he threatens a judgment, although he may not express a condition it is always implied; and that where he offers a promise, if that promise is without an oath, although the condition may not be expressed it is always implied that he will reverse this threatening and these promises, according as men are obedient or disobedient. You will find this repeated again to individuals in the 33rd chapter of the Prophet Ezekiel, where it is said in the 13th to the 16th verses, "When I shall say to the righteous that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he hath robbed, walk again the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him; he hath done that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live." Here therefore we have so plainly stated to us that we cannot mistake it, that God when he gives a promise implies this condition, that man is obedient; and that when he gives a threatening he implies this condition, that man continues sinful; but if an obedient man becomes disobedient; or if the sinful man will become obedient, the promise shall be changed into a threatening, or the threatening into a promise. A very striking example of this we have in Eli, that where Eli's sons showed themselves unfit for the priesthood which had been promised to Eli's family, the Lord said in the 2nd chapter of the 1st book of Samuel, in the 30th verse, "Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I

said indeed that thy house and the house of thy father should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." thus we have the scriptures presenting to us two dealings of God, the one with his elect in the secret covenant of his love, unchangeable; the other with man's moral responsible being in the manifested providence of his grace, changeable.

III. We have in the third place to consider, whether we have any marks by which we can apply to ourselves the blessed promise that belongs to God's people. Brethren we have most blessed promises, and they may belong to every one that lays hold upon them. The predestinating love of God is not represented in scripture as the act of mere sovereignty; it proceeds not from one attribute of God, but from God. It contains all the attributes of God, his love, his bounty, as well as his sovereign power. And here is where the metaphysical system of Calvinism is wrong, in dwelling so exclusively upon the sovereign right of God as to forget that he has wisdom, bounty, goodness, and love; that he who has chosen us, has chosen us to holiness and to happiness, that it is the result of his confined attributes not merely of one. So God hath in like manner revealed his counsels to us that they cannot be known by us until he hath revealed them

in us.

The election of God is a bright light behind a thick veil. The veil must be removed before that bright light is seen the veil that is upon the heart, that hinders the election of God from being seen is the thick veil of sin; and it is just as that is removed that God's electing love is seen in its holiness, and recorded in its brightness. We are all by nature, the apostle says, the children of

wrath: there is no difference,


for all have sinned and

We cannot say of the



come short of the glory of God." wickedest man that he who is a child of wrath to-day may not be a manifested child of God to-morrow. foe to-day, may be God's friend to-morrow, and therefore we have no marks by which we can say of any one,-you are not one of God's people. We have therefore God so presenting election to us that no one can make it an excuse for dejection, much less despair for sin. No, it is only when we lay hold upon the hope set before us that we have the mark of God's people. If we turn to the 6th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, we find the apostle saying there in the 16th to the 20th verses, "For men verily swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus made an high priest for ever, after the order of Melchisidec." It is not to the world that he will shew the immutability of his counsel; it cannot be seen till we can enter within the veil, it is to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, and he does that by the work of his grace in the heart, that we who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon this hope set before us have strong consolation in those two immutable things, God's covenant, and God's oath. Is there not that experience in the heart of man?

Do we not find that

timid wavering feeling upon which the name of faith is bestowed, and that for a time in which men hope they are christians, and fear that they are not christians, indulging a feeble hope sometimes that they have the grace of God in them, and fearing at other times that they need it; timid, wavering, doubtful, unstable as water they cannot excel. Is there not that brighter and better hope, that firm hand of faith able to lay hold upon the everlasting and unchangeable promises of God, that can enter within the veil, that can realize everlasting security, not because we are good and holy, but because we are strengthened in faith, and brightened in hope, and able to see into the invisible world, and lay hold upon that hope set before us, which is an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, entering within the veil, seeing him who is behind the veil in the holy of holies, hearing his pleading, trusting his promise, and relying on his love. The marks are given in the 10th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, from the 14th to the 22nd verses, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us; for after that he had said before, this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the veil that is to say his flesh, and having a high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil consci

ence, and our bodies washed with pure water." Here we learn that they are perfected, they are perfected for ever. they are perfected by the one offering of Jesus Christ, once for all; that the perfection is witnessed to by no less a witness than God and the Holy Ghost, and the testimony of God's Holy Spirit is this, that he writes his law in the heart, and he puts it in the mind; he makes men to understand God's truth, to embrace God's truth, and to lay hold upon his promise, and to be assured of this, there is no more offering for sin; there is one atonement, and that is enough. One blood is presented to God, and that sanctifieth fully, we need no other; and having this great high priest we are able to enter into the presence of God, to draw near not with wavering doubts, but with full assurance of faith; to have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. This is that witness of the Spirit working holy thoughts in us, working holy feelings in us, cleansing us from the pollution of the flesh, raising us to the mind of the Spirit, delivering us from the bondage of ungodly fears, and raising us to the light, and peace, and blessedness of those who apply to their souls that comforting promise, "None shall pluck them out of my hand," This is that which the Apostle declares in the 8th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, to be the witness of the Spirit, "the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." The mark therefore of those who have a right to lay hold upon this unchangeable promise is according to God's testimony simply this, that we have God's Holy Spirit renewing our hearts and enabling us to trust him, and as our 17th article very beautifully says, "For the godly

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