THE REIGN OF GRACE
Abraham Booth (1734-1806)
“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath REIGNED unto death, even so might grace REIGN through righteousness unto Eternal Life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” –[Romans 5:20-21]
Grace, in our text, is compared to a sovereign. Now a sovereign, considered as such, is invested with regal power and the highest authority. Grace, therefore, in her beneficent government, must exert and manifest sovereign power, must supersede the reign and counteract the mighty and destructive operations of sin or she cannot bring the sinner to eternal life.
For the holy Spirit has compared sin to a sovereign, whose reign terminates in death. As Sin appears clothed in horrible deformity and armed with destructive powers, inflicting temporal death and menacing eternal flames; so Grace appears on the throne arrayed in the beauties of holiness and smiling with divine kindness, touched with feelings of the tenderest compassion and armed with all the magnificence of invincible power.
Grace was fully determined to exert her authority and gratify her compassion under the conduct of infinite wisdom to the everlasting honour of inflexible justice, unchanging truthfulness and every divine perfection by rescuing the condemned offender from the jaws of destruction, by speaking peace to the alarmed consciences of damnable delinquents, by restoring to apostate creatures and vile miscreants love to God and a delight in the ways of holiness and finally by bringing them safe to everlasting honour and joy.
In a word, the heart of this mighty sovereign is compassion itself: her looks are love, her language is balm to the bleeding soul and her arm is salvation. Such a sovereign is Grace. Those who are delivered by her must enjoy a complete salvation; those who live under her most gentle government must be happy indeed. Amen!