Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

holiness; for Christ 'will not sit down where the covenant gets not the throne. When the free covenant coines, it makes Self go to the door, and bids pride be gone ; · for holiness hath a charge never to lodge in the same room with pride. When the covenant comes in, pride goes out; and when pride goes out, holiness comes in; for, He gives grace to the humble; and the most sweet. ly humbling thing in all the world, is a view of the free covenant, where God gets all the glory, and Self nothing of it: nay, when the covenant comes, it makes Self think shame of it!elf, and hide its face with blushes. In a word, when the covenant comes, it contains in its bosom all the furniture that is necessary for making a man holy; and also, this covenant shews to a man that much is forgiven him; and when much is forgiven him, he loves much. And where there is much love, there is true holiness, for the love of Christ constrains: him ; therefore, where this covenant never comes, holiness never grows; but when the covenant of grace in its freedom and fulness takes place with a foul, there holiness flourishes. Would you know wherefore there is fo much wickedness, and so little holiness in Scotland, for all the talking of holiness, as if the free dispensation of gospel-grace would marr it? The very reason is, Little of this covenant is known; men keep fast hold of their fins, because they will not take hold of this cove. nant. Where there is nothing of this covenant, there is no holiness; where little of this covenant, there is lit. tle holiness; and where much of this covenant takes place, there is much holiness. ' .

The new covenant brings in the new song, ver. 10. " Sing unto the Lord a new song;" and the new song is the new obedience; and the new obedience is the obedience of faith and love; and that obedience of faith and love is gospel-holiness. Othen, let the gospel-covenant have room, or holiness will never thrive and increase : take in the covenant, and it will make you fing; “ Sing to the LORD a new song and his praises to the ends of the earth; for he that offereth praise glorifieth God:” and the more you glorify God, the more will your holiness be like that of the redeemed above, who are singing the new song in the new Jerusalem.

SERMON

SE'R MON VI.
The World's VERDICT of CHRIST

and his FOLLOWERS; or, the truly
Devout ridiculed and reproached by
the Profane, *

ISArail viii. 18. Behold, Lad the children whom the Lord bath given me, are - for signs amid for wonders ia freel; from the Lord of bofis;

which dawelier3 in mount Zion.

THE subjects I have lately discoursed upon, compar.

ed with this text, will hold forth to us a fourfold verdict concerning Christ, the glorious Redeemer of an elect world. 1. The FATHER's verdiet concerning him, faying, “ I have given hin for a covenant of the people, a light of the Gentiles.”+ 2. The SPIRIT's verdict concerning him, witnessing in his behall; “He shall testify of me.” 3. His on terdict of himself, saying, “I and my Father are one." [ 4. The world's verdict of him and his followers, “ Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel.”-_- In the first, the Father commends him to us by his approbation ; “ I will give thee for a covenant of the people.” In the second, the Spirit commends him to us by his attestation; “ He shall testify of me.” In the third, he commends hiirttelf to us by his proclamation ; “ I and my Father are one.” But in the fourth, the world discomiends and entertains him with detestation; • Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel.”-Behold, · how the Father's gift is defu fed, though he gave him for a covenant of the people! Behold, how the Spirit's testimony is rejected, while he testifies of Chrift! Behold, how his own declaration is neglected, shewing that he and his Father are one! Beliold, how unworthily this glorious one is entertained, by the generality who hear of him; even with prodigious marks of reproach and contempt upon liim and all his children!

mony * This fermon was delivered by our Author in his own church at Dunferm. line, Dec 16. 1722.

+ See the preceding fermon.
I These two lait tibjeds liave not yet appeared in print.

It migit have been thought that Christ and his friends should be better entertained, by the people of the world, seeing he is given of the Father to be the covenant of the people : yet the most of people are such strangers to their true interest, such apoilates from, and enemies to Cariit, that his best friends, are reaily to meet with the greatelt opposition, when they are most employed in witnelling for him. But that he whom the Father hath given, for a covenant of the people, will still hare fome friends amongst the people to witness for him, is evident from that word; “ He shall testify of me; and ye also shall bear witnets.” And surely they shall have no reason to be ashamed of their testimony concerning him, seeing he is such a glorious person, that he and his Father are one, in effense: and yet what treatment his witneffing friends are to expect, even in Israel, is declared in this text, by their glorious Leader; " Behold; I and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel.”

That you may not apprehend we mistake the scope of the words ; it may be here asked, “ Of whom doh the prophet here speak? of himself, or of another?” We anfwer, He speaks both of himself and of another. That he speaks of himself, is evident from the context, which you may view at your leisure: and that he speaks of ano. ther also, is evident from Heb. ii. 13. where this very text is cited, and applied to Christ; “ Behold, I and the children whom thou hast given me.” So that here the prophet is the type, and Currist the Antitype : there. fore, hence it is evident, that in discoursing upon this subject, I will not deviale from the scope, while I apply it either to Christ, or his servants and friends : and while I consider it either as the language of the prophet, the type, speaking of himself, and his children, converted by his means and instrumentality; and so

may

[ocr errors]

may be applied to all the faithful ambassadors of Christ, and their converts; or, as it is the language of Christ, the Antitype, speaking of himself, and of all his friends and followers, who, of his own will, are begotten and regenerated by the word of grace: “ Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me, are for signs and for wonders in Israel.”

The scope of this, and several following chapters, is to show the great destruction that was shortly to be brought upon the kingdom of Israel, by the king of Allyria, for their sins. In these times of public calamity threatened and impendent, the prophet comforts the people of God, ver. II. with the same comfort, wherewith himself had been comforted of God; “ For the Lord spake thus to me, with a strong hand, and instructed me, that I should not walk in the way of this people.” Where we may remark, 1. That there is a proneness in men to walk in the way of the people they live amongst, tho'it be not a good way: the best of men are prone hereto. 2. Those whom God loves and owns, he will enable them to swim against the stream of common corruption, tho’ they should be called singular.-In thele times of distress, the Lord also calii. ons his people; tz the prophet, against all finíul fears, ver. 12. “ Say you not, A confederacy, 'to all them to whom this people shall fay, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.” Be not associate with them nor afraid of their confederacy: When the church's enemies have finful confederacies on foot, the church's friends should watch against the sinful fears of these confederacies. And especially, it concerns, us, in time of trouble, to watch against all such fears as put us upon any indirect courses for our own security; or any sinsul fhits to shun the cross. He next advises them to a religious fear, ver. 13. “ Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” The believing fear of God is a special preservative against the di!quiet and fear of man: and they that truly fear God, ihall not need to fear any evil; for, He shall be for a sapetuary to them, though to others he will be a stone of fluinbling, over which they will fall to ruin, ver. 14, 15. They

who are helped to keep up the fear of God, and keep i Vol. I.

down

.

down the fear of man, will find God to be their refuge;
while the wicked, and all their confederates, though
hand join in hand, thall not go unpunished, but stumble
aiid Cail into difpair and ruin.-In ver. 16. we have the
unreakable privilege which the people of God enjoy, in
-having the oracles - f God intrusted to them; the scrip-
turu, as a TESTIMONY, to direct our faith; and a law,
to direct our practice: it is God's proclamation, under
the broad seal of heaven; it is the good thing commit.
ted to them that are disciples.-ver. 17. we have the
We, the good use we are to make of this privilege: and
this we are tauglit by the prophet's own practice and re-
folution; he embraced the law and the testimony, and
had the comfort of it, amidst all the discouragements
he met with. What counsel God had given, ver. 12.
the prophet here follows, ver. 17. “ I will wait upon the .
Lord, that bidetli bis face from the house of Jacob, and I
will look for hiin." God was frowning upon his people;
and then the prophet was waiting and looking. When
God is hiding his face, and threatening to come in a
way of judgient, even then his people thjuld be at-
tending upon him, and expecting his return, in a way
oi inercy and those that wait upon tod, by faith and
payer, may look for him with hope and joy. .

Bli low, while the prophet was taking this courle,
it Viis jured to be an inprudent and ridiculous thing
in hius; lie and liis difciples, aino: ft whoin the law
and le.linuny was sealed, were fcored and mocked,

contourne and reproached for it; “ Behold, I and the ..children wilg'i the Lord hath given me are for figns and

wonders ia iliael.", Where, for a ihort division, you
may observe these fix following things. .

1. Tie n10!e of adıniration or lamentation, BenoLD!" The propliet adwires that godliness should be so strange: or, he lainents the fun of that age, that piety and religion ih uld be such a strange thing among them.

2. We have the party that is here derided, contemn. ed, and wondered at; “ I and the children whom the Lord hath given me :" the prophet and his disciples, ininisters and their converts, Christ and his friends. 3. Observe the mark of reproach and derifion put

« VorigeDoorgaan »