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Again. The infinite and unparalleled condescension of the Son of God, in the assumption of human nature, opens to our meditation an object of unceasing wonder, and calling forth unceasing praise. The scripture relation of this event is striking. "Though in the form of God, and with whom it was no robbery to be equal with God; yet he made himself of no reputation ;" the original is, he emptied himself, vacated himself, Phil. ii. 6, 7. I beg the reader to remark with me, the greatness of the act from the consideration of the greatness of the actor. And while this is in view, he will confess, that all the acts of Christ's mediation, are to be estimated by the standard of that glory the Lord laid aside in order to the accomplishment. Surely every one taught of God must see from hence, that the merits of Christ's blood and righteousness are infinite, because the dignity he put off for this purpose was infinite; and consequently his church deriveth an infinite interest in him on this account. And let me ask, would the Son of God have laid aside his glory for the accomplishment of such an end, had not greater glory resulted from the end in taking our nature with this view, that he might be both Head and Husband, and Redeemer and Saviour of his people?
Once more. Our Jesus is called God's " dear Son," and the "Son of his love," eminently on this account, as God-Man Mediator, because he contracts to himself all the love of Jehovah, (as rays of light are concentrated through a medium unto one object) and all centre in and upon him. There can be nothing out of God to please God. Hence the human nature taken into union with the divine, becomes thereby the object of love. But for this relationship, there could have been no complacency in the divine mind towards any of his creatures. Elect angels are such only by him: and the elect church hath acceptance only in the beloved. It is evidently the one grand design of
Jehovah in going forth in acts of creation, and for creature communion, was and is to aggrandize and exalt his dear Son. All things are made for him, and by him, and to honour him, and set him forth. Hence the whole of revelation is in him: Christ is the horizon, the boundary of all manifestation. And all that we know of divine things is in him, and by him, and through him, and said to be with the express intention, "to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," Col. ii. 2, 3.
Let the reader pause over these short, but inexpressibly delightful views of Jesus, God's " dear Son," and "the Son of his love." And then let him add to the contemplation what the Holy Ghost saith of the church, “ He hath made us accepted in the beloved,” Eph. i. 6. he hath made us lovely, comely, and fair, in his view of us in him. He hath chosen every individual of his mystical body in him; adopted the whole as children to himself in him; accepted them in him; and it is in him, and for his sake, they are redeemed from the Adam-fall transgression; their persons beloved; their sins pardoned; their prayers heard; they find access to the throne here below by grace, and hereafter to the throne of glory in heaven; yea, after millions of ages are past away, when the church shall have stood perfectly holy, and perfectly happy before God in love; yet even then, our acceptation in Christ, God's "dear Son," will be more blessed, than all inherent holiness in ourselves. We shall everlastingly derive more blessedness in Christ, and God's acceptation of our persons from being united to Christ, than from all our purity in ourselves, and all our felicity derived from Christ. God's dear Son will be then, and to all eternity to us as he is now, the sole cause of our acceptance before God. What shall we say, what shall we add to the contemplation of these things? Oh for grace to love
him, whom God so loves! How precious ought Jesus to be to us, who is so precious to God! Oh! God the Holy Ghost! let the sweet influences of thy divine unction, be so blessedly shed in the hearts of thy people, that the Father's beloved may be our beloved; and he whom God delights to honour may we honour. May the whole church while on earth, until she joins the church in heaven, sing her love-song to God's dear Son, and the Son of his love; and chaunt it aloud every day, as we pass on our pilgrimage state; "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved!" Amen.
"THE BROOK OF ESHCOL."-Numb. xiii. 23.
The brook of Eschol, must have been a lovely spot to Joshua the son of Nun, and to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. But to the church in the present hour, taught by the Holy Ghost, to behold new testament blessings veiled under old testament dispensations, how infinitely more delightful is the Eschol in Israel's history to the view? The church indeed nearly a thousand years before the coming of Christ, could and did, discover Jesus as her Eshcol, her cluster of all divine and human excellencies, for her everlasting joy. beloved (said she) is unto me as a cluster of camphire, in the vineyards of Engedi," Song i. 14. And by the prophet she is described as being commanded by the Lord to call Jesus Ishi. "And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, thou shalt call me Ishi, that is, my husband, or my man, (as some render it) and shall call me no more Baali," Hosea ii. 16. And as in the former instance, the name Esh joined with Col, alluded to Christ and to the fulness of all blessings in Christ; so in this latter, the name Ishi compriseth every thing
that is affectionate and endearing, and the church's interest and right in him. It is my Ishi, saith the church, my man, the man which is Jehovah's fellow, the hope of Israel and the Saviour thereof, Zech. xiii. 7. Jer. xiv. 8.
I do not presume to say, that even Joshua and Caleb, had such clear apprehensions of Eshcol, at the brook; but I venture to believe, that the Holy Ghost in almost every striking event in the wilderness church, had respect by allusion to the Lord Jesus Christ and his church, under the gospel dispensation. And in this place more especially as it is well known, the original words of the spouse in the Song, which is rendered by our translators, " my beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire," might have been, "my beloved is unto me the man that atones for me;" it serves to throw a great light on this part of the church's history; and becomes a sweet morsel for faith to feed upon with an eye to Christ. Let the reader as he ponders the thing, act faith upon the person of the Lord Jesus in this and every other instance in which the Holy Ghost reveals him to the soul. Methinks I would wish everlastingly to keep in remembrance the Lord Jesus as the Eshcol, yea, my Eshcol given to me by the Father. Nothing that I have beside can be valuable, but as in him. Not attainments, not knowledge, not enjoyments, no nor even faith itself, as an act of mine. All is nothing but what I was in him before all time, and what I am now, and shall be in him, to all eternity. And while by an everlasting union with him I am interested in all that belongs to him, as the rich cluster of all grace here and glory hereafter, it becomes the finishing zest to the whole enjoyment, the blessed assurance that all Christ is, he is by God the Father's appointment, for all, and to all his people. That precious scripture brings up, and by the Holy Ghost seals up the whole testimony; "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus who
of God is made unto us, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; that according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord,” 1 Cor. i. 30, 31.
"AND THE GRACE OF OUR LORD WAS EXCEEDING ABUNDANT WITH FAITH AND LOVE WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS."-1 Tim. i. 14.
That the aboundings of grace cover over the aboundings of sin, is among the plainest principles of the gospel of Christ, Rom. v. 20. If the highest mountains of the earth was cast into the Atlantic ocean, it would be lost to view. And in like manner, the sins of the Lord's people, though piled up to the very heavens, are for ever done away when brought under the blood of Christ. "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin," 1 John i. 7. But Paul in this sweet scripture while contemplating his own personal deliverance from sin, seems to be at a loss for expressions to speak his apprehensions of divine mercy. "The grace of our Lord (said he) was exceeding abundant." The orginal word is yet stronger, (uperepleonase) which is a compound word meaning above full, running over, super abundavit, above abounding. As if he had said, in my instance, there is shewn such an over fulness of grace and mercy, as must exceed every other conversion of a poor sinner, which God ever wrought. And that the apostle considered it in this light is evident, for he adds, the cause for which he obtained mercy was, "that in me first (said Paul) Jesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering for a pattern to them that should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." And the apostle harps upon this string. For he saith, "that though it is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, Christ Jesus came