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A SERIES OF SERMONS,

INCLUDING THOSE PREACHED ON THE

NAMES AND ATTRIBUTES OF CHRIST.

THE BEST SECURITY AGAINST THE DAY OF wrath.*

HEB. XI. 28,

Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the first-born, should touch them.

SOLOMON tells us, Prov. xxii. 3, "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on and are punished." We may be sure there is a sad and trying time abiding the world. God will have his day when the world has got theirs. Of this there is no great ground to doubt, that there is a sad and trying time abiding these nations. At the last occasion of this nature we had, the Lord seemed to be giving the word to cut up the cumber-ground figtree of the Church of Scotland; yet, beyond hope, he has let it alone another year. But let us take heed; there may be more depending on the effects of the digging and dunging this year than we are aware of. It has got deep, very deep snegs already, and the axe is still lying at the root. And therefore I think we have the duty of this day, this communion-day, in the text; and that is, that we make it a hiding day under the covert of blood, for time and for eternity; as Moses did in the like case.

God had long sat still, and his enemies had been provoking him ; now he was risen up, and was begun to reckon with them; and, after several lesser strokes, the warning is given, that the root-stroke was at hand. What does Moses, with other believing Israelites, in this trying time?

1. He goes to his duty, in a sealing ordinance, and makes a covenant with God by sacrifice; he "kept the passover," &c. He saw that he and his Israelites deserved the stroke, as well as the Egyptians; that God would have a sacrifice off both their hands; that the destroying angel should either find blood on their houses, or shed blood in them. Then says Moses, Let the Egyptians do as they will, the Lamb shall be our sacrifice this night; we will sprinkle the blood on our houses. So he "kept the passover," (Gr. made);

* A sermon preached immediately before the celebration of the Lord's supper, at Ettrick, June 7, 1713.

not that he gave a being to it, instituting it at the command of God, though that was true; but it is an Old Testament expression, 2 Chron. xxxv. 1, well rendered, "he kept," i. e. celebrated this holy ordinance, whereof we have an account, Exod. xii. The passover was a Lamb slain and eaten by the Israelites, a sacrament of the old covenant of grace. The apostle speaks of " the sprinkling of blood," as a distinct thing; for though it was the blood of the paschal lamb, yet it was not used in the after passovers, after they left Egypt. The lamb represented Christ; and "the sprinkling of the blood," the believing application of his.

2. He managed this duty rightly. He had need; for there was much depending on it. He did it believingly "through faith." I may not stand on the detail of the actings of Moses's faith in this matter. Only I will give an instance of it both these ways, ver. 1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The object of faith is twofold. (1.) Things that have a being, but fall not under our sense. So Moses's faith was to him "the evidence of things not seen;" i. e. the spiritual instrument whereby he discerned and applied that in the ordinance which his eye could not see. He saw Christ in it, and the grand contrivance of salvation and by the same mean he applied him. What else could give ease to a guilty sinner whose eyes were opened? And therefore, notwithstanding of Pharaoh's rage against him, and that they were all to march the next day, and that there was to be such a dreadful stir in Egypt that night, he keeps his temper and goes about his duty. (2.) Things that have no being but in the promise. So his faith was to him "the substance of things hoped for;" i. e. the spiritual instrument whereby he assured himself, that the deliverance which was not yet done should certainly be performed; and so the future deliverance was to him thereby as present. And our faith must act both these ways, if we manage this sacrament aright.

3. He had a particular view in his managing of it; "lest he that destroyed the first-born, should touch them." He saw there was a bloody time at hand, that God was to make the most dreadful time in that land that ever they saw with their eyes. The destroying angel was to pass through the land of Egypt that night, to smite all the first-born, both man and beast. He was afraid of the least touch of that angel armed with vengeance, knowing it would crush him as a moth. Therefore he takes the blessed opportunity which the Lord had put into his hand, to secure himself and his people; flying in under the covert of blood, to be hid in the day of the Lord. He does not gather his people together to stand to their own defence; that would not do they must go into their houses, and lie at the

feet of mercy. To close the windows, bar the doors, &c. will not do it; but the blood of the lamb on the door-posts will. Therefore he "sprinkes that blood" for that very end.

DOCTRINE. The believing management of the sacrament of Christ's body and blood, is the best security for a sinner against the day of wrath.

In handling of this doctrine, I shall shew,

I. What is that believing management of the sacrament of Christ's body and blood, which is the best security for a sinner against the day of wrath.

II. What security this will be against the day of wrath.

III. Confirm the doctrine.

IV. Lastly, Make application.

I. First, I shall shew, what is that believing management of the sacrament of Christ's body and blood, which is the best security for a sinner against the day of wrath, We will be helped to a view of this, by considering the ordinance pointed at in the text.

1st, The Christian and communicant that would manage this ordinance so as he may be secured against the day of wrath, must have his bunch of hyssop ready; that is, he must have faith, by which alone that blood can be sprinkled on the soul. An unbeliever can never believingly manage this or any other ordinance; for there can be no acting without a principle. Faith is the hand that must receive the atonement, that transfers the guilt on the head of our great sacrifice, the feet whereby we flee into the city of refuge, and the hand that draws the cover from wrath over our heads, and signs the covenant of peace betwixt us and an angry God.

2dly, He must believe his own desert of wrath, that he himself deserves to fall amongst them that fall. Blood on the door-posts of the Israelites proclaimed them guilty, as well as blood on the houses. of the Egyptians did them. He must sit down at this table under a sense of sin, and desert of wrath; acknowledging that he deserves. rather to be led to the altar for a sacrifice for vengeance to feed on, than to sit down at the table to feed on this costly sacrifice. If ye be this day to be marked with the sign of salvation, ye will be sensible ye have hung the sign of destruction before your own doors; and while others, in the view of wrath on the land, are dealing all the causes of wrath about them, ye will smite on your breasts, saying, with the publican, (Luke xviii. 13), "God be merciful to me a sinner;" a self, a land, a church destroyer.

3dly, He must, with an eye of faith, discern the sacrifice, and the virtue of it, seeing that in the ordinance which a carnal eye cannot

discern; as Exod. xii. 26, 27, "And it shall come to pass, when
your children shall say unto you, What mean you by this service?
that
ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who pass-
ed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote
the Egyptians, and delivered our houses." The apostle tells us,
how the spiritually blind bring wrath on themselves, instead of se-
curing themselves against wrath, 1 Cor. xi. 29, "For he that eateth
and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself,
not discerning the Lord's body." And here faith will say two
things:-

1. Faith will look in through the ordinance, and seeing Christ in it, will say, "There is a hiding-place from wrath," John i. 29, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Eph. ii. 14, "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.' The believer will see the grand device of salvation in a crucified Redeemer : he will say, There is the Lamb that was slain to turn away the destroying angel; the "Lamb of God," that is, the Lamb which God himself hath provided, as he did the ram in the thicket; JEHOVAH-JIREH, (i. e. "God will provide"), said Abraham's faith long ago, Gen. xxii. 14.

2. Faith will look more narrowly yet, even through the hidingplace itself; and where the fearful unbeliever sees many faults, the believer will see none, but say, "He is able to save them to the attermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them," Heb. vii. 25. There is a bottom on which I may venture for time and eternity; there is a sufficient shelter, blow the storm from what airth it will. There will be safety there when the Lord in anger will rain snares on a generation of his wrath; it will be safe there when the waters of Jordan swell to the brim. In a word, he will believe, (1.) That Christ is the appointed refuge against wrath; and, (2.) That he is a safe refuge, and that there is no other.

7;

4thly, He must dip his bunch of hyssop in the bason where the blood of the Lamb is. Christ is our paschal Lamb, 1 Cor. v. the covenant is the bason wherein the blood of the Lamb is poured, Heb. xiii. 20: and the cup the New Testament. The believing communicant will lay hold on the covenant made by sacrifice, that he may be safe in the day of wrath, Psalm 1. 3-5. God offers himself to the sinner in the covenant; now must the man say, "I am the Lord's. The marriage of the Lamb is come," the Bridegroom has given his consent already, and he exhibits himself in the sacrament and the soul by faith presents itself, and they join hands

The Judge of the earth appears in the quality

and hearts at once.

of a Bridegroom; and so they take him and are safe.

5thly, He must sprinkle this blood, make an effusion of it; apply it by faith, and receive the atonement. He must not stand afar, and say, I dare not meddle with that blood, though others may; I dare not lay my foul fingers on it. He must not sit down at the table, and only bathe himself in tears; not daring to bathe himself in the blood of a Redeemer. Call that what ye will, God will call it unbelief with a witness; and ye will rise even as clean as ye would come out of mire, notwithstanding ye would pretend to throw yourselves into it for washing. Therefore ye must touch, take, and apply that holy thing: say, This blood is for me, my peace, my pardon, my sanctification, &c., and on it I venture my all for time and eternity. Heaven and earth are my witnesses also, that I embrace the offer, and that it is mine, and that I must be found under the covert of it in the day of wrath, Gal. ii. 20, "Who loved me, and gave himself for me."

6thly, He must sprinkle it on the lintel and side-posts, only not on the threshold. Look with an eye of faith on it as precious blood; and sprinkle it over your whole man, above you, on every side; only not under your feet. Despise it not; consider that awful word, Heb. x. 29, "Of how much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" It is the blood of God; the price and ransom of precious souls, the foundation of all the precious promises. But wrath from heaven hangs over your head, and over the land: sprinkle it above you, over your heads; take that blood for your sconce, shelter, and defence. Satan will attack you on every side, and may be his hounds will be let loose on you; therefore sprinkle it on every side; and by all means on your weak side. Ye have weak heads, and weak sides; this blood is for all.

7thly, He must not sprinkle it only on the back of the door, but on the outside, the lintel and side-posts, that the angel may see it. The Lord is coming to call the land to a sad account, and to examine every one. On with your mark this day, on your foreheads. Antichrist's followers may take his either on their foreheads or their right hands, to serve a turn: but not so Christ's, Rev. xiv. 1," And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written on their foreheads." Your precious faith within must shine forth in an open profession, 2 Cor. iv. 13, "We also VOL. X.

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