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will call upon themselves and others, to praise and thankfulness, saying, Prai the Lord, for the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. And the rather this is matter of great thankfulness because, — The choice God has made of men to everlasting life is of grace, and not of works; even of free, unmerited grace, and without any motive to it from them; hence called, The election of grace, Rom. xi. 5, 6. Something similar to this was the national election of the people of Israel, which was not because of their quality or quantity; but because of the Lord's pure love unto them.This choice is an act of distinguishing grace; it is not a choice of all, only of some; or it would be no choice; I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen, John xiii. 18. all Christ's disciples were chosen to office, but not all to grace and glory; such so chosen are vessels of mercy, in distinction from others, called, vessels of wrath; it is a choice of us and not of others; of us, who are in no wise better than others, as undeserving of the favour of God as others, being children of wrath, even as others. It is a choice, which is the source, foundation, and security both of grace and glory. Sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, which include all grace, are fixed and secured in eternal election, and flow from it; men are chosen to faith and holiness before the foundation of the world, and these are in time bestowed upon them; As many as were ordained unto eternal life believed; hence true faith is called, The faith of God's elect, being peculiar to them, in consequence of their election, and with which their eternal happiness is connected; For whom he did predestinate them he also glorified. Now if the apostle thought himself bound to give thanks for the election of others, then much more for his own; and so is every chosen vessel of salvation,

2. Thanks are to be given for redeeming grace. This was one of the benefits and blessings of grace, which lay uppermost on the mind of the Psalmist when he called upon his soul, and all within him, to bless the name of the Lord, and not forget his benefits; Who, says he, redeemeth thy life from dectruction, Psalın ciii. 1, 2, 4. having in view, no doubt, the redemption of it by Christ, from everlasting ruin; thus Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, began his prophecy, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and raised up a mighty Saviour and Redeemer from David's family; this he said, when the day-spring from on high had visited them; the Saviour was conceived, and become incarnate, though as yet not born, who was to be the Redeemer of his people, Luke i. 68, 69, 78, and great reason there is for praise and thankfulness on this account. 1. Because this redemption is special and particular. They are a peculiar people whom Christ has redeemed from all iniquity; they are redeemed from among men, and so not all men; they are redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and not every kindred, every tongue, all people, and each nation; and therefore have the greater reason to be thankful that they are redeemed. 2. It is altogether free on their parts; though they are bought with a price, are redeemed from a

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vain conversation, with the precious blood of Christ, to which redemption is frequently ascribed; yet they are redeemed without money, without any price or money of their own paid by them for it; it is wholly of free cost to them; they are let go, not for price nor reward, which they have given, thei: redemption is indeed through the blood of Christ, and yet it is according to the riches of the grace of God, who of his infinite wisdom and grace has found a ransom.

3. It

is a plenteous one; With the Lord is plenteous redemption, Psalm cxxx. 7. a redemption from all iniquity, original and actual; from all sins of every kind, of heart, lip, and life, before and after conversion; from Satan, stronger than they who held them captive; from all the curses of the law, to which they were subject by sin; and from hell and wrath, and from every enemy of their souls. —4 It is an eternal one; Having obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb. is. 12. which will always continue; the redeemed will never more return to a captive state, or be brought into subjection to what they are redeemed from; but will always enjoy the benefits arising from this grace; and if therefore Moses and the children of Israel had reason to sing unto the Lord, who in his mercy had redeemed them out of Egypt, which was but a temporal redemption; much more reason have we to praise the Lord, and give thanks to him for eternal tedemption by Christ.


3. Thanks are to be given for pardoning grace and mercy. This is the first thing the Psalmist mentions after stirring up himself to bless and praise the Lord for all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities, Psalm ciii. 1-3. and indeed pardon of sin is a great blessing; and he is an happy man whose transgression is forgiven, and his sin covered, and to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity! and therefore should express his thankfulness for it. — 1. Because it is entirely free, with respect to the persons who partake of it. It proceeds, indeed, upon a satisfaction made by another; for God, though he forgives sin, will by no means clear the guilty, without a full satisfaction to his justice; Without shedding of blood there is no remission; but though Christ's blood has been shed for the remission of sins, yet that is according to the riches of divine grace; it is free to men, though it cost Christ dear, his blood and life; some, their debts are more, and others less numerous; one owes five hundred pence, and another fifty; but whereas neither the one nor the other have any thing to pay, God, the creditor, frankly forgives them both, Luke vii. 41, 42.2. Pardon of sin, is not only free, but full and complete; and therefore sinful men should be thankful for it; God not only forgives all manner of sin, signified by iniquity, transgression, and sin; greater or lesser sins, such as are more or less aggravated; but all acts of sin committed by his people; God, for Christ's sake, forgives all; Having forgiven all trespasses, Col. ii. 13. no one sin is left unforgiven; the Lord's name be praised!

4. Thanks are to be given for adopting grace; this is one of the spiritu blessings with which the Lord's people are blessed in Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, there is such a display of grace in the blessing of adop

tion, as ravished the apostle Jolin, and caused him to break forth in a rapture, and say, Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God! Two things serve to excite thankfulness for this grace: 1. That it is bestowed on persons very unworthy; such who are by nature children of wrath, as others; and yet by this grace, children of God; such of whom God himself says, How shall I put them among the children? and yet of his grace puts them there; such who are like the wretched infant, cast out into the open field, in the day it was born, to the loathing of its person, and yet taken into the family of God; who have nothing lovely in them, to recommend them, as Moses to Pharaoh's daughter, and Esther to Mordecai had; but all the reverse. 2. The various blessings annexed to this grace; such have the glorious liberty of the children of God; liberty of access to God, as children to a father; and a right to all privileges and immunities, which fellow-citizens with the saints, and those of the houshold of God have; these are never more servants, but heirs, and have a right to the heavenly inheritance.


5. Thanks are to be given to God for regenerating grace, 1 Pet. i. 3, 4. This is wholly owing to the free grace and rich mercy of God; it is denied to be of blood, or of the will of men, or of the will of the flesh; but of God, of his sovereign grace and favour; who, of his own will, begat us with the word of truth; and the rather should we be thankful for this grace, since without it there can be no enjoyment of eternal life; Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

6. Thanks are to be given as for a right to eternal life; which lies not in the righteousness of men, but in the righteousness of Christ; so for a meetness for it which is all of grace, Col. i. 12.

7. Thanks are to be given for victory over all spiritual enemies; and so for persevering grace in faith and holiness to glory, notwithstanding them all; nothing more distressing than a body of sin and death, and nothing more desirable than a deliverance from it; and yet no hope of it but through Christ; and having hope of it in this way, such a soul may say with the apostle, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! that is, that there will be a deliverance from it; and not from that only, but from every enemy, sin, law, and death; and therefore can say, Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory; over death and the grave; over sin, the sting of death; and over the law, the strength of sin; so that nothing shall hinder an abundant entrance into the kingdom and glory of God.

11. For Christ, the great blessing of grace and gift of God: Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift, 2 Cor. ix. 15. the donor of this gift is God, of whom are all things; hence Christ is called the gift of God, by way of eminence, John iv. 10. who is a sovereign Being, and disposes of all his gifts, and so this, to whomsoever he pleases; it is his own he gives, and he may do with that what he will; and this is a gift like himself, suitable to the greatness of his Majesty, as King of kings; the gift is the Son of God; To us a Son is givens

he only begotten Son of God; him he has given to be for a covenant of the people, the Mediator and Surety of it, and with whom he has entrusted all the blessings end promises of it; and to be an head over all things to the church; and to be the Saviour of the body, the church; even to be God's salvation unto the ends of the earth; for which purpose he has not spared him, but has delivered him up into the hands of men, justice, and death; and for which those and for whom he is given, have reason to be thankful; when, besides these things, the nature of the gift is observed. 1. It is entirely a free gift; it is one of those things, and the chief of them, which are freely given unto us ef God, 1 Cor. ii. 12. unmerited and undeserved; wholly of free grace, and flowing from the pure love of God, to persons the most unworthy, John iii. 16.-2. It is a suitable one; nothing could have been given us more suitable to our case and circumstances; Such an High-priest became us; such a Prophet, such a King, such a Mediator between God and men, such a Redeemer and Saviour, such an Advocate and Intercessor, one so full of grace and truth, who is made anto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, who is indeed ALL in ALL; all that we want, all that we can desire; for, - 3. It is a very large and comprehensive gift; God, with Christ, freely gives us all things; and blesses, with all spiritual blessings in him, the blessings of grace and of glory. Christ being ours, all things are ours; and therefore we have reason to be thankful, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. — 4. It is an unchangeable and irreversible gift; it comes from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning; and not only the giver, but the gift itself is unchangeable; who is Jesus, the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever; and is one of the gifts of God which are without repentance; to which may be added, that it is unspeakable; none can say how great it is, what is contained in it, and what the benefits arising from it in time and to eternity.

IV. For the Spirit of God, and his gifts and graces. The Spirit himself is the gift of God, Luke xi. 13. and a great and glorious gift he is, for which we have reason to be thankful; especially when we consider to what ends and purposes he is given, as to be a Comforter of his people, He shall give you another Comforter, John xiv. 16. and to be a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and to strengthen the saints with all might in the inward man, and to be the earnest and pledge of their future glory and happiness. The several graces of the Spirit are of the Spirit are gifts and free gifts and free grace-gifts, and very valuable ones; faith, which is of the operation of the Spirit, is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, which no man has nor can exercise unless it be given him of God; and all men have it not, and therefore it is distinguishing grace to those who have it, and should be thankful for it; a good hope is through grace, and is given both by God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Thess. ii. 16. and so love is from grace, 1 Tim. 1. 14. These are now the all things for which we should be thankful.

II. When, in what cases and circumstances, and for whom thanks are to be given. 1 When; always, this is the rule, giving thanks always for all things; every day, night and day, constantly, continually, all the days of a man's life: for there are ever new mercies, they are returning every day and every morning; hence says the Psalmist, Every day will I bless thee, Psal. cxlv. 2. 2.-2. In what cases and circumstances, in what state and condition, are we to be thankful? in every one, in every thing, that is, in every state, give thanks, 1 Thess, v. 18.

Not in prosperity only, when we are to be joyful, cheerful, and thankful; and when we are not to attribute our prosperity to ourselves, nor to second causes, but to God, and be thankful; otherwise we shall only sacrifice to our own net, and burn incense to our own drag, Hab. i. 16.-But in adversity also;

Job blessed God, or was thankful, when he was stripped of all; and the people of God have reason to be thankful under afflictions, when the Lord puts underneath his everlasting arms, and supports them under them; when he strengthens them on a bed of languishing, and makes their bed in their sickness; when he chooses them in the furnice of affliction, and knows their sculs in adversity; when he manifests his love and favour; when he is with them passing through the fire and water, so that the one shall not kindle upon them, nor the other overflow them; in short, since he makes all things work together for their good here and hereafter, they should be thankful. And also,-In times of temptation; since the temptation might have been suffered to have been greater and heavier than it is; and since the grace of God is sufficient to support under it, and carry through it, and the faithfulness of God will not suffer his people to be tempted above what they are able to beat; and since Christ is able to succour them that are tempted, and sympathizes with them, and prays for them that their faith fail not.--When in very uncomfortable frames; at least better might be wished for, since these night have been worse and have issued in despair, or bordering on it; and in the midst of all it should be considered, that though frames are chargeable things, Jehovah changes not, Christ is the same always, the covenant of grace is sure, and the gifts and calling of God without repentance; and the Lord knows them that are his, and they shall never perish.-Amidst all the reproaches and persecutions of men; so the the apostles were thankful that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ; the apostle Peter says such are happy, 1 Pet. iv. 14. and such who are persecuted for righteousness-sake are pronounced blessed by Christ, and are exhorted to rejoice, and be exceeding glad.-3. For whom; for all men, for kings and all in authority, 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. since these are powers ordained of God, and are ministers for the good of men, are terrors to evil doers, and a praise to them that do well; if they are good kings and worthy magistrates, such are to be honoured and obeyed, and thanks to be given for them, which is good and acceptable in the sight of God. We are to be thankful for our relations and friends, and for the continuance of them; children are the gifts

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