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"and the latter in his season, he resérveth unto us the ap"pointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turn. "ed away these things, and your sins have withholden good "things from you: For among my people are found wick. "ed men.”* Our island is defiled with the wickedness of its inhabitants, and amongst us are found wicked men. By these the good things of the spring are turned away, and our ears filled with the howling of shepherds, instead of the singing of birds.
Sixthly, Temporal good things are benefits for which intercession and prayer should be made. In the prayer which our Lord taught the disciples a petition for these appears: “Give us this day our daily bread.”+ And the following supplication stands among the prayers of David: “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; “that our daughters may be as corner-stones, polished af. "ter the similitude of a palace; that our garners may be "full, affording all manner of store; that our sheep may “bring forth thousands, and ten thousands in our streets; ost hai our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no “breaking in nor going out; that there be no complaining in bour streets."$ And, in the face of many discouragements, Jeremiah prayed, according to our text, “Do thou for thy "pame's sake.”
We proceed now to speak concerning the plea which appears in the text for temporal good things. It is, you observe, the name of the Lord: "O Lord, do thou for “thy name's sake.” This form of supplication, which Je.. remiah uses, had been used before hiin by David: “Do (thou for me, O God the Lords for thy name's sake."'f In the prayers and intercessions of holy men, the expression of this plea is beautifully and wonderfully diversified. Sometimes it is thy word's sake:' “For thy word's sake, "and according to thinę own heart, hast thou done all these "great things."# Sometimes thy mercies sake:' "Save "me for thy mercies sake." Sometimes "thy goodness sake;' “Remember thou me for thy goodness sake." Sometimes thy righteousness sake: “For thy righteous
*Jer. v. 24, 25, 26. Matthew. vi. 11.
wñess sake bring my soul out of trouble."* But the form of expression used most frequently is that which appears in our text_Name's sake;' and this is,
First, An honorable plca, and worthy of God, before whom and concerning whom it is used. The glory of his name is the end, and the motive, and the reason of his works; and in doing for it the works like himself, and inclependent of considerations of worth in creatures. In the name of the Lord our God every ray of essential and revealed glory meets, and shines forth; and to make this glory the supreme end of his operations and communications, is a perfection which he cannot deny nor give away.. This supreme motive he avows, and holds up to the adoration of his people, and jealousy for it is his praise and his honour. “Thus saith the Lord, I do not this for your sakes, “( house of Israel;' but for mine holy name's sake.”7 “For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my "praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off“For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it; “for how should my name be polluted, and I will not give “my glory unto another.”+ Under this high motive his people bow, and present sacrifices of praise. “Not unto 5u3, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, "for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake."g
Secondly, A prevailing plea. For his mame's sake great and marvellous works have been wrought. When the Elders of Israel came before Ezekial in Babylon, the Lord instructed him to dwell on the consideration of his name, as the motive to mercy in the face of disobedience and rebellion, and the plea which in former generations his people had used in their supplications. “I wrought for my ipame's sake.” Referring to another period of his administration, he comes over it again: "I wrought for mơ riname's sake." He repeats it a third time, referring still to different periods: “I withdrew mine hand, and wrought “for my name's sake.” And the remonstrance is finished: in these solemn words: “Ye shall know that I am the Lord “when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not "according to your wicked ways, nor according to your **corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord
* Psal, cxliii. ll. +Ezek. xxxvi. 22.
#Isa. xlviii. 9-11. Psal.car, lo
"God."* From these, and a multitude of other texts, it apo pears that considerations of the name of the Lord are suprenie motives to mercy, and prevailing pleas for obtaio, ing it, which holy men had been taught to use in their sup. plications. When the motive in the heart of the Sovereign is the plea in the mouth of the supplicant, confidence of being accepted and heard, confidence modest, humble, l'everential, and submissive, imparts joy to the heart of the petitioner, raises in his soul the expectation of hope, and makes his face to shine as if it were an. ointed with fresh oil.
Thirdly, A continual plea, and good throughout all generations, under all dispensations, among all nations, and in all extremities. "What one nation in the earth is like “thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his sown people, to make thee a name of greatness and terri"bieness, by driving out nations from before thy people "whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt.”+ In this passage the king of Israel discovers to us the motive of the Göd of Israel, a name of greatness and terribleness. But it is not a new discovery. Long before his reign this motive had been the faith of his people, and a plea raised upon it in a trying emergency during the conquest, With his clothes rent, his face upon the ground, and the Elders of Israel lying around him in dust, Joshua cried, “What "wilt thou do unto thy great vame."# In the Psalms David pleads it almost on every occasion. Looking back to the wilderness and the Red-sea, Isaiah enters into the same view; a glorious and everlasting name, addinge
“Thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer, thy name His from everlasting. "S Below our text, Jeremiah cries, with great fervour and emphasis, “Do not abhor us for thy "pame's sake;" and Daniel builds his plea upon "he city “and the people who are called by thy name." Our Saviour introduces into the prayer which he taught the disciples this glorious name=Hallowed be thy name;. uses it in his own prayer-Father glorify thy name; and sets it forth as the theme of his ministry I have declared unto them thy name; and will declare it. In these quotations, you see that the game of the Lord is a permanent plea, and good in every age, and in all emergencies: “Thy name, O
Lord, endureth for ever; “thy memorial, O Lord, through sout all generations.”
Fourthly, The supreme plea under whicli every other plea is subordinated. In the prayers and intercessions of holy mon other considerations often appear. Poverty, re proach, affliction, persecution, ecessity, and other things, have bcen pled at the throne of grace. But the name, or glory, of the Lord our God, is the supreme and ruling con: sideration, into which other pleas are to be resolve:), and under which they ought to be all subordinated. ing for the former and latter rain, which the wickedness of that generatio:) had turned away, Jeremiah laid hold upon this plea, carried it with him fo the throne of grace, and urged it with great fcrvour and devotion: “Do thou "for thy name's sake." Have you observed that the name of the Lord is connected with rain, and with every tempo. ral good which our island, our climate, and our seasons produce; and that for these the ancient pleas, name's sake, mercy's sake, goodness sake, word's sake, truth's sake, righteousness' sake, are still pleadable. Though not the best, temporal good things are benefits' necessary in this life, and means and occasions of glorifying God, by whom they are promised, produced, blesserl, and bestowed. We do not deserve good things, and can look for none upon our own account. But the honor of his glorious and everJasting name is pledged for seed-time and harvest, while the earth remaineth. The prophet knew that the people for whom he intercedert did not deserve rain; but he knew what we ought also to know, that the name of the Lord was concerner!, and with this glorious object before him went to the throne of the Sovereign, and cried, “O Lord, (hough our iniquities testify against us, do thou for thy ciname's sake."
According to our method, we come forward to speak. concerning our pleading the name of the Lord for temporal good things in the face of iniquity, or when it is testifying against us. In such discouraging circumstances Jeremiah pleaded. The whole body of national evil stood before him; and, with this monster appearing to his eye, and its voice roaring in his ear, he cried, “Do thou for
*Psal. cxxxv. 15.
thy name's sake.". Concerning this part of his exercise the following observations may be considered; and, with the blessing and spirit of the Lord, they will be useful in our exercise.
First, A sense of sin strongly affects the heart and conscience before the Lord, Jeremiah is the mouth of the kingdom, and speaks like a man of feeling. Ele felt the weight of the public guilt, heard it crying for vengeance, and believed that the Lord was justly offended, because the land was greatly defiled. This feeling is not common and natural to man, Multitudes live, and, for any thing that appears, die without a sense of the evil and demerit of sin. The true sense of sin, which is essential to the characters of mourners and intercessors in Zion, is the effect of conviction, and ihe fruit of faith in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whoin the atonement is received. There were but few in Judah who were suitably affected with the national iniquities, and among ourselves the nunta, ber of mourners is either diminished or else they are hid in corners and chambers, out of the sight of the public eye and the knowledge of one another.
Secondly, The righteousness of the Lord, in turning away temporal good things because of iniquity, is believed and acknowledged. Of this Jeremiah was persuaded himself, and of this no mean was neglected to persuade the nation. He declared in the house of Jacob, and published through the cities of Judah, and in the temple, and in the streets of Jerusalem cried, saying “Your iniquities chave turned away these things, and your sins have withhold"en good things from you. Righteous art thou, O Lord, sówhen I plead with thee;--how long shall the land mourn,
and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of "them that dwell therein?” In withering seasons, professions of the equity and justice of providence are in every mouth; but in the lives of many, who make these profes. sions, fruit of the lips doth not appear. Fruit of this kind is found only on a few trees of righteousness, which are grafted in Christ, and raised and trained up by the Spirit of holi
ss. Thirdly, The iniquities which provoke the Most High to withhold, or turn away, temporal good things are aeknowledged with humiliation and sorrow of heart. Con. $erning these Jeremiah is not silent. In his intercessory