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of the law to justify sinners y: All the strength we have, is by the power of his might, and by his grace? And even this God dispenseth unto us in measure, and by degrees, driving out our corruptions, as he did the Canaanites before his people, “by little and little a.” Because while we are here, he will have us live by faith, and fetch our strength, ás we use it, from Christ, and wait in hope of a better condition, and glorify the patience and forbearance of God, who is provoked every day,
To comfort us likewise: First, Against all our unavoidable and invincible infirmities. Every good Christian desires to serve the Lord with all his strength, desires to be enriched, to be steadfast, unmoveable, abundant in the work of the Lord, to do his will as the angels in Heaven do it: yet in many things they fail, and have daily experience of their own defects. But here is all the comfort, -Though I am not able to do any of my duties as I should, yet Christ hath finished all his to the full; and therefore, though I am compassed with infirmities, so that I cannot do the things which I would, yet I have a compassionate advocate with the Father, who both giveth and craveth pardon for every one that prepareth his heart to seek the Lord, though he be not perfectly cleansed
Secondly, Against the pertinacy and close adherence of our corruptions, which cleave as fast unto us as the very powers and faculties of our soul, as heat unto fire, or light unto the sun. Yet sure we are, that he who forbade the fire to burn, and put blackness upon the face of the sun at midday,—is able likewise to remove our corruptions as far from us, as he hath removed them from his own sight. And the ground of our expectation hereof, is this ;-Christ, when he was upon the earth, in the form of a servant, accomplished all the offices of suffering and obedience for us: therefore, being now exalted far above all heavens, at the right hand of Majesty and Glory, he will much more fulfil those offices of power which he hath there to do :-Which are, by the supplies of his Spirit, to purge us from sin, by the sufficiency of his grace to strengthen us, by his word to sanctify and cleanse us, and to present us to himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle. He that brought from the dead, the Lord Jesus, and suffered not death to hold the head, is able, by that power, and for that reason, to make us perfect in every good work to do his will, and not to suffer corruption for ever to hold the members. It is the frequent argument of the Scripture
y Rom. v. 6, and viïi.3. Heb. vii. 18, 19. z Ephes. vi. 10. 2 Tim. ii. 1.
· Exod. xxiii. 30. b 1 John ji. 2. 2 Chron. xxx. 18, 19,
Thirdly, Against all those fiery darts of Satan, whereby he tempteth us to despair, and to forsake our mercy. If he could bave held Christ under, when he was in the grave, then indeed “our faith would have been vain, we should be yet in our sins d.” But he who himself suffered, being tempted, and overcame both the sufferings and the temptation, " is able to succour those that are tempted, and to show them
grace to help in time of neede.” Lastly, against death itself. For the accomplishment of Christ's office of redemption in his resurrection from the dead, was both the merit, the seal, and the first-fruits of ours.
Thirdly, The sitting of Christ on the right hand of his Father, noteth unto us the actual administration of his kingdom : therefore that which is here said, "Sit at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool,”the apostle thus expoundeth, “He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet 5." And “he therefore died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of dead and living," namely, by being exalted unto God's right hand .
Now this administration of Christ's kingdom implies several particulars: First, vouo deo lav, the publication of established laws. For that which in this Psalm is called “ The sending forth of the rod of Christ's strength out of Sion,” is thus by the prophets expounded, “ Out of Sion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalemi.”
Secondly, The conquering and subduing of subjects to himself, by converting the hearts of men, and bringing their thoughts into the obedience of his kingdom; ministerially, by the word of reconciliation ; and effectually, by the power of his Spirit; writing his laws in their hearts, and transforming them into the image of his word from glory to glory.
e Heb. xiii. 20, 21, Col. ii. 12. Eph. i. 19, 20. Rom. vi. 5, 6. and viii. 11. di Cor. xv. 17. e Heb. ii. 17, 18, and iv. 15, 16. El Cor. xv. 20, 22. 6 I Cor. xv. 25. h Rom. xiv. 9. i Isai. ii. 3. Mic. iv. 2.
Thirdly, Ruling, and leading those whom he hath thus converted, in his way, continuing unto their hearts his heavenly voice, never utterly depriving them of the exciting, assisting, co-operating grace of his Holy Spirit, but, by his divine power, giving unto them all things which pertain unto life and godliness, after he had once called them by his glorious powerk.
Fourthly, Protecting, upholding, succouring them against all temptations and discouragements. By his compassion, pitying them,—by his power and promises, helping them,by his care and wisdom, proportioning their strength to their trials,—by his peace, recompensing their conflicts,-by patience and experience, establishing their hearts in the hope of deliverance!
Fifthly, Confounding all his enemies : 1. Their projects; holding up his kingdom in the midst of their malice, and making his truth like a tree, settle the faster, and like a torch, shine the brighter, for the shaking. 2. Their persons ; whom he doth here gall and torment by the sceptre of his word, constraining them, by the evidence thereof, to subscribe to the justice of his wrath; and whom he reserveth for the day of his appearing, till they shall be put all under his feet. In which respect he is said to “stand at the right hand of God,” as a man of war, ready armed for the defence of his church m.
Fourthly, The sitting of Christ on the right hand of God, noteth unto us his giving of gifts, and sending down the Holy Ghost upon men.
It hath been an universal custom, both in the church and elsewhere, in days of great joy and solemnity, to give gifts and send presents unto men. Thus after the wall of Jerusalem was built, and the worship of God restored, and the law read and expounded by Ezra to the people after their captivity; it is said, “That the people did eat and drink, and send portions "." The like form was by the people of the Jews observed in their feast of Purim. And the same custom hath been observed amongst heathen princes P upon solemn and great occasions, to distribute donations and congiaries amongst the people. Thus Christ, in the day of his majesty and inauguration, in that great and solemn triumph, “When he ascended up on high, and led captivity captive, he did withal give gifts unto
* Isai. ij. 2. John x. 3, 4. I Cor. i. 4, 8. Isai. xxx. 21. 1 Pet. ii. 9. 2 Pet. i. 3.
1 Heb. ii. 17. John xvi. 33. I Cor. x. 13. 2 Cor. i. 5. Phil. iv. 7, 19. Rom. IV. 4. m Acts vii. 56.
Neh. viii, 10, 12.
Christ was notably typified in the Ark of the Testament. In it, were the tables of the law,--to show that the whole law was in Christ fulfilled, and that be was the end of the law for righteousness to those that believe in him. There was the golden pot, which had manna,—to signify that heavenly and abiding nourishment, which from him the church receiveth. There was the rod of Aaron which budded; signifying either the miraculous incarnation of Christ in a virgin, or his sufferings, which are expressed by stripes', and our resurrection with him, noted in the budding of a dry rod; or lastly, noting the sanctifying and fruitful virtue of his word, which is the rod of his strength. Upon it also was the mercy seat,-to note that in Christ is the foundation of all that mercy and atonement which is preached unto
But in two things principally did it signify Christ unto our present purpose: First, It was overlaid within and without with gold, and had a crown of gold round about it; denoting the plentiful and glorious kingdom of Christ, wlio was crowned with glory and honour'. Secondly, it had rings by which it was carried up and down, till at last it rested in Solomon's temple, with glorious and triumphal solemnity'. So Christ, while he was here upon earth, “ being anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power, went about doing good." And having ceased from his works, did at last "enter into his resty," which is the heavenly temple'
Now this carrying of the ark into his resting-place denotes
Esther ix. 22. p Tiberius, in triumpho Germanico, congiarium tricenos nummos viritim dedit. Sueton.-Divisit in populum congiarium, ut mos est iniperium suscipientibus. Herodian. 1.5. et de Septimio Severo, Initio imperii magno congiario populum prosecutus est. Idem lib. 3. Vid. Sueton. Aug.cap. 41. et Ælium Lamprid. in Antonino. Observatum fuit ut principes, assumpto imperio, ad conciliandum favorem, congiarium darent populo, &c. Alex. ab Aler. Genial. dier. lib. 5. cap. 34.
9 Eph. iv. 10. Isai. liii. 5. s Exod. xxv. 11, xxxvii. 2. t Heb. ii. 7.
u Psalm cxxxii. 89. 2 Chron. v. 13. x Acts x. 38. y Heb. v. 10. 2 Rey, xi. 19.
two things: First, a final conquest, over the enemies of God. For as the moving of the ark signified the acting and procuring of victory“, so the resting of the ark noted the consummation of victory. And therefore the temple was built, and the ark set therein in the days of Solomon, when there was not an emendicated or borrowed peace, depending upon the courtesy of the neighbour nations, but a victorious and triumphal peace, after the great victories of David, and tributary subjection and homage of all the Canaanites which were left in the land. Secondly, it notes the conferring of gifts, as we see in that triumphal song at the removal of the ark; being also a prediction both of that which literally happened in the reign of Solomon, and was mystically verified in Christ. Thus Christ, our prince of peace,' being now in the temple of God in Heaven, hath bound Hell, sin, and death, captive,—and hath demolished the walls of Jericho, or the kingdom of Satan, thrown him down from Heaven like lightning,' and passed a sentence of judgment upon him ; and hath received of the Father, " the promise of the Holy Ghost, and given gifts unto mend.” Before his entering into his rest, it was but a promise, and they were to wait at Jerusalem for ite; but, after his departure and intercession at his Father's right hand, it was poured forth “in abundance upon them f.”
And we are to note, that as it began with his sitting there, so it continueth as long as he shall there sit. It is true all holy Scripture which God ordained for the gathering of his people, and for the guidance of them in the militant church, is already long since by the Spirit dictated unto holy and selected instruments, for that purpose inspired with more abundance of grace, and guided by a full and infallible spirit; but yet we must note, that, in these holy writings, there is such a depth of heavenly wisdom, such a sea of mysteries, and such an unsearchable treasure of purity and grace, that though a man should spend the longest life after the severest and most industrious manner to 'acquaint himself with God' in the revelations of his word, yet his knowledge would be but in part,—and his holiness, after all that,
a Josh. vi. 11, 20. b 2 Chron. viii. 7, 8, ix. 26. 2 Sam. vii. 9, 12. Psalm Ixviii. 29. e Psalm lxviii. 18. d Acts ii. 32, 35. e Acts i. 4. f John xiv. 16, and xvi. 7.