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there could be several methods of salvation, and they were left to their own choice, they would, most gladly and deliberately, chuse that method, which should bring them under the greatest obligations to him.
2. This triumphant song will be sung to the highest advantage, when the whole body of the redeemed shall be collected together to sing it with one heart and voice, at the great resurrection day. Lot was undoubtedly thankful, when he was snatched from the impending destruction of Sodom. Yet, his lingering * Thewed, that he had but an imperfect sense of the greatness of the mercy afforded him. His feelings were probably stronger afterwards, when he stood in safety upon the mountain, and actually saw the smoke rising, like the smoke of a furnace, from the place where he had lately dwelt. At present, we have but very faint ideas of the misery from which we are delivered, of the happiness reserved in heaven for us, or of the sufferings of the Redeemer; but if we attain to the heavenly Zion, and see, from thence, the smoke of that bottomless pit, * Gen. xix. 16.
which might justly have been our everlasting abode; we shall then more fully understand what we are delivered from, the means of our deliverance, and the riches of the inheritance of the saints in light. And then we shall fing, in more exalted strains than we can at present even conceive of, Thanks be to God who hath given us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Chrift.
SE R M O N XLV.
DIVINE SUPPORT AND PROTECTION,
Rom. viii. 31. [What shall we say then to these things ?] If
God be for us, who can be against us? T HE passions of joy or grief, of admi. T ration or gratitude, are moderate, when we are able to find words which fully describe their emotions. When they rise very high, language is too faint to express them; and the person is either lost in silence, or feels something, which, after his most laboured efforts, is too big for utterance. We may often observe the apostle Paul under this difficulty, when attempting to excite in others, such sensations as filled his own heart, while contemplating the glories and blessings of VOL. II.
SUPPORT the gospel. Little verbal critics, who are not animated by his fervour, are incapable of entering into the spirit of his writings. They coldly examine them by the strictness of grammatical rules, and think themselves warranted to charge him with folecisms, and improprieties of speech. For it must be allowed, that he sometimes departs from the usual forms of expression ; invents new words, or at least compounds words for his own use, and heaps one hyperbole upon another. But there is a beautiful energy in his manner, far fuperior to the frigid exactness of grammarians, though the taste of a mere grammarian, is unable to admire or relish it. When he is stating the advantage of being with Christ, as beyond any thing that can be enjoyed in the present life, he is not content with saying, as his expression is rendered in our version, It is far better *. In the Greek, another word of comparison is added, which, if our language would bear the literal translation, would be, Far more better, or, Much more better. And when he would describe the low opinion he had of himself, great as his attainments were in our
* Phil. i. 23.