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and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mo. ther crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.” Thus much for the fourth thing iri the method.
V. The fifth thing was, to give the reasons of this doctrine. Why is it that God, in his own time and way, will build up his fallen and ruined tabernacle? .
Answ. 1. Though he will not do it for our sakee, yet he will do it for his own name's sake, that it may not be polluted with the blafphemy of the enemy : Is. xlvii. 9-UI. « For mine own sake, even for mine own fake will I do it; for how should my name be polluted ? and I will not give my glory unto another." God's name is great in Zion, when he builds his tabernacle: Pfal. cii. 16: “ When the Lord shall build up Zion, he will appear in his glory." .
2. He builds up his fallen tabernacle upon the account of Christ's intercellion, the great - Angel of the covenant, who interposes on her behalf when the is brought low. Zech. i. 12. when Jerusalem is lying in rubbish, the Angel of the covenant interposes, saying, "How long, I Lord of lofts, how long wilt thou cot have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the cities. of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? Well, the Lord answered the Angel with good and comfortable words, saying particularly, ver. 17 * Thus faich the Lord of hosts, My cities through prosperity Nall yet be spread abroad, and the Lord fhall yet comfort Zion, and thall yet choose Jerusalem.” ,
3. He will build up his tabernacle, from the sympathy that he hath with his people under oppression. He is touched with the feeling of their infirmites: and in all their afflictious he is afflicted;" and therefore he sends the angel of his presence to save them, in his love and pitý he redeems them," If. lxiii. 9. "The fighing of his prisoners comes, up before hini : and, “For the oppression of the poor, and the sighing of che needy, now will I arise (faith the Lord), and set him. ią safety from him that puffeth at him,” Pfal. xii. 5.
4. He will do it for his faithfulness fake engaged in his promile. Here is his promise in the text, In that day will the Lord build up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, &c.: and his promise is sure, he will accomplish it in his own time and way; "hea. ven and earth shall pass away, but one jot” of what he hath spoken " Thall not fall to the ground.”
5. He will build it up, because it is the tabernacle of David. And “ he will not lie unto. David : His feed shall endure for rer, and his throne shall be built up, unto all generations,”
Psal. Ixxxix. 3. 4. The “ horn of David fhalt bud, and he hath ordained a lamp for his anointed : he will clothe his enemies with fhame, but upon him thall the crown flourish,” Psal. cxxxï. at the close. Thus much for the doctrinal part of the discourse.
Vi. The last thing I proposed, was the Application, which I shall endeavour to discuss in a few inferences, having applied as I went along, particularly under the second head of the doctrine.
Inf. 1. See, from what has been said, the love and kindness of God to men upon earth. Solomon, the wiseft of men, cries out, “ Will God in very deed dwell with man upon earth ?” Will the high and lofty One, who inhabits eternity, and dwelleth in light that is inaccessible, ever take up lodging with finful and rebellious men? Well, I fay, from what has been said, you see this posing and silencing question anfwered; 6 Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.” Yea, though men ruin and take down his tabernacle, yet he will rebuild and repair it's so fond is he of dwelling with men. All the furniture of grace and glory, that lies in the hand of our great Immanuel, by the pleasure of the Father is intended to prepare a fit lodging for himself with men: Pfal. Ixviii. 18. when he “ ascended up on high, and led captivity captive, he received gifts for men, yea, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among us." O let us admire and adore the love of God in this matter, and cry, “ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards . men."
Inf. 2. See hence the obligations that we in this land are under to the Lord, that pitched his tabernacle so early among us, and has allowed it to continue so long, when he never set up or continued it in such a manner in any nation upon earth that I know of, since the coming of Christ in the flesh. Many nations of the earth were never yet enlightened with the beams of the Sun of righteousness, the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of crucity. Other places that have been enlightened for a while, their light was foon put out, and their candlestick removed: witnets that of Jerufalem, where the New Testament church was founded at Pentecost; the seven churches of the Leffer Afia, Rome, Corinth, and other places ; God has removed his tabernacle from them, and they are become like Shiloh; whereas his gospel-tabernacle has been kept up in Scotland for many hundreds of years, nota withstanding of the utmost efforts of hell to pull it down and destroy it. He has many times threatened in the conduct of
his providence, and is at this day threatening sore to remove his tabernacle from us; but O how loath is he to leave us among the dark places of the earth! his way of working seems to utter that language, Hof. xi. 8. “ How shall I give thee up, O Ephraim ? how shall I deliver thee, Ifrael? how shall I make thee as Adriah ? how shall I set thee as Zeboim ? my bowels are turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.”
Inf: 3. Let every one of us endeavour in our different spheres to be workers together with God in building up the tabernacle of David, which (as you have heard) is broken, and in a fallen and ruinous condition at this day. .
To quicken and excite this careless generation to a concern about building the Lord's tabernacle, I offer these few consi derations.
1f, It is the tabernacle of David, your great and only King, who has fought our battles for us against the powers of hell. It is he who has flain Goliath the terror of Israel, he has bruised his head at the expence of his death and blood and yet shall we nat be concerned to build up his tabernacle when it is fallen?
2dly, The tabernacle of David is the glory of our land; it is this that makes Zion “the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth ;" it is this that makes the church to "look forth as the morning, fair as iue moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.
3dly, The tabernacle of David is not only the glory, but the safety of a land ; it is the very ” chariots and horsemen of Israel.” His glory in the midst of a church is as a wall of fire about her, and as broad rivers and streams surrounding the city, where no galley with oars nor gallant ship can pafs, to harm or moleft the inhabitants of the city of God. I was God's tabernacle in the midst of Israel, that itruck terror upon all the nations round about, and made Balaam, at the light thereof, to cry out, “ Surely there is no inchantment againit Jacob, nor divination against Israel"
4thly, Consider, that as it is our duty and interest, so we are bound by the oath of God to upbuild, maintain, and preserve, the tabernacle of David against all injuries. Besides personal vows, there are public vows, oaths, and covenants, frequently repeated, lying upon us and our posterity to build up the tabernacle of David, to maintain the doctrine, discipline, worthip, and government of the church of Scotland, as it is stated in our public standards. And whatever failures, through human weakness and infirmity, there might be either in the composure of these covenants, or yet in their administration, this can nie:
ver loose us from the oath of God to maintain and carry on a reformation of the church of Christ, antecedently binding by the authority of God in his word. The Rachabites thought themselves bound to abstain from wine, a thing indifferent in itself, because of their father's oath ; and are commended for it.
The rash oath made to the Gibeonites in the days of Joshua was found binding in the days of Saul and David, although it was only the princes of the congregation that sware. The oath of Zedekiah king of Judah to the king of Babylon, a Heathen, though prohibit in the law of Moses, was found binding ; “ Shall he break the covenant, and escape?” The bond of any city or community, though made only by thele who presently govern, is found binding in law upon their suc. ceffors in office in the fame society. And yet, will any deny that the oath of God, so solemnly sworn by king, nobles, gen. try, commons, and persons of all ranks, with uplifted hand to the great God, for maintaining and upholding his tabernacle in the land, is not obligatory upon us their posterity? And therefore, I say, if we do not concur in building the fallen ta. bernacle of David according to these oaths, we are guilty, not only of rebellion against the divine authority, but also of perjury.
Sthly, Hell and Rome, and all their auxiliaries, are at work to ruin the Lord's tabernacle; and yet shall the friends of Christ be llack-handed to build and uphold it ? None more active to ruin and pull down the tabernacle than a set of cor. rupt clergymen, who by ways and means of their own, have usurped the sacred offices of the tabernacle. We have seen by their acts, and now we may see it in print, a scheme and project laid to ruin the church of Christ into a politic engine for serving the interest of the state, and all the stipends of Scotland into livings for gentlemens fons; and thus they pro. pofs to build the tabernacle of David. But if this was the way of Christ and his apostles it is easy to judge from Matth. xi. 25. 1 Cor. i. 26-28. Now, I say, when men are so active to ruin the Lord's tabernacle, shall not the lovers of Christ be concerned to build it up?
6thly, The curse of God will follow these who do not help to build up the tabernacle of David. The cry seems to be given in the camp of Israel, “ Who is on the Lord's Gide against the mighty?" You that are idle spectators, and refuse your helping hand, remember that awful word, Judg. y. 23.
“ Curse ye Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof: >> because they came not up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
gthly, If the tabernacle of David fall, or be lifted from among us, many woes will follow upon it :-* Yea, wo also unto them when I depart from them; nothing but desolation ensues. “Be instructed, 0 Jerusalem, left I make thee defolate, a land not inhabited. I would have gathered thee (says Christ unto the Jews), as the hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not ?" and therefore " behold your house is left unto you defolate." Let us but look to Shiloh, and see what the Lord has done there ; let us look to the fam mous churches in the Lefler Agia, the once famous church of Rome ; let us look to France, Spain, Germany, and other parts, where the tabernacle of David once flourished, and see what darkness and desolation is there through the removal of the tabernacle ; and let these be beacon's to warn and guard us against indifferency about the concerns of the Lord's taber. nacle, and motives to excite us to activity and concern for maintaining and upholding of his tabernacle as in the days of old.
8thly, Let it encourage évéry friend of Zion to lend their helping hand, that it is God that builds the tabernacle of David, and his faithfulness is engaged in the text to do it. We are encouraged to “ work out the work of our personal salvation with fear and trembling," under a sense of our own weakness and impotency, because “ it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of his own good pleasure." So let it encourage us to put hand to the work of the Lord's tabernacle, that it is God that builds the tabernacle of David : “God doth build up Jerusalem, and gather together the disa perfed of Israel." if he smile upon our impotent mints at the work, he will make the work to go on and prosper. It is no matter how insignificant, how few or small the instruments be if he work with them or by them ; for he can make one to chase a thousand, a thousand to put ten thousand to flight. “ The battle is not to the Atrong, nor the race to the swift, Worm Jacob” in his hand will arise "and threth the moun. tains, and beat the small, and make the hills as chaff.”
gtbly, If we do not help up with the tabernacle of David, we bring the blood of David upon our heads; for the tabernacle was reared at the expence of his blood : and we bring the blood of all our ancestors, who suffered for maintaining of God's tabernacle in the land, upon our head. Yea, we bring the blood of our souls, and the blood of all our pofterity, on our head: for if the tabernacle of David fall, and be removed, our own souls perish, and the fouls of our posterity, the very means of their salvation being gone out of the land: for " where no