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"then shall the earth yield her increase, and God, even "our own God, shall bless us; God shall bless us, and all "the ends of the earth shall fear him."*
Fifthly, With the plea, and every form of the plea, for the benefits of the covenant, introduce the name and office of the Lord Jesus Christ. Having fulfilled the condition, in his obedience unto death, he is constituted, by wisdom and grace, heir, administrator and dispenser of the blessings. At the throne of grace his name and office are of essential importance; and if these be overlooked by petitioners, none of their supplications will be accepted or regarded. The great name, which is our plea, is in him and by him made known unto us. "My name," saith Jehovah, "is in him;" and to Jehovah he himself saith, "I "have manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gav"est me out of the world-I have declared unto them thy "name, and will declare it." Till we behold the name of the Father in Christ, we do not understand it truly, and cannot plead it acceptably; and unless our supplications be stamped and recommended with the name of Christ, they will not prevail, nor glorify the name of the Father.Supplications which honour the name of the Son glorify the name of the Father, and are always well received above: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I "do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."†
Sixthly, Be submissive and modest in pleading for temporal good things. Though the covenant stood before Jeremiah, though the settlement concerning seedtime and summer, vintage and harvest, appeared in his eye; though the promises of rain in due season rushed into his memory, and though the high considerations, word's sake, mercy's sake, truth's sake, goodness' sake, name's sake, presented themselves to his faith, he is exemplary modest: "Do thou for thy name's sake." Of the ways of the Lord we are incompetent judges; and, in all applications upon the name, should submit ourselves to his wisdom and righteousness, and leave to his good pleasure what is to be done.
How shall we now do? For a seed time and a summer we would go to the throne of grace; but over against us stand testifying a number, without number, of personal,
*Psal. lxvii. 4-7. ↑ John xiv. 13.
congregational, and national iniquities. In the face of these, be not afraid to plead the name of the Father through the name of the Son. When disobedience blew the coal, and kindled the flame which threatened the camp of Israel, Moses interposed the fame which the nations had heard of the Lord God of Israel; cried for pardon, as they had been pardoned from Egypt to that moment, and obtained mercy: "I have pardened," said the Sovereign, "according to thy word." The fame of the God of pardons was the word of Moses; and, according to this word, pardon was granted, and confirmed, and published. When pestilence, roused by rebellion, took hold of the bow, and in the face of rebels shot arrows of death, Aaron ran, and with the censer, the fire, and the incense, stood between the dead and the living, and stayed the plague. When fire had devoured the great deep, and eaten up a part, Amos interposed, "O Lord, cease, I beseech thee; and "the Lord repented, and said, This also shall not be, saith "the Lord God."
But if applications to the throne do not prevail, and the treasures of the north continue open; if summer, like our spring, be a winter, and incessant snow raise the hills of Greenland in the vallies of Britain, we will live upon the all-sufficiency of God; and, under the covenant of peace, summer on his faithfulness and mercy. Through this rich and boundless paradise there is an eternal spring, and a verdure which winter cannot hurt. In the midst of it is the broad river, whose streams make glad the city of God; and upon the banks of this river stands the tree of life, whose leaf is always green, whose blossom is always blown, and whose fruit is always ripe and good for food. "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away: For lo, "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone: The flowers "appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is "come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. "The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines, "with the tender grape, give a good smell. Arise, my "love, my fair and come away. one, When the field withers, and the fold and the stall suffer, there is always a great cry from the earth. These are tender parts, and when they are bruised, or touched, eve
Song ii. 10, 11, 12, 13.
ry man who hath his portion in this life feels himself hug and roars hideously: "Ye have taken away my gods which "I have made, and what have I more; and what is this
that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?" But is there unrighteousness with God? Is the Lord of all dealing mjustly, in striking down the idol set up against his supremacy over the heart? Are not iniquities testifying to your face; and is not conscience accusing you of procur ing to yourselves, by your iniquities, these hard things which the Lord is shewing in the course of the season? Stand still, O guilty man, look up to heaven above, and down to hell which is beneath. Cast thine eye upon the Book that is lying before thee. Consider the expedient which it reveals, to escape the sorrows and torments below, and to inherit the pleasures and joys above.
Hast thou not read, hast thou not heard, that the Seed of the woman hath bruised the head of the serpent, and destroyed the works of the devil? That, in the fulness of time, the Son of God was made under the law to redeem men who were under the law? That he glorified the Father on earth, and finished the work which was given him to do? That he made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness? That he died, rose, revived, ascended, sat down on the right-hand of the Majesty on high, and commanded repentance and remission of sins to be preached in his name among all nations? That he is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth? That he is set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare the righteousness of God for remission of sins, that God might appear just and the jus tifier of him who believeth in Jesus? That there is no salvation in any other, nor another name through which wa must be saved, given under heaven among men? That whosoever believeth on him hath remission of sins, and everlasting life; and that every one who reads the Bible, and hears the gospel is invited, encouraged, and commanded, to believe?
These, O perishing man, are words of truth and soberness-words whereby thou, with all thy house, mayest be saved; and, by our Lord Jesus Christ, we preach and ex hort: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shal be saved and thy house." Amen.
INTERCESSION FOR PARDON PREVAILING,
AMOS vii. 2, 3.
Lord God forgive, I beseech thee-The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord.
AMOS was a plain man, a keeper of cattle, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit. Contemporary, or nearly contemporary, with Hosea and Isaiah, he is equally bold in rebuking sin, whatever diversity appear in his manner and style. The Lord employs sometimes in his service men of low extraction; and, by enabling them to outface the hardest and most impudent sinners, glorifies himself, and magnifies his word above all his name.
In the latter part of the prophecy of Amos, five visions are distinctly related; three in the seventh chapter, one in the beginning of the eighth, and the other in the beginning of the ninth. The two first visions are emblems of lighter calamities, by which the state would be weakened and impoverished. The three last are emblems of heavier calamities, by which the kingdom would be dissolved and ruined. Upon the intercession of the prophet, the lighter calamities were countermanded and removed; but no reformation following the removal of these, the heavier calamities came forward-the time of forbearance expired, and the Lord would not be entreated.
Grasshoppers, with the destructive qualities of locusts, appeared to the prophet; and the grass of the latter growth, after the king's mowings, was eaten up by these devourers. This is the first vision, and a prophecy of the miseries which weakened the kingdom after the reign of . • Jeroboam, and before the Assyrian invasion. Upon the appearing of this prophetic emblem, Amos interceded for pardon and mercy: "O Lord God, forgive, I beseech
"thee; by whom shall Jacob arise, for he is small?" Te this prayer a gracious answer is returned: "The Lord re"pented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord.”
"Whatever things were written aforetime were written "for our learning, that through patience and comfort of "the scriptures we might have hope."* Though visionand prophecy be sealed up, and oracular and extraordinary communications from heaven be ceased, instruction and comfort may be received from the record of this prophetic vision, which is now under our consideration.With attention join prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, while we speak concerning intercession; the prevailing of this intercession; and the sovereign manner in which intimation of its prevailing is expressed and communicated.
Intercession is to be considered and illustrated. Concerning it we observe, First, This intercession was made by Amos alone. Neither Hosea nor Isaiah, who lived and prophesied in the same reigns, nor any of the fearers of the Lord in Judah or Israel, joined in it with the prophet. Without doubt, godly men of every description would be concerned, and would cry for the removal, or the preven tion of miseries which weakened and exhausted the country: But none of these would join with Amos. To him. alone the vision appeared, and by him alone the intercession was made:
Secondly, This intercession was made in the behalf of a wicked people. Amos calleth them Jacob, after the name of their ancestor; but they had renounced the principles of that holy man, and stained their manners with the vilest corruptions. Jeroboam, of the family of Jehu, filled the throne; and by him the Lord did great things for Israel. But the corruptions which had blighted the reigns of his predecessors, from the rise of the monarchy, are charged upon the administration of that enterprising and successful warrior: "He departed not from all the sins "of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin."t Forms, and times, and places of worship, uninstituted and prohibited by the God of Jacob, were invented and authorized by the heads of the house of Jacob; and corruption
*Rom. xv. 4. †2 Kings xiv. 24: