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these acts in the spiritual reign of Christ; then the Psalmist's words will be strikingly fulfilled : All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord. Psalm cxxxviii. 4, 5. Our everblessed God is rich in goodness; he has opened his vast treasury, and he sets the same before us in the person of Christ, and his all-sufficient mediatorship and mediation. All the riches of God's mercy flow down upon his beloved through Christ, the channel of conveyance, into the hearts of bis called people, by the energy and influence of the Holy Ghost. Thus the ways of the Lord are right.' They are so, as they all redound to the praise and glory of his grace; and most blessedly so, in their benign influences and effects upon the souls and bodies of the saints. The whole of God's providential dispensations towards his church and people, are most holy in themselves, and good for the elect. The Apostle says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Rom. viii. 28. All the doctrines of free and sovereign grace, as revealed in the everlasting gospel, are most holy in themselves, and good for men. If they become an occasion for stumbling, the unregenerate and wicked men may despise and abuse them, through their own malice and incredulity ; but, it is not because there is any evil in the doctrines of free grace: no, that cannot be; they are altogether godlike and divine; they are as holy in their own nature, and as immutable as God. To cast reflections on any of them, or to charge any sin committed by men to them, as the cause or occasion of it, is to blaspheme God. Yet when sinners are left to themselves, many of them so do; and thus they increase hereby their own 'ruin and perdition. The glory of the divine nature, the distinct persons in it, Father, Son, and Spirit, their acts and transactions in an everlasting covenant, their interest and relationship to the elect in Christ, their union and communion with them, all shine forth in the truths of the glorious gospel of the blessed God. So that it is most truly said, as here the prophet doth of the same: The ways of the Lord are right. For all his dealings with the sons of men are agreeable with the same. Those who are in Christ are under the blessing of Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit. Those who are out of Christ are in their sins, and will remain in them, and under the curse of the broken law, for ever and ever.
Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them ? For the ways of the Lord are right. And thus I pass on to the next particular of my present subject, which is to shew,
III. That the ways of the Lord being right, so the Lord's people have a real delight to walk in them. This is expressed thus: And the just shall walk in them. The Lord's people delight in the Lord's ways; and as these ways are so many steps of their having and holding communion with him, it cannot be but they must delight in the same. By the term just, here given to the saints of the Most High God, we understand, that all these persons are thus designated because they are believers in Christ Jesus, and are clothed with the robe of his everlasting righteousness. In this they stand before their Heavenly Father, completely righteous; he hath pronounced them righteous in him. They are pronounced justified; which justification is a justification from all things; it is a justification unto life. The Apostle says, For if by one man's offence death reigned by one ; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Rom. v. 17. It is in the one perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, that all the seed of Israel shall be justified and shall glory. Their righteouiness is of me saith the Lord. The Prophet says, But the just shall live by faith. Hab. ii. 4. The Apostle quotes these words, reciting them thus, Now the just shall live by faith. Heb. x. 38. In the words of our text, the Prophet
speaking of the sacred influence that divine truths have on the spiritual mind, says, and the just shall walk in them, which, as it implies a spiritual walk, so it includes a life of faith, of which the Apostle speaks, and asserts in regard to himself, The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God. Gal. ii. 20. The life of faith is produced in the regenerate mind, as the sole fruit of the supernatural knowledge of the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. It consists in the spiritual exercise of our spiritual faculties, graces and senses, op our most precious Lord Jesus; all which are mental acts; so that they are not to be perceived but by the effects they produce. They are wholly the internal acts of the mind, going out after the Lord Jesus, in an equal degree with those discoveries of Christ, which the Holy Spirit is pleased to make to the mind, as he reveals Jesus and his glory from the word of truth unto it. The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them. The one is founded on the other; neither can they exist one without the other. We must first know the ways of the Lord, or we cannot walk in them; nor can we even then, without the Spirit; yet, having the Spirit, the exhortation then is well suited, wbich is this, If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal. v. 25. There is such a suitability in truth to the spiritual mind, and in the spiritual mind to truth, that to walk in the light of the knowledge of it, in real communion with the Lord in the belief thereof, in a life of conformity thereunto, and in all the ordinances of the Lord, blameless; this is the true spirit of christianity; and this in the words before us is declared of the just. And the just shall walk in them. They are uttered as a promise, and ought, as such, to be understood. I will here again recite the former words of the 'text, that the full glory of the same may appear, and that the truth of its being a promise may be the more clearly evinced unto the reader. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things ? prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them. There are four shalls in the text, which must therefore constitute the passage where they are found, a promise; and this may receive confirmation if we consider the whole as belonging, in a very special manner to the church of God amongst the Jews, at their restoration, and the Lord's shining forth towards them, within them, and upon them, in the latter day glory state, when all contained in this chapter shall be gloriously and fully realized unto them; at which season, in a very eminent manner, will be furnished a glorious evidence of the same, by the Lord's people, having a real delight in the Lord,