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ed in it under an unqualified curse; and the world would have been a comfortless and inhofpitable wafte. The inchanting scenes and charming profpects of the fummer feafon; the smiling aspect and enlivening influence of the fkies; the winds which temper our atmosphere, the clouds which waft the showers, and the rains which refresh the earth; the spreading lawns, the verdant meads and the joyous herds; the ftately mountains and the cheerful vales; the fruitful trees, and the golden harvests; all the riches and beauties of nature -all that is the reverse of the dreary state of winter, owe their existence to this marvellous work. To this we are indebted for the joys of fenfe, and the pleasures of imagination; for the continuance of our race, or its continuance in fo agreeable a condition; for the happiness of children in the parent, and the hopes of the parent in the children; for the fweets of relative connexions, the delights of friendly intercourfe, and all the bleffings of fociety. Sing then, ye heavens; fun, moon and ftars; fhout ye valleys of the earth; break forth into finging, ye mountains, forefts and trees, ye meadows, fields and groves; join in the fong, ye fons of Adam; for the Lord hath done great things for you: he hath redeemed a ruined world from the curfe; an apoftate race from destruction. Amidft this chorus of praise for redemption, are any found, who would banish from fociety the Redeemer's religion, as if it were a nuisance; not a bleffing? Be astonished, O ye heavens at this: O earth, be thou horribly afraid.
This apoftrophe to heaven and earth strongly expreffes the vaft importance of rédemption. So great and glorious is the work, that if men fhould cenfure it, or should even be filent, inanimate na
ture would rife with aftonishment to fhout in their ftead the high praises of God.
Let finners, confcious of guilt, rejoice and give thanks for the glorious hopes, which are set before them in the gospel.
Reafon teaches you, that there is a God, a just and holy Being, to whom you owe obedience, and on whom you depend for happiness-that, having finned against this God, you deferve his wrath, and that it would be a righteous thing to recompenfe tribulation to you. Thus far reafon leads you; and here it deferts you. It plunges you into darkness; but affords no light to cheer you there, and lends no hand to extricate you thence. The gofpel teaches you, that a Saviour has died, and that there is redemption through his blood. "It is a faithful faying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jefus Chrift came into the world to fave finners." Whatever anxiety you may feel under a deep conviction of your guilt, you will find confolation in reforting to this doctrine, When Peter proclaimed to the awakened Jews the promife of remiffion on repentance, they gladly received the word. When Philip preached, in Samaria, falvation by Chrift, there was great joy in that city. When Paul taught the gentiles in Antioch, that Chrift was given for falvation to the ends of the earth, they were glad, and glori. fied the word of the Lord.
True believers have special reafon to rejoice in the redemption, for they are already partakers of it it is actually made over to them. When, in a consciousness of their compliance with the terms of falvation, they can appropriate their perfonal intereft in it, with what gratitude and joy may they contemplate the happy change in their condition? They have paffed from bondage to free
dom-from guilt to pardon-from death to life. Once they were dead in fin; under condemnation; expofed to the wrath of God; infenfible of danger; going on in their trefpaffes; accumu lating guilt; and liable every moment to be loft in hopeless mifery. Now their fins are pardoned and their fouls renewed; they are under the care of God's grace, and the fecurity of his promife; they have a title to heaven; and the divine Spirit, dwelling in them, will preferve them unto falva. tion. Happy change: they may review, with admiration, the grace of God, which has redeemed them from fin, and prepared them unto glory. They may adopt the language of Paul; "I thank Christ Jefus my Lord, that I have obtained mercy-The grace of my Lord is exceedingly abun
The angels above join in the general fong of praise for the redemption. "The heavens fing, for the Lord hath done it." When the Saviour was born, a multitude of the heavenly host praifed God, and faid, "Glory to God in the higheft; peace on earth; good will to men." There is new joy in their presence, when a finner re. pents. Every converfion among guilty men; ev. ery acceffion to the church of Chrift becomes the theme of a new fong among those benevolent be ings. When there is a general revival of pure religion, a large extenfion and increase of Christ's church, they shout forth their joy in loftier and louder trains: then the whole hierarchy join in the praife: All the angels fall before God's throne on their faces, and worship him, faying, Amen. Bleffing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power and might, be unto our God forever and ever."
Angels rejoice in the redemption as a bleffing
to mankind. Their benevolence interests them in the happiness of our race. They rejoice, when they see finners redeemed from guilt, and brought to participate with them in the felicity of the world above.
They rejoice in the benefits which refult to themselves from the redemption. Though, having never fallen, they are not fubjects of this redemption, yet they derive unfpeakable advantages from it. Their knowledge of God's character and works, their admiration of his wisdom and grace, their love to him, and benevolence to his creatures, and confequently their real happiness, are increased by this difpenfation. Hence the apoftle fays, "He was fent to preach the unfearchable riches of Chrift, not only that men might fee what is the fellowship of the mystery, which had been hidden in the purpose of God; but also to the intent, that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wifdom of God, according to his eternal purpose in Chrift Jefus." Hence they join with the faints above in this new fong unto Chrift, "Thou art worthy to receive honour and power, for thou waft flain, and haft redeemed us to God by thy blood, and haft made us kings and priefts unto him."
To the words of our text John alludes, when fpeaking of the redemption, he fays, "Every creature in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth heard I faying, Bleffing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that fitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever."
How glorious is this redemption, which awakens the praises of all holy intelligences? Great must be the work, which thus interests the benevolence, excites the joy, and tunes the fongs
of angels, as well as faints. The joy, which it infpires in heaven, demonftrates, how important it is to our fallen race. Let guilty mortals repair to the mercy of that God, who hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Ifrael.
How awful is the demerit of fin, which could not be expiated without fo coftly a facrifice? How awfully is this demerit augmented in thofe, who reject the benefit of fuch a facrifice? If difobedience to God's law could not be pardoned without the atonement of Chrift's blood; what atonement will be found for those who trample this blood under foot? Their fin will remain; it will cleave more closely to their fouls; for them there is no more facrifice; wrath will come on them to the uttermoft.
How happy is the fecurity of true believers? "They are made accepted in the beloved." They are redeemed, not with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Chrift. Their redemption is fure. A competent price has been paid. Through grace they have complied with the terms of their acceptance. Nothing fhall feparate them from the love of God in Chrift. Rejoice in that which God has done for your fouls, and is doing in them-done to procure falvation for you, and to prepare you for falvation, and is doing to preferve you to it, and to qualify you more and more for it. Rejoice in all opportunities to celebrate his works of grace.
Come, my brethren, to this table of the Lord, with a thankful recollection of the mercies difplayed in your redemption; and here learn the fongs, cultivate the tempers, and feek the bleffings of those who are redeemed from the earth. Sing, for the Lord hath done it. Break forth into finging-fhout, for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Ifrael.