Images de page
PDF
ePub

but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” Therefore he is called “ the furety of a better teftament,” Heb. vii. 22. Now, he will not see his people in want of what is necessary for their through-bearing. He lives for that end, to dispense the benefits of the covenant. He holds the keys, therefore they shall not want. The Spirit is given by virtue of his ascenfion, John xvi. 7. « Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” For what purpose was Joseph ient to Egypt, and exalted there, but to provide for his father's family, being there. in a notable type of Chrift? Well, then, fear not; wiles help weak folk. Though ye want strength, yet you have wisdom afforded you, even in betaking yourselves to Chrift. I may allude to that, Prov. xxx. 24.-29.

« There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wife. The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare

their meat in the summer ; the conies are but a feeble flock, yet make they their houses in the rocks; the locufts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; the spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings palaces.Ye have the wisdom of the ants, to provide your meat in summer; of the conies, to build in the Rock Christ; of the locusts, not to set out alone; and of the spiders, to be in the palace of the great King, holding by the promises. 2 Cor. xii. 9. * My grace is sufficient for thee ; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

2. The danger of an evil time is another source of fear. Pfal. xlix. 5. “ Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels ihall compass me about ? Two things there look

ghastly

ghastly upon them. (1.) The hazard of sinning. An evil time is a time of many snares. The soul is afraid that he will never stand out, but one day will fall. Fear not :-Christ died, and it was an evil time, a time of many snares, yet he came fafe off. This he did as a public person, and so it is a pledge that ye shall also be carried through ; see Heb. iv 14.-16. Christ lives evermore, therefore ye may fay, as David, Pfal. xviii. 46. 48. “ The Lord liveth, and blessed be my rock; and let the God of

my

salvation be exalted. He delivereth me from mine enemies," &c. He lives to intercede, which was Peter's security : “ I have,” says he,“ prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” He is busy for his people, when they have most need. (2.) There is hazard of suffering, and that is frightful to flesh and blood. Fear not :-Christ died, and therefore the bitter dregs of the cup are drunken off. He was forsaken in his sufferings, that you might be supported in your sufferings.Your sufferings will but conform you to Christ your head. Christ liveth, and therefore ye shall be supported in suffering, that the world may know that he who was dead is alive. Remarkable is that word, 2 Cor. iv. 10. “ Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also might be made manifest in our body.” A suffering time is a special season in which Christ uses to appear. We read thrice of Christ's hour, John, xiii. 1. “ Now, before the feast of the passover, when Jefus knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." Ch. xvii. 1. « These words spake Jesus,-Father, the hour is come," &c. That was an hour of darkness. John ii. 4. Jesus faith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” That was an hour wherein the wine was done, and the pots were filled with water; you know what followed.

thee?

Here it may be objected, “ But what if ordinances be taken away? Anfw. If they be, the God of ordinances endures for ever. Christ liveth, “ and he shall be for a sanctuary," Isa. viii. 14. And says God by Ezekiel, concerning his scattered people, “ Yet will I be to them as a little fanctuary in the countries where they shall come,” chap. xi. 16. When there was no ordinary food to be got in the wilderness, it was sent down from heaven. Though our kirk-doors fhould be fhut, heaven's door shall be open as long as Christ liveth. Obj. “ But I think I am very unfruitful under ordinances." Ans. It is the greater shame! But if this be thy trouble, know that Christ liveth; and therefore, if there be fap in the root, there is always hope of the branches. There is enough there, draw it out. But as Christ first died, then arose, so the believer grows downward as well as upward. If ye have a heart-memory, though ye want a head-memory, it is well. -Obj. « But what shall those do, when they are seized with fear and discouragement, and cannot tell wherefor?" Anf. The Lord may sometimes exercise his people fo, to shew them their own weakness and nothingness. But possibly it may be the majesty of God that fo affects thee, and the reason why it is not discerned to be so, may be an intimation of the Lord's love just going before it. See Dan. X. 10.-12. “ And behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees, and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, o Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright; for unto thee am I now sent: and when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood

trembling." trembling.” But however it be, the only cure is believing, Pfal. xxvii. 13. “ 1 had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” The fooner you believe, the better; for in this case a man is like one that is going to ride a great water that is increafing ; the longer he delays, the water grows still the greater.

Now, the way to make use of these things, so as to draw comfort from them, is to believe. There is, in the first place, a firm afsent to the truths revealed, 1 John, v. 5. “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ?” then, an act of faith, realifing these things, Heb. xi. 1. “ Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." To which may be added, an act of assurance, Gal. ii. 20. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the fleth, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave

himself for me. If ye cannot reach to all this extent, yet you may reach an act of adherence. . A trembling hand may draw the water of confolation out of the wells of salvation. Amen.

SIN SIN THAT WHICH SEPARATES GOD

AND MEN. *

SE R M O N II.

Isa. lix. 2.--But your iniquities have separated be

and

jour God, and your fins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

tween you

[ocr errors]

HEN we lock abroad through the world,

many fad fights may be seen; but amongst the most lamentable is man, who was by the Lord planted a noble vine, wholly a right feed, but now turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine. Some are lying mouldering in the grave of a graceless state, 'noisome to God and to good men ; some are in a withered state, their former beauty gone, and death has settled down on their faces, because God, the life and soul of their fouls, is gone. If they inquire, with Rebekah, Why am ị thus ? the answer is in the text : Your iniquities, &c. In these words, we have, if, a dreadful evil

that

* Delivered Nov. 3. 1706.

« PrécédentContinuer »