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that they shall escape the wrath t• Now, it is very important, that
Good hope through Grace. THERE are but few, under the lived without God, they have not light of the gospel, who do not lived without a hope in the
, world. come, and obtain eternal life. all should know, whether their Many profess that they have such hope of eternal life is well founda hope. Such is the profession of all ed. For while a good "hope those, who have publickly named maketh not ashamed; what is the the name of Christ and united with hope of the hypocrite--when God his visible church. Such is the taketh away his soul?” profession of numbers, who have Though there are various pronot owned Christ before men and perties of a good hope, by which it come to his ordinances; who yetmay be known and distinguished do not hesitate to say, that they from all counterfeits; yet, there is consider themselves as saints, and one property of such a hope, which expect to obtain forgiveness of is worthy of special notice, and sins, and an inheritance among which serves, more than any oththem that are sanctified.
er, to distinguish it from every But, many, who do not openly groundless expectation of future profess to have a hope of salvation, happiness. This is the property make it evident, that they secret- of a good hope, mentioned by the ly entertain such a hope. They apostle in our text: It is of Grace. dwell at ease in Zion; they live - Good hope through Grace.” without manifesting any concern I shall endeavour, in the ensufor their souls, or the least fear of ing discourse, to show in what redeath and judgment to come. But spects a good hope of salvation, is how could they live thus, if they through Grace. had not some kind of hope, that First. The only foundation, up: they shall escape the perdition of on which mankind can build a good ungodly men, and obtain salvation hope of eternal salvation, was laid through our Lord Jesus Christ? by Divine Sovereign Grace. "OthMost of those, who dwell in a er foundation can no man lay, than Christian land, when laid upon the that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” bed of death, speak a language, It is only through Christ that any which implies, that if they have 1 of mankind can be saved from
wrath. There is no other name was of sovereign grace. "Verily under heaven, given amongst men, Christ took not on him the nature by which any can be saved. The of angels, but the seed of Abrawages of sin is eternal death. This ham. But, why rebels equally death all mankind deserve; since guilty, should be thus distinguishall have sinned and come short of ed; why atonement should be made the glory of God. This death is for fallen men, while fallen angek the penalty or curse of the Divine were passed by, we must resolve Law, which God was bound, in into the sovereignty of Divine justice to himself and his moral Grace. “ Even so, Father, for kingdom, to inflict upon all man- so it seemed good in thy sight." kind, had not something been 6 We see Jesus, who was made a done, as fully to manifest his ha- little lower than the angels, for the tred of sin and wrath against sin- suffering of death, crowned with ners, as their condign punishment. glory and honour; that he BY THE This was done, by the sufferings GRACE OF God, should taste death and death of Christ, in our nature. for every man.” By the vicarious sufferings of such Secondly. It is through Divine, a Personage, who was no less than sovereign Grace, that some of man“God manifest in the flesh,” kind are appointed, not to wrath, God's love of righteousness and but to obtain
salvation through out hatred of iniquity were as clearly Lord Jesus Christ. As the atoneand fully displayed, as they could ment of Christ only exhibited, but have been by the endless punish did not remove or diminish the ment of all mankind. In this guilt of mankind; so it did not sense, Christ condemned sin in the oblige God, in point of justice, to Aesh, and bare our sins in his own save any of them. Though the body on the tree. In this sense, atonement of Christ could not be Christ tasted death for every man, sufficient for one, without being and is the propitiation for the sins sufficient for all men; yet God of the whole world. Agreeably was at perfect liberty to select
. to which, the apostle says, that such individuals to be heirs of sal“God hath set forth (Christ) to be vation, as it would be most for his à propitiation through faith in his own glory and the good of the uniblood, to declare his righteousness verse to save. He had a right to for the remission of sins--that He, exercise his sovereign will, ac(God) might be just, and the jus-cording to the dictates of his own tifier' of him that believeth in Je- | infinite wisdom and goodness, in
choosing some to salvation, through Thus the only foundation of sanctification of the Spirit and behope for guilty men, was laid by lief of the truth. Election, which the gift of Christ, to make atone- is the source of all good hope of ment for sin. But this unspeak- eternal life, is through the soverable gift was altogether of free, eign grace of God. • Who hath sovereign grace. It was of free saved us, and called us with au grace. God was under no obliga- holy calling, not according to our lion to lost men, to make the most works, but according to HIS OWN costly sacrifice in his
power for PURPOSE AND GRACE, which was their redemption. As they were given us in Christ Jesus before the without claim; it would have been world began.” 6 Blessed be the perfectly just, if He had left them God and Father of our Lord Jesus without remedy. The gift of Christ, Christ, who hath blessed us with as the ground of hope to lost men, all spiritual blessings in heavenly
places in Christ: according as he we have done, but according to hath chosen us in him before the his mercy he saved us, by the foundation of the world, that we washing of regeneration and re. should be holy and without blame newing of the Holy Ghost.” before him in love: baving predes- Fourthly. It is through grace, tinated us unto the adoption of that those are pardoned, who have children by Jesus Christ to hiincomplied with the terms of the self, according to the good pleas- gospel. God has, indeed, promis. ure of his will, TO THE PRAISE ed pardon and eternal life, to all OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE. who repent and believe the gos
Thirdly. It is through the Grace pel. But this is altogether a gra. of God, that any of mankind com- cious promise; and the fulfilment ply with the terms, upon which of it is a gracious act. Repent. salvation is offered in the gospel. ance and faith are the indispensi. The terms are, repentance toward ble duty and reasonable service of God, and faith toward our Lord all, who hear the gospel. Those, Jesus Christ. No one can have a who have not done this duty are good hope of pardon and eternal condemned already, because they life, who has not complied with have refused to do it. Surely, these terms. “ Except ye repent, then, those who have done it, ye shall all perish. He that be- have merited nothing by their relieveth not, shall be damned.” pentance and faith. Penitent beBut, low and reasonable as the lievers are as undeserving, as imcondition is, upon which salvation penitent sinners. They are “jusis offered in the gospel, none of tified freely by God's grace, mankind are naturally disposed to through the redemption that is in perform it. They will not repent Christ Jesus.” And being justiand be converted, that their sins fied freely by his grace, they are may be blotted out: they will not made heirs, according to the hope come unto Christ, that they may of eternal life.” Justification is of have life. None repent, until grace, and so is that good hope renewed in the temper of their which results from it.
There. minds, by the Holy Spirit, None fore, being justified by faith, we come to Christ and believe in him, have peace with God, through our until drawn of the Father, and Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also "born, not of blood, nor of the we have access by faith into this will of the flesh, nor of the will of grace wherein we stand, and reman, but of God.” “Faith is the joice in hope of the glory of gift of God.” But, God is under God.” I only add, no obligation, in point of justice, Fifthly. It is through grace that to give faith even to the elect. It justified believers have any good is true, He will effectually call as hope, that they shall be kept from fimany as He did predestinate. nal apostacy, and be preserved unto But, this calling is as much of sov- the coming and kingdom of their ereign grace, as that election Lord. He only, who endureth to which was the ground of it. Hence the end, shall be saved. They Paul writes, “God, who is rich in that draw back, draw back unto mercy, for his great love where- perdition. But those, who have with he loved us, even when we been born of the spirit, and united were dead in sins, hath quickened to Christ by faith, will not perus together with Christ (by grace severe in holiness, unless kept by are ye saved.") And again, " Not the power of God. But, God is by works of righteousness which not bound in justice, to keep them.
The promise, that he will keep , execute justice ; then it must be them, is a gracious promise. It of such a nature, as to preclude is altogether a work of grace, his showing mercy. For mercy which God hath begun, and will cannot pardon those, whom justice carry on in true believers, until might not punish. The hope, the day of Jesus Christ,
therefore, of those, who
think 'Thus the good hope of eternal God is too good to inflict upon life, which all penitent believers men the penalty of his Law, is have, is wholly through divine, not through grace; and is, consefree, sovereign Grace. The quently, a groundless hope. foundation of it was laid by grace If there be any, who hope they on Christ the precious corner shall be saved, because Christ stone ; grace carries up the build- hath made an atonement for the ing by the operation of the Holy sins of all men ; their hope is and Divine Spirit ; and when the groundless. If the atonement, top stone shall be laid, all the alone, gave any one good ground redeemed of the Lord will cry, to hope, it must be, because it took “Grace, grace, unto it.”
away guilt, or desert of punishThe discourse' will now be ment, from all, for whom it was closed with two or three Refiec-made. But, if the atonement bas tions, and a word of Exhortation. taken
away the guilt of men, then 1. There is reason to fear, that there can be no grace in their very many cherish a false and salvation. Those who build their groundless hope of eternal life. hope upon the atonement simply, Every good hope of salvation is have not the good hope, which is through grace. All those hopes through grace ; but a delusive of future happiness, therefore, hope, derived from an imaginary which men derive through any transfer of the sins of men to other medium, must be delusive. Cbrist.
If there are any, who hope they Jf there be any, who hope they shall be saved, because, in their shall be saved, because they have view, sin does not deserve endless not been so great sinners as some punishment, their hope must be others ; they have a false hope. false ; for it is not through grace. Suppose it be so, that they have If sin does not deserve endless not had ability and opportunity punishment; then there can be to commit so many and so great no grace in exempting mankind sins as some others; will this renfrom such a punishment. After der them undeserving of pupishthey shall have been punished as ment for the sins they have comlong as they deserve, they may mitted ? If it will then they demand deliverance, as matter of | have no need of grace, but may justice. The hope of those, who be saved on the ground of justice, do not believe that men deserve But, all good hope is through an endless punishment for their
grace. sins, is through justice; and es- If there be any, who hope they sentially different from that good shall be saved because they have hope, which is through grace. done so many good deeds; their
If there be any, who hope they hope is a false one. If they have shall be saved, because they think done any good deeds ; those deeds God is so good, that he will not either make satisfaction for their punish any of mankind forever; sius, or they do not. If their their hope is groundless. If the good deeds do not make satisfacgoodness of God is of such a na- tion for their sins; then they afture, tbat it will not allow him to ford no ground of hope ; but, if
they do make satisfaction for their trines exactly meet the views of sius, then their hope is not their minds, and the feelings of through grace, but through works their hearts. These doctrines
Finally, if there be any, who appear to them most worthy of hope they shall be saved, while God, and the only ground of they feel unreconciled to Divine hope for guilty perishing men. Justice ; their hope is manifestly Set
precious doctrines groundless. So long as men feel aside, and, in their view, the as if they could not love God, beauty of the Gospel would be should he do them justice ; they marred, and its glory extinguishnever can sincerely ask for mer- ed. cy; and of course, remain stran- 3. To those, whose hope of gers to that good hope, which is eternal life is through grace, entirely through Grace.
death is on the whole, a desira2. It is easy to see, why those, ble and happy event. In itself, who have a good hope of salva- death is ever terrible to pature; tion, should be pleased with the
but, in its consequences, it is Doctrines of Grace. The Gospel great gain to all those, who have is a scheme of Divine Grace ; and that hope, which is through dihence, the leading and peculiar vine grace. It is a hope, which doctrines of the Gospel, are, with death cannot destroy. It is a hope propriety, called DocTRINES OF wbich will never fail, or disapGRACE, Such is the doctrine of point those who entertain it. Such the total depravity or sinfulness a hope illuminates the dark valley of mankind by nature, which of the shadow of death. It is an places them in perishing need of anchor to the soul both sure and Divine Grace; the doctrine of steadfast, when launching into the the atonement of Christ, which ocean of eternity. Those, who opened the way for God consis- have this blessed hope, as soon as tently and honourably to display absent froin the body, are present his Grace upon men ; the doc- with the Lord. They pass into trine of election, which is God's glory. They exchange a world of eternal purpose to make as many sin and sorrow, for a world of of mankind, and such individuals, holiness and joy. vessels of mercy, as will be con- Let all here present, duly apsistent with the greatest good ;' preciate the inestimable value of the doctrine of regeneration, which a good hope through grace. It is begins the accomplishment of a pearl of great price. Compared God's gracious purpose of salva- with this, worlds will appear like tion; the doctrine of justification, the small dust of the ballance, in by faith, through the Grace of a dying hour. This glorious hope God in Christ, and the doctrine is set before you all, in the Gosof the saint's perseverance, which pel of Jesus Christ. May you all is owing to a continued work of experience that strong consolaDivine Grace in the heart.
tion,' which those have, who have Now, as all good hope is fled for refuge, to lay hold upon through grace, those, who enter- this hope.' Let none rest secure tain such a hope, rely wholly upon a moment, till • Christ is in them, the Grace of God for pardon and the hope of glory.' • Fear lest a eternal life. Hence they are promise being left you, of enterpleased with all those doctrines, ing into rest, any
represent salvation to be seem to come short of it.” Instead entirely of Grace. These doc- of going about to establish your