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chastened; and to these it is the savour of life untơ life; but to the unbelieving and wicked it is the savour of death unto death; “ With the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.” The earth being smitten is to cry. This may be seen in Peter's audience; they being smitten, and the force of truth reaching the heart, they cried out, saying unto Peter, and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts ii. 37. The poor jailer, when he was smitten, cries also, saying, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" You see what is meant by smiting the earth; and you have heard the cry of the earth when it is smitten. And here I must drop a few thoughts which have just come flying into my head. A little before this cry was made Christ was praying to the Father, and he was answering him by a voice from heaven. Soon after that the apostles were praying that signs and wonders might be done by the name of the holy child Jesus. And here is the earth crying out to the apostles,
“ Men and brethren, what shall we do?” “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Now my text says that the heavens shall hear the earth; and so they do. As soon as the earth cried out the heavens heard and answered. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the Holy Ghost as well as we; for the promise is to you, &c. “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” says Paul, “and thou shalt be saved, and all thy house; and he rejoiced,
believing in God with all his house.” Thus God hears the apostles, and the apostles hear the poor sinners crying out of the dust. There is one observation in my text which I would by no means overlook. There is no sort or class of men under heaven that feel their need so deeply as poor blind sinners, when first smitten and wounded by the word; and there is no sort of men that cry,
in all my text, that have so many attending to the voice of supplication as that of the earth. All and every thing of God that has a voice, must attend when the earth begins to cry. God makes the most provision for them that are ready to perish. God hears the heavens; that cry comes from two quarters; but the cry of the earth has no less than five different voices answering to it; for so says my text.
6. The heavens shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn, the wine, and the oil.” The high priest, the church, the corn, wine, and oil, are all to hear the earth’s cry. But then what voices can come from corn, wine, and oil?
The corn most certainly has a voice. The death and resurrection of Christ is compared to corn sown, and springing up with much fruit. “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
2. By corn is meant the word of God, especially the promises, which are the words of life. “ Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth
out the corn.” That, says Paul, is spoken for our sakes . no doubt. Treading out the corn is explaining the word of God, Deut. xxv. 4; i Cor.
“ Corn shall make the young men cheerful and new wine the maids."
3. The children of God are compared to wheat, and the children of the wicked one to tares, in our Lord's parable. And again: “For, lo, I will command, and I will sist the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” The death of Christ has an attracting voice to poor sinners. “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” The promises are God's alluring voice to sensible souls, who feel their need of mercy. Nor is there any state that the elect of God can be in, unto whom the promises of God are so innumerable, and to whom they speak so sweetly endearing and encouraging, as to awakened sinners, who tremble at the law, and are both poor and needy. The promise is to you, says Peter; and Paul brings forth the promises made to the Gentiles in his ministry: “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord.” Every true believer in Christ, whether weak or strong, has an ear to attend to the voice of awakened sinners. they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee," Mark x. 49. And thus the crucifixion of Christ, the promises of life, and every living saint, have a voice of
good news to the poor awakened sinner. There. fore let the earth hear the voice of the corn.
II. The earth is to hear the wine. To wine the cleansing blood of Christ is compared; and it is set forth by this emblem in the Lord's supper, and was by the Lord himself, who says, “ My blood is drink indeed.” And there is a voice in this; and it is called the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel, Heb. xii. 24. It speaks pardon and cleansing, reconciliation and friendship with the Lord, the abundance of peace and communion with God through Christ. And no voice so suitable as this to a convinced and convicted sinner, when first awakened; and with this voice the apostles went forth. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Let the earth hear the voice of the wine.
Again: by wine we are to understand the love of God in Christ Jesus. This is wine on the lees well refined. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.” Now my text says, that he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and it is most certain that there is a voice that attends the rod. “ Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.” The wine hath her first voice to us in the rod.
“ As many as I love [there is the wine], I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent,” Rev. iii. 19.
III. The oil also has a voice to the earth. And by oil we are to understand the Holy Ghost; for with this oil of gladness was Christ anointed above all his fellows; and the Spirit speaks an invitation to all that feel their need.
“The Spirit and the bride say, Come.” Yea, the Spirit is held forth to all that Christ smites. “Turn you at my reproof; behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you.” Again: by oil we are to understand joy, for Christ gives us the oil of joy for mourning. Now the oil of joy has a voice; it has a voice to all mourners; for they that mourn shall be comforted. In the day of prosperity be joyful, in the day of adversity consider; God also has set the one over against the other.” The voice of joy and comfort always speaks to the afflicted; he shall comfort all that mourn. “ As ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” And, last of all,
These, all these, are to hear the voice of Jezreel, whenever Jezreel's great day shall come
God himself will hear her in time to come. For, “ as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sake,” Rom. xi. 28. Christ will hear Jezreel when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in. For, Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled;" but no longer. Then the Jews shall serve the Lord, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them, Jer. xxx. 9. The Gentile church shall bear Jezreel cry, and she shall