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All these, in the aggregate, are a royal priesthood in their relation to Christ, a kingdom of priests under him and
CHURCH, it is that God says, in a day of separation; I Jehovah am in the midst of the earth. Exod. viii. 22. See Deut. xxiii. 14. Isa. xii. 6. And many others texts.Again: give ear, Oye heavens and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth, Deut. xxxii. 1. The address is, according to the genius of the Hebrew tongue and the phrase of the Eastern people, to the rulers of the church under the name of the heavens, and to the people of the church at large under the title of the earth. See, upon this man→ ner of speech, MEDE upon 2 Pet. iii. p. 616.-Again, speaking of those whom God prepares for the throne of glory, the Holy Ghost says; the pillars of the earth are the Lord's; and he hath set the world upon them: i. e. Though his people are among the poor and despised, they are the pillars of his church, and of the world which stands for them. 1 Sam. ii. 8. Ps. lxxv. 3.-Again: Na aman desired two mules load of the earth of Israel, which was consecrated to the Lord, to denote his conversion to God, and his fellowship with his church in the world. 2 Kings v. 17. with Exod. xx. 24.--Again: The seed of Christ was to inherit the earth, implying their spiritual heirship of the kingdom of glory. Ps. xxv. 13. Isa. lxv. 9. Matth. v. 5.-This earth God waters, or teaches; Ps. lxv. 9. is satisfied; Ps. civ. 13. is excellent in fruits; Isa. iv. 2. is filled with the knowledge of the Lord; Hab. ii. 4.-In this view, the land of Canaan was the Lord's, and was never to be sold, like Esau's birth-right or portion in the world; Lev. xxv. 23. It was the land, typifying this spiritual land or church, which the Lord cared for, and constantly guarded with his eye: Deut. xi. 12. Ps. xxxii. 8. In which he raised springs of water or grace. Isa. xxxv. 7. And to whom he says, Fear not. Joel ii. 22, 23. This land is the bride of Christ, and is married to the Lord and made thereby his own for ever. Isa. lxii. 4. This is the world to whom Christ, the bread of God, giveth life and nourishment; John vi. 33. But not to the world at large, for these he knoweth not and prayeth not for. They are not of his sheep, but of the goats, whom he never bought, and for whom he never laid down his precious life. They are therefore that world, which & duvala, IS NOT ABLE to re
and in him, a priestly royalty with respect to its holiness and superiority to the world, and kings and priests as to their own particular happiness and endowments. They are chosen of God, called of God, anointed of God, supported and finally crowned by God. Their kingdom and inheritance are not of this world, nor of the darkness of this world, but in light, in transparent excellency of wisdom, worth, and glory, into which nothing defiled or unclean can enter, and into which they only enter, because they are purified, and their robes made white, in the blood of the Lamb. Their priesthood and dominion is everlasting, through the grace and power of that anointing or consecration, with which God intended by his covenant to bless them before the world began.
The happy enjoyment of this royal and holy distinction enables them, through grace, to look down upon the world, and all its lying and dying vanities, with a dig
ceive the Spirit of truth, John xiv. 17. While his own world can, and is thereby reconciled to God. 2 Cor. v. 19. There is, in short, a WHOLE WORLD which Satan deceiveth, Rev. xii. 9. because he is the prince and god of it, John xiv. 30. 2 Cor. iv. 4. And there is another WHOLE WORLD, the elect of God, which it is not posible for him, or his agents, either fully or finally to deceive or destroy. Matth. xxiv. 24. See the reason in John xvi. 13. and x. 5. 27, 28.
This last is THE whole world, of whom St. John speaks in his first epistle above-mentioned; in which there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free; but Christ is all, and in all. Briefly; it is THE WHOLE CHURCH OF GOD, without distinction of age or nation, from the beginning to the end of time. For these only he is the propitiation through faith in his blood; because no others have either faith to believe in it, or any real concern to obtain it.
nified pity and commiserating contempt of mind. The possession of true greatness renders insipid the imaginary greatness of earth and time. A crown, an unfading crown, a bright and unfading crown of glory, is in the view of their faith; and they look for a kingdom, ( very unlike all terrestrial kingdoms) even for a kingdom which cannot be shaken.
LORD, who and what are thy people, that thou shouldest raise and endue them with so high and holy a calling as this! That thou shouldest not only make them kings and priests, but kings, by a wonderful association, in one supreme and everlasting King, CHRIST JESUS, and also priests in him the perfect and perpetual HighPriest in the holiest of all! So great and glorious a change shall, one day, pass upon them, as shall fill all heaven with love, and wonder, and unutterable joy!
And O that I, feeble and almost insignificant worm as I am, may be made a partaker of this astonishing change, which only divine grace could imagine, and only infinite power could perform! Lord, what am I, and what is my father's rouse, a poor undone Adam with a ruined progeny, that thou hast brought me even hitherto, that thou hast not left me in the stupidity of sin and unbelief, but
«Nothing can be called great (said an ingenious heathen) which to contemn is great. Thus riches, honours, dignities, authorities, and whatever else may have the outward pomp of this worldly theatre, can never be esteemed as things extraordinarily good, since the very holding them cheap is no common good. Indeed, those, who enjoy them, are not so much entiled to admiration as those who can look down upon them with a noble superiority of mind." LONGIN. de Sublim. § vii.
hast made me sensible in the least degree of thine unutterable benefits, and that thou hast set before my longing heart such an exceeding and eternal weight of glory, as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man to conceive! O what a debt of love and gratitude do I owe to thee! and how shall I pay it! I must be more and more in debt even for grace to feel and to acknowledge the mercy: and all my glories and all my joys, throughout eternity, will and must be incessant accumulations of thy favour and goodness to my redeemed soul. How great then is thy goodness, how great thy beauty, JEHOVAH, King of saints! My soul, thou knowest, often gaspeth for thee, as the thirsty and barren land for the replenishing stream; nor can I be filled, nor do I desire to be filled, with any thing but THEE, thou pure fountain of perpetual good. My soul waiteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God!-Why art thou then cast down, O my soul, and why art thou ever disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
PECULIAR PEOPLE; OR, HOLY NATION..
THESE terms are nearly synonimous, and relate to the
children of God under the idea of his particular government, as their king and ruler. The temporal theocracy, or divine government, of the Jews, was a shadow of that spiritual theocracy, which the great Redeemer maintains over his peculiar people, his sacred nation, in grace and glory.
The terms express a union or conjunction of the people of God, as individuals, into one body or interest, and the inviolable right or nearness of regard, which God through Christ is pleased to have over and for them. They are
* 1 Pet. ii. 9. Axoç is wepiwoinoir, a people for purchase, i. e purchased; and therefore they are called in Eph. i. 14. (N TEPITOINTIS) the purchased possession; are said in Acts xx. 28. to be purchased with the blood of God; are not appointed unto wrath, but (5 Tipiπoman) to the purchased possession of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thes. v. 9. or, (as wepiwoow) to the purchased possession of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess. ii. 14. and therefore those are not of them, who draw back unto perdition, but those that believe (ç pomon) to the purchased possession, or salvation, or conservation of the soul, Heb. x. 39.. Hence believers are called (or poor) a peculiar people, a treasure of delight, unto the Lord. Tit. ii. 14. Mede translates it, "a supernumerary, or superabounding people; a people wherein God hath a superlative propriety and interest." Oper. p. 125-The apostles apply the term, first literally given to the Israelites, in its strict and