Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

the tranfgreffors, opens the way to the holiest.” And hence faith has ground to expect from him the benefits of his purchase, every mercy of the covenant, as the price of his blood, and the fruit of his intercession.

Queft. What has faith to expect from Christ as a king?

Answ. As a king, he gives forth his laws, and a heart to obey them; and therefore faith expects that he will mould heart and life in a conformity to his will, according to that promise, “I will write my laws in their hearts,” &c. As a king, he subdues his and his people's enemies; and therefore faith looks to him for victory over sin, Satan, and the world, &c. As a king, “ the government is upon his shoulders," and he rules in the midst of his enemies : and therefore faith expects that all shall be well, according to his promise, Rom. viii. 28. “ All things shall work together for good, to them that love God," &c. As a king, he gives peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end; and therefore faith expects all these things from him, as vested with a kingly office. Thus you fee what excellent matter faith has to work upon, when it views the person of Christ, as cloathed with his prophetical, priestly, and kingly offices. Now, in order to your living by faith on him, ftudy to have a clear uptaking of his perfon, God-man cloathed with thefe offices.

2. Another advice I give you, consequential to the former, ja this, Study to know and be persuaded, that theft offices of Christ are purely relative, that is, they are not for his own, but for our advantage ; it was for us that he took these offices upon him, and it is for our benefit that he exercises them. Yea, in some respect, these offices depend on us as one relation depends upon another; for as there cannot be a father without a child, so Chritt could not be a prophet without there were ignorant finners to inftrua ; he could not be a priest, without there were guilty transgreffors for whom he might satisfy and intercede; he could not be a king, without subjects to govern. So that these offices of Christ are purely relative; he is a prophet for us, a priest for us, and a king for us : hence, I Cor. i. 30. he is made of God unto us (not to himself, but to us) wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and tedemption." Oh what strong ground has faith to lean upon, when these offices of Christ are taken up in this view and relation to us! Oh, will faith say, I will trust him for illumination and inftruction, because he is a prophet for to inftruct the ignorant ; I will trust him for pardon, peace, and reconciliation, because he is a priest ordained for men in things pertaining to God;" I will truit him for fanctification, and victory over death, and fin, and Satan, and the world, because he is given for a commander and king to the people : he will instruct me, he will justify me, he will sanctify, and subdue mine iniquities, because he is my prophet, priest, and king.

3. Be persuaded, that Christ executes all these offices as a duty or a trust committed to him. When a man is cloathed with any office, he is obliged to discharge the duties of that of fice; and he is unfaithful to his trust, if he do it not. His Father's commandment is upon him to this purpose, and therefore called his Father's " servant: This commandment (as a servant), he received from the Father.” And not only his Father's command, but his own voluntary engagement, Psal. xl. 6. “Mine ears halt thou bored.” Now, is it to be once thought or imagined, that Christ will fail in the duties of his offices, which the Father commanded him, and which he himself has voluntarily engaged with ?

4. Let faith begin first to act upon the priestly office of Christ; for this is the basis and foundation of the other two, II. liii. at the clofe, Phil. ii. 8-10. Psal cx. last. The priest under the law, he had the Urim and Thummim in his breaft. plate, and a crown upon his head ; to learn us, that the kingJy and prophetical offices, of which these were the badges, were both founded on the facerdotal or priestly office. So then, study to improve Christ, as a priest and propitiation, set forth in the glorious gofpel, to be applied by faith ; and then it will be easy to believe that he is thy prophet and king. If thou canst believe that he suffered and satisfied for thy üns, it will be easy for thee to believe, that as a prophet he will wash thee, and as a king he will fanctify, and subdue thine iniquities. Yea, know, Sirs, for your encouragement, that the very end why Christ purchased grace and glory by his blood was, that it might be offered unto all, and actually applied unto every soul that believes in him. So then, let faith ground first upon the priestly office of Christ, and upon that foundation claim the benefit of his other offices.

5. Remember how affectionately Christ executed these offices upon earth, and this will be a strong ground to believe that he will not neglect them, now that he is ascended into heaven. He had a great degre to be sacrificed, Luke xii. 50. "I have a baptism to be baptised with, and how am I ftraitened till it be accomplished !” He longed to be dipt in the Red sea of his Father's wrath. The word signifies that his soul was big or swelled within him with desire. He had not only desire, but delight in his mediatory work : " I delight to do thy will, O my God. Yea, he rejoiced in spirit when the time of his suffering drew near. Now, may faith argue,

[ocr errors]

Did Christ execute his offices with such deste, delight, and joy, in a state of humiliation ; and will he not much more do it in a state of exaltation ? Yea, surely he will; for he is “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

6. Consider, that both the Father and the Holy Ghost are engaged for the execution of these offices of Christ. The Father is engaged, because he ordained him to these offices, and ordained him with the folemnity of a decree, Pfal. ii. and with the folemnity of an oath, Psal. cx. and with the solemnity of a proclamation from heaven, Matth. iii. at the close, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; hear ye bim.” Now, may faith say, was Christ ordained with such solemnity to his mediatory offices by his Father; and will not the Father fee to the execution of them with respect to my soul, that puts its trust in him? Again, as the Father, so the Holy Ghost is concerned in the execution of these offices. The Holy Ghost furnished him with gifts and graces for this very end : Il. Ixi. 1. “ The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound," &c. Now, will ever the Spirit of the Lord lose his labour? No, no : God has

put his Spirit upon him, therefore he will bring forth judgement to the Gentiles, and the illes shall wait for his law." Thus you see, that faith has all the security that Heaven can afford for the execution of his offices. Thus, then, come up from the wilderness, leaning upon the beloved.

Queft. 3. How is faith to act upon a God in Christ, who is the ultimate object of faith?

Anw. In these particulars. 1. Let faith view a God in Christ in a way of appropriation, as its own God.' This we find has been the way of the saints in all ages and generations; it still lays claim to God in Chrift, with its appropriating my, &c. Psal. xvi. 2. “ O'my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord.” And, ver. 5. " The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup,” &c. And Pfal. Ixxiii. 26." My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and niy portion for ever.. And if you ask, Upon what ground doth faith go, in laying claim to a God in Christ as its own God? I answer, It goes upon the ground of his assuming our nature in the perfon of his eternal Son, and the covenant-grant and promise through him; “I am the Lord thy God; I will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” Faith fets to its amen unto the grant, and says, "This God is my God for ever;" and it shall be so, because he has said it; and, “ Has he said it, and will he not do it? hath he spoken it, and shall it not come to pass ?”

ever;”?

2. Having fixed thy claim unto a God in Christ as thy own God, then proceed to take a view of all his attributes and perfections; for every one of them (as I shewed before) is a pillar and strong rock, on which thy faith may lean with the greatest confidence and security, even though the earth should be removed, though the mountains should be cast into the midst of the sea." O, will faith say, my God is a God of infinite power, and " doth whatever pleaseth him in the armics of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth ;” and this power is through Chriit engaged for my preservation, “ He will hide me as in a pavilion in the evil day.” My God in Christ is a God of infinite wisdom ; and therefore he will lead me in the way I know not, and make me wife to salvation. He is a God of infinite justice; and therefore, having accepted a fatisfa&tion for my sins in the Surety, he is “faithful and just in forgiving ;" he will “ blot out mine iniquities as a cloud," &c. He is a God of unspotted holiness; and therefore he will fanctify me according to his covenant; “ I will sprinkle them with clean water," &c. He is a God of infinite bowels and mercy; and therefore he will pity and pardon me, and "hear me when I cry,&c. He is a God of infinite faithfulness, this is the “ girdle of his loins and reins;" and therefore he will not fuffer his promise to fall, "his covenant he will not break," &c. Thus faith leans and rests on the divine attri. butes as they are manifested in Christ.

3. Faith leans upon a God in Chrift, as one that is infinitely bountiful and liberal ; and argues as the apostle doth, Rom. viii. 32." He that spared not his own Sor, but delivered him up

for us all, how will he not with him also freely give us all things ?” Faith sees that his treasures can never be diminished, far less can they be spent or exhausted; and Oh how heart somely doth faith lay claim to these treasures, when it hears him saying, as James i. 5.“ If any man lack wifdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not : and it shall be given him.”

4. Faith views the providence of a God in Christ as calculate and designed for the advancement of his own glory, and levelled at the good of them that love him ; and this quiets the soul amid it all the reelings and shakings of this lower world. “ The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice : let the multitude of ifles be glad thereof."

5. Lafily, Faith, acting upon a God in Christ, will fee an eternity of happiness beyond time, in the immediate fruition

[ocr errors]

and

and enjoyment of him ; hence is that of David, Pfal. Ixxiii. 26. “ My Aesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."

[ocr errors]

THE TRUE SUBSTANCE AND STRENGTH OF A

CHURCH AND NATION,

TWO SERMONS,

PREACHED AT THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT

OF THE LORD'S SUPPER AT DUNFERMLINE, JUNE IO. AND
11. 1733

Isa. vi. 13.–So the holy feed shall be the substance thereof.

N this chapter we have, first, An awful vision of God made

unto the prophet Isaiah. He got a view of the infinite Jehovah, in the person of his eternal Son; for so Christ himself explains it, John xii. 41. “ These things faid Efaias, when he faw his glory.” Christ had a glory with the Father before his incarnation, yea, before the world was; and Isaiah got a view of this glory. Quest. What did he see? Answ. 1. He saw his throne, high and lifted up. 2. He saw his temple, his church on earth, filled with the train of his glorious excellencies. 3. He saw the bright attendants that surround his throne, Cherubims and Seraphims, covering their faces with their wings, because of the dazzling floods of glory that brake out from his presence. 4. He heard some of their anthems, or songs of praise, whereby they celebrate the glory of his unspotted holiness; and then fall a-wondering, that the brightness of that glory should ever shine in this lower world: O, say they, " the whole earth is full of his glory,” ver. 3. They are not furprised to see his glory shining in heaven, where fin never entered : but to see the glory of God shining through a vail of

fleth,

« IndietroContinua »