Imágenes de páginas

shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.” He. sees the travail of his soul, in seeing his seed, the children Þrought forth in the issue of his travail. This implies that Christ has his delight, most truly and properly, in obtaining the salvation of his church, not merely as a means conducing to the thing which terminates bis delight and joy; but as what he rejoices and is satisfied in, most directly and properly ; as do those scriptures, which represent him as rejoicing in his obtaining this fruit of his labor and purchase, as the bridegroom, when he obtains his bride. Isa. Ixii, 5. “ As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” And how emphatical and strong to the purpose, are the expressions in Zeph. iii. 17. “ The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty ; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will rejoice over thee with singing.” The same thing may be argued from Prov. viii. 30, 31. « Then was I by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him ; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men.” And from those places that speak of the saints as God's portion, his jewels and peculiar treasure. These things are abundantly confirmed by what is related, John xii. 23- 32. But the particular consideration of what may be observed to the present purpose, in that passage of scripture, may be referred to the next section.

3. The communications of divine goodness, particularly forgiveness of sin, and salvation, are spoken of from time to time, as being for God's goodness sake, and for his mercy's sake, just in the same manner as they are spoken of, as being for God's name's sake, in places observed before. Psal. xxv. 7. “ Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions : According to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy goodness' sake, O Lord.” In the 11th verse the Psalmist says,

« For thy name's sake, O Lord pardon mine iniquity.” Neh. ix. 31. “Nevertheless for thy great mercy's sake, thou hast pot utterly consumed them, nor forsaken them ; for thou art a gracious and a merciful God." Psal. vi. 4. “ Return () Lord, deliver my soul : O save me for thy mercy's sake.” Psal. xxxi. 16. “ Make thy face to shine upon thy servant : Save me for thy mercy's sake." Psal. xliv. 26. “Arise for our help ; redeem us for thy mercy's sake.” And here it may be observed, after what a remarkable manner God speaks of his love to the children of Israel in the wilderness, as though his love were for love's sake, and his goodness were its own end and motive. Deat. vii. 7, 8. « The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in num. ber than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people ;but because the Lord loved you." .

4. That the government of the world in all parts of it, is for the good of such as are to be the eternal subjects of God's goodness, is implied in what the scripture teaches us of Christ's being set at God's right hand, made king of angels and men ; set at the head of the universe, having all power given him in heaven and earth, to that end that he may pro. mote their happiness ; being made head over all things to the church, and having the government of the whole creation for their good.* Christ mentions it (Mark xxviii 29) as the reason why the Son of Man is made Lord of the sabbath, that “the sabbath was made for man." And if so, we may in like manner argue, that all things were made for man, that the Son of Man is made Lord of all things.

5. That God uses the whole creation, in his whole government of it, for the good of his people, is most elegantly represented in Deut. xxxiii. 26. “There is none like the God of Jeshurun, who rideth on the heavens in thine help, and in his excellency on the sky." The whole universe is a machine, which God hath made for his own use, to be his chariot for him to ride in ; as is represented in Ezekiel's vis.

* Eph. i. 20...23. John xvii. 2. Matth. xi, 27, and xxviii. 18, 19, John iii. 38.

tions, and this chariote", under lines and re

ion. In this chariot, God's seat or throne, is heaven, where he sits, who uses, and governs, and rides in this chariot, Ezek. i. 22, 26, 27, 28. The inferior part of the creation, this visible universe, subject to such continual changes and revolutions, are the wheels of the chariot, under the place of the seat of him who rides in this chariot. God's providence in the constant revolutions, and alterations, and successive events, is represented by the motion of the wheels of the chariot, by the spirit of him who sits in his throne on the heavens, or above the firmament. Moses tells us for whose sake it is that God moves the wheels of this chariot, or rides in it sitting in his heavenly seat; and to what end he is making his progress, or goes his appointed journey in it, viz. the salvation of his people.

6. God's judgments on the wicked in this world, and also their eternal damnation in the world to come, are spoken of as being for the happiness of God's people. So are his judgments on them in this world. Isaiah xliii. 3, 4. “ For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour. I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou hast been precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee ; therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” So the works of God's vindictive justice and wrath, are spoken of as works of mercy to his people, Psalm cxxxvi. 10, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20. And so is their eternal damnation in another world. Rom. ix. 22, 23. " What if God, willing to shew his wrath and make his power known, endured with much longsuffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction ; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory." Here it is evident the last verse comes in, in connexion with the foregoing, 'as giving another reason of the destruction of the wicked, viz. the shewing the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy ; in higher degrees of their glory and happiness, in an advancement of their relish of their own enjoyments and greater sense of their value, and of God's free grace in the bestowment.

7. It seems to argue that God's goodness to them who are to be the eternal subjects of his goodness, is the end of the creation, that the whole creation, in all parts of it, and all God's disposals of it, is spoken of as THEIR'S. I Cor. iii. 22, 23. “ All things are yours : Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours.” The terms are very universal; and both works of creation and providence are mentioned ; and it is manifestly the design of the apostle to be un. derstood of every work of God whatsoever. Now, how can we understand this any otherwise, than that all things are for their benefit ; and that God made and uses all for their

good ?

8. All God's works, both his works of creation and provi. dence, are represented as works of goodness or mercy to his people in Psal. cxxxvi. His wonderful works in general, verse 4. “ To him who alone doth great wonders ; for his mercy endureth forever.” The works of creation in all parts of it. Verses 5....9. “ To himn that by wisdom made the heavens, for his mercy enduretb forever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters, for his mercy endureth forever, To him that made great lights, for his mercy endureth for. ever. The sun to rule by day, for his mercy endureth forever. The moon and stars to rule by night, for his mercy en. dureth forever.” And God's works of providence, in the following part of the Psalm.

9. That expression in the blessed sentence pronounced on the righteous at the day of judgment, “ Inherit the king. dom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," seems to hold forth as much, as that the eternal expressions and fruits of God's goodness to them, was God's end in creating the world, and in his providential disposals ever since the creation : That God, in all his works, in laying the foundation of the world, and ever since the foundation of it, had been preparing this kingdom and glory for them.

10. Agreeable to this, the good of men is spoken of as an uliniate end of the virtue of the moral world. Rom. xiii. 8, 9, 10. ^ He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For

this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, &c.— And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love 'worketh no ill to his neighbor ; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law." Gal. v. 14. “ All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” James ii. 8. “ If ye fulál the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself....thou shalt do well."

If the good of the creature be one end of God in all things he does; and so be one end of all things that he requires moral agents to do ; and an end they should have respect to in all that they do, and which they should regulate all parts of their conduct by ; these things may be easily explained ; but other. wise it seems difficult to be accounted for, that the Holy Ghost should thus express himself from time to time. The scriplure represents it to be the spirit of all true saints, to prefer the welfare of God's people to their chief joy.' And this was the spirit of Moses and the prophets of old ; and the good of God's church was an end they regulated all their conduct by: And so it was with the apostles. 2 Cor. iv. 15. “ For all things are for your sakes.” 2 Tim. ii. 10. “I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” And the scriptures represent as though every Christian should in all things he does be employed for the good of God's church, as each particular member of the body, is in all things employed, for the good of the body. Rom. xii. 4, 5, &c. Eph. iv. 15, 16. I Cor. xii. 12, 25, to the end ; together with the whole of the rest chapter. To this end the scrip'ure teaches us the angels are continually emp.oyed, Heb. i. 14.

« AnteriorContinuar »