صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

of a

panying it, have been determined to come by a true faith to God's Anointed, for all the ends of his mediation.

1. O bless God for his Anointed, and for the lamp he has ordained for his Anointed; and that he ever made the lamp discover his glory to your souls, and to drop down the oil of his Spirit upon you. All is of


“ By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” And therefore, O celebrate the praises of that God, whose name is gracious, saying, “ Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name be the glory."

2. Has the gospel-lamp led you to God's Anointed? Then abide in him, and with him; says Christ to his disciples, * Abide in me, and I in you,” John xv. 4. Abide in him by a life of faith, and let his Spirit abide in you, without grieving his Spirit, or quenching his operations, and motions. It is not enough, that you have once believed, but you must live in him, and upon him, by faith.

· The life, I live," says holy Paul, " is by faith upon the Son of God, who loved me, and

gave himself for me,” Gal. ii. 20. It is in this way continual coming to Christ, that we are “ built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God, acceptable through Jesus Christ.” It is in this way that the life of grace is maintained, until it issue in a life of glory. Faith is always receiving “out of his fulness grace for grace;" and thus we are “ anointed as with fresh oil," and “ wax stronger and stronger, till we come to appear before God” in the heavenly Zion, where we shall “ receive the end of our faith” and hope, “ the salvation of our souls.”

3. Put honour on God's Anointed, for this is the will of him that sent him, " that all men should honour the Son, as they honour the Father.” We are commanded to honour our earthly parents, because they are the instruments of our natural being in this world; but how much more should the seed of Christ put honour on him as their everlasting Father, who is the author of their spiritual being in the world of grace here, and the world of glory hereafter ?'" For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”

Query. How shall we put the honour on God's Anointed? Answ. In these few particulars :

1st, By employing and trusting him in all his saving offices to which he is anointed, and casting all our cares upon

him. God the Father, who anointed him, has made him both his own and our great Trustee. He has intrusted him with all the concerns of his glory, and he requires us to trust him with all the concerns of our salvation; and therefore “ trust in him as the Lord JEHOVAH, for with him is everlasting strength.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

2dly, Put honour upon him by putting away all his rivals, every thing that would usurp his room.

There are many false Christs in the heart of man. Sometimes the law as a covenant usurps his room, by self-righteousness. Sometimes carnal reason usurps his room, by bringing the mysteries of the gospel, revealed by him, to its bar. Sometimes the world usurps his room, by stealing away the heart from him. Sometimes the vile idol of self usurps his room, by preferring our own ends to his glory. Sometimes we are ready to put created grace in his room, by living more upon created grace, than - the grace that is in Jesus Christ,” and are not content with a “life hid with Christ in God," unless we find our life in our hand. These, and many other false Christs, usurp the room of the Christ of God. Now, I say, if we would honour God's Anointed, let him have the principal room in our hearts, and lay all these under his feet, that he may tread them down, and he alone be exalted.

3dly, Put honour upon him, by imitating him both as to the temper of his mind, and tenour of his walk.

6 Let the same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Be ye holy as he who hath called you is holy.” 6. He hath left us an example, that we should follow his steps;" and therefore “ let us run our race, looking unto Jesus," &c.

4thly, Be frequently crying for new drops of the oil of the Spirit from God's Anointed; for the seven Spirits which are sent unto all the saints on earth, flow from the Lamb, as it were slain, in the midst of the throne. It is his promise, “If I go away, I will send him.” O cry that he may come “ like the rushing of a mighty wind” upon your own souls, and upon " the dry bones in our valley of vision,” and upon all the churches.

5thly, When you get any drops of the oil from God's Anointed, study to be dropping of your oil into the empty vessels that you will find every where round about you. And this you are to do, by spreading the light of the gospel-lamp as far as you can, and by speaking to the praises of God's Anointed. When the heart indites a good matter concerning God's Anointed, your tongue will be like the pen of a ready writer, to proclaim his praises. The woman of Samaria, whenever she came to know God's Anointed, and to get the oil of his Spirit, runs to her neighbours, saying, “ Come, see a man that has told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” John iv. 29 ; that is, the anointed One of God. And thus others are drawn to Christ, through the smell of Christ's ointment upon her.

6thly, Study by all means to preserve the lamp of the everJasting gospel in safety and purity among us, against all that


are attempting to rob and spoil us of such an unspeakable mercy; for if the lamp of the gospel go, God's Anointed will go with it; he will not manifest himself by any lamp of man's devising or forming, but only by the light of the lamp that God has ordained for him, namely, the gospel in the purity and simplicity of it. And, therefore, beware of following any pretended lamp-bearers, who preach another gospel, and bring out a strange light, not lighted at the Sun of Righteousness, but by some wild-fire of man's imagination. “ Try the spirits whether they be of God.” Try them by "the law and testimony; for if they speak not according to these things, it is because there is no light in them."

7thly, If you would preserve the gospel-lamp, and put honour upon God's Anointed, study to be his witnesses, and to bear testimony for him, and for his covenanted doctrine, worship, and government in the land, as founded upon the revelation of the word. Many injuries are done to God's Anointed, both by church and state in our day. Oh take up his cause and quarrel, and confess him before men, as ever you expect that he should confess you before his father, and the holy angels, at the day of his appearing.

Lastly, If trouble and persecution come on the land for Christ's sake, and for the gospel, be ready to seal your testimony for him with your blood, like those who loved not their lives unto the death, and took joyfully the spoiling of their goods” for his sake. Study to say with Paul, “I am ready not to be bound only, but to die for the name," truth, and testimony of the Lord Jesus.”





And after these things, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the

earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another Angel, ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.-REV, VIII. 1-3.

It is agreed amongst the generality of interpreters whom I have consulted, that in those three verses I have now read, there is a prediction of some awful spiritual judgments to fall upon the visible church, together with the care that the Lord takes of his own faithful remnant, by separating them from others, that they might not be hurt thereby.

These spiritual plagues are expressed under the notion of four winds, verse 1; which drive away unstable professors, who are not rooted by faith in Christ, just as the wind drives loose and light things before it. Those winds are said to be four, with allusion to the four quarters of heaven, east, west, north, and south; implying, that the devil sets upon the church of Christ from all points at once, so that she is like a city besieged by enemies from all quarters. The instruments in the hand of God, for plaguing the visible church with those spiritual judgments, are four. Some say they were four evil angels, like those that were sent to be a lying spirit in the mouth

of Ahab's prophets, to persuade him to go up to Ramoth-Gilead, to his destruction. Others think that they were good angels, because they restrained the winds until the saints were sealed. But we need not insist to determine this difference, seeing we find God, the great Lord and Sovereign, sometimes making use of good, and sometimes of bad angels, as the executioners of his wrath.

But now in the second and third verses follows the consolation of the saints of God, his little remnant, who are keeping their garments clean, and keeping the word of his pa

• The substance of three sermons, preached in the New Church of Bristo, at Edinburgh, at, and after the celebration of the sacrament of the Lord's supper there, October 10, 11, and 17, 1742.

[ocr errors]

tience. “ The eyes of the Lord are running to and fro through the whole earth to show himself strong in their behalf," and his care about them is thus expressed :" And I saw another Angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four Angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Where, for explication, we may notice these following particulars :

1. The great agent who interposes for the safety of the saints, when the four noxious winds are blowing away the generality of professors; and that is another Angel: not any created angel, like the four mentioned in the first verse, but the glorious Angel of the covenant, Jesus Christ, who was sent before Israel to open the way into the land of Canaan, concerning whom God says to Israel, Exod. xxiii. 21 : “ Beware of him, and obey his voice: for my name is in him.” This I say is the Angel here spoken of, for he is the Head that looks to the welfare of his members; “ And he is given to be head over all things unto the church, wbich is his body," and "all the saints are in his hand,” and “none shall pluck them out of his or his Father's hand.”

2. We may notice from what quarter this Angel arises and appears; he ascends from the east, with allusion to the natural sun in the firmament, who arises from that point, and spreads his light and influences toward the west. The coming of Christ is compared to lightning coming from the east. He is “ the light of the world ; the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Some observe that the entry of the temple, by which the prince was to ascend, was upon the east; and so it may signify, that when Christ comes, for the help and relief of his church, he appears in a princely and sovereign way; and when he does so he acts like himself, the Prince of the kings of the earth."

3. This Angel is the Lord-keeper of the privy seal of hea. ven, for he had the seal of the living God. This shows that he is his Father's great trustee, who has “all power in hea. ven and in earth committed” unto him. On the same account the keys of the house of David, or the government is laid upon his shoulders: Is. xxii. 24: “He shall hang upon him all the glory of his Father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity: from the vessels of cups even to all the vessels of ftagons." The care of God's particular kingdom, of his chosen generation, royal priesthood, peculiar people, and holy nation, is committed to him. 4. We


observe how Christ executes his authoritative trust; he cries with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it

« السابقةمتابعة »