« 前へ次へ »
into the open field, none to pity, or help, yet cven then he looked upon us, and our time was the time of love, Ezek. sri.
2 How did his good-will appear, when, immediately after the fall, the remedy was discovered, Gen. iii. 15. It (viz. the feed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, (viz. the serpent's)?" the plaster is at hand to be applied, even before the wound was given by the serpent ?
3. Was it not good-will to men upon earth, that he would not trust any angel or archangel with his falvation, bur commits it unto his own Son, his beloved Son, “ who is in the form of God," Philip. ii. 6. and is fully able for the work?
4. Was it not good-will in the Son of God not only to assume the human nature, but to take our law.place, that law and justice might reach him for our debt? For he " was made of a woman, made under the law,” Gal. iv. 4. He was made fin for us, 2 Cor. v. 21. “ And he was numbered with the tranfgreitors," Il.li. 12.
5. Was it not good-will in him to die for our offences, and to rise again for our justification ? Rom. v. 25. Greater love than this hath no man, than that a' man lay down his life for his friends : “B:t God commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet enemies, Christ died for us,” John xv. 13compared with Rom. v. 0.8.
0. Is it not good will to man, in that when he had finished our redemption upon earth, that he should afcend into heaven, to appear in the presence of God for us, Heb. ix. 24. As an Advocate at the high court of justice, Il. lii. last, “ He was numbered with the transgreffors, and he bare the fin of many, and made interceflion for the transgreffors,” Luke xxiii. 34. 1 John ii. 1. “ And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
7. Is it not good will to man upon earth, that he commands the white flag of peace to be lifted up in the view of mankind, and creates the fruit of the lips, peace, peace to him who is afar off, and to him who is near ? If. lvii. 19.
8. Is it not good-will to man, that he makes' offer of himself, and of his whole salvation, to finners ? Il. xlvi. 12. 13. “ Hearken unto me, ye stout hearted, and far from righteoutness, I bring near my righteousness unto you: it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry.”
9. Is it not good will to man, that when he sees them running unto their ruin, in the broad way that leadeth to eternal destruction, he pursues them, crying, O “turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die ? for, as I live, I have no pleasure
in the death of the wicked, but rather that he should turn, Ezek. xxxiii. 11. Oh, how many a cry gives he after Israel ! Jer. ii. 1. “Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers, yet return again unto me, faith the Lord,” and verse 14.“ Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married untó
10. His heart is glad, and heaven rings with joy when a prodigal returns, Luke xv. 23. 24.“ Let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again ; he was loft, and is found. There is joy in heaven among the angels when a finner is converted," chap. xv. 7. 10.
11. His good-will appears in his behaviour when finners continue obftinate to refuse the offers of his grace, Psal. Ixxxi. 13. "O that my people had hearkened unto me.” He wept over Jerusalem, saying, Luke xix. 42. “ O if thou hadît known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace !” He enters a protest before heaven and earth, that their blood did not lie at his door, but at their own, Jer. ii. 12. 13. “ Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very defolaté, faith the Lord: for my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the Fountain of living waters, and have hewed them out cisterns, bro. ken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Thus you see what good-will Christ and his Father bears towards your salvation : and is not this a door by which you may enter into the New Testament Ark, and be saved from the deluge ? Oh how justly shall the finner perish for ever, that despises this good-will, and receives all this grace in vain !
4thly, The command of God, that is laid upon every one that hears the gospel, to believe in Christ, is a blessed door of access into the New Testament Ark, John iii. 23." This is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.” Sirs, God has such a good-will towards our salvation, that he has concluded us under a law, and has interposed his authority, enjoining us to believe in the name of his Son; and he has fenced this law with the most awful and terrible threatening in case of disobedience ; " He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God," John iii. 18.; Heb. ii. 3. “ How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?" chap. X. 28. 29. “ He that despised Moses' law died without mercy, under two or three witnefles; of how much forer púnilhment, suppose ye shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God,” chap. vi. 5. “crucified unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open fame.” Thus you see that the cominand
is peremptory, that you must believe in the name of Christ : you must receive him as the gift of God, otherwise you shall_link in the mighty waters of the deluge of eternal wrath and ven. geance, and Christ himself will resent it to the uttermoit, if his salvation be flighted; for he will come in faming fire to take vengeance on all them who know not God, and who obey not this great command of believing in the name of the only begotten Son of God, 2 Thefl: i. 7. 8.
Object. 1. I am afraid it be presumption in me to believe in and apply. Chrift.
Answ. It can never be presumption to obey an express and positive command of God. Is it presumption to pray? Is it presumption to read she word ? Is it presumption to hear the word? Is it presumption to sanctiíy God's name? and is it presumption to remember the Sabbath ? You do not reckon it presumption to do any of these, because ye are commanded of God; as little can it be prefumption to “believe in Christ, seeing this is his commandment," i John
Object. 2. 'I am such a great linner, that I am afraid it is not I that is commanded to believe,'
Ansau. The command of believing is to all without exception, great Ginners, and sinners of a lefler fize, 11. i. 8. “Come now, and let us reason together, faith the Lord : Though your fins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool:" If the command of believing were not to every one, then unbelief would not be their fin; for “ where there is no law, there is no tranf. grellion,” Rom. v. 13. But unbelief is a fin of the deepest dye, and makes every sin elle unpardonable, by rejecting the only remedy.
Objecl. 3. You tell us, That we are commanded to believe; and yet at the fame time tell us that we want power to believe ; that it is the work of God, John vi. 29. and that exceeding great and mighty power of God, that raised Christ from the dead, that must make us to believe,' Eph. i. 19. 20.
Answ. It is very true, ye cannot bcheve; “ No man can come to Chrilt, except the Father draw him,” John vi. 44. and yet ye are commanded to believe, not by us, but by that God that commands “ things that are not as though they were," Rom. iv. 17. and he commands you, impotent finners, “ dead in fin, to believe in the name of his Son;" that, from a sense of your own impotency, you may turn the work upon himfelf, as “ the Author and Finisher of faith,” Heb. xii. 2. and his command is the vehicle of power : As when he commanded the man with the wichered hand, " Stretch forth thine
hand,” Matth. xii
. 13. the poor man minted to obey, and in the mint of obedience he got power to stretch out his hand as he was commanded: So, after his example do ye. Mint at the duty, depending on the power of him who commands you to believe, that he may “ fulfil in you all the good pleza fure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power," 2 Theff. i. 11.
Object. 4. 'I have essayed and minted to believe, in obedi. ence unto the command, and yet, alas ! I am just where I vias; I do not find the power of God coming along.'
Answ. Continue in the use of the means of God's appointment, to mint at believing : Continue to hear the word, and mint at mingling saith with it: Continue in prayer; and mint at believing that God will hear you; and in this way
wait on the Lord. Remember the poor man that lay at the pool, John v. 5--9. for thirty-eight years, waiting for the trorabling of the waters, and at last the Lord came and healed hirn: So do ye; for “ blessed are all they that wait on him," Pfal. Xxxvii. 9.
Objecí. 5. But all my labours will be in vain if I le not elected; for it is only they that are ordained to eternal life that will believe, Acts xiii. 48.
Answ. It is true, the election shall obtain, Rom. xi. 7. though others be hardened; but let me tell you, in the maiter of believing, you have no more concern with the secret counsels of God, than you have in buying or filling, eatiog or drinking, or such like common actions of life. If any man should say, I will not open my shop.door, because I do not know if God has decreed that I should fell any wares; or, I do not know if God has ordained that any man should buy them : Or, if a man thould say, I will neither eat nor drink, because God has fixed the term of my life; I am sure I thall live as long as God has ordained, whatever I do, &c. : Or, I may cast myself down a precipice, or attempt to walk upon the waters, because I fhall not perish till God's appointed time come: I say, would you not reckon that man mad, or distracted, that would argue at that rate? Yet the case is the fame, when he argues, That he needs not fly to Chrilt, or enter into the New Testament Ark, because if he be elected to eternal life he shail never perilh, whether he believe or not. Sirs, lee not the devil and a deceitful heart lead you in among the decrees of God, which are secret; for “the tecret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children,” De it. xxix. 291. Follow commanded duty : believe in the Son of God; and then you shall know your election of God.
Heb. xi. 7.-By faith Noah, being warned of God of things
not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the Saving of his house.
THE SIXTH SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
HE doctrine taken from the words in their typical and
spiritual meaning, was as follows: “ That Christ is the great New Testament Ark, unto which
perishing finners must betake themselves, that they may be laved from the deluge of God's wrath."
The method was :
I. To speak of the deluge of God's wrath, with allusion unto che deluge of waters that destroyed the old world.
II. 'To speak of the warnings that God gives of the dreadful deluge of his wrath.
II. To speak of Christ as the great New Testament Ark, typibed by the ark of Noah.
IV. To caft open the doors of the New Testament Ark.
V. To fhew how it is that a sinner actually enters into this Ark by this door.
VI. Proceed to the application of the doctrine.
V. The fifth thing in the method, which was, to speak of the soul's actual entering by these doors into the New Testament Ark.
I find faith sometimes expressed in scripture under the notion of entering, John x. 9.“ I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he thali be saved,” and Heb. iv. 3. “ For we who have believed do enter into rest ;” and ver. 7.
« Let us therefore fear, left a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you ihould seem to come short of it." of the fame import is that expresfion of turning unto Christ as a Strong-hold or Refuge, Zech. ix. 12.
All I Mall say upon this head is, to illustrate a little the pa.