Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sirs, the awful dispensations of God, and his providential apo pearances, seem to have this language, that he is taking the ax of his indignation in his hand, to hew down the generation of his wrath; espeially those who have had a long standing un. der the means of grace, and yet have continued barren. “Cut it down, why cumber th it the ground ?” Oh Sirs ! God will foon or fyne avenge him of his enemies, who, through unbelief and contempt of the glorious gospel, have affronted him and his Anointed; he will send forth his armies, and destroy these rebels. “ Bring forth those mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, and say them before me.” He may bear long, but he will not bear always : no, no,“ my Spirit shall not always strive with men upon earth.” Oh! if a fire be once kindled in his anger, it will consume the earth with its increase, it will set on fire the foundations of the mountains, and burn to the lowest hell. And Oh! " who can dwell with devouring fire? who can dwell with everlafting burnings ?”.

7. Another cry he is uttering, is that, Prov. i. 20—23. “Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets! How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity ?” &c. He is crying to all men every where to repent, as Il. lv. 7. “ Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts,” &c. Ezek. xxxiii. 7. “ Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die, O house of Israel? for as I live, faith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of finners," &c. Oh Sirs, the Angel that has his Father's name is crying to you to Nee from the wrath that is to come, for “ there is yet hope in Israel concerning you ;" if you will flee to him, he will hide and deliver you from the wrath of God, the rage of men and devils ; and therefore “turn ye to your strong holds, ye prisoners of hope.” Thus I have told you of some general.cries unto all men.

Secondly, I will tell you of some more particular cries he is sending out at this day to people of several ranks in the land.

1. The Angel that bears his Father's name, and who utters the voice of God, he is crying to the powers and potentates of the earth at this day, “ By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. Promotion cometh neither from the east, west, fouth, or north : it is I that set up one, and cost down another.” He is saying to them, “ Ye are called gods; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. And thereo fore be wise, ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth, left I break you as with a rod of iron, and dath you, and your nation, in pieces as a potter's vessel.”

Nee from the wring you;” jf worlath of God,

2. The Angel of God is uttering his voice, and crying to Britain and Ireland, and particularly to this land, because of their perfidious dealing with him in the matter of folenn leagues and covenants for reformation, and other abominations, under which the lands are groaning. I think, I say,

that the voice of the Angel to these lands is what ye have, · Il. xxiv. 1.-6. “ Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty,

and maketh it waste," &c. Oh! Sirs, I fear there be a sad reckoning for covenant-breaking and bloodshed against these lands. The voice of the Angel in the present confusions abroad, and divifions at home, seems to be, “Behold the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquities. And, shall I not visit for these things shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?”

3. The voice of the Angel to nobles and gentry, and all the rich and great ones of the land, who have generally cast off the very form of religion, and given themselves up to luxury, oppression, and revelling and caballing; I say, his voice to these seems to be that, Jer. v. 5. 6. “I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgement of their God; but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds," &c. And Jam. V. 1.-5. “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you,” &c.

4. The voice of the Angel to the corrupt ministers of Scot: land, and these that join with them in spoiling the Lord's vineyard, and his tender vines in the land, and who cast snares and stumbling blocks before the Lord's people, marring instead of maintaining and carrying on a covenanted reformation ; his voice to them, and all their patrons, from the highest to the lowest, with whom they bandy to the spoiling of the poor people of God, is that, If. ii. 12.-15.“ As for my people, children are their oppressors,” &c. and Hos. v. 1. and ix. 7.8 &c. The voice of the Angel, particularly to all intruders into the ministry, and these that join hands with them, and abet them in their intrusions, is that, Jer. xxiii. 21. 22. and xxv. 34. 35. to the close. Ezek. xii. from ver. 10. to ver. 16.

5. The voice of the Angel to the poor scattered and op. pressed flock of Christ, that are mourning because of the abound. ing wickedness and defections of the day, and because of the oppression of the enemy, is like that, Psal. xii. 5. “ For the sighing of the poor, for the cries of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord, to set them free from there that are too strong for them;" and that of Zeph. iii. 18. “ I will gather them unto me that are sorrowful for the solemn ailemblies, ta whom the reproach of it is a burden;" and that, Mic. ij. 12. 13,

rs

"I will surely affemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gae ther the remnant of Israel, I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock, in the midst of their fold: they Thall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. The breaker is come up before them : they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it, and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.” The Angel of the covenant, he is also the tender fhepherd of Israel " who gathers the lambs with his arms," &c.

6. The Angel of the covenant is crying to all his faithful servants and ambassadors, who are endeavouring to mainiidid the work of God, and to bear witness for him, against the core ruptions of the day and generation, and to hold up Christ's standard and testimony, in opposition to those who would pull it down; he is saying to them, “Cry aloud, and spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, tell the houfe of Judah and Il. rael their abominations. Be ye faithful unto death, and I will i give you a crown of life. Keep the word of my patience, and I will keep you in the hour of temptation, that shall come to prove them that dwell upon the earth.” . '

I will conclude with a few cries he is yet uitering from mount Zion ; for if I could help it, I do not love to stand long on mount Sinai, or Ebal; but what the Lord bids us, that we must speak, whether it be good or bad.

1. He is crying to the condemned sinner to come to him, and he shall have a free pardon of all his fins : 1f. i. 18. “ Come, and let us reason together, faith the Lord: though your fins be as scarlet and crimson, I'will make them white as snow and as wool.” If. xliii. 25. “ I, even I am he that blotteth out thy tranfgreffions, for mine own name's fake.”

2. He is crying to the rebels to submit, and they shall have peace : Is. xxvii. 4. 5. “Fury is not in me : who would set the Briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. But let him take hold of niy itrength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me. We are ambaff dors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Chris's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” • 3. He is crying to captives to accept of liberty, and he will make them free indeed: “The law:tul captive shall be delivered," &c. Liberty from in, from Satan, and the world, &c.

4. He is crying to the wounded and diseased foul to come unto him and be healed, for his name is Jehovah Rophi, There is healing in his wings for every disease, &c. "

5. He is crying to the weary and burdened soul to come unto him for rest, Matth. xi. at the close. Psal. lv. 22. “ Cart thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee,” &c.

6. He is crying to the ignorant to come to him for instruction, for he hath pity on the ignorant, that are groaning un. der a sense of ignorance : “ Come hither, ye children, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord. He is made of God unto us wisdom,” &c.

7. He is crying to naked souls that have not a rag to cover them, to come to him for clothing, for the garments of falvation and the robes of righteousness. “ Hearken unto me, ye that are stout-hearted, and far from righteousness. Behold, I bring near my righteousness : it thall not be far off, and my falvation shall not carry," &c.

8. He is crying to the hungry and starving foul to “ come, ear of his bread :" If. xxv. 6. * A feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” If. Iv. 1. Prov. viii. at the beginning. Prov. ix. at the beginning. ::

9. He is crying to the finner that is bewildered, and cannot find the way to life and happinefs, that he is given for a "leader and commander," and that he “ leads the blind in a way they know not,” &c. :

10. He is crying to the base-born sinner, to come unto him, and he will give them the adoption of children, a place in God's family that shall never be cut off : John i. 12. " But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the fons of God.” Gal. iv. 4. 5. He was is made of a woman, made under the law, to-redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

11. He is crying to the finner that is in a compact and confederacy with hell, to break his covenant with hell, and his agreement with death, and take hold of his covenant of grace and peace : If. lv. 3. “ Incline your ear and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the fure mercies of Darid.

12. He is crying to the finner that is upon the very borders of hell and eternity, to believe in him, to look unto him, and be saved.

Now, Sirs, for the Lord's fake hear the voice of the Angel; for ye fee, if ye do not hear, he will not pardon your transgressions, for his father's name is in him. Oh! “how thall ye escape, if ye turn away from him that speaketh from heaven? . .

Exod. Exon. xxiii. 21.–Obey his voice : for my name is in hima

THE NINTH SERMON ON THIS TEXT.

I AM still upon the second general head in discoursing this 1 branch of the exhortation in the text, Obey his voice : for my name is in him.

I told you what we are to understand by the voice of Christ; and came, secondly, to tell you what is the voice of Christ unto the present generation. I told you, in six particulars, what seemed to be the Lord's voice to all in general. I told you, more particularly, what seemed to be his voice to the powers of the earth; what seemed to be his voice unto these lands, and this land especially; what his voice is to the nobles and gentry; what his voice is to a corrupt ministry, that are un. faithful to the souls of men, or run when he does not send them; what his voice was to the mourners in Zion, the Lord's oppressed ones; and what his voice is to all the faithful fervants and ambassadors at this day, that are witnessing for him against the corruptions and abominations of the day; and then turned to mount Zion, and told you of twelve cries that he was sending forth from thence.

I proposed to tell you of some cries that the Angel seems to be fending forth unto this city and congregation of Stirling at this day, and to several sorts of sinners, that are to be found in the midst of it. And, Sirs, remember that we that are ministers, are but earthen trumpets, ihrough which the voice of God is conveyed to you; we are the “ voice of the Angel crying in the wilderness” to men of this generation, as John Bapa tilt his voice was unto the generation wherein he lived. And if the voice of the Angel, speaking by us, touch any man, or point to him in particular, let him remember that it is not the earthen trumpet' he has to do with, but he that sounds it, or speaks through it. We that are ministers, we are ambaff dors for Christ; and ambassadors must deliver their king's commission, whether men will hear or forbear, for they speak upon the pe. ril of their souls, which no wise man will risk, either for the pleasure or displeasure of mortal worms, of whatever quality in the world ; for if we please men, our great Lord has declared, that we are not his servants.

Perhaps

« PreviousContinue »