hundred and forty *four thousand fealed," Rev. vii. 4. we are informed, by the fame divine authority, that the finners, who have been, now are, or fhall afterwards be put under the influence of this promise, are abfolutely countless and innumerable; "I be"held (fays the apoftle) and lo a great multitude, "which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, food be...
"fore the throne, and before the Lamb," Rev. vii. 9. And, in my Father's houfe (faid our "Lord) are many manfions ;" and, as no heir shall want a manfion, fo, no manfion, in Chrift's Father's houfe, fhall want an heir, when the mystery of God is finished.
What a diftinguifhing mercy is it to us, that there is fuch a thing as a promife! that ever Jehovah.condefcended to fpeak words of grace to finners! He might have fupported the glory of his whole character, though finners had never heard any thing from the mouth of God, but words of terror and wrath. That, therefore, mount Sinai is changed into mount Zion, is a mercy, whereof we can never have too high thoughts; a mercy we can never enough admire, and for which we can never enough adore.
How fuitable this promise to our circumstances, as finners! The very grace we need is provided, laid up, and fecured there; and that grace is exhibit in fuch manner,-to fuch degree, that all our needs may be fupplied, all our plagues cured, and all our treasures filled. If we are ftraitned, it is not in God, but in ourfelves. The true eye-falve, the living balm, the mollifying ointment, are ftored up here; and if finners eyes are not opened, their hearts not quickened, nor their diseases healed, it is owing to a criminal neglect of this grace of God; by no means, to any defect in the promise itself.
When men are acquainted with the influence of this promife, in the refpects mentioned, their state is doubtless gracious, and their frame evangelical. And, though labouring under fuch uncertainty as