And what one nation in the earth is like Thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself, and to make Him a name, and to do lor you great things and terrible, for Thy land, before Thy people, which Thou redeemedest to Thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods. ** For Thou hast confirmed to Thyself Thy people Israel to be & people unto Thee for erer : and Thou, LORD, art become their God.*'— 2 Samuel vii. 23, 24. THESE are words of assurance flowing from an experimental acquaintance with JEHOVAH in His dealings with His people, and with the speaker personally. David was not one of those who are lost in a crowd, and yet he would not make an ostentatious display of himself because of the grace bestowed upon him by the anointing of God the ever-blessed Spirit. His mind was one with Paul, who, though he magnified his office, he maspified not himself because of his office. Paul had a message to deliver from the King, therefore he preached not himself, but Christ Jesus the Lord. He had a God-given and gracious experience, yet it was not his to be incessantly harping upon that experience, for in so doing he might have distressed the spirits of many in the living family. You can see this by reading at your leisure 2 Cor. xii., where he tells us that he had more to glory in than any other mortal, but he would not only as concerned his infirmities, that the power of Christ miffht rest upon him. David was like-minded with Paul. He delignted to exalt his Lord and Master and to worship at His footstool. It was his {*oy to declare what was revealed to him by God the ever>lesBed Spirit, and to speak of himself as a sinner saved by grace, a pensioner upon Divine bounty, and a pre-eminent type of that

great and glorious King who should reign throughout all ages over that Israel which God had distinguished as £Qs own in a OMritual and heavenly manner. r^r^r^r^]r> a laZ.-PmiC. 0«. pilMT. ^ 9i ized by L^OOglC

26 GROYE OHAFfiL PULWT. This chapter discloses a practical and experimental view of David's experience. He had planned and purposed for God, but all his plans and purposes were overthrown. He had designed, but all his designs were thwarted. He had declared, but his declarations were proved contrary to the mind and will of God. In his plans, purposes, designs, and declarations, he fell far short of those purposes of grace which God had toward him. You see this in the circumstances narrated in this chapter. David proposed to build God a house and communicates his intention to God's prophet. athan said to the king, " Go, do all that is in thine heart, for God is with thee." That same night God wrote foolishness upon the declaration of the prophet, and sent him back to David with the message, that ne should not build a house for the LORD ; but that the LORD would build him a house. This house of David should be spiritual, incorruptible, eternal, never to fall into decay or ruin. Can that be truet say you, in surprise. Perfectly true. But we read in Acts xv. 15, 16, that David's tabernacle did fall into ruins. James said, " Men and brethren, hearken unto me. Simeon (that is, Simon Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets ; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up : that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." James, in speaking of ruins, refers to the earthly house of David, which was thoroughly broken down, and because of which sceptics might scoff and

taunt the Israeh'tes, saying. Where is the faithfulness of your God ? Where is the performance of His promise t ow, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ we see the tabernacle of David set up. The world judges according to the flesh, literalljr and carnally ; but those who are spiritually one with Christ judge according to the Spirit, and wnile they behold the iiiin of all earthly tnings, they rejoice at the sight and possession of a spiritual house and kingdom which cannot be moved. The house of David built by God is a spiritual house, of which Paul could say, "Whose house are we " (Heb. iii. 6). When we look at anv portion of the Scriptures which speaks of God's Israel, God s people, God's redeemed, God's elect, if we look at it with a carnal, fleshly, or intellectual eye, we fall far short of the glorious realities couched beneath the letter of the Word. In all these God point« the eye of faith to His Chm'ch separated to Himself before time, preserved near to Himself through time in the face of all the opposition and persecution assailing it, and to be glorified with Himself when time shall be no longer. But it is our privilege this morning to dwell upon this

COMPARISO A D CO FIRMATIO . 27 {>recioii8 portion^ and endeavour to extract some little instruction and consolation therefrom, knowing that these are the words of the Holy Ghost flowing from the exercised heart of an eminent child of God. It leads the mind to contemplate the glories and excellencies of that kingdom which can never be moved, of that spiritual house which can never fall into ruins, of that Church which the counsels of hell can never prevail against, and of that people which can never be lost. We will notice the text in the following order : — I. — A BLESSED COMPARISO — "And what one nation in the earth is like Thy people, even like Israel ? " II. — A GLORIOUS REDEMPTIO — *' Whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself, and to make Him a name."

III. — A RIGHTEOUS VI DICATIO — "And do for you great things and terrible, for Thy land, before Thy people." IV.— A GRACIOUS SEPARATIO —*^ Which Thou redeemedest to Thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods." V. — ** An EVERLASTI G CO FIRMATIO —" For Thou hast confirmed to Thyself Thy people Israel to be a people unto Thee for ever : and Thou, LORD, art become their Goa." I. — ^A BLESSED COMPARISO — '* And what one nation in the earth is hke Thy people, even Uke Israel ? " If we look at Israel after the flesh, we may well ask, What one nation so besotted, foolish, rebellious — so wandering and wavering as Israel f Look at the description given of it by the Holy Ghost in ehemiah ix., Psalm Ixxviu., and cvi. Look at Psalm IxxviiL, especially; over which my soul would Hnger moment by moment, because there I see awful incorrigibility like my own, and the mai*vellous mercy and wonderful jforbearance of God. That is the God I love to worship. After the declara^ tion of mercy succeeding mercy, always accompanied with Israel's base departures from, and rebellion against, God, we come to that precious portion commencing with ver. 31 : '^ The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for His wondrous works." What think ye of such a people as this ? We may well say. What one nation in the earth is like Israel for sin, unbelief, and rebeUion % *' Therefore their days did He consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. When He slew them, then they sought Him." A strange expression, experimentally explainea in the first part of Romans vii. This is God coming down by the power of His law, killing His own to aU hope in themselves. " And they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their Rock, ftnd the high God their Redeemer. evertheless, they did flatter Him with their mouth, and they Ued unto Him with their tongues. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not : yea, many a time turned He

His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath. For He Digitized by LjOOQ IC

88 GROVE OHAPEL^ PULPIT. remembered that they were but flesh ; a wind that passeth away, and coraeth not again." Surely after this we shall see this people established in the faith ? They will surely walk in His ways and submit to His guidance ! Listen ! " How oft did they provoke Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert ! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They remembered not His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy." We read of the manifestation of judgment after judgment upon their enemies, and the display of JEHOVAH'S disapprobation of His people's crooked ways, yet they are still the same, obstinate and mcorrigible. Look at Psalm cvi. There you have a recital of God's mercies and Israel's miseries. " We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not Thy wonders in Egypt: they remembered not the multitude of Thy mercies, but provoked Him at the sea, even at the Red Sea. evertheless, He saved them for His name's sake, that He might make His mighty power to be known." I might multiply passages to prove the utter sinfulness of God's ancient people Israel, but one more must suffice. Turn with me to Isaiah i. 4 : " Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters ; tley have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward." o nation so favoured as Israel, and none so obstinate and perverse. Let us now look at David's bright view of Israel as a nation loved of the Lord, upon which was conferred marvellous privileges and immunities. See how it is mentioned in Psalm xxxiii. 12 : " Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD : and the people whom He hath chosen for His inheritance." For the

experimental possession of the privileges of this nation, the Psalmist prays : " That I may see the good of Thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation, that I may glory with Thine inheritance " (Psa. cvi. 5). You see the elect, the nation, and the inheritance are the same. ow turn to Psa. cxlvii. 19, 20 : " He sheweth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation ; and as for His judgments, they have not known them." Here we have a spiritual nation and a spiritual King. A people governed, ruled, and guided by JEHOVAH'S own laws, statutes, and ordinances, spiritually communicated by His own power. What nation is this ? Turn to 1 Peter ii. 9, where you will find something in perfect agreement with that which I have declared unto you : " But ye are a chosen veneration, a royal priesthood "—or a kingdom of priests — *' an noly nation " — that n, a nation separated, distinct, selected, elected, and set apart by God Himself — "a peculiar, or purchased people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath oalle^ you out ..tized by Google

OOMPAMBO A D OOWITOIIATIO . 89 of darkneas into Hie marveDoxiB light." Time would fail me to take yon through the previous portions of this epistle, desorip^ tive of the characters of those who comprise this holy, elect nation of God. Just a hint or two. In the first verse they are addressed aa *' strangers scattered." And are they not so to this day ? They are elect. According to what ? ot accord*ing to what God saw they would be, as some who murder God's dorious truth declare. o I It is, " Elect according to ^e foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of .the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Cnrist." ot according to that Arminian gloss which I have often noticed of late — ^that is, our obedience because of the sanctification of the Spirit and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. It is no such thing, but the obedience as well as the blood of Jesus for them. They are begotten again to a

lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead* They are heirs of an incorruptible inheritance. They are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation. Sometimes they rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Sometimes they are in heaviness through manifold temptations. They rejoice in the experience of the preserving power of God, wlule they are in heaviness because of the trial of their faith. Thev see Him not with the eye of sense, yet they rejoice in the sight of Him by the eye of faith. Thev receive the end of their faith, which is not damnation, after the Arminian fEishion, but salvation all of grace. They are bom again by the Word and Spirit of God. Look at the first verse of chap, ii., and see if you have been brou^t this way. If you have not, I hope you will be before lon^* " Wherefore, laying aside all maUce, and all guile, and hypocncies, and envies, and aU evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby." We come across a tribe of cold Calvinists who will talk fluently of the doctrines of grace, but who are destitute of the grace of the doctrines as stated in this first verse. ow, say some of you, you are laying something upon our shoulders ; but have you touched it witn one of your fingers ? My dear friends, I have touched it with my whole soul, and in the experience of that touch I have known, felt, and mourned over my weakness, infirmity, and inabiUty. I will tell you where we are broii^lit into the sweet apprehension of our oneness with the Spint's teaching in this portion. It is when we are led by the Spurit to gloomy, dark Gethsemane, to the judgment hall, to the cursed cross of Calvary, and are made to feel our spiritual oneness with Him who, when He was reviled, reviled not again ; when He suffered. He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously. But see I These persons are coming. It IS not, they have come, nor, they shall come, but, ^* To whom coming." The fall-blown professor — he who would have uft believe that, by a stock of grace in hand, he is able to cootBgl

80 OROYE OHAPEL PULPIT. the world, the flesh, and the devil — will boast of his having

come. But mark the language of Peter, which is that of aJl the subjects of this holy nation, and is in the present tense : " To wham coming^ as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious ; ye also, as Uvely stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." A little farther on we read : " Unto you therefore which believe He is precious " — or, an honour — " but unto them which be disobedient, the Stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the Head of the comer, and a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient : whereunto also they were appointed ; but ye are a holy nation." David's mind being led by the blessed Spirit into a i^iritual view of this people, thus ones out, in wonder and admiration : " And what one nation in the earth is like Thy people, even like Israel ? " God's Israel. The Israel of God. We hear much of patriotism in the present day. Well, I should not Uke to feel second to any one in love to my native land. We hear much of nationalities, and in every direction we hear of men arming to the teeth in defence of their own country ; but, my dear friends, here is the question. Whence comest thou? To what nation dost thou belong ? How many of us can look up and, by the anointing of the Holy Ghost, say : *' Our citizenship is in heaven ; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself" (Phil. iiL 20, 21). The people of that country are loved with an everlasting love, blessed with aU spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, provided with every mercy, comfort, and consolation needful during their journey home, and for whom " all things " — not some things — ** work together for good." See 1 Does famine stare the nations of the earth in the face ? Does war rava^ and make desolate fair provinces! Does pestilence produce woe and lamentation? Here we have a people never to be hurt or destroyed by any earthly or hellish influence. Of this nation we can sing with Dr. Watts, —

^ Israel, a name diyinely blest, May rifle sectire, securely rest ; Thy holy Gtiardian^s watchful eyes Admit no slumber nor surprise. On thee foul spirits hare no power ; And, in thy last departing hour, Angels that trace the airy road, ShaJl bear thee homeward to thy God." The subjects of this nation are washed from all sin in precious atoning blood. The King clothes them in durable dothing, Digitized by VjC ^ .^^^

CX>HPARISO A D OO FIRMATIO . 31 which waxes not old, and in which they shall appear in that dory land which He has provided for them. Blessed be His holy name, for He brings them to hun^r and thirst after Him, and they shall be filled with the good things with which this nation abounds. The poor in spirit shedl know that there are riches of grace and of glory in this kingdom for them. The inhabitants of this land of grace may well exclaim, with David: " And what one nation in the earth is like Thy people, even like Israel t " Though enemies abound on every hand, though dangers lurk at every step, though doubts and fears swallow up the spirits of the subjects of this nation, though the sounds of war, death, and desolation are heard on every hand, yet the florious fact spoken by Israel's covenant God holds good: " For will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the fflory in the midst of her" (Zech. ii. 5). When the true Israelites arrive at that dread spot — when the spiritual training shall cease, when their school-days are for ever over, when they shall pass away from the earthly to the heavenly, to be eternally associated with Him, when their quivering spirits shall fear to tread the dark threshold which separates between this state of

death and yonder state of life — then the precious promise of their God and King will be verified in their heart's experience : " When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee ; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour " (Isa. xliii. 2, 3). U. — ^A GLORIOUS REDEMPTIO — "Whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself, and to make Him a name." A redeemed people. We have this set before us in promise and in prophecy, m history and in type. We have redemption unfolded m the first fifteen chaptera of Exodus. Here we see a chosen people brought into bondage. As I have often told you, the truth and roirit of the book of Genesis is election, while the book of Exodus sets forth the redemption of the people elected. God^s ancient people Israel, in His never-failing providence, were taken down into Egypt. We are all acquainted with their enmity and sin against Joseph, yet an over-ruling providence was manifested through the whole transaction. Turn to Gen. xlv; 5: ** ow therefore be not grieved nor angjry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither : for God did send me before you to preserve life." You sold me ; but God sent me. Again : "And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8o now it was not you that sent me hither, but God." Do you like that ? I do. God over all things for His people. Yes, God reigns over aU their infirmities, sins, and transgressions. He reigns over every sin, and over all evil committed in this wretched world, to show forth the glory of His grace in the salvation and glorification with Himself

32 OROTE OHAPEL PUIiPFT. of an eternally-loved and chosen people. You have this in the words of the text, " to redeem for a people to Himself." This is the nation before which all others sink into insignificance. Look at it as described in Psa. cxlviii. 14 : " He also exalteth the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints ; even of the children

of Israel, a people near unto Him," by sovereign decree, by eternal election, oy personal redemption. In the place of their bondage they cried and sighed. Turn with me to Exodus ii. 23 — 25 : ** And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto ." Unto what ? Our translators have added the word " them ; " but He had respect unto His covenant. You see this set forth in the plea of the Psalmist in Psa. Ixxiv. 20 : " Have respect unto the covenant : for the dark places of the earth are ftdl of the habitations of cruelty." Isi*ael m Egypt sighed and cried for deUverance, and God having respect to His covenant came down in a succession of judgments against the Egyptians. Pharaoh's heart was hardened by the judgments of Israel's God, and that to such an extent, as to hurry him and his people on to destruction in the waters of the Red Sea. Israel was free, and on the wilderness shores of the Red Sea sang the praises of their redeeming God. See Exod. XV. 13 : " Thou in Thy mercy hast led forth Thy people which Thou hast redeemed : Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy holy habitation." Again, in the 16th verse: "Fear and dread shail fall upon them ; by the greatness of Thine arm they shall be as still as a stone ; till Thy people pass over, LORD, till the people pass over, which Thou hast purchased." But all this is typical of the glorious redemption accomplished by the Surety of the covenant, by the King of this nation, vrho was styled in derision, " THE KI G OF THE JEWS." It is blessed to notice that there was eternal truth in this derisive taunt. He was. He is, and He ever will be, " The King of the Jews." Every Jew owns and acknowledges it to be gloriously true. Every Jew? say you. I thought all the Jews looked upon our Lord Jesus Christ as an impostor. o such thing, all the Jews own and acknowledge Him to be the true Messiah — all the Jews own and acknowledge Him to be King in Zion —

all the Jews own and acknowledge Him to be the King of nations and God of the whole earth. This is something more than being king over an accursed strip of ground in Asia. Let me ask you, "Who are the Jews? The Holy Ghost by Paul answers the question : " For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh." You must not think that aU those wretched money-grabbers are Jews

COMPARISO A D CO FIRMATIO . 33 in God's estimation. o snch thing. "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly ; and cirenmcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter ; whose praise is not of man, but of God " (Rom. ii. 28, 29). Inwardly circumcised in heart, and brought into possession of the kingdom of God by the power of the Holy Ghost and the guidance of His eternal and unchanging law of love and life in Christ Jesus, elect sinners rejoice in the knowledge of their Israelitish origin and destiny. These wordiip and adore their glorious King who is now in the heights of glory for them. He was bom King for them — ^He was circumcised for them — He was baptized for them — He obeyed for them — He suffered for them — He died forthem — He rose again for them — He entered heaven's highest glory for them — He rules over all for them, and has given them the blessed assurance, that as He has sat down with His Father on His throne, so shall thev sit with Him on His throne. These are Jews indeed, thejr form the nation which JEHOVAH has chosen for His own inheritance, and, blessed be His name, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. From what? Look at a few portions of God's Word which speak of His glorious work of redemption. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, bemg made a curse for us ^ (Gal. iii. 13). The price being paid and the penalty borne, there is no more curse on new covenant around lor God's elect nation. •* I will redeem them from death ' (Hosea xiii. 14). On redemption ground in the land of resurrection-life there is no more aeath. Of these the Redeemer said, " either can they die any more, being the children of the resurrection " (Luke xx. 36). ever die ? What I will not the time come when I shall

for ever part with Grove chapel pulpit and people ? Sometimes I sigh. The sooner the better. the blessedness of having done with sin, corruption, deceit, and death I "Who ^ave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all inicjmty " (Titus ii 14). Wondrous redemption I We confessed m our prayer this morning, ** ot on me. Lord, not on me, I am all iniquitj." That is the confession of every contrite spirit. The declaration of God concerning all such is, " Redeemed from all iniquity." To all the elect and redeemed nation iniquity has lost all its Senal and condemning power. ** He shall redeem their soul from eceit and violence " (rsa. Ixxii. 14). Lord, teach us more and more of Thy sweet simplicity. For the accomplishment of His redemption, the Redeemer must be brought to feel all the necessities of His redeemed. And so He was. The mighty God, the sinless Man came forth in the person of Christ and endured the whole penalty of God's outraged law. As the Surety of the covenant, He met eveiy requirement and paid every demand by the presentation of His perfect obedience and the ttiedding of His most precious blood* Xook at Acts xx^ 28 ; Digitized by LjOOQ IC

84 GROVE GHAPEL PULPIT. "Feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood," or, ^^ with the blood of His own'' — that is, with the blood of His own providing — the blood of His own everlasting covenant — "the Wood of Jesus Christ His Son." Thus it is " His own blood." It is sinless, innocent, invaluable blood by which His elect are redeemed, cleansed, and sanctified before Him. "Whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself."

There is something very blessed in this declamtion. It is not only freeing them from bondage, captivity, and slavery by payinff a ransom price for them, but it is also taking them to Himself, for Himself, to be eternally with Himself. They are His own peculiar property — His own special treasure. He is their Keeper, Teacher and Guide. He will have them near to Himself in gracious fellowship here and in glorious unfoldings up yonder, when before their astonished gaze He reveals to them scene after scene of inexpressible glory. otice those words, " to make Him a name.'' o failure or flaw can be found in the redemption work of Israel's covenant God, therefore His name shall be glorious in the estimation of His redeemed. See how blessedly this is stated in Isa. Ixiii. 12 — 14 : '* That led them by the right hand of Moses with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make an everlastina name. As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spint of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst Thou lead Thy people, to make Thyself a glorious name." Whether it be in the redemption of His people or the rest He has provided for them, the name of JEHO V AHJESUS is exalted and very high. III. — ^A RIGHTEOUS VI DICATIO — " And to do for you great things and terrible, for Thy land, before Thy people." Kead for yourselves that portion in Exodus iii. and xvi., and you will see God doing great things and terrible in bringing judgment after judgment upon Egypt and mercy after mercy upon Israel. Deliverance to one. Destruction to the other. And all this for His land, the land of spiritual promise and covenant favour, in which He will cause all His goodness, grace, and greatness to pass " before His people." We must hasten to consider, — IV. — A GRACIOUS SEPARATIO ^" Which Thou redeemedst to Thee from Egypt, from the nations, and their gods." All God's redemption acts are to set His people at a distance from Satan and his service, and to bring them mto blessed association with Himself. Are we redeemed from Effypt? Then we are strangers vdth God in a wilderness world. Are we redeemed out of the earth I Then we are identified vnth Jesus in rejection. Are we redeemed from the power of the flesh t Then we are associated vnth the Spirit in all His gracious operations. Are

we deUvered from the authority of darkness ? Then we are translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. What experience have we of the redeeming love, blood, and power of Jesus ? ^.yitizedbyVjOOQi

COMPARISO A D CO FIRMATIO . 35 Where are we in respect to the devil and his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and the sinful lusts of the flesh? Do we love the associations in which we formerly delisted ? Has there been a redemption from these ? There has in my case. I will tell you honestly before the Lord, though some precise ones say I do not act prudently in i^eaking of these things, sometimes I find myself like the old cavalry horse, which, when following the hounds, heard the bugle call, and started immediately with its rider to join the ranks. Though redeemed and separated by blood, I find my old inclinations and desires cropping up again and again to my sorrow and distress. It was my deUght in my younger days to witness the exposition of the plays of Shakespeare by some of the masters in histrionic representation, and even now, when I see on the walls announcements of celebrated plays with noted performei's, there is life in the old man, and he would be off to his old haunts and associations. He would, but cannot go. There is a separating line between myself and sin's indulgence, which is God's election. There is a mark of prohibition between me and the world's delights, which is Christ's redemption. There is an effectual separating barrier between me and the worldling's pleasures, which is the Spirit's regenerating and restoring power. " I thirst, but not as once I did, The yain delights of earth to share ; Thj wounds, Emmanuel, aU forbid That I should seek my pleasures there." V. — ^An everlasting confirmation — ^* For Thou hast con-

firmed to Thyself Thy people Israel, to be a people unto Thee for ever : and Thou, LORD, art become their God." We love a promising and a performing God. Did He predestinate a people to IBs eternal glory t He will prepare them for it and perfect them in it. He begets them again, brings to the birth, and blesses them with grace and glory. See 1 " Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called ; aud whom He called, them He also justified : and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Rom. viii. 30). A predestinated child shall never lack his patrimony in eternal glory, for the will and the work to effect the same is all the Lord's. Israel was a people confirmed to God by His own transactions in the counsel and covenant of old, but they must be confirmed to Him in their own heart's experience. The confirmation of the spiritual subjects of King Emmanuel in their allegiance to Him is accomplished in the school of painful but profitable experience, and shall stand for ever. We find a hint of this in Acts xiv. 22 : ** Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Does God send His testimony of love to them I He will confirm it in them by the power of .._.. — )Og[e

36 GROVE OHAFEL PULPIT. the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. i. 6). Has He taught them to wait for the revelation of His Christ in them? He will confLrm them to the end, blameless in the day of Jesus Christ — that is, for ever (1 Cor. i. 8). If I am one of His pilgrim people, then tribulcitions and temptations, floods and flames, crosses and conflicts will work together to " Confirm His good pleasure to bring me quite through." The more God in His mercy weans us by the power of His grace from this wretched, miserable world, the more we own our allegiance to Him, and our adoring hearts would cry, —

^* Let all creation join in one To bless the sacred name Of Him that sits upon the throne, And to adore the Lamb." " This God is our God for ever and ever : He will be our Guide even unto death," and to that eternal glory prepared by Him for His own (Psa. xlviii. 14). May the Lord add His blessing for His name's sake. Amen.

HYM . O Ibrabl, who is like to thee, A people saved, and called to be Peculiar to the Lord ? Thy Shield ! He guards thee from the foe ; Thy Sword ! He fights thy battles too — Himself thy Great Reward. Fear not, though many should oppose, For God is stronger than thy foes, And makes thy cause His own ; The Promised Land before thee lies — Go, and possess the wondrous prize, Reserved for thee alone. Thy toils have almost reached a chw^e. And thou art dentined to repose Within yon glorious land ; E'en now its rising hills are seen, Enriched with everlasting green,

Where Israel soon shall stand. Jn glory there the King appeai-s ; He wijMJS away His people's tears, And makes their soitowk cease : From toil and strife they there repose. And dwell secure from all their fue>, In everlasting peace.



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