Text.--2 Pet. 1:4: "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

I. I am to make several preliminary remarks upon the nature of the promises.

Also, Ezek. 36:25-27: --"Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

And numerous other kindred promises, made to the church under the Old Testament Dispensation, belong particularly to the Church under the Christian Dispensation. Consequently the Apostle in Heb. 8:8-12 maintains that the covenant in Jer. 31:31-32 respects particularly the Gospel Dispensation. --"Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

Let these serve as specimens of the manner in which inspired writers make an application of the promises. In the experience of every Christian, it is manifest that the Spirit of God makes the same application of the promises to their minds. And thus the promises are a kind of common property to the saints. Who has not been edified, and refreshed in reading the biographies of highly spiritual men; by observing the copious use of the promises which the Spirit of God makes in refreshing the souls of the saints.
Upon these last thoughts I shall have occasion to enlarge under another head.
The covenant made with Noah is an example of this kind. "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
In Matt. 7:7 you have another illustration of the same principle -- "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." Here asking (of course in faith) is made the condition of receiving.
Luke 11:11-13: --"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone, or if he asks a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Rev. 21:6-- "I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." And 22:17 --"And the Spirit, and the bride say, Come, And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

That the water here mentioned is the divine influence is evident from Isa.12:3 --"Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." John 4:10, 14 --"Jesus said unto her [the woman of Samaria] If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." "Whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life." Also John 7:37-39. "Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive."

I must defer the remaining heads of this discourse till my next lecture.