innocency, we are naturally moved to desire. Thus, without at all imputing blame to God, may we trace from its source downward the occasion signified by the text for a new creation. Thus the state of our own souls and bodies, and of almost whatever we can have to do with in the world, may well provoke each one to exclaim after the manner of Job in his special affliction, “O that I were as in time “ past, in the days when the candle of God “ shined upon man, and the secret of God was

upon his tabernacle, when his glory was “ fresh in him, and he dwelt as a king under “ the sun ! instead of which my path is marred,

days of affliction have taken hold upon me, “ I am cast into the mire, and am become like “ dust and ashes."

After the foregoing representation of our need, or of the condition and circumstances into which man hath fallen by transgression, you will be ready, my brethren, to contemplate the promise of new heavens and a new earth, which shall far surpass the very best that have yet been known, both in the splendour and blissfulness of their arrangement.

It is a most gracious promise, this, of God, that He will create new heavens and a new earth for a race of creatures who have done so ill by the former, When He had seen that they were very good, and had, as it were, committed them to our keeping, whom likes wise He had crowned with goodness, with what a pernicious haste did we blight the spring of them, and how inexcusably did, we pollute them by transgression. A few short years, or (it may be) days, and by man's foolish disobedience the excellent work of the Almighty was standing defaced. Yet, He would not instantly destroy it, nor doom man, who had so greatly offended him, to a hopeless death. On the contrary, He would create anew that which Adam had corrupted, and, meanwhile, appoint a fresh trial to our race, by which they might in process of time be rendered fit to inherit such His new creation, or the joys of the world to come. Pursuant then to this benevolent design, God moved Himself, in a manner, from His rest, wherewith He had rested on the seventh day, and began afresh to work. And, since He had made the old universe by His Son and Spirit, by the same divine Persons, or partakers of His Godhead, the Father of Heaven determined to make the new one. Beginning with man, who, in His former work, had been the last made creature, but, nevertheless, the first introducer of mischief, He appointed His Son to redeem, and His Spirit to sanctify him,

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from the bands and defilement entailed by sin upon his nature; in a word, to render him a new creature, and thereby a fit inhabitant of the new heavens and the new earth, which He had ordained. As by the Son of God the worlds originally were made, and by the Spirit of God condescending to hover on the turbid waters, as by these the heavens and the earth of old were framed, so by these, in due season, are they to be renewed. The work hath long ago been undertaken, and is incessantly advancing to its completion. Immediately after the fall, the foundation of it was laid, by at once putting man under a course of labour and discipline adapted to subdue his rebellious heart, and giving him comfortable promises to excite its sinking energy. To the Patriarchs, and after them to the Israelites under the Law, these promises of future deliverance and consolation, and finally of a glorious rest, were from time to time, and more at large, repeated, by the Holy Spirit speaking through the prophets. And then, at the predicted period, came the Redeemer, “in fashion as a man,” to perform the larger part thereof by His ministry, and death, and triumphant resurrection and ascension ; to procure for those who will receive Him, an abundant 'supply of spiritual blessing, and to assure them of all which the prophets have spoken, that it shall eventually be fulfilled, together with additional predictions delivered by Himself and His Apostles. By such means hitherto, hath God been dealing with men to turn their hearts back again from disobedience, and to mould and create them anew after His own righteous image, taking occasion, the while, to utter threats of eternal vengeance, and actually to inflict various terrible punishments on the many, who have nevertheless hardened themselves in perverseness.

In this manner, by a patient exercise of His exceeding mercy and judgment, through the mediation of His Son and Spirit, our Heavenly Father hath been from of old proceeding to root out the inveterate corruption engendered in man by Adam's sin, and to plant in him a conformity to His will. And when He shall have effected this, when He shall have accomplished the number of His elect, or, to speak more explicitly, shall have converted unto Himself in their respective generations, to walk humbly with Him in faith and love, all who will yield themselves to His gracious counsels, when a company fit to rejoice therein shall have been thus provided, then at length will God visibly establish, on the ruins of the present, the new heavens and new earth which He is creating; then, by His almighty power, He will cause “ the old things,” which He formerly made, to pass away, and “ all things to become new,” for the righteous people renewed and sanctified by His grace.

This new condition is generally described to us in Holy Scripture as free throughout from the manifold troubles which now afflict us, and full of blessings the most valuable and endless. In the chapter which contains my text it is written, “ Be ye glad and rejoice for ever in “ that which I create : for, behold, I create Je“ rusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy: the “ wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and “ the lion shall eat straw like the bullock : and “ dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall “ not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, “ saith the Lord.” (Isaiah lxv. 18, 25.) Also St. John, to whom the new heavens and the new earth were shewn beforehand in a spiritual vision, declares concerning them, “I heard a “ great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, “ the tabernacle of God is with men, and He “ will dwell with them, and they shall be His

people, and God Himself shall be with them, 66 and be their God. And God shall wipe away “ all tears from their eyes; and there shall be " no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying : “ neither shall there be any more pain: and 66 there shall be no more curse : but the throne “ of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and

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