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11. The second thing proposed wa, to inquire why this rema nant is here called the sçed: The holy feed ball be the substance thereof. Now, for clearing this, you would consider, that all mankind are divided into the feed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent; the feed of Christ, and the feed of the devil. Christ himself is the seed of the woman, and the seed of Abraham, in a way of eminence and excellency; but out of this one feed has sprung a numerous issue and offspring promised to him of his father, If. liii. 10. “ He shall see his feed, he shall prolong his days;" and this is the seed that is here spoken of. And they are called a feed, or his feed, for these reasons. .
1. Because they owe their very being to him, not fimply as a God Creator, but as a God Redeemer. You know children derive their natural being from their parents, they are just pieces of themselves ; so believers owe their spiritual being to a God in Christ, they are partakers of the divine nature, and the seed of God abideth in them; and in this respect they “ are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.”
2. Because of the likeness that they bear unto him. As a man's feed and offspring bears a' resemblance unto bim ; so here, as we are the seed of the first Adam, and creatures in this world, we bear a' fimilitude unto him ; but as we are the feed of the second Adam, we will bear' a resemblance unto him ; " We beholding'as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”"..
3. They are his feed in respect of their dependence on him. A man's children, or offspring, 'depend on him for food, clothing, counsel, and every thing: fo believers de pend upon a God in Christ for their all, they trust in him, and call upon him for their daily bread, for supplies of grace, light, and life'; and accordingly out of his fulness they receive grace for grace.”. .
4. Their being his seed implies, that they are his family and household in this lower world ; hence, says the apostle, “ We are no more aliens and foreigners, but fellow.citizens with the faints, and of the household of God.”. They have got a name and a place, in his house and within his walls, even an ever. lasting name, that shall never be cut off
5. It implies that they are the heirs of his eítate. A man's feed they heir his inheritance'; so believers, being the feed of Christ, they are “ heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ Jė. sus," heirs of a large fortune indeed, even “ an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away:" he settles all by the covenant on them.
Before I shut up this head, I will give you a few remarks concerning this feed of Christ.
1. then, This feed is but a remnant of mankind, as you see in the text, In it shall be a tenth ; but like the tithe, or tenih part, which is but little in respect of the rest of the field; hence called "a little flock; a few names in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments." But yet, si
2. For all that, it is a numerous feed, absolutely considered in themselves : Rev. vii. 9. they are called “ an innumerable company, which no man could number.” As the natural feed of Abraham are said to be like the land of the sea for multitude; fo the spiritual seed of Abraham, who are the seed of Christ also, they will be an innumerable company, when they are all gathered together unto Chrift; therefore compared unto the drops of the dew." . 3. They are an honourable seed; and no wonder, for they are the feed of thé “King of kings, and Lord of lords, and each one of them resembles the child of a king ;" yea they are “made kings and priests unto God.” “Ever since thou wait precious in my fight, thou hast been honourable.”
4. They are a costly feed unto our glorious Redeemer; for they are the purchase of his blood,“ redeemed not with corTuprible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ."
5. They are a flourishing and fruitful seed; they shall be called the “ trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, in whom he will be glorified." They abide in Christ, and Christ abides in them; and they who are thus “planted in the house of the Lord, they flouriih in the courts of our God," Psal. xcij.
6. They are a troubled and perfecuted seed in this world. You know the husbandman's feed-corn it must be threshed ; the cart-wheel is made to pass over it; the ox and the ass were made to tread upon it ; hence that command, “ Thou fhalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.” So the seed of Christ, they are frequently threshed with the fail of affliction : “ Through many tribulations we mult enter into the kingdom of heaven." God fets the oxen, the asses, the brute beasts, the men of this world, who, like beasts, “have their portion in this life, to trample upon his feed, that they may be prepared and fitted for the Master's use; for by these afflictions he “ makes us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." . 7. Though they be a troubled and persecuted feed, yer they are a very durable feed, “ His feed fhail endure for cyer," Psal. Ixxxix. 28. 29. Christ's seedl, and his throne, they
run parallel in their duration and continuance : «His feed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven." The perpetuity of his kingdom secures the duration of his seed, To that the world may as well imagine to overturn his throne, as to raze his feed in the world; while he is a King, he will have subjects; and blessed be, his name, " His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and of his dominion there is no end."
8. They are in this world a fcattered feed; when the angels are sent to gather them together at the last day, they will be sent unto the four winds, or airths, of the world. They are scattered in respect of place or ftuation ; ll. xxiv. 16. From the uttermost wings of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous." They are many times scattered by persecution ; when a cluster of them gets together, commonly the storms of persecution, arising from the malice of hell, scatter them abroad, as we read in the Acts, chap. viii.
9. They are a holy feed. But this leads me to,
III. The third thing proposed, which was, to inquire why God's remnant are not only called a feed,” but an holy feed ? I answer in these three. it. They are called a holy feed, in respect of separation. 2. In respect of purification. 3. In respect of participation of divine holiness.
Firt, I say, the church of believers are called an holy feed, in respect of separation from the rest of the profane world. Any ching that is sequestrate from a common use, and dedicate to the service of God, is called holy. Thus the remple, the tabernacle, and the utenlils of both, they are called holy, because dedicate unto God, to his service. So the whole body of the children of Israel, they are called an holy nation ; because they were separate from the rest of the world, as the peculiar people of God. In this respect the feed of Christ are an holy fecd ; because God has set them apart for himself, and they have set themselves apart for him. He has separate them from the rest of the world, the common mass of man. kind, by an eternal decree of election, by a donation or grant that he made of them unto Chrift: “ Thine they were, and thou gavest them me,” John xvii. 6. By a peculiar purchase, having “ redeemed them from their vain conversation, not with tilver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.” By an effectual calling of them by the power of his grace, whereby they are delivered fron, the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son," By a voluntary surrender
Teed ? La of separation of divine boers are called ofane wor
in Termin fay, theation of div In refpecies are called ut an hours
of themselves unto the Lord, under the influence of his own grace, they have presented themselves "a holy, living, and acceptable facrifice unto him, which is their reasonable service." Thus they are holy in refpect of separation.
Secondly, They are a boly feed, in respect of their purification from filth and pollution. At the same moment that the guilt of sin is pardoned in justification, at the same moment the purifying work of the Spirit is begun; and that which takes away the guilt of fin in justification, doth also purify the soul from the filth of fin, whereby its Ethiopian hue is changed. Now, this cleasing and purifying work of the Spirit may be viewed, either in its beginning, progress, or consummation. 1.1., Inchoate or begun in regeneration. Hence the apostle, Tit. iii. 5. says, “ We are faved by the washing of regenera: tion, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost." The holy Spirit of God takes the soul, defiled by lying among the pots of Gin, and baches it in the “ fountain opened to the house of David, and inhabitants of Jerusalem," whereby its fin and uncleanness is purged away.
2. It is to be viewed in its progress, as it is carried on by the renewed actings of faith, which more and more “ purifies the heart," Acts xv. 9. Every new act of faith, on the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, carries on the work of sanc tification in the soul a degree higher. As Naaman, by the prophet's direction, went down seven times into the waters of Jordan, till he was wholly purified from his bodily leprosy; fő the soul finding, while in this world, something of the filth of fin cleaving to it, it is ay, by faith, dipping itself in the fordan of a Redeemer's blood, till at death, it come forth, “ without spot or wrinkle, or any fuch thing." Hence, 2 Cor. vii. 1. believers are said to « cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord.”
3. This purifying work may be viewed in its consummation at death, when every spot or wrinkle of sin is wholly removed. Believers in this life, they are but fair like the moon, which has black spots in her ; but then they are clear like the fun, “ They shall shine forth like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.” As the soul, in the moment of its union with the body, becomes Gnful ; so in the moment of its disunion, it becomes perfectly holy, and free of all the spots of fin : fin brought death into the world, and God, in a way of holy resentment, makes use of death to put an end to the very being of fin in his faints. Thus you fee, that they are holy in respect of purification. I hirdly, They are called a holy feed, in respect of a positive
communication' communication of divine holiness; for we are said to be renewed after the image of God, which was lost by the fall of the first Adam. The priests under the law, when to minister in the holy place, were not only to purify and wash themselves, but to put on their priestly attire and ornaments, which were ex'ceeding beautiful : fo believers are a royal prieflbood; they must not only be washed from the filth of lin, but like the King's daughter, they must be made all glorious within ; they must not only have the robe of imputed righteousness , put, upon them, but the beautifying grace of the holy Spirit implanted in them; which is sometimes called a partaking of the divine nature ; sometimes, the beauty of the Lord, “ Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us ;? sometimes called, the new heart, the new spirit, the image of God, the life of Godin the soul. And this positive work of fanétification, it gets various names and designations, just according to the different actings of the principle of spiritual life. As it takes in the re. velation of the mind of God in the word read or preached, it is called knowledge ; as it depends on the Lord Christ, by virtue of the new covenant and promise, it is called faith ; as it delights itself in the Lord, it is called love; as it mourns or grieves for fin, whereby it has offended the Lord, it is called repentance; as it stands in awe of God, as a Father, it is called fear ; as it sweetens the mind, and composes it, it is called meekness; as it falls in with the perceptive or commanding will of God in heart and life, it is called obedience ; as it renounces the law, and all confidence in the flesh, it is called felf-denial; as it bears afflictions, it is called patience. All these, I say, are nothing else but the different actings of that principle of holinesseimplanted in the heart by the Spi. sit of the Lord. Thus you see why they are called a koly
The holy emported in the in the method
IV. The fourth thing in the method was, to inquire what may be imported in their being called, the substance thereof : The Loly feed fall be the substance thereof. I answer it takes in the following particulars. ;
1. That the wicked of a land are but a heap of lumber in God's reckoning, whatever be their station, quality, or estate : though they have the gold-ring and the gay clothing, and may cast a great daih in the eyes of men; yet, I say, before God, and before them that have the Spirit, and spiritual discerning of things and persons, they are but so much lumber and trafli. Hence is that of David, Psal. cxix. 119. “Thou putiest away all the wicked of the earth like dioss." Hence also, they are