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come, they were restored to the enjoyment of that communion with God, which had been interrupted by their disobedience to His command. And the Apostle assures us that this righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, is unto all and upon all them that believe, who are justified, or accounted righteous before God, freely, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.52 This is the righteousness of God which we must seek and obtain, in order to our entrance into the kingdom of God. Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all righteousness in His own person; and it is declared, that by His obedience shall many be made righteous.53 His righteousness is imputed to them who believe in His name; they are made the righteousness of God in Him, and therefore it is their privilege to walk with God, in the enjoyment of communion and fellowship with Him, by faith in Christ Jesus. This is the only means of restoration to the Divine favour. But hereby the children of men, though sinners in themselves, are reconciled to God; and receive the adoption of sons; and because they are sons, have the Spirit of His Son sent into their hearts, whereby they cry Abba, Father,55 and by His grace they are sanctified wholly, that their whole spirit, soul, and body may be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,56
52 Rom. iii. 22, 24. 53 Rom. v. 19. 542 Cor. v. 21. 55 Gal. iv. 5, 6.
when they shall receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls," in His eternal and glorious kingdom. By the gracious influence and operation of the Spirit of God upon their souls, they are conformed in heart and life to the holy will of God. His image is stamped upon their souls, and they walk in holiness and righteousness before Him day by day. Is this our state and character? Let us see to it that we are numbered among those who being accounted righteous before God by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, are reconciled to Him and walk humbly with Him, living as in His presence, enjoying the light of His countenance, and being conformed to His holy word and will in all our conduct. If this be indeed through grace our state and character, how deeply sensible shall we be of our obligations to Him who loved His church, and gave Himself for it, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.5 What gratitude will fill our hearts towards Him; and how powerfully will the love of Christ constrain us to live to His glory and show forth His praise continually. Thus seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we shall not fail to obtain His promise of everlasting life, but shall be made partakers of the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
We are to notice, Secondly, The promise an
561 Thess. v. 23. 571 Peter i. 9. 58 Luke i. 75. 59 Ephes. v. 25, 2.
nexed to a compliance with the exhortation con
tained in the text. kingdom of God and
To those who seek first the
mise is made, that all things relating to the present life, of which their heavenly Father knoweth that they have need,-all these things shall be added unto them. They shall have food and raiment ; and whatever is needed for this life, as well as for that which is to come. He who gives them spiritual blessings, who bestows upon them His grace here, and will give them glory hereafter, will not suffer them to be destitute of the bread which perisheth. He will take care of them while they walk humbly with Him, and live in dependence upon His faithfulness and truth. While they cast all their care upon Him, they shall find that He careth for them; and they shall not want any thing that is for their good.61 Let the poor among the people of God put their trust in Him, and they may be satisfied that He who giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry, will not be unmindful of their temporal, any more than of their spiritual wants; but will give them all things needful for life and godliness. And let us all seek Divine grace to enable us to give up ourselves in soul and body to the service of God, to seek His favour, and to live to His glory, as
60 1 Peter v. 7.
61 Psalm xxxiv. 10. 62 Psalm cxlvii. 9.
those who are accounted righteous before Him, and who are looking forward in hope to be hereafter admitted into His heavenly kingdom. Then we may be assured that His overruling Providence will supply whatever is needful for us. He will give us day by day our daily bread. He will supply the wants of our bodies, as well as the wants of our souls. He will withhold nothing from us which it will be good for us to possess. He will guide us with His counsel, and afterward receive us to glory. He knows all the wants of His people; and is at no loss for the means of supplying all their need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.65 His promises are faithful and true; and therefore they shall not be ashamed that wait for Him.
63 Luke xi.3. 64 Psalm lxxiii. 24. 65 Philip.iv. 19. 66 Isaiah xlix. 23.
THE SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER
THE WIDOW OF NAIN.
Luke vii. 16.
AND THERE CAME A FEAR ON ALL; AND THEY GLORIFIED GOD, SAYING, THAT A GREAT PROPHET IS RISEN UP AMONG US; AND, THAT GOD HATH VISITED HIS PEOPLE.
THE Conduct of our Lord Jesus Christ in the days of His flesh, or during the time of His public ministry, was characterised by deep commiseration for the distresses of mankind. He went about doing good. While He preached the gospel of the kingdom, He also healed all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And none ever applied to Him in