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ing? And if you be but willing to be made free, all the devils in hell cannot detain' you.; : sw') · Object. There indeed lies the stress of the matter, my, will has got such a woful cast, that I cannot get it bended toward this offered freedom. Answ. If the iron sinew of the obstinate will be too strong for thee to bend, pur itin'the hand of Christ thy blessed Kinsman, that he may do the work for thee, “ Thy people shall be willingnesses in the day of thy power." And O it is a fweet evidence of a foul already made willing, that he is groaning under the sense of the backwardness of his heart to yield to the call of Christ. And for your encouragement to put your obftinate will in his hand, you have him bound by promise to do the 'work, even to take away the stony heart, and to give the heart of flesh, that is, to master the enmity and obstinacy of the heart and will against him: O plead the promife, believe the promise, put him to his word, and purfue him upon his word before a throne and court of grace ; for he never said nay to a person that took this method. And then it is the pleasure of Christ to take vengeance upon Satan, by driving out the devil's poison of enmity and obftinacy from the heart of the finner. And therefore let the words of my text be a ground of faith to you as to this matter, For the day of vene geance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. The Lord bless his word.
Is. Ixiii. 4.- For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the
gear of my redeemed is come. ,
THE FIFTH SERMON ON THIS TEXT:
Y second exhortation from the doctrine is this, H it be fo MV that our blessed Goel, our kind Kinsman and Redeema: er, has avenged our quarrel upon Satan, by invading his king-, dom, counteracting his projects for our ruin, by Playing his first-born, by wresting the keys of death and hell out of his hand, and laying him under chains of darkness, unto the judgement of the great day, and the like ; I say, has our:Kinsman done all this in the resentment of our quarrel against that enemy? 0.
one, and deling in the trust, if weats
then let this encourage you to put your trust under the sha, dow of his wings, commit the keeping of your souls, and of all your everlasting concerns, unto him, for our Kinsman careth for you ; if he had had no care about us, or kindness for us, would he ever have spent his blood, and dyed his garments in our quarrel ? O Sirs, whom will we ever crust, if we do not trust him, who came travelling in the greatness of his strength, to engage with, and destroy the powers of hell, for the injury they had done us ? O how excellent is that lovingkindness which excited and engaged him to undertake this expedition! What amazing love to loft sinners of Adam's family breathe in these words, when viewed as a threatening against the powers of hell, The day of vengeance is in mine heart ! Now, I say, the duty, and the first duty, that this grace and love of our glorious Kinsman should' engage us to, is to confide and trust in him. This is the very leading design of the gospel, and of the whole revelation of the word concerning . Christ; and therefore be exhorted to fall in with it, and trust this kind Friend that sticks closer than a brother. This is a matter of the last' importance and concern to every one that hears the gospel, and upon which the happiness or misery of the precious soulthrough an endless eternity doth depend; therefore, to clear the exhortation a little, I lhall ovviate and answer a few questions.
Quest. 1. What is it that you call us to, when you bid us truit this kind Friend, this Redeemer of our blood ?
I answer, i, It necessarily supposes a deep and hearty concern about salvation or deliverance from that thraldom, bondage, and mifery that we are brought under by Satan and his firstborn fin. O Sirs, you who never yet saw yourselves to be the devil's prisoners, under the power of the guilt and filth of fin by virtue of a broken law, and who were never brought under a deep and hearty concern how to make your escape, crying, with the jailor, “What shall I do to be saved ?”' whatever may be your pretensions of trusting in Christ, they are but all hypocritical and notional; for “the law is our school-master, to lead us unto Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
2. This trust has in it a cordial approbation of the person and undertakings of our blessed Kinsman and Redeemer, in order to our freedom and delivery from this bondage to fin and Satan, an approbation of it as a method worthy every way of Infinite Wisdom, and of all others most suited arid adapted to the glory of God, and safety of the linner. Whenever a fine ner is awakened, and hath his eyes opened to take up his loft and ruined condition, these two questions very naturally caft up, viz. How shall God be glorified ? and how thall ever I be Vol. II. 32
faved saved in a consistency with his glory? Now, when Chris is discovered, and the method of salvation through him opened to the soul's view, it is made to see these questions sweetly answered in him, it sees how Chrilt restores glory to God and to all his attributes, and salvation to the loft ruined finner : “ Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace kiss each other," in this method of salvation ; and this draws out the soul's cordial approbation of this glorious device, saying, or this is my rest, for my soul desires it, and likes it well."
3. It has in it a renouncing of all other ways and means of relief, saying with these, Jer. iii. 23. “ In vain is salvation expected from the hills, and multitude of mountains ; in the Lord alone is the salvation of his people.” And Hof. xiv. 3. “ Ashur shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses, neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods.” Phil. iii. 3. “ For we are the circumcision, which worlhip God in the spirit, who rejoice in Christ Jesus, having no confidence in the flesh.” O Sirs, Christ is never the first course or method that a sinner takes for salvation, no, no, he is ay the last shift ; many a way will the man try before he land in Christ. While in a state of profanity, living in a ma. nifest contempt of the law, the man, he ordinarily trusts to the general mercy of God, imagining with some, that it is enough to bring them to heaven, if they have as much time in a dying hour, as "to cry, God have mercy upon my soul. When the man is brought, through a spirit of conviction, to fee that this will not do, he then runs to the way of works by the law, and tries what he can do for his own salvation by his reformation, his prayers, tears, vows, penances, and the like. When the man has wearied himseif in pursuit of salvation in this way, and finds the law fo holy, fo fpiritual and extensive, that it is impossible for him to obey it perfectly, then he will join Christ and the law together, I mean Christ and his law. works, and thinks with himself, Now I cannot scale heaven, or make out salvation by my own obedience, it is so defective; but wherein I am deficient in obedience to it, I will rely upon Christ's righteousness to supply my defects. Thus he takes the new cloth of Christ's righteousnels to patch up his own filthy rags. And here it is that many a man stays, without going å step further, seeking falvation by Christ and the law together, which is the thing the apostle calls a " seeking righteousness, not directly, but as it were by the works of the law." But when a sinner is brought really to trust in the Lord Jesus, he receives him, and rests upon him alone as he is offered in the gospel, disclaiming his own righteousness as filthy rags,
saying saying with the apostle, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
4. This trusting in Christ carries in it a satisfaction with the warrant that God affords in his word for intermeddling with Christ and his salvation. It is a very ordinary case with there that are awakened to a due concern about salvation, to have this language in their mouths, O it is true, Christ is a suitable and sufficient Saviour, able to fave to the uttermost; but, alas! I do not know if I have a right or warrant to intermeddle with him, I am afraid I be guilty of presumption. Now, when a man believes in Christ, or trusts in him for salvation from fin and Satan, hell and wrath, he looks to the word, and there he sees that Christ is held out as the ordinance of God for the salvation of finners of mankind; that this Son is given to us, born to us ; there he finds the word of grace and salvation indorsed and directed to all and every creature, that “the promise is even to us, and our children, and to all that are afar off, and to as many as the Lord our God fall call” by the joyful sound; there he finds God commanding and requiring every man to “believe in the name of his Son Jesus Chrift, to look unto him and be saved." And upon these and the like grounds the man is persuaded that he has sufficient warrant to receive Christ, and rest the salvation of his soul upon him without danger of presumption; and upon this he ventures his falvation upon him. O Sirs, take care that you set the foot of faith upon a licker ground; and I do not know how our faith in Christ can ever be well founded, without finding our warrant for it in the word; the word is the immediare ground of faith, and without it we could never believe, Pfal. cxix. 49. “ Remeniber the word, upon which thou hast caused thy servant to hope.” Psal. cxxx. 5.“ In his word do, I hope.”
5. Thus trusting in Christ, as our Avenger and Redeemer, has in it a firm and full persuasion of Christ's willingness and ability to rescue and deliver us from the hands of Satan and sin, and all our spiritual enemies; yea, a persuasion of his faithfulness, that, according to his promise, he will deliver. The poor soul is persuaded of his ability from the word, because there it finds the record of God concerning him, that he is “ mighty to save, able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God through him." It is persuaded of bis willingness, from the same record; because there he finds it said, “ Come to me who will, I will in no wise cast out.” O would he ever come upon such an expedition to avenge the quarrel of loft
finners, to “finish transgression, and make an end of Gn," if he were not willing to save a loit Ginner that comes to him! It is persuaded of his faithfulness, that he will save according to his promise, that he will pity and pardon, and heal' and de liver, according to his promise, because it is impossible for God to lie. O, “ hath he said it, and will he, not do it?" yea, sure. ly, “yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."
6. And more directly, When a person trusts this glorious Redeemer and Kinsman for salvation, he is not only persuaded in general of the power, goodness, and faithfulness, of the Lord Jesus; but he is persuaded of all this with particular application of him and of salvation unto his own foul in particular; the man is confident, that whatever Christ has purchased with his blood, and whatever he has promised in the covenant, shall in due time be forthcoming to him, and he relies, and rests on the security he finds in the word, in the promise, or covenant of God sealed with the blood of 'his blessed Kinsman; he takes Christ as held out in his word of grace and says, “ This is all my salvation, God hath spokun in his holiness, I will rejoice ;" this is mine, and that is mine, and all is mine, because God hath spoken in his holiness ; I have his word for it, and that is enough; this faith is “ the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for.” And although God may see fit to defer the actual accomplishment of the promise, whereby his heart is made fick; yet when he views the good things promised, faith reckons them its own, upon the security God has granted in the promise ; and therefore says with the church, Mic. vii. 7-9. “I will look unto the Lord : I will wait for the God of my salvation : my God will hear me. Though I fit in darkness, the Lord will be a light unto me; he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” I do not say that this trust and confidence is ay alike strong in all believers, or yet in the self-fame believer; for fad experience makes it evident beyond all contradiction, that the believer's confidence of faith may be, and actually is, many times fadly fhaken, through the prevalency of unbelief, the assaults of temptation, and providences seemingly running cross to the promise ; by realon of this, the poor believer has many doubts, many fears and staggerings, so that sometimes he is made to cry out, “ Is his mercy clean gone? will he be favour. able no more? doth his promise fail for evermore ? One day I shall fall by the hand of Saul;" and in his haste he is made to cry out; “ All men are liars," the prophets of God not except? But these doubts, and fears, and staggerings, although