« PreviousContinue »
ing, “ As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn unto me and live ?” What, I say, is the design of all this, but just that finners may trust and rest, and believe in Christ with assured confidence, that so they may not perish, but have everlasting life? This is the very hinge on which all religion turns, this is the white we should aim at in preaching, and you in hearing, that you may be brought to trust the Avenger of our blood. Now, feeing this is the scope of the whole gospel-revelation, and of all that ever Christ did or said, does not this sufficiently warrant you to believe and trust in him?
6. Consider the hazard and danger of not trusting and be. lieving in him. You do what in you lies to defeat the design of his whole undertaking, and the design of the whole gospel; you make God a liar in refusing to believe the record he hath given of his Son; you must continue in a confederacy with Satan against him if you do not believe, there is no mids, you lay your souls open to inevitable ruin; for ! there is no name given under heaven whereby to be faved, but by the name of Jesus.”: You make your kind Kinsman your enemy, and draw the vengeance he deligned in order to your deliverance, upon your own heads; and there is no vengeance so terrible as the vengeance of an incensed friend. O how terrible is the wrath of a slighted Saviour and Redeemer! 2 Theff. i. 8. 6. The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.". Consider this, ye that say now, “ We will not have this man to rule over
7. Consider what glorious advantages shall redound to you by trusting and believing in this blessed Redeemer and Aven. ger. Perfect peace shall be the fruit of it, a peace that passes all understanding : Is. xxvi. 3. “ Thou wilt keep him in per. fect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trustech in thee.” Joy shall spring up in your bofoms upon your trusting in him, yea, a "joy unspeakable and full of glory;" we are « filled with joy and peace in believing. Provision and food both for soul and body : Psal. xxxvii. 3. “ Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou thalt be fed.” Protection and safety in a time of danger ; protection from Satan, that cunning fowler, and all his birds of prey: Psal. xci. 2-4. “ I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, and my fortress: my God,' in him will I trust.” And then it follows, “ Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.”
Firmness, Firmness and Atability is the fruit of trusting in him, so as not to be shaken, like the trees of the wood, with the wind of temptation or affliction : “ He that trusteth in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for cver.” King Jeholhaphat advises Israel, under a shaking disa pensation, “ Believe in the Lord your God, lo shall you be established; believe his prophets, fo shall ye prosper." You shall not be afraid of evil ridings, if your hearts be fixed, truft
ing in the Lord. Increase and growth in grace is the fruit of The trusting in him. Would you have your souls in a lively flou
rishing condition, like the palm-tree and the cedar in Leba
non ? Then trust your kind Kinsman and Avenger : see a . sweet promise to this purpose, Jer. xvii. 7. 8. “ Blessed is the
man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeih out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding
fruit." But what shall I say more, everlasting life, and all In that pertains to it, is the fruit of trusting in him: and he who
believes in him shall never be confounded of his hope and exe pectation. Thus you see what glorious warrants and encouragements you have to trust in this glorious Kinsman, the Avenger of our blood.
Queft. 3. When is it that we should trust this kind Kinfa Der man? what are the special seasons of this duty we owe him?
Answ. In general, there is no time unseasonable, yea, it is seak fonable at all times, “ Trust in him at all times; ye people,
pour out your hearts before him ;' there is not a moment of your life, there is not a turn of your pilgrimage here below, in which you do not stand in need of grace and mercy from your Kinsman to help you; and therefore you need to trust him at all times, “ To whom coming” by a lively trust and faith, 6 ye are built up a spiritual house,” &c. But there are some special seasons in which we are called in a particular manner to exercise trust, faith, hope, and dependence upon him for his helping grace.
1. Under the arrests of the law as a covenant, or under the challenges of conscience supported by the law, craving the debt of obedience or punishment, according to the terms and tenor of the covenant: then we are called by faith to trust to him, and flee to him as “ the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes in him.” O finner, who art sinking under thy debt thou owes to justice, come put your trust in this Surety, he who bruised the head of the serpent in apena ging your quarrel upon him, he will be sure to stand between
thee and justice ; for “ he brought in everlasting righteous. ness; he magnified the law” as a covenant ; “ he was made fin for us," for this very end, “ that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
2. When thou art molested with a body of fin and death, I mean the workings of indwelling corruption, then trust your blessed Kinsman, that by the law of the Spirit of life which is in him, he may make you free from the law of Gin and death. He is “ made of God unto us fan&tification, and our old man is crucified with him, that the body of lin may be deftroyed, that henceforth we might not serve sin." Atheism, enmity, unbelief, carnality, and other heart-evils under which thou art groaning, are his enemies as well as the enemies of thy soul; and therefore he will wound the head of these his enemies; all his enemies shall perish, into smoke shall they consume away; he will waste, weaken, and wither that body of lin under which thou art groaning.
3. When thou art harafled with the fiery darts of Satari, tempting thee, perhaps, to the same sins of Atheism, distrusts and self-murder, unto which he had the impudence to tempt Christ himself when here upon earth, this is a season in which thou shouldst trust thy Friend, Kinsman, and Avenger. And to encourage thee to trust him in that cafe, remember that the day of vengeance is in his heart, his vengeance is in a peculiar manner pointed against that enemy; and therefore he will be sure to join the poor soul that is groaning under his oppression, and crying to him for relief; and besides, he stands engaged by promise, that “ he will not suffer thee to be tempt. ed above what thou art able to bear, but with the temptation will provide a way to escape. He stands at the right hand of the poor ; he is the strength of the poor and needy in their distress, when the blast of the terrible ones is like a storm against the wall."
4. Art thou wrapt up among the dark and thick clouds of desertion? This is a proper season of trust in thy Kinsman: If. I. 10. " Who is this among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his fervant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.”. Faith and trust is then especially to be exercised, when sense and reason can perceive nothing but an. ger and frowns; " for here we walk by faith, and not by Tight: and faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” And to encourage thy trust in him in such a cafe, look to his promise, in which he has said, that “.though he forsake thee for a small moment, yet lie will
return with everlasting' kindness. Weeping endureth for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
5. When thou art enjoying the sweet and sensible mani. festations of his love, that is a time for trusting, as well as when under defertion and hidings. Never is the believer in more
danger, than when his sense is gratified with a fill of the mar· row and fatness, and wine of his Father's house. Indeed sense
is sweet, yea, it is the suburbs of heaven; but, I fay, the believer is never more in danger, like Paul, of being lifted up above measure, than when admitted unto the greatest senGble nearness; it is hard to carry a full cup with an even hand : and therefore, I say, a time of special fenfible nearness is a time proper for faith and trust in the Lard, that he may help to the right improvement of these visits of his love. And indeed this is one great design of all the fen Gble glowings of divine love, as well as of the displays that are made thereof in the gospel-revelation, that the sons of men may be encouraged and engaged to put their trust under the shadow of his wings," Psal. xxxvi. 7.
6. When we are meeting with disappointments in the world, as to these things in which we were expecting satisfaction, that is a proper feason for this duty of trusting in Christ your glorious Kinsman. When friends turn false and perfidious, it should teach us to trust in that Friend that sticks closer than a brother. So did David, when father and mother forsook him, then he trufted that the Lord would take him up; so Pfal. cxlii. 4. 5.“ I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me; refuge failed me; no man cared for my foul. I cried unto thee, O Lord, I faid, Thou art my refuge, and my portion in the land of the living.” When our worldly substance is withering, and our earthly poffessions ta. ken from us, either by force or fraud, that is a proper time of trusting our kind Kinsman and Avenger : Hab. iii. 17. 18. “ Although the fig-tree fhall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my falvation.” Sirs, God on purpose breaks our earthly comforts and cisterns in pieces, that by faith we may be brought to solace ourselves in hina alone as an upmaking heritage for ever, saying with David, “ My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.” Job, when he is swept na. ked of all he had in the world, cries out confidently, “ I know that my Redeemer liveth :" and " Though he should kill me, yer will I trust in him." I mighe tell you of many other sea
D say the word, and say it with your hearts and tongues, “ 1 am the Lord's : I am his, and he is mine : This is my beloved, and this is my Friend and Kipfman, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
Now, because we must deal with you as rational agents; therefore I will offer you some conliderations to gain your consent to marry our blessed Kinsman.
Motive 1. Consider that it was for this end that he became our Kinsman, and took on our nature, that he might come under a nearer relation to us, even to betroth us to himself in the relation of a spouse and bride. Under the law the Jews were bound to marry one of their own tribe ; so the Son of God, that he might wed so with us, he became of the same tribe and family with us, took upon him the feed of Abraham, and not the nature of angels. The distance between the divine and human nature was so great, that there could be no marriage relation between God and man till the distance bę removed, and the two natures be brought into a nearer union one with another. Well, to make way for this, the divine and human natures are joined in a personal union, God is mani, fested in the flesh : so that if you do not marry your Kinf. man and Redeemer, you do what you can to defeat the design of his incarnation, and do your worst, to baffle that glorious plot, the very master-piece of Infinite Wisdom and Love. O let the consideration of his stupendous condescenfion in becoming of our tribe, nature, and family, win your consent to him.
Mot. 2. Take a view of our Kinsman's greatness and excel, lency. What shall I say of him ? Words fail us, yea, thought and imagination fail us, when we begin either to think or speak of his excellency, who is a courtier of your affections, We would not know how to speak a word about him, if he had not by his Spirit in his word furnished us with proper expressions of his glory.' And indeed the words by which our ideas of him are to be formed, are such as raise our finite minds unto ecstasy, when viewed in a way of believing. O who is he, or what is he? “Who can declare his generation ?" His very name is so great and glorious, that no man can frame to pronounce it aright but by the Holy Spirit. O Sirs, will you refuse to be married to your Maker and Redeemer, whose name is, “ The Lord of hosts, The mighty God, The ever. latting Father, The Prince of peace, The brightness of the Father's glory, The bright and morning Star,” in whose pre. sence all the flars of created glory, whether in heaven or in earth, do hide their heads and disappear, as if they were ashamed to be seen beside him? Your Kinsman, who waits for