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inventory of good things, when once the soul is secured in the merits, and righteousness, of the Lord Jesus. For looking forward to his coming as a Saviour, every thing is at peace with the believer. Though I walk (says David) through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. It is but a walk, not a resting place. It is but the valley of the shadow of death; not even the shadow itself. And were it the whole shadow, what would this be to the believer when the substance is not there? The body of death, Jesus sustained the whole of it, on the cross; it is only the skeleton now, left to his people. And while passing through this, the rod of the Saviour's power, and the staff of his righteousness, are competent; not only to uphold, but to comfort, all the way. Well might the Apostle, and like him, every true believer, supported by this eternal refuge, exult in the dying hour, and say, O death where is thy sting O Grave where is thy victory. The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who giveth me the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our subject puts on a very different aspect, in its application, to the different characters which make up life. Like the Pillar of cloud, in the camp of Israel
, it forms a bright, and pleasing light, to the people of God; while in the same moment, to his enemies, it casts a deadly shade of darkness, and despair.
My unawakened Brother! have you ever considered, with the seriousness the subject demands, the sure events of that great day of God? Hath it never struck you, what inexpressible agonies must invade the hearts of those, who shall then be found on the wrong side?
Suppose the archangel's trumpet, was now to sound; and that voice was heard, bursting through every tomb; arise ye dead and come to judgment. Would you venture, could you indeed hazard, your everlasting welfare, for acceptance with God, upon any thing, you can call your own righteousness?
Pause over the question, and for God's sake, dismiss it not, until under divine grace, it hath awakened your mind, to an enquiry, proportioned to its vast importance.
There are seasons in every man's life, im which, if the heart might speak out, it would confess, that all is not, what it should be. And if in this day of safety, the mind suggests such apprehensions, what think you will arise within, on the subject, in the day of danger?
If a man's own mind tells him, (as that it must sometimes if it be not hardened up, to all the possibilities of self deception,) that he could not always plead his good intention now; how will it then appear to his own view, when the film shall be taken off from his eyes, and he comes to learn, when it be too late, that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,
And do not forget my Brother, in your expectation of this awful day of decision, that it is a perfect righteousness, either in yourself, or in your surety, you must have, to find acceptance with God. The law admits of no abatement. It relaxeth not a single precept. The curse still hangs over every one, as much unrepealed as ever, who refusing the covenant of
and trusting in a covenant of works, continueth not in all things, which is written in the law to do them. Hh 2
Oh! which ces,
Oh! that God the Holy Ghost, may commission my poor Sermon, to the heart of any one unconcerned sinner present, that he may see the things which make for his everlasting peace, before they are for ever hid from his eyes. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and so ye perish from the way when his wrath be kindled but a little: Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
As for you, who from long conviction, of the emptiness, and insufficiency, of all creature confidences, for acceptance before God, have fled for refuge, to the hope that is before you: and the language of whose heart is, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: never lose sight I beseech
you, if it be possible, of the precious expectation of the Lord Jesus, under this sweet and endearing character, in which we have been considering his second coming to judge the world, as your Saviour.
You have been fully taught, under the Spirit's teaching, your own sin, and the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus. You have discovered, that this is a Covenant righteousness, in which, the Father's mercy, the Saviour's love, and the Spirit's grace, are all equally concerned, in the salvation of sinners.
You have seen, that in the accomplishment of this salvation, the Lord Jesus hath assumed your nature, taken your name, acted as your Representative, became your Surety, and in all his Characters, and offices, hath obtained eternal redemption for his people. Having therefore lived and died for them; and for them having fully answered all the demands of his Father's righteous law; will he return to thwart his own designs? Did he once come to save, and will he now come to destroy ?
Moreover; by virtue of covenant-engagements, and by Covenant-relations his people are part of himself. He that is to be your Judge ; is your Brother, your Husband, your Friend. And what a sweet Scripture is that, which saith, the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, on this express account, because he is the Son of man.
Carry therefore I beseech you, those precious views of the Lord Jesus, into all the circumstan