Imatges de pÓgina

of sense been, after one hour's fellowship and communion with God and Chrift in fuch an ordinance, in comparison of it? O, how much better, and more defireable the fatisfaction they have had at their Lord's table than could any where else in the world be expected. With what a holy tranfport do they think and fay, It is good to be here! This is no other than the house of God, this is the gate of heaven !

(4.) It is a feaft for the joy with which it is, or ought to be attended in all such as come prepared.

For this, feveral things are proper grounds:


[1.] It is a feaft upon a facrifice whereby our peace is made with God; and in token of it, a covenant of reconciliation and friendship is folemnly entered into between God and us through Jefus Chrift. And, as a feast is made for laughter, what should be attended with joy and gladness, if not fuch a feast as this, inftituted and held on purpose to fhew, that though we have been enemies to God, he hath now reconciled us to himself; and as confenting to the terms of the covenant, admits us, as his friends, to fit and eat with him at his table? When peace and reconciliation is fo folemnly profeffed and avowed, what joy fhould fill the fouls of thofe that in a right manner, attend upon it, and know what it


[2] It is a marriage-feaft, which is not to be celebrated without expreffions of joy. We here commemorate Chrift's dying love, as lay


ing the foundation of the churches efpoufals to him, which is washed in his blood, to fanctify and cleanse it, that he may present it to himfelf a glorious church, &c. Eph. v. 26, 27. And believers folemnize their actual espousals to him, and confirm the agreement, faying every one for himself, My Beloved is mine, and I am his; and this as a pledge of the open and glorious folemnization of the marriage of themselves and the whole body of believers to Christ at the great day; for which, by his promife, they are encouraged to look, and fhould do fo with joy.

[3.] It is a feaft wherein we are to join with the best and most defireable company, God and Chrift, and many of the children of their kingdom.

14.] It is one to which we have a folemn invitation, and may be affured of the most gracious and hearty welcome when we come. Thus it may be fitly called a feast.

2. 'Tis a feaft of God; one which he defigned and prepared for his people, and now invites them to, and entertains them at.

And it may well be ftiled his :

(1.) As it is a feaft for fouls, which none but God can make. And it is a moft fuitable one, affording fpiritual food for fpiritual hunger and thirft.

(2.) As it is fatisfying, fo as to take off the foul from looking any where elfe, though it earneftly covets more of the advantage this way communicated. The believer no where finds that relief and comfort, as he doth here: and therefore in remembrance of the entertain

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ment he has had one time, would fay when a new invitation is made to the fame, Return unto thy reft, O my foul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee: my foul fhall be fatisfied as with marrow and fatnefs, and my mouth with joyful lips fhall fing praise to God.

(3.) It is a feaft that is the earnest of the life and bleffednefs of heaven, and which prepares them for it, and affures believers that they fhall eat and drink with their Lord at his table in his kingdom.

So much for the first thing observed, God has a feaft, a marriage-feaft for his Son, which he will have poor finners invited to.

II. He narrowly obferves all his guests.

He obferves who draw nigh him in fincerity, bringing their hearts with them, and a wedding garment on them; and who approach only in fhew.

This he does,

1. As omniscient, and fo, All things and perfons are naked, and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do, Heb. iv. 13. His eyes are like a flame of fire, piercing and looking through every man's heart, and obferving the ftate of his foul, as well as the tenour of his life.

2. He obferves mens hearts now, as he will bring every work into judgment, with every even the moft fecret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil; and doth this in order to render to every man according to his deeds.

III. Such therefore as would come with acceptance to God, as guests, are to come with a wedding garment on.


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Such as went to marriage feafts in all times of the world, were wont to put on their best attire. But fome think, that it is to fome particular garment in ufe in our Saviour's time on earth, to which an allufion is here made.

If we come to the feaft which God hath prepared with acceptance, we are to come, 1. With the garment of Chrift's righteoufnefs for the justification of our perfons. 2. With fouls adorned with the graces of his Spirit, to be exercised in our fitting with the king at his table.

1. The righteoufnefs of Chrift is the wedding garment which every one is concerned to

have on.

For this the Apostle expreffes an high value, Phil. iii. 8, 9. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but lofs, for the excellency of the knowledge of Chrift Jefus my Lord: for whom I have fuffered the lofs of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Chrift, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Chrift, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

Without this we may be faid, to be found naked, or which is worfe, defiled, and fo cannot expect that when the king comes to view his guests, we should be found of him in peace, 2 Pet. iii. 14.

It is fad to appear before God, with no other covering than filthy rags: And there is no finding grace with him, or obtaining of a bleffing from him, but in the garment of our elder brother. Hence it is that we are fo often bid to put on the Lord Jefus Chrift, Romans xiii. 14. and Gal.

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Gal. iii. 27. and to buy of him white rayment to cover us, that the fhame of our nakedness may not appear, Rev. iii. 17, 18. And in order to this, he hath brought in everlasting righteousness, which is the garment we are to have on.

2. The graces of the Spirit to be exercised in fitting with the king at his table, are alfo included in the wedding garment. It is as dressed in thefe, that the king's daughter is all-glorious within, these jewels and ornaments which are to be put on. Thefe two things may be expreffed by one wedding garment, because they go together, and are never parted. The righteofness of Chrift is never put on a foul utterly unfanctified and in its natural unconverted ftate: And where any, by being in Chrift is a new creature, having him made to him sanctification, that foul has him for righteousness too.

Without the wedding garment denoting the graces of the Spirit, the foul is not fuited to the feaft prepared. How can he difcern Christ's body, that is deftitute of faith? Or feed upon him that hath no fpiritual appetite? Or have communion with him that is as oppofite to him as light is to darkness? But when these our ornaments are on, and grace in exercife, it is, as found interested in the righteoufnefs of Chrift, that we are to be accepted as to our perfons, and then as to what we fincerely perform; and to have our failures overlooked, our infirmities pitied, and the king fmile upon us, through him in whom he is always well pleafed. Having on Chrift, and being made partakers of a new nature, that is,

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