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God, and bath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was fanctified, an unholy thing, and done despite to the Spirit of grace? It is dreadful, O finners ! to have this sacrifice sinoking against you, and the blood of Christ calling for vengeance, instead of mercy, upon your devoted heads. O, be warned to flee from the wrath to come! for when the midnight cry of Egypt arrives, it will then be too late! Wherefore, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. O finners ! lay hold on the blood of sprinkling. Hearken to the invitations of Christ Jesus. Ho, every one that thirfteth, come ye to the waters, and whosoever will, let him come, and partake of the waters of life freely. The Spirit and the bride say, Come; and that we may all come and be sprinkled with this soul-saving blood, may God of his infinite mercy grant, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen, and Amen,
THE INFLUENCES OF GOD AS A SUN, THE GREAT CONSOLATION OF HIS PEOPLE.
ALEXANDER MACW HORTER, D.D. Paftor of the First Presbyterian Church, at Newark,
Psalms lxxxiv. 11.
THESE words stand here as a reason of the Pfalmift's
declaration in the preceding verse, that one day Jpent. in the house of God, that is, in an attendance on his ordinances, was better than a thousand; that he would rather hold the lowest place in God's house, and thus enjoy the privileges of his public worship, than dwell in tents of wickedness, or enjoy the utmost pleasures of fin.
he reason of this preference is resolved into this confideration, that the Lord God is a Sun.
This view of the words in their connection serves to new us, wherein consists the true excellency.and advantage of the instituted ordinances of Divine worthip, and
the true reason of the high esteem all good men, withcus exception, have of them; their great respect and love to them; their care and diligence in attending them ; God is in them as a Sun.
As the natural fun, by his influences, enlightens and revives every living thing, so God in his ordinances enlightens and revives the hearts of his people, shining into their minds, and giving them the light of the knowledge of his glory, in the person of Jesus Christ,-fhedding abroad his love in their hearts, and granting them that peace, which paseth all understanding
But if we consider the words in a more independent view, they teach us, that God is to good men, what the fun, by its influences, is to the natural world. Who is ignorant of the high importance of the natural sun? This heavenly luminary forms our day, disperses the gloomy horrors of the night, and sheds fertility, light, and joy, through every part of our system. Without it all nature would be one frozen mass; neither life, nor vegetation, nor fruitfulness would appear.
Now, when God is represented by the beautiful and · striking image of a Sun, with regard to his influences and agency, towards those who walk uprightly, who can help perceiving how supreme and sensible a blessing his existence and communications are, in their experience and estimate ?
As the natural sun is the fountain of light, feds joy and gladness through the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and causes our earth to teem with all its rich variety of fruits, so the Sun of Righteousness, the true and eternal God is all this, and more than this, in his communications to his people. He communicates fpiritual light to their minds, --infuses joy and gladness into their hearts, and renders them fruitful in every branch of goodness.
I. God is a Sun, as he communicates spiritual light to his people.
There may be said to be three kinds of light,-physical,-intellectual,—and spiritual,—or, the light of this world, -the light of reason,--and the light of the Spirit of God. Each of these differs from the other in its nature. There is as real a difference between the intellectual and spiritual light, as there is between intellectual and physical, or the light of the sun. The former agree in many more respects than the latter ; but there is no such agreement as renders them of the same nature and kind. This difference will farther appear in the sequel.
The natural condition of the human mind, since the fall of Adam, is a state of darkness and blindness. When man apostatised, he lost that spiritual sense, whereby he was capable of discerning spiritual objects. The image of God forsook his heart, and so no longer was he captivated with the beauties of holiness. The soul now remains in spiritual darkness, until the divine image or fpiritual sense be restored, which is done by the operation of the Spirit of God in the work of regeneration. This teaches us the great propriety of those scripture-phrases, Where natural men are represented, as not discerning Spiritual things ; as having their minds darkened; being ignorant, blind, and dead.—These expressions can, by no means, be understood to mean the want of intellectual light, or the light of reason; for were we to understand them in
relpect, they really carry the matter so far as to figni. y, that the light of reason was not only impaired, but acerly lost and extinguished; wherefore this cannot be the Scripture-fense. But if we understand them as ex
preslions of the want of spiritual light, then they are perfectly true and proper. The whole world lieth in darkness : Having the understanding darkened ; being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts.
Spiritual light is wholly extinguished by the fall ; and hence is there fo much darkness, ignorance and confusion, even in speculation, with regard to divine things. That the world is full of darkness respecting God, his perfections and kingdom, is a matter which cannot be denied ; and this darkness must be occasioned, either by something in God, or by his concealment of himself, or by the lofs of a spiritual understanding amongst men.-But this blindness doth not arise from any thing in God, as if he were darkness; for God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all: nor does it proceed from any concealment of himself, so that we cannot behold him by reason of it. This was never true in it felf at any time, however great and palpable the darkness of mens minds have been with regard to God; but it is less true under the Gospel-dispensation than ever ; for the true light now fhineth, and God hath eminently manifested himself in the character and instructions of his Son, whom he hath revealed for this purpose, who was the brightness of bis glory, and the express image of his perfon; and whose glory so conspicuously shone forth to the view of those who were enlightened from above, that they knew him to be the only begotten of the Father.
Therefore, it remains, that this darkness must be occafioned by the loss of a spiritual understanding, through the wickedness of mens hearts: For light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.