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“ heart shall fear and be enlarged; because the 6 abundance of the sea shall be converted unto “ thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto « thee, the multitude of camels shall cover thee, “ the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah: all they “ from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold “and incense, and they shall shew forth the
praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar “ shall be gathered together unto thee; the rams o of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee; they shall “ come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I “ will glorify the house of my glory. The kings “ of Tarshish, and of the Isles shall bring pre
sents, and the kings of Sheba and Seba shall “ offer gifts.” Yea all kings shall fall down before Messiah; all nations shall serve him. Thus shall all things which are on earth, as well as all things which are in heaven, be reconciled unto the God of love, in and by his infinitely beloved Son.
Having said so much upon the great and gracious purposes of the gospel as here set before us, let me now call your attention to the great principles which equally shew the certain accomplishment of this vast generous design, and the path
and spirit of Christian movement towards its happy and glorious attainment.
The first thing which here présents itself to our mind is, that the design, which we have been contemplating, is the design of God himself. In the sixth verse it is called the grace of God, in the 9th the will of God, in the 25th the dispensation of God; accordingly, God, even the Father, is devoutly and gratefully acknowledged in the Sd and 12th verses; our translators, therefore, are well warranted in the supplement in our text, that it pleased the Father. Indeed we are taught throughout the whole sacred volume, that it originated in his own mind, without suggestion from any other. Prompted alone by self-moving love, his sovereign will gave it birth; his infinite wisdom contrived the whole plan, and gave it entire form; therefore his almighty power shall as certainly give it complete effect.
It was too grand and comprehensive to enter the heart of man or angel. As it could never have been thought of, so it could never have been pursued with effect but by an infinite mind, even by him who is the first cause and last end of all things in heaven and on earth. Looking to it
then as the object proposed by his infinite under standing and love, we cannot once suppose its failure, without derogating from his sovereignty or power, his wisdom or goodness. But ascribing, as we must, these and all perfections to him, we must believe that there never was, nor can be, difficulty or danger in the way, unforeseen or unprovided against, yea that every arrangement would be made to secure fully, and for ever, his glory in the highest possible harmony and happi. ness of earth and heaven. Many devices may be in men's hearts which may come to nothing, but the counsel of the Lord, it shall stand, and he cannot but do all things according to the counsel of his own will.
A second principle upon which we are here directed to rest our confidence of universal peace on earth, and eternal felicity in heaven, is the personal worth and dignity of him to whom this great and good work is committed. The eternal Father hath put this into the hands of his own Son; by him, saith our text, bath he resolved to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. This illustrious personage is said in the
15th verse, to be the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, or, as the same truth is represented, Heb. i. 3. The brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person. To prevent misapprehension or misre. presentation of this account, as if it implied only a distinguished similarity of character, or highest pre-eminence in the creation of God, we find him often described by the titles, attributes, and works peculiar to real proper divinity. Thus, without explanation or caution, or reserve of any kind, , he is called God, Jehovah, and Lord of Hosts. He claims and receives the full honour of omni. presence, omniscience, omnipotence, immutabili. ty, eternity, and every divine perfection, and is accordingly worshipped by every sentiment and act of religious homage and acknowledgment.
If to'produce an universe of matter from nothing, and then form it into worlds and creatures innumerable be the exclusive work of Deity, this too is the glory due and given to his name. Who then in heaven is like unto him? Who among the sons of the mighty can once be compared to him ? Moses was the first man in Israel, as being their deliverer and legislator, yet in these high characters he only acted ministerially, and was
truly faithful in all his house as a servant. But Christ was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, as being a Son over his own house, and inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house; for every house is builded by some man, but he that built all things is God. Not only does he surpass in excellence and dignity, the most distinguished official characters on earth, but though we rise to heaven, and to the highest order in the scale of created intelligence, we find not his equal. « For unto which s of the angels said God at any time, thou art “ my Son, this day have I begotten thee; yea, 6 when he bringeth in this first-begotten into the “ world, he saith, and let all the angels of God
worship him.” Thus it appears that he is be. fore all things; that he is even the head of all principality and power, and that in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Is any thing then too great for him ? If it is by him that God, even the Father, hath resolved to execute his grand designs, and if he hath undertaken the immense work, how can we doubt a moment of the reconciliation of all things in heaven and on earth ? Surely our help is laid on one that is mighty, for his name is called the mighty God!