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The Glory of Grace effected by weak means

The Glory of Grace effected by weak means
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Author: Church John
Title: The Glory of Grace effected by weak means
Release Date: 2018-12-26
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Glory of Grace effected by weak means, byJohn ChurchThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org.  If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: The Glory of Grace effected by weak meansAuthor: John ChurchRelease Date: December 26, 2018  [eBook #58536]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE GLORY OF GRACE EFFECTED BYWEAK MEANS***

Transcribed from the 1822 R. Thomas edition by David Price,email [email protected]

Public domain book cover

THE
GLORY OF GRACE

Effected by weak Means:

BEING THESUBSTANCE OF

A SERMON,

PREACHED ONTHE

DEATH OFSAMUEL CHURCH,

Aged Twelve Years.

On Sunday Evening, April 14, 1822,

BY J. CHURCH,

At the SurreyTabernacle.

 

And Eli perceived that the Lord had called theChild.—1 Sam. iii, 8.

And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy Children shall come
again to their own Border.—Jeremiah xxxi, 17.

 

SOUTHWARK,
PRINTED BY R. THOMAS, RED LION STREET,BOROUGH.

1822.

 

p. 3ASERMON, &c.

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thouordained strength, because of thine enemies, that thou mighteststill the enemy and the avenger.  Psalm viii, 2.

When David had his mind mostdivinely elevated and filled with holy thoughts of the person,work, and glory of the dear Redeemer, he burst forth in holyadmiration, joy, and praise, in this adoring language: I willextol thee, my God, O king!  I will bless thy name for everand ever!  One generation shall praise thy works untoanother, and shall declare thy mighty acts: and surely the mostwonderful and astonishing act, is the everlasting salvation oflost, ruined, guilty man.  This is a greater act than theformation of worlds, either heaven or earth.  The salvationof one poor sinner is a more marvellous display of God, than thecreation, with all its wonders.  This salvation we are tospeak of to others, both ministers and people; and in proportionas we see our interest in it, so are we to declare its greatness,because it is the highest act of God, as the God of all grace,and

Why should the wonders he has wrought
Be lost in silence and forgot?

But babes, men, and children, let them praise the name of theLord.

I could wish this task, on this solemn, and to me, painfuloccasion, had devolved on one suitable, but supported by theLord’s presence, upheld by his power, and p. 4cheered withhis approbation in my mind, I humbly attempt to rehearse thewonders of his love, the riches of his grace, and the displays ofhis mercy to me, and mine, and attempt, in my poor way, to provethe glorious truth in the text: Out of the mouths of babes Godhas ordained his own glory, the glory of his love, hisgrace, his mercy, his truth, hispower, his faithfulness, and infinitecondescension.  It is true that I can do no justiceto the important words, by way of a Sermon.  They contain avast store of rich truth and precious experience.  I musttherefore merely glance at the meaning, and shew, in as concise amanner as I can, to whom they belong, and to whom they will, withscriptural propriety, apply.

The title of this psalm is to the chief musician upon Gittith,a psalm of David.—Various are the conjectures of learnedmen on this title.  Some think the word Gittith signifiesthe wine press, and the title means, To the conqueror over thetrodden wine press, wrath; and if so, we are not at a loss toknow to whom it belongs.  A psalm of, or concerning thebeloved one, to whom be glory.  Amen.

The ever blessed Redeemer is the subject of this psalm. Hence we find it quoted in the New Testament, and twice appliedto him.  It is a revelation of Christ, as God-man, in hisheadship, his empire, dominion, and excellent name, hisroyalties, majesty, and glory, with his union, relation, andinterest in his people.  It is addressed to him as Jehovah,the covenant God of the church; as one of the glorious and divinepersons, subsisting in the divine essence, with the Father andthe holy Spirit, the incomprehensible God, the most high God,blessed for evermore; the mighty God, the everlasting Father, thefirst and the last.  If the first, there were none before p. 5him, and if thelast, there can be none after him.  He is the Almighty,himself has declared it; the true God and eternal life,possessing every divine and glorious perfection, the maker ofheaven and earth, the centre, the foundation, the glory, thebeauty, and ornament of creation; and the whole is sustained byhim—he is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, eternal,unchangeable—the adorable I am, that I am!—and as Godin covenant, as well as absolute deity, he is called our God,your God, their God, my Lord, and my God, the most mighty, thegreat God, the living God; and must not that person havediabolical effrontery to deny the essential and eternal Godheadof the Lord Jesus Christ?  Such conduct clearly demonstratesthat such persons are in nature’s thickest gloom, nor canthose characters give the church or the world any scripturalaccount of the holy Spirit’s work upon their hearts. We, therefore, can never allow such unconverted persons to beproper judges of any one truth in divine revelation.  Whenpersons are called by divine grace, they are brought to feeltheir need of just such a saviour as Christ is, and are led toprize the infinite value of his blood, the merit of hisobedience, the power of his arm, and the love of his heart. But amidst the host of enemies to the person and dignity ofChrist, we humbly and gratefully unite with the Psalmist: OhLord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, thyperfections, and thy gospel, wherever it has been carried. And how glorious it will be in the new heavens and earth, duringthe millennium, his thousand years personal reign with hispeople.  There he has set his glory above theheavens, his everlasting love, his holy humanity; and his church,as considered in himself, are exalted above the ærial orstarry heavens.  This is his glory, the joy of the redeemed,the wonder of elect angels, and the envy of devils.

p. 6ThePsalmist, having been led to adore Jehovah Jesus, as God incovenant, and as God-man, the brightness of the Father’sglory, is sweetly brought on to view him in his humiliation,final victory, and exaltation; and while considering the heavenlybodies, their glory and greatness, with his own insufficiency tocelebrate his power, he yet adores him for that knowledge withwhich his mind was favored, and exclaims, What is man that thouart mindful of him?  This passage is quoted by the apostle,and the whole of it is applied to Christ, as the mediator, as theSon of man, admiring that grace which conferred so great an honorupon him, as to choose his individual nature, his humanity, as tounite it with the Godhead, that he should prepare it in thecovenant, anoint it with the oil of gladness above his fellows,delight in it, exalt it, and take such providential care of it;support it under his direful sorrows, raise it, and give itglory.  Thus the sacred Messiah is represented, as filledwith holy and admiring thoughts of the subject, and in extacyasks, What is man? the human nature made a little lower than God,but next unto him, and in personal union with the Son of God; alittle lower than the angels for the suffering of death, butcrowned with glory and honor, as the whole election of grace, andas the mediator of reconciliation.  Christ by delegation,hath universal dominion over all things, visible and invisible,nature, providence, grace, glory, earth, and hell; and this willever form a subject for the admiration of God’speople.  O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in allthe earth! for as thou hast formed thy people for thy praise,thou hast ordained the wonders of thy grace shall be celebratedby them in time and eternity.  Out of the mouths of babesand sucklings thou hast ordained strength, because of thineenemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

p. 7We mayconsider these words as justly applicable to 1. David.  2,David’s Lord.—3, The children of the temple.  4,The apostles in their minority.—5, The experience ofbelievers.—6, The salvation of children.  This goodman was chosen and ordained for the glory of God, and for thebenefit of his people; eternally chosen in Christ to salvation;he was impressed with the power of converting grace in very earlylife, and long before he was introduced to public notice, longbefore his elevation to the throne of Israel.  No doubt,while a youth, the holy Spirit took possession of his heart, andled his mind to hope in the promised Messiah, for life andsalvation, and being selected from the busy world, and the cares,vanities, and snares of the court, he had many sweet moments inthe sacred enjoyment of his God.  Times, his mindoften afterwards reflected upon with heaven-felt pleasure. It appears God had endowed him with astonishing skill in music,and a sublime talent for poetry, so that he probably filled hisleisure hours with close attention to the exercise of thosegifts; and as Mr. Toplady strikingly remarks, on David’scomposing this beautiful pastoral psalm: We must form toourselves an idea of David, the stripling, and think we see himwatching his flocks on a summer’s night, under the expandedcanopy of the skies.  The air is still, the heavens areserene, the moon arrived at her full, is pursuing her majesticsilent course, the stars, like peeresses, on a coronationsolemnity, assume their brightest robes, to attend the beauteoussovereign of the night, while both moon and stars concur to sheda soft undazzling lustre on all the subjacent landscape. David, at this happy period, a blameless youth, unpoisoned withambition, and unfacinated by the witchcraft of court corruption,and his hands undipped in blood, is seated on a rising hillock,or on the protuberant root of some stately tree.  All ishushed, not a bough rustles, not a leaf p. 8trembles to the breeze; the silentflocks are either carelessly grazing by his side, or slumberingsecurely at his feet.  The birds have suspended their songs,until waked by the superior sweetness of his voice, and the musicof his hand; for, charmed with the loveliness of the scene, andwrapt by the holy Spirit into a seraphic flame of exalteddevotion, he has lain aside his crook—he has taken up hisharp, and transmitting to the throne of God, these grateful,these inexpressibly beautiful lines contained in this psalm, thisdivine testimony of Jesus, although perhaps wrote more than athousand years before his incarnation.  David’s mindwas illuminated with spiritual knowledge, his faith centering inthe Messiah, his hope resting on his covenant engagements, hisaffections cleaving to him, his mind at this time, happy in hislove; and astonished at the infinite condescension of the God ofall grace, in looking upon him in early life; saving him from thefollies of youth, converting his soul, anointing him though astripling, to be a king; working deliverance for him, when by asupernatural power upon him, he slew a lion at one time, and abear at another.  Surely as his heart glowed at thereflection, his mouth spoke forth the high praises of the Lord;and as God was his strength, so he had ordained the effects of itfor the glory of his own name, that he might be praised andadored, and that the enemies of the Lord and his people might beconfounded.  This was frequently the case in the wars ofDavid, but particularly while a stripling; and in comparison tomen of war, he was but a babe or suckling, when he went to meetGoliah, the gigantic champion of the Philistines, who for fortydays gave a challenge to decide the fate of the war by a singlecombat, defying them to produce a man in the whole army of Israelthat dare engage him.  The Lord

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