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and give alms, provide bags that wax not old, a treafure in heaven that faileth not.-Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treafure in heaven ; and come follow me.!'. They go away joyful, doing as he bid them, knowing that they had in heaven a better and enduring substance, being begotten again to a lively hope of an inheritance incora ruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away; referved in the heavens. Such a sort of a change was made by the gospel on the first disciples. They forfook all and followed him, whether they were fishera men, or publicans, or the three thousand, or Paul, or the strangers scattered abroad to whom Peter writes. The world was at odds with them; looked upon them as dead to the world; and they at as much odds with the world, being crucified, dead, and buried to it, and risen to a better hope by the resurection of Christ. · Now, as baptism was what the believers were called to as evidential of all this; for so soon as the three thoufand believed Peter's preaching, they enquire," what they shall do?” His answer is, “ repent, and be baptised ;” as if he should say, “ repent of your former opposition to a crucified Christ, come over on his fide, be baptised in his name, taking your lot with him”; 1 say, as baptism was what they were first called to as evidential of this, they might be said to be buried with him in baptism: For however in danger any might seem to be of being taken in with that feet which was every where spoken against ; yet while they were anbaptised, undetermined, their earthly friends conceived some hopes of prevailing on them to fhan that sect, and have nothing to do with them. But being gone over OII the Lord's side, baptised in his name, appearing quite determined to take their lot with him through poverty, reproach, or what ever he was pleased to call them to, they are looked upon as dead and buried; as who should say that day, “ My -- was baptifed. My " hopes in him were then buried, I used all means
66 before, and conceived some hopes of preventing 16 him. But now they feem to be as much over, as 66 if he was dead, and buried." And thefe expressions of being crucified, dead, and buried, and risen with Christ, are what often occur in the writings of the apostles, who knew if the knowledge of the gospel had not fonie such effects as were signified by these expressions, it would be of no avail. And thus they agree with Jefus Christ, who fays, “ whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. This was the case in the time of the first disciples. And though now the established form of Christianity in any place may be decently put on, and worn without all this, yet if any even in our day understand the gospel as the first disciples did, and contend for their faith and order, turning their back on every thing in religion that has not the authority of Christ and his apostles, and follow him wherever his word leads chem; let them judge, if they find not fomething similar to what has been above described, in breaking from their old connexions ? Or let fuch fay, who have lost their relations in this way, whether something similar was not their language that day their relative or friend profeffed faith in and subjection
to Jesus Christi ... But to return from what appeared at firit view a
digression, to the confideration of the glory of Christ, as the God that forgiveth iniquities, that healeth difeases, that is the object of the worship of angels, and of his church--that receives divine honours from the Father, whofe will it is, that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father. The digression which has been made, illustrates this subject, as it shews hinn fetting up his heavenly kingdoni as the antitype of Ilrael after the flesh, imputing righteousness without works, and fo constituting members of his kingdom by his own righteousness, according to his fovereign pleasure ; which appears in that his mercy
is is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto childrens children, to such as keep his covenant, and remember his cominandments to do them--and in the promise being to believers and their children. The ist and ad verses. of the xxxii. Psalm, compared with Romans iv. 6. 7. shews 'tis the prerogative of the Lord God alone thus to impute righteousness without works : Which is undeniably evident in the case of infants, who have none. And that this is the cale with every subject of his kingdom, HE has deterinined, whose prerogative it is to open, and none can shut, and shut, and none can open. Mark x. 14. " Verily I say unto you, whofoever fhat! not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."
To proceed, What follows in the 19th verse of the ciji. Pfalm, confirms me in the apprehension, that it is agreeable to illustrate the 17th and 18th verfes by coniparing them (as I have done) with Acts ii. 39. For it is faid verfe 19. " the Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all,—which may be illustrated by a comparison with Acts ii. 23. and verse 31. “ therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the gift of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now fee and hear.” This exaltation of Jesus Christ to his throne in the heavens, was manifest when he received of the Father the gift of the Holy Ghost, and shed it forth on his disciples, by setting up his kingdom that shall rule over all. In view of this, the angels are called upon " to bless the Lord (verse 20) that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word." Thefe are said to be so ministering fpirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." Hebrews i. 14. they being ministers in his kingdom, round the throne and the elders, and the living creatures, (Rev. vii. 11.) ready to do his commandments, hearkening to the voice
of his word. They excel in strength. (Hebrew mighty in strength, according to the bible margin.).
Their agility and might are employed for the promotion of his cause and kingdom in the protection of his people, and destruction of their enemies. Psalm xxxiv. 7. " The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” An instance of this we have in Elisha, 2d of Kings' vi. 17.. " And he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” What these chariots were we may fee by comparing Pfalm lxviii. 17. " The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels." With respect to their enemies, 'tis said, psalm xxxv. 5. 66 Let them be as chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the Lord chase them." verse 6. 5. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.” An instance we have of this in 2d of Kings xix. 35. and 2d of Chronicles xxxii. 21. 6And the Lord sent an angel--and the angel of the Lord went out that night-and destroyed in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand.” These angels are not only hearkening to the voice of his word, ready to do his commandments ; but according to the direction in the text, “ bless the Lord, ye his angels,” they are round the throne, and round the redeemed church, ten thousand times ten thousand, .. and thousands of thousands of them, saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, Rev. v. 11, 12,
There may be also respect had to the ministering servants of this kingdom here on earth, which he gave as gifts to men at his alceniion on high, namely, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, Are they not called the angels of the churches ? Rev. i. 20. while the others are round the throne, and thę . Da
redeemed church in Heaven." These are for the pein fecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ here upon earth. These may be said to be mighty in strength; as the apostle says, so the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to ihe pulling down of strong holds ; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2d of Corin. . 4, 5. These were those that did his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word. 66 We ought (say they) to obey God rather than man.'? These are among his hofts, the ministers of his that do his pleasure—and are called upon in view of what is celebrated in the foregoing Psalm, ¢ to bless the Lord, with all his works, in all places of his dominion.” And who that is led from a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, as the just desert of his transgressions, to know the much forgiveness, loving kindness, and tender mercies, celebrated in the foregoing part of this Pfalm, but will say, “ bless the Lord, O my soul ??' And who upon seeing that the righteousness which procures forgiveness is to childrens children of them that fear him, but will again say, when he looks on his children in hope of their sharing in that mercy,“ bless the Lord, Omy foul?”? efpecially when any of their infant 'offspring are taken away by death, as the fruit of the divine displeasure for the disobedience of the one man with whom they were connected. The hope of righteousness without works reckoned unto thein, will excite him to say, “ bless the Lord, O my soul, -especially considering that the worker of this righteousness is not only raised from the dead in proof of its being finished; but is exalted at the Father's right hand, head of all prin. cipalities and powers, and every name that is named, head of his body the church, and head over all things