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God's Mercies Not Given for Our Merits

God's Mercies Not Given for Our Merits

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Published by glennpease
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.

Ezek. xxxvi. 32. Not for your sakes do I this, saifh the Loid
God, he it hioivn unto you : he ashamed and covfounded for
your own ivays, O house of Israel.
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.

Ezek. xxxvi. 32. Not for your sakes do I this, saifh the Loid
God, he it hioivn unto you : he ashamed and covfounded for
your own ivays, O house of Israel.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 25, 2014
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GOD'S MERCIES OT GIVE FOR OUR MERITSTHE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Ezek. xxxvi. 32. ot for your sakes do I this, saifh the Loid God, he it hioivn unto you : he ashamed and covfounded for your own ivays, O house of Israel. THERE is not any gift, whether of nature or of grace, from which the pride of man will not take occasion to exalt itself. But the design of God in his Gospel is, to counteract this propensity, and to make his creatures sensible of their obligations to him, and their entire dependence upon him. Hence, having declared, in the preceding context, what he intended to do for his Church and people, he parti- cularly cautions them not to imagine, that he was influenced by any goodness which he saw in them ; or that, after having received his blessings, they would have any thing to boast of: for to their latest hour they would have in themselves cause for nothing but shame and confusion. From this caution the following observations natu- rally arise : I. God, in imparting his blessings to us, has not respect to any good in us — There is not in us any thing meritorious, to which he can have respect — [Let our actions be weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, and every one of thenn will be found wanting. If we had done all that is required of us, we should still be only unprofitable servants*. But we have not done all; nor have we done any part as we ought : and therefore instead of having any merit whereon to found a claim of blessings from God, we have need of mercy and forgiveness for our very best actions''.]
 
or would it consist with his honour to make our goodness the ground of dispensing his favours — [Whatever the measure of our goodness were, if it were considered in any degree as founding a claim for the Divine blessing, or as inducing God to impart his benefits to us, it would instantly become a ground of glorying before God. The possessor of that goodness might ascribe to himself some portion pf the honour, instead of giving the glory of his salvation to God ^ Jyuke xvii. 10. '' Isai. Ixiv. 6. 588.] god's mercies not given for our merits. 201 God alone. But this would be to subvert the whole design of the Gospel, which is, to exclude boasting % and not to give God's own glory to another.] Experience alone sufficiently shews that God is influenced by no such motive — [If God had respect to any thing that is good in us, the most moral people would always be stirred up to embrace the Gospel, and the most profligate be left to reject it. But this is by no means the case : yea, the very reverse is more generally true ; that " publicans and harlots enter into the kingdom, before the more decent Scribes, or self-righteous Pharisees''." God is indeed sometimes said to do things for tbe sake of Abraham, David, and others : but it was not for their righteousness' sake, considered as meritorious, that God vouchsafed blessings to them or their posterity ; but either to testify his love to obedience, or to manifest the immutability of his counsel^.] The text goes yet further, and shews that, II. There is in us nothing which is not a ground rather for shame and confusion —
 
Doubtless the Jews were a peculiarly " stiff- necked people :" yet, if we have not the same sins to deplore, we have enough to justify the appHcation of this passage to ourselves. The sins of our unregenerate state may well fill us with confusion — [Time may efface many things from our remembrance ; but it cannot alter the nature of them, or blot them out of the book of God. Our sins are all in his sight, as if they were transacted yesterday : and whatever degree of malignity they had formerly, that they retain at this moment : and consequently we should feel on their account all the shame, and sorrow and confusion that they either did occasion, or ought to have occasioned, at the time they were committed. Yea, the whole mass of evil that ever passed through our minds ought to lie with a weight upon our consciences, so far at least as to produce an abiding sense of our extreme sinfulness.] The infirmities of our regenerate state also should humble us in the dust before God — [Who is not conscious of innumerable evils working in his heart ? Who does not at some time feel the workings of pride, anger, worldliness, impurity, and various other corruptions? Who does not feel that these are properly " his own ways" and that ' Ilora. ill. 27. See also Ezek. xxxvi. 21 — 23. ^ Matt. xxi. 31. * Deut. vii. 6 — 8. & ix. 4 — 6. 202 EZEKIEL, XXXVI. 32. [588. that the exercise of contrary dispositions is the fruit of Divine grace ?

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