Imatges de pÓgina
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Did Chrift execute his offices with fuch defire, delight, and joy, in a state of humiliation; and will he not much more do it in a ftate of exaltation? Yea, furely he will; for he is "Jefus Chrift, the fame yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

6. Confider, that both the Father and the Holy Ghoft are engaged for the execution of thefe offices of Chrift. The Father is engaged, because he ordained him to thefe offices, and ordained him with the folemnity of a decree, Pfal. ii. and with the folemnity of an oath, Pfal. cx. and with the folemnity of a proclamation from heaven, Matth. iii. at the close, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Now, may faith fay, was Chrift ordained with fuch folemnity to his mediatory offices by his Father; and will not the Father fee to the execution of them with respect to my foul, that puts its truft in him? Again, as the Father, fo the Holy Ghoft is concerned in the execution of these offices. The Holy Ghost furnished him with gifts and graces for this very end: If. lxi. 1. "The fpirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prifon to them that are bound," &c. Now, will ever the Spirit of the Lord lofe his labour? No, no: God has << put his Spirit upon him, therefore he will bring forth judgement to the Gentiles, and the ifles fhall wait for his law." Thus you fee, that faith has all the fecurity that Heaven can afford for the execution of his offices. Thus, then, come up from the wilderness, leaning upon the beloved.

Queft. 3. How is faith to act upon a God in Chrift, who is the ultimate object of faith?

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Anfw. In thefe particulars. 1. Let faith view a God in Christ in a way of appropriation, as its own God. This we find has been the way of the faints in all ages and generations; it still lays claim to God in Chrift, with its appropriating my, &c. Pfal. xvi. 2. "O my foul, thou haft faid unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord." And, ver. 5. "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup," &c. And Pfal. Ixxiii. 26. “ My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the ftrength of my heart, and my portion for ever." And if you afk, Upon what ground doth faith go, in laying claim to a God in Christ as its own God? 1 anfwer, It goes upon the ground of his affuming our nature in the perfon of his eternal Son, and the covenant-grant and promife through him; "I am the Lord thy God; I will be your God, and ye fhall be my people." Faith fets to its amen unto the grant, and fays, "This God is my God for

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ever;" and it fhall be fo, because he has faid it; and, "Has he faid it, and will he not do it? hath he spoken it, and shall it not come to pafs?"

2. Having fixed thy claim unto a God in Christ as thy own God, then proceed to take a view of all his attributes and perfections; for every one of them (as I fhewed before) is a pillar and ftrong rock, on which thy faith may lean with the greateft confidence and fecurity, even "though the earth should be removed, though the mountains fhould be caft into the midst of the fea." Ö, will faith fay, my God is a God of infinite power, and "doth whatever pleafeth him in the armics of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth;" and this power is through Chrift engaged for my prefervation, "He will hide me as in a pavilion in the evil day." My God in Christ is a God of infinite wifdom; and therefore he will lead me in the way I know not, and make me wife to falvation. He is a God of infinite juftice; and therefore, having accepted a fatisfaction for my fins in the Surety, he is "faithful and just in forgiving," he will "blot out mine iniquities as a cloud," &c. He is a God of unfpotted holiness; and therefore he will fanctify me according to his covenant; "I will fprinkle them with clean water," &c. He is a God of infinite bowels and mercy; and therefore he will pity and pardon me, and "hear me when I cry," &c. He is a God of infinite faithfulness, this is the "girdle of his loins and reins ;" and therefore he will not fuffer his promise to fall, "his covenant he will not break," &c. Thus faith leans and refts on the divine attributes as they are manifested in Chrift.

3. Faith leans upon a God in Chrift, as one that is infinitely bountiful and liberal; and argues as the apoftle doth, Rom. viii. 32. "He that fpared not his own Sor, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not with him alfo freely give us all things?" Faith fees that his treasures can never be diminished, far lefs can they be spent or exhausted; and Oh how heartfomely doth faith lay claim to thefe treafures, when it hears him faying, as James i. 5. " If any man lack wifdom, let him afk of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it fhall be given him."

4. Faith views the providence of a God in Chrift as calculate and defigned for the advancement of his own glory, and levelled at the good of them that love him; and this quiets the foul amidst all the reelings and fhakings of this lower world. "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice: let the multitude of ifles be glad thereof."

5. Lafly, Faith, acting upon a God in Chrift, will fee an eternity of happinefs beyond time, in the immediate fruition

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and enjoyment of him; hence is that of David, Pfal. Ixxiii. 26. "My fleth and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

THE TRUE SUBSTANCE AND STRENGTH OF A
CHURCH AND NATION.

TWO SERMONS,

PREACHED AT THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER AT DUNFERMLINE, JUNE 10. AND 11. 1733.

ISA. vi. 13.-So the holy feed shall be the fubftance thereof.

IN

N this chapter we have, firft, An awful vision of God made unto the prophet Ifaiah. He got a view of the infinite JEHOVAH, in the perfon of his eternal Son; for fo Chrift himself explains it, John xii. 41. " These things faid Efaias, when he faw his glory." Chrift had a glory with the Father before his incarnation, yea, before the world was; and Ifaiah got a view of this glory. Queft. What did he fee? Anfw. 1. He faw his throne, high and lifted up. 2. He faw his temple, his church on earth, filled with the train of his glorious excellencies. 3. He faw the bright attendants that furround his throne, Cherubims and Seraphims, covering their faces with their wings, because of the dazzling floods of glory that brake out from his prefence. 4. He heard fome of their anthems, or fongs of praife, whereby they celebrate the glory of his unfpotted holiness; and then fall a-wondering, that the brightness of that glory fhould ever thine in this lower world: O, fay they, "the whole earth is full of his glory," ver. 3. They are not furprised to fee his glory fhining in heaven, where fin never entered: but to fee the glory of God fhining through a vail of

flesh,

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flesh, and displayed in this dunghill-world of fin and misery, is what fills them with eternal wonder.

Secondly, We have the effects of this vifion. 1. Upon the temple; where, it is like, Isaiah got the manifestation, ver. 4. "The posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the earth fhook, and the houfe was filled with smoke." A cloud was caft over the face of his throne, and the posts and pillars of the temple fall a-trembling, as a fignal of the deftruction of the city and temple; firft by the Babylonians, add afterwards by the Romans. 2. Upon this the prophet is ftruck with confternation at the fight of the divine glory, ver. 5. "Wo is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips for mine eyes have feen the King, the Lord of hofts." 3. We have the filencing of the prophet's fears by the good and comfortable words which the angel fpake unto him; and a fign given him of the remiflion of his fin, as a preparation for his converfe with God, ver. 6. 7. "Then flew one of the Seraphims unto me, having a live-coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and faid, Lo, this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy fin purged." 4. We have an awful commiffion given unto the prophet. An inquiry is made, by a Trinity, for a man that would bear the commiffion; the prophet offers himself: ver. 8. " Whom fhall I send, and who will go for us? Here am I, (says the prophet), send me.” The prophet is a volunteer in his Master's service, ready to encounter the greatest difficulties in the work; he knew, that if he had God's commission, he should have his countenance and affiftance; he fends none a warfare upon their own charges. The Lord takes the prophet at his word, and gives him his commiffion, ver. 9. to the clofe. Where he gives him to understand three things. (1.) That the generality of the people to whom he was fent, would turn a deaf ear to his meffage, which would be followed with a judicial ftroke of blindnets, deadness, and stupidity, ver. 9. 10. (2.) That the confequence of this would be their utter ruin, ver. 11. 12. (3.) That a remnant should be spared as a monument of divine mercy, ver. 13. "But yet in it thall be a tenth, and it fhall return, and fhall be eaten ; as a teil-tree, and as an oak whofe fubftance is in them, when they caft their leaves:" fo the holy feed fhall be the fubftance thereof.

Where, in general, you may fee, that in the worst of times, in the times of the greatest defection and backsliding, God has a little remnant that keep their garments clean, and that in the midst of the most sweeping and defolating calamities he will

take

take special notice of for good. More particularly, we have four or five things afferted in this verfe, with refpect to the

Lord's remnant.

1. That the remnant will be but small, "In it shall be a tenth;" a certain number put for an uncertain: a very small number, in comparifon of the multitude that fhall perish in their unbelief, and be flin in the common calamity. The tenth or tithe was God's proportion under the law, confecrated for his use.

Obferve, That, among the multitude of mankind that fall to the devil's share, God's remnant are but a small number; his flock is but a little flock, like the gleanings after the vintage. But yet them he will not want, though he fhould invade hell to recover them: If. liii. 12. “I will divide him a portion with the great, and he fhall divide the fpoil with the ftrong." And this portion, this remnant, fhall be confecrate to his service and honour, as the tenth was under the law,

2. It is afferted of this remnant, that they shall return; that is, they fhall return from their fins and backflidings, and the common defections and backslidings of the church of Ifrael; and they excite one another, faying, "Come and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath broken, and he will bind us up," Hof. vi. 1. And they fhail return also from their captivity in Babylon to their native land; and when God turns back their captivity, it will be refreshing like fouth-running ftreams of water.

3. It is afferted of this remnant, that it shall be eaten ; that is, (fay fome), this remnant, after they return, fhall be eaten, confumed, or devoured a fecond time by the kings of Affyria.

Óbferve, That God's remnant when they are delivered out of one trouble, they must lay their account with another; when they have run with the footmen, they must contend with borfes.

Or, as fome, particularly Henry on the place, understands it, fhall be eaten, that is, fhall be accepted of God as the tithe was, which was meat in God's houfe. The faving of this remnant shall be meat to the faith and hope of them that with well to God's kingdom and intereft.

4. It is faid of this remnant, that it fhall be "as a teil, and as an oak whofe fubftance is in them, even when they caft their leaves." As if he had faid, Though they may be stripped. of their outward profperity, and share of the common calamity; yet they fhall recover like a tree in the fpring, and sprout and flourish again : although they fall, they thall not be utterly

caft

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