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are denominated freedom of action; drunkennefs, is termed but good-fellow fhip; fwearing, declared but a piece of bravery; whoredom, looked upon to be but a trick of youth; malice and revenge, filed but juft refentment: thus the mouth of the whole world is open against God in the juftification of fin; but when once humiliation takes place, the mouth is fhut.-Finally, it imports a conftant, habitual, felf-condemnation, and filent taking with fin all the days of our life: for fo the word runs, Thou shalt never open thy mouth an more. The humbled foul's conftant principle and habitual practice is, never to open its mouth, but fill to be filent before God.
II. The fecond thing propofed was, To fpeak of that which is the fpring and ground of this humiliation; or, when it is that a finner is brought to it; namely, when God is pacified towards him for all that he hath done; or, when he is at peace with him. Now, I fhall condefcend upon fix properties of this peace which are also included in the text.
1. It is a well-grounded peace; peace upon the ground of an atonement; for fo the word pacified feems plainly to import I am pacified and fully appeafed with the blood of the covenant that I have eftablished unto thee in Chrift. "I have found a ranfom; I have fet forth Chrift to be the propitiation thro' faith in his blood, to declare his righteoufaefs for the remiffion of fins that are paft thro' the forbearance of God. To declare, I fay, at this time his righteousness: that he might be juft, and the juftifier of him which believeth in Jefus, Rom. iii. 25, 26. He hath made peace through the blood of his crofs, Col. i. 20, The Lord is well-pleased for his righteoufnefs' fake, whọ gave himfelf for us, an offering and a facrifice of a westfmelling favour unto God." Hence,
2. It is a divine peace; "I am pacified, faith the Lord God." It is a peace of God's contrivance, a peace of God's revealing, à peace of God's making; it is a peace that God glories in; I am pacified. O good news, to hear of a pacified God.
3. It is a prefent peace; I AM pacified; tho' I was
offended, yet now I am pacified. I was displeased by fin, but I am well-pleafed in Chrift. I am pacified; for the facrifice is offered. It is true, this was faid in our text. before ever Chrift died, and before he appeared in our nature but Chrift having engaged to do it, it was as good as done; and therefore he then faid, I am pacified: and therefore much more may we believe that now God is faying, I am pacified.
4. It is a particular peace; I am pacified towards THEE. It is true, it is a general peace that is published thro' Chrift, according to the fong of the angels, "Glory to God in the higheft, on earth peace, and good-will towards men;" but particularly published in Zion, even to all finners of Zion, and to every finner in particular, who hears the gofpel. If you know the joyful found, you may know it is God faying, I am pacified towards THEE; and I have given a commiffion to all my ambassadors to preach the gofpel of peace to THEE; "Go preach the gofpel to every creature," to every finner of mankind, declaring that I am pacified towards HIM. "To You is the word of this falvation fent." To thee, man; to thee, woman; to every individual, whether young or old. Alas! what think you of your finning againft this God, who fays, I am pacified towards thee? Will not this break your heart for your enmity, when he is expreffing fuch love to you, faying, I am pacified towards thee?
5. It is a wonderful and furprifing peace, with a non obftante; NOTWITHSTANDING all that thou haft done; or, FOR all that thou haft done. "Thou haft spoken and done evil things as thou could," Jer. iii. 5. Thou mayft remember, but I am not to remember it: "Thy fins and thine iniquities will I remember no more.—God was in Chrift, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespaffes to them;" but imputing the righteoufnefs of Christ untothem. I have got payment for all that thou hast done; therefore, I am pacified toward thee, for all that thou haft done. Not one of thy fins, greater or lefs, but are answered for. The price of redemption is paid to the full.
6. It is a proclaimed peace, a fpoken of and published peace; and who fpeaks it? It is faid, "The Lord will fpeak peace to his people:" and here it is a peace and
reconciliation spoken with a " Thus faith the Lord God;" When I am pacified towards thee, for all that thou haft done, SAITH THE LORD GOD. Thus faith the Lord God to thee, For all that thou haft done, and NOTWITHSTANDING all that thou haft done, I am pacified towards thee.
Here is a fure footing and firm ground for thy faith; it is the word gone out of the mouth of the Lord; the God that cannot repent, that cannot revoke his word, and that can never unfay what he hath faid: "The word of the Lord endureth for ever;" and upon this word thou mayft build thy faith, confidence, and hope. O finner, it is the word of that JEHOVAH, who can give a being to what he fays; it is a word of pardon and peace, for thee, guilty finner. O! wilt thou accept of the free indemnity proclaimed by the great God over the red crofs. of the blood of Chrift, and over the market-crofs of this everlafling gofpel?
III. The Third Head was, To fhew the influence that. this hath upon the former; or, the influence that the view and knowledge of this peace and reconciliation, through Chrift, proclaimed to the finner, hath upon the finner's humiliation for, the connection between the two is evident from the particle wHEN, That thou mayft remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, becaufe of thy fhame, WHEN I am pacified; or, when thou halt fo far know the Lord, as in the verfe preceding, as to fee and apprehend that I am pacified towards thee, for all that thou haft done. This is the main-fpring of true repentance and humiliation. Hence, in our Leffer Catechifm, repentance, or returning from fin to God, with grief and hatred of fim, is faid to proceed from a true fenfe of fin, and apprehenfion of the mercy of God in Chrift. Now, if thou art fenfible that thou art truly a finner, then, O liften to the news of mercy in God thro' Chrift; the apprehenfion thereof will tend to humble thee: and here is mercy proclaimed, I am pacified towards thee. Now, the influence that the knowledge and view of God's being pacified in Chrift hath upon gofpel humilia. tion, may be opened in thefe following particulars.
1. The gofpel-news of God's being pacified in Chrift,
is the vehicle of the Spirit of God; "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith" Gal. iii. 2. The gofpel is the miniftration of the Spirit. If by the hearing of the gospel of peace and reconciliation the Spirit comes, then gofpel-humiliation muft come that way; for, he is the Spirit of grace and fupplication, repentance and humiliation.
2. It is by the view of God's being pacified that faith comes; Faith comes by hearing," Rom. x. 17 Faith comes by hearing thefe good news; and then it purifies the heart, and works by love. Who ever had faith, but by the revelation of the grace and mercy of God in Chrift? And who ever had this faith of mercy, but was melted and humbled thereby?
3. It is by this view of God's being pacified, that hope is begotten; "Bleffed be the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope," 1 Pet. i. 3. the hope of life, the hope of glory: and then, "He who hath that hope, purifieth himfelf;" and the more of this purification, the more is the foul humbled and afhamed for fin.
4. It is by the view of God's being pacified in Christ that life comes into the foul: and hence the gospel of peace is called the miniftration of life, 2 Cor. iii. 7. in oppofition to the law, that is the miniftration of death. Hence let a man preach the law as a covenant of life, upon doing, promifing one heaven if he do fo and fo: or let him preach it as a covenant of death, for not doing, and to threaten hell and damnation with all the art and rhetoric of the world; yet never fhall he be able to raife one foul to a lively hope; or bring one foul from death to life by it. No; it is impoffible. It may preach them dead, but never alive. It is the news and view of God's being pacified, that quickens the foul; and then it remembers, and is confounded and afhamed of its fins.
5. It is the view of God's being pacified, or the revelation of the grace of God in Chrift, that brings in liberty, true liberty; "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,"2 Cor. iii. 17. Every legalift is in chains
and fetters; but fo much of the knowledge of peace with God, as any have, fo much liberty and freedom; freedom from foul-fetters; freedom of heart to mourn for fin, and turn from it: O! does mercy vent to the like of me? Then the bonds are loofed, and the heart dif folved.
6. The view of God's being pacified begets love; for his love kindles ours, and fo kills the enmity; "We love him, because he firft loved us," 1 John iv. 19. The great God, manifefting his great love to the hard-hearted finner, makes his heart to break; and fo the love of God in Chrift conftrains it, and makes it afhamed of its enmity, and confounded for its rebellion against fuch bowels of mercy.
7. The view of God's being pacified, brings in joy and health to the foul; and then, the joy of the Lord be ing our ftrength, we are able, with tears of joy, to fall down before the Lord our Maker: and having the con. science healed by the pacifying blood of Chrift, then the foul is ready to fay, O! let me fin no more; let me never open my mouth any more against God.
8. The view of God's being pacified, or the revelation of the grace of God reigning thro' the righteousness of Chrift, is the channel of the power of God; "I am not afhamed of the gofpel of Chrift, for it is the power of God unto falvation; for therein is revealed the righteoufnefs of God from faith to faith," Rom. i. 16, 17. And this being the channel of divine power, it is this power of God that brings down the pride of the heart, and humbles the foul under the mighty hand of God, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. Thus God's being pacified in Chrift hath a moral and a phyfical influence upon humiliation: a mo ral and argumentative influence; Oh! fhall I not be afhamed and confounded for my ingratitude against fuch love and grace manifefted towards me? And also, a phyfical, powerful, and operative influence; for thus the Lord draws the foul with cords of love, or melts down the hard and icy heart with the fire of his infinite love. -So much for this head, viz. the influence that a view of God's being pacified, through Chrift, hath upon the finner's humiliation.