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ment came (says Paul), fin revived, and I died." The man was so full of himself, and of his own righteousness, that he thought himself alive without the law; touching the law he imagined himself to be blameless ; like Laodicea, he fancied himself or rich and increased with goods, and so stood in need of nothing ;" but whenever he heard the voice of Christ, he is struck to the ground, and all his fine airy imaginations about his own righteousness, by the law, falls to the ground; he fees himself to be a dead man, and 6 what things were gain to him before, these he counts loss and dung now." Did you ever find this self killing power of the voice of Christ from mount Sinai? for if proud self was never battered down by the hammer of the law, which breaks the rock in pieces, vou never yet heard the voice of Christ. You know before ever Ifrael cried for a Mediator between God and them, they got such a hearing of the voice of the Angel, as made the whole camp of six hundred thousand to fall a-quaking : “ The law is our fchoolmafter, to lead as unto Chrift, that we may be justified by faith ;' not that the law in itself reveals Chrif, but prepares the soul for the revelation of him in the gospel. I do not limit adorable sovereignty in his way of working ; but fo much of law work is neccilarý, as to shake the soul out of all its lying refuges, and created confidences, that it may betake itself unto Christ, and to him alone, for righteousness and life.''
2. The voice of Christ, where it has been heard in a faving manner, it has had a quickening power: John v, 35. “ The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. Are not my words fpirit and life?" says the Angel, with the name of God in him, Jolin vi." " The spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus," comes in and with the word of the gospel, which reveals Chrift unto the foul, and 6 makes it free from the law of fin and děath,” Rom. viii. 2. The law considered as a' covenant is a law of liñ and death to the poor soul while under it. It is a law of lin, because “the Itrength of fin is the law,;" fin has the dominion over the man, and is in its full power, while he is cleaving to the law as a husband; fin * has dominio'n over him, because he is not under grace, but under the law. And then the law considered as a covenant, is not only the law of lin, but of death, because it binds over the man to undergo the penalty; however he may work and · weary himself in the gieatness of his way, to make out a title to life by his obedience and works, yet he being weak to yield that obedience that the law requires, which must be every way perfect, it becomes a law of death to him, the penalty takes
place upon him, “ The soul that linneth shall die.” But now the law or power of that Spirit of life, which is in the word or voice of Christ, makes a man free from this law of fin and death ; it makes a man fly from the law as a covenant, unto him who is “ The end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth ;" and then the man becomes a living man; he reckons that he is “ dead indeed unto fin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ," and cries with David, “I shall not die, but live, and discover the works of the Lord,” and the wonders of his grace, and love through Christ unto my foula "I live ; yet not 1, but Christ that liveth in me,”' &c. Alas! may some poor soui fay, I find so much deadness in my heart, that I am afraid I never heard the quickening voice of Christ to this day. Answ. It is just the fruit of the voice of Christ to discover, that thou has no life, no strength, no righteous. ness, no goodness in thyself, but to see, though thou be le. gally and spiritually dead in thyself, yet your lite is in the Son, it is hid with Christ in God. Oh! say you, if my life were hid there, all would be right; but I cannot think that I can be so dead and lifeless, and yet have my life hid in Christ. Answ. Can thou fay before God, that thy life is so much bound up in Christ, and that thou sees such an absolute need of Christ, that thou can neither live nor die without him? I see myself so unrightcous and guilty before God, that if I get not him for the Lord my righieousness, I am a dead man, a dead woman, through eternity ? If this be the case, “surely in the Lord haft shou righteousness and strength ;" and therefore thou “ Ihalt not die, but live;" the voice of the Angel bas quickened thy soul to by to him. ;.
3. The voice of Christ has an enlightening power with it, for “ the entrance of his word gives light.” The word of the Lord is powerful, « enlightening the eyes.” At the same time that Christ unstops the deaf ear, so as to hear his voice, he opens the blind eyes of the finner alfo, to behold his glory and the glory of God in him. We are told, Rev. i, that jolin, whenever he heard the voice of Christ, saying, “ I am Alpha, and Omega, the first and the latt," he immediately turned to hear the voice of him that spake unto him, and he faw one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot. When Christ spoke unto Paul in his way going to Die mafcus, he at the Came time revealed hin.felf-goto him : " It pleased God to seveal his fon in me,” And therefore try yourselves by this, Have you ever seen an incarnate God? has "the light of the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ, thined into your hearts ?" Oh ! fay you, how fhall I know if ever thar divine light did enter wih the voice of Christ into my soul? I answer, You may know it by this, that whenever this light is with-held, you will be troubled : Psal, XXX. 7. “ Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I go mourning without the sun." 'Your aim and design in reading, hearing, praying, and any other duty, will be to get a new beam of that light of life: Psal. xxvii. 4. “ One thing have I defired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may behold the beauty of the Lord, and inquire after him in his temple.” And you will wait for it “ as they that wait for the morning, yea, more than they that wait for the morning.” And when it comes from his countenance, your hearts will be glad, and more glad than when corn, wine, and oil, doth abound.
4. The voice of Christ has a soul turning' and converting power in it. This is the ordinary way the efficacy and power of Christ in the gospel is expressed, Psal. xix. 7. It converts the foul, or it turns the finner from darkness unto light, from the power of Satan unto the living God. Whenever the Lord's voice is carried in upon the heart of backfliding Israel ; whenever he says, “Return, thou backsliding Israel,” immediately they turn to him, saying, “ Behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God.” The whole soul gets a turn by the power of the voice of Christ. The understanding is turned from darkness to light, from ignorance to a saving uptaking of the things of God. The will is turned from enmity to a voluntary subjection to the Lord : Psal. cx. 3. “ Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." The heart is turned from its tockiness and obstinacy to a blessed yielding to the will of God, therefore called a heart of flesh. The conscience is turned from its former security and learedness, to act as God's deputy, and
to rebuke for every fwerving from the holy law. The affec· tions, such as the love, delight, desire, and joy of the soul, are
turned from following after vanity, to centre in Christ, and God in him, as the only object of delight and joy, so as the man does not any longer fet his affection on things below, but on things above. In short, the man is turned from calling
God a liar, to set to his seal that God is true. And with this · turn of the heart and soul, there is a turn of all the members
of the body, and of the whole conversation. The eyes that were full of adultery, and fed themselves with beholding vanity, now delight in reading the word of God, and in beholding of his works. The ears that were delighted with hearing idle stories and profane songs, are now delighted in hearing the word of God. The tongue that was set on fire of hell, and that talked of vanity, is now employed in prayer and praise, and in commending Christ, and speaking things that are good, for
the use of edifying. The feet that were swift to run the devil's errands, are now employed in carrying the man to the house of God, to the ordinances of his appointment, where his soul may get ediôcation and nourishment. Thus, I say, the voice of the Angel Christ has a turning and converting power in it. : 5. The voice of Christ has a sanctifying and Gin killing power : Pfal. cvii. 20. “ He sent forth his word and healed them.” The dominion of Gin is broken by the power of the voice of Chrift; for this is the end of every manifestation of the Son of God, in the flesh, in the word or Spirit, to " destroy the works of the devil,” and particularly to destroy the reign of an, which is the firit-born of the devil.
Object. Alas! if this be fo, I am afraid I never yet heard the voice of Christ in me; for I never found unbelicf, enmi. ty, carnality, pride, and other evils, so much prevail against me, as Gince I began to lay things to heart.
Answ. The very feeling of these heart plagues, or a sense of them, is the fruit of the light or power of the word or voice of Christ in the heart. It is the work of the Spirit and voice of Christ to “ convince of fin, and to pierce to the dividing asunder of joints and marrow," and to humble and mecken the soul ío, as that it may give employment unto Christ the great Physician. See how Paul groans under the remains of a body of Gn, Rom. vii. 24. “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death !”
6. If the power of the Angel's voice has reached thy heart, thou hast been awed with the majesty, and charmed with the melody of it.
1, You have been awed with the majesty of his voice; and no wonder, for the name of God is in him, and the voice of the Angel, is the voice of God, and therefore his voice must be fall of divine majelty, and this brings the awe and fear of God into the heart: hence believers are sometimes described to be such as tremble at his word, and tremble at his difpenfations : “ My fieth trembleth because of thee, and I am atraid of thy judgements." Alas! the generaliiy of gospel hearers in our day, are no more moved, either with the voice of Christ in his word, or yet in his rod, than the smith's anvil is with the bearing of the hammer ; so that we may take up llaiah's compla:nt, ll. xxvi. 11. “ Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see, they will not behold the majetty of the Lord; but they call fee.” It is otherwise with theie stat bare eff-ctually heard the voice of Christ; they are, I say, and with the majesty of his voice.
2dly, They are not only awed with the majesty, but charmed with the melody of his voice. His voice is the voice of the charmer, Pfal. lviii. It has such a charming captivaring quality, that the dead live when they hear it; the lips of them that are asleep begin to speak, the lame leap like an hart, and the tongue of the dumb begin to sing. I may appeal to the experience of all that know the voice of Chrilt, for the truth of this. Hence it is that his sheep hear his voice, and at the hearing of it they follow him. If they hear him inviting them to follow him in prayer, meditation, Christian conference, or in any ordinance of his worship, saying, “Come with me from Lebanon, my Gifter, my spouse,” immediately their soul echoes, “ Behold, I come, for one day in thy courts is better than a thousand : I had rather be a door.keeper in the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of sin.” If they hear his voice calling them to go into the fire or water for him, they will be ready to say with Paul, “ I am ready not to be bound only, but to die for the name of the Lord Jesus." If they hear him calling them to any peace of work, they will be ready to say, Lord, command what thou wilt, only give strength to obey: “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou haft enlarged my heart. I will go in the strength of the Lord, making mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only." If they hear his voice inviting them to come away to glory to him through death, they will be ready to say with David, “ Though I walk through the valley of the tha, dow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy ftaff shall uphold me;" or with Paul, “ To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. I desire to be diffolved, and to be with Christ, which is best of all.”
Object. If this be a mark of them that have heard and felt the power of the voice of Christ, I am afraid of myself, fą the thoughts of death are a terror to me.
Anfw. Death, or the diffolution of nature, is indeed a ter, ror unto nature, and I own, that the best of the saints fhrink at it, under this, confideration : but will you answer me this question, Does not the thoughts of being with the Lord, and of seeing him as he is, and the thoughts of perfect freedom from a weary body of fin and death, and of being perfectly like unto him in hcliacis, somerimes sweeten the thoughts of death, and reconcile thy heart unto it? If so, it is an evidence that thou hast hears the voice of Christ, and that ere it be long thou thalt be among that ranfomed company, who are filiging his prises in the higher house.
The be;t ibing proposed in this use, was to shut up with a few words of advice, in order to your obeying the voice of