« VorigeDoorgaan »
sinned, so the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification :" the meaning of which seems to be that we derive more from Christ than we lost in Adam. No doubt, the condition to which God will finally raise his saints in the heavenly world, will be far superior to that which man enjoyed in his original state; and the soul, clothed with the righteousness of God our Saviour, will shine with greater lustre than Adam ever did in his own primitive righteousness.
"Clothed in this robe, how bright I shine ?
The robe of Jesu's righteousness!"
"It doth not yet appear what we shall be ; but we know that when the Saviour shall appear, we shall be like him;" we shall be made kings and priests unto God; we shall be raised to a state of dignity and glory, sitting down with Christ himself upon his throne of glory. "Such honour will have all his saints!" And thus it will appear, in a manner we cannot yet fully comprehend, that "where sin abounded, the grace of God doth much more abound."
To conclude-Let us diligently study the doctrine of grace. "It is a good thing that the heart be established in grace"-in the doctrine of grace: for true religion does not consist in outward ceremonies, even those of God's appointment; it is something infinitely superior. Let us therefore
grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;" this will be found the best, the most useful, and the most delightful kind of knowledge; and those who have acquired it, will say with the Apostle, "Yea doubtless, and
I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus mv Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ and be found in him."
Let us be concerned, above all things, to be partakers of this grace. Be not content to hear of it, as persons unconcerned, but seek to be personally partakers of it. Shall we neglect it? Shall we suffer any of the concerns of this life, however pressing, or any of its enjoyments, however pleasing, to divert our souls from this greatest of all concerns? God forbid!
"It were contemning
With impious self-sufficient arrogance,
Awfully, indeed, are they mistaken who would substitute any thing in its stead; or put their own works of righteousness in the place of the righteousness of Christ. And what will poor sinners do at the last day without this grace? O consider, that death is at hand, and what an awful thing will it be to die without the grace of God. Your sins, alas! have abounded, and will not deserved punishment also abound? It will, unless this grace shall superabound. Seek it then by earnest prayer, "seek and ye shall find."
What a source is here of consolation, even for the chief of sinners. Does guilt oppress your conscience, and fears alarm your souls? Are you say. ing "You know not what a sinner I have beensingular excessive in sinning." It may be so. I know that you cannot over-rate your sins, but mark the encouraging words of our text-"Where sin abounds, grace doth much more abound;" and why should it not be so in your case?
What abundant cause is here for praise-ardent, constant praise! If Abraham, at a distance, saw the day of Christ and was glad, how much more cause have you, believer, who have tasted that the Lord is actually gracious, to rejoice in his salvation. Adopt then the prophet's language of exultation. Isaiah Ixi. 10. "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness."
Finally. This subject furnishes us with a mighty incentive to holiness. "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" The Apostle offers this query, because he knew that this objection would be started, but he replies, "God forbid! how shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein." Rather, let grace constrain us, cheerfully and sincerely, to devote ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, to the honour and glory of the God of all grace, which is, indeed, "our reasonable service."
Luke, xix. 41, 42. And when he was come near, he beheld the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
sion to the miserable was the leading feature of his character. At all times, we observe this in his conduct towards the children of sorrow; this was his prevailing disposition; he was himself" a man of sorrows, and he had always an ear to listen to the tale of woe, a Heart to feel for the afflicted, and a hand to afford them relief. But the display of his compassion, at the time referred to in the text, deserves particular attention; for what were his circumstances, when he thus wept, and uttered these pathetic words? It was at the only season. of his sojourning here upon earth, that we behold him enjoying any kind of triumph: he was approaching Jerusalem for the last time, when a vast multitude of people, perhaps more than a million, were in that great city; numbers of whom had come from Galilee and other parts of the country, to celebrate the feast of the passover. Having heard that he was about to enter the metropolis, in a more public manner than he ever did before, they were overjoyed with the thought of seeing him, hearing him, and beholding his miracles: so Y
that, in great multitudes, they went forth to meet him. This more than usual curiosity was excited by a miracle which he had recently performed; he had raised Lazarus, his friend, from the dead, at a little town not far from Jerusalem :-there were many respectable witnesses of the fact; it was noised about the country, and great multitudes had been induced to believe upon him, as it is said, in the 12th chapter of St. John, "Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away and believed on Jesus; and on the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm-trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." And as you see in the 37th verse of this chapter, "when he was come nigh, even at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice, and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works that they had seen."
The acclamations of the multitude, however, did not elate him; "he knew what was in man,' "and he foresaw that many of the multitude who were now crying" Hosanna," would as loudly cry, "Crucify him, crucify him." Let us also beware of placing much confidence upon human applause; for a very little matter will turn the scale of public opinion, and the warm friend of to-day, may be the bitter enemy of to-morrow. Other thoughts occupied the holy, the benevolent mind of Jesus. From a small distance, he commanded a view of this great city; great in extent, population, and magnificence; great especially on account of the sumptuous temple that was there erected; and, although the Saviour had already suffered many hardships from the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and well knew that he should suffer still more in a few days; yet, such was his divine benevolence and compassion that, forgetting himself, he bitterly wept at the foresight of those dire and unpa