their way) upon Chrift, and the fatisfaction of his blood, when the efficacy and terror of confcience is upon them, and they feel the fting of guilt within them; but as foon as the ftorm is over, and the rod that confcience fnaked over them laid by, there's no more talk of Chrift then alas! it was not Chrift, but quietness, that they fought; beware of mistaking peace for Chrift.


Direct. 3. Thirdly, In receiving Chrift come empty handed un to him: "believing on him who juftifies the ungodly," Rom. iv. 5. and know that the deepest fenfe of your own vileness, emptinefs, and unworthinefs, is the beft frame of heart that can accompany you to Chrift. Many perfons ftand off from Chrift for want of fit qualifications; they are not prepared for Chrift as they should be, i. e. they would not come naked and empty, but have fomething to commend them to the Lord Jefus for ac ceptance. O! this is the pride of mens hearts, and the fnare of the Devil. Let him that hath no money come: You are not to come to Chrift becaufe you are qualified, but that you may be qualified with whatever you want; and the best qualification you can bring with you, is a deep fenfe that you have no worth nor excellency at all in you.

Direct. 4. Fourthly, In receiving Christ, beware of danger. ous delays. O follow on that work till it be finished. You read of fome that are almost perfuaded, and others not far from the kingdom of God; O take heed of what the prophet fays, Hofea xiii. 13. Delays here are full of danger, life is uncertain, fo are means of grace too. The man-flayer needed no motives to quicken his flight to the city of refuge.

Direct. 5. Fifthly, See that you receive all Chrift, with all your heart. To receive all Chrift, is to receive his perfon cloath. ed with all his offices; and to receive him with all your heart, is to receive him into your understanding, will, and affections, Acts viii. 37. As there is nothing in Chrift that may be refused, fo there is nothing in you from which he must be excluded.

Direct. 6. Lastly, Underftand that the opening of your hearts to receive the Lord Jefus Chrift, is not a work done by any power of your own, but the arm of the Lord is revealed there. in, Ifa. liii. 1. It is therefore your duty and interest to be daily at the feet of God, pouring out your fouls to him in fecret, for abilities to believe. And fo much, as to our actual reception of Christ.

Thanks be to God for Jefus Chrift.

[blocks in formation]

Setting forth the Believer's Fellowship with CHRIST, the next End of his Application to them.

PSALM XIV. 7.Therefore God thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.


HE method of grace in uniting fouls with Jefus Chrift, hath been opened in the former difcourfes; thus doth the Spirit (whofe office it is) make application of Chrift to God's elect, the refult and next fruit whereof is communion with Christ in his graces and benefits. Our mystical union is the very groundwork, and foundation of our fweet, foul-enriching communion, and participation of spiritual privileges; we are first ingrafted into Chrift, and then fuck the fap and fatnefs of the root: first married to the perfon of Chrift, then endowed and inftated in the, privileges and benefits of Chrift. This is my proper work to open at this time, and from this fcripture.

"The words read, are a part of that excellent fong of love "that heavenly Epithalamium, wherein the fpiritual efpoufals "of Chrift and the church are figuratively, and very elegantly, "celebrated and fhadowed. The fubject matter of this pfalm "is the very fame with the whole book of the Canticles ;" and in this pfalm, under the figure of king Solomon, and the daughter of Egypt, whom he efpoufed, the fpiritual efpoufals of Chrift and the church are fet forth and reprefented to us. Among many rapturous and elegant expreffions in praise of this glorious bridegroom, Chrift, this is one, which you have before you "God thy fellow hath anointed thee with the oil of gladnefs a"bove thy fellows:" (i. e.) enriched and filled thee, in a fingular and peculiar manner, with the fulnefs of the Spirit, whereby thou art confecrated to thy office: and by reafon whereof thou out fhineft and excelleft all the faints, who are thy fellows or copart ners in these graces. So that in these words you have two parts viz. First, The faints dignity, and Secondly, Chrift's pre-eminency. First, The faints dignity, which confifts in this, that they Ii 2

Hic Pfalmus propheticus eft, continetque Epilathamium que Chrifti cum ecclefia nuptiæ celebrantur, idemque habet argumentum quod canticum canticorum ejufque videtur effe epitome. ** Cocceius in loc.

SERM. VIII are Chrift's fellows. The Hebrew word † is very full and copious, and is tranflated" conforts, companions, copartners,

partakers: or, as ours read it, fellows" (i. e) fuch as are partakers with bith in the anointing of the Spirit, who do, in their measure, receive the fame Spirit, every Christian being anointed, mode fibi proportionato, with the fame grace, and dig. nified with the fame titles, 1 John ii. 27. Rev. i. 6. Chrift and the faints are in common one with another: doth the spirit of holinefs dwell in him? So it doth in them too. Is Chrift king and priest? Why, fo are they too by the grace of union with him. He hath made us kings and priefts to God, and his Father. This is the faints dignity to be Chrift's fellows, conforts, or copartners; fo that look, whatever fpiritual grace or excelJency is in Chrift, it is not appropriated to himself, but they do fhare with him: for indeed he was filled with the fulness of the Spirit, for their fakes and use: as the fun is filled with light, not to fhine to itself, but to others; fo is Chrift with grace, And therefore, fome tranflate the text, not prae confortibus, above thy fellows; but propter confortes, for thy fellows t Making Chrift the firft receptacle of grace, who firft and immediately is filled from the fountain, the Godhead: but it is for his people, who receive and derive from him, according to their proportion.

This is a great truth, and the dignity of the faints lies chiefly. in their partnership with Chrift, though our tranflation, above thy fellows, fuits best, both with the importance of the word, and fcape of the place.

Secondly, But then, whatever dignity is afcribed herein to the faints, there is, and ftill must be, a pre-eminency acknowledged, and afcribed to Chrift; if they are anointed with the spirit of grace, much more abundantly in Chrift: "God thy God hath

anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."

By the oil of gladness, understand the spirit of holiness, compared here with oil, of which there was a double ufe under the law, viz. a civil, and a facred ufe. It had a facred and a folemn afe, in the inauguration and confecration of the Jewish kings and high-priefts; it had also a civil, and common ufe, for, the anointing their bodies, to make their limbs more agile,

+ and Confortes, participes, fodales, focios. Vox Hebræa quodcunque focietatis five communionis genus fignificat. Muis. Rivet.

Oil itfelf is pure and clear; which supplies and feeds the flame


expedite, and nimble; to make the face fhine, for it gave a laftre, freshness, and livelinefs to the countenance.

It was alfo ufed in lamps, to feed and maintain the fire, and give them light. These were the principal ufes of oil. Now, upon all these accounts, it excellently expreffeth, and, figuratively, reprefents to us the spirit of grace poured forth upon Christ and his people. For,

First, By the fpirit poured out upon him, he was prepared for, and confecrated to his offices; he was anointed with the Holy Ghoft, and with power, Acts x. 38.1

Secondly, As this precious oil runs down from Chrift, the head, to the borders of his garments, I mean, as it is fhed upon believers, fo it exceedingly beautifies their faces, and makes them fhine with glory.

Thirdly, It renders them apt, expedite, and ready to every good work; Non tardat uncta rota.

Fourthly, It kindles and maintains the flame of divine love in their fouls, and, like a lamp, enlightens their minds in the know-' ledge of fpiritual things; the anointing teaches them.

"And this oil is here called the oil of gladness +, because "it is the cause of all joy and gladness to them that are anoint"ed with it :" Oil was ufed (as you heard before) at the inftalment of fovereign princes, which was the day of the glad pefs of their hearts; and, among the common people, it was liberally ufed at all their festivals, but never upon their days of mourning. Whence it becomes excellently expreffive of the nature and use of the fpirit of grace, who is the caufe and au--thor of all joy in believers, John xvii. 13.

[ocr errors]

And with this oil of gladnefs is Christ said to be anointed a bove his fellows, ie, to have a far greater share of the fpirit of grace than they: "For to every one of the faints is given grace "according to the measure of the gift of Chrift," Eph. iv. 7. But to him the Spirit is not given by measure, John iii. 34.

fuel; hence the metaphor of anointing with oil ufed in fcripture, frequently fignifies the internal illumination of the mind by the Holy Spirit, and the communication of the true knowledge of God, and fuitable affections of foul to it. Moller. on the place.

† 'Erator ayaλrıaçı, dicitur id quod caufam dat fummi gaudii. Grot. in Heb. i. 9. Αυτος υμιν αιτίος της δωρεας το πνεύματος, και επισπασάμενος καθε εσιν άνθρωπος το πνεύμα και ημιν μεταδες. 1. 2. He is the cause of the gift of the Spirit to you, and being anointed with the Spirit as he is man, he communicates the Spirit to us allo. QEcum.

"It hath pleased the Father, that in him fhould all fulness "dwell," Col. i. 19. and "of his fulness we all receive grace "for grace," John i. 16. The faints partake with him, and through him, in the fame fpirit of grace, for which reason theyare his fellows; but all the grace poured out upon believers, comes exceeding fhort of that which God hath poured out upon Jefus Chrift. The words being thus opened, give us this note..

Doct. That all true believers have a real communion, or fellowship, with the Lord Jefus Chrift.

From the faints union with Christ, there doth naturally, and immediately, refult a moft sweet and bleffed communion or fellowship with him in graces and fpiritual privileges, Eph. i. 3.. "Bleffed be the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, who "hath blessed us with all fpiritual bleffings in heavenly places "(or things) in Chrift: in giving us his Son, he freely gives us "all things," Rom. viii. 32. So in 1 Cor. i. 30. "Of him are ye "in Chrift Jefus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righte "oufnefs, fanctification and redemption." And once more, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. "All are yours, and ye are Christ's." What Chrift is, and hath, is theirs by communication to them, or improvement for them; and this is very evidently implied in all thofe excellent fcripture metaphors, by which our union with Chrift is figured and fhadowed out to us: as the marriageunion betwixt a man and his wife, Eph. v. 31, 32. You know that this conjugal union gives the wife intereft in the estate and honour of the husband, be she never fo meanly defcended in herfelf: The natural union betwixt the head and members of the body, by which alfo the myftical union of Chrift and believers. is fet forth, 1 Cor. xii. 12. excellently illuftrates this fellowship. or communion betwixt them: for from Chrift" the whole bo"dy fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every "joint fupplieth, according to the effectual working in the "measure of every part, maketh increase of the body," as the apostle fpeaks, Eph. iv. 16. The union betwixt the graff and the ftock, which is another emblem of our union with Christ, John xv. 1. imports, in like manner, this communion, or partnership betwixt Chrift and the faints; for no fooner doth the graff take hold of the ftock, but the vital fap of the stock is communicated to the graff, and both live by one and the fame juice.

Ubi ego Cajus tu Gaja. Uxor clarefcit in radiis mariti.

« VorigeDoorgaan »