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His poverty might be rich.” Here is These are the “ unsearchable riches of another wonderful transition. We have Christ,” as they are called. We shall seen a transition from riches to poverty ; never do them justice, never explain them and now here is another transition from fully: but we may judge a little of them poverty to riches. We are now to see by their nature. Remember, that they those who were poor become rich; and all are spiritual riches, that they render the through the medium of His interposition soul wealthy, that they are eternal in their on their behalf. “ That ye through His duration, that they are “bags which wax poverty might be rich.”

not old, a treasure in heaven, where What a change takes place in the sub- moth and rust do not corrupt, and where jects of Divine grace always! They were thieves do not break through and steal.” thorns, and are now fir trees, as Isaiah We must remember, that they are consays ; they were briars, now they are sistent with outward poverty and distress myrtle trees : or as the apostle says, they here. Our Saviour said to the Church of

far off," but are now " made nigh Philadelphia, “ I know thy poverty, but by the blood of Christ.” They were blind, thou art rich.” Persons may be poor in now they see; they were dead, and are this world's goods, and be rich in faith, alive again ; they were lost, and are found; rich towards God, heirs of the kingdom they were poor, and are made rich.

which He hath promised to them that love We must not pass this by without a Him. “Poor, yet making many rich," little more notice.

says the apostle ; “having nothing, and We were “poor” in every sense of the yet possessing all things.” word. As creatures, our foundation was Very little of the wealth of Christians in the dust. We had houses of clay ; we is now discernible, because it is to be dislived and moved and had our being in played hereafter principally, and enjoyed another; we were always fed from others; above. Christians are now minors ; they we had nothing we could call our own, are under age; their inheritance is thereexcept sin. Well, then, how poor were fore " reserved in heaven for them;" and we as sinners! The fall had stripped us "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor of all our moral and spiritual excellencies. have entered into the heart of man It had reduced us to what David very the things which God hath prepared properly calls “a low estate :” or as Watts for them that love Him.” very strikingly expresses it,

Believer, you must not forget the me

dium of all your attainments. You must “ Buried in sorrow and in sin, At hell's dark door we lay ;

remember, that if you are rich, it is beBut we arise by grace Divine

cause He was poor, and that “ through To see a heavenly day.”


poverty you become rich;” that it is We had no knowledge then, but we are by His emptying Himself you are filled ;

" made wise unto salvation." We that it is by His descending to earth you had no righteousness then; we have now can ascend to heaven; that it is by His “the righteousness which is of God by bearing the shame you are crowned with faith.” We had no strength then ; we glory and honour ; that it is by His dying

strong in the grace that is in alone you live. If He saves others, HimChrist Jesus ;" and through His strength- self He cannot save ; if He redeems you, ening of us 66

we can do all things." We it must be with the price of His own prehad then no title to heaven; we have now cious blood ; if you are saved, and en

a right to the tree of life which is in the riched, and glorified for ever, it must be midst of the paradise of God.” We had in a way in which the law is not dishothen no peace; we have now a "peace noured, but magnified and made honourwhich passeth all understanding.' We able; in which sin must be condemned. were then strangers to joy ; we have now while pardoned ; in which the attributes

a joy which is unspeakable and full of of God must not be opposed to each other, glory.' We were then poor enough ; we “but mercy and truth meet together, had no God; we were living without righteousness and peace kiss each other;" God: we have now a God for our own; in a way which blends “glory to God in every individual Christian can claim Him the highest,” with “peace on earth, good with all His perfections, and relations, will to men.” And here it is that all and promises, and can say, “God, even arise, here it is that all are displayed ; qur own God shall bless us.'

therefore He was made perfect through How rich are Christians, then, become ! suffering,” and thus “ became the author

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To raise ns to His throne;

It is grace.

of eternal salvation unto all them that obey therefore He is not only said in one view Him.” Thus it was, that “He who was to be given, but in another (and how frerich, for our sakes became poor, that we quently!) to give. “He loved us and gave through His poverty might be rich ;” that Himsele' for us." “ No man taketh My He“ once suffered for sin, the just for the life from Me, I lay it down of myself; I unjust, that He might bring us to God." have power to lay it down, and I have It is here, therefore, we see the value of power to take it again.” Therefore in our souls; it is here we see the import- His death “He cried with a loud voice, ance of our salvation; it is here we see and gave up the ghost;" which showed what difficulties stood in the way of it, that He died not of exhaustion or weakand how remotely, infinitely remotely, ness. He was not only the sacrifice, but they are removed. It is here we learn the Priest that offered it. * Through the our full obligation to the Saviour ; eternal Spirit, He offered Himself without “ He sonk beneath our heavy woes

spot to God.'

Could it be, then, the effect of desert ?
There's not a gift His hand bestows,
But cost His heart a groan."

No. He could not have viewed us as

Pharoah's daughter viewed Moses, when Then let us observe,

she found him in the ark of bulrushes. IV. The PRINCIPLE of all this.

The babe wept, and she had compassion “ Ye know the grace of on him; and her compassion did her hoour Lord Jesus Christ." To what else in nour, for here was an innocent supplicant; the world can His interposition be as- he had done nothing to bring him into cribed ? I have been thinking in my re- this distressed condition. But as to us, tirement this morning of four things, but we were criminals in our misery; and neither of them will apply here ; impo- this is a circumstance, on which the apostle sition, compulsion, desert, importunity. enlarges so frequently and so much. For No ; neither of these will do. You cannot instance, to refer onlyto one passage; “ For ascribe it to the effect of imposition. scarcely for a righteous man will one There was no decoy in this business; He die; yet peradventure for a good man was not inveigled into it, neither did He some will even dare to die.” Were we engage in it from ignorance. No. There "good men,” then, when He died for us? are some who undertake enterprises, un- No, says he, “when we were yet without conscious of their consequences; their strength, Christ died for the ungodly.” eyes begin to be opened when they feel “ God commendeth His love towards us, the consequences, and not before; and in that while we were yet sinners Christ how often do they then exclaim, ' If I had died for us." foreseen all this, I would have had no- Was it then, the result of importunity ? thing to do with it!' But this was not Nay, it was as much without our desire the case with the Lord Jesus. He saw as it was without our desert ; for it was the end from the beginning; it was laid long before our being even. To humble before Him; He saw it all when He said, Job, God said to him, “Where wast thou Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.” when I laid the foundations of the earth?” And we know what this will implied; it And Christ may say to Christians, 'Where was His becoming "obedient unto death, were you when I came forward and said, even the death of the cross.” Yet He “ Deliver from going down to the pit, I came forward ; yea, and showed no re- have found a ransom ?''No; the more you luctance in the execution; and as His examine it, the more you will find it impassion drew near He said, “I have a possible to ascribe this effect to any other baptism to be baptized with, and how cause but His grace. You will find that am I straitened till it be accomplished!” it is grace in opposition to imposition, to

Could it be the effect of compulsion, compulsion, to desert, to importunity. It Deity has no impression from external is “grace for grace.”

He was the Lord of all, the mighty God.

Voluntariness was neces- We have ouly one thing more to consisary in His obedience. There is nothing der; and that is, valuable in forced services. He there- V. YOUR KNOWLEDGE fore must act, and He did act, freely. His “ For," says the apostle, “ye know the passion was the exercise and the expres. grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There sion of His absolute independence ; and are many who do not know it; there are


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millions of our fellow creatures, bone of into a miserable eternity. As persons our bone, and flesh of our flesh, who may perish by ignorance, so persons may have never heard of His name. They are equally perish by knowledge ; and the dethe proper objects of our compassion ; struction of such will be much severer we should daily pray for them “that His than of others; for “to him that knoweth way may be known upon eartlı, His saving to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is health among all nations ;' that the Sun sin." Oh! the grand thing is for you to of Righteousness might arise and shine know the Truth as it is in Jesus, to know upon those that are in darkness, and in the way of salvation, to know the way the region of the shadow of death. But everlasting. Oh! there is a certainty in it is otherwise with you. "Blessed are this; there is an excellence in this knowyour eyes, for they see; and your ears, for ledge, which distinguishes it from every they hear.” “ To you is the word of this other; there is a blessedness in this knowsalvation sent." "Ye know the grace of ledge. While Solomon says of other our Lord Jesus Christ."

knowledge, 66 To him that increaseth The knowledge of the Gospel is not wisdom there is much grief, and he that confined to ministers or any order of offi- increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow;" cial characters; it lies open to all. It is a David tells us that there is a blessedness faithful saying, and worthy of all accep- in this : “Blessed are the people that tation;" and all may receive it.“ The poor know the joyful sound.” There is a freehave the Gospel preached unto them;" and dom in it; "Ye shall know the truth, and "thecommon people may hear it gladly." the truth shall make you free :” There If the knowledge of the Gospel depended is eternal life in it; “This is life eternal, on genius, or learning, or research, there that they might know Thee the only true are many who would have an unspeaka- God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast ble advantage over others; but since it is sent.”' derived entirely from testimony, all are But never imagine, my dear hearers

, upon a level with regard to it. And this that a speculative knowledge is all that is the fact: the Gospel is the witness, the the apostle intends. Take care you are record, “ that God hath given to us eter- not found in the number of those, who nal life and that this life is in His Son." “ behold, and wonder, and perish." If ministers therefore deceive you, you There are many persons in our day, who are not blameless; you have the Scrip- seem to know every thing concerning tures, and like the Bereans, you should these blessed oracles, and there they rest. "search the Scriptures daily to see of what advantage is it for you to know whether these things are so. As to that He is the Foundation, and you never the Papists, they "take away the key of build upon it? or that He is the refuge, knowledge;" but this is no excuse for you; and you never flee to it? or that He is the you have it in your hands; and therefore “ fountain opened for sin and uncleanyour ignorance must be always your sin. ness, and you never wash therein? Do you

It matters very little what you know, imagine that the Gospel is the solution of if you know not this. Yet it is a lament- a problem;or the elucidation of some point

, able fact, that even in a land of vision, the knowledge of which is necessary there are many, of whom it may be said, amuse the mind, or satisfy it? Know that “ the light shineth in darkness, and you not that the Gospel belongs

to the the darkness comprehendeth it not." heart? Know you not that it

requires all There are many to be found in our coun- our feelings, and that it is impossible for try, who are ignorant of the leading us to receive it as we ought-as a message truths of the Gospel,,who are unable to faithful and worthy of all acceptation, give a reason of the hope that is in unless it excites feelings such as nothing them;" others are “carried away with else can produce, and is accompanied with divers and strange doctrines ;” and others dispositions and pursuits such as nothing

ever learning and never able to else is characterized by ? come to the knowledge of the Truth.” Let me tell you, therefore, in concluBut let it be remembered, that “if our sion, that, if


“ know the Gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them our Lord Jesus Christ” in truth, it will that are lost.”. It is an awful proof that excite your application to Him: you they are still in a natural state, and an be found at His dear feet, praying, awful evidence that they are hastening “ Heal me, for I have sinned against


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Thee." It will excite your admiration ;, Jesus Christ," how that “ though He and with angels you will "desire to look was rich, yet for your sakes He became into these things. You will say, “How poor, that ye through His poverty might surprising His condescension, how match- be rich ;'* you will deem nothing too less His mercy! It baffles all descrip- humiliating, nothing too arduous to ention ; it defies all wouder; it sets even gage in for His sake, on the behalf of astonishment at a stand.' The mind others. Blessed Jesus ! Thy heart was never feels its insignificance so much, as made of tenderness : Thou wentest about, when it is contemplating the heights and doing good: in Thee the poor always depths and lengths and breadths of the found a friend ; in Thee the disconsolate Saviour's love, which passeth knowledge. always found a comforter ; in Thee the It will lead you also to love Him. It ignorant always found an instructor; in will make you truly grateful, and you will Thee the lost always found a Saviour. ask, “What shall I render unto the Lord Oh! that we may resemble Him! Oh! for all His benefits ?” It will lead you that we may have the “same mind in us to pour forth the warniest emotions of which was also in Christ Jesus !” Oh your very souls, and to ask daily, “Lord, that our lives may embody the language what wilt Thou have me to do ?” It of the apostle : “Be ye followers of God, will excite you to imitate Him, to be as dear children; and walk in love, as like-minded with Him, and to walk Christ also hath loved us, and hath given even as He walked. And while you Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice can reflect on “ the grace of our Lord to God for a sweet smelling savour.”




" And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto bim, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, aad be thou perfect.”—Genesis xvii. 1.

ABRAHAM, to whom these words were tercourse he had with Jehovah; the greataddressed, is a character entitled to pre-ness of the promises made to him, and eminent distinction among the Old Testa- the extraordinary discoveries he received ment saints, and is dignified with peculiar of the Divine favour; to whom, and to honour in being called “the friend of hisdescendants “pertain the adoption, and God.” Perhaps none of the fallen sons the glory, and the covenants, and the of Adam were ever more distinguished giving of the law, and the service of by Jehovah than this pious patriarch, God, and the promises ; whose are the when we consider the communications fathers, and of whom, as concerning made to him by celestial visitants—that the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, he was the founder of the Jewish nation, God blessed for ever, Amen.” Our text God's peculiar people, who all descended contains one proof of the truth of what we from his loins, and are termed “Israel after have now said, as therein is an account the flesh ;" when we consider him as the of the wonderful manifestation of God to “ father of the faithful,” that numerous His servant. " And when Abram was company of Jews and Gentiles, who imi- ninety years old and nine, the Lord aptate his faith, and are consequently made peared to Abram and said unto him, I participators of that blessedness, where- am the Almighty God: walk before Me with Abraham himself is blessed ; when and be thou perfect." This was not the weconsider that personal and intimate in- first time God had appeared to Abraham.

These visits had been enjoyed before; but, is seen in the glass of revelation, in the now Jehovah makes a fuller discovery of eternity of His existence; sometimes in Himself to this man of God. The Lord's the immensity of His presence; sometimes appearance to him in a vision, is recorded in the unlimited extent of His knowledge; in the fifteenth chapter: there promises and sometimes in His unsearchable wiswere made to him, which were renewed dom, boundless compassion, and spotless and confirmed at the time to which my holiness ; but in the text He is presented text refers. “ After these things the in His omnipotent power. The subject

, Word of the Lord came unto Abram in then, for our consideration is, the omnia vision, saying, Fear not, Abram : I am potency of Jehovah, or His all-sufficiency thy shield, and thy exceeding great re- to His people; which power of God, let ward. And Abram said, Lord God, what it be observed, is that essential perfecwilt Thou give me, seeing I go child- tion of His nature, whereby He can do less, and the steward of my house is this whatsoever He pleases. This attribute Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, of God is developed in His works of creaBehold, to me Thou hast given no seed: tion, providence and grace. and, lo, one born in my house is mine Contemplate the works of God; you will heir. And behold, the Word of the see a glorious manifestation of omniLord came unto him, saying, This shall potent power. This power is seen in the not be thine heir; but he that shall come formation of the world out of nothing; in forth out of thine own bowels shall be the production of light out of darkness, thine heir. And He brought him forth order out of confusion, the universe out of abroad, and said, Look now toward hea- nothing; in the expansion of the firmaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to ment of heaven, in the separation of the number them: and He said unto him, land from the water, and in the almost So shall thy seed be.” These verses endless variety of wonders contained in give us an account of the gracious cove- the mineral, vegetable and animal kingnant God made with Abraham ; and that doms. Look above the planet in which his faith might be strengthened and the we dwell and behold that immeasurable veracity of God established, it is repeated extent, that boundless space, in which in this chapter, from which my text is such myriads of spheres continually, withselected. When Abraham reflected on out interruption, roll their vast orbs ; the extraordinary promises made to him, contemplate the sun, the moon, and the the difficulties which to human reason planets, with their satellites, which coinappeared in the way of their accomplish-pose our solar system ; consider the extent ment, and the important results which of their dimensions, in connection with the fulfilment of these promises involved, their immense distance from each other

, his faith was liable to be shaken, his com- and bear in mind, that all these are like a fort destroyed, and his feet taken in the speck in the doininions of God; there you snares of the great adversary; hence the will see that power belongeth unto Him, Lord, to cheer him, reveals Himself to him in whom we live, move, and have our bein the consolatory manner stated in the ing. Would you see the power of God? text: “And when Abram was ninety years then behold the thousands of fixed stars, old and nine, the Lord appeared to which roll in the vast expanse, and reAbram, and said unto him, I am the Al- member that it is highly probable, that mighty God; walk before Me, and be these stars are the centres or suns of other thou perfect.”

systenis. And when you have well con

sidered all these, you can form but a very Let me notice,

inadequate idea of the vastness of creI. God's all-sufficiency to His people. ation. The probability is, that if you

And said unto him, I am the Al- stood on one of the most distant of the mighty God;” or the all-sufficient God, fixed stars, you would see above

you for so the word may be rendered. All worlds, far more glorious than any the views which are presented to us in are visible to the astronomer, even by the the inspired page of the Supreme Being, aid of the telescope. But we see the inare calculated to fill our minds with the finite power of God, not only in the azure most exalted, grand, and yet consolatory vault of heaven, in the immeasurability of conceptions of His infinite perfections and space, in the constellations of the firmaglorious majesty. Sometimes Jehovah ment and in the variety of creatures

other which

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