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the self-same Spirit; for " he that is joined to the Lord, is one Spirit.” As it is the same human soul that is in the head and in the members of the natural body; so it is the very same Spirit that is in the head and in the members of the body mystical. He is “the head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God,” Col. ii. 19.
2. The anointing of Christ was gradual, according to the different stages or advances in his work. He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man,” Luke ii. 52. This anointing began in the first moment of the union between the divine and the human natures. He had a greater measure of the Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Ghost bestowed on him at his baptism; a still larger measure at his death, when “ through the eternal Spirit, he offered up himself without spot to God," Heb. ix. 14: a greater measure yet was poured upon him at his resurrection, when he was “ declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead" and when he ascended up on high, he poured out the Spirit “like the rushing of a mighty wind,” Acts ii. 1–4.
3. The anointing of Christ extends to all his offices, Prophet, Priest, and King. As a Prophet, he says of himself, « The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek,” Is. Ixi. 1, &c. He is an anointed Priest: the human nature which was sanctified, was, as it were, perfumed “ with the oil of gladness,” which made it savoury to God through the eternal Spirit. “He offered up himself a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour," Eph. v. 2. This anointing extends unto him likewise as a King: “But unto the Son, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom:--therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” Heb. i. 8, 9. And, again, “ I have anointed," as it may be translated, “my King upon my holy hill of
6 Zion," Psal. ii. 6. I shall finish this head, when I have told you,
4. That Christ himself, and the whole of his gifts, graces, and qualifications, is ordained for our use, who are sinners of Adam's race. He is “ made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” He is God's gift to you: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given :--and his name shall be called, Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace.”
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might
not perish, but have everlasting life.” Verily, verily, I say unto you, My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.” “God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that
' we might live through him.” “ Herein is love;" and, therefore, let every lost sinner come to him, receive and employ this anointed Saviour; take Christ's counsel to Laodicea, for the same advice and counsel comes to every one of you: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see," Rev. iii. 18.
II. The second head proposed was, to discourse a little of the lamp that God has ordained for his Anointed.
By the lamp, then, I understand the word of God, and particularly the word of the truth of the gospel. You know the use of a lamp is to give light to men in the dark, and to let them see their way. All mankind, ever since the fall, are in darkness, yea darkness itself. They have lost their way, and are walking upon the ridge of hell and utter destruction. Now, the gospel
, or “word of faith which we preach,” is a light or a lamp as it were, which God has set up to discover to the children of men how they have lost their way, and let them see that new and living way of his own devising, by which they may come back again to God and glory. “We have a more sure word of prophecy; unto which we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in our hearts,” 2 Pet. i. 19. The dark place of which the apostle is speaking is this dark world, and the heart of man is the darkest place in the world. God, who is the Father of lights, has given his word, the scriptures of truth, as a lantern or lamp, to direct us how we are to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. To this light, or lamp, we do well to take heed, as David did, the man according to God's own heart: “ Thy word,” says he,"is a light to my feet, and a lamp unto my paths.” Now, the lamp of the word of God casts a twofold light among the children of men ; namely, a law light and a gospel light. A law light, to discover our sin and misery; “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” “The law was " added because of transgression." "I had not known sin," says Paul, “except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. And when the law or commandment came,” says he, “sin revived, and I died.” But then there is a gospel light, which serves to discover the remedy. And this I take to be prin, cipally understood in the text: I have ordained a lamp for
mine Anoinied. I, the eternal JEHOVAH, have appointed the preaching and publication of the gospel as the great mean for bringing lost mankind to the knowledge of that mighty One on whom I have laid their help. “It hath pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark xvi. 15.
Now, concerning this lamp of gospel light, which God has ordained, for the glory of his anointed, if time allowed, I might, 1. Premise a few things about it. 2. Tell you of some great and glorious discoveries that are made by it. 3. Give a few of its properties.
First, I would offer you two or three propositions about it.
1. This lamp was first set up in the purpose of God from eternity, or in the council of peace, when the whole plan of salvation through Christ was laid. “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was: before the mountains were settled : while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the highest part of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth : when he appointed the foundations of the earth,” says Christ, “ I was by him, -rejoicing in the habi
“ table part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men,"
” Prov. viii. 23-31. 2. This lamp was first lighted in this lower world, immediately after the fall in paradise; when a dark and dismal night of wo and misery was spreading itself over our first parents, then a gleam of light began to break out in the first promise, Gen. iii. 15: and afterwards to Abraham; " In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”
3. The lamp of the gospel shone typically and prophetically during all the Old Testament period, before the coming of Christ in the flesh. It shone, as it were, under a veil, and only among the Jews. As for the Gentiles, except a few proselytes, they were aliens and strangers to the covenant of promise; they sat in darkness, and in the regions of the shadow of death.
4. After the coming of Christ in the flesh, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven, the lamp of gospel light was brightened, and the light of it was made more general and extensive. The veil of types, ceremonies, and prophecies, was rent, and by the commandment of the everlasting God, carried to all nations for the obedience of faith, Christ being given of God for "a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and for salvation to all the ends of the earth.”
5. Ministers of the gospel are, as it were, the lamp bearers. They are commissioned by Christ to preach the gospel, to
teach all nations. “ To them the word of reconciliation is committed ;” and as the heralds of the great King, they are to list up their voice like a trumpet, and proclaim the salvation of God to the ends of the earth.
Secondly, I shall tell you of some discoveries that are made by the light of the gospel-lamp. Only, in general, remember
, that all the discoveries it makes are wholly supernatural; the world, by all its wisdom could never have found them out. Here “vain man would be wise, yet he is born” as void of gospel wisdom, “as the wild ass's colt.” Proud men may, and no doubt will, boast of their natural or acquired wisdom and penetration, as though, by means of these, they could ransack and unfold the secrets of heaven; and yet even when they are revealed, they cannot know,cannot receive them; the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to them; hence is that of Christ, “ I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight,” Matth. xi. 25, 26.
I shall only mention a few things, among many, that the gospel discovers, which nature's light could never have discovered, and which proud nature cannot receive when revealed.
By the gospel-lamp, then, 1. We have discovered a Trinity of persons in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, and yet but one God: “ There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one,” 1 John v. 7. This is such a hard doctrine to human reason, that Arians, Socinians, and Deists, will reject the whole scriptures of truth before they entertain it; or if they acknowledge the scriptures, they fall to work to prevent scripture-light, in order to bring Christ down from his supreme Deity in among the rank of created beings; for between the Creator and a creature there is no middle being : and if Christ be a creature, I would ask what way any creature can make itself, seeing “ without him was not any thing made that was made ?" John i. 3. So then, I say, the gospel-lamp discovers the mystery of the Trinity; and how each person acts his part in the glorious work of our redemption.
2. By the light of this lamp we can look back to eternity past, and see what God was doing before the foundations of the world were laid : how à council of peace was held with reference to the recovery and salvation of fallen men; how an overture being made, that the Son of God should under. take the work of our redemption, that the different claims of mercy and justice might be fully satisfied in the salvation of
fallen man; and how the Son of God heartily agreed, saying, "Lo, I come; I delight to do thy will, O my God.". "He rejoiced in the habitable part of the earth, and his delights were with the sons of men." Without the gospel men could never have known this; but "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," opened the book, and disclosed the grand secret, and orders it to be published to the ends of the earth.
3. The gospel-lamp discovers the glorious mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God in the fulness of time. In consequence of this glorious transaction, angels admire and adore a God in our nature. "When he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him," Heb. i. 6.
4. By the gospel-lamp we have another mystery opened, even the substitution of the Son of God in the room of the guilty sinner, by which means our iniquities come to be laid upon him. The just suffered for the unjust." He is the ram caught in the thickets, and sacrificed in the room of the sinner. The sword of justice awakes "against the man that is God's fellow," who "thinks it no robbery to be equal with God." 'He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.”
5. By the gospel-lamp only we know of a law-fulfilling righteousness brought into this world, where "there is none righteous, no, not one.". Seventy weeks are determined, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin, and to bring in everlasting righteousness," Dan. ix. 24. "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us," Rom. viii. 3, 4. "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth," Rom. x. 4. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that he might be made the righteousness of God in him," 2 Cor. v. 21. O what a high discovery is this for us, especially considering, that this righteousness of the surety Christ is brought near to every one in the everlasting gospel, that they may put it on, and improve it for their justification before God! "Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness. I bring near my righteousness: it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry," Is. xlvi. 12, 13.
6. By the gospel-lamp, we shall see great and glorious mysteries in the death and blood of Christ. As Samson found a honey-comb in the lion that he had slain, so may we find the great and soul-nourishing mysteries of the grace, love,