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And, Come with honourable and glorious me,—and many things of that kind.
We would sum up this point in one word of doctrine,— that the Lord Jesus Christ is content to allow every soul that will match with him, no worse lot than himself. Come with me, thou shalt fare no worse than I fare; my lot shall be thy lot; as my Father hath appointed a kingdom unto me, so I appoint a kingdom unto you, (Luke xxii. 29). "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God," (John xx. 17). "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where am, there ye may be also," (John xiv. 3). Ye should know that Christ is very serious in his business: he not only spoke it to his disciples, but he made it a special part of his prayer, in John xvii. 24, ❝ Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me." It is true, through all eternity he shall be the chief of ten thousands, but they shall have as much as is suitable to the spouse, who partakes of the honour and dignity of the husband. If so, may not this persuade us to hearken to Christ's voice, and to come with him, even with him, from Lebanon, and to look from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and from the lions' dens, and the mountains of the leopards? This is, that he calls you to give obedience to-day and to-morrow.
We thought to have spoken to some scruples that may rest in the bosoms of many, but we shall only say two words, and close.
Some may say, they would fain come, but they cannot. We doubt not but that may be the case of many in the world, that they would come, but they cannot; the bonds of their souls are oftentimes strong on them when they would come. When the Lord calls, "Be lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of glory may come in," the doors are fast bolted; that all they can do, is to look through the lattice, and desire him to come. If that be thy case, it is a
hopeful business, not only on this account, that ye are called to look from the top of Amana, and to look from your prisonhouses, which, as ye heard, to look is to believe and come with him, but also, it is hopeful on this account, that his soul's affection, and the power of his arm, are both engaged to loose thy bonds. His soul's affection is engaged to it. Pities he not every soul oppressed by the devil? Surely, if he be touched with any part of our infirmities, he is touched with that part. His arm is engaged to it. It is the commission he is engaged in to the Father, "To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; that he may say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves." "To bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house," (Is. xlix. 6, and xlii. 7). Therefore wait on him, and be not afraid but thou shalt be accepted in thy willing mind.
But some may say, they would fain come, but they do not know if they shall be accepted, yea or no. Truly, it is a strange business, yet it is often the pinch of a believer's soul, that they would come, but they doubt if they should be welcome. Two questions we would ask thee: Art thou willing to bid adieu to thy father's house, and thine own people; to bid adieu to thy idols, and to come with him from Lebanon, from the lions' dens, and the mountains of the leopards? If not, why shouldst thou complain, while thou flatterest him, and provokest him to answer thee according to the idol of thy heart? But if thou be willing, thou mayest be assured he will make thee welcome. If thou wilt forget thy father's house, he shall greatly desire thy beauty; and as a bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy Lord rejoice over thee, (Is. lxii. 5). And so we close.
PREACHED UPON THE COMMUNION SABBATH.
"And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him."-LUKE XXII. 14.
THESE words do contain the Lord Jesus Christ his way of preparing himself, if we may so speak, and his disciples, unto the participation of that blessed ordinance which the Lord doth now call us to partake of.
It is not our purpose to spend time, nor to trouble you with the difficulties that are started upon the understanding of some circumstances that occur in the words, concerning which there are large debates and disputes to be found in those who write and comment thereon. But leaving these that we conceive not pertinent for the time, we shall take the words as they lie, and observe something from them.
And first, we have the circumstance of time-when it was that the Lord Jesus sat down to compose and address himself for this action. The text says, it was when his "hour was come." You may take it in these several relations, 1. In reference to the hour and time decreed, and determined, and appointed of God: When that hour was come, then he sat down. 2. Next, in reference to the hour and time commanded and appointed in the law for celebrating of the Passover: When that hour was come, he sat down. 3. In reference to the time that himself had transacted and appointed with his disciples whom he sent before to the lodging, to prepare room for him: When that hour
was come, he sat down. 4. Last of all, in reference to the time of his sufferings: When he knew that hour to be at hand, he thought it fit to go about that solemn business. A word from each of these.
And from the First, observe, that as all times and seasons concerning all businesses, especially those that relate to the salvation of man, as they are all determined and appointed of God, so all these hours and times have their coming, and their fulfilling, and accomplishment. Thou may be persuaded that as there is nothing that belongeth to the business of thy salvation, but as it is well ordered in the counsel of God before all eternity, so it will also in its hours and seasons be accomplished and fulfilled. All that have any interest in that business of salvation, may stay their hearts on the confidence, and hope, and expectation of this. How unlikely soever some things may be to thy ap prehension as to their accomplishment; happily thy perseverance to the end, happily thy overcoming of Satan, and sin, and death, and hell, thy rising out of the grave, thy enjoying the fulness of communion and fellowship with God in heaven; yet believe it, all those hours and times will come, and all those things which are promised shall be accomplished and fulfilled.
Next, Learn that the Lord Jesus Christ ordereth all his actions according to the rule and prescript of the law, and what is therein commanded for substance or circumstance he fully fulfilled. When his hour was come, then he sat down, as he says (Matt. iii. 15), "for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." This ye should observe for your consolation and example, that your souls may be stayed against the pleading of Satan, or of your own conscience, or the justice of God against you for your transgressions, if you have fled to Christ for refuge. Though you have been a transgressor in many things, be comforted in this, that our blessed Lord Jesus Christ hath fully fulfilled the law of God in your room. Therefore, look up to him in whom the Father is well pleased, for this also ye
should observe for your example in all things, to order your conversation for substance and circumstance according as it is commanded in the law of the Lord, and to receive Christ for your Saviour, your Lawgiver, and King.
Next, It tells us, that the Lord Jesus is a very exact observer of his trysts,* a strict keeper of his hours, and of external order in all these matters that concern the whole tenor of his life and carriage. We stand not on this, but we would make these uses of it: And 1. To you of this congregation, that would learn to keep your hours better than many of you use to do. It may be said of many of you, that when your hour is come, ye are not come: it was not so with our Lord. 2. Next, to all of you, whether of this or any other congregation, that ye would make it your care to have regard to all the circumstances of external order, for God is the God of order, and not of confusion.
Lastly, Mark that the Lord Jesus Christ would not leave one jot or tittle unperformed, that was incumbent on him for his sufferings; because he knew that they were at hand, therefore he maketh haste to be doing what was to be done. It is a wonder to consider how he is taken up in all things relating to the salvation of men, and the encouraging of his disciples. Ye should look on this with comfort, what a Lord you have; next, for your example, that ye should mind your own duty entirely, and that you should mind him more than yourselves.
The next circumstance of the text is, when his hour was come, he sat down-importing these two things: 1. His solid composing of himself for this great business that he is now going about. 2. To intimate the gesture and posture that he intendeth to follow that business in. So it holdeth out these two things to us:
1. That when we are about to meddle with divine ordinances, we ought in a sober, solid, grave way to compose ourselves thereunto: so doth our Lord Jesus Christ here. And
* Appointments, engagements.