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That original threatning and commination, whence all other threatnings flow, Gen. ij. 17. In the day thou eatest, thou shalt surely die, backed with a curse, For cursed is every one that continues not in all things, &c. is in him accomplished fully, and the truth of God therein cleared to our salvation, while be tasted death for us, and was made a curse for us; so that in every threatning his truth is made glorious. And, as to the promises, they are all yea and amen in Christ Jefus, to the glory of God by us, 2 Cor. i. 20. And so of all the other attributes of God, they are made glorious and exalted in Chrift to our salvation. Hence when Christ desired his father to glorify his name, John xii. 28. to make his name, that is, his nature, and properties, and perfections, all glorious in the work of redemption, that he had in hand; he was instantly answered from heaven, I bave both glorified it, and will glorify it again; I will give my attributes their utmost glory in thee.
3. Hence see the difference betwixt the law and the gospel. One great difference betwixt them lies in this, that, in the law, the finner that hath violated the same, may see truth sanding engaged against him, but no riercy in company with truth; and righteousness in arms against him, but no peace in company with righteousness. Justice without mercy, and war without peace, to the finner, is the motto of
the law: For therein truth and righteousness meet * together, but mercy and peace are not at the meet
ing; and fo the language of the law, to you that are out of Christ, and under the law, is, no mercy, no peace, but the wrath of God, the vengeance of God, the curse of God upon you, and that so sure as God is a God of truth and righteousness : There
is the law. But, in the gospel, mercy and peace come into the meeting, and make up a match betwixt all the opposite-like parties, to the highest glory of God, and the greatest happiness of the finner; and they seal the match with a kiss of infinite complacency, so that the sum of the Gospel is this, mercy and truth are met together, righteoufness and peace have kissed each other."
2. Hence we may see what is the fountain-head and foundation of all true communion and fellowship with God and man. This glorious meeting is the foundation of all other happy meetings, fellowship with God, and an happy meeting with him, is a stream that flows from this fountain. We could never have met with God, or got a kindly kiss or embrace in the arms of his favour and love, if this divine meeting and embracement had not made way for it. Fellowship with man, or the communion of saints, is a rivulet that flows from this spring. When saints meet together for prayer or praises, under the influence of the Spirit, and under a gale of heaven ; when their hearts are fired with love to God, and to one another in him; what is this? It is just a live-coal cast in among them from the altar, Christ Jesus, where all the attributes of God meet together, and kiss each other; and hence true fellowship with God, and with the faints, are both declared to be in and through Christ Jesus, i John i. 3. That which we have seen and beard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us : And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Chrif. The harmony of the attributes of God in Christ, is the fountain of all the harmony among the saints : The little harmony that takes place among them in our
day, and the rarity of holy fellowship-meetings, flows from the little faith of this heavenly divine meeting; for all the saints, that are under the lively views thereof, cannot but desire to meet together, and embrace each other harmoniously, in the arms of mutual love.
5. Hence see the malignity of the fin of unbelief, the great employment whereof is, to spoil the barmony of the divine perfections, and to do its utmost to disolve that glorious meeting, and separate what God hath joined, saying, in effect, they have not met together, nor kissed each other. This we may discern in the unbelief, whether of secure or awakened finners: See it in the unbelief of the secure finner, who sets truth and righteousness out of the meeting, saying, God is a merciful God, and I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my own heart, adding drunkenness to thirst: Thus they hope in God's mercy, and speak peace to themselves, while they never view the truth and righteousness of God, and how the credit thereof Thall be saved, or the honour thereof repaired : And hence, as faith is said to set to the feal, that God is true, or that he is a God of truth; so unbelief is said to make God a liar. To fancy that God will have mercy on their souls, without regarding the truth of his threatnings, is to make God a liar, and say, mercy and truth have not met together; to think that God will be at peace with them, while his righteousness and justice are not fatisfied, is to make God a liar, and say, righteoufness and peace have not met together. Thus the unbelief of the secure finner puts truth and rightecusness out of the meeting. Again, on the other hand, the unbelief of the awakened finner puts
mercy and peace out of the meeting, faying, O he is a God of truth, and how shall he have mercy on the like of me? He is a God of awful justice and righteousness, and how will he be at peace with me? What is the language of this, but that mercy and peace have not met with truth and righteousness? Here is a making God a liar also, and separating what God hath in the gospel de clared to be joined. Behold then the malignity of unbelief; it breaks the glorious meeting, and will not let them kiss one another. The presuming finner will not let God have the glory of his truth and righteousness, the despairing finner will not let God have the glory of his mercy and grace ; both are in a concert with the devil to break the harmony of the meeting. But O, may virtue come from that glorious meeting in Christ, to the poor finful meeting in this house, for dashing your unbelief to pieces, that we may see mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace kissing each other!
6. Hence fee fure and noble ground for the boldness and confidence of faith in Christ; In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him, Eph. iii. 12. Here's an answer to all the objections of unbelief and diffidence, the chief whereof lies here; O, says unbelief, may I, sinful guilty I, lay hold on the promise of mercy and peace in the gospel, when I see the great ordinance of the divine threatning hard charged with the truth and righteousness of God, and ready to be discharged against me with thunder and lightning, saying, no mercy, no peace ; He that made thee will not have mercy upon thee; and, There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked? Mercy and peace in
the promise then, says unbelief, cannot take place with respect to me ; for truth and righteousness in the threatning stand in the way, like a flaming fword, to keep the way of the tree of life. Nay, but, says faith, here the promise and the threatning have met together, and kissed each other in Chrift; mercy in the promise, and justice in the threatning, have met and agreed in him, in whom all the promises are yea and amen, and in whom all the threatnings are fully executed, by drawing out his heart-blood. Thus then, we have boldness to enter into the boliest by the blood of Jesus, Heb. x. 19. By a new and living way which be bath confecrated for us through the vail of bis flesh: Therefore let us draw near with a true beart, in full affurance of faith. O what ground for the boldness and affured confidence of faith, with particular application, notwithstanding the threatning! The ihreatning hath nothing to say to me, faith faith, for Christ hath spoken with it already, and spoken it out of breath; he hath left it speechless and breathlefs; not a breathing of wrath in it towards me. The believer may have a million of doubts, while his unbelief keeps the chair ; but let gallant faith come in, and take the room, it will dispel them all. Let once unbelief break the harmony of this meeting of divine attributes in Christ, and then nothing but doubts of God's favour and mercy must ensue; but let faith view the harmony, and see them meeting and kissing each other, and then, according to the measure of faith, such will be the measure of holy boldness, confidence and persuasion of the favour, mercy and good-will of God in Christ, with particular application to the perton himself. Take away unbelief from faith, and then not a