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THE

LORD'S PEOPLE

THE LORD'S PORTION.

A SERMON, FOUNDED ON DEUTERONOMY XXXII. 9.

“The Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure."

PSALM CXxxv. 4.

208

PREFACE.

The prosecution of this humble work is designed, under the Lord's teaching, to bring the villager by a regular pursuit of divine things, into the spiritual apprehension of the Lord's love and grace, and his own personal interest therein. Hence, from the first awakenings of the new birth to the full formation of Christ in the heart the hope of glory, those Sermons are so arranged that the gradation is imperceptibly carried on through the conviction “ of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment,” according to our Lord's own statement of the doctrine, until the redeemed and regenerated child of God is advanced into an holy familiarity with all the persons in the GodHEAD; “of fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Jesus, through that unction from the Holy One by whom we know all things.” The sermon here presented to the cottager is on this ground, and the spiritual apprehension of it, under the Lord's favour, cannot fail to call up into action all the regenerated faculties of the child of God, and to give " a joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.” I pray Him of whom we are about to speak, to be most graciously present with us at this time. The Lord, whose portion the people are, testify his delight in them by giving to all his a saving apprehension of the glorious truth. And while the Lord so condescendingly vouchsafeth to acknowledge them as his; the same all-bountiful Lord give grace to all his chosen to say and acknowledge Him as our Lord. I would say for myself and all his redeemed present, “Remember us, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people ; 0 visit us with thy salvation, that we may see the good of thy chosen ; that we may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, and glory with thine inheritance." Amen.

SERMON XIII.

THE LORD'S PEOPLE THE LORD'S PORTION.

DEUT. xxxii. 9.

For the Lord's portion is his people ; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

There is somewhat so very gracious, so endearing, and blessed in these words, as cannot be fully valued, because in the present unripe state of our being they cannot be fully known. It is a great thing for a redeemed and regenerated child of God to say, (and which indeed when savingly called by sovereign grace, every child of God ought to say,)“ The Lord is my portion!" (Lam. iii. 24.) But it is an infinitely greater thing when the Lord saith that we are his; for this is the cause, the other is the effect. The Lord's choosing the church becomes the motive for the church choosing the Lord; according to that most sweet and certain truth, “we love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John iv. 19.) And hence the Lord gives this statement by his servant the prophet,

It is my people ; and they shall The Lord is my God." (Zech. xiii. 9.)

And what tends to endear yet more this wonderful grace

in the Lord towards his church and people is, that all the persons in the Godhead alike concur in it. Jehovah in his trinity of persons is known and made known by such acts of love as fully demonstate the counsel, will, and pleasure the Lord takes therein: it is all personal. God the Father hath made his people his own, by choosing and adopting every one

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of them in Christ, from everlasting; it is “ of Him the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” (Eph. iïi. 15.) And no less God the Son by marriage and by union hath made the church his own; not only by taking that holy portion of our nature into oneness with his divine, for his personal headship with his church ; but bringing up after it every individual of his mysticul body, through that medium, to be his inheritance. Hence he hath said by the prophet, “and I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies; I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord.” (Hos. ii. 19, 20.) And equally thus we find in Scripture God the Holy Ghost spoken of as making his people his inheritance, by dwelling in them and making their bodies his temple. Hence the apostle Paul speaks to the church on this delightful subject, as of a matter that they were all well acquainted with. '“ What, (said he) know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you,

which ye have of God; and ye are not your own ?" (1 Cor. vi. 19.) How very gracious is the Lord by such personal acts to testify the glorious truth; and by such endearing proofs of love, in the Holy Three in One, to invite his people to the continual enjoyment of the Lord in personal communion.

And there is this farther beauty in the words of the text, in speaking of this love of God in his trinity of persons to his church, namely, that the Lord makes use of such terms as shall be perfectly understood by his people : he calls them“ his portion, his lot, his inheritance;" all expressive of one and the same thing. For what is a portion, or lot, or inheritance among men? none can be at a loss to know; namely, that which a man lives upon. Well then, saith our gracious, condescending God, as you know what it is to live upon your possessions, so will I upon mine: you are my property, my right, my inheritance; and the grace I bestow upon you shall revert back unto me in praise. Hence the Lord calls his church his

garden in which he delights to walk. (Song vi. 2.) He speaks at another time of bis ehurch as “a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.” (Isaiah v. 1.) And by these and every other love-token which can demonstrate affection, the Lord conveys to his people the interest he takes in them; and as it is expressed in other Scriptures in confirmation : “ for the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.”(Psalm cxxxv. 4. So again Psalm cxxxii. 13, 14.) “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation; this is my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it.”

But very blessed as such views are to demonstrate in what an affectionate manner the Lord takes delight in his church, as men over their inheritance; the subject riseth infinitely higher, when it be considered that the Lord's portion in his people extends to purposes to which no inheritance among men can bear the smallest resemblance. The Lord's choice of his church is for union and communion with himself; and this no inheritance among men can bring to the possessors. Where the Lord gives a blessing to the good things of his providence, which he bestoweth upon his people, and sweetens and sanctifies our lot in the earth with the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush ;" we sit down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit is sweet to our taste. Nevertheless, when the Lord takes his inheritance into a nearness and dearness of communion with himself; and we have what the apostle calls, “ fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ ;" here we are brought in Christ as unto the bosom of God; and realize that Scripture in which the Lord hath said,

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