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and the day of confummation in heaven; and we may, compare these two together in a few words.
1. The day of epousals here is usered in with a very dark morning, or rather an evening, upon the bride's part, with the wrath of God, and the law : as it was said, “ The evening and the morning was the day ;" fo, in this contract, the evening of legal terrors, at least some humiliation, ushers in the morning : But as to the consummation, there is a great deal of glory before it, the soul being taken to heaven already, and the body sleeping sweetly in the grave, a bed where the Bridegroom lay three days before her.
2. In the day of espousals, when the person gets a victory over corruption, and finds little stirring of it, no sensible working of it, yet there is a party within, at the same time, that oppose the match, and 'which will afterwards get out its head, and will be still assaulting the believer, while he is on earth : but, in the day of consummation, there is no such thing; no enemy, no fin, no corruption; but the whole soul goes out wholly upon the Bridegroom.
3. The espousals are carried on secretly; it may be the person is fitting at your fide, and you do not see, nor know when Christ is making up the match; or, perhaps, on his knees at home, there is a secret transaction: But the consummation will be before millions of angels, millions of saints, and millions of spectators. Here is a great difference : after the day of espousals is over, the bride may give many squint looks to her old lovers, looking back to Egypt, departing from her husband, doubting of his love, distrusting his word, fearing his dispensations : But, after the consummation, no shadow of fin, no shadow of jealousy, no shadow of mistakes, or fears, can overtake her for ever; no cloud can interveen, for the fun of righteousness shall never be eclipl. ed any more. But then, - 2d, A second remark is, that the precise time of the espousals. is condescended on by the Bridegroom and his Father, from all eternity; the very moment when the bride shall be made to sign the contract, and fee to Christ, and pour out her whole foul upon liim; that
precise moment is agreed upon betwixt the Father arid the Son, in the covenant of redemption, from etera nity. · 3d, We remark, that the Bridegroom waits patient. ly for that moment that is agreed upon betwixt the Fa. ther and the Son ; he longs for it, he defires it. The believer' many times is ready to think, 0, Christ is not willing! I have set days apart; I have gone to my knees, I have fought him in and about this and the other or: dinance, and yet I could not close with him : I have been almost dipt in hell with ail:ction, yet my heart was never melted ; surely Christ is not willing. O let, uş flee the borders of blasphemy! The Lord Jesus is willing; but the fulness of time is not yet come : there is a fet moment of his coming to his people, and for this they are to wait ; yea, for this he waits himself, ! according to that scripture, which I shall read to them that cannot get that in duties and ordinances which they have been long looking for ; Isa. xxx. 18. “ Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you; -and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have meracy upon you: For, the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him. He will wait up. on the very moment of time, for the day of Salvation ; he knows the proper season. The crane, the swallow, and the stork know their seasons, by the natural instinct God hath given them; and will he not know his own seafon? yea, he waits to be gracious.
4th Remark, That when the time comes, then there is a sweet conjunction of all circumstances to conclude the work; all things work pleasantly together to com. pleat the match ; conscience goes right to work, the word is made lively, the Spirit acts powerfully and sweetly in the soul : there is an auspicious conjunction of all favourable circumstances, for determining the bride, and drawing out her heart. - sth Remark, That there are several signs and characters of this day, by which it may be known. What are the signs of it? you shall say. I shall not stand on this, only it is a day of light; great light breaks in upon the mind : it is a day of love; much love is let in
upon the heart : it is a day of power, wherein the bride is persuaded and overcome; diificulties are surmounted, enemies conquered, and the bride's will is moulded in. to a compliance; it is a day of amazement. O what an extafy of wonder is raised in thie person's heart! I was blind, now I fee; I was dead, now I live; I was weak, now I ani lirons; this morning, perhaps, I was under afil ction, and under the terrors of God, and now he hath ravished me with the confolations of his Spirit: I was afraid of hell, now I have the hope of heaven and eternal life. O what a day of wonder is it! Lailly, It is a day of vows; the foul will be ready to break forth in such a day, crying. What shall I speak for him ? What shall I suffer for hint? .
A fixth and last remark, on this head is, that, in this stated day of efpoufals, tlie bridegroom manifesti his glory to the bride ; when He intimates to the soul, ** Thy Maker is thy Husband,” he shews nis glory; his
absolute glory, his comparative glory, his relative glory; they are all one upon the matter, yet there is a formal different consideration of thèa.
1. His absolute glory is nianifested. What does the Toul fee, that is matched and niarried to Chris? Alas! fome fee nothing but dreams and fancies ; but when the believer is matched with Christ, he fo deals with hiin as with Mures; he makes all his glory to pass before hia: The person gets a view of the glorious attria butes of the Son of God
. 2. He manifests his comparative glory; 6 Thou art more excellent than hills of prey; fairer than the fons of men:" the bride; the believer sees hiin as the apple tree among the trees of the wood, every way incomparable. Whatever he be compared to, he excells it ; if he be a lily, he is the lily of the valley; if he be a role, he is the role of Sharon; if he be a plant, he is the plant of re. nown; if he be a physician, he is the physician of value; if an advocate, he is an advocate with the Father: he is · represented without any parallel.
3. His relative glory is manifested: he is discovered as a glorious Priest, a glorious Prophet, a glorious King, a glorious Husband, a glorious Redeemer and Vol. I.
Saviour; and there will be a sight of his glorious fulness in all these relations, and the glorious fitness of that sufficiency and fulnels, all suited for the foul: and thus revealing himself, he removes all jealousies and mistakes from the bride, supplies all her wants, heals all her diseases, and out-bids all her rivals, who can of. fer nothing to allure the soul, while he can, and doth fay, I ain All-sufficient to help thee.
III. I come now to the third thing proposed, namely, To oiler fome reasons of the doctrine, why Clirist comes under a married-relation to believers. I answer,
1. His own fovereign will is the best reason why he comes under a marriage-relation in this case; “ Even so Father, for so it seems good in thy fight,” Maith. xi. 28. His actions are not to be examined at the bar of our reason: “ He hath mercy, because he will have mercy.”
'2. His love to them makes him come under such a relation to them; “ I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with everlasting kindness have I drawny thee.” Love is the motive that engages him; love brought him out of heaven for them; love nailed him to the cross for them; love laid him in a grave for them; and love engages him to a marriage-relation with them.
3. He does it for the glory of his own free grace, mercy, and love. As love and mercy was his motive,, so it was his end, that he might display and discover it to the utmost. This attribute is at its utmost line. Infinite wisdom could have contrived a thousand worlds, and infinite power could have made them, but the love of God hath gone to its utmost height; it is not possible for Christ to give a greater demonstration of his love than he hath done, in giving his life for the bride, and entering into a marriage-relation with her.
4. He does it, that he may furnish work for the blessed company in the higher house; för on the earth the contract is only drawn up: this is only the day of espousals; heaven will be the day of consummation of the marriage: this is only a courting and wooing time; but the day will come when the nuptial solemnity shall be celebrated, and that shall continue while the day of
MATCH. eternity lasts. This shall fuffice for the reasons of the doctrine.
IV. The fourth thing was, To make some applicatio Ôn; and it may be, 1. For Information. 2: Lamenta tion. 3. Examination. 4. Exhortation. Now of these in their order:
(1.). For Information. Is it fo, that there is a marriage-relation betwixt Chrisi and belieyers?
1. This infórnis us of the infinite love of God towards lost finners, in giving his own Son to be a Husband and Redeemer arto the!) ; God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life,"> John iii. 16. God so loved the world, as neither angels nor men can tell.
2. This informis uis of the iüfinite love of Christ, in condescending to be a husband to such a bride. It could never have entered into the heart of the wiseit angel in heaven, that Christ, the eternal Son of God, Moold become man; and far less that he should take fuch a fil.. thy and deformed creature and bride by the hand, as fi:ners are: if he had given us our deferving, he wollha e made his justice to ride in triumplı over us, and hell to refound with eternal hollows of praise to incenied justice; but, to the quite contrary, he hath fo ordered, that hea. ven shall resound with eterual hallelujahs of praise to his gracious mercy and free grace, in chung those that were enemies, and admitting them to his blefled by. som.
3. This doctrine informs us of the believer's fafety. Having Christ for her husband, who can hurt her? It is the duty of a husband, you know, to protect and defend his spouse; and to be sure Christ will not be wanting iii this to his bride: ” He will hide thein in the secret of his prefence from the pride of inen; he will keep them fecretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues, Pl. xxxi. 20. About all the glory he makes a defence,” Ifaia, iv. 5. He covers them with the mantle of his providence, the mantle of his righteoulness, the mantle of his interceffion, the mantie of his Spirit; sure, then the bride of La