« PreviousContinue »
vision is, there the people perilh," faith the Lord by Solomon, Prov. xxix. 18.
In order to our successful building of the broken and fallen tabernacle of David, there are these following particulars. I. would suggest to my reverend brethren at present, to myself, and to all hearing me.
1. In order to tabernacle-building, it is necessary that every one of us prepare a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob in our hearts. It is scarce to be fupposed that that man who refuseth Christ a room in his heart by faith, that ever he will be very active to build him a tabernacle in the land : and therefore let every one of us comply with that summons, Psal. xxiv. at the close, “ Lift up your heads, ) ye gates, be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of glory may come in." And then, having given him a habitation in your hearts, provide room for him in your families. You that are heads of families, say as Joshua, Let others do as: they please, “ as. Ir me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Let God be worshipped in fincerity morning and evening in your families, and make it your business to instruct your families, children, and servants, in the good ways of the Lord, after the example of Abraham the father of the faithful.
2. In order to our building the tabernacle of the Lord's cono gregation in the land, it is necessary that we be well acquainted with the pattern fhewed in the mount, particularly of the New Testament revelation ; and what a length the work was. carried in the days of our forefathers, who took themselves and their posterity engaged by folemn covenant to preserve, maintain, and carry on that reformation in the land; and what contendings and wrestlings, even unto blood, there have been in that glorious cause. Ignorance of the cause of Christ, as it has been stated from the word of God, both a3 to doctrine,' worship, discipline, and government, and how it has been adopted by folemn oath, makes folk to work in the dark, and to dispute and contend about they know not what. And therefore, let us study the testimony of the Lord's witnesses in former times, and what testimonies have been, and may be, emitted against the defections of our own day and generation.
3. Having laid these things as a foundation, it is neceffary that, like Elijah, we should be “ very zealous for the Lord God of hosts,” and his tabernacle in the land. It is said of Christ, when he was purging his temple, and casting out buyers and fellers who profaned it, that." the zeal of his Father's house did.eat him up," John-ii. 17. - Something of this holy
acur world Let hence wi
zeal should poffefs all the members of Christ, and all his mis nisters. There is a generation of Gallios and Laodiceans, who, under the name of moderation, falsely so called, will look upon you as madmen, and hot-headed zealots, and what not. But as fire burns with the greater heat, the colder the climate and weather be ; so true zeal will rather be kindled and increased, than cooled and quenched, by fuch difcouragements. Only let your " zeal be according to know. ledge,” founded upon a true acquaintance with the person; natures, and offices, and cause of Christ ; for indeed blind zeal doth more harm than good : our zeal should be accompanied with the serpent's wisdom, and the dove's fimplicity and innocence.
. 4. In building the tabernacle of David, we had need to count the cost, and to reckon what tabernacle-work may cost us; lay your account with the loss of your name; lay your reputation down at the Lord's feet. As Christ despised the Sbame of the cross in saying us, so must v: in following him and his cause. We must lay our account with the loss of our worldly substance, and “ take joyfully the spoling of our goods." Let never your own houses, lands, and riches, be laid in the balance with the building of God's tabernacle ; otherwise Christ and you will soon part, like the young man in the gospel, who.“ went away sorrowful, because he had great poffesfions." We must lay our account with the loss of our lives in building of the Lord's tabernacle : many a life has gone for it in Scotland; and, if it need our lives also, we must be ready tô part with them, rather than quit the Lord's tabernacle, Rev. xii. 11.
. 5. Come not nigh unto " the tents of these wicked men," who usurp upon the priesthood' and service of the tabernacle without the Lord's call, and who are active in carrying on a defection from the attained-to reformation of the Lord's taber. nacle in Scotland. The countenance and encouragement given them by professed friends of Christ, hardens and fortifies them in their way and method ; such are partakers of their fin. It is the express command of God, from such to " withdraw, who walk not according to the tradition we have received :" and therefore every one that wishes well unto the Lord's tabernacle should say of such, as Jacob faid of Simeon and Levi, “ () my soul, come not thou into their secret ; unto their assemblies, mine honour, be not thou united; for the instruments of wickedness and cruelty are in their habitations."
6. Hold hand to all ministers or Christians who are endeavouring honestly in their sphere to build up the tabernacle
of David. It is a fore matter, and looks ominous, when the real friends of the tabernacle come to be divided among them; selves. Although we be commanded to separate from tabernacle-destroyers, yet we are not any where commanded to feparate from tabernacle-builders, who “ keep the command. ments and ordinances of the Lord blameless, and are, according to their sphere and situation, endeavouring to promote the public cause of David our King, and oppoling his enemies. “He that is not against us, is with us." Let us study to be with all those that are with Christ, or upon his side, and his covenanted cause in the land; but especially with those that stand as it were in the front of the battle, and against whom the strength of the enemy is levelled.
7. Pray and wrestle much at a throne of grace, that God may come and work the work himself; for "except the Lord build the house, the builders build in vain.” O pray, that the cloud of his presence may rest upon the tabernacle ; that his Spirit may be poured out from on high upon king, nobles, gentry, commons, ministers, and people; and then the building of the tabernacle will go on apace.
8. Lastly, Let every one attempt, through grace, the reformation of his own heart and life, and to have a walk like those who believe that the God of the tabernacle is in the midst of us. Israel were obliged to guard against all moral and ceremonial uncleannesses, because « the holy One of Israel was in the midst of them;" fo let us study to act and walk, as in the fight of that God who " searches Jerusalem as with lighted candles. Be ye holy, as he that hath called you is holy.” The untender walk of professors is a reproach to the God of the tabernacle, and causes the enemy to blafpheme. Let the laws of the tabernacle, particularly these of the moral law as a rule of obedience, be “ a light unto your feet, and a lamp unto your paths. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace shall be on them, and mercy, and upon all the Israel of God."
THE ANNALS OF REDEEMING LOVE, WITH THE RE.
OF THE REDEEMED.
BEING SEVERAL SERMONS
PREACHED AT SACRAMENTAL AND OTHER OCCASIONS.
Is, lxü. 4.
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the į
year of my redeemed is come.
THE FIRST SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
To gain time, I wave the connection, and just come to
1 the words themfelves, which I take up as a material repetition of the first promife, Gen. iii. 15. ic The feed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent;" which words are an express threatening of wrath and vengeance unto the old serpent and his feed; but at the fame time, a promise of fal. vation implied unto the woman and her feed. It is as if the Lord had said unto Satan, Thou hast indeed ruined Adam and his posterity at one stroke ; but remember I will be aven. ged on thee for what thou haft done ; in the fulness of time I am'to take on the human nature, and, in and by that nature which thou hast ruined, I wilt bruise thy head, and ruin chy kingdom. So says the Lord here, “ The day of vengeance is in mine heart," &c. As if he had said, I cannot forget the old quarrel I have with Saran for ruining the woman and her feed, it is still fresh in my view, I will surely pursue it to the de. struction of Satan, and the redemption of my people. So then you may take up the words in these few particulars.
1. We have here the name or defignation of God's remnant of mankind-finners, they are called his redeemed, my redeemed : they are mine by election, mine by my Father's donation, mine by the purchase of my blood, and they are to be mine by conquest; their redemption plainly supposes them to be in bonjage unio sin and Satan. It is obfervable, that they are called I he redeemed of the Lord, though the price of their remotion was not yet paid; many hundreds of years did in,
tervene before the actual payment of the ransom, and yet it is fpoken of as a thing done, because it was a thing already acted in the purpose of the Father, and in the promise of the Son from all eternity: for the same reason Christ is called “a Lamb Nain from the foundation of the world."
2. In the words we may notice the deep resentment that the glorious Redeemer has of the quarrel of the redeemed ; The day of vengeance, says he, is in my heart. Perhaps indeed there may be here a reference immediately to the vengeance that God was to inflict by Cyrus upon the Babylonian empire, for the hard ufage Israel had received from them during their feventy years captivity; but ultimately it has a respect unto the vengeance the Son of God was to take in the fulness of time upon Satan, that destroyer of mankind; he speaks here in the Capacity of our kinsman. According to the tenor of the law of Moses, the nearest of kin was to be the avenger of his kinsman's blood : so Christ here as our Goel, our brother, our elder brother, bone of our bone, and felh of our Aen, espouses our quarrel against the enemy, and destroys the destroyer : The day of vengeance is in my heart, it is in my heart, that is to say, I have purposed it, I have promised it, and the resolution is firmly seated in my soul, and the very thought of it is a pleasure and delight to me, “ Thy law is within my heart,"
Pfal. xl. 8. . 3. In the words we have the stated time for the deliverance
of the redeemed; it is called a day in the beginning of the verse, and a year at the end of it. A day and a year are one thing with the Lord; yea, a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thoufand years with him, being from everlasting to everlasting God, without any variableness or shadow of turning : only this perhaps may be in it, the time of mercy to the redeemed may be called a year, and the time of ven. geance a day, because justice is his strange work, his strange act, and therefore dispatches it in a little time, makes short.work with it; but mercy is a work wherein he delights, and therefore he protracts, and draws it out unto a far greater length ; "his mercy is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him." Whatever be in this, yet the period of time here point. ed at, by the day of vengeance, and the year of the redeemed, is especially the fulness of time, when God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
4. We may notice the Redeemer's pleasure and satisfaction with the view of all this, he speaks of ii with a particular air of joy and triumph: The day of vengeance is in mine heart, and