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the portion of them all, they are also, according to their capacities, completely transformed into the image of their glorious God: they are become pure even as He is pure; no spot, no blemish is found upon them; but they are holy and without blame before Him.
In the second place, the Word of God reveals his Justice. We have not, nor can we conceive, a clearer or more important discovery of this branch of the Divine character, than that which he has afforded us in unfolding his purpose of final retribution towards the righteous and the wicked. In the latter his justice will indeed be awfully glorified, for he will inflict on them the punishment due to their fins. That same love of righteousness which once denounced a curse upon every tranfgreflion, will again be revealed to execute the sentence. That voice which then fhook the earth, and proclaimed The foul that finneth, it fall die, will ere lorg in more tremendous accents be heard to say,
Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. As surely as now the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men ; fo surely will He, at the appointed time, proceed to render to every man according to his deeds ; indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil. In this the punishment of such as shall be found guilty at the last, the Divine Justice will be publicly vindicated; and however men may now, in the rebellion of their hearts, object to the testimony of wrath to come, and call the execution of it injustice, yet in the day when it shall be poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, every mouth mall be Sopped, and it shall be to the praise of Divine Justice, that the curse of eternal death (a fanc
tion no more than suitable to the perfect law of the infinite God) now receives the final and irrevocable fulfilment upon the children of disobedience.
But let us observe on the other hand, that God in no wise remits his justice, as some vainly imagine, whilft he affords his saints a refuge from this deftruction, and enhances the deliverance by the gift of eternal life. It is true, they are by nature in no wise different from others, but are alike finners before God, and obnoxious to his wrath. It is true, they are in Scripture denominated the righteous, not because of any moral or religious qualification which distinguishes them from others; but in reference to their belief of the Gospel report, upon which belief (or faith) they obtain witness that they are righteous, are pronounced
and treated as righteous persons in the fight of God. But even these, in their full falvation, evince the justice of God unimpeachable ; for these He hath purchased to himself by the blood of his own Son. In Him, in Jesus Christ the righteous, God hath found a ransoin for them, and He is the propitiation for their fins. He hath made in their behalf a satisfactory atonement to the Divine Justice, for God hath laid on Him the iniquity of them all, and by His stripes they are healed. He is the LORD their righteousness, being the end of the law for righteoufness to every one that believeth ; and through HIM, God having declared his righteousness for the remission of fins, is just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.
D. [To be continued.]
NATURE OF DIVINE GRACE,
ILLUSTRATED BY TUE
Transaction in the SYNAGOGUE of NAZARETH,
between the Blessed Saviour and his FellowCitizens.
In the Synagogue of Nazareth, on the Sabbathday, Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah these words: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, &c.; adding, This day is this fcripture fulfilled in your ears.
The effect of his address to the people, is described in these words : And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him: --and all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Jofeph's fon? From this animated description, we fee what lively impreffions of divine grace filled the minds of all the people. Their eyes were fastened on him; they all bare him witness, heartily approving the application of the prophet's words, and so acknowledging him for the Saviour of Israel: Yea, moreover, wondering at the grace which flowed from his lips, so as they could fcarce believe their own eyes, that he was Joseph's son, who had been brought up from his childhood in their city.-Had one of our popular preachers beheld this audience, he had certainly pronounced them all converted. But Jesus perceived a mistake about divine grace hinted in their question, Is not this Joseph's fon? This mistake he unfolds, and opens, with the following words : re will
surely jurely fay unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyJelf : Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, "Verily ! say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own couritry. But I tell you of n truth, inany widows were in Israel in the days of Elias; when the beaven was jhut up three years, and fix kionths, when great jamine was throughout all the land: but unto none of them was Elius fent, save unto Sarepta a city of Sidon, unto a woinar that was a widow. And many lepers were in Ijruel in the time of Elias the prophet ; and none of them was cleared, saving Naaman the Syrian.
No mistake about the gospel can appear to us more natural, than the sentiment of the people of Nazareth. They fondly imagined, that leeing their fellow-citizen, who had proved a very acceptable neighbour, growing up among them from his childhood in favour with God and man, had now turned out to be the Saviour foretold by all the prophets, they had fome natural claim upon him; and that it would not be equal and reasonable, or suitable to the love of one's country, that others should be benefited by him, and they neglected, they who had grown up with him, and mutually exchanged many kind offices during their long acquaintance. Yet so great was their awful respect, that they durft only insinuate their sentiment in the most distant manner in the question, Is not this fofeph's fon?
Jefus perceives their meaning, and speaks it out for them: You will surely fery unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself. And the first check he gives them is in these words; Verily I say unto you, No prophet is acceptable in his own country. He who, being endowed with extraordinary powers from above, fpeaks and acts for
the Deity, must look above all the particular ties by which any one part of mankind is committed together, and distinguished from the rest; and therefore must be more especially unacceptable to those of his own neighbourhood or country, who will naturally claim the chief benefit of the abilities he is endowed with. Then he proceeds to remind them, in what manner, and how, contrary to all human expectations, the divine favours were determined in the days of ELIJAH and ELISHA. In the days of the former, though many widows were in Israel, a Canaanitish woman receives the distinguished favour, In the days of the latter, though many lepers were in Israel, only the captain of an hostile prince's army is cleaned.--All the while, he takes no notice of what devout people now would call their eager looks or acts of faith, fastening upon, or taking hold of Christ, the lively sense they had of their need of him, the rapturous impressions of grace, or yet their ardent longings to enjoy him with all his benefits, except it be in the way of repulsing them.
It is time now to observe how the audience was effected when Jesus had thus explained himself, And all they in the Synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath and rose up and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill (whereon their city was built that they might caft him down headlong. How soon is the fervent piety of these people changed into mortal spite? Yet nothing but our inattention can make us think their cafe any way fingular or extraordinary. For it is a very common sight at this day, to see people of the first reputation for piety, who can weep very devoutly at hearing their favorite sermons, and talk for hours