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CONTEMPLATION IX.

ON A BROOK.

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This large brook directly in my way, without either bridge or boat over it, putteth me in mind of that recorded Psalm cx. 7. of which our Lord is said to drink.

Whatever be the true interpretation of that passage I shall not determine ; but one thing is clear, the brook of God's infinite wrath ran in the way of man's salvation, so that none of the sons of Adam could ever have got to heaven : nay,

like Jordan, it overflowed all its banks, Jos. iii. 15., and would have swept down a whole guilty world into the dead sea of eternal vengeance, had not the High Priest of our profession waded there. in, and drank it up, and so made a safe way for the ransomed of the Lord from this wils derness state to the heavenly Canaan,

How then ought all the redeemed to celebrate the praises of the Redeemer! who, rather than they who had basely rabelled against God, and forfeited their title to eternal happiness, should bear the infinite wrath of Almighty God, justly due to them on account of their sins, bare it himself; himself who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God; nay, who was God, and one with the Father, Philip. ii. 6. John i. 1. X. 30.; for those that were his avowed enemies, to the astonishment of all in heaven and all in earth ; nor will this astonishment end throughout all eternity, but more and more increase.

Say, O my soul, was ever love like this ? O the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of God, it passeth knowledge, Eph. iii. 18, 19. Jonathan's love to David was wonderful, passing the love of women, 2 Sam. i. 26.; but Christ's love to his people passeth not only the love, but the comprehension of the highest seraph in heaven: it is an ocean without brim or bottom, end, or shore, in which the saints will swim through all eternity, crying, ". Unto him " that loved us, and washed us from our “ sins in his own blood, and hath made us

kings and priests unto God and his Father ; “ to him be glory and dominion for ever and

Amen.' Rev. i. 5, 6.

ever.

As the ocean of redeeming love is infinitely great; so no less boundless is that of the wrath of Almighty God, which raged and was tempestuous against all the sons of Adam, and was ready to swallow them down into its bottomless gulf; but for ever blessed be our Lord and Saviour, who Jonah-like said unto his father, “ Take me

up and cast me into this ocean, so shall it “ be calm to all my elect.” This infinitely wonderful substitute the Father willingly accepted of; so he was cast into the sea of infinite wrath, and like his type was in the belly of hell for his elect, and forsaken of God, Jon. j. 12. q. 2. Matt. xxvii. 46. Jon. ii. 4., and, as it were, cast out of his sight for a time, that his people might enjoy the favour and light of God's countenance for ever in heaven.

Thus he dried up this sea, and drank off that brook, and so made a safe way for all

his ransomed ones to come to Zion, Isaiah li. 10, 11. But as the Red Sea was dried

up for Israel only, and none but they who had an interest in Moses as their leader could venture safely therein ; so the Egyptians, who presumptuously went in after Israel, were all totally overwhelmed in it: In like manner, the sea of infinite wrath is only dried up for the spiritual Israel; but all those who have not an interest in Christ Jesus as their Saviour and atonement, who venture on the general mercy of God, will find themselves overwhelmed in this ocean of infinite wrath; for God to the sinner who is out of Christ. is a consuming fire, Deut. iv. 24. Neither is there salvation in any other ; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, Acts iv. 12. And how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ? Heb. ii. 4. Great indeed beyond the conception of men or an

gels !

Justice and mercy

, are both attributes of God; and mercy will never be shewn at the expence of justice. Man hath sinned, and justice must be satisfied either in his own person, or by another in his room.

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