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The Happiness of God's People.

The Happiness of God's People.

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Published by glennpease

Deut. xxxiii. 29. Happy art thou, Israel : toho is like unto
thee, people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and
who is the sword of thy excellency !

Deut. xxxiii. 29. Happy art thou, Israel : toho is like unto
thee, people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and
who is the sword of thy excellency !

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 16, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE HAPPIESS OF GOd'S PEOPLE. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Deut. xxxiii. 29. Happy art thou, Israel : toho is like unto thee, people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency ! THE God of Israel is infinitely exalted above all the gods of the heathen : and though there cannot be any such disparity between one creature and another, as between the Creator and the creature, yet is there a wonderful difference between the people of God and all other people upon the face of the whole earth. This indeed is a necessary conse- quence of the former : for, if there be no god like the God of Israel, there can be no people like the Israel of God, since they, and they only, have Jehovah for their God. These truths are united in the passage before us : the former had been mentioned in a preceding verse ^ ; and, in the text, the latter is declared, together with its dependence on the former. From these words we shall consider, I. The happiness of God's people — The manner in which Moses speaks on this sub-  ject is worthy of notice : we may observe in his address to Israel a strong persuasion of the truth he was uttering, an unfeigned delight in declaring it, and an affectionate solicitude, that they might both be persuaded of it themselves, and live in the com- fortable enjoyment of it. He affirms that they were, 1 . Truly happy — [It is God's own declaration, "^ Happy art thou, O Israel !"
and, if appearances were ever so unfavourable, we might be sure that his judgment was according to truth. But this testimoiiy agrees with the experience of God's people in every age. They are represented as possessing a " peace that passeth under- standing," and a " joy that is unspeakable and glorified." Is it objected that they are also represented as mourning'', as tempted % as persecuted*^? True ; yet none of these things interfere with their real happiness ; yea, instead of destroying, they advance it*. If then they can be happy in such situations as these', and evea ' ver. 26. •• Matt. v. 3, 4. ' Jam, i. 2, 12. ^ Luke vi. 22, 23. 1 Pet. iv. 14. • See otes "'*. .' Act xvi. 23—25. 161.] HAPPIESS OF god's PEOPLE. 3^1 even derive happiness from these situations*, they must be truly happy.] 2. Incomparably happy — [It is God himself who challenges all mankind to vie with his people ; and this too, not in respect of privileges merely, or of prospects, but in respect of present enjoyments. Who are they that will presume to rival the Lord's people ? Ye great, ye rich, ye gay, what is your happiness, when compared with that which God's Israel possess ? Is not all your happiness mixed with gall ? Is it not altogether dependent on the creature ? Is it not cloying, even in the very possession ? Do you not find it transient, and, on the whole, delusive, promising far more in the anticipation than it ever affords in the enjoyment ? In all these things it is the very reverse of the Christian's happiness. His, as far as it is derived from spiritual things, is unmixed : none can rob him of it, because none can intercept the visits of his
God : no man was ever surfeited with spiritual delights : if we lived to the age of Methuselah, we might, by a retrospect, revive a sense of them in our souls : and, if our expectations be raised to ever so high a pitch, the reality will far exceed them. We will therefore confidently repeat the challenge, and say, as in the text, '* Who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord ?"] To shew that this is no enthusiastic conceit, we proceed to notice, II. The grounds of their happiness — It will soon appear that their blessedness is not a baseless fabric, if we consider, 1 . What God has done for them — [They are " a people saved by the Lord." Salvation is not a blessing which they merely hope for, but which they al- ready possess. They are saved fro?n the guilt and punishment of sin : all " their iniquities are blotted out ;" and there re- mains " no condemnation to them :" they are " complete in Christ '," they stand '* before God without spot or blemish." But great as this mercy is, they would not be truly happy, if they were not also saved from the power and dominion of sin. It is true, they yet carry about with them a " body of sin and death ;" but they never commit iniquity as they were wont to do in their unregenerate state : they " cannot sin thus, because they are born of God, and his seed remaineth in them." God has promised that " sin shall not have dominion over them ;" and they experience the accomplishment of this promise to their souls, being " redeemed from all iniquity, and purified unto God a peculiar people zealous of good works'^." And » Acts V. 41. 2 Cor. xii. 10. " Tit. ii. 14. 3/2 DEUTEROOMY, XXXIII. QQ. [161.

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