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much more may the sight of insinite holiness strike the most spiritual saints to the ground !—Consider, 2 That the best carry a sinsul nature even up into the mount with them. Paul, rapt up to the third heavens, brought a sinsul nature down with him again, an evidence he had carried it up, 1 Cor. xii. 7. Look on thyself, O saint J in thy nearest approaches, and thou wilt see the humbling sight, a sinsul heart, lise, and lips, ]sa. lxiv. 6. -, sin woven into thy very nature, mixed with thy flesh and blood, making a vile body, Phil. iii. 21.; sunk into the marrow of thy spirit, and diffused through thy whole soul. And then canst thou cease to say, as in Lam. iii. 22. " It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions sail not." Is it not a wonder of grace, that hell, so near heaven, has not sunk with its own weight ?—Consider,
3. That sinsul creatures never miss to leave the marks of their foul seet, even when they are on holy ground: Rom. vii. 21. "I sind then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me." Peter salls a rovirra even on the mount, Luke, ix. 33. Even in the greatest light which ever shone about the saints, they never wrote a line so sair, but there was a blot in it. The sacrisices were carried up to the mount with the nobles, for God knew they 1 would need them even there. And if ye will look back to your carriage, when at a communion-table, you will see such mismanagements, as may make you wonder that he laid not his hand upon you.—Consider,
4. The particular jealousy which God has manifested about his worship. Therefore Joshua told the people, chap. xxiv. 19. " Ye cannot serve the Lord; for he is an holy God: he is a jealous God : he will not forgive your transgressions, nor
..,- your your sins." And he himself declared, "he would be sanctisied in them that come nigh him, and before all the people he will be glorisied," Lev. x. 3, And upon this he wrote a commentary, with a flaming evidence, in the blood of Nadab aod Abihu, even two of lhese on whom he laid not his hand at this time. A flip in the holy ground is most dangerous and provoking in its own nature. To affront a king in his palace, his presence-chamber, or on his throne, stirs up his anger with si peculiar keenness. How dear did the men of Bethshemesh pay for a look, 1 Sam. vi. 19.; Uzzah, for a touch, 2 Sam. vi. 6. 7.; Annanias and Sapphira, for a word, Acts, v. Now, who is able to stand before the piercing eye of his 'jealousy? Is it not a wonder of his grace, that the sire of his indignation burns not up sinsul creatures in their folemn approaches to him. ?—Consider,
5. That there is a solemn- awsulness about the very ordinances of grace, which the sinner could not bear if he were not supported, Dan. x. 8. 9. —19. Psal. kviii. 35. "O^ld! thou art terrible out of thy holy places."'' tjacob understood this when he had one of the most comsortable sights which ever mortal had: Gen. xxviii. 17. *' And he was asraid, and said, How dreadsul is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." The very •throne of grace stands on justice and judgement, which are its habitation, Psal. Ixxxix. 14. (Hebrew, its base ; the covenant founded on blood, the blood of his own Son. All our mercies from the throne are dyed red in the blood of a Mediator. Thou canst not have a gracious look from the throne, but through the Redeemer's wounds; nor a pardon, but what is written with
his his blood. So that such sights arc sufficient to make one faint away, if they are not supported by grace.—Consider,
Lastly That the emanations of the divine glory would overwhelm sinners, burst the earthen vessels, if a gracious God did not graciously support them. Some have selt this, when they have been' made to cry to the Lord to hold his hand, for that the earthen pitchers were able to hold no more. We know not what spirit we are off. It is our mercy we see but through a glass darkly, and not sace to sace now ; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. xv. 50. The flesh and blood of a giant would not be able to bear that glory now. And therefore, it is observed as an instance of his goodness, Job, xxvi. 9. .«« He holdeth back the sace of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it/'
We now go on, III. To explain how it comes to pass that the sasety of God's people, when thus savoured, is secured.—It is so,
1. Because they are God's covenant-people by marriage with his Son. They are married to Christ, and the Son of the Father's bosom is their husband. He has all freedom in his Father's house, and fo it cannot be a strange house to them, Where he sits, his spouse may stand sasely at his hand : Psal. xlv. 9. " Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir." They have freedom in the house of God, in the right of their Husband. He has brought them up into his chariot of the covenant; and this has access to drive up into the mount, while it procures all sasety to those who are in it, "being paved with love," Song, iii. 9. 1 o.
2. Because they come up under the covert of
the the Redeemer's blood, Hqb. xii. 22.—24. By faith, they have the propitiation, whereby God is atoned, and becomes their friend, Rom. iii. 25. The flesh of a slain Saviour is a sufficient screen from divine wrath, and his red garments form the canopy under which they may sasely seast while on the mount.—Their sasety is secured,
3. Because God looks on them as in his own Son, and not as in themselves; and so aster a fort he overlooks their insirmities: Numb, xxiii. 21. "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel." He looked on them in Adam, their sirst representative, and so drove them out of his presence ; but now he looks upon them in Christ as their head, and so brings them in again. And, O! but they look sair in him, each one resembles the son of a king. In Jesus they are completeJ;Colos. it. 10. Song, iv. 7. "Thou art all sair, my love; there is no spot in thee."—They are sase,'
4. Because, though they be unclean creatures, they come up into the mount, to bathe in the fountain opened there, for sin and for uncleanness, Zech. xiii. 1. They come to the blood of sprinkling. A physician will not drive away his patient, because his running sores drop in his chamber. I will bear with th\s, says he, for the poor man is come to get himself healed.—Their sasety is secured,
Lastly, Because it is the end of the covenant, to bring them to God. Jacob might weli promise himself to see Joseph, when the waggons were come from him for that very end, to bring him to him, Gen. xlv. 27. 28. The covenant looks very very low, as low as the earth, to secure the believer's daily bread, Isa. xxxiii. 16. Nay, into the bowels of the earth, to bring forth his dead body,
. it . mouldered mouldered into wishes: "I am the God of Abraham." Nay, as low as hell: " And thou hast delivered my ibul from the lowest hell," Psal.lxxsvi. 13. Audit looks very high, to bring the believer up into the midst of the mount of enjoyment with God in ordinances, nay, to the top of the mount, to bring them to where the Lord of glory dwells, where they shall see him as he is: Isa. xxxiii. 17. " Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty : they shall behold the land that is very sar off."
It only remains, that,
IV. We make some improvement of this subject.
1. Let us, then,'never more think lightly of solemn approaches to God, whether in private or in public ordinances. O ! it is 'fad to think of our rashness in venturing on holy dutie0, not considering that in these we sist ourselves in the awsul presence of God: Eccl. v. 1. " Keep thy foot when thou goest into the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrisice of fools." Whenever we are to go to God, we should consider where we are going, put off our shoes,' for the place is holy. Were we thus frequently exercised, we would have mote access to God in our ordinary approaches.
2. Let this commend Christ and the covenant to us, especially to those who stand off from him and his covenant- It is in the Mediator the sinner may meet with God in peace; for Jesus is our peace, Ephcs. ii. 14. It is within the bond of the covenant, he is sase from avenging wrath. There is no sasety without it, God will be a consuming sire to all who live and die out of Christ and the covenant. . .', •
Hearken, ye careless spectators, and be wise at