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leading articles, and Grace is the first. It is no wonder that Divine grace should be extolled in a peculiar manner. It was sovereign and free grace which made choice of the Saviour, and made him consent to undertake the arduous work. The same grace chose the sinner, subdued his obstinacy, and pro cured his consent. Grace sends the means wherever they go. The good work begins in grace; and grace will be perfected in glory. The peculiar celebration of Divine grace at the consummation of Christ's work was typified in Israel's song, Psal. cxxxvi. commemorating their glorious deliverance from Egyptian slavery and bondage, the burden of which is, for his mercy endureth for ever.
8. That the redeemed have lively heart-affecting views that Christ's spiritual work is wholly of grace, and solemnly renounce every degree of merit. Salvation is of grace. The whole building corresponds with the head-stone. Grace could never cement, either at top or bottom, with any thing contrary to itself. A foundation of merit, instead of carrying a top-stone of grace, would spurn at it; and a top-stone of grace would refuse to be laid on a foundation of works. Their irreconcileable contrariety is expressed by the apostle in the strongest terms, Rom. xi. 6, "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work." At the conclusion of Christ's work, the Redeemed will have the most heart-affecting views of that grace which saved them. Even in this world, with much sin about them, their hearts have often been melted
with a sense of the Lord's loving-kindness. His unsolicited and free love affects them in the most feeling manner, and they are overwhelmed with the thoughts of his goodness. Recollecting their condition in a state of nature, and their multiplied transgressions, their aggravated guilt and their redemption by the blood of Christ, they cry, Is this the manner of man! But grace in its true dignity, real value, and amazing effects, is never fully discovered till seen in the light of glory. Then the ransomed of the Lord know him and themselves infinitely better, and that knowledge magnifies his grace. Around the throne, acquitted and glorified, they drink full draughts of living waters without interruption, and eternally celebrate redeeming grace and love in the most joyful acclamations. There is a public solemn renunciation of merit. When the temple was finished, by their shoutings of Grace, grace to the head-stone, the Jews publicly acknowledged that the work prospered and was concluded, not by their wisdom or strength, but by the power and grace of God. Renunciation of merit, or selfdenial, is the first lesson which the Christian learns. In heaven his knowledge is most perfect. There self, never enters, and merit is renounced. Then, fully sensible that grace alone contrived the whole method of salvation; that grace took them from a fearful pit and miry clay; that grace conducted them in every step of their wilderness journey; that grace preserved them in the swellings of Jordan; and that grace ministered an abundant enterance into the everlasting kingdom of their Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ-they shout and sing GRACE, GRACE!
9. The perfect satisfaction of the redeemed with every prior part of the work, and a public avowal of it flowing from the fulness of the heart. The triumphant acclamations proclaim their satisfaction. In this state of obscurity and darkness, before the building is completely finished, the saints are apt to err, and, through mistaken views, often put harsh constructions on the Lord's procedure. They are partly self-wise and self-willed. Partial to the flesh, and influenced by it, they are dissatisfied with their lot, and conclude that all things are against them, though they are directly intended for their spiritual benefit, and will infallibly promote it. Often they repine when they should rejoice, and murmur when they ought to be thankful. The light of glory will discover the propriety of every providential dispensation. They will be satisfied that love was the source from which their trials flowed, and that infinite wisdom and care directed their passage through life. Without the least hesitation, they will be persuaded that he hath done all things well. With exuberant joy they will remember all the way which the Lord their God led them in the wilderness, to humble and prove them, to know what was in their heart, and do them good at their latter end. Every one recollects with infinite complacency the pains the Lord was at with him to prepare him for being a pillar in the temple above. He remembers the nature, measure, and continuance of his trials, and is satisfied that
they were all necessary. With joyful acclamation he acknowledges that neither less, nor any other, trials would have done. This avowal to the praise of grace is neither forced nor feigned. It flows from the abundance of the heart deeply impressed with the infinite wisdom and love, which now shine so illustriously in all the Lord's procedure. The race is ended. The prize is won. Christ is enjoyed. distance and absence are for ever removed. The fatigue is forgotten. Preceding pain is swallowed up in permanent pleasure. Sorrow and sighing for ever fly away. They enter into joy-joy unspeakable.
Once more, these words imply the universality and perpetuity of the praise. When the head-stone is brought forth, the shoutings will be universal. As the mouths of all his enemies will be stopped at the completion of the work; his friends without exception will have theirs opened. The chorus will be general. No voice will be low or unobserved. As they will all with open mouth proclaim the praises of his grace. Every one will have sufficient matter of praise in his own redemption, and, instead of paying, will eternally sink deeper in debt to Divine grace. Loaded with the Lord's benefits, he will eternally labour under the agreeable weight which both overwhelms and supports him. They will all praise for one another; and, with hearts and voice eternally in unison, celebrate redeeming love. The praise will be perpetual. When the last stone is laid, they will eternally shout Grace, grace. They have nothing else to say. They will not say less; and they can
not say more. They will praise with all their hearts. and while they have any being. Their admiration and enjoyment will be endless, and their songs of praise will never cease. Their continued enjoyments will never cloy, and their endless acclamations will be always with equal fervour. Their enjoyments will be always fresh and new; and their strength and spirits in the fullest vigour! The object of praise will ever be before them, and his everlasting love will constitute their happiness, and fill them with delight. Heaven will be an eternal jubilee of rest and shouting. There they sing the song that never ends.
It now remains to make some application; and,
1. We have the highest security that all opposition to the Lord's work, whether outward or inward, will be in vain. The greatest mountain shall be a plain. The Lord has said it. He has sworn it. He has given many proofs of it. Heaven and earth may pass away, but his work shall prosper. The stars have fought against his enemies, and the sun has stood still that his people might be avenged of their foes. Zion hill can never be moved. Jerusalem shall continue. The election shall obtain. Sin shall not have dominion. The God of peace shall bruise Satan. Though his enemies should prevail for a season, they shall fall. Christ shall reign till they be made his footstool. God is able to bring them down. His glory is concerned. While grace is in his heart, his people shall be blest, and his work shall prosper. We have,