AND are they not blessed, yea, distinguished with the favor of God? See! they are chosen of the Father "from the beginning or ever the earth was," and when Christ, whose delight was with them when He was as One brought up by the Eternal Father, saw their names written by Him in "the Lamb's book of life."
Watched over in their days of unregeneracy, when the result of the fall had its full play in their experience, and they sported with the devil.
Called by divine grace, when the set time to favor them came, and the mandate went forth, "I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back. Bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth, for I have created them for My glory."
Christ revealed to them as "Mighty to save," such revelation, accompanied by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, issuing in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sustained by omnipotent power and grace all their pilgrim days. Are they not a blessed people? Yea, further, brought into covenant union with a precious Christ, favored with converse and communion with their best beloved, and made sometimes to sit in the heavenlies with Christ Jesus. Are they not indeed favored by God? Yea, still further, all discipline passed through; brought onwards in the right way, and at last safely housed in their prepared home in glory. Say, are they not a blessed people?
Our Lord, in His memorable sermon on the mount, reiterates sure marks of their blessedness, and gives them those evidences whereby they may trace their adoption into the family of God.
They are "poor in spirit." Having nothing themselves, they receive all as gifts from God, and are constant suppliants at the throne of grace. "This poor man cried and the Lord heard him."
They "mourn," lamenting their sinfulness and unworthiness, their coldness and indifference for One who has done so much for them.
They are "meek," tender in spirit, made so by divine grace, desiring to renounce self and walk humbly before their God, and becoming gentle to their fellow-creatures.
They "hunger and thirst after righteousness," that is, after Christ, who is their Righteousness. Yes, they crave Christ and cry out for Christ, who can alone satisfy their pantings.
They are "merciful." Having obtained mercy themselves, they desire to be pitiful and sympathizing with others.
They are "pure in heart," not that they dare say they have no sin, for they feel it and know it, but they are sincere and heartfelt in their desires, and in the light of the Atonement of Christ are delivered from the guilt of sin.
They are "peacemakers." They hate strife with men, and before God they crave to keep silence, and let Him carry out His own will concerning them.
They are "persecuted." This must be so, for the Master was before them; and they are to be partakers with Him of His sorrows and sufferings.
They are "reviled," but it is their honor to bear reproach for Christ's sake.
How do these "sure marks" fit into your experience, beloved? Say--and methinks the response will make you shout for joy, and agree with us that God's people are a blessed people.