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" 'Turn ye
we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation, they that despifed Mofes' law died without mercy,” &c.
10. The time of flying will be gone within a little ; no filying out of hell; none to come to you there to cry, to your strong holds," &c. " He that lives for ever and ever, has sworn, with his hand lifted up to heaven, that time shall be no more," &c. “ And therefore to-day, if ye will hear his voice,” &c.
11. Fly, or else you will lose your soul for ever ; " He that believeth not shall be damned." And “ what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul,” &c.
Obje&. 1. ' You bid us fly, but to what purpose, you tell us we are dead in fins?' Answ. It is the glory of sovereign grace, to thew wonders to the dead ; see what he did among the dry bones, Ezek. xxxvii. 3. &c. Can these dry bones live? Yea, if the Spirit of the Lord breathe upon them, God has bidden prophesy upon the dry bones, to cry to the dead, to arise and fiy; and therefore we must do it. And if God would bid me say to the mountains remove, to the rocks and trees and grass piles, arise and live, I would do it, and I would beliere that God would make it effeétual.
Object. 2. - You bid me fly, but alas, I want wings to fly, "Othat I had wings like a dove, for then would lily,” &c. Answ. If there be a will to fly, and a hearty defire to fly, thou halt
got wings: and if you want even that, seek wings from him that bids you flv, for he gives power to the faint, and then they mount up with wings as eagles, &c.
Object. 3. • I have a load of sin upon my back, I cannot get up.' Answ. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord,” and if you cannot fly, rest you with your load upon him ; for as faith is a flying, so it is a resting, &c.
Object. 4. • Christ is fo far away, that I will never reach him. Answ. Do not say so, for he is near, Rom. x. S. &c.
• When I attempt to fly, the devil and the world, and my own heart, pull me back again into the mire, and then I am just where I was.' Anfrv. From that moment that thou makcít an a:tempt to fly to Christ, the devil, the world, and corruption, will be upon thee to harass thee. But though they may do thee many an ill turn, yet they shall never pull thee out of Christ, if once thou hast fled to him, no man shall pluck them out of my hand, my Father who gave them me is greater than all (says Chrilt), and nene shall pluck them out of my Father's hand.”. Many a pluck the enemy gives at Christ's dores, but they shall never pluck them away from him.
Quest. You bid me fly like a dove into Christ, and his win. dows; but will you give me your advice in order to it? Answ. 1. Be much in viewing the holiness of the law, and of the Law giver, “ for it is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ,” &c, 2. Be much in viewing your danger while out of Christ, condemned already, &c. 3. Be much in studying the gospel, Christ in his person, nature, and offices; the freedom of the covenant, and the fulness and suitableness of the gospel remedy, &c. 4. Be persuaded of the Lord's willingness to take you in to himself, at his windows, his bowels found towards finners, &c. 5. Cry for the wind of the Spirit to blow, that thereby you may be set a-flight, for he testifies of Christ, and joins the anner to him, &c. 6. Make a desperate attempt to be at Christ, through the window of prayer, and of faith in prayer ; wrestle, cry, seek, and knock, for to such it shall be opened, &c.
2dly, The second sort I would speak to are believers, who have fled like a cloud, and as doves to Christ's windows.
1. Blets the Lord that gave you counsel, and did not allow you to fit still in a natural state, within the sea.mark of his wrath, but chased you with his la 4 terrors, and drew you in at his windows to himself. Sing his praise, saying, “ Bless the Lord, O my soul,” &c. “ He brought me up also out of an horrible pit," &c.
2. Have you fled to Christ? Abide in him as in a lodging and dwelling-place: Just as the man-layer was to abide in the city of refuge, after he had fled to it, and was never to go out of it, until the death of the high priest: and your High Priest never dies; and therefore you are never to be found out of your gospel-refuge, &c.
3. Frequent the windows of his ordinances, both the more secret and retired windows of prayer and meditation, reading, fasting, Christian conference; and there that are more folemn and public, such as word and facrament, when you can have access: For there it is that Christ feeds his doves, and gives them interviews with himself; and when the public windows are shut, or defiled, or haunted with foxes or birds of prey, that fright, scatter, cr tear the doves, be the more frequently resorting unto the nore private or secret windows, &c.
4. H..ve you fied to Chrif like doves to their windows, and taken up your rest in hini : never look back to your old houfs and reforts, your lying refuges, nor look to the general mercy, &c. Never look to an empty profession, &c.; never take up again with the works of the law, &c. ; bid all these adieu, never to come back to them again, &c. 5. When like the dove, you come to pick up any thing that
is necessary for you upon eartii, do not sit still upon the earth, but away again to your windows, and soar upward toward Christ. “ Set your affections upon things above, where Christ is at the right-hand of God," &c.
6. Invite others to your windows where you have been entertained, and do what you can to recommend Christ and his way and word and ordinances to them, “O taste and see that the Lord is good,” says David, &c.
7. When the Lord has taken you from among the pots, and made you like the wings of a dove covered with the silver and yellow gold of his own Spirit and righteousness.
O do not defile your feathers, do not tarnish and blacken your profeslion with the filth of fin. Do not lie down in the puddle with the men of this world : « Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Let your light so thine before men, that they may
your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
8. Let God's doves drink the pure and running water of the sanctuary, I mean, keep by the pure word, worship, and ordinances of his appointment, the river of divine truth, gorpel doctrine and worship, dispensed in gospel ordinances. Alas! the streams of these rivers do not make glad the city of God, at this day, through many corners of the land. Why, the waters are fouled with the feet of a set of hirelings, intruders, and corrupt and lax minifters, that are forced in upon them; men that are unskilful in the law, men that want the dove-like spirit of Christ, and therefore are incapable of feeding God's doves. Let God's doves be aware of them that foul the waters of the sanctuary, that corrupt the doctrine, discipline, worship, and government, which we in these lands arc sworn to maintain and preserve in their purity, Philip. iii. 1. “ Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concifion,' &c.
CHRIST SET UP FROM EVERLASTING.
Prov. viii. 23.- I was set up from everlasting, from the beziś.
ning, or ever the earth was.
HERE are such evident rays of the eternal and supreme
Deity of Christ, as also of his personality and effential oneness with the Father, in this passage, as looks the Arians and Socinians, these blasphemers of the Son of God, quite out of countenance, and obliges then, though with great absurdity, to alledge, that what is spoken of and by Christ in this chapter, and particularly froin ver. 22. to ver. 31. is to be understood of wisdom as one of the attributes of the divine nature. But it is beyond controversy, among all orthodox interpreters, that it is Christ the second person of the glorious Trinity, under the notion of wisdom, that here speaks, as might be cleared from many perfonal properties, persona! acts, and personal words, that are ascribed to him in this palfage of scripture, which, for brevity's fake, I cannot infift up on at this tiine.
The penman of this book was Solomon, " But beholda greater than Solomon is here,” even Christ, “ the wisdom of God, and the power of God, in whom all the treasures ci wisdom and knowledge are hid." As Solomon had all his wisdon out of this treasure; so being under the conduct of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, is led, as a type, to speak in the person of his glorious anti-type, as his father David doth frequently in the book of the Psalms, particularly in Pfal. xvi. and Psal. xl. 1-22. Christ recommends his di&tates in the word unto the children of men, and shews what advan. tage will accrue to them by the study of the scriptures; agreeable unto what he says, John v. 39. “ Search the scripaures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” From the 22d verse unto the 311, in order to engage our faith and trust in him, he eigantly de. fcribes the glory of his person, that so we behoiding as in a glass, his glory, may be changed into his image. More pare ticulariy, (1.) He shews how, from all eternity, he lodged in his Father's arms and bosom, as his beloved Son, in whom he was, and is well pleased, ver. 22. “ The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.” (2.) He speaks of his eternal designation unto the great work and service of our redemption," in the words of my text, I was fet up from everlasting, &c. Where we may notice,
1. The divine person, who is the speaker, in the pronoun, (1) I the eternal Son of God, the glorious Immanuel, the faithful and true Witness. I who am God co-equal with the Father; and who fat as a constituent member of the council of peace, anent the great affair of man's redemption, and therefore cannot but be well acquainted with what was transacted there.
2. The result of that eternal transaction declared with relation to himself, I was set up, i. e. I was, by an act of the divine will, common to all the three persons of the glorious Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, elected, set a-part, or fore-ordained to the great service of man's redemption. A word parallel unto this, and which casts a light upon the text, you have, Psal. ii. 7. “ Where Christ, speaking of himself, says, “I will declare the decree : the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” This is called the Father's will, Psal. xl. 7
8. " Lo! I
come, in the volume of the book, it is written of me, I delight to do thy will."
3. In the words we have the date of the divine council and decree, with relation to our Redeemer, or when he was fer up for that service. It bears date from the ancient years of eternity, I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, ere ever the earth was. Here are words that swallow up all finite thought and consideration, it leads us back to an eternity past, and who could ever have told us what was acted in the divine mind and council from all eternity, but he only who is the Alpha, and the Omega, from everlasting to everlasting, God. He was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, ere ever the
So much for explaining the words. Doct. “ That as Christ is the everlasting God; so, from all
eternity, he was fore-ordained and set up for the great service of man's redemption. I was fet up from everlasting," &c.
To this purpose is that of the apoftle, 1 Pet. i. 20." He was verily fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifeft in these last times."