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all that he did, he had no motive to excite him, but BECAUSE HE LOVED US." There was much to prevent and obstruct his benevolent undertaking; but he surmounted every obstacle, that he might be able to say with propriety, "They shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels.
5. Believers have the highest reason to love Christ, Love should beget love. We should love him who first and thus loved us. We love him too little at the best, and the love of many waxes cold. Every mean of grace should be improved to inflame our love, and especially the great ordinance of the supper immediately to be dispensed. At his table the Lord signally makes up his jewels, and his people should go forward to it with gratitude and love. Their hearts should be filled with earnest desires that, at his table, they may be polished for future service, in a new and higher degree while continued in this world, and for death when he shall call them hence. It is highly probable that this may be the last opportunity to some of commemorating the dying love of the Redeemer in this solemn ordinance. We would need to rise from his table, in some measure, armed with the same spirit with which Christ rose from the first celebration of the supper,-he rose, went out, and met death. Whether you may live longer or shorter, at his table you should seek a powerful intimation from himself, that you shall be his in the day when he makes up his jewels. This would cheer and animate your hearts under every affliction, and fortify your minds against all desponding fears. It would deliver you from an undue love of life, and prepare
you to meet the king of terrors unappalled. You should have some evidences and good hope that you are his jewels before you take your seat at his table. Look within. Survey your lives. Collect your evidences. Look upwards. Cry for the Spirit to breathe upon these slain that they may live. Seek him to bear witness with your spirits that you are the jewels of the Lord. Have you already got some polish? Apply for more. Pray that you may be sealed, and kept safely and secretly till that day when the Lord makes up his jewels.
6. The saints may well be resigned under the sharpest afflictions. The design of these is to polish and make them up. The hotter the furnace, the more admirable a sight is the saint while in it, and the more beautiful an object when brought out. Tried saints are a pleasing sight to angels. They behold them with pleasure and wonder. They learn from them the manifold wisdom of God, and the astonishing power of his grace, which is invincible indeed! If saints themselves know not now what God is doing, they shall know hereafter.
7. We shall only further infer, that sinners are God's lumber. If a man apprehend that any valuable article has fallen by among his lumber, he tosses it about, if perhaps that valuable article might be found: and when sure that there is nothing valuable among it, he gives up all future care about it, and reckons it rather cumbersome than advantageous; and if he is about to move to another place, he commonly commits it to the flames.
God tosses about his lumber seeking out his jewels. Nations undergo revolutions, that Zion may be saved, and termed "sought out, and not forsaken." He overturns, overturns, overturns, till he come whose right it is. Families are moved from place to place, that certain individuals in them may be brought to the Gospel and saved. In every tossing a secret unerring hand casts the lumber to such a place that the jewels may be found. When these are all made up, the vast mass of lumber will be cast into the fire that cannot be quenched. Sinners, be wise. You have now the best privileges. "If you are wise, you are wise for yourselves; but if ye scorn, ye alone shall bear it." If you continue to misimprove, God will cast you, with the rest of his lumber, into hell fire. Oh that you were wise, and would lay these things to heart, that the Lord's language concerning you also may be," And they shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels!"
MALACHI III. 10.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
THIS chapter begins with an illustrious prophecy concerning Christ. His incarnation is foretold; and his glorious character as Messenger of the new covenant is delineated as ground of faith and consolation to the Church. His gracious work of refining his Church, and all her members, is also predicted. In the language of the Old Testament, believers are priests and Levites, and these he refines. His work extends to his enemies, and he is a swift witness against them. When he comes to his Church as a Refiner, the dross which cannot stand the furnace will be consumed; and the true gold brightened.
This chapter also contains the sad state of the Jewish Church. Various charges are brought against her. The precepts of both tables of God's law are broken: there is a departing from God's ordinances in a continued progression: they were guilty of rob