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attribute is in the highest degree set off and glorified by its opposite. They are not forcibly reconciled together, nor do they merely harmonise, but they all put honor one upon another. One does not rise by the depression of the other, but they all rise together. The more we see of the glory of one attribute, the more we shall see of every other. While God's hand lies heavy on his Son, justice as.. sumes its dignity; but mercy likewise rejoices -as the strokes of his wrath are redoubled, justice wears a look of more awful grandeur; but mercy smiles with increased sweetnessand when all the vials of wrath are poured forth on Christ, and justice triumphs in conplete majesty, mercy rises with equal progress and beams forth from her countenance unutterable glory. The more
we contemplate the mystery of the redemption, the more we shall see it a master-piece of divine wisdom-the more sincerely shall we join the exclamation of St. Paul, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!* Human intellect could not conceive a plan more wondrous in wisdom to be possible; nay, it is a subject of astonishment to angelic minds: for God has designed that now to the principalities and powers might be made known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God. How justly therefore, does the Apostle add, Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world
Rong, xi, 33:
that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.
In conclusion, we notice the misery of those who resist the call of the Gospel.
There is in every congregation a large proportion of Jews and Greeks. There are persons who resemble the Jews in self-righteousness; who after hearing the doctrines of grace insisted on for years, yet see no occasion at all for changing the ground of their hopes. They seek righteousness not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law: for they stumble at the stumbling-stone;f or perhaps after going a little way in the profession of the Gospel, they take offence at the rigor of the practice we require, as if the Gospel did not enjoin it. This is a hard saying, they complain, who can hear it? and thus resemble those who first made the complaint, who went back, and went no more with him. Others come to carp and to criticise. While heretics who deny the Lord that bought them, open infidels, professed atheists, grossly wicked men, are considered as intitled to candor, liberality, and respect, they are pleased to make serious professors of the Gospel exclusively objects of contempt, and set down their discourses on the mysteries of faith, as idle, senseless jargon. Alas! how miserably dark and perverse must they be who think thus of that Gospel which unites all the power and wisdom of God in it. After God has arranged
of Roma. ix, 32:
* 1 Cor. ü, 6,70
all the parts of his plan, so as to make it the best which in his wisdom could be devised for the restoration of man, how pitiable their stupidity and ignorance to whom it is foolishness! and, let us add, how miserable will be their end! because they not only are condemned already and the wrath of God abideth on them, but they incur tenfold danger-they not only remain without a remedy to their maladies, but have the guilt of rejecting it when offered to them. This is their danger, that there is always a stumbling-block in the way; the further they go, the nearer are they to their fall. They are always exposed to sudden, unexpected destruction. They cannot foresee one moment whether they shall stand or fall the next, and when they do fall, they fall at once without warning. Their feet shall slide in due time. Just shame is it to the sons of men, that he whose delight it was to do them good, and who so loved them as to shed his blood for them, should have so many in the world to despise and reject his offers, but thus is the ancient scripture fulfilled. The natural man discerneth not the things of the Spirit of God. Tremble at your state all ye that from self-righteousness, or pride, or unwillingness to follow himn in the regeneration disregard Christ; nothing keeps you one moment from perdition but the mere sovereign pleasure of God. Yet suppose not that we take pleasure in contradicting your natural sentiments on religion, or in giving pain by forcing offensive truths upon your attention; no; as the ministers of joy and peace, we rise up at the command of God, to preach Christ crucified to you all. He died for his bitterest enemies: therefore though ye have been Jews or Greeks, self-righteous, ignorant, or profane--though ye have presumed to call his truths in question, treated the Bible with contempt, or even chosen to prefer an idol to the Savior, yet return at length before you die, and God is willing to forgive you.
How happy is the condition of those who obey the call of the Gospel! Their hope being placed on that way of salvation which is the power and wisdom of God, on what a broad, firm basis doth it rest. Heaven and earth may pass away, though much of the power and wisdom of God was employed in erecting that fabric; but the power and wisdom themselves of God, must be cut off from his immutable essence,
pass away before one tittle of your hope can fail
. Then rejoice ye children of wisdom, by whom she is justified. Happy are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; and the things which God hath hidden from the wise and prudent, he hath revealed
Ye were righteous in your own esteem; but ye counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. Then be not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believeth, but continue to display its efficacy by the holiness of your life, and live rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.
EPHESIANS ii, 19-22.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and for
eigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and ar built the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets
, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit
. “Happy are the men who can look back on their former lives, and after comparing their past experience with the present, find substantial reasons for believing that they are passed from death unto life.” 'Lifted up though they be, as the needy from the dunghill, and set among princes, they are not unwilling to be reminded of their mean original. On the contrary, forasmuch as the remembrance of it magnifies the riches of God's grace and endears the dying love of the Savior, they find on considering