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glory; and so their persecution, eternally cease, and they be finally and irrecoverably ruined: as the finest and most glorious apparel will in time wear away, and be consumed by the moth and worm. The preceding verse shows that those who shall thus consume away, are the enemies of God's people: “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings."

II. The contrary happy lot and portion of God's church is : “My righteousness shall be for ever; and my salvation from generation to generation." The preceding verse also shows who shall have the benefit of this: they "that know righteousness,” and “the people in whose heart is God's law :" or, in one word, the church of God. And concerning their happiness, we may observe, wherein it consists; and its continuance.

1. It consists in God's "righteousness” and “salvation." By God's righteousness is here meant his faithfulness in fulfilling his covenant-promises to his church, or, his faithfulness to his church and people, in bestowing the benefits of the covenant of grace upon them. Though these benefits are bestowed of free and sovereign grace; yet as God has been pleased, by the promises of the covenant of grace, to bind himself to bestow them, they are bestowed in the exercise of God's righteousness or justice. And therefore the apostle says, Heb. 6: 10. “God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labor of love." And I John, 1 : 9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ali unrighteousness." So the word righteousness is very often used in Scripture for God's covenant-faithfulness; as in Nehem. 9:8. “Thou hast performed thy words, for thou art righteous.” So we are often to understand righteousness and covenant-mercy for the same thing; as Psalm 24:5. “He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." Psalm 36:10. "Continue thy lovingkindness to them that know thee, and thy righteous. ness to the upright in heart.” And Psalm 51:14. " Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.” Dan. 9: 16. “O Lord, according to thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away."

God's salvation here spoken of is the effect, of which his righteousness is the cause. His righteousness, or covenant-mercy, is the root, of which his salvation is the fruit. Both of them relate to the covenant of grace.

The one is God's covenant-mercy and faithfulness, the other intends that work of God by which this covenant-mercy is accomplished in its fruits. For salvation is the sum of all those works of God by which the benefits of the covenant of grace are procured and bestowed.

2. Its continuance is here signified by two expressions : for ever, and from generation to generation; the latter seeming to be explanatory of the former: The phrase for ever, is variously used in Scriptune, Sometimes it means os long as a man lives. It is said, that the servant who had his ear bored through with an awl to the door of his master, should be his:: for ever. Sometimes it means during the continu, ance of the Jewish state. Of

many

of the ceremo-. nial and Levitical laws it is said that they should be Redemption.

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statutes for ever. Sometimes it means as long as the world shall stand, or to the end of the generations of men.

Thus Eccles. 1:4. “One generation passeth away, and another cometh ; but the earth abideth for ever." Sometimes it means to all eternity. So it is said, “ God blessed for ever," Rom. 1:25. · If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” John, 6:51. Which of these senses is here to be understood, the next words determine, namely, to the end of the world, or to the end of the generations of men :-"and my salvation from generation to generation.” Indeed the fruits of God's salvation shall remain after the end of the world, as appears by ver. 6: “ Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath : for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the carth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner, but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." But the work of salvation itself shall continue to be wrought till then : till the end of the world God will go on to accomplish deliverance and salvation for the church, froin all her enemies : till the end of the world, till her enemies cease to be, or to have any power to molest the church. And this expression, from generation to generation, may determine us as to the time which God continues to carry on the work of salvation for his church, both with respect to the beginning and end. It is "from generation to generation,” that is, throughout all generations; beginning with the generations of men on the earth, and not ending till those generations end. And therefore we deduce from these words his doctrine:

THE WORK OF REDEMPTION IS A WORK THAT GOD

CARRIES ON FROM THE FALL OF MAN TO THE END OF THE WORLD.

The generations of mankind which began after the fall, by ordinary generation, are partakers of the corruption of nature that followed from it; and these generations, by which the human race is propagaied, shall continue to the end of the world. These two are the limits of the generations of men on the earth; the fall of man, and the end of the world, or the day of judgment. The same are the limits of the work of redemption, as to those progressive works of God by which that redemption is accomplished, though not as to the fruits of it; for they shall be eternal.

The work of redemption and the work of salvation are the same thing. What is sometimes in Scripture called God's saving his people, is in other places called his redeeming them. So Christ is called both the Savior and the Redeemer of his people.

Before entering on the proposed History of the Work of Redemption, I would show in what sense the term redemption is used; how this work is car. ried on; and what is its design.

The work of REDEMPTION is sometimes understood in a more limited sense, for the purchase of salvation; for the word strictly signifies a purchase of deliverance. If we take the word in this restrained sense, the work of redemption was not so long in doing; but was begun and finished with Christ's humiliation. It was begun with Christ's incarnation, carried on through his life, and finished with the time of his remaining under the power of death, which ended in his resurrection. Thus we say, that on the day of his resurrection Christ finished the work of redemption : then the purchase was completed, and the work itself, and all that appertained to it, was virtually done and finished, but not actually.

But sometimes the work of redemption is taken more largely, as including all that God accomplishes tending to this end; not only the purchase itself, but also all God's works that were properly prepatory to the purchase, and accomplishing the success of it. So that the whole dispensation, as it includes the preparation and purchase, the application and success of Christ's redemption, is here called the work of redemption : all ihat Christ does in this great work as Mediator, in any of his offices, either of Prophet, Priest, or King; either when he was in this world in his human nature, or before or since. And it includes not only what Christ the Mediator has done, but also what the Father or the Holy Ghost has done, as united or confederated in this design of redeeming sinful men: or in one word, all that is wrought in execution of the eternal covenant of redemption. It is in this large sense that I here speak of the work of redemption; for it is all but one work, one design. The various dispensations of works that belong to it, are but the several parts of one scheme. It is but one design that is formed, to which all the offices of Christ directly tend, and in which all the persons of the Trinity conspire. All the various dispensations that belong to it are united; and the several wheels are one machine, to answer one end, and produce one effect.

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