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ments of his throne, and more especially will it shine forth, in awful splendour, at the last decisive day. We urge you, therefore, we earnestly entreat, that you flee to the only Refuge, and build on the eternal Rock.
But another argument is at hand, much more pleasing. We know not only "the terro of the Lord," but the compassion of our God, the boundless pity and unchangeable love of his heart. The Apostle, in the same chapter, dwells on this theme: "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ; and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." These are facts of the most encouraging nature. And what use does he make of them? Why, as an argument to persuade :-" Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." What tenderness is here! what dignity of subject! what benevolence of feeling! what affectionate fervour of manner! Did the servants of Naaman persuade their master from a conviction that it was his duty and his interest to comply? From the same conviction, we earnestly entreat you to accept the grace of the Gospel, to receive the only Saviour, and thus "to be reconciled to God." "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants, for Jesus sake." May his Almighty Spirit subdue your hearts effectually to "the obedience of faith!" May you all be "of them that believe to the saving of the soul !"
But hear the voice of warning. If you neglect this great salvation, how shall you escape? If, in careless indifference and proud contempt, you turn away from this glorious remedy, where will you find another? If, through sensual indulgence and love of sin, you reject the only cure which Infinite Wisdom and Compassion have brought nigh, know that there is no hope," because there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." Your future doom is dreadful, just in proportion to the freeness of the salvation of the Gospel, and the wilful obstinacy of your unbelief. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil,"
THE GOD OF SALVATION.
PSALM lxviii. 20.
He that is our God is the God of Salvation. SALVATION is a word replete with meaning: it is the richest blessing of time, the song of eternity, and includes a treasure which endless ages cannot exhaust.
"There are gods many and lords many;" creatures who are dignified with these titles: "but to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." There is "the god of this world, which blindeth the minds of them that believe not; the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." There are also some, the Apostle writes of them weeping, "whose god is their belly," the votaries of sensuality, serving divers lusts and pleasures. Christians have a God; his name alone is JEHOVAH: the one living and true God. More than this-" He that is our God is the God of Salvation."
We shall attempt to ILLUSTRATE THE FACT, and then to IMPROVE THE SUBJECT. May the Lord
the Spirit enlighten our minds, and seal instruction on our hearts!
1. We attempt to ILLUSTRATE THE FACT which the text asserts.
Salvation is deliverance. "The God of Salvation" is a title of peculiar distinction. It implies, that to effect deliverance, in the best sense of the word, is his prerogative alone; that it is his high delight, and the special glory of his character.
Jehovah is styled the God of Power, the God of Wisdom, the God of Truth, the God of Grace and Mercy; but all these are comprehended in this one expression" the God of Salvation." For wherein is the power of Jehovah most conspicuous? Is it not in the deliverances he has wrought? Wherein is his wisdom most displayed, his truth most confirmed, his mercy and his grace most magnified? Is it not in his procedure as "the God of Salvation ?"
The pleasing fact before us is abundantly illustrated in the Divine conduct. And, in considering this, it may be proper to observe the distinction between temporal deliverances and spiritual redemption.
1. Temporal deliverances make it appear.
Of these we cannot have a more interesting view than is given us in the Old Testament.-Think of the Israelites when in Egypt: they were oppressed exceedingly, borne down with an iron yoke of cruel bondage; but there was One who remembered them. "I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them." It
* Aets vii. 34.
"the God of Salvation!" and this deliverance was effected" with a strong hand, and with a stretched-out arm.' Reflect on their situation at the Red Sea. No sooner were they rescued from the land of slavery than a new and formidable difficulty occurred. "Fear not," said Moses: "stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." An eye of sense could see nothing but destruction; a watery grave before them; Pharaoh, an insulting tyrant, behind them; on each hand, impassable mountains or impregnable fortifications: what could they do? "The God of Salvation" remembered them! He opened a passage through the obstructing waves: he bid those waves rise up as a wall of defence: he conducted them through in perfect safety. Pharaoh and his army attempted to follow; but he who had wrought the deliverance of his people suddenly checked the progress, and frustrated the designs, of their enemies. "Thou didst blow with thy wind; the sea covered them; they sunk as lead in the mighty water." Israel beheld, and they sang the praise of" the God of Salvation." "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, amongst the gods? Who is like thee; glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders *?" When the same people were in the wilderness, singular were the appearances of Jehovah in their behalf. When hungry, bread was rained from heaven for their supply; when thirsty, water was made to flow from a flinty rock, and the streams of that rock' followed them in all the dreary desart; when in want of a guide, " a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night," went before, and led them by the right way. It would be almost endless to notice
* Ex. xv. 10, 11.