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we shall also, with myriads of his saints, appear with Him in glory.—What an exhilarating, what an enobling prospect, this !
-Hope followed by fruition ; earth exchanged for heaven; grace, abundant grace, and then an exceeding, an eternal weight of glory !!!-Amen, and Amen !-So be it, Lord Jesus !!
THE GRACE OF GOD,
• ROMANS V. 20.
But where sin abounded, grace did much more
Sın naturally fills hervotaries with remorse, and renders them obnoxious to inevitable misery. Accordingly, no sooner did the fallen angels rebel against their Lord, than they forfeited their seats in the abodes of happiness. They were cast down from their radiant thrones in heaven, and consigned to the gloomy horrors of the lowest hell. Man, too, on the same fatal day on which he lost his primeval innocence, and transgressed the law of his God, was expelled the bowers of paradise, subjected to misery and devoted to death. And, in this his awful doom, were included, not only the sorrows
of a present life, and the pangs of a natural dissolution, but also those indescribable torments of a remorseful conscience, and those terrible inflictions of divine wrath reserved for apostates in the world to come. Such are the direful sufferings which, it was threatened, sin should entail, and which therefore man, when he became a sinner, might justly expect to bear. But behold the goodness of indulgent Heaven ; behold the tender mercies of the everlasting God! He who spared not the angels when they fell, remembered our frame, and was moved with compassion for our guilty race. When man expected vengeance, divine love only was shown: when his sin abounded, the grace of God, to the astonishment of the universe, did much more abound : its extent became peculiarly manifested, and its unsearchable riches, though not in reality increased, yet to our wondering view, were much more copiously displayed.-Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, were justly merited ; but deliverance from guilt, restoration to the favour of God, and admittance to those eternal joys which are at his right hand, were freely conferred. -And this deliverance from guilt, this
restoration to the divine favour, and admittance to eternal joy, God himself, who foresaw our fall, from all eternity ordained. Before he created the world, before he commanded the light to arise, ere ever his spirit had moved upon the face of the waters, his thoughts of mercy were towards the children of men. And when the fulness of time was come, (blessing, and honour, and glory beto his name;) He sent forth no lessa person than Jesus, his only begotten Son, to carry into effect this gracious purpose, which from the beginning he had formed. Him he appointed to descend from heaven to tabernacle upon earth, to feel our infirmities, to remove our guilt, to die for our sakes. And in fulfilling this arduous work which was given him to do, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of life, declined no act of humiliation, turned aside from no face of danger, refused submission to no form of suffering, which it pleased the Father, that as the Saviour of a lost world, he should undergo. Though his name was high above every name, yet did he make himself of no reputation, and took upon
him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he hum
bled himself, and patiently bore all thegriefs, and carried all the sorrows which sinful man was heir to. He lived surrounded with disgrace and persecution ; and when he died, it was under the accumulated load of ignominy and torture, of inexpressible agony and excruciating pain.—All this, O Christian ! hath God, in his grace, done for thy soul. Duly and frequently contemplate this grace ; contemplate the wonders which it hath wrought, and the immortal happiness which it confers,—and then say if it is not grace without a parallel ; say if its height and depth, and breadth and length, surpass not all the powers of the highest intelligence even to conceive. So amazing indeed is its extent, so incomprehensible its abundance, that some there are, who have thence been furnished with a pretence for disputing its existence, nay representing it as incredible. “ Wherefore, (say they,) “ so many and so inconceivable blessings “ conferred upon us ? What is man that he " should be so wonderfully favoured; or 6 what is the son of man, the creature of “ dust, the worm but of yesterday, that he " should be visited with such abundant
grace ?”—But in reply to this, we need