« السابقةمتابعة »
and ordinances which they have been long looking for, and waiting for, Isa. xxx. 18. “Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you; and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment, and blessed are all they that wait for irim.” Are you waiting for a day of power? Why, God is waiting for this day himself. The poor humbled foul may be ready to think, “ Oh! “ Christ is not willing ; I have set days apart; I have
gone to my knees, I have fought him in this and the * other ordinance; and yet I could not get closed with ob
him: I have been almost dipt in hell with afiction, " and yet my heart was never melted ; surely Christ " is not willing." Ah! Sirs, beware of that blafphemy. The Lord Jesus is willing; but the fulness of time is not yet come. There is a set day, a fixed moment of his coming; and for this day he waits; and for this day you are to wait: he knows the proper season; tlie crane, the swallow, and the stork know their fearon, by a natural instinct God hath given them; and will he not know his own feafon? Yea,
Yea, “ He waits to be gracious; and bleffed are they that wait for him," and wait for this day of power: for, when it comes, then there will be an auspicious conjunction of all circumstances to conclude the work : the word is made lively; the Spirit acts powerfully ; the foul is drawn tweetly and irresistibly : and all things work together harmoniously for laying the foundation, and carrying up the temple-work.
The Fourth Remark concerning this day is,". That " there are several figns and characters whereby this " day may be known, when it comes.” I fhall not say that every convert knows the day of his first converfion; but with respect to all adult persons, I am sure it may be known; for none are converted sleeping, or in a dream. There are many signs of it that are not at all to be confined to a natural day; but run through the several stages of a believer's life, ever since the foundation of the spiritual temple was laid. The figns of this day, then, whereby it may be known, are, in short, to this purpose. 1. It is a day of light ; light breaks in into the win.
dow of the foul, that puts a man in cafe to fay, Once. I was blind, now I fee:" the man has now another fight of fin, of God, of Chrift, and of religion than the reft of the world; yea, another view than even he himself had; before, he had heard of him by the hearing of the ear, but now his eyes fee him. He hath an ocular demonftration of fpiritual things, by the light of the word and Spirit, as a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Chrift.
2. It is alfo a day of life, of life from the dead: "You hath he quickened, who were dead in trefpaffes and fins.", It is true, many think they have a fpiritual life, and are not dead in fin, because they live in the practice of many good duties; that is very well done: but, Oman, woman! know you what a new life, a new obedience is? a life of new and gofpel-obedience? the meaning of that word, "I am alfo dead to the law, that I might live unto God?" Gal. ii. 19. Though you fhould live like an angel of light, till you know fomewhat of this, in your experience, you are ftrangers to this day of life. For, you know fome things naturally of the first covenant, Do and live; but nothing fpiritually of the new covenant way of living to God. Again,
3. This day is a day of love: O how is the love of God fhed abroad upon the heart on this day, whereby the foul is in cafe to say, "Whom have I in heaven, but thee? and there is none in all the earth, whom I defire befides thee." God's mighty love is fo discovered in Chrift, as that it kills the mighty enmity in the foul against God, and creates love to him..
4. It is a day of joy: when the poor foul gets a view of the mifery it is freed from, the many good things that it is entitled to, and the eternal happinefs that is fecured for it, how will it rejoice in God its Saviour, be glad in the Rock of its falvation, and fo hold on its way rejoicing!
5. This day is a day of liberty, wherein bonds are loofed, and the prifoners of hope go forth at the call of Chrift, who proclaims liberty to the captives on that day, and the opening of the prifon to them that are bound; at whofe mighty. word of power, the maffy chains of
fin, unbelief, darkness, atheism, and ignorance are loofed, and the foul made to walk at libery, and to run the way of God's commandments with an enlarged heart.
6. This day is a day of wonder; when the man looks to the rock whence he was hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence he was digged, O he wonders that ever fuch a lump of hell fhould be made a spiritual temple for the God of heaven! "O wonder! fays weak faith, if ever "the Lord will pity the like of me. And, O wonder! fays ftrong faith, that ever God fhould have loved "the like of me with an everlasting love, and drawn "me with loving-kindnefs." What an extafy of wonder and amazement is raised in the man's heart! Why, "I was dead, now I live; I was weak, now am I ftrong; "this morning, perhaps, I was under affliction, and "under the terrors of God, and now he hath ravished "me with the confolations of the Spirit. I was afraid "of hell, and now I have the hope of eternal life."— O what a day of wonder is it!
7. This day is a day of victory. O do you mind the day when you thought there was a legion of devils, a regiment of lufts, and armies of corruptions within you? But, behold, in furprising mercy, you got grace to be lieve, and lay hold upon Chrift, and fo by faith, to turn to flight the armies of the aliens, and overcame by the blood of the Lamb; and thus got victory over Satan, over fin, over the world, over an ill heart, and an ill frame; and victory over all your doubts and fears.
8. This day is a day of praife, and voice of gratitude. The foul will be ready to break forth in fuch a day, crying, "O what fhall I fpeak for Chrift? What shall "I do for him? What fhall I fuffer for him? It is true, "it must be given me both to do and to fuffer; for I will "never hold out a moment, if he leave me; I will ne"ver have a day to do well, if he leave me but, O! "if he would fupport me by his grace, and comfort me "with his glory, I think I could go through fire and "flames for him."
9. In a word, this day is a day of discovery; efpecially of the glory of God in the face of Chrift. The man fees the King in his beauty. O! hath ever Chrift got in
upon your heart, with a beam of his beauty and glory? Have you feen him in the beauty of his perfon and offices? In the beauty of his merit and Spirit? In the beauty of his righteoufnefs and fulness? "Why, fome
may think, the man is talking of a fight of Christ's "glory, that must be but wild fancies and enthufiafti"cal notions; is not Chrift in heaven? For our part, "we never faw any glory beyond that of fun, moon, "and ftars." O poor foul! you are an utter ftranger to this day that I am fpeaking of, if you never faw any brighter glory than that. There is an infinitely brighter beauty to be seen than can be feen by your bodily eyes, in thefe vifible heavens. Is not that word in your Bible, "The God who commanded light to fhine out of darknefs, hath fhined into our hearts; to give the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jefus Chrift?" Is not that word in your Bible, "All we, beholding as in a glafs, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the fame image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord ?" It is by faith we fee a God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himfelf: we fee his grace, his glory, his beauty, and we cannot exprefs what we fee: we cannot explain to the world what we fee; words cannot represent the beauty and glory that is feen in him, or the sweetness and comfort that is felt in him, when difcovered. They that fee him can fay no more, but that they fee him, all grace, all glory, all beauty, altogether lovely; infinitely lovely: and it is no fancy or imagination, but according to the word of God, the fcriptures of truth, wherein he is faid to give us the Spirit of wifdom and revelation in the knowledge of Chrift.So you fee fome figns how this duty may be known.
V. The Fifth thing propofed, was, To fhew what faving bleffings do commence from this day; From this day will I blefs you.
ift, What bleflings do commence from this day wherein the foundation of the temple is laid? Why, from this day they are bleffed with all temporal, fpiritual, and eternal bleffings.
1. From this day they are bleffed with all temporal bleffings;
all faving Bleffings.
bleffings; having a title to all things. By our fall, in the first Adam, we forfeited our title to all things; and fo whatever good things in the world wicked men may enjoy, they have no right thereto, but ftand aufwerable to God for invading his property; and, therefore, the wicked are called robbers, Job xii. 6. " The tabernacles of robbers profper." But whenever the foundation of the fpiritual temple is laid, the forfeited right to all things is recovered, because the man is united to Chrift, who is the heir of all things: "All things are yours, for ye are Chrift's.-He that fpared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how fhall he not with him alfo freely give us all things?" All things elfe are but like paper and packthread caft in to the bargain. From this day they are bleffed, not only with a title to, but with a poffeffion of as much of these temporal things as God fees for their advantage: They are bleffed in their bafket and in their ftore; and, if it were for their good, they fhould be all pikings and queens in the earth; for, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: and the cattle on a thoufand hills are his.-The young lions may lack and fuffer hunger, but they that fear the Lord fhall lack no good thing." And tho' they mufl, thro' much tribulation, enter into the kingdom of God; yet, from this day, they are bleffed in all circumftances of life. From this day, they are bleffed in adverfity, and in profperity both; for, as their profperity is void of the fatal curfe that comes upon the wicked, who are curfed in their basket and in their ftore; while the believer's profperity is conveyed thro' the channel of covenant-love and kindness; being, not the effect of common providence, but of covenant-love and promife; "Bleffed are the meek for they fhall inherit the earth," Mat. v. 5. As their adverfity is ftill under the conduct and management of a reconciled God and Father, who, tho' he vifit their iniquities with rods, yet his loving-kindness will he not take away from them. And, therefore, "Tho' the fig-tree fhould not bloffom, neither fhould fruit be found in the vine, though the labour of the olive fhould fail, and the herd be cut off from the ftall, and the fields fhould yield no meat, yet may they rejoice in the Lord, and be joyful in the God of their falvation." And,