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his kingly power and dominion for how Christ is the source of grace “ he is a high priest upon his and peace to his church. As a throne,” after the order and simi- prophet, he is full of grace and litude of Melchisedec, Psalm xe truth, John i. 16, 17. As a priest, Heb. vii. The“ first-born of the we have access to God through him dead" also holds him forth to our for mercy to pardon and grace to believing view, as the pattern, help in time of need, Heb. iv. 16. pledge, and first-fruits of the re- As a King he dispenses grace and surrection of his people " for peace to all his subjects. Is. ix. 6,7. now is Christ risen from the dead Let us next consider what he and become the first-fruits of them has done for us answerable to that sleep." 1 Cor. xv. 20.
these characters that are ascribed 3. He is the Prince of the to him. Kings of the earth. These words 1. He hath loved us. The reevidently denote his regal charac-demption of sinners is often ter, and his supreme authority and ascribed to the love of the divine dominion as “ King of kings, and Father. See John iii. 16. Rom. Lord of lords." Rev. xvii. 14. and v.. 8. 1 John iv. 9, 10. This in. xix. 16. There is a reference in deed is the grand source and spring them to the second Psalm, where of all the blessings of salvation. the kings of the earth are ad. But it is also ascribed to the love monished to be subject to him of the Son, who voluntarily underlest he be angry, ver. 6-12. com- took the work of redemption, in pared with Rev. ii. 27. ch. xix. 15, obedience to his heavenly Father, 16. Christ's kingly power is more and from love to the children extensive than his priestly. The whom God had given him. See latter extends only to his own peo- John xiii. 34. Rom. viii. 35, 37. ple, but the former, over all the Gal. iii. 20. Eph. iii. 19. ch. v. 25. kings and potentates of the earth, This was indeed amazing and unto over-rule, restrain, and subdue paralleled love, whether we conthem at his pleasure ; rendering sider the objects of it, or the way them subservient to the interests of in which it was manifested. Rom. his kingdom, until the end skall v. 6–10. As the effect of this come, wben he will put down all love. rule and all authority and power; 2. He washed us from our sins and every enemy shall be made his in his own blood. We were sinfootstool. I Cor. xv. 24-28. for ners, and in a state of rebellion the Father hath given all things against God, consequently liable into his hands, John iii. 35. But to everlasting punishment. To not only hath he power over the deliver us from this awful state, kings of the earth--for all power Jesus suffered on our account and is given unto him both in earth in our stead; he gave his life and and heaven, See Matt. xxviii. 18. shed his own precious blood for Eph. i. 20-23. Phil. ii. 8-11. the remission of our sins, and so Heb. ii. 7-9. hence in repeating cancelled our obligation to punishthis title, he is called “the be- ment by bearing it himself, and ginning,” or chief, “ of the crea- thus procured for us pardon and tion of God,” 'ch, iii. 14. and in acceptance with God. His blood, Col. i. 16. " the first-born," or as the blood of sacrifice cleanseth supreme Lord, “of. every crea- from all sin,! n the way of expiature." All these sublime epithets, tion and atonement, 1 John i. 7. therefore, lay a sure foundation for for it is the blood which maketh the most unbounded trust and the atonement. When Christ's confidence in him to his people. blood was shed, the fountain was 2 Tim. i. 12. And thus we learn opened for sin and uncleanness; but when through grace we believe spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to in him, we are actually washed God by Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. ii. 5. from our sins, both as to their Heb. xii. 15, 16. They are kings guilt and power; we have our and priests even while in this consciences purified, and enjoy world, just as they are sons and peace with God, Rom. v. 1. Heb. heirs, though it does not yet apix. 14. His blood is also repre- pear what they shall be, whe sented as a ransom-price, buying they shall appear with Christ us off, or redeeming us, from the in glory, and obtain the crown curse, Gal. iii. 13. from this pre- and kingdom. sent world, ch. i. 14. from all 4. He comes with clouds to put iniquity, Tit. ii. 14. and purifying them in possession of the inheriunto himself a peculiar people, tance, and punish all his adverzealous of good works. And so saries who have oppressed his the redeemed company ascribe people. He now rules in the worthiness to the Lamb on this midst of his enemies; his kingground, “ for thou wast slain, and dom is but as a bruised reed and hast redeemed us to God by thy smoking flaş; and the subjects of blood, out of every kindred and it are called patiently to bear the tongue, and people, and nation." hatred of the world that lies in the ch, v. 9.
wicked one. But when all his 3. He hath made us kings and elect are gathered in, “ they shall priests unto God and his father. see the Son of man, coming in the In the song of the redeemed it is, clouds of heaven with power and " And hast made us unto our great glory: and then shall all the God, kings and priests, and we tribes of the earth mourn.” Matt. shall reign on the earth, ch. v. 16. xxiv. 30. Every eye shall see him He has not only redeemed us from --for the dead that are in their wrath, but he hath advanced us to graves shall come forth, at the the most honourable and dignified voice of the Archangel and the relations to God in connection trump of God, they shall awake, with himself. As believers are all some to everlasting life, and others the children of God by faith in to shame and everlasting conChrist Jesus, Gal. iii. 26. 1 John tempt. Dan. xii. 2. Our God shall iii. 1. so are they heirs of God and come, and shall not keep silence; joint-heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. a fire shall devour before him, 17. Gal. iv. 7. The whole church and it shall be very tempestuous of the redeemed, are a church of round about him; He shall call first-born ones. Heb. xii. 23. as to the heavens from above, and ancient Israel are denominated in to the earth that he may judge a typical sense God's first born, 1 his people: 'Gather my saints Exod. iv. 22. and so like them a together, those that have made a kingdom of priests, Ex. xix. 6. or covenant with me by sacrifice;' a royal priesthood, 1 Pet: ii. 9. and the heavens shall declare his which is the same with kings and righteousness, for God is judge priests, having the dignity of himself.” Ps. 1. 3-6. Then will God's first-born. All the children he reward every one according to of God are raised to royal honours their works--those who have conon their becoming sons and tinued patient in well-doing shall daughters of such a Father; they receive glory, honour, and immorare heirs of the kingdom which he tality, even eternal life; but tribuhath prepared, and shall inherit lation and wrath, indignation and all things. They are consecrated anguish, on every soul of man that “ priests unto God,” having access worketh eyil, whether Jew or into the holiest of all, to offer up | Gentile. Rom. ii. 6-16.
We come now, in the third and saints in a still more eminent delast place to notice, “ the glory gree, and admired in all them that and dominion,” that are conferred | believe. AMEN. upon Christ, on account of the work of redemption which he hath accomplished, and the grateful as
THE DUTY OF CONSIDERING
THE POOR, AND THE BLESSED. criptions of it which are due fiom! NESS CONNECTED THEREWITH. us,
1. God hath conferred upon Blessed is he that considereth the poor. him the highest glory and honour)
Psalm xli. I. as the reward of his obedience unto death. Phil. ii. 8-11. Heb. It is generally understood that ii. 1-9. Now he is crowned this Psalm was composed by Dawith ineffable blessedness, and vid when in a state of affliction, invested with universal power and or on his being recently recovered dominion over all created beings, from sickness, during which he angels, men, and devils, with a had experienced both the sincere special view to the interests of his sympathy of his friends, and the church, Johnxvii. 2. Eph. i. 21, 22, hypocritical professions of his eneThus his worthiness, or merit, on mies, who, while they pretended the one hand, and his Father's great solicitude about his welfare, infinite delight in him on the other. / secretly wished his death, and atis manifested in the highest possi tributed his distress to his guilt, ble degree. In virtue of his See ver. 5-10. And as David original dignity, as God over all / was a type of the Messiah, so we and blessed for ever, it was no find the 10th verse appplied to the robbery in him to claim equality treachery of Judas Iscariot, John with God; but his love to his / xiii. 18. heavenly Father, and his good-will In opposition to this deceitful to men prompted him to become, and wicked conduct, the inspired for a little while, lower than his penman begins the Psalm with proangels for the sufferings of death; nouncing the aphorism which forms and the glory to which he is exalt- our text: “Blessed is he that coned is the reward of his voluntary | sidereth the poor." The word humility and obedience, while, at translated considereth, is variously the same time, the latter was rendered in scripture. It signifies necessary to bring many sons unto to behave discreetly, or with judgglory. Heb. ii. 10.
| ment and prudence, towards the 2. The most profound and un- poor, that is, in a manner suitable reserved acknowledgment, and the to their state and condition. And most grateful ascriptions of this hence the Chaldee thus paraglory and dominion, are due to phrases the words, “ Blessed is he him from all his redeemed people. who attendeth to the affairs of the They cannot, indeed, confer glory poor, to have pity on them." The and honour upon him; but they word (Dal), rendered poor, signican confess his worthiness of it'; ties one who is emaciated, wasted, they can with joy, gratitude, and or exhausted, and will apply either adoration ascribe it unto him; and to a person's means of subsistence, they can triumpliantly acquiesce or to his person, and in the latter in all the honour and dominion acceptation it implies a state of that has been conferred upon him, sickness, or disease; and so, in the and earnestly wish that he may be margin of our Bibles it is rendered still higher honoured in the final “the weak, or sick." subjection of all his enemies, ! But the words are not be res. when he shall be glorified in his tricted to the case of the Psalmist
They declare a truth of general below mediocrity, may be denoapplication, viz. the blessedness minated the poor: yet among these of the man who considereth the there are various classes. Some poor; in which view we shall take are absolutely poor, depending enthem up and attempt an improve- tirely on the beneficence of others. ment of them, by illustrating the Next, above these, are the labourthree following particulars, which ing poor, who by diligent and conare evidently contained in them. stant exertions at useful employ--A class of mankind who are de- ments, are barely able to procure nominated the poor-A duty which daily subsistence for themselves we owe them; that is, to consider and families. These form a most them--And the happiness con. useful and necessary part of the nected with the proper discharge community: they constitute the of that duty: for such are pro-operative members of the body; nounced blessed.
land while they contribute to the 1. We have in the words of the comforts, and even to the luxuries text, a class of mankind who are of others, can procure for them. characterised as the poor. It has selves, from day to day, only the been already noticed that this term bare necessaries of life. Yet if will apply both to penury of cir- such persons, by their industry, cumstances, and to bodily distress, can procure necessary food and and we shall therefore take it in raiment, they ought not only to be both these views. The circum- content but thankful. “A man's stances of men in this world are life,” that is, « his happiness, wonderfully diversified. The all. “consisteth' not in the abundance wise and infinitely blessed God of the things which he possesshath displayed his sovereignty by eth.” God hath distributed hapthe different manner in which lie piness among his creatures much has disposed the lot of his crea. more equally than we are apt to tures in this life. By creation, in. (imagine. deed, we are all equal in nature; Order is heaven's first law; and this confest,
Some are, and must be, greater than the
rest; More rich, more wise : but who infers from
very different. Some, in their rank That such are happier, shocks all common and circumstances are high, others ! sense." are low; some rich, others poor; Happiness consists chiefly in and in each of these conditions the state of the mind ; and it has there are various gradations from been wisely remarked, that he is the beggar on the dunghill to the the richest man who has the fewmonarch on the throne. When'est wants. If a person's mind be each class discharges the duties brought to his circumstances, so of their respective station, and the as to be content with food and rairelations that result from the con-ment, his wants will be few and dition in which Providence has easily supplied; whereas the worldplaced them, the happiness of so- ly lusts of covetousness, sensualiciety is promoted ; and, taking ty, pride, and ambition, create inthe subject in this view, the body numerable artificial wants, which politic may be compared to the make men unhappy in the midst of natural body, where the least ho- plenty. Were this duly attended nourable members are necessary to, the poor would not envy the for the good of the whole, so that rich, but be content with such the eye cannot say to the hand, things as they have nor the head to the feet, I have no 2.While the industrious poor can need of you, I Cor. xii. 21. I find employment, and have health
All whose circumstances are to prosecute their daily labour,
AND THE BLESSEDNESS CONNECTED THEREWITII 43 they seldom fail to procure the poor and destitute, arises, not so necessaries of life for themselves much from covetousness, or sellishand families. But experience, ness, as from a want of a due conand daily observation, sufficiently sideration of their actual state and attest the fact, that a state of things condition. may arise in which the former | 2. The daty implied in the text, shall not be possible; while, on includes in it, our sympathizing the other hand, in the Providence with and consoling them ander of God, they may be deprived of their distresses. Many have it health, and confined to beds of not in their power to contribute languishing and sickness. In ei- much for the relief of the destither of these instances, and more tute; but all can shew their affecespecially when both are united, tionate concern and tender sympatheir case calls aloud for the exer thy with them; and when this is cise of bowels of compassion to properly expressed, it is a wonwards them. They are at once derful alleviation of a state of sufcut off from every visible resource, fering. Those that have been exand must immediately feel the ac ercised with affliction in their own cumulated pressure of penury, dis- persons or families, must know tress of body, and anxiety of mind, this from experience. They need without having it in their power | not be told how sensible has been to do any thing for their own re- the relief conveyed by a few tender lief, or that of their families. The expressions of sympathy, dropped .case now supposed is pointed out from the lips of one whom they in the words of the Psalmist, and respect and love; and what influsuch, alas! is in reality the case ence they have had in assuaging with thousands of our fellow-crea- the anguish of a troubled mind, tures in the present day; for, on calling into exercise their submiswhich side can we turn our eyes, sion, and patience, and resignaand not contemplate innumerable tion, to the divine will; and enmelancholy instances of it. Let couraging them to bear up under us, then, attend to the duty in their present sufferings. How cumbent on us in relation to such often has the drooping spirits of a case; “ Blessed is he that con many a martyr been cheered and sidereth the poor," or the sick and animated by a few kind words destitute. This duty implies, from a christian friend, assuring
1. A suitable consideration of them that their affecting situation their case and circumstances. We was neither overlooked nor negought to consider the extent of lected by their friends, but that their wants, the nature of their af- they tenderly sympathised with fliction, the number of their de- them, bare them upon their hearts, pendents, their destitute situation and participated in all their sorin respect of friends and relatives rows! The very expression of such who are either able or willing to bowels of compassion, has armed assist them; and having thus en- them with fresh courage for the tered into the case, we ought, as it conflict, and they have been enawere, to make it our own, and then bled to march boldly to the stake, put the question to our minds, or to lay their necks composedly w what should we wish others to do on the block.-" BE PITIFUL.” to ourselves were we in such a 3. This duty implies the contricase?” and so make that, according buting of our substance to the to our ability, the rule of our con- supply of their wants. There is duct to them. Much of that un- much said in the present day feeling disposition, and cold neg- about good works ; but it ought to lect which is shewn towards the be carefully regarded by every