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tual life, and his favour as manifested to the soul, which animates it with a life of joy and comfort. From the context it appears, that David had the latter chiefly in view when he said, In his favour is
Should it be asked, “ But whole favour is here intended ? I answer, the favour of Jehovah, the foun. tain of life. The favour of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft; for these three are one. The benediction prescribed for the priests to pronounce, under the former dispensation, is very remarkable, and may be thus paraphrased." The Lord, the Father and fountain of blessings, the Preserver of his creatures, bless thee with spiritual blessings, give thee grace and keep thee in his fear. The Lord Jefus Christ, the Sun of righteousness, irradiate thy soul with beams of gospel light and love, make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Spirit of the Lord, the Comforter of his people, give thee an assured interest in the divine favour, and thus lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace! Even that peace which passeth all understanding, that it may keep thy heart and mind through Christ Jesus." See Numb. vi. 24, 25, 26. The New Testament benediction answers to that of the Old, and serves to explain it. “ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and D 2
the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all."
The works of the blessed Three-One, are undivided. Hence creation is sometimes ascribed to the Son, sometimes redemption to the Father; and fanctification is sometimes represented as the work of the Father, and of the Son, as well as that of the Holy Ghoft. He whose favour is here fpoken of, is the one Jehovah.
It is necessary, however, to observe, before we close this chapter, that the favour of God is mani. fested to finners only through Jesus, the Mediator of the covenant. It is only in him that God is re. conciled to us. He is the great propitiation, by whom full atonement was made for our offences, through which God is pacified, and shews himself friendly and favourable to every one that believeth. “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed.” This is not to be interpreted simply of the person of Christ, but of what he did and what he suffered in the capacity of a Mediator and Redeemer. Through him God is reconciled, and to the praise of the glory of his grace, he hath made us accepted in the Beloved; that is to say, in Jesus, the Son of his love. The streams of grace issue out to finners since the fall, through the channel of redeeming blood. The beams of divine favour which quicken the dead sinner, and which enlighten, enliven, and
rejoice the hearts of saints, shine only in the face of Jesus Christ. Men are, as finful, guilty and defiled, children of wrath, and deserving of destruction. The kindness which is shewn to them is free and undeserved. It is the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In what Respects the Favour of God is Life.
LAVING made a few remarks concerning
" the favour of God, and that life which is in it, we now proceed to consider, in what particular respects his favour may be termed our life. And we apprehend it may justly be said to be the cause, the object, the rule, and the end of life to a good man.
1. The favour of the Most High is the cause of life. The apostle James tells us, “ that every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” Every, natural endowment and accomplishment is derived from his favour, and much more that grace which makes us alive to him. This is the blessed product of divine and distinguishing love. In our natural
estate we are dead in trespasses and fins, and if we are brought out of that dreadful condition, into a state of spiritual life, it is not owing to any thing in ourselves, but to the favour of God. Thus the apostle Paul taught the Ephefan converts, “ God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together with Christ; by grace are ye saved." The important change so absolutely necefsary to our present safety and final happiness, is effected by his power, in consequence of his abundant mercy. The comfort, peace and joy attendant on a new and spiritual life, are the fruits of divine favour. Grace and peace proceed from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to constitute us christians, and peace to keep our fouls comfortable in that state. The Psalmist speaking of the felicity of God's children, makes use of these animating words, “ They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house, and thou shalt make them to drink of the river of thy pleasures; for with thee is the fountain of life," Psal. xxxvi. 8, 9. The term life, which is in the plural num. ber in the Hebrew text, may denote, that God is the fountain of whatever may be denominated life; the life of nature, the life of grace, the life of comfort, of tranquillity, and of refined satisfaction and delight. He in whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore, is the Fountain of all. In his favour is life.
2. The favour of God is the object of life, as well as the cause of it. It is that to which a gracious foul looks for its felicity. The knowledge of God, as reconciled to us in Christ Jesus, gives life to our hope, our peace and our joy. “ This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. It is the work of faith to view the complete atonement of the all-glorious Redeemer, and to believe that in him the Father is well pleased.
When faith presents the Saviour's death,
And whispers, “ This is thine,"
And peacefully decline..
Sheds a more sprightly ray,
I sing my cares away.
It is on this ground, that a juft man is said to live by faith. All his present life of comfort consists in that which is apprehended by faith, the friendship and favour of God to him in Christ Jesus. He therefore says with the Pfalmift,“ When thou hideft