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and all the given number introduced into the palace of the King, the head-stone brought forth, and the kingdom delivered up to the Father; the joyful declaration of acceptance, and the many evidences of it, infinitely surpass our conceptions. Justly do the angels reckon themselves interested in the Redeemer's work and the acceptance of it. Made and preserved by him, and unceasingly employed in adoring him, they are enflamed with love to his
and zeal for his interest. They rejoice in the conversion of one sinner; and will join with ineffable joy in the universal chorus, when all the saints to whom they have been ministering spirits are safely brought home to glory. The redeemed are still more interested. The success and acceptance of Christ's work was their chief concern in this world. With infinite joy will they participate in the acclamations of praise, when the work is finished, and the acceptance publicly announced before an assembled world.
6. These words imply the joyful ascription of praise in loud and exalted acclamations for the whole of the work, and especially as concluded. Christ will receive a revenue of glory for every part of his work, and is infinitely worthy of it. He deserves to be praised for undertaking it, and it is ground of lamentation that the church militant is frequently too sparing in ascribing to him the glory that is due. His continued presence and care, while the work is going on, should be constantly celebrated; but often Zion's songs are marred through unbelief and opposition. In a foreign land she hangs her harps on the willows. When a glorious work has met with continued opposition, and
is finished in spite of every enemy, the conclusion naturally makes all who were friendly to and engaged in it, break forth with bursts of joy, and give full vent to the pleasing sensations of their hearts. It must be so with the Redeemer's work. There is an obvious difference between his work and every other. As it goes on, it both qualifies his friends for praising him, and inclines them to the exercise. The completion of it removes every hinderance, and fits them for praising in the most perfect manner. It enlarges their capacities, and makes them as holy as extensive. As Divine grace is the matter of the song,
it likewise opens their mouths, and enables them to sing.
7. That while all the Divine perfections are celebrated, Grace is praised in a peculiar and distinguished manner. When the head-stone is brought forth, one sound only is heard-Grace, grace unto it. All God's perfections are celebrated. One cannot be praised without the rest. In the plan of redemption they sweetly harmonize. Mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other.” God's great and ultimate end in the salvation of sinners was his own glory and the manifestation of all his perfections. His power is displayed. His wisdom shines illustriously. His holiness is magnified, and his justice honoured. Christ and his Gospel are called the power and the wisdom of God. His grace is celebrated in a peculiar manner. When exhorted, in Psal. xcviii. to sing a new song to the Lord, it is a leading part of the subject, that he has been mindful of his grace and truth. These are two
leading articles, and Grace is the first. It is no wowder 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 procured 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