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the tranfgreffors, opens the way to the holiest.” And hence faith has ground to expect from him the benefits of his pur. chase, every mercy of the covenant, as the price of his blood, and the fruit of his intercession.
Queft. What has faith to expect from Christ as a king ?
Answ. As a king, he gives forth his laws, and a heart to obey them; and therefore faith expects that he will mould heart and life in a conformity to his will, according to that promise, “ I will write my laws in their hearts," &c. As a king, he subdues his and his people's enemies; and therefore faith looks to him for victory over fin, Satan, and the world, &c. As a king, “ the government is upon his shoulders," and he rules in the midst of his enemies : and therefore faith expects that all shall be well, according to his promise, Rom. viii. 26. “ All things shall work together for good, to them that love God," &C. As a king, he gives peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increafe of grace, and perseverance therein to the end; and therefore faith expects all these things from him, as vested with a kingly office. Thus you fee what excellent matter faith has to work upon, when it views the person of Christ, as cloathed with his prophetical, priestly, and kingly offices. Now, in order to your living by faith on him, study to have a clear uptaking of his perfon, God.man cloathed with these offices.
2. Another advice I give you, confequential to the former, js this, Study to know and be persuaded, that these offices of Christ are purely relative, that is, they are not for his own, but for our advantage ; it was for us that he took these offices upon him, and it is for our benefit that he exercises them. Yea, in some respect, these offices depend on us as one relation depends upon another; for as there cannot be a father without a child, so Chrift could not be a prophet without there were ignorant finners to instruct; he could not be a priest, without there were guilty transgressors for whom he might fa. tisfy and intercede ; he could not be a king, without subjects to govern. So that these offices of Christ are purely relaiive; he is a propher for us, a priest for us, and a king for us : hence, I Cor. i. 30. he is made of God unto us (not to himfelf, but to us) wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." Oh what strong ground has faith to lean upon, when these offices of Christ are taken up in this view and relation to us! Oh, will faith say, I will trust him for illumination and instruction, because he is a prophet for to inftruct the ignorant ; I will trust him for pardon, peace, and reconciliation, because he is a " priest ordained for men in things pertaining to God;" I will trust him for fanctification, and victory over death, and fin, and Satan, and the world, because he is given for a commander and king to the people : he will instruct me, he will justify me, he will sanctify, and subdue mine iniquities, because he is my prophet, priest, and king.
3. Be persuaded, that Christ executes all these offices as a duty or a trust committed to him. When a man is cloathed with any office, he is obliged to discharge the duties of that office; and he is unfaithful to his trust, if he do it not. His Father's commandment is upon him to this purpose, and therefore called his Father's “ servant : This commandment (as a servant), he received from the Father." And not only his Father's command, but his own voluntary engagement, Psal. xl. 6. “Mine ears haft thou bored.” Now, is it to be once thought or imagined, that Christ will fail in the duties of his offices, which the Father commanded him, and which he himself has voluntarily engaged with ?
4. Let faith begin first to act upon the priestly office of Chrift; for this is the basis and foundation of the other two, If. liii. at the close, Phil. ii. 8-10. Psal cx. last. The prieft under the law, he had the Urim and Thummim in his breaft. · plate, and a crown upon his head ; to learn us, that the kingJy and prophetical offices, of which these were the badges, were both founded on the facerdotal or priestly office. So then, study to improve Christ, as a priest and propitiation, set forth in the glorious gospel, to be applied by faith; and then it will be easy to believe that he is thy prophet and king. If thou canst believe that he suffered and satisfied for thy łns, it will be easy for thee to believe, that as a prophet he will wash thee, and as a king he will sanctify, and subdue thine iniquities. Yea, know, Sirs, for your encouragement, that the very end why Christ purchased grace and glory by his blood was, that it might be offered unto all, and actually applied unto eyery soul that believes in him. So then, let faith ground first upon the priestly office of Christ, and upon that foundation claim the benefit of his other offices.
5. Remember how affectionately Christ executed these offices upon earth, and this will be a strong ground to believe that he will not neglect them, now that he is ascended into heaven. He had a great defire to be sacrificed, Luke xii. 50. “I have a baptism to be baptised with, and how am I ftraitened till it be accomplished !" He longed to be dipt in the Red sea of his Father's wrath. The word fignifies that his soul was big or swelled within him with desire. He had not only defire, but delight in his mediatory work : “ I delight to do thy will, O my God. Yea, he rejoiced in spirit when the time of his suffering drew near. Now, may faith argue,
Did Christ execute his offices with such desire, delight, and joy, in a state of humiliation ; and will he not much more do it in a state of exaltation ? Yea, surely he will; for he is “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for '. 6. Consider, that both the Father and the Holy Ghost are engaged for the execution of these offices of Christ. The Father is engaged, because he ordained him to these offices, and ordained him with the solemnity of a decree, Psal. ii. and with the solemnity of an oath, Psal. cx. and with the solemnity of a proclamation from heaven, Matth. iji. at the close, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed ; hear ye him.” Now, may faith say, was Christ ordained with fuch solemnity to his mediatory offices by his Father; and will not the Father fee to the execution of them with respect to my soul, that puts its trust in him ? Again, as the Father, so the Holy Ghost is concerned in the execution of these offices. The Holy Ghost furnished him with gifts and graces for this very end : Il. Ixi. 1. “ The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound,” &c. Now, will ever the Spirit of the Lord lose his labour? No, no: God has “ put his Spirit upon him, therefore he will bring forth judge. ment to the Gentiles, and the isles shall wait for his law." Thus you see, that faith has all the security that Heaven can afford for the execution of his offices. Thus, then, come up from the wilderness, leaning upon the beloved. : Quelt. 3. How is faith io act upon a God in Christ, who is the ultimate object of faith? . .
Answ. In thefe particulars. 1. Let faith view a God in Christ in a way of appropriation, as its own God. This we find hás been the way of the saints in all ages and generations; it still lays claim to God in Christ, with its appropriating my, &c. Plal. xvi. 2. “O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord.” And, ver. 5. “ The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup," &c. And Pfal. Ixxiii. 26. " My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” And if you ask, Upon what ground doth faith go, in laying claim to a God in Chrilt as its own God?' l answer, It goes upon the ground of his assuming our nature in the person of his eternalSon, and the covenant-grant and promise through him; “I am the Lord thy God; I will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” Faith fets to its amenunto the grant, and says, “This God is my God for
ever;". ever;" and it shall be fo, because he has said it; and, “ Has he said it, and will be not do it? hath he spoken it, and shall it not come to pass ?”
2. Having fixed thy claim unto a God in Christ as thy own God, then proceed to take a view of all his attributes and perfections; for every one of them (as I shewed before) is a pillar and strong rock, on which thy faith may lean with the great. est confidence and security, even though the earth should be removed, though the mountains should be cast into the midst of the sea.” O, will faith say, my God is a God of infinite power, and " doth whatever pleaseth him in the armics of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth ;” and this power is through Chriit engaged for my preservation, " He will hide me as in a pavilion in the evil day.” My God in Christ is a God of infinite wisdom ; and therefore he will lead me in the way I know not, and make me wife to falvation. He is a God of infinite justice; and therefore, having accepted a satisfaction for my fins in the Surety, he is "faithful and just in forgiving ;" he will “ blot out mine iniquities as a cloud," &c. He is a God of unspotted holiness; and therefore he will fanctify me according to his covenant; “I will sprinkle them with clean water," &c. He is a God of infinite bowels and mercy; and therefore he will pity and pardon me, and “hear me when I cry," &c. He is a God of infinite faithfulness, this is the “ girdle of his loins and reins ;" and therefore he will not suffer his promise to fall, “ his covenant he will not break," &c. Thus faith leans and rests on the divine attri. butes as they are manifested in Christ.
3. Faith leans upon a God in Christ, as one that is infiniteJy bountiful and liberal ; and argues as the apostle doth, Rom. viii. 32. “ He chat spared not his own Sor, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not with him allo freely give us all things ?” Faith sees that his treasures can never be diminished, far less can they be spent or exhausted; and Oh how heartsomely doth faith lay claim to these treasures, when it hears him saying, as James i. 5. “ If any man lack wifdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not : and it shall be given him.”
4. Faith views the providence of a God in Christ as calculate and designed for the advancement of his own glory, and levelled at the good of them that love him ; and this quiets the foul amid it all the reelings and shakings of this lower world. “The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice : let the multitude of isles be glad thereof."
5. Lofily, Faith, acting upon a God in Christ, will see an eternity of happiness beyond time, in the immediate fruition
and and enjoyment of him ; hence is that of David, Pfal. Ixxiii. 26. “My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
THE TRUE SUBSTANCE AND STRENGTH OF A
CHURCH AND NATION,
PREACHED AT THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT
OF THE LORD'S SUPPER AT DUNFERMLINE, JUNE 1O. AND 11. 1733
Isa. vi. 13.-So the holy feed sball be the substance thereof.
glory.jea, before what
view of this ten, yea, before che a glory w
7N this chapter we have, first, An awful vision of God made 1 unto the prophet Isaiah. He got a view of the infinite JEHOVAH, in the person of his eternal Son; for so Christ himself explains it, John xii. 41. “ These things said Efaias, when he saw his glory.” Christ had a glory with the Father before his incarnation, yea, before the world was; and Isaiah got a view of this glory. Quest. What did he fee? Answ. 1. He saw his throne, high and lifted up. 2. He saw his temple, his church on earth, filled with the train of his glorious excellencies. 3. He saw the bright attendants that surround his throne, Cherubims and Seraphims, covering their faces with their wings, because of the dazzling floods of glory that brake out from his presence. 4. He heard some of their anthems, or songs of praise, whereby they celebrate the glory of his unspotted holiness ; and then fall a-wondering, that the brightness of that glory should ever shine in this lower world : O, say they, “ the whole earth is full of his glory," ver. 3. They are not surprised to see his glory shining in heaven, where sin never entered : but to see the glory of God shining through a vail of