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Our God is MERCIFUL." Mercy belongeth to him,” it is his prerogative, his peculiar excellency, one of the brightest jewels of his crown; it is his delight, it is his glory. Now, every believer, like converted Saul of Tarsus, hath“ obtained mercy;"" and who can sufficiently prize it ?—it is great mercy, rich mercy, free mercy, manifold mercy, matchless mercy, infinite mercy, yea, eternal mercy! O praise the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever! Well may the pardoned sinner cry,“ Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Micah vii. 18.
Our God is LOVE. This is the most amazing perfection of all; the love of such a glorious and holy Being, to creatures so degraded and defiled by sin! Surveying this, we are astonished ; and try, but in vain, to measure its vast dimensions—its breadth, its length, its depth, and its height; it sur. passes, by infinite degrees, the most advanced knowledge of saints and angels ; yet, in a sense, it is apprehended, it is enjoyed, it is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit; and then indeed the Chris. tian may triumphantly cry, This God is my God, for ever and ever!
Our God is FAITHFUL. This crowns the whole. He is faithful to his promises ; and his promises ensure the final salvation of every believing soul. He has engaged never to “ forsake the work of his own hands;" and, by putting “his fear in the hearts of his people,” he has engaged that “ they shall not forsake him.” Hence, our text celebrates the permanence of the privilege enjoyed" this God is our God-FOR EVER and EVER”-terms which in Scripture always signify that which is positively eternal. What a portion then is that of the believer! The landlord cannot say of his fields, these are mine for ever and ever. The king cannot say of his crown, this is mine for ever and ever. These pos- ,, sessions shall soon exchange masters ; these posses. sors shall soon mingle with the dust, and even the graves they shall occupy, may not long be theirs ; but it is the singular, the supreme happiness of every Christian to say, or to have a right to say, “ This glorious God, with all his divine perfections, is my God, for ever and ever, and even death itself shall not separate me from his love." And now, methinks, every serious person present will be putting this question to his own conscience, Is this blessed privilege mine? May I say, This God is my God?
IMPROVEMENT. It may be truly said of the wicked— They have no God. They may have wealth, and wit, and friends ; but they are without God in the world ; they are therefore miserably poor, and in the way to be miserable for ever. At present, you may contrive to fill up your fleeting moments with the business and pleasures of a transitory world, banishing God as far as you are able from your thoughts. Thus you may live ; but how will you die ? for die you must, and may die soon: and remember, that after death comes the judgment. At the dread tribunal of God, what are you to expect? From which of his divine perfections can you hope to gain advantage ? Perhaps you will say, From his mercy. But know this, that it is not at the bar of judgment that mercy is to be dispensed. This is the world, this is the time, for Mercy; and if not now sought, through Jesus Christ, it will be refused when sought hereafter. O seek it now! Delay is dangerous ; it may be fatal. You have not a moment to lose. Lament your neglect of God hitherto, and cry with all your might, • God be merciful to me a sinner ;' for how tremend. ous would be your state, if you should see all the people of God around the throne, shouting,. This God is our God, for ever and ever,' while you, justly banished to an awful distance, and doomed to eternal darkness, must be constrained to say, Alas! alas ! this God is not my God, nor will be mine for ever and ever. May divine grace prevent so horrid a condition!
I answer, Do you consider this as the most desirable of all good things ?-do you prefer it, infinitely prefer it ? Compared with this, do wealth and pleasure, friends and relations, the whole world, appear a trifle ? Can you adopt the words of the Psalmist, “ Whom have I in Heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside (or in comparison of thee?” If you see the value of hav. ing God as yours, this will be your deliberate lan
Wishing that God may be yours, do you come to him, in the only way that you can come, through faith in Jesus Christ? and thus coming, can you, and do you, renounce the idol of self-righteous. ness, accounting all things but loss that you may be accepted in Christ ? Do you yield yourself to him,gladly forsaking your vain companions, and sinful pleasures, and willing to part with the world for his sake?-for you cannot have two gods ; you cannot serve God and Mammon. Do you give up soul, body, and spirit to him, as your reasonable service, determined, by divine grace, to serve him faithfully, and follow him fully, all your days ? to obey him as your God ? to submit to him as your God ? to love him, and to glorify him, as your God?
If so, you may be permitted to say, and you will say it most humbly and thankfully, “ This God is my God.” Happy the man that is in such a state, happy is he who hath the Lord for his God, whose hope the Lord is! Happy Christian, thou art indeed “rich, and increased in goods, and standest in need of nothing" more to make thee happy. Divine Power protects thee, Wisdom guides thee, Holiness sanctifies thee, Justice secures thee, Omnipresence surrounds thee, Patience will not be pro
voked at thee, Sovereignty hath chosen thee, Goodness enricheth thee, Mercy forgives thee, Love delights in thee, and Faithfulness will conduct thee safely to Heaven, and place the crown of glory on thine head. Then, amidst ten thousand saints and angels, thou shalt exult in the matchless privilege, and say, “ This God is my God, and he will never cease to be mine! This God is my God, for ever, and ever, and ever!” Amen and Amen.
JESUS CHRIST, AN INCOMPARABLE
John vü. 46. Never man spake like this man.
" THE tongue is a little member, but it boasteth
1 great things; and, indeed, great things have been effected by it. Orators, generals, advocates, senators, and preachers, have produced wonders by their speeches; but the greatest and best of them all is not to be compared with him of whom the words of our text were, in an extacy of admiration, spoken.
The pharisees and chief priests, who had determined to reject all the evidence that Jesus gave of his divine mission, alarmed at his growing popularity, took measures to apprehend and silence him. Many people, it appears, had already believed on him, and were suitably impressed with the wonders he had wrought, so that they openly said, “When Messias cometh, will he do more miracles than this man hath done?” The rulers therefore determined upon making him their prisoner, sent officers to take him, and were waiting with the expectation of gratifying their malice by seeing him arraigned at their bar. But how were they disappointed, when the officers returned without their expected prisoner! and when asked why they had not brought him, they answered, in the words of the text, Never man spake like this man! What could have been more honourable to the character of our Lord than this report! Plutarch