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favour, for Psal. xxx. 5. In his favour is life. And all other things must yield thereto, Phil. ii. 8. “ Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ."

5. It will be your great desire, and sincere endeavour, to be like him, 1 John iii. 3. Men generally look like their portion. It is known upon them, whether they have a small and poor portion, or a great and fat portion. And they that have God for their portion, will be like him in holiness, and it will be their desire and endeavour to be more and more like him, in all his imitable perfections, 2 Cor. iii. 18. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, and gave us a copy of holiness and righteousness, love and beneficence to mankind, meekness, patience, &c. and his people will follow these.

6. It will be your great design to please him in all things, by having respect unto all his commandments, Psal. cxix. 6. She that is married takes the husband instead of all others, leaving father and mother for him; and so labours how to please her husband. And they that take God for their portion instead of all others, will be careful to please him, and walk by his direction in all things, Psal. xly. 10. His will, will be not only the rule, but the reason of duty to them: and what is his pleasure they will not willingly baulk. He is their portion, and so their all. And so their obedience is limited.

7. Lastly, It will be upon his own that ye will serve him, Gal. ii. 20. I live, says the apostle, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Phil. iv. 13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Hypocrites never take God for their portion; they seem to themselves to have of their own; and upon that they serve him, leaning to their own abilities, like hired servants. But the saints, convinced they have nothing of their own, live on him as their portion, depending on him for strength, throughbearing, &c. in duties, Matth. v. 3. “ Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

USE III. Of exhortation; and that to those who have made God in Christ their refuge, and to those who are without a saving interest in him.

First, Ye who profess to have made God in Christ your refuge, carry as becomes those who have in him a portion to live on. And,

1. Hang not on about the door of the world and the lusts thereof, for satisfaction, as those who have no other portion but what they can squeeze out of these dry and fulsome breasts, Johu iv. 14.

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Leave the husks which the swine do eat, to those poor prodigals that are not come to their Father's house. Ye have bread enough there. That contentment which others seek in these, ye may have in God.

2. If the world smile on you, let it not have your heart, since it is not your portion, Psal. lxii. 10.“ If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” Carry your heart lightly over time-enjoyments, and let it not dip in them. Though these are carnal men's good things, they are not thy good things, Luke xvi. 25. Thy portion is in thy refuge.

If the world frown, bear it with holy courage. Whatever thou lose, thou canst not lose thy portion, which is in thy refuge. Alas! it is sad to think that believers should appear in that case as if all were gone, since they never want a portion.

Secondly, Ye who want a saving interest in Christ as your refuge, seek to get God in Christ for your portion. For motives, consider,

1. Nothing less can be a sufficient portion for you. Increase your portion in the world, as ye will, ye will still be in want, while God is not your portion. But in him your souls shall find complete satisfaction.

2. Any other portion may be lost. They that have not a God to live on, may soon be at that, they shall have nothing at all to live

But if God be your portion, ye shall never want. 3. What but a God in Christ can be a portion to you at death, at the judgment-day, and through eternity? All things will leave you at death, and you can carry nothing with you into the other world. What portion then can you have, if God is not your portion now?

5. If God be not your portion here, ye will have a dreadful portion in the other world. God will then cut you asunder, and appoint you your portion with the hypocrites : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matth. xxiv. ult. Remember what Abraham said to the rich man, Luke svi. 25. “ Son, remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.”

5. Lastly, God in Christ is now offering himself as a portion unto you; and yo may have this enriching portion. Your work now is to embrace the offer, and close the bargain.

(1.) Guilty creatures, take a God in Christ for your refuge ; so shall ye be well provided for safety against the law, sin, death, and hell.

(2.) Poor portionless creatures, take God in Christ for your portion. Renounce all other portions, and take himn for your portion for time and eternity. So shall you be provided happily from this time and for ever.

on.

1

THE

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERS

OF

TRUE BELIEVERS.

II. IN RELATION TO THEIR DISPOSITION AND PRACTICE AS CITIZENS

OF Zion.*

THE CITIZEN OF ZION DESCRIPED.

PSALM Xv. 1. Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle ? who shall dwell in thy holy

hill ?

a

This psalm consists of a question and an answer. The former we have, ver. 1. the latter, ver 2. to the end.

In the question may be considered,

1. The party propounding it; David, for it is a psalm of his. He was a good man, concerned for his own soul. And therefore he proposes it for his own behoof, to impress his own soul with the necessity of his answering the character of a citizen of Zion. He was a prophet concerned for the souls of others : therefore he proposes it for their behoof, to impress men with the necessity of their answering that character.

2. The party to whom it is propounded; it is to the Lord himself. He is the infallible Teacher, and the sovereign Lawgiver, who has settled the constitutions of his own kingdom : from whom therefore we must learn them, that we may conform ourselves thereto.

3. The question itself, propounded in old Testament terms. The tabernacle was that tent which God set up among them, and where he met with his people before the building of the temple. It was a

* This subject, consisting of several sermons, was delivered at Ettrick in February and March, 1723.

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moveable place; therefore one is said to abide or sojourn there. The holy hill is mount Zion, Psal. ii. 6. comprehending the hill on which the temple was built afterwards by Solomon.

That was a fixed habitation, therefore ne is said to dwell there.

There are two parts of this question; and in New-testament language they are these.

(1.) Who shall be lodgers in God's lower house on earth, whom he will own as members of his family, and of the church militant, whom he will entertain with and admit to communion with himself in ordinances. There are many who call themselves of the holy city, and of his family, who flock about his tabernacle, whom he will disown as none of his, and so are strangers to the tabarnacle-entertainment.

(2.) Who shall be dwellers in his upper house, inhabitants of heaven, and pillars in the temple of God. There are many who will never come there. O, who are they who will be taken within the gates of the holy city, while others as unclean lepers are shut out? Who are they, as if he had said, that I may strive to be one of them?

4. The order of the question ; (1.) The sojourning in the lower; and then, (2.) The dwelling in the upper house : intimating that one must first abide in the tabernacle below, before he can be admitted to the holy hill above.

The doctrine natively arising from the words is as follows, viz.

Doct. It challengeth every one's most serious and solemn consideration, what sort of persons, sojourning with God here, shall be inhabitants of heaven hereafter.

In discoursing from this doctrine, I shall,

I. Shew what is implied in this object of our solemn and serious consideration.

II. Give the reasons of the doctrine.
III. Make some practical improvement.

1. I am to shew what is implied in this object of our solemn and serious consideration.

First, All shall not be inhabitants of heaven: some will perish, and drop out of this earth into eternal darkness.

1. All the sons of men will not be saints in heaven. There will be a great company on Christ's left hand at the great day, doomed to everlasting fire, Matth. xxv. 41. Many of Adam's family will be lost for ever, as well as there are many of the angelic tribe lost. There are vessels of iniquity now, who will be vessels of wrath for ever fitted for destruction. They may have pleasant spots of earth, and large portions of it, who will have no place in heaven.

2. Many of those who are now about the tabernacle, will be amissing in heaven. Many members of the visible church are dead and rotten members, who will be cut off, and cast over the hedge, Matth. vii. 21--23. “ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven : but he that doth the will of my Father wbich is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you : depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Luke iii. 26, 27.“ Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence you are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." To see those fall short of heaven, who never had the tabernacle of God among them, is not strange : but many who in external privileges have been exalted to heaven, will be brought down to hell, Psal. cxxv. ult.

SECONDLY, They are persons of a distinguished character now, who shall be inhabitants of heaven hereafter.

1. They are not of the common gang of the world, “walking according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” Eph. ii. 2. The course of this world is the course of the multitude, and the multitude is on the road to destruction. Hence says our Lord, “Enter ye in at the strait gate ; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat : because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matth. vii. 13, 14. They are nonconformists to the world, who are content to be the world's wonder, Zech. iii. 8. not daring for their souls to venture on such practices as, being contrary to the law of God, others make no bones of, 1 Pet. iv. 4.

2. They are not of the common gang of professors neither, Matth. xxv. 2—4. Many professors are foolish virgins, that will get heaven's door cast in their face. They carry as if they had found out the secret of making concord betwixt Christ and Belial, of reconciling the law to their lusts, of a broad and easy way to heaven, wherein men may carry the cloak of religion, and need not put off the old man. Those who shall be inhabitants of heaven are not so, Psal. xxiv. 3, 4. “ Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ? and who shall stand in his holy place; He that hath clean hauds, and a pure heart; who hath not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully."

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