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than God. Psalm xciv. 8-10, is repudiated. So, when the Father, Son, and Spirit, have done all to redeem, and sanctify, and save them, it is undervalued, rejected, contemned, blasphemed. Are we speaking ? is it possible to speak too strongly on such a topic ? when ministers, magistrates, senators, and nobles, are all pleading for Popery and profanation of the Sabbath. Yet, surely there will be a remnant according to the election of grace. God, we trust, has reserved to himself twice seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal. God is speaking to Britain, as he did of old to Jerusalem, (Jer. vi. 8.) Jesus is weeping over Britain, as He did over that devoted city, (Luke xix. 41.) But however dark the political horizon, however subtle, and even gross, the iniquity that prevails in our land, however dire the judgments impending over us to the sheep of Christ, our language must still be that of strong, everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace. God is requiring of them to keep the heart with all dilligence. The heart generally means, in Scripture, the whole moral nature of man, including his understanding, conscience, will, and affections. The whole soul, body, and spirit, is to be kept pure and spotless for God's Spirit's inhabitation. Improve the most precious promises, the freest imitations, and the richest privileges. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Are, then, the consolations of God small with you, when not only the Creator, but every creature, is yours? You not only, negatively, do not want, but possess all things. There are many delightful spots still on this earth's surface, which the howling blast never reaches, and the drenching rain never saturates; but where gentle gales constantly play, bearing on their wings odours surpassing those of the hawihorn and the rose. But combine all the most delightful spots on earth into one, it would bear no comparison with the mansions above. Where Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant, and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the redeemed, are located, is the first world unerring wisdom contrived, and Almighty power executed. It was called into existence on the morning of the first day ; exactly at the instant the Saviour was born, and arose from the tomb at the very break of day, sooner, rather than later, (Matt. xxviii. 1; Mark xvi. 2; John xx. 1.) It was furnished, instantaneously, with all its bright inhabitants, angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim. At nine in the morning, the first hour of prayer, and that in which He was nailed to the cross, the eternal Son, accoinpanied by some of the host of heaven, called into existence this world of ours. Then the morning stars,
created that very morning, about five or six hours before, sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. With heaven alone we have at present to do. There the eye of faith must rest, directed and strengthened, like Stephen's. Your citizenship is in heaven. You should be practising daily some of the anthems of the blessed. Grace must forerun glory; and just according to the degree of grace obtained and improved here, will be the full weight of glory hereafter. Thus shall it be done to those whom the King delighteth to honour.
race ma to rid of morus renmooth each
Grace makes the slave a freeman. 'Tis a change
Patriots have toil'd, and in their country's cause
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And the refriety that nfidence infuous eye, all!”
That hellish foes, confed’rate for his harm,
Nom ease, anund; but onscious n'attem he dwells, Tasi
“Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.”_
NUMBERS xxiii, 10.
THESE are the words of one who loved the wages of unrighteousness. Covetous, and worldly-minded, and disobedient though he was, he was employed to deliver some of the counsel of God. As gold is not corrupted by being mingled with the impurest substances, and water can be conveyed pure through pipes of the basest materials, so God, who hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence, can and does employ the ministrations even of wicked men, to benefit and build up His Church. Balaam was employed to predict the prosperity and future felicity of the people of God; and Judas to preach the Gospel, and, perhaps, convert mankind, though, after their services were over, we have the utmost reason to believe, they were both vilely cast away. The deepest laid designs of the devil himself have been overruled to benefit the Church of Christ; and, consequently, the most crafty and corrupted of his children can be made instrumental, though they intend the very reverse, of promoting the cause of the God of truth. The employinent of such base and unworthy instruments, instead of detracting from, adds to the dignity and glory of God. It exalts His almighty power, and is a foil to reflect His unspotted holiness, and thereby magnifies His work which men behold. Balak, the king of Moab, called Balaam his friend, and stimulated his exertions by the prospect of a great reward to curse Jacob, and to defy Israel. He was forbidden by Jehovah to go; yet he went; and when the angel of the Lord withstood him, the dumb ass was made to reprove the madness of the prophet. Being, at length, permitted to go, under certain conditions, he went; and Balak remonstrated with him in being so long in coming, when he was both able and willing to promote him to honour. Balaam answered him, Lo, I am come unto tbee. Have I now any power at all to say any thing? The word that God putteth in my mouth that shall I speak. To assist him
self in his divination, or, perhaps, rather, in some degree to punish Balak for his temerity and folly, by putting him to considerable trouble and expense, he commanded him to build seven altars, and to offer a bullock and a rain on every altar. After this was done with religious exactness, the Lord put this speech into Balaam's mouth, How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed, or how shall I defy whom God hath not defied ? For from the top of the rocks I see Him, and from the hills I behold Him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel ? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.
In discoursing from these words, by the help of God, I shall, first, Shew who are the righteous with whom wicked men would wish to die, and to remain with for ever. Secondly, Shew what is the nature of his death. Thirdly, Attend to the wish so strongly expressed, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.
First, I am to shew who are the righteous, whose death and future destiny Balaam here wished to attain. Notwithstand. ing the numerous passages containing the termís just or righteous, which express the same character, there are only two that need to be quoted as defining those who are truly righteous. Peter says, And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? It has been supposed, that he here means one who in his life and death answered the perfect justice of the law of God. If any man could, since the fall, have been conceived and born free from sin, and had, during his whole life, kept the law in thought, word, and deed, then righteousness would have been attained by the law, and such a person would have died in perfect peace, and“ been completely happy for ever. Such a man, however, never was, nor will be found. Paul says, For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous. In this verse, he evidently contrasts the first and second representatives of mankind,- Adam and Christ. In Adam all died; and in Christ all who believe and obey Him shall be made alive. By Adam many were made sinners; by Christ shall many be made righteous. Christ obeyed the law which Adam should have obeyed, and He endured the penalty which Adam bad incurred. He was born perfectly holy; and His life, on His own account, as well as in behalf of those He represented, was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. Those