Page images
PDF
EPUB

the morning.” And therefore, I say, rejoice and glory in This name.

Object. 3. “I am plagued all the day long, and chastened every morning, deep calleth unto deep" with me, and therefore I cannot rejoice in this name, for through continued affliction “ my harp is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep." Anfw. If by this affliction the Lord is “ purging away thy dross,” and making thee a partaker of his holiness,” thou hast reason to rejoice and glory in his name, for these “light affictions" will soon be at an end, and they will “work for thee a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Do but view the name of God in Christ, and it will lighten thy heart under all the burdens of affliction that lie upon thy back, “ They looked unto him, and were lightened.” Job, when the waters of affliction were rolling in upon him on every hand, he views this name, and comforts himself with it, being enabled thereby to see a scene of glory opening upon the other fide of death, chap. xix. 25.“I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he hall stand at the latter day upon the earth,” &c.

Object. 4. You tell rejoice in this name, when “reproach has broken my heart, my name is torn, my reputation sunk and covered with calumny. Answ. The name of Christ was co. vered with calumny when he was in this world, called “a blasphemer, a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and Goners;" yea, he was branded with being in league with “ Beelzebub the prince of devils ;” and can any thing worse be said of thy name? And therefore bear it patiently, and rejoice : for as the name of Chrift outshined all the clouds of calumny, so Thall thine, if thou be a member of Christ, and reproached for well-doing : “ If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye ; for the Spirit of glory, and of God refteth upon you”

Objcct. 5. I carry such a burden of fin upon me, I have fo many wants, so many plagues, so many maladies, hanging about me, that I cannot get up my heart. Answ. Do but. read the name of God as it is in Christ, and thou shalt find ? redress of all grievances, cafe under all burdens, and healing of all plagues. Is it not matter of joy and triumph under a : sense of guilt, that his name is “the Lord pardoning iniqui. ty?" Is it not relief under burdens, that he bids you cart your burdens on him, and he will sustain you ?" is it not matter of joy under all wants, that “all fulnels is in him" for thy supply ; and under all the plagues of thy heart, that his name is “the Lord that healeth thee; that there is balm in Gilead, and a physician there ?”. It is the way of faith to reck

on

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

on upon, and to rejoice in what the soul hath in Christ ; under deadness, to rejoice that its “ life is hid with Christ in God;”. under self-emptiness and poverty, to rejoice in his “unsearchable riches ;' under a sense of guile, to rejoice in his resurrection from the dead as its discharge ; under inability to pray, to rejoice in his intercession. And thereiore, I say, learn flill to glory in the name of a God in Christ.

Object. 6. I cannot get the Lord served as I would be at when I set about duty, my wicked heart turns aside like a de. ceitful bow, I drive heavily like the chariots of Pharoah. Answ. Do you know what is the cause of your driving fo heavily? You turn away your eyes from the name of God as it is set in Chrift, and then indeed it is no wonder though your heart turn away from the living God. Do but view this name, and you shall be set upon the high places of Jacob, and thy soul shall, ere thou art aware, be made like the chariots of Amminadib.

Object. 7. I do not know if ever I believed in this name, how then shall I glory, and rejoice in it? Answ. If thou really never yet believed in this name, believe in it now, without any longer delay, fot it is manifested to be believed in. God has set forth his name in Christ as an obje 2 of faith and trust unto all the world : and rejoice, Oh sinner ! that thou has this name to fly to as a refuge; for it is glad tidings to men, and the sons of men, that God's name and our name are mingled together in our great Immanuel, and “they that know this name, will put their trust in it.” And whereas you say you do not know if ever you believed in this name, I only alk you, Is not this name precious to thy soul? Well, that is given as an evidence and mark of faith; for “ to you that be lieve, he is precious.” Does not thou love him, and all that bear his image ? This is another mark of faith; for “ faith worketh by love ;” and by this “we know that we are passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”

Object. 8. This is a lowering day, torms are brewing, and the clouds are raking ; God seems to be upon his march with the weapons of wrath in his hand; he is making the earth to tremble and shake with the noise of wars abroad, and divisions at home; and is this a time of rejoicing ?: Answ. It is all true you say; but is there no comfort in that case, in the name of the Lord ? Yes, there is. Let seas roar, let the nations fhake, let heaven and earth blend into confusion, the name of a God in Christ is the “ river that makes glad the city of God;" and therefore, I say, still “ let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. The Lord sitteth upon the floods; the : Vol. II. Tt

Lord

[ocr errors]

Lord sitteth King for ever; and therefore let the earth rejoice; and let the multitude of the isles be glad."

Obje&t. 9. Jacob is brought low, the ark of God is in a great measure taken, the hedges are broken down, violence is done to God's heritage, wolves in sheeps clothing have got in to the fpoiling of the tender vines; the authority of Christ, and the sacred liberties of his crown, trode under foot, which makes me to “weep, and hang my harp upon the willows ;" how then fhall I rejoice and glory in this name? Answ. Indeed these things have a very melancholy aspect, and we have reason to join trembling with our mirth, becaule of these fins that have provoked the Lord to smite and cover the daughter of Zion with a cloud. But yet there still remains ground of triumph and gloriation in the name of a God in Chrift, because by this name all Zion's enemies shall be confounded; the terror of it will at length make Zion's proud enemies and oppreffors, whether they be men in civil or ecclefiaftical authority, to en. ter into the rock, and to hide themselves in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. This name cuts off the spirits of princes, and is terrible to the kings of the earth, that invade or trample upon his authority. It is the eternal joy and comfort of all the true children of Zign, however oppressed and borne down, Zion shall yet be built up by the mighty God, when he appears in his glory, and in his majesty; and therefore there is still ground of glorying in his name.

By the downcasting of Zion, he is but making way for her upbuilding; and though she may be " afflicted, toffed with tempests, and not comforted,” yet he will “ lay her stones with fair colours, and her foundations with sapphires;" and though all should go to all, the Lord will take care of his remnant of mourners, “I will gather them unto me that are sorrowful for the solemn afsemblies, to whom the reproach of it is a burden."

The fifth thing in this use was to offer a few advices. If you would rejoice and glory in the name of God as manifested in Chrift, then, .

1. Write your own name in the dust, and learn to be de. nied to your own character and reputation in the world; for while our name bulks in our eye, we will never venture much for the name of Christ.

2. Get faith in his name, and keep in it a lively exercise, and live by faith on the Son of God; for we are “ filled with joy and peace in believing.” 3. Study integrity and uprightness in your heart and way:

Plah

Pfal. lxiv. 1o. “ The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and Thall trust in hiin: and all the upright in heart shall glory.”

4. Mourn for your own sins, and the fins of the generation wherein this name is dishonoured. For “ they that low in tears shall reap in joy. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted” in the name of a God in Christ.

5. Whenever you lose light of this name, run to his word and ordinances to find it again, for there it stands registrate for your use ; and “whatever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of Chrilt,” for the name of God is in him.

Exod. xxiii. 21.-Beware of him ; provoke him not, for my

name is in him.

THE SIXTH SERMON ON THIS TEXT.

I GO on now to a fourth word of exhortation from this docI trine. Seeing it is so that the name of God is in Christ, then beware of him, and provoke him not. This is an exhortation, or a caution here given to Israel, in the words of my text, Beo ware of him, provoke him not : for he will not pardon your transgreffions : for my name is in bim. We have it frequently obser. ved in the history of the children of Israel, to whom this advice was immediately given, that they had but little regard to this awful caveat given them, with reference to the Angel of the covenant, Pfal. Ixxviii. 56-58.; and see how he relented it in the following verses. Psal. cvi. 7. 23. 43. Now, let us not follow the example of the wicked Israelites in this matter, Psal. xcv. 8.-11.“ Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness : when your fathers tempted me, proved me,” even when they “saw my works. Forty years was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways. Unto whom I sware in my wrath, that they fhould not enter into my rest.” Let, I say, the example of the wicked and rebellious Ifraelites be a beacon unto us to avoid the same rocks upon which they were ruined : let us be aware of him, and be afraid to provoke him · as they did.

Now, that I may illustrate and enlarge this branch of the exhortation, I shall take notice of some of the sins of Israel, whereby they provoked the Angel of the covenant; and I fear

that

that many of them shall be found in our own skirts. Let every one apply, as they are guilty before God and conscience.

1. then, Israel provoked the angel of the covenant by their ignorance of God, and of his mind and will. “He gave his Itatutes unto Jacob, and his testimonies unto Ifrael, when he dealt not so with any nation under heaven;" and yet the great things of his law and covenant were strange things to them, they did not apply their hearts unto wisdom; and therefore the Lord complains of them by the prophet, If. i. 3. “ The ox knoweth his owner, and the afs his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider :" and the prophet, Hof. iv. 1. declares, that “the Lord had a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there was no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.”. Now, apply this to yourselves. : God has fet forth his name and glory to us in Chrift, he has made a more glorious and bright revelation of his mind by the gospel to us in this land, than to many nations of the earth, and you in this place have been in a particular manner privileged this way: hut, alas! “ the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not." What lamentable ignorance, even of the first principles of religion, is to be found among many? And among these that have fome light in their head, how few have taken it into their heart? I am jealous the Angel of the Lord is provoked by the ignorance of many in this place, and that he is saying of not a few, “ It is a people of no underftanding; therefore he that made them; will not have mercy on them.”

* 2. Israel provoked the angel of the covenant by their unbelief; they believed not in God, they trusted not in the Rock of their salvation. When Moses told them the mind of God, they did not give it credit; and for their unbelief their carcases were made to drop in the wilderness : and Heb. iji. we are told, that they could not enter into the promifed land be• cause of their unbelief. And when the prophets came preaching and publishing the mind and will of God unto them, one after another, till Christ and his apostles, every one of them lift up this melancholy complaint against them, “ Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?” And at last, for their unbelief, in rejecting the promised Messiah, they were cut off, both from being a church and nation, and scattered through all the earth, with a mark of the divine vengeance set upon them. Oh Sirs ! be aware of the Angel of the covenant, and provoke him not after the fame example of unbelief, and “ let us fear, lest a promise of reft being left us, any of us should seem to come Thort of it,

« PreviousContinue »